Incorporate A Spiritual Practice – It’s Not As Difficult, Boring Or New Age As It Seems
You may ask how can a spiritual practice help in cancer care? Cancer itself provokes a severe spiritual crisis in the affected person. You ask “Why me? What have I done to deserve this? Why now? What does this mean? Will I survive? What to do now?” All your worst demons are starring you directly in the face while you struggle with your own mortality as you face a new reality. As patients search to find new meaning in their lives and relationships, spirituality offers profound help and a true basis for recovery.
The spiritual wake-up call comes in many forms. The most commonly understood is the experience of loss, severe crisis and other forms of personal tragedy. This call is always immobilizing at first but once you start walking on the path that leads you deeper into the world’s mysteries and subsequently to who you are meant to be. You will see big and small lights and magic coincidences happening more and more in your life. You start to see the silver lining and understand your dark night of the soul was a sort of gift, seeking to pull you up into something higher, which allows you to integrate your truth. You finally learn to reside in your heart instead of your head.
In whatever way the spiritual wake-up call reaches you, it catapults you into a phase of learning, seeking, accepting and discovery. You realize what you are seeking and yearning for is something you only find within. Bits and pieces of information can come in many different forms such as a conversation with a stranger, you are drawn or directed to a book that you open and read just to receive a specific message which is relevant to your life at this point in time. In the face of crisis when you stop functioning and go into survival mode, often unable to think about anything other but the crisis you are in at this given point in your life. You feel deeply challenged. This is commonly referred to as the “dark night of the soul”. Gaining a sense a purpose is key to move on. You need to have a strong reason why life is worth living. Again a lot of people do not have such a reason anymore and sadly give up.
Spiritual awakening is the moment when you are ready and willing to detach from your ego and the small you who is scared and confused – this is not the real you anyway. The real you does not dwell in fear, it rather seeks to grow and experience life fully, sometimes this includes drastic lessons of life altering nature.
What is soul work?
Soul work is the very core need of every path and every pursuit. Without it our lives feel empty, dead, directionless and meaningless. Without it we remain psychologically and spiritually immature. Without soul work we can never mature and transform into our fullest potential.
How can you integrate spirituality into your cancer journey?
Spirituality can take many forms and is very unique to each individual. Spiritual practices that may help you cope with your cancer and its treatments include: take the time regularly to meditate; read spiritual uplifting books and articles; book a retreat and chose places in serene and pristine natural settings; listen to harmonious music, start and keep a journal, do guided imagery exercises/activity that help you cultivate a sense of peace.
Spirituality is predominantly a search for meaning, for purpose and direction in life and the more you pursue it, the more you get to know yourself. It speaks to the need to be “aligned” with something bigger than our body and mind. The greatest liberation you’ll ever encounter will be brought about by a spiritual practice. A turbulent mind often referred to as monkey mind, is the biggest obstacle getting into a spiritual practice or for some people it may be the fear that they cannot handle what will come up in the wake of becoming more aware.
What is spirituality all about?
It’s as simple and complicated as to getting to know yourself deeply and grow out of limiting life situations, so you can experience life with all its beauty, mysteries and challenges. THE BIG PICTURE IS ALL ABOUT CONNECTION. Many people feel disconnected and experience a sense of separation and feeling incomplete. To feel complete, we crave to receive and give unconditional love, which brings a sense of total acceptance and of happiness in being alive.
DESIRE FOR PERSONAL GROWTH AND CHANGE OF EXISTING LIFE CONDITIONS. Our soul constantly seeks to evolve which is always in contrast to what our ego-self wants. Soul wants to experience, to improve, to push the boundaries and to finally reach our full potential. It seeks all kinds of interesting events and draws people into our lives that push all our buttons.
SEEKING ANSWERS AND TRUTH ABOUT WHO WE ARE. We need to ask ourselves “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?” We have a desire to understand how life works. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS / PEACE / OVERCOME SUFFERING. For most people on planet earth suffering is the initial door towards opening up for spirituality. Our mundane pursuits of material happiness often leave us with feelings of emptiness – that is the nature of external causes. Since suffering is a mental phenomenon, and spiritual practices are a means to transform one’s mind, it is a wise way of seeking a better life and restoring health. True happiness and peace are only to be found internally. Spirituality is our gateway towards achieving balance, independence from external stimuli, and a greater appreciation of life’s true treasures, which are found in nature not in shopping malls.
THE DESIRE TO ACHIEVE A QUIET PEACEFUL MIND. In order to be truly free from all bondages of the mind and external world we need to work on transcending the ego-self, the little voice in our head that keeps telling us what we can’t do, can’t have, can’t be because we are too old, too young, too stupid, too poor. Buddhist say “Suffering is optional”. To move towards this goal a radical and permanent shift in our perception of the world is needed.
EMBARKING ON AN ADVENTURE OF EXPLORATION AND MYSTERY. Diving into our own consciousness and exploring other aspects of non-ordinary reality is something that evokes our desire for truth, expanded knowledge, uplifting experience, and adventure. Learning the mysteries of life and nature, exploring the sacred, and living with a sense of wonder. Having greater CLARITY on what is the drive behind our search can be helpful when choosing which path or practices to take. The Human Race is distinctive among all Earth’s living species. We have extraordinary capacity for self-reflection, self-direction and free will. Our journey in life is our choice, therefore, spirituality also teaches us to stop the blame game. Indigenous peoples teach us, Earth is our Sacred Mother, the source of our birth and nurture. We must love and care for her as she loves and cares for us.
We are human agents of spirit not consumers who define their existence solely through material possessions, power and money.