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Meditation Benefits and 4 Quick Tips To Assist You

http://MarnieClark.com/meditation-benefits-and-4-quick-tips-to-assist-youMeditation Benefits and 4 Quick Tips To Assist You

One of the things I teach newly diagnosed breast cancer patients is that meditation is wonderful for helping us to heal our bodies. For the majority of people going through breast cancer, learning meditation is one of the best things you can do, for so many reasons.

First, for stress relief (and going through cancer is NOTHING if not stressful). Another powerful reason is that when you are undergoing the various tests and treatments (some of which can also fill you with anxiety, like MRIs, CT-scans, bone scans and the like) knowing how to calm your mind and focus on something else is absolutely vital. That’s just scraping the tip of the iceberg.

Going back to the stress issue, research tells us that meditation is one of the most effective methods to relieve stress. If there’s one thing I hear about all too often from women going through breast cancer, it’s stress. Most tell me that in the lead-up to their cancer diagnosis they were struggling with some form of unrelenting stress. And this, they feel, is what let cancer in the door. It was the same for me.

So why is meditation so powerful?

According to the latest research, meditation can help you “rewire” your brain, so that you are less stressed, you have improved focus and ability to concentrate, less anxiety, more creativity, and your memory can also improve! How great is that!

Do you need some help getting started? If you’re anything like me, I didn’t really know where to begin. I struggled. My mind would NOT shut up. Here are four quick tips that will help you.

Step 1. Prepare for meditation.

Set aside some time – it doesn’t have to be a long time, perhaps just 20 minutes. If you only have two minutes, take two minutes. Those could be the most important two minutes of your day! Get a drink of water. Go to the bathroom if necessary. Shut the door so you can have some quiet time. Find a comfortable position (but not too comfortable or you might fall asleep). Loosen tight clothing. If you want to have meditation music playing in the background, put it on. You could also breathe in essential oils to help you focus your mind if you wish (frankincense, lavender or sandalwood are helpful). These things are helpful, but definitely not a requirement. When I worked in an office, I would just sit in the ladies room and meditate for a few minutes – it was the only place I could find some relative peace and quiet.

Step 2. Relax.

Once you’re in a comfortable position, allow your body and mind to relax. There are many techniques to help you relax and what works for one may not work for another. If you need some help finding a good relaxation technique, click here. Allow your mind to just let go. Let there be no effort involved with this. If you find yourself thinking about something, just let it go by like a cloud floating past in the sky. Try not to feel irritated with yourself, just let it go.

Step 3. Mindfulness.

One of the ways you can utilize meditation is with something called mindfulness meditation. Without getting into too much detail, begin to focus your mind on your breath. Just feel it moving into and out of your body. Be aware of your body in time and space. Allow for stillness. Be present. If your mind wanders off, gently bring it back to the present moment.

Step 4. Notice.

Just begin to notice your mind growing more and more still. Look for the gaps between your thoughts. As one meditation guru puts it, those gaps are where the magic happens. It can’t be described, you just have to wait for it, experience it yourself. It may not happen immediately, but increasingly the stillness of your mind becomes more familiar to you. You may notice that as you sit quietly in meditation, your cold hands or feet get warm – this is a lovely reminder that quieting the mind helps the energy, the chi, flow through you better. I sometimes see swirling colored lights behind my closed eyes, rather like the aurora borealis. I notice my nervous system quieting and calming. Meditation is like a healing balm for the nerves.

I hope that helps, but if you still have questions, I created a series of 7 videos answering questions about meditation. Check them out, your question might be answered in one of them.

Why Should I Meditate?
How Do I Keep My Mind From Wandering?
How Do I Find Time to Meditate?
How Do You Know You’re Meditating and Not Just Sitting There?
What Is the Best Meditation Technique For Beginners?
Can I Use Meditation for Healing?
Teaching You How to Meditate

From Ian Gawler, cancer survivor, author, and meditation/health teacher:

Having prepared well, we relax.

