There is so Much to Recovery

breast-cancer-recoveryAs I am sitting by the fireplace in the midst of the Catskill region and reflecting on what to write for this breast cancer blog, I am reminded of my yogic learning. In yoga we try not to think that which we do not want. This is a blog for any recovery.

Recovery requires us look at more than the physical body
If I only focus on the disease, then my recovery is limited. Recovery requires us look at more than the physical body. Recovery cannot occur unless we are willing to look at the complexity of our being. We need to heal our physical body but that also includes our emotional, mental and spiritual being. Doctors and treatments do not heal us; they facilitate our process of healing. They are very necessary. They give us the strength and physical ability to enable the healing that comes from within us.

Our body when balanced has the power to heal
Working in hospitals as a student, I could not understand when doctors would say; “I can not do anything for this patient, she does not have the will to live.” We as patients must become partners with the doctors in the healing process. Our body when balanced has the power to heal according to yoga. Therefore yogis do exercises and breath work to enable the body to balance.

When the body has dis-ease, it is out of balance. With the wonderful work of science, doctors now have the ability to attack most dis-eases, and to give us the strength to begin the healing process. These blogs are here to assist us in this healing process.

The word yoga means to “yoke our individual self with the universal self.” We believe that eventually all of us will join our creator. To do so, we need to purify this physical, mental and emotional body. Our soul is universal, we are universal, but having a human experience. It is everyone’s destiny to return to the source. It matters not what you call the source, God, Allah, Krishna, there is only ONE but we all take different paths. When we are on the path towards our goals, we feel more balanced.

Our spiritual body is also required in the healing process
All beings on this planet rely on life force. This life force we call praana, others may call it chi or adamantine particles. Praana is the essence of life. It is the essence of creation coming from the Heart Core of our Supreme Creator. Therefore, our spiritual body is also required in the healing process.

How much praana we are able to absorb is dependent on our physical, mental and emotional vessel? I like to compare it with the electricity in our homes. It is always there to give us 120 volt. The refrigerator takes all of the voltage; whereas the transistor radio can only take 12 volts. Similarly our body utilizes praana according to the state of our being. The goal is to be able to absorb more and more praana. More life force in the physical body will affect the mental and emotional body. Similarly the emotional body affects the physical. When we are happy or in love, we have an abundant amount of energy. When we are sad and depressed our energy is low. When our mind creates tension, the flow of praana is obstructed within the physical vessel. So we must constantly try to increase the praana within us, through any method available, either physical, mental or emotional.

For any healing to occur we need to increase our intake of praana
Praana is life force that will aid all healing processes. The easiest way to increase praana is through the breath. Yoga states that by the regular practice of praanayaam or breathing exercises we can maintain a higher standard of health, vigor and vitality. For any healing to occur we need to increase our intake of praana.

For this blog post I would like YOU to start taking long deep breaths
Let the exhalation be as long as the inhalation, break the breath between both for a short while. We call this rhythmical breathing. This can be done at any time of the day, and as many times as possible. Practice daily, and slowly the body will get accustomed to taking in more oxygen.

When life becomes overwhelming and tense, take a deep breath and allow the exhalation to be twice as long as the inhalation, and the body will quiet down immediately. Put this tool in the back pocket and draw it out whenever necessary. Life gives us much tension.

With Love and Respect
Ma Mokshapriya

MokshaPriya Breast Cancer Authority Blog ContributorMokshapriya is ordained as Swami Ma Mokshapriya Shakti Saraswati and has taught yoga, meditation and philosophy for over 40 years. She currently teaches and gives guidance in Queens NY at the Yogashakti Yoga Center. She is the co-founder of the Yoga Teachers Training Institute and has trained over 250 yoga teachers in Long Island and New York. Mokshapriya has a Ph.D.in Education by researching and writing a “Comprehensive Eclectic Yoga Program: A Strategy for Self-Improvement” Curriculum for College. She is very direct, but approachable. You may contact her at info@teachyoga.org or www.teachyoga.org.

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Spiritual Fighters: Faith And Hope

A positive attitude towards an illness helps your body fight it faster.A positive attitude towards an illness helps your body fight it faster.

According to the WHO statistics cancers is listed among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide with approximately 14 million new cases and around 8.2 million deaths related to cancer following the year 2012. However, the numbers are improving each year and the survival rates of cancer patients are higher each year.

Still, these alarming statistics are behind hopelessness and fear in people diagnosed with cancer. But it is believed by most of the physicians that in reality, cancer fighters get best results from their treatments if they are determined and hopeful. Hopefulness provides a cancer patient with a framework for bringing to light the perspective and understanding via greater source than oneself. It builds a sense of emotional self-control and helplessness.

Researchers’ point of view:

In a study conducted at the University of Michigan Medical Center, more than 90% cancer patients mentioned that it was their faith that had increased their ability to stay hopeful.

