Alcohol & Cigarettes: the body’s cry for moments of stillness.

by Sue Kira, Naturopath, Gold Coast, Australia. 

When I am with clients who are suffering from fatigue, we discuss the things that may have been draining their energy.

Some share with me how they like to have a glass of wine or two at the end of each day to wind down. It can make the difference between them saying to their kids, “Ok it’s bath time darlings”, rather than angrily blurting out “get in the bath you little monsters or I’ll…!”

All they want is some peace and quiet at the end of the day. How often have we used a glass of wine, a cigarette or even a cup of tea or coffee to sit quietly and unwind? That moment when you have a sip of the drink, or drag on the cigarette and you are totally focused on the moment; think about it…the long drag in and then exhale with relief, or the sip, swallow and the ‘ahhhh’ as you breathe out with ‘relief’ and relaxation.

I realised that what people often miss when they give up these things is the time to simply relax and just ‘be’, because our bodies really crave moments of stillness.

I remembered how I did the same thing. These moments are our search for stillness, but the substances we choose to use actually take us away from true stillness. The caffeine in tea and coffee, the sugar in alcohol, and the nicotine in cigarettes, all make us racy, running faster inside than our natural rhythm.

At other times I would stop on my way home from work and just sit by the river to relax before going home to the family. It was a moment just for me; a moment of stillness to reflect and just ‘be’.

I chat with my clients about how easy it is to create moments of stillness that don’t have to be harmful to the body. By creating a space for ourselves of only a few minutes to sit, close our eyes, breathe very gently and feel our body, feet and eyes relaxing and our hands resting on our thighs, we can feel an absolute presence with ourselves. And then, by gently opening our eyes, we can hold that feeling of gentleness and presence and continue to be with ourselves.

When we share a few minutes of doing this together in the clinic, they are often amazed at how lovely they can feel in a very short time without substances, tapes or any cost and how they can do this at any time, even with their eyes open.

We may also discuss how being calm and present with children can bring them to gentleness and calmness. Some have noticed that when they are ‘actively present’ with their kids by maintaining eye contact and really connecting ‘with’ them, they are lovely and calm and less aggressive. They have also noticed that when they are stressed and cranky, the kids are harder to be with, which makes things worse for all.

While there is no need to speak about esoteric ways and esoteric healing or the fact that I learnt how to access stillness and presence through Universal Medicine, Serge Benhayon and the many wonderful esoteric practitioners that I have had the pleasure to spend time with, it has been a deeply profound experience for me and for my clients to feel how easily we can feel this way any time we choose.

617 thoughts on “Alcohol & Cigarettes: the body’s cry for moments of stillness.

  1. I have also done this in the past
    ‘At other times I would stop on my way home from work and just sit by the river to relax before going home to the family. It was a moment just for me; a moment of stillness to reflect and just ‘be’.’
    Only it wasn’t a moment to reflect and just be with me it was a moment to brace myself before going home as what was there to be faced was a relationship I no longer wanted to be in.

  2. Cigarettes, alcohol, films, food and exercise etc provide us with a temporary feeling of relief for the briefest of moments because they mask the feeling of unease that we constantly have gnawing away in our guts.

  3. My husband used to smoke around 20 roll ups a day, he had tried giving up before and nothing worked, the only thing that did it was him reconnecting and getting to know his true self again, this was helped by the amazing teachings of the amazing Serge Benhayon.

  4. I’m learning that there is a part of me that actually wants to avoid the stillness of my body and I will use certain sugary foods to race my body to avoid the stillness that I can now easily access. It’s as though I want some time out from the harmony I can feel in my body when I am in stillness. Being racy keeps me in the individuality of being human and I feel I am in control. It’s great to expose the part of us that does not want to go back to the stillness it separated from in the first place because if it does it will no longer be individual but part of the whole. The urge to stay in creation rather than in co-creation I feel is the biggest hurdle we all have to overcome.

    1. “Being racy keeps me in the individuality of being human and I feel I am in control” what’s interesting Mary is that when we are in the illusion of individuality and also the illusion of being in control then this is evidence of the fact that we are neither being us (the real us, which is the collective us) or are we in control. In fact the opposite is true, we are being something that in truth we are not and dictated by a force that is outside of us. Pure cannon fodder for the forces that would prefer us not to know the truth of who we all are.

