In the “quitting season,” it’s useful to recognize that the mental and emotional energy for quitting–indeed, even interest in quitting–comes and goes, waxes and wanes. One day you’ll be very excited, passionate, determined to get the job done, to be free, sooner rather than later. The next day, or even the next hour, the interest, or passion, is low, or even non-existent. So it goes.
Simply recognizing this pattern in your own experience is itself a useful recognition, a useful step. This pattern appears in very short time periods– I really want to quit at 10 a.m; at noon, I couldn’t give a hoot about quitting. And it appears over much longer periods. I quit several years ago, but started again, so maybe next year I might quit again. Again, simply recognizing, admitting to your own experiencing of this obvious pattern can be a useful step.
Paradoxically, a zen-like way of quickening the freedom process, once this pattern has been recognized, is to intentionally think and act in direct opposition to your current “phase” or mood of quitting. In other words, sometime when you feel very strongly about the need to quit smoking, turn it around: in direct opposition to your feeling, consciously speak and act as if smoking is your best friend and you will never give up your smokes! Intentionally double your intake of smokes (contrary to your feeling that you need to give them up immediately! )
And then, on the other hand, when you recognize you seem to have no interest or energy at all to give to the quitting process, in these moments intentionally think and act in direct opposition to how you are feeling, e.g., speak and act as if you have complete mastery over this habit, are perfectly free to take it or leave, to smoke or not to smoke. And so choose, without any effort at all, not to smoke.
The smoking habit it first and foremost a habit of mental and emotional patterns, and only secondarily a physical habit. Simply playing with these patterns in the way described above as they rise up in your awareness helps loosen and dismantle these patterns. By intentionally moving in the opposite direction of the “want to, don’t want to” patterns, the patterns become more obvious, more graspable, more manageable, less controlling.
Isn’t this the main idea? Playing these types of games, at some point, you will discover you have mastered these mental and emotional patterns, and they,along with their physical expression, simply dissolve, disappear, done in by their own silly weight.