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2016

~~The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own.  No apologies or excuses.  No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.  The gift is yours.  It is an amazing journey and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.  This is the day your life really begins.~~  Unknown

We should all know this, right?  Our lives are our own.  But when you allow addiction to dictate your days...your minutes...your world, your life is definitely not your own.  You know those times....you watch the clock during a meeting, waiting to slip outside to smoke, you chose a restaurant that has a nice outside smoking area, you make a detour to the gas station to grab an extra pack before you go home.

You know what?  There will come a day when you won't ask what to do to get through a crave.  There will come a time when you find yourself truly enjoying your smoke free day.  There will come a moment when it really, truly hits you that you haven't throught about smoking in an hour....a day.....a month.

And then you begin to understand that your life is truly your own.  You realize you can do things you never thought you were capable of.  And then life starts looking beautiful.  You notice it.  The colors....the aromas....the wonder.  And you may love to hop out of bed in the mornings.  You may dance down aisle 8 at Wal Mart.  You may smile at strangers.  You may leave random acts of kindness in your wake.

Because quitting smoking is the gift you give yourself that changes everything.  It means your health, your time, your money, your world....quitting is life changing.  And it feels so very good.  So very powerful.  So very miraculous.

And, best of all, you come to realize that you deserve it!  You are a magnificent human being and you deserve all the good, all the wonder, all the glory of life.  Not because I tell you that you deserve it but because you know it in your heart.

And it all starts with your decision to quit....and it grows with your commitment to your quit....and it maintains with your freedom from this addiction.  Yes, your life is your own.  Take good care of that life.

Sheri

~~There is freedom waiting for you on the breezes of the sky.  And you ask, "What if I fall?"  Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?~~  Erin Hanson

So many attempts at quit.  So many "I'll try the patch this time" or "I used Chantix last time".  So many hopes, wishes, and crossed fingers.  So many defeats, fears, dejections.  Why?  Have you ever wondered?  Do you have to want to quit?  Are some people better at it than others?  Is there only one way that works for each individual person and you have to try EVERYTHING before you find that one thing that works?

I read here so often "I hope I can do it this time".  I read about the fears and the concerns and the reluctance.  But.....

I don't read much about the joy.  I don't read about the excitement of living as a non-smoker.  I don't hear the happiness in your decision to quit.

And it can be there.  Really!!  You can be excited about your quit.  You can feel joy in the decision to save your life.  You can be happy when you think about living a smoke free life.

What if you do it?  What if you quit.....and it sticks?!!  What if you have made the best decision of your life?  What if you smell delicious?  What if you look younger?  What if your family is proud of you?  What if, after all this time, you are proud of you?

You can, of course, fear quitting.  But you can also decide you will get excited about it instead.  You can think of all the past failures.  Or you can think that this one is your forever quit and you  won't allow yourself to fail.  You get to choose, you see.  You get to create a quit that works for you.  Design one that gives you what you want.

What if you fly?  It's a glorious feeling that can last forever if you want it to.  You get to choose.

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

I Will Be

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jun 24, 2016

~~I think I'll just be happy today.~~  Unknown

I think I'll look out my window at work and watch the leaves blowing in the breeze.  I think I'll listen to the people around me without judgment.  I think I won't re-live the past, I won't worry about the future.  I think I will be in the here and now. 

I do like happy.  I do like enjoying the moment.  I do like when my heart dances in my chest instead of falling at my feet. 

I will not feel overwhelmed by the week.  I will not feel defeated by others.  I will not take on their pains, their problems, their stress.  I will respect them enough to let them handle it.  I will respect myself enough to step away from what doesn't serve me or make me stronger.

I will breathe the fresh air.  I will honor my health, my heart, and my quit.  I will take the best possible care of me because I am the only one who can.  And I like that.

I will hope that the world will be happy as well but I won't wonder if it is.  I will allow it to be as it wants to be.  And I will look out my window, watching the leaves blow in the breeze.  And I will be happy today.

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Be Invincible

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jun 22, 2016

~~When you know yourself, you are empowered.  When you accept yourself, you are invincible.~~  Tina Lifford

You know how when you are reading these blogs and you think "Well, that won't work for me"...or you are reading our comments on your blog and you think "They just don't understand what I'm going through"?

I've decided that you are right.  As much as I have been through some of the things you are going through, I am not you.  I don't feel the same emotions...or feel them with the same intensity as you do.  I don't think like you do, I don't see things as you do, and I don't understand things the way you may understand them. 

You are a unique personality.  Your thoughts, opinions, life experiences are soley yours.  Your hopes, wishes, dreams.  Your talents, skills...all yours.

