Extreme cases call for extreme measures. An interview with a woman with a malignant tumor was first resigned to giving up and then she found there may be an alternative surgery that would save her life. Her tumor was in a place many would believe is inoperable. It was surrounded by six of her internal organs, usually not a prime candidate for surgery. She found a doctor who was willing to think outside the box and it saved her life.
The surgery would remove the organs surrounding the tumor. The tumor would be removed and then all the internal organs would be put back in her body. It sounds X-treme but it was a risk she was willing to take. Without the surgery there didn’t seem to be much hope. The opportunity given to her by the team of doctors, a team of six, is amazing. They were willing to try something that most wouldn’t dream of trying, but they were pushing the boundaries.
There are many times when pushing the boundaries to recapture our health is crucial. It’s not only about finding medical practitioners willing to push the boundaries. As patients, we have to consider stepping out of our own comfort zones and using radical treatments to save our lives. When there aren’t a lot of choices is there really any question about how far we’ll go to regain our health, or the chance at healing?
Keep that in mind if you’re ever confronted with a daunting prognosis. Be willing to take it one more step and you’ll often be surprised what awaits you.
Iconic movies achieve that status when they have lessons that are timeless. I’m sure most of the public considers “The Karate Kid” a good movie and are probably amused by all the stunts the teacher made the young student undertake, but the message is much deeper. The teacher was providing the student with skills that would be available whenever called upon. The student would be building an arsenal of strategies and knowledge that would eventually lead to success.
Many of us while we’re well go along and learn things here and there. My experience with many clients is that once they receive a diagnosis they hit the library, the web, the bookstores and the workshop series looking for the answers. Yes, these resources will help, but cramming didn’t work so well in college and it won’t be as effective now. As we’re moving along our personal pilgrimage it’s important to continue learning new strategies even if the lesson is not applicable right now.
We can’t predict what will happen during treatment or following treatment if that’s an option. We can’t predict with certainty the course of our illness so we can’t plan for the strategies we’ll need to help us improve our health. We aren’t clairvoyant (at least not most of us) so we can’t zero in on the lesson that will be tailored to our health. For these reasons engaging in an ongoing path of continuous learning is crucial.
What do we need to learn? We need to learn lessons that will improve our physical, emotional and spiritual health. You get to determine what fills that bill but find the lessons. Don’t wait for a crisis to begin looking for answers to improving your health. Don’t need the lessons to take hold the moment you learn them without acquiring some level of mastery because all you’re doing is short changing yourself.
Keep an open mind and follow your heart. No one knows better than you what will improve your health and your outlook on your health. Ask others for resources, meditate, engage in creative activities to unleash negative energy and promote self-expression. Keep learning and when you need the lessons they will be at your beck and call and full of potential.
What gets to you? Why does it get to you? How does it get to you? We all have things in our lives that are triggers for self-deprecating thoughts and behavior. We all have those moments of doubt that prevent us from keeping focused on our primary objective, getting well. The more I speak with those facing life-altering health issues the more I hear people lament that their filters have become open like flood gates and they become overwhelmed.
Having a working filter is crucial to improving our health. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I began thinking about this yesterday while working on an art project. I’m working with lace and while at the fabric store I kept putting my hand behind the lace to see the pattern. My attention finally turned to seeing the size of the holes in the lace and what would get through if I painted over it. This led me to thinking about what do I allow to get through to my psyche that distracts me from focusing on my health.
If we’re looking at our filters then we have to consider the size of the holes in our emotional and spiritual strainer. We have to set the parameters so that only what we want to get through actually does. If love and support need to get through how do you guarantee that it doesn’t get trapped outside your filter? If information and education about your health is critical to making good decisions how do you invite this information to get through? We need to find ways of the things we need to get past the velvet ropes that are meant to keep the undesirables out.
I can share with you that this process is a trial and error effort. We don’t automatically set the filter and bingo we’re set to receive only the important things in our lives. Overwhelmingly it is going to take commitment, awareness and perseverance to set the filters to match your needs. Remember we’re talking needs first and wants second. When we take care of our needs we have more resources and energy to expand further down the line creating options and opportunities to keep our heath in the foreground. What will you do today to begin setting your filters?
The words “thank you” go a long way. It is one of the things we’re taught to say as little kids and the hope is that it sticks into adulthood. Over the past week I’ve had numerous conversations about the continuum of gratitude and it’s impact on our health. The simplest way for us to show gratitude is the old fashioned method of sending a note. In our world of technology we’ve lost that personal connection through handwritten notes. I recommend that any time you have an opportunity to send a personal note, do so, it will make you feel good and the recipient will first be shocked then greatly honored. It has an effect on the depth of our relationships because people in our lives feel honored and more connected to us.
A more quiet form of gratitude is also more personal because it involves being grateful for the day. This weekend I received news that two young men, in their thirties, recently died. One not to unexpected and one totally unexpected, but both still a shock. If life is that uncertain isn’t gratitude for the day essential to good health? Isn’t the idea that we get one more experience, one more day to share with others and one more day to “be here” a miracle?
The experience of gratitude calms the body. When our bodies are calm they can enter a healing zone improving our health. All the research shows that when we are connected to others in loving relationships our health improves. Keeping up with our relationships is at the forefront of that mission. There is no requirement to have a party or a huge dinner, simply get together with others for a cup of soothing tea. It’s all about the shared experience. Even those who may spend most of their time in bed can receive guests, energy level permitting, and share s few precious moments.
Illness shouldn’t mean automatic disconnection. When faced with the challenges of a life-altering diagnosis everything we can add to our treatment arsenal is worth pursuing. Gratitude doesn’t cost anything and the return on the emotional and spiritual investment is huge.