What is your resonance?

Last Saturday was an exciting day.

It has been a year since my cancer operation and I felt a sense of relief despite the fact that I was back in hospital for more surgery. I needed a hernia repair and a gall bladder removal. The chemo had weakened the wound and a hernia appeared. It also created about 25 gall stones which I could no longer ignore. But it didn’t alter my mood or detract from the excitement that the disease had now gone.

One may argue that my celebration would have been sweeter if I was rather celebrating with a 1969 Dom Perignon instead of another theatre experience but I’ve learned that it’s more important for me to choose the way I feel about life rather than focusing on what’s happening to me. So I felt grateful and appreciative for my health even though I have to endure further pain and a 5 week recovery process. I had a choice and that was to either feel frustrated and angry that after all I’ve been through I still have another round left in the boxing ring or I could see it as a celebration of the final step in the process to my full recovery.

I must say I’ve become quite philosophical about life over the past year and the more I think of happiness and being in flow with life the more certain I am about the one thing that brings it all about, resonance.

In simple terms resonance is our state of being at any given moment determined by the way we feel. It contains the type of energy we give out and defines the impact we have on ourselves, others and the world. Just think of the people you enjoy spending time with, the way they make you feel and the energy they exude.

Resonance is the most powerful force known to mankind as it is the creator of our happiness, our health and our abundance. It is the attractor of our experiences and the people we draw to us.

The key to maintaining a positive resonance is to choose gratitude and love above any other emotions. In doing so we keep negative and destructive emotions at bay. How possible is it for you to feel unworthy, angry, unloved, unsuccessful, unhealthy, anxious or depressed when gratitude and love fill your heart?

The wonderful aspect in creating the resonance of gratitude and love is that you can change it anytime, anywhere irrespective of the situation you’re in. All that is required is to sit quietly and think about all you are grateful for (don’t forget the small things you take for granted). Think about the fact that you are healthy, have people that care and love you, have food and shelter, that you’re not in pain, that you can see, walk and talk and that you have a blessed life. Feel the love you have for those you care about and for others that may be suffering. Send love out and imagine it entering and filling the hearts of those in need of it (and let’s face it, who doesn’t need it). And don’t forget someone very important, you! You are wonderful and special so feel love for yourself and for everything you are.

Take a moment to consider these questions:1.”What are you resonating with right now?”. Is there frustration, stress and dissatisfaction? 2. “Is this the resonance you ideally want to have?”. I’m sure not and it’s certainly not what life is intended to be about. 3. “What could stop you from changing your resonance?” Think about any resistance you may have in changing your emotional state. It’s ok to be honest with yourself in recognising any negative emotions you may be experiencing. It’s time to let them go!

The feeling of gratitude and love will change your life more than you can ever imagine.

You will feel happier, healthier and more abundant than you have ever known.

It’s your right and you deserve it.

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What’s important?

I haven’t written for a while.

I’ve been in a quiet space thinking a lot about life. I decided to become the observer to my life, taking a back seat in the movie house and watching life playing out while I integrate myself back into what was my normal environment.

But it’s different now. The colours of life’s playground have changed. I look around and don’t see the same view. How can it be the same after I’ve been blessed to have a second chance at living? How possibly can I dishonour such a gift by seeing the world and my life as the same?

I know what it’s like to have no energy, to be unable to do the simple things that we all take for granted. I now wake up in the morning without pain, I have the energy to walk, meet friends and to work for a few hours. It was only a few months ago that I dreamt of such a life. I visualised being able to do normal activities and here I am experiencing the dream. An indescribable blessing that evokes nothing other than the deep emotion of gratitude.

I now re-enter life with a new meaning, purpose and appreciation.

So what’s really important I ask?

Does it matter that it’s raining and the sun isn’t shining? Does it matter that the traffic is slow or the coffee is cold? Does it matter that our friend didn’t call or the cab didn’t arrive? Does it matter that others are in wonderful relationships and we struggle to find happiness? Does it matter that people around us are wealthier and having an easier life? Does it matter if we get rejected or if things aren’t going as well as we hoped they would?

None of this is of concern when we are able to take a different view of life. What if we were to think that life has turned out exactly the way we created it to be? And if things didn’t work out well or were beyond our control that they showed up specifically for our benefit? What if our attitude to life was that there is nothing “bad” even if at the time it appeared that way? What if we didn’t judge anything but rather interpreted events in a way that served and protected our emotions?