  • It enables them to cope actively with all the hurdles and difficult life situations.
  • It builds a high quality of life.
  • Patients adjust themselves in a better way in receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • It provides them the stamina and tenacity to face the anxiety of their illness and the treatment

Another group of studies published in the Southern Medical Journal in 2004 reports that religious morals, activities, and beliefs are associated with:

  • A good immune function
  • Lower mortality (death) rates due to cancer
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Better cardiac outcomes
  • Improved health behavior i.e. (more exercise, good sleep, less cigarette smoking).

All this increases the lifespan of an individual fighting cancer.

Role Of Spiritual Mentors/Instructors:

The majority of cancer patients get anxious, stressed out, depressed and angry, thinking that “Why God is angry with me? Why am I the victim of this dreaded disease?” For such questions, spiritual counselors relax them with answers like: “It is not a punishment from God for you. It is your test of patience, and He knows you will be strong and fight this until you get better. He will help you through this. You need to have faith in Him and yourself.” It comes as a welcome relief to cancer patients and puts them in peace and serenity that is necessary for the healing process.

Spiritual mentors might not be able to change their thoughts, but they provide them that energy that assists them to fight cancer. It leads them to a state of tranquility by letting them share their feelings. They show them a bigger picture where faith, hope and medicine work together.

Role Of Family And Friends In Building Faith:

A cancer patient’s company has a high role in building confidence and faith to fight cancer with energy. A survey conducted by the researchers at John Hopkins University reported that successful coping with stress at the end stage of cancer was associated with two variables:

  • Caregivers or social contacts of cancer patients
  • Support that cancer patient receives from spiritual/religious faith

Religious teachings help the cancer patient to become a responsible and careful person. It is an important source providing long-term care. It helps to maintain a good quality of life.

Conclusion:

Although cancer challenges a cancer patient’s faith, still many people fundamentally seek their belief to be strengthened due to this experience. Learning new aspects of life restores faith in a better living and humanity. Faith and hope are equally significant in the healing process as other treatments for cancer.

References:

  1. Cancer and faith
  2. Coping with cancer (faith and cancer)
  3. Religion, Spirituality, and Medicine: Research Findings and Implications for Clinical Practice
  4. Supportive care:Rehabilitation

Dr. Adem Gunes

Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

An Invitation To Walk

Labyrinth Walking For Breast Cancer HealingBy: Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer and a licensed psychologist.

I have written before about this ancient symbol, The Labyrinth. However, I want to write again as I believe in the synchronicity of all events in each of our lives and that information that we need arrives just at the time we need it. I just returned from nine days of being immersed in all things Labyrinth. I returned knowing again that the Labyrinth has something important to share, especially with cancer patients.

That is something you and I have in common. We have been touched by cancer in one form or another and we are learning together how to manage the fear as well the changes to our lives that are so necessary to help us manage the disease with adjunctive holistic approaches such as yoga, exercise, clean eating and spiritual and psychological health.

Each of us are somewhere in our journey of treatment, maybe beginning, middle, or management stage. We did not have a choice about cancer. It didn’t knock or even announce itself when it entered. The next thing that you and I have in common is we did choose to show up in life and educate ourselves about what “best and informed choices” we can make now that cancer is a part of our tapestry of life. I understand the word “tapestry” is an interesting word choice because the underlying feeling is perhaps more like, “cancer has entered my body and ruined my tapestry”. Hating has never helped any of us get better and I believe gives us the mindset of fighting the enemy. But this duality of thinking can raise our anxiety and set us up for failure when a treatment does not work the way we want it to.

Over the years, I have found a very valuable resource in my cancer journey and that is this ancient symbol I have come to know as the labyrinth. At over 4,000 years old, the Labyrinth predates Christianity and its eleven or seven circuit path is found in all parts of the world. During my first year post treatment I made a commitment to walk the labyrinth one day each week. At that time (2000) the closest Labyrinth to me was thirty minutes away in downtown Phoenix at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. On New Year’s Eve of 2000 Trinity dedicated their beautiful outdoor eleven-circuit Chartres style Labyrinth. During that year, as I made my way down to the labyrinth and reflectively walked it (it is like a walking meditation) I began to let go of some of the angst and fear. I found myself re-evaluating my life’s choices and asking hard questions like, “Why me?” or “Why now?” As I maintained my commitment to walk, I realized I walked my way into a place of inner peace, acceptance, and resiliency. In some ways I integrated my journey and it was no longer the enemy. My hatred for the illness had dissipated and I had a sense of neutrality. It is what it is. My choice became “How do I come to it since it is now here?” These harder, more uncomfortable feelings were below my consciousness during treatment because the only things there are room for during treatment are survival muscles and survival thinking. It was post treatment that had hit me the hardest. Walking out of my last Chemo and crying because, now what can I do? The labyrinth answered that question with open arms by calling me to come and walk. It was not like I heard a voice, or read a book, it was as subtle as that inner voice could be, but I knew with no doubt that I needed to walk the Labyrinth. So, I did. I was curious about this need to walk the Labyrinth and had no concrete expectation.