But when I come here, I can say with confidence that I know what worked for me when I quit smoking.  I can say that I needed my yoga to calm me, my bubbles to cheer me, my creativity to help me through the bumpy times.  I know what makes me laugh, I know my many, many flaws, and I am just perfectly delighted with all of me.

How about you?  Do you know you?  Do you know how to nurture yourself when you feel vulnerable?  Do you know how to cheer yourself up when you're heart is broken?  Do you know the best way to celebrate you? 

Because if you don't, maybe that is the heart of your failed quits.  We can give you tools here, but only you can truly know what will work for you.  And who better???  Who better to take care of you than you?  Who better to be gentle with you?  Who better to cellebrate who you are?

Tell us about you.  Tell us how marvelous you are.  Tell us how big your heart is, how beautiful your laugh is, how adorable your spirit is.  Tell us about your wonderful flaws, your gorgeous soul, what makes you sparkle.

Tell us how well you know yourself.  So we can help you celebrate you.   So we can remind you of your many lovely qualities when you forget.  So we can can get to know the uniquely exquisite person you are.

And maybe as you tell us about you, you will remember that you are much braver than you thought.  Maybe you will gain confidence in yourself and in your quit.  And maybe, just maybe, you will look at yourself through new eyes.....and see how utterly remarkable you actually are.  Then maybe you will look at your quit as a precious gift to yourself rather than a dreaded chore you need to complete.

I hope so.  And I hope I get to know the real you....because you are so worth getting to know!!

Sheri

~~One day it just clicks...you realize what's important and what isn't.  You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself.  You realize who fare you've come and you remember when you thought htings were such a mess that they'd never recover.  And then you smile.  You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you've fought to become.~~  Unknown

It happens to all of us.  We get there.  It 'clicks'.  And we know we've become an Ex.  And the journey continues but we understand it now and we protect and love our quits just as much as we love and protect our loved ones and ourselves.

And we do smile because we are truly proud of the people we've fought to become.  We get it!!  All the wrong turns, struggles, and unhappy negatives are gone.  Our quits are not our biggest agony, they have blossomed into our greatest joy. 

And it will 'click' for you as well.  I can't predict when and I can't tell you how, I only know it will.  Because if you are here looking for answers, you care about yourself.  And if you are here wishing for miracles, you know you need to quit.  And if you are here wanting what we've got, you are on your way to becoming an Ex.

There are no miracles, by the way, and no pat answers and no magic cures.  And as many times as elders say "surrender to your quit" or "accept you can't smoke anymore", it's up to you to understand that.  You will.  I know you will.  Because I did.  And Tommy did.  And Guilia did.  And Mike did.  And so many others. 

Your quit is within you.  It's there.  Past the fear of being a non-smoker.  Past the tension and unhappiness of knowing you can't smoke anymore.  Past every negative thing your addicted mind can come up with.  Because underneath all that clouded thinking, is the real you.  Confident, calm, in control.  Wanting to love life.  Wanting to enjoy breathing the fresh air.  Wanting to embrace the good and the sweet and the kind that you truly are.  Find your quit within yourself and free it.  You are the only one who can.

Happy Monday, all!!  Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

What Do You Do?

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jun 17, 2016

~~What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven't happened yet.~~ Ann Frank

We like to think that we know it all.  We know what to do, we know how to do it, and we know we can handle anything. 

And then we know better.  Because in the blink of an eye, everything changes.  It hits you unexpectedly and swiftly.  What do you do when your world has crumbled around you?  What do you do when when you get so angry you want to hurt someone?  What do you do when you're so stressed you feel like screaming?

Because if you don't make a plan for these times that will come, you risk losing your quit.  Our old addictive behaviors rear their ugly heads when life has handed us a curve ball, you know.  We fall back on the negative coping responses we had for everything.  Angry?  Smoke and it will relax you.  Heartbroken?  Have a cigarette and calm down.  Stressed?  Blow it out with the smoke. 

Smoking never did anything like that, you know.  It didn't calm us down, relax us, or ease our stress.  If you understand addiction, you understand this.  If you don't understand addiction, put it at the top of your "things to do to quit smoking successfully" list.

And seriously, plan what you are going to do when life yanks the rug out from under you.  Crying is always good....a healthy release of emotion.  Journaling (or blogging) your thoughts.  Running.  Gardening.  Talking with a friend.  Singing.  Painting.  Yoga.  Breathing!!  So very important to remember to do.  (Holding your breath keeps you tense and makes it hard to think clearly.)  Sing.  Stick your head in your freezer.  Blow bubbles.  Count.  Laugh.  Hug someone. 

If you are contemplating quitting or you're newly quit, I can promise you that some of the best days of your life haven't happened yet.  But they are there waiting for you.  Be prepared for the unexpected and you can look forward to the unexpected, if that makes any sense.  Because you will recognize it and know what to do to protect your precious quit.  Quitting isn't a gift that it handed to you.  You earn it and by earning it, you'll do whatever you need to to protect it.

