Gaslighting – Abuse couched in care !


 When care becomes a scare by Ritu Garg
  
“You must move the zip from left to right while closing a suitcase so that it is then easier to open it from right to left.” 

” Put your money in the inner most pocket.”

 “Why are you checking your phone while boarding the flight?”

”Why do you buy tote bags? They don’t have zips. You will have to upend everything.”

“Why do you want to have Thai? Indian food will be better.”

 “Why are you opening your bag with your cell phone in the hand?”

“That is not what I meant at all. You haven’t understood what I was trying to say.”

Vacation or suffocation?

Have you seen the 1944 American mystery-thriller film, Gaslight? It’s about a woman whose husband slowly manipulates her into believing that she is going insane. He reduces the flame of the gaslight of the house imperceptibly every day. When she points out the change in light, he denies that the light changed at all. Since then the term “Gaslighting” is used for tactics employed by a person to weaken another person’s confidence.

Many a times, owing to our position, experience, knowledge, wisdom and even love, we tend to over-instruct or guide our loved ones such as siblings, spouses, seniors and even dear friends. We feel we are being these cool dudes and dudettes, all protective and caring.

The person at the receiving end might not welcome it. They might be unable to resist it, though, owing to either their fear, awe or love, financial or social dependence or trust for us. This is not a compliment to you.

They begin to get used to this incessant interference and give in, often to keep the peace. But the repercussions of such behavior is that it leads to a slow erosion of their self-confidence and decision-making capabilities, even in the simplest of situations.

Counterproductive

This dynamic is counterproductive to the gaslighted person’s wellbeing.

If we are the ones being the interfering person, we should make sure that:

-Our care doesn’t become a scare.

-We should be an oak tree that gives shade and not an ivy tree that suffocates.

-There is not just one way of doing things.

-People are wired differently. And in this case, it’s your wiring that is misfiring (you can verify this with any qualified therapist).

-Being watchful is different from being a watchdog.

- Command and reprimand should be used sparingly.

-Our instructions will definitely help them survive, but we should step back if we want them to Thriive.

 (Ritu Garg lives by the words, for the words and of the words. And, her before-the-sun’s-up tea).

The Art of Dying – Part II by Dr. Newton Kondaveti, MD



Previously we learnt how to live without fear of death and how to overcome grief. Today, Dr. Newton shares his concept of Heaven and Hell and how families can play an important role in curbing suicidal tendencies.

Thriive: What is your take on the concept of Heaven and Hell?

Dr. Newton: People who have gone through near-death experiences or have astral-/soul-travelled during meditation have reported that there are planes of consciousness known as the higher and lower vibratory energetic planes which people go to after death.

The lower vibratory energetic planes are a little dense. People who are on this plane carry guilt and other identifications such as clingings, cravings, attachments and desires of the Earth plane.

They do not have a quick transition and so they spend more time here. They go through some kinds of dark experiences, which might not really be dark but they make it so with their beliefs that they are going to be condemned for eternity for whatever blunders or mistakes they’ve made.

Many go to higher planes which we generally call Swarg Lok or Heaven. There they are welcomed with music by the Higher Beings who are members of their own soul family (those members who have passed on to the other side). One feels very happy here.

So you see, heaven and hell is a very limiting terminology and it scares a dying person (even the living, sometimes). 

But people need not be scared because with awareness, they can dissolve their guilt before they die so that when they go into the After-Death stage, they don’t experience hellish or dark realms. They can quickly transit to the higher plane.


Thriive: How can people lose their guilt?

Dr. Newton:  The practice of meditation makes people realize that life itself is a learning process. Our primary teacher is our own meditation. It teaches us to correct ourselves if we are deviating from the right path, if we are violating any cosmic law or universal principles. This awareness becomes our guide.


Thriive: So, what exactly happens after death?