Now that I have shared my personal experience, I hope I have tweaked your curiosity about this ancient symbol. Let me introduce you to my friend the Medieval Chartres Labyrinth, often referred to as the “Chartres Labyrinth” because it was discovered in the congregational area of the Chartres cathedral in France. This ancient symbol is being rediscovered today and being used in many ways–walking meditation is just one of those ways. If cancer has stolen your ability to walk comfortably or steadily, don’t fret. It is possible to “walk” a Labyrinth with your fingers, a hand-held replica or even by downloading an app on your smartphone or tablet called IPause. I use this app often, especially when waiting. Your finger serves your body in the same way your feet do. Notice the Labyrinth has a pattern of back and forth, left to right. When we walk the path with our feet our brain fires back and forth. When you follow your finger with your eyes, your brain does the same thing. So your brain will respond to the movement either way, by foot or by finger.

A Labyrinth is different than a maze in that it is one singular path. It is the same path into the center and when you get to the center it is the same path out again. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER and keep going. Perhaps, at first glance the Labyrinth may have reminded you of a maze but it is much different. A maze has many dead ends and many decision or choice points. As a cancer patient, perhaps you are experiencing your treatment like a maze, many dead ends and many confusing and conflicting treatment protocols. That is stressful. The labyrinth is the opposite of that as you only have to put one foot in front of the other. At times you may feel a little disorientated or lost but keep going with the confidence that moving forward will take you exactly where you need to be.

How do you do this thing called a labyrinth walk? Here are three guidelines for you:

  • Release
  • Receive
  • Return

As you stand at the opening of the labyrinth, think about what it is today that bothers you most or what it is that you are needing some help or guidance about. As you walk, just allow yourself to ponder that question and just put one foot in front of the other. Do not try to come up with an answer, just walk and ponder.

When you get to center, imagine yourself receiving a response to your pondering. Maybe you won’t have an immediate ah-ha, but imagine that here in the center there are many possibilities to your refection. Just allow a sense of acceptance and when you feel your energy shift, turn and walk out, circling your path out of the center as you did walking in. Return to your life with a sense of curiosity and let peace float around you like a rainbow. Return to your life knowing that you can take the next step of your cancer journey because you CAN, you have always had the power in you.

Other things that you might want to do as you explore your own journey with my friend the Labyrinth is to listen to music on the way in and out. You may want to carry a rock or something that represents your issue to the center and leave it there, walking out with your hands open in a receiving gesture. I find it helpful to journal before or after a walk. The writing about it for me helps me to punctuate my intention of this meditative time.

I suppose by now you are asking how do you find a labyrinth near you? Visit http://www.labyrinthlocator.com and type in your zip code. The webmasters at this site work hard to keep it updated and if you find a labyrinth near you and it is not on the site, please let them know so they can place it on there. Other helpful sites are

Enjoy your new journey as you use your curiosity to explore how this symbol might be helpful to you along your journey.

Dr. Robin DilleyDr. 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.

Featured Photo: Astrolog.org

Cancer Compassion: 6 Questions to Answer If You Want To Be Helpful To Family and Friends

Cancer Compassion - If You Want To Be Helpful To Family and FriendsBy: Stan Goldberg, Ph.D, Author of Lessons for the Living: Stories of Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Courage at the End of Life.

Supporting cancer victims affects us all. At least once in your life someone will say to you, I have cancer, and when those three words are spoken, you may struggle to respond in a compassionate and helpful way. The compassion part may be easy in supporting cancer victims. In the misery of another, we see ourselves; if not in the present, than in our past or future. But does having compassion automatically result in  skillful behaviors when supporting cancer victims? I’ve wrestled with this question as someone living with cancer survivor for twelve years and for twenty-five years as a counselor of people coping with chronic illnesses. My conclusion is compassion isn’t enough.

The What and How of Compassion

His Holiness, The Dali Lama, wrote “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” Thich Nhat Hanh, said, “Compassion means, literally, ‘to suffer with.’” For me, compassion is a what of Buddhist tradition. It says this is what we should be doing in supporting cancer victims, but not necessarily how to do it other than in general terms (e.g., acceptance, nonjudgmental, etc.).

supporting cancer victims The problem for many—including myself—is how to practice compassion in a way that is helpful to others. For example, is it compassionate to give a strung-out street person money knowing he will use it to buy drugs? Is it compassionate to tell your frightened mother who has terminal cancer she will survive? Some authors maintain answers to questions such as these come through meditation when we put ourselves in the place of others who are in great torment.

For me, meditation provides more whats than hows about supporting cancer victims, but rarely do hypotheticals translate into accurate understanding.

When Compassion Requires Facts: Supporting Cancer Victims

Driving from New York City to San Francisco is analogous to wanting to be compassionate in supporting cancer victims. The intents are clear; to arrive in San Francisco and to help a friend cope. You may be uncertain of the routes to take for the drive, so you go to a local travel office and ask, “How to I get to San Francisco?” A clerk points west and says “That way.” The directions are correct, but not specific enough to be helpful. I believe a similar problem exists in wanting supporting cancer victims and knowing how to implement it.

Supporting cancer victimsThe difference between intent and practice was made clear to me by a hospice patient who described the difficulty her brother had when she informed him of her cervical cancer prognosis.They were close throughout their lives, and she regarded him as compassionate. He stumbled when faced with transforming compassion into practical behaviors. He understood his sister’s condition would deteriorate. She would soon need help in daily activities, such as food preparation and personal hygiene. His dilemma was in not knowing how to approach these issues with her. Should he assume she needed help, or should he wait until asked?

