Thank You For Not Smoking

1 Dec

“Everything you do to improve your physical well being will have a positive impact on how good you feel about yourself.”  Brian Tracy

Yesterday, one of my dearest friends announced that she is giving up smoking.  She explained that she is in a process of cutting back and wants to achieve greater health.  As she spoke, I noticed even her countenance had changed; relaxed, at peace.

“Anything we do ought to be a choice, not a compulsion.” she said.

It is true, our lives take on the delicious quality of deep purpose when we are actively choosing, as opposed to be compelled.  This is especially so in the case of addictions.

While I’m very proud of her decision to move towards better health, I do not usually suggest to my friends, family or clients what they should do regarding their personal habits.  Individual choice is something I honor in others, whether I agree with them or not.

Although, as far as smoking goes, I look to nature.  I have never witnessed an animal going towards fire to inhale the smoke.  In a way, smoking is the opposite of breathing.  Where oxygen in life-giving, smoking seems life-taking.

They say ‘some habits die hard’ and I have seen up close the struggles of breaking an addiction.  We develop habits, either by choice or default.  You may have started smoking to enjoy a certain social circle and now it’s a beast of a habit that leaves you with a physical longing and major sensation cravings to hold the cigarette, to smell the scent of the tobacco, to feel the relief of meeting the compulsive need.

The longer we maintain a course of behaviour, the more ingrained the habit.  Studies have shown that cravings begin to diminish 3 days after a substance has not been consumed.  So those first 3 days are crucial.  You’ll need to find ways to detach and distract yourself.  Slowing down helps.  Talking yourself through it.  Maybe take a brisk stroll, chew some gum or call a friend.

In any case, there will need to be a trade-out.  The “smoke break” you used to take has to be replaced with something you enjoy, something you look forward to.  Perhaps a “sit-down, feet-up break” is in order.  Reading a passage from your latest favorite book, checking your email or brewing up some hot tea will give you something to not only put your mind upon but relax you physically.

In Physics, there is something called a “limit cycle” that describes a state of being where there is just enough frustration and just enough reward to keep you coming back.  Sometimes we can get stuck in a pretty uncomfortable “comfort zone.”

There has to be a tipping point.  Some of us dance around this tipping point for years because the reward and the struggle of certain habits are just about equal.  That is why, for some, it takes an accident or a major illness to tip the scales in favor of one behaviour over another.

It’s all about choices.  A lady I once knew, kicked her cigarette habit by gardening.  You should have seen her backyard!  It was perfectly manicured with delicately landscaped topiary, fruit trees, flowers and a good old-fashioned vegetable garden.

Now, that’s a brilliant way to trade habits, but it may surprise you to know the same lady was once a cocaine addict.  When several stints in rehab didn’t help, she kicked her drug habit by drinking hard liquor.  Eventually, she quit drinking by smoking cigarettes.  Slowly, she traded down her addictive habits to yard work.

My point is not to suggest any of these habits but simply to remind you that wherever you are in the process of change, you can start moving in the general direction of good health.  There may be some really difficult places to go through on your way to well being.  Beating yourself up will only lock up the energy you need to move in a new direction.

Appreciate the fact that perhaps today, you are not using a substance as much as before.  Open up to yourself.  Embrace change.  Welcome risk, feelings, thoughts, pain and play.  Know that you are in the perfect place to begin anew.

2 Responses to “Thank You For Not Smoking”

  1. Brianna December 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Mmm, refreshing return to choice. *smiling and bowing*, B.


    • Lynn Van Noy December 2, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

      Thank you for your Goddess Light. ❤


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