Because it is the only one you are going to get this lifetime although you may be able to source some spare parts if you are lucky.
I have chosen Love.
So, lets start with loving our body.
Despite believing that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience, and that the most important aspect of the triune of humanness is the Soul or Spirit rather than the body or mind, I still think it is important as much as is possible to look after and work with what we have. We have a body for the purpose of experiencing life on earth. Having a healthy body makes the experience much more pleasant.
Humanity is fascinating to observe. The answer to why there was a stampede to the toilet paper aisle instead of the health food shop continues to elude me. But perhaps there is something important I am missing.
Our first line of defence against COVID-19 is Sanitisation and social distancing.
Our second line of defence is our Individual Immune Systems.
A fact that seems to have escaped most people. This is indicative of the general state of affairs when it comes to health. The prevailing attitude is “I can eat what I like, smoke, drink and not exercise, subject my body to constant, chronic stress, and when my body begins to collapse from the abuse, the medical profession will provide me with a treatment so I can continue abusing my body”. To be clear, I am not sitting here feeling superior and pointing the finger. I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. Probably more so, because I know better and I still fall off the wagon into lazy eating habits.
As a race, humanity is so over-domesticated, most people have lost their natural instincts. All animals and birds know what to eat to sustain their life. Humanity doesn’t seem to. We have been conned by clever marketing and indifference to our bodies into believing that if it is in the food section of the supermarket it is fine for us to eat. Actually… NO.
We have chosen to ignore the fact that many chronic diseases in the developed countries are “life-style diseases”. Directly attributable to what we eat and how we live. We don’t want to acknowledge this because we are too busy. And it seems too much of an effort to change. Yes, it is an effort, but one that is worth it.
There are simple things we can do to support our immune system, and I am going to share some of the things I am currently doing to keep my body as healthy as I can.
Never under estimate the power of the mind. I know these are uncertain times. I know that 1 million Australian have lost their jobs this week. I know that businesses are having to close. I know there is a viral pandemic and people are sick and dying. I know life as we have known it is changing. But I also know that worrying doesn’t make anything better. In fact it makes life ten times harder because we suffer much more and we aren’t as open to opportunities as we could be. Most importantly, we are unable to appreciate what we do have by focusing on what we don’t have and what may go wrong. In my next blog I will talk about how to Not Worry in detail.
Fear in all its forms – anxiety, worry, stress – impact on the immune system. Majorly. I can’t emphasize this enough. A really good reason to work on reducing fear. There are many peer reviewed scientific studies to back this up. Fear puts our bodies automatically into fight/flight/freeze response. And one of the results of this is that our immune system is suppressed. Why? Because the body is very clever and very efficient. The immune system is not a high priority when you are faced with a deadly snake and you need to run, kill it or freeze, so the body redirects energy and releases chemicals to support you to take appropriate action i,e increased blood flow to muscles, raised blood pressure adrenaline etc. The relaxation and repair state is when your body and your immune system are at their best.
Start a gratitude journal. Each day write down 3 things you are grateful for and why.
Read books or magazines that uplift and inspire you.
I think everyone knows that fresh fruit and vegies (preferably organic or spray-free) are optimal foods for health. They are full of vitamins and minerals that our body needs to operate smoothly. Nuts, seeds and legumes are also beneficial. For some people it is important to eat meat. For others not. I tend to only eat meat once or twice a week at most.
What our bodies are not designed to do is work well on processed foods full of sugar, salt and chemicals.
I get it. It is much easier to snack on rubbish food than make some hommus or raw protein balls. Fortunately, I love cooking and thanks to cancer, I have time, but I still, if given the chance would happily reach for a packet of biscuits. The best way to get around this is to make sure there is always something healthy to snack on in the fridge, and nothing rubbish on the pantry. If you can’t go out… problem solved.