The gap between compassionate intent and support was not limited to her physical needs. He struggled with knowing when the time was right to discuss how he felt about her. What should he say that would ease her journey? Should he raise the possibility she might not survive or pretend everything would be fine? He assumed compassion would be easy to actualize. But it wasn’t. It involved a series of choices about how to be compassionate.

You may believe supporting cancer victims only requires responses based on concepts such as “active listening,” “acceptance,” “openness,” “honesty,” and “being present.” According to people living with and dying from cancer, what they crave is specificity, not just generalities. There is immense gratitude for the compassion shown to us, but we need more.

Our Invitation and Your Responsibility

Think of “compassion” as what separates you from other people we encounter. You’re the type of person we want in our lives—and for some, our deaths. We are inviting you into a world that’s constantly changing, chaotic, and quite often frightening. We’ll ask you to transform intentions into actions if you accept our invitation. Below are six of the many areas in which your loved one or friend may ask for help. How would you respond without referring to the above general concepts? In other words, what would you do?

1) What will you do when I share my diagnosis with you?

2) How will you react to my fluctuating emotions?

3) What can you do to compensate for my accumulated losses?

4) What will you communicate to me and how will you do it?

5) When I experience emotional or physical pain, how will you help me?

6) What will you do if my prognosis is terminal?

Coping with cancer is a complex and messy journey for those of us experiencing it and friends and loved ones accompanying us. Supporting cancer victims requires both compassionate intent and practical knowledge merged as skillful, useful actions. Real compassion requires doing, not just feeling. If you couldn’t answer just one of the six questions, you might be interested in “I Have Cancer” 48 Things To Do When You Hear Those Words, available now on Amazon as a $3.49 ebook.

Stan Goldberg, Ph.DAbout Stan Goldberg, Ph.D: Stan is a cancer survivor,  husband, father, Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University, and devotee of the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) and Native American Flute. For eight years Stan was a bedside hospice volunteer at Pathways, Hospice By The Bay, George Mark Children’s Hospice, and Zen Hospice Project.   In 2009 Stan was named by the Hospice Volunteer Association “Volunteer of the Year.”

For more than 25 years  Stan Goldberg has taught, provided therapy, researched, and published in the areas of learning, change, loss, and end of life issues.

Photo Source: HandsFreeMama.com

The Ultimate Journey in Life is Going Within

The Ultimate Journey in Life is Going WithinBy: Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, Owner of Yoga Being.

The diagnosis of cancer pierces the dense illusionary promises of ‘tomorrow’. In a moment, we stand naked with ourselves, vulnerable and raw. We have immediate decisions to make. What will be my path? What will be my outcome?

Just two days ago, an acquaintance I have known through friends and through music making, was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer. “Jean, I’m thinking of going to Mexico for alternative types of low-dose chemotherapy. I’m thinking that I need more time to make a decision. I am afraid the chemotherapy will kill me. And that it will kill my immune system. Will I be able to play the piano if I get neuropathy? Playing the piano is my life.”

No one has answers for anyone else. I can share my experience and what I’ve learned from other cancer patients in the twelve years since my own colorectal diagnosis. But the journey one takes is within to find their answers. Cancer is a fierce foe, and can be unrelenting in its onslaught. Pain can drive our minds to dark and fearful places. If we go within, what will we find? Beyond pain, is there stillness within?

Escape is not an option for those of us with a late diagnosis.
Time is of the essence.
What we choose can determine the length and quality of our lives.
Only we know our values and preferences.

However, they can be difficult to discern in the midst of devastating health news. Only we can decide, and if and when, we say, “Enough, I am done with cancer treatments. ”

The polar opposites of life and death seem rigidity clear. Our earthly self cries out: “I choose life!” The question sparks an internal journey: life on what terms? My mother was very happy to sit in her easy chair; the patio garden provided hours of satisfying gazing. Was she meditating? Yes, to me she was. When I asked her, “Mom, what would you spend more time doing, if you had to live your life again?” She looked up at the hummingbird feeder, then caressed the budding flowers with her eyes. “I’d spend more time with you, doing this: talking and looking out the window.”A hummingbird for Jean's Mom

It was a simple, but profound answer: a Truth. Words that I use as a compass through the rough waves of my life. I reflect on my choices. Am I doing the things that make me feel happy? Am I taking joy in simple pleasures? Am I in this moment? In my mother’s answer lies the very basic truth of being. She spent three years in her easy chair. I spent many hours beside her. Together, we journeyed along a footpath to her final days. We had a long good-bye. Ultimately, cancer claimed the final blow to her health.

She was offered chemotherapy. She refused. She chose to return home and live out her few short weeks without treatment. Her decision came from within. I believe the hours of dancing with birds and blooms gave her an inner wisdom. My mother knew the cycle of life and rebirth. Her garden flower blooms spoke of their brief joys and whispered of a new beginning. The hummingbirds heartbeats move their chests and wings. “I will come to visit you as a hummingbird and a Monarch butterfly”, she told me. And she does.

