None of us can choose what experiences Life brings across our path, but we can choose How we experience them.
Suffering is optional. When I speak about suffering, I am meaning emotional or mental pain. Not physical pain. That is another story however managing your mind usually has a positive effect on physical pain.
Suffering is caused by the mind. 100% of the time.
Thirteen years ago when I was in a period of awful suffering, I decided that if God was a God of Love like people were telling me, then there must be a way to live on this earth without suffering. I decided I was going to find it.
It didn’t take long for me to realise that suffering originates in the mind. I saw that two people can go through very similar experiences, one person swans through serenely, the other person collapses in a heap suffering greatly.
It’s all in the mind.
And then it hits the body. Because our mind affects our body by stimulating the release of chemicals in response to our emotions, we begin to experience the suffering of our mind in our body. The body is like the barometer of our mind. Want to know if your thoughts are positive or negative? Check into your body. Negative thoughts cause stress in the body, flooding it with stress hormones, positive thoughts relax the body, flooding it with endorphins which feel good. We are meant to be happy – even our body knows this!
In the western world, the thought of cancer and death bring suffering. Why? Because we have been taught to fear them.
Maybe I am a wimp, but I really don’t want to suffer unnecessarily. I don’t see the point. If I can’t control the experiences which come into my life – including cancer, then I would rather experience them peacefully and calmly than in fear and trembling. It was a light bulb moment when I realised it was within my power to do so.
There are many ways to do this, and I think I probably took the long route but in my defence, I had a lot of re-programming to do. What I am going to share with you works for re-framing anything. Cancer and dying are just a couple of things you can use the techniques for, they just happen to be my focus for obvious reasons.
There is no magic bullet or quick fix unfortunately. I would love to tell you there was an injectable serum that instantly converts negative beliefs into positive ones so you could always be happy, but I don’t think it has been created yet. In the meantime, we just have to do the work. On the positive side, if you approach it with the mindset that it will be exciting to really know yourself and the goal you are working towards is to be happy all the time, then it isn’t a chore….. and it gets easier. (Hypnosis may be quicker – I didn’t try it).
The following is step one in How to Re-frame Cancer. The following steps will be posted over the next few weeks…
Step 1 – Suffering originates in the mind – KNOW YOUR MIND
It is the voice in your head that is the problem – it never shuts up – it has an opinion on everything and it is in the drivers seat of your life. That is bad news because it has issues – big issues.
One problem is, we listen to it without challenging it. We are so used to it, we have been seduced into accepting it as an authority and most of the time we don’t even notice it. “Experts” estimate that the average mind thinks between 12,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day (although no-one seems to know precisely which experts came up with those figures). Apparently 80% of our thoughts are negative and 95% are the same thoughts as the day before… and the day before that … and the day before that. That is a hell of a lot of thoughts going on in our heads that we aren’t even aware of. And these thoughts affect our life!! That is significant don’t you think? Most of us don’t even know what is going on in our conscious mind let alone our sub-conscious where our beliefs and worldview are lodging.
Another problem is, the mind’s ramblings are based on snippets of ideas, deep held beliefs established when we were children (would you let a 5 year old direct how you live as an adult?) and fear. Yes, fear. The mind is attracted to fear like metal to a magnet. There is a reason for that which I will go into some time.
Clearly, the logical first step is to learn to know your mind. (Scary thought right there). It’s all good though, because as soon as you start watching your mind, you realise that you aren’t your mind – you are actually the one watching it. So who are you really? We will get to that another time as well.
The best way to learn to know your mind is to meditate. Mindfulness Meditation in particular because that teaches you to observe your thoughts without judgement. You don’t have to try to empty your mind of thoughts which is very, very difficult to do until you are Awakened in which case you have a silent mind. (Bring it on). I’m not going into how to do mindfulness meditation because it is so mainstream now there are phone apps you can download. Or Google it. I will do a mindfulness meditation post on my “how to” page shortly, but don’t wait til then. Start doing a 20 minute mindfulness meditation once or twice a day.
Another way to learn to know your mind is to Journal. Just write down whatever comes into your mind. You may be shocked at how random, ridiculous and flighty your mind is. That’s ok, you are normal. There is a “How to Journal” post already on my blog page under the “How To” menu.
The important thing – don’t take your thoughts too seriously. Watch them and laugh. The unquestioned mind is quite mad. We are all in the same boat, so don’t worry.
Be aware at any given moment in your life that you always have a choice about the thoughts you allow in your mind. – Wayne Dwyer