Relaxing more deeply, we become more mindful.

As our mindfulness develops, the stillness naturally reveals itself.

We rest in open, undistracted awareness.

There is nothing to do. Simply be aware. Open. Undistracted. Aware.

It is as simple, and as difficult as that.”

Need Help With Your Meditation Practice?

Back in 2004 when I was going through treatments for my breast cancer, I knew that meditation could hold the key to my struggle with stress, and thus possibly the key to my healing.

But I had a very hard time finding a good guided meditation for cancer patients that would lead me through a series of calming visualizations and help me to focus my mind. There were lots of meditation CDs available (no downloads then!) and I tried most of them, but each one had something that drove me crazy – it would be intrusive background music or the person narrating it would have some annoying trait. I finally decided to create my own how-to-meditate course, called Change Your Life Meditation Course (click that link to find out more).

I created it for people who lived in small towns without access to meditation classes, for busy people who just wanted some help and guidance with their meditation practice. If that sounds good to you, click here.

Not sure? Want a free sample? Check out my free guided meditation. This is the very meditation I used each and every day (instead of radiation, but that’s a whole different story).

GET MY BEST TIPS on getting through breast cancer and preventing recurrences by signing up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right. You can also “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach) to get my inspirational snippets, news and updates. I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

The Power Of The Mind Heals – Give It 100

Photo courtesy of Lusi / rgbstock.com
Photo courtesy of Lusi / rgbstock.com

The Power Of The Mind Heals – Give It 100

As a breast cancer coach I speak nearly daily with women who worry about whether or not they will survive this disease.  Understandable worries.  We speak of many things, such as nutrition, exercise, super foods, etc., and all of these things are important.  But of equal importance is the power of the mind to heal.

Faith, Belief, Hope

I had those same worries ten years ago when I was going through breast cancer.  Back then the Internet wasn’t such a valuable resource, nothing like it is now.  I had heard that we can harness the power of the mind to heal ourselves, and I had read about it in Ian Gawler’s books “You Can Conquer Cancer” and “The Creative Power of Imagery”.  But reading about something and putting it into practice are two very different things.  It requires a lot of faith and belief in what you are doing.  Not to mention hope…

It can be very scary, especially when you decide to go your own way, and against your doctor’s recommendations (I said yes to chemotherapy – eventually – but no to radiation and Tamoxifen, and I am daily in contact with many others doing the same).  But I decided I had nothing to lose and so I went in search of meditation teachers who could show me how to use the power of the mind to heal myself.

What I learned was that our powerful brain allows us to transcend our present reality, providing the power to open us up so that we may create new possibilities for ourselves.
 
Upworthy Video Inspires

I was thinking about this just this morning when I came across the most inspiring video on www.upworthy.com.  The headline read “They Said She Was Paralyzed, And She Couldn’t Afford Her Recovery, Then A Dancer Changed It All“.  Click the link to watch the video.

The dancer in the headline, Karen, didn’t know how to dance but challenged herself to learn it in a year and filmed 10 seconds per day of her progression.  Cynthia, the paralyzed woman, found Karen’s videos and decided that since she couldn’t afford the treatment to get better, she would simply challenge herself each day to keep going, to do a little more and then a little more, and soon she was walking!

I noticed at one point in the film she was also using meditation – it appears at about the 1:07 mark in the video.

I just wanted to share this with you today because it illustrates how powerful we are once we set our minds to doing something.  It can be something small like learning how to draw, or something huge like healing cancer.

But we can do it.  The power of the mind is truly awesome and we only use a small percentage of our big, powerful brains.

Would you like to challenge yourself?  There is a Give It 100 movement you can join – find out more about that here.

If that doesn’t appeal, I have a downloadable course called Change Your Life Meditation Course which explains how the power of the mind works and how you can create some healing for yourself.  I created it for people who live in small towns and don’t have access to meditation groups but anyone can benefit from it.