Just a thought or two from a quitter.....Sheri

~~Let's do some "We shouldn't be doing this" things.~~  Unknown

Life can be tough, but sometimes I think we make it tougher than it needs to be.  Overthinking, stressing, worrying, anxietying, moping....can all take a toll not only on your day but also on your quit.

When was the last time you had some fun?  Broke some rules?  Belly laughed?

Oh, I love to have fun!!  Easy, no money needed kind of fun.  Eating cake for breakfast.  Jumping on the bed.  Giggling with a friend.  Dancing down aisle 8 at WalMart.  Leaving little acts of kindness everywhere. 

And I love to laugh.  Never, ever at the expense of someone else but simply at life.  Blowing bubbles in the car, whoopie cushion kind of laughs.  Sharing memories with my kids.  Playing in the sprinkler with my neighbor's dog.  Doing cartwheels with my granddaughter. 

If you would, try this weekend to make a conscious effort to have some fun.  Try a new food....do a random act of kindness.....summersault in the front yard where everyone can see.  Be amazing, be delightful, be the fun you used to have :)  And you will find that the time you used to spend agonizing over cravings will pass much quicker.  You will be more relaxed.  And you will be embracing life rather than fighting your quit. 

Just try......Happy friday, all!!!  Sheri

~~I'm not sure I'll ever know the meaning of life but I know its more than the hysteria people make it out to be.  It's about freeing your soul when no one else can; turning thirty and still feeling like you're seventeen.  It's about taking chances on a whim, embracing the rain during a storm, and smiling so damn much that you start to cry.  It's never forgetting, never regretting, and always being.  It's about living with a full heart and an overflowing glass.  I live life on the edge.  I dream, I care, and I belong.  I know there is a here and now.  I know that I want it.~~ Nadege Richards

 

I want it as well!  I want to really live.  To feel sheer joy.  To know I belong.  To give to a community.  To change directions just because I can.  To dance.  To breathe. 

Quitting was the best thing I ever did for me.  Hands down the best.  But I have found it doesn't stop there.  Most things I do now are the best things that ever happened to me!  I try, I explore, I create, and I learn.  My world is full of wonder and magic and miracles.  I can do things I never even thought I'd try.  And all because I quit smoking.

Quitting isn't just a one time event.  Putting the cigarettes down and not picking them back up is only the beginning.  I didn't concentrate on cravings because I knew they were simply a part of quitting.  I didn't concentrate on missing anything because I knew thinking like that was unproductive. 

Instead I looked at the world and jumped right in!  I tried new things....and liked them.  I explored...and liked it.  I created....and liked it.  I like everything.

No, I am not an "exception to the rule".  There aren't any rules.  Life is different for everyone but it doesn't have to be separated into 'those who love life' and 'those who don't'. 

So come on out of the shadows!!  Quit playing peek-a-boo with life.  Grab it with both hands and live it!!  Create, explore, discover, learn.  Try.  Choose.  And, above all else, please DO.  Don't wait for life to happen to you.  It doesn't really work that way.  Life is waiting for you.  Go get it!  And leave the addiction far behind.......

Sheri

~~We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.~~  Steve Maraboli

Isn't that simply wonderful?!!  You are NOT your mistakes.  You are NOT your struggles.  You, in fact, are a person who has a 100% "make it through it all" rating!!  You are still here and you are a lovely example of getting through it all.

This doesn't mean you haven't been hurt.  Doesn't mean you haven't felt broken.  Doesn't mean that you haven't turned to your old, unhealthy way of coping with life.  Maybe you have.  Maybe you "used to".  Maybe you did.

And now, maybe you won't.  Maybe you are quietly planning your crowning achievement in life.  Maybe you have decided that you have had ENOUGH and you are ready to take control of your life.

It doesn't always have to be turning to the negative.  You smoked?  Yes, we all used to.  Some of us don't any more.  You don't have to any more.  You have the power to change it.  You have the gifts needed to enhance your life.  You have the talent to create your smoke free world.

Felt broken?  I bet you've also felt powerful.  Felt hurt?  I bet you've also felt joy.  Coped with life in a not good way?  I bet you've also suceeded in ways that felt miraculous. 

So no.  You are not your mistakes.  You are a warrior!  No you are not your struggles.  You are your triumphs!  You are joy.  You are love.  You are all that is right with this world.  Don't let your addiction convince you of anything else. 

Take good care of you.  Take good care of your thoughts.  Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

You Will Be OK

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jun 14, 2016

~~Staying positive does not mean that things will turn out ok.  Rather, it is knowing that you will be ok no matter how things turn out.~~  Unknown

Positive also doesn't mean that you aren't facing reality, that you are ignoring the struggle, or that things aren't really hard at all. 

