Olivia Newton-John, Breast Cancer and the Quest for Power

Olivia Newton-John, Breast Cancer and the Quest for Power

Olivia Newton-John is one of the world’s most lovely people. She is a talented singer and actress, a heart-driven philanthropist, and a beautiful person inside and out. She is also a survivor. Her successful battle with breast cancer more than two decades ago left her stronger and more centered as an individual. This old challenge has actually become her newest one. Her breast cancer has returned.

This likely isn’t the first time you’ve heard of cancer making a comeback to threaten someone’s health and peace. It’s not an uncommon tale. For example, the beloved Olympic figure skating champion Scott Hamilton has been public about his own recurring bouts with cancer. Why does cancer return?

The common answers seem reasonable. Even after surgery and treatments, there is no way to ensure that all the dangerous cancer cells have been completely removed. And, it technically needs only one of these to remain to start the process all over again. We all have forms of cancer cells in us, but our immune system usually responds successfully to them keeping a malignant disease at bay. There are a host of factors that determine whether our innate defense mechanisms break down or remain strong.

So, how much influence can we actually have on whether or not we get cancer? The evidence suggests perhaps more than we once thought.

Now, I feel like a disclaimer may be helpful here. Cancer is a tricky disease. It shows up in innocent children and super healthy people, as well as in those who are obviously not taking care of their health. And some people who seem sure to contract the disease due to lifestyle or genetics somehow never do. Cancer is full of surprises, and in so many ways we feel powerless against it. There are some factors in our lives, however, where we can feel a bit more in control and be proactive in guarding our health as much as we are able.

Let’s look more closely at three of the more familiar factors that contribute to cancer: inherited tendencies or genetics, environment, and lifestyle.

1) What do we see in our family health history? Is it guaranteed that if we have a long line of cancer in our family that we will struggle with this diagnosis? Not necessarily. As epigenetics teaches us, the environment of our cells determines how they manifest their DNA “blueprints”. Our perceptions of our life experiences contribute to this environment positively or negatively. We are the foremen over these blueprints and ultimately have a powerful influence over our health.

2) Environments, then, can be very important for our health. Take a look at your home, workplace, relationships, and local pollution. What chemicals or other contaminants do you come in contact with on a regular basis? How is your stress level? Do you have something in place to manage it well? Stress weakens and can even shut down our bodies’ natural healing mechanisms. Do your relationships build your sense of value, happiness, personal power, and safety? These and many other environmental factors you encounter either add to or take away from your wellbeing and your ability to fight off disease. Choose wisely!

3) Our lifestyles also have great impact on our health and whether we are vulnerable to a cancer diagnosis. What we eat, drink, think, and entertain ourselves with either build the body’s defenses or weaken them. What do you focus on daily? What is your mindset? Is it positive or negative? Some people love to exercise while others don’t. For those who don’t, are you at least going for a walk, dancing, or playing active games periodically? These are all things we likely have control over. As you make good choices in these areas, you can strengthen yourself against developing diseases, including cancer.

I don’t know exactly why our wonderful Olivia Newton-John is experiencing this returning challenge, but there is another thing to consider here. Our most difficult challenges are often the things that help us become better. As we let ourselves learn from these difficulties, we become more compassionate, stronger in our personal identities, and develop gifts and talents that we wouldn’t know about otherwise. I guess this is one of those ‘silver linings’ we appreciate when life seems so dark.

If you or someone you love is dealing with this awful disease or something else that threatens their health and peace, there is hope. Consider these final thoughts:

  • Take charge of the things that are within your control – taking responsibility builds confidence and a sense of power over your life
  • Get your team of medical and health professionals in place to support you – with you as the CEO
  • Lower your stress – evaluate internal and external factors and make necessary changes
  • Eat better – remember you are what you eat
  • Surround yourself with positive influences – this can be music, people, social media, entertainment, etc.
  • Become the master of your own personal wellness – this life is your gift and you get to choose your legacy
  • Take inventory of what your thoughts and intentions are creating – you are more powerful than you might think
  • Discover the lessons that are there for you to learn – every challenge invites you through a process to become the best version of yourself
  • There is a grand plan, one where you are the hero of your own story – seek to understand this truth and know that miracles can happen.
Therapy Like Oprah

Therapy Like Oprah

Last week was quite a ride! I put myself in a position for growth, which happened to be in Los Angeles, California. I had business meetings with some amazing people, some personal development sessions that were life-changing, and there were also some meetings that never took place. The uncertainty of what to expect was a heavy fog that I had to trudge through. All in all, it was a successful week, but those moments of disappointment and discouragement were rough.

