A long time ago a beautiful inquirer began to work with me after she had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
At that time, she was one of the first people I worked with on painful thoughts born out of her experience.
I had cancer before myself. Also a rare type, mine was a sarcoma of the interstitial skin on my thigh…with a really weird medical name that I’ve never been able to pronounce.
I remember that moment when I had the most fear.
In the doctor’s office, having the stitches removed, when the doctor said “I’ll just take these stitches out from the biopsy and then you can get dressed and then we’ll talk about the results.”
She’s waiting to talk to me about the results she received from my biopsy?
The core belief “I’m going to die” and that is really frightening.
Later, when I began to work with people who had cancer, or had previously had it, I thought they’d immediately want to talk about the fear of death, the terror of losing health, deteriorating, feeling physical pain.
But almost everyone who has ever come to talk with me after having cancer (even if they currently have it) has had the very same thoughts that all of us have when we’re healthy.
- What will people think?
- Will the people I encounter on this journey be kind?
- Will my kids, employees, neighbors, friends, partner be OK with this?
- Did I do something wrong?
- What will it be like when I die?
The mind seems to be concerned with these questions, and concerned with forgetting about them too. Since there aren’t any clear, known answers….the problem-solving mind really doesn’t like that very much.
But when a diagnosis enters your life, you don’t forget quite as easily. It’s in your face, it has more import somehow.
It’s an incredible opportunity. You can do this inquiry today no matter what kind of health condition you’re in…since we’re all eventually dying.
So….is it true that people may think poorly of you, or avoid you in life? Is it true that you need people to be kind? Do you have to worry about the people close to you if you leave?
Is it possible you did something wrong? Do you need to know what it will be like when you die?
If you answered yes to anything, notice this one, and ask yourself if it is absolutely true.
My client long ago had the thought that other people judge her poorly, maybe avoid her, say fake nice things to her. She felt very alone. So painful!
How do you react when you believe the thought that people may think thoughts about you that are frightening or unfavorable? What happens when you worry about those you love and what will happen to them if you go away, or have a problem?
And that gripping thought that you must have done something wrong, yikes!
Who would you be without these thoughts?
Sit very still and feel that question. You can still hear the chatter, but imagine who you’d be without believing it.
Without any thoughts about what will happen in the future, even in two hours, or what other people are thinking that’s mean or frightening…
…you may feel a rest and relaxation that is unlike anything you’ve ever known.
You may notice that for this instant, you are OK. You can handle what’s happening, and something else is ultimately handling it and it’s not really up to you.
“Understand your nightmare for what it is, and it will stop; then you will wake up to reality. Understand your false beliefs and they will drop; then you will know the taste of happiness.” ~ Anthony De Mello
Turning the thoughts around:
- Whatever people think is absolutely fine
- Every person I encounter will contribute to my enlightenment
- My kids, friends, employees, neighbors and partner will be completely OK
- Did I do something right?
- What is it like as I live?
What if these were exciting, and just as true, or truer?
“God, as I use the word, is another name for what is. I always know God’s intention: It’s exactly what is in every moment.” ~ Byron Katie
If you’re struggling with inquiry in your life and allowing what is, and would like guidance in doing it…
…I am here for you.
I love facilitating people through their situations, their painful beliefs.
Every person who arrives to do inquiry is a gift on my own path.
This summer, I’m giving ample opportunity to people who would love regular call-in times, open 90 minute sessions for inquiry, at pre-set hours all summer.
I’m calling it Summer Camp because it’s a time to rest in inquiry, relax, let the process unfold as a dance for you, answering the questions, following the un-doing.
I never took the time to really inquire into my own thoughts about life and death until I began to lose things I believed were really scary to lose.
You can start inquiring when things are terrifying, or long before, it doesn’t matter.
Someone just wrote to ask if Summer Camp will be crowded.
It is limited to 20 people per live session, so the answer is “no”. You will get facilitated time, focused attention, and find awesome partners to trade facilitation sessions.
Join fellow inquirers on a journey inward and you may find yourself becoming lighter, lighter, and lighter.
Even about things like cancer or dying.
Much love, Grace