Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer and a licensed psychologist.
Unity is a word that is often associated with being together on the same page. However, as cancer survivors, the word “Unity” takes on a multitude of definitions. It is difficult to feel unified within when medical appointments steal precious hours from your days and emotions run the scale of numb to terrorized. Unity is something that must be worked on, developing it from within your being. It is important to discover tools that will help you with body, soul, and spirit. It is important to breath and connect to a quiet spot within.
As a psychologist, I often ask clients to build an inner safe place. This is a place that he/she imagines and creates with all of the necessary imagery, sounds, smells, colors, and ambiance for emotional safety. It is the first tool for developing unity within. Let me help you try it.
Allow yourself to take ten minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the day and sit quietly. You might want your journal and perhaps even crayons. Where is your favorite place to feel connected, happy, hopeful, and nurtured? This place does not have to really exist. You can imagine it.
For example, imagine that there is a place up in the sky that is surrounded by your favorite colors. There is a door with your name on it and you enter it to discover a room with a view of your favorite place (mountains, beach, meadow, park). The room is comfy with a big overstuffed chair, a cup of tea awaits you and the smell of sweet hibiscus fills the room. A candle is present if you choose to light it and as you look around, the room has everything that you can possibly need. As soon as you think of something that you need it appears. Take some time to write down what you see.
It is important to know that you do not have to re-create this same place each time you come here but this is a starter safe-place and it will change as you need it to change and as you change.
This room is very important because it is a safe and sacred place for you to come. It will allow you to get in touch with difficult emotions and explore the many choice points of your treatment. You can write anything in you journal in this room and will feel safe while you do it. Big cumbersome feelings will not overwhelm you in this room. It feels safe to cry here. It feels safe to be angry here. It feels safe to just sit and stare out of your window with a view. You do not have to do anything in this room. The room welcomes you just as you are. This room has enough mystery to it to help you re-connect to your body, soul and spirit.
Next ask yourself where you hurt or are uncomfortable. Send warm breath toward your uncomfortable body. Breath is your second most valuable tool for Unity within. Sit and breathe. Breathe gently in, as if you are going to fill yourself with nurturing oxygen, letting it swirl around in your nostrils and move into your lungs. Exhale slowly as if you are blowing out a candle. Or count as you breath in and out and continue to do so until you actually feel your body relax from inside out.
In your quiet safe place, relaxed by your breath you will be open to hear the wisdom within, that intuitive place that can help you make important decisions about what action steps you need to take. It is this place that you can be with your terror and not crawl out of your skin. It is in this place you can ask for wisdom and hear that quiet still small voice within. It is here that you can stretch your emotions as well as your body inviting the flexibility of life to help you stay open to change and options. As much as the body needs yoga, the mind and the spirit need emotional yoga. Emotional yoga is like learning to sit with your terror until it begins to transform into something different. Sitting is the key to Unity within.
Give it a try. Allow the possible frustration with learning to be with yourself to float away. Now more than ever you need to tools to be in touch with yourself. Enjoy your new safe place.
Photo Source: www.ClearYourMindNow.com
Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.