I take time to look and listen for her. When I am at my lowest, one or the other avatars appear.

Blessings,
Jean Di Carlo-Wagner
Owner, Yoga Being
Only Online Advanced Yoga Training
For Cancer Survivors

Jean Di Carlo WagnerAbout Jean Di Carlo Wagner: Owner of Yogabeing.net
E-RYT200, E-RYT500 certified with Yoga Alliance
Yoga Therapist with International Alliance of Yoga Therapists
Atma Yoga Teacher Training, certified 500 hours Los Angeles
A Gentle Way Yoga, certified 200 hours
Silver Age Yoga, certified 200 hours

Healing From The Inside Out

Pink Paper - Healing Journey With Natalie Palmer

By Natalie Palmer, Co-founded The Pink Paper – Master’s in Integrative Health & Healing, Certified Life Coach and Reiki practitioner.

“Healing from the inside out” is how I’ve come to describe my personal healing journey. Since receiving a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis 9 years ago I’ve understandably had healing on my mind quite a bit. Thinking about it, praying about it, crying about, raging about it and going within finally allowed me to come to an understanding of what healing means, for mind, body and spirit.

What is healing?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists the following definitions for healing:

  1. To make sound or whole
  2. To restore to health
  3. To patch up
  4. To restore to original purity or integrity
  5. To return to a sound state

These definitions are all wonderful, and depending on the context in which they are used, I’m sure they adequately convey what’s meant to be communicated. But … there’s more to this healing thing isn’t there? If you’ve faced the challenges associated with a physical illness or a devastating loss or a serious accident or chronic disease you know what I mean. You understand that there’s SO much more to healing than meets the eye. True healing takes place below the surface, in places we connect to when we are still, quiet and focused within. True healing reconnects our mind, our body and our spirit. True healing brings us back into balance with ourselves and with our divine source. True healing is all about connection.

Another more comprehensive definition then of healing might sound something like this,
“ Healing is when we return to our original stating of Being where we are whole, restored and connected in mind, body and spirit to our source.” This describes healing from the inside out. Create a definition of healing that resonates with you.

Finding Source

Deepak Chopra said, “Human beings are made of body, mind and spirit. Of these, spirit is primary, or it connects us to the source of everything, the eternal field of consciousness.”

What do we say when we feel overwhelmed, exhausted and burnt-out? We talk about feeling disconnected and alone. We are disconnected, we’ve lost touch with our source, our Higher Power, or what some of us call God. Establishing or re establishing our connection to “the source of everything” is the most important aspect of healing deeply.

There are as many ways to connect with source as you can possibly imagine. Mother Theresa believed God could be found in silence when she said, “ We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” Buddha taught about cultivating a wakeful presence through meditation, “To awaken, sit calmly, letting each breath clear your mind and open your heart.”

When we open our hearts and quiet our minds we’re able to find source, our Higher Power, God or whatever name you give to that which is the creator of all there is.This connection we seek and crave is within ourselves. When Jesus was asked when the kingdom of God would come he replied, “ Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21) Connecting with the healing power of our Creator involves the ultimate of all journeys, the journey of going within, of discovery, love and complete acceptance of ourselves as spiritual beings first and above all else.

Ways to Heal

  • Pray
  • Meditate
  • Forgive daily
  • Allow goodness
  • Embrace silence
  • Nourish your soul
  • See God everywhere
  • Commune with nature
  • Listen with your heart
  • Cultivate inner peace
  • Appreciate the moment
  • Believe in transformation
  • Open yourself to miracles
  • Don’t judge yourself harshly
  • Remember we are all the same
  • Become a compassionate person
  • Accept yourself exactly as you are
  • Know you are loved beyond measure
  • Let go of that which no longer serves your highest good

This is truly a never ending list because there are SO many ways to allow healing from the inside out. Create your own list and begin to create your own healing.

“Then came the healing time, hearts started to shine, soul felt so fine, oh what a freeing time it was.”
– Aberjhani

Natalie Palmer Founder Pink PaperAbout Natalie Palmer: She is a reader, writer, vegan food eater and lover of light with a passion for helping others. As a way to “pay it forward” after a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis Natalie co-founded The Pink Paper – An online oasis of wellness information and inspiration. She also has a Master’s in Integrative Health & Healing and is a Certified Life Coach and Reiki practitioner.

 

 

 

 

A Kindred Spirit So How Do I Help?

Kindred SpiritsJean Di Carlo-Wagner, Owner, Yoga Being Only Online Advanced Yoga Training For Cancer Survivors

“I been in a *German hospital for four days with a GI bleed,” said a rather pale man sitting next to me in the international airport to whoever was on the other end of his dying cell phone. “I thought I was better, but I’m still bleeding.”  My sandwich suspended midair, I contemplated what words to introduce myself. This is regular type of occurrence for me; since becoming a colorectal survivor and devoting my life to serving others. My prayer sent up, I began, “Excuse me, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop on your conversation, but I am an 11 year colon cancer survivor, on my way to Washington, D.C. to advocate for funding and prevention of gastrointestinal cancers. My name is Jean. “  *Dan told me that he lived abroad and had had a CT and colonoscopy in Germany; but nothing was found. A mysterious G.I. bleed can be fatal. We talked like old veterans comparing war wounds. He decided to get further testing in the States.

