So lesson one: before you fall asleep every night, and I mean every night, you will take three deep breaths and feel yourself starting to relax. You are starting to relax because taking these deep breaths is actually a measurable physical event. Your cells absorb oxygen for nourishment. More oxygen, more nourishment. Focus on the fact that you can actually feel your lungs filling. Believe, because it is true that highly oxygenated blood is flowing to each and every single cell in your body. Interestingly, whether you breathe deep or shallow, 40 percent is used by your brain. We cannot sense most of the miraculous subconscious events in our body, but this we can actually feel. So become mindful about what is happening.

Breathe with conscious awareness. As you start to get ready to sleep, acknowledge that your pulse rate is slowing, your oxygen levels are up, and your heart rate is slowing, getting you ready to leave your conscious mind behind. In these few moments, when we are so close to the subconscious, we will start our programming. At some moment, and we do not know when that moment arrives, we go from consciousness to unconsciousness, as if a switch has actually been thrown. Let us use these precious moments to program. We are close to the subconscious. In your mind, say the following silently and slowly. Pay attention to each and every word. This is not a new statement, but it is the beginning of a new mind habit.

Here it is, “Every day in every way, I get better and better.” Say it. Now see it. Yes, see yourself better and better. Remember, your subconscious operates in images. This is what dreams are. See yourself better, stronger, healthier, clean, straight, sober. Be clear. Make it real to your mind. To your mind, it is real. Say it! See it! Think it! Send it!

Do it. Just get it in your head every night that every day in every way you get better and better. Picture yourself free of drugs. Be as clear as possible. Don’t say you cannot. Say you can. Fantasize. Get stubborn. What does it feel like to picture yourself in this wonderful way?

Where are you? What are you doing? What might you be thinking? Maybe go so far as to see what you might be wearing, who you are with, are you alone, with others? See yourself before you ever put a chemical into your body. I don’t care how long ago it was. Nothing is lost in the tape recorder. Look closely. How old were you? Who got you to try the drug? Look closely because that, my friend, is your true, authentic self. Project that image into your future picture. Use your incredible imagination. Get it planted firmly night after night after night. Make it real. To your subconscious, it is real. It shows you where you are going. It tells your mind that you are on your way!

Believe, believe, believe. You will get better and better every day. I promise.

Now you promise.

The power of positive thinking is a real thing, make no mistake. Use your mind. Use everything. You can win this. You must. You can.

Now, for the daytime programming. Another habit in the making. Three times, four times, maybe more, take a deep breath, with conscious awareness of what you are doing. You are not just sucking in air. This is extra nourishment for your cells. You cannot live without oxygen, not even for a few minutes. As you inhale slowly, purposefully, mindfully, you will program your mind by silently saying, “I control me. I control me.” You are your authority; get that into your head over and over. Once you decide something, truly decide; nothing can stop you.

No one else can stop you. The only one that can stop you is you.

So day and night, you are programming. Day and night, you are forming a habit. There is nothing more important. Nothing, and you know it. A habit is just repetition. You are programmable. There is power in positive thinking. Period.

Pay attention to your thoughts. Think about how you think. Think about what you think. How much of your thoughts have been programmed by others? How much of your behavior is autopilot?

An example of autopilot habit:

You drive home, and after a few minutes, you realize you forgot to do something, so you decide to go back out. You cannot find your keys. It is infuriating because no one is home but you, and you obviously put them down somewhere, but you cannot recall where. But you never get into your car and forget how to drive. Why? Because one is autopilot due to repetition, and the other is not.

By the way, to have that never happen to you, you should simply say out loud, “I am putting my keys at this place,” wherever that may be.

By saying that out loud, you turn a thoughtless event into something that you can easily recall. Try it. It works.

Now I have an assignment for you. Keep a journal. Starting now. Do not look back on anything you write, not now. Down the road, you will, but for now, just write. Journal about how much more control you are realizing you can call upon. Journal about a particular event where you became mindful and used your developing control. Journal about what happened and what would have happened if you did not use your ability to control yourself. Write about how the control gave you choice. Ah yes, choice! Addiction is the robber baron of choice.

That is a big thing you gave up—choice. A life without choice is not for you. No more. No way. No how. No. No. No.

Embrace the decision to regain choice. Remember, nothing can stop you except the wrong thoughts. Choose to speak well to yourself. Something inside is listening.

Journal about how more mindful you are becoming. Be patient with yourself. This is not a contest. No prize for finishing fast or first.

Before getting into bed is a good time to journal. You needn’t write volumes. Just a few sentences or whatever you feel like. When we start to look back, it will be of great interest to see your progress in your own words. You will give yourself a backward glance. You will learn about you. After all, wherever you go, whatever you do, there you are!