Dear BCW Members,
As this is my first BCW blog, I thought it would invite you to read the ‘behind the scene’ development of In Mind In Body, the organisation I have founded to help ease and prolong the lives of people living with cancer.
Since my cancer diagnosis in 2010, my approach to life has changed dramatically. My limiting self beliefs, which too often held me back in the past, have been dismissed and I now trust, believe and allow life will unfold in a way that’s right for me. Life now holds far more possibilities and excitements, which previously I had closed my eyes to, too fearful of ‘change’ until cancer left me with no option.
I was not one for reading, however totally debilitated through chemotherapy I lay on my bed and asked myself why I thought I might have cancer? I ate healthily, I always exercised, I had never smoked, I drank but not heavily — what was going on inside me? I began to read Ian Gawler’s ‘You can conquer your cancer’ and Brandon Bays’ ‘The Journey’, out popped the word ‘stress’ — I was indeed ‘stressed’, extremely stressed emotionally. I found myself searching deep inside me, to seek the help of counsellors and emotional healing sessions, to make changes in my life and believe I would come through.
Frequently I read the words ‘mind, body and soul’ but I felt no true understanding as to what my ‘soul’ was . Further reading lead me to Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret’ and numerous books on the law of attraction, the law of nature. Marianne Williamson’s ‘Return to Love’, Anita Moorgani’s ‘Dying to be me’ and Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ became favourites. I finally began listening to those instinctive thoughts, those intuitive feelings, those little nudges here and there.
Having completed my treatment I wanted to find a way, to help others move forward, through what is often a very dark and frightening cancer journey. In June 2011, Macmillan Cancer Support published the ‘Move More’ report which outlined the benefits of participation in Physical Activity on reducing the side effects of treatment and reducing the chance of recurrence. As a personal fitness trainer, I felt this was an important message I could help get across to people.
In discussing my ideas with a close friend, who sadly had recently lost his wife from cancer, he asked me, ‘What happens when people are too tired and exhausted through treatment, to even contemplate exercise and yet they are the very people who need it most?’ I had read so much about the ‘power of our minds’, how our conscious thoughts only use 10% of our minds capabilities. How could I tap into the sub-conscious mind, to activate our own innate healing and encourage movement?
‘Visualization’ is a term commonly used in self help books; to imagine a future event, to set a scene and using multi-sensory rehearsal to attract events into our lives. A term often used by sports psychologists, to train athletes to improve their achievements and goals. If you can visualize in sport, why can’t you visualise in healing? I began researching the benefits of guided imagery/guided visualization and was amazed by the findings.
‘I use visualization in many ways.….…a healthy mind leads to a healthy body,’ Luke Donald MBE (Professional Golfer)
- Reduces physical stress and tension
- Enhances immune responses
- Decreases panic attacks & anxiety
- Helps to reduce pain and thereby unwanted suffering
- Reduces unwanted side effects of conventional treatment
- Improves sleep
- Reduces feelings of fear, powerlessness and depression
- Creates optimism and deepens a ‘will’ to live
- Instils confidence
- Helps to communicate between the body and mind
And so the idea was born to combine the benefits of participation in Physical Activity with those of guided imagery/guided visualisation, to offer people hope and faith on their journeys and improve responses to conventional treatment
‘I found imagining an event, unbelievably beneficial,’ Natalie, Thriver
Working with the principles of the law of attraction, that like attracts like, I held faith that this was possible, exactly ‘how’ it would appear I was unsure, however I was totally focused on its manifestation. The right people have literally appeared in my life at just the right time — my list is endless but for example I was very fortunate whilst searching for like minded people on twitter, to link with @carolesanek, who introduced me to Beverley Vote earlier this year. Beverley very kindly put me in contact with Dr Sandy Jost, a guided imagery expert in Houston. Sandy and I very quickly began to skype one another — it was as if we had known each other for years! Sandy has become a key advisor in the development of In Mind In Body and author of our “Cancer Involvement Programme”. Her’Guided Imagery’ certification course taught me so much and enabled me to develop a scientific understanding of why imagery/visualization works.
I am delighted to inform you that www.inmindinbody.com went live in August 2013
‘Over 90% of your natural life in subconscious. If you fail to make use of this power you condemn yourself to live within very narrow limits,’ -Dr Joseph Murphy.
I am extremely grateful for all those involved in the development of In Mind In Body, especially Mike, Alison, Marcus, Jan, Sandy, James and Gay. All the sports professionals and thrivers who have shared their free time to help us launch. If you have a visualization’ story you would like to share with us please make contact, thank you.
‘Life has no limitations, except for the ones you make,’ — Les Brown
Think it. See it. Achieve it.