Monday, June 30, 2008

Stop Defeating Yourself

by Tracee Sioux

I can hardly wait for New Year's Eve to come because I never have to put "Quit Smoking - for real this time" on my list of resolutions. I can move on to getting organized and saving enough to take a real vacation.

The best thing about this year is that I've become a non-smoker. I really and truly quit smoking. Well, maybe the very best thing is that I've encouraged thousands of other smokers, to become non-smokers with the breakout success of one BlogFabulous post about the miracle drug Chantix (around 1,000 comments). It got so difficult to load up I started a new quit smoking support site at Quit Coping. It feels fantastic to effect the soul of the world in such a positive way.

If you still smoke here's what I want you to know:

You've been underestimating the tole smoking is taking on your emotional life.

The chronic sense of failure, guilt and shame is effecting everything you say, think and do. You've been doing it so long that you think it's who you are.

It's not.

You'll have to take my word for it, but after a few months you'll discover a deeper person underneath all those negative surface emotions and that person is worth knowing.

It's liberating and confidence-boosting to be without that sense of shame, guilt and failure.

Smoking undermined every relationship in my life. If you always leave a conversation to smoke you rob yourself of the full relationship - usually the healing, reconciliation and understanding that comes at the end of conversations.

You think you can't find the emotional strength to deal with people because you've been mentally checking out as soon as conflict comes up by thinking about how you'll escape to smoke.

That you can't deal with stress is a fiction created by your addiction to cigarettes. Period. It's a fiction and it will take some pain and a lot of practice - but you deserve to know that you can deal with everything you think you can't deal with. You can learn to deal with stress, loss, pain, trauma, anxiety, insomnia, conflict, boredom and every other emotion you've avoided by smoking.

You'll need to dedicate yourself to finding new coping strategies for every instance where you previously smoked. That's seriously uncomfortable. It's painful sometimes. It's overwhelming. I promise you - it's worth it.

There is no way to quit smoking with total ease and comfort. But, Chantix will take the edge off. And if you're a smoker, I know you understand that by edge I don't mean a slight discomfort, I mean the depths of hell. Chantix will elevate you to purgatory levels of discomfort which almost feels like heaven if you've ever been to the depths of hell.

Tomorrow is the Great International Smoke Out. Ten years ago I ended up on the front page of a Lithuanian newspaper for smoking it up on the street on this day. It's embarrassing to be held up as the epitome of stupidly continuing to smoke.

This year, when I see smokers on the street, I want to tell you: You don't have to smoke anymore.

Stop by Quit Coping and I'll hang with you every step of the way while you give up this self-loathing, self-defeating habit. You deserve to be a non-smoker.

Family Visit and Maturity
Blog Fabulous/Chantix (1,000 comments)
I suck
Addiction Off

Monday, March 24, 2008

Structure and Routine

by Tracee Sioux

The holidays are finally over and now it's back to daily structure and routine. What a relief.

I used to believe certain things about myself which were tied to smoking. Perhaps you can relate.

Probably do to the portrayal of smoking in films or television, I believed it signified my carefree, come-what-may, laissez fair, free spirit personality.

Then I quit smoking and what I missed the most was the structure and routine smoking provided in my life.

I did not smoke in a care free kind of way. I smoked at strategically placed intervals throughout the day and I wasn't the least flexible about it.

I smoked with my first cup of coffee, on my way to work, during breaks at work, after meals, while on the phone, after getting in the car, before and after tasks, etc.

If someone messed with my routine, by suggesting I skip the cigarette for another activity, I might very well lose it.

The most uncomfortable times during my quit has been those very structured times when I would stop what I was doing and have a cigarette.

Since there were 20 cigarettes during the day, there were 20 places that felt foreign and uncomfortable for me because my routine had been messed with.

It has been a totally achievable struggle to invent another routine for myself. A healthier routine that includes gree tea treats, walks, yoga and large glasses of water.

Post-Quit I now realize I'm not not really a laissez-fair, come-what-may kind of girl. I'm a girl who likes routine and feels secure within structure. I work from home so my structure is self-imposed, but it makes me feel more stable, secure, productive and safe to impose it on myself.

Has anyone else realized their need for structure was integral to their personality and connected it to smoking?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Know When to Quit

I love Martha Beck, who writes a column in Oprah Magazine. This month she wrote a great article about quitting.

