The Cancer view of life
Whilst doing a course on suicide intervention I met a lovely woman who stood
out from the crowd because of her energy and zest for life, as did her friend
and work colleague, lets call them Lana and Gillian. Chance had it that
I was sitting next to Lana in group work. Before the group work started
I was chatting to her and asked her about herself. She happily recounted
her life story and then she told me she had been diagnosed with breast cancer
and ever since then she let go of the things in life that held her back.
This woman did everything she wanted to do in life, she went on holidays to
places she thought she would only dream of, sky dived, loved her family more,
stopped thinking about what other people thought about her. It was very
clear, before she said a word, that there was something different about her. Now
the strange thing is that she had a friend who worked beside her who had the
same kind of energy. I believe that simply being around her friend and
work colleague, Lana's energy had rubbed off on Gillian as well. It
was a very strange thing to witness. By the end of the two day course,
Lana and Gillian were the ones who stood out for being very level headed, very
thoughtful, kind, and most of all the ones who laughed the most.
I was touched. My wife was also on the course, but in a different group
to me. She said she had noticed Lana when she had first walked in, I
think a lot of people did. And she didn't look in any way out of
the ordinary; I believe it was her energy.
This tells me two things:
Letting go of your inhibitions lightens you. Your energy
becomes purer and less tainted by the worries and the constant wariness of
having to conform to the way other people think you should act. Lana
truly did not care what other people thought of her, I believe she would be
great in her job. Gillian, to a lesser extent, also had the same attitude
and again I think she be good in her current job role.
Changing your perspective on life will literally change your life: Although
Lana had been diagnosed with breast cancer she stood up in her battle to fight
it. She "˜didn't lie down to it'. As a direct
result of her being diagnosed with breast cancer Lana managed to clear out
the stuff, in her mind, which was not important to her and concentrate on the
things which were important mainly her family, friends and her dreams and ambitions. I
imagine it must have been like walking through a jungle trying to chop down
all the branches, weeds, ferns, watching for snakes and spiders etc and then
when she was diagnosed with cancer, after a while, she could see straight through,
the jungle was free from all the branches, weeds, ferns etc and there was a
I am happy to say Lana is now completely free from the breast cancer and proud
of her prosthetic nipple!
Changing your perspective
How do you change your perspective on life without being diagnosed with a
life threatening illness?
There will be different areas of your life that you may have to focus on whilst
trying to change your perspective on life in general. It is useful to
get a visual picture of where you are in your life and what areas need attention
it is worth noting which areas of your life need a perspective change.
Use this link to chart and print a wheel
of life and find out what areas need looked at. For each area
put in a percentage of where you are happy with e.g. I am happy with my family
life so I would put it up to 80% meaning I don't have a lot of work
to do with my perspective on my family life.
Using the information
When you have charted all the areas look at the ones that need attention,
typically those under 70-100%. So if you scored 50% with your finances
you need to look at this area in your life and possibly change your perspective
on it. The chart is also useful for looking at areas in your life where
you need to focus more attention, so you get two for the price of one.
Okay, you now know which areas you need to focus on and possibly change your
perspective on lets try it out with an example.
We have a young woman who feels she does not have a lot of money and can't
buy the things she wants in life and has too much debt. Her perspective
on life is "˜don't have, can't get'. Now if she
performed a simple switch in thinking like and looked at her life from a homeless
person's point of view she would realise she has a lot to be thankful
for. Yep easy for me to say and a bit sanctimonious but stay with me
here. If she kept looking through the eyes of a homeless person, she
might ask herself "˜Do I have too much' or "˜what have I bought
that I don't really need?' she bought the new dress for the Christmas
night out, that was £70, did she really need it. If she really
wants something badly she could have saved that money or invested it. Now
talking of that night out, it cost £70 for the dress, shoes to match £50,
the night out itself, £70, the taxi home £15, all in all £205
for a Christmas night out. Now that could have paid off her catalogue
This is a very simplified example and it's not that easy to shift your
perspective, at first. You have to practise and practice all the time. One
thing I do and my wife does, which she has done most of her life, is take time
out of the day, usually in the morning to be grateful for the things you have. Honestly
it sounds saintly and a bit weird but it works. I am truly grateful for
my wife, my children, the house I live in, the job I have, the internet connection,
the luxury I live in, the luxury of time. I am honestly grateful.
Right now I want a 42 inch plasma screen TV and have done for about a year. Its £1200,
do I need it, NO!, can I afford it, not really! do I still want it YES!, have I got
it NO! However I look around me and see all the things I have. I truly
live in luxury and most people, if they are honest will admit to the same. If
you're looking at this article from the comfort of your own home, the
very fact that you have a computer and an internet connection tells me you
are well off. You are in the top 30% of the wealthiest people in the
world. Think about that for a moment, there are around 4-5 billion people
out there worse off than you.
Getting what you want
Everything you want in life will come to you if you take steps toward it. In
the meantime change your perspective on what you have right now and you will
change your world.
Still work towards getting that new car or losing weight, or getting a new
job, but be grateful for what you have right now.
Exercise to try
In your mind think about the areas on the wheel of life you looked at before:
Now with each area on the wheel thank the universe, thank god, thank yourself
or whatever or whoever, thank them for what you have.
Post a comment here and tell us what you are grateful for.