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Vol. 25 No. 2.


online magazine of the Cancer Support Association

wellness news

Patron – His Excellency Dr. Ken Michael AC, Governor of Western Australia

environment, wellness and healing




d w a e wn n a

ith grace, coura w g n i ge ag f e r e c t p health and in









wellness news monthly online magazine of the Cancer Support Association of Western Australia Inc.


(are new beginnings) a poem by Susan Haley

Wellness News e-magazine is published online and distributed free to members of the Cancer Support Association and subscribers. Wellness News magazine is dedicated entirely to environment, wellness and healing. The magazine is for people with cancer or serious health issues; for people who are well and want to maintain their good health naturally; and for complementary, alternative and integrative health professionals. Please enjoy your Wellness experience!

news team... Editor Mandy BeckerKnox Editorial Consultant Dr. Peter Daale

Dear friends,

With an illness such as cancer comes

uncertainty and fear. Faced with issues of mortality we may start to ask the big questions as we look for real meaning and purpose in our relationships, work, lifestyle and beliefs. This can lead to both small and sweeping changes in all aspects of our lives as we focus on what is truly important and worthwhile and start to eliminate those things which don’t support our health and survival. Navigating these changes can be difficult and initially stressful. In this issue of Wellness News we look at how to be courageous and proactive in an age where courage has been replaced with a more receptive and passive approach to life. Happy reading this month! ✦ Love and peace, Mandy


one day cancer wellness workshop

NEW CSA members can attend free!

I can feel summer waning, a cooler dryness in the air. Is another season ending, or is it going somewhere? Has a summer that is over met an end that’s dead? Or simply wafted elsewhere, its warmth there to spread? As the sun leaves the horizon into the edge of night, Has it met its end forever, forever dead and gone from sight? Will there again be morning light now that the sun has gone? Will darkness now engulf me, or will a new beginning come? Will another pink-hued dawn give birth to yet another day? Or do the ends of setting suns forever stay away?

Do these tears of grief I feel rolling down my face Mean the death of joy has come? The death of happiness? Or are all endings circles that forever go around? Is there really such a thing as endings dead and bound? Does the death of one end give birth to new beginning? Do battles lost birth battles won and loss give birth to winning? When dead ends seem to loom ahead and walls begin to rise; When purpose and direction lie in shadow before your eyes, Never stand there lost! Look right, look left, look up or down. And then you’ll see the jewels adorning every ending’s crown.

Life Changing Information for people with cancer presented by Dr. Peter Daale, Paul Alexander & Bavali Hill One day seminars for people living with cancer and their carers with a special focus on accessing key cancer information online, nutrition, and meditation. Held on the first Friday of every month. Upcoming 2010 dates: 5th March; 7th May; 4th June from 9.30am-4.30pm.

To book phone CSA 9384 3544

in this edition... features MIDLIFE COURAGE Transitioning Uncertainty with 6 the Spirit of Adventure 9 17

MISTAKE NO. 8 Neglecting the Power of Silence KEEP A JOURNAL TO HELP YOU HEAL


BREAST CANCER VIRTUALLY ERADICATED with higher levels of Vitamin D



Valentine’s Day VALENTINE’S DAY or Saint Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 by many people throughout the world. It is a day on which lovers express their love for each other by exchanging cards, flowers, sweets and confectionary. Of late, the day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of ‘Valentines’.

regular 2 EDITORIAL Endings are new beginnings 3 PUZZLE Valentine’s Day Crossword THE NEWS New York Times criticises ‘War on Cancer’; 5 INLeukaemia vaccine to prevent recurrence of cancer (19);

So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognises at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young, single men – his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realising the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

Warning on herbal remedies (19)


RECIPES Lentils for longevity: go vegetarian and experience the power of lentils!

Illness affects the energy system. To restore and maintain optimal energy we need to:

1. Face our fears. Fear carries a powerful creative energy.

In yet another legend, it is claimed the day originates from the story of St. Valentine, who upon rejection by his lover was so heartbroken that he took a knife to his chest and sent her his still-beating heart as a token of his undying love for her. Hence, heart-shaped cards are now sent as a tribute to his overwhelming passion and suffering!

2. Feel true compassion for self. Let compassion awaken a gratitude for who you are today. 3. Raise self esteem until we are not affected by approval or criticism.

Although the truth of the Valentine legend is unclear, the stories certainly emphasise the enduring romantic and tragic appeal of St. Valentine. ✦

Name: 4. Not to give others our power. It’s about making choices. Date:

From: Steps of Heart Centred Living by Christine Page, MD

Valentine's Day Crossword Complete the activity.

Valentine’s Day Crossword Across

4. Paper lace often used in making Valentine cards 5. Made from roasted ground cacao beans 7. One who is loved 8. The second month of the year 9. The god of love, son of Venus 10. A friendly relationship


1 2 3



1. Cupid shoots one of these 2. Someone who esteems or respects 3. Card or gift given on Valentine’s Day 6. Cupid’s arrow pierces this

6 7

8 9




4. Paper lace often used in making

1. Cupid shoots one of these

CSA weekly program...

February 2010 MONDAY Meditation Made Easy .................................................................................10.00 – 11.30am Ongoing Lessons with Bavali Hill. FREE FOR MEMBERS (non-members $5) No bookings necessary.

About the Cancer Support Association of WA Inc The Cancer Support Association of Western Australia Inc is a nonprofit charitable organisation which was established in 1984. CSA’s key intention is to help people become informed, empowered and supported on their cancer and wellness journeys. CSA encourages an integrative, well-informed understanding of health and treatment options and strategies, and is committed to supporting all people, regardless of their treatment choices. CSA supports individuals who are living with cancer, their families, carers and the wider community through the services we provide, as well as through our widely distributed publications and unique cancer information website.

TUESDAY Yoga with Sydel Weinstein ($10 / $5 members) ...................................... 9.30 – 10.30am Wellness and Healing Open Support Group ............................... 10.00 – 12.00noon with Dr. Angela Ebert Carer’s Wellness and Healing .............................................................. 10.00 – 12.00noon Open Support Group (1st and 3rd Tues) Reiki Clinic .....................................................................................................12.15pm – 1.30pm

WEDNESDAY Laughter Yoga with Kimmie O’Meara ($3.00) ...................................11.00am – 12.00pm Grief and Loss Open Support Group ................................................... 1.00pm – 3.00pm last Wednesday of each month Chinese Medical Healthcare Qigong ($10/$5 members) ........... 1.30pm – 3.00pm with Master Andrew Tem-Foo Lim

FRIDAY Meeting the Challenge 1 Day Seminar ................................................9.30am – 4.30pm 1ST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH with Dr. Peter Daale (and others).

DAILY Wellness Counselling and Information Sessions with Dr. Peter Daale ........................................................................................... by appointment General Counselling with Dr. Angela Ebert .................................................. by appointment Phone direct on 0414 916 724 or 9450 6724 or email

Please phone CSA on 9384 3544 or check our website for further information. We can help you with information packs, course prices, confirm course times and make bookings.

CSA’s workshops, courses, groups, and complementary therapies are advertised throughout this publication and are held at CSA’s premises in Cottesloe unless otherwise stated.

at CSA with Master Andrew Lim Every Wednesday from 1:30pm to 3pm in the Sun Room at CSA. Cost $5.00 (CSA members) or $10.00 per class Phone CSA reception for more details on 9384 3544. Bookings not necessary.

in the news...

January 2010


New York Times Criticises “War on Cancer” By Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

There was a time when the New York Times could be counted on to invariably promote the US government’s “war on cancer.” In previous decades it touted every hopeful sign of progress and often conveyed the feeling that a cure was around the next corner.

