I have been home almost 2 weeks and I am entering a new phase of my journey called, recuperation. It is an interesting time for me. In my imaginary world, I had visualized my successful surgery and then possibly some time in the hospital and then, boom, I am released back to the world fully regenerated and ready to resume my life. Got rid of Tiny and let’s move forward. I’ll put in the effort and I’ll recuperate and regenerate my energy quickly. Well, once again, I am learning new and old lessons. Mainly, I am learning that this is a process that takes it’s own time.
“Have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself”
St. Francis de Sales
There are things one can do to facilitate this process: Diet, Exercise, Positive Mental Attitude, Meditation, Relaxation and on and on. I am doing all of them. But even in all this activity, this healing process moves at its own pace and not necessarily by the notes and dates I write on my calendar. Incisions take time to heal, muscles take time to re-connect etc. So the lesson in this, for me, is patience. And the most difficult, is patience with oneself.
I am a person that is ready to go, ready to do something but suddenly I am confronted with simple things I cannot do. For instance, I can’t tie my shoes right now. That’s kind of humbling. I know I’ll be able to tie them soon again, but right now, I can’t. I can’t bend forward and my arms are shorter than my legs so I can’t touch my shoes. Someone else has to tie them for me. I’ve been tying my own shoes since I was 6 years old, thank you very much. But now it is, can you please tie my shoes for me? I like the independence of tying my own shoes. I am not able to do that right now. Luckily this is just temporary but for those of us in a hurry, temporary can be an eternity. So…patience. I practice patience. And impatiently, I am working to learn patience. I know that is an oxymoron but it works for me.
“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” Joyce Meyer
This quote works well for me. I’m not so good at waiting…I want it now! But, I can work on keeping a positive mental attitude in the face of my challenges…in this case, waiting. As I mentioned before, I am surrounded by people with positive mental attitudes. That is something I purposefully worked on for a long time. It can be a blessing and at moments, may feel like a curse. But, it works and is helping me keep that good attitude while waiting.
So, let’s return to my recuperation. I have a simple plan and that is recuperation leads to my regeneration and in that I am laying the foundation for the preparation of what comes next. In my case, that is Chemotherapy. So, what am I doing to recuperate?
I am working the Body, Mind, Spirit connection. This can sound quite trite and new age cliché. The beauty is that it is very effective. We are an intradependent organism and we are greater than the sum of our parts. So, I am working my total self as much as possible to get the best and (remember impatience) quickest possible results. Please note that I am learning the adjective “possible” is a significant qualifier at this moment. At this time, “quickest possible” can feel like glacial speed during an ice age.
On the physical side, I exercise mostly by walking. I can’t go so far yet without a lot of pain but most days I am able to go a bit further. Also, I’m doing a little simple yoga including pranayama (breathing) and relaxation. This all helps as it builds strength and helps release tension and stress and creates a healing environment for the body. As well, I am doing a bit of gardening but at this point, this is mostly comprised of me telling other people what to do. I think they are all praying for my speedy recovery. The other day, I met a new friend and well-experienced gardener at the garden shop. She was particularly good with pest control. Please see her picture above.
I am also paying close attention to my diet. I’m not over the top crazy fanatic about it. I think it is important to maintain a good balance and practice my discipline in moderation. Basically that means I can cheat from time to time without feeling guilty. I eat an alkaline vegetarian diet based on the Budwig Diet (that was a few Blogs ago). This helps maintain my body’s natural alkaline pH which is significant to my heath and healing. I find it helps with digestion and elimination both of which are important for regenerating oneself. I’m a vegetarian so I avoid meat (including poultry and fish), cigarettes, alcohol, recreational drugs, caffeine, processed sugar and I eat minimal gluten (I have to eat some pasta!) I am also working to gain weight as I lost 8 kilo so I am eating a lot of calories and healthy fats like olive oil. I have gained almost 1 kilo (2 lbs) already!
