Emotional Sobriety

I can remember when I quit smoking as if it was yesterday. I had moved away from my very dysfunctional family in Ohio at 20 to come to Palo Alto, California and pursue my vision of an emotional and spiritual freedom I had never known growing up.

After finding everything and more that I could have hoped for in the dynamic and diverse culture of Palo Alto and the Stanford community in 1974, I settled into creating my new life and saw immediately that smoking – which I had inherited from my parents and older siblings – was a huge block in loving myself and being successful. After a while I quit cold turkey, and very quickly began to feel things inside of me that had been sitting underneath my conscious awareness since I was a very young boy. Primal emotions and the complex wounded relationship dynamics within my family that I had only felt and seen as if through thick opaque glass started to come alive in my body into a focused and vivid clarity, animating into a kind of convulsive purging of the suppressed negative impact that my family had had on me. Continue reading