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2015

~~Share your joy.~~  Unknown

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I would love to be part of your Christmas season.  If you...or someone you know here....doesn't have anyone to share Christmas with, please private message me with a name and address.  I would so love to be able to send a little Christmas cheer!!  I am by no means wealthy, but it doesn't take wealth to spread a little joy.

Don't be shy, don't be hesitant.  Your name will never go further than me and I don't talk about those I'm friends with :)  I just want everyone to have someone to share the holidays with!!

That's all.  Sorry I forgot to put it in that last blog.  Enjoy your day, enjoy your life!!  Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Life Goes On

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Nov 29, 2015

~~Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "Holy S@#*, what a ride!" ~~   Unknown

I fully intend to arrive at the grave exhausted.  I am going to play and to laugh and to explore forever.  And while I love to support and encourage and make people feel better about themselves, I also do not take life too seriously.  It doesn't change anything and brings out the worrier in me.

Now, as you are in the early days of your quit, you may be a bit tense.  You may feel 'on edge'.  You may even not remember what  it's like to have a 'good' day.  S'ok.  Do something silly like jumping on your bed while singing, "Ten little monkeys".  Do something fun like backwards bowling.  Do something daring like rock climbing.  Laugh.  Eat cake without worrying about added pounds.  Dye your hair purple.  Buy flowers.

Because life just doesn't wait around for you to be in a good mood.  Time is ticking and life goes on and we need to take advantage of every minute we have. 

Now, some of you are probably now bummed as you think I'm talking about death.  But really, I am talking about life.  Its a hoot!  Its wild and wonderful and fun and exciting!!  And when its not....during times of loss, sorrow, anger, or hurt....its still there.  Waiting for you.  Urging you to continue on.  Daring you to change your view.  Enticing you to look beyond the surface into the soul of life....the beauty, the essence of life.

Now you can choose to live in agony as you quit smoking.  It can be challenging for sure!  Or you can choose to squeeze every drop of joy from your days as you quit, knowing those challenging times will ease with time.  Or you can sit on that teeter-totter with the good and the bad battling for position.

At the end of the day, I choose to go to bed with a smile on my face and and dancing spirit....looking forward to what tomorrow may bring.  But that's just me.  What do you choose to do? 

Happy Sunday, all!!  Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

You Are Enough

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Nov 27, 2015

~~You are enough.~~  Unknown

 

Ever feel overwhelmed?  Tired?  Worn out? 

How about hurt?  Emotions raw?  Ccrumbling self-esteem?  Devastating loss?

We aren't promised a life of sweet grace, are we?  Not when we quit smoking.  Not when we do the right thing.  Not even when we manage to smile through the tears.

And, finally, just when you think things can't get any worse, you hear a whisper.  "You are enough."

And though you try to ignore it, you hear it again, close to your ear.  "You are enough."

At first you don't understand.  Enough?  You maybe have had enough, but you ARE enough?  So you dismiss the whisper simply because it doesn't make sense and you need to concentrate on fixing....everything.   Fixing your bruised heart.  Fixing your broken life.  Fixing the world.

You grow more tired trying to hold it all together.  And you wish you were like that one person who never seems to have any problems.  The one that bubbles with happiness, has a gorgeous long term quit going strong, and everyone adores her.

"You are enough."  The thought creeps through your mind, over and over.  And, slowly, it dawns on you that you ARE enough.  You do not deserve the hurts, the ills, the ugliness life has thrown at you.  And you begin to realize that not only do you not deserve those negatives, but you deserve instead....kindness.  Warmth.  Acceptance.  Love.

And rather than wait for the world to come to its senses, you stop trying to fix life and decide instead to live it.  You are enough.  Bruised heart?  Bruises heal and the heart still beats.  Broken life?  You know better.  Bad days do not equal a bad life.  Harsh world?  You bring to it gentleness and grace. 

You are enough, my friends.  You don't have to be brilliant.  You don't have to be stunningly beautiful.  You don't have to be filthy rich.  You don't have to be anything but who you are because you are enough. 

And as you look in the mirror at the gorgeous person you are, the tears start.  You cry for all the wasted time trying to fix a you that was never broken.  And you cry for the you that is finally taking shape after years of hiding in the shadows.  The you that has finally broken free.  Healing tears.  Happy tears.

I can agree that the world isn't always pleasant.  I can agree that sometimes we are devastated by loss or defeat.  But I will never agree that you deserve any of that.  And I will never agree that you need to change in any way.  You are enough.

Keep your quit, quitters.  You deserve it.  You earned it.  And it looks lovely on you.