Thanks to Upworthy.com for the inspiring video, and to Give It 100 for encouraging people to try new things!

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters and e-book on the right, and/or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor and my goal to help you through this so that you emerge from breast cancer feeling better than before, thriving!

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.  You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem and please be sure to consult your health care professional when making decisions about your health.

Going Through Treatments? How To Feel Better Fast.

 

Photo courtesy of RGBstock.com / Tou Touke
Photo courtesy of RGBstock.com / Tou Touke

Going Through Treatments?  How To Feel Better Fast.

One of the things I needed badly when going through breast cancer was a list of ways to feel better fast.  Why a list? 

Because when you’re going through the treatments for breast cancer, let’s face it – your brain is pretty fuzzy, you can’t think clearly (it’s commonly known as “chemobrain”).  So I made a list of all of the things that made me feel better because, quite honestly, I couldn’t think of them when I needed them the most!

Making A “Feel Better” List

My “feel better” list included getting a massage, inhaling some of my favorite, healing essential oils, listening to particular CDs for their calming music, talking to my best friend, going for a walk, taking a nap, eating really healthy food (because that always makes you feel better), but most of all, meditation.  Meditation was (and still is) the one thing that makes me feel better fast.

When you are putting together your “feel better” list, use a nice thick marker and print the feel better suggestions as clearly as possible.  Post the list where you can see it – on the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator door – don’t make yourself have to hunt for it because you won’t be in the mood.

Some Help From Author Paul Wilson: Instant Calm

In his book “Instant Calm”, author Paul Wilson discusses what he calls applied suggestion.  He says that if you can tell you’re feeling lousy, especially if you say it a few times and persuasively enough, nothing can be surer than you’re going to feel lousy.  “If you keep on telling yourself positive things, calming things, then you will achieve them… More powerful still is visual suggestion.  If you can  see these positive things… calming things… and you can see yourself participating in them, then you are certainly well down the track towards achieving them. “

Mr Wilson goes on to say that applied suggestion must be accepted by the subconscious to transform it into reality.  That’s where meditation helps.  To be accepted by the subconscious, your suggestion should be in harmony with your subconscious beliefs.  To make it powerful, wording must be in the present tense, simple and positive (“More and more, I am discovering that I am feeling better, I am radiantly healthy.”). 

Doing meditation regularly with affirmations (the applied suggestion mentioned by author Paul Wilson) is quite powerful.  Repetition encourages a suggestion or affirmation into being. 

For long-term affirmations and goals to be optimally effective, Mr Wilson advises to repeat your affirmation at least ten times per day to yourself.  See my article Creating Positive Affirmations That Work for more information on how to create the most powerful positive affirmations.

Meditation Help

When I was going through breast cancer, the one thing I couldn’t seem to find was a nice guided meditation for cancer patients that would lead me through some calming visualizations and help me to focus on getting healthier.  Oh, there were all kinds of meditation CDs available and I tried most of them, but most of them seemed to have some fatal flaw, something that drove me crazy – either the background music was awful, or the person’s voice was annoying… so I recently decided to create my own how-to-meditate course, called Change Your Life Meditation Course.  I created it just for you, click the link to find out more.  I’d love to help you feel better fast.

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters and e-book on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor and my goal to help you through this so that you emerge from breast cancer feeling better than before, thriving!

Meditation Benefits – Video 7 – Teaching You How To Meditate

 

 

Final video today – #7 is “Teaching You How To Meditate” and this one introduces my Change Your Life Meditation Course. I’m excited about this – I wanted to be able to help people on a much wider basis than I’m currently doing.

Meditation made a huge change in my life and I would love to share with you all of the wonderful benefits that it has.

Here’s the link to my page where you can get more info:  Change Your Life Meditation Course

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach).  It is my honor and privilege to help you through this.