Believing that one’s dharma is supported by the Universe makes these encounters with people “normal” for me. Dan and I exchanged emails and I’ve been keeping up with his testing. Asking my network of “experts” what they would suggest and then writing detailed emails outlining the types of tests to request and how to be a ‘pain in the ass’ patient.  We must advocate for ourselves and educate others.  As I sat taking notes at the Digestive Diseases National Coalition advocates training the next day, I thought of Dan and the many others in his situation. It is part of what makes me keep fighting for prevention, awareness and funding.

Eleven experts in the field of digestive diseases spoke to us about the progress, problems, and the promises of research. New medication is making its way to market and networking. When you combine all the diseases of the digestive track, from mouth to anus, you have a total of cancers and diseases that outweighs any single part of the body’s cancers.  There is power in integrating the digestive track diseases into a coalition of advocates: the sum is greater than its parts. The main points that stick with me are 1) that it takes so long to become an expert in biomedical research, which effects all cancer advances. We have few young doctors choosing  to wait until 44 (the average age of the doctors getting  NIH grants) to get acknowledged in their field. This means the future is already compromised.  We should all be worried about this building gap in biomedical research. Of course in the meantime, 2) medical trials are expensive, labor intensive and burdened with government paperwork. This slow down means that new medicines are taking a very long to reach consumers. We all know how expensive new drugs are and there is legislation to expedite the process.  And, most critically, the reduction in the National Institute of Health’s budget for all medical research, in “real dollars” (those adjusted for inflation) means that the money  available is crucially important to increase this year, or we will fall further behind in all medical research.

After a full day of state-of-the-art training by the DDNC, the 50 patient advocates were pumped and primed for hitting the halls of the Senate and House of Representatives.  That’s when we heard that “due to snow” the government would be closed the following day. Our advocacy day was a bust.  Since when are snow days called the day before? Erika Hanson Brown, Mayor of COLONTOWN and I, and fifteen others, braved the snow and showed up, anyway.  I had flown across the country to speak my mind, and someone was going to hear me! I had Dan on my mind and five friends who have died from this scourge of a disease called cancer.  I was determined.

Stuffing gluten free brownies into my knapsack as rewards, I walked the Halls of Congress looking for an opened door. I found that South Dakota’s office was opened. I walked in and two of the nicest young woman listened to me rattle on about why I had come to D.C. and what we needed their Senator to support. Then I asked a question I always ask, ”Do you or anyone in your family have inflammatory bowel disease?”  I want to personalize the reason for the legislation, and in this case, one of the young ladies said she had Celiac disease.  “Yes,” I told her, “you have to have a colonoscopy at age 40.”   She looked stunned, but now she was informed. I had done one good thing.  It’s my minimum quota for the effort I put into advocating:  just help one person.

Ironically, California offices were opened, but they canceled all their meetings.  It was particularly disappointing to me that my own State would have its offices opened and still cancel all their meetings. Believe me, that’s another editorial that I will write.

I was able to advocate for integrative and alternative medical treatment.  While Dan and I were on the plane to D.C., he asked me about my work in the area of yoga and meditation for cancer patients.  I told him that he could change in his life in 20 minutes a day of a meditative practice, and gave him a magazine I had been reading encouraging all things meditative. While in New Jersey, I met with the founder of a nonprofit that offers yoga to cancer patients, at risk kids and soldiers with PTSD.  Kula for Yoga is a program in the Northeast, and serving underprivileged populations around my home town.  Their commitment to serving was just what I needed to get past the blow of not being able to advocate as I had planned in D.C.

Just today, *Dan texted me that he was on his way back to Germany with few answers. The possible answer for the bleed is that he had been using high doses of NSAID drugs for two years.  These have real risks and anyone taking them regularly should consider having blood and liver panel tests to see about their clotting time and their liver function.  For now, *Dan says that it is one BM at a time! Gotta have humor. Gotta have drive! Gotta have yoga and meditation to survive!

Blessings,
Jean Di Carlo-Wagner
Owner, Yoga Being
Only Online Advanced Yoga Training
For Cancer Survivors

Jean Di Carlo WagnerAbout Jean Di Carlo Wagner: Owner of Yogabeing.net
E-RYT200, E-RYT500 certified with Yoga Alliance
Yoga Therapist with International Alliance of Yoga Therapists
Atma Yoga Teacher Training, certified 500 hours Los Angeles
A Gentle Way Yoga, certified 200 hours
Silver Age Yoga, certified 200 hours

Yes

Saying YES to Life For Breast Cancer SurvivorsBy: Dr. Robin B. Dilley.

