Tag Archive: mind body spirit


Within the last couple of weeks, I have discovered something that I thought was true, but now I have experienced it, I know it to be true.
Six months ago I was diagnosed as having testicular cancer. Thankfully this was caught early and after having the offending anatomical item removed and analysed , I was told that I was in the 5% to 10% bracket of not having to do anything else.
Great news!
However, this was not to be true. Four months later I got the call that a CT scan showed that three lymph nodes in typical positions for the spread of this cancer were a little enlarged and I was going to have to go through a course of chemotherapy.

After following the sad demise of a friend who suffered from a far more aggressive form of cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma), and her experience of chemotherapy, I was more than a little anxious as to how bad this experience was going to be.
The course I was put on was a nine week course of three lots of three week cycles, back to back, with the chemotherapy drugs known as BEP. The first five days of each three week cycle was as an in-patient, then on day’s nine and sixteen I would go in for a top-up of one of the chemo drugs in particular.
After the first cycle I went home and felt a little under the weather, but to be honest it wasn’t anything more than the feeling of contracting a heavy cold for a few days. I was still able to function and think and do all the usual day-to-day tasks, just without the energy to do any physical activity.
Not too bad.
The second cycle was a little heavier, and so when I came home on day five I went straight to bed with a low level of energy, then was pretty incapable of anything useful for a couple of days after that. By day nine I was feeling a lot more alive and able to do most things slowly.

However, the ‘something I discovered’ that I speak of in the first line was learned after coming out of the third cycle (and I’m still in it at the moment – I’m typing this at day ten).
Until last night – day nine – my energy level has been so low that even sitting up was an immense effort. To walk would require something to hold onto every ten metres or so. Even just standing was so exhausting I couldn’t do it for any longer than a couple of minutes.
For a person who is used to leading an active life, I found this complete physical inability emotionally and spiritually draining. Being dragged down so low and not being able to do anything was quite possibly the worst experience of my life. It was like the essence of me had been removed… it was quite literally draining my life–force from me.

…and this is where the lesson was learned…

Something so important to my life… my feeling of purpose… my method of achieving self-worth and accomplishment… the ability to be physically active… having had it so completely removed allowed me to see that that ability is the very essence of what makes my life worth living. The loss of it is something that I NEVER want to experience again.

If life is most profoundly experienced by doing that which makes the spirit soar,
then death is to have that ability removed from ones being, and mere existence is all that is left.

For the rest of my life I vow to be active to whatever degree my body allows… because if I am not, then I am already dead!

Those who would laugh at you, ridicule your attempts to show them something of worth, mock you for the cheap trick of getting a laugh themselves; do they have something to offer that is greater?

If not, then don’t take their words to heart, they are merely jealous of your greater ability (…though they probably don’t realise it) and their jibes can be ignored, because if all they have to offer is derision without substance, then they have nothing to offer at all.

Be confidant with your gifts and skills.

Go forth and express your being; your self, show the world who and what you are!

I’m changing…

Today’s realisation…

Expression of the self cannot be done any more succinctly as a human, than by expressing one’s thoughts, beliefs, and experiences; …ultimately, one’s personal understanding of how life is; than through poems, music and movement.
There is no greater expression of what it is to be human than through allowing the absorption of the self into these moments of creation and performance.
This is what we are…

There are some pieces of music that I can’t listen to in the company of others, and events I cannot watch; in fact anything where a person pours heart and soul into that moment, as I can be so profoundly affected by them, that I’m quickly reduced to an emotional wreck! …it becomes embarrassing… but it feels, oh so good!

But what is it in me that does this??

I can only liken it to a form of empathy in some cases, and in others it seems that there is a resonance, like a tuning fork, that harmonises with my core, spirit, or soul.
What I find really interesting is that this has only occurred since I became more spiritual… so from around 10 years ago…. and it’s still growing!
It also happens more and more at times when I witness a person performing something well; something that is hugely important to themselves… like an athlete reaching the Olympic podium, or a shy musician being recognised for the first time… and even now whilst I type this and am thinking of various examples!

Whatever it is that’s changing, it is changing because I am constantly chasing that feeling of being in tune with those things that really matter to me.
Whatever it is, I like it!

