It’s been 114 days since my last cigarette. Nicotine has been an off and on friend/enemy since I started smoking at 14. (Crazy!!) One of my sayings when it comes to quitting smoking: Quitting is easy I’ve done that hundreds of times, its the staying off that is hard.

This time I educated myself, I am a nicotine addict, a smokeaholic, and I will be for the rest of my life. I smoked myself into an addiction, and my brain is wired to want this nasty cigarette, forever. There is no one more smoke, that will take me back down this road. There is only the fact that I have made a Personal Commitment to Never Take Another Puff!

I got my smart turkey education from Why Quit an excellent source of nicotine addiction education (I cant recommend the two free PDF Books: Never Take Another Puff and Freedom from Nicotine enough!) There is also a fantastic Facebook group once you have gone cold turkey I posted to and used often: Turkeyville Support Group

I wrote on certain days, as a reminder to myself further down the road why I chose to end my relationship with Nicotine and also to remind myself about how hard this actually was. I cant say for sure I wont ever go back to smoking, I do know that I’ve promised that before, but I sure as hell hope I have the common sense to stay away from the lure of that addiction and commit to my resolve to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


Done it, finally got to the day I said I would quit. Seems so easy while you are smoking to think of a quit day in the future. Then the day comes and you want to put it later. There’s a monster inside me, controlling me ruling me. But it’s not that strong. It’s my reaction that is stronger.

06.02 Its day 2 today and I am craving a bit. I want to recover from this addiction. Find freedom. I will not smoke today. Just for today, don’t think about anything else other than just for today I will not smoke.

I have more irritation from withdrawal symptoms, my body is getting used to living without all the toxins, but I can breath and move past it. Just breath feel my body and know tissues are healing, my brain is busy healing and my body is getting it out. The nicotine is still in my system right now. But for today I will not smoke!

08.02 Day 4. Look at you go, you made it to day 4. Its not exactly easy. I will always be a nicotine addict for the rest of my life. But by today the nicotine is out of my system. Its time to deal with the psychological urges. I had a dream last night. I was with my mom and she also quite a few weeks ago in real life. But in my dream she lit up a smoke. I could feel myself craving, and the mind thoughts of hey she can have one I can also have some, just one drag, but even in my dream I knew that I would just be addicted again and have to redo ALL these withdrawal symptoms again. I don’t want to start back at one. I know one drag will take me back to smoking a pack a day again. And even in my dream I knew I didn’t want to do it! NTAP!!!  But at least my dreams are now no longer JUST me doing a quick cheat but standing up to someone else cheating for myself lol. Even watching her drag the smoke and pull her mouth and face cause it tastes so gross.

I even had 3 shots of Jägermeister last night too. Just to get used to drinking again without having to smoke. I think that was a big part of my relapses in the past, simply the urges when drinking that I couldn’t say no. I never trained myself to drink without nicotine. Now I need to learn how to drink again without smoking.

For today I will not smoke!


09.02 Day 5

A little bit sensitive today. I don’t know if it’s because the last day 5 I packed my bags and left home all wound up in withdrawal/unconscious pain angry with the world and bought a bottle of wine and smokes and that’s on the edge, Or because I smoked in my dream last night. It was terrible. Fighting myself so and fighting the withdrawals but then using the mental excuse and then smoking. And it tasted just a shitty in me dream as it would in real life. or it could just be my peak day after the first 72 hours. Whatever it is I don’t feel calm today. I am more sensitive and tense to get angry… Just breath. This is flippen horrible. I never want to go through this again. It feels terrible. The only way to avoid putting future Charissa through this pain is to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! But I get overwhelmed thinking of tomorrow and next year and what not. It makes it worse. Just for today. Just for now I will not smoke. I am worth the freedom.

Physical Improvements:

Breathing is becoming better, I still have some phlegm in my chest but its definitely much better, my sinuses are also clearing up. I don’t have that runny nose in the morning anymore. Blowing it actually works and gets it out.

My hands are warmer, I know it’s not winter when they are normally freezing but I haven’t had cold hands again yet. Even in summer in the mornings my hands get a bit cool. Mind you my whole body is actually a lot warmer. Could it be the circulation?

I know the withdrawals are easier to handle when I don’t allow my mind to negotiate having another smoke. NTAP!!

14.02 Day 10

Can’t believe I’ve made it this far. This addiction is still within me but I won’t turn back. There’s no fucking way I am going to expose myself to nicotine and the dirty disgusting taste of a smoke now, what’s the point?!? I can smell a lot better. Had to be around smokers on Saturday, Herman came over and a client of Jarryd’s lit up in the garage. They are so fucking stinky, how did I not smell that before, oh I know cause my nerve endings were DEAD

The weekend went down well. The cravings were there but for once I was not bullshitting myself by having a smoke. So it gets easier and easier each day.  I am so thankful that last week is behind me. Feeling so much better with withdrawals. I think I can do this.

I have made a commitment to myself to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF.