Yes, is perhaps the most dynamic three- letter word in the universe.  Saying YES to life is what every breast cancer survivor and those around them must do everyday.  Breast Cancer can be a wake-up call, screaming to each individual, “there is more to life, get up and live it.”  Breast Cancer, in all of its ugliest, can be used as a gift or a curse and the only difference between the two is how you choose to view it.  Breast cancer has the power to make you a victim, shaming you by telling you awful, horrible lies like, “See you did this to yourself. Or you deserve this.”  It can wield you into a pile of pathetic “why-me?”  Or you can tame those voices like Pi tamed Richard Parker in the movie The Life of Pi, and you can focus on co-existing with this life changing diagnosis, called breast cancer.  If Breast Cancer has ended up on your life boat, how you view it will make a difference to the quality in your days to come.  In order to make that quality a positive focus, here is a simple journal exercise that can help you focus on what is it that you want.

Please answer the following questions. Then rate each question on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being completely true and 1 being completely false.

  1. Do you know that you are the most powerful resource that you have?
  2. Do you know that you are really capable of living your life closer to achieving more of what you want than what you don’t want?
  3. What do you think would have to change to make those two above statements more true than not.

Next

List three things you would like to accomplish as a result to this unexpected and uninvited journey you are taking.

  1. _____________________________________
  2. ______________________________________
  3. ______________________________________
  4. ______________________________________

Stop and take a break for a while.  Come back to this list in the next hour to twenty-four hours.  Circle the one on your list that is the most important to you.

Write it here:  “I want to:
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

By doing the above, my life will be enhanced or changed positively how? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

That is important to me because:(list as many reasons that come to your mind:  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What are three steps you need to take to get started accomplishing this important life-changing step?
1.)    __________________________________
2.)    __________________________________
3.)    __________________________________

How are you going to start those above steps?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

When are you going to start them?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

When will you get there, (set a finish date) creating this important life changing behavior, goal, or accomplishment?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What will you need to stay focused on your journey? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What might get in your way, prevent you or make this accomplishment more difficult than it needs to be?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As a psychologists working with children’s fears, I often have them create a monster stick out of a bat, piece of wood, or even a cane.  I have them choose colorful, powerful, and magical pieces of clothe to glue to their stick and use a black magic marker to name the stick.  The child practices in session how to use the stick to keep the monsters away, and then at home they keep the stick next to them.  If they begin to become afraid they pick up their stick and say some magical words that they created to go with the stick. The child repeats this process until they are ready to lay down and go to sleep.  (The night -light can be left on at all times).  Perhaps you can create a monster stick to help you with fears that come up with breast cancer?  Maybe purchase a beautiful and powerful night-light for your bedroom or bathroom that can remind you that you are keeping the monsters at bay.

During the day time, work on your accomplishment as a way of making a choice to be a warrior or survivor along this journey that you have found yourself on.  A journey not of your own choosing, as with Pi, but none the less a journey that must be taken.
Dr. Robin DilleyDr. 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.

Healing Beyond The Superficial Layer

By Louise Scalza
Board Certified, Licensed Massage Therapist

When we think of healing we typically think of a cut we get on our skin after placing some ointment on it and slapping a band aid for protection, or maybe we think about healing after a surgical procedure when all the bandaging and stitching is over. Superficially the healing process begins immediately after an injury. Blood begins to clot, endorphins start to pump and T cells flood the vessels. The body intrinsically begins to work its magic from the inside out on the physical level. Intuitively we take action to aid our body in its healing process by nurturing the injury from the outside. This process of self care and internal autopilot is imbedded in every human being.

Positive Energy

Let’s go beyond the superficial for a moment and look at the instinctual process of nurturing an injury on the emotional level. As a mother runs to the aid of her Injured son as he falls off a bike and scrapes his knee, soon after assessing the injury, mom naturally coddles the child with soothing words and some motherly strokes to the head comforting the child’s emotional distress. This level of comfort is a type of emotional healing we naturally implement after a traumatic experience. Studies have shown that a persons injury is healed quicker and recuperates with less stress while the physical healing is coupled with emotional healing.

We take this to a deeper level and see their is more than meets the physical and emotional eye to a place of energy.

On this level of vibrancy and subtleness we tap into very powerful fields of intangible yet effective levels of healing. It is scientifically proven that the human body is made up of mostly energy that uniquely resonates to each individual, this energetic frequency emanates mainly from the heart center but also resonates within each of our cells.

Love Yourself

This is an easy test you can try at home. Start your day with 20 min of positive self talk, look in the mirror and speak nothing but love, praise and compassion, see yourself as a radiant, beautiful and joyful person smiling from ear to ear, hug and kiss the mirror if you will and feel that loving energy throughout your system. The next day do the opposite and berate yourself, calling yourself horrible names shout and scold yourself for 20 min. You will immediately feel tired, sad, maybe even depressed and sluggish, your day may even have a domino effect with negative outcomes.  After each day take notes and notice the effects this experiment has on you, Your emotions, your actions, your energy , your day, your choices and how the people around you behave as well.

The emotional energy we put into ourselves weather conscious or subconscious has a major effect on our bodies and a domino effect thereafter. Words and intentions are very powerful tools for healing and with awareness and the right intention we can unlock another level of healing in our tool box.

