Saturday, 19 May 2018

Cruisin’ - Enjoying Life




Dearest Readers and Supporters,


Finishing and publishing has finally (phew...)  brought closure to a very ugly chapter in my life. Closure was something I had been seeking for a long time.

The question I ask myself, is more of a philosophical question. I feel as though I have become more a traveller in life than a seeker.

This conclusion is drawn from assessing my achievements, over the past twelve years. Achieving the supposed impossible.... and I have lost the incentive to prove my worth or self to anybody anymore. Like many other impossible human feats it will go unnoticed.



Whilst I will always love reading and studying, I am no longer driven with the focus and intention, that everything I was researching, was because my life depended on it.


I am more than happy with the health I maintain.


Bringing closure and understanding about the multi-billion dollar cancer industry.

My research has brought me peace at last. Although I will never experience a holiday, with the sense and meaning, I perceived many years ago. I don’t intend to let my guard down, and will trust no one with my health ever again.

As a traveller in life where will it take me? Who knows…?

I will continue being a student of life and meanings and to enjoy the many wondrous amazing beauties in nature.

For a few months each year, I come out of my recluse mode -

although it is still my preferred way of life.

I love to write in the hope it will bring inspiration to others.



I want the simple life, and maybe publish a book every so often. What more could I ask for?




If being successful means having contentment & happiness, then that is what I am.




Sending Peace, Love and Joy to everyone this week.

Stay Strong

Karen



Friday, 11 May 2018

BULLYING / PEER PRESSURE?


Inner strength is needed in both instances.

Gladioli - symbolizes Inner Strength


Peer pressure or bullying is highlighted and discussed at great lengths in our world with no outcomes, unless a large group of people stand up and say otherwise. Bullying often goes unnoticed because it affects a single person and a particular instance.

What is peer pressure and what exactly is bullying?

For me the definition of bullying - is when a person is weak or impaired, and being forced to do something against their instinct or will, or told to believe in something they don’t.
They may have different core values compared to the group doing the pressuring.


Peer pressure often comes from a group of people who agree on one course of action or behavior. Which they find acceptable, and therefore they insist that it is the norm or how everyone who crosses their path should without question.


Take, for instance, the following scenario is it peer pressure or is it bullying? 

How will you perceive or judge it?

To find the words to describe the emotional trauma I endured. The experience was similar to being held under water, by the people expecting me to die, while telling me I would die. When my only thought was to struggle and gulp fresh air to enable me to live. It felt like I had been held under water for too long, eventually realizing that ‘hope’ was something I had to give myself.

I thrashed around emotionally for a long time to find sense and balance, and the fresh air needed in my life. Then deciding to leave the medical system which was dooming me with biased and limited beliefs. I have not sought medical advice for nearly ten years now, and not claimed one product, or item, from our medical system or private health care system which has improved my health with relation to cancer.



I hope by now you will understand the level of commitment and how I celebrated - usually alone. Every little win and every little goal ticked off in my list of To Do’s. One of the hardest tasks proved to be removing an addictive steroid I had been prescribed, and combating the depression, pain and tears. It took eighteen months to remove the drug totally out of my life. When the porta-cath (a device in my chest used for injecting drugs) became blocked. Its removal was another milestone I celebrated, because it meant I was no longer forced to go anywhere near a hospital or doctor, or to endure the repeated words of ‘terminal’ and ‘incurable’.

My achievements on survival were celebrated each month I outlived their expectations. Then I celebrated the six month mark, and finally after six years, back to counting in years. It was finding the grit, on the days when my depression and emotions of grieving for my own expected death hit hardest. I knew I couldn’t seek emotional support from anyone… anywhere. If I went to an organisation for assistance, they would only refer me back to the medical system I was trying to escape from, and no one in my small trusted circle of friends had ever experienced, a life crisis similar to mine. This contributed to my isolation. I was going against the trend and tide of the people in the medical system.



How many people? I wonder have been exposed to a group of people in the medical system and have experienced the same treatment? Weak in body and mind, and rather than having the will power to fight these biased set of beliefs - given up?

I don’t object with being diagnosed and told where in your body you are sick. I question not being given a choice on what type of healing and knowledge you are given to restore your health without prescription drugs. Those tags on the scans and results which say to only be opened by a Doctor or medical professional? Why?

Bullying and peer pressure is saturated in every nook and cranny of our society and not just restricted to the playground and schools. Survival skills are needed in any environment, and any part of the world, it doesn’t always mean you need a weapon to be a threat to someone’s life. Bullying and peer pressure can also result in someone’s death.


Bullying and peer pressure comes in all sizes and forms.


Stay Strong


Karen




Wednesday, 9 May 2018

LIVING LIFE WITH COURAGE & CONVICTION




2006 was the year I was diagnosed with advanced incurable cancer. I thought cancer was all I was to fight. Reflecting on events during the past twelve years, has shown my fight proved to be not just on a medical level of restricted beliefs. I found the incurable diagnosis impacts on the belief framework we have in our society. I became exposed to people and their limited belief systems which didn’t harbour the possibility of surviving a medical incurable diagnosis. They did not spare a conscious thought to any other conceivable options.

When the PET scan showed the cancer had metastasized into the bones and my vertebrae, broke in two places due to the swelling from the tumours. The pain experienced when combined with no hope prognosis, catapulted into fear and terror. Fear of the unknown in my life, which until then was filled with checklists and goals to accomplish. All the successful people did these things, and I proved to be no different. The experience of terror came from not wanting to sleep at night. I didn't want to die; I felt I was a person with so much more to accomplish in life.

To survive cancer is hard enough, but the no hope situation, from the medical experts when repeatedly told I would die, proved mentally crippling. 

Now I challenge people’s preconceived ideas about an incurable disease. Giving a voice to what it is like to survive an ‘unsurvivable’ diagnosis.



ISBN-13: 978-0-6481101-0-1




My life changed dramatically once the diagnosis became known in my social and work circles. My world crumbled and changed, never to be the same.

It was in this darkest depths of despair I learnt how to fight. I learnt about willpower and about not caring what other people thought of me, or of their negative vibes on surviving long term. This was a gut-wrenching realization and was what is often described in many philosophy books as the dark night of the soul.

I learnt about resilience. I learnt about endurance and, importantly, came to the realization it was the medical system and people in that industry who didn’t have the answers for cancer. It didn’t mean the answers couldn’t be found elsewhere. 

The impact and repercussions since the diagnosis took away my hope, trust and challenged every established belief, which underpinned my perceptions and outlook on life. As a result, I became a recluse for about nine years.

My book due for purchase from the 15th May 2018 tells my story.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

TRANSFORMING OUR LIVES




CANCER transformed my life. To survive has taught me to question everything which crosses my path.




Which situations or people to be part of my life, and which areas to let go of, and wish everyone well as I move forward.

This week has turned out to be one of those weeks where I asked more questions than I can find answers.
Is this a good or bad situation?

Hmm…. well for me it usually means I am on another growth spurt. Which pans out to be via knowledge, or spiritual growth OR one which dovetails into the other. In other words, I need to grow more; I embrace this time rather than shirk from it. It will bring growth and test my inner strength.



Once upon a time, I would want to run and hide because I ended up with information overload, and still no direction for my goals or life. I have changed and grown so much over the past twelve years.

With my intuition wide awake now, it is so much easier. I gather all information and process the information through all my senses; I sit quietly and listen to my reactions mentally and emotionally as I go through various options and outcomes through an action or reaction. When I run through a decision process if I sense purpose, order and calmness within my being. Then that is the path I will travel, it may need adjustments here and there. It may lead to a U turn or crossroads at some stage further down the track. There again I will sit and put the cross road scenario through my decision processing method.

THE PHYSICAL
It includes looking at the environmental factors and surroundings. Safety and Trust is high on my environmental factors. Followed by - similar core beliefs, philosophy and values.

THE EMOTIONAL & SPIRITUAL
Once the ground work is down on the physical environment. I proceed to the emotional area, because without a calmness, serenity and relaxation of the emotional sphere. Judgments are not made wisely… well in my case I have found this. The calmness and serenity opens my reasoning pathways to see the big picture rather than a knee jerk reaction. I process information and arrive at a Eureka Moment or a big AHA Moment!  in how I perceived a problem or blockage and couldn’t process because of fear, or uncertainty.

THE MENTAL
Questions I would often ask myself is:-

If I take this path how much unrest or stress will be invited into my life?

Would I be putting myself into a situation which had me following a culture or rules which I didn’t feel comfortable with?

Will I be compromising my integrity and true self?

Finally the most important decision-making process is..

THE FOOD - FOR NOURISHING
I may be perceived as fussy or picky with my food. This is for an excellent reason, and if you have the opportunity to read my book you will not judge me, but understand why this is so.

If I am in an environment which does not embrace my values and beliefs in knowing which foods I can and will not eat. Then maybe that environment is not right for me. I do not regret or mourn this lost opportunity; it is only that I know what is conducive for my well being and happiness without compromising anybody else’s values or philosophy either. I let it go.

With my book published and released I am again at a crossroads. Therefore I am assessing the next path or road on my life’s journey.


I have received so much more support than I thought possible. Growing from a supposed perceived negative reaction from someone who said no one would want to know my story. I thank that person most sincerely because; I have grown so much and overcame so many fears and negatives within myself, on whether anyone would want to purchase my book.
Continuing to travel through life, to inspire others and to bring them to believe in themselves. I continue to embrace my
 purpose wholeheartedly.

No one can tell you what you should or shouldn’t do on your quest and journey through life. It is up to you to turn perceived negatives into positives and always believe in yourself. Embrace the unique qualities and the essence of your being.

Stay Strong

Karen


All photographs sourced from Pexels.com

Friday, 27 April 2018

SURVIVOR GUILT




The observance of ANZAC day evokes many sentiments and memories for people immediately connected with relatives, friends and survivors of war.

This date in our calendar brings different memories to mind for me, there is no disrespect, only a time of regret and sadness that lives were lost.

I fought a very different battle and war, but being human we are scarred with the battle. A battle is fought with life at stake and surviving the physical environment in which we live in, at the time war is declared. It is all part of being an emotional-spiritual being traveling through life’s events; it affects our DNA and memories can be evoked and triggered any time.

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels


Healing the emotional scars is a huge positive. But it won’t stop the memories or triggers, which will transport your mind back into the past where the memories remain. These memories help a person - gain wisdom when taking time and reflecting. All memories and experiences play a large part into changing and developing your belief system and philosophy on life. How else do we grow?


Photo courtesy of rawpixel.com


Writing about one of the parts which haunted me on and off over many months especially around the 4 - 7 year survival mark was the guilt of being a survivor. I had left the medical system and was entirely responsible for what I would and wouldn’t accept in my life. Especially environmental factors, which were perceived as harmful or showed any form of threat. This amounted to physical, emotional, mental or spiritual threats of any kind.

Remember, I had become a recluse for a reason. Partly to block out any of the scare tactics or negativity surrounding peoples beliefs in surviving cancer, and what they considered would or wouldn’t work.

When learning from the news reports about Farrah Fawcett and Patrick Swayze losing their battle after the cancer diagnosis. I had started carrying Survivors Guilt and asked “Why did they die and I haven’t?” “Why are so many people dying, but I haven’t?”

Remembering those who have fallen.


I studied the underlying factors and observed, what other people were doing, and the decisions they made once diagnosed. It became very pronounced and evident the differences in their lives and mine.

At some time we all received our diagnosis of cancer, whether it is just at the early stages, or at the terminal stage. We received that message. What we do after receiving that message comes down to how badly you want to survive, and what beliefs and messages from others, you let into your life. For many bowing to peer pressure from loved ones through fear seals many peoples fates.

The only advice I can offer....is don’t make a decision based on someone else’s fear. They alone must face their fears, you have a much larger battle to fight and must do whatever is right for YOU!

The spiritual lesson I was to learn was that I had started at a level playing field with everyone else when receiving the diagnosis. Eventually, I learnt to release my guilt… where they lost the battle but I continued to win. I could not and would not feel guilty for somebody else’s decision; they had made for their life. Neither did I become complacent with this knowledge.

I saw waste and travesty of human life, this then was the spiritual learning and wisdom brought into my life about my survival. I can’t change the past, but I can influence the future.

Each day I am grateful, and I stay strong!

Karen



Saturday, 21 April 2018

PRO'S & CON'S OF LABELS


Our society is good at giving and passing out labels. It creates divisions among people where divisions should really be redundant or obsolete.

Therefore I would like to create a Pro's and Con's list of some of labels I struggled with for years, all given to me by other people, and showing I took an ownership of another persons limited beliefs on what I could and couldn't accomplish. My list of labels were "DISABLED", "TERMINAL", and "INCURABLE"

The purpose of making a list of Pro’s and Con’s is a debate about for something or against a situation, in which you used to solve a problem/ dilemma, and helps a person to choose an action to change the current circumstance. A weighing or balancing of problems with solutions.

I often refer to this as brainstorming, and the result brings peace and a sense of calm, because I have thought about an action or circumstance rather than react emotionally.

Take, for instance, the pro’s and con’s on labels for the following…

PRO’S for a Label


     -  Can provide understanding, co-operation, assistance and help           for a circumstance or situation.
      
         Understanding, help, cooperation creates the following image.



CON’S of a Label

-                            - Judgment, limitations, and hinders the person who                                  received the label.

             - Fear
        
             - The person closes down because they feel judged.

      The person who received the label feels.. isolated and alone.





This week’s focus is on limitations we impose on ourselves, once we have been labelled. I like to view a label as a starting point, an evaluation set at this particular point in time. It doesn’t mean you can’t move on and change the label given to you by someone else. If you accept and own the label someone else gives you, is not empowering. Often hindering the persons growth, improvement and progress to move forward from that point in time.

In other words, I refused to be restricted by a label and someone else’s beliefs.

Okay…. so the label of DISABLED was a marker for that specific point and time in my life. This gave me a compass point and a time - a fixation on my current bearings in my life, and the direction was not pointing in the right direction. I did not want to be disabled, and I chose not to sit on my laurels and accept that things couldn't be changed.




I often wonder when I see someone with a walking stick or someone sitting a wheelchair if they have been given a label by someone else. Which they adopted and took on that belief and haven’t been able to move forward or consider and search for options, so they could be rid the walking stick or the wheelchair?

Labels can be used as a crutch or excuse not to move forward because of the fear, and the inertia which can set in. They have adjusted to whatever label has been given to them. This belief or label from the outer world, creates a stagnant pool, and the chi or energy stops flowing, for the inner world.

Take a look at the following photos and see for yourself, what energy or thought process comes to your mind. Does the image evoke a Pro or Con image of being understood?

The label brings an understanding to the outer world, but quite often isolates and alienates the person receiving the label. The result... they become trapped in their inner world with a label they don't want to be associated with.

The person may feel that doors are..


They may feel trapped with this label for life unable to change and move forward.


If the person accepts the limitations given to them by someone else. Their world may become small.



They shut down their energy and spark for life....





............instead of being carefree.






If you can manage to change your perception and how you face the label, and the connotations it brings. It opens up the energy gateway, with your thinking and actions. It lets you choose whether you are happy with the label, or with a great deal of hard work you can become..


Carefree again..

Like the beautiful change in seasons. The label given to you just becomes a turntable and a wheel to
change how you want your life to be viewed.



Swivel on your your heel and change the direction on that wheel. If you can imagine and can create an image and dream in your mind’s eye. This is the starting point of what you want to aspire to achieve.

I choose not to own other people labels of me, this took a great deal of commitment, dedication and hard work.

People only see the results of what I have managed to achieve today. They didn’t see tears of determination on the bad days, and the driving focus and commitment I gave to my task day in and day out for years.

If you are stuck with a label someone has given you, what do you need to do to change that label? Do you reject it or own it? Make choices right for you! Don't make other peoples limitations be yours.

Lastly, a very special thank you for the wonderful support I received this week with beautiful hugs, and also to many who purchased my book. I am truly grateful.

For many others,.... I send my wishes and share my willpower.

Stay Strong

Karen

All photos were sourced from pexels.com and I am grateful.