(This was posted in the past and no longer indicative of where I am now as a shaman. However, it might be valid information for where you are in your journey so I still have it publicly available. To get the latest updates, visit my YouTube Channel for daily videos, livestreams and more. To book a session or consultation, visit theconcretetribe.com.)
There are many techniques and processes for the very painful act of quitting smoking tobacco. It is not easy and if you are a smoker, quitting should not be undertaken lightly. Smoking tobacco is one of the most addictive things you can do and quitting it is no small feat. As a former pack a day smoker, I can tell you that smoking was part of my life for 20 years so quitting, for me, meant that my entire framework and conceptual reality changed overnight. You will feel beat up by life for at least a four week period which I outline below. Your life will change. When I quit smoking it was like a grieving process and having the flu all at once.
No more taking smoke breaks—which I missed almost immediately. No more stepping outside or taking brief walks with a cigarette dangling from my lips. No more inhaling and exhaling nicotine laden puffs of smoke…that also contain nearly 600 other chemicals depending upon which brand you smoked. No more smoking. And I let that sink in. I was no longer a smoker because I had reached my….
This is the point when you decide to quit smoking. An event or a situation leads you to the decision. Sometimes it is immediate and sometimes it is gradual but most non-smokers can tell you that there was the point when they knew they were done with it.
You cannot force a break point. It will happen naturally. You will just reach the point when you know you have worked out all you need to work out by the act of smoking. Because the reason that you smoke is that there is an unhealed aspect of yourself that you are trying to heal by smoking. And in fact this aspect may be healed even if you continue smoking. But once you reach your break point you know you are done.
You can ask for a break point from the spirits and then your life will engineer a break point for you. That’s kind of how it happened for me. I wished to be a non-smoker because I was tired of the expense and the drain on my energy. The Universe responded to my request because it is a compassionate Universe and set up the perfect scenario for me.
My break point came when I was in a rehab facility for alcohol abuse and PTSD and they put us on lockdown for three days due to horrible Chicago weather conditions. Unable to buy cigarettes nor unable to put up with everyone else’s cranky mood because, they too, were unable to buy cigarettes the whole thing just seemed ridiculous and unnecessary. I found myself spending hours negotiating with various counselors and other administration officials for special clearance out of the building even though they had stated that due to the minus 32 degree wind chill NO ONE was allowed out of the building. I poured so much energy into this one thing: finding and smoking a cigarette. I spent hours dedicated to this one task. To me now, it seems ludicrous.
Also, in this rehab facility, there are smoking rooms that are filled day and night with some of the most miserable people alive. These people are lifetime smokers with yellowed fingers and teeth almost stained black. They have intense smoker’s coughs and all they do is smoke. They have no outside interests or hobbies except smoking and since they are in rehab they smoke even more and are even more miserable.
So when the lockdown occurred and cigarettes became scarce these smoking rooms became some of the most horrible places a person could be. There were arguments and fights and I just sat there in the midst of all this confusion with two cigarettes left in my pack and even smoking the current one was a hugely miserable experience. I no longer enjoyed it. It was all too much of a hassle to deal with these fucking people and my addiction to cigarettes. How was I going to buy more if I couldn’t even get out of the building? And would I even be able to enjoy another cigarette again with these damnable smoking rooms. Seriously, they are miserable fucking places filled with miserable fucking people.
And that was my break point when I realized how stupid it all was. I realized that I never wanted to be in this situation again. Being trapped in a building with newly sober smokers who can’t get cigarettes will drive you insane….and people bugged you all the time for cigarettes in the facility. In Chicago, cigarettes can cost $15 a pack so smoking is a very expensive habit and something just clicked in me that I could be saving all this money.
So even when I was in the smoking room I was constantly barraged by requests for cigarettes or requests to smoke the butt that I would not be smoking (GROSS!) And the whole situation was so nasty, desperate, sad and hateful that I had hit my break point. I was done. I smoked my last cigarette in that hateful little room and didn’t look back. But then I knew I had to look forward to the….
It will take 48–72 hours for all the nicotine to be gone from your system which is a rather short period of time if you think about it. Of course the shaman recommends Cold Turkey for even though this is the most painful, it is also the quickest to you being a non-smoker. Plus it’s less expensive since nicotine gums and patches are almost as expensive as the cigarettes themselves. And gums and patches keep you from healing (which I will get into later).
