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Thomas3.20.2010 Blog

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I Have a Dream

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 15, 2018



"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." 

As we Celebrate Martin Luther King Day, we celebrate the BEST of ourselves. We reach out for our potential BEST just as he had in his short, enlightened inspiring life! Dr. King was intelligent, yes and he was charismatic but more than that he had Faith in his fellow human being and the dream that dwelled in his mind!

While we were smoking, we had a dream that seemed so far fetched - a dream for FREEDOM! We had an inkling of our potential selves, a memory of the FREEDOM we relinquished by taking that first puff and that ever since, most of us for decades, was being puffed away with addiction.

That simple little thought made us strive for FREEDOM - the FREEDOM to be as Our Creator wishes we would be and knows we can be! Many of us have looked under every crook and cranny our our minds for the means to gain our FREEDOM until we found the PRIZE!

A few others were able to find the way more directly. And most of us are still searching but refuse to give up! We each had our own motivations for this quest for FREEDOM but what we had in common is the goal! We were motivated by the fact that "a lie cannot live" and we knew on some level (some more conscious than others) that we were living a lie. 

 To reach that goal takes a lot of human fortitude.  As MLK said, "Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our FREEDOM."

Too many people see quitting as an event, just as today's celebration is an event and back to "business as usual" tomorrow! But quitting brings change and change is not inevitable! We must straighten our backs and work our quit journey each and every day. That's a BIG ticket so it can only be done one day at a time, giving just for today commitment, focus, and determination - keeping always our eyes on the prize - FREEDOM and remember these words, "I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars."

Many of us have EXperienced the very personal loss of one or more family member, friend, loved one due to the wicked consequences of smoking related illness. It's absolutely devastating! And some of us have been struck down, debilitated, even left disabled, by smoking related illness. I happen to be one of them. If at times, our voices are shrill, it's because we wish to spare you!

We want you to see past the Addictive lie that "smoking is a harmless vice", to know that smoking related illness is very real! But life isn't about not dying - it's about living well! Again, MLK said, "Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!" he said those famous words on April 3, 1963. On the next day, he was assassinated.

I won't begin to speak for the other elders who continue to visit this site - I speak for myself alone, but these words perfectly EXpress my thoughts when I come here again and again and do my best to share my DREAM of FREEDOM for all of you, for all people caught up in the lie of Nicotine Addiction!

Yes, folks, this struggle we are in is just as life and death, just as critical to the dignity of living as MLK's! And yes, I gladly give the BEST of myself when I come here and ask, "Wouldn't you like to live in FREEDOM? I, Thomas, have seen the Promised Land and believe that we, as a Community, will get there!

Join me! I will walk beside you and together we will go up the mountain called FREEDOM!"


Hocus Pocus

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 9, 2018

Don't believe everything you read or hear! 

I hate to admit it because pharmaceuticals do a lot of life saving good - no doubt about it! But they're also very BIG corporations that want profits! And they're very good at propaganda.

And Tobacco Corporations who supply NRTs - well, don't get me started!

Now please don't jump to conclusions - I'm speaking here about me, OK? 

If you choose to use NRTs or pharmaceuticals then that's your business and just fine with me - as long as you don't smoke!!!!

If you are still making up your mind, consider this:

What Message Should Smokers Get about Cessation?

  • There is good news about cessation: in a growing number of countries, there are more ex-smokers than smokers.
  • Up to three-quarters of ex-smokers have quit without assistance (“cold turkey” or cut down then quit), and unaided cessation is by far the most common method used by most successful ex-smokers.
  • A serious attempt at stopping need not involve using NRT or other drugs or getting professional support.
  • Early “failure” is a normal part of trying to stop. Many initial efforts are not serious attempts.
  • NRT, other prescribed pharmaceuticals, and professional counselling or support also help many smokers, but are certainly not necessary for quitting.

[Source: The Global Research Neglect of Unassisted Smoking Cessation: Causes and Consequences ]


So how much more Successful are you using BecomeanEX and Smart Turkey? 

A Smart Turkey

All you need for testimony is our ELDER'S LIST! Pretty darn impressive. And yes, some of us used NRTs and Pharmaceuticals but most important of all we made a commitment to N.O.P.E. Not One Puff Ever! And we have shared every possible scenario you can imagine! From Family disasters to illnesses and deaths to job loss and mental health challenges to smoking spouses and name it!

You know all that time you spent smoking? Well, maybe you haven't even thought about it yet but it calculates out to 1-3 hours a day! You can spend that time right here reading, reading, reading! You can write blogs every hour if you wish! You can comment anywhere you go. In the upper right hand corner you can type anxiety, for example, and pages of Blogs pop up. 