Sheri 

~~I hope you know that you're never alone and that someone out there loves you more than you'll ever know.~~  Unknown

It's true.  You may not remember, but you touched a life.  Maybe it was with one of your smiles.  Maybe it was with a brief touch, a kind word.....a gentle hug.  It may even been online...words said here on becomeanex.

But you touched a life.  Someone in the world remembers your kindness.  Someone holds your smile tight in their heart.  Someone is a better person because of your words....your thoughtfulness....your actions.

Its very easy to feel negatives during the holiday season.  Lonely.  Alone.  Sad.  Hurt. But I'm here to remind you that you are not alone and you, my friend, are so very...very...loved.  Maybe we forget to tell you.  Maybe we think you know.  Maybe we think WE aren't important in your life.  So the cycle of loneliness continues.....

So I'm here to remind you that while you may not be with family, you are not alone.  Take that special smile, that kind heart, that gentle touch, and open your home to others who may be lonely.  Volunteer at a community dinner.  Take some pie to a nursing home....for staff as well as residents. Just do something to remind yourself that there is no reason to feel lonely! 

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!   Sheri

~~Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name....~~  Cheers theme song

 

My name is Sheri.  Anyone else want to share?  Just first name. I like to get to know you.....

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

I Dance

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Nov 21, 2015

~~Happiness is your invisible dance partner.  Take it by the hand and dance.~~  Unknown

 

When I quit, I used to wish for the days to fly by.  I wanted to be up there with the "big boys".  1000+ days, 800+ days, just any number bigger than the one I was on.

But then icky things happened in the world and it reminded me to savor each and every moment.  Seriously.  My now 900 days are gone and I won't ever get them back.  Thank goodness I can look back with happiness and say that I made the most of them.  I savored my quit, I celebrated whenever I felt like it, I revelled in not smoking. 

While we don't always get good days, the not so good ones simply remind me to be thankful for the better ones.  While we don't get a pass on ugly times or stressful struggles, I know that just as good days due, those bad times will pass whether I struggle through them or accept them.  I'd rather accept as struggling depletes my dancing energy :-)

So, 900 days of mostly dancing!!  900 days of satisfaction because good days or bad, I got through them. 

I don't usually do advice because there are so many people here so much better at it than me.  But......get tickled by your quit!!  Be delighted that you did it!!  Because when you reach 900+ days, you can look back with glee and joy and satisfaction.  You did it!!  Savor each smoke free day.  Revel in your quit.  And when life knocks you to your knees....know it won't last.  You are so very much more than what happens to you. 

Be tickled by your quit.  It's really quite delightful!  I could go on and on but why not find out for yourself?!  Much love to all who have been here for me......you know who you are.  900 and counting, Sheri 

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

I Could Have

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Nov 17, 2015

~~I am not what happened to me.  I am what I choose to become.~~  Carl Jung

 

Once I quit smoking and had a few months to think about what I'd done as a smoker, I had quite a few "OMG!" moments.  You know, the shame of putting my family through the second hand smoke stuff and the scrounging for enough change to buy a pack the day before payday.  How about the burning a hole in my car seat or the time I dropped one while I was driving and almost caused a pileup on the interstate.

I could have wallowed in all the stupid, risky behaviors I demonstrated while smoking.  I could have spent the rest of my life apologizing to my family and friends....I could have, I could have, I could have.

But I didn't.  After a while, I just couldn't anymore.  Because.......I had learned to love myself. And when you love yourself, you don't torture yourself with the past.  You don't agonize over what's over.  You lay it gently down and leave it where it belongs.  In the past.

Do you know that you deserve that?  You deserve to heal, body and soul.  You bring to this world a unique spirit and the world would be lost without you.  Truly!!  Its your smile.....or your warmth....or your kindness...or your business sense...or your talents.....or simply your presence that has made a difference to our world.  Made a difference to those around you.  Made a difference to time.

I'm glad your here. You may just be reading.  You may write ten blogs a day.  You may be grumpy because you 'have to' quit.  You may be shy.  You may even be sick or lonely or tired or hurt.  But I am so very glad you are here!!

You matter.  You just do.  And when you quit smoking, you give yourself the gift of life.  You allow your body to heal.  You allow your spirit to grow as you learn that you do have the courage, knowledge, and perseverence it takes to quit.  And the you that has been lurking in the shadows of the smoke begins to hope that you will bring forth the true person you are.  The one filled with self-worth.  The one shining with the pride of an accomplished goal.

Let go of the past.  Let go of the hurts, the failures, the stumbles.  You are going to find that the natural consequence of self-care is self-love.  And its a delightful feeling!!  Its powerful, fun, happy, and it grows!