So as the nicotine is out of your system in such a short time, use whatever you can to keep your mouth busy. Gum, candy, straws, whatever. Keep your mouth and hands busy during this time. The shaman recommends walking and running and staying active during this time and try not to think about smoking at all and stay away from smokers and ashtrays and lighters or anything else that will trigger you. Go to a gym with a steam room and drink lots of water to cleanse your body. This first few days is important because then after this period you will start to heal and this healing is what slips people up. And here is what to expect during…
The First Week
Since your body starts healing itself 2 hours after your last cigarette, your body really gets into healing mode in 2 days after your last cigarette. As your nerve endings start to grow back you feel physical and emotional pain you haven’t felt in years. It’s this pain that having a cigarette keeps you from and your body thinks that having a cigarette will make this go away but all it will do is numb those nerve endings again and make them shrink back. This is why gums and patches don’t work. The cravings that you are having are your body healing…so let your body heal because—
That pain you are feeling is actually healing and you are just not used to it. Parts of your immune system are re-tuning themselves. Your whole body is readjusting and that’s going to cause some discomfort. The shaman recommends that your treat yourself as if you have a terrible flu and stay in bed as much as possible to avoid unnecessary stress. Take time off work and dip out of life for awhile to let this process play out.
Some things to consider:
- Avoid alcohol since that lowers your inhibitions.
- Limit caffeine intake since this can contribute to extra anxiety.
- Avoid making any major or life decisions during this time. Consider this time a break from everything.
- Your cravings may bring you to actual tears so it is completely normal to cry seemingly for no reason. It’s your emotional body healing itself after numbing for so long.
The first week is the worst as this is when your body initiates all the healing mechanisms throughout your body since nicotine penetrates all of your organs. As you lie in bed your body is screaming for more nicotine as all those nerve endings in all your organs are telling your brain that a cigarette will take care of the pain and the discomfort. Do not believe this!
Your body is lying to you. Having a cigarette then will put you back at square one. Make it through the first week by meditating and by listening to relaxing music. Pretend you are sicker than you have ever been in your life and keep up the ruse for as long as you can.
Even though you will have insomnia, lethargy but also have bouts of energy try very hard to stay in bed or on the couch or where ever it is you can do the most relaxing. This is your time to relax and absolutely NO STRESS. Make this the week where you pretend you are the sickest you could ever possibly be. Make this your deathbed and have everyone in your life treat it as such.
This is a shamanic trick because if you keep smoking, one day you will be confined to a bed with lung cancer, emphysema or worse. Call this a preemptive strike against future illness. Treat this ruse very seriously. Pretend you are very sick and then stop it. Then you can go on to…..
The Second Week
Around day 8 or 9 you’re going to have to get up out of your deathbed and start living again. But your life will be brand new. Due to all the healed nerve endings you will be super sensitive to almost everything. Expect to be annoyed, irritated and put out by the entire world. As long as you expect this, try to have a little bit of fun with it. The shaman recommends that you treat each annoying situation as expected and try to find the humor in it.
One thing that will most definitely annoy you is the smoker’s cough of other smokers (if you are in proximity of them). The smoker’s cough is a distinct and specialized cough and it will ANNOY THE FUCK OUT OF YOU as a new non-smoker. So try and laugh about this as much as you can.
You will suddenly find yourself with all this extra money so you can do with it what you wish. You can spend it on fun stuff or fun experiences or you can save it or you can do whatever you want with it. It is a weird feeling to have extra money especially if you have been a smoker for so long. You can just relax and enjoy the feeling of having the extra money and that can help with cravings, too. Because your appetite will kind of be out of control for awhile so watch what you eat. And in fact, your going to have to …
Develop New Habits
To replace all that time spent smoking, you’re going to have to come up with something new to do. This won’t be automatic and if you do not consciously make the decision to do something new, a craving will come up. The shaman suggests coming up with a ritual or several rituals and have the intention of this ritual replacing your former smoking ritual. Some things you can do are:
- Listen to a song. Instead of taking a smoke break, take a song break. Put in your earbuds and listen to a song and when you are done put them away. Make it as much like smoking a cigarette as possible.
- Pretend to smoke. If you do this in public it may make you feel silly but taking deep breaths and inhaling and exhaling like you did when you smoked can go a long way in helping to reduce urges and cravings. Make this a ritual or just put your fingers to your lips with an imaginary cigarette whenever you want a puff.
- Lay down or meditate. Depending on where you are or where you work find a quiet space and just lay down or meditate for five to ten minutes. Usually smoking a cigarette would take about that long but make this a new ritual to replace your old one
- Do 20 Pushups. Since smoking makes you out of breath just hit the floor and do 20 pushups and you will feel like you’ve just smoked a cigarette. If you can’t do 20 pushups start with 5 and work your way up.
- Drink a glass of water. This is fairly easy to do and can also help with the healing process. Since smoking dehydrated you, the more water the better and this is a great ritual to replace your old smoking one.
But mainly DO NOT HAVE ANOTHER CIGARETTE. Having another cigarette at this point is quite frankly stupid because you’ve come so far and a cigarette won’t work with what you’re feeling anyway.
Having a cigarette at this point will just start your addiction all over again and then you will be back to square one. Remember all the nicotine is gone from your system so what you are feeling is your body healing itself that is all. So let your body heal and your craving for nicotine is simply that: medicine for the pain your are feeling.