Dr. Newton: After death, and this has been validated by research, people pass through the Gateway of Death. At that moment, they undergo a Life review moment – they witness a review of their life in the presence of many Higher Beings who are also known as Guides. In life, the souls might have done many blunders without realizing it. In this After-Death stage they realize they have caused pain to others through their words and actions and begin to feel guilty. The Guides play a major role here by making them understand that instead of feeling guilty they should learn the lessons. If the souls recognize that there are lessons they missed out on learning, they can transform their guilt into compassion. This is a beautiful process of self-forgiveness and the transition to the higher plane is quicker.

But some beings refuse to learn the lessons despite the intervention of the Guides. This happens rarely, though. Such beings take many lifetimes to evolve as they get stuck in those same patterns of negativity and of inflicting pain on others.  And because Free Will exists they can at that very moment decide to go on to the Higher Path, or not.


Thriive: How does the death process heal at the soul level?

Dr. Newton:  Death involves the soul leaving the body and that may cause it to feel free. But when a person is about to die, because of disease or a chronic illness, they try to attempt to heal themselves by putting all their efforts, learning all the lessons. But when they realize that it is not working, they finally bow down to the death process. The lesson they need to accept at that time is that of “Acceptance” – the acceptance of the inevitability of death and this can bring about a kind of deep soul healing.


Thriive: What happens to the soul in case of suicide, which is the unnatural termination of a natural process?

Dr. Newton: Every death, in a certain way, is optional. Freewill exists so some people choose to die soon. A strong death urge makes them highly suicidal and they develop a pattern of dying young through lifetimes either because they find the existence on the earth plane to be very scary or not worth living.  Some lose a sense of purpose in life. They then attract death at a young age through illness or accidents.

This violates the Universal law of honoring life. The death urge needs to be transformed into the life urge through right understanding.  Life is a beautiful gift given to us and we need to honour and respect it and live it fully giving it our 100% till our last breath.

In at least one incarnation of almost every soul, there is an impulsive moment in which the person committed suicide and so they are going to be carrying a lot of guilt. They might not find it easy to forgive themselves but the Guides in the Life After Death stage, which I mentioned earlier, help them to get over their guilt and also bestow on them the knowledge of resisting suicidal impulses and honoring life. They are also taught that enduring painful situations in life can often present to them important, valuable insights. People can thus overcome this tendency towards premature death.

Dying can be a very gracious process and advanced souls or sincere meditators by virtue of their practice of honoring life, know when the moment in their life arrives when they have to move on. They go through a beautiful transition at the ‘Life After Death’ stage as there is no fear of dying.


Thriive: What role does the family play in this dynamic of suicidal tendencies?

Dr. Newton: Most families lack the knowledge of life, death, life beyond death and how to make oneself happy and peaceful. Meditation and a spiritual education should be an integral part of every family system. Most of the people who are happy and peaceful never get suicidal thoughts. They participate fully in life and rarely contemplate death. Parents, must therefore, really encourage their children to be immersed in life and seek answers and understandings. They must equip them with spiritual tools at a very young age. 



The Art of Dying – Part I by Dr. Newton Kondaveti, MD



Death is a word we don’t use lightly and so we asked Dr. Newton a few questions about it and in the process realized there is also an art to dying. We present Part 1 here.

(Read Part II here).

Thriive: Dr. Newton, if death is inevitable what is the point of life?

Dr. Newton: Death and Life are integral parts of each other and make each other significant. If Death did not exist, Life would have no meaning or value. Life is like playing cricket: it is time bound. Whether it is a one-day match or a test match, the requisite number of overs have to be played. Just as the match is played with a purpose we too come here with a purpose. With playfulness we create joyful experiences and this adds meaning to life. If there was no Death, there’d be eternal life and the sense of purpose would not exist. We need to play and give the best version of ourselves to the game. Also, the uncertainty (as in a cricket match) makes us more spontaneous and joyful.


Thriive: What then is the best way of living this life?

Dr. Newton: Living with complete and total awareness of the Self in every moment, is the best way. Our awareness guides us towards the right purpose and shows us what we need to do in the present moment.