Meditation Benefits – Video 6 – Can I Use Meditation For Healing?

 

Hello, welcome back!  Today’s video (#6 in my series of 7 videos) answers the frequently asked question “Can I Use Meditation For Healing?”  The answer is an unequivocal YES. 

I used meditation for healing when I was going through breast cancer and it was one of the single most powerful tools in my arsenal.  Really – it would surprise you to discover just how powerful it is.

Watch the video for more info:

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

Meditation Benefits – Video 5 – What Is The Best Meditation Technique For Beginners?

Welcome back – today’s video (#5 of 7) answers the frequently asked question “What Is The Best Meditation Technique For Beginners?”

 

 

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor and my goal to help you through this.

 

Meditation Benefits – Video 2 – How Do I Keep My Mind From Wandering?

 

 

Happy Sunday – this is Video 2.  Today I’m answering the question “How Do I Keep My Mind From Wandering?”

 

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

Meditation Benefits – Video 1 – Why Should I Meditate?

 

 

Meditation was one of the “tools” in my toolbox against breast cancer.  I found it to be one of the most powerful tools in my arsenal and I would love to share it with you.  People tend to not believe that they have so much healing power within their own minds but I hope to persuade you otherwise!

This is the first in a series of 7 videos answering questions about meditation, today’s question is: Why Should I Meditate?

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s video!

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

 

Becoming Adept At Your Healing and Health

Photo courtesy of kconnors / MorgueFile.com
Photo courtesy of kconnors / MorgueFile.com

Becoming Adept At Your Healing and Health

When you are first diagnosed with a disease, no matter what it is, in the initial stages you are generally in the “overwhelm stage”.  You have lots of information coming at you from doctors, friends, family and everyone wanting to help.  You are right into your healing and health.

As time moves on, however, sometimes it is easy to be lured into different directions and you might forget or be too busy to do the things that you need to do to keep healing and health moving in the right direction.  I call this the “confusion stage”.

Don’t worry about this, it happens a lot.  When you notice that you’ve strayed off your path of healing and health you will need to marshal your efforts a little harder.  You might need a little help.

Do not allow those excuses that seemed so real prevent you from taking the action you had intended.  Accept that there will be hurdles to overcome.

Perseverance is key, especially if you’re using meditation as one of the cornerstones of your healing.  It is really easy to get too busy and think it’s not important, but I’m here to remind you that meditation is ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOLS in your healing tool kit.  If you need help learning how, I’ve created a downloadable how-to-meditate course specifically for cancer patients.

It is so important to keep your healing plans moving in the direction you wish and, to help you, here are 12 recommendations:

  1. Stay away from negative people and pessimists – they will drain your energy and bring you down.  Seek out the company of optimistic, bright people who make you feel good.
  2. Make a certain amount of time every day for healing with meditation, adding in visualization when you feel ready.
  3. Read inspirational books (see my page Recommended Reading if you need help with titles).
  4. Get some bodywork – massage, Reiki, acupuncture, Healing Touch – whatever you choose, it will assist your health goals.
  5. Get some exercise into your day – choose something suited to your ability and energy levels.
  6. Practice pranayama (special yoga breathing).
  7. Have a creative outlet – it is great to lose yourself in a creative project and very healing in and of itself.
  8. Help others – the more you give, the more you receive.
  9. Laugh often – laughter really is the best medicine.
  10. Eat well.
  11. Verbalize – keep a diary and/or journal, write letters, send emails, develop your communication skills.
  12. Seek out nature – the healing power of nature cannot be emphasized enough.  If you are a city dweller, you will feel the tension slide away when you walk through a forest.

Now obviously I don’t mean for you to do all of these things every single day – no one could do that.  I found it useful to print out this list and stick it in a prominent place to remind myself that I was on a healing path and that doing these kinds of things for myself was important.  I would pick and choose something from the list each day (except meditation – that should be done daily).  Most of all, enjoy the journey.

