Here are ideas for how to transform your life in positive ways. Thriver Soup appeared on Fix it with Faust (Faust Ruggiero) Radio Show via healthylifenet. Enjoy!
Here are ideas for how to transform your life in positive ways. Thriver Soup appeared on Fix it with Faust (Faust Ruggiero) Radio Show via healthylifenet. Enjoy!
Hey everyone, I was interviewed on Deborrah Cooper’s Debruary 2022. My topic was
“Be Your Authentic Self.”
Deborrah writes, “Are you comfortable enough to show the world your real, your true, your authentic self, or do you hide and pretend to be what others want you to be? Heidi Bright is our Debruary 2020 guest tonight, and shares a wonderful story of perseverance, determination and survival.
“Heidi found her way to authenticity after successfully battling a terminal cancer diagnosis in 2009. She realized that being her authentic self was the greatest gift she could give both to herself and others. Learning to manage her emotions in healthy ways was, as Heidi says “a game changer.” Listen to this interview to learn strategies to get in touch with who you are, and how to honor and respect your true self.”One of the comments was “Absolutely INCREDIBLE! Outstanding interview!”
Watch it here:
Are you alone this holiday season?
Maybe covid is keeping you isolated. Or the cancer tore your marriage apart. Or you have been ill for a while and your friends have moved on.
There seems to be a big hole in your life where love once seemed to live.
It can feel so terribly lonely.
Yet that love still lives, inside of you. You are that love. Please do not abandon yourself.
Just think. You are the magnificent result of two tiny cells you can’t even see. Those cells joined together in an incomprehensible union that multiplied and multiplied and multiplied. Imagine the tremendous amount of life-force energy expended to create … you.
A you who is utterly unique.
Look at your hands. What beautiful things they have done for you all your life. Think of a few of them. They serve you nearly every moment of the day, without question, without asking anything in return.
Look at your legs. They have carried you all through your life, without question, without asking anything in return.
And your heart. It pumps life-giving blood into every cell of your body, dozens of times every single minute. Without question. Without asking anything in return.
Look outside at the plants. They grow, they create leaves, they bless the world with blossoms. Without question. Without asking anything in return. They are worthy of appreciation just by being what they are.
How much more worthy of love, gratitude, and care are you? By yourself? Without anyone else in the picture?
If no one else is around to offer it to you, offer it to yourself.
Maybe spritz on a nice fragrance and focus on the aroma.
Maybe make yourself a special meal or order out your favorite foods.
Maybe take a warm, comforting bath and add fresh blossoms so they float around you.
You are the center of your universe. Love you. Appreciate you. Care for you. The universe is cheering you on, and so am I.
Ten years ago, my CT scan showed a cancerous half-inch nodule squatting on the pulmonary vein next to my heart.
After two years of sarcoma treatment, I had just used up my last chemotherapy option. Now what? I felt so screwed.
Five weeks later, when surgeon Patrick Ross operated, that bugger had swollen to 2.5 inches.
That’s aggressive growth.
I can’t tell from the surgical report if he even got clean margins. Who could, with such a dangerous location?
During my post-operation appointment, the nurse practitioner told me she’d seen situations like mine for thirty years. “You need to get back on chemotherapy or get ready for Hospice.”
My mouth went dry, my throat constricted, and my pulse raced. If the nurse was right, I would probably be dead within a few months.
OMG, NO… I had boys to raise and books to write and life to live.
I soon saw my psychotherapist, who witnessed and guided me as I allowed the terror to simply be in my body. Then it flipped into anger, and I stopped breathing, except for quick gasps. Finally, she returned my mind to the room. I shook and shuddered, then relaxed. My chest tingled and emotionally I felt nothing. Then I moved into peace.
Tai Chi Grandmaster Vince Lasorso later pointed out to me how easy it is to slip into feelings of hopelessness, powerlessness, emptiness, loneliness, and being forsaken. No one can face death with you—it’s a solitary assignment. A dark depression, induced by the chemicals of medicine and mind, can extinguish all faith.
“It’s during these times when one must look to the light,” he wrote. “Reliance on God can change your course at any second.”
He was right.
Despite the dire warning, I continued healing my life in every way I knew how, clearing out emotional garbage and removing what Vince called “bad thinks.” Generous and gentle people helped me every step of the way.
Ever since that terrible day in 2011, my scans have been completely free of any evidence of cancer. And I have also been completely free of all cancer treatment.
This month it’s the Perfect Ten (years)!
I find this truly miraculous, not only because of the deadly and persistent diagnosis I had, but also because I have remained healthy despite going through a divorce and losing my 19-year-old son to a heroin overdose in 2015.
Medical treatment bought me time. All the inner healing work I did, and my deepening connection with the Divine, kept me sane and safe.