Thriive: How do we know the meaning of life?

Dr. Newton: We need to remember that awareness existed even before we were born and knows our soul plan. Life does not end with death nor did it begin with birth.


Thriive: Why does the word ‘Death’ scare us so much that it makes us even afraid of using it?

Dr. Newton: The underlying cause of the fear of Death is the fear of change and the fear of the unknown. The lack of understanding and enlightenment about what happens after we die, keeps us fearing it. Being dead while living is a condition so many people find themselves in just because they live in fear of Death.


Thriive: How can one lessen this irrational, limiting fear and lead a life that is not fearful?

Dr. Newton: I highly recommend these two beautiful ways of getting over the illogical and irrational fear of Death: Meditation and Past Life Regression.

1) Meditation: Through meditation, one can know, experience and understand the deathless soul energy that continues to live within us even after we die. The experiences that we get during meditation (or sadhana) such as out of body experience, astral travel and so on, give us insights into that which is eternal and which is inside us. This makes us realize that when the death moment comes, it is just about leaving the decayed body here and taking up a new form. We then don’t fear dying or even the death of loved ones since we know that they come back again after taking a new form.

2) Past Life Regression: Many times the irrational fear about death that some people carry around is connected to the fearful, traumatic deaths they experienced in other lifetimes. Through PLR, they process that fear and understand that their soul continues to live and that they’ve come back in a new body. Sometimes they are also able to identify their loved ones from previous lifetimes who’ve now incarnated as their children or other family members.

This proves that Death is just a transition and not a final separation from our loved ones and once we accept that the fear of our own death or even that of our loved ones will vanish.


Thriive: Intense grief often accompanies the death of a loved one. How can one overcome that?

Dr. Newton: Grief is very natural. When someone dear dies, the people left behind immediately experience it as a physical absence. They are so used to the physical form that when it’s gone they miss it terribly.

As much as possible, the person who has lost a loved one must grieve in order to come to terms with the death.  They must allow the tears to flow and with the support of the loved ones, the grieving process is much easier. If the grief is not allowed to be expressed completely it will be stored inside the body as a frozen energy and could lead to depression and other illnesses.

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross has done pioneering work on the grief process. It can be summarized as D-A-B-D-A:

The first step is Denial where the person refuses to believe that their loved one has gone away. The next is Anger. The 3rd stage is Bargaining (the grieving person tries to negotiate sometimes with supernatural forces to bring the person back).  This is followed by Depression and the final step is Acceptance.

This period of grieving can last for a day, months, decades or even whole lifetimes.

Reaching the level of acceptance that yes, the person has vacated their body and moved away to the other world and that they themselves will one day reach the mystery of death, triggers within them a sort of spiritual growth. This affects the whole family because they are intrigued by the mystery of death and it initiates them into the unknown. Grief vanishes with the understanding that we are multi-dimensional soul beings and we never die. Everyone goes through this grieving process but those who are enlightened beings don’t grieve for long but for a few days only. Their spiritual understanding makes them overcome their grief very quickly.

(To be continued)

Day 3 Of QEC2: Immense Possibilities Exist Within Us

In quantum energy, it is said believing is seeing. Yes, this is the play of quantum physics mechanics.

Exultation

On the final day of the Conclave, case studies were shown by Dr. Jayesh Shah in which healing took place by the very act of the patient going deep into their feelings. Skeptics, please excuse. The results were breath-gaspingly amazing! And when Jonaki, the compere, invited the doctors in the room to come on stage after the session ended, they thronged there feeling proud and excited. Doctors who were heads of departments in hospitals in Chandigarh and other places around the country, an orthodontist and an oncologist from Mumbai and even a young, newly-graduated medical doctor, gave a virtual huzzah to the immense possibilities they had just witnessed by one of their own. All of them were keen to discover how they too could incorporate quantum principles into their methods of healing.

