As I have shared before, survivorship had some unexpected challenges, which both surprised and rocked me to the core, then led to what Brene Brown has called a “spiritual awakening” and a “doona day”!
A spiritual awakening is that period when everything you thought and believed is challenged and torn apart. Change is imperative if you don’t want to spend your life in your pajamas curled up in bed.
My Very Own “Spiritual Awakening”
When I finished treatment, I had a “spiritual awakening” of my own. I was curled up in bed for the weekend, not quite sure what I was supposed to do now. I wasn’t quite sure what was I waiting or fighting for anymore.
The Dawn Of A New Day
My salvation when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, was meditation. I never thought I would be able to meditate and the first time I did it, it worked. It worked and I was surprised, maybe even shocked! I found that meditation gave me a well-earned rest from the thoughts running around in my head and they weren’t always good. I continued my meditation practice every day and still do, someday’s go a little better than others.
When treatment finished though, the flood of loss of confidence, isolation, loss of identity, fear, guilt, anger and more fear seemed to be never-ending. It seemed to never leave me. Then, when I was curled up in bed one weekend, depressed and scared stiff, I found a new salvation. Mindfulness. It came in the form of a book called, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. I wanted to be effective again, not curled up in bed, scared and confused.
Why Mindfulness Is So Effective
I first started integrating mindfulness when I was implementing the learning of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. The first habit was “Be Proactive”, which means to create some space between stimulus (something pushing your buttons) and response (exploding or reacting).
Mindfulness helps you to consciously select your thoughts, words and beliefs, which helps you to deal with (rather than ignoring) your emotions such as fear, guilt and anger. Mindfulness helps you, because it gives the opportunity to slow down and enables you to create the space to choose, rather than react.
When you are living on auto-pilot, you react. When you react, you are living in yesterday, from memories of the past or things that have happened, rather than what is actually happening now.
How can you change what happened last week, today? You simply can’t, so why do you think you can change the fear, guilt and anger from the past, today? The answer is you can’t. You need to leave it behind and the most effective tool for doing that, I have found, is living mindfully.
Living mindfully will help you stay present to the events of today, not the thoughts, feeling and beliefs of yesterday or the days to come.
How to integrate Mindfulness Meditation into your life…..
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