Sadly, I can be a bit lazy, so this is where smoothies and juices come in. Particularly smoothies. Throw a handful of spinach in with coconut/almond or rice milk, a banana, date, tspn of cacao powder and honey if you want it sweeter and blitz. Yuuum! I also add frozen berries and a variety of powders that I will mention in the next section.
If nothing else, try to cut down on the rubbish food and start eating more greens.
While this pandemic is strutting its stuff, I am taking;
Obviously I have significant underlying health issues which necessitates me going over and above in supporting my immune system, but at least take Vit C and zinc, and some digestive enzymes to support your body.
With plenty of good water and vegetable juices.
Keep, or get moving! Our bodies are designed to move, so move. Get that blood circulating through your body.
If you are going into lock-down soon, get a skipping rope or a re-bounder or something. Try Yoga – there are plenty of you tube videos showing you how. If you can’t get on the floor, look up chair yoga. Utilise the internet to look up exercises you can do in your living room. I go for a bike ride 3 times a day – it is something I can still do at the moment.
If you still can, get out into nature – it is extremely therapeutic and if you can manage to have a calm enough mind to feel the still, silent quietness of nature it will be beneficial to your mental health as well.
Everyone should be learning how to meditate. We are going to need to dig deep to get through the next few months and meditation will be enormously beneficial. It supports the immune system too. In particular by taking the body out of flight/fight mode and into relaxation and repair mode. If you can’t manage mantra or Zen meditations, try mindfulness or guided meditations. There is a multitude of them on the internet.
Build your own supportive network, support others and make sure you are supported too. This is really important and is going to make the coming months much more endurable. We need to actively build deep and supportive networks. Technology is going to be critical to keep us connected. Help older people to use facetime etc so they feel more connected. There are many studies that prove loneliness and lack of support is detrimental to our health. Use this time to get more connected.
I hope that some of what I say is helpful. You are probably going to hear more from me now I have settled into self isolation!
Keep well everyone…
In just a few short weeks, life has changed dramatically.
My all important freedom has been severely curtailed. As of Wednesday, when I learned there were several cases of Covid-19 now in this city, I no longer go out into the community, and physical contact with everyone including my family is limited.
I have spent the last ten days preparing for this. It was obvious back then that it would be necessary for me to isolate at some point because I am considered to be high risk to die if I contract this virus.Despite having cancer throughout my body, I am extremely well, but I am one of the vulnerable and this is something that has taken me a while to get my head around. I think anyone who knows me well would agree that I am fiercely independent. I am not good at asking for help, I would much rather give than receive. Despite needing plenty of time alone, I also like to spend time surrounded by people so the thought of being isolated at home for a long period of time and having to rely on others to help has required a fair bit of mental adjustment.
Fortunately, as yet, we are not officially in lock-down. I anticipate that will come soon though. And it needs to. At the moment I can still get out and ride around the estate on my e-bike photographing nature for several hours a day. The photo above was taken this morning. Nature is very calm. Very serene. I learn a lot about how to just BE from nature. Nature is completely unaffected by the turmoil troubling humanity. If you are feeling discombobulated (I love that word!), then spend some time in nature and allow yourself to relax into its gentle calmness.
Life is changing. It feels as though we have lost our innocence. Four weeks ago we were just living our lives as normal, comfortable in our routines and now most of the worlds economies are in crisis, and there are major threats to both our lives and our livelihood.
Uncertainty abounds.Fear has escalated. What new restrictions will tomorrow bring? What if, what if, what if……. our mind can torment us with worst case scenarios and dire imaginings.
As always, we have a choice in how we react.
Resistance or surrender. Love or Fear.
Whichever we choose, the reality is that we are riding the pandemic freight train regardless. It has been set in motion, now we are all along for the ride. The only choice we really have is whether we go gracefully or kicking and swearing.I am choosing to go as gracefully as possible. Life has managed to teach me to make the best of what comes along. I gave up beating my head against a brick wall a while back when I realised that all I achieved was a headache.Annoyingly, the brick wall was oblivious.
