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2019
Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

A New Normal

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 30, 2019

~~Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them.  They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits.  We can make our new normal any way we want.~~  Kristin Armstrong

 

So I was reminded yesterday that I've been teaching GED classes at the jail for a year now.  A year of working 6 out of 7 days a week.  A year of shifting home chores with two jobs while juggling time with my children and grandchildren and finding time to do nothing.  Morning yoga with answering text messages from families at one job while teaching slope-intercept at the other.

 

I was tired a lot this year.  Sometimes resentful (yep, I'm not perfect ).  Often busy.  Confused.  Exhausted.  Exhilarated.  Swamped and overwhelmed.

 

But you know what?  I'm not like that anymore.  I'm once again organized, spontaneous, flexible, content.  I can easily move through my days with a minimum of exhaustion and a good attitude.  I moved into my new normal without even realizing it.

 

See, that's what happens when you stop fighting change.  That's what happens when you stop seeing life as a battle and start just putting one foot in front of the other.  That's what happens when you take it one minute at a time.  There is a period of chaos, a period of adjustment, and then a shift in your world that makes things ok again.

 

Quitting smoking is like that as well.  A change in lifestyle, a change in thinking, a change in behavior.  Then chaos for a while maybe as you try to adjust to new habits, get rid of old habits.  You find that life doesn't slow down or stop during these periods of change so simply ride it out...one moment at a time if need be.  After the chaos, there is adjustment.  Deliberate actions that keep you on the right path.  Many breathes, a lot of bubble blowing, some crazy dance moves to keep you happy, and most of all, being present in the here and now so you don't slide back into addictive behaviors.

 

One day, BOOM!!  Your new normal is shining like sunlight over the water.  And you think about how much you like the new you, the new habits, the new life.  And you feel proud and capable and satisfied with all you've accomplished.  And most of all you know that this new normal means you CAN get through tough times without killing yourself with a cigarette.  That you can get through heartbreak and bad news and anxiety and depression and fights with your partner and a bad boss without addiction.  And life suddenly doesn't look all that frightening and maybe....just maybe....you are looking forward to more new adventures.  Life is what we make of it....and you have made it good.  Well done!!

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

One More Day

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 27, 2019

~~And on Tuesdays you must look at yourself in the mirror and say "I am worthy.  I need to be here.  And I am grateful that I am.  There is beauty in my life and I will find it.  There is strength in my soul and I will trust it.  There is purpose in my path and I will unravel it.  There is magic in who I am and I will believe in it."  And then go climb your mountains for today.  And go find some spectacular views.~~  S.C. Lourie/Butterfliesandpebbles

 

It's hard sometimes not to get dragged into the muddled thoughts in your own head.  It can be hard to reject those negative opinions you have of yourself.  And it's oh, so easy to turn back to smoking so you can finally stop feeling like every moment is a struggle.

 

But then you lose, right?  By giving up or giving in, you are in reality telling yourself that smoking means more to you than your life does.  That the 'struggle' to remain smoke free is too hard for you.  That the addiction is too strong.  That your life isn't worth the pains to quit smoking.

 

I disagree.  I don't even have to know you to strongly, loudly disagree!!  Because you mean something to someone here on earth.  Now those of us who have never gone through the agony of losing someone close to us may not understand the huge, gaping hole that is forever left by our loved one dying.  It doesn't get better and it doesn't mend.  We just get used to the pain.  So, getting back to you, you mean something to someone here.  Someone's heart will break if they lost you.  You won't be here to see it, of course, but secretly in your heart, you know how devastating it would be to those who love you if they lost you.  And to lose you to smoking?????  Their heartbreak would be intensified by their anger...towards Big Tobacco, towards cigarettes, towards....you because you refused to quit.

 

And what about you?  Quit dismissing the fact that your life matters!!  You have mountains you want to climb and dreams you want to reach for and goals you want to achieve.  They matter, my friend.  YOU matter.  And you make a difference by being here on earth.  To your family.  To your friends.  To us.  