Many readers will recall the celebrated May 1998 article, in which the Times announced two new drugs with this headline: “Hope in the Lab: A Cautious Awe Greets Drugs That Eradicate Tumours in Mice.” The article concerned two new agents, Endostatin and Angiostatin, developed by Harvard Professor Judah Folkman, MD. The article’s author, veteran science writer Gina Kolata, quoted the director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as saying that Folkman’s work was “the single most exciting thing on the horizon for the treatment of cancer.” James Pluda, MD, also of NCI, said, “People were almost overwhelmed” by Folkman’s presentation. “The data were remarkable.” The Nobel laureate James Watson, MD, famously told Kolata, “Judah is going to cure cancer in two years.” But the millenium came and went without a cure. Angiostatin and endostatin have not lived up to expectations. A clinical trial in 40 patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, came up empty handed. The investigators concluded that treatment with endostatin “did not result in significant tumour regression in patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumours” (Kulke 2006). Now, Ms. Kolata is making waves again, albeit in a much more sober tone. Her front-page article on April 24, 2009 marked a turning point, as she described for Times readers a litany of failures in the war on cancer over the past few decades. The overall death rate for cancer, she revealed, when adjusted for the size and age of the population, dropped only 5 percent from 1950 to 2005. “In contrast,” she wrote, “the death rate for heart disease dropped 64 percent in that time, and for flu and pneumonia, it fell 58 percent.” “Still,” she wrote, “the perception, fed by the medical profession and its marketers, and by popular sentiment, is that cancer can almost always be prevented. If that fails, it can usually be treated, even beaten.” I too wrote about this gap between perception and reality in my first book, The Cancer Industry, which came out in 1980. At that time, I was frustrated by the uninformed attitudes towards the war on cancer that I found at America’s “newspaper of record.” I am certainly encouraged that, 30 years later, they are finally waking up to the fact that things are not going well in the war on cancer. Kolata focuses on the treatment of metastatic cancers. “With breast cancer, for example, only 20 percent with metastatic disease – cancer that has spread outside the breast, like to bones, brain, lungs or liver – live five years or more, barely changed since the war on cancer began” (Kolata 2009). The situations with colon, lung and prostate cancer are no better, said Kolata: “With colorectal cancer, only 10 percent with metastatic disease survive five years. That number, too, has hardly changed over the past four decades. The number has long been about 30 percent for metastatic prostate cancer, and in the single digits for lung cancer.” These are the grim facts, despite $105 billion spent by NCI on the war on cancer since its inception in December 1971. As is well known, President Barack Obama lost his mother, Ann Soetoro, and his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, to cancer. He is as well informed about the ravages of this disease as any president in modern times. He has spoken repeatedly about his desire to see cancer cured soon. He has also vowed that, as part of the economic stimulus package, he will increase federal funding for cancer research by a third for the next two years.

I also believe in generously funding cancer research. However, if the decades-long “war on cancer” has taught us anything it is that providing billions of dollars for research is not in itself a sufficient stimulus to real progress. What is far more important is the quality of the treatments being pursued. So far, NCI has focused its formidable resources on developing synthetic and patented pharmaceutical agents that can then be sold at astronomical prices. I am thinking here of the so-called ‘targeted’ drugs, such as bevacizumab (Avastin), which costs about $100,000 per year per patient. Obama should examine the manner in which promising drugs are selected for development. As a rule, NCI works hand-in-glove with giant pharmaceutical companies (or their surrogates) to research and develop new products. This cozy relationship with big business has left behind some of the most promising treatments that do not fit the mold. These are primarily treatments of natural origin that are not patentable or otherwise profitable to Wall Street. It is a case of “patents over patients”. This over-emphasis on satisfying the needs of the stock market has fostered a greedy mentality in the cancer field. Sometimes, the purpose of performing research has become to generate profits, not to cure cancer in the most expeditious manner possible. If I had some time alone with President Obama I would tell him that there are promising treatments for cancer awaiting development, but that have been neglected because they are deemed insufficiently profitable to big companies. The US President has stirred the entire world with his promises of change. When it comes to cancer, however, the White House needs to support and promote treatments based solely on their merits, without regard to the profits of Wall Street or the medical profession. That indeed will be change I can believe in. ✦

References Gina Kolata’s 2009 article can be found at: http://www. html?scp=1&sq=k... Gina Kolata’s 1998 article: http://www.nytimes. com/1998/05/03/us/hope-lab-special-report-cautious-awegreets-drugs-that-eradicate-tumours-mice.html?scp=3&sq=Ju dah+Folkman+and+Gina+Kolata (Or see http://www.nytimes. com) Kulke MH, Bergsland EK, Ryan DP, et al. Phase II study of recombinant human endostatin in patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumours. J Clin Oncol. 2006;24:3555-3561. Ezekiel Emanuel’s biography: people/emanuel-bio.shtml

From the Moss Reports,

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association


January 2010


courage Transitioning Uncertainty with a Spirit of Adventure By Jennifer Wright

In our fast-paced, multitasking lifestyles, where most of us over-40s struggle to get from one task to the next, a concept like courage seems a bit out of place. Courage in today’s society might be an attribute best left to our growing passive experiences of movies, DVD rentals, reality TV, or an exciting novel. What need is there for courage in us Baby Boomers who have been dubbed “the privileged generation”? What are the costs of keeping courage as a strictly passive activity? What are ways to activate courage? environment • wellness • healing

January 2010

What is courage?

First of all, what is courage? Courage is the ability to confront fear,

pain, danger and uncertainty. Courage is defined differently for everyone. Some might see courage as lacking fear in a situation that normally would trigger it. Some might even consider a courageous act to be reckless. At the heart of courage is the ability to confront. Confrontation is something most of us shy away from, and yet fear, pain and uncertainty are a part of life for people over 40. “At midlife, the part of ourselves that we have known, the caterpillar, is in essence disintegrating. We are stepping into the abyss without a clue as to where we will emerge from it. We are leaving behind what we have known ourselves to be and all the safe and predictable containers of that reality,” writes Kathleen Brehony in Awakening at Midlife. How frightening, uncertain, and painful is that?


Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. Anaïs Nin

My own story is an example of stepping into the abyss. At the age of 47, I was a long-time single woman with my children off creating their own lives. I had a middle-class life with a nice house, a great but stressful job, and a 401K. I did not, however, know the woman who looked back at me in the mirror.

That winter, Connie got a cold that turned to pneumonia and required bed rest for several days. During that time, she started journaling her thoughts, and came to a realisation that her job was making her sick. She recognised that she no longer “needed” the things teaching once brought to her. She began to focus instead on what she did need.

I could have made several choices. The first would have been to keep working hard and ignore the inner rumbling, and for a while, I did just that. I kept doing what I was doing. Then a friend of mine was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I was overcome with emotion that was very personal. I was concerned for her; but I was equally concerned with ME. What if that were me? What about my unlived life?

Connie wanted to write and express herself. At the end of school term, she put in her notice and spent the summer in a writing course. She then went to work as a librarian four days a week and began to do freelance writing on a part-time basis. Today, four short years later, Nancy has ongoing jobs as a freelance writer, and has co-written and published a book on helping children to read through common parent-child activities.

I was scared. I was in pain. I did not like the place where I was, feeling uncertain. I call this “walking through the valley.” I needed to go deep within myself for the courage to confront the fear, uncertainty and pain. I found my courage through discovering my own spirit of adventure.

The spirit of adventure Jeff Saltz in The Way of Adventure says, “Adventure is any intentional experience that substantially alters our perspective long enough to see things we have never seen before – to see familiar things in ways we have never seen them. The most exotic destination of all is the one that fulfills all your yearnings – found within your own adventurous spirit – after you’ve put yourself to the test and found hidden reserves of creativity, resourcefulness, and perseverance.” Sounds exciting, eh? Perhaps in theory…but how do we really do this?

Take a leap of faith If you always do what you’ve always done, you get the same outcomes. Deep within you, you know what you want to do. It’s the action that makes the difference. Joseph Campbell writes in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, “A hero ventures from the world of the common day into a region of supernatural wonder.” Connie was a 51-year-old divorced mother of two grown children. She had worked for years teaching elementary school because it was a good income and gave her summers and school holidays off. She had to admit, however, that her heart had gone from teaching for the previous few years. Bureaucracy and changes in the education culture had driven Connie to dread weekdays and long for weekends. She worked harder at trying to “love her work,” doing gratitude journaling and starting a teacher’s support group. The problem was, she felt worse, not better, from her efforts.

Where is your leap of faith? What needs to change to allow barriers to lift? Appreciate Adversity. Buddhists say that we learn our life lessons by way of our life changes. Life events cause us to change in order to deal with them. By midlife, we can look back at our journey and get an appreciation for just how we have had to adapt. Janine, a 47-year-old gay woman, had battled juvenile arthritis since the age of 15. She prided herself on embracing yoga into daily life, practicing good nutrition, and having a good attitude. However, with the discovery of a lump in her breast and diagnosis of breast cancer, she became angry. “Why me?” she ranted on to Jill, her partner of 15 years. This “why me?” brought up a flood of angry emotions unresolved from childhood. Janine began to focus on how “different” she had always been because of the arthritis, and how unfair her life seemed to be. After some months of chemotherapy, Janine started to process her anger and, through a coaching relationship, began to focus on the gifts of being “different.” She realised that the resilience she developed as a child to deal with being different, e.g., not being able to partake in some sports and having to take rest breaks after school, allowed her the courage to “come out” as a gay women in her early 20s. Janine began to see how she could have made other choices that might not have been so favorable to her now. She began to see the power of her current situation. With renewed energy, she volunteered at the Arthritis Foundation, focusing on Youth Support. What have been the adversities in your life? How can they be reframed for your benefit? Can you see the choices you have made on your journey that have allowed you to arrive where you are right now? How can this new self-knowledge help you to take your next step? continued on next page...

