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5 Posts authored by: Giulia Champion

Mindful Quitting Technique

Posted by Giulia Champion May 28, 2019

Try this only IF you're still smoking.  This is from a Roy Masters seminar.  It has to do with mindfulness/consciousness.


Sit down, light a cigarette, close your eyes.  

Take a puff of the cigarette but keep the smoke in your mouth.

Become aware of the taste of that cigarette.  Become aware of the poison of it.

The reason why you couldn't taste it before is because you inhaled it.  And the poison took the feeling of conflict away.

How does it taste?  (Probably not good.)


Blow it out and take another puff and hold it again in your mouth.  Taste it and know that it's poison.  Taste it but don't inhale it because when you inhale it the consciousness goes away, the awareness goes away.  You don't realize it's killing you because it's giving you a sense of false patience and peace.


Now if you remain conscious (in the sense of mindful), it will be hard for you to take the next puff.  Because it's very difficult to do the wrong thing while being conscious, if you're really aware of yourself.   The force of your consciousness won't allow you to put that  poison in your mouth.  Just be conscious every time you have a cigarette, and overcome resentments.  That same consciousness applies to resentments.  Resentment always creates anxiety.  And the next irritation turns things backwards.  Then you want to smoke to get rid of the pain of your conscience.  You need to get rid of the anxiety, the resentment. 


Consciousness decides what right and wrong is.  We know it's not right to smoke a cigarette but we aren't "conscious" when we smoke.  Once you're "conscious" it becomes much more difficult to inhale that poison.


Try it.  See if it helps.

I just bought four dogs and fixed my agitator.  Say wha?  Yup.  Saved myself a $70 service call on my washing machine.  The agitator on my top loader was no longer working properly, wouldn't draw the clothes down.  Went into my local appliance store.  Great guy owns the shop.  Said "you probably just need some dawgs."  (I thought I must have misunderstood him.)  Gave me a brief "how to" put them in, said it was real easy.  Mmmmmm hmmmm, I thought.


I didn't even know how to get the agitator OFF to begin with.  His instructions were not as thorough as I needed, so I went on line.  Spent about half an hour looking at different videos and thought I had found the one that most resembled my washer.  Got the top cover off (had no idea it just popped off, I thought it was a solid unit - mine looked like the second, flat part he took off in the video below, didn't have the water softener dispenser on top) that was real easy.  But how to unscrew the main part where the dogs needed to be replaced?  Didn't have the right tool.  Wasn't even sure what the right tool would be.  Needed something with a large square head.  Tried various things, none the right size.  


Suddenly spied the fork sitting on top of the drier that I use to open the cat food bin.  Stuck the back side of it into the square and gave a twist.  Nothing.  Kept trying, pushing down and twisting and suddenly something moved!  And YES it's unscrewing, unscrewing and voila!  Pulled the clutch unit off and there are the little dogs.  But how to get them out?  I remembered in the videos they said there was a retaining ring.  Looked like one solid piece to me.  I turn, I twist, finally used my fingernails and sure enough, there WAS a very thin retraining ring.  And I skivied it down, removed the old dogs (they really are called dogs), put in the new, cleaned up the entire inside and out of the agitator, put it all back in (found that the back side of a letter opener worked better than the fork as a screwing device)  and, holding my breath, turned the unit on.  And it WORKED!  YAY!  Doing a load of sheets as I write.  Each time I accomplish something like this, it gives me the courage to attack the next plumbing problem.


What has this to do with quitting smoking?  Everything.  We have to have the desire to tackle the problem to begin with.  Then we have to have a certain amount of curiosity.  "I want to stop smoking, how do I go about that?"  So we learn how.  We come to a support site like EX, and we read.  And read.  And read.  We study it from all angles.  We learned everything we can about it.  Then we make a plan, we follow it.  And we persevere.  We don't give up until we have accomplished the task at hand.  


And when we get through just one day, smoke free, it gives us a feeling of pride and power and gives us the courage to tackle the next day and the next.  


So don't give up if you don't get it right the first time around.  Keep working at it until you do. 


And for anyone who wants to learn how to fix your washing machine agitator....  it really is easy once you know how.  



Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Posted by Giulia Champion Oct 31, 2017




 halloween horror scary scared spooky GIF




Don't Smoke

Posted by Giulia Champion Apr 24, 2017

You might lose your head.



More Lessons Learned

Posted by Giulia Champion Apr 18, 2017

When I had my pre-op appointment with the surgeon who did my achilles surgery last week, he asked if I smoked. This is a standard question these days prior to surgery. And by doctors in general these days. I told him I had quit. He said, “good for you,” and we talked a bit about it. He explained WHY it’s good for us to quit in relation to surgery (aside for all the reasons of which we already know.) He explained that there’s a 500 fold increase in surgical complications with people who smoke. Let me repeat that - 500 fold increase in smokers.


He illuminated the lesson by speaking about a woman patient he had who had diabetes and was also a smoker. He told her she should stop smoking prior to the surgery. She didn’t. She ended up dying of a heart attack. (He didn’t say if it was during surgery or after she had gotten home.) He went on to explain that nicotine is a vaso-constrictor (narrows the blood vessels). Not only the large arteries, but the small arterioles. With a 500 fold increase in the narrowing of those vessels during surgery, you’re body is obviously under more stress and distress. It’s harder on the smaller vessels because they have less room to shrink. Also healing is impaired due to the narrowing of the blood vessels and thus lack of oxygen flow. Most of us who have done our homework on here know about this. I pass it on to those who don’t.


There is ONE benefit to smoking, however, which I learned from one of the nurses the day of my operation: it decreases the nausea potential from the anesthesia. I was given a Scopolamine patch behind my ear to prevent such because I had “two points against me.” 1) I didn’t smoke, 2) I was a woman. She said women experience more nausea than men regarding anesthesia and being a non smoker increases the potential also.  (That's all right!  I'll take that point.)   So be sure to keep smoking right up to your lung transplant to avoid nausea. (Ahem!)


Another interesting moment was when they placed a cannula over my ears with the two small prongs up the nose for added oxygen flow. I lay there thinking, wow - this is what people with severe COPD have to wear 24/7 while carrying around their small oxygen canisters. Gave me an immediate and visceral experience of what that’s like. For those who haven’t experienced it - I don’t recommend it. Quit smoking before the necessity becomes your reality.


And yet a fourth lesson - while I was being given the leg block by the anesthetist, he was talking to me and asking all sorts of questions - like what brought me to this area of the country etc. (just small talk) A few minutes later, after he had walked away, I felt my leg start to go numb and I said to the nurse, did he do the leg block? She said he had. I said I didn’t even feel it. She said “That’s because he’s real good at DISTRACTING.” Ah, so THAT’s why he was asking me all those questions. Brilliant! Reminded me of the tools we have here to stop cravings. Distract yourself by getting up and going for a walk, or learning a new skill, putting on some music and dancing, altering your focus, etc. Distracting really works to offset cravings!


If you haven't yet quit - may this help to give you an incentive to do so.  If you have, may this encourage you to maintain it!

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