What can we do?
Preliminary steps include firstly recognising that one has an addiction. Without this awareness, (and often one can remain in denial), it is almost impossible to start on a meaningful journey. So the second step is to say (and really mean it) "Yes, I want to do something about 'my addiction' ". So the sufferer of the addiction must want to address the addiction and overcome it. Often there may be a need to involve counselling which can be a most beneficial treatment, either on a one-to-one basis, within a group setting or a combination of both.
Psychotherapy can prove to be useful, combining cognitive and behavioural therapies. To discover the underlying reasons for the addiction is extremely important along with finding the triggers for wanting to indulge in the addictive behaviour. This will lead to ways of avoiding these triggers and the development of coping mechanisms for cravings.
By utilising your own guided imagery to incorporate visualising coping mechanisms, in active meditation, means that you can overlay a new habit (the one you want) over the top of the old habit (the addictive behaviour) - this in fact means that you are making use of psychotherapy, combining both cognitive and behavioural therapies.
In an attempt to explain what I am talking about in the paragraph above I will use a practical example to "Quit Smoking"!
Smoking has been proven to be addictive and yes, you can overcome the addiction and quit smoking. Whatever approach you choose to take – be it cold turkey or gradually reducing smoking – and whatever additional tools or aids – such as patches – you may choose to employ – my active meditation will help to quit smoking.
One of the main reasons that people smoke is perhaps as a social prop or maybe because of the perceived benefit from nicotine as a relaxant to manage stress. The opposite is medically true. Indeed nicotine is actually a poison and highly toxic, not to mention carcinogenic - check it out by googling it. Smoking burns oxygen and you have less oxygen in your system which actually induces stress. The belief becomes “When I smoke, my hands will stop shaking”. The belief is like a habit which takes effect every time, however smoking in fact increases stress.
What happens within my active meditation is that you gradually form a new habit in your deeper subconscious mind – where habits are housed. In other words you gradually expand your comfort zone with a new habit. You will make the new habit of Not Smoking more important than the old habit. Will you remember that you had the old habit? Of course – and you’ll drown the old thoughts with the new ones of Not Smoking.
The Subconscious Mind Doesn’t get the Don’t
If I say to you “Don’t think of a rainbow” – what do you think of? A rainbow of course. I might just as well have said to you “think of a rainbow”. "Don’t worry" – means "worry" and "don’t forget"– means "forget", to the subconscious mind. So when you phrase any self talk or goals it is important, particularly to the subconscious mind, (where memory and habits are), that the words used are positive and that you say only the things you want (rather than what you don't want).
So what do you want, or what will you have, when you quit smoking. Healthy lungs, a fresh breath, more money, be more socially acceptable, clean teeth and ….. more. You never even use the words “stop smoking” to your subconscious mind – the deeper inner mind, which is the mind you access during active meditation. This is where you form the new habit.
Thoughts to have About Your Lungs
In the active meditation you gradually move your total focus to … your lungs. In a sense you look around your lungs. You are in the future looking back to your old lungs. You remember that they were black and had markings in them – from some previous abuse. But these lungs had served you well. You thank them for serving you so well in your life and you now know that the results of the abuses of the past in your lungs, you’re able to let go. In your mind you can tell yourself “I can now let go all the elements of my lungs that I don’t need. Elements that don’t serve me any more. I can let that go. My lungs are returning to their normal, healthy colour." You direct your immune system to your lungs by imagining and picturing beautiful white corpuscles coming around and healing your lungs. All the new cells that are being replaced are the ones that have a new memory, memories of health and only health. Wonderful health. You do this over and over and you picture your lungs getting better and better - you feel this happening because you are now looking after your lungs. You picture and imagine that any cells within your lungs that don’t serve you, you can let go, you imagine those cells leaving your lungs, going out through perhaps the top of your head and out into the white light for the highest good of all concerned. And with the new white corpuscles that are building, the new cells come in. Those new cells come to your lungs, which help to make them healthy, well and strong, because they’re new cells, with new memory. Yes, you feel better already – as you are doing this in active meditation. You then imagine many people are congratulating you, particularly your friends and relations. Well done. Your doctor is telling you what wonderful, clean lungs you have. Ahhhh ! That’s great ! You feel that, hear that, see that and imagine the congratulations again and again during the meditation.