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association


January 2010

...from previous page

Change Your Environment As an occupational therapist I look at a person’s experience as being powerfully affected by both inner and outer environments. Same person plus different environment equals different outcomes. We often forget this powerful variable and get into a “rut” due to years of doing the same thing. Midlife is a time to shake ourselves up a bit. Sarah was a 60-year-old married woman living in upstate New York, with four grown daughters and ten grandchildren. Sarah was the family matriarch in this strong Jewish family, and had worked for years as a social worker in an agency that supported women who were victims of domestic violence. After her mother’s death ten years ago, Sarah had looked after a very demanding father who lived in Florida, as well as her husband’s mother, a widow, aged 85 and still living on her own. Sarah, after years of wanting to travel to New Zealand and being able to afford it, but denying herself the pleasure due to guilt for all the starving children in the world, finally came to do a women-only inner/outer six-day adventure on New Zealand’s South Island. She had not had a vacation in 10 years, instead taking her vacation times to babysit grandchildren, or visit her father, or catch up on home management tasks. This adventure took Sarah away from the demanding voices of her children, grandchildren, in-laws, father and others. Her adventure dictated that she had no computer, clock, schedule, or television. Hiking for 4-6 hours a day with six other women, Sarah was strongly affected by the outer environment of nature. Daily journaling, group ceremony and facilitation gave her insights to share with other women, and Sarah started to question her beliefs. For the first time in her life, she began to see herself as a woman without attachments, a woman with a mission of her own. Sarah began to see how she was “controlling” her own life by not letting her daughters be independent of her ongoing guidance. She also saw that there were many areas in her father’s and mother-in-law’s lives where she could set boundaries. Most significantly, the achievement of backpacking the journey on her own and facing her thoughts and beliefs gave her the courage to “face anything!” Sarah went home to re-create relationships with her entire family. While some of them welcomed her changes, others were scared and slower to adapt. Sarah was ready for this. She had gained courage to ride out any familial storm through having changed her inner/outer environment. Walks on the weekend and daily journaling kept her courage well-fueled. How long has it been since you purposefully changed your environment for any length of time? What strengths would you discover if you challenged yourself to do things you’ve never done before? Midlife is a time of transformation. To deny this is to deny ourselves an opportunity for growth and discovery. As with any transition, a middle ground exists, a valley that we all must walk through. Discovering our own spirit of adventure affords us the courage that allows us to cross the valley with more certainty, less pain, and the ability to look back over our shoulder and say, “If I can do that, what else can I do?” ✦

From Copyrightis held by Jennifer Wright, Jennifer Wright, “Mid-Life Spirit of Adventure Guide for Women” coaches women globally in over-40 transitions of mid-crisis, pre-retirement, empty nest, career change, and workplace adaptations. Her company, www.midlifeadventure. com was profiled in the May 16 TIME cover story, Female Mid-Life Crisis. Visit her and sign up for free newsletter and teleclasses. environment • wellness • healing

by Gary Null, Ph.D., with Vicki Riba Koestler


ecently a communications satellite malfunctioned, with the result that a lot of the nation’s electronic paging devices did not work for a couple of days. This technological breakdown was serious enough that it was page-one news, but the interesting thing was, if you read beyond the headlines, that many pager owners weren’t all that upset. They, were, rather, relieved. With their beepers temporarily silenced, there was one less bit of noise they had to experience and respond to. Their world became a little quieter, a little calmer. This led me to imagine a scenario. What if all our nonessential telecommunications could go on the fritz for awhile? Emergency services would still be in place, but for ordinary life, there would be no telephones, faxes, TV, radio, e-mail. The effect would be like that of the satellite breakdown ten times over. People’s lives would be much quieter, and the subtle sounds of nature would come to the fore. People would be able to think more clearly. They’d have more time to look into the meaning of their lives, instead of just scrambling to keep up with the trappings. In short, they would discover the power of silence. This kind of selective power outage probably won’t happen. But on an individual level we can make it happen to some extent, simply by turning off the appropriate switches when we can. There’s another simple step we can take – we can stop



January 2010


Neglecting the

E C N E L I S f o R POWE

talking so much. Then we can sit back, or go for a walk in the open air, and revel in the quiet. Members of the baby boom generation are sorely in need of silence, because many have been silence-deprived all their lives. This is the first television generation, and if you think TV is mainly about visual images, think again. Many people use it as a noise box, keeping it on all the time to fill the air with sound. Plus consider the quality of the sound that comes from TVs versus the sound that comes from the home entertainment modes used before TV was introduced – radios and record players. With radios and records the sound is the whole point, so care has to go into the music and talk that comes out of them. With TV, though, the picture is ostensibly the main point, and sound is a sort of window dressing. So TV music and talk can be junkier than radio or record music and talk, because since we’re distracted by the visual element, we won’t necessarily notice. Some people have spent their whole lives not noticing exactly what kind of noise they’re bombarded with, day in and day out. In addition to television, other elements have made the baby boomer generation’s formative years noisier than their predecessors’. This generation was the first to grow up with telephones as a birthright, not an option. The number of automobiles in the United States boomed along with the number of babies in the 1950s and 60s; and along with this came increased traffic, noise, and destruction of natural environments. Rock and roll came on the scene in the 50s, and has been getting more amplified, and pervasive, ever since. Add up all these factors and you can see why silence is something that many of today’s adults did not grow up with. Some don’t even know what they’re missing.

Where We Are Now The Monks of New Skete are a group of monks who make their living raising and training dogs, and writing books on the subject. They have a holistic approach to their animals, and one of the things they suggest is silent walks with your dog, as a way of training him and of forming a deeper bond with him. A friend of mine tried this approach recently, with interesting results. Every day she’d been in the habit of taking her dog for a walk, and attempting to teach him how to ‘heel,’ ‘sit,’ and ‘stay,’ by authoritatively saying these commands, while putting pressure on his training collar and using hand gestures. He was a frisky, energetic dog, and sometimes he’d listen, and sometimes he wouldn’t. Then one day she tried the silent walk approach. “It worked at least as well as when I was constantly talking to him,” she reported. “Everything he needed was already there, without the words.” But the benefits went beyond the training aspect. The dog

seemed more relaxed. There did seem to be a new kind of nonverbal communication happening between them. What’s more, she herself felt more relaxed, and like she could spend some of the walking time thinking about things other than whether her pet was obeying. Now, she doesn’t walk the dog silently all the time, but she does so periodically, and it continues to be a positive experience. She tries to incorporate quiet into other parts of her life as well. Some people, like my friend with the dog, have learned to appreciate the power of silence. But many haven’t, and with today’s proliferation of instant communication devices, it can take a real effort to try. On the plus side in the area of new technology, one great development has been the personal headset radio. At least with these, people are less likely to inflict their own noisy entertainment choices on others. Is your daily life too noisy? Could you benefit by building some tranquil time into it? Also, what are some of the issues you might be dealing with during periods of quiet introspection? These are the areas we’ll be exploring in this chapter.

Have you tried quiet? A woman came down to my holistic ranch. She attended all the workshops, but she and a small group of people talked nonstop. There was no introspection. I kept telling them that their best time here would be spent in quiet, doing nothing except being with nature. No one listened. They were talking every time I turned around. The woman wasn’t going to stay a second week until I sat her down and told her that she had learned nothing. Of course she disagreed. She thought she had learned a lot. I repeated that I thought she had not learned anything because the most important message is always the silent one. I asked her to spend a second week there in silence, and she did. During the second week, I asked every guest to eat in silence. I used candlelight. I played soft music. There were flower arrangements. There was no conversation. For the first time, people knew what it is to eat properly – not just to eat vegetarian, organic, gourmet food, but to eat in an environment conducive to inner tranquility. Now they were aware of what they were eating. They lost weight. They felt energised. When I took them out and had them sit by a rock, listening to the wind, they were able to be in nature. Suddenly they could hear a symphony in the wind. And they could let every distracting thought out of their minds. People would tell me, marvelling, that they could hear a thousand different sounds in the wind. “I heard the top of the palm trees moving. And I heard the grass moving. I heard the animals in the background, and the birds.” All the sounds had been there before. It’s just that they tuned them out because they were focusing on their own chatter. continued on next page...