      1. What you have shared Alexis is true that feeling that we are in control really means we are totally out of control we are caught up in a false reality. What many of us do not want to hear is that we are
        ‘Pure cannon fodder for the forces that would prefer us not to know the truth of who we all are.’
        What you have shared here is massive and will not be accepted for a very long time but just because it will not be accepted in todays society doesn’t take away the truth of what you have said.

  5. I can relate to people using food, drinks or substances that are foreign to the body, to relax them. I once used to do this, but what I hadn’t realised at that time, was the fact that I used them as my form of reward for working hard. It was my trophy every weekend or at the end of a hard day at work.

    I’ve let go of many of those things and from time to time, there’s a little spirit in me that likes to hang onto things or will play up and be unruly. And when this occurs, I observe not only how it affects my body, but what I have done to reach for these things. I haven’t quite mastered it but I’m a lot more observant what I put into my body now than I was once upon a time.

  6. ‘I chat with my clients about how easy it is to create moments of stillness that don’t have to be harmful to the body’ Interesting how we need to re-teach ourselves how to be still. As young children this was so natural and yet life teaches it out of us so that we have to resort to artificial and harmful ways of trying to achieve the same thing. As Fumiyo shares above – the cigarette, the alcohol or whatever it is, is never going to be able to generate that connection as these substances take us further away from that connection not towards it.

  7. “a moment of stillness to reflect and just ‘be’.” The Gentle Breath Meditation is a prescription freely available to all to offer a moment of stillness.

    1. “a moment of stillness to reflect and just be’ – YOU. Nothing else, just you and to be with you and nothing less than this.

  8. We are all seeking stillness, because this is our natural way of being, but humanity is now living in perpetual motion, so it is impossible to move from motion into stillness, without a bridge such as the Gentle Breath Meditation, which allows us a moment to stop and connect back to ourselves. We instead have reduced ourselves into accepting a bastardised version of stillness, through substances such as alcohol or cigarettes, TV, or food, all of which numb us to into a false thinking that relaxing with a glass of wine while sitting in front of the TV will give us the stillness we so desperately seek.

  9. It’s interesting that we know what the body needs but we go to substances that do the opposite. For instance, we know that we want to relax at the end of the day and have a chance to recoup after a full day’s work but what we put in our bodies will not give us the stillness we are so desperately wanting but only mask over the tension we feel; be it the TV, food, alcohol, computer games, all of which offer us a relief via distraction.

  10. Alcohol and cigarettes numb the body, so we don’t feel the tension or our true essence. We can easily mistake the numbness for feeling relaxed, hence why both these substances are so addictive because once the effects wear off, we can feel the tension again. But if we live in a way that reduces or even eliminates tension and reconnects us to stillness from within, then we are not so reliant on any external substances to give us a high or a low.

    1. Chanly88 I agree with you when the effects of the alcohol wear off we are still left with the issue and we feel the negative effects of the alcohol in our bodies, so actually we are worse off. If we were to deal with the issue then our bodies would be clearer and the need for alcohol would lessen as we wouldn’t need the temporary relief alcohol gives us.

  11. Stillness is found in connection, but alcohol and cigarette do not connect and rather do the opposite by numbing, and it is never enough.

    1. I discovered for myself that using alcohol to numb myself so that I lessened the emotional pain I was feeling from a break up in a relationship didn’t work because the next day I woke up feeling sick and headachy from the alcohol and still felt the emotional turmoil I was going through. That clearly didn’t work.

  12. Children so quickly pick up on how you are and if you are feeling stressed from your day you can guarantee they will pick up on that stress and be a complete handful as it also affects their behaviour too. Life is so much simpler when we are calm and collected because everything around us reflects that same calmness back.

  13. ‘they are often amazed at how lovely they can feel in a very short time without substances, tapes or any cost and how they can do this at any time, even with their eyes open.’ Yes, stillness is free, because it is already within us, all we need to do is stop and connect…

  14. A beautiful reminder of the importance of those moments of stillness and how easy it is to find those moments without the need of a drink or a cigarette, I have found a simple walk where I concentrate on how my feet feel as I walk a great moment of stillness as there is no chatter in my head just a moment of being with me.

