Tuesday 16 June 2015

The emotional body

I can't believe that I haven't written about this properly before, but such a HUGE part of returning to health relies on emotional healing. 

I've recently started the most beautiful Yoga Nidra practice. Every Wednesday night I join three or four others at the local village hall, and have my eyes and body opened by my wonderful teacher. He's fascinated by the way that we hold emotion, energy and experience in our body, and how that ultimately affects our health. He gently encourages us to explore pain as pure sensation, to breathe the body and let go. I'm becoming acutely aware of where I hold 'stuff', of how entrenched these patterns are, and of how liberating 'letting go' can become. 

Taking this one step further, I've experienced a couple of one on one co-meditation sessions with him. Wow! Some things came up of which I had no conscious memory, and the processing of those memories has positively changed certain relationships for me, relationships that I thought I had worked through many times over the past 5 years.

It's an old analogy, but returning to health is like peeling back the layers of an onion. A bloody huge onion it would seem! 

Over the past 5 years I've explored lots of different emotional, energetic and spiritual healing practices. Reiki and Acupuncture would be at the top of my list for an instant re-setting of mood and energy. I've seen spiritual healers who have helped me to tap into my higher self, and to trust in something bigger. I went on a Journey weekend with Brandon Bays, where we meditated until I could literally only sense myself in the thin film of my nostrils. We delved into our cellular memories and released! Hypnotherapists have helped me to retrain my subconscious beliefs about myself.

Meditation, visualisation and positive affirmations have become part of my daily routine. When we meditate we enter parasympathetic mode, which slows the heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure, soothing the sympathetic system (which is responsible for the adrenal fight or flight state). Emotions trigger real chemical reactions in the body, so fear activates adrenaline, and in this state vital healing functions such as digestion, circulation and the immune system are shut down and compromised. During meditation, the mind and body are relaxed and calm, allowing the body to do what it does best; repair! Visualisation is a fantastic way of 'tricking' the body into healing. Every day, organ by organ, I visualise my body as healthy, optimally functioning and cancer free. This positive belief is passed on to the body as real. 

As well as seeking out practitioners I've delved into books about spirituality and the mind-body connection. My top three would definitely be "You Are The Placebo" by Joe Dispenza, "The Biology of Belief" by Bruce Lipton, and "Journey of Souls' by Michael Newton.

Of course, there's so much more to explore. I'm really drawn to sound baths - the idea that we resonate at a certain frequency, and that being bathed in those frequencies can bring us back to a state of pure harmony. It's been a long time coming, but that's definitely next on the list!

Friday 5 June 2015

Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign (2015) Rant

This year's breast awareness campaign asks us to post a photo of a can of coke nestling between our breasts. Apparently thought up by an adult modelling agency, we can now expect to be subjected to a barrage of pictures of perfect (fake?) boobs cradling a modern day poison. A CAN OF COKE!? There are approximately TEN teaspoons of sugar in a can of coke! I cannot even..... 

And for those of us who no longer have the full compliment? For those of us who have had lumpectomies, mastectomies, or just plain don't own the perfect set of media breasts? I've never heard of such ignorant stupidity. Objectifying breasts in the context of breast cancer - I find it totally offensive.

When will we get it right? What's needed is education about the link between poor diet and cancer, sugar and cancer, convenience food and cancer, stress and cancer. The list goes on. What is not needed is advertising off the back of cancer. Even a campaign showing us how to check our breasts is shutting the gate after the proverbial horse has bolted. We need to stop putting plasters over the issue and address the root cause. We need a whole generation of children to start taking responsibility for their health, understanding how to create wellness in themselves so that they never have to experience the joys of cancer. How wonderful would it be for the next generation of girls (and boys) to dodge this modern day bullet?

What next? A campaign to raise awareness of colorectal cancer sponsored by McDonalds? Livid!

You know what's coming next.....a selfie of my chest with a green juice :D

Monday 1 June 2015


There's been a huge shift in the way I think about cancer lately.

A good friend sparked this new mindset in me. I told her that I was struggling to visualise myself cancer free when I'd just paid someone a lot of money to tell me exactly how much there is in my body! She suggested that I accept the cancer is there, and listen to it. 

I took that nugget with me on a run, and what came up was surprising. I've never 'owned' my cancer cells, but maybe it's time to. They're here to teach me something, that much is certain. They are also a part of me, a microscopic version of me. These cells want to be acknowledged, listened to and loved. Negating them, hating them, fighting them just creates more conflict. Conflict is not conducive to healing. What we resist persists. 

The message was profound, but so simple:

"I acknowledge cancer as I wish to be acknowledged.
I listen to cancer as I wish to be listened to.
I love cancer as I wish to be loved."

And so I've meditated, visualised, created new affirmations, and I've come away with Acceptance. It feels so good.

I may or may not keep cancer in check. The reality is that I am not in control. I can eat well to FEEL well. I can run and practice yoga for my health, not to fight cancer. It finally occurs to me that the Universe may have plans for me other than my own! I may desire a sunny day. I can meditate on it, wish for it and long for it, but the only truth is that if I joyfully accept the day for whatever it brings, I'll be happy in the moments. I think I may finally be learning to let go, surrender and trust.