I see !!!! Icey

The first time I was asked, “what is different about you since you quit smoking?”  I was asked this question during an interview for a documentary on using mindfulness to relieve oneself of addiction.  My first thought was, “I am a nicer person.” Being interviewed by a professional interviewer type person, that answer was so not going to be enough. I continued on with, “i am able and willing to see other people better or clearer even.  i am more aware of how others might be feeling or what they could be thinking.” Stay Tuned on July 4th. link available July5th

I can see that the way others react or act is not a reflection on me.  maybe they just stubbed their toe 2 minutes before seeing me and it still stings the way i interact with other people is what matters.

So,

I quit smoking.  I have done it using a mindfulness app I ‘accidentally stumbled upon’.  I knew I had to/wanted to/needed to quit. I was in a fog wondering  how to go about it.  then One thing happened that led to another. that thing appeared to lead to another thing which led to another then another and another.  Today I am smoke free and grateful.

I feel as though I have somehow moved from using Mindfulness practice to quit smoking to  Mindful Living.

This was not My Plan.

My Plan was to use Mindfulness in an attempt to better control the ever powerful anxiety I experience.  I needed to get a handle on this monster and pills were no longer a viable solution.  I needed something better.  Apparently I was ready for something better.

Enter MINDFULNESS.  I should add the word Again to that last sentence.  I had my 1st introduction to mindfulness 28 years ago.  second exposure 15 years ago.  I now see that these experiences have prepared me for where I am right now.  Right Now! Right Here! Not worrying about a future that might never happen.  Not dwelling on a past I cannot change.

not the worst place to be!!

Changes…. not in any particular order and not a compete list.  Keep in mind these are not changes I planned. I did not sit down one night and make a list of things I wanted to change in me.  To be honest, i did not know i needed to change.  want to change?  Not even a little.

The only change I desired was to no longer smoke

to be smoke free.

  • i no longer have the need to get everything done right now.    for example : i want to finish writing this post. i am not going to die if i save it and finish it later.  last year or even last month, “ineedtodoit! doitnow! cantwait! mustgetitdonenow! nomtterwht.”  just a tad anxiety provoking from inside.  no outside trigger needed.
  • i smile more.  not because life is so freakin awesome and I have no reason not to smile but because if i smile, maybe someone who is lucky enough to see me smile will smile. then someone else might smile and then someone else….
  • i am calmer. inconveniences and other people’s stupid behavior that would have once throw me into fits of panic/anger/depression/disappointment affect me in a different way.  i am able to take a tad bit o time and breathe.  This breathing thing is not new to me.  People in my life have been suggesting it forever and a day.  Regular, consistant mindfulness practice got me to remember to breathe when I need to.
  • I am nicer.  i already talked about that.  I have always been a relatively nice person, but now I am even nicer and to more people.
  • i sleep better. not longer, Better. I wake up earlier, yet less tired. more refreshed
  • life is the same.  pleasant and unpleasant things are always going to happen. That is Life. That is not going to change, But…. i can change. I deal with life’s obstacles in a new way.  i am capable of dealing with the life stuff in a way that i was never capable of before.
  • i stopped biting my nails while I quit smoking  – it took me awhile to even notice my nails were growing.
  • i eat slower and enjoy what I eat.  quitting smoking definitely makes things taste better, but i enjoy that better taste more.  Food was always just something I ate so I didn’t fall down.  Now I take the time to savor every bite. I’ve begun experimenting with a variety of new recipes as well.
  • I am more capable of thinking before i speak.  I have always either talked too much or not at all.  Now when a thought flies into my brain I am able to stop, breathe, give myself a chance to decide if this thought needs to exit through my mouth or do I let it go.
  • I feel feelings.  this is a direct result of the mindfulness app I used to quit smoking.  The app suggested instead of fighting the cigarette cravings, i might try to really feel them.  Truly feeling the craving and seeing it for what it truly is. Watching it leave without my having to smoke, made my mind stronger, made the next craving a bit easier to deal with. Doing this over and over again helped me form a new healthy habit.  I am now applying this same technique to feelings.
  • I am able to feel what is going on in my body quicker.  i am a diehard jaw clencher. I always have been. Today I am able to notice my clenched jaw quicker than ever before.  Once I am able to identify that I am clenching my jaw, I am able to take steps to stop it.  My jaw, teeth,dentist, and head are grateful.
  • i worry less and Care more

Now, how to end this.  Do I even have to end this?  Do I want this to end?  The answer is so simple.  No.  I am on a new journey and I choose not to end it too soon.  I finally truly and completely believe that I am Going to be okay. No, wait, I AM OKAY!!!!