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association


January 2010

...from previous page

Most people are nervous. This is especially true of intellectuals. I think intellectuals are the most insecure people in the world. They’re always trying to impress you, always talking and never listening. Or if they are listening, they’re simultaneously planning to get you to shut up so that they can correct you. Trying to get them to be silent is like putting them in handcuffs. They fight it. When a person finally breaks through and places his or her energy in the moment, he is able to transcend the normal boundaries of visual perception, smell, and taste. The person becomes integrated. Suddenly he knows what it is to be a bird flying. Like a bird, which never contemplates its death while flying, the person doesn’t think of himself as falling out of the sky. But we fly with fear. Any time we function from fear, we automatically respond before we think, because fear causes a hasty response. It’s preconditioning from our families and our background. We learn not to take chances. We learn that good girls don’t do that. We automatically let these old messages affect our energy and our thinking. Then we wonder why we keep on having the same problems. Why don’t things get better? They don’t get better because new thoughts are not replacing the old ones. We’re not allowing ourselves to become integrated. We need to change completely to see how we can integrate. So, this woman simply experienced a new way of being in an environment. She had been there all week, heard all these sounds, and saw all these things, but she had never allowed herself a sense of focus. And that’s the difference. What do we focus on? She focused on the integration of all things, herself included. If you do that, you’ll never go for a walk again in the same way. When I walk, I walk in silence. When I eat, I eat in silence. My friends will tell you that when they come over to my house for dinner, it’s a relatively silent dinner. I want candlelight; I want soft music; I want to enjoy the occasion in a quiet and integrated way. It’s interesting how an experience changes completely when it is experienced with integrated thoughts. I could have you sit down for an hour and meditate. And you could wonder about whether your children are alright and where your husband is. If your mind is somewhere else, you are not integrated. On the other hand, you could be there in the moment. That’s where healing occurs.

What’s good about being alone? I find taking time to be alone a valuable experience. A time of quiet, during which I do not engage with people, is crucial. That is one of the reasons I do not, at this point in my life, choose to be in a relationship. When I am involved with someone, every moment that someone is chattering in my mind. Now I have that quality time to focus on me. Most people never think about how good it is to have quality time to themselves. If you’re in a relationship, you may have to ask the person you’re with to allow you time alone. Such time is not a luxury. I’ve never seen anyone have a healthy, balanced life without it.

How do we balance ourselves on each level? Physically, we must change our diet and detoxify. We must eat only healthy foods. If we’re eating only because we’re frustrated, or anxious, or not dealing with our problems, we need to recognise this and stop. As long as we take in only the best food, and only what our body requires, our body will detoxify and we’ll be healthy. If we add exercise to the mix, within a year we’ll see a body that we’ll be happy with. We often don’t believe we can be both sexual and spiritual. We feel we must repress the body in order to enhance the spirit. But that’s a limited perspective. We can have a healthy, sexual body and a dynamic and free mind and be spiritual also. The problem, as I see it, is that we feel we need interpreters between us and our higher being, that we aren’t capable of making our own determinations of how our spiritual self can be manifested. But we don’t need interpreters. As long as I love life and nature, and am a good-hearted person, then I am as spiritual as any other human being. It’s that simple. Spirituality is the unconditional giving of the love we all possess. We were born perfect but we spend our lives denying it. The person who is spiritual accepts his or her perfection and then manifests it. I don’t believe that we have to suffer in order to grow. That is part of the dogma used in controlling people. If we control a person’s sexuality and his or her mind, then we control that person. Very clever people throughout history have sought to control our natural impulses. If we believe or feel something that doesn’t conform to the prevailing view, we are made to feel guilty or we are punished. If there is a long history of people being punished for following natural impulses and being spontaneous, then people won’t, unless they are very courageous.

Have you ever had a blissful experience that your mind couldn’t fully comprehend but your body could experience? Some of us are afraid of feeling anything unless we can analyse, control, and manipulate it. We are never free until we disengage our minds. If we disengage the conscious mind, we allow the present to exist. A sense of overwhelming euphoria and bliss can occur only when the conscious mind is suspended. The only time we usually surrender to the moment is when we are one with nature, looking at a sunset or smelling fresh-cut grass. Then, we’re not thinking of anything, just enjoying the moment. The things that give the most pleasure, innocently and honestly, are environment • wellness • healing

January 2010


those we experienced as children. We don’t often allow in that innocence when we are adults. We can’t explore bliss if our mind is controlled. There are many meditation and relaxation techniques available which are worth exploring to get out of our mind and into the moment.

Which emotions have you lost touch with? You need to identify the emotions you have lost touch with in order to get back in touch with them. Many people can operate in only two emotional modes – rage and calm. These people are difficult to deal with. One minute everything is alright. The next moment they don’t like something you say, and they blow up at you. When you deal with these people, you generally hold back your true feelings to avoid becoming the recipient of a hostile overreaction. What precipitates rage? Most people who react this way do so because they feel that their power is being challenged. As soon as you say something, they contest whatever you say. They have a difficult time being quiet and listening because hearing what another person says honours the other person. Not listening is a defence mechanism. People who react with rage need to realise that nothing constructive ever comes from their outbursts. The people they deal with only pull back or retaliate, and real issues get lost. Once this realisation occurs, they can step back and try to hear what other people are saying. By listening to others, you’re letting people know that they aren’t going to be yelled at or rejected for sharing their feelings. That gives them a chance to express themselves in an honest way. Re-analyse your communications on a day-to-day basis. Realise that you can express yourself without rage and still be firm. When you replace rage with determination this doesn’t mean you’re turning yourself into a passive person, but, rather, that you’re becoming a more effective communicator. On the other hand, if you tend to be too passive, you may feel better when you express yourself in a more determined way as well. Express yourself with passion. In our everyday world, we assume that it’s best to appear passionless; everyone is supposed to maintain an emotional monotone. To compensate, we then look for people who exaggerate their emotions. We find these people in films, in athletics, in the press, and even in politics, and we use them as emotional surrogates. They express what we wish we could say, and feel what we wish we could feel. Isn’t it better to get in touch with your own thoughts and feelings and express them yourself?

How is anger positive? Not long ago I produced a documentary on cancer, providing a forum for many people to speak. It was surprising how many patients were angry. Anger is a very positive emotion in that it is energy. But realise that there is a difference between anger and rage. Rage can hurt; anger can create change. In fact, I can’t understand people who never feel angry; it seems to me that if you don’t get angry at things, you have no passion for life. There are so many things we should be angry about, as the first step in constructive change: genocide, racism, injustice, and environmental abuses. I use my anger to create a constructive process. Anger at the complacent and ineffective conventional medical establishment has been an impetus for my documentaries on AIDS and cancer, for example.

Many people can operate in only two emotional modes – rage and calm. These people are difficult to deal with. One minute everything is alright. The next moment they don’t like something you say, and they blow up at you. When you deal with these people, you generally hold back your true feelings to avoid becoming the recipient of a hostile overreaction.

Most people get so comfortable and secure in their predictable lives that there is no anger left to project as a positive emotion. Remember the anger of some of the baby boom generation as they protested the Vietnam war? What happened to that? We could use some of that anger today to improve our society. Anger can be very constructive – it depends on what you do with it.

What do you say or do that creates a lack of trust, compassion, or interest in others? If you have been negative, uncaring, or insensitive to others, those people will not be there to support your ideas, dreams, and goals. They may appear to encourage you, but actually not care. You need to be aware of how you treat people. If you want other people to be interested in you, you’ve got to be interested in them. If you want people to care for you, you’ve got to care for them. You’ve also got to undo what you’ve done in order to go forward. You can’t just walk away from someone pretending that what you’ve done to them doesn’t matter. Merely saying you’re sorry isn’t enough. It doesn’t undo what you’ve done. You’ve got to recognise the negative qualities you’ve attributed to other people and take ownership of what you’ve done. In other words, you continued on next page...

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association


January 2010 ...from previous page

need to acknowledge to the other person that what you’ve said or done has come from you and has nothing to do with the other person. That realisation will clear the air and restore sanity and caring into your communications. What do we say or do that creates a lack of trust, compassion, or interest? Gossip is one good example. Why do we generally talk about people behind their backs? We’re bored. We thrive on the negative energy that’s created. We feel part of a group. We envy the people we’re talking about and want to pull them down and make others think less of them to build ourselves up. But by putting someone else down we’re showing that we don’t feel very good about ourselves. Do you trust people who gossip? You shouldn’t, because they’re going to do the same thing to you. It’s better to tell someone who gossips that you don’t want to hear it. When you’re talking about someone behind his back, you’re dishonouring the person. It’s always better to talk straight to someone. Tell him or her what you feel. Say what’s bothering you. Be honest. Then you at least have a chance to resolve issues and clarify misunderstandings. A person of spiritual commitment doesn’t engage in gossip, never denigrates. There’s no purpose to this kind of talk, except a negative one. The rule is this: If you don’t feel good being on the other end of what’s being shared, don’t share it. It’s plain and simple – just say to someone, “Don’t share this with me.”

If you have been negative, uncaring, or insensitive to others, those people will not be there to support your ideas, dreams, and goals. They may appear to encourage you, but actually not care. You need to be aware of how you treat people. If you want other people to be interested in you, you’ve got to be interested in them. If you want people to care for you, you’ve got to care for them.

