At age 77, the surgeon announced I had colon cancer; and I was shocked and devastated. While I had health crises before, this one loomed larger: I was confronting life or death. Being Jewish, I immediately said out loud a prayer in Hebrew.
But in less than a day, my panic subsided – a big benefit of decades of mental/emotional healing and consciousness expansion. With surging resilience and optimism, I focused on how I could overcome my cancer, regain my condition of holistic wellness, and resume my adventurous senior life.
Early in my cancer treatment process – which took six months and felt like a full-time job – I recognized I could tap into three life-affirming inner power resources to understand, navigate and resolve this mega-crisis. These consisted of my ability and resolve to be Constructive, Creative and Conscious, or the 3Cs – in thought, words and actions.
These 3C guidelines (or as I now see them, lifelines) would prove significant in my coping with cancer,and getting back to an even more inspired and fulfilling life than before. I realized each of the 3Cs – and more so when combined to generate a synergy effect – benefited me by helping to:
- Dissipate my recurring stress and tension
- Search for a variety of relevant information
- Navigate the complex cancer-medical system
- Value complementary modalities and providers
- Enhance my creative capacity for positivity and healing
- Make crucial strategic and rational choices
- Maintain optimism for me and concerned love ones
- Let in spiritual guidance, both Jewish and Universal.
As I further considered the 3Cs for dealing with cancer, I recognized they also applied to any life crisis – whether relationship, financial, business, emotional or spiritual. The 3Cs are useful in approaching the crises and challenges besetting people going through the senior minefield of aging after 60 years.
Let’s examine each of the 3Cs and finally their synergy.
In thinking about healing my cancer, I concluded I’d have to be highly constructive in thoughts and actions. While being positive is a specific attitude that involves believing that my actions would produce valuable results, being constructive involves developing an action strategy that would turn the positive-attitude-based goal into a concrete successful outcome.
So, I was determined to lead with robust can-do attitudes, develop a new framework for perceiving reality (both inner and external), take decisive and coordinated actions, and track progress and any problems.
In our world of duality, there are always negative and positive thoughts and feelings. I endeavored to maximize my positive ones, and minimize or eliminate my negative ones. I worked hard on clearing my ground for new construction – by releasing the negativity of my immature thoughts, instant gratification, and the ego’s small and fearful voice.
When I inevitably had negative thoughts and feelings, I identified them, sized them up, determined where they came from (an insecure childhood), and let go of what no longer served me. Examples of negatives alerts include:
- Allowing the anxieties of people close to me to infect me
- Relinquishing responsibility for my health to the medical establishment
- Eating too many unhealthy comfort foods
- Reading websites with content not backed by research and authority.
Next, I needed to build a new set of powerfully beneficial beliefs. I would seek out positive ways of thinking and feeling that could be substituted for my negative patterns. The more I engaged in this constructive process, the more encouraged and empowered I became – envisioning my successful healing, regaining my vitality for living, and trusting that an absolutely amazing life could become my future.
Soon, I became aware of the critical role of my language in mythinking and speaking. I was habitually using too many negative thought forms. So, I began to build a new vocabulary:
- Out went habitual negative words – such as cancer, disease, fighting and suffering – which pulled me down and reinforced my illness identity.
- In came the positive words – such as harmony, healing, trusting, purifying and ease-and-grace – to strengthen my body-mind system, make me receptive to powerful new ideas, and uplift my morale and energy.
Then came the hardest task: Identifying and removing negative ideas lurking in the shadows of my unconscious mind – imbedded in childhood experiences and today wielding influence from deep within. I had become aware of some of the negative thoughts lurking in my unconscious, tripping me on the way to my goals. But I knew I was unaware of other negatives, likely to be the more insidious. So, I went into deep-dive mode – both in my meditation and inner conversations with my Higher Self (Soul), and with the guidance of healers, counselors and wise friends.
The results were fruitful in terms of uncovering and expunging negative memories that perpetuated toxic beliefs – such as feeling unloved, unaccepted, unworthy, stunted, fear, anger, hurt and shame.
A core illusionary belief was that my parents didn’t love and appreciate my unique personality. My wounded child had held onto this pain for seven decades. In a meditation guided by a highly intuitive friend, my parents’ spirits came from the other side and told me how much they loved me as a child (although back then they didn’t know how to express it), and unconditionally love me now (with pride filling their hearts). As if by magic, the next morning I awoke without a trace of resentment toward my parents; and it has lasted since then.
