In 2008, I was diagnosed with appendix cancer, which brought my mortality into clear sight.
Along with that, my deep fears of living and dying surfaced. On a visceral level, I came to understand that life gave me no guarantees. Many of us not only fear dying, but we also fear living: we fear success, we fear failure, we fear others and ourselves. My focus was to be confident in life knowing its inherent uncertainties.
As a person who believes in the mind-body connection, it was difficult for me to follow my Western medicine doctor’s recommendations relative to my future health decisions. They wanted me to have a right hemicolectomy – a portion of my colon was to be removed and tested for additional cancer. This meant that perhaps a healthy part of my body would be removed. Success to the doctors was finding no cancer in my cutout body parts. To me that was a failure. Fortunately for me or unfortunately, not sure which, appendix cancer is rare. This meant that I had little access to others whose cancer experience was like mine.
Wanting to be logical, follow my heart and not let fear take over, I did take time to write about my decision not to have the surgery.
- When they removed the appendix, there were clear margins which is interpreted as they got all the cancer out.
- My beliefs about how emotional trauma affects my body. A year earlier, I was struggling in my close relationships. This translates into a probable cancer cause because my body was overwhelmed with mental and emotional stress.
- I needed to come to terms with my mortality. Cancer and other life-threatening illnesses can remind us that we are here for a limited time. It can be an opportunity to appreciate the time that we do have on this earth.
When my healing journey began in 1981, I had read the book, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. She shared how she had overcome cancer by using affirmations and making lifestyle changes.
This approach resonated with me. Becoming aware of my negative self-talk through counseling and journaling gave me insights. As I learned about how the body holds past traumas, I saw the importance of moving my body to release that stress. In the book, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk he states:
“After trauma, the world is experienced with a different nervous system.”
The survivor’s energy now becomes focused on suppressing inner chaos, at the expense of spontaneous involvement in their life. These attempts to maintain control over unbearable physiological reactions can result in a whole range of physical symptoms including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and other autoimmune diseases. This explains why it is critical for trauma treatment to engage the entire organism, body, mind, and brain.”
He also goes on to state that, “We have the ability to regulate our own physiology including some of the so-called involuntary functions of the body and brain, through such basic activities as breathing, moving and touching.”
For my own sanity, I created the Meditative Movement™ technique so I could experience my body’s feelings and allow them to flow naturally through me. The technique uses physical movements with the breath and spoken core value affirmations.
Not only have I found relief through the meditative movements techniques, so have others.
A 2017 University of Minnesota research study found that this technique reduces anxiety, depression and fatigue while improving emotional and functional wellbeing for persons with chronic health conditions. (http://www.meditativemovements.com/research.html).
Other benefits that were identified included:
- Feeling more positive (i.e. less negative attitude and thoughts, feel strengthened, feel “empowered”)
- Feeling calmer, relaxing at deeper level
- More confidence and faith in future
- Improved self-esteem, greater self-acceptance
- Better able to navigate relationships
- Ability to “shift thinking”
- Better sleep, less tired
- More energy, reduced chronic pain
As I continue to adapt to life’s changes, I use this empowering technique to process my experiences.
This program starts with getting in touch with the inner you. As well as, listening and honoring yourself which provides fertile ground for the affirmation seeds. Saying core value affirmations is truly about starting with the values inside so that your outside experiences do not dictate your worth. Sometimes I have taken the time to determine the source of a particular thought. Yet at the end of the day, it really does not matter who in your life told you something that was not true. The important thing is that you release the thoughts that are destructive and build yourself up now so that the healthy thoughts and emotions flow through you.
With over 140 different movements, the I Let Go Meditative Movement™.is particularly helpful to release thoughts and emotions that are no longer serving me.
This movement has allowed me to analyze situations more positively.
For example, a while back I really wanted to be chosen for a new work position with a nifty title. When I realized that I had associated the title with showing the world I was somebody important, I was grateful I did not get the job. I am somebody important every day of my life. As a mother, daughter, wife, and friend, I am given the opportunity to perform certain tasks and use certain gifts. However, these roles do not dictate my worth. I practice the I Let Go Meditative Movement to let go of anything that is holding me down.
To perform this movement, simply:
- Identify something you want to let go of. Seated or standing, place your body in alignment. Inhale.
- Exhale. Move your arms behind your back grabbing a hold of your arms. Feel how holding on is uncomfortable.
- As you begin to release your grip, say “I”. Own your power. Feel it. Drop one arm down, saying “let”, and as the other arm down along the side of your body say “go”. Repeat until you feel complete in your letting go.
Typically, after I let go, I practice another movement that affirms my worth like the I Matter Meditative Movement. To review and practice other free movements, check out our website: http://www.meditativemovements.com/MeditativeMovements.html
Meditative Movements offers a variety of classes as well as practice groups, challenges, and a chronic illness support group via Facebook. Feel free to locate our groups via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PowerPositiveWorkouts.
We hope to support your healing journeys with love and our empowering movements!
Ellie Peterson inspires you to see the extraordinary possibilities in your life. As you strengthen your body, empower your mind, and energize your spirit, you experience better health, feel happier and whole. The result is your natural creativity and spark can be easily expressed through you in awesome ways.
Ellie knows how it feels to be broken by life’s challenges. When she was 23 years old, she was divorced and raising three children on her own while making $80 a week as “Ellie from the deli.” Her body was unhealthy; her mind was chaotic, and her spiritual being was weighed down with fear, self-pity, anger, and worthlessness. Life was overwhelming. At this low point, she created the Meditative Movements™ technique to heal her body, mind and being. Her recovery journey and personal practices have spanned more than 40 years. She graduated from the College of St. Catherine in 1992 and has taught thousands how to harness their own personal power in a new way.
She is an author, health and wellness columnist and professional speaker. Ellie spends her winters in Florida and loves being with her six grandchildren and family during the Minnesota summers.