<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1514203202045471&ev=PageView&noscript=1"/> Catching My Breath | Core Spirit

Catching My Breath

Aug 1, 2023
Reading time 3 min.

The surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my large intestine was five weeks ago. The initial diagnosis was the best I could have hoped for. The tumor was located in splenic flexure, an anatomical term that defines a location near the descending colon that is close to the spleen. The surgeon removed 13.5 inches of my colon, leaving 11.5 inches of health tissue to attend to my needs of digestion and elimination. The surgeon assured me the operation would resolve the cancer. No chemo or radiation. As it is often said, "Once and done."

For the most part, the recovery has been unremarkable. For the first five weeks, I was restricted from eating fibrous vegetables and could not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I have been deeply moved by the love and support I received around this entire episode of my life. My daughter, sister, significant other, and community of friends all showed up to offer support wherever needed. I had the best surgical outcome. I received loving support. What more could I have asked for?
But yet, I am left with some deep-rooted sadness. I am not sure that I can articulate the source of its origin. The sadness seems to have permeated deep into my being. I feel its heaviness as it sits in my chest. I can only guess as to its roots. Some of the sadness arises from the cancer diagnosis and human vulnerability. Some of it stems from subjecting my body to the trauma of surgery and having a piece of myself cut out. I am sure there is more. The sadness feels like a heavy shroud dampening my connection to the deeper truth of my being. That connection is feeling a bit frayed. I am beginning to realize there is more to healing than restoring a normal physical function. Right now, the most important question is how I regain my connection to a deep-rooted sense of being and to the mystery of life itself.

I recently came across a story Dr. Remen shared about her grandfather. She teaches at the University of California School of Medicine and is the Director of the innovative UCSF course "The Healer's Art." Her grandfather was an orthodox rabbi and scholar of the Kabbalah. He saw life as a web of connection and knew that everyone belonged to him and that he belonged to everyone. He taught her that blessing one another is what fills our emptiness, heals our loneliness, and connects us more deeply to life.

This quote resonates with me. It brings emphasis and importance to all the people in my life. Their blessings and caring help ground me into the present moment and the gift of my life. My daily practice of prayer and meditation helps restore my internal circuits to the divine mystery of my life, of all life, and a knowing that I will be ok.

Psychedelic medicine, in particular psilocybin, has been an extremely effective tool in helping to resolve the trauma inherent in my cancer diagnosis and related surgery. It is especially helpful in restoring a more profound sense of being while clarifying my connection to my life. Psilocybin provided an intuitive sense of awe, humility, holiness, reverence, and wonder in the presence of an inspiring reality. There was a sense of timelessness, transcending past, present, and future. And most profoundly, an experience of a mystical and transcendent experience of the nature of life itself.

I am not sure how long my process of healing will take. I can only surrender to the present moment and find solace in not knowing.

Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of life, I remain open to Grace and the gift of my life.

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