For my mind, I am working my positive mental attitude. I meditate, I visualize my health, I use positive affirmations and chant various mantras. As well I listen to music that elevates me and makes me feel good and gives me strong positive messaging. Here are a few entries from my Positive Play List that help keeping me going in the direction I want to go:
-Bob Marley’s “3 Little Birds” (Don’t worry ‘bout a thing)
-The theme from the movie Rocky
-Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day to be Alive”
-Any Bach or Vivaldi Concerto
-and of course “Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru” (current favorite from Terra Naam)
-“Guru Guru Wahe Guru”
There is a lot of study that demonstrates the beneficial effects of elevating music and positive vibration on our body. One of my favorites is the book, “The Hidden Messages in Water” by Masaru Emoto. He shows the impact of positive and negative vibrations on water. Our body is almost 70% water so the vibration and sounds we expose ourselves to have a profound effect on our body and mind. And, yes, positive is far better than the opposite.
For my Spirit, which includes my mood, how I feel, I meditate. I meditate to open my heart to the possibilities of life and to release fear of the future. With cancer, it is easy to have fear….what if it comes back!? So, releasing that fear is significant to my mental equilibrium and healing. Here is a link for the current meditation that I am doing. Jivan Mukta Singh reminded me of this and suggested the music for it. It is beautiful. It is “Kriya for Removing Fear of the Future” ….did I mention fear? Fear? What Fear? As you can see it has a good result.
For the music to listen to for the meditation, here is a link for a beautiful “Dhan Dhan Ram Das Guru” from Terra Naam.
My program is a simple process. Simple to talk about at least…not always so simple to practice so again, patience is important. Patience for those moments when we may not be perfect and lapse in our discipline, and patience for the thought (and this one comes a lot) that this is taking longer than I planned.
So, I am discovering this healing process is all about Patience. And I find that patience is founded on Love and especially, self-love. You can’t hurry love. Let it come. Love yourself, let others love you, let the universe love you. Let others and the Universe give to you, and receive with an open heart. It’s a big step; sometimes even a little scary. And here is a part that I really like, receiving is as important as giving. Yes, the giving is important but receiving becomes an expression of the dignity of giving. So, when someone offers you help, don’t think or don’t say, oh no, no that’s too much, but receive it in the grace it is offered. Let things come, don’t say “no”. Or an easy example would be, if someone offers to open the door, don’t say…no, I got it…but instead say thank you as you walk through. Receive, receive, let the universe serve you and then you can reciprocate and give and serve the universe. It is a cycle of fulfillment. It is a cycle of Love.
To Tell The Truth
In this on going process, I have discovered probably the most important transformational and healing attitude for me…vulnerability. I don’t like being vulnerable. And for that matter who does? But somehow this quote came to me.
It’s ok to be vulnerable: “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage” Brene’ Brown
I came across this by “accident” when looking at random Ted Talks. And it hit me at just the right moment. I discovered that healing requires patience and that patience requires love and that love can create vulnerability. That’s a big and scary risk. And for me it was a big fear to overcome in my own healing process and even making that first appointment with my Urologist. “What if they discover something bad?” Something that makes me less than perfect?” In writing this blog, I had to question my self to share what I am really going through. Not just the cool and groovy parts of which there are not too many. That would have been a short and boring blog. Was I willing to show my vulnerability? They’ll find out, oh my God, I’m not perfect! But something in me told me I had to share this experience. Hilda, when she showed up, made that point to me over and over. Don’t hide…let yourself be seen. Live in the light and share what you have to share. It will heal you! It will give you courage. I’m not sure who came first Hilda or Brene’ but it doesn’t matter. Their wisdom has thrust me into a new reality and I am healing well because of it. And, I recuperate and regenerate and along the way, I learn the lessons of patience, self-love and vulnerability. I am blessed.
Love to all, Light to all, Peace to all.
Sada Sat Singh