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All People > Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 > Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Blog > 2019 > September

~~Your body loves you, love it back.~~  Unknown


How amazing is it that our bodies work 24/7 and never give up on us?  They work to minimize the damage as we put poisons in them...they heal our broken bones....they keep us walking...they allow us to see, to hear, to touch, to smell....they work when we're sleeping and when we want to sleep and when we can't sleep....they do, in fact, love us.


And how do we love them back?  We withhold nutrients by not eating right.  We dehydrate it by not giving it enough water.  We push it to it's very limits as we don't get enough sleep, we don't know how to handle our stress or avoid it, and we poison it by smoking.  Smoking depletes the oxygen in our bodies....slowly suffocating our bodies cigarette by cigarette.


But there is good news.  Did you know that:

  • The large number of nicotine receptors in your brain will return to normal levels after about a month of being quit.
  • Stopping smoking will improve your night vision and help preserve your overall vision by stopping the damage that smoking does to your eyes.
  • Quitting can lower your blood pressure and heart rate almost immediately. Your risk of a heart attack declines within 24 hours.
  • Your blood will become thinner and less likely to form dangerous blood clots. Your heart will also have less work to do, because it will be able to move the blood around your body more easily.
  • . Within two weeks of quitting, you might notice it’s easier to walk up the stairs because you may be less short of breath.
  • Quitting smoking immediately is the best way to lower your risk of getting cancer.
  • When you quit smoking, your body will begin to heal from the injuries that smoking caused. Eventually, your white blood cell counts will return to normal and will no longer be on the defensive.
  • Quitting smoking will improve blood flow to wounds, allowing important nutrients, minerals, and oxygen to reach the wound and help it heal properly.


I got these facts from  But you can talk to people here and find out some of this same information.  I was amazed to notice that colors seemed brighter and more vivid....I could smell foods, nature, rain, people....I wasn't as cold....I slept better....and the list goes on!!


Back to your body, though.  Don't you think it's time to treat it right?  Don't you think it's time to make friends with it?  Don't you think it's time to say "Thank you" to it?  Don't hate it because you have high blood pressure.  Don't hate it because you gain weight.  Don't hate it because you can't breathe properly.  Chances are much of this you did to it, not the other way  around (although not always).  

Love your body.  It's the only place you have to live

~~Some days you just have to create your own sunshine.~~  Unknown


I do like spreading joy.  I like reminding you that you have worth in this world and that you matter.  I like to bring a smile to your heart and sunshine to your soul.  And most of all, I want you to feel some comfort...ease....with your quit no matter how many days you have behind you.


Not because I'm Mary Sunshine.  Not because I have a 'good' life.  Not even because I feel the joy and happiness I like to spread to others.


Quite the opposite, in fact.  My yesterday consisted of a mom explaining to me that she 'shot up' her meth because she didn't want to smoke it while her children were in the house.  And then she took her 'stuff' and hid it up high so that her children were in no danger.


I was told how one young mom graduated from rehab one day and the next was dead of a drug overdose.  Everyone was shocked because she 'was doing so well'.  


I had to list all the ways this other mother abused her children because she didn't see it.  She did not see herself as abusive even when she put a hatchet through her bathroom door.  She didn't see it when her son made friends with the rats in his room.  She didn't see it when her daughter had roaches crawling all over her as she slept on the floor.


This is the path I've chosen and this is the life I lead for right now.  It gets sad and depressing and ugly and hopeless.  But I do it.


I do it because I believe the world is a lovely place filled with hope and comfort and compassion and love.  I do it because people are inherently good no matter what their world tells them.  I do it because no one should feel alone in the world...ashamed of who they are....hopeless and helpless and crushed.  I do it because one voice can matter to the right person.  So I get up every day and try.


And I don't come here to tell you what addiction does to people simply because I'm mean.  And I don't come here to remind you that your addiction is no different that any other addiction because I'm mean.  And I don't come here to depress you or remind you that if you don't stop, you could die.


I come here making my own sunshine.  Because I want to believe in joy.  Because I care about you enough to try to say 'the right thing'.  Because I need the beauty of life to erase the sorrows of the day and this is one way I can do it.


So thank you, Exers.  Thank you for allowing me a voice.  Thank you for allowing me to make my sunshine.  Thank you for allowing me into your lives, if only for a moment.  You make a difference in my life.  You make it a bit brighter.  You leave hope and love.  And you matter to me.  Each and every one of you.  No matter if you smoke or if you serial quit or if you've been quit for 16 years.  You matter to me enough so that I can get up tomorrow and hear those sad stories and help those broken souls and not get sucked into their darkness as well.  I bring your light instead.


So thank you.