Healing has many levels and the more levels we tap into the more possibilities we have to thrive as an individual and as a collective species. The next time you get injured or someone you love gets psychically hurt remember to address the emotional and energetic component as well, this is the beginning of healing beyond the Superficial.

Louise Scalza, LMT, CIMI, REIKI IIILouise Scalza LMT
Licensed Massage Therapist
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Reiki Master Practitioner
Magnified Healing Practitioner

7 Keys to a Better Life For Breast Cancer Recovery

Key For Breast Cancer RecoveryBy Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos, Author, Inspirational Speaker & Mentor

We spend so much time seeking answers to questions that rule our life. Why are there so many keys to missing locks of hidden doors that contain THE perfect answer?

There is an easy way to find the answer, key, lock and door.

Above the entrance to the ancient Oracle at Delphi the phrase, “Know Thyself” was inscribed in stone—a key to life.

That key is an answer. But, do you know the question? What good is a key without a  lock? What good is the answer, if you do not know the question? You need both, especially during crisis. The real answer may be the question, “Who Are You?”

Here are seven steps to help you find the key to answers you seek in life.

Step 1: Self-discovery; Baptism by fire….

A crisis is a decisive moment in life. It can be an emotionally, physically or psychologically significant event or a radical change in a person’s status. Webster’s dictionary defines it as an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs whose outcome will make a decisive difference for better or worse.

Crisis can be a blessing in disguise that takes you to the heights of your human potential where only true perfection exists. Imperfection is not our true nature. We naturally return to perfection. Cut your finger. Watch it heal. Perfection in action.

Step 2: Anytime healing takes place there is change. Change is the flow of life and an opportunity for emotional growth. Look for your silver lining.

Change happens during life challenges or enlightenments; Ah-ha moments. The depth of the change reflects the emotional reform. The challenge can be divorce, illness, bereavement, financial loss, and spiritual and emotional shifts. These require healing.

Healing is a job. Thriving is a career move. If you are reading this article, welcome to the first day of the rest of your career. Here is a key to your success. It is up to you to figure out how to unlock the door to your future. But, here is a hint: Know yourself.

Let me also introduce you to a couple of your corporate directors who will be with you every step of the way; Ms. and Mr. Life and Death.

Life and Death go together like inhaling and exhaling. They are celestial fraternal twins. In order to fully celebrate life, we must embrace death as a friend because someday that friend will come for us. That is the law.

Step 3: Realign your perspectives. What does death mean to you? How does it affect your life?

Dare to live because worrying about Mr. Death is a waste of time and energy. Celebrate each moment with Ms. Life.

Step 4: Follow the sound of your angel’s voices as they whisper to you from your heart.

Crisis, like a nightmare, is only as bad as it is perceived to be and often contains important life-saving information presented in a manner that is impossible to ignore. These are pearls of wisdom from the sands of time that worked their way beneath the layers of life. Wear your pearls with pride. They are a commodity.

My favorite mantra is, “Mind over matter.”  If you don’t mind it (embrace it in consciousness) then it won’t matter (manifest). Perception directly affects the outcome of a life challenge. We do not see things as they are, but rather as we are. My life challenge and Ah-ha moment all rolled up into one big Wake-up call was overcoming breast cancer three times.

According to the United States Cancer Statistics (USCS) the number of adults who have ever been diagnosed with cancer is 18.6 million and currently 2.6 million women are living beyond breast cancer. Many are Thrivers who recognize death but choose to celebrate life.

Although breast cancer can be the vehicle to deliver a message of thriving, any personal pearl of wisdom can help to overcome your life crisis.

People eager to be helpful can offer their keys as answers.  They may be right.  But, for whose question?  Having a key is only half the solution. Finding the correct lock to the corresponding door is a big step.

The perfect Master Key that fits all your locked doors is closer than you may imagine. So, who are you!

Step 5: Look in the mirror. Reconnect through the windows of your soul; your eyes.

Mirror therapy can help you discover and embrace yourself. No one knows you better than you know yourself. You have all the questions and all the answers you will ever need.  Access them through dreams, prayers and meditations. Connect with your inner-selves; your Physician-within and your Eternal Teacher-within. You are made up of more than id, ego and super-ego. Your Eternal Teacher exists beyond the physical body.

Our Eternal Teacher (ET) contains innate information that allows us to connect with Guardian Angels and Spirit Guides during times of strife. Dreams are the phone line by which our ET phones home. Someone always answers the call. Do you listen? A dream journal can help.

Step 6: A dream journal beside your bed can help you connect with yourself and your guided information.

The ancient writing of the Talmud from the 2nd -3rd century BC states, “A dream not interpreted is like a letter to the self unread.” Ding, ding! You have mail.

Step 7: Know Thyself.

Yes! Discover yourself and find your answer. You are the key and the lock you seek. Open your door to endless information.

Kathleen O’Keefe-KanavosAbout the author- Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos is an author, inspirational speaker, Radio Host, and three-time breast cancer survivor who penned SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Intuitive Aspects of Healing http://www.survivingcancerland.com/    http://accessyourinnerguide.com/  She is represented by  Steve Allen Media and is part of WakeUpWomen www.wakeupwomen.com

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