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Me.....being grateful for every thing, every breath, every day of this life

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Letter & Meditation For Smokers

Beloved, I know why it is that you smoke cigarettes. You smoke because you need something to do with your hands instead of fidgeting with your fingers or biting your nails or your lip or on the end of your pen. You smoke because you need something to cool you out behind the wheel of an otherwise boring and monotonous drive to work and keep you occupied while sitting there dealing with all the idiots on the road and the never ending traffic lights. You smoke because you feel blissfully in love with that smooth deep breath in and while blowing that soothing silky breath out. It calms you. It helps you think. It relaxes you and stimulates you at the same time. You smoke because it feels like the perfect dessert after a wonderful, big meal. You smoke because it feels like being with an old friend, warm and familiar. You smoke because you originally picked up your very first cigarette in the excitement of doing something you know you shouldn't and your uptight, old and square parents think is naughty. And that feels like amazing freedom. This was one of the first choices you made on your very own, no matter what the consequences. This is true independence. And that freedom memory and sensation is addictive, not necessarily the nicotine so much. You smoke because sometimes you need a minute to yourself, alone, quiet, just inhaling and exhaling. And what other way is there to logically and normally do that without sounding like a total ding bat or a bad parent? "I need some time, just 5 minutes or so, to myself, outside, away from everyone on a rather semi-regular basis, to clear my head." If not with a cigarette, then people would think you were crazy!? You smoke because when you waitress or serve or work in a retail shop, as a stay-at-home Mom or small office, there is no other acceptable way to go sit outside, away from work and everyone, for a break and enjoy your seat, your quiet and some new air. You smoke because it is an enjoyable ritual in your daily life and it creates a bonding connection between you, and other smokers from strangers to your loved ones. You smoke because it is easy, always there for you, accessible at any gas station should you run out or run low. There is no thought required. It gives you a break from life. It gives you peace. It gives you the nourishment from attention paid to yourself, you alone and you don't have enough of that so you need to give it to yourself. Smoking is your life line and you want to never be without it, not for a movie in a theater or for an airplane ride, you want it with you all the time. You wish you could still smoke in restaurants and you wish that no one ever gave you a hard time about it. Your smoke is a veil of protection, a bubble to you where certain people, judgmental people are kept away and calm, laid-back people are welcomed in. Smoking is your release and security blanket. It means no children can be around. Only quiet. Solitude. Peace. Chill. Settled. Still. Here is the cool thing I can tell you for sure: one of the only differences between smoking and a regular meditation practice is that somewhere deep, very deep down inside, you know you should NOT be doing it and you know it controls your life and you know it is hurting you, the world and those around you. But otherwise, I propose for you to consider, that a steady, recurring meditation practice can totally be your replacement. It is, in many ways, EXACTLY the same as your relationship with smoking. Why is it that some bosses, co-workers and employers, even the ones who are non-smokers, think it is perfectly alright for someone who is a smoker to constantly take breaks to go have a cigarette? I propose for the world to begin to shift a little. If an employee of yours wants to go have a quick walk around the outside of the business or a sit down, alone on a nearby park bench, or a moment in the restroom not to go, but to REST periodically throughout the day, as much as a smoker would be allowed a smoke, LET THEM. Or if you are not a boss of anyone and simply are walking down the street or on the beach and you see someone sitting in a meditation do not pay them any mind and do not judge them as though they are some crazy Buddhist or nutty hippy. They are simply clearing their minds and giving themselves a much needed re-charge and dose of self-respect. The world needs to change the way they think of other people and their habits. So then, my lovely little smoker, if something inside of you is battling deep down to finish the never ending struggle with cigarettes or nicotine, then I tell you, with a complete promise: you can stop, with complete success. You can. You can harbor a practice of a different kind. You can. You can replace your unhealthy habit with a healthy one in a very, very similar way. I promise you can. Though you cannot close your eyes while driving, you can count your breaths with the radio turned off. You can track your inhalations and exhalations with positive affirmations. Example: I inhale more independence. I exhale the need to hold onto unhealthy habits. I inhale growth and positive change in my life. I exhale tension and aggravations. I inhale patience with people. I exhale judgments of myself and others. I inhale a new day, with new habits. I exhale the stale stench of smoky self abuse. I inhale new possibilities. I exhale feeling stuck. I inhale abundance and new forms of income. I exhale old beliefs and debt. And now you have suddenly found yourself 2 more miles down the road of your otherwise boring commute when you would have usually been smoking without really even enjoying it. A lot of times you may smoke and not even notice you are doing it. It becomes mindless, so you are hurting your body without even receiving any rewards. The difference with your new meditation practice is that you will get so much more out of those 5 minutes rather than losing something. It teaches us to be mindful and in the present moment fully rather than smoking away our life mindlessly. You are not alone. You are not the only one who struggles. If it is not smoking it is food, or drink, or drugs and sometimes for some of us it is all of the above. How many ways can we count and create NOT TO FEEL? I eat so I forget. I drink so I forget. I do drugs to go somewhere else. And on and on and on until you are at the end of your life. Either ready to die or ready to give up. No motivation. No inspiration. One or the other. And it can all change. When you replace your smoking with meditation, your body will, here and there, tell you this is stupid. I just want my cigarettes back. I just want to be easy and mindless and effortless and free again. But. The promise I can make with 100% of my being, every cell, is: that someday, with diligent practice, the ease and joy you THINK you have from your habit will be squashed totally in comparison to the joy and bliss and ease and celebration that you find in your daily life when moving toward a more responsible and healthy habit. Meditation is the gift from Divinity. We get a chance to look at a deeper place that is not obvious in the daily grind, mindless, unconscious living. It is very simple and very profound at the same time. Sometimes when you smoke, you get your best thinking done. It is the same, if not better with meditation. Though, often you are guided in meditation to NOT think, it is within a deep meditation where the most inspired ideas come into your thoughts and then reality. You can change your life. I am no doctor, psychotherapist or psychologist. I am a simple, regular, run of the mill person like you. I am person who struggles. I am person who has suffered through death, loss, pain, hurt feelings, poor self-esteem and anger. But I am telling you with all sincerity, that life can be a magic place of vitality and wonder in every single day. Just put your struggle to the side and sit in the middle of the possibility. The possibility of miracles. And breathe with me. You are not alone. And all of a sudden those miracles will become a very real part of your life. I promise. You can. It will. I promise. Start dreaming and stop smoking. I love you, Rebecca