  15. This is lovely Sue, your explanation of the body seeking moments of stillness rings true for me. I have been doing the Gentle Breath Meditation recently to reconnect to myself, it’s 9 minutes but the change in me is profound. Most people have such low self worth they can’t even respond to themselves for a moment of true rest, instead they add something harmful like alcohol, a screen, a cigarette, etc, I know this well myself. We are so worthy of our own love and care.

  16. It is very telling of the way many are living today, that we cannot stop and have a rest without an accompaniment of some sort, whether it be a cigarette, a cup of coffee, some chocolate and such like, with each of these examples actually placing more strain on the body as they are processed. This certainly exposes a very love-less way of living and calls for the answer to the question – why do we not want to be with ourselves?

  17. If I haven’t been still all day, I really find myself craving ‘me time’ at the end of the day – space to just breathe, without having to ‘do’ anything. This pattern of constant doing is taking a while to let go of, but the more space I allow, the easier work becomes and naturally flows.

    When we think ‘I don’t have time to stop’, we are short-changing ourselves: space is an essential ingredient in our lives, so that we can feel the direction, and the response, that’s needed, moment to moment. It’s not about sitting around and not doing for ages, but bringing space into all that we do. Not trying to do ten things at once, or worrying about what we did yesterday or are going to do tomorrow, while ignoring what we’re doing right now. Consciously focusing on what we’re doing, as we’re doing it, connects us to this sense of space.

  18. Coming back to the stillness we naturally have within, is as simple as breathing gently. The more I practice the Gentle Breath meditation, the more present and aware I am during the day.

  19. What a blessing to be offering practical examples to clients of what it is to have moments of stillness without harming the body. We seem to think we have license as adults to do ‘adult things; and drink, smoke, take coffee etc – when in fact they all actually stir up the body rather than settle it.

    1. It’s really interesting how “adult things” are in general all incredibly harmful – and it’s sad that in general we also don’t know the natural state of our bodies or ourselves because we are constantly using things that stir up and change the physiology of our bodies – like sugar and caffeine or tobacco.

    2. What’s interesting as well is how clients were ‘often amazed at how lovely they can feel in a very short time without substances, tapes or any cost and how they can do this at any time, even with their eyes open’. We have unnecessarily made so many things ridiculously complicated and bought into the belief that anything worth attaining requires either a lot of money or a lot of work or both. We have our body, we have our breath, we can connect to either or both and that in itself can lead to miracles, literally.

  20. I absolutely love those stop and connect to the stillness moments and bring them into my day often, but probably not as much as I could. Recently I could actually feel myself trying to avoid them and to keep on doing, but it wouldn’t be long into the doing before I realised it was a stop moment my tired body was asking for, not more motion. It’s been a wonderful lesson to learn and I can tell my body really appreciates the stops.

    1. It’s possible for life to be one very long stop moment of motion. We have bought into the belief that stillness is somehow tied up with physically stopping but it’s not. Stillness is a depth of quality that is known by us all and a quality in which we can get an awful lot done. In fact true stillness provides us with all the space in the world to get things done.

    2. I’m finding Ingrid that my body tells me loud and clear to stop and if I don’t it puts me to sleep. If I lie down for 10 minutes and deeply rest, my body feels re energised and ready to go again. So sometimes at lunch time I have a quick nap and feel so much more rested for it. Or at other times my body will ask to go for a walk, again just 10 minutes up the lane and back. The more I listen to my body the more it communicates to me, I love my relationship with me.

  21. Ultimately the quality of our health is determined by the breath that we inspire into our lungs and which source of energy this breath comes from; either all that God is or, all that God (love) is not. There is only ever this simple choice of two and thereafter the way we breathe will carry the propensity to either heal or harm us depending on which breath is chosen.

  22. It is true, that the fundamental principles of life that are being presented by Universal Medicine are so practical and so very normal, that they can be shared without any fancy language or fuss.

  23. Stillness is so beautiful and regenerating and you don’t even need to stop to be still!

      1. ‘Stillness is not movement arrested, it is space embodied’ Beautifully said Lianne and Esoteric Yoga with Universal Medicine trained practitioners) is a great way to support us in this understanding.

