Jim’s journey to quit smoking is quite powerful in that he did what many feel they cannot do; he took the time to heal himself. Healing takes time (as well as patience and energy), yet we are taught to be very impatient with healing. We are taught that all we have to do is take a pill and we will be better. This is a lie we have told ourselves for so long, many actually believe it. Its not that medicines cannot support the healing process; pills, however, do not do the healing. Healing comes from within each one of us, with every thought we think, word we speak and action we do.
If the health of our body does not takes precedence over anything else we do in life, then where have we placed our priorities? Health is the same energy as happy and visa versa. If only we could remember this truth. Anything we put before our health will never create happiness. Maybe that is why so many are so unhappy.
Jim remembered his truth and willingly shares his wonderful story with all of us. I find it fascinating that he started smoking later in life and more fascinating that he equates the possibility for his smoking and coffee drinking on the rigid lifestyle he experienced. Restriction or rigidity was not a healthy choice for Jim; however, his ability to put his need for his health before anything else is a testament to who he now chooses to be.
Jim’s healing story follows:
“I started smoking tobacco at age 33. I worked at Erewhon, the macrobiotic company located in Boston. I lived in one of the company's "study houses" and consumed a macrobiotic diet. I started to drink coffee and to smoke cigarettes perhaps as a result of the 70% portion of the diet consisting of cooked grain with the remainder coming from cooked vegetables, sea weed, and sometimes a baked fruit for desert.
I smoked fine unfiltered Turkish cigarettes and drank rich coffee at the Coffee Connection (forerunner to Starbucks). Previously, I had practiced neither habit.
I tried many times to quit smoking on my own by:
- restricting the number of cigarettes that I purchased
- total abstinence
- restricting the number smoked each day
- substituting herbal cigarettes
- "cold turkey"
- filtered cigarettes
I may have tried other methods of which I have forgotten the specific details. I did not try hypnoses, although I did try it later for other reasons. Finally, my fiancé asked me to quit as I was a male and more likely to die before her anyway so I should not hasten my demise by smoking.
Consequently, I suspended work and stayed home for two weeks. I went ‘cold turkey.’ I remember coughing nearly continuously for what seemed 10 to 14 days and nights with only scant minutes in between for rest. It was a good thing I wasn't required to work or be in public. I was able to eat moderate amounts of food and drink water.
“At the end of the ‘two painful weeks,’ I felt free of the compulsion to smoke tobacco. Six months later, I ‘tested’ myself (perhaps foolishly). I accepted a cigarette from a friend at the baseball arena in Rhode Island. I didn't feel compelled to smoke, it was a social gesture on my part. I did not desire a smoke.
“A few months later, I smoked on stage at an audition for a Humphrey Bogart role. Again, I felt no desire for tobacco.
“I thankfully am clear of the terrible need for the smoking stimulation and remain smoke free today. The two painful weeks worked!”