I Stay, I Go: Katie links to an extremely moving photo display in the Sacramento Bee. Thanks to my friend Nigel for drawing my attention to this.
Chattering Mind: Amy Cunningham highlights a potential Catch-22 of smoking. What if it is a part of your self-image; a pillar of your self esteem? It can seem like you are choosing between physical and mental health:
When I stopped smoking cigarettes some 25 years ago, someone told me this: "You have to learn to hug yourself."Daily Om: A Buddhist slant on energy depletion (Thanks to Integral Options Cafe for this link):
When I heard that, I thought, "Oh, what an absurd thing to say. Hug myself! Ridiculous!" But that's because I was still smoking, still young enough to think I could beat the habit with ease. Once I quit, however, I felt I couldn't go out to parties; I believed I couldn't write articles as well, argue or even talk, since smoking was so incorporated into my self-image. I felt as though I'd gone back to my most insecure teenage years, the years when I started puffing, posturing, and looking around for ashtrays. Not a good feeling. So the "hug yourself" idea came back, and I did eventually learn to give myself psychologically soothing hugs of love by taking deep breaths and chanting calming mantras to myself.
There are times in our lives when it seems our bodies are running on empty. We are not sick, nor are we necessarily pushing ourselves to the limit-rather, the energy we typical enjoy has mysteriously dissipated, leaving only fatigue. Many people grow accustomed to feeling this way because they do not know that it is possible to exist in any other state. The body's natural state, however, is one of energy, clarity, and balance. Cultivating these virtues in our own bodies so that we can combat feelings of depletion is a matter of developing a refined awareness of the self and then making changes based on our observations.