To summarize.  I exposed myself to mindfulness practice in an effort to relieve self of debilitating anxiety. An App that uses mindfulness to help relieve oneself of unwanted habits found me.  My desire to quit and the repetition of that App not only relieved me of my habit, it opened me up to a whole new way of thinking and feeling and living.

 

 

 

An Unexpected Path

Hello Folks.  I have been bad.  “Wicked, wicked bad”

roadblock2My plan/path/road was to take the blogging201 course.  I think I completed day 1 maybe day 2.  I encountered a roadblock in the form of physical illness.  Actually there had been a couple of illness crap things going on with me.  While I took the time to care for myself, my blog and many other things were put on the back burner. At times, I have had this blog pop up in my brain, but until today I was unmotivated to write.

“What’s been going on you ask?”

“Shhhh, Don’t tell anyone But, One thing happened which led to another thing then another and another. The result being I started writing elsewhere.    And now I am here.”

“Where is here?”

“On my couch, writing this.”

“Seriously????”

“Yes, seriously.”

laughingfreeI am taking part in a research study that involves using a mindfulness App to help people quit smoking.  When this opportunity arose, I went with it.  Part of the process of quitting is writing down your experiences with this App.  Writing ovah there led to motivation to write ovah here.  Hmmmm. Sharing my experience with mindfulness would not be a bad purpose for this blog. I am still looking for one of those.

A year ago I had an experience that felt almost life changing. I will warn you it is a bit long if you choose to read it.  Looking back, I can see that the experience gave me the opportunity to be more aware of what was going on with me.  To be present. To be in the moment.  Not worrying about something in my future that might never happen.  Not ruminating over something I did or did not do in the past. My soul focus was on whether I could get from the couch to the bathroom without help. I was forced to look at right now and nothing else. I was forced to focus on my body and what I could or could not do. This experience was the start of a journey I did not expect to be on.  This experience led me to My Mindfulness Adventure.

This new awareness led me to a new therapist.  He shall now be known as Dennis.  Dennis led me to a true introduction to what mindfulness is and what it can do.  Learning about it and practicing a bit led me to talk about it.  Talking about it led to a friend sharing a link with me.  That link led me to TheMindfulnessSummit.  I am presently calling this summit my crash course in Mindfulness.  From it I am learning exactly what I need to learn to continue my exploration of Mindfulness.  I am becoming aware (there’s that word again) of how practicing mindfulness can make a difference in my life.  My eyes are opening to the possibilities of what practicing mindfulness can do for anyone who gives it a chance.

roadblockfreedomFor instance, I did not know it could help prevent a relapse of depression.  There are things called Mindful parenting. Mindfulness for business. It can be used to help deal with pain.  I did not know there was such a thing as mindful eating.  Which is a tad odd as I recently made a decision to lose some weight.  I was actually losing weight by using mindful eating techniques that I didn’t even know existed.  The extent of my experience with mindfulness consisted of using it to deal with an anxiety thing.

Back to the MindfulnessSummit.  One of the lectures I listened to led me to a local Mindfulness Center that I did not know existed.  That centers website led me to ask questions about becoming part of a research study. That study was being conducted to see how successful a particular App was at using mindfulness to help people quit smoking.  Odd, I have been thinking a lot about how much I really need to make a final attempt at quitting.  Patches, gum, medication, lozenges – none of that appealed to me.   This appealed to me.  Is all of this one rather large coincidence?  It doesn’t matter as it all came together to lead me where I need to be.  quitsmoking

The first time I quit smoking was a bit unconventional.  The last should be as well.            .