What then could be so bad? The truth is that most of the things we worry about don’t eventuate and that everything is “small stuff” other than severe ill health and unhappiness. So if we think all the other stuff is so important, guess what, they’re not!

We don’t have to get sick to be better so let’s all make a commitment to love life despite its hardships and to see perfection in imperfection.

We’d be smiling so much more.

 

 

 

 

The illusion of control

I had an unexpected turn of events last week.

I developed severe abdominal pain and at 3am called a cab to take me to the emergency. This would be the third time I was making the trip. I was frustrated and in disbelief that this was my reality once again especially after receiving the all clear 2 weeks prior.

I thought I was out of the woods but it was clear that this wasn’t the case and something was amiss. I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink for 5 days and had to put up with a gastric tube and drips once again. Thankfully I managed to escape a procedure and the bowel obstruction cleared on its own.

I’m doing very well this week and rebuilding my strength.

Life certainly has its fair share of twists and turns and what is clear to me is that we just don’t know what’s around the corner. We may think that we have our lives under control but in fact we have very little control.

We have control over our lifestyle, diet and exercise but not over sudden illness or pain?

We have control over our finances but not over global economic meltdowns.

We have control over our attitudes but not over the mindset of others.

We have control over our decisions but not over the thoughts of those affected by them.

We have control over our actions but not over the behaviour of others.

We have control over protecting ourselves and loved ones from harm but have no control over unforeseen events.

Life can change in an instant. I have experienced this first hand many times throughout this journey and learned a great deal from these events.

They have taught me how important it is to love life and gain perspective of what really matters. They have taught me that I don’t have life all under control. They have taught me that each day brings numerous blessings if I choose to look for them. They have taught me to let go of the small stuff that drains my energy. They have taught me not to be fearful of anything or anyone.

And perhaps most important of all they have taught me to make the most of each day because we never know what tomorrow may bring!

Everyday that we are healthy, happy and peaceful is a day to be cherished.

The joy of health

I woke up yesterday feeling excited with a twinge of apprehension. The day had finally arrived and I was getting ready for what I hoped would be a life changing event.

It was back to the hospital that 7 months ago presented me with the worst news of my life. It seemed like it was just the other day that I was there and yet the past 7 months have felt like an eternity. Little did I know then how the PET scan result would turn my world upside down. It was my first exposure to the world of cancer and the people that suffered from it. I was surrounded by bald headed people who looked so pale and sick. I felt uncomfortable and would never have dreamt that a few months later I would look and feel exactly the same.

I remembered these feelings and how just 3 hours after leaving the hospital I received a call that most would dread. But it was different now and I trusted that all these months of suffering would not be in vain. I wanted a clean bill of health and I was there to get it!

The process of the scan was the same that I previously experienced and 2 hours later I left the hospital to patiently await the call from my Oncologist. I kept myself occupied but I was distracted by the constant glances at my watch as time ticked slowly by.

4 hours past and there was still no word. I waited a little longer and then decided to call the doctor with the hope that he had received the results. He answered his phone in a few short rings. My heart started racing when I asked if he had received my results. He proceded to give me the most exciting news of my life.

“Your cancer is gone and you have the all clear!” He was doing ward rounds and had to end the call.

A well of emotion arose within me and I wept with tears of joy, relief and gratitude. No longer does my body have to endure the harshest of punishments and no longer do I have to be consumed with healing my illness which has been my sole focus, drive and purpose throughout this time. I felt liberated and overjoyed.

The emotion of releasing all the pain and suffering is immense and it still feels quite surreal and overwhelming.

The treatments had indeed been healing sessions and I’m so appreciative to receive the rite of passage back to normal life.

Everyday is a healing day when we’re not ill or in pain and that’s a day to be celebrated. I feel so grateful and blessed.

Trusting a positive outcome

It’s been nearly 7 weeks since my final treatment and my body has shown great improvement. My hair is growing at a rapid rate and I’m feeling better than I did in the months preceding the diagnosis. My energy is getting stronger. I am now able to be active for about 3 hours until I need to rest. The tingling in my finger tips remain.

