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2018
Thomas3.20.2010

Forever

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Mar 28, 2018

What does this word mean? You will often see on this website When you see that phrase what emotion comes up? 

 

Do you feel hope, peace, calm, release, strength?

 

Or do you feel dread, exhaustion, frustration, fear?

 

Science tells us that the whole concept of time in general - past, present, and future are all relative. 

The Illusion of Time: What's Real? 

 

I like to think of it this way - the past is gone, the future will get here in it's own good time, and all that really counts is now!

 

Forever is a series of nows!

 

It's a comfort to me at all times. I have no regrets but I do have memories and those memories taught me lessons about what I want and what I don't want, what I can control and what I can't control, who I choose to be.

 

I also have hopes and dreams - they establish my goals, my road map so to speak. But I can't make the future happen - only the present which I find helpful because I can handle this moment! It isn't at all overwhelming to decide what I will do this moment. I base that decision on my road map but I don't have to cure all future problems now - just my now. I can do that!

 

So what is my Forever Quit? It's a goal - a direction. Making it come true happens every single moment of every single day - for me that's 8 Years, 1 Week, 1 Day, 9 Hours and 15 minutes.....

one single minute at a time!

 

At this moment I choose not to smoke!

Forever is my goal that prioritizes my now.

For me: it stole my health.

Many of us had the core belief that smoking = FUN engrained in what we observed as very small children when we were most vulnerable and most malleable. Held out as the forbidden fruit yet waved literally in our faces how could any child come to another conclusion? 

That value stuck with us well into adulthood and some of us have yet to break through the belief that smoking is FUN and non-smoking is somehow boring while Ex-smoking is downright miserable - the ultimate sacrifice - to our family, to our God, even to our bodies.

The first real impression beyond the "nagging" of our well-meant but (may I admit it? - naive) families comes from the constant messages all around us about how unhealthy smoking is. My response was - but it is FUN!.

So let's take a while in quietude to see what this "fun" has cost us personally.

In order to truly motivate yourself to change your core belief, you must truly understand what impact it has on your everyday life and your life at large. Meditate or write down the answer to the following question, “How does this core belief impact my life?” For example, you might answer, “It stops me from feeling confident. It makes me anxious in public. It makes me doubt myself and hate myself. It causes me to lose friendships,” etc. 

When you look at it this way it doesn't look so much like FUN, does it?

So what is holding you back from changing this belief?

Usually the reasons involve fear of failure, fear of change and fear of uncertainty. If we have been habituated to think and behave in a certain way all our lives … what will happen if we don’t anymore? And furthermore, what will happen if we fail? Before you try changing your core beliefs you need to be able to deeply commit to the journey. By becoming conscious of what is holding you back from changing your core beliefs you will prevent self-sabotage.

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

So if my fear is false how can I disprove it? Become an observer. Observe folks who do not smoke - how do they spend their break time? How do they interact with their friends and families? How do they have FUN?

Now look around at the smokers objectively, as if you were an alien who had never seen such a thing before. Are they having fun? What about being in that smoking area gives you that impression? 

Take some real time imagining how it might be like to become an Ex-Smoker. Don't sugar coat it! Be objective. Are you going to have fun on Day 1? Well, you could decide to make the ritual of letting go of smoking Fun. Have a little Sickerette Bonfire or soak them in water and take a deep whiff! LOL! You can even sing and dance. 

OR you can trepedaciously smoke your last and let the fear build. 

One of the BEST parts of Smoking Cessation is that it is 100% your choice! I like to search out FUN!

How will it be 6 Months, One Year, 5 Years from now? Use your imagination! What kind of FUN will you be having? You have carefully observed non- and ex-smokers' ways of having FUN. What will your own personal FUN look like, feel like, smell like, taste like, sound like? Make it real! 

Will you get it 100% correct? No! That's not the point! You're not going into fortune telling - you are laying a personal road map!

Then make specific plans to bring you One Day, One Hour, One Minute at a Time closer - not to my plan - your plan! Your Quit Journey! Your FUN!

 

ExSmokers Have More FUN!

-Because They Create it Themselves!

OWN IT!

[See ExSmokers Have More FUN!]

That age old question an addict asks himself: 

Will I ever be happy again?

It's fascinating to me sitting on my 8th Anniversary to realize that there was a deep belief that 

Smobriety would be miserable and that I would never have fun again! 

What is night with my buddies when the room isn't full of smoke?

Image result for smoking dogs playing poker

I grew up with this painting in our den. Liking dogs I spent hours watching it and defining the word fun with this picture! I watched our family gatherings of getting a foursome and playing bridge all night while the ashtrays filled up.