 

Smoking takes everything away.  From you.  From those who love you.  Time.  Being present.  Making memories.  Laughter.  Light.  Warmth.  Smoking takes it all and simply disappears when it gets you ill or kills you.  Gone.  It doesn't hang around to say "Sorry".  It doesn't hold your daughter's hand while she cries at your funeral.  It doesn't reimburse the expenses for long hospital stays or chemotherapy or breathing treatments.  

 

So how about just hanging on to your quit one more day?  How about saying "I'm worth it" one more time?  How about breathing through one more crave?  Because, just for now, you know quitting will bring you the freedom to love, to life, to have another chance.  One more day may mean a forever quit.  

 

This isn't meant to be a sad post.  This isn't doom and gloom.  This is all about life...your life.  And fulfilling your dreams, loving those who love you, and knowing that you've been put here on earth for a purpose.  The universe itself needs your presence.  So hold on just one more day.

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Golden

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 25, 2019

~~Thank you for being a friend.~~  Andrew Gold

 

This wonderful site has been home to me for about 10 years on and off...although my precious quit happened on June 4, 2013.  Over six years after even more years of serial quitting, avoiding, ignoring, and failing.

 

You've been there for me and it's time to say thank you.  Thank you for never giving up on someone who had given up on herself.  Thank you for supporting, for listening, for advising.  For humoring me, for laughing with me, for being my sunshine when my own world was dark.

 

I've been in a good place in my life for the past 6 years.  It took a lot of work, a lot of honesty, and a lot of self-reflection to grow, to change, and to find myself through all the pain.

 

But I did it.  With your help, I did it.  And because you were such a big part of my growth and ultimate quit, I came back here on and off to help others if I could. I think I've written hundreds of posts.  I comment, I try to be supportive and kind.  Again, because you were there for me, I wanted to pay it forward.

 

So I just wanted to say thank you.  Strudel, Sootie,jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007, pir8fan, Thomas3.20.2010, Youngatheart.7.4.12, maynell, Breakinthechains, TomW5.15.17, Daniela-3-11-2016, Marilyn.H.July.14.14., Barbscloud, indingrl.01.06.2011, BonnieBee.quit.2.8.15, Giulia, elvan, sweetplt, JACKIE1-25-15 , Mandolinrain, OldBones-Larry , Rick_M,  and so many, many more....thanks for being a friend.

 

And those no longer here.....Linda, Daisy, Neen, Dawn, Terri, Betty, BeeJay....I miss you.  Thanks for being a friend.

 

To those who have allowed me to comment on their posts without doubting my intentions, thank you.  To those who make sure to comment on my posts, no matter how intense...thank you.  For those who read without commenting, I hope I helped.  If only for a moment, I hope you caught a glimpse of how it can be.

 

Sincere thanks to each and every one of you...and those I forgot to mention.  If you have ever doubted for an instant if what you do matters, doubt no more because you have touched my heart and brought some sunshine to my life.  Truly.  You will never be forgotten and I know that God is smiling down on you for helping one of His children get on the right path.  

 

Quitting isn't an event, we all know.  It's a journey.  And just as all journeys, it is much better when you have people walk with you for awhile.  You've walked with me.  You've made me laugh.  You've cleared the way.  You've saved a life.

 

I'm impressed by you, I'm inspired by you, I'm in awe of you.  Most of all, I'm thankful for you.  Much, much love to each of you.

~~Laugh so hard that even sorrow smiles at you.  Fight so strong that even fate accepts defeat.  Love so true that even hatred walks out of the way.  And live life so well that even death loves to see you exist.~~    Unknown

 

Hey, are you one of those people who shrinks from having fun because you don't want to draw attention to yourself?  Or maybe you pull into yourself rather than risk looking foolish?  How about anger?  Do you hide from that nasty old emotion, thinking that anger is a bad emotion that might make you look out of control?