I still marvel at the fact that I can drive, go for a coffee and just do normal things again. I feel a sense of newness and I’m acutely aware of my surroundings which escaped my full attention previously. Noticing the colours of nature, the expressions on faces and the subtleties in an interaction make my experiences fulfilling.

I have the final PET scan on the 31st January 2012. This is the scan that will show unequivocally whether the cancer has been healed or not. Whilst I’m not anxious or fearful I’m feeling quite emotional about it. This event feels like a pivotal moment in which either I will be given the right of passage back to normal life or a path to a totally different experience. It feels like the totality of my suffering over the past 8 months is being put to the test.

When I think about the scan a well of emotional arises despite my confidence of a positive outcome. I think I failed to recognise the depth of the subconscious plays of emotion that has been a quiet undercurrent hum of intensity throughout this time.

I am trusting however that the result will show an “all clear” as I hold the belief that one must first have an expectation of positivity before the evidence of it is revealed. I have aligned my thoughts and visualisations to good health and in doing so I give myself a better chance of making it a reality.

The important thing is that I feel good and my heart is full of love and joy.

I look forward to sharing great news in the next post.

What is a good day?

I had a slight cold last week and spent most of my time resting indoors. My energy levels are still fairly low even though it has been 6 weeks since the last treatment. It seems that it might take a little more time to build my strength than I originally anticipated but that’s ok. The tingling sensations in my finger tips still remain.

The good news is that I’m finally off the Fentanyl patches (morphine derivative medication for pain relief) that I have been wearing on my back for the past 6 months. No longer do I have any pain and I enjoyed a very exciting experience yesterday. I drove my car! I haven’t driven for 6 months as it is illegal to drive wearing the patches. I have regained my independence once again and I feel a great sense of liberation.

During this time I have been dependent on my wonderful family and friends who have gone out of their way to make sure that I never go without. Being Mr Independent I found it very challenging at the start to ask for anything but I have learned that it’s ok to receive and it enables others to feel good when they have the opportunity to give. I am so ever grateful to my family and friends for their incredible generosity and selfless spirit.

My view of life has changed and so too how I interpret and internalize my experiences. What is a good day? For me there have been many during this time. I remember being excited and relieved after surgery when my Oncologist broke the news that the cancer I had was stage 2 Lymphoma and not something a lot worse! It wasn’t a good day, it was a life saving day! I remember the day when I had just enough strength to walk to the kitchen after the first treatment. I felt that I had won a marathon. It was an empowering day. I remember too the feeling of relief when I completed the 6th and final treatment only 6 weeks ago. It was indeed a milestone day.

I can site many of these wonderful days and I look back at them with gratitude but most importantly for their humbling reminders to keep perspective. Most of the things that go wrong in our lives is “small stuff”! Besides ill health, unhappiness and financial ruin everything is small stuff. There are no exceptions. We often tend to make our own misery and allow negative emotions to bring us down.

After the experiences I have been through how possibly can a rainy day be a bad day? How possibly can a traffic jam ruin a good day. How possibly can someone else’s behaviour affect my happiness? They can if I lose perspective of what is really important and don’t let go of things that are not. The ego is a strong force and I remind myself of the choice to be right or happy.

We are human after all and sometimes we have bad days. I think what matters most is that we are not too hard on ourselves and that we acknowledge the way we feel without self judgement or criticism. The turn around comes when we start to find the seed of positive emotion in a challenging day and make that our focus.

What is a good day? It’s one where we choose to see the positive. It’s one where we use our energy for the things that are important and one where we feel lucky for everything we have.

Be mindful of the “M” word

It’s been over a month since my last treatment and finally I’m starting to regain my strength. For the first time in a while my body has the opportunity of healing without hinderance. My hair is starting to grow again, I no longer have pain and the constant tingling in my fingers are not as frequent.

The final scan will be held in a few weeks time and I have chosen not to allow this event to have any power over my emotions. I’m not feeling anxious about it as I have claimed an “all clear” result in my mind. I no longer feel the twinges of doubt that I did previously.

Although it might seem strange, getting out for a few hours each day is exciting. It’s all different for me now and a new consciousness has been born. My environment hasn’t changed but things are not the same as they used to be.