When you find somebody you relate to visit their page and you can see everything they wrote - all of it! There's a filter where you can reverse oldest to newest and follow their journey. 

Go to Best of EX if you haven't already. 

And check out Celebrations where  you'll find the Freedom Train and Daily Pledge. 

We have everything you need - just come as you are - willingly!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 6, 2018

Ever feel compelled to just haul back your fist and slug somebody? You may even have felt your hand ball up into that fist - and then when the split second of decision came, you didn't!

What stopped you? 

I can think of one specific instance. I really could have let it swing! But I didn't! In the gap between getting ticked and slugging I made the decision that it wasn't worth it. I chose not to be the person that let's it rip! Those aren't my values. 

I also thought of the consequences - jail and a permanent record would not be my choice and the possible satisfaction just wasn't worth it!


It's the same with smoking. You will feel super compelled to smoke! I'm not making light of that! I know - I felt it, too! 

But does smoking fit in with who you want you to be?

Are you willing to live with the consequences of addiction and probable smoking related illness? is it really worth it? 

Withdrawal isn't caused by Quitting - it's caused by Addiction. That's why no matter how many times you Quit, you Withdraw every single time. 

Withdrawal doesn't kill anybody. It's uncomfortable. It takes  focus and determination. But there is not a single smoker who can not quit. One single minute at a time. 

Don't think through all of this while you're in the middle of a crave. Think ahead - get a plan. Make a promise to yourself based on the fact that you decide to stay Smoke FREE! Then when the moment comes - honor your commitment and keep them away from your face! 

Simple, not easy! But doable!

Decision is the ultimate Power!

Or April Fool's Joke?

PMI wishes you and your Family a Year full of Disease and Death!

Happy New Year - $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Commentary: Philip Morris Isn't Really Quitting Cigarettes | Fortune 



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 5, 2018

Even some sites tell you that with enough willpower you can succeed at smoking cessation.

Intuitively it sounds reasonable. But let's take a deeper look.

Folks regularly cite lack of willpower as the No. 1 reason for not following through with their Quits. 

That's because you can try your best to white-knuckle your way through your Quit and you may make it - for a few Weeks but it's exhausting!

Like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up a hill nonstop - eventually you just collapse and let the boulder roll over you!



This is because what you are fighting against is - yourself!

After the first 3-5 days the nicotine is out of your system! So you are not fighting Nicotine!

You are fighting your own Addictive Brain! You are fighting yourself! 

How can you fight yourself without losing - no matter how much you win?

Until you face, learn to understand and care for that Addictive You it cannot heal!

Health comes from nourishing the healthy parts and letting go of unhealthy actions - and then thoughts - and then feelings.

You will change! Recovery is change! Give yourself the willingness to change - people, places, and things, and most important of all, yourself!

It's all good! As you go through the process you'll have way more time to relax!

Deadly sickerettes are not required! isn't that what you keep hoping sickerettes will give you? 

Think about it - Have they kept that promise, really?

Smoke Free relaxes everything!


Calming Quititude

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 1, 2018

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~Victor Frankl


Quititude means an attitude of Success. It comes from searching for and riding the waves of accomplishment, noticing incremental successes such as making it through this craving (3-5 minutes) and mentally acknowledging and congratulating myself for having done this.

It also includes letting the waves of triggering events, people and places wash over us without hooking into or getting swept up in the response that feels so compelling. 

So how do we make this happen? It all sounds appealing but easier said than done. Or is it?

Perhaps if we knew a different approach than the same old, same old we could learn and practice a new way of first, recognizing and then initiating and practicing and finally to adopting it. What does it hurt to try, anyway?


Take a moment right now to practice:

1. Play the Freeze Game

You remember that game we played as children? Do that now. Halt your body, thoughts and emotions. Think of yourself as a cartoon character that’s been hit with a stun gun or place yourself in a Star Trek episode.

2. Focus on your left index finger.

For twenty to sixty seconds, concentrate exclusively on the back of your index finger. Let all of your attention be consumed by it.

Bring it closer to you. Study the rivets, creases, and those tiny little fingerprint lines. Pretend that you've never seen this finger before and get to know it's every detail. Let all else fade out of focus.

3. Take a conscious breath.

Let go of your glance and check back in with your body. Take a deep, conscious breath in, then let it go through your mouth, slowly and calmly, creating a wave of relaxation that starts in your chest and floats out through your being to the surface of your skin. I imagine a blue light that is born from my heart and radiates throughout each cell of my body.

4. Look around consciously.

As you refocus on your surroundings, scan the scene in front of you. Remain as nonjudgmental as possible with what you focus on the way you would when waking up in the morning.

