Life balance

Balance. The ultimate goal. Ricky Lankford

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More courage

More courage. Push. Face fears. Show yourself to the world. Stand up and see what happens. Embrace challenges. Love changes. Bring joy and meaning. Be engaged. Be confident you’ll figure it out. Acknowledge your progress. Admit small wins. Accept failures. The journey is a reward, not a destination. Living with passion is a choice, not a result.

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I quit smoking long time ago

… and Im never going back to it.

I have been a smoker for 10 years in total. With small and big breaks, from 1 day to 1 year. But I was never able to stop completely.  Sometimes it was just few cigarettes a day, but very often it was a pack or two daily…

I don’t smoke since almost a year, and the difference between now and my previous attempts is that I’m not just holding on as much as I can. I simply don’t want to smoke.

There are few things which helped me to realize how bad smoking actually is.

Terrible, disgusting smell and taste. Its like omg!! why it took me so long to realize how bad and disgusting I smell? My clothes, hair, skin, fingers, and the most my mouth – everything was stinking with tobacco instead of perfume or toothpaste! It is disgusting for both men and women, but for a woman it’s simply critical!!! We are born to smell nice and healthy, and instead I was choosing to stink like a homeless… And that aftertaste in my mouth.. oh god. It’s the worse..And my teeth! I never knew they can be so white, up until now… Generally speaking, picture of human being intentionally destroying his own flesh is disgusting. And it stinks.

The other thing which I realized – each time after smoking I felt like in clouds. Damn it, I’ ve got tired to feel like I’m drugged! Since I stopped smoking my mind is clear and focused again. Smoking is NOT HELPING TO CALM DOWN!!! It simply slows down your brain(and not only) processes by increasing blood pressure and changing blood flow. So the result is that you are not focusing on stress . You actually cant focus at all.

Sport is one of the things which can assist as well. I started running. Running and smoking don’t go together. Each time I went running I felt the smoke and pain in my lungs and throat. I could not breathe after few minutes of run, so at some point I had to choose. I chose health.

What also prevented me from quitting before – I needed breaks at work. At least each hour or two. And what you gonna do if you aren’t smoking? You can’t just wonder around like a ghost, and you can’t have a coffee every hour. So I ve decided that I will join smokers for a break but I will not smoke myself. It worked. After some time I simply reduced amount of breaks and didn’t have an urge to make one.

And of course. Money. However, prices for cigarettes do not seem to concern smokers at all. No matter how much they grow – the amount of smokers is not significantly changing. Now, that’s what I call persistence – no matter the price, we will find money! We wanna pay for killing our own health, and we are ready to pay a lot! This aspect never concerned me neither. I always had money for cigarettes!! But since I stopped I ve realized that each month I have extra bucks out of nowhere. That’s a pretty nice bonus of being healthy.

Quitting smoking doesn’t work with baby steps. Everything else in this world works – start reading 30 mins a day, waking up 10 mins  earlier, exercising for 15 mins. But quitting smoking has to happen at once. I never succeeded when I tried to reduce to 10, 5, 1 cigarette a day. 1 is close to 2, and 2 is close to 20. It won’t work. You have to decide to stop smoking once and for all.

Now each time someone offers a cigarette, or smokes around, reminding me of “my times” – I just tell to myself how badly I will stink, that I will feel drugged and I’ll have pain in throat and lungs. And on top of all I will feel guilt. No thanks, I will just have coffee 🙂

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Two concepts of love dependency

Lets start with one truth: we all suffered from love dependency. Everyone around you had it, has it now, or is going to have it any time soon.

I had it for many years. Starting at vulnerable age of 18 and continuing for the next decade. The guys and environments were changing, years passing,  but my behavior was stable – begging for love was my normal state.

It is only recently that I have realized that it’s gone. The need of drops of love from others has vanished. I do not need drama anymore and I live in peace. Now looking back at how I behaved and analyzing lessons I ve learned – I can say something useful about it.

Love dependency is supported by two concepts: no self-love and attachment to the outcome.

No self-love is an enormous disease of modern society. It comes from our childhood, when parents, siblings, teachers or friends didn’t pay enough attention to us, so we grew up with the thought that we are not enough.  That we are not worth of unconditional love, we have to work so hard to get it, compete with others, be outstanding for someone to notice us …  We dont love ourselves, so when we have some smallest drop of attention from other person – we hang on it like on drug. We want more. We gonna fight for it and get it, no matter what it takes, so we can again feel accepted, even if just for a short moment, even if there is only a promise of being loved.

The truth is – you are enough and worth of unconditional love no matter who you are, what you do and how you look like. But you don’t realize it. You think that love can come only from others, when in reality it starts from loving yourself.

Caring about yourself, doing things you like, eating healthy food, practicing yoga, sports, reading books, going for SPA , wearing nice clothes and accessories – everything is an indicator of how much you love yourself. Do you buy new clothes regularly, or you wear the same one until it has holes on it? Do you go for SPA/ massages often, or only when somebody gives it to you as a gift? Do you eat good food, or you are trying to save some money by buying cheap low-quality products?

There are thousands of materials out there in internet on the topic of self-love and self-care, so I wouldn’t like to repeat it all here. The point is to read and start doing them! When you rise your confidence by shaping up your body, wearing better clothes, having glowing skin  – you automatically start loving yourself. Meditations, affirmations, reading, drawing – anything what makes you feel good and helps you grow.

The second thing which makes us cling on someone – is attachment to the result. For example, we ve met that guy few weeks ago, he is so nice and charming, he seems to accept all of you with all your bullshits and craziness(again, its about desire for someone to accept us the way we are). He is definitely my soul mate!! How else it can be? Nobody else understood me so well before. HE IS THE ONE!

Usually we ignore 10000 signs that he is NOT the one. He is married(!) or has a partner, he is still studying and does not think about family (while you do), he has fun when drinking while you have fun when reading(or vise versa), he sees red where you see green. And that would be absolutely okay under different circumstances. But the problem is that you want it all! You want the final result, now and forever. You want to marry him or at least to have a commitment from him that he is planning to marry you! Or you want serious relationships. And he has to commit now otherwise you ll not survive!! And despite common idea that only girls are like that – guys are doing the same. Many guys wanted loud and clear commitment from me, which I didn’t want to give.

Why don’t we stop for a moment and enjoy the way things are? You have some sweet flirting going on with someone? Amazing! It is really nice that you have it!. Say to yourself – yes, with that person I have flirt. I may have it tomorrow or I may not. With other person I go for coffees. Or dinners. He is nice person so I really enjoy dinners with him! Tomorrow it might be another person to go for dinners with. Or maybe tomorrow I’ll just go shopping.

Don’t expect any outcome of any relationships. Don’t take each of them as “he is the one” thing. Life is not about coming to some final destination point, life is about experiencing new feelings, new people, new things. Even if you get to your “final epic top of the mountain” with that person – what then? Your life will stop? You will be ultimately happy and never want to meet other people again? Or you will meet another “the one” and cling on this idea with him now?

Since I ve realized these two simple things – self-love and no attachment to the outcome – all my relationships became so much easier. I never wait for “HIS” call anymore. I never secretly hope for “marring him and having 5 babies”. I m just really enjoying and being thankful for his/their presence in my life. It would be so boring without flirting, dating, smiles, sweet words and butterflies in the stomach. Definitely it’s a good thing, so just let it happen, and wait to see what’s gonna happen next.

Life is supposed to be joyful and easy. Leave drama for movies 🙂