Have you ever heard voices in your head? Ever had the answer to a question pop into your head and know for certain that you didn’t think this up yourself? Because this answer would have never occurred to you? Well, I had two of these experiences four months apart, four years ago. Never had one before and haven’t had one since. Maybe this doesn’t seem like a big deal to you because you are in tune with God/The Universe/Spirit/Source/Higher Power and you hear answers all the time. For me, it freaked me out.
This experience led me to the biggest lesson from my cancer journey. Since January is my cancerversary month (my 4th “birthday” for my stem cell transplant is this weekend!), I am sharing lessons I have learned. And the one that came from this answer-popping-in-my-head-to-a-question-I-asked was The Big Kahuna of lessons. It came up again and again during my treatment and I had to keep learning it over and over.
What I asked at the beginning of that meditation session shortly after my first diagnosis was, “What does my body need to heal?” What I heard immediately in my head was “Pure Acceptance.” I was like, “Huh? What does that even mean?” I was expecting something like, get more sleep or drink green tea instead of coffee. Since I got no further information, I went on to explore what this answer meant.
I found over the next four years of treatment, for not only that mantle cell lymphoma diagnosis but another right on its heels of triple negative breast cancer, was that this notion of Pure Acceptance helped a lot.
It helped me release my anger over the diagnosis. It helped me find forgiveness for people in my life who had hurt me. It helped me forgive myself and love and accept myself as I am. It helped me let go of impossible perfectionistic standards I had for myself and others and accept people as they are.
What happens when you start applying Pure Acceptance to your life is a peace and ease and what some people call a “higher vibration” of love and gratitude.
Who knows if this higher vibration was what my body needed to heal. I know that it was very healing psychologically. And since our bodies and minds are linked and the mind has an enormous influence on the health of the body, it’s not a huge leap to think that staying in the higher vibration of love and acceptance is helpful in healing the body.
So how do you do it? I am a nuts and bolts kind of person–I want practical advice and that is what I try to give to you in my blog, programs and courses. So here are three steps that I use to stay in the space of love and acceptance, which I say did contribute to my healing.
- Do forgiveness work.
I’m not a big journaler, which might be surprising since I write a blog each week and I wrote a book. But after the message of Pure Acceptance, I began exploring in a journal what that meant. I quickly came to the realization that Acceptance and Forgiveness go hand in hand. It’s hard to accept someone as they are if you’re harboring a grudge for how they did you wrong. I worked in my journal on forgiving people in my life and accepting them as they are–imperfect humans doing the best they can at any given moment.
- Let go of anger.
This may be easier said than done. I mean, a cancer diagnosis is a really shitty thing to have happen and the treatment is even worse. You may be rightfully angry at the current state of your body and life. Anger is destructive though so you don’t want to hang out there too long. The sooner you can accept things as “this is the way it is right now”, the better for your health (as well as for those around you). It’s helpful to keep things in perspective. You’re life may suck right now but it won’t forever. That old saying, “this too shall pass” comes to mind.
- Live in gratitude.
I read somewhere recently that gratitude is the highest vibration emotion. I think love, acceptance, forgiveness and gratitude are all way up there. Once you do steps 1 and 2 above, you can focus on gratitude. Conversely, you could start with gratitude and find forgiveness and letting go of anger may be easier! Spend time every day (maybe in your journal) taking stock of your blessings, even if they are everyday things like you have a roof over your head and clothes to wear. Or maybe you are grateful for your family and friends. You could even be grateful that you mostly hit green lights on the way to work. Look for the positive and more will show up each day. Live in gratitude the majority of the time and your life will soon be magical.
If you would like to hang out with a group of women cancer survivors who are going through the same stuff you are and get support and wellness info from a board certified holistic health coach, you need to join The Permanent Remission Project Coaching Group.
We have groups forming this week. It’s not too late to join. Check out the coaching page for details. We would love to have you!