Being constructive goes better when our creativity is flowing. This involves the development and application of new, innovative and multiple means to meet familiar or novel needs. Where a few, one or no ideas existed, with active creativity new ideas emerge in the mind – after springing from Source. To delight, inform and inspire, our imagination can be exercised and yield intriguing ideas and insights. Even Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge.
I believe most real-world needs or issues have one or more ideal solutions. These exist somewhere in the Universe, and can be accessed with one’s conscious and creative mind. I see myself as an artist facing a blank canvas. I allow my mind to give birth to a multitude of ideas, nurture those with promise, and polish them into ready-to-go actions.
Here are examples of my cancer healing solutions:
- Bored with the same old meal options, I added healthy and gourmet dishes worthy of a multi-star restaurant.
- In Sedona, Arizona, where I lived at the time, I found an area of Nature with what I sensed had exceptional healing energy; and figured out where to stand, sit, gaze, walk, swim and nap – thus enabling me to tap into the Earth’s profound healing power.
- I wrote posts and articles to convey the deep personal experience of my healing process, and shared them with other cancer patients and their caretakers.
When interacting with medical professionals in several hospital units, I sensed how to greet, engage, amuse and bond with them. I initiated the conversation, spoke with compassion, gave sincere positive and constructive feedback, asked questions clearly and diplomatically, injected unexpected humor, offered pleasing surprises (especially chocolates), and sang improvised lyrics to tunes of popular songs.
Also, with medical personnel, I witnessed my creativity build rapport and trust, enhance relationships, ease awkward situations, and open the hearts of most of the professionals with whom I interacted. To increase my creative energy, I breathed deeply to relax, took refreshing breaks, and asked myself questions regarding what is happening to me and what would be the best course.
The most difficult aspect of the medical system for me was experiencing the chemotherapy, radiation and surgery involved in treating my cancer. Instead of giving in to the severity and discomforts of these invasive medical methods, I would reframe them in creative ways to ease my stress, tension and pain. For example, I used spiritual metaphors and prayers, made each process into a spiritual ritual, and sang my way through the roughest parts. It worked every time – easing or transcending the unpleasant symptoms!
The more consciousness we possess, the better able we are to see the reality of a crisis and know how to cope better with it. Each individual can be placed along a consciousness continuum – from lower/child to higher/master. Although there were moments when being anxious and overwhelmed would pull me toward the lower consciousness end, decades of working on my spiritual development came through to put me more often into the higher consciousness zone.
I believe living in a higher consciousness state enables us to achieve a greater life quality (wellness and happiness) and life quantity (years). Lower consciousness is seeing and accepting the world of reality in front of us – visible, solid and persistent. But whether a table or rock, human mind or physical body, quantum physics has demonstrated that everything is energy, and reactions are inevitably influenced by the observer.
Thus, there is hope – with enough focus and discipline – that we can expand our consciousness to attain a more powerful perspective working with the subjective reality of life. This involves seeing beyond the ordinary, everyday world – of drama, suffering, violence, limits, separation and sickness.
Instead, we can access higher-consciousness perceptions – which acknowledge the presence of a Higher Power – in the Universe (Spirit) and at our core (Soul). And this realization gives us the extraordinary ability to manifest enhanced realities – such as unconditional love, sustained joy, deep peace, accelerated transformation, greater unity and Oneness, and healing cancer.
The gap between the ordinary consciousness and higher consciousness can be bridged – by meditation, visualization, reflection, prayer and affirmations. I saw myself in a relationship with all things – including Divinity and I Am Presence. I had a two-way conversation with my Divinity within. I asked provocative questions and received luminous answers. While I often did this by my Self, I also sought help from persons who possess intuitive abilities to guide me in a healing process.
For many years, I had been using holistic health knowledge to improve my life. But with my cancer diagnosis, I knew I had much more to do! I started by asking Source, “Why did I get cancer?” The response came, “You are still burdened with toxic beliefs and habits, installed in childhood and disrupting your adult life.” As much as I thought I had ample consciousness and wellness, I sensed key unconsciously negative beliefs had contributed to igniting and feeding my cancer.