You should really stop by and read Know When to Fold 'Em.

Recently, psychologists Gregory Miller and Carsten Wrosch set out to investigate the mental and physical health of people who resist quitting, and of those who throw in the towel when facing unattainable goals. The second group—the quitters—were healthier than their persistent peers on almost every variable. They suffered fewer health problems, from digestive trouble to rashes, and showed fewer signs of psychological stress, Martha writes.

If you're like me, and you are or you wouldn't be here, when you quit smoking you realized it was a bigger deal than you thought. Like the smoking was this thing keeping you tied to anger and immaturity or other habits you believed were too hard to change.

But, when you finally let go of the smoking you thought, hey if I can do that - what else do I want to change?

It's a little like a snowball. The smoking is the one thing that leads to more exercise, which leads to better eating, which leads to less drinking, which leads to more productivity, which leads to better parenting, which leads to a better marriage.

Before you know it - you're the best quitter on the block and your whole lifestyle is one that's healthier and feels better and . . .

Well, just go read that article. It puts a healthier, happier face on quitting. Gives you a great perspective on change.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Changing Life

You quit smoking so your life is changing in ways you couldn't predict. When free of addict thinking you become free to reinvent great big portions of you life. What will you do with your opportunity.

I told you before I took up the Law of Attraction and a spiritual quest. I welcome you on the same journey. I'm participating in A New Earth reading with Oprah and Eckhart Tolle.

I also won that Law of Attraction in 7 Days Action Pack from my new mentor Jeff Howard.

Since then I have attracted my perfect house with all the perfect colors and rooms in the perfect neighborhood. Even my daughter has a neighborhood full of new friends and I specifically prayed for that.

I've attracted a more harmonious marriage and a better relationship with my kids. I've attracted better friends - people I find more interesting, exciting and accepting of who I am.

I've become completely free of depression and learned to exercise for fun. I found the perfect jeans.

Just the other day I got an email offering me my dream Mac laptop for an unbelievable price. The exact amount I had to spend. It's like it popped right off my dream board into my hands. A gift.

I've received and cashed the same exact $500 check three times. This can only be explained by the Law of Attraction and a miracle from God.

I'm telling you this Law of Attraction thing works. Now my mentor Jeff Howard is teaching a teleseminar on Wednesdays for the next 5 weeks. He's asked me to speak tonight about my experience. I'm inviting all of you to participate in this event to improve your own life.

You wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on smoking. You wasted uncountable hours on it. You believed you had to do it to be happy - regardless of the obvious self-destruction involved. This is an opportunity to do something different.

Come to the Attraction Mastery Teleseminar Series.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Brain on Chantix

New York Magazine This is My Brain on Chantix. Don't drink on chantix people - it's just not a good idea.

Flowering of Human Consciousness

A New EarthWho is putting the kids to bed 15 minutes earlier tonight to make time to attend Oprah's online class?

Me, of course.

Are you too going to make time to discuss the Flowering of Human Consciousness as Eckhart Tolle describes?

If so, please join me at So Sioux Me where I'll be discussing the online course simultaneously over the next 10 weeks.

Awaken tonight at 8 pm Central time at and So Sioux Me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A New Earth Community

Have you heard of The Ring of Fire? It's this theory of Martha Beck's, that when you pass through the ring of fire - a place of pain or hardship - and you discover your own strength and a portal into the divine you grow spiritually in a powerful way. Well, that's one theory about how the Law of Attraction works.

Quitting smoking is one of the ways that you can pass through the ring of fire resulting in spiritual growth.

Mainly because it's so damn hard that to rely on your own power means sure failure so you have no other choice but to cry out to God.

Don't let the opportunity pass to further your growth and transform your pain and addiction into a spiritual source of power and a centeredness.

I'm thrilled to announce that I've been asked by Oprah's staff to lead a community discussing A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)over at my website So Sioux Me. Small communities will run simultaneously with the online course she and Eckhart Tolle will be teaching in March.

I'm inviting all my smokers to read the book and join the So Sioux Me community and get acquainted with your soul.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tracee on Talk Radio Podcast

To listen to my radio debut on Healthy Wealthy Wow on Grapevine Radio click this podcast link. I think it went really well. Click on today's date (3rd one down).

