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a well wisher  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 01 March 2015 at 5:44am
If our thoughts can affect our genetic expression, then what does that say about the concept of “genetic destiny”?-Dr.Bruce Lipton


Epigenetics is a new model of gene expression. "Epi" means above, so the literal translation of epigenetic control reads, “controlled above the genes.”


SC: Why is this distinction between genetic determinism and epigenetics important?

BL: The difference between these two is significant because this fundamental belief called genetic determinism literally means that our lives, which are defined as our physical, physiological and emotional behavioral traits, are controlled by the genetic code. This kind of belief system provides a visual picture of people being victims: If the genes control our life function then our lives are being controlled by things outside of our ability to change them. This leads to victimization that the illnesses and diseases that run in families are propagated through the passing of genes associated with those attributes. Laboratory evidence shows this is not true.

When we buy into being a victim, we automatically buy into needing a rescuer, meaning we accept that somebody else is going to save us from ourselves. This is the unfortunate situation where the medical community has inserted itself.

Also, even though the genetic determinism belief system has been revised over the past fifteen years, the problem is that the revisions are being recognized only at the level of the biomedical research scientists; these ideas are not making their way to the public. In the meantime, the mass media continues to portray that 'a gene controls this' and ‘a gene that controls that.’

SC: What you are saying seems cyclic: Our environment impacts gene selection, which then impacts the selection of proteins our bodies use to build tissue which then impacts our health and the quality of our lives, which then impacts our environment. Yet, sometimes we get stuck in cycles that seem to control our lives. How does having knowledge of how our bodies operate and how we instruct genetic selection empower us to make different choices?

BL: Firstly, the new knowledge of how perception controls biology reveals that we are active participants in controlling the character of our health and behavior. Our ability to consciously control our perceptions and environment has a profound influence on our lives, versus the old belief system where we are victims of forces outside our control. Secondly, when we live in the here and now, present all the time, and actively exercise our consciousness to run the show, we create the life we want. It becomes heaven on earth.

SC: You came to understand the implications of this knowledge in your own life. What was your experience?

BL: There was an early phase when I intellectually became aware of the mechanism. I thought, "Oh my God, I can create this magnificent life." The first thing I did was find anybody that would sit long enough to let me tell them about the meaning of the new science. Upon finishing my presentation, they’d look at me cock their heads and reply, “For a guy who says he knows this, your life doesn’t look that good.” That was my wakeup call. While I consciously understood the new science, I wasn't employing it in my life. When you’re not walking your talk, it doesn’t mean anything...




http://www.superconsciousness.com/topics/science/interview-dr-bruce-lipton
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 02 March 2015 at 3:46pm
Don't Go Back to Sleep

To be human is to be lost in the woods. None of us arrives here with clear directions on how to get from point A to point B without stumbling into the forest of confusion or catastrophe or wrongdoing. Although they are dark and dangerous, it is in the woods that we discover our strengths. We all know people who say their cancer or divorce or bankruptcy was the greatest gift of a lifetime—that until the body, or the heart, or the bank was broken, they didn’t know who they were, what they felt, or what they wanted. Before their descent into the darkness, they took more than they gave, or they were numb, or full of fear or blame or self-pity. In their most broken moments they were brought to their knees; they were humbled; they were opened. And later, as they pulled the pieces back together, they discovered a clearer sense of purpose and a new passion for life. But we also know people who did not turn their misfortune into insight, or their grief into joy. Instead, they became more bitter, more reactive, more cynical. They shut down. They went back to sleep.

The Persian poet Rumi says, "The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill, where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep."

I am fascinated by what it takes to stay awake in difficult times. I marvel at what we all do in times of transition -- how we resist, and how we surrender; how we stay stuck, and how we grow. Since my first major broken-open experience -- my divorce -- I have been an observer and a confidante of others as they engage with the forces of their own suffering. I have made note of how fiasco and failure visit each one of us, as if they were written into the job description of being human. I have seen people crumble in times of trouble, lose their spirit, and never fully recover. I have seen others protect themselves fiercely from any kind of change, until they are living a half life, safe yet stunted.

But I have also seen another way to deal with a fearful change or a painful loss. I call this other way the Phoenix Process -- named for the mythical phoenix bird who remains awake through the fires of change, rises from the ashes of death, and is reborn into his most vibrant and enlightened self.

