I waited for the “perfect” moment…….when I felt I would be ready to make changes in my life….. a time when the stresses would be more manageable, a time when finances would be better……and the waiting went on for years. I felt damaged. My thoughts tortured me on a daily basis. I was smoking two, sometimes three packs of cigarettes a day, working forty hours and every vacation week at my full-time job and working every weekend at my part-time job. So many things had gone wrong in my life and the excuses kept piling up. “I’m exhausted. How will I ever find time in my schedule to exercise? I need the cigarettes…..it’s my only way to relax”. I had become a “victim” of my thinking. My thoughts had kept me a prisoner for years. Very rarely did I feel happy or thankful. And guess what? Year after year went by and I kept losing more and more control of my life.
And then one day I realized I’d run out of time. In a few years, I’d be turning forty. There was never going to be that “perfect moment” to make the changes that would lead to a better life. If I wanted a better future, it was “imperative” for me to finally stop “waiting”. It all started when I realized the “power” my thoughts had on my behavior. If I kept thinking the same way I had for years, I knew with dead certainty what my future would be.
How could I ever replace the thoughts that for years told me “it’s impossible? You will fail. Your dreams haven’t got a chance. It’s too late to change.” I began to research how to get better control of what I thought and found several references on “stillness”…..quieting the thoughts and being present. Was it really possible to change one’s thinking? I was intrigued and knew once I took those first tentative steps I was on my way to a better future. After months of trying many different ways to “quiet” my mind, I found the best way for me was taking small walks and paying attention to my surroundings…..the smells, the sights, the temperature of the air… For someone like me that had spent so much time indoors, being outside and “mindful” of my surroundings really helped me to relax and most importantly, I began to feel happy. Over time my thoughts improved and I finally succeeded in quitting smoking. How was I to know that those moments of “stillness” would lead to a life that exceeded anything I ever could have dreamed????