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2016

~~"It's impossible," said pride.  "It's risky," said experience.  "It's pointless," said reason.  "Give it a try," whispered the heart.  ~~  Unknown

I really needed to come back here today.  I was celebrating 1000 days of being quit and then I remembered why I always came back here.  To remind those who still lurk in the shadows that it's ok to come into the light!!

Listen to the whispers of your heart.  It's time to stop hiding because quitting is risky.  Smoking is riskier. 

Listen to the whispers of those who are loving you right now, sliently begging you to quit.  It's not impossible...it is soooo not impossible!!  In fact, it's been done :)  Come out from behind the smoke and revel in your smoke free world!

Listen to the whispers of your spirit...your soul.  Being chained to an addiction is wearing at you whether you acknowledge it or not.  It tears at your self-worth.  It damages your very life.  It keeps you a prisoner.

You are so much more than you know!!  The creativity in you....the sparkle in you.....the very joy of you....is whispering for you to let go.  Let go of the smoking.  Let go of the isolation.  Let go of the chains of addiction.  Release yourself and begin to heal.  Begin to blossom.  Begin to shine.

Because you will.  When you quit smoking, you will have no choice!  You will glow, my friend.  I promise you.  Because the more you allow the hidden you to emerge, the more your heart will sing!  The beauty of the world becomes more clear.  The loveliness of life will catch your eye.  And the peace you have longed for will embrace you. 

You can do this.  We will be here to support you, to listen to you, and to whisper, "You're remarkable" when you need to hear it. 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Here's To Us

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Feb 29, 2016

~~Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones that do.~~  Steve Jobs

 To those who decide it's time to quit smoking, those who come here hoping to quit smoking, and those who do quit.  Here's to you!!

  To those  who come here day after day, year after year, helping, consoling, supporting, and cheering.  No medals given, no awards handed out, yet you stay.  Here's to you!!

To those who strive to understand their addiction, to those who seek knowledge about their addiction, to those who never give up the fight.  Here's to you!!

To those who have lost their fight.  To Fannie, to my very own Sammy, to so many others who couldn't quit and left us.  Love never dies and you will not be forgotten.  Here's to you!!

To those who quit and still left us.  To Dawn who shined so brightly and still casts her shadow, to Gerrie who made me smile, to those many others who have gone with smoking related illnesses.  We will continue to honor you and love you.  Here's to you!!

To those who have quit.  Put them down and have never picked them back up.  Our forever quits, our precious quits, our grateful relief that it is over.  Here's to us!!

Here's to Sootie, and Tommy, and Nancy, and Dale, and Thomas, and Terrie, and Guilia, and Shawn, and Rickie, and so many more who taught me to love myself enough to quit.  I am forever grateful.  I am forever honored that you cared enough to carry me when I was not steady on my feet.  Thank you.  Here's to you!!

I planted some yellow roses this weekend.  Sunny and happy yet elegent in their own way.  A reminder that we are miracles and we honor the miracles in others, whether they are still with us or have left us.  I will always help those who wish to quit and my voice....misfit, troublemaking, round peg voice....will always be heard sharing the positive aspects of life without cigarettes. 

Happy Monday, all!!  Let this be your best day ever :)   Sheri

***And here is to my bestest, greatest, most wonderful quitting support....BeeJay!!!  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you, dear friend.  I would not be here without you.  That is just the truth.  Thank you.

~~If we could see the miracle of a single flower, our whole life would change.~~  The Buddha

 

I want your life to change.  Truly!!  It means the world to me.  Why?  Because mine did.  And it was such a huge, lovely, amazingly tremendous positive burst of change, that I want everyone to be able to feel it.

When I quit smoking, my world blossomed.  I felt....joy....wonder.....happy......excited.....contentment.  The world suddenly became alive with breathtaking colors and awe inspiring beauty. 

It doesn't happen for everyone.  I know this.  I know some people are so scared and so stressed and so uptight that their quits are a battlefield.  They are at war with themselves.  And rather than easing into peace, their struggles end in relapse and self loathing and another quit date.

I can't quit for you and I can't make your life sparkle and shine.  My positivity may even be annoying and irksome to those who are not 'there' yet. 

But next Monday I will be celebrating 1000 days of smoke free living.  And while I can't quit for you, I can give you a distraction that may lead to bigger and better 'happy' feelings. 

So, here goes. 

I am asking everyone on the site to plant a flower.  A flower seed is ok....a flower in a pot....a little bud or a bunch of blooms.  Just plant a flower.  You may have to plant it in a little cup for your windowsill.  You may be able to plant it in your garden or next to your house or even near your sidewalk.  Just plant a flower.

And then I want you to think of Fannie and all the others like Fannie who didn't win the quit battle.  And I want you to honor their memory with this pretty little flower and keep it blooming as your quit blooms.  And when you look at your flower, notice how strong it is to reach bravely towards the sunlight.  It doesn't control the weather....it doesn't control the amount of sunshine it gets.....it just reaches for the sky.