Inspirational reference:

You Can Conquer Cancer by Ian Gawler

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Using Visualization to Heal Yourself

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and adamr
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and adamr

I know there are people out there who are laughing – they believe that using visualization to heal yourself is just plain crazy.

I’m here to tell you IT WORKS.  When I had breast cancer in 2004, once I began adding visualization to my passive meditation sessions (they are two very different things) I really began to feel changes were being made.

About Visualization

Visualization (also called guided imagery or creative visualization) is the technique of focusing your imagination on something you would like to have occur in your life. For  you, it may be healing from breast cancer.  For someone else, it may be simply lowering blood pressure or relieving stress or improving a golf game.

How I Used Visualization

When I was undergoing chemotherapy, I used an affirmation that described the chemotherapy in very positive terms and that was great, but I wanted to take it a step further.  I read Ian Gawler’s book “You Can Conquer Cancer” and began to realize that visualization was the missing component for me.  I wanted to harness the power of my mind in order to help the chemotherapy drugs work.  I knew that my body would heal itself automatically once the right conditions were provided.

Besides Ian Gawler’s book, I also grabbed a copy of “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain.  This book was written to help you use the power of your imagination to create what you want in your life.  I highly recommend it.

A Healing Visualization For You

Today I’m sharing my favorite healing visualization – I used one very similar to this.  I’d suggest you record your own voice reading it, because the cells of your body recognize your voice and that’s much better than you listening to me read this out.

To begin, turn off your phone!  Sit or lie down.  Breathe deeply (and it helps to breathe in essential oils of basil or frankincense to open the brain further).  Relax.  Start focusing on your feet – tell them to relax.  Then work your way up your body, focusing on each part and telling it to relax.  Consciously let go of any tension you may be holding.  Feel the tension dissolving  – let it go.

Here are the words to record (slowly, giving yourself time to experience the sensations):

Imagine a beautiful, shimmering, golden light.  This light is a gift to you from the Divine.

Feel this healing golden light surrounding your body.

Sense it…… enjoy the sensation of the golden light surrounding you.

Bring the golden light into the area of your body that needs healing.

Surround that part of your body in the healing, golden light. 

Really allow the golden light to penetrate that area of your body.

Breathe.

You might be aware of some emotions coming through.

Acknowledge them, breathe.  Then let them go.

Picture the diseased area dissolving – the golden light is carrying it away.

Now shine this beautiful golden light into each part of your body.

Take your time with this.  Allow the golden light to do its work.

(Pause for 3-4 minutes here)

Now imagine yourself in natural, perfect health. 

See yourself taking part in activities you love, and feeling well, being active and healthy.

Breathe and enjoy the vision of yourself, happy and healthy.

Do this visualization each time you are receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and also take time out every single day to practice visualization.

Skeptical?

Don’t think this will work?  This might change your mind.  I have a friend who was diagnosed with a particularly nasty form of lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.  He was told to go home and get his affairs in order.  He did that, but he also changed his life quite a bit.  He became a vegetarian, started juicing regularly and while that helped him quite a bit, the one thing that he knows cured him of his “uncurable” cancer was meditation and visualization.  In the initial phases of his disease, he would carve out 3 one-hour sessions every day where he just sat and meditated and used visualization to heal himself.  He is still with us today, 16 years later, thriving and healthy and disease-free.

There are plenty of testimonials on visualization in various books and internet sites.  Many Olympic athletes attribute their success in winning medals to visualizing exactly what they are going to do and then doing it.

A Helpful Affirmation For You To Post

Along with the above visualization, it would help for you to post this particular affirmation, written by Shakti Gawain, in places you can see it – the refrigerator door, the dashboard of your car, your bathroom mirror:

I AM LOVING AND HEALING MYSELF ON ALL LEVELS —

SPIRITUAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, AND PHYSICAL.

I CAN GET MY NEEDS MET WITHOUT GETTING SICK.

