introducing William

I rarely question my assignment. Today I was given the job I’ve been preparing for. Everything is ready, T’s have been dotted, I’s crossed, and assignments handed out. I am to hang with an 8-year-old boy named Tim.  Anna, Tim’s sister just came back over a few days ago. She only had 12 years on Earth this time, but she did her job quicker and better than most. I spent some time with her when she first arrived back home. She will be at or above my own level. She did well on Earth. She gets to rest for as long as she desires then it is off to work she goes.  I love how she calls me Will instead of William. I believe this is going to be a beautiful, powerful friendship.

Most don’t take much time off. Some choose to retire, but no one lasts long at that. There are so many people who need our help. Speaking of help I should go down to Tim, my newest assignment.  With Anna leaving him for a bit, I have (my) work to do.

Anna made me laugh the first time I met her. She told me she has already been testing her family. She was able to assign her brother, Tim to the Angels’ baseball team. Anna’s Mom noticed that right away, and that night Anna sent Tim a dream. Tim recalled this vivid dream and shared it with his Mom. They were able to smile together. I guess Anna is declining her opportunity to have a break. Only the best do that.

Anna might have chosen the body of a child this time, but she is such a strong old soul, full of wisdom. I am going to be proud to have her as my newest companion. With this family I got assigned to way back when, Anna’s insight will be invaluable.  That’s not to say with all my preparation and dedication I can’t hold my own, just that more help reaches further.

Catherine and Emily. For the longest time I thought I had them.  When I left my body, they truly believed in me and my power. I proved it to them using that JH dude. Twice!Over the years they have stumbled a bit. I think Emily might be on her way back to believing I am there. It’s taken some time, but she is starting to see the signs I’ve been sending her. I was pretty subtle for a while, then the Senior dude visited. The Senior dude told me to hit her with a biggie. Not too big though.“She needs to WAKE UP!!!!” She recovered nicely from that sign and now I believe I have her back.

Jax and Catherine. Well they are going to take more time. They will be open to me soon though. As long as I have the whole team playing, rookies included. They will hear us. As long as she stays open, They are gonna have to listen to Emily. Since Anna and I teamed up,  It is almost as if Emily forgot to lock her door.  I am also proud of how outspoken she has become.  She has found her voice. This family is very special to me. They have so much work they still need to do. I sometimes wish we could get things done all by ourselves. But then again, it wouldn’t be right or much fun for any of us.

“It amazes me the racket the Senior Man has going on in relation to tHis family. He’s got me working with Anna in Sue’s house, while Clarence is in Canada convincing Hollow to motivate Emily to try on her appropriate funeral attire. Meanwhile Gabriel is in Pennsylvania, reminding Base, to remind Emily about us.” PHEW!!!! Busy, Busy, and Busy.

I’ve been waiting all day for Emily to ask for me to come with her tonight. The Senior Man wants us all there tonight. Everyone!!!! This Anna must be pretty special to him to bring out all stops like he is. I can’t wait to work with her more.

A message arrives, “Well would you look at that? Emily is asking for my help. This is way cool, she hasn’t asked for my help in a long time. I love it when they ask me to visit. I love them so much. Helping them is so much more fun when they know I am around. I know I am doing my job right when they feel me near. They do still have that free will crap the Big Ole One gave them. It is sometimes tough to work around.”

This story was supposed to be about Tim. Everything happens for a reason they say. The Senior Dude wants me to hang out with Tim all day. Or, for as long as he needs me. I must say, I have enjoyed my brief hiatus. Given the choice though, I’d much rather be working and spending time with the ones I was given. They can be so much fun. I feel like I’ve been on vacation forever.

Back in the saddle again as some might say. “I’m just gonna say thanks for the work Senior Man. I am so looking forward to your newest assignment.”

Enough documenting, it is time to visit Tim. I love working with kids. I have always loved them. They are so much more open to my suggestions than the older ones. This should be a fun day for me. Anna’s got her hands full with her Mom, Dad, and sisters. She will appreciate the time I spend with Tim.

“All I know is that this assignment involves the color purple. They never tell me more than I need to know. I just go with it and it all will be well. Plus, in time, when I find everything out, it will be breathtaking. Can breathtaking be a feeling?  If it can, then it is.”

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21 days to freedom

Recently I have been doing a lot of work with mindfulness. I figure if it can help me with other areas of my life, why not with smoking.
I “accidentally” stumbled across an App that uses mindfulness as a way to quit….

My first attempt at quitting, I used an unconventional method. I did very well for 6 months. I had no defense against stress and smoked. The second time, Patches did nothing to help me. I do not chew gum and the thought of a lozenge sickens me. I do not need or want another med.
Everything I have seen in this app so far makes complete sense.  I learned right away that nicotine leaves your system rather quickly. So nicotine replacement makes no sense.  Why not just decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke day by day. This is possible with help. Other methods do not teach me about the habit of smoking and how to rid myself of it.

