Interesting enough, Smoking Cessation has led me to another simultaneous journey – Self Acceptance. By that I mean a Life of Harmony and seeking Inner Peace. When I aligned myself with my Values by quitting “the little suicide” I was already on the road to healing ME! I found the Inner Peace is what my heart really yearns for.
But where do you begin? It sounds so ominous, so lofty, most likely unachievable! ….Or is it? Smoking Cessation is Life Affirming! It begs for reclamation – for true and total recovery! And it teaches us how to begin. I discovered Positive Affirmations, Breathing, Self Compassion and Self Respect, Serenity and Acceptance of the World around me, and Self Expansion.
My perspective changed – radically. Working 80 – 100 hours a week no longer made sense to me. Family time does. The cycle of stress and stress relief seemed like a squirrel in a cage - meaningless. Fortifying what is with infinite excuses gave way to chosen change through well defined goals – step by step by step!
Nothing changed overnight! What changed was the trajectory of my Life. Setting very small doable goals day by day showed amazing results 30 days later, 60, 365….the unachievable became achievable! The limit of possibility became unlimited.
Did I believe those Positive Affirmations I began posting 5 Years ago? Not really but I was willing to give it all a chance. You know that saying Fake it till you Make it? Do I believe them now? Well, most of them, anyway! I’m still a work in progress! The key word there is progress – I am Happy with that.
I learned breathing because of COPD. I could have beat myself up for acquiring this smoking related illness but I chose to manage it instead. And central to COPD is breathing technique. Little did I know that breathing is the foundation of Mindfulness Meditation, that it relieves Anxiety, that it keeps you centered and that it can provide you with opportunity to constantly refocus on priority.
Smoking Cessation brought me to Self Compassion. I discovered Kristen Neff. I became my own Best Buddy! I no longer let others define my Self Worth. I know I am priceless especially to my good old Buddy – ME!
And interesting enough by accepting my own value, it helped me to accept others so much better – in all their messy humanity! I even came to admire their flaws as characteristics that make them unique! Perfect is boring!
I also learned to let go of guilt and shame. Guilt for smoking isn’t going to cure my COPD. Shame for not quitting sooner isn’t going to help me stay quit! Guilt and shame are in the past – not useful and unnecessary!
Since quitting smoking I have changed careers, moved into a better home, launched a nutrition plan with all home cooked meals (yes, Ladies, I do my own cooking!), began exercising for the first time in my Life, and addressed Depression and Anxiety head on! Those are just the BIG things. Just as important are minute by minute little things, as well!
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Smoking Cessation was the BEST decision I have ever made toward Self Growth and Reclamation! How can a dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped in thousands of chemicals compete with that?