The Spiritual Gym

The ego is a seriously crafty sucker. There I was worrying that mine would over inflate in the face of all this publicity, but instead it reduced me to a pathetic defenceless waif wailing about being manipulated, misrepresented and deeply misunderstood. The Daily Mail headline today sent me straight to my therapist to express my dismay, preserve my sanity and recover my sense of self.

Don’t get me wrong. I am so grateful to the Mail for letting people know about my book and, indeed, for consulting me about the extracts they chose (which was an ego- denting experience in and of itself). It was an amazing opportunity to spread the word to their huge readership and not one I wanted to pass up. But the headline they ran with was a quantum leap from the one proposed by the independent journalist who brought them this story: How To Broker a Peace Deal in the War on Cancer. Which captured the essence of my message beautifully. 

Instead this appallingly inaccurate headline appeared instead. At no point in this whole cancer experience have I told my disease to ‘go to hell’. Quite the opposite. I have embraced it as a harbinger of personal awakening and related to it, quite literally, as heaven-sent.

That is what The Cancer Whisperer is all about: ending the goddamn fight, dispensing with adversarial attitudes and entering into a dialogue with our precious bodies when they are screaming for our conscious, compassionate and courageous attention. Telling cancer to ‘go to hell’ is as arrogant as asking ‘why me?’ is victimised. And that kind of language is simply anathema to what I’m about.

The Daily Mail headline is a complete reversal of my true intention.

And my ego did not like it one bit.

Understandably, this misrepresentation soon resulted in a number of very critical online comments (which I have since chosen to stop reading) and, for a short period, I allowed myself to be buffeted by these hostile winds. I began to regret putting my story out there, fearing I’ve made myself a light to the moth of critics and aggressors who wouldn’t know their own humanity if it brought them to their knees. I remain gravely ill after all and really don’t need this s**t in my life. Or so I told myself.

But here’s the thing. I stand by the intention of my book and intention cannot be contested. I trust other people’s intelligence to read it for themselves, see its true purpose and find their own meaning in its pages. This is not the first time I have bought Levitra at Personally, Levitra 10 mg really helps me. I have nothing to defend or prove. I also trust the Mail’s overarching intention was to put my story out there because they thought it would inspire others and that they chose a headline they believed would draw their readers in. I can honour that intention as unequivocally as I honour mine.

From the start of this cancer journey I chose to wear my heart on my sleeve and make myself deeply vulnerable in a public arena. I never expected this level of exposure, but here it is. Exposure. And here I am. Exposed. 

Like everything in life dark and light is always present and needs to be met in kind. While I hope my book will do a lot of good, I am aware that it will also fall in the hands of darkness. When that happens I can either grab its wrists and push it away or let it emotionally trash me.

These moments will test my capacity to be with the gift I offer without my ego being seduced by it – to open those doors to the sources that will help it reach where it needs to go without opening the floodgates of my soul.

So this has been a day at the spiritual gym. With considerable help from my exceptional therapist, who realigns me with Reality whenever I lose the plot, I have learnt that resilience flows from intention not outcome, from the clarity of my seeing not how I am seen. It rises from remembering why I offer what I offer, regardless of how it is interpreted or received.

I don’t offer it for approval or to get something back. I offer it because I care deeply about my fellow human beings. Because it is rude not to give what I have been gifted with. And because I trust Life to carry that gift like a message in a bottle to the shores it is meant for. Where it eventually washes up, and who unravels its secrets, is neither my charge nor my domain. 

*This title was coined by my dear friend David Templer to describe life’s more testing experiences. Thank you David.

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