It was pretty fun too.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Talk Radio Interview

I'll be on the Healthy Wealthy Wow radio program on the Grapevine Talk Radio Network on Thursday at 1:29 CST.

I won a radio contest (which I wasn't even listening to)for the Law of Attraction Action Pack and now I get to go on the radio program and chat about how it's effected me.

It's an Internet radio program so be sure to tune in. I'll try to post the podcast up here once it's recorded so you'll be sure not to miss it.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A New Earth Excerpt

I'm reading A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61), by Eckhart Tolle and he has something to say about addiction and how to recover.

A long-standing compulsive behavior pattern may be called an addiction, and an addiction lives inside you as a quasi-entity or subpersonality, and energy field that periodically takes you over completely. It even takes over your mind, the voice in your head, which then becomes the voice of the addiction. It may be saying "You've had a rough day. You deserve a treat. Why deny yourself the only pleasure that is left in your life?" And so, if you are identified with the internal voice due to lack of awareness, you find yourself waking to the fridge and reaching for that rich chocolate cake. . .

If you have a compulsive behavior pattern such as smoking, overeating, drinking, TV watching, Internet addiction, or whatever it may be, this is what you can do: When you notice the compulsive need arising in you, stop and take three conscious breaths. This generates awareness. Then for a few minutes be aware of the compulsive urge itself as an energy field inside you. Consciously feel that need to physically or mentally ingest or consume a certain substance or the desire to act out some form of compulsive behavior. Then take a few more conscious breaths. After that you may find that the compulsive urge has disappeared - for the time being. Or you may find that it still overpowers you, and you cannot help but indulge or act it out again. Don't make it into a problem. Make the addiction part of your awareness practice in the way described above. As awareness grows, addictive patterns will weaken and eventually dissolve. Remember however, to catch any thoughts that justify the addictive behavior, sometimes with clever arguments, as they arise in your mind. Ask yourself, Who is taking here? And you will realize the addicting is talking. As long as you know that, as long as you are present as the observer of your mind, it is less likely to trick you into doing what it wants.

For a chance to win a free copy ofA New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)visit So Sioux Me,

Monday, February 18, 2008

Instead of Smoking

Instead of smoking might I recommend these healthy alternatives?

Mah Jong or other computer games that utilize both the brain and the hands.

A new hobby like Knitting or Crotchetting. You really want to use your mind as much as your body when attempting to distract yourself.

I also highly recommend engaging the body in a respectful and challenging way (in other words get off the couch so you'll stop obsessing about smoking). Kickboxing and yoga are my favorite ways to whip my new self into shape and engage my body in a challenge.

Discover something new about yourself. Give yourself persmission to LEARN something new. You're brain has been allowed to slide a little while smoking. Time to work it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Save A Billion People

The Economist has a story on how to Save a Billion People's Lives.
Help them quit smoking.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oprah University Contest - A New Earth

I'm running a contest over at BlogFabulous to give away one hardback copy of A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61), by Eckharty Tolle.

This is the book Oprah's teaching her online course on beginnning March 3. Leave a comment on the entry to enter. Winner will be drawn out of a hat and announced on Monday morning.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Chang Family Tree Carnival

The good news is that after quite a few months, but in less than a year, you'll feel like smoking was part of some strange past life you can't comprehend.

The bad news is that it's harder for me to want to talk and write about it.

Check out the I Want To Change My Family Tree Carnival. Lots of ways to do it are included - including quitting smoking.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Nothing to lose? Try Tapping

Okay all those out there who are desperate to quit feeling desperate for a smoke . . .

Now, I realize my next bit of advice might sound a bit kooky - but, hear me out.

If you really want relief from cravings you can try tapping on pressure points while focusing on the feelings to release them from your body.

How does it work?

I haven't the slightest idea. But, I don't know how addiction really works either but my lack of knowledge didn't stop me from becoming addicted.

One of the worst things about addiction is that we can't control our feelings about it.

And when other negative feelings come up our first coping response is to smoke. Which only makes our feelings worse.

Try this instead. It's a video at and it's F-R-E-E. So seriously, you don't have anything to lose.

Yes, I've tried it after hearing how it works from several people. Yes, I feel a bit kooky considering what a cynic I've been most of my life. Yes, I think it worked. Afterwards, I felt like I'd done yoga for an hour and meditated and I've been trying to resurrect those negative feelings, but I can't. I don't know where they've gone, but the feelings I wanted to be rid of have seemingly disappeared.