On day 1 I kept track of how many times I smoked and found it to be a lot lower than expected. I have done a lot in the last few years to decrease the amount I smoke and apparently it was working. Now to rid myself of them completely.
In just one day of using this App, I have already learned things about myself and smoking. I always thought I smoked because I was addicted to them and it was a habit. The first time I smoked mind fully, I realized it gives the illusion of calming me.

I do not want to suffocate to death. That is my future if I do not quit. I believe using mindfulness to stop is my best option.  Not only am I learning how to use mindfulness to quit, I have incredible online support via this App.

I tried hard to meet todays (day 2) goal of mindfully smoking every cigarette. I found this to be a bit difficult at times. I would start my cigarette concentrating on the cigarette, then notice I had moved into autopilot. I would then as non judgmentally as I could, bring my focus back to the actual cigarette.

On Day 3. I started the day like all others. With a coffee and a cigarette. This time I also brought my phone with me so I could see what was in store for me today. After debating with myself, I put my cigarette out so I could follow along with the body scan exercise. I found it to be difficult to focus on the scan knowing that I had a cigarette a few inches from me waiting to be smoked.
Having the rest of my first cigarette of the day waiting for me definitely affected my ability to concentrate on the exercise.  I will do things different next time.

 

I learned If I have to make a phone call I smoke. I learned I can crave a cigarette within minutes of just having smoked one. I crave a cigarette before I finish dinner. The RAIN exercise will come in very handy in these situations as well.

I picked a quit date as suggested. 3 weeks from when I started using this App. At first I thought 3 weeks wasn’t going to be long enough for me. I had doubts that I would be ready. Now I am thinking it may be too long.

Yesterday I used the RAIN exercise a lot. I went from 10 cigarettes to 7. The number of cigarettes I am technically allowed is at 13.
I did get a suggestion that I only smoke 6 today. That freaked me out a bit. Only 6? How will that be possible?

Todays goal is to use RAIN each time I crave a cigarette. So far RAIN has been helpful. So if I use RAIN every time I crave a cigarette and it works as well as it has, then technically I should not smoke at all today. That is when I started thinking too much again. If I don’t use RAIN when I crave a smoke, I do not meet todays goal and I fail. If I do use RAIN all day and I am successful then I won’t smoke. I want to smoke. I still get to smoke. I get 6 today.
I don’t want to use RAIN and smoke anyway. That will scream “it doesn’t work” at my addiction. So do I use RAIN each time I crave and let it fail so I can smoke or do I not use RAIN every time and not meet todays goal?

I wrote, “Now I wonder. Am I thinking too much or am I just more aware of things?”

online response “Not thinking too much. This is what happens when we start to wake up to our lives.”

I am having trouble distinguishing between craving a cigarette and thinking it is time for one. For example when I first woke up I thought it was time for a cigarette. I wasn’t craving one.  I just thought I was supposed to smoke one. Instead of smoking I chose to access the App and see what was up for today. I used the RAIN exercise even though I was still not feeling a craving. I did not smoke. 10 minutes later I felt a craving so I used RAIN again. I still did not smoke.

DESTROYING the habit.

A trigger hit me and hit me hard.. I had cigarette and lighter in hand. I stopped.  I took some breaths, focused on feeling, easily recognized that I wanted a smoke, accepted it as well.

I put the lighter and cigarette down and proceeded to go back inside. I did not smoke.

About 45 minutes later, the phone rang. I grabbed it and immediately walked to the door to go outside and smoke. Obviously on autopilot. I stopped. This is the habit they have mentioned.  This is a trigger for me.
I could see the last cigarette I didn’t smoke and my lighter waiting for me outside.
I walked away from the door.
I do not need to smoke while on the phone.
I finished my conversation without a smoke.

For those who do not understand, This a Big Deal!!!!

I spent time on my deck without smoking just to try to start breaking the connection that outside/deck equals smoke. It worked out well as I spent my time listening to a pebble meditation that I “accidentally” came across.

I need to take the word perfection and all variations of the word out of my vocabulary.  This is called mindfulness PRACTICE, NOT PERFECTION.

I have done just that. My original quit date was 11/13 now it is 11/5. But if I meet todays goal, which was yesterdays goal and the goal the day before that, I should remain smoke free today. Being smoke free today is not my goal. Using RAIN whenever a craving comes up is. If using RAIN is successful, I should not smoke.

Do I really need an anticipated date to quit? The first one seemed too soon at first. Then it seemed too far away, so I changed it.  No where does it say I have to smoke until my quit day.  Although my mind/addiction/habit is telling me what great idea that would be.

The program I used to quit was a 21 day program.  You had 21 days to decrease the number of cigarettes you smoked.  You had 21 days to learn how to successfully get through cravings that WILL happen.  I quit in 7 days, but I continued to follow the program to the end. It has been 5 weeks since my last cigarette.  It has not been easy.  At times it has been very hard.  As long as I remember that this can be done and that I am doing it, I will succeed.  Odd, I can set up the App to help me remember….

This Can Be Done!!!!

last butt

My last butt