Living Life – more Active Meditation Visualisation
Within the active meditation you imagine living your life and often coming across some people smoking, and when you do, you notice how the smell of that smoke is just like the worst smell you’ve ever smelt. The smell is like rotten egg gas. It’s sometimes even worse – like manure. You bring that to mind as you smell any cigarette smoke. Even when you see people smoking, it just brings that smell straight to your mind. And taste Uggghh! You can taste it and the taste of it is revolting. Just imagine the taste like perhaps a bitter poison, or perhaps cod liver oil, or perhaps a taste like tar scrapings off the road, or even perhaps tripe, or whatever taste is absolutely revolting to you. You can bring that to mind any time so that this becomes the new habit - you know that that taste is just what cigarette smoke is like. Uggh ! So you notice when you’re in a group of people that you actually have an abhorrence of the taste and smell of cigarette smoke. The moment that you think of cigarettes you get the feel of that taste and smell – Yuk! Oh it just comes to you so vividly that you move away from this group of people and you move away from that thought of cigarettes in your mind, instantly. You then picture yourself with a group of people and see yourself so happy in this group. The air is clean and clear – there’s no smoke around. There are no cigarettes around at all – you notice that in your mind. You visualise smelling the nice air and tasting the fresh air. Yes you know it’s great to have such wonderful healthy lungs - as you have. You visualise yourself walking and exercising saying “Oh I feel great” and how healthy you are – a great feeling of general well-being.
In the Process you Visualise the Future
You imagine the time to be next New Year’s Eve, or a birthday you are celebrating ….. some time in the future (and you pretend it is happening now - inside your subconscious mind). You just go down your timeline to that celebration in your mind. You imagine that and perhaps see your family or friends around you and bring them to mind. It’s party time – say for example, a dinner. And after dinner you hear the congratulations of your friends and relations. They are saying to you “Well done – I’m so proud of you. So proud of you to have such great, strong lungs, and you’re so healthy.” You just bring this to mind that all your friends are congratulating you and everyone else is saying to you they are just so pleased and proud of you. You are so pleased with yourself and you bring that strongly to mind in the active meditation.
The subconscious mind has the new habit and you know that any cigarette smoke will bring up an awful taste in your mouth, an awful smell in your nostrils, that you instantly move away from the thought and also the smoke. And with that moving away you know that your lungs are healthy, they have fully regained their colour and health and you keep them healthy, feeling really good, and really healthy.
So, if you believe this information could be useful then please feel free to pass it on to any anyone with an addiction, or to others who either know people, or have friends who know people, who are struggling with any "addiction challenge".
All the best,
At 67 years of age I was worried that smoking was too deeply entrenched to ever give it up. Yet I was also worried about what lay ahead for me if I continued to smoke as I was starting to get feelings of possible emphysema - shortness of breath, inability to walk very far, a hacking cough. After going to Sandy's seminar it was just the impetus I needed. He very kindly made a tape for me (which eventually became his PP CD 21 - Quit Smoking) - so I was the first "guinea pig" if you like. Well I was absolutely thrilled. I started to reduce my cigarette intake immediately and yet I still enjoyed smoking. But the worry about deteriorating health also spurred me on and the meditation and visualisation made it that much easier. All up it took me about six months to completely quit and I have never looked back. I could now walk further with my dog and the cough eventually disappeared. It was a brilliant way to put it all behind me, now with a new, healthy lease on life. S J , Victoria Note from Sandy: Fifteen years later this lady is still fit and healthy and smoke-free.
K B, Tasmania.
I had been a fairly heavy smoker (30 a day) for 27 years. I did not make a big deal about the smoking as a goal, but it was there in the background the whole time. On the Wednesday following the seminar I had my last cigarette after dinner. Very cool, no fuss - I just KNEW it was my last cigarette. A week later I still had no urge to smoke (just a feeling of "what's missing?) I haven't been irritable or cranky (haven't beaten the kids once!) and I feel just great and not a little pleased with myself. I went on and applied the techniques to releasing weight. I released 5 stone (that's 31 kilos) - my self esteem soared, relationships improved - you can just imagine all the great effects can't you? I feel just great.
Julie Van den Driesen, VIC