Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Finding Calm in the Chaos

After a cancer diagnosis, it is easy for negative thoughts to overwhelm you. The chatter can at times be so loud that the best way to describe it is chaotic.

So what do you do when you feel overcome by negativity? Many individuals are finding success by using meditation to find peace from those nagging, worry-filled thoughts.

If you have difficulty understanding how the practice of meditation can be helpful, take a moment to imagine with me. Simply visualize yourself bound tightly, struggling for release. Then imagine hearing someone whisper the instruction “look in your hand.” When you look you see that you are holding onto the rope that binds you…and all you have to do is let go.

This is what the practice of meditation does. It allows you to let go of the mental images and thoughts that bind you by restricting your ability to mentally move to a better place. It is deeper than spending quiet time but is also learning to free oneself from the chatter that interrupts the calm.

Let me hear about your meditative experience. Please post a comment.

~ Tiffany, Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center

Friday, May 6, 2011

Emotions, Faith and Cancer - all part of the equation

How do you work through the emotions that come with a cancer diagnosis and still remain a person of faith?

More and more frequently, I work with individuals who define themselves as a“believer” or "person of faith.” Even so, they feel conflicted about the fear, anger and frustration they experience after diagnosis. I appreciate their dilemma because a person’s faith is private and personal. I wonder, however, if the messages sent by faith communities to inspire are being misinterpreted to mean if you are struggling emotionally you are somehow spiritually weak.

Do the tried and true phrases like “He’ll never put more on you than you can bear” or “He knows best” offered when you share your challenges mean that one can’t feel sadness? Why can’t one be hopeful, inspired, and faithful with real human emotions? My answer is of course you can!

In my practice I remind individuals that a cancer diagnosis can shake the core of your spiritual foundation, but it doesn’t mean that the foundation isn’t still standing. Instead, allow yourself to be honest about your fears, and use resources like counseling and support groups to help you reinforce your faith. Consider these as complements to the spiritual practices that have sustained you so far!

How do you manage your emotions and your faith?

~ Tiffany, Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center