Make up Your Mind to be Well
I will never forget the day I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, malignant melanoma that had metastasized to my lymph nodes, and was given only 3 months to live. That was 25 years ago. I was a terrified young woman in my early 20s and after several surgeries and no promising allopathic options, I decided to turn to ‘alternative medicine’ to find the thing that would cure my cancer. That thing turned out to be my own mind.
Although I’ve always known mindfulness played the biggest part in my recovery, it wasn’t until I read some of the Institute of Noetic Sciences’ “Spontaneous Remission: An Annotated Bibliography” that I had my A-ha moment: 25 years ago I was doing the very things this research (and subsequent research) was talking about; I was using the power of my own mind to heal my body of cancer.
Negativity Breeds Dis-Ease
Years ago I was living about as unhealthy a lifestyle as a person can, both physically and mentally. Not only was I making poor nutrition choices, smoking packs of cigarettes a day, drinking too much coffee and getting too little sleep, I was also one of those people who was riddled with negative thoughts. If someone had made a movie about my life at that time it wouldn’t have been called “A Beautiful Mind” it would have been called “A Negative Mind.”
Mindful meditation takes you from a place of fear, grief, anger and hopelessness and elevates your spirit and mind, which in turn helps your autoimmune system do its job. Negative emotions actually increase the levels of cortisol and epinephrine in the body, and this leads to cellular inflammation which is how cancer begins. Meditation releases the fear and negativity, allows us to feel hope, and hope actually causes a biochemical reaction in the body which begins the healing process.
A Buddhist precept teaches that rust, which comes from iron, can eventually corrupt that iron. Our minds are no different. Negative thoughts will eventually corrupt our bodies whereas positive minds create health.
Dr. O. Carl Simonton of the Simonton Cancer Care Center in California uses traditional cancer therapies with his patients but also has an understanding and respect for the mind/body connection. For 10 years he studied the effects of this connection and found that the body does have a natural ability and inclination to heal and transform itself. He has said, “Although meditation and visualization are used for releasing tension and attaining spiritual fulfillment, they can also be used as a first step to setting up changes in one’s life and health, starting with the determination to change our beliefs about illness and treatment, and about the ability of the body to cure and treat itself.”
See Yourself Well
One of my favorite movies in the last 5 years was “The King’s Speech,” and when I recently found out that the writer of that film, David Seidler, used visualization to cure himself of bladder cancer I was thrilled! When he was diagnosed, Seidler decided to use the same imagination he uses to write his screenplays to see a “lovely, clean healthy bladder.”
He visualized a healthy bladder for two weeks, and at the end of those two weeks when he went in for the operation he had scheduled, his doctor found no cancer. The doctor couldn’t explain it but Seidler could – he visualized a healthy bladder and that is what his mind created in reality.
Some people might hear this story and chalk it up to coincidence or luck, but other cancer survivors like myself who have used visualization or creative imagination know that it is not a woo-woo concept but a practice that stimulates the subconscious mind and tells it the reality you wish to create. If you wish to create health, you can.
Over the past 25 years I have seen people and health professionals take ‘alternative’ medicine more seriously, and it’s about time! Our minds are powerful. I don’t believe that, I know that. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer or another degenerative dis-ease and want to regain your health, you need to make up your mind to be well.
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Make your mind up to be well. This is my wish for you.
With love & gratitude,
P.s. Leave me a comment below. I love reading your stories. I do my very best to get back to everyone.