I AM TAKING GOOD CARE OF MYSELF.

I LOVE AND ACCEPT MY BODY COMPLETELY.

I AM GOOD TO MY BODY, MY BODY IS GOOD TO ME.

I HAVE NOW RELEASED ALL PATTERNS OF ILLNESS.

I AM FREE AND HEALTHY.

MY BODY IS BALANCED, IN PERFECT HARMONY WITH THE EARTH AND THE UNIVERSE.

I AM ENERGETIC AND FULL OF VITALITY.

I GIVE THANKS FOR EVER-INCREASING HEALTH, BEAUTY AND VITALITY.

When you read these words, imagine yourself surrounded with golden healing light.

I have also created a how-to-meditate course for you, it’s called the “Change Your Life Meditation Course“.  I did this because so many of my readers live in small towns where meditation classes are non-existent, and I truly believe in the power of the mind to help you heal.

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Favorite Inspirational Quote #7

Photo courtesy of stock.xchng and duchessa
Photo courtesy of stock.xchng and duchessa

Today’s favorite inspirational quote comes from Dr Bernie Siegel in “Love, Medicine & Miracles” and the subject is the importance of peace of mind.

“Getting well isn’t the main objective.  That can set you up for failure.  If you set a physical goal, then you may fail, but if you make peace of mind your goal, you can achieve it.  My message is peace of mind, not curing cancer, blindness, or paraplegia.  In achieving peace of mind, cancer may be healed, sight may be restored, and paralysis may disappear.  All of these things may occur through peace of mind, which creates a healing environment in the body.”

When you consider the research being done about the body-mind connection, how stress often plays a huge role in the development of disease, and how often we are stressed these days, Dr Siegel’s comment makes a lot of sense.

Check out my free downloadable Guided Meditation if you need help with stress.

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey.

Reduce Stress with this Lovely YouTube Video

Reduce Stress with this Lovely YouTube Video
Photo courtesy of stock.xchng and miamiamia

Reduce Stress Levels

If you are trying to reduce your stress levels, you can’t go wrong with this wonderful YouTube video I found.

It’s a chakra cleansing and clearing meditation and what I loved about it was the narrator’s voice.  Her name is Lisa Beachy (Meditations for Moms) and she has one of the calmest voices I think I’ve ever heard.

It only takes 6 minutes to do this meditation and I guarantee you will feel your stress levels declining as you do it.

Go on – give it a try!  CLICK HERE.

I have also created a meditation for you using one of my personal favorite white light meditations.  To download it (it’s free), go to my page: Guided Meditation

I send my love to everyone taking this journey right now. If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.  

Dr Siegel Talks About Emotions and the Immune System

Scanning electron micrograph of a white blood cell

Dr Siegel Talks About Emotions and the Immune System

In his book, Love Medicine and Miracles, Dr Bernie Siegel has some important things to say about modern medicine and the immune system:

The modern medicine man has gained so much power over certain diseases through drugs that he has forgotten about the potential strength within the patient…  Contentment used to be considered a prerequisite for health.

Dr Siegel also makes the point, “We can change the body by dealing with how we feel.  If we ignore our despair, the body receives a ‘die’ message.  If we deal with our pain and seek help, then the message is ‘Living is difficult but desirable’ and the immune system works to keep us alive.

Stress is Also a Factor

On the subject of stress, Dr Siegel tells us that “The way we react to stress appears to be more important than the stress itself… Stresses that we choose evoke a response totally different from those we’d like to avoid but cannot.  Helplessness is worse than the stress itself.

I believe this is borne out by the statistics that tell us that in the U.S. the cancer rate is higher for those of African American descent than for the white population.

Grief and the Immune System

Dr Siegel says “Recent studies have confirmed that grieving spouses have depressed immune systems for over a year…  Additional work has shown that within one day any uncontrollable stress lowers the efficiency of the body’s disease fighting killer cells.”

