Soul Sunday: Monkey Brains and Bullies

anger robs happiness

This morning I started my day doing my usual routine: Walking the dogs and feeding the cats. Then I sat down to meditate for twenty minutes. Lily, my youngest kitty decided she would rip the corner of the carpet so she could pull off a thread and chase it around the room. My meditation time turned in to me getting up to stop her (several times) from ripping off more carpet and then yelling at her. Before I knew it my timer went off. My twenty minutes were up. I was too aggravated to sit still anyway.

I think our pets pick up on our energy, or did I attract that energy? The teachings of Law of Attraction says it definitely was me.

My plan today is to continue researching alternative therapies as it relates to disease and then write about them, but I find myself distracted. My thoughts are elsewhere. A few days ago, Kris Carr,  a blogger I follow since I was in cancer treatment, wrote a post about the importance of writing one’s thoughts in a journal or a blog. This is a quote from her post:

“… Personally, I write what I need to read. I write what I need to say. But most of all, I write to get to know myself—to better understand what I want, how I want to feel, and what’s troubling (or exciting) me…”

I decided to change my plans for now and write about what’s bugging me.

This may come as a shock to some of you but I am not as cool, calm and collected as I appear. There are days I want to sock someone in the eye who is (in my opinion) behaving like a bully . I know it is not good for me to get angry over bullshit and compared to battling cancer, my problems are pretty much all bullshit, but there are times I can’t help myself. Without going in to detail, there is someone in my condo complex who has nothing better to do than create chaos and drama. He sit’s on the HOA board. He’s a bully and has been getting away with it for too long.

As I’m writing this I know my annoyance isn’t about him (I think). I know I cannot control anyone’s behavior except my own and allowing him to invade my thoughts means he’s already won. The funny thing is he is not picking on me. He is attempting to enforce a rule that may affect me though… IF I choose to follow it. But when have I ever followed any rule that I see as stupid or as an attempt to have control over the behavior of others? The answer is rarely.

I am not the only one pissed off at this man. The next meeting is this Wednesday and I am told there will be plenty of angry people showing up. At the same time, I know that what people say they’ll do, is not necessarily what they actually do. I have to wait until Wednesday to find out.

After my cancer diagnosis, I told myself I would change the way I dealt with difficult people and situations; no more obsessing over someone else’s bad behavior. I think I’m getting better, but today… not so much. Hopefully I am purging this nonsense out of my “monkey brain” right now. Stress is so bad for our health! I’ve blogged about it. I tweet about it and I tell my cancer patients all the time.  I tell myself. My priority is to keep myself as healthy as possible. I’m very good sticking to my healthy diet. I’m pretty good doing my exercises. I still need work when it comes to controlling stress.

Later on I will go back to meditate. Lily is taking her afternoon nap. The house is pretty quiet. I will focus on what I’m grateful for. There are many others in this world who would trade problems with me in a heartbeat. I also believe in karma. The energy we put out will come back to us and that includes bullies. This particular person will eventually push around the wrong person and he will end up with a black eye.

I have given this person too much of my precious time. I’m done obsessing over it. I have important things to do, information to share. I have been given a second chance at life and I want to do it right this time.

I ask the Universe, the Great Goddess or whoever may be listening… “could you send me some Buddhalicious, Zen-like wisdom before Wednesday, or sooner?”

Thank you Kris for sharing your thoughts on your blog. It came when I needed to hear them. Hopefully my words will help others who read it. My life didn’t come with instructions and neither did yours. I believe we can figure things out together… we aren’t that different.

Namaste,

Ingebird

Kris Carr Was Part of My Wellness Team

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The last two weeks of 2010 and the first two weeks of 2011 was a whirlwind of tests, surgery, blood transfusions and talking to what seemed like hundreds of doctors and interns. Everyday I got new information about my prognosis depending on the results of the most recent test. I was also given pain medications because rectal cancer is literally “a pain in the ass!” I am so grateful that my son dropped everything and put his life on hold to be my medical advocate. There was too much going on for me to keep up and even though my husband wanted to be around more, he had to continue working. Bills still had to be paid even if you are sick.

Doctors start their hospital rounds at six o’clock in the morning. I was never a morning person, so when a doctor came to see me at that time, I had no idea what he was talking about. The drugs I was taking made me to groggy to understand what was going on, let alone give my consent to anything. James moved into my hospital room and made sure he was awake to talk with doctors to find out what the day’s “game plan” would be. It took at least two weeks for my medical team to come up with a tentative plan that would give me the best chance at survival.

Cancer is a fickle bitch. One day your up and the next day things can go to hell. A big determining factor is how healthy the patient was before getting cancer. I was lucky. I had no other health problems, therefore, I told my health team to give me the most aggressive treatment available. Statistically (if you like to look at survival rates) I had a ten-percent chance of survival. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I have not dug deeper into these so-called survival statistics to see if the patient made any life changes to help themselves though. I would be interested in finding that out. I am a firm believer that the patient has to be an active participant in their health plan (unless they physically can’t… like those in a coma). Drugs can only do so much and often they contribute to more health problems down the road. Remember, chemo drugs and radiation therapy both are carcinogens.

I think it was early February of 2011 when I was lucid enough to go online and look for other cancer survivors. I started my search in cancer chat rooms. I strongly suggest staying away from those. At the time, the comments from cancer patients were a real “downer.”  I know people need to vent and maybe a chat room is a good place for that, but I’m the type who wants to stay positive, so I look for others who are like-minded. To me, complaining doesn’t help matters.

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I kept typing “cancer survivors” in my search engine and I finally came across the name, Kris Carr. I learned that she was not just living with cancer she was “thriving.” She was upbeat and just the person I needed to read about. She had an online support group (I think she has since changed the name and added more content.) The cancer patients and survivors in her online community share their personal stories of recovery and road back to wellness. Kris taught me about nutrition and lifestyle changes that helped her. I’m sure I was one of her best students. I became vegan overnight. I bought a juicer and a blender that were in my price range. (You don’t need fancy, expensive equipment to get the same results) I never met Kris, yet she was now part of my wellness team. I always knew I would beat the c-word, now I had a plan to make it happen.

My body recovered faster than the doctors expected. I know it’s because the food and supplements I took helped build up my immune system faster.

Kris’s name is on my gratitude list. I have since come across more cancer survivors who share the same stories. The main thing we all have in common is we made changes to our diets. We got off “the crazy train” and stopped to “smell the roses.” I know that all sounds cliché but it’s true. If a cancer diagnosis does not change your life, you are still sleep walking through life.

It’s people like Kris who inspired me to write about my wellness journey. I figure the more positive voices there are out there, the more proof that our lifestyle changes and (plant-based) food choices work. I am coming up on my three year cancer-free anniversary. I am healthier now than ever. I have no more intestinal problems. My poop is normal. I have no more hemorrhoids. I used to have boils in my groin area and they are gone.  My doctors are amazed and thrilled… but not as much as me.

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Kris’s book, Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor is part of my wellness library. Someday I hope to meet her in person, but for now she is my online bodhisattva and wellness warrior sister.

Be well!

Inge

Crazy Sexy Diet

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Kris Carr is one of the first authors I read when I was going through cancer treatment. Her first book, Crazy Sexy Cancer is also a good read. She is the reason I am vegan.

Peace and Health!

Inge