Take conscious note of the thoughts that are trying to push back into your head and observe them with an attitude of curiosity.

How do you feel?

You might now feel a little more in touch with your senses, distanced from previous thoughts, and connected with the present moment.

Most importantly, you’ll recognize that the root of your discomfort is your thoughts. Everything else, like emotions, and physical discomfort, and pain, start there.

Spend another minute focused on the same finger, in the same way. Doing this will associate (or anchor) the feelings of clarity, relaxation, and attachment with the action of focusing on your calm presence and open the gap between stimulus and response so you have the space to decide what you choose to do instead of being dragged into action by those compelling thoughts.

We have the power to reset our attitude at any time - not just from day to day but minute to minute. We decide who we wish to be.

I wish to be a Happy Quitter!

For those of you who are among the new Members of our Community or renewing your efforts to make 2018 your Year of FREEDOM here's another way of looking at your Quit!


Even the word speaks of what not to do! When we begin our Quit Journey we don't want craves. We don't want Addictive Thoughts. We don't want temptation. We don't want withdrawal symptoms. the list goes on and on...


But humans deal quite poorly with this frame of mind. 


What do you want? Make a list of what you want and expect from your Quit Journey. That is an action.


I wanted first and foremost better health, improved breathing, I also wanted more money, addiction freedom, making my own decisions, living my values, honoring my family, my God. We all have our own list - just get started - the list will come and in a short while quite easily!


Make a plan of how you will handle the triggers you are aware of. 


I changed the people, places and things I associated with my Addiction. I practiced saying, "I need to leave" for times I would be confronted with triggers. I sought out and opened up to people who supported me in my Quit Journey. I made a list of things to do that would keep me distracted during the 3-5 minutes that a craving lasts. I had 2 strategies: don't look for trouble and when it comes to find me have a way out.


Fill your mind with Quititude.


Yes, you will have all kinds of smoky thoughts. so there are two things I did. I purposely filled my mind with Quititude and I practiced letting the Addictive Thoughts pass in through and out of my Brain without attention. My attention was on Quititude instead.Meditation helped me here. 


Create Ceremony. and Ritual.


I had an ending addiction/beginning abundance ceremony that fit my belief system. There is a lot to be said for ceremony - it's awfully hard to crumble when your promises are sealed with ceremony! Riding the Freedom Train and making your Daily Pledge are ceremony. Posting every single day is ceremony. It has meaning that will lead you to your goal. 

Celebrations & Events

Daily Pledge


Change your Lifestyle.


Contrary to common opinion, changing lifestyle across the board is more doable than just one thing. From exercise to nutrition, from time spent with Family to how we spend our work breaks - I let it all contribute to my Quit Plan so that it wasn't +++ into an unachievable perfection but an enhancement of my #1 Goal: Abundant Smoke Free Living!


Take Action - not avoid the action of smoking - that's a white knuckle Quit and unsustainable!

Take Action - not reaction to an overwhelming compulsion to smoke but a proactive approach to LIFE!


Let 2018 be your YEAR of FREEDOM!

We have 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day. When you are new to quitting smoking or even contemplating quitting it feels like all of these thoughts are about cigarettes, smoking and how gooooood it would be to have just one right now! It doesn't matter that we rationally know that this is total bologna - the thoughts are there!

So if you have decided to make 2018 your Year of Freedom you may be struggling right now with these thoughts. 

Here's something else you can think about:

Positive Affirmations and Support

When I was new to my quit I copied these on my computer, printed them, cut then down to size and posted them all over my house, car, even at work. There's something there for anyone and everyone.

You can't stop those smoky thoughts but you can tilt the scales with thoughts that support your Quit!

Give it a try!

Yet another study confirms what we say over and over again here. NRTs, Chantix. and Bupropion will not work if you don't work your Recovery! It's like asking a Heroin Addict if he quit with Suboxone. 

If you decide with your Doctor to use these quit smoking tools, Great! But you and you alone can Quit Smoking and not with Willpower! 

BecomeanEX and BecomeanEX Community have very specific, doable, proven methods that will show you how to change your behaviors so you can Succeed. Read, read, read! The folks who embrace the BecomeanEX program and listen to those who have quit before them become the 6%ers for those who follow. 

Study: Medications Alone Don’t Help Smokers Quit 

You need knowledge, support, and lifestyle change. It's all right here!

Become an EX! You really can!

Christmas can be stressful and if you haven't Quit Smoking yet you may think that this sure as heck isn't the time to Quit! I get it!

But you can give yourself a marvelous Christmas Present just the same. 


Decide on a Quit Date!


