setting intention (part 3)

I used to be a smoker.Not that I ever called myself that at the time, not even when I went through 4 packs a week.

“They’re ultra-light cigarettes.”

“Only when I have a few drinks.”

“Only after work.”

“Only when I’m stressed.”

“Only once the baby’s finally asleep for the night.”

Ultimately it didn’t matter that I wasn’t a two-pack-a-day, chain-lighting, yellow-fingered smoker. A smoker is a smoker is a smoker. It’s never easy to quit, no matter what. Believe me, I’d tried before.

I knew it was unhealthy. My teeth were grimier, but I bought stronger toothpaste. My hair may’ve carried whiffs of smoke, but I just rolled the car windows down for a “quick refresh”. It wasn’t until Halloween night in 2008 when reality kicked in. That was the night I called 911 when my mother-in-law nearly died from a rupturing thoracic aneurysm.

Instantaneous Change

Her close-call sealed my decision. And that was the biggest step:  75% of the way, in an instant.

Sure, in the middle of it, it felt like a measly 5%. Especially on Day Three and I could practically taste the smoke and my fingers twitched for something to hold. The last 25% seems so hard because the behavior is what is in the way. The body wants to quit. The mind agreed to go along with the plan. It’s our habits that pull us back.

So it is with change in any facet of life. That last 25% might just feel like you’re rolling down a dandelion-carpeted hill to a goose-feather bed.

If you live in fairytale land.

More likely it’s as if you’re trudging barefoot uphill on a gravel-paved path while dragging a boulder behind you by an iron chain yoked across your shoulders.

But it’s still the last bit. And the ease of the transition is completely up to us. We either turn on the light or we feel our way in the dark.

Stability in Self Radiates to all Facets of Life

One of the last things Cheryl said to me during my theta healing session was that I knew Joy. Real, true, all-powerful and all-encompassing Joy. At the same time, the overwhelming peace and calm I felt was couched in soft red light every time I closed my eyes.

The next morning during yoga, I gratefully stood in mountain pose and noticed the first beads of sweat swelling on my forehead. My sway was gone. My ankles were strong. I felt connected. For the first time, I could relate to the mountain’s energy and stability. I felt like I’d finally taken root.

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