Most of them were students of Dr. Newton & Dr.Lakshmi, beloved of all. This was apparent quite clearly in the packed house the doctors’ meditation and lecture sessions saw.

Many Masters For Many

Dr. Newton had said that the paradigm for healing had changed from what it was in the past. From One Master For Many, it was now Many Masters For Many, which is what QEC2 also believes in: All Speakers, accomplished scientists and teachers in their own right, generously sharing their teachings with all and encouraging them to seek answers within themselves.

They spoke about Anapanasati Meditation and the Art of healing oneself. Dr Newton reminded the audience that no one but they themselves could give them what they were seeking. He lovingly admonished the audiences (thousands of his fans were watching the Thriive Facebook page online) not to be so keen to look for an external healer, outside of themselves. He asked people to introspect, why they were so eager to avoid meditation but ready to run to clinics, and hope that someone else- even if it was a doctor, could redeem them. He reminded the audience of the power that lay within, and answers which could be accessed only through knowing oneself via a commitment to deep meditation. And that there was no shortcut to health but to do this inner work.

This was the sentiment also expressed by Dr. Patrick Porter as he gave a salute to the evolved traditional medicine of India which is the base of most of the techniques of Quantum Energy Medicine.

His childhood was one of abuse but also of redemption and this created in him the desire to share his knowledge with others. He created the BrainTap technology which retrains brainwaves to empower the individual.

Unlimited Universe

“We’re all evolved bodies of the energies of the cosmos who can heal themselves if they remember,” said Dr. Porter. “Many cultures need additional gadgets to understand the quantum energy world, but India, which is the place where meditation and yoga originated, have audiences which are so evolved that they are probably very close to ascension,” added Dr. Porter. These are the words that shall resonate with every visitor to QEC2 as they explore their own unlimited universe.

Dr.Neeta Shah’s team spoke about the TimeWaver while Capt. Arvind Singh along with ACMOS representatives from the UK showed the practical but almost magical services provided by The ACMOS method.

After a beautiful closing ceremony with the Speakers felicitated once again by Patriji and Shreans Daga, the Executive Director of Thriive, yet another edition of QEC2 ended with a promise to be back soon, bigger and even better. After all, when QEC is raised to the power of three, the expectation of exponential growth in new topics of research and audience size is expectedly a mathematical certainty!

(Quantum Energy Conclave2 was held in Pyramid Valley, Bangalore, from 26th to 28th January, 2018).

Also read DAY 1 OF QEC2:  MEET THE FUTURE OF ENERGY MEDICINE HERE and
              DAY 2 Of QEC2: IMMERSION IN QUANTUM ENERGY MEDICINE

Day 2 Of QEC2: Immersion In Quantum Energy Medicine


You haven’t experienced peace if you’ve never meditated. Eastern philosophy considers it (and acknowledged globally) to be the best way to begin the day. And if it is accompanied by music, there can be nothing more soothing.

One felt mentally, physically and emotionally rejuvenated after a double dose of meditation: flute meditation with Thriive Pillar and founder of PSSM, Brahmarshi Patriji, which was followed by guided meditation by Living From Vision founder, Ilona Selke. It was time for the Speakers to take the stage which was set for a digital presentation by well-renowned Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) experts Donna Eden and David Feinstein from USA.

Among a lot of the information shared by Donna, one of the things that resonated was how the body has 14 meridians and that they are connected with all our organs. Any illness can be cured by ensuring that the energies flow to exactly where they need to flow by thumping on the respective meridians.

Eva Gold from Canada, one of the top practitioners of EEM, added further synergy to the presentation as she carried over from where Donna and David’s presentation ended. She spoke about the nine systems of energy in our body which we need to keep re-aligning in order to regain optimal health which is lost in our day-to-day functioning. One of her examples included hormonal imbalances which can be cured if the chakras, that run along the spine, are aligned properly.

