The $50,000 Question
Contributed by Jane Barr, CPC, ELI-MP
It’s November, 2011. I’ve had health problems for months and now that I am not traveling for work I have the time to see a Dr. OK, let’s admit the truth. I’ve been putting off going to the Dr., afraid to hear any bad news. And now the Dr. has said it… “Jane, you have a pre-cancerous condition. “Pre-cancerous? What is that? Is that like being a little bit pregnant? And you want me to have a $50,000 dollar operation with no guarantees? And if I don’t then I’m probably dead in 4-5 years? The $50,000 question!
And what causes this condition? The Dr. says that no one really knows.
And does it ever just disappear on its own? And the Dr. says, sometimes but we don’t know why. Riiiggghhhttt! And I walk out the door.
That is the beginning of my journey. At first it’s a journey of just holding on to my sanity. First stop is the hypnotist. The purpose of hypnosis is to help relax my mind so that I don’t stay in fight or flight syndrome and can heal faster.
One big problem with cancer is that when a person is told they have the dreaded big C they generally go into fight or flight syndrome. Our bodies don’t know the difference between being chased by a lion in a jungle and being frightened by a Dr.’s diagnosis. Our brain instantly starts dumping 33 hormones into our bodies. The purpose of the hormones is to give us the strength to fight or flee. Unfortunately in our modern society most of us aren’t physically running anywhere so those hormones don’t get used up and they literally tear down our bodies making us even sicker.
Next stop is a holistic Dr. who has me fill out a 48 page form. His determination is that the first Dr. diagnosed the external symptoms correctly but missed the cause. I most likely have Celiac. I have my choice. I can have a biopsy to verify this new diagnosis or I can just see what happens if I eliminate all gluten from my diet. If I have the biopsy and it is positive then I still will have to change my diet. I choose to make the radical change in diet now. No meat, no fat, no sugar, no dairy, no processed foods and of course no gluten which means no wheat, no rye, no barley. My husband (bless him) goes on the diet with me. We eat beans and greens and a little fruit 7 days a week. Plus I can’t count how many vitamins.
Final stop is an acupuncturist and a massage therapist who work to clear my system of the toxins. Weekly treatments start to take hold and within about 6 months I’m starting to see a big improvement. A year later the problem which was diagnosed as cancer is almost gone. Yes, gone.
Here is the thing about being Celiac. It’s like being allergic to peanuts or addicted to alcohol. I can’t have even a tiny bit or my body starts to break down again. Nothing means nothing. I have to make a life decision, a full out commitment to change my life. Or perhaps I should say a commitment to live.
I’m telling you this not because I want you to feel sorry for me. I’m telling you this story in order to share how this experience has become my metaphor for life in general. When something isn’t working in my life I check-in with the questions that I discovered in working my way back to health and happiness.
- Is there something that I am avoiding dealing with in my life? Building a barrier against a problem, walking away from it or trying to avoid it works for a while. But in the end if we don’t deal directly with the problem it will get worse. We have to face our concerns, see the doctor, or talk out the problem in order for it to start to improve.
- What am I pushing against? When we hear bad news most people react from a place of fear, or frustration. It’s normal and natural to react negatively. But all that does is make the problem bigger. It’s like pushing against swinging door and then not moving out of the way and getting hit with it. We have to learn to go with life and work with life in order for life to work with us.
- How can I make a good decision? The key to making a good decision is to stay calm and allow our intuition to guide us. A pastor suggested that when we are not able to make a decision that we should say “Spirit speak to me” and then turn on the radio and the answer will be in the first words we hear. Recently I was trying to make a decision between two important options and I tried her suggestion. When I turned on my car so I could hear the radio, the dashboard lit up with “Hybrid System Indicator” LOL – guess I got my answer.
- How committed am I to my decision? When we make a decision we have to commit to sticking with it long enough so that we can see the results coming to fruition. Prosperity coach Marilyn Jennet says that if we say we are committed one day but back away the next day it is like giving two different directions to a cab driver and expecting him to know where to take us. Commitment is the courage to make radical changes in our lives, to go against the norm and be OK with not being the same as everyone else, to be willing to ask for what we need.
- Do I believe it is possible? Psychologist Linda Wells once said to me, it’s not enough to know something intellectually. We have to “know, know” in our heart and mind that it is possible in order for it to come into our lives. If we believe or “know” that what we want is possible and we are patient and committed to whatever it is we want to show up in our lives then it will happen for us. We can think about it like this. If we want to build a chair we first have to get the picture of the chair in our mind. Once we are really clear and believe it can be built then all we have to do is pull together the materials, any support we might need from other people, and then build the chair. But first we have to be able to see the chair and believe that it’s possible to build it.
- What is getting in my way? What is going on for us on the outside is only an indicator of what is going on for us on the inside. As Paul and Layne Cutright taught me, we are never upset for the reason we think we are. In order to cure the outside we first have to get to the underlying cause and cure it. If we are upset, overwhelmed, frustrated, etc. it is common to think that it is because of what is happening around us or to us. The truth however, is that it’s not what is happening to us but how we are responding to or thinking about the situation or person. Our underlying thoughts are what we have to shift or cure in order for our situation to get better.
- Have I said yes to life? Finally the metaphor means to me that we have to say yes to life, saying yes to health and yes to happiness. It means to be joyful in the morning, to be at peace at night, to live each moment as though we want to live. It means to be alive with enthusiasm, energy confidence, authenticity, and to love life so much that we will do whatever it takes to stay alive.
Bio ~ Jane Barr, CPC, ELI-MP
Jane Barr is CEO of Kinnexion and a certified Energy Leadership Coach.
Jane has worked for 30 years as a consultant to national retailers such as CVS, GAP and Vera Bradley with oversight responsibility for system re-engineering projects. Jane knows what it takes to deliver a project on time and on budget, to build strong teams and to generate add-on business worth millions of dollars.
She also know what it means to have a successful career and then, at mid-career, to find yourself exhausted and wondering; “Is this all there is to life?” or “How can I get off this treadmill?” or simply “Now what?”
As a coach, Jane specializes in helping smart, savvy business-women to reengineer and reenergize their careers so they can stop feeling like they are pushing boulders up mountains and start moving their careers forward in a way that is fun, fulfilling and financially rewarding.
Jane’s coaching certifications include: iPEC Energy Leadership, High Power Presentations, Relationship Savvy, Dale Carnegie Leadership and Communications, and Perfect Customers.