For executive coach Josie Thomson, 46, learning to meditate proved not only life-changing, but life-saving.
“My first encounter with cancer was at the age of 24, when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Shockingly, I was given six months to live, but survived. Then, three years ago I was diagnosed with cancer again, this time a brain tumour and bone cancer.
My cranial surgery was successful, but the months that followed were challenging, to say the least. I couldn’t walk or talk properly, and while I could sense the instructions my brain was sending my body, it wasn’t responding. While I was recovering, I started a daily routine of sitting outside on the grass with my two dogs. It should have been relaxing, but instead I felt angry and frustrated, trapped inside a vessel that wasn’t responding.
But about a month later, everything changed. I was sitting outside on a beautiful, sunny day when I stopped the battle with my mind and became present to the moment. All of a sudden, I was looking at the blades of grass, the sky and my dogs in a whole new way, seeing everything as a gift. There was no fight or suffering, just a blissful space of silence, peace and stillness.
I was fascinated and wanted to know more, so I started investigating mindfulness and meditation. Every day, I’d create some time to be still, tune in to the moment and appreciate the treasures it had to offer, and as time went by, I could feel myself getting well. During my meditations, I’d focus on my breath, imagining that I was inhaling the sun’s healing energy?and exhaling any toxicity.
Six weeks after the surgery, my neurosurgeon rang to say it was time to consider treatment for my bone cancer, so I went in for a full-body scan. The result? There was no trace of cancer.
Part of me wasn’t surprised: I had absolute belief in the healing power of mindfulness and meditation.
This excerpt appeared in the Prevention Magazine article titled ‘Thoroughly Modern Meditation’, November 2013. You can download the article here.