Positive is knowing that you will be ok.  Ok through those struggles, ok through the hard, and ok through the realities of your life.  Battered maybe.  A little worse for wear.  Even tired.  But ok.

Positive means that you have decided you are worthy.  You are important.  You deserve to make it through....everything.  Positive means you take good care of you even when life isn't.  It's knowing when you need to rest, knowing when you need some laughter, and knowing when to share your heart.

I like being positive.  I like knowing that I will be ok.  It makes life easier even when it's hard.  I am not self-destructive anymore.  I don't put myself last.  And I don't use crutches like cigarettes. 

I hope so much that you will learn to be positive.  That you will take the very best care of you that you can.  That you will be your own hero and not a victim to life's circumstances.  That you will learn to shine in your own marvelous, delightful way.  And that you truly do know your worth.  You, my friend, are priceless.

So it doesn't matter what life throws at you, it only matters that you know you'll be ok.  Its something good to hold on to and something priceless to have. 

Sheri

~~You are not too fat or too skinny.  You are not too old or too wrinkly.  Your nose isn't too big and your boobs aren't too small.  You are not ugly or stupid.  This body of yours no matter what shape or size has carried you around your whole life.  It has taken you places, enabled you to explore the world.  Picked you up when you have fallen down.  Fought through colds and flu, broken bones and broken hearts.  Even though you put it down it keeps on going.  Keeps on working the best it can.  Through the good and the bad your heart has kept beating.  It will take you through to the very end.  What a wonderfully clever thing it is.  What a brilliant beautiful person you are.~~  Unknown

Have you ever stopped to really think about your body?  Other than hating your hips or loathing your hair or wishing for different eye colors?  This body you've been given.....from birth to death, it is what it is.

Please love it.  Nurture it.  Take good care of it.  Smoking, we all know, kills it....little by little, bit by bit.  Depletes the oxygen it needs, ruins the lungs, attacks the gums.  I could go on but we all know it.  When we chose to smoke (and whether or not you admit it, it's a choice), we are also chosing to kill off the very thing that keeps us alive.

I happen to like my body.  It's shortness.  It's funky hair.  All it's nooks and crannies.  And by chosing to quit smoking, I have learned to take better care of it.  Through my love of yoga and nature walks and healthy foods, I am showing it that I care. 

I have two different colored eyes.  One hazel, one brown.  I am left-handed.  My hair frizzes in humid weather....and I live in Florida :)  But I am 53 years old and my body hasn't let me down yet.  It loved me through so very many things that could have killed me.  Now I'm learning to love it in return.

Ok, I tend to get carried away sometimes, but that's who I am.  How about you?  Do you care about that body you have or do you dismiss it as "too fat" or "too old"?  Do you give it things it needs or do you continue to poison it? 

Love yourself, my friends.  Adore your size, shape, colors, and quirks!!  Nurture you and protect you.  You only get one body so treat it well!!  In return, it will get you up in the morning and keep you going through your day.  Celebrate your smile.  Love that sparkle in your eyes.  And be good to yourself.  You are brilliant.

Sheri

~~Get out of your own way and let your spirit soar.~~  Unknown

 

Hey, smokers.  I know you are here, quietly reading blogs, browsing pages.  Looking for something that will help.  Are you afraid to quit?  I know I was.  Are you afraid to fail?  I was that, as well.  Hesitant.  Reluctant.  I was all of those things.  Most of all, I was unwilling to let go.

When you are unwilling to let go, it is nearly impossible to have a successful quit.  That safety net of "I guess I'll just be a smoker again" is a deal breaker.  The tender new quit is too vulnerable for that. 

If you are going to quit, quit.  Don't....please don't!....play with it.  Don't dance around it.  Don't "try" it.  When you quit, you have got to get out of your own way and let that non-smoker shine.  Take failing off the table.  You can't fail something like quitting.  It isn't like getting ill, which you don't have any control over.  It isn't like getting in a car accident which may not be your fault.  You are totally in control of your quit. 

Get rid of the idea that you are giving something up.  You are gaining life, you know.  You are gaining control of your day, you are gaining health, you are gaining your whole world back.  You are giving nothing up worth keeping.

So, you see, there is no reason to hesitate unless you are trying to talk yourself out of quitting.  No need to be afraid of anything.  Quitting is freeing not scary.  And you cannot fail unless you want to. 

And, on a more personal note, let me remind you that no one who loves you wants anything but the best for you.  So why would you want anything else? Put those fears to rest, let go of your reluctance to be anything other than a smoker, and let your spirit soar!!  Embrace your quit as the beginning of the rest of your life....a dazzling, never-before-seen life filled with self-respect, courage, and strength. 