I’ve tried both ways: I have gone back to sleep in order to resist the forces of change. And I have stayed awake and been broken open. Both ways are difficult, but one way brings with it the gift of a lifetime. If we can stay awake when our lives are changing, secrets will be revealed to us—secrets about ourselves, about the nature of life, and about the eternal source of happiness and peace that is always available, always renewable, already within us.


An excerpt from Broken Open, by Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of Omega Institute, the largest adult education center in the US focusing on health, wellness, spirituality, social change, and creativity. She is the author of The Seeker’s Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure and Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow.


Edited by a well wisher - 02 March 2015 at 3:47pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 04 March 2015 at 5:59am
The Quantum Matrix
--by Raphael Kellman


Although doctors might disagree on this or that cure, they all agreed on one thing: the patient's own consciousness was irrelevant. What mattered was the doctor's ability to manipulate drugs and body parts, much as a mechanic manipulates the parts of a car. It would be a foolish mechanic, indeed, who believed that his or her feelings -- let alone the car's feelings! -- had anything to do with getting the vehicle back on the road. We doctors were considered equally foolish to believe that either our own or the patient's consciousness played any role in the healing process.


But this vision of the body as machine was based on a long-outdated model of the physical world, grounded in the seventeenth-century classical physics proposed by Sir Isaac Newton and supplemented by the mechanistic views of Rene Descartes. [...] To be fair, a great deal of good came out of this mechanistic view. Nevertheless, an overreliance on technology and the mechanistic worldview that created it has led to a medical science that is simply incorrect.

Another limitation in medical science comes from the tradition of basing all medical knowledge on studies of the corpse. Again, dissecting cadavers has led to enormous advances in medical science. But it has also limited our understanding in crucial ways. After all, the human body is not a corpse. The effects of life -- electromagnetic impulses, the impact of muscle movement on our mood, and a thousand other vital signs -- simply cannot be understood by studying dead bodies. [...]

In the participatory universe revealed by quantum physics, our consciousness can actually change the material world -- including our bodies and our state of health.

The notion that consciousness can affect reality was first put forward by nuclear physicist Werner Heisenberg, author of the famous Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The details of Heisenberg's argument are too complicated to go into here; suffice it to say that Heisenberg and many scientists who came after him believed that the very process of observing reality actually transforms that reality. Specifically, Heisenberg demonstrated that there is no way to observe subatomic particles without the very process of observation affecting the particles' behavior.

Heisenberg also argued -- and most modern day physicists agree -- that our observation actually enables us to create new realities. Thus, subatomic particles exist only when we observe them, that our observation of these particles literally brings them into existence!

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To Separate and Unify
Mark Nepo




The destruction or healing of the world hinges on which way this thought unfolds. Whether we pull things apart or put things together makes all the difference. Indeed, human history has unfolded with one pilgrim taking things apart and another putting them back together, and on and on.

As an example, let’s look at two very different explorers who both shaped the world as we know it: Christopher Columbus and Carl Jung. While Columbus crossed the ocean with the intent of breaking things down and retrieving whatever treasures he could find, Jung crossed an interior ocean with the intent of putting together whatever he might find to make treasures of what he already had.

We must ask what made one explorer set foot on a continent he’d never seen and proclaim, "This is Mine!", and what made the other bow and utter in humility, "I belong to this."

Perhaps the difference is that Columbus was searching outwardly with a predetermined sense of conquest when he reached the New World, and Carl Jung was searching inwardly with an undetermined sense of love when he reached the Unconscious. Both were clearly devoted to their search, but where Columbus was intent to separate and own, Jung was intent to unify and belong.

We must be watchful, for we suffer both the impulse to separate and own and the impulse to unify and belong. As our eyes shut and open repeatedly, we as builders take things apart and put them together repeatedly. Yet as wakefulness depends on keeping the eyes open, healing often depends on keeping things joined.

In love, in friendship, in seeking to learn and grow, in trying to understand ourselves, how often do we remove the wings of the thing before it has a chance to free us?