There is a new awareness and a deeper appreciation for what surrounds me. Nature has become more beautiful. I notice the dance of leaves amongst the wind, the buzz of people talking and the shades of blue in a bright sky.

I realised that previously these were “mundane” experiences. I wasn’t aware of them as my busyness and lack of appreciation blinded me to these small gifts that were there for me to enjoy. I allowed experiences to become mundane and I lost the value of seemingly repetitive activities.

There is a wonderful eastern concept called “beginners eyes”. It’s about looking at everyday events as if it’s the first time it was experienced. It’s about being immersed in the moment and noticing the wonderful subtleties and nuances that exist when awareness is expanded. For example we can grab an apple and bite into it or we can first notice its colour, weight, smell, texture and the appreciation for it’s availability before we take that first bite. In this way a “mundane” experience becomes an opportunity for enrichment and the quality of our lives improve.

It is my sincere hope that I will sustain this awareness when I’m fully integrated back into normal life again. It will be this way if I’m continually mindful of the trappings of the “M” word.

It’s time to slow down

Speed is dangerous. I’m not referring to fast cars and motor bikes but the pace at which I used to live my life.

Let’s face it the human race is speeding up and technology as beneficial as it is, is pushing us beyond the limits of our physical and mental capabilities.

We are always on call and there is an expectation to respond almost immediately to text messages, emails and the like. Our mobile phones have become additional appendages to our body and we would struggle to live without it. Just imagine not having your mobile phone for a week!

Why am I going on about this? As you can well appreciate I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I can do to minimize the chances of this illness reoccurring. I will do what it takes to eliminate or reduce the causes of cancer that are in my control. Low stress, eating healthy nutrients, an alkaline body, avoiding toxins, an optimistic mindset and a peaceful and healthy lifestyle are all factors within my control.

The significant change that I need to make is a lifestyle change. Being a highly motivated, driven and ambitious person I have in the past pushed myself too hard, worked long hours and got a little frustrated if I wasn’t succeeding at the level of my expectation.

I realised that I had forgotten two very important reminders that I will now be mindful of. The first is that life is 99.9% about the journey and 0.1% the destination. As long as I’m spending most of the time doing the things I love and enjoying each day I will have a fulfilled and peaceful life.

The second is that I will place greater value on incremental change. If the actions I take bring me closer to my goals then it’s only a matter of time until I reach them. Immediate gratification and cementing definitive time lines on success have in the past decreased my enjoyment and created feelings of stress.

The way I work from now on needs to change. No longer will I work at such a fast pace and compromise my health. No longer will I impose self created pressures. No longer will I buy into a belief system that validates success only as a measure of status, wealth and achievement.

Naturally I want to make a difference and impact the world in a meaningful way and I know that I can do that with a relaxed and balanced approach.

I remember the wise words of my Reiki Master Laina who once said to me, “Slowly is holy”.

A new found perspective

It has been 9 days since I was discharged from the hospital with my fluid issue and the pain is now under control which is great news.

I reached a milestone yesterday. Every 3rd Monday has been my treatment day for the past 5 months. Yesterday would have been the day I would normally have gone for a treatment. It was such an incredible feeling that I no longer have to endure another round of battering. Knowing that my body has the chance to heal and get stronger is a relief and something that I’ve been longing for since the day I was diagnosed.

I don’t remember the last time a had a “normal” day. A day in which I can do what most take for granted. Going out for a coffee or a meal or a short walk has been a rarity. Having a day when I don’t have to lie down for hours after walking around the house for a short time is a gift. I have so much to look forward to and these seemingly insignificant events have become my delight.

Wow how my perspective has changed!

I have realised that the things in my life that previously consumed my energy and head space are not worth the time, effort and exertion that I gave to them. Being concerned about anything other than my health and happiness and those of the ones I love and care about is all small stuff!

Status, money and petty issues are not life’s priorities and should have no power over my peace of mind and contentment of life.

I had to go through this experience for many reasons, one of them being to get a true perspective of life. It is my wish that others don’t go through suffering to learn perspective.

Stress is a killer for most brought about by non essential matters. Having the right perspective is a great antidote for keeping it under control and for maintaining health and a positive mindset.

Every day is a gift. It’s special and unique. What matters is how we value each day as an opportunity to feel happy and to help others. Anything else is secondary.