It doesn't have to be the traditional January First New Year's Resolution thing - just decide right now on a fixed date. Then go to the Quit Plan part of BecomeanEX and start the prep for your New Life!

You can do this! We will be here for you! Make the commitment!

Restore true Peace and Joy in Living!

Merry Christmas to YOU!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 19, 2017

Sometimes I have felt hope sliding away. I just didn't care much to do the right thing. I asked myself, "What's the point? Nice guys finish last." My mind was filled with pollution. I was an Addict and so what?!

There's something kind of smart aleck about an attitude such as that. An Addict would maybe think it's cool. 

Well, it's a good front for the despair, lack of hope, the laziness underneath!

It's easy to not give a darn. It's also immature!

Real courage, real guts comes from a Life worth living. That's hard work sometimes!

It takes perseverance, responsibility, soul searching to value the Life that was given me. 

That's where Viktor Frankl comes in. 

For those of you who don't know who Viktor Frankl is - he was a Psychoanalyst who came up with a new branch of Existentialism called Logotherapy. Then in 1942 he was taken by the Germans in WWII and thrown into a concentration camp. His wife and parents were taken too and perished. Frankl suffered as much as any human can imagine and  by miracle he survived to tell about it. Frankl lived until 1997. 

When I get down I read Frankl. Who else knows - there's nothing you can come up with that beats it - knows what it means to live - to survive?

Frankl's most well known book is called Man's Search for Meaning. It takes a few hours to read it even if you read slow. 

If you wonder why you should bother caring about life pick up this book. He'll set you straight. 

We all have a responsibility to stop killing ourselves with Sickerettes.

Whatever it takes, however you can, never ever Quit on your Quit! It's about Living in Freedom!


Crave Antidotes

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 15, 2017

When you are in a crave it may seem like it will last forever. Once you have hooked into that Nico-thought, you can get swept away in the feelings of addiction and it's much harder to unhook - but it is doable.

Often we interpret the feeling of nicotine withdrawal as stress and by immediately addressing this stress in alternative ways we can curb the crave and redirect our thinking for the  - I know you don't believe it - 3 minutes the crave lasts. 

Here are some escape hatches to use in that minute when you notice the crave: 

Whatever it takes just keep in mind that thoughts - no matter how compelling - are not commands! You can decide to let the thoughts travel on and also decide what your next thought will be. 

A good place to begin is with your breathing. It takes practice. Practice several times a day when you find your mind wandering. Stop and remind yourself that you are in control of your thoughts and choose your next thought. It's really quite simple and easy. But you need to practice between times you need it so when the time comes you just go there automatically.

And remind yourself - I am in control. Nicotine has no power over me!



A Happy Birthday!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 14, 2017

I recognize that I've been a bit (OK a lot) morose lately but today I will say not one more word about that!

Today I turn 60 years old. I have lived many wonderful, adventurous, exciting, fulfilling years. I have had the fortune to meet the love of my life and to have 2 extraordinary sons with her. And these last two years have fulfilled my deepest dream - to become a grandfather of 2 absolutely delightful granddaughters.


But my biggest accomplishment - the best decision of my life - was to put an end to addiction in my life! When I knew that I was going to quit smoking I didn't know that. I thought it was the better of 2 very bad decisions - smoke myself into an early grave or suffer deprivation of my one pleasurable vice and suffer the constant stress of wanting one - just one - to help me cope with tough times. Black and white thinking! Or better said black and blacker thinking.


I was so wrong! My Addicted Mind had lied to me for so many years that I no longer even had an inkling of the truth!


By following the simple plan of BecomeanEX I did what we all have to do fundamentally - I did not take one puff ever no matter what! I showed up and read. I educated myself on Nicotine Addiction and Recovery and applied what I learned. I allowed myself to hear Allen Carr's The Easy Way and I worked not just my smobriety - I worked my Recovery!


And I allowed myself perhaps for the first time in a very, very long time to become vulnerable. Not much but some. I exposed my true self from around the edges of research and quoted affirmations - from other people's words and generalizations. Dare I let these total strangers get to know me - Thomas - the doubter? What the heck! It's only the internet so why not? 


So what does this have to do with Nicotine Addiction? I will only speak for myself here so take what you need and leave the rest. I was an addict who smoked in order to belong while hiding my true self from others. We could share superficialities while we shared our fix. I was wrapped up in nico- lies that hid me not only from others but even from myself. I could hardly tell you who I am. That was Thomas the Addict.


This ability to become my true Self, to accept my true Self, to respect my true Self, to dare to love my true Self was the most precious gift of my Quit Journey - so far. To be humanly imperfect and vulnerable and yet acceptable, at least passable, among my peers.