Another way we undermine people’s trust is by breaking our word – lying, or not following through. How many times do you give your word and then break it? That shows people that they can’t trust your word. They may not tell you about it, but when you make a promise they’ll know you are lying, and not honour you for it. It’s important to make people aware of their deceptions. Years ago my aunts and uncles used to get together for Sunday canasta games. On one occasion, when my cousin was there but had left the room, my uncle asked, “Doesn’t he realise that he exaggerates everything and that we know it?” I said to my uncle, “Why don’t you tell him? He’s going to spend the rest of his life exaggerating, thinking that it’s normal, unless we tell him what he’s doing.” I proceeded to tell my cousin about it. He hated me for it and never spoke to me again. But that’s his right. At least he knows what I feel. You also create a lack of trust if you have a lack of principles. Some people stand for nothing. They go with the popular trend. Whatever allows them to survive, they accept for the moment. That person can never be a real friend because they can turn at any time. Giving only half-hearted help shows people that you aren’t really interested in them. Let’s say you’re moving and a friend who offered to help helps only a little bit. You relied on that person and were disappointed. You won’t want to have that person help you ever again. We definitely won’t trust people who are inconsiderate and unkind. These are the very first traits we notice about others. We like to think that we have the right to be unkind when we don’t. Being that way immediately takes us to our lower self. It denies our higher virtues. If you can’t be kind to someone, don’t be around that person.

Where does inconsiderate behaviour originate? It originates in our youth. As children, we are innocent and honest until we’re conditioned to become what our parents or guardians expect of us. That’s when we start changing. But this is not to say that we can lay the blame at others’ feet. Yes, at one time we had to conform to others’ expectations. We were vulnerable little people and it was a matter of survival. But now, as adults, we act that same way because we are stuck in a pattern that was formed in our youth. We’re not even consciously aware of not being ourselves. We can begin to break out of our unnatural behaviours by identifying what we do and how we feel that makes us uncomfortable. We need to notice when we act in these ways. And we need to ask ourselves how and why these behaviours served us in the past. One of the ways we can do this is by journal writing.

Do you think before you speak? Always think before you say something. See what the reaction to what you say could be. A credit card company owed me a lot of money. I had paid the bill, and my secretary then paid it again without knowing I had already done so. The company promised a refund would come, but it didn’t. Three months passed. environment • wellness • healing

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I simply called and said, “I have a question for you. I’d like your help. Do you think you can help me?” The person said, “That’s what I’m here for.” I explained to the person that the company owed me a large amount of money, almost $23,000. And I explained that I have to pay interest every single day on anything that I owe, but that they had had my money for three months and had not paid me interest and had not paid me back my money. They had just kept promising it was coming. Then I simply asked the question, “How would you feel if this was you?”

people, to be with people, to share with people. That’s normal, that’s human, that’s important. But you should never be your relationship. Because what happens is that you cannot differentiate self from the relationship. You never have a sense of being a complete and whole person. You’re always attached at the psyche to someone else. And then you get engaged in the conflicts. Then your mind must be coinciding with the other mind to create harmony before you can do something. Everything must be a mutual decision. There’s never any space that’s really your own.

They resolved the situation that day. What if I had called and said, “You jerks...” etc., etc. I’d have been verbally assaulting someone on the other end who would have taken it personally and who would have then figured, “I’m not going to help this guy. To heck with him. He can wait forever to get his money back.” In short, it pays to think, what is the feeling we want to create? What result do we want? If you want a result that is supportive, cooperative, and helpful, then that’s the energy you have to share.

Here’s the question: How are you going to grow, how are you going to give yourself time, if everything you do is always explained to someone else, with the expectation of acknowledgment?

You see, we have choices. First, think, what result do you want? Your results are going to be directly based upon your choices. So think well before choosing because once you put an action out you cannot control the reaction. That’s crucial. You can only control your action. Anticipate what kind of reaction you’re likely to get. In all probability you will get that. You can create a spiral of negativity. Or you can create a spiral of positivity.

Do you usually communicate positive messages, or negative ones? Most of the time, you probably let people know your problems. Instead of telling people about all the good things that have happened and how good you feel, you let them know what does not feel good, and what is not working. What are they supposed to do with this negative information? Should they be sympathetic and agree with you? That won’t change anything. Watch how you communicate with people. If you catch yourself dumping a problem in someone else’s ear, ask yourself, is there a purpose to this? Can they do anything about it? Can they help me? Have we already discussed this problem time and time again, ad nauseam? If there is no real purpose to what you’re doing, you may want to take the conversation in a more positive direction. Or simply terminate it.

If you gave up all denial, what would change? If you gave up all denial, you would create a new life, because you would allow yourself to be who you really are. Most people never wake up feeling truly themselves. They know their name, their job, what they do in life, their routines and responsibilities. But those don’t necessarily fit the real self. There may always be an emptiness that can only be filled by getting other people around you. Look at the people who are afraid to be alone. These are the very people who should be alone, because they’ll never help themselves by being with other people. They’ll just use the other people. I see it every day. Only by being alone can you have a silent mind that allows you to think about who you are, not who you were told you are. Then, the people in your life will be there unconditionally. No relationship will ever take precedence over self. We have the mistaken notion in our society that the high point of our adult life is a relationship. I find that for most energies that’s very unhealthy. It’s one thing to relate to

Most people do not communicate honestly about what really concerns them in relationships. They know that if they did so, that might jeopardize the relationship. So holding on to the relationship, which at least gives them companionship, becomes more essential than being honest about what really bothers them and how they want to grow. The only person you should really be relating to is one who is growing, so that you can grow together. Unfortunately, relationships generally stay together longer when both people are stagnating. Both are insecure about stagnating alone; they’d rather stagnate with someone else. You’ll know you’re in the wrong relationship when most of what you hear are complaints. Trust me – that’s the wrong relationship. It’s people using each other. Someone called me whom I haven’t spoken to in a long time. The person has a health problem and said to me, “Gary, I want to see you. Remember, we go way back. I need to come over and see you.” I said, “No.” “No? Why not?” “Because we have nothing to share. And if you want my help as a stranger, you’ve got to get in line behind all the terminally ill people that I do see. They come first. They’re strangers too, but that’s my priority. The fact that we spent time and intimacy together means nothing. It’s what we are today. To call me after years of not speaking to me, because you have a problem, doesn’t honour me. That just shows that in desperation you are looking for a person to help you.” And that’s what we do in this society. We use people in ways that are convenient for us. It’s not healthy. I wouldn’t allow a relationship where what a person did was whine, moan, and complain about a problem. If you’re got a problem, fine. Resolve it. And how do you resolve it? First, change your perception. That changes the problem. If you are not willing to change your perception and live by a new perception, then you’re not honouring yourself, which means that you cannot honour the relationship. It’s just a dumping ground. How much negativity do you want dumped into your psyche before you say, “Enough!”? I wouldn’t treat anyone less well than I would treat a rose. What would you do for a rose each day? Give it sunlight, positive energy, and what it needs to grow. Why wouldn’t you do the same thing for a human being? Give them love, unconditional acceptance, and a sense of care. When you do that with people who are ascending and honouring their spiritual self, then you’ve got two spirits sharing a higher consciousness. That’s a positive relationship. We see so few of these, we think we are not capable of them. But we could be. continued on next page...

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association


January 2010

...from previous page

What positive & negative images do you focus on? You focus on the things that people say to you or about you. You also focus on the things you say about others. Once you say something, your energy goes out there and you’re connected to it. Now you’ve aligned yourself either positively or negatively to something. Power is not in the emotion. Emotions are overemphasized. Psychologists and other therapists focus upon the significance of emotions. They focus on whether we’re emoting enough. It never occurs to them that some people do not overly emote because they don’t need to. With all due respect to the feminist movement, I take exception when they state that men don’t know how to express emotions. I know an awful lot of men who don’t express emotions because they’re happy campers. They express happy emotions and that’s it. When you fill your mind with a lot of self-doubt and negative thoughts and destructive images, the emotion is automatically going to be negative and destructive. Everyone knows when you’re negative. When you feel good about yourself your actions show it. But in our society, people think you’re not responding enough. Fortunately, there are lots of people in this society who require very little for happiness. That gets other people bent out of shape. They’ll question another’s right to be happy because they’re steeped in misery and all their thoughts are negative. They’re always on the attack. They’re always trying to disempower somebody else to empower themselves. You come along without the need to disempower anybody. You just feel good because you have good thoughts. You’re happy and so you make everybody sick.