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 08 March 2015 at 6:28pm
“The soul, in its loneliness, hopes only for "salvation." And yet what is the burden of the Bible if not a sense of the mutuality of influence, rising out of an essential unity, among soul and body and community and world? These are all the works of God, and it is therefore the work of virtue to make or restore harmony among them. The world is certainly thought of as a place of spiritual trial, but it is also the confluence of soul and body, word and flesh, where thoughts must become deeds, where goodness must be enacted. This is the great meeting place, the narrow passage where spirit and flesh, word and world, pass into each other. The Bible's aim, as I read it, is not the freeing of the spirit from the world. It is the handbook of their interaction. It says that they cannot be divided; that their mutuality, their unity, is inescapable; that they are not reconciled in division, but in harmony. What else can be meant by the resurrection of the body? The body should be "filled with light," perfected in understanding. And so everywhere there is the sense of consequence, fear and desire, grief and joy. What is desirable is repeatedly defined in the tensions of the sense of consequence.”


― Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

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AUTHENTICITY

False Personality:
An oppression has grown stronger with the passage of each generation in human existence. It has claimed not just the health, well-being, sense of belonging, consciousness, purpose and destiny of its victims, yet also their very lives. A tyrant so clever and efficient it need not exert any of its own effort or energy to fulfill upon its devious plan. It simply relies on the apathy, denial, unconsciousness, self-righteousness and cognitive dissonance of its subject. What is spawned from this malevolent blend of self-oblivion is what every human being possesses, the false personality.

The false personality is a vortex that consumes anything that does not enable or supplement its control and manipulation over a human being. The most dangerous element of the false personality is that it remains virtually unknown and impervious to its unconscious and distracted host. It is analogous to cancer clusters growing in the human body, undetected until the tumors have established residency in the organs or tissues of the unsuspected. And when it has been discovered, the first obstacle to overcome is the greatest, the denial of its very existence.


The human race exists almost solely from false personality. Its mission is to keep us preoccupied from our true selves with our own indifference, confusion, drama, and feelings of failure. As our human conditions amass, we eventually begin to sacrifice our personal power both unconsciously and unconditionally. We are become hopeless, anxious and disempowered, fatalities of our own circumstances, environments and lives.

The false personality survives mostly on reaction. It is astonishing to discover how much of our society is reactive in nature. It would seem that there are very few genuine actions expressed in our common reality. If “cause” is the requirement of our freedom, “effect” in our society is in great supply. The human race is constantly responding to stimuli being broadcasted from an authoritarian structure based on belief, intelligence, entertainment and a hierarchical class rule. Yet, it is certainly not the external impulses that influence us the most. It is our false personality that renders us prisoners to our selves.

Our false personality is sustained by our desire, our self-gratification, our uncertainty, our upsets, competitiveness, envy and ill will. It thrives on our unwillingness to transform and our inclinations toward control and manipulation. We tend to put more stock into the disempowerment of others, and ourselves, believing this is our “real” power rather than accepting the truth of ourselves. We are our own inspiration.



http://www.zengardner.com/authenticity/
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Healing the Heart


Oscar Wilde wrote, “Hearts are meant to be broken.” As we heal , our hearts break open to feel fully. Powerful feelings, deep unspoken parts of ourselves arise, and our task in meditation is first to let them move through us, then to recognize them and allow them to sing their songs. A poem by Wendell Berry illustrates this beautifully.

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
Where I left them, asleep like cattle …

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
And the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.

What we find as we listen to the songs of our rage or fear, loneliness or longing, is that they do not stay forever. Rage turns into sorrow; sorrow turns into tears; tears may fall for a long time, but then the sun comes out. A memory of old loss sings to us; our body shakes and relives the moment of loss; then the armoring around that loss gradually softens; and in the midst of the song of tremendous grieving, the pain of that loss finally finds release.

In truly listening to our most painful songs, we can learn the divine art of forgiveness...

We can learn to forgive others, ourselves, and life for its physical pain. We can learn to open our heart to all of it, to the pain, to the pleasures we have feared. In this, we discover a remarkable truth: Much of spiritual life is self-acceptance, maybe all of it. Indeed, in accepting the songs of our life, we can begin to create for ourselves a much deeper and greater identity in which our heart holds all within a space of boundless compassion.

http://www.jackkornfield.com/healing-heart/
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 13 March 2015 at 3:35am
Difference Between Healing and Curing

Michael Lerner, PhD



In my thirty years of working with cancer patients, I've seen a profound distinction between curing and healing.

Curing is what a physician seeks to offer you. Healing, however, comes from within us. It's what *we* bring to the table. Healing can be described as a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual process of coming home.