Nicotine damaged all those nerves and organs and as they heal themselves they will be screaming out for nicotine. And don’t discount the other addictive chemicals that are placed in tobacco products these days. Your body heals relatively fast from nicotine addiction BUT it is intense and can be almost unbearable at times. But if you make it through the second week then you move on to …
The Third Week
You will have developed new habits and you will be thinking about cigarettes less and less but when you DO want a cigarette your brain will be screaming for one. And that is very good because that means the organ or bundle of nerves that was damaged by the smoking is at that moment being healed so if your brain is screaming for a cigarette it’s actually letting you know your body is one step closer to being healed completely.
The shaman suggests transforming these moments into joy via transmutation. You would not be having the intense craving unless your body was healing. That is what these intense cravings are all about. Your body in mid-heal wants the medicine to make everything better but in this case the medicine is a poison so you must let that bundle of nerves heal because that craving means they are raw and being reformed so rejoice. Your body is becoming whole again and just like in shamanic soul work this part comes with a little (well sometimes ALOT of pain) so just ride it out. It will get better.
You will feel these cravings less and less as the week goes on and by the end of it you will be ready for…
The Fourth Week
This is the week you become a non-smoker and it’s where everything you went through the last three weeks comes into play. You will have limited and very fast short intense cravings and honestly you will have these for the rest of your life even though they will be infrequent. Just take a few deep breaths and know the craving will pass. And it will pass quickly.
You will have gotten used to having the extra money and the extra financial security it brings. You will be glad that you are no longer a slave to an addiction. Because to the shaman, you are more powerful than your addiction. You are a powerful spirit in a human body that had chosen to have this human experience of addiction to learn and grow from. So as this powerful spirit you can decide, that if the lesson was learned, that the addiction is now over.
It is during this fourth week that you release yourself from the bonds of the addiction mentally, physically and spiritually. And it is very important that you not judge yourself for the money you feel you wasted on smoking for it was not a waste. For the shaman knows that part of your life path was to have this addiction and then heal yourself of it. And in fact you cannot heal yourself of an addiction until you realize that you are more powerful than your addiction and that you learn things from addiction at the soul level.
Some thing to consider is that when you have a craving for a cigarette in the fourth week it will bring you to your knees. You may have an intense emotional reaction to not having a cigarette that may bring you to tears and it is completely natural and expected. But be warned these will be intense and the idea of just having one cigarette starts to enter your consciousness and even other smokers may offer you a cigarette to help ease your pain and this time is brief lasting only a day or two but it may be hell for you and I recommend just lying in bed and crying it all out. And think about the good times you had smoking because it wasn’t all bad.
Feeling bad about the time you spent being addicted to something would be like feeling bad you went to school for a time. You learned things from your addiction and your time being addicted and you learned this at the spiritual and soul level. For the shaman knows that we are wounded to heal and that the only reason you were addicted was so that you could overcome it and gain the wisdom to pass on to others.
There will be a grand finale as you finally give up smoking and it may involve an almost supernaturally intense craving for a cigarette. Four weeks of not smoking and you realize you will never smoke again you may be filled with grief and longing and incredible sadness. My experience with this was so profound that it stunned me. There was nothing I could do except sit there and cry for nearly four hours as I battled the craving for a cigarette. Of course I had read literature that had warned me of these intense emotional waves and that I had to just surf them and get through them and not give into them. Trust me. They pass but when you’re going through them they feel like they will last forever.
But this is where most people cave because they cannot stand these few hours. But if you can stand them you will be a non-smoker. And if you want to be a non-smoker really badly then you will get through the grand finale and that bad of a craving will never come again.
So in your new life as a non-smoker, feel free to share your experience with other smokers who wish to quit or for those who have reached their ‘break point’ because you cannot quit until you reach that point where being a smoker is no longer compatible with the life that you want to live. So enjoy your new non-smoking life!
Much love from your friendly neighborhood shaman,
Patrick John Coleman
ALL THINGS GO: How I Became A Shaman
In April of 2013, Author Eric Durchholz had a near-death experience followed by a soul transfer. As a result, he died and was replaced by a new consciousness named Patrick John Coleman. A new soul in a full-grown body… much to the confusion of his friends and family. As the new age concept of a walk-in soul is relatively unknown to the mainstream, a growing army of walkins are coming to this planet in a “Divine Invasion” to set this polluted and hateful world back on a course towards peace. As Coleman struggled to find out where he came from and what happened to Eric, he turned to the great psychic researchers Edgar Cayce, Jane Roberts and Esther Hicks for answers. In doing so he found he had uncanny connections to them while also uncovering a plot by his family to keep him silent. The book also includes several hours of specially produced video footage including reenactments of key events linked via QR Codes so keep your smartphone handy and get ready for a mindbending, soul-expanding thrill ride. To Purchase, click here