Choosing the Alternative

To be free…

Alternatively we could start with a certain amount of time and keep doubling that amount of time. We start for example with just five minutes waiting on the first day and double it to ten minutes on the second day and then double that to twenty minutes on the third day and so on. The time limit will grow exponentially and it will not take longer than a month before we find ourselves smoke free most of our waking hours. This method works for those of us who are closer to non-smoking on the addiction to smoking scale. We can switch things up and replace days with weeks, so we extend the time we wait before we smoke for 15 minutes every day of a week and then add 15 more minutes for the next week making it 30 minutes, so we can build up our non-smoking habit with a slower pace, giving it deeper roots in our subconscious mind. Over time, we can make more mistakes and slip ups because of our natural mood fluctuation. We will have more opportunities for learning and growth. In fact, the only time we need to worry is when things are going too well. We need to slip up and make mistakes, we need those reminders of our humanity in order for us to properly grow. When we do everything right all the time, we don’t grow, and when we don’t grow we wither and die. We don’t want to intentionally slip up, we want to allow ourselves the chance to slip up, to be humans. We are not building the habit of hyper vigilance and constant alertness, we want to cultivate the habit of relaxed freedom from smoking. It is possible and the only obstacle is time and our willingness to put in the effort required.

Along the way on our journey towards freedom, we will reach the first major milestone; a measurable result that can give us an accurate estimate of our progress. All the five minutes here and ten minutes there have finally added up to something noticeable. As we were getting the feeling that we were wasting our time and getting nothing in return for our effort, just before everything started to feel hopeless. We reach an amount of time that splits the day into two halves. We spend the first half of the day as non-smokers and the second half of that same day as smokers. This is important so we need pay attention. We can now observe and compare life as smokers and as a non-smokers. We can observe life from both a subjective point of view and an objective point of view, simultaneously. We are smokers and we are non-smokers, we can look at ourselves in both roles and observe the transformation between the two distinctly different states of mind within the timeframe of a single day, within the time it take to light up and inhale. The difference between the states of mind of smoker and non-smoker is comparable to difference between the richest and poorest persons in the world. The difference between the richest person and the poorest person in the world is infinitely smaller than the difference between a diseased person and a healthy person. We experience life as a healthy person and we experience it as a diseased person within the duration of a single day. It is beneficial to do the half day routine for a few consecutive days, or even weeks, just to get a real lasting feel for both perspectives, smoker and non-smoker, before we choose to go on expanding the non-smoker part of our days or expanding the smoking part of our days. Choice! We can choose to progress into the new habit or regress into the old habit, we neither fail nor did we really succeed, we only choose freely and that is the greatest victory of all.

There is no amount of words that can come close to describing the experience as actually experiencing it. This can be easily proven with a lengthy conversation with someone who has not parachuted out of an airplane the night before his first jump and a short conversation after the jump. The differences will be literally worlds apart. There aren’t enough many words or combination of words that can describe the sensations of switching between being a smoker and and being a non-smoker. One can only understand it when one has experienced it. When we repeat the half day routine for a few days, we gain deeper understanding of our differing states of mind of smoking and non-smoking. We are on the very edge of now, experiencing life from two very different and highly subjective points of view. We can taste the freedom of choice and the accompanying tingly sensation. we can at the same time feel the “comfort” of the familiar habit of smoking. We gradually expose ourselves to the fear of change over time and finally conquer it, we conquer fear of change. The old self is finally dead and the new self can rise from the ashes. This is how a wrongfully convicted person feels once he is free again. We have been wrongfully convicting ourselves and condemning ourselves to the prison of the smoking habit, and we can finally reverse the verdict and free ourselves. We are parachuting into the wild world of freedom and the cigarette used to be our parachute. When the time is right we realize that we did not need the parachute, we have overcome our fear of jumping into that scary sky that we call life, we take off the parachute and spread our wings, knowing that we will make it and only fear was holding us back. The monkey is losing control and the soul is taking charge, the monkey will be tamed and will trust the spirit to guide the body in the right direction. Finally we can lean back and gaze with amazement at the wonder that is life. We are truly free.

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