Every home I visited the hostess would invite folks for a cigarette from her fancy cigarette box and her adorned drawing room lighter. All the gentlemen carried a silver or leather portable cigarette box in their jacket pocket with matching lighters and the ladies had little crocheted purse with pearls sewn into them - again with matching pearl and crystalline design on the lighters. Beautiful crystal ashtrays set on every living room coffee table and bedroom bureau.

Then the laughing and joking and relaxing (adult) fun began!

So friends, family, fun and happiness were all tainted with nicotine pollution before they even formed into beliefs.

 

Beliefs are very challenging to change. But I have radically changed my core beliefs about smoking. 

As a child I believed that smoking is grown-up, the forbidden fruit for kids because it brought so much beauty, happiness, fun that you had to mature into the privilege of participating (like the never spoken among adults word - sex)

[Will I get struck by lightening for saying the forbidden word?]

 

All of these memories along with my own happy memories linked to Sickerettes! When these same folks passed one by one in their 60s from one cancer or another nobody made the connection - this aunt from breast cancer, that one from leukemia, this grandfather from pancreatic cancer, that grandmother from bone cancer. - had nothing to do with tobacco - it must be those newfangled radios, tvs, telephones and other gadgets - not cigarettes. 

Doctor after doctor told us how great they were for one's health!

Image result for doctor says smoking healthy adsRelated image

 

I felt so responsible when my Mother sent me to Safeway to purchase her Cigarettes and came back with the right change! I stood a little taller when I was allowed to hang out with the smoking adults and vicariously enjoy the fun!

Good Times!

Changing such core beliefs is a huge challenge. It took Years and Years of retraining in school, on the news, through observation but it never really sunk in until I was diagnosed with Emphysema and therefore, COPD at age 52. And then serendipitously I was laid off and found my new job in Assisted Living where I daily eye witnessed the long term consequences of COPD.

At Eight Years of FREEDOM from Addiction I have learned how to filter those beaustiful, fun, happy days, from the ever present Sickerette. Much of the fun had to do with gathering, playing, sharing, yes - showing off a little, but it wasn't really that box full of dead leaves wrapping in paper and dipped into thousands of poisons!

So I don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. We really did have Fun. We really were Happy.It really was relaxing but Sickerettes are not required to make that happen. 

I kept the good and rejected the bad elements of those memories and they're still precious memories of my youth!

Image result for dogs playing poker

Smoking is not required!

[See ExSmokers Have More FUN Part II]

Allegory of the Cave

image

Socrates described a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.

 

Well, for me, that's what coming out of the smoke cloud of Addiction was like! I've been freed from the cave and have come to understand what reality is meant to be by my Creator! I look through the sunshine and see everything in a different sharper, cleaner REAL LIGHT of TRUTH! It's true that I can't get my lung function back, but I'll always be grateful to my Lord for bringing me into the Light! I'm FREE of the Chains of Slavery to Addiction which for so many years, even those short periods of time when I wasn't smoking but still mentally addicted, had me captive, believing that it was reality when in fact, it was only the shadows of a cave!!!

 

"You are the light of the World! A city set on a Mountain cannot be hidden!"

Matt. 5:14

Mt. FREEDOM

Look Around!

 

Thomas3.20.2010

Say YES to Fresh!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Mar 11, 2018

Image result for smoke cloud

 

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sun-shining day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sun-shining day

 

Oh yes I can make it now the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sun-shining day

(Ooh...)
Look all around, there's nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead, there's nothing but blue skies

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sun-shining day

It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sun-shining day

-Jimmy Cliff

 

18522017-Woman-having-fun-outdoor-enjoying-fresh-air-and-spring-green-grass-freedom-and-happiness-concept-Stock-Photo

 

Thomas3.20.2010

Control-Alt-Delete

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Mar 5, 2018

CONTROL:

Take control of your Nicotine Addiction. You are the Boss - not a dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped in thousands of chemicals. Keep in mind that thoughts are not commands! No matter how compelling you can decide which thoughts to pay attention to and which to ignore.

 

ALT:

Plan out how you will recognize and face triggers. Find alternative ways to respond rather than react to them. 

Find other ways to handle stress, boredom, anger, hunger, exhaustion, ...the list goes on.

What will you do instead?

 

DELETE:

Change people, places, things and actions that trigger you.

Don't hang with your smoking buddies especially when they are smoking.

Stop going to those smoking places and nostalgically imagining that you miss them.

Get rid of your ash trays, lighters and all other paraphernalia.

Go about your daily living differently such as drinking your coffee with your other hand or driving to work by a different route.

 

It's that simple each and every day -

Control-Alt-Delete and choose who you are becoming not who you are leaving behind!

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