Become an ex.....it totally makes sense :)  Sheri

~~I would rather die, broken into a thousand pieces because I loved fierce, I gave of my heart, pursued my dreams and believed in the goodness of humanity, than die as a whole, untouched and unbruised because I wanted to preserve myself from hurt, disappointment, and things going wrong.  Dear life, take me out hobbling, scarred, messy, dirty, and all over the place but with a grin on my heart because I gave it all I had.  That's all I want people to say about me at the end.  I gave.  And I gave it all.~~  S.c. Lourie

I do kinda enjoy being a mess.  I grin with my heart and I definitely believe in the goodness of humanity. 

I couldn't do that as a smoker.  To give my it my all.  To pursue my dreams.  Too busy using smoking to cover up all those uncomfortable emotions.  Too busy hiding behind the lethal smoke to really give even half of who I am.  Too addicted to love fiercely. 

I had a beautiful awakening when I quit.  A lovely realization that I could...I can!....give life my all.  I am not afraid of disappointment or hurt.  I accept it as part of life.  Glorious, wonderful life!! 

Have you had your awakening?  Are you a living a full, messy, totally marvelous life?  Can you say you're giving it your all?  I hope so.  I wish you all the splendor life has to offer!!  I hope your eyes are sparkling and your feet are dirty and your heart is filled with joy and love and wonder.   

 Most of all, I hope you wish the same for yourself. 

Sheri

~~Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.~~  Mark Twain

I wake up each day with a sense of excited anticipation.  What wonderful thing will pop up in my life???  What joyous thing will happen?  Every morning is new, fresh, and filled with endless possibilities for wonder and amazement.

It's a glorious feeling!!  So I start the day happy, each and every day.  By most evenings, some of that anticipation has grown to delight, contentment, or even sheer, marvelous joy.  Other evenings are not so lovely.  Family issues, abused children, personal loss....they can weigh heavy on me.

But I go to bed each evening grateful.  I had this day.  I had my health, my sight, my voice.  I saw nature, loved ones, and beauty.  I felt emotions.  I had food.  I am loved.  So while the day may have been less than perfect, I had the day.  And I am grateful.

When I was a smoker, smoking thoughts happened from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed.  I still had good days.....if I could smoke when I needed to.  I was still grateful...as long as I wasn't stressed about not having a pack or not having a lighter or having the time to sneak outside and smoke.

I am grateful.  The world has opened up for me in new ways since I quit.  And I wake knowing that this day could be the most beautiful day of my life.  And I give it a chance.  And watch it unfold with grace and humor and blessings. 

And on those days that turn out not to brimming with happy and joy and amazement, I am grateful.  That seems to be enough to make that day, too, one of my best.  Because I am here.  I had the day.  And the world...my world....is good enough.

I hope you have those most beautiful days.  I hope you enjoy those glorious feelings of anticipation, happy, and joy.  And when you have days less than beautiful, I hope you remember to feel grateful.  You are here.  You are loved.  And you this is your day.  To enjoy.  To anticipate lovely moments.  To live. 

Hugs to all of my friends here.  Hugs to those looking to quit.  Hugs to all who help.  Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Our Ways

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jun 8, 2016

~~You have your way.  I have my way.  As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.~~  Friedrich Nietzsche

When I first quit on this site five or six years ago, I would read the elders' blogs and think "I want to be just like them!"  I wanted to have over 1000 days quit, I wanted to be wise about smoking (and quitting).  I wanted to "get it".  Then I failed and was back at day 1.  My thoughts quickly went back to the elders.  I wondered how they 'got it' and I didn't. 

I even tried the things they said kept them quit.  I read....I read....I read.  I mimicked.  I copied.  I shadowed.  And got more sad as I still didn't "get it".

One day I read that "It isn't rocket science."  And I got it.  For me, it made perfect sense.  Quitting wasn't difficult at all.  Hard was for curing cancer or seveloping the formula for cold fusion or even balancing a checkbook.  Quitting wasn't hard....I just couldn't smoke ever again.  Simple.  I gave myself the week-end to be b^#*tchy and then I decided to get on with life...more positive and energetic than ever.  It worked for me.  Doesn't mean I didn't have my bad moments.  But I got it and all was well.  I knew I wasn't going to fail. 

 You may be where I once was, thinking "Why don't I get it???"

Maybe it's because you are looking for an answer outside yourself like I was.  But I don't think that will work...it didn't for me.  We can't quit for you.  No one can't give you your "ah-ha" moment.  It needs to come from you! 

We give you tools you can use.  We give you ideas, suggestions, support, encouragement.  This site even has information on addiction, tracking, what works best, what you CAN do.  But it doesn't give you any magic formula. No perfect answer.  The site cannot quit for you.  Elders cannot quit for you.  You need to do that most important part.