We can choose to resist What Is. We can complain and moan and blame and sulk and rage. The Covid-19 virus doesn’t care, it will just carry on doing its thing regardless. Government officials will continue to make decisions they feel are right. All that is achieved is that we feel depressed and angry and victimised. These feelings weaken us.
We can choose to surrender to What Is. We accept that change is happening. We accept that life is going to be different. We decide to make the best of it. As a result we feel empowered. Uplifted even. We cope much better. There are inspiring examples of this attitude coming out of Italy. We are strengthened. Accepting What Is allows us to be open to opportunities because we aren’t wasting energy resisting something we can’t change. Surrendering to What Is doesn’t mean passively giving up. Not at all. It gives us to a clearer mind to see what positive actions we can take.
We have a choice. We can choose love or fear. Surrender or Resistance. If we choose love, we will grow through this. We will become more resilient personally and nationally. We will strengthen our communities and support one another. We will heal each other and the earth. The whole experience will be much less painful. Or we can choose the fear route, joining the stampede to the toilet paper aisle, fighting our neighbour for the last roll. The fear route is guaranteed suffering.
The price of fear is too great. I’m choosing Love.
“Death is a touch of the Soul too strong for the body to ignore
It is a call from Divinity which brooks no denial.
It is the voice of the inner spiritual identity saying;
return to your Source for a while and reflect upon the experiences
undergone, and the lessons learned
until the time comes when you return to earth for another
cycle of learning, of progress and enrichment”
Alice Bailey – The Unfinished Autobiography
This is one of my favourite quotes about death.
Death is a touch of the soul…
One of the greatest causes of our suffering as a human being is identification of ourselves as a body. Many of us make the mistake of thinking we have a soul, when in actual fact we ARE a soul – we have a body.
A body that is temporary – how temporary we don’t know, but chances are, it is only going to last a hundred years at most. The Soul is eternal, the body is temporary.
Most of us live in cultures which are heavily identified with physical matter rather than Spirit. We have medical systems that see death as a medical failure, death is not discussed, many people never see a dead body and we have very few rituals to help us mourn in a healthy way when some-one dies. People are so busy earning a living, accumulating physical objects there is no time for reflection.
Death has become the enemy.
And seen from a purely physical point of view it is. It seems to rob us of everything familiar and solid and gives us a vague and dubious hope of something largely unknown instead. It seems to be the end.
For the Soul, death is the liberator. The friend that releases the Soul from this heavy, cumbersome physical body that imprisoned it for a while. Free again.
The call from Divinity which brooks no denial…. when this call comes, there is no choice but to follow.
It comes on time. At the right time.
From the physical viewpoint, it seldom seems the right time to die – especially to those who love the one who has been called. We don’t want them to go. We want them to stay – for us. It will mean change and uncertainty. How will we cope? What if we don’t?.
Life will never be the same.
Life IS never the same – from one moment to the next it changes but I don’t notice. The changes are small enough to ignore.
Until a big change is forced upon me.
Life is change.
Life is movement.
Nothing stays the same.
I can either resist or accept.
Resistance closes me to life, it puts a hard shell around me and prevents me from fully participating in life. It takes away joy and peace. I can become bitter and resentful. Stuck in my pain. Isolated, Alone.
Acceptance opens me to life. It softens me, makes me more wise and loving. Opens me to learning and growing. Through acceptance I can experience the love and peace that underpins all creation. I feel connected, loved, alive.
About a week after my partner Ian died, I was walking early one morning with Monty his dog around the farm where we lived, when suddenly it felt as though everything became still.
Completely Silent….. It was as though time ceased… Even the birds stopped singing.
I had an overwhelming sense of knowing Ian as eternal spirit. Timeless and Free. And then I understood completely that I also was that. We all are that, and I knew that it didn’t matter if I lived another 50 years on this earth without him, because it was nothing, just a blink of an eye in comparison to eternity. For that brief moment, I experienced myself as timeless. The wonder of that moment remains with me five years later.