This was happening on the first floor of the Pyramid at PVI, one of Asia’s largest meditational pyramids, which can seat almost a 1000 people at a time. The hall at the base of the pyramid was seeing its own energetic activity. It was lined with stalls where one could learn more about and even experience the many innovative devices of energy medicine.

The most popular was the Thriive Art & Soul stall where the dedicated team explained to the visitors the many benefits of being connected to Thriive Art & Soul (*hint - Alternative healers and lightworkers could register for FREE!). An exuberant presentation about Thriive by its CEO, Pinky Daga, and her team had the audience agog.

Equally popular was the Svaram stall. It’s creative director, Aurelio, world renowned organologist, ceremonial musician and sound therapist, patiently demonstrated the different sound effects created by the many intriguing instruments displayed in the stall. One could experience the Swinging- and Rotating Chimes, Tubular Bells, Plate Gongs, PulseTubes, the sounds of which were tuned to create deeper states of consciousness. One fascinating instrument was the Ocean Drum that simulated the sound of ocean waves, which one could spend hours listening to. A set of African rattles played by Aurelio transported one to an earlier primal era in time.

 Svaram also created a Sound Bath, a wooden bed with musical strings below it and which was surrounded on all sides with musical instruments. The sound waves from the many instruments worked at intervals, enveloping the client in a healing cloud. Well, this was an experience that could only be felt when actually undertaken.

A teeny-weeny taste of it was given by Aurelio in his post-dinner session when the inside of the pyramid, lighted down to a serene coziness, saw the attendees sprawled on the floor in the Shavaasana pose. Aurelio and his team then went around the room in a beautifully choreographed dance of sorts, starting at the King’s Chamber (the highest energetic point of the Pyramid) immersing the attendees in healing waves of sound.

On the other side was the stall by Medlabs, the pioneer Quantum Energy research lab set up by PVI from where one was taken to visit the main lab to see and experience a much wider range of Quantum energy devices including the Scenar Cosmodic, SE-5 1000, BrainTap, HRV, LASER, Reflex Foot Energizer, amongst others.

Delegates had a great time trying on the BrainTap at Dr. Patrick Porter’s stall, a device that was worn on the eyes like a mask with earphones, designed to retrain the brain waves to perform to their highest potential.

It was a day of exciting happenings and new experiences for every member of the audience.

Earlier in the evening, QEC2’s Star Speaker Dr. Fred Alan Wolf who is known worldwide as Dr. Quantum, regaled the audience with a card trick based on the principle of Focus. It seemed so simple when he explained how it worked! Made one think about what one was focussing on in life and thereby ignoring perhaps other important information.

“YOU-niverse is what you create with your thoughts,” according to Dr. Wolf. Very simply and eloquently, using cartoons and graphics, he explained the principles of quantum physics and of manifestation. One came out of the session with a smile on one’s face, especially after the sweet interaction between Dr. Wolf and Patriji in which the latter said that the scientist was a “Quantum Swamiji”. The session had ended on a high note after an invigorating Q&A.

Later at tea, Yoga Master and Reiki expert Anita said she was pleasantly surprised to learn “the amazing ways in which quantum energy could be used.”

Ruma, a chakra cleansing and balancing expert, relaxing under the pyramid-canopied chairs that lined the path from the main pyramid to the beautiful gardens, was enthusiastic about the great quantum (pun unintended) of learning she gained from the sessions.

It was, in all, a packed day, full of joy and wisdom gained in the beautiful vibrations of Pyramid Valley.

(Quantum Energy Conclave2 was held in Pyramid Valley, Bangalore, from 26th to 28th January, 2018).


Also read DAY 1 OF QEC2:  MEET THE FUTURE OF ENERGY MEDICINE HERE

Day 1 Of QEC2: Meet The Future Of Energy Medicine Here


Today the starlights of Quantum Energy landed at Pyramid Valley for QEC2, making it abuzz with the latest innovations and creations in the field. The speakers, who came from as far away as USA as well as from closer home, were joyously welcomed by Brahmarshi Patriji, the force behind QEC2, as well as Shreans Daga, the ED of Thriive Art & Soul which organises and manages the Quantum Energy Conclave. They were as pumped up to share their path-breaking experiences in quantum energy medicine as was the audience to hear them.

