Sunday, November 12, 2006
Anniversaries

I have two very important anniversaries coming up....One is connected to the day I stopped smoking and the other is connected to something called "Primal Therapy"....And they are connected to each other as it happens, because I took my very last cigarette ever, the afternoon before the day that I started Primal Therapy....


My last cigarette was smoked on November 12th, 1970, after smoking for 24 years. And this is pretty much how my ashtrays looked by the time I stopped. As many of you may remember I wrote a whole post about smoking some time ago....(I may just post that again though it is available for all to read over there on the sidebar....) Now, about Primal Therapy....


I began Primal Therapy on November 13th, 1970....and that began my very first day of 36 years of being 'smoke-free'. In other words I became a non-smoker that very day, never to smoke again! So, when the powers that be at The Primal Institute called me to tell me there was suddenly an opening in their schedule because someone had dropped out, I was smoking a cigarette. The woman who called me happened to be a friend that was a patient at The Institute but had also been---before Primal Therapy---a very fine actress and and singer...but at that time of this phone call to me she was working in the office at The Institute. "Can you begin the Therapy tomorrow?" What this meant was going into a motel that night....giving up all the things that could possibly take your 'pain' away---Smoking, Food, Sex, Pills, Recreational Drugs, Work, Alcohol, etc....Also, if you decided to do this three-week-intensive you committed to staying in this motel for that three weeks and staying away from your home, your loved ones, your pets, etc...the idea was to just be with 'you'. No distractions. Nothing to take you away from your feelings and your pain....and then my friend said..."And remember, no smoking!"

I thought...'well I'll just take one more puff....', the cigarette there between my fingers. And then, I thought, 'No. this is it.' And I took the cigarette and stubbed it out right then and there. It was the last cigarette I have smoked and today, November 13th begins the first day of my 37th year of being a Non-Smoker.

Primal Therapy was a fantastic experience and still is. I was at the Institute for almost two years but have continued to 'primal' or have my "feelings" in this very deep deep way to this day. As many of you may know, I have a sound proof padded room underneath my house for this very purpose. No one can hear me and that works out great because sometimes the sounds of the sobbing and screams eminating from 'the Room' sound like I am being murdered or I am murdering someone else....it is this wonderfully safe safe place where I can go whenever I need to, to get back to the origins of my pain and release as much as I can for that time....no, it doesn't ever go away completely...yet, it so often rules ones life...This 'dumping' is a difficult and painful process sometimes but it is wonderful and as I have said many many times...it has truly saved my life----no question about that....

As the name of the therapy indicates this pain can go back to one's conception and before...yes, before. In my case I was able to go back to the memories coded in the entity that is me, as a sperm and as an egg. I know that will sound impossible to many...but, believe me, it is not only possible but given the right 'safe' conditions...it is probable.
Years after re-living aspects of these things many many many times---too numerous to count, I wrote a one act play that I called "The Start Of The Blues". It was about the journey of the little young sperm and the old old tired egg that met and became me.

It was done in an evening of One Acts at Theatre West called "Lifetimes 10", each play covering some aspect of time in one's life....there were ten writers and ten plays. "The Start Of The Blues" was the last of the ten and came at the end of the evening, which had an irony too it not lost on me....the wonderfully talented actress Ann Guilbert (aka Ann Morgan Guolbert of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" fame....) played the 'egg', amd an extremely talented young actor/writer named Mark Masi played 'the sperm'. It was, believe it or not, very very funny, and Annie Guilbert won an acting Award for her role in this little piece of mine!

To make 'art' out of one's pain is a terrific pay-off! I mean, truly fabulous! I couldn't have done that in those first years...I had to get through a lot of it before I could then take the experience and turn it into something which touched other people as well. That, I think is what 'art' really is all about.


So...November 12th and 13th, 1970 are two very important days in my life....the course of my life truly changed with those two days, one happening right after the other. And because of the 2nd thing that took place, the first thing could happen. And by stopping smoking and starting Primal Therapy I now had a place for all the pain I was smoking down for all those many years....



I am deeply deeply grateful for that....I am also grateful that The Primal Institute was right here in Los Angeles which meant I did not have to relocate as many many people did from all over this country and in fact, the world. Arthur Janov wrote the book that sparked this avalanche of people coming here for the holy grail, including John Lennon & Yoko Ono who had been there at The Institute earlier in 1970....All of those songs that he wrote during their time in Primal Therapy were written right here in
L. A.....Turning pain into 'art'----what a gift. One of the great great songs on this CD is called "Mommy". And the lyric that got to everyone in Primal Therapy at that time and I'm sure ever since was...."I wanted you but you didn't want me...."

You can't get more "primal" than that.....!

So, I wish myself a Very Happy Anniversary....these two 'dates' turned out to be two of the most important in my life.....

More To Come.....







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43 Comments:
had this to say:

good picture

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 2:24:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Visiting from Michele's. Congrats on so many years smoke free. I myself am on year 6 and it feels great.