My mind and body, because they are creations of this world, only know time as experienced on this earth. My Soul, although linked to a physical body for periods of time, exists outside of time and space, and is timeless.
My Soul is fearless because there is nothing to fear. My Soul knows no grief for there is nothing to grieve. My Soul knows each physical life is like a play performed on a stage for the purpose of learning and enrichment, but sometimes my mind forgets “I” am just the actor playing a part and I take it way too seriously.
Would I grieve if in the play a character died, and I knew that in a little while, when the curtain goes down on the final scene we would be re-united again? From the viewpoint of the Soul, this is all it is when the physical body of some-one we love dies.
Millions of people in this world suffer because they identify themselves as a body and mind and not a Soul. This is guaranteed to cause suffering. Choosing to know ourselves as Soul will bring us out of suffering into peace and love and joy. Its not difficult. We live in a universe that is designed to support our Soul growth – that is the whole purpose of it, so whenever we decide to know our-self as Soul – everything we need will come to help us to achieve it.
We just need to be open.
Yesterday I watched incredulously, scenes shared on media of brawls breaking out in supermarkets over toilet paper.
Images of shelves in supermarkets empty of rice, pasta and other staples.
And I asked myself in amazement “what is wrong with the world?”
FEAR is what is wrong with this world.
Fear is dangerous..
Fear is contagious…
On one end of the spectrum, fear creates perpetrators and violence. At the other end, it creates victims and submission. It always creates suffering. (Except when it is an appropriate response to immediate physical threat and flight or fight is necessary).
It is very easy to condemn the people who are behaving irrationally, but they are afraid. Fear is making them behave like this. While not condoning their behaviour, let’s have compassion.
AT THIS POINT IN TIME, IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER, THAT THOSE WHO ARE ABLE, DEMONSTRATE LOVE AND COMPASSION.
What is happening now is a clear demonstration of the negative aspect of technology. In particular, it is a clear demonstration of the power of the media to whip humanity into a frenzy. And it is a clear demonstration of commerce without compassion.
Some people seem to be unaware that mainstream media – newspaper, TV and radio is attention seeking. This is how they get readers and viewers. Unfortunately, fear sells. Fear grabs attention. It seems to me that the media is very busy generating fear at the moment with no forethought as to what the outcomes could be. The greatest threat to mankind right now is not the corona-virus, but rather the global panic that is being incited. That panic is just as capable of de-stablising economies and already is, than a pandemic of a flu.
Case in point: As I am writing this, my computer flashes an unwanted “breaking news” update – third person dies in Australia from Corona-virus. An 80 year old man. With the utmost of respect to this man and his family, an 80 year old man dying is not an unexpected occurrence surely. That is a fairly long life and chances are he had health conditions that made him susceptible to a virus.
This is fear-mongering folks, and the danger of it should not be under-estimated.
Lets get things in perspective.
According to the World Health Organisation:
Infectious diseases like HIV, Tuberculosis, Viral hepatitis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases and sexually-transmitted infections will kill an estimated 4 million people in 2020.
Lack of food, unsafe food and unhealthy diets are responsible for almost one third of today’s global disease burden.
More than 1 million adolescents aged 10-19 years die every year. The leading causes of death in this age group are road injury, HIV, suicide, lower respiratory infections and interpersonal violence. Harmful use of tobacco, alcohol and drug use, lack of physical activity, unprotected sex and previous exposure to child maltreatment all increase the risks for these causes of death.
Billions of people around the world are living in communities without safe water to drink or adequate sanitation services – both of which are major drivers of disease.
And the clincher for me: Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are a direct result of tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. The World Health Organisation says it is one of the biggest health threats the world has ever faced. Have I missed the news reports on this? Why do I not receive a ‘breaking news” update on my computer telling me every time a person dies from tobacco use?
Because of commerce without compassion of course.