You, my dear quitters, are not what happens to you.  You are what you choose to become.  Choose wisely and well.  You deserve it!  Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Doubt It

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Nov 15, 2015

~~It's ok to doubt what you have been taught to believe.~~  Unknown

 

How many times have your reached for a cigarette when you were stressed?  How many times have you smoked with the thought that it will make you feel better?  How many times did you think having a cigarette will calm you down?

Did you ever doubt it?  Did you ever think those thoughts were lies?  Of course not.

But they were.  Addiction is built on lies.  One on top of another because your brain worked on justifying it's need of nicotine.  That simple.  Nicotine sparks "feel good" hormones in the brain.  The brain likes to "feel good".  When the nicotine is gone, the brain frantically searches for those 'feel good' hormones again.  Tension builds, anxiety rises until the nicotine once again releases those "feel good" hormones.  And addiction is activated.

But you CAN break the cycle.  Do not let your brain talk you out of it!  It is simply searching to feel good again.  You have the ability to create ways of releasing those hormones without smoking.  Really!!

Some people find that same feeling in sky diving.  Not interested?  Then how about hiking?  Yoga?  Painting?  Knitting?  Gardening?  Spending time with family?  Having coffee with a friend?  Photography?  Laughing?  Enjoying nature?  Volunteering at a nursing home or animal shelter?  Swimming?  Baking?  Cleaning?  Taking a class?  Learning a second language?

I could go on and on because there are sooooo many other things to do that will make you feel good.  I promise.  But you are a unique soul and it is up to you to find ways of calming yourself down or making yourself happy.  Or easing stress.  Or any other thing that your brain tells you you need. Without nicotine.

Its time to doubt what your brain has told you.  You CAN live without smoking!!  You can enjoy life without nicotine.  You can.  And you deserve to!!  You deserve a happy, healthy life free of the bonds of an addiction that will ultimately kill you. 

Dance, my friends.  Dance because you are free and the world is now yours!!  Keep that beautiful quit going and feel light enough to dance.  Sheri

~~holding the hunk of sadness, she looked at it.  it was ugly and messy and throbbing with pain.  understanding that holding it would do no good, she placed it gently down, touched it with love, and walked away from it.  for you see, it wasn't hers to hold.~~  Terri St.Cloud

Quitting smoking can bring on...and bring out.....the worst of emotions.  Anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness....all those negatives that we tried to hard to avoid by lighting up a cigarette.  Once we stop, those hidden emotions burst forth like firewroks on the 4th of July.

Those emotions aren't yours to hold, dear friends.  Recognize them and then touch them with love and walk away.  They are only so strong because we've ignored them for so long.  All those negatives through life....some of us tended to hide them behind a cloud of smoke because they were "too uncomfortable", "too painful".  Now they have come out and they aren't wrong at all.....we just need to learn to identify them and find room for them in our lives.

Sometimes it's easier to hold on to those negative emotions that learn how to feel the positive ones.  You know what sadness feels like but it takes effort to find your joy.  You understand...and sometimes even like... the anger but don't know how to feel pure happiness.  We tend to fall back on the negatives because it's comfortable.  Then we can bond over how positive people "can't really be THAT happy". 

It's about balance.  It's about not holding on to things that hurt you.  Its about moving through and moving on.  Its about how much you think your worth.  There is as much joy in the world as pain.  There are as many reasons to smile as to cry.  And you are as important to the world as Oprah or Tom Brady or Obama. 

I hope you find your very best.  And I hope you feel your very best.  And I know your very best is out there...waiting for you.  Just follow your path and you'll find it.  I love so many of you here even when I don't say a whole lot.  I pay attention.  To Ellen, to Thomas, to Nancy, to Marilyn....all of you here who face life with honesty, courage, grace.....my thoughts are with you.  Sheri

~~One day she finally grasped that unexpected things were always going to happen in life, and with that she realized the only control she had was how she chose to handle them.  So she made the decision to survive using courage, humor, and grace.  She was the queen of her own life and the choice was hers.~~  Lupytha Hermin

 I have been simply delighted by my choices for the past few years.  No, they haven't always been healthy choices....I chose the donut more than once....but they have been true, deep from the heart choices.  Really knowing what I want in my life choices and knowing what I don't want.

I'm bringing this to you because it matters.  When it comes to quitting smoking, it's simply a choice.  Don't make it harder than that.  Quitting is just that.  You don't smoke anymore.  And of course every choice we make has consequences, both good and bad.  Learning how to live life without smoking can be....no, will be....uncomfortable at times.  You may feel like screaming....so scream.  You may feel angry.  So get angry.  But honor your choice.  The good consequences will come with time and will far, far outwiegh any uncomfortable feelings you may temporarily have.