 

Taking it a bit further.....did you use smoking to shy away from life?  You weren't 'perfect' enough.  You had 'flaws'.  You didn't know how to 'fit in'.  And so you smoked.  You smoked when you were angry....just to calm yourself.  You smoked to celebrate, you smoked when lonely, you smoked because.....no one understood you.

 

Let me set your mind at rest.  First of all, no one truly understands ANYONE.  We are all unique personalities and our moments in life are only felt by us.  We can try to share those feelings with others, but they are ours alone...to cherish, to rehash, to ponder, to feel.  Second, no one in life is perfect.  We all stumble through life doing the best we can.  We make mistakes, we anger people, we love, we miss opportunities, we....just live.  

 

Even better, did you know that smoking doesn't change anything?  It doesn't make you prettier or happier or more charming.  The opposite, in fact.  Smoking ages you and isolates you and is simply just.....sad.

 

So, my friends, the bottom line is this.  Life is waiting for you.  You can choose to let your addiction waste what time you have left on earth...….or you can live life so well that even death loves to see you exist.  You can shine your flaws that make you who you are.  You can belly laugh while everyone else is silently wishing they could let go and belly laugh, too.  You can get angry and let whomever you are angry with know all about it.  Trust me, it feels GREAT!!  You can laugh at your mistakes, love passionately, apologize sincerely, forgive everyone, and just....be present.  Live.  Let go of the fears, let go of the anxiety, let go of everything that doesn't serve you well.  

 

You are no different than anyone else who is hesitant to live, but you are unique in that only you can bring the life to your life.  Take good care of those shy parts of you, those hurt parts of you, those broken parts of you and let those other parts of you that have been tucked away in the shadows..well...let them loose.  Let them free.  Let them be happy, let them be bold, let them awaken all those parts of you that are dying to be free. 

 

Don't think smoking helps you live, please.  Don't think it does anything positive for you.  It truly, truly kills off the best parts of you by keeping you inhaling poisons rather than going out there full force and living your life with gratitude and joy.  Look at all you've been given....look at all you have to offer....and choose life.  It's waiting.  Then live your best life possible.  No apologies. No excuses.  No half-hearted attempts.  Grab life by the hand and simply have the time of your life.  

~~Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.~~  Unknown

 

I know you're out there.  Those quitters who haven't quite got the hang of quitting......those serial quitters who try and try but don't seem to take to their quits....those quiet little wishers who wished they were doers.  

 

Don't you dare give up on yourselves!!  Don't you dare allow that evil little voice of addiction convince you that you 'can't'.  Don't you dare think you are different than all the other quitters and it's impossible for you.

 

Each and every quitter throughout all time has thought those exact same things at one point or another.  Well, I suppose I can't speak for everyone, so let's modify that to "most quitters have had those thoughts at one time or another".  Recovery from any addiction is wrought with negative emotions, thoughts, and even actions.  But recovery is also....possible.

 

Don't give up hope.  Anyone who is serious about quitting smoking can, in fact, quit.  You may not understand it at first.  You may have a few false starts shaky times.  You may feel defeated.  You may feel lost.  

 

But your quit is there.  I know that with all my heart.  Your quit is there inside you waiting for you to bring it out into the world.  Waiting for you to care for it, to nurture it, to protect it.  

 

I think out of all the things we try to explain about quitting and all the tips and all the advice and all the information, we sometimes don't emphasis the fact that if you persist, you will get there.  You will have your 'ah-ha!!!" moment or you will awaken that quit in you and boom!!!!  Done.  It's there and you will not let it go for anything in the world.  And you will know it with all your heart and all your soul and with everything in you that you have arrived at your quit.  

 

So don't turn away from it.  Don't let those feelings of defeat make you give up.  Don't let that nasty little voice of addiction crush you.  Do. Not. Give. Up.

 

Your butterfly moments are up ahead.  Keep the hope, keep the faith, and learn to fly   Of course you can!!

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

I Remember

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 17, 2019

~~Whenever I feel weak, I remember those who make me strong.  And whenever I start to doubt myself, I remember those who believe in me.~~  Unknown

 

I remember my ex-husband leaving me with three little ones under the age of 5.  I was terrified.  But my children meant the world to me and I wasn't going to show them my fear.