I now offer what I learned through Cancer Survival Coaching. If you or someone you know would like a free initial consultation, feel free to call me at 513 444 0190.
I also will be speaking on “A Conversation with Dis-ease” at noon on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at the Body Mind Spirit Expo, Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati.
I look forward to connecting!
When I feel good, I find it much easier to eat nutritious foods. When I feel like crap, I am drawn to crappy food to self-soothe, but it always backfires and I end up feeling worse. One way to circumvent this tendency is to allow myself a small amount of the junk food — like a small handful […]
Two-time Guinness Record holder for greatest memory, Dave Farrow, and I discuss
in this 18-minute episode. Enjoy!
My father liked to say that scars are signs of a life well lived. As an Eighth Air Force B-17 navigator during World War II, he would know. He flew 32 missions over Europe, well beyond the “Lucky Bastard Club” level of surviving 25 missions.
I must have lived my life really well because I’ve got lots of scars to prove it. I have a long one on my bikini line from a C-section. Eleven years ago it got a connecting scar that runs all the way up to my sternum, a life-saving gift from my first cancer surgery.
I look like I have a big anchor on my belly. It reminds me of medieval anchoresses, who lived in deep seclusion to seek out their greatest possible happiness. My anchoress status bought me not only life, but a whole new life that includes deep and growing joy. And the scars don’t have to limit me or weigh me down anymore.
What to do about all that internal scar tissue? I have lost several non-essential organs and am lucky to still have my bladder. But my insides are packed, nevertheless, with loads of scar tissue.
I found the answer in fascia (body-wide connective tissue) release, which involves compression and then extension of scar tissue. My practitioner is Lauren Clark Cadman, who I met at a HIME wellness event in Cincinnati two years ago.
At the time I was looking for another option for healing my hand that had been broken in three places after falling off a galloping horse. Physical therapy was unable to help me with the long-term inflammation and swelling. I could not curl my hand, and typing was a painful issue—especially because writing is my “thing.” Lauren cleared it all up in eight sessions and I regained full, pain-free use of my hand again.
I decided to let her work on my abdominal scar tissues. I learned that during each session, it’s best to lie quietly, breathe deeply, and listen intently to my body while she’s working.
Recently she was compressing around my bladder. While she held one spot for a long time, I saw an image of a donkey nose. I chuckled and told her what came to me. As I talked, the scar tissue relaxed and let go. It was being stubborn like a donkey until it was recognized and given the attention it wanted. Then it no longer needed to hold on so tight. I could feel blood flow going down to my toes, loosening up more tissue.
During my most recent session, she was again working around my bladder and intestines. The right side of my body gave a big twitch. After the session, I went to my car and soon found myself crying. I cried off and on for the rest of the day. I understood more deeply how emotional pain is stored in the body, and it’s this kind of pain that can create digestive issues and chronic dis-ease. Lauren quotes a common saying that “the issue is in the tissue” because the subconscious mind stores painful memories in fascial tissue. It’s a way for the brain to protect us until we can safely process our feelings. When we are no longer in fight or flight mode, the body is able to let go of the pain. Crying is a normal and healthy result of this treatment.
I’m not expecting the visible scar tissue on my skin to disappear, but the internal holding is letting go, giving me more space on every level.
I now have more freedom of movement in my entire body–also in part because of practicing tai chi daily during the past couple of years. I used to be much more stiff and had to put a lot of effort into getting in and out of a saddle. Not anymore.
I ain’t done yet, though. This week I woke up from a dream in which I was taking the wooden covering off a mummy. Oh no, my cover’s been blown! More wrappings of myofascial scar tissue in my abdomen need to be released.
It’s time, I’m ready, and so is my body.
Anchor’s away! I’m sailing into my bright new life with good health.
There are so, so many legitimate things to feel angry about right now. Cancer. Your changed life. Now the coronavirus pandemic. The basic, reliable structures of your life have collapsed, compounding your pain. It feels so overwhelming.
Your rage is multiplied, complicated, and justified. And on top of that, you are locked up, either alone or with loved ones, as if a prisoner in your own home. It’s like you’re sitting in your personal pressure cooker, where grief, resentments, and blame build to the explosive point.
It’s something none of us have really dealt with before. It’s a hard time for all of us.
We want relief from that constant niggling agitation we might feel. Our minds acknowledge that life is way out of whack, but that doesn’t always translate into compassion for ourselves and each other. To cope, it seems easiest to disconnect our awareness from our bodies. We sometimes end up self-destructing with food and alcohol and maybe even lashing out at those whom we love. I find myself eating a lot more chocolate and popcorn these days, and I have been less patient with my son.
Even though our ways of dealing with stress can be quick fixes to ease our discomfort, they are ineffective ways of coping. While we might feel some sense of relief, these knee-jerk reactions usually make us feel worse in the end.