Change your perceptions about problems. Take your negative thoughts and reverse your perspective on what is happening. Ask yourself, how can I make this situation into a positive one? What good can come from this? Doing this will allow you to change negative patterns that bring you down. You may not change another person or the circumstances that are bothering you, but you still change your perception of what is happening. I learned this lesson a long time ago. While driving my car in heavy traffic, I saw two men yelling at each other just because one had cut the other off. They got out and fought. I thought, how stupid; what’s the purpose? Someone is going to end up with broken teeth for nothing. At that point, I decided that any time traffic was slow, I would use that time as an opportunity to think. Now, whenever I am in a traffic jam, I don’t get upset. I’m glad to be where I’m at because I have a couple of extra minutes to think. I didn’t change the circumstances, but I changed my reaction to them. List your problems and ask yourself, how can I alter them? There are always options. You will only find these options, however, by facing your problems and looking for positive solutions. Then, suddenly, they are not such a big deal. If you ignore your problems, they will remain on your mind. They will rob you of clarity, balance, spontaneity, and relaxation. Facing a problem is itself part of the solution. You can’t always change the problem, but you can change how you feel about it. You can have happy, positive feelings only if you have happy, positive thoughts.

What comes first – the thought or the emotion? The thought is always first. But thoughts can have delayed responses. Something that you’ve been thinking about can cause a reaction a week later. It will eventually appear because your thoughts are energy that you put into your being. A thought is a word or a sentence or a whole paragraph that you’ve created. Consider how many times you’ve thought about something that you didn’t do and should have done, or that you did and wished you hadn’t. Or perhaps you should have done more or you should have said something and you didn’t. How many times do you think about that? How many opportunities have you had and lost, and then relived a thousand times in your mind? Every time you relive a moment, you relive it by creating thoughts. The thought, then, is not the reality. But how many times have you made thoughts reality? Most people assume their thoughts are reality. For instance, we’re in a small southern town. There’s an all-white audience. Suddenly, a black person comes in and sits down. How many people are going to think a negative, fearful, racist thought and make it seem as if it’s real? Thoughts are not real. They’re merely images. Allow the image to come in and go out of the mind. Empower only that which you want to make real. A thought has no power until you let it have power. Therefore, I can allow every thought to come into me and then say, “That’s a thought I want to act on, and that one I will give power to.” No one can have only positive thoughts. Even if you meditate, you’re not going to have only positive thoughts. I’ve never met more unbalanced people than people who meditate. I have a friend who’s a producer. He’s a maniac. And yet he goes out every day to meditate. He’ll eat vegetarian food. But he’s a crazy person. He thinks that as long as he’s meditating he’s normal. But he hasn’t dealt with his underlying fear, anxiety, and insecurities. Imagine what would happen if you decided that it’s not meditation, or yoga, or correct breathing that’s going to make you de-stressed. And it’s not health food that’s going to make you healthy. It’s not vitamins or juices that are going to change your life. Rather, it’s your attitude that is going to change your life. Your life’s going to change because you’re not being overly critical about anything you do wrong. There’s nothing more damaging than an overly critical mind. If you need to do everything right you will invariably fail because mistakes are inevitable. Then you’re going to beat up on yourself. Say you eat only organic produce. Then, one day, you don’t. You beat up on yourself as if now you’ve broken the perfection. Or think about the people who will eat only organic produce, but become so anxious about it that there’s no flexibility left in their temperament. That kind of highly rigid mindset may appear normal but it’s not. It is not an integrated mind. Stop blaming your feelings on circumstances. Otherwise every time you get abused, every time you get spoken to in a way you don’t like, every time anything less than perfect happens, you’re going to overreact. Allow yourself to be much more fluid, and much more flexible. Allow things to go through you. You cannot control your thoughts, so just let them be. You can control your reactions to circumstances, however. Remember, if someone says something critical to you, don’t react. They’re just words. They’re just syllables, vowels, consonants. They have no meaning until you make them have meaning. Only actualise what is constructive. Think in terms of watching your thoughts parade in front of you and going, “ one I like. That one supports my intentions. That’s healthy. I’ll take it in.” Let go of all the rest. They mean nothing. environment • wellness • healing

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When you dwell on something, that creates your emotions. And when you dwell on something that’s not positive, the negative emotion is going to come right behind it. Maybe you’re wondering why your blood pressure is high, your cholesterol’s high, and the stress hormone cortisol is being pumped into your system. These things are partly a result of your focusing upon negative issues. The negative emotion that automatically follows sets off a negative biochemical reaction. And if you’re habitually negative, it will take a long-term physical toll; you may even be setting the stage, physiologically, for conditions as serious as stroke, heart attack, and cancer. Switch from looking at problems to looking at solutions.

Do you focus on problems or ideals? You can’t focus on problems and ideals at the same time. The ideal is where the solutions lie. If you focus on problems, you look at the negative in everything. You make excuses that keep you from going forward by saying, “I would, but...” You end up wasting a lot of time. How do you keep from being tied up in the problem? How do you keep the problem from becoming more essential than you? Look at the ideal. Ideals always transcend problems.

What attracts you to things? What attracts you to jobs, people, activities, places? Why do you want to be in a place? Out of curiosity? Because you feel reverence for it? Because you want to be inspired by it? Because you want to connect to it? Because you feel you are connected to it? What attracts you to sex? Is it relief, loneliness, love, obligation, fun, exploration? What is it? Keep a diary, or journal. When you start to identify in your diary what attracts you to things, you will start to see the real self. The real self will always attract you to something. Feel the real self. Feel its energy. There’s an excitement that comes from an honest identification. I have a friend who was a powerful attorney. Now, he’s a gamekeeper. He always loved animals and used to spend time in the Central Park zoo. He loved going there and looking at the animals. One day, he told me he felt successful, but not happy in his job. I asked him, “What would you do if you could do anything?” and he told me that he would love to be an animal keeper. I asked him why he didn’t go for it, and he responded that he had too many obligations to consider. His family would never approve. I said to him, in essence, forget all that. If your family won’t love you because you’re changing your career, then go find another family. I know some people would berate me for that advice, and so be it. The man charted his own course. He followed his passion and is so much happier and healthier for it. Too often we block our essential life energy. When we reconnect with it, we’ve practically catapulted ourselves into another dimension, a new universe of capability. That universe exists for each of us. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t have people able to do unique and strange things without ever having been taught. We have all had inspirational thoughts, times when we did not know how to figure something out, but an answer suddenly appeared. We weren’t taught the answer. It was just there. In our most vulnerable moments, when we’re truly ourselves, we can connect with that higher consciousness of life, or whatever we wish to call it. I’m suggesting we should make ourselves vulnerable and open to that all the time, and make our decisions connect with that. Then we have no down side to life.

Where do you find meaning? No person can give me meaning if I don’t have it for myself. People are forever seeking meaning through someone else who has meaning. Why do you think people join religious groups, become part of political campaigns, or follow those with dynamic personalities? It’s because they seek meaning that is absent from their own lives. The healer must start by healing himself, and the warrior must start by ridding himself of fears.

Ask yourself, how can I make this situation into a positive one? What good can come from this? Doing this will allow you to change negative patterns that bring you down. You may not change another person or circumstances that are bothering you, but you still change your perception of what is happening.

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of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association


January 2010

The Gawler Foundation 12 Week Cancer Self-Help Programme

Cancer, Healing & Wellbeing

Facilitated by Cathy Brown. Starts: Wednesday, 5th May 2010. 10am to 12.30pm weekly at CSA

“Cancer is a challenge – something you can conquer. Use it to make changes in your life – the things you have always been going to do. Do them now and change them now. Be open to things you may never have explored before.” ON THE PROGRAMME YOU WILL LEARN TO: • Activate your potential for healing • Relax effortlessly and meditate deeply • Develop and sustain a positive state of mind • Understand the role of nutrition and healthy diet for healing • Develop strategies to manage pain and fear • Find meaning and purpose in life

Getting it Right Born in America’s prosperous postwar years, baby boomers grew up in an era that blended apple-pie idealism with consumerism. By the time they came of age in the late sixties and early seventies, they believed they could have it all – and many of them have accomplished a lot. They have also found themselves wanting more than houses, cars, goods, and money, however. For what good is having an all that does not include contentment, a fullness of spirit, happiness? An advocate of change as a creative principle, Gary Null, in this new book, identifies ten mistakes that baby boomers are likely to have made in executing their life plans, from losing control of their own lives to neglecting the power of silence. In addition to providing pointers and worksheets to correct such errors and alter stressful behavior, Null includes in this enlightening guide seven practical lessons to enable every baby boomer to realise what makes life truly good.