To me, all of the above just illustrates the importance of eliminating stress from our lives.  Find out about the benefits of meditation and get a handle on those stress levels!  In the lead-up to my breast cancer diagnosis, I had a huge amount of mis-handled stress and I know it was partially responsible for my having breast cancer.  Meditation is one of the healing tools I used, it helped me immensely.  So much, in fact, that I created a downloadable how-to-meditate course specifically for cancer patients.  I hope it helps you.

 If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

Beat Stress Before it Beats You: Relaxing Apps to Download

Beat Stress Before it Beats You Relaxing Apps to Download

Image source freedigitalphotos.net / Stuart Miles

Feeling stressed these days?  I haven’t run into anyone that hasn’t been feeling the stress of modern life. Fortunately, there are some great relaxing apps to download that will help you!

I find it funny that one of the things that stresses me (my smart phone) is also one of the things that is providing me with some soothing relief.

Stress seems to be the one thing that most breast cancer patients tell me is their constant companion, particularly in the initial phase of diagnosis, absorbing the information and getting together a treatment regimen.  Most breast cancer patients have told me that they were experiencing unrelenting stress in their lives prior to their diagnosis (and that was true for me also).

So I set out to find some of the best smart phone apps I could, thinking that if your smart phone is your other constant companion, you might as well use it to help you de-stress and regain some inner peace!

7 Relaxing Apps to Download

  1. White noise: you can choose from ocean waves, crickets, etc.  Users say it really can help put you to sleep.  Available for iPhones and iPads at iTunes for $1.99.
  2. Yoga apps: since there are many, the link is to a great article written by Regis Chapman at appolicious.com.  Regis has spent a lot of time doing the research on this one, so read the article and choose an app you like (free & various prices).
  3. Louise Hay Affirmation Meditations app: wonderful affirmations from Louise Hay, one of my favorite authors on the subject of healing your body and mind.  Available at hayhouse.com.
  4. Meditations for Relaxation and Stress Reduction: from Joan Borysenko, a noted author, lecturer and healer.  Available at hayhouse.com for $5.99.
  5. Dr Wayne Dyer Inspirations: from Dr Wayne Dyer, inspirational author, lecturer and healer.  Lovely affirmation cards you can use daily to enhance your health and happiness.  Available at amazon.com.
  6. iZen Garden for iPad: chosen as one of the top 500 apps in the world by The Sunday Times of London and much beloved by its users.  Available at iTunes for $4.99.
  7. Relax and Rest: Guided Meditations: one user said “I have been using this app for almost a year now. It truly helps in reducing anxiety that I deal with. I think everyone should use this app once a day to stay relaxed. Or use the 24 minute program to put you right to sleep.”  Available from iTunes for just under a buck!

Okay, stress bunnies – try out these apps and let me know how you like them!  What other apps are you using to help yourself unwind? Let me know in the comments below.

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach).  It is my honor to help you through this.

Metastasis Turmoil – Help on Dealing With It

Metastasis Turmoil Help on Dealing With It
Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and xymonau

One of the hardest things to deal with as a cancer patient is when metastasis occurs – the spread of the disease from one part of your body to another.  Despite your best efforts.  Despite the best efforts of your doctors.  Here’s some help on dealing with it.

I’ve spent a lot of years reading, researching, getting everything in my hands that I could on this subject.  I’m still no expert, but over the years I’ve talked to a lot of survivors, read a lot of books and in this post I will put the best information I’ve found thus far.

Powerful Meditation

In his book “You Can Conquer Cancer” by Dr Ian Gawler (one of Australia’s most experienced and respected authorities on mind-body medicine and meditation), says this about meditation:

“Meditation is:

  • the single most powerful tool to aid recovery from disease
  • relieves physical tension
  • reactivates the immune system
  • allows development of emotional and mental poise
  • generates a positive attitude
  • leads to a heightened level of well-being.”

