This entry was published on the blog of The Anti-Cancer Club — a thoroughly positive take on the difficulties we might come to face as human beings. Every obstacle is a challenge for growth. The Club was set up by Patricia Wetzel in 2009. Its mission is to be an educational resource for everyone touched by cancer.
One of the things I’ve learned through my cancer journey is that it’s ok to need some help now and then. We all get stuck in the limitations of our experiences and habits. Sometimes it takes someone else to help us move along. The story of adding daily meditation to my life is a good example of both finding help and being willing to take a next step that transformed my life. But I didn’t know that at the time.
I did know that my stress was managing me. And a trip to Stanford for a consult confirmed it: my cancer had grown, rapidly. From a clean scan to very bad news. I was beyond distraught as I waited for the biopsy results to see if it had transformed into a more aggressive lymphoma. Of course the doctor saying “put her on the transplant list” didn’t help my stress much. (Needless to say, that heartless remark was utterly incorrect!)
But it was a wake up call. I had to do something. And that is how I started meditating.
First, I read and dabbled. (One great read is 8 Minute Meditation, available on the website.)
Then I took a class at the Nevada Museum of Art run by Stephen Jacobs. It’s the same class we offer our Club members. After four weeks of sampling different meditation techniques, I was interested in learning more. So I attended Stephen’s lecture on Transcendental Meditation (TM), and decided to give it a try.
Transcendental Meditation is a commitment. It meant integrating 2 twenty minute meditation sessions into my daily life, first thing in the morning and another session late in the afternoon or early evening.
I resisted meditating first thing in the morning, because as soon as I woke up, my mind was already thinking about the day and everything that needed to be done. The fact that I woke up with my mind churning should have been a hint! But I resisted, and I found my meditation slipping until later in the day. It became harder and harder to fit it in.
Finally, I decided to just do it.
It really is that simple. Not necessarily easy, but very simple. That experience of change is one I take with me on a daily basis. By taking that one step, by making one decision and one commitment my life changed. Meditation has provided me with a place of profound peace, better mental clarity, and a means of managing stress. Simply having the right tools makes dealing with stress so much easier! There is a path through it, and for me, I found it in 20 minutes, twice a day.
25th January, 2013