Deepak Chopra said “Health is not just the absence of disease. It’s an inner joyfulness that should be ours all the time; a state of positive well-being”. As breast cancer survivors, we focus so much on the cancer-related stuff- labs, scans, medicine and side effects, follow up appointments- that sometimes it is easy to forget that we must continue to cultivate that state of positive well-being in our whole selves. Yes, of course it is wonderful and we feel immense relief and celebrate each time we get good test results, and we say “I’m cancer free!”. But we must learn to also place importance and attention on the rest of our being. We must remember to cultivate that sense of inner joyfulness, so that it can remain with us in the good times and the bad, when things are going great and when things occasionally get rough. This way we can learn to navigate all of those different situations with equanimity, with grace, and with ease. We are unf*ckwithable, as I like to say!
So what does it mean to you? What helps you to increase that sense of inner joyfulness? For some of us, it is as simple as spending time with those we love. For others, it might be time alone in nature. Maybe it is some type of spiritual practice, prayer, or meditation. Maybe it is exerecise, yoga, reading great books, petting your cat, or quietly sipping a great cup of coffee on a rainy morning. Spend a little time and really think about what things in your life increase your sense of inner joyfulness. What makes you feel truly good inside? And then figure out how to prioritize those, and spend more time doing them! Life can get busy and we often place importance on all of the other things we need to do. But remember that these little things are just as important to our true wellness as is taking our medication or doing certain medical treatments. And this is a part of our wellness that we CAN control. So give a try to letting go of your worry and thoughts about the cancer, and focus on cultivating your inner joyfulness. I think you will like how you feel.