So, I concentrated on inner cleansing – of resentments (toward my family and old friends), unmet expectations (for a life partner and prosperity), and judgments (about what I deserved and why I lacked worthiness). These emotional tendencies were reinforced by my mental and physical bodies’ bad habits – such as addictions to white sugar and salt, excessive dark Internet and film watching, inadequate physical exercise, and insufficient hours of sleep. For all of these, I took bold and modest steps to remedy.
From my highest consciousness level, I looked at my problems and issues, suffering and excuses, angers and fears – that needed to be holistically purified for me to achieve cancer’s complete healing and prevent its nonrecurrence. I relied on the healing assurance of cancer’s big-three medical protocols – chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. And also, I put considerable faith, time and energy into alternative and holistic modalities to generate insights and achieve a more complete recovery and new patterns of wellness – with an emphasis on prevention of future chronic degenerative diseases like cancer.
I eagerly embraced many solo and assisted spiritual, emotional and physical healing modalities. These consisted of hypnosis, acupuncture, psychic readings, guided meditation, Nature immersion, past-life regression, conversations with my cancerous tumor, emotional releasing, and heart chakra opening. I believe my enriched healing agenda:
- Upgraded my overall health and immune system
- Sharpened my intuitive acuity to deal with a crisis
- Elevated my consciousness level (to choose my desired reality)
- Restored my body’s natural wellness condition
- Ended successfully my first (and hopefully last) cancer chapter.
Synergy of All 3Cs
You may have noticed that in my describing each one of the inner power resources, or Cs, for resolving my cancer or any crisis, aspects of the other two resources were mentioned. When you align with all three resources, they combine and thus create a synergy for optimal healing. I believe this synergy substantially improved my return to holistic wellness and a promising senior life.
I invite you to contemplate and apply your best version of each of the 3Cs to any crisis and major problem you may face, now or in the future. Then, allow the 3C synergy to profoundly overpower your crisis on your physical, mental/emotional, and even spiritual dimensions. Even if complete healing doesn’t happen, 3Cs synergy can help you deal more effectively with how you can enjoy your life or peacefully approach your death.
I view a crisis, major or minor, as a wake-up call. One that requires my immediate attention and action to correct a disharmony occurring in my life. Although I’m usually aware of it physically and mentally, with greater reflection I can now sense the deeper causes located in my unconscious emotional and spiritual dimensions. Empowered by the 3Cs, we can cope more thoroughly and confidently with any crisis, and develop a more powerful strategic response.
As a way for seniors to prevent and resolve a cancer-magnitude crisis, I reflected on what I had learned from my cancer experience. I wrote an article, You’ve Got Cancer, and a one-person show, Larry’s Cancer Monologue. These projects helped me realize that I had created a personal development, holistic wellbeing system, called Adventurous Aging.
Rather than see life after age 60 as an inevitable downhill slide into disease, loss and distress, the Adventurous Aging system enables seniors to take charge of their life. We can do this – by ourself or with coaching support – by:
- Acknowledging and mining our vast life experience
- Claiming the wisdom we’ve acquired from the experience
- Using our strongest inner resources (our superpowers).
In this way, I believe we can improve the prospects of manifesting a final-life-chapter of wellness, love, joy, purpose, fulfillment and peace. We can expect the Adventurous Aging life journey to go better as we align and apply a constructive, creative and conscious approach to transform our senior years into the best years of our life. Hey, it’s alchemy in action!
For a fuller description of Adventurous Aging, see https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100082105301582; to discuss how Larry’s coaching approach can benefit you, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp.com/1-928-202-0010.
Larry Rosenberg’s life mission is to share consciousness, creativity, connection and contribution. Post-retirement, he founded The Larry Show, one-person musical and inspirational shows based on his life’s wisdom, and Adventurous Aging, holistic wellbeing coaching and workshops for people 60+ to reset their life from retiring to refiring. Prior to these enterprises, his 50-year career included higher education in marketing (New York University and University of Massachusetts Amherst), international management training (University of Maryland Global Campus, Tokyo), innovative business consulting and coaching, and holistic health corporate communication. He earned a BS from Drexel University, and an MBA and PhD (Marketing) from The Ohio State University. He lives in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he delights in the area’s tropical lifestyle, cultural diversity, and business vitality.
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