Even if we're losing ground physically, there's extra-ordinary emotional, mental and spiritual healing that can go on. One of the most toxic new-age ideas is that we should "keep a positive attitude." What a crazy, crazy idea that is. It is much healthier, much more healing, to allow yourself to feel whatever is coming up in you, and allow yourself to work with that anxiety, depression, grief. Because, underneath that, if you allow those feelings to come up and express themselves, then you can find the truly positive way of living in relationship to those feelings. That's such an important thing.

Then there's the ideas we have about ourselves, our lives, about what the disease means. Often, people feel like their disease is some kind of judgment on them: "What did I do wrong?" I'm not sure that's an idea that serves people very much. When I had my heart-attack, I felt as though I was reborn. Even though I had been working with cancer patients for 18 years, when it was *my* heart attack, there was this profound rebirth experience. My beloved wife says that after the heart attack, I spent the first three months just rearranging the rocks in our garden. The whole world seemed new to me. I was inventing my life all over again. So there is the opportunity that comes with cancer, to ask ourselves how we want to reinvent our lives. And that can be one of the most powerful healing things we can do.

Healing is the most fundamental aspect of our condition, and it's a continuous rediscovery of what it means to be alive. It spills over into the rest of our life and guides us. It's not only about some "spiritual experience" of being high all the time. Not at all. It is about living with the ongoing stresses and strains and difficulties -- and joys -- of life, but doing so in a way that we feel whole.

Living in relationship with the struggles of life is what makes us human.

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Excessive analysis perpetuates emotional paralysis. Knowing our issues is not the same as healing our issues. In fact, knowing is often a willful act, entirely incongruent with the experience of surrender required to heal. I have known many people who could name their patterns and issues with great insight, but their actions didn't change a bit. The key to the transformation of challenging patterns and wounds is to heal them from the inside out. Not to analyze them, not to watch them like an astronomer staring at a faraway planet through a telescope, but to jump right into the heart of them, encouraging their expression and release, stitching them into new possibilities with the thread of love. You want to become a holy patchwork? Heal your heart.


When we are young, it’s the illusion of perfection that we fall in love with. But, as we age, it’s the humanness that we fall in love with- the poignant story of overcoming, the depthful vulnerability of aging, the struggles that grew us in karmic stature, the way a soul shaped itself to accommodate its circumstances. With less energy to hold up our armor, we are revealed and, in the revealing, we call out to each other’s hearts. Where before wounds turned us off, they are now revealed as proof that God exists. Where we once saw imperfect scars, we now see evidence of a life fully lived.



I know we often want it all happy and positive, but that’s just not where much of humanity is. Many of us are overwhelmed with pain, undigested sadness, unexpressed anger, unseen truths. This is where we are at, as a collective. So we have two choices. We can continue to pretend it’s not there, shame and shun it in ourselves and others, distract and detach whenever possible. Or we can face it heart-on, own it within ourselves, look for it in others with compassion, create a culture that is focused on authenticity and healthy emotional release. If we continue to push it all down, we are both creating illness and delaying our collective expansion. But if we can just own the shadow, express it, release it, love each other through it, we can finally graduate from the School of Heart Knocks and begin to enjoy this magnificent life as we were intended. Pretending the pain isn’t there just embeds it further. Let’s illuminate it instead.


It's an odd thing how willing we are to see divinity in others, but not in ourselves. This one is enlightened, that one is cool, the other one is brilliant, but what about the beautiful being staring at us in the mirror? Chopped liver? Sub-standard? A big mistake? Seems kind of crazy, doesn't it! I somehow imagine that this world will not become a better place until we see divinity staring back at us in the mirror. There he is, looking right back at us, loving his creation. And then, through our God eyes, we can see others for who they are. Not as projected figures of light, but as fellow beams of wholeness, perfectly imperfect threads of the eternal God weave. We're all reflections of the creator, every last one of us.

~JEFF BROWN


Edited by a well wisher - 19 March 2015 at 5:45pm
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On Pain

“Pain is the doorway to the here and now. Physical or emotional pain is the ultimate form of ground, saying, to each of us, in effect, there is no other place than this place, no other body than this body, no other limb or joint or pang or sharpness but this searing presence. Pain asks us to heal by focusing on the very center of the actual torment and the very way the pain is felt.