But that is a blessing in disguise, smokers!  You are in control of your quit.  That is powerful, isn't it??  You can create it, you can design it.  You know what will work for you.  I couldn't handle pictures of mouth cancer, or burnt lungs, or yellowed fingers.....but those motivate others to quit and to stay quit.  I became a positivity freak....singing, dancing, blowing bubbles.  Those things might drive others quietly insane but they worked well for me.

So remember that we give tools.    Look to us for suggestions.  Look to us for advice.  But look to yourself to quit smoking.  Look to yourself to keep that quit going any way you need to.  And then come here and let everyone know what worked for you.  Because that's what we do.  We share so every smoker has the tools he/she needs for a successful quit.

Hope this makes sense. I am not the best at giving advice.  But I know what it's like to want what all the quitters have and I know what I was doing wrong.  So I hope this helps.  Sheri

~~At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair should be messy and your eyes sparkling.~~ Unknown

I used to not get a whole lot done when I was a smoker.  "I'll do it later".  "After this cigarette".  "I have to run to the store".  You know, I was too busy being a smoker, thinking about smoking, and wanting to smoke to actually have a life.

I didn't realize it when I smoked.  I didn't think it took up all my time.  It wasn't until I quit that I realized I created my life around my addiction.  Sad, pathetic, really icky.

But it's over.  At the end of the day, my feet are dirty (usually from dancing in the front yard), my hair is messy (usually because I don't care about messy hair), and my eyes are sparkling.  I love my life!!

In reality, you may not want dirty feet.  It may creep you out.  Messy hair?  Some yes, some no.  But at the end of the day, I hope your eyes are sparkling!!  I hope you love your life!!  I hope you can now find the time to do those things you always promised yourself you'd do. 

After three years of being smoke free, I am still finding new and different things to occupy my time.  Learning sign language, volunteer teaching at church, riding a unicycle.....and I love history, am thinking of a new career, and I want to continue to giggle.....a lot.

This is my life.  I am delighted with it.  I hope the same for you, my friends....and I hope your eyes are sparkling!!   Sheri

~~You have to live your truth, and let it be seen so that everything that's right can find you and everything that isn't can fall away.~~Unknown

I think there must be some unwritten rule about blogging every day...and a bigger rule about writing two a day!...but I've done it.  I don't deliberately break rules, I simply like leaving people feel a little bit better about themselves and the world.  Especially when they quit smoking because quitting can feel like an ugly struggle rather than a beautiful gift to yourself.

I live my truth.  I have worked with abused children for the past 16 years.  I have worked with broken families.  It may seem like a horrible job to have, but I see it as a blessing.  I have the opportunity to let these souls know that someone cares.  That they matter.  That there is so much good in them that just needs nurturing and direction.

When I'm not at work, I continue living my truth.  If you've ever thought that no one cares, I want you to delight in being wrong.  If you think you don't have the courage to quit smoking, I want you to learn that you truly are brave.  If you think that you're too old, too fat, too shy, too anything to live the way you secretly dream of living, I want you to come to understand that its within your grasp.  It's why I'm here.  It's why many of us are here.

Today was an especially bad day with especially bad things going on at work.  I don't always leave with a sense of satisfaction of a job well done.  So tonight I came here to think and to remember my truth. And to spend some time with some warm, caring people who want others to quit smoking and learn to truly live. 

Thanks, all, for allowing me to speak.  Sheri

~~When you realize you deserve an extraordinary life..you deserve people in your life who love and cherish you.  You deserve happiness.  And most of all that you're never alone.  That's when everything changes.~~ @AfterChloe

So you think you're ordinary?  You think that you can't make a difference in the world?  You think that you are one in a crowd....a nameless person blending in with other nameless people and no one recognizes how special you are, even you.

And so you smoke because...what does it matter?  Who cares?  It passes the time?  You are going to die one day anyhow?

Most of us smoke(d) because we are addicts.  The excuses, however, were the same.  Boredom, stress, anxiety, loneliness......all the negatives that make an addict justify their addiction. 

It broke my heart to see, finally, what I was doing to myself.  The addiction was there, sure.  But the negatives that powered my addictions....I was believing them.  I wasn't important.  I couldn't handle things.  My life was a series of losses, disappointments, and tragedies that I had no control over.  And so I lit another.

Are you breaking your own heart?  Do you believe your addiction?  Or do you see just how remarkable you are?!!  You deserve to have people in your life who cherish you.....so begin with yourself.  Cherish that person you are.  The one who is lonely, lost, afraid......love her.  The one who is stressed, worried, and anxious.  Nurture her.  The one who is secretly delighted with frilly clothes, butterscotch candies, and reruns of M*A*S*H.  Delight in her.

