0044 Thrive and Connect: Jennifer’s Cancer Journal – Part 1

Our co-host and the General Managing of both Aurelius Press and Center for Managing Change, Jennifer Rojas, has cancer – Hodgkins lymphoma, to be specific. This is the first in a series of podcast cancer journal entries she has agreed to make.

62159817 - drugs for hodgkin's disease treatment

She remarks that up until this disease she has been relatively healthy and feels fortunate for that having been the case. Also, that asking “Why?” doesn’t really go very far. No causal effect has been found.

A small episode of self-pity surfaced because she hasn’t been able to “go out and play” like others due to her chemotherapy.

Nausea is her biggest fear – hating to vomit.

Fortunately, she and her partner, Ben, are within walking distance of the Mediterranean Sea, about which she is very appreciative. It reminds her of the reality that there is still joy, goodness, and beauty available. It’s a choice to see it. Gratitude is present for 2016 in spite of the Hodgkins. She can see abundance in her life and views herself fortunate to have a highly curable form of cancer. This being said in spite of the fact uncertainty is present.

She continues to “look for the gold” in life in spite of the sh#t that happens. Denial and refusing to see ALL of life just leads to misery.

Jennifer reminds those who are listening and have to deal with cancer that, without being pollyannish, it is important to look for what is good in life.

Medical marijuana is discussed. Gary and Jennifer joke about medical marijuana, referencing Cheech and Chong. On the serious side, Jennifer talks about being in a study of the effects of medical marijuana on the side effects of Hodgkins treatments.

The benefits of having universal health care in Israel and what it has meant to Jennifer and Ben is also discussed both in terms of timeline and quality of treatment. It was a big determinant in them not returning to the United States.

The poison associated with being stuck on the question, “Why me?” is compared to the benefits of saying, “I have cancer AND I have the rest of my life” vs “It’s cancer OR the rest of my life.” Jennifer is not naive in terms of thinking everything is going to turn out well. What she sees is the ability to set an example for those who are suffering, an example that shows one can stay in the present and experience life.

She does discuss the realities of chemotherapy and how it knocks one down for a period of time. Listening to one’s body is critical. It allows her to focus on periods of feeling well and being able to get her work  done.

Carl Jung’s description of his successful patients is brought into the discussion, i.e., using the pain felt as a tool to see parts of life that otherwise were invisible and help others in a constructive way. An opportunity is created from the pain and suffering. This is all stated based on the belief joy can be found in the middle of the difficulties.

Ben, Jennifer’s partner, and all he has done is brought into the podcast and looked at through the lens of being vulnerable.

This includes the need to find a balance between empathy and sympathy and how the boundary with regards to “self” in a relationship moves with the ups-and-downs of the disease.

Jennifer also shares how important it is for care-givers to find a sense of balance and maintain it.

The conversation shifts to maintaining a sense of balance by sticking with the slogan, “Make judgements without being judgmental.” Life is a balance between the good and the bad that is present. It’s all about establishing and maintaining balance when having cancer, experiencing chemotherapy, and having a job to work.

Well, that’s about it.

Your feedback is important. Choose from the following options:

  • Click on “Send Voicemail” over to the right,
  • place a review in iTunes,
  • click on “leave a comment” below,
  • send any comments along with your name to comments@thriveandconnect.com or
  • call us at 614-664-7650.

Listen to future episodes for our reply.

0043 Thrive and Connect: Dealing With Fear of Rejection

This podcast is from a presentation to Awesome Women In Business

47344674 - woman is trying to fight her fear of rejection

A GUIDED MEDITATION

  • I want you to close your eyes and go back in time
  • To a time when there was no boundary between your feelings and thoughts and the outside world.
  • A time when you were free and didn’t have to double-check yourself.
  • (let a minute go by)
  • What do you notice about your surroundings?
    • are you wearing a favorite piece of clothing?
    • Are you opening a favorite box that contains everything important to you?
    • Are you at a favorite relative’s house and is something special that smells delicious in the over?
  • There’s a name for this set of physical experiences: Axis Mundi – the place where what is going on inside you connects with the outside world and you feel whole.
  • We’ll come back to this.

SOURCE OF FEAR OF REJECTION

  • Fear of rejection arises from feelings of not being good enough, of feeling unable to deal with the ups-and-downs on life on one’s own.
  • So, where does it come from? Trauma.
  • When we lack the power to protect ourselves in a traumatic situation in order to cope it can be easier to just deny the trauma occurred.
  • The problem with this is we also wall off the associated part of our psyche and the skills/capabilities that go with it.
  • We also get stuck in our head which can kill sales and the ability to perform.

SOLUTION

  • Focus on others.
  • Give to them what you need yourself.
  • By seeing yourself giving to others it eases the path towards giving to yourself, i.e., reclaiming that part of you walled off with the trauma.
  • Your feedback is important. Choose from the following options:
  • Click on “Send Voicemail” over to the right,
  • place a review in iTunes,
  • click on “leave a comment” below,
  • send any comments along with your name to comments@thriveandconnect.com or
  • call us at 614-664-7650.
  • Listen to future episodes for our reply.

0042 Thrive and Connect: Pain, Reactivity, and Mindfulness

Our co-host, Jennifer, talks today about dealing with chronic back pain and how it affects her outlook and ability to be either proactive or reactive to life’s events.

(Her situation takes an interesting twist which will be revealed in a future podcast.)0042-image-001

The four Immeasurables are reviewed along with the power of humility.

She shares her increased empathy for those from her past who lived with chronic pain.

Chronic pain sucks the energy out of a person.

The corrosive effect of the six realms of reactivity (rage, greed, instinct, desire, jealousy, and pride) inhibits being joyful especially with jealousy, e.g., “Why can’t I have a better life like that other person?”

The use of a meditation technique, tonglin, to help dissolve reactivity is explained. It opens a door to being joyful by letting go of watching others and comparing. Loving-kindness can be restored. Energy is also saved, energy that can be distributed in a positive way.

The question surfaced, “How can we show others what works for us in terms of mindfulness?” We just look for the opportunity without forcing it upon others. Jennifer relates it to her consulting work in conflict resolution.

Working in this way helps one get out of their head and reduce suffering.

The challenges associated with push-back being generated by someone choosing to stay stuck are discussed. There is only so much we can do.

For ourselves, when we practice tonglin are acuity increases. We see more and are more present, even if the other person is resisting. We become free to just be ourselves.

Your feedback is important. Choose from the following options:

  • Click on “Send Voicemail” over to the right,
  • place a review in iTunes,
  • click on “leave a comment” below,
  • send any comments along with your name to comments@thriveandconnect.com or
  • call us at 614-664-7650.

Listen to future episodes for our reply.