You're a smoker. Which means, you've probably tried a LOT of things. Try this. Won't kill you. Isn't dangerous, Isn't addictive. Doesn't cost any money. What do you really have to lose?

Come back and tell us if it works.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Collective Prayer

I've been growing in my spirituality since beginning my journey of recovery. Recovery from many things really - anxiety medication, depression and anxiety and smoking.

Here's what I know - you have to pray. Whatever form that takes for you, "God, get me through this craving" is a simple utterance that is so effective it would be foolish not to do it.

Now, smokers meditate a lot. We go out and reflect and have an internal conversation.

Talking to so many smokers I hearing the same thing over and over again: I've been praying for something like Chantix for 10 years.

Well, it worked!

For me it seems obvious that while we created our own addiction prisons - most of us were only children who didn't understand the implications until it was too late.

But, by the same token, perhaps through collectively praying for a cure, something to help us quit effectively, we created our own cure.

We gave God the motivation to inspire whatever doctor and whatever financing it took to create our own blue miracle.

So fellow smokers - Thank You!

God, Thank You for listening to our collective prayers for freedom.

Be proud. Be grateful. Give thanks.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dr. Oz Talks Smoking

Go to your DVR right now and program Oprah on Tuesday. America's favorite Dr. is going to talk about quiting smoking. He's going to discuss the new medications, like Chantix and how to quit this addiction that's as difficult as quitting Heroin.

DVR. Now. Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Last Carnival of All Substances

Therapy Doc is throwing in the towel on the Carnival of All Substances so you better hurry and read the last one.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Lapse or Relapse?

One of my quitters, Susie, says she had a "major relapse."

Lets define a major relapse:

Relapse is when you give up. You say - screw this I'm a smoker, I'll always be a smoker, I'll smoke forever, I'm adding the smokes back into my budget, I don't care what anyone thinks, I don't care if it kills me, I'm quitting the Chantix - I'm SMOKING.

If that describes you today then Okay. So, you're not ready for this. Maybe you should give it a rest and see if you can be happy in your life as a smoker. We'll be here when you decide to give quitting another go.

I don't think that describes Susie.

Her comment reads like this: Major relapse. Feels like 3 months down the drain. Anger. Guilt. Can't get my head around it all. 35 years of smoking and I feel like it OWNS me. Back on Chantix and will try again. My husband and boys so sweet and understanding...makes it worse, I think! Thanks for listening, Tracee. Susie

Susie describes anger and guilt and disappointment. A major relapse would be if she said To Hell with it!

Maybe Susie smoked a pack of cigarettes. Oh no! Not that! It's all undone. She'll have to start her counter over at day 1!

While I understand that addiction psychology I don't necessarily subscribe to it. I'm not a day counter recovering addict myself. I never found counting days and starting over to be a helpful tool for me.

I cheated after starting Chantix. Many, many people cheated. It's okay. No one is perfect and you're an addict for heaven's sake. Smoking does OWN you and it is hard work to get possession of your own self again.

I would define what Susie experienced as a Lapse.

A temporary lapse in strength and judgement. A slight weakness in her quit. Surely nothing insurmountable.

Actually, I think a lapse can be a very positive thing for someone who is quitting smoking or any other addiction. When we quit something we keep thinking "If only I could smoke I could be happy." We feel denied. We want what we had, freedom to smoke, back.

But, when you have a lapse and you cheat your realize a major truth. You can never have that back. Every time you smoke, from here on out, you will feel guilt and anger and disappointment. The rush or kick-back will never be yours again.

The only way to make the pain stop now is to quit smoking and never do it again. Every single time you cheat you will have the same gut-wrenching anger, guilt and disappointment. Who wants to live life like that - especially 20 times a day?

Susie, don't beat yourself up over this. It happens. It's part of quitting for millions of people just like you.

I recommend this: write down what you expected to get out of smoking. Then right down what you actually got out of it.

Did you want to feel relaxed? Were you looking for a relief from pressure? Were you trying to avoid anger or anxiety? Were you trying to hide from something?

Did smoking help you achieve that goal? If the smoking produced anger, disappointment and pain instead of what you wanted it to do, then it's time to make some changes.