You will save money.  You will smell good.  You will have much more time to do other things.  But you know the very best thing about quitting...at least for me?  I chose life.  How remarkable!!  I want to live and I want to be healthy enough to dance, jump, sing loudly, play.....I want to truly live.  I hug more, love more, see and do more.  I made an excellent decision when I chose to quit.

Maybe you aren't there yet.  Maybe you don't love yourself enough yet. Maybe you don't realize how very much you matter to the world.  Maybe you don't see how beautiful your life can be.  Maybe you are afraid of living without the smoke.  I could come up with hundreds of "maybes".

But I'm here telling you that you do matter. You can make the choice to quit.  You can even quit using courage, humor, and grace.  Because all those traits are already in you.  They are just waiting for the opportunity to shine!!  Bring out all the beautiful in you and allow all those things to help you get over the uncomfortables.  Use your courage.  Bring out the humor.  And allow grace to carry you over those unexpected things that happen in life.  Choose life.

Don't know how to do it?  Just quit.  And then, recognizing that you will feel uncomfortable at first, bring out all that's good in you to handle those moments.  Don't make it harder than that.

Life is amazing.  It truly is.  And I am so blessed to be able to live my delightful life.  I hope the same for you, my friends.  You deserve it!!  Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

What You Are

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Nov 6, 2015

~~In case you've forgotten, you are not the size of your pants.  Or the hair on your head.  Or your title at work.  You're not what somebody else expects you to be, or the sum of your failures, or the secrets you don't even dare whisper.  Nope.  What you are is grit.  And purpose.  And an unstoppable, uncrushable soul that won't be hardened or flattened or ignored-no matter what this world spits at you.  You are hear to be seen, and to live in joy.~~ Becky Vollmer

You are really so much more than the world sees you as!!  And definitely so much morre powerful than you ever dreamed of!!  So don't allow a little cigarette to make you feel powerless.  Don't allow nicotine to steal your joy.  And don't allow cravings to spit at you.

I read somewhere (yes, I am always reading!) "Be the love you never recieved".  Truly, people, you can be.  Take good care of you.  Of your health.  Of your spirit.  Of you.  Once you realize that you can, you allow yourself to shine a little brighter each day.  You feel a bit more balanced.  And you gain confidence in yourself.  How lovely is that?!!

Don't quit quitting.  Don't give up on yourself.  And know, really know, that deep down inside, you deserve so much more than you get when you smoke.  You deserve the time and the money and the health that cigarettes rob you of. 

I hope each one of you has a beautiful weekend!!  Get to know yourself.  Get to know your world.  And simply live it!!  Sheri

~~She decided to start living the life she imagined.~~  Unknown

One filled with color and light!!  One filled with dancing and joy!!  One filled with happy and sunshine!!

Welcome to the life I imagined.  My living room...well, my whole house....is filled with colorful furniture and pretty, fun pictures.  My blinds stay open.  I enjoy yoga daily.  I find someone to dance with or I dance alone all the time.  And I feel joy and gladness each and every day, even in the most stressful times.

Are you living the life you imagine?  Are you surrounded by the people, places, and things that make you happy?  Do you find joy in your days?  Have you broken out of the  routine of life into the delights of life?

I know I talk about these things a lot....joy, yoga, dancing...etc...., but there truly is a reason behind it.  When you make that choice to quit smoking, things change.  Either you steer yourself to the "oh my gosh I am so terrified and anxious and stressedoutthatIdon'tthinkIcandoit", or you begin to create a world that you can not only quit smoking in but that you begin to love. 

The "can't do it because I'm too anxious" world can come quickly or it can take time.  If you find yourself thinking of smoking more and more rather than less and less, pay attention!  If you find that you have nothing good to fall back on when you are craving nicotine, pay attention!  People lose quits even at 180 days...300 days....and so on.

The "living the life you imagined" world is built little by little as you get to know your hidden-behind-smoke self.  The smoke clears and you remember that you always loved to draw.  The smoke clears and you clean your house and buy cheerful little curtains.  The smoke clears and you adore your smelling good self so you decide to exercise it.  Before you know it, you are surrounded by the life you love!

I've created the life I love....and my life loves me right back.  It's truly good.  I wish each and every one of you the truly good as well.  Keep your quit...because it gets so much better!!  Develop your talents, gain some new interests, build strong friendships.  Look forward and not back to the smoking days.  They did nothing for you except keep you hooked on nicotine. 

Have a very blessed day, my friends!!  Don't forget to visit Shawn's bonfire!!  Sheri