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Cancer the Life Changing Pause

Wake Up and Live

Many cancer patients share their stories and there is a mutual message that the journey has changed their perspective on life.  Amidst the treatment and chaos, there is a mental numbness, and this numb position feels comfortable!  During my second journey of cancer, these ‘numb moments’ were pauses from the everyday thoughts of hopes, fears, anxieties and joyous moments.   The ‘pause of cancer’ as I call it was an opportunity to ‘Wake Up and Live!  ‘Waking up to purposeful Living is a continuous journey!  For me there were three key phases.

1. Cultivating a zest for life.  Energising the mind and the body to feel life is precious.  Whilst I had always paid attention to diet and exercise – I became more alert and changed my diet.   Green juices, avocado smoothies and one hour in nature are my ingredients as daily.  This has continued and the revitalisation has helped me to redefine goals that are more purposeful and each day in life feels valuable.  Meditation, mindfulness and yoga are also integrated to sustain my well being.  I find my energy levels are balanced and the alertness supports me in making wise choices.  This new self empathy and compassion is energising to explore new avenues that are more fulfilling.

2. Resilience!  Resilience is said to be a quality that allows people to bounce back from knock downs.  I found that my resilience transpired as the spirit of Entrepreneurship. The energy to live creates a sense of impatience and wanting immediate results.  I dived into starting a retreat programme for cancer thrivers and survivors, soon to discover there was a learning phase and being resilient enabled me to take a tour to build my confidence and to deepen my resolve.  I took on a role at a Business School, this experience was phenomenal.  For 18 months I taught five different subjects, marked 500 assignments , worked as Postgraduate Academic Adviser and mentored 20 research students.  Working to tight timelines, exceeding quality standards and engaging with different stakeholders were amongst the challenges.  This academic journey enabled me to think differently, learn fresh perspectives, and more importantly that I have the confidence and courage to begin a new phase in my career.  This fall I revitalised my business dreams and rebranded my business and will be launching new service lines in 2018.   Aligning intent, purpose and action are crucial.  This new focus opens fresh doors each day.  

3. Optimism!  Being positive about today and feeding forward has become the motto! Curiosity is my key to being positive and each day I challenge myself to do something I have not done before.  The benefits are immense.  The brain is kept active and the intrigue helps with taking risks.  Being with people who nurture my optimism is important and I therefore choose networks and social activities with this mindset.  Yoga is a passion and my yoga companions are my fuel for optimism face to face and remotely.

This December is very dynamic for me, as I manifest my goals.  I am very grateful for the opportunities the recent 24 months have given me.  I am applying my experience, newly learnt skills and zest to encourage organisations and people to BeHuman by promoting and facilitating Well Being.              

www.athenalearningacademy.com

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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