~~Give yourself time to be sad, frustrated, and angry.  Give yourself time to heal, accept, and to grow.  Time doesn't erase anything, but it can provide you with enough space to be able to breathe again.  And then one day you wake up and your heart has a little bit of sunshine in it.  And day by day people offer you pieces of their hearts to help remake your own.  Allow yourself to be where you are at, to feel what you are feeling, and to experience everything that means.  And during this process, look and listen for that glimmer of hope.  It is there, I promise.  And it is waiting for you to see it.  Because one of the most beautiful things about humans is their  capacity to heal, grow, and survive.  Facing it.  that is how you get through.~~  Jessica Jensen


It really doesn't matter, you know, whether you are angry that you have to quit smoking or sad that your partner cheated on you or frustrated that your boss is giving you a hard time.  Life events can hurt.  Changes can be uncomfortable.  Situations can take you by surprise and knock you down.


And, oh my gosh, it hurts, doesn't it?  The pain can take your breath away and leave you feeling totally exposed...all the pain, all the fear, all the shame....


The difference is that smoking used to be our 'go-to'.  When hurt, angry, sad, confused, we would simply retreat from the world with our 'best friend'...a lit cigarette....and the negatives would just melt away for a little while.  Later, we would feel like we could once again face a hard, cold world....until the next time we couldn't.


Now, though, we've quit smoking.  So every situation that leaves us angry....every event that is less than our stellar moment....every uncertainty and every frustration....has no place to go.  WE have no place to go.  No more hiding behind smoke.  No more disappearing with our 'go-to'.  No more making ourselves feel better with a hit of nicotine.


Scary, huh?  And unfamiliar, as most of us have smoked for most of our adult lives.  How can we cope?  How can we feel better?  How can we manage?


Moment by moment, of course.  Breathing through the craves, grieving for what you feel you have lost, feeling the uncertainty of how you can function without smoking.  Time doesn't erase things, but it will give you space.  Space to heal.  Space to grow.  Space to accept.  Don't rush through your quit, please.  Give yourself that time to grow into who you were always meant to be.


And one day, you will feel that glimmer of hope in your heart.  And one day you may hear that glimmer of hope throughout your day.  And then one day you will see it.  The fog will lift and the smoke will clear and there it will be.  Hope for your glorious smoke free life!!  Once you see it, you won't want to let it go.  And if you keep your eyes on that hope, your thoughts will turn towards it and your heart will reach for it and everything you thought you were losing will melt away as hope spreads, bringing with it happiness, love, acceptance.


Facing it is how you get through.  Because one of the most beautiful things about humans is their capacity to heal, grow, and survive.  This is true for you, as well.  Please just give yourself that grace of time.  

~~Alcoholism or addiction is a disease because it fits the definition of disease.  It is progressive and chronic, and left untreated, it will kill.~~  Unknown


I attended a walk for suicide prevention awareness today which was sponsored by a local mental health agency.  I was the only community member to attend....and it wasn't even my community.  I drove 35 miles to get there.  But I'm glad I went.  I walked because I have family members who struggle with dark thoughts and I have friends who have lost loved ones to suicide.


On the drive home, I got to thinking about the stigma of mental health.  Now if the heart is 'diseased', everyone nods and says "What medication are you on?"  If the kidneys are 'diseased', there is dialysis and meds.  There is insulin for a diseased pancreas...if the appendix is 'diseased', take it out.  All medical stuff and no one doubts.


When the brain is 'diseased', people recoil.  They whisper.  They say things like 'mental problems' and 'crazy'.  Keep in mind, my friends, that the brain is an organ in the body just like the heart and the kidneys and the pancreas.  The brain is an organ that misfunctions.  That misfunction means that the brain needs to be treated by medical professionals in the same way that the heart needs to be treated and the kidneys need to be treated and the pancreas needs to be treated.


Addiction is a disease of the brain, too.  When addiction occurs, the brain no longer functions properly.  It is in distress.  And when the brain doesn't function properly, things begin to happen to that person.  Thoughts become irrational (I will die without a cigarette!), other body parts begin to also misfunction (the blood pressure rises, headaches occur, jitters happen, anxiety appears), and the brain screams "Danger!!  Need drug to function!!"


If smoking were only a 'habit', you would get rid of it in 21 days.  Habits are formed or broken within 21 days and then within 90 days, new habits become second nature.  Habits do not cause you to break down, habits do not cause your blood pressure to rise, and habits don't make you feel like you're going crazy.  Do not beat yourself up because you can't 'break this habit'.  Understand that you are recovering from a disease.  Different, isn't it?  You need to give your brain time to heal.  You need to understand that your brain is not functioning like a healthy brain should.  You need to educate yourself on what you can do to help this journey you are on.  A few suggestions:


1.  Don't believe everything you think.  Again, because your brain is 'diseased', it is not firing those synopses like it should.  If you have ever thought things like "I will go crazy without a cigarette" or even "I can't make it through the day without one", your brain is misfunctioning, isn't it?  You will not go crazy if you don't smoke.  You can make it through the day without one and you certainly won't die if you don't have one.  All the rantings of an unhealthy brain.