And then, just when you realize how very wonderful you are.....everything changes.  You begin to see that others take joy in who you are as well.  People want to be around you.  Some rely on you.  Some have fun with you.  Others simply unconditionally love you. 

And everything continues to change.  You begin to notice beauty in yourself as well as beauty in others.  You take pride in your courage.  You believe in yourself.  And the world seems to be opening to you in a way it never has before.  Everything is changing.....because you are changing.  Your beliefs in yourself.  Your ideas of the world.  Your attitude.  Your life.

And how very, very maginficent that is!!  How very magnigicent you are!!  It will happen, I know.  Because it happened to me.  And it happened to my friends here.  And it happens every day to people who no longer listen to their addiction......they listen to their hearts instead.  And that's when everything changes.

Happy Monday, my friends.  Sheri

~~Everything about you matters.  Everything.  Your voice.  Your song.  Your sorrow.  Your joy.  Your dreams.  Your tragedies.  Your struggles.  Your victories.  Your tears.  Your laugh.  The way your cheeks blush.  The way your nose crinkles.  Everything.  The world will tell you you are insignificant.  You are everything but that.  You are beautiful.  You are alive.   You are original.  Everything about you matters.  Everything.~~ S. C. Lauriel

You may not think so.  You may think that it doesn't matter that you smoke.  You may think that no one much cares what you do. 

You have never been so wrong.  Because you matter.  Every breath you take.  Every smile.  Every word.  You touch people's lives and people's hearts.  Of course the world gets so busy that some may forget to tell you.  Others may simply assume you know how very, very important you are to them. 

You may not have much family.  You may not have many friends.  But that part isn't important.   YOU are important.  You may save a life one day with just a smile that someone needed to see in order to remember people really are kind.  You may touch the life of a child who has thought no one cared. 

But most of all, my dear smokers, you should matter to.....you.  Yes, quitting may seem difficult.  But aren't you worth the effort?  Yes, you are!   Don't you love yourself as much as you love those family members and friends?  You should.  You should delight that you are here in the world!!  That truly means something.  Get to know yourself, be your own best friend, be the hero of your own story and always, always be stronger than your excuses.

Love yourself enough to quit.  Because you matter.  Because we need you.  Because the universe needs you.  But mostly because you should matter to yourself.

Good night, EX world.  Sweet dreams and quiet joys to each of you.

~~Don't take mirrors too seriously.  Your true reflection is in your heart.~~  Unknown

I am not often at a loss for words, but today they just won't come easily.  How do you say thank you to those who have helped save your life?  How do you explain that the words someone wrote, the feelings someone expressed, the laughter someone shared, truly helped heal you?

I do believe that our true reflection is in our hearts.  And what loveliness I see here!  What grace and honesty and truth....courage, wisdom, and compassion.  While I can't see it in your eyes, I feel it in your words.  While I can't see it in your smile, I feel it in your support. 

To say 'thank you' is so not good enough.  To say 'I appreciate you' is so not enough.  I lost myself in the terrible world of nicotine addiction and I found myself in the magical world of the EX site.  Through those who had been there.  Through those who have lost, who have healed, who have understood.

The patience it takes to be here helping is unimaginable.  Over and over I saw patience, humor, kindness.  I felt compassion, understanding, empathy.

I had to find my forever quit on my own.  We all do.  But the knowledge I gained here, the friendships I made, the support I got bridged that gap between "Can I do this?" and "I can do this!".

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.  Thank you, Tommy and Sootie and Dale and Guilia.  Thank you Thomas and Marilyn and Diane Joy and Aztec.  Thank you, Nancy.  Thank you Kathy, Kathy, Bonnie, and Jackie.  Thank you Shawn and Teresa and Wendy and Linda.  Thank you Donna and Ellen and Trudy and Terrie.  BeeJay, you are priceless!  And thank you to all of you here who stay, who help, who support, who listen.

Forget about the mirror.  Your true beauty shines from your hearts and reflects here.....I see it every day.  All my love to  all of you, Sheri

ps.-Please don't feel bad if I didn't mention you by name.  I didn't name everyone because it would have taken up too much space on Ex :)  I know you by name and I hope you know I appreciate you!!  Daisy, wherever you are, much love always!!

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Missions

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Jun 3, 2016

~~My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am.  To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws and to stop this incessant worrying that I can't be loved as I am.~~  Annis Nin

I accepted this mission and I simply am in love with my life now.  I fixed some things I had neglected.  I nurtured some things that had been hidden.  And I celebrated some things that deserved celebration.

