Step 4: Free your Mind
Recently I listened to a podcast called the Broken Brain, which interviewed Peter Crohn. Mr. Crohn’s title caught my eye as he was labeled a “Mind Architect”. His goal is to re-design the subconscious mind to help people heal and prevent disease. I found his commentary fascinating and will admit, have listened to this podcast many times in an effort to fully understand.
Many of my patients say, “I have cancer,” and identify with their diagnosis to a point that they become the diagnosis. Everything in their life begins to orbit around their cancer diagnosis and treatment. Of course, sometimes it has to. Mr. Crohn’s point is that your physical body may suffer from cancer, however, this is not your essence, this is not your being, or who you really are.
He argues that if you have deep-seated beliefs of inadequacy (“I am not enough”), insufficiency, and scarcity, that you become these beliefs and ultimately this mindset causes physical symptoms. The analogy he gives is that it’s like being in a prison and eating organic food. “You’re still in a prison.”
Over the years, I have treated many women who appear to take excellent care of their physical health. However, as their cancer treatment progresses, it becomes apparent that their mental and spiritual practices are self-defeating. Many of these women are stuck in this mental prison, where they are constantly focused on feelings of inadequacy (“I need to be prettier, or thinner, I need to work harder, or be a better mother”, etc.) as well as feelings of scarcity (“I never have enough time”). With my male patients, it seems there is often repressed anger or resentment toward family or work colleagues that has festered for many years. Men are vulnerable to feeling inadequate and compensating by berating themselves to be “tougher”. And of course, many of us suffer from overworking and too little rest. It appears “burnout” is now recognized as a medical condition.
What if you slowed down and changed the messaging? What if you were to accept where you are right now? While the negative self-talk will not disappear overnight, if you can be aware of the talk when it occurs, you can begin to change your thinking and ideally your health.
Patient-focused treatment, and an individualized approach to oncology means Dr. Norleena Gullett is not just treating cancer, she's treating the whole person.