By Eric Freeman, CMT
Some say the salt of the earth is the spice of life. Others agree that cigarettes and nicotine are their own true spice, and some would agree the spice should extend life. For so many still, cigarettes are the spice …I used to inhale tar filled cancer sticks every day on the day, with no vacation, approximately 15 times a day, since I was 16 year old young boy.
When the Mayor of New York City, and me at age 21 a young college student at Hunter, heard Rudolf Giuliani interject a statement. The mayor called every smoker in NYC, the Empire State, a slob. I became frantic in rush a rush of anger and livid at this remark of given madness. Then through peaceful reflection and pensive examination, his call,I eventually came to an understanding of the mayor’s position. The message must of trickled down through the various media channels….My habits soon after the mayor’s message became alive and commonly understood I felt dirty, unhealthy, and a contribute polluting the common environment of my fellow New Yorkers- smoke and rubbish placed on our sidewalks and city pavement . butts and ashes all over the place. what slobs. It took one word “slob” from a respected dignitary in power to enlighten me to seek the arrest of my cigaret addiction . My epiphany came. I have the choice to become a quitter, a citizen non-cigaret smoker.
Some have no choice but to go cold turkey through the harsh level of imprisonment, such as jail cells, and becoming an inpatient at a facilities or hospital. Honestly, in some cases patients and clients are at least given the patch to deal with-in their captive environments. We have the freedom to have choice many of them by the service of justice in in the U.S.A.
The first key for me to stop and the most important step was because I wanted to.
“God grant me the serenity to except the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Working with this prayer, the serenity prayer, influenced my processes of wise discrimination. when my will started to bend to light up, it did just that it was able to bend… A branch that becomes stiff and brittle will not bend, it will snap, under pressure. The serenity prayer was one prayer and tool in my coping box to stop smoking cigarettes and to be able to bend and not to snap. Creating a new life style by being persistent, passionate, rejuvenating, enduring- both physically, psychologically, and spiritually- challenged -authority of my inertia- to grow forth in to a new model for equanimity, and freedom from the slave days to cigarettes.
I told my self it did not matter why I started. I told my self therapeutically I had no one to blame for my addiction but my self, and only my self. No one had put a loaded pistol to my head and told me to. It’s easy to place blame on other people and be angry and challenge for a revenge. Cretin events and causal factors are worth fighting for. I will not deny this, this causal energy in my life was 99 .99 percent my cause, my epiphany, and responsibility, to work on by giving more respect to a given body.
Instead of a smoke, I began to concisely reach for my education as a substance abuse councilor (C.A.S.A.C)in training, and as a yoga practitioner, Buddhist, and t’ai chi practitioner, Chi Gong and as well looked to a higher power. All my practices and Jewish heritage, and direct ancestor worship, brought me closer to the source, and to faith trusting the cradle of the universe as well as my own free will. If this is your struggle and you have tried e-cigarettes, the patch , Chantex, or do not desire any of these options- the natural remedy of human technology is an option. If you are one of those people who say I can quite any time, do it now.
Our greatest neural plasticity evidence is learning to go with and against our human nature and flow and adopt through nurture.. by nurturing my self with radical acceptance and compassion, I worked with my nature of cigaret addiction, and choose to stop. I did my best. When I apparently failed, just like I learned from meditation school, don’t judge, learn, witness, and just do it, again and again, and keep coming back to the right way. Your right way of effort and action. And if one has not found the right way keep seeking, listening and learning. As long as he or she keeps seeking he or she will find an answer . As my good friend, a poet friend, Who said in an supernal manner to me, “There are no problems only Solutions.”
If one is left branded can he or she become right brained? How can this be done?
If one looses their right hand can he or she become a left handed through nature?