It was not a coincidence then, that it was Republic Day, the day the Constitution came into existence to keep all the states of India joined together to form a cohesive whole. Quantum energy helps us to keep our body’s constitution at the top of its game by balancing its energies. This is the base of Quantum Energy medicine. Not surprisingly, it takes a lot of its basics from the ancient vedic traditions of Chakras and nadis and energy meridians as well as from our ancient texts, especially the Bhagvad Gita. 

A Holistic Gathering

It was a varied gathering. Holistic healers, alternative health therapists and wellness experts rubbed shoulders with health enthusiasts, college students and medical professionals.

And none were disappointed.

There was Bharat, a businessman from Bangalore, who claimed to visit every year, because, “I want to find out more about things I don’t understand (referring to quantum energy).” Vandana, a gynaecologist, who had travelled all the way from Chandigarh, said she had “come with an empty cup to learn what quantum energy was all about.”

The media was in a tizzy, hovering around for an interview with the international speakers, who uptil now, we’d only seen in YouTube videos.

Mind-boggling Innovations. Fascinating Speakers

And so, when Nipa Das (from UK), the first speaker of the day, took the podium, there was eager expectation amongst the audience. They joined in enthusiastically as she did a warm up of sorts with exercises to help open up the body to the energising vibes. She also shared interesting insights, one of which was the different ways of chanting Aum, depending on whether one’s body was of the kapha, pitta or vatta type, thereby getting customized energy healing.

Next was Dr. Srinivasa Murthy.D from India, who spoke about lasers and how the cellular mechanism of Quantum Energy Medicine works in tissue regeneration. This finds a lot of use in treating Cancer and Leprosy, for example.

Larry Michael Beasley, who hails from the US, gave a presentation that was mostly technical but he also said it like it is: “We have met the enemy and he is US!” This means, you are as prone to self-sabotaging all aspects of your life as you are to enhancing it.
He shared studies that showed that there was a 1000fold increase in the biomagnetic energy caused by a good intention. “Keep in mind that the brain is a smart organ,” Beasley informed us. “When the brain decides to become dysfunctional it will become perfectly dysfunctional in a precise way,” he said. STOP. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT? Empowering stuff, hopefully. The brain is listening!!!

Lunch time was a great time to network with other attendees as well as have a one-on-one with the Masters. It was a congenial setting with food native to the region. Jowari rotis sat side by side with tandoori rotis. Channa gave company to a vegetable dish made of drumsticks and boondi while Mysore Pak held sway in the desserts department. Yes, there were the regulation papads, curds and rasam (you foodie you). If the food was as organic as could be, the way it was served was equally so. Plates, bowls and spoons made of dried leaf made the experience more soul-warming and natural.

Post-lunch, many more Masters shared their research and case studies which the audience took in with great attention.

Jan Van Der Est from Netherlands who spoke about allergies, informed how every cell in the body knows how to communicate 24x7 (bio communication). He also spoke about the Morphogenetic field which is shared by the human race. This field gives guidance on an information level, that is through intuition and intention, as opposed to on the energy and body level.

Don Paris, the co-creator of SE-5, demonstrated the power of Radionics and SE-5 technology on cut fresh flowers. This dynamic innovator and researcher from the US also showed an experiment he had conducted at the Pyramid. A tomato he had kept near a pyramid at Pyramid Valley was prevented from rotting by the energy frequencies he kept on sending to it.

Lutie Larsen (from US) speaking about sacred environments said that we are always surrounded by energy which is especially apparent when we are in large groups. But certain shapes create energetic resonance such as the Pyramid at PVI.

From closer home, China, came the young researcher Wang Gang. “Traditional Chinese medicine believes that the best doctors prevent diseases from happening,” he said. His project consisted of incorporating the energies of