Journal Entries, (BEing with Cancer), Part 3

Ali Hammer Winans shares her thoughts in the article found in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 50, Fall 2005 about her recovery from cancer:

“The real healing from cancer will be on the emotional and spiritual level, not on the physical”

Going back in time a little, on the South Jersey shore, May 5, 2005

This next passage was written when I came to the “shore” for five days for a retreat alone – to write, to do yoga and meditate and to do a liver/gall bladder flush, all of which were very successful ventures. I was able to do this by being gifted with a place to stay by myself by two of our Amma satsang members. Thank you Amma, thank you God!

I really get a lot of my inspiration from being in nature. I walked along the Margate beach again today for over an hour enjoying the feel of the warm sun and ocean breeze, the gentle roar of the ocean waves and the screeching of the gulls. After a while I focused more on the way my body was feeling as I walked. It feels so good to move, and especially to walk on sand, on the earth. I became aware that my body is feeling more integrated, like the parts are more connected. I have been seeing the bodywork the bodywork therapist at my doctor’s office for Integrative Therapy since January, and my chiropractor since last August and believe I am feeling the results. The bodywork therapist has been helping me to be more “in my body”, so that I can really inhabit my body instead of living in my head and just dragging my body around with it. The regular chiropractic adjustments have been removing interference to the proper functioning of my nervous system, which of course helps everything else. I have also been practicing more meditation recently, both a practice received from Amma and the meditation I have learned at the Wellness Community, which have been helping me to be more mindful and more conscious of my thoughts and feelings.

As I was walking I became more conscious of my posture and realized that by making subtle changes, I could walk like the old me or like the new me. When I let my chest cave in and rib cage slump just a tiny little bit, the alignment of my pelvis was altered very subtly, and my pelvis felt locked and more stationary even as my legs were moving. I was mindful of the sensations as I walked in this way and it felt like a very old pattern, a way of moving through life like a clockwork toy or a robot, as if my spirit does not really inhabit my body. This posture is related to being emotionally shut down and not in touch with my feelings. The solar plexus and abdomen were more contracted, holding in unexpressed anger and very deep survival fears. This is a subtle version of the way that animals will roll up to protect the soft underbelly from physical attack. Unfortunately, we humans do this chronically to protect ourselves from emotional attack, and I learned to do it at a young age. I recognized that it is also connected with an old way of being in which achieving the goal or getting somewhere is more important than experiencing the journey. When I wasn’t paying attention, I noticed that I kept slipping back into this ancient, lifelong posture like going back to a comfortable pair of old shoes. And I noticed that it didn’t really feel that good anymore.

To be continued…

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