To quote further statistics. According to the website Worldometer , There have been 63,772 closed cases of coronavirus. 94% recovered, 6% died. Take into consideration that those most likely to get the virus and become seriously ill are those with compromised health.
If everyone is sensible, washes hands, stay home if they are unwell, build their immune system with healthy eating, no smoking, exercise and concentrate on living lovingly – there probably isn’t too much to worry about.
Breaking news – we are all going to die one day. ENJOY THIS MOMENT, RIGHT NOW. Don’t waste it on worry or fear. Be sensible, then allow what will Be to Be.
Things are about to get Real.
I’ts 3.50am and the power is out. There is an electrical storm raging in the distance, lightening flashing intermittently through my window. It is really windy and I can’t sleep.
It is partly due to the wind – I have to sleep with the windows open because the Menopause has seriously interfered with my internal thermostat and I need to be cool when I sleep or my body attempts to melt.
The wind woke me up, but the other reason I can’t sleep is because I am feeling frustrated.
I am trying to write a book about my experience with cancer. Attempting on and off for six years. Yes, six years. More, if I’m really honest, I have lost track of time.
I admit, I have been a champion procrastinator in the past – I only dropped that debilitating habit of self-sabotage a few months ago, so it is quite new for me to be focused and disciplined when doing something for myself, but I was going great guns, and I’m thinking, yes, this time I am really going to finish it, I’m on a roll here, then….. a grinding halt. Again. Dammit.
The first two chapters just flowed, then I have been trying to write a chapter on Modern Medicine which I thought was an important part of the book, but it has been a struggle and I have lost the feeling of flow. I haven’t been able to understand why.
I don’t have a problem with not sleeping. Some of my most creative and profound thoughts arise during the night and early morning. I think it is partly because my senses are resting, there is no external stimulation, the outside world is quiet (except for that wind), there are no distractions and my mind can free flow. I also believe my sub conscious mind works well at problem solving while I am asleep or lazily awake.
So, I lie in bed, wrestling with this problem of why the book is no longer flowing. I begin to feel panic arising and I am thinking I am never going to finish it, I am going to die one day with my story still inside me. I start to tell myself stories that I am a loser, who do I think I am to believe I have a story worth telling, what do I really have to say that could be of help to anyone ? How dare I believe I can live a life less ordinary.
Classic 3am self-torture.
I rarely think like this anymore, and I am not enjoying the way it makes me feel. I feel a surge of anger rise in me and I think “No, I’m writing this damn story and continuing with my plans to create an on-line business doing what I love, using what I have learned from life to help other people because I have always believed this is what I am meant to do”.
And suddenly, I can see why the book isn’t flowing. I realise where I have gone wrong.
In this chapter on Modern Medicine, I got out of storytelling and into officialism, I got official. I love researching subjects that interest me, I am an avid seeker of information – my house is full of books. This subject really interests me, but I got too serious and formal about it and the book ceased to become a story and became a report.
I am good at writing reports – in my work I had to. Only the facts: objective, not subjective. I was good at it, but it isn’t really me. You see, I like objective – it certainly has its place, but I LOVE subjective. Personal experience. Individuality. Vulnerability. Perception.
Human-ness – warts and all. In all its diversity and confusion.
I love connection. I really feel that a big part of the problem with the world today is lack of connection with ourselves, our community, nature and a Higher Power. In fact, I have been musing on a metaphysical theory I have that somehow cancer has manifested as the disease of our time because it is symbolic of the current disease of humanity – an ever increasing disconnection with “Other”. Cancer cells are cells that have become selfish – they don’t want to die, and they are only concerned with themselves. The greater good of their community and the environment they live in – the body – is no longer important. Their self absorption ultimately causes the destruction of the very environment that sustains cell life, and when it dies, they die. Sound familiar? It parallels with how humankind treats the planet that sustains its very life. As without, so within. Just sayin….
