"Our soul must perform two duties. The one is that we must reverently wonder and be surprised. The other is that we must gently let go and let be." Julian of Norwich

...Cancer teaches both!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Torch Relay - West End!

Pam, Kelly, Jerome and I were up at 5am to see the torch relay as it went through Stanley Park and the West End this morning.  Olympic spirit is now at a fever pitch in Vancouver.  The highlight this morning was the "Running Man" himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold running in Vancouver!

Pam says that Arnold is her 2nd favorite guy! (I'm not sure where that leaves me!)  She's been a fan since "Conan" days.  Who remembers that!

We're off to the Sylvia tonight to watch the opening ceremonies. 

TTFN...  Rob; in Vancouver

"Milk is for babies.
When you grow up you have to drink beer."
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Believe

2010 Olympic Theme Song
sung by 16 year-old Nikki Yanofsky

Monday, February 8, 2010

Live From Vancouver!

Host city of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games!!  Woo Hoo!

Ready or not! It all starts on Friday.  Snow or no snow! 

We've had a long stretch of warm weather so the lack of snow on Cypress Mountain is still an issue. Cypress is the venue for Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding. Last report was that they were hauling snow from Manning Park, beyond Hope!    Other ski events are happening in Whistler, which has snow.

Kelly and Pam are taking part in the opening ceremonies in Richmond next Sunday.  They are part of the Tai Chi group in the "Chinese Dragon".  They are quite excited about it.  I'm not sue if it will be televised but will try to post details if it is.

TTFN... Rob; in Vancouver

Monday, February 1, 2010

Spiritual Connection

Foundations of Healing #3

My integrated cancer care community, InspireHealth, names "Spiritual Connection" as the third "Foundation of Healing" in their integrated approach to cancer care.

This is an important part of my own cancer journey and begins with the simple awareness that I am a spiritual being.  I have personal awareness and experience of this dimension of my being through practices such as prayer, meditation, worship, study and reflection, and service. 

While I may be cognizant of a "realized spirituality" in my own life, I am also aware that this is a deeply personal matter and not true for all people.   In studying the types of religious and spiritual experiences of people with chronic illness one study identified the following three groups 
  1. Religious individuals who highly value religious faith, spiritual well-being, and the meaning of life.
  2. Existential individuals who highly value spiritual well-being but not religious faith.
  3. Nonspiritual individuals who have little value for religiousness, spirituality, or a sense of the meaning of life.

Religion vs Spirituality

That there are differences between religion and spirituality is generally accepted.  What those differences are is a matter of interpretation.  My good friend and colleague Don Grayston, drew this diagram to help me see his understanding of the relationship between religion and spirituality.

In this schematic we can understand "religion" as more defined and "structured".  It has order, beliefs, specific practices, and organization.  Spirituality on the other hand is a little less ordered, more free-flowing, less defined and less structured.

From this diagram we can also see that there would be those who are "spiritual but NOT religious" as well as those who are "religious but NOT spiritual".   Some would assume that to be "religious" would naturally involve "spirituality".  Personally, I think not.  I believe that you could be involved in all of the "outward forms" of religion but realize no "spiritual life",  no love of neighbour, no inner peace, no transformation, no enlightenment of consciousness, no relationship with God,  nada

Personally, I view the structure and practices of "religion" as a helpful means to realize a healthy "spirituality".   "Religion" provides me with the community, traditions, accountablity, beliefs, discipline, and practices that help to nurture and sustain my faith. 

Spirituality and Healing

The relationship between spirituality and healing has been known by the world's religious traditions since time immemorial.  From ancient shamanic practices to modern medicine the role of religion and faith in healing has been recognized and affirmed.  Contemporary research has confirmed the significance of faith and spirituality in the quality of life and health of cancer patients.

"Religion and spirituality have been shown to be significantly associated with measures of adjustment and with the management of symptoms in cancer patients. Religious and spiritual coping have been associated with lower levels of patient discomfort as well as reduced hostility, anxiety, and social isolation in cancer patients and in family caregivers. Specific characteristics of strong religious beliefs, including hope, optimism, freedom from regret, and life satisfaction, have also been associated with improved adjustment in individuals diagnosed with cancer." National Cancer Institute

Personal Approach

My own personal approach to living with cancer includes prayer, meditation, healing touch, tai chi, worship, and spiritual reading and study.  This in addition to chemo, surgery, radiation, exercise, supplements, etc...

Be well... Rob; in Vancouver

"Spiritual healing plays a vitally important role in the healing process, creating a solid foundation for recovery.  By reclaiming this connection, we live life more fully, maximize our immune response, and become actively engaged in the process of recovery."  Inspirehealth

See all "Foundations of Healing" posts...  Here

Healing Touch