Decide how you can get relief from stress. Maybe you need to take a yoga class. Decide how you can deal with anger or anxiety. Maybe a run will help with these emotions. Decide what you need to do in the relationship that's causing tension or stress. Maybe you have to let some toxic people go. I'm saying smoking can't be a solution for you. But, you owe it to yourself to find a healthy solution.

It's just a lapse. You can still do this. Of course you can!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Master Your Mind

If you are quitting smoking, especially with Chantix, you've realized that while your body has a physical addiction the real challenge is to change your mind.

The nature of addiction is that your mind and thoughts are obsessive about one substance or activity - in this case smoking - and unless you regain control of it, you'll be tied to the addiction forever.

Pre-Chantix I literally thought about smoking in an obsessive, distracting and relentless way. Talk about being controlled by smoking. I did not even have autonomous control over my own thoughts.

Every thought was connected to smoking in some way. I'll finish this task after I smoke. I'll deal with my husband after I smoke. When I finish smoking I'll finish writing. I'll be happy if I just have a smoke. I can't be happy unless I'm smoking. Do I have enough money for smokes?

When all my thoughts were consumed with the desperate and uncontrollable need to smoke I was very, very unhappy!

Once the Chantix helped me eliminate my need for smoking, I had nothing to think about. Does that make any sense? All the sudden I had all this free brain power. I found my mind was ready and willing to go into negativity.

It's like a habit, even a hobby my brain had. I'd replay arguments with my husband, I'd go over negative conversations with friends. I'd go back to bad experiences and events and relive them.

Fact One in life is that reliving or replaying negative events can't change them. You can't rewrite the past. So what good is it to revisit it? It doesn't help us get anywhere.

Negative thinking felt like as much a habit as the smoking did, only now that I wasn't thinking about smoking, I had more time for negative thinking.

This isn't a harmless hobby or habit. Have you heard of the law of attraction, which simply states that our reality is the product of our thoughts? If there is even limited truth in this statement, then negative thinking has direct negative consequences on our realities.

I've dedicated the last few months of retraining my thoughts. I've used various techniques to break my nasty negative thinking habit.

I've been experimenting with the law of attraction by listening to a program called The Law of Attraction Action Pack presented by Master Mind Mentor that I won (attracted) on a radio show.

It takes effort to master ones' own mind. But, if you can't even control your own thoughts, what on earth can you control?

With my smoking, I also gave up a little cynicism. I realized that I couldn't quit smoking alone - I needed Chantix, God, moral support from other quitters and help to retrain my thinking. You've started the Chantix, maybe your praying for help with your quit, and you're coming here for moral support.

I invite you to add to that, tools that will help you have better control over your own mind with Law of Attraction Action Pack presented by Master Mind Mentor. It's a 7 day audio program that will take you through meditation and some brain training to help you put more focus on what you DO want instead of what you DON'T want.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Irrational Fury

Perhaps, like me, you have connected your smoking to the emotion of anger.

Maybe you've heard that there is medical and scientific evidence connecting back pain to unresolved anger.

I would not be surprised if they connected smoking and other addictions to unresolved anger as well.

It feels like for the last 20 years I've been smoking a symbolic stick of anger that it's time for me to resolve.

I find I experience anger immediately following frustration if the frustration isn't immediately resolved.

Irrationally, I admit, I am in a fury when dealing with simple, everyday frustrations.

Looking in a box of cords for the specific cord that connects my MP3 player to the computer is likely to make me livid in seconds. I avoid all frustrating activities that involve technology.

Completely irrationally I direct this anger at my husband.

In my mind, he is responsible for organizing all technology.

Looking further into my anger it's really at the freaking idiots who invent technology and make different cords. Anyone in their right might would have made a freaking universal cord to attach ALL electronic devices to the same outlet in the computer. DUH!

See all that anger? See how worked up I can get over something seemingly mundane and completely out of my control?

Perhaps I connect this to smoking because right after giving up looking for the cord and calling my husband to make him responsible for looking for it, I would have previously smoked to calm myself down.

Now, I take some deep breaths and drink a tall glass of water or maybe heat myself some tea.

Don't get me started on the plethora of passwords we're expected to memorize and the asinine and arbitrary rules that vary between websites making some of them impossible to remember.

Or the rankling I feel when Yahoo changes the way I have to organize my bookmarks without warning or consent.