WEEKLY TOPICS INCLUDE: Week 1: Introduction and Meditation 1 Week 2: Meditation 2 Week 3: Mind Training 1 Week 4: Food 1 Week 5: Food 2 Week 6: Pain Management Week 7: Healing Week 8: Causes and solutions for cancer Week 9: Mind Training 2 Week 10: Living and Dying Week 11: Healthy Emotions Week 12: Health and Wellbeing

Cost: $350 per person. Bookings: reception

...from previous page

I live my life in three-year increments so that my meaning and goals are for three years. Whether I’m dealing with environmental issues or health issues, I have that time to develop new attitudes, skills, and criteria. I can’t keep using the old skills for every new task. We frequently do not want to learn new skills. We want to apply the old formulas to new challenges, but it does not work. My attorney friend who became a gamekeeper was one of those who accepted the challenge of learning new skills. He had to learn a whole new profession, but he loves what he is doing – his life has new meaning. Perhaps he was a lawyer because his meaning came from his parents. But he discovered that getting your meaning from others isn’t good enough. If you’re a middle-class person living in the city, chances are your meaning will be to maintain your security. You will not take chances. You will not exceed the boundaries – physically, mentally, or spiritually. You’ll support a political system that will take care of you; freedom will not be important. You will live through other people’s freedom by watching TV or reading magazines. You’ll live a fantasy life but not be able to actualise it because security is so important. The real you can’t come out as long as you honour the old meaning. You can’t have a new self and an old meaning. Your life is boring and predictable because there is nothing new. The problem is, every time you look for something new, you are besieged with fears and excuses. You must transcend the boundaries and fears and break off into whoever you are. You may not even recognise who you really are, but you must accept whoever you become. ✦ Excerpted from Gary Null’s Book, The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Getting it Right the Second Time Around, Published by Carroll & Graf. Gary Null is a US based talk show host, consumer advocate, investigative reporter, environmentalist and nutrition educator who has written more than 60 books on health topics. environment • wellness • healing

January 2010

Keep a

Journal Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a therapeutic activity. Paper and pen are the tools for your creative expression, joys and sorrows alike. Journaling can be a healing process to help you get in touch with your deepest yearnings, find resolve for problems, and deal with personal issues. Whatever type of painful emotion you are experiencing (grief, sadness, fear, isolation, etc.) expressing yourself in writing can help ease your discomfort.


to help you heal...

Writing Exercise Empties the Mind of Clutter Getting words down on paper can help clear your head of thoughts and ideas that are creating a mental swirl of confusion. Something as simple as keeping a grocery list can help free up the activity center of your brain, making room for clearer thinking. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, suggests a writing exercise she calls THE MORNING PAPERS. Take three sheets of paper each day and with pen or pencil just start writing. This process is intended to allow a “stream-of-consciousness.” It doesn’t matter what words or phrases you write down. It doesn’t matter if your sentence structure or grammar is poor. Nevermind misspellings. IT DOESN’T MATTER! THE MORNING PAPERS, unlike journals are not for keeping... they are not to be read at all. After you’ve finished the writing exercise feed your papers directly into the paper shredder or toss them inside the recycle bin. The purpose of doing this exercise is to clear your brain of mindless clutter and discharge any emotional baggage connected to useless or negative thoughts, or in Julia’s words, it is a “brain-drain” activity. In her creativity workshops, Julia teaches how we block our creative selves by not releasing our anger, our worries, our criticisms, etc. Things that block our creative juices flowing to the surface need an outlet. Writing can be a used as a venting tool to rid yourself of negative thinking.

Five Types of Journals • Daily Diary Writing a daily journal is one way to balance your emotional ups and downs. It is also an excellent way to communicate with your inner self. • Gratitude Journal Express your joy and happiness by keeping a gratitude journal. Make a note of everything, no matter how small or how big, that gives you joy or brings you happiness. It is always beneficial to focus on the positives, but it is especially healing during the bumpy times to be able to turn to a book filled with positivity and gratitude in your own handwriting. • Dream Diary Scenarios and symbology experienced during slumber have special meanings. Record your dreams first thing in the morning while they are still fresh in your mind. Self analysis will come later when you have the time to explore the scribblings in your dream diary. • Wellness Journal Write down all your thoughts, feelings, fears about your illness. Record your treatment and track your progress. Explore your hopes and dreams for the future and strategies for restoring health and regaining wellness. • Memories Journal Writing down stories about your childhood makes for a good keepsake to pass down to your children, grandchildren, and to be cherished by generations to come. While you’re at it, write down the stories told to you by your parents and grandparents. So many stories, so little time. Write them down before they are lost forever. ✦

My energy is low today. I’ve just been through so much that now I want to be at home and rest. The world will go on without me as I spend the day reading, writing...I think I may even take a bath...

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association

breast cancer


January 2010

virtually “eradicated” with higher levels of vitamin D By Mike Adams

In a gathering of vitamin D researchers recently held in Toronto, Dr. Cedric Garland delivered a blockbuster announcement: Breast cancer can be virtually “eradicated” by raising vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is “the cure” for breast cancer that the cancer industry ridiculously claims to be searching for. The cure already exists! But the breast cancer industry simply refuses to acknowledge any “cure” that doesn’t involve mammography, chemotherapy or high-profit pharmaceuticals. Vitamin D is finally gaining some of the recognition it deserves as a miraculous anti-cancer nutrient. It is the solution for cancer prevention. It could save hundreds of thousands of lives each year in the U.S. alone. Even Dr. Andrew Weil recently raised his recommendation of vitamin D to 2,000 IU per day. This is the vitamin that could destroy the cancer industry and save millions of women from the degrading, harmful cancer “treatments” pushed by conventional medicine. No wonder they don’t want to talk about it! The cancer industry would prefer to keep women ignorant about this vitamin that could save their breasts and their lives. We reprint the full statement from Dr. Cedric Garland following the Vitamin D conference recently held in Toronto.

Statement by Dr. Cedric Garland B

reast cancer is a disease so directly related to vitamin D deficiency that a woman’s risk of contracting the disease can be ‘virtually eradicated’ by elevating her vitamin D status to what vitamin D scientists consider to be natural blood levels. That’s the message vitamin D pioneer Dr. Cedric Garland delivered in Toronto Tuesday as part of the University of Toronto School of Medicine’s “Diagnosis and Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency” conference - the largest gathering of vitamin D researchers in North America this year. More than 170 researchers, public health officials and health practitioners gathered at the UT Faculty club for the landmark event. Garland’s presentation headlined a conference that reviewed many aspects of the emerging vitamin D research field - a booming discipline that has seen more than 3,000 academic papers this calendar year alone, conference organizers said. That makes vitamin D by far the most prolific topic in medicine this year, with work connecting it with risk reduction in two dozen forms of cancer, heart disease, multiple scleroses and many other disorders. Dr. Reinhold Vieth, Associate Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at University of Toronto, and Director of the Bone and Mineral environment • wellness • healing

January 2010

The SUN is nature’s HAPPINESS drug.


in the news... LEUKAEMIA VACCINE PROMISES TO PREVENT RECURRENCE OF CANCER A vaccine for leukaemia is set to undergo human trials for the first time. Researchers from University College London have developed a treatment that can be used to stop the disease returning after chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant. The vaccine encourages the immune system to track down cancer cells and destroy them.

Laboratory at Mount Sinai Hospital, organized the event in conjunction with Grassroots Health - an international vitamin D advocacy group founded by breast cancer survivor Carole Baggerly.

It also triggers the immune system to recognise leukaemia cells if they return which prevents a relapse of the disease.

Baggerly implored the research group to take action and encourage Canadians to learn more about vitamin D and to raise their vitamin D levels.

The vaccine has been developed by removing cells from the patient’s blood and manipulating them in the laboratory.

An estimated 22,700 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, according to the Canadian Cancer Society’s latest figures. As much as 97 percent of Canadians are vitamin D deficient at some point in the year, according to University of Calgary research - largely due to Canada’s northerly latitudes and weak sun exposure. Sunshine is by far the most abundant source of vitamin D - called ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’ - with salmon and fortified milk being other sources. Vitamin D supplementation helps raise levels for many as well. Grassroots Health’s “D-action” panel - 30 of the world’s leading researchers on vitamin D and many other vitamin D supporters recommend 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily and vitamin D blood levels of 100-150 nanomoles-per-liter as measured by a vitamin D blood test. Vieth pointed out that natural vitamin D levels of mammals who live outdoors in sunny climates is higher than that - up to 200 nanomoles-per liter. And Garland, whose presentation was entitled “Breast Cancer as a Vitamin D Deficiency Disease” presented data showing that raising one’s vitamin D status near those levels decreased breast cancer risk more than 77 percent. ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’ was once thought of only for bone health, helping the body process calcium. But more recent work has shown that all cells in the body have “vitamin D receptors” which help control normal cell growth. Additionally, Garland presented new evidence that low vitamin D status compromises the integrity of calcium-based cellular bonding within tissues, which when eroded allow rogue cancer cells to spread more readily. Grassroots Health is trying to raise vitamin D awareness among Canadians. Despite epidemic-level vitamin D deficiency in Canada, fewer than nine per cent of Canadians have ever had their vitamin D levels checked by a professional and most who have do not know their vitamin D blood level. ✦

Prof Farzin Farzaneh, Professor of Molecular Medicine at King’s College London, said if the trials are successful then it could “rolled out” to treat other leukaemias and cancers. “It is the same concept as normal vaccines. The immune system is made to see something as foreign and can then destroy it itself. This has the chance to be curative,” the Telegraph quoted Farzaneh as saying. In the initial stages patients will be enrolled in the trial if they have had chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If early trials are successful the vaccine may be tested in patients who cannot have a bone marrow transplant because they are unsuitable or a match cannot be found. ✦

WARNING ON HERBAL REMEDIES Some herbal remedies are potentially lethal if taken in large quantities, a leading forensic pathologist says. University of Adelaide professor Roger Byard said some herbal medicines contained dangerous concentrations of arsenic, mercury and lead and also posed a problem if injected or combined with prescription drugs. He said an analysis of 251 Asian herbal products found in US stores identified arsenic in 36, mercury in 35 and lead in 24. ✦

From: The West Australian

From:, 8th February 2010

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association


January 2010


enjoy go veg some lentil power!