I tend to do this to myself. In fact, it’s something I’ve done to myself my whole life. I engage in opportunities where I will grow and develop who I am. I try out for things, compete in things, submit my creations or even myself to judgment, and so on. I prefer to be very proactive in my journey to better myself and become who I’m meant to become. These growth opportunities are usually more difficult than I anticipate, sometimes even a bit harrowing, but always stretching.

One of the reasons this has worked so well for me is that I have an amazing support team. I have people around me who are wise, love me, and wish for me to succeed. This is invaluable! I can reach for the stars and know that even if I don’t achieve my desires fully, I have a soft place to land and earth angels to help me learn from the experiences. They believe in me and my potential. I love these people with all my heart.

This exercise in becoming has worked throughout my life quite well, but in recent years has been even more effective. These experiences of growth always stirred up internal and external resistance to my self-improvement. This would look like negative self-talk that I shouldn’t try for this or that because I’m not as talented or pretty as the other person. Feelings of anxiety or depression would try to deter my efforts as well. Sometimes, I would even get physically ill along the way to a goal. For most of my life, I would just push through these obstacles…or be squashed by them. However, since I learned how to recognize these types of resistance as simply messages for me to respond to, I can now answer them, heal, and move on stronger than before.

Knowing how to heal the obstacles – and learn the lessons they contain – has allowed me to grow exponentially. This is why I teach others how to harness the power inside of them to help themselves heal. I want everyone to grow more effectively in beautiful ways and become who they’re meant to become. This is also why I encourage people to reach for their dreams, develop their innate gifts, and serve the world in the way they are meant to serve. They can grow and heal on a daily basis by choosing to create or accepting opportunities for growth. This journey not only allows them to heal things inside of them that are keeping them from their greatness, it also allows them to experience the joy waiting for them as they fulfill their missions in life.

Oprah Winfrey recently gave an interview with Jess Cagle, the Editorial Director of People and Entertainment Weekly. In it, she describes how beneficial her opportunity was to learn from others. She experienced great healing while using her gifts to perform literally tens of thousands of interviews. Although, she never personally went to a therapist, interviewing these guests proved very healing. She surrounded herself with wise, caring people who taught her along with her show’s millions of viewers. She was totally present, listened, and was willing to learn. “I came out of it a better human being having listened to everybody’s stories,” she said.

I invite you to reach for your stars, whatever they look like. Discover your gifts and seek to bless the world around you. Surround yourself with people who want your happiness and success. Give your ear to those who inspire your mind with new understanding and hope. Then, listen to the messages from your life, learn how to respond to them, and absorb the lessons that are there to help you grow. Use the techniques in my book Life Above the Line: Living the Life You’re Meant to Live to heal what shows up to be healed and move forward. You’re worth it!

 

To read the article in People Entertainment Weekly Network, click HERE

 

 

Image by Rainier Martin Ampongan

The Biggest Problem is Panic says Tim Ralston

The Biggest Problem is Panic says Tim Ralston

Tim Ralston is an entrepreneur, inventor, adventurer, TV personality and a truly nice guy with a kind heart. His empowering message of preparedness is more about being encouraged than living in fear. He lives by the familiar adage that if you are prepared, you won’t fear.

He has his favorite tools and gear that are his go-to’s including a Silky Saw and his ingenious gun that shoots just about any kind of bullet. But if you ask him what his best tips are for being prepared for anything, he’ll tell you food, water, seeds and medical supplies. If you press a bit further or talk about worst case scenarios, his next advice is bullets – and lots of them.