Anyway, the point I am slowly getting to is that it is hard to feel a real connection with a report. and I realise this is where I went wrong. Anyone can write a report based on facts, but only I can write my story, my way, from my perspective. I like connection. I need to be real.
Often I am filled with self-doubt – do I have anything to say? but I am beginning to understand that my perspective is relatively unique.
Beginning to understand that not a lot of people do what I have done – Take on cancer on my own terms.
It started out partly through fear. Nothing brave about it. Initially, I was more scared of mainstream treatments than I was of dying from cancer. I also felt that I would be letting Ian down somehow if I used mainstream treatments when they had not been offered to him, and I had a deep belief that my healing would not come from physical intervention, but rather through Mind and Spirit. So Mind and Spirit became my focus. I dabbled at various times with alternative therapies, but none seemed to make much difference to the cancer. Somewhere along the way, fear disappeared and cancer became my vehicle for self healing and self-discovery. Cancer has been of little importance to me, except for what it can teach me.
Some would probably say I have played Russian Roulette with my life. That may be. Who can say for sure? Fortunately no one will ever know, although some may have a strong opinion. I am no longer very interested in whether other people approve of my decisions or how I live. I have more important things to do
like live my life.
Would I be cancer free today if I had chosen chemotherapy, radiation or surgery? I don’t know, but the point is, today I am still alive, miraculously so according to statistics, and extraordinarily well and the journey has been worth it. I have learned how to be happy almost all the time.
I have a story to tell: this blog is part of it and I’m going to do it my way, so I’m dropping the more formal style and I am going to be unashamedly subjective. Do I have anything to teach? I will let you be the judge of that. Do I have anything to share? Yes, I think so, so I am going to share. Share my life, share my story and maybe it will give some-one, somewhere hope. Maybe it will help to alleviate some-ones fear. Maybe it will inspire some-one to really live and love their life. If this happens, then I have been honoured to help.
I am going to end by repeating a common theme for me:
Live your life as passionately, authentically, boldly and lovingly as you can.
Do you cherish and occupy fully your precious human life?
When we live like this, we can make a positive difference in the world.
Let’s Get Real
Got to go….. I have a book to write.
Are you happy?
What makes you happy?
How does happiness feel?
I am studying Meditation Teaching and Holistic Counselling, and this week, part of the assignment was to do a survey on happiness, and it has really got me contemplating.
Everyone I surveyed when asked to rate how important happiness was to them rated it a 10 – very important. Hardly surprising. I think it is safe to say that except for a miserable few who enjoy feeling unhappy, we all want to be happy. Some people may say they want a lot of money or a world trip or a loving relationship and that is what motivates them, however if questioned closely, the end result is that they believe it will make them happy.
We all want to be happy right?
So how much effort do you put in each day to be happy? You see, happiness is a choice.
Our mind likes to dwell in the future or the past, that’s where most of us live unfortunately, and it will tell us that if we had this or that, then we will be happy. Plus we are bombarded with ads on the media that are designed to convince us we will be happy if we buy their product. We have been conditioned to believe that happiness depends on our external circumstances being favourable, when in actual fact, it is our internal environment which is responsible for our happiness.
The problem is, the conditioned mind is rarely happy for long. It is very good at seeing what is wrong about a situation, what is lacking, what other people are doing that isn’t right. It tends to be quite critical, directing the criticism both externally and internally, and it likes worry and anxiety because it strengthens itself through constant chatter. What if…. Why…..If only….How could they…..
I spent many years of my life anxious and worrying. If you don’t already know, and lucky you if you don’t, it is quite hard to be happy when your mind is full of anxiety. Your external circumstances may be well nigh perfect, and yet you are unable to really appreciate them, have gratitude and feel happy. Because something may go wrong, or something isn’t right, or what will people think or, or, or….the list goes on.
But, good news! You don’t need a new boat, or good health, or more money or be more popular to be happy.
The mind is the source of all unhappiness and the source of all happiness.