We can’t control these difficult external events, but we can control our internal attitudes, behaviors, and choices. We get to choose if we are going to be victims of our circumstances, or if we’re going to rise up and take responsibility for ourselves and our own lives.
If we look underneath our anger, grief, and sorrow, we will probably find an incredible sense of powerlessness, as if the floor is giving way underneath us. It may not feel like it at the time, but this sensation is just an emotion—energy in motion within our bodies. While it’s scary to feel these feelings for what they are, our emotions alone do no harm. They are the result of a chemical dump from our brains into our bloodstreams. For the emotions to lift—which is where we can find relief—these sensations need to be deeply felt without our minds running interference.
So have a seat, or lie down on your bed. Tune in to your body. Where is that irritating feeling of powerlessness sitting? Can you feel the rage putting pressure someplace inside you? If so, take a moment to feel it. Allow it to be what it is without any thoughts or words. Give it your whole, undivided attention without judgment. That’s all it wants, anyway.
Your emotions, if felt fully and deeply, will lift after ninety seconds. If it lasts longer than ninety seconds, you’re probably engaging your mind and thinking about what’s bothering you. That’s not helping you right now. Let the thoughts go, and if you can’t, write them down and shred them. Then try the process again.
Another strategy you can use is to breathe deeply while mindfully observing your anger, grief, and powerlessness. Just look at it. Don’t judge it or act on it. Instead, have compassion for whatever it is you’re feeling. It’s a human response to an inhumane situation; there is no logical reason to feel ashamed or guilty about your feelings.
By loving yourself enough to experience the energy moving inside your body, without thinking about what makes you upset, you can allow it to harmlessly shift around until it evaporates.
Once the emotions lift, you can begin reorganizing your reality, away from the victim mentality and toward opportunities, learning, and desires. There are so many free educational and entertaining options available online. Perhaps focus on gratitude that these choices—vastly more wonderful than at any other time in history—are accessible to you right here, right now. I find these gifts extraordinary.
For example, I finally got my son to watch the movie “The Cold Blue” so he could see what his grandfather lived through during World War II. I watched a documentary about children’s show host Fred Rogers, of “Won’t you be my neighbor?” fame, and was amazed. Fred had the uncanny ability to explain difficult concepts, like “assassination,” to help children cope with national crises. Most recently, I participated in free online meditations.
These would never have happened without the lockdown and the generosity of others. With gratitude, I find my attention shifts and so does my internal awareness. It’s a lovely, empowering gift to myself and relieves the stress of living in lockdown.
For a cancer patient, anxiety is almost a given, nearly as insidious as the disease itself.
Our immune systems are already compromised. Now we have a novel new virus to deal with–one humans have never encountered before.
It can be terrifying. The what-if’s can crowd out everything else, even to the point of making you throw up. It can overwhelm at almost any stage of the process, including when treatment is over and someone is considered cured.
My psychotherapist pointed out that anxiety starts with the emotion of fear in the body. For me, the fear usually showed up in my tense face and gut. Then my brain kicked in, producing anxiety. I had “so many bad thinks,” as tai chi Grandmaster Vince Lasorso pointed out.
The key to letting go of the anxiety and the bad thinks was to refocus my attention on the sensations in my body. I realized my thinking about my dread was my way of escaping the actual emotion, which showed up as uncomfortable sensations in my body.
Through practice, I was able to identify the fear in my body, to allow it to be what it was, and to stop my bad thinks. While learning this technique, it helped me to refocus my mind on things that were beautiful, admirable, and true—the reflection of sunlight on pine needles, the sweet scent of cinnamon, the vibration of a dulcimer. Another prescription for anxiety that helped was to pray. Bringing my fears to the Spirit and asking for assistance helped me let go of some bad thinks. A third method was refocusing on anything for which I could feel grateful. Even a small thing, like “Today I opened my eyes again.”
With practice, the need for anxiety pills—if you take them—might lessen. Maybe you can, after discussion with your doctor, ditch them. You can create a new prescription—one that relies on your focused attention and reduces the chemical burden on your body.
Thriver Soup Ingredient:
When you feel anxious, check in with how your body feels. Are you tense in your face? Does your chest tighten? Does your stomach contract? Try to let go of your thoughts and simply focus on the sensation in your body. Allow it to be what it is. Allow it to move around; allow it to get intense; and allow it to dissolve. If you feel it without thinking any thoughts (like gee, this is taking a long time), the sensations will lift after 90 seconds. Repeat as often as necessary. Sometimes I had to repeat for more than an hour before I could get on with my day. And if your brain still insists on thinking, try to redirect your thoughts to the Divine or practice offering gratitude—even if only for a moment.
Find out how to tame stress and other emotions on this quick 17-minute interview with two-time Guinness World Record Holder for Greatest Memory Dave Farrow.