In relation to yesterday’s post (see here), there is another point that I choose to believe is true (I say ‘choose’ quite simply because there is no way of proving it true, but my observations and experiences suggest to me that it is true…).
My friend of the previous post, and I used to train together as teenagers as part of the local Track and Field team. Some of the winter training was pretty tough, well certainly for the age we were at, and I have distinct memories of the expression on her face when she was gritting her teeth, fighting hard against fatigue and the effects of lactic acid flooding the muscles… showing way back then the characteristics that are helping her today.

Since those days, I have continued to train in various disciplines, but for the last 16 years it has been in traditional Martial Arts.
Being constantly active, and being forever surrounded by the same type of people, I have seen some of them grow old, but never really suffer much from illness, and those few that have, seem to have the presence of mind to attack their illness like it is just another hard training session; i.e. something to grit your teeth against; something to fight against, and most importantly, something to overcome!

Similarly, it seems that my distant friend has also continued to train in one way or another over the years, and before she was diagnosed with cancer, she was training hard in Crossfit, and taking part in daft events like Tough Mudder’s.

In the light of what she is going through, but more importantly, how she is handling it, it further reinforces my belief that those who take part in tough physical training; tough enough that it also becomes mental training through having to develop the will to overcome the body’s desire to rest; will be those who are best equipped to deal with the worst that life has to throw at them.

I believe that something grows within those who regularly fight the little battles by choice, something that enables them to find the will-power to overcome the bigger battles likely to come later in life.

So… my advice to those of you who enjoy sitting back and watching the soaps on TV a lot more often than stepping up and staying active, is quite simply – you need to make a decision as to whether you would regret the easy, fun life when a bigger, unavoidable battle comes along.

Read this [The old man in me], and think hard, then make your chosen future happen!

There is a friend of mine (not yet 40 years old) that is currently fighting the battle of her life against a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
In doing so, she is proving to be one of life’s special people in that she has instinctively turned to face it head on and obviously has no intention of backing down!

I haven’t seen her for over 20 years, but through the wonders of Facebook, have fairly recently got back in contact… even though she is now the other side of the world!
In her own inimitable fashion, she feeds her Facebook friends with regular updates on her condition and progress, and in doing so has revealed her true colours… and incredible colours they are!
As much as it was nice to get back in contact with her, I’m am now so glad that I did as she is proving to be the sort of person I admire the most – she has what I consider to be a warrior nature – a willingness to fight for what is right, with an unremitting strength of spirit that simply doesn’t know how to give up! – and I now feel honoured to know her.

So many of her friends regularly reply to her updates by saying how amazing she is, how inspirational, and what a fantastic attitude she has toward beating the illness.
One of her replies was to say thanks for the comments, but really she’s just getting on with it, that there’s nothing special about her, and that anyone would be able to do it.

But that’s just it, isn’t it.
She is the only one in the wrong position to see what’s see’s doing. She is the only one inside the cocoon of the illness, all others are outside looking in. I don’t think she realises what this illness has brought out in her. Inversely to the debilitating effect of the cancer and the treatments, it has made her shine so brightly that her positivity is almost blinding. It is truly awe-inspiring.
If she was right that anyone could do it, then people wouldn’t react in less positive ways than she is, people wouldn’t give up, everyone would have that ability to soldier on regardless… but her friends are seeing something different to the norm, they are seeing something greater… and that, of course, is what they are astounded by.
She has unwittingly become a leader to her friends, a leader by example, an inspiring person, and one that makes the greatest of leaders.

At the risk of losing the last remnants of my manliness, I’ll admit to being in tears as I type this, but not through sadness of her suffering, emotional weakness of my own, or any other such anti-masculine reason, but through some kind of resonance I feel that makes me smile and feel so alive and good when I encounter people like this lady, and hear of their experiences that to me, epitomise the very essence of life.

No matter what;, today is a good day… some other days may be even better, but rain or shine, if I’m breathing, then every day is a good day!

I hope that if I ever have to fight a big battle that could cost me my life, that I’ll be able to show the same strength of character as my friend… and I hope I can be even partially as inspirational as her.

For those of you that know me well, you’ll have heard me talking of my belief that training in natural movements is the best possible way to train body and mind. In fact, I would imagine that this may come through within the essence of this blog… I hope it does!
A few months ago, I discovered that there is a man who came to the same conclusion years ago, and has since developed a method that is becoming popular across the world.
This is certainly a training method that I intend to pursue, but currently am trying to adjust my lifestyle in other ways as well… but it’ll happen fairly soon 🙂

See the links below for an interview with Erwan Le Corre… maybe you’ll understand my belief after reading this – enjoy!