So drop the thought that something outside of yourself needs to happen for you to be completely happy because it simply isn’t true. Happiness is our birthright. The capacity for happiness is right there within us, it is just that our mind is obscuring it by putting conditions on it or burying it beneath a mountain of worries.
Do you know how to be happy 99% of the time?
It is actually simple.
Become aware of your thoughts, know what you are thinking at any given time and as A Course in Miracles says: “choose only love, for that is what you are”.
In every situation, ask, “what would love do?”, then do that. You see, the basis of all feeling, reaction or action is either love or fear. If it is negative it is fear based, if it is positive it is love based.
So choose only love, and this needs to begin with you. Choose to love yourself and treat yourself lovingly.
Love your mind by choosing only loving thoughts (hint: worrying isn’t loving thoughts),
Love your body by looking after it. Showing gratitude – if you are reading this, you are still alive.
Love your spirit by choosing love not fear.
It isn’t selfishness, because when you do this, love permeates outwards to others… you share the love. Being Love brings us and the world, happiness. It feels good because that is what we are, our true nature is Love.
Love yourself and be in love with life and happiness will follow as night follows day.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s
lives may be,
I go and lie down, where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the
great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with
of grief. I come into the presence of still
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am
I love this poem by Wendell Berry.
“I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief”
You may have noticed I love to photograph nature. This morning I was up at 5am to photograph the sun-rise. The sky was a palette of pale pinks, smokey greys and blue reflecting in the silky smooth water of the estuary.
The black swans slept with their heads under their wings, resting in serenity while the sea gulls languidly strolled the waters edge searching for tasty morsels for breakfast. A gentle breeze teased the leaves in the paper barks and sang a melody in the pines.
I cycled along the path until I came to a favourite place – a row of Bottlebrush shrubs where the New Holland Honeyeaters play and feast on the nectar, filling the air with their joyful song as they swoop and dart among the bushes, pausing for a moment to lick the sweetness off the flowers (yes, apparently they have a “brush-tipped tongue” with which they take up nectar from the flowers).
I watch in delight their simple joy of being alive.
We have many privileges living in this country, but we live in a culture that has forgotten how to Be.
Has lost the joy of simply being alive,
in the moment, truly present.
Have forgotten how to be silent.
To come into the peace of wild things.
When Ian was alive, we lived on a farm, and many times I drove home from work wondering if he would be alive when I walked into the house. I would hop out of the car to open the gate, and often the cows were in the paddock near the drive and I would stop and take a breath, breathing in their peace, their being-ness, their calm acceptance of life and death. Their surrendered-ness to what Is, and I would be comforted, understanding that as I too surrendered and let go of my ideas about what should be, and what should happen, I could share their peace.
It took a while, but I got there eventually.
We fight and struggle, resist and negotiate, trying to make Life fit into our will. Our little, ignorant, ridiculously defiant will. It would be amusing if it didn’t cause us so much pain.
“Life is the dancer and we are the dance”. Echkhart Tolle
Come into the peace of wild things, and learn how to surrender joyfully into life.
Be Still, and know that I am God.
I was asked the question today, “what about supplements and diet”.
Many, many people have had wonderful results healing from cancer using diet and supplements. It is an intelligent decision to support the body physically to heal by giving it the best nutrition you can.
There is an endless amount of products out there that claim to do amazing things to treat cancer. And they probably do have great results for some people. If you have a magnesium deficiency for instance that affects your health, then addressing that imbalance should make a difference – that is common sense. But if you have sufficient magnesium in you body for its needs, taking extra probably isn’t going to have great results. The body will either flush it out, or if it can’t do that, it will store it somewhere (which may cause problems). The body is extremely clever at keeping balance – we need to trust it more. If there is a physical imbalance affecting your immune system and causing the cancer, supplements may be the answer. It is worth doing.
In my opinion, and it is an opinion – I am not an expert on anything except my own life and even then sometimes I don’t have a clue! (Although I have spent the last 13 years informally studying cancer and the mind and spirit) – I think there are many causes of cancer – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Imbalances, unhealthiness or abuses in all of these areas manifest physically. As human beings we are Mind, Body, Spirit. The are intertwined. The body is the barometer of the mind and spirit as well as being impacted by its physical surroundings. It is a tool for us to experience life on earth.
We are unique and individual. This means that what is right for one person, is not necessarily right for the next. There is the old saying “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”. It is so true. It is also true for cancer treatments both mainstream and holistic.
I believe we need to connect with our own body and mind and spirit and learn to trust ourselves and what feels right for us.
If you go to an oncologist, they have a certain skill-set they have been trained in. It is quite narrow, and that is fine, if they have what you need. They tend to have a very aggressive approach to cancer that works contrary to the natural processes and intelligence of the body. (A lot like mankind’s approach to nature – domination and force). They also tend not to know how to support the body to heal (including heal from the effects of their treatment). If you feel this is what you need, it makes you feel safe and you believe in it – then go for it, it will probably work for you, (and the body’s incredible powers of recuperation are never more apparent than when it recovers from chemotherapy and radiation treatment).
If you go to a Naturopath or other “alternative” practitioner, they also have a skill set that they are trained in. They tend to have more options in their tool-kit than Oncologists because of the vast array of supplements and tonics etc available to support the bodies own healing mechanisms.
Most of the above do not invest a lot into the mind and spirit as well as treating the body for the simple reason they have their particular interest and naturally focus on that. A good holistic practitioner should help with mind, body and spirit.
None of them inhabit YOUR body, mind or spirit. Only you do. As such, you experience the best indications of whether something is good for you or not. If you aren’t so disconnected and busy you don’t notice them.
I didn’t listen or trust myself for a long time. I did the whole diet,supplements, CBD, cannabis, IV Vitamin C, Juicing, protocols etc, and it didn’t make a scrap of difference to the cancer although my body does appreciate eating healthily and getting good nutrition.
Because I wasn’t listening to myself. I knew way back when I was diagnosed, that the cancer was associated with the anxiety and stress in my mind, and the powerful and negative beliefs I held about God as well as unresolved trauma. I believed that my physical healing (if I was meant to live) would come about through healing myself emotionally and spiritually. I also believed there was a purpose in having this cancer that was directly related to fear and dying, and I was meant to help other people overcome this, but I had to overcome it myself first.
As I say, I didn’t really listen because I was a conformist and I felt compelled to listen to others who followed the path of nutrition – the path of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery felt so compellingly wrong for me that I wasn’t going to go there. (Having said that, after 12 years with cancer, I had 2 x one week sessions of radiation last year which I am glad I did for various reasons – I will explain in another post). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the nutritional path seemed to make no difference whatsoever to the progression of the cancer.
Now that I have finally decided to step into “my purpose” and share what I have learned, I feel incredibly energised and even more well than usual. With regards to the physical impact of this step on the cancer – time will tell. In the meantime I am loving life and enjoying myself.
In summary, You are unique, you are individual and your body will respond uniquely to any treatment you decide to undertake. Investigate options, ask opinions, seek advice, but always come back to yourself, sit quietly and ask yourself if it feels right for you. Until you learn to trust yourself, it takes courage because there are very loud voices out there with strong opinions who are quite happy to tell you they are right. Often with the best of intentions.
The universe is designed to support us. Some people heal into living, some people heal into dying. Some people are cured, some people aren’t. Personally, I believe that I will only die when my soul decides it is time to go home and why would I argue with that? It is all good. It will be the perfect time. Relax and enjoy the journey instead of worrying. It is going to unfold how it is going to unfold, all you need to do is show up each day, willing and open to learning and growing and what you need will arrive.
Life is for Living
Drop the need to know why things are as they are.
Accept it. Work with it. Don’t fight against it and you will find you can be happy anyway, no matter what. AND YOUR MINDSET AFFECTS YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH.
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