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 3:22:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

What an interesting process! And to give birth to a play, how wonderful! Congrats on giving up smoking, I hear it's more addictive than heroin...

Oh, and hi, Michele sent me :-)

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 3:34:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I read the book he wrote about or for children. It really helped me as a mother not to try to stop my kids tears. When they would cry I would praise them....that's good...get it all out... till it was over. I'm a little more reserved in my own therapy but I do it just the same. I recently did some sand tray therapy. That was fun! and more recently (like monday) focusing. Maybe I'll write more about it some day. You know, I never plan what to write. It just stars happening and I follow the ones that have energy.

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 3:36:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'm glad you found a way to quit--I hear it's so hard. I'm glad I could never figure out how to inhale--with my addictive personality, I'd have been a goner for sure!

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 4:05:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, I know what you mean about quitting. I quit when I was 38, after having smoked since I was age 15, at least 2 packs per day and sometimes more. I have forgotten the date, but it was 1977. Hurray for us both!!

About the bruise: I should have explained that it is really less than 1" across. I did a close-up photo of it, and it looks worse than it really is. He has a very low pain threshold, though....LOL

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 4:19:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

In February it'll have been nine years for me.

As for that primal scream, Mrs. P pulled it on me yesterday... only it wasn't a soundproof room and it wasn't very therapeutic for me. I'm sure she felt better.

p

Here via Michele today.

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 4:24:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Congratulations on the huge accomplishment of kicking that terrible addiction!

You sound like such an interesting, creative, intuitive, thoughtful person, Ooloth.

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 4:43:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Congrats on quitting smoking. I need to talk to you about that because it's something I want to do but don't know where to start!

Here via Michele! Have a wonderful evening.

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 4:44:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

here from michele

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 5:15:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow..that was an interesting post. Not quite sure what I think of the primal therapy, but I'm so glad you stopped smoking. Congrats!

Kendra

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 5:40:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi... as you know, I am thrilled that you stopped smoking. And the primal therapy thing is fascinating. I knew a lot of people in the 70s who did it. And remember tranquility tanks? I always wanted to do that but never got a chance to.

I did do a few EST sessions (when it was called "The Forum") and should do a blog post about that. What a racket. But I did get some good things out of it, and my ex-husband actually stopped drinking through EST.

I envy your soundproof room. I need one of those. ;)

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 6:22:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I have never heard of primal therapy before. Very interesting!! I love the idea for the play you had. I'll bet it was really funny! You are so creative Naomi!

Congratulations on both anniversaries dear!! Give yourself a HUGE pat on the back!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 6:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

wow! sounds like fate- that two such important/life-changing events happened simultaneously. and on my birthday too (the 13th). congrats and it is definitaly something worth celebrating! i tend to write songs when i'm in pain- so most of my songs are melancholy, but oh well!!!! i'll have to check back for your follow-up post.

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 7:06:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I am so proud of you for stopping smoking, and for continuing to be a non-smoker. That is so very difficult.

Here's to many more smoke free years.

(hugs)

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 7:17:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Primal therapy sounds like it was indeed helpful to you then and now. I don't know very much about it but is sounds fascinating and I am all for things that make people feel better emotional or physically.
Congrats on all those years of not smoking! Mine has only been 15 months so sometimes I do still think about it but it goes further and further away and lord knows I am stronger in the gym...my lungs feel so different!
Happy Anniversaries for both of these big events Naomi!

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 7:20:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow. I need to come borrow your sound proof room right about now, don't you agree?

I'm so glad you found this outlet that let you restore yourself. Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference....getting primal makes all the sense in the world to me. Congrats on your annversaries!

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 8:43:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Hi, I am here because Michele sent me, but I've been before.

Congratulations to you on kicking that awful addiction. I too kicked it.

As for the Primal Scream, I am one of those "I'll reserve judgement" kinda gals. :) Glad it worked for you tho. And congrats on your play.


~K!

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 9:02:00 PM PST 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

Congratulations on getting rid of the smoking all those years ago. So many don't and pay dearly.

Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, November 12, 2006 at 11:05:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I had heard about 'Primal Therapy'.

Happy Anniversaries' when it comes up.

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 2:27:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Congratulations of your anniversaries :0) I learnt all about Primal Scream therapy during my psychology degree. I know it can be an extrememly painful process but also very cleansing and rewarding. I have watched videos of people undergoing the therapy at the institute and they can be quite harrowing for the viewer. I am so glad that it helped you adn your basement room sounds wonderful! I wnat one!! I practice this on a much smaller scale. I have to be so 'together' in my life that sometimes on my own I just have to let it all out. This year in particular.

Congratulations again!

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 4:02:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

aah - you stopped smoking, goodonya! Good story too, perhaps it explains why I haven't been able to... interesting theories, whatever works I say...

I've always thought it better to express emotions than to bottle them up, wish I'd actually found a way to do it ...

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 4:51:00 AM PST 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

Happy anniversaries! what important dates in your life. Hadn't heard about this therapy but I remember Lennon's "Mommy" lyrics...

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 5:48:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Happy Anniversary to you, Naomi. And congrats on being smoke-free. So now you've not smoked for more years than you did. I'm sure your lungs are happy.
Interesting post.

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 6:51:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Wow, quitting smoking and primal therapy at the same time. That's a lot to take on. Congratulations on your anniversaries. I'm so glad you succeeded and happy for you that a work of art came out of it. I love that actress by the way. She's such a hoot! Thanks for sharing.

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 7:22:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Interesting post and link between your two events-- giving up something destructive and replacing it with something positive. You did well. I never smoked but my father did and it was hard for him to give it up but he did it in his 50s. It is a hard thing to do from what I have seen with his experience and read about others. Congratulations.

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 2:11:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Happy Anniversary! Quitting smoking is such a huge accomplishment, and staying quit is even bigger!! Kudos to you my friend! (I quite two years agos myself!)

Sending you a big hug!!

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 2:15:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I'll saaaaaay it again! YOU are one of THE most fascinating people I have ever not met! But let me tell ya -- if I EVER get anywhere NEAR L.A. -- I'm gonna HAVE to look you up!

I was trying to figure out WHAT could have happend to you in your life to give you ALL THAT PAIN until I got to the part about going back to BEFORE you were even you yet! That, of course, made it all perfectly clear! LOL! Honestly ... I can't even imagine EVER being able to "relax" enough to enjoy your little padded cell... but I would LOOOOOOVE to try!!!

Naomi... is there ANYthing that you have NOT done in life? I want you to do a post about the things you have NOT done -- but still want to! Please? oh yes... I want to enjoy all the rest of the unwritten blogs about the things you HAVE done too -- but I just want to know - what HAVEN'T you done? Would it fill a Thursday Thirteen? Or would it fill a 100 Things About Me? Or can you think of ANYTHING at all??? Just wondering!

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 5:27:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh! And HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! (jeez I'm so stupid!)

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 5:28:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Happy anniversary, you beautiful soul! How interesting that 1 thing that was taking your life ended right before the thing that saved your life. Dec.3 will be 3 years for me, but if seems like forever.
I could totally see a movie written on the sperm/egg thing. I mean, it could go back to pre-conception & into other lifetimes and/or the gap between lifetimes.

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 5:55:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Congrats on your anniversary! I've never smoked and think it's a nasty habit. So here's a big yay!

I've never heard of primal therapy. It kinda sounds like rebirthing. It sounds extreme but I'm glad it helped!

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 6:15:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I had to laugh when I saw Melli's comments (doncha just love that crazy girl!) but I agree - a post on what you *haven't* done would be interesting :-)

Four weeks off the wicked weed for me, after 30 yrs smoking. Going cold turkey and it's hell, but I'm gonna give it my best shot. What a lot of successful quitters on your blogroll!

:-)

Happy anniversaries, my darling Naomi.

cq

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 7:49:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

i engage in primal therapy every day. You should see the monkeys I talk to.

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 10:48:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Happy Anniversary dear Naomi - I think your piece on quitting smoking is how I first found your blog. I remember primal therapy - I know how much I love not smoking and how much I appreciate you and your support during my quit. Take care. Hugs......

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 12:58:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Hallo Naomi and Happy Anniversary. I would say congratulations for the smoke free years. I once smoke before but quit after 2 months of using it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 7:12:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

What an interesting post. The whole primal therapy thing does make sense.

Thanks for checking on me!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 8:31:00 AM PST 

Blogger dan
had this to say:

Happy anniversaries. :)

I don't know anyone who has really quit smoking who doesn't think it was one of the best decisions they ever made.

Hmm. Thinking about your one-act. That's a play I'd love to read or see.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 9:44:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Wow!

I can't believe you know the date you quit. I don't remember. Course my brains fuzzy from all the drugs they've had me on from my surgery. Which went well.

Primal Therapy sounds interesting. I've heard of it, but, hadn't really researched it.

Congrats on both!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 10:25:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Congratulations my dear Naomi. It's very important quit the cigarette, stopped smoking! Good for your health! And what an interesting the "Primal Therapy! I remember you told that you have a sound proof padded room underneath your house for this purpose. It's amazing!
Congratulations also for the "The Start Of The Blues".
Many hugs my dear Naomi!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 1:09:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Congratulations! That surely was a very big accomplishment. Thanks for sharing what primal therapy is. Can recommend this to some of my friends but am not sure if they offer this here in my country.

Cheers!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 4:24:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow! Really interesing stuff in this post. I've of course heard of primal scream therapy, but never had contact with anyone who used it! Congrats on quitting smoking and sticking with it for all these years :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 3:05:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, you have so much fortitude and life experience. I am always amazed at what you've seen and done.

~S :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 6:45:00 PM PST 

Anonymous GEL
had this to say:

Happy belated anniversaries. I applaud your courage, determination and longevity! I'm glad primal therapy worked for you, but I'm sure it was an incredible emotional journey.
*Hugs*

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 6:56:00 PM PST 

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