 

I remember starting college at the age of 27.  I was terrified.  But my children relied on me for everything and I needed to make a good living so a college degree meant income.

 

I remember going out with DCF and seeing my first removal.  Children being removed from their mom. Five children.   A deputy had to carry the 10 year old out of the home, kicking and screaming for his momma.  I was devastated.  But that family needed me to guide them, support them, and reunite them so I had to be strong.

 

I remember my step-dad's memorial service.  He had died a terrible cancer death and I was in shock because I hadn't known it was that bad.  I lost the only person in my family who truly liked me.  But Jacob was only a few weeks old and I had three other children who lost their grandpa.  I needed to make sure they were ok.

 

I remember wondering if I should take the job as supervisor at work.  That would mean supervising 14 others and being the leader for all of Walton County FFN.  I hesitated.  My children, however, knew I could do it.  They believed so I believed.

 

I remember talking to a 6 year old who had seen his 8 year old brother hanging from a belt in their closet.  He couldn't remember his name.  He had so much to work through and the therapist told me he would probably need therapy on and off during certain times in his life for the rest of his life.  I played with him, I listened to him, and I was there for him.  It was all I knew to do.

 

There are times in your life where smoking a cigarette is all you know how to do.  Life is complex, messy, and painful.  But it is at those times when we realize that we are made stronger by those who love us and those who need us and those who believe in us.  So rather than turning to what you know, turn to those who know you.  You'll find they ease your heart, they ease your fears, and they make you once again believe in yourself.  

 

And if you don't have those special people for whatever reason, then come here.  You have elvan, you have Youngatheart.7.4.12, you have Giulia, you have jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007, you have constance2, you have JACKIE1-25-15, you have Strudel, you have Thomas3.20.2010, you have indingrl.01.06.2011, you have Ralph1955, you have Mandolinrain, you have Marilyn.H.July.14.14., you have IrishRose, you have Barbscloud, you have TomW5.15.17, sweetplt, Daniela-3-11-2016, and  others...so many others!!….so many people here willing to believe in you and keep you strong.

 

Thanks to all those above (and those I didn't mention because I have to get back to work!) who worked so very hard to keep me strong during the early days of my quit.  Much love to you!!

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Illusions

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 17, 2019

~~Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.~~  Unknown

 

You have it in your mind that quitting is 'too hard'.  You believe that you 'can't do it'.  You tell us that we 'don't understand what you're going through'.  Finally, you just fade away because we are 'too judgmental and mean'.

 

Addiction won.  You are still hooked.  You are still putting toxins and poisons into your body.  You are still at that mindset that smoking makes you feel better.

 

It's an illusion.  A perfect illusion manufactured by your brain to keep you 'feeling good'.  Now if you understand anything about brain chemistry, you know that the brain works overtime trying to find ways to keep you happy.  Those feel good neurotransmitters tell the brain that whatever is causing them happiness needs to continue.  The brain does not immediately scream "Danger!!  Danger!!!"  Because it is happy.  Nicotine stimulates those 'feel good' neurotransmitters to kick in...and then the brain says "Hey, this is wonderful!!  Keep it coming!!"

 

All those other thoughts...the thoughts of illness and death, the thoughts of wrinkled skin, bad teeth, horrible odors.....take second seat to those other thoughts of "this feels good!!!"  The brain shies away from feeling sad or depressed or negative.  The brain is programed to make us feel good.

 

But it's an illusion.  Because what you're doing is so very, very dangerous in every way.  You are putting poisons into your body.  You are sucking in chemicals that are meant to kill.  You are risking not only your life but the lives of those around you.  

 

Please see it for what it is....not what your brain is telling you.  Given time, your brain will come to its senses and agree that smoking is hazardous.  Until then, it is up to you to actively tell yourself that.  

