Optimism - Your Choice

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Our family just had a wonderful example of choosing attitudes. Two months ago, after having been laid off from a management job in construction, my wife, Valerie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Obviously, this is a very emotional thing. Valerie had already seemed to have been set up for the "woe-is-me" path: loosing her job, getting cancer, and, I didn't mention, her mother passed away two months earlier.

Valerie is not an ordinary woman. Her quiet and somewhat introverted demeanor, effectively masks a strong will, and a tenacious personality. Intelligent and analytical, she talked to her doctor and her surgeon a few times. They thoroughly and patiently answered her questions. She did research and pondered the good and the bad sides of the traditional medicine approach.

Choices. The obvious and, often right choice for most people, is surgery, followed by chemo and/or radiation. When cancer is detected early enough, traditional medicine works most of the time. Alternative therapies are, for most people, a last ditch choice (choice?) when other avenues fail. Sometimes people choose the safety of surgery, by-pass the chemo and/or radiation and do alternative for the final stage of therapy.

Four weeks after being diagnosed with cancer, Valerie checked herself into Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach for their three-week "Life Change Program". For most, this would have been a radical move. One of the technicians at Hippocrates commented that people don't usually go there so soon after diagnosis. Most at least have the surgery before checking out the alternative.

Valerie, clear thinking and wired for optimism, just came home after three weeks at Hippocrates - her glass half full! It will be many months before we know how effective her treatment was. On an extremely positive side, she went to Hippocrates with three other health issues - two of which are almost completely resolved and a third is progressing well. It is not an understatement to say that her stay there was life-changing.

The point: Valerie could have succumbed to fear and negativism, taken the safe approach, and turned responsibility for her health and well being to others, or she could have calmly and optimistically taken responsibility for her own health by learning how to heal herself. She choose the latter.

Written by Bharata, the director of Yoga & Inner Peace. He fills his students with joy and optimism. Positive thinking is the bedrock of his teaching.