Sorry I’ve been quiet, I needed time to think.
Think about what? Everything.
What’s happened, what’s happening, and what should happen next. What I’ve written, what to write, and where should my writing go from here.
Here’s where my thinking took me:
As of yesterday, it’s been 2 years since I went into radiation treatment for cancer. What a ride that was. I’ll talk about that more some other time, but the long and short of it is: two years ago, I was in a very confused place about all of this. I received my diagnosis around the same time that I decided that alcohol and I could no longer be pals and that the habit had to go away. Nothing says major life changes like quitting drinking and smoking, and getting cancer. Oh yeah! Suddenly, I was finding myself bolted to a radiation table, thinking ” hmmm, well, look where my decisions brought me! “.
Fast forward 2 years and I’m cancer free, and trying to make the best of this life, to avoid cancer again. I still struggle with avoiding stress though…
You’ll see from my posts that I firmly believe that I stressed myself into my cancer – stress to the emotional and physical body, with anxiety, booze, substance abuse, and general worrying about everything and trying to fix all the problems around me, constantly, etc. Over the course of my short life, I hadn’t treated my body like a temple. At all. I had pushed my body to the limits, with the certainty that I was unbreakable, that I could not be defeated. While that’s the right attitude to have in some circumstances, you have to take responsibility for your actions. I was responsible for my cancer and I was also responsible for avoiding causing myself the same stress again.
That’s why I needed to think. I needed to be quiet and go within.
Let’s talk about the illusive Within, the land where happiness and calm is found, where you find your peace, your health and your inner balance.
I’ve wondered for years why everyone said the answer was “within”. I thought that was so weird… what do you mean? The answer isn’t within, I always thought, it’s just that all these things are happening and it’s making me really anxious… “I would be less stressed out if all of these bad things didn’t happen to me” I use to say, without taking responsibility or assuming that I already had an answer I didn’t know I had the answer, and that things didn’t happen TO me. They were events, and my reaction was a choice of my own. Things don’t happen TO you, they happen around you and you choose which reaction you have to these events. It’s hard to accept that it’s our choice.
So how could I change my reaction to the events around me?
Within wasn’t a place that I knew how to get to – I felt like I needed a map. I discovered yoga and meditation, both of which became part of that map.
Through both practices, I learned to get quiet and find stillness.
That was, I believe, one of my biggest issues: the lack of stillness. In the past, if something was to happen that would make me anxious, I would react right away and offer 100 ways to fix the problem, without ever taking the time to breath in between. “We had to fix it now”, I felt wholeheartedly.
But soon, I discovered that if you let the problem breath a little bit, like a good wine (yes, I see the irony!). With a good breathing time, the problem will have time to find its place and its natural solution. There’s no reason to jump at fixing anything… unless, of course, that the kitchen is on fire and then you can jump a little bit. With stillness, the problem often resolves itself. The universe is magical and very much out there to help you, but most of us want to fix the issues before we allow the issues to fix themselves, which they inevitably will. The universe will always present you with solutions – you just have to ask, be patient, and be aware to receive them.
This all sounds like a magical fairytale doesn’t it?
Here’s the thing – it’s true though. The moments where I decided to be still instead of jumping at fixing a problem, the problem usually fixes itself, without having caused any stress at all. It’s all about trusting that everything will happen for the greater good of everyone involved.
As long as you trust and be still, that’s where the magic is. It takes time, and practice, but I’ve discovered this to work, very much.
I’m still new at this – every time something is about to make me anxious, I will write it down in my journal with the words “be still” or “trust”.
Sometimes, I will just say it out loud and take three deep breaths.
This usually redirects my worries and I can overcome the urge to try and fix everything immediately (which, also, usually causes more issues than it resolves them haha). That’s PART of what “they” mean when they say to go within. It’s all about sitting in your stillness and allowing the world around you to resolve any disturbance. The stillness is part of the happiness within.
And all of this will help me avoid stressing myself into a cancer again.
That’s what I’ve been thinking about..
More on the Land of Within soon.