 

This is what addiction is, my friends.  An illusion....a lie....a brain disfunction.  And when you understand that, you CAN overcome it.  You CAN work through it.  You CAN quit.  

 

Life is meant to be lived.  And  life is so much more than you will ever know as a smoker.  YOU are so much more than you will ever be as a smoker.  Give quitting a chance. Give yourself a chance to live smoke free.

~~This letter is to you.  The you that's had a rough week.  The you that seems to be under constant storm clouds.  The you that feels invisible.  The you that doesn't know how much longer you can hold on.  The you that has lost faith.  The you that always blames yourself for everything that goes wrong.  To you.  You are incredible.  You make this world a little bit more wonderful.  You have so much potential and so many things left to do.  You have time.  Better things are coming your way, so please hang in there.  You can do it.~~   Unknown

 

Betcha thought I am going to give you a rah-rah post.  You can quit!!  Just give it time!!  It'll be ok!!

 

Oh, no...furthest thing from my mind today.  Because there are kids out there who have no one who loves them at all.  There are seniors slowly dying from acute loneliness in nursing homes.  There are trauma victims who need support as they navigate through pain and humiliation.  There are families who live in shame.  There are people hoping for a friend. 

 

This world desperately needs you.  It needs your compassion, your strength, your wisdom, your talents.  It needs your smile and your gentle touch and your understanding and your very being.  It needs your voice, your outrage, your leadership, your heart.

 

And let me add, dear quitters, that the very best way to distract yourself from craving a cigarette is to put yourself out there for others.  Get involved.  Volunteer.  Care.  And know deep in your soul that you may be the very miracle that someone else has been waiting for.  You may be the friend they need.  The saving grace they hoped for.  The difference they needed to remain on this earth.

 

You do indeed make this world a little more wonderful....and now it is time to pass it forward.  Drop of some large-print books to a nursing home and talk to the residents.  Become a foster parent and be that anchor for a child in need.  Cut someone's grass who struggles to get it done.  Buy a board game and donate it to a local agency that works with families in need. 

 

There are so many opportunities to shine your light.  If you've ever doubted that you've mattered in this world, look into the eyes of a lonely person who has just made a friend.  Look into the eyes of a child who has been given his first birthday party.  Look into the eyes of a senior who has been asked to 'remember when...'.  Yes, you matter!!  Yes, you are needed!!  Yes, you are that miracle that someone somewhere is praying for.

 

So rather than nail-bite your way through the first months of your quit, give of yourself instead.  Rather than agonize over those craving moments, make a child smile.  Rather than wonder when it's going to get better, make it better for someone else.  You will feel the benefits, too.  And you will know the miracle of making connections. 

 

And if any of you....any one of you....are the you above, let me just reiterate YOU ARE INCREDIBLE!!  I read these posts and I secretly applaud you and I wish you nothing but the very best in life   Because you deserve it.  Now, go out and let someone else know that they are incredible, too.

 

Blessings,

Sheri

~~Addiction:  Fighting to save yourself from yourself.~~  Unknown

 

It started with love.  My quit journey, that is.  One day as we were shopping, I told my son I needed a pack of cigarettes.  He gently reminded me, "You don't 'need' them, mom.  You want them."  End of conversation....yet it stuck with me.  Changing my words, changing my thoughts about smoking.  

 

Small, even petty differences you may think.  But in changing my thinking about what I was doing, I was actually bringing the focus to what I was doing.  Instead of mindlessly smoking, I began to think of each and every moment when I thought I 'needed' one.  I began thinking about each and every moment I was isolated from my family because I 'needed' one.  I began, in fact, to realize that my entire day always centered around 'needing' a cigarette.

 

I didn't want to be chained to a 'need' that would ultimately kill me in one way or another.  So I shifted my thinking about 'needing' a cigarette to understanding addiction.  I never wanted to think I was addicted to anything...I was a single mother--strong, competent, capable.  Addicted?  Me?  I truly was.  Not only could I not put them down....I didn't want to.

I liked relaxing with one.  I liked that feeling I got with my first inhale.  I even liked the peaceful solitude.