We are each blessed with another day.  We can quit....of course we can.  But we let our addiction control us.  We allow ourselves to find excuses.  We even admit to weakness.  We don't want it to be 'too hard' or 'too long' or 'too confusing'.

So, on Monday.....let all the negativity go as your pick your flower, plant your flower, and nuture your flower.  Your flower is a miracle reminding you that you, too, are a mircle.  You are.  And you have today to nuture yourself.  To grow your quit as you grow your flower. 

So many of our loved ones lost their quit battle.  And so I would love to share the joy of my 1000 days with the miracle of a flower and the memories of those who are not able to celebrate with us.

I hope this makes sense and I hope you will think about the miracle a flower brings........

Peace, Sheri

~~You are not made up of those words that hurt you...or the numbers on that scale...or those expectations you feel you'll never meet.  You are made up of nothing more than you.  Simply, beautifully, wonderfully, uniquely you.  You are a lovely and complex soul.  An individually fascinating combination of thoughts, ideas, feelings, emotions.  Look past the mirror.  Look at your soul.  Only then will you see yourself as you truly are.  Beautiful.~~  Unknown

Smoking doesn't make anything better.  We all know that.  But sometimes we use our hurt or our anger or our loneliness as an excuse to 'slip'.  And then we come back and say all the right things again.  "Sorry".  "I know I shouldn't have".  "I know better now".  But sometimes we say those things because our brains are again happy with that shot of nicotine.  We mean them only as long as our brains don't hit that need again.

The agony of addiction.  It's almost cruel, don't you think?  It takes control of every aspect of our lives.  But just as you aren't made up of those words that hurt you, you also aren't made up of the addiction that controls you.  It's an illusion.  You won't die if you don't have a cigarette.  You won't go crazy.  You won't kill someone.  I promise.  Those thoughts are simply your addiction talking....desperately.  When you quit, your own mind will fight you temporarily.

Look past the smoke.  Look past the cravings.  You are a beautiful and complex soul!!  You are brave.  You are intelligent.  You are perfect.  Acknowledge that perfection within you and know...truly know...that you can live without smoking.  There will be cravings.  There will be tenseness.  But there will also be those delightful glimpses of "I can do this!".  Those moments filled with joy and wonder when you KNOW that you really can quit.  Focus on those times because they will come more and more and faster and faster as the warrior in you emerges.  It's lovely!!

So look in the mirror and see that quitter waiting for you!  You are unique.  You are perfect.  You are a quitter. 

Peace to all this Sunday evening, Sheri

~~Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, and the things you never want to lose.~~ From The Wonder Years

June 4, 2013.  My quit date.  To me, more important than celebrating my birthday.  More important than celebrating my divorce.  More important than celebrating my college graduation day.

Because my quit date is about the day I decided to save my own life.  The day I decided that I was worth it.  The day I decided that I would never, ever go through day 1 of a quit again.

So I celebrate.  As I hope you do.  If you are getting ready to quit, go all out!!  Invite family and friends to a party in your honor.  Remember the feelings you are feeling.....hope, courage, and confidence.  Remind yourself that your quit is the start of something so ridiculously good you can't contain it!!  Balloons.....streamers.....and gifts, plenty of gifts!!  And throughout the day remember that what you are doing is right and positive and in NO way horrible.  Because of course those negative thoughts will creep in.  Your brain will be trying to maintain what it knows.  Nicotine.  But it can and it will be happy that you quit.  Just give it time.

If you have already quit, I hope you celebrate your quit date with as much pomp as possible.  The day your life began.  The day the smoke cleared.  The day you began to treasure yourself as the amazing person you are!  The days of smoking may fade but your quit date should forever remain a reminder of how brilliant you are and how courage you have become.

If it was simply a matter of putting down cigarettes, everyone would do it.  It's so much more than that.  It's cutting free of the bonds of addiction.  It's knowing you want to live and knowing it has to be smoke free.  It's recognizing that you can and you did and you will continue to be so much more than a cigarette. 

So celebrate your quit day.  Honor it and honor yourself.  Respect it and respect yourself.  Never look back and never, ever regret loving yourself enough to stop smoking.  It is not a death sentence, even though the beginning days may be rough.  It is the day you are truly born into who you are meant to be.  Not a slave to addiction but a warrior truimphant after battle. 

I hope this is someone's quit day........Sheri

~~With brave wings, she flies.~~  Unknown

I haven't always been brave.  I lived in safety, cocooned in the security of what I knew.  Smoking is what I knew.  If I was stressed, I smoked.  If I was unhappy, I smoked.  If I was hurt or lonely or nervous or anxious.....I smoked.  And though I knew it was bad for me and I knew it could kill me and I knew my family was in agony over it, I still turned to smoking.

