For much of my adult life, I charged full steam ahead, like the Energizer Bunny, saying yes to everything, over-achieving, over-committing, running on fumes, and biting off much more than I could chew. One day, my wise spiritual friend Jodi said, “Suzanne, we’re called human BE-ings, not human DO-ings.” I wanted to punch her in the face. She was suggesting I spend more time relaxing, and simply enjoying the present moment. I realized I was living my life as if when I died, some angel was going to look over my file and say, “Wow. You did MORE things than any other human being in history! Congratulations, you get an A+ in life!” How ridiculous. I didn’t spend enough time sleeping, stretching, following my soul, meditating, or asking for help. I needed to say no when I meant no. I had to learn to stop trying to be a superhero, and to be all things to all people. I was so stubborn about this lesson, that it took stage-four cancer for me to be slammed to the ground, unable to move without help. Then I finally surrendered, and spent months in bed—sleeping, eating healthy food, reading about different treatments, asking for and receiving help, and meditating. I finally prioritized my physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
It’s very common, when learning a major life lesson, to swing the pendulum all the way from one extreme to the other. I had become someone who was very good at slowing down, staying still, and feeling grateful. However, I still needed to take action in order to reclaim my health. In the study of the Law of Attraction, I discovered the power of thought to manifest the things we want. I know that one of the reasons I reversed stage-four cancer and reclaimed my health was my positive attitude. But optimism alone doesn’t work—I had to take action. I researched and tried many different treatment modalities, and I drastically changed aspects of my lifestyle.
Since recovering from cancer, the quality of my actions has permanently and profoundly changed. Everything I do is more mindful, conscious, and present. For example, the simple act of eating food has changed for me. I have learned so much about nutrition and its importance in reversing cancer and maintaining my health. I now know that we really ARE what we eat. I do my best to eat organic locally grown food, to eat smaller meals more frequently, and to avoid white sugar, white flour, dairy, soy, chemicals (antibiotics, steroids, pesticides, growth hormones), and processed foods. I recommend the documentary Food Inc. and the book Skinny Bitch for fascinating information about nutrition.
But it’s not just this knowledge that matters—it’s the way that I eat. For example, I bless my food before I eat it, but not in a rote monotone way. I close my eyes, rub my hands together, and place them over my food. Then I say, “I choose to transmute the energy of this food into all positive healthy energy for me. I consciously raise the vibrational frequency of this food to the highest possible, and I infuse it with life force energy. I thank every piece of nature and every human hand that contributed to this food being here in front of me. Everything my body needs goes easily in, and everything my body doesn’t need goes easily out. And to everyone who doesn’t have any food to eat today, I surround them with love and send them the faith that miracles happen every day.” Saying this blessing before I eat has sanctified my relationship with food, and my relationship with my body. I am treating it with respect, like a temple, instead of littering it like a garbage dump.
I also eat more slowly now. I enjoy eating with chopsticks, which helps me take smaller bites. I truly enjoy and taste my food. I don’t eat while standing up, or while driving, or when I’m in a rush, or unconsciously while I watch TV. I chew each bite of food until it’s the consistency of applesauce, so that it can actually be digested. The action of eating has become a transformative spiritual experience.
Taking action is important in life, but it’s the quality of the action and the thought that precedes the action that’s most important. I love washing dishes, because there’s something about the feeling of warm water and the soap suds that I find to be delightfully meditative and Zen. Also, the dishes go from dirty to clean in a short period of time, so there’s a concrete sense of accomplishment that feels good to me. Any action, no matter how mundane, can become a delicious opportunity to practice mindfulness. So … bon appetit!