17.02 Day 13

Struggling quite a bit. Very very angry the last two days. Just RAAAGEEEE. Fighting with Jarryd, we are treating each other badly. I realize my periods are also coming soon, so that is also affecting my moods. But its tough. I don’t want to smoke. It will taste so disgusting, I don’t want to go back to wanting to quit every day, to waking up to a snotty chest. My knees and back are already in bad condition, I don’t need to add the chemicals and poisons into it. I don’t want to smoke. But I just want relief from this. All that is going to help is to starve off the nicotine. It will get easier. I’m only in week two. My whole life is still ahead of me. I can do this!


Journal extracts to some of the goals to quit smoking. Thinking about a cigarette now and then is SO MUCH BETTER than constantly thinking about quitting!


24.03 Day 47

I’m quite surprised at myself. That I haven’t had even one drag in the last 47 days.

I am having a big of a rough day today for some reason. Just really annoyed and irritable. And naturally the first thoughts are to a smoke. Which I really don’t need back in my life! The addiction is passed now, it’s just all totally psychological now. I do not think of smoking that much, maybe about 5 times a day. But its funny how some old triggers are still there like thinking about buying smokes at food lovers. Even at home. Like when I am bored. It seems like we have so much more time on our hands. Most sat mornings we are up and out of the house before 9am! Hehe

I do not want to go back! No I don’t



Thank you for Not Smoking!


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My Yoga Journey (Part 2)

Where has the time gone! I cant believe it’s been three years since I posted about my Yoga journey part 1. I have been firmly committed to practice and I am thankful to where this thing called Yoga has taken me. While I originally came into Yoga only focusing on the Asana side of the practice, just being introduced to this and allowing Yoga to take me has brought me into the 8 Limbs of Yoga and deeper into the philosophy. And slowly but surely Yoga creeped into my life and has taken over, in a fantastically good way!

I am still blown away at how things come together, from a physical connect to your breath side to a major overhaul on my view of the world and view of myself philosophical type of thing. Yoga has really changed me. Or perhaps its been the practice of yoga has brought me more into myself and that has brought about changes as I grow and learn.

I am currently recovering from a broken ankle and surgery over 6 weeks ago, so my yoga practice has taken on a whole new level. Some of it completely frustrating (I can’t begin to explain how badly I am craving a downward dog or a headstand right now!) most of it has been humbling. Knowing very well my body is busy changing as I recover and most of the flexibility I gained has reduced drastically.


I definitely can’t touch my toes like this anymore

But like pretty much everything in my life, I cant help but feel this is all for a reason too. As much as I want to separate my ego from my practice, it does sneak in when you compare yourself to other people (especially on social media!) so I have to step back from where I think I built myself up to, and become a beginner all over again.

When I move on the mat (non-weight bearing floor poses) I can feel the stiffness in my body, and stiffness in my mind, but then I compare two downdog poses below and I realize that I will always be a beginner. And pursuing yoga for the ego based look at even my own progress is not the point of yoga. There is so much more feel good juiciness in the practice regardless of before and afters.


Its not always about the comparing and physical progress

And that is why I keep coming back to my mat, back to my body, back to my breath. Because yoga has taught me where my sacred space is, where I can connect to my soul regardless of the turbulence in my mind and life. A space where there is acceptance and love whether I am bendy, fit, walking or not, whether I am achieving my dreams, or being a complete slob, it is there. Waiting for me.


I leave you with this quote once again 🙂

“While most people start with an idea of where they want their bodies to be, their practice has a tone of non-acceptance, since the body does not yet conform to their mental instance that things need to be different from what they are” Extract from The Yoga Bible 

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A Place to Call Home/My Freedom from Religion

I lost my previous blog and recently tried to track it down so I just need to post this as a bookmark. 🙂

My Freedom From Religion

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Sharing is Caring..

Meet Albert….


Caught on Camera – Sharing in Action

Albert works as the caretaker in our complex. He takes cares of the lawn, swimming pool, grass cutting etc. We have sort of made friends with Albert. He tries to teach me Zulu, well he speaks Zulu to me and I take forever to try decipher what he is saying, but every now and then I get it. Myself and Jarryd both work from home, so we see him quite often and have a broken English and Zulu chats about general stuff.

Why on earth I am writing about Albert, is because he has become very dear to my heart.

You see Albert has far less than I do. He stays in a tiny one bedroom place, and as a caretaker probably earns minimum wage. But Albert ALWAYS shares with us. We all share together, when either one of our ‘households’ has some left over produce that we wont eat in time we share it with each other. He brings cashew nuts back from Mozambique and spoils us. I give him extra avocados that are gifted to us by family with a tree. If I want to get rid of a household item that still works I know Albert will either take it for himself or share with someone in need.

When he asks me if I have some seeds for him to plant, he will always bring me back some fresh goodies once they are grown. We are even more than welcome to climb into his garden and help ourselves.