 

But isn't that just like an addict?  Not seeing what I was actually, really doing.  I wasn't relaxing....I was getting that fix of nicotine that my body needed to function.  And that first inhale was that first fix.  And peaceful solitude?  That was just so no one could distract me from enjoying my addiction.

 

For me, it all started with my son pointing out that I didn't need it...I wanted it.  It snowballed from there as I focused on the realities of smoking rather than the beautiful lies addiction painted for me.  Reality.  Sticking a lit tube of paper in my mouth and inhaling.  Reality.  Not being able to get through the day without one...or without wanting one if I didn't have one.  Reality.  Pushing away family just to go light up.  "I'll just be a minute" isn't true.  "I'm choosing to put chemicals and toxins in my lungs rather than spending time with you" is true.  

 

Now some of you may be at a loss in how to quit because nothing seems to be working for you.  Slow it down, maybe, and focus on what you're doing...and what you're telling yourself as you do it.  If you say smoking relaxes you, you're lying to yourself.  Getting that hit of nicotine is what calms the brain down...and sooner or later it will take more and more nicotine to help you 'relax'.  If you say you enjoy smoking, you're lying to yourself.  You are actually enjoying the addictive chemicals and what they do to your brain.  (If addiction felt, tasted, seemed horrible, nobody would do it.)

 

Reality is what will help your recovery.  Seeing smoking for what it is, not for how addiction makes you feel.  Do not let your whole life be run by a little tube of paper filled with toxins and poisons.  Addiction robs you of the ability to reach for all the true joys of life.  You may not understand that now...you may not even like what I'm saying right now ("she doesn't know me or my life")….but I can promise you that life starts with recovery.  It's glorious on the other side of smoking and no one has ever regretted quitting.

 

A few thoughts to leave you with:

 

~~Addiction is the only disease that tells you that you don't have a disease.~~  Jason ZW Powers, MD

~~We inhale the very thing that kills us just so we can feel more alive.~~  Chrissy Penney

~~Every time you light a cigarette, you are saying that your life isn't worth living.~~  Unknown

 

See smoking for what it truly is, not what you've always thought it to be.  Open your eyes, open your mind, and open the door to recovery.  Your life depends on it.  

~~So, if you are too tired to speak, sit next to me, because I, too, am fluent in silence.~~  R. Arnold

 

The excitement of your quit may wear out from time to time.  The battles you wage against smoking can exhaust you.  The push to keep going when all you want to do is curl up and sleep the world away can drag you down.

 

It's ok to stop for a while, you know.  It's ok to withdraw from socializing here or in your world.  It's ok to be quiet.  To reflect.  To rest.

 

Sleep when you need to but remember that resting does not just mean sleeping.  You can rest and let things go.  Your spouse is frustrated at you?  Just allow it and rest.  You have 2 million things left to do?  Let them linger as you rest.  You battle cravings?  Lay down your weapon and rest for a while.  

 

You don't always have to do.  You don't always have to answer.  You don't always have to battle.

 

You can step back.  Let things go.  Let things be.  They may be waiting for you when you are done resting, but you will feel more capable....better able to handle them....after you rest.

 

Silence is sometimes the very best gift we can give ourselves.  Blessed peace.  Quiet.  Time.  Time to rest, time to reflect, time to find stillness that rejuvenates and restores.  You will heal.  You will relax.  You will find balance and you will feel peace when you rest.

 

I know because I am fluent in silence.  I find joy in quiet.  I am at peace in stillness.  

 

Your precious quit needs your attention.  It does not flourish when you are distracted.  It does not grow healthy when you are stressed out.  It does not heal when you are lost.  It needs you to pay attention to it, to nurture it, to make it part of who you are.  So rest when you need to.  Find peace and strength and balance in the silence.  You will be ready to face the world again with a newly refreshed body, mind, and spirit.  And a quit that won't be shaken.