2.  Understand that you have to go through the recovery process.  Not around it, not over it.  There are no magic cures, no miracle drugs, no easy outs.  Accept it, brace yourself, and just get through it one moment at a time.  Not every minute is going to be horrible.  Not every day will be filled with angst.  But there will be times that you may struggle.  Refer back to suggestion 1.  Don't believe you can't do this.


3.  While you are recovering, start new, healthy habits.  It will distract you and delight you.  Paint, learn yoga, take hikes, train for 5ks, learn to dance, get that college degree, make amends with your neighbors, volunteer, put yourself out there in the world.  It's been waiting for you.


4.  When elders say things like "It's so much better on the other side of smoking" and "I feel so free", understand that they are talking with HEALTHY brains!!  That poor organ has been through the wringer and is now better.  Healed, functioning as it should, and making our lives so very much better by it's clear thinking!!!  Elders aren't exaggerating or lying.....they are healing.


5.  It's hard, so hard, to get through the day with a brain that is diseased.  It gets tired, it doesn't know how to fix things, it needs help.  And because the brain is the start of all other processes like moving and feeling and understanding and reasoning, when you are in active addiction, you cannot be your best.  You just can't.  Even when you think you are.  You may be functioning fine....but take that cigarette away.  When you smoke, you are functioning towards that next cigarette, not towards anything else.  That, my friends, is the evils of addiction...even a legal one.


So I went for that walk today for suicide prevention.  And tomorrow I may sign up for another mental health gathering.  Because we need to break that stigma.  Mental health isn't all in your's also in your brain, which makes it a physical health condition as well.  Take good care of your body, please.  Even that brain which no one seems to think about.  


Sending all of you best wishes for a very healthy brain!!

~~Wherever you are in your life right now, just remember there is more for you, there is more to you.  There are days coming that are going to show you why it was important to hold on throughout all the dark times.  You are going to surprise yourself.  Life is going to surprise you in all the right ways.  Keep going, sunshine.  It will all fall into place eventually. And if it doesn't, let it fall by the way side.  It was never yours to carry in the first place.~~  S. C. Lourie


Changes are hard enough by themselves but when you quit smoking, change means recovering from an addiction that became part of your daily life.  Or, if you need prettier words, change means breaking a habit that you established 20...30...40 years ago and did 5....10....20 times a day.


Seems daunting, doesn't it?  That's why I don't recommend looking at it that way.  Instead, remember it will fall into place just think about today.  Right now.  This present moment.  And when you are in this present moment, remind yourself that there is so much more to you than being a slave to nicotine.  Remind yourself that there is more in this moment for you than putting poison into your body.   And with those reminders, keep going.


Life is going to surprise you in all the right ways, I promise.  If you keep going and your remind yourself that there is more for you than being chained to when that next cigarette with happen, life will surprise you. If you keep going and remind yourself that there is more to you than being addicted to a substance that kills your cells...your lungs...your will surprise yourself.  You will grow stronger.  You will last longer.  You will feel better.  Because it all falls into place eventually.


And all those 'reasons' to smoke?  They will fall by the wayside.  Because you will see so much more clearly that there is no reason to turn to cigarettes.  No problem that big, no stress that uncomfortable, no heartbreak that devastating that you need to cope with a cigarette.  All those excuses, all those false scenarios, all those potential disasters will fade into nothingness because you won't need them anymore...because you won't need smoking anymore.


Please don't overwhelm yourself with thinking about quitting as a HUGE burden you have to go through.  Think about it as something that just now, you don't need to do....because there is so much more to you than that.   

~~The things you are passionate about are not random.  They are your calling.~~  Fabienne Fredrickson


My calling, I've come to understand, is helping people achieve their highest potential.  Helping them see that they are worthy of good things...that they deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion....that they matter in the world.  I'm good at it sometimes and sometimes not so good.  But in the end, people decide for themselves who they are and what they deserve in life.


That's when I get drained.  Drained of energy, drained of enthusiasm, drained of skills.  Because when a dad I'm working with decides that he doesn't deserve a good paying job....when a mom I'm working with decides she doesn't deserve to be treated with respect...when a student I'm working with decides he isn't worthy of an breaks my heart.  When people are hateful to each other, when someone is dismissed as unimportant, when I'm told to just stick to my hurts.


Yet it's my calling and I will continue to try.  My own problem comes in when I forget to take a break.  When I forget to enjoy life.  When I forget that I need to take good care of myself.  So I get drained, teary, and distant.


Yet I still show up here every now and then to remind you that quitting smoking is the very best thing you can ever do for yourself.  I show up because I don't want you to die a horrible smoke related death.  I show up here because you truly can quit.  I show up here because I used to be you and people like me showed up here for me.