Oh, my gosh the horrors of this addiction!!  It's not just the smell or the price or the physical ill effects.  It's the separation between the smoker and the family and friends.  It's the solitude of the smoker, isolated in the lonely agony of nicotine addiction.  It's like standing on the edge of a high rocky cliff, knowing the only way to get away is to jump.

And so we come here, to Ex.  We gain knowledge.  We read.  We listen to the experience of others.  We may even make friends, form bonds, and connect with others.  But coming here and doing all these things is only part of quitting.

We need to quit and sometimes, no matter how much we blog and text and talk, quitting can be as isolating and agonizing as smoking.  The changes in our brain chemicals can make us really feel like we're losing our minds.  The changes in our sleep patterns, our personalities, our bodies, can make some run back to the safety of smoking.

It breaks my heart.  I want to tell those who chose smoking that they were so very, very close to success!!  Every second you don't smoke is a victory and every minute you don't smoke is a minute you don't have go through ever again.  And every cigarette you don't smoke is a moment of life you get to live...truly live.

Don't give up.  Please don't ever give up quitting.  You may feel like you are going crazy but you really aren't.  You may feel like you'll never feel better again, but you will.  The benefits of quitting are always worth the quit.  YOU are worth the quit!! 

No one can replace you.  You are needed.  You are loved.  You are treasured.  You matter to the world. 

We can't predict how much damage our smoking did to us.  We can't know what the future brings.  But we can decide to love ourselves enough to quit this deadly addiction.  We can decide that we are worth it.  We can put them down, knowing that we are stronger.....we are braver....than this addiction.

And we can reach down and pull others up with us.  We can use patience to teach and to guide and to support.  We can use humor to ease their fears.  We can use wisdom and tolerance and love to help them through their early days.

And we can remember those who have left us.  Knowing that with brave wings, she now flies.

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Be Astonished

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Feb 13, 2016

~~It's astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen.~~  Unknown

 

I smoked for about 30 years, I think. In less that 6 months after my quit, I was settled in.  I knew, of course, that I would still have those "ugh" moments but none of those "hanging by a thread, nail-biting, I am in agony" moments.

How wonderful is that?!!  It's astonishing, really.  It didn't take another 30 years of not smoking before I felt better....after 30 years of killing myself bit by bit.

Even more, I learned that being angry is ok.  I learned I can make it through stress, unhappiness, loss, agony, embarrassment.  I learned that life is more than getting from one cigarette to the next.

Life is amazing!  Beautiful, breathtaking, delightful!!  And during those moments when it's not, I know with absolute certainty that the beauty will be there when I get to the other side of not.  Whether it takes an hour, a week, or a few months.  The goodness, the sheer beauty of life is waiting for me whenever I am ready to see it again.

And it's there for you, as well.  All the magnificence of the world is waiting for you to see it.  When you are ready.  When you recognize that it's there.  When you are willing to leave the negatives behind.  You really are in control of your view of the world.  Take off the addiction smokescreen.....let go of the addiction crutch....release the control that nicotine has on you.....and begin to  heal.  Allow yourself time.  Allow yourself grief.  Allow yourself silence.  And then turn to life and be astonished.

Happy Weekend, all!! Sheri

~~I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.~~  Hafiz of Persia

I've tried, over the years, to remind you.  Remind you that you are so much more than a cigarette waiting to be smoked.  Remind you that the world is waiting for you to step away from the curtain of smoke into your own glory.  Remind you that you shine a remarkably brilliant light uniquely yours....and we would be lost without it.

I know my words are simply.....words.  I don't know your circumstances.  I don't know your hopes, your fears, your dreams.  I don't know if you are lonely or scared or hurt.  I don't even know if you understand how simply stunning you are regardless of how you briefly are feeling.

But I do know that you came here to find ways to quit smoking.  Or maybe to maintain your quit.  Or maybe to pass on your wisdom because you did successfully quit.

So while my words may just be words to some, I do think you want to believe.  You want to believe you can break the cycle of your addiction.  You want to believe that you have something inside you greater than any obstacle.  Some may even really, really want to believe that you make the world a better place.

It's a choice.  It's a decision on how you view the world and how you view yourself.  Weak, afraid, timid?  Or a warrior goddess, a hero, courageous and strong?  What you think, you become, my friends!  We all have those weak moments but it's a choice on whether you want to wallow in that moment or acknowledge it and move on.

I believe in you.  I believe you have the strength to quit, the courage to move forward, and the delightful spirit to find your zest for life again.

I did.  Every day is filled with fascinating wonders even when it is also filled with painful events.  I choose to be fascinated, knowing the pain won't last.  It's a choice.  A decision.  It's up to you on how you want to move through your days.  Be good to youself and choose wisely and well!  Sheri