Sweet Rosewater & Lentil Pudding Lemon Lentil Salad with Salmon This delicious salad combines the power of Omega 3, antioxidants and easy to digest vegetarian protein.

Ingredients 1/3 cup lemon juice 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper to taste 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium red capsicum seeded and diced 1 cup diced seedless cucumber 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 2 cans lentils, rinsed, or 3 cups cooked brown or green lentils canned salmon, drained and flaked, or 1 1/2 cups flaked cooked salmon

Method Whisk lemon juice, dill, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Add bell pepper, cucumber, onion, lentils and salmon; toss to coat.

How to Cook Lentils Place in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until just tender, about 20 minutes for green lentils and 30 minutes for brown. Drain and rinse under cold water.

An unusual, sweet pudding-type dessert made from red lentils, coconut milk, spices and dried fruits. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and a wonderfully exotic addition to any Indian or Middle Eastern themed dinner!


1 1/3 cups red lentils 5 1/3 cups coconut milk 4 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 4 teaspoons rose water •1 tbsp sugar •1/3 cup dates, pitted and halved •1/3 cup dried apricots, halved •1/4 cup almonds, chopped •1/3 cup green pistachios, chopped

Method 1.Preheat oven to 350. 2.Mix everything except the dried fruit and nuts in a large dutch oven. 3.Bring to a boil and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, 30-35 minutes. 4.Transfer lentils to a large casserole-style pan, stir in nuts and fruit. 5.Bake for 30 minutes. 6.Serve at once, or cool and serve chilled. Add ice and sugar if desired. Mint sprigs can be used as a garnish. Recipes from:

Email your healing recipes and food news to the editor: environment • wellness • healing

January 2010


Cumin-Scented Wheat Berry & Lentil Soup Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a bright note to this wholesome, healing soup which can be enjoyed anytime of the year. Perfect if you are undergoing cancer treatment as it provides a high level of nutruition and is readily digested. It freezes beautifully – you can keep individual portions in the freezer for healthy weekday lunches

Ingredients 1 1/2 cups French green or brown lentils, sorted and rinsed (see Tip) 4 cups vegetable broth 4 cups cold water 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 large large carrots, finely chopped 1 medium red onion, diced 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 1/2 cups Cooked Wheat Berries, (recipe follows) 1 bunch rainbow or red chard, large stems discarded, leaves roughly chopped

Method 1.Combine lentils, broth and water in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently until the lentils are tender, but not mushy, 25 to 30 minutes (brown lentils take a little longer than green). 2.Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds more. Remove from the heat. 3.When the lentils are tender, stir cooked wheat berries and chard into the pot. Cover and simmer until the chard has wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrot mixture and lemon juice. Note: The ingredients listed here are just for ideas; you can use just about any red, white, and green lettuces and vegetables to find the combination you like. Other options include scallions, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower... the garden is the limit!

About Legumes Legumes or Pulses are the edible seed of certain leguminous plants like chickpeas, beans, lentils, peas and split peas. Leguminous plants provide a valuable source of protein for people and they fix the atmospheric nitrogen in the soil, which makes them important for the environment. Beans and Lentils are very low in fat, high in fibre and are frequently referred to as a wonder food. Dried legumes and pulses are classified into three groups:

Coooked Wheat Berries Required for the Cumin-Scented Wheat Berffy & Lentil Soup


Contrary to popular belief, wheat berries do not require an overnight soak before cooking. Simply boil them for 1 hour to soften the kernels, which will produce their characteristically chewy texture.

beans, peas and lentils. They are eaten either whole or unhulled (with the skin still intact) or split in half with or without their skins. Pulses are one of the sources of protein for the diet, other than meat. For vegetarians pulses are a vital part of the diet. For non vegetarians, pulses offer an alternative source of protein without the fat but with a lot of fibre. Also beans and lentils are rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association

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Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow. Kahlil Gibran

In fond memory of those who have shared part of their journey with us... Peter Rucks Wendy Bui David Kennedy

Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain..

5 Tips For Wellness By Cara Nether

How we feel inside influences our environment, our environment influences how we feel inside Have you ever had the experience of not being able to think clearly or remember things, only to look around and notice that your home or work space is in total chaos? What goes on outside goes on inside. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed and your mind is spinning our of control, take a minute to look, listen and feel what is going on around you. Clean up, go somewhere dark or quiet by yourself, or find something or someone that is a calming influence for you. After spending time away from the chaos, (and only you know how much time away you need), take a few deep breaths and then slowly enter back into your work. After a while you’ll be able to recognise what you need before you lose your balance.

Practice is the key to change Habits are ways of being in the world that we have practiced a lot. There are only a few things that humans are born knowing how to do, everything else has been practiced enough to become a habit. So, if you have things about yourself that you want to change and you have been trying for a while, don’t get frustrated or discouraged. You can be kind to yourself by remembering that the only way it will become a habit is to practice. Allow yourself to remember something that you are really good at and what got you there.

Trust your inner voice We all have a guiding force inside that lets us know when we are in danger or in love. If we ask, this same voice speaks to us about much more subtle things also. “Am I in the right job?”, “Is this person benefiting me right now?”, “Is there a better way for me to work though this situation?”, “Do I really want that last doughnut?” Even though we are being taught to look outside ourselves, reclaim your connection to your inner voice and take advice from the only person who really knows you. You.

Experience the freedom of a clear request Communication is the place where many of our relationships become tangled up. Many women are taught that they shouldn’t ask for what they want, and are surprised when they don’t get it. First, get clear in yourself about what you want to have happen and why. Then make a clear request of the person you want it from. Explain that the request can be accepted, denied, or counter offered. Lastly, be prepared for any of these choices to come back to you. This form of communication gives both parties equal footing from which they can express themselves.

Our first two foods are water and air We develop in a nourishing pool of water and the first thing we do, even before we cry, is to take a big deep breath. Our bodies are made up of 70% water, and water is essential for our bodies to work all the way down to the cellular level. Oxygen fills our lungs and is sent throughout out our bodies to bond with the cells that make up our brain, heart, and nervous system. Drink plenty of water each day and take regular intervals of 10 deep breaths starting at the beginning of the day. ✦

Cara Michele Nether is a licensed acupuncturist, wellness educator, author, public speaker, author, NADA registered trainer and the founder of Women in Wellness and Ear Acupuncture Resources.

Groups & activities at CSA...

A weekly group held every Tuesday at CSA from 10am – 12noon. Anyone who’s life has been affected by cancer or other life threatening illnesses is welcome to attend.

Meditation Made Easy weekly meditation classes with Bavali Hill Every Monday at CSA from 10am to 11.30am. Newcomers welcome. Cost: Free for CSA Members, $5 for non-members. No booking necessary.

in the Sun Room at CSA A gentle, holistic, relaxing class with Sydel Weinstein Tuesdays 9.30 – 10.30am. Suitable for beginners.

Grief and Loss Support Group at CSA LAST WEDNESDAY OF EACH MONTH This open support group is for anyone experiencing grief as a result of losing a loved one to cancer. Join us for an opportunity to share these feelings with others in a safe and compassionate space.


CSA Laughter Club with Kimmy O’Meara


At the CSA every Wednesday morning 11.00am to 12.00pm (note: new time for 2010) Cost: CSA Members $3; Others $5. For enquiries phone CSA on 9384 3544.

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Wellness News magazine is published by the Cancer Support Association of WA Inc (CSA). Wellness magazine contains a diverse selection of articles and information on subjects related to cancer, wellness and healing. The contents of this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the CSA and should be not be construed as medical advice. CSA encourages readers to be discerning with information presented and when making treatment, dietary and lifestyle choices. © Copyright of all articles and images remains with individual contributors.

CSA Wellness News February 2010  

February edition of Cancer Support Association's online magazine