A problem Tim says he encounters as he spreads his message of preparedness is people who say that they’d rather die than deal with true disaster, that they would have no will to live. In cases like this, he often takes them through a simple visualization to remember what they truly value in life. He helps them see what in their lives is worth living for – their children, parents, loved ones, and even their pets. He calls this their “life force.” Survival, then, is not about the perfect gear or a lack fear. It’s about remembering and connecting with our reasons to live.

It’s easy to boil survival down to food, water, shelter, family, society, and rule of law. All this helps, but these things are not the only way to be prepared for these difficulties. While the supplies, the gear, the skills, and the plan are important, preparedness is also about being able to respond to whatever is thrown at you. According to Tim, “Survival is adaptation.”

Adaptation is also managing the internal struggles we can face during crisis. This biggest challenge Tim sees as people face survival situations is panic. When people panic they stop thinking clearly. They run the wrong way or stay in a building that they should evacuate. Most people simply don’t respond well to chaos. Tim, like many in his prepper community, have countered this by visualizing countless scenarios and how to survive them. “Being prepared diminishes the panic,” Tim says. But, the average person doesn’t spend his time imagining disasters and how to survive them, leaving them more susceptible to panic. So, what do we do to prepare for crises and the internal chaos they bring?

Techniques that help us manage our emotions, like panic, anxiety, overwhelm and fear, can be life savers. My Vibrational Release Technique does just that. It helps in two ways. First, just thinking about traumatic possibilities can stir up all these emotions. We can proactively heal them and our reactions to them to lessen our stress before we even encounter a crisis. Second, the technique also helps us keep our cool in the moment of trauma. When we’re faced with serious challenges, we can RELEASE, BREATHE, and calm the intense emotions as we experience them.

Tim and I have both seen all the reactions happening INSIDE of an individual during an emergency – physical stress response; beliefs surfacing of one’s ability to survive; emotions of fear, powerlessness, and overwhelm; and the mental conversation we have with ourselves that can build or destroy the possibilities of a positive outcome. Surviving encompasses the internal and external parts of our lives. And the more prepared we are in both aspects, the better chances we have of not just surviving, but actually thriving in response to any significant challenge we may face.

While I’ve understood the value of preparedness in water and food storage, making sure our family has a plan, and even my martial arts training, I’m so glad I had the chance to learn from an expert. Tim gave me a new awareness about the skills, the gear, and other helpful resources that give me more confidence to face a crisis.

As we discussed getting my message of INTERNAL preparedness out to the world in a bigger way, Tim’s final advice was to go on a reality TV show and blow my thumb off in an explosion…like he did. Thanks for the advice, Tim, but I’ll just plug away at spreading the hope and healing in a slightly safer way. 😉

 

*If you’re interested in learning more about preparedness and the prepper community, there are several websites out there. One of them that Tim recommends is Americans Prepper Network. If you want to learn more about Tim, one of my favorite articles is Gear Up with Tim Ralston on the WeGrowOurs show on Independent Talk 1100AM.

Making Something in the World

Making Something in the World

What happens when life hits us with yet another challenge? How do we respond? Whether it’s a physical challenge, a financial one, or an emotional one, they all have the potential to flatten us. It’s how we counter the situation that makes all the difference.

A new hero of mine is Jennifer Brea. She’s a powerhouse that just happens to struggle with a physically and sometimes mentally debilitating illness. She was a PhD student at Harvard in her late 20’s when it struck. After a fever of nearly 105 degrees for about 10 days, the dizziness hit and eventually a whole host of symptoms that changed the course of her life. Instead of letting this mysterious illness define her and shut her down, she shifted from student and freelance journalist to became a filmmaker and activist to find answers for herself and hosts of others.

Her most recent film “Unrest,” which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, chronicles her journey and that of many others living in unreal circumstances. She is championing a cause that is blessing the lives of countless people around the world. In response to an interview regarding the inspiration of creating an earlier film, she said, ”I think I must have felt I had only two choices: I could curl up in a ball and die, or I could make something.” I remember this choice of my own oh so well. In another interview, she said of the project, “It has been a way to deal with the anger and confusion and fear.” She applied those powerful emotions to a productive and life-changing pursuit.

When I was sick, I too wondered how I would deal with the never-ending pain, the debilitating fatigue, and the disheartening “brain fog.” I remember wishing some nights that I would just not wake up the next morning. It was too hard. I couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life in this kind of overwhelming strain. What kind of future was even possible? I sunk into depression periodically, but, luckily, I didn’t stay there. There were times that I found a project to work on. I learned to sew, knit and crochet. I even made baby blankets for about 18 new babies in just a few weeks. These meaningful projects kept me going. They gave me something to get out of bed for. It gave me purpose when my life seemed pointless – a craving to be useful, even.

A young woman in one of Jennifer’s films, Jessica Taylor, said of her struggles, “When you are stuck not able to do a lot of things, you get a real desire to push on and really make something in the world.” As the years went on while I fought through my illnesses, this feeling grew stronger and stronger in me. I knew somewhere inside of me was something that could bless the world. I craved the chance to contribute to society, to be valuable, to help someone else that needed hope. It drove me.

I’m so grateful that those days are gone, and I enjoy a normal life with my sweet husband and children. I’m going after my dreams and even achieving some of them! I’m serving the world in a way I feel God has prepared me to do.

Watching people like Jennifer Brea is so inspiring and empowering. She is doing so much good in the world despite her significant limitations. She is a gift and a light to people who struggle with chronic illnesses and their families. She gives so much HOPE. I applaud her and look forward to contributing to her cause in the near future.

In the meantime, I invite you to watch one of her most recent appearances – a TED Talk entitled “What happens when you have a disease doctors can’t diagnose” (below). It made me cry in sadness as I remembered that pain, in gratitude that I don’t live that challenge anymore, in empathy for those still suffering, and in hope for all who I get to help regain their lives. I’m making something in the world. You can too.

 

Great articles about Jennifer Brea

NJ Woman Felled by ‘Devastating Disease Doctors Have Never Heard of’ – http://abcnews.go.com/Health/nj-woman-bedridden-devastating-disease-doctors-heard/story?id=20734936

Interview: Jennifer Brea Talks About Obstacles, Adjustments, and Inspiration – http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?LIBID=19165

Image above from the film “Unrest”

Tackling Anxiety with Collective Evolution

Tackling Anxiety with Collective Evolution

Anxiety is an awful condition, whether you’re suffering from it occasionally or chronically. You can begin feeling out of control, hopeless, and even paralyzed. Fear takes over and you can’t move, but staying in one place merely cements the panic. So what can you do about it?

In the article, 7 Things I Needed to Accept Before Tackling My Anxiety, the author shares powerful insights to begin facing this beast. She spoke of owning her responsibility to get herself through the challenge. She realized that hiding it could make the problem worse. She reminds us that our anxiety can be triggered by past experiences clouding out perspective as we look forward. This is so true!

She misses one thing here, however, saying, “As difficult as these events may have been to go through, there is no inherent reason for them to impact you right now.” What she doesn’t realize is that our bodies are still learning and adopting beliefs and lenses to view life with. Those difficult experiences can actually stay with us – reprogram us in a way – and change how we respond to life thereafter! Those imprints need to be healed so that we can move forward without destructive programs and live unburdened.

Before I stray too much, the author has a few more great points that I’d like to highlight. I wholeheartedly agree with her that seeing ourselves as the victim in our stories is unhealthy and detrimental to living a happy, successful life. Also, keeping away from blame, which only engrains in us a victim mentality, can free us up to see the challenge for what it is and let go of it as we move through it. There is also an imagination factor that can amplify our anxieties to create a horrible scenario that never has, nor ever will exist. Finally, she encourages the reader that there is hope. You can overcome anxiety. Amen!

The insights the author shares in her article are wonderful! I especially appreciate how she ends with a note of hope. THERE IS HOPE! You can overcome anxiety, no matter how deep and ingrained it is in you. Your journey may be a bit longer and require more persistence than someone with lesser intense symptoms, but it can end. You have the power to change your life!

There are simple and effective tools that can help you learn to manage and eventually heal this encumbering condition. You can use my techniques or others, but take charge now.

I believe in you! Know it’s possible. Know you can do it. Know that help is closer than you think. I’m here if you need me.

 

To read the full article from Collective Evolution, CLICK HERE.

 

Image from Max Pixel.