  24. It totally makes sense that kids (and others) react when we’re not still, not present, not with ourselves, or them. When we connect to that sense of loveliness, stillness, simplicity of just being, we take that wherever we go, and into every interaction, and others get reminded that they are that, too. A very beautiful and simple ripple effect.

  25. Isn’t it interesting how most things that seemingly help us ‘wind down’ are actually stimulating? A cup of tea (caffeine), a smoke (nicotine) or a glass of wine (sugar) – and yet we think it is relaxing. But are we truly sitting with our bodies and asking them how they are responding to these substances?

  26. There’s this emptiness so many people register and try to fill with all kinds of things, and I know for myself busyness and overwhelm can be a great distraction, too – but it’s like we try putting a square peg in a round hole, nothing quite settles the unsettlement, until we come back to ourselves in whole.

  27. So many of the expectations and standards of society pulls us away from living in connection to our stillness within, yet it is through this connection that we feel more at ease and more ourselves. It is vital for us in order to live with greater presence and connection, to take moments to stop, reflect and connect to our body, being and breath, honouring that which truly guides us to live with the quality of who we are.

  28. There are so many reasons behind our choices to engage with whatever we engage with, but at the root is our constant need for connection. Our need to connect to ourselves.

    1. Most of us are absolutely desperate to stop. Our bodies are crying out for a break but rather than change the way that we are living we bring in false ways of ‘stopping’ which are not true stop moments at all and what’s worse is that these supposed ‘stop moments’ put even more pressure on our already fatigued and fed up bodies, which in turn leads to us feeling even more desperate for a ‘break from it all’. It’s a vicious and relentless cycle.

  29. My biggest relationship was with alcohol, a prop up to be sociable, and now I have found that the deeper my relationship is with myself, the less I need anything to help prop me up, I have realised that all alcohol ever did was take me further away from my true self.

    1. I agree with you Sally we are not taught to resource within ourselves, but to look outside for the answers.

  30. It makes sense that if we are feeling overwhelmed and anxious in life we will reach for something to alleviate this. The problem is we look for that which will relieve it and not that which will release us from it. The need for alcohol is showing us we do not want to feel the tension we are in and the cigarettes show us that we know we are not breathing our true breath and this hurts us so misguidedly we reach for external substances that gives us what we perceive to be the necessary ‘space and pause’ when in-truth all they do is compound the problem and push it all deeper in, to which it will all have to come back out again further down the track. If we were instead taught to ‘go in’ first and draw on our inner resources then we would truly be given the adequate space to deal with the tensions as they arise.

  31. I know how people can say they have a drink to relax at night or watch tv but for me when I look at it it has been a way of retreating and withdrawing rather than connecting. It is like I want a moment of time out from the stresses of the day.

  32. “I realised that what people often miss when they give up these things is the time to simply relax and just ‘be’, because our bodies really crave moments of stillness.” yet we can choose to stop and have moments of stillness that we can bring to ourselves throughout our day. Esoteric Yoga has supported me to find and then bring these moments of stillness to my life.

  33. When we stop for small moments in our day and just ask ourselves how we’re feeling, what’s going on in our bodies, we start to build a relationship with our body and bring more awareness to things that we’re feeling that we might have dismissed or buried before. Our body is constantly communicating to us, but when we’re so busy racing around, we can’t hear its messages so clearly.

  34. I only started smoking to be like a boyfriend I had at the time. I never really liked it but the addiction had me in its grip for ten years. I’m glad I stopped, I don’t miss it now but I probably use food as a substitute.

  35. To pause for a moment to feel the sit bones on the chair, feet on the floor and observe the rhythm of the breath, immediately stops any momentum of rush or overwhelm. Practical and simple
    ways to simply be.

    1. It sure does Stephanie, I also find having a little walk, even just a few steps not thinking about anything other than walking, stops the feeling of anxiousness or overwhelm – it is like a reset button and is so simple, especially the quicker I catch myself getting caught in the rush.

    2. This would be a really good one for kids studying and for at work. It’s so simple it can be done anytime of the day.

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