One of the best things I ever did for me was to quit smoking.  Not just because I quit killing myself little by little, but because I started living little by little as well.  I replaced all those smoke filled moments with joy filled moments instead.  So rather than smoke, I tried new things or repeated things I loved to do.  I learned that I am very, very good at being brave.  I learned that I cannot draw even stick figures.  I learned that I love searching antique stores.  Life was good.

Even more, I was good!  Happy was always there, waiting for me when I had to handle sad, depressed, stress, but always within reach.  Fun was always there.  Joy was always there.  I just needed to remember to turn to all the good rather than get stuck in the addictive thoughts of nicotine.  After a while, turning to the good became a "habit" that I didn't even have to remember to do anymore.

So your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a life you love.  Be brave enough to try things you always wanted to try.  Be strong enough to hold onto hope during times when the world treats you cruelly.  And love yourself enough to walk away from those things that hurt your heart.  Learn, my friends, to accept yourself, forgive yourself, and be your own hero.

Smoking doesn't do a thing for you except to steal your life, minute by minute.  Walk away from it and leave it alone.  Create that life you love and you will find that life will love you in return. 

Happy root beer float Friday!!  Sheri

~~Hey you glorious human being.  Some things to remember today:  The world is lucky to have you.  Don't stop walking your own way.  Keep unearthing your wild.  Stop work, stress, and busyness from taking over.  Follow your heart come what may.  Your life is a beautiful canvas of possibility.  Take the paintbrush and make it all your own.~~  Unknown

It's time to feel good!!  Free!!  Happy!!  Hope!!  Even if it's only for a little while.  Take time out from busy.  Walk away from "have to"s.  Leave behind "I am afraid to".  And step out into the wonderful world of you! 

Each and every one of us is glorious in our own way.  We can shine like no one else in the universe.  The earth...the world....needs our unique ways in order for everything to make sense.  We lose our sense of glorious as we grow up.  So many other things take over.  Some beat us down, some break our hearts, some just fade into the shadows of life.

But our gloriousness is there waiting for us.  Truly!  And when you stop smoking and learn to live your life without that addictive crutch, your gloriousness starts to peek out at you. Do you see it in the sparkle of your eyes?  Do you hear it in your giggles?  Do you feel it in your heart? 

It's there.  I've seen it in you.  I've read it in your words as you tell us about your....child, spouse, job, health.  I've heard it in your delight over your quit.  I've smiled as you wonder about all the tastes, sights, and smells you've experienced since your quit.  And you know it only gets better. Really!!  Once you experience the joy of life without nicotine, you want more of it!! 

So find your hidden glory.  Feel the joy in it.  Revel in the hope and the beauty of living smoke free.  Feel your strength and let loose with your wild!!  The universe is applauding your awakening.

Much love to you all, Sheri

~~Today is the day!  Live your life with abandon, be good to yourself, create happiness, be courageous and wild at heart, make friends wherever you go, believe in your own power, strength, and fortitude, take chances and be spontaneous, inspire someone, be brave.  This is your life.....make it beautiful.~~  unknown

Life has a way of pointing you in the right direction, no matter how many times you may get turned around.  Happens to me all the time and sooner or later, I admit to being....stubborn, mistaken, air-headed, bull-headed....and do what I was put on earth here to do.

I got to speak to a smoking cessation class last week.  What a marvelous bunch of people!!  Some will quit, some are being...stubborn, mistaken, etc....and some even know they are dying but will not put them down.  Their choice, of course.  Then I met up with a mother whom I have known for about 15 years.  She is still smoking but has tried to quit for years.  She says that the stresses in her life don't make for a good environment to quit.  She says she doesn't think of herself, she thinks of others and puts her needs, wants, and hopes last.  We talked for a bit, I encouraged, I pointed out how she was just as important as her children, husband, grandchildren....but it's up to her to decide to quit.

I came back here because I realize that no matter how much I want to do other things, quitting smoking is still the best thing I did for me.  I am grateful each and every day that I quit.  And that it matters to me that every person get the encouragement, support, and knowledge they need to quit.  Some won't, I know.  But that knowledge is planted, those ideas of taking good care of one's self is now there, and the hope that maybe they, too, can quit is kept alive.

My part in this remains quite small.  Just a faceless voice here saying that you can quit.  That you deserve such a better life than one filled with smoke and nicotine and addiction.  That you matter to much to the world for me to not say something like "I care", "You can do this", "You are so much more than a cigarette".  But my part, added with all the other voices, is strong.  Strong enough to bring light to those living in darkness.  Strong enough to not back down when battling addiction or big tobacco or negative energy.

You can quit.  And your quit can be as beautiful, as lovely, and as stunning as you are.  It can be filled with kindness, gentleness, and hope.  It can be anything you make it to be because you have that power.  Be good to yourself always.  Be good to yourself first.  Then you can take on the world :)