~~I don't always know the right thing to do in a situation.  So, when I'm stuck I ask myself, "What is the most loving thing I can do at this moment?"  And that's what I do.~~   Katrina Mayer

 

I've been thinking about When Does It Stop?   I've been thinking about the hatred and the deaths and the separations and the fear and the hurt and the anger.  Yes, all of this affects our quits in one way or another.  I mean, don't you just want to run and hide from it all?  I used to be so very good at hiding behind my smoke cloud.  No one would bother me there...they didn't like the smoke.

 

But now?  Oh, my gosh, my heart hurts.  With every story.  With every event.  With every hateful word.  With every broken heart.  And it cuts so close to me here at home.  My Hispanic children at church who pray for the safety of their families.  My own family who has been torn apart by opposing political stances.  

 

I think about my son who is now a senior.  He would without hesitation attempt to shield his friends if there was a shooting at school.  You can't help but pray each and every day for the safety of children everywhere.  

 

And so, I really do ask myself, "What is the most loving thing I can do at this moment?"  Sometimes it is self-care because I'm not functioning at my best if I am tired or hungry.  Sometimes it is an act of kindness for someone else...an unexpected gift for someone at the local nursing home....sending pizzas to the local police department....donating to a classroom.  Sometimes it is speaking my mind and standing up for those who can't stand for themselves.  

 

And sometimes...sometimes...it is crying.  For the lives lost.  For the terror they faced.  For the families they left behind.  I just cry.

 

I don't smoke and don't even think about smoking anymore.  Life, even the most horrible parts are life, are meant to be faced rather than run from.  Because we matter and life matters and we are in it for a purpose.  Addiction masks emotions and allows the addict to bury the pain of living.  Some addicts just don't care, others only care from a distance.

I choose to care up close and personal.  Even when it hurts the most.

 

This is not about politics.  It's not about 2nd Amendment rights.  It's not about conservatives vs. liberals.  This is about remembering we are all humans and deserving of love and acceptance.  No one is better than anyone else. 

~~There but for the grace of God, go I.~~  John Bradford

 

Thomas, I hope this helps even just a little.  

 

Much love to all,

 

Sheri

~~Fall in love with taking care of yourself.  mind.  body.  spirit.  This is the beginning of self-care.~~ Dena Patton

 

I know you are a giving person.  You take care of your home, your employees, your spouse, your parents, your neighbors, your fur babies.  You donate your precious time to volunteer work, to charities, to others.  You stuff down your feelings of exhaustion and annoyance to do that one more task that only you can do so well.  

 

And then you take a few moments for a smoke break.  It soothes you. It calms you.  It makes things ok for a while.

 

But it doesn't, really.  Now you are dealing with high blood pressure on top of everything else.  Your breathing is labored.  Your bones are getting brittle.  Your gums are bleeding.  You are cold all the time.  But you press on.  Things to do.  Events to manage.  People to make happy.

 

Where are you in all this?  Where is your time to sit and marvel at nature?  Where is your time to find peace on the yoga mat?  To sip tea and sigh with pleasure?  To delight in your grandbabies?  To grow brilliant flowers?  To laugh with friends?  To enjoy solitude?

 

You may think "I don't have time for all that".  It's time to make time.  If you want to quit smoking and you want to do it well (so to speak), you need to fall in love with taking care of yourself.  You need to slow down enough to make YOU a priority!  

 

You will find true delight in recognizing what makes you happy.  You will find joy in doing those things.  You will find its fun to discover who you are as a person...not just a parent or an employee or a spouse or a friend.  Explore your talents.  Create beauty.  Have an adventure.  Discover hidden skills.  Find your spirituality.  Love those dimples on your thighs as much as the dimples on your cheeks.  Nurture your body as you rid yourself of the chemicals and toxins that damaged it for so long.  Look forward to a nap.  Find lotions that smell pretty.  Get a good workout in that makes your body feel capable. 

