Freedom from Tobacco – Who’s Choice is it?
Recently, I facilitated a Smoke Free with EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) workshop. Offering guidance to five women to let go of one of the most powerful and addictive drugs on the planet was risky business? At any moment the Paraná’s could have escaped their den and devoured me whole. Fortunately, as a Yellow Labrador I didn’t know of their invisible daggered jaws equipped to clamp down tight. It was all fun and they were daring and willing to be here. The power of addiction to nicotine is mind-boggling when not completely understood. There is great motivation supporting all addictions. Awareness of the causes is the first step for change.
Many people have come to me saying they really want to stop. Some say nicotine causes a powerful addiction and there is a perception that it is very difficult to stop. With the right tools and mind-set it can be easy. Some of those tools are Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Hypnosis, Re-Sourcing, one on one coaching and your own Higher Mind.
My mom smoked for about 30 years. Growing up, my family smoked in the house all the time. Many of my mom’s friends smoked. Gift marks were left on the coffee and end tables from cigarettes gone wild. My mom joyfully explained that the burn marks on the furniture reminded her of the great times they had socializing. I have wonderful memories of the smell of smoke and hearing the laughter. I’ve never smoked, besides once when I was in 6th grade as a curious kid behind the Catholic Church with my friend Tracy. I have fabulous memories of gatherings in smoke filled rooms as a youngster.
Well, one day my mom felt a growth on her tongue. My sister took her in for a biopsy. Sure enough – CANCER. She went to Stanford and had it removed. We were fortunate it ended there and never spread. There are many who are less fortunate. This is not to scare anyone into a decision to stop tobacco. Scare tactics don’t work; although fears are usually high on the list of reasons to quit.
My heartfelt passion to help others in their choice of direction is why I do this work. Facilitating self-ownership of individual power fuels the rocket of my desire.
I asked my workshop participants to rate, on a scale from one to ten, ten being the most, their wanting to quite smoking. I heard a range from 5 to 10. Honesty and non-self-judgment is crucial and courageous.
Curious and pioneering souls make it to the 11,000 ft summit of Alta Peak in Sequoia National Park. Wonder leads to inquiry. Inquiry leads to questions. Questions lead to answers. Answers from the Inner self lead to strength, courage, and invincibility.
Loads of remarkable reasons to stop or reduce smoking were articulated by all. Also, scores of reasons to continue smoking were exposed. One of the most impressive truths was the idea that ‘smoking keeps me in isolation from other people’. Also, “What if I fail at quitting?” I asked, “What are your concerns about never stopping?” These concerns were crushing. The thought of never stopping left them paralyzed. The energy in the room sank like a lead balloon at the thought of smoking for the rest of their lives. The “C” word reared its ugly head. We all know people who die of cancer and other horrible diseases from smoking. That is NOT enough to help people quit. And we know too that not all people who smoke get cancer or die of cancer.
The nicotine habit is mentally and physically dominating. It’s true. It appears to have control, power, authority and influence over its users. Let’s be clear though; the user gives the control to tobacco. This CAN BE changed through applied mind-management.
Each woman brought their fertile soil, with planted seed to the workshop. All nurtured and fertilized their own beautiful gardens of well being and wholeness. The curious souls left the workshop deciding to claim their power over this product. Gardens grow with persistence, dedication and heart.
People don’t smoke because they want to die. Some people smoke because it literally feels good. It’s relaxing. My mom chose to quit after her surgery. She said it was like loosing her best friend. That has to be one of the most difficult tragedies to suffer.
Some people smoke because they feel left out and want to feel included. Contributing reasons for smoking include feelings of abandonment, anxiety, stress, guilt, shame, overwhelm, and fear. Everyone is coping the best they can. True friends and partners can help by supporting, loving and believing in their puffing partner. Offering a non-judgmental and loving shoulder is one of the surest ways to expedite the quitting or reduction plan. A critical and judgmental attitude toward the ‘pleased to be puffing’ will keep them backed into a corner. What do people do when they’re in a corner? They rebel (cope) with more smoking.
I couldn’t let this go with out sighting the corporate profiteers who capitalize on the negative emotions and addiction. Some may see it as a sick business others may see it as a god-send. Either way, they wouldn’t be in business without users. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Cigarettes don’t kill people, our choices do.
I took this photo at the Dover, Delaware Speedway in September, 2009. CAMEL is a NASCAR sponsor and attractor. The lower section of the logo says, “Surgeon General Warning: Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide.” I don’t know much about carbon monoxide but I see advertisements to buy detectors so that you know if you have too much in your home. I guess it can be deadly.
This says, “Warning, this product may cause mouth cancer” and it’s pasted on the CAMEL truck to the lower right of the photo above. My mom experienced the reason for this announcement before the label was required on cartons, boxes and cigarette sponsoring trucks.
Does that deter anyone? I haven’t done a study, but I actually think the labeling is contributing to the rebellious nature surrounding the invitation to continue smoking.
The key is for us all to have the power of choice and decision. The first step is awareness of current action – and I suggest this be done gently and kindly to the self. Beating yourself up doesn’t help; it usually makes things worse.
One of the workshop participants enrolled in Five (5) private coaching sessions with me. Recently, we completed session #3 and she is experiencing success. The amount of cigarettes smoked has reduced by 75%. She addressed core reasons causing anxiety and untangled herself from those issues with EFT and hypnosis. Her decision to ‘choose’ those few cigarettes a day instead of ‘needing’ them keeps her on her power path. Affirming “I became smoke free easily”, in the past tense, is also providing strength for her success. She is doing the work, valuing her decision for change and keeping her eye on the goal.
Babies don’t climb Mt Everest. When someone has made the choice for change, infinite avenues of support, encouragement and tools show up. Success is hers who takes aim and claims her power. Let’s start today!