Nicotine Freedom gave myself back to me. By taking away that smoke cloud and twisted addictive lying and deceit I was faced with the most fundamental truth of all - Invention is the Mother of Necessity! I had to learn to give up my immature lies about myself and face reality in a way I hadn't when I first started smoking. I had to learn to know myself for who I am and to grow into my Self - God's creation - a believer in Salvation. It's almost like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. And I had to learn to take off the many masks I hid behind little by little in this safe Community and not only show strength, knowledge, understanding as well as empathy, caring, and compassion - I had to show my darker side - weakness, doubt, fear, self loathing, vulnerability. 


I had to grow into the man that I am today. I am here for you , for me, for all that releases us from the bondage of addiction. I can hold my head high and look people in the eyes with true honesty without judgment. I can celebrate all that has been good and bad in these 60 years. I can celebrate this day, this moment in all it's reality and imperfections. I can celebrate this moment of sharing with you - my friends - in honesty who I really am right now! No more lies, no more hiding, just me with you celebrating 21900 days on this Earth and 2826 days of Freedom to be myself - Free of Nicotine!


There are no words to capture my gratitude to Legacy and the EX Community for their support in my quest for Freedom! You know who you are - from my oldest friends on the first day I blogged to my newest - who provide me with so much to learn from them. There's no better way to learn than from teaching. That's a core value I've had for as long as I've known. And it still holds true!


Thank You for being my Friends!


At the End of the Day

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 13, 2017

At the end of the day it's up to you!

You can consult your Doctor. 

You can call the Quit Line.

You can read The Easy Way by Allen Carr.

You can put on your patches, chew your gum and take your chantix - all at once even.

You can get hypnotised, acupunctured, reikied, and shrunk.

You can come here and tell us how much you love to smoke, how much harder it is for you than anybody else who ever smoked, how hard it is to withdraw, to resist, to get your dopamine, to exercise, to live with the stress....

And at the end of the day it still comes down to you!

You have to make the unshakable decision every single minute of every single day of your Quit -

Not One Puff Ever!

Smoking is simply not at option!

I don't do that anymore! 

Not in public, or drunk, or behind closed doors, or in my car where nobody's watching, or just this once because....

We can lead you to FREEDOM but you decide to drink - or not!

Smoking is killing me sloooooooowly - and I quit almost 8 years ago!

Your choice!

Killing Me Softly with His Song
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style
And so I came to see him, to listen for a while
And there he was, this young boy, a stranger to my eyes
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd
I felt he'd found my letters and read each one out loud
I prayed that he would finish, but he just kept right on
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly, with his words


Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Dec 11, 2017

How many of us have laughingly said, "Well, I have to die sooner or later! I might as well go out enjoying myself!" as we lit up another one? "Let's have another Cancer Nail. What the heck?" Black humor, indeed.

But I found this particular Nico-Lie much more difficult to refute in my mind. You see, I quit smoking 6 Days after being diagnosed with COPD - a progressive, incurable, smoking related illness.

Beating the Odds!

So in my mind, "Why shut the barn door after the cows are out?" as we used to say in Kansas. 

But I did Quit and in just 6 Days. 

So how did I defeat the Nico-Lie?

You can't ignore or deny it - it will gnaw at you in it's secret lair deep within your subconscious. You have to look it straight up and call a spade a spade!

You can't fight it! The more you fight with your own personal Nico-Lies the more attention and therefore Power you give to it!

At the time my need to resist it was stronger than my ability to see another way; the fear of not resisting it was stronger than my Faith of having support to walk past it.

I realize that non-resistance is a big challenge but it leads to acceptance which leads to release. I  then had the ability to see the lie pass through my head like just another thought so insignificant that I barely took notice of it!

To me at the time it felt like a sort of surrender - making myself even more vulnerable to the Lie.

But on the contrary, when I took the leap of Faith - accepting that yes, I did have that thought and yet letting it float it's twisted way into and out of my mind just like most of the other 70,000 thoughts of the day - gave me back my Power to determine what is significant in my Life and what I value. This my own most painfully believable Nico-Lie became insignificant.

Truth pierced my Addicted Mind and shined through me! Yes, we will all die sooner or later. Yet we were still commanded to be Stewards of our bodies, minds and souls by our Creator. Defying my Heavenly Father was sinful not enjoyable. {I speak here only for myself - my truth - so take what you like and please leave the rest!)

Not what the heck? What the Heaven!!!


I had better ways to spend my attention! Ways that I chose because I can when I put my mind to it!

Like Thanking the Almighty for showing me the Light of Truth and setting me FREE!