And man does this guy have a wicked green thumb! So I am also thankful for some of the gardening tips and tricks. (and free chicken poop that he acquires for us from someone else up the road)

And it all just starts with kindness. Most people live such separated closed off lives barely lifting an eye and smiling at one another when we pass by on the streets, not even smiling back at a stranger who smiles.

I like the Hope that Albert and our relationship gives me. Hope that beneath all the distraction, the rudeness, and issues, there is love within humanity. And maybe one day all of humanity could live as one… Growing in a community and sharing the bounties of nature. But for now I am happily willing to accept the Alberts of the world that share in the kindness.

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Here and Now

It’s funny, how my mind and existence has always been one to run away. To seek greener pastures. To hanker on to something more. When it came to towns, friends, and lovers, my looks, my job, pretty much my every existing moment. I seek something else. Something more.

And it’s all good and well to have dreams and aspirations.


Your dreams and aspirations mean nothing if you cannot accept your personal circumstances as they are, not as you imagine them to be. Because you could be living your ‘ultimate dream’, and still find unhappiness and discontent. It will still be you there in that moment.

I am still trying to find this balance and acceptance.

The world tells me that I should live a purposeful, meaningful, beautiful life. And this life that I should be living looks a certain way in my head, and changes, A LOT. (ultimately it looks a certain way because I am allowing images of other people’s inspirational stories come in and I compare mine to theirs.) At the end its the same: A story in of their lives in my mind, is most likely not even close to what they are experiencing daily. But still I compare and yearn. (thanks a lot social media!)

I was lying in Savasana after a long juicy yoga session yesterday. And I was just bringing my focus into the present moment. I am currently in an internal struggle with where my life is going and relationships. It felt like I got a glimpse of myself, not adding anything not doing anything, just lying there and being in my lounge, with the birds chirping, in the moment between all these things I want to change… And I was overwhelmed with emotion of acceptance. No stories, no needing to prove/do/achieve something to complete me. But I felt the presence and love of being complete here and now. This is exactly where I am supposed to be, this point right here and now is exactly right in this point of my existence.

It seemed so simple and so sincere. Why do I allow my thoughts and emotions and this world to take me away from that?

Yes, you can imagine a crazy wild existence happening to you one day, out there… But do you have any idea how crazy and wild your current existence ACTUALLY is! The fact that we are here and alive and thinking these thoughts and breathing this breath is pretty damn incredible.

And it is here that I want to anchor myself.

Everything is okay. Everything is just fine. Everything is as it is meant to be.

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Half page biography

I recently sent in my application for a freelance position with a great organization that I could totally support. Name of organization not important. There was so much fear, Im transitioning from losing my job and finally being free from the anchor of all that shizz, and really just getting down to being. Here. Now.

So this was my on the spot mini biography that had to be limited to half a page.. 🙂
But at the same time it was an opportunity to put down a basic outline to what has gotten me to where I am now.. (in a short half a page bare my the bare bones of my experience kind of version)


My journey probably started about 6 years ago, I was working for a large company in their finance department, my boyfriend and I started realizing more and more how the daily grind of earning money just to live for another month was destroying our souls. We were so disconnected from our food source and the effects that our own living and blind consumerism had on our earth. We started growing our own food in a very small scale urban environment, and became increasingly aware of how our society and the way we live has a detrimental effect on the earth and all living beings we share this home with.

I started online research of sustainable living, the agriculture and food industry, mainly driven by a desire to get off the grid and stop our dependence on the system. I was introduced to Permaculture through this and visited Happy Toes Permaculture Farm a year ago and absolutely fell in love with the design concepts of Permaculture and the interconnection that is naturally there but what we haven’t learned to see.

My partner and I share a long term dream of building our own home off the grid, which is a long term financially big goal. I feel a deep desire to create community gardens and projects that bring people back to their roots and connection to nature.

I decided to do my PDC at Hope Farm in April this year; to primarily change my own way of living and design of our current and future home; sharing more of this knowledge with family members who have also been opened up to sustainable living practises; and also to open doors to get hands on and develop more community projects specifically food gardens/food sharing, litter clean-up projects and educating more people about the reality of our current unsustainable food industry. I feel passionate about this but haven’t been able to start anything yet but I am interested in getting involved with an organization that DOES GOOD and offer whatever I can with my experience and grow through it.

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Urban Gardening

I am so in love with gardening. Its the Quiet Revolution.
Get off the dependency of government and buying shit and grow your own food!

Heres some snaps that I shared on my Instagram of our current garden. We live in a residential complex and dont have THAT much space but Im happy with what we have been able to do so far! I would need a hell of a lot more space to be totally self sufficient.. Life Goals!

Everything loves our watering hole #urbangarden #urbangardening #diy #waterhole #sharingiscaring

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After our trip to Happy Toes Permaculture I totally fell in love with swales. Who says you need a lot of land to make use of a swale 🙂

This little Butternut was seriously impressive. And it made a delicious butternut soup!

We have a baby!! #butternut #urbangarden #growyourownshit

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My little wonky carrots #growyourownshit #urbangardening #growyourownfood

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