Mr. Sun came up and he smiled at me
Said it’s gonna be a good one just wait and see
Jumped outta bed, and I ran outside
Feeling so extra ecstatified

These are the first words I heard on the morning of April 9, 2005. “It’s the best day eveeeerrrrrr!” the song continues, and indeed it was! That would be the first day of my cigarette-free life.

At that point I had been addicted for nearly 10 years – yeah sure there were a few breaks here and there; I had stopped smoking cigarettes here and there, but mentally I was still addicted to the habit.

For years, I was miserable. I was doing all the things I thought I needed to do to be happy, but I wasn’t. I had the job, I had the money, but something wasn’t right. One day, in meditation (after finishing a cigarette, of course) I had a vision of a happy life, and the only thing different between my physical world and the vision I saw was the cigarettes.

That’s when I decided to become a healthy non-smoker.

When I tell people I used to smoke, the response is often the same: “You?! No way! I can’t even imagine that!” and believe me, neither can I! And usually smokers who are looking to quit always ask me “how did you do it? Was it hard?” and the answer is always the same.

No.

Quitting smoking isn’t hard. Honestly, you just don’t light up a cigarette. You just stop buying them. You don’t borrow them. Nothing. You just stop.

What was challenging for me was not giving in to the voice that told me to light up another cigarette.

You see that voice is an insidious little sh!t and will feed you all sorts of lies and tricks to get you to do whatever it is you know is not best for you.

“It’s ok! You can be around people who smoke – go hang out with them.”
“It’s alright! You can light someone’s cigarette for them – what’s one puff?”
“Dude, you haven’t had a cigarette in over three weeks. You can have one now – it’s fine! You’re not hooked anymore.”
“Y’know, you worked hard today – go bum a smoke off that guy over there. Treat yo’self!”

Before you know it, you’re back in the prison of being a smoker (or whatever thing you’re addicted to. I did this many times before making the break once and for all. Here’s the interesting thing though: that very voice that pretends to be on your side is the same voice that will tell you …

“Look at you! You said you were gonna quit smoking and here you are, smoking like a good for nothing whore!”
“OMG, you smell like a dirty old man with no teeth! No wonder you’re single.”
“Seriously, you can’t quit smoking. You can’t do anything! You’re disgusting. You’re worthless. You’re <fill in the blank>.

This, my friends, is the voice of the ego; the fear-based mind. This voice has a single mission, and that is to destroy you. It will slowly kill you, either physically or by suffocating your soul, diminishing your spirit, and leaving you feeling lifeless and empty.

Sound dramatic? Oh it totally is!! (after all, I am a drama queen). But the truth is, the mandate of the ego mind is to seek but never find.

Some people say we need to “make friends with this voice” or “embrace it and welcome it in to your experience.”

NO. Don’t do that.

That’s like inviting a burglar into your home. It will steal your life force energy from you.

So what do you do? Recognize that you have a choice.

You can listen to that voice (and if it’s telling you to do something that doesn’t make you feel good, then that’s how you’ll feel once you do it), or you can simply say to that voice “no thank you!” and move on.

This part here takes practice. Years of meditation have taught me I am not my thoughts. I am what I decide to do. So I decided to not smoke cigarettes 14 years ago, and to this day I still have to make that decision over and over and over.

It’s easy because I know who I am, I know the lifestyle that brings me joy, and I know that I am far more stronger than any voice in my head.

My strength comes from the power within my heart.

Here’s to 14 years of Best Day Evers … and to many, many more.