This is a question of nural plasticity
“Yoga therefor, is not involved with fascinating about the impossible. Rather, it is an extremely practical method for living up to our highest potential through systematic training and profound transformation of our human conscious… Having grown accustomed to seeing ourselves as incomplete or lacking in some fundamental way, it does not cross our mind to look toward our own inner resources our inner strength, for a solution to our difficulties, instead we think that something in the outer environment if possessed somehow, will give us what we want… high rate of alcoholism, divorce, and suicide in the so called devolved nations of the world shows that mere materiel possessions do not not satisfy restlessness”-Lama Yeshe-
First I said to my self ok I’m going to quite cold turkey. I did that an absolute fire method. that method did not work out so well. I reached into my councilor box again. and went for the water method or rather the way of systematic desensitization and compassion . I went from 15 cigarets a day slowly, slowly through trail and error. 15,14,12, 10, 6,5,6,5,10,3,2,2,1,1,2,2,1 and then 0 ignition. Instead of a smoke break I take a “ice green tea break” or just go out for a walk. Allowing my self that time I used for a smoke break, however I employed the break mindfully and constructively. I used to find smoking cigarettes, besides the oral and physical happiness ,quite a relaxing way of meditation.
Substituting yoga, tai chi, meditation, and mid fullness, I learned from Buddhism, I began to gravitate to physical exercise and mental exercise which concentrates to health and enhanced life experience. The first thing I did when I wake up in the morning is rise pea and meditate. I would move on to a tai chi routine, go to work as a weightier at an assisted living home, were about 70 percent of the staff smoked cigarettes. On my lunch break I would occasionally go back to smoking, however I feel in love, with yoga and tai ch, mindfulness and meditation. They helped me feel beautiful, strong and aware. I would do it on my lunch break, instead of hanging out in the smoke pit killing time. I came home would watch TV and also commit my self to a yoga, tai chi, chi gong routine at night . Most nights after dinner I would be tempted to light up and for a log time could not fight it. cigarette substituting, for health became satisfactory. Breathing correctly meant more to me then inhaling the daemon of cigarette smoke.
My friend Oleg, a Russian circus performer, who I meet at Hunter College, had a life style that entailed fire eating. My friend is into health and compassion, however he is still a smoker, guess why? I ask my self this hypothetical what if?What if I was asked to be in a movie as a actor who had to inhale lots of smoke? I would for awesome pay check and art, go back to my smoking and keep it as a style cane for a running time. The real challenge would come, to use the above methods to come back to the chosen reality of a non smoker. In reality I still allow my self to enjoy a cigar on occasion.
looking and perusing on the web there are many testimonies about how yoga has been a main contribution to the cessation of smoking cigarettes. There are testimonials from the practitioners of the Dhan Yoga movement to be looked at as one example. Through the prescription and suggestion of researching. It is inferential knowledge at this point to most smokers. To me the knowledge and practice and prowess of yoga, tai chi, mindfulness, chi gong, Buddhism, and meditation 100 perfect increased my chances to quite. Just my attitude alone -respecting my body, mind, and spirit was enough to give my new respect for my health and protecting the life force. I new I was done smoking cigarettes when I had no desire to carry, buy, or be moved to smoke a cigarette again, even if I saw another smoker or was offered to hang and smoke a cigaret. The behavior change, and thinking changes all came along and to this day has left it’s indelible mark and a standard I’m living up to with a passion. I used to weight 300 lbs and today I’m down to 240lbs that’s another story I’d like to share one day. My goal weight is 200lbs, it is a life long comment and not exactly a diet but a way to live. I went on a non-smoking diet and stopped, and found a lively hood.
This millennium age is an age of profound answers, questions, and choice. As The United States continues to protect our great American freedoms. Speech, and religion are both protected by our American Constitution . The right to practice Yoga today as well as t’ai chi, mindfulness, Buddhism are granted by our constitution. In other countries and at such times practices had to be done in extreme trying darkened secrecy. Today it seems like there are more yoga places then there are McDonald’s. Yes we can!
Victor Frankel a Psychiatrist and holocaust survivor
Said,” For any how there is a way.”