 

Quitting smoking should be all about you.  Not your kids, not your parents, not your spouse.  Focus on falling in love with taking care of YOU.  Notice when you start breathing a little easier.  Notice when you don't think of smoking for an hour.  Notice that the yellow fingertips are fading.  Your teeth are looking better.  Picture the cells in your body dancing as they discover they don't have to work as hard to keep you going.  They LOVE you.  It's time to love them back.

 

And once you fall in love with taking care of yourself, you will get the hang of once again incorporating the world.  You will still volunteer...but you may decline every now and then if it interferes with your time.  You will still go to work....but you will not need to escape it with a cigarette.  You will find yourself ok with your emotions...even the icky ones like sadness or anger.  And you fill find yourself feeling.....free.  Free of addiction, free of a gigantic weight off your shoulders, free of the expectations of others.  You will find yourself in love with you and in love with life.  

 

That is self-care.

~~I'm not perfect.....and I embrace that.~~  Unknown

 

Soooo....let's get started, shall we?  I recently broke some bones in my foot while playing soccer with my grandson.  I got my 33 year old son upset with me, making me feel like the worst mom in the world.  I can't balance a checkbook....actually, even worse.  I don't use a checkbook, it's all in my head.  I'm flawed.  I know it and it works for me. 

 

So when I come on here with my suggestions for quitting and my opinions on being human and my hopes for your future, it isn't because I live such a pristine life.  It isn't because everything works out for me.  It isn't because I quit smoking so easily or gracefully (I once wore two different colored shoes to work and never noticed). 

 

It's because if I can quit, anyone can.  It's because I...in my stumbling, rambly kind of way...care about you and your quit.  It's because I hate the thought of anyone feeling isolated or lonely or rejected especially when they quit.

 

I don't have your answers....but you do.  All I can do is suggest, support, and educate. 

 

I quit.  You can.  There is no difference between us.  In fact, I'm positive that you have skills I don't possess.  You have talents I can only admire rather than mimic.  You have knowledge and strengths and competence that I will never have.  Use it all.  Gather everything that's good and positive and strong in you and use it to quit smoking. 

 

I know you can quit.....you know how to quit.  You only have to believe in yourself.

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Thanks!!

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 3, 2019

I've sometimes just got to say thank you to my friends here!  Thank you for listening.  Thank you for being there.  Thank you for seeing me the way I sometimes forget to see myself.  Thanks for the laughter and the hugs and the sharing.  I truly love you!!

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

At Peace

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Aug 3, 2019

~~Don't be scared to walk alone, and don't be scared to like it.  Don't let anyone's criticism or negativity stop you from being the best person you can be.  Do what you know in your heart is right.  Because when you are totally at peace within yourself, nothing can shake you.~~  www.WisdomQuotes4u.com

 

Sometimes I think we are a world of reactors.  We react to judgments, we react to criticism, we react to the thoughts, ideas, and opinions of others.  And in that reactive state, it is easy to forget that peace comes from within....and you have the power NOT to react.  

 

You have the power not to react to your boss who is too demanding.  You have the power not to react to family members who 'dump' on you.  You have the power not to react to politics.  

 

And when you truly understand that, nothing can shake you.  And when nothing has the power to shake you....you can quit smoking.  I've often said that quitting comes from within.  You decide.  You act on your decision.  You honor your commitment.  And you let nothing shake you.

 

Then the hard times you may struggle with when you quit are simply the battle between addiction wanting control over you...and you wanting control over you.  Remember that.  It's not stress.  It's not 'them'.  It's not life.  It's just addiction....your brain has been wired to enjoy nicotine.  And thoughts can be powerful, even false thoughts.  You need to not believe everything you think....pick and choose what thoughts you invest in.  Be at peace with yourself by not allowing false ideas to shake you.  You. Are. In. Control.

 

I hope you find peace within yourself.  I hope you feel a sense of calm that carries you through those tough times.  I hope you know that you can do this.  It's kinda like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.....she had the power to go home all along, she just had to believe it.  You have the power to quit smoking.  You just have to believe it.

 

So focus on your goal...allow no distractions...and feel at peace with yourself.  I wish you well.