Please don't think I'm uncaring.  Please don't think I'm being blasé or cold.  Please don't think I don't understand how you feel.  Quitting had squeezed out every emotion I've ever had about myself and most of them weren't good or nice or positive.  But I persisted and I hope you persist as well.


My point now that I've rattled on is that I recognize I'm not on my game here lately.  My thoughts are somewhat scattered, my posts are a bit unfocused, and I'm not talking to my friends here as I like to.  I am, in fact, burnt out in life right now.  But my bills need to be paid and my families need to be supervised and my students need to be taught and my son needs to be raised so I put one foot in front of the other.


The difference, however, is that I am also taking that 10 minutes to steal away and bask in the sunshine.  I'm taking another five to read that book I love.  I'm taking 30 minutes to do my yoga.  I'm bringing all that I love back to life little by little.


I don't feel like I have to take a vacation to rejuvenate.  I simply need to remember to bring all that I love with me throughout the day.  And one of the things I love is being here.  So have patience with me while I make adjustments to my thoughts, my actions, and my words.  


Love to you all here!  Thank you for bringing me into the light!!  No smoking (not even thinking about it), just awareness, patience, adjustments, replenishment.  Life will be fine once more.

~~Strength doesn't come from what you can do.  It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't.~~  Rikki Rogers


Have you been on the quitting merry-go-round for a while?  You quit for a few days, slip for a day or two, quit, know.  Or did you quit for 180 days (like me) and then give it all up because of stress?  Or maybe your quit date comes and goes without you stopping at all.


So what's it gonna take for you to stop smoking?


Maybe you are waiting until the stress in your life is over....or at least better.  Most stress is how we respond to situations, events, and things in our lives, it isn't life itself.  Stress will always be there when you quit smoking because your addicted brain is pushing that lie.


Maybe you are fearful of that bad news....COPD, emphysema, cancer.  Yep, you'll surely have to quit once you get that diagnosis.  Sorry to tell you that I know too many people who have that diagnosis...and are still smoking.  It's again addiction that will keep you tied to that cigarette, not events around you.


Maybe you are too depressed right now.  Too lonely.  Just not feeling like you can do it.  Maybe you are waiting for that one cure or those magic words or that one thing that will make quitting a bit easier to do.  


The one and only thing standing in between you and your quit  While you are waiting for that miracle cure, you are really just chained to your addiction.  That's all.  Because the miracle of your quit is you.  You are the cure, you are the magic.  


Quitting comes from you and only you.  And when you truly realize and recognize that fact, you will be better able to do it.  No one can do it for you.  No one can hand it to you.  No one can take away any struggles or pains or stress that comes from quitting.  


But you can.  So what's it gonna take for you to quit?  How long are you going to continue to day?  How many more days will you long for freedom but continue to smoke?  How much longer are you going to damage your lungs, your heart, your arteries, your gums, your brain?  


Understanding that you alone are responsible for your quit will help you take that next step.  Realizing that there is no easy way to quit except to just do it will help you take that next step.  Accepting that you can if you truly want to will help you take that next step.  In short, everything you need to quit is right there in you.  


Strength does indeed come from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't.  So go ahead...what's it gonna take?

~~You do not have to find yourself.  You just have to remember who you are.~~  Topez


People often begin their quits in a state of fear.  Some use negative language like "I can't do this" or "It's too hard".  Others go into their quit not understanding addiction, not knowing what to do.  Helpless.  Hopeless.  Confused.  


Maybe it's time to remember who you are.  You....that one person who always makes people feel better.  You...that one who always researches everything before deciding anything.  You....that one who brings fun into each and every day no matter what's going on. You...the one who battled inner demons and won.  You.


Go into you quits, my friends, remembering who you are.  You are strong.  You are talented.  You are capable.  You are courageous.  You are creative.  You are intelligent.


Use every positive thing about you to create a quit that fits.  You can be compassionate and nurture yourself for a while.  You can be fun and jump rope or hula hoop those craves away.  You can be a researcher and know, truly know, what you're getting into.  You can build a support system so strong relapse will slink away in shame.  You can become that warrior so magnificent that your addiction will surrender to you.  You can design a plan so powerful that every fear you had about quitting will simply melt away.


Who are you?  I don't have to know you personally to know that without a doubt, you can quit smoking.  That you have enough wise and intelligence and skills and kindness to break free of it.  I know you do.


So start your quit with everything that's good in you.  Start it with your strengths.  Start it with your wisdom.  Start it by creating the quit that fits you.  You, my friends, are always in control.  You just haven't realized it yet.  Get creative.  Remember who you are and use everything you've got to get the quit you want.  No more hesitation.  No more blind panic.  No more collapsing into the smoking world once more.


You can make this quit anything you want it to be.  Let it be a good reflection of who you are.