When in a state of stillness from meditation, your body has a better chance to return to its natural state of balance.  When you practice meditation regularly, that state of balance persists with you throughout the day.

This Part is Really Important!

Dr Gawler states: “Meditation increases quality of life and quantity of life.  People who do it feel better and live longer.”  Dr Gawler recommends that if you’re looking for QUALITY of life, spend 10-20 minutes 3 times daily with your meditation.  If you’re looking for QUANTITY of life, spend 60 minutes 3 times daily meditating.

I have a very good friend in Australia who was diagnosed with an incurable form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  His doctors sent him home to die, telling him to get his affairs in order.  He did that, but he also totally changed his life.  He stopped smoking, quit his stressful job, started eating organic foods and juicing, and followed Ian Gawler’s suggestions.  He meditated 3 hours total per day.  That was 15 years ago and he’s in total remission from a supposedly incurable disease.

I have created, just for you, a white light meditation available for a free download from this site, CLICK HERE.  I hope you enjoy it and that it helps to ignite your inner healer.  I also have a downloadable how-to-meditate course which I designed specifically for cancer patients.

Don’t Bury Toxic Emotions

According to Katrina Ellis in “Shattering the Cancer Myth“, the “most significant way of weakening your body’s immune system is through depressed emotions.  Emotions of sadness, loss, abandonment, grief, fear, depression and hurt.”  If YOU are going through cancer and can relate to this, I would strongly suggest you get some counseling.  Deal with these emotions, please don’t bury them.

It Helps to Get Mad!

Dr Bernie Siegel in “Love, Medicine & Miracles” reports that “…psychologist Sandra Levy has shown that seriously ill breast cancer patients who expressed high levels of depression, anxiety, and hostility survived longer than those who showed little distress.”  Aggressive patients apparently tend to have more killer T cells (part of your immune system) than docile patients!  I found that very interesting.

Wisdom from the Dalai Lama

When you’re actively battling cancer and metastases, you MUST put yourself first.  According to the Dalai Lama in his book “The Art of Happiness“, it helps to “frame any decision we face by asking ourselves ‘WILL IT BRING ME HAPPINESS?’  This underlying sense of moving toward happiness can have a very profound effect, it makes us more receptive, more open, to the joy of living.”

The Power of Prayer

Whether you pray for yourself or get your friends to pray for you (hopefully both), the power of prayer should not be underestimated.  I’ll tell you a quick story.  I once knew a woman who was involved in a rather serious car crash involving 3 cars.  She was in the 3rd car, and the car ahead of her had been seriously damaged in both the front and the back.  She began to pray for the young woman in the second car and kept it up until the ambulance came and they took the young woman to the hospital.  My friend hadn’t been injured and went home and went about her life.  Several weeks later, a young woman came to her door.  She apologized for the intrusion and said that she got her address from the police report records.  She said “I just want to thank you so much.”  When my friend looked at her quizzically, she said “When we were involved in that accident, I think I left my body.  I was near death, and I was hovering over the whole scene.  I could see this amazing white light coming out of your car and enveloping me and keeping me safe and I realized you were praying for me.  I could hear your words.  I think you saved me.”

Pretty powerful stuff.  Get involved in prayer circles with your friends.  They’ll want to know how they can help you.

The Gift of Living in the Moment

A very helpful (and wise) friend once said to me, when I was stressing about whether or not I was going to survive breast cancer, “You know, Marnie, the best thing you can do for yourself is learn to live in the moment.  Right now is all we have.  Try not to worry about what’s in front of you or what’s behind you.  Just be happy in this moment.”

That turned out to be the best advice anyone could have given me at the time.  I took it on board and did my best (and still do) to just live in the moment.  Because 90% of the time, the present moment – if you give yourself up to it and really take in everything – is pretty perfect.

I wish you much healing in your journey.

I send my love to everyone taking this journey right now. If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond