I had lunch last week with a woman who I haven’t seen in almost six years. In all of our catching up, I told her about my emergency open heart surgery, the growth of Spark the Heart, the new Mac training videos, and she was in awe of how much I have bloomed.
“It’s because I quit smoking pot,” I told her.
She knew I had smoked and she was curious about WHY I chose to quit.
“Because it was the one thing keeping me from what I really wanted.”
I loved being stoned. I was highly creative, very functional (I didn’t smoke until after my working day), and it was a wonderful escape from the depression of a recent break up. When I was high I felt so connected to something bigger in myself.
And that became the problem.
What I wanted more than anything was to connect to OTHERS, to connect to something bigger THAN myself.
But, being stoned all the time, I was usually too high to drive or too tired to go out, too fixated on feeling good to risk any vulnerability.
And then, there was that day, that moment, that I realized I couldn’t have what I truly wanted if I continued to get high.
And so I quit.
Sure, that first month was challenging and uncomfortable. But each time I thought about getting high, I immediately reminded myself that it was ultimately NOT what I wanted. And, instead, I’d call a friend, get out of my house, make a connection.
I realized it wasn’t enough to just not smoke. It was equally important for me to replace the behavior with what I really wanted.
As I think about this huge transformation and all of its rewards, I realize that we can apply this practice to anything we really want: more time, more intimacy, richer connections.
1. Define and claim what it is that you really want for yourself.
2. Identify one thing that keeps you from being that.
3. Make the commitment to the desire.
4. Begin to replace the thing that holds you back with the thing you truly want.
Keep coming back to the WHY of your new behavior. It will lead you to where and who you truly want to be.