Pain is an introduction and then an apprenticeship to alertness and particularity. Through the radical undoing and debilitation of repeated pain we are reacquainted with the essentialities of place and time and existence itself. In deep pain we have energy only for what we can do wholeheartedly and then, only within a narrow range of motion, metaphorically or physically, from tying our shoe-lace to holding the essential core conversations that are reciprocal and reinforcing within the close-in circle of those we love. Pain teaches us a fine economy, in movement, in what we choose to do, in the heart’s affections, in what we ask of our selves and eventually in what we ask of others.

Pain’s beautiful humiliations followed fully make us naturally and sincerely humble and force us to put aside the guise of pretence. In real pain we have no other choice but to learn to ask for help on a daily basis. Pain tells us we belong and cannot live forever alone or in isolation. Pain makes us understand reciprocation. In real pain we often have nothing to give back other than our own gratitude, a smile that looks half way to a grimace or the passing friendship of the thankful moment to a helpful stranger, and pain is an introduction to real friendship, it tests those friends we think we already have but also introduces us to those who newly and surprisingly come to our aid.

Pain is the first proper step to real compassion; it can be a foundation for understanding all those who struggle with their existence. Experiencing real pain ourselves, our moral superiority comes to an end; we stop urging others to get with the program, to get their act together or to sharpen up, and start to look for the particular form of debilitation, visible or invisible that every person struggles to overcome. We suddenly find instead, our understanding and compassion engaged as to why others may find it hard to fully participate.

Strangely, the narrow focus that is the central and most difficult aspect of bodily pain, calls for the greater perspective, for a bigger, more generous sense of humor. With the grand perspective real pain is never far from real laughter – at our self or for another watching that self –laughter at the predicament or the physical absurdity that has become a daily experience. Pain makes drama of an everyday life with our body and our presence firmly caught on stage and in the spotlight: we are visible to others in a way over which we have no choice, limping here or leaning there.

Lastly, pain is appreciation; above all for the simple possibility and gift of a pain free life- all the rest is a bonus. Others do not know the gift in simply being healthy, of being unconsciously free to move or walk or run. Pain is a lonely road, no one can know the measure of our particular agonies, but through pain we have the possibility, just the possibility, of coming to know others as we have, with so much difficulty, come to know ourselves.”


~David Whyte
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"You can only heal your heart with your heart, and to do that we have to open the heart wide enough for its healing elixir to rain down on our pain. Why bury the tears that heal us? Why bury the emotions that fertilize our expansion? Emotional release is a potent way to regain a genuine experience of the moment. Tears are God's heartshield wipers. They clear the dirt from our heart so we can see the path clearly. Let our quest for spiritual expansion begin with emotional authenticity.

Nothing to hide, nowhere to hide it."--Jeff Brown
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We Do Not Suffer Alone


The death of a beloved parent. A break-up with a long-term partner. An unexpected injury. Lost love, lost success, and the loss of dreams.

Your suffering is never your own, although it damn well seems that way sometimes. Your despair does not belong to ‘you’, a separate individual divided from the whole, but to life itself.

For whatever you are going through, others have also experienced it – perhaps not in the exact same circumstances, but certainly in the same pain. Loss, breakups, disappointment, grief, illness, death – these are not ‘yours’ but ancient rites of passage, cosmic rituals that all humans, if they are honest, have been through and must go through at one time or another, if they are to be truly human.

In times gone by – and we can argue for ever over whether this was a good thing or not – our lives perhaps had more structure, more tradition, more of a framework, and there was more of a sense of community, tribe, sangha, peer support, and more guidance from elders, wise ones, healers, who had been through these universal life trials and come out the other side, and had returned to guide us through our own trials, reminding us, ‘however intense it becomes, know that you are not alone, and this is meant to happen, and many others have been here before’.

With the fall of traditional religion and the rise of the religion of science and technology and atheism, we are so very connected these days, but perhaps we are even more alone than ever, and even more desperate for deep human connection.

Who will take us by the hand when a parent dies or our partner leaves us? Who will hold us when our dreams turn to dust and everything falls apart? Who will be there at our deathbed to whisper gently in our ear, “Do not fear, child, this is only an ancient right of passage, a natural part of the journey, to be expected and to be embraced, and all is well.”?

Through the eyes of this ancient universe, nothing in your life story is a small event, nothing is insignificant and unworthy of loving attention. There are zero ‘ordinary’ moments when seeing through these eyes of grace. Everything is ‘religious’, everything is sacred, everything has more significance than you could ever hope to imagine. And this way of seeing beyond the ‘I’ can help take us out of our self-pity and narcissistic obsession with our own problems, and into a place of universal connection and deep compassion for all those brothers and sisters who, in their own unique ways, are on exactly the same journey as us.

We do not suffer alone. It is no wonder that the word ‘compassion’ literally means ‘to suffer with’....

~Jeff Foster
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For a friend, on the arrival of illness

~John O'Donohue


Now is the time of dark invitation
Beyond a frontier that you did not expect;
Abruptly, your old life seems distant.

You barely noticed how each day opened
A path through fields never questioned,
Yet expected deep down to hold treasure.
Now your time on earth becomes full of threat;
Before your eyes your future shrinks.

You lived absorbed in the day to day,
So continuous with everything around you,
That you could forget you were separate;

Now this dark companion has come between you,
Distances have opened in your eyes,
You feel that against your will
A stranger has married your heart.

Nothing before has made you
Feel so isolated and lost.

When the reverberations of shock subside in you,
May grace come to restore you to balance.
May it shape a new space in your heart
To embrace this illness as a teacher
Who has come to open your life to new worlds.

May you find in yourself
A courageous hospitality
Towards what is difficult,
Painful and unknown.




May you use this illness
As a lantern to illuminate
The new qualities that will emerge in you.

May the fragile harvesting of this slow light
Help you to release whatever has become false in you.
May you trust this light to clear a path
Through all the fog of old unease and anxiety
Until you feel arising within you a tranquility
Profound enough to call the storm to stillness.

May you find the wisdom to listen to your illness:
Ask it why it came? Why it chose your friendship?
Where it wants to take you? What it wants you to know?
What quality of space it wants to create in you?
What you need to learn to become more fully yourself
That your presence may shine in the world.

May you keep faith with your body,
Learning to see it as a holy sanctuary
Which can bring this night-wound gradually
Towards the healing and freedom of dawn.

May you be granted the courage and vision
To work through passivity and self-pity,
To see the beauty you can harvest
From the riches of this dark invitation.

May you learn to receive it graciously,
And promise to learn swiftly
That it may leave you newborn,
Willing to dedicate your time to birth.

La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 22 March 2015 at 6:36pm
How two physicians deal with their own illnesses

Kalanithi and Christopher H. Lee, M.D., HS ’09, FW ’10, an associate research scientist in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Yale, both faced severe illnesses that radically affected their lives as well as their families. Both recognized that normal would no longer be what it had been, and both found ways to cope, with the help of friends and family.

Having seen families fall apart when faced with illness, Kalanithi made family a priority. “The illness doesn’t just happen to the person,” he explained. “It happens to the whole family. It’s very important to be aware of how everyone is doing emotionally and how they are impacted by my illness.” As a result, he and Lucy have grown closer.

Over the past year, as Kalanithi battled a chronic cough, fatigue, excruciating back pain, and the effects of chemotherapy, friends and family have helped, doing everything from providing meals to running errands. But relinquishing self-reliance wasn’t easy. “We knew if we were going to do some of these life-affirming things, like having a baby, we would need lots and lots of help,” he said. “It’s a funny side of resilience to recognize that you are dependent on other people.” Accepting support became easier when Kalanithi saw how meaningful it was for friends and family to offer their help.

For Kalanithi, resilience includes finding purpose. When his essay “How Long Have I Got Left?” was published in The New York Times, the public response and the purpose he derived from writing surprised him. In the essay, he shared his feelings about the devastating diagnosis, his quest for certainty in statistics, and how the words of Samuel Beckett, “I can’t go on. I’ll go on,” helped him move forward. Then, a relapse this spring required chemotherapy and two hospitalizations. “Relapsing means again finding a way to get back involved in the world,” he said.

“I’m learning to accept that life won’t be just like it was before. And I’ve realized that I need to take advantage of things that I’m resistant to embracing.”

But Lee also feels that acknowledging loss is integral to coping and recovery. “Being able to grieve and mourn what has been lost is human,” he shared. “It is important to accept that bad things happen that are entirely out of your control. The only control you have is how you respond.”

Practicing medicine ensures regular encounters with disease, disability, and death. But when the physician becomes the patient, confronting illness can take on new meaning. Lee and Kalanithi both stressed the importance of a strong support system, finding purpose, and participating in life.

“Resilience is like the third act of a movie,” Lee said. “There’s always some obstacle to overcome.”

yalemedicine.yale.edu/autumn2014/features/feature/204331
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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