I teach a series of relaxation classes to cancer survivors which assist them in finding some peace amidst the chaos. I begin by telling them that anxiety, depression and insomnia can be quite common after one has been told they have cancer. There is usually a big sigh of relief in the room. “I thought there was something wrong with me,” is a typical response and I reaffirm that is not the case at all.
I invite the group to learn new techniques which will decrease stress and tension and help them feel better emotionally, physically and mentally. Results can be felt immediately and there are no side effects what so ever!!!! Everyone is always eager to begin.
The breath is what brings vital oxygen to every cell in the body. “Breathing in gives life. Breathing out brings cleansing.”(Carolyn Kortege-Author of Spirited Walker) Your breath is what connects your body to your spirit. Quite amazing indeed!!!
I invite the group to close their eyes and go within. We relax our body parts beginning at our feet and work our way up to our heads. I share with my students that we store so much tension in our shoulders and necks and even our jaws. After a few simple breaths shoulders have dropped significantly and even mouths have unclenched. It’s very cool to see!
We then focus on the belly and I ask the group to imagine on the inbreathe that they are inflating a balloon that sits in their abdomen. “Watch your balloon get bigger and bigger,” I say, ” as their bellies rise, “and then on the outbreathe, allow your balloon to deflate as your belly becomes soft and supple. If thoughts come in, which they will, allow them to pass, and focus on your breath once again.” We do this exercise for a minute or two and then gently open our eyes and come back into the room.
I ask for feedback and receive responses such as: “I felt so calm. My hands got tingly. My feet felt warm. I felt safe. I felt loved. I felt a sense of control.” The responses are as unique as the magnificent attendees and everyone’s experience is their own.
Once comfortable with this process I encourage them to increase to 5, 10 even 15 minutes once or twice a day. It’s a great way to begin and end the day, especially before bedtime. Get’s you nice and relaxed and ready for a great night’s sleep. It’s like having a cup of warm milk and honey!!!!
Breathework can help decrease blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate. It is also beneficial for stress, sleep and digestive issues and alleviation of PAIN. Best part about these exercises is that you can do them anywhere and anytime.
Sitting in the oncology office for an appointment or waiting for my radiation, I used these techniques. If I felt anxious about an upcoming meeting with a doctor or a test I used them too. I found them to be so calming and helpful in quieting the “mind” which was quite active at times. ” Information overload,” I liked to call it. Finding a few moments of peace and quiet was such a gift. Sometimes going within helped me in my decision process too. In the beginning of your cancer journey you have lots of decisions to make regarding your health. This tool can be very beneficial.
You can incorporate color, mantras, numbers and so many other handy tools with your breathework. Best of all, make it your own. Let it send ripples of warmth and healing throughout your body.
Dr. Herbert Benson, a pioneer in mind/body medicine created the “Relaxation Response” and it is another great method to counteract the stress in our lives. Simple and easy, yet it works.
So I invite you to stop and listen to the gentle, soft rhythm of your breath. That breath that brought you into this world!!! That breath that touches your soul and soothes your mind. Listen to that quiet music within where all your answers reside.
Breathe in life and let go of what no longer serves YOU…….
I was interviewed a few years back by a wonderful, amazing author and speaker named Connie Pombo. I first met Connie at an event called “STOWE WEEKEND OF HOPE.” This event is an inspirational weekend for cancer survivors and their families and it is held in beautiful Stowe Vt. I attended wellness programs, workshops and listened to some awesome speakers. It was a life changing weekend for me and I connected with so many souls who were walking a similar path.
It was here that I attended Connie’s”Writing to publish workshop.” Having published several books already, she shared some tips and tools about writing with the potential of publishing your very own book.
A year or so later I did an interview with Connie as she was the facilitator of a website for cancer survivors that provided support and important information.
One of the questions she asked me in the interview was the following.
Tell me about the day you received your diagnosis. And here was my response.
When cancer knocks at your door there is absolutely nothing to prepare you for it. It takes years and years for cancer cells to multiply in your body, yet suddenly one day it presents itself with or without warning. The three words, “You have Cancer,” are I believe the most frightening words one can ever hear from a physician. Sit down, take a few deep breaths, and by the way your tumor was malignant were the first words I remember hearing from my surgeon. My mind couldn’t comprehend the jargon. “He must be mistaken,” I thought as he repeated the words again. “Malignant-Cancer.” It was a very surreal experience.
It truly was a day my life changed forever with or without my permission. “How will I survive this? Where do I even begin?” Immediately, my mind went into overdrive for a few moments and then it went BLANK! It felt like something inside of me had just died……
After spending a few minutes alone composing myself, I gathered my daughters, ages 19 and 21, at the time, and sat them down. I shared my news and we cried and hugged together. I told them we had a CHALLENGE ahead, but that we would get through this as a family with our LOVE and SUPPORT for one another. My husband and son were called at work to come home immediately. Again, we held each other and allowed the tears to flow. I so needed them now more than ever. I truly had no idea how we were going to get through this challenge as I called it. Heck, I didn’t even know if I was going to make it through this day. I knew one thing, it was going to be a bumpy roller coaster ride, so I put my seat belt on immediately. The ironic thing here is that I hated roller coasters!!!!!
I don’t think anyone ever, ever expects to hear the “C” word. For some it is a shock, for others it is not. There is no right or wrong, it is your own unique experience. Whatever your response is, it is right for YOU. No judgement! Allow whatever feelings that arise, to come up and feel them. Honor yourself and if you’re angry it’s okay. If you’re scared, that’s okay too.
For some silly reason I never expected to receive this diagnosis as I was also an ONCOLOGY NURSE. I was not supposed to get “IT.” I was the nurse taking care of patients who had cancer. So somehow, it felt like a double whammy. Plus, I just knew way too much.
What I have learned is that everyone deals with crisis in a different way. Always remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can under the circumstances. It is indeed a learning process and there are soooo many ways to work through your concerns and worries. You never have to carry your burdens alone.
If I was to tell you that I wasn’t scared as heck in the beginning, I would be telling a huge lie. Being diagnosed with cancer can bring up lots of fears and for most it is about one’s mortality. Life became a whole lot more precious the day I was diagnosed with cancer. Everything and I mean everything took on a new meaning.
My life changed in a heartbeat that hot summer’s day. And all it took was a simple phone call.
Know that you are not alone in your feelings. Trust that you will get through this and you will. Allow others to support you, especially those who have not only survived this disease, but have thrived. Surround yourself with positive, inspiring survivors who can uplift and guide you. They can show you the way out of the darkness and into the light.
There will be much more to come as I introduce some truly inspirational people that I met on my path and I will share some different modalities and therapies that helped me to heal. There is so much support out there if you’re looking for it. And HOPE is a big word in my vocabulary as well, for there is indeed life after a cancer diagnosis.
www.stowehope.org is the website for the wonderful event I mentioned above If you decide to attend I can assure you it will be a weekend of love, faith, and joy. It will be a weekend you will treasure always!
May you be blessed with an amazingly abundant day today!
May the clouds break and the heavens pour down upon you more joy, more love, more laughter and more abundance than you could ever dream of.
May the sun shine its golden light of health through every cell of your extraordinary body.
May you be cleansed today of any resistance or feelings of unworthiness that you may still be holding onto.
May your false illusions of doubt, fear and scarcity gently fall away like soft white feathers on a gentle breeze.
May you be willing, simply willing, to allow the Universe to shower you with miracles.
May the Angels wrap you in their comforting wings of serenity.
May your eyes shine with the glorious knowledge of who YOU really are.
May your mind grasp the truth that YOU are worthy and deserving of the very best life has to offer.
May you see the preciousness of life as your day unfolds moment by moment with amazing grace.
As this day ends, may you slumber wrapped in an exquisite blanket of enduring peace and profound gratitude.
“Most of us need people around who empower us and help us feel able, on track, in balance, hopeful. We need people who tell us we can. Even if they don’t use words, they believe in us and that belief comes shining through. We look at them and what we see reflected back is our own power.
But sometimes we run into those who, instead, try to convince us of THEIR power, convince us that THEY have our answers, that we need THEM to be able to see clearly, that without THEM, we won’t be able to find the way. They don’t believe in us; they only believe in themselves. That’s not empowerment. That’s an approach destined to create dependency, often unhealthy dependency.
Cultivate relationships with people who make you feel like you can, who help you know that you are on track, right where you need to be. Spend time with people who help you know that you can trust yourself.”
Seek out people who empower you.
Learn to empower those you love. And
during those times when no one’s around,
know that you can empower yourself.
In a few short months I will be coming up on a very big anniversary. NO, not my wedding anniversary, which by the way is a huge deal as well, but the one I’m talking about today is my cancer anniversary.
It was almost nine years ago that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Hard to fathom at times, as it feels just like yesterday. But as the saying goes, “time waits for no one,” and for sure time has marched on.
As I look back as to who I was then, and who I am now, it’s like I was two different people. I am soooooo much stronger today. My cancer experience has empowered me and led me down a path to health and wholeness. My journey has allowed me to heal myself in ways I never imagined. I have become a courageous WARRIOR WOMAN inspired and supported by healers, teachers, books and hundreds of enlightening classes. Always eager and avid to learn new ways to restore harmony and balance in the body/mind/spirit.
So many lessons learned. So much gratitude for the family and friends who embraced me, at a time when I felt so weak and vulnerable. Each one of them held me up until I could stand on my own two feet once again.
Nine years later I have so much to share as my life has changed in the most amazing ways. I believe that my cancer experience has been a journey which has helped me evolve to the spiritual being I am today. And I can honestly say that I LOVE ME!!!!!! which back in the day were foreign words in my vocabulary.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer know that there is so much support available. There is indeed life after cancer and you can find peace and joy amidst the chaos. It is indeed possible.
I will share some of my own experiences and tools down the road as I feel that this is what assists each other in healing. I have ” walked the walk” so I can “talk the talk. Together we can get through just about anything. Listening and opening our hearts to someone is indeed a special gift. I was the recipient of that gift well over nine years ago, and it is now time for me to give back. And I feel deeply honored to do so!
With Valentine’s Day around the corner I thought it would be lovely to talk about the subject of “LOVE.” It’s a hallmark holiday for sure as candy, cards and flowers are big hits for that special someone!
Who is that special someone in your life? Is it your significant other, a parent, a child, a sibling, or perhaps a mentor or teacher who has had an impact on your life. How wonderful it is to acknowledge those we hold near and dear in our hearts with a beautiful card or a box of tummy melting chocolates. I can smell and taste them already!!!! Yummmeeeeeeeeee…………………….
What about YOU??? You are incredibly special too. You are a gift to this world. You are LOVE!!!! Do you know that? Well, I’m telling you right now! And you don’t have to have a partner in your life to whoop it up for the day. You can celebrate YOU. Just try it.
Celebrate your greatness… your uniqueness…. Treat yourself to a pretty card, or even better, make your own just like you did when you were a kid. Pamper you with a warm bath and lavendar oils, a candle, and soft music in the background. How bout a cup of chamomile or peppermint tea and a twinkie. Take yourself out to your favorite restaurant and wear your cutesy outfit that makes you feel oh so special.
See, you don’t have to wait for that special someone to treat you to any of these gifts. Heck, why wait, treat YOU as you would love be treated. You can be your own best friend if you choose. Try it and see what happens. You may just surprise yourself when you realize your own magnificence!!!
May this Valentine’s Day be the beginning of a loving relationship with the coolest person in your life. YOU……………………………….
Have you ever wondered why you came to this Earth in the first place? Do you ever ponder the thought,”what is my purpose in this lifetime or is there something else I should be doing but haven’t quite figured out yet?” BIG ?????????????? wouldn’t you say.
Do you believe that you are a lightworker? A lightworker shines their light on others to help them grow and evolve. There are soooooo many changes going on in the world in every facet that we can no longer deny. Everywhere people are asking the same question. What the heck is going on. It’s quite simple. It’s called the SHIFT. This period in time is a momentous ascension for humanity into a more loving, compassionate world. So much goodness will come from this.
If you are indeed a lightworker and feel a CALLING to assist on this mission, I invite you to join us. Just say “YES”…… It will be a grand opportunity to inspire and enlighten other likeminded beings. Together we CAN make a difference on this planet. We can change the world one spiritual being at a time!
In the very near future my sister Marilyn and I will be teaching a class on this very subject. Will keep you updated. Happy reading……..
Blessings and peace
Ok so I have entered the 21st century and I am now going to be blogging. First blog to follow….
Here are some suggestions for your first post.
- You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
- Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting page you read on the web.
- Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.