Part 1:
http://breakingmuscle.com/interviews/featured-coach-erwan-le-corre-part-1-roots-movnat

Part 2:
http://breakingmuscle.com/interviews/featured-coach-erwan-le-corre-part-2-freedom-movement-and-mind

From a young age, we start to learn the importance of monetary wealth.
“Mummy, can I have one of those please?”
“Sorry darling, we don’t have enough money.”

We are taught the ‘value’ of something that is destined to be detrimental to our health.

Modern schooling is designed to lift us up high, to positions of responsibility and power,
but is not designed to teach us the importance of spiritual health,
and the well-being that comes from being free to do as you choose,
without feeling restricted by the expectations of others.
The enrichment that comes from the satisfaction of self-sufficiency,
only really requiring help when you truly cannot do anything more.
The joy and fun that comes from running in the summer rain with no shoes,
and climbing trees just because you can.
The freedom that comes from being able to choose not to work just because the sun is shining,
And the mental health that comes from being free of the trappings of responsibility and power…
the very thing that you were taught would be your greatest achievement!

The more I see the benefits of greater monetary wealth,
the more I see how restrictive that wealth becomes.
If you had no money, no possessions, and no responsibilities to anyone but yourself,
then how much freer would your life be…
how truly wealthy would you then be…?

The strongest bonds of friendship; of kinship,
are created in the shared fires of passion.

In the places where blood, sweat and tears flow,
and a person’s true nature shines through.

Those bonds are finally cemented for a lifetime,
through shared celebration of music, laughter and …er, beer.

I thank you all for giving me this,
for each playing a part in the creation of something great,
and I can only hope that I did enough by you too.

Osu!

I am driven by the old man in me,
the old me looking back in time to now,
guiding me every day,
showing me what I should do to become the man I wish to be.

The old man in me is an octogenarian marathon runner,
the oldest rock-climber, and experienced adventure racer,
the one who shows others what is possible, if every day you live to ensure
that you are still capable of doing what you could do yesterday.

The old man in me speaks of fond memories of past accomplishments,
and of the things that he wished he’d done… not regrets; just simply because he didn’t have the time!
He warns me of how short life is, and of how I will never get the time to do everything I dream of.
Choose your goals well, but never give up on the dream.” he says…

The old man in me speaks of people I’ll lose in life: of how I’ll be witness to the results of poor lifestyles,
and the realisation that a rich lifestyle comes not from wealth, but from living life chasing dreams!
He shows me that to reach my goals, it is me that must look after me… and that I will become what I practice the most.
…hmm, I wish I didn’t practice sitting down in an office so much!

At nearly 40 years old, I look forward in time to my old self, pleased to see what I could become.
Pleased that today, I already fulfil some parts of what I wish to be.
Life is a journey. But it is a journey to becoming old; at the end looking back over the journey to remember the best bits.
Choose your goals well, for the destination of your life’s journey is in the memories of what the old you will look back upon.

When I reach my death bed, I hope that I will be able to smile and say “Wow. What a ride!

A long time ago (at least a decade) I learned of the idea of listening to your intuition in order to let it guide you in times of stress.
Ever since then I have tried; first to find this ‘voice’, then to learn how to hear it when it is so much quieter than the voice of the mind, then to learn how to trust it.
This is the stage that I am currently at… and I think the next, and possibly last stage, is to follow it as a primary source of internal guidence.

Yesterday morning I was doing some circuit training with my fellow Karate nutters, and whilst my body was getting tired, but there was still hard work to do, and my body-mind was shouting loudly at me to STOP, I became aware that in the background this little voice that I’ve learned to trust, but am still learning to hear, was saying ‘You can still do more. You can ignore that other voice. It’ll be alright.
What I realised yesterday morning, is that the voice of intuition cannot lie!
It cannot tell you something that is not true, as it relays information from the body-mind to the conscious mind that is a true indication of your reality. It is only your conscious mind that screws things up by putting some wierd perception or spin on the facts presented.
In other words, if it says that you can do more, then you can! Obviously, this also means that if it says ‘It’s time to stop!’, then you should especially listen then! (How many of us have continued working hard and got injured when we know in hindsight that we should have stopped…? I have… too often…)
It doesn’t matter what anything else says, whether that be your own internal dialogue, or another person saying ‘You’ve done enough, you can stop now.

Your reality can ONLY be experienced by you. But your reality can be SO MUCH MORE if you learn to trust in your voice of intuition.