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Cancer a long haul journey of learning - Episode 8 Mind, Body, & Spirit

Starting with this episode and then the next few I will cover possibly the trickiest learning I have experienced through the cancer journey. Trickiest, as people will have views on some of this, and I do not want to offend a single person. Trickiest for me as the learning curve was / is certainly the greatest.

At a high level I am going to cover Mind & Body, (Mind over matter) New Cellular Biology, Quantum physics, and Spiritualism, that taboo which may be misunderstood. (When we get to that section I will remind you all that I aim to help.)

Some of you might be surprised that I am not starting with spiritualism, me being "the good old Irish Catholic boy" that I was brought up to be, and therefore "Should" know more about that topic. I am actually covering that last, hopefully the reasons will become apparent.

The topics covered here could and are considered by some as "Alternative" medicine to traditional cancer treatments of Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Radiotherapy, Surgery, Proton Therapy, just to name a few of the fantastic options open to people needing cancer medicine and all that Ive been so lucky to be offered so far. (Double digit types of Chemo in fact)

Let me start by stating I do not see these topics as an "Alternative" to anything. If I had to use a name I would choose "Complimentary" for all of them. (Both ways)

So in Episode 8, I am going to cover psychology, (spiral dynamics). Habituation, mindfulness and Gratefulness.

In a more "like me fashion" I am going to bucket the topics to, touch on each as I learned about it, giving you the reader my key learning, enough I hope to trigger your interest to research more if you want to.

Psychology Habituation, Mindfulness and Gratefulness:

I have always had an interest in these topics and some of my updates here are "Pre-cancer" and still relevant. I will introduce two books to the blog here, in fact 1 is a complete form of Psychology and share with you my key learning and let you make the connections To the overall blog project.

The books are "Spiral dynamics Integral" (Beck and Graves) and Atomic Habits (James Clear.)

I was introduced to SDi (Spiral Dynamics Integral) by joining a wonderful business in Kuwait for a new Job. (Kout Food Group) From the moment I started talking to this leadership team I knew I wanted to work with them. (One of those moments from episode 4, Intuition) my passion to learn about psychology also stems I think from the mounds of leadership investment provided to me in my years of working for Tesco. Both companies mentioned invested in people and I appreciated every moment. The difference is that one changed psychology into leadership process and training and the other took on board a psychology that fitted their values and truley bought into it with every decision regarding the business direction. Looking back I was really lucky to be part of both businesses at the times I was and I look back to both with fond memories.

With Spiral Dynamics I learnt our psychology (Human Psychology) is a process of emergent change determined from life conditions that develop our capacity going from survival through tribal, empire, structure, social and eventually holistic existence. The traits and behaviours can be seen in every day and every walk of life.

For example"

How does a homeless person instinctively know what is safe to consume when they go through somebodies rubbish bin?

They do and its because they have moved into survival on the spiral! You and I would not have a clue and would go hungry (we have moved to a different place on the spiral).

It is truly amazing what you can achieve personally and socially once you understand this. If you are interested or learned in psychology then SDi offers an alternative to the main stream and I suggest you look into it. (Be warned it is complex and unless an expert is not a self learning journey)

continuing to study I came across the power of habits and the book by James Clear "Atomic Habits".

In Atomic Habits, James provides the greatest, simplest way for anybody to turn a desire for or against anything in their life to become routine, almost completed or stopped by our subconscious mind. He describes How to use habits to change our minds! Wow that started me thinking. From Atomic Habits I developed my own behavioural and habits lists which two years down the line still keeps me on track.

As I studied at this time I kept seeing snippets on "Mindfulness" and "Gratefulness" and I had not really thought of these concepts before, so I looked into them. Wow, habits, mindfulness and gratefulness, Where had I been all MY own life? I loved learning about these three elements and by the time I had enough knowledge on the subjects I had a

Daily habits and behaviour list - covering the behaviours (live my personal values) and habits (exercise) which I checked and ticked off every day (and still do), I think I improved as a person doing this.

Daily grateful list,

Daily mindful list

The latter two being part of the first. At the end of each day I would list what I was grateful for on one page (the well wishes I received that day) and my mindful moments both achieved and missed throughout the day.

If you are wondering how all of the above link to my cancer, think about this:

SDi gave me a framework to understand myself or at least relate to myself and giving myself something to explain my mind as I spiralled up and down my own capacity and life conditions. For example at a point I was transfixed on sorting out my finances. this was me (I was mindful of) in the "Structure" "Authority" level of the spiral. this was not because I thought I was going to die! but could I write out my "Last Will".... No I could not do it! Had I descended to survival mode?

My habits list kept my mind focussed and stopped me from falling apart completely this helps me stay positive and determined to beat my disease!

The concept and practice of gratefulness was an eyeopener for me, actually thinking about it daily and writing it down made me feel good. if you are told what I was told just waking up every morning is something to celebrate.

Being mindful of myself is another mind-blowing concept, being aware of what I do and my behaviour (can't be done all the time) leads to making batter decisions daily, I wish I could do it more! So being mindful of the feeling my prognosis gave me, helped me decide to do something about it. Its really that simple and wonderful.

In the following chapters I aim to cover The Placebo effect, Meditation, Chakras, Meridians, Energy Healing (Reiki and Phsyc-K), The law of attraction. The Secret, Visualisation and mind rehearsal, basically the whole "Mind Over Matter" concept! before I then move onto spiritualism.

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