Thursday, October 20, 2016

Week 22. Counting butterflies.

One of my most favorite places in the world is Panama City Beach, FL. The beaches there... OMG. It's pretty affordable to get a VRBO condo right on the beach.  That beach is my happy place, the one place I can seem to really let go of work (thanks to my ladies being so awesome to take care of stuff when I'm gone) and just be present and breathe.

This year was really big for me because now I was having to mentally set down TWO businesses. No work, no emails, no talking about work... it was a time I could truly check out and just be present in the world for a few days. This was a somewhat melancholy trip because I knew I was about to say goodbye to an old friend... this vacation would be the last time we'd be together.

Week 22's call with Anjali was on 9/12/16.  This is a really big day for me... I officially quit smoking again. Cold turkey... because I've gotten to the point where I know, it's a mental decision for me. I can put them down just as easily as I picked them back up. I've been smoking off and on since I was about 16 years old. Hard to explain to someone who doesn't smoke, but I LOVE smoking cigarettes. I know it doesn't make any sense - they are harmful to my health, cost money and smell bad. But there's something about them... it's crazy. My higher consciousness observes my mind's voice that says "BUT I WANT TO!" like it's a little child, throwing a fit because it wants one. The internal battle with myself has been exhausting.

For quite some time, Anjali at Inner Bliss Studio has been supporting me by asking me the question - What is it that I'm really craving in those moments? What feeling am I going for? What just changed that prompted me to want one?

I've been observing this within myself and I've come up with some realizations:

1. It's my ticket/permission to have a break from my current situation/environment or a reward for finishing tasks/a job... altho, I recognize it's a self destructive "reward". Why have a reward that's harmful? Hmm.

2. I think my body craves the somewhat increased heart rate, feeling like I'm doing something "productive" on my break... hell, why not meditate or do jumping jacks to get the little body rush and pulse going? I don't exercise so my heart rate doesn't go up very often... this may be a totally subconscious craving, as my awareness does know I need to be doing more physical exercise to keep myself in the best shape possible as I get older... smoking is the mind's way of interfering and confusing the message. Taking the easier way to getting that heart rate up... cuz my mind hates the idea of physical exercise.

I knew I needed to do something different to quit this time, I just didn't know what.  The moments of craving, those times when I would usually have one... I had to do something different to get a new result of being cigarette free.

On the way home from Florida, I finished a book, Proteinaholic by Dr. Garth Davis.  One of the things we do on road trips is Ben drives and I read aloud and then we kinda talk as the book goes along. I really love those times. :)  At the end of the book (which is SO powerful, btw... I gotta write a blog on how that book changed my life), Dr. Davis talks about how he focused on his "why" when he was wanting to change his meat eating lifestyle.  Wanting to be there for his kids and be healthy and agile and all that stuff later in life... He knew his reasons for wanting to change, just as I knew mine.

I know how powerful it is when I write things down... they tend to come true.  So I decided to write out my "why" list of why I'm putting them down for good this time. It's time. And I told myself I would carry my list with me everywhere and if I got an urge, I would meditate on the list, change my environment if possible and allow the urge to pass. Fortunately, this worked because I still haven't had one. The list now lives on my bathroom mirror so I can focus on it every morning and solidify my decision.

This call with Anjali was pretty emotional for me... I adopted a new little mantra to replace the crave thoughts. If I get stuck in a craving and don't change the mental channel, it will be hard to get through... I get to choose if this will be a hard thing, or not. Quitting smoking is hard! IS IT?! It is if I think it is. BAM. GAAAAAH!!! Popcorn. 

New affirmation: I am full of self love, my mind is clear and I am peaceful.

My mind has gotta be stronger in the positive direction, choosing self care and rewards that are healthy and good for me. The mind wants a cig, the intellect/higher consciousness KNOWS that's not a good decision... it's time my world got in alignment.  Integrity looks like ONE VOICE. No more mind vs. intellect and internal arguing. Time for peace. 

Anjali also reminded me - no more beat up. The past is the past. It can stay there. No more reliving the story and beating myself up for past choices. The time is now and I'm doing something different today and that is to be celebrated. 

Something else amazing that happened on the beach... I became aware of how many butterflies were flying by. All going from west to east and all different kinds. I kept seeing them, so I started counting them every day. This practice kept me totally grounded and mentally on that beach... I saw hundreds in that week and counted nearly a hundred on the way home. The butterfly gives me so many messages... I can morph and change. Such a purpose in life, to flutter through the breeze in search of pretty flowers. Living life to appreciate the beauty, because really... what else is there? My reality is what I choose to think it is... and I know this.

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