“I can see clearly now the ‘smoke’ is gone…”
“I can see clearly now the ‘smoke’ is gone…”
John Dicey, Worldwide CEO & Senior Facilitator, Allen Carr’s Easyway, interviews Francesca Cesati, Allen Carr’s Easyway Italia Facilitator & Publisher
John: So tell me how you came to start smoking?
Francesca: My days as a smoker spell out more or less the same story as all smokers know; a couple of puffs at the age of 13. Oddly enough it was a cigarette given to me by the mother of a friend. I spent the next 22 years as a smoker – eventually smoking more than 40 cigarettes a day.
John: Did you make many attempts to quit smoking?
Francesca: Those 22 years were riddled with endless and varied attempts to quit, lasting a week at the most, with each consecutive failure serving to steadily crush my already feeble sense of worth and self-esteem.
I spent 22 years trying to control something which was controlling me; 22 years playing dumb when confronted with the scenes of my father being moved from one hospital to the next, suffocated by pulmonary emphysema and chronic bronchitis; 22 years spent hoping to wake up free from any desire to smoke.
John: So how did you come to find out about Allen Carr’s Easyway?
Francesca: In 1988, whilst I was living in London, I met a woman who handed me a business card belonging to a certain Mr Allen Carr. He helped people quit smoking, and she vouched that it had worked for her husband.
“So what’s his trick?” I asked “Because I really have tried them all. Acupuncture, chewing gum, earrings, filters, hypnosis.”
“No, no” she replied “It’s nothing of the sort. It’s a chat that takes up an afternoon, and if it doesn’t work you get your money back.”
Curious, sceptical, hopeful and terrorised, on the 15th August 1988 early in the afternoon I presented myself at Allen Carr’s Easyway – at the time Allen ran the seminars from his home in Raynes Park. I left in the early evening in a state of anxious excitement which, as time went by, gradually began to mould itself into an ever deeper conviction that “I’d done it! I WAS FREE!” and it had been so easy.
An incredible joy began to overcome me; a joy which continued to grow and grow.
John: So how did you come to get involved with the organisation?
Francesca: Ten years after I quit smoking – I got in touch with Allen Carr and asked him to allow me to work as a facilitator in Italy. I wanted to take Allen Carr’s Easyway method to my country – to set Italy free of smoking.
I was still living in London, where my son was just ten, but my work would be in Italy. The training time, therefore, took longer than I imagined. I had to translate the seminar into my language, I observed seminars in English, learned to deal with all the different kinds of smokers and different kinds of questions and fears that they asked and expressed.
John: You’ve achieved amazing things for Allen Carr in Italy – it is an amazing thing that you have done. How does it feel to have achieved so much? What does it feel like to be part of a global family of Allen Carr’s Easyway people?
Francesca: It is now 28 years since Allen Carr’s Easyway to Quit Smoking set me free. I have held seminars for the last 18 years in various Italian cities. I have seen thousands of smokers, I have seen thousands of faces petrified on their arrival and beaming with excitement and joy when they left few hours later.
I have trained, in turn, others to become Allen Carr’s Easyway facilitators. I found myself translating the books of Allen Carr and eventually managed to have them published. The main book has been a bestseller in Italy over the last 10 years! We have sold more than 1.5 million books in Italy and we are still going strong!
Allen Carr, his method and, subsequently, the role I have played in the organisation has changed not only my “lungs”, but my “heart”, my eyes, my ears my perception of life. Of course it has been deeply hard work, and so tough at times, and in any passionate vocation there are constant challenges – but, to change the words of my favourite song, which I think should be Allen Carr’s Easyway’s theme song,
“I can see clearly now the “smoke” is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)…sun-shiny day”
Once a year all Allen Carr’s Easyway facilitators come to England from all four corners of the world and despite the tiredness and the difficulties, the overwhelming feeling is joy and gratitude for the amazing work we feel honoured to do. We all know that “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed “(S. Biko) and we know that as Allen Carr changed our mind and our life and now we can help others do the same.
#QuitSmoking #StopSmoking #BeAddictionFree #AllenCarr #QuitVaping #StopVaping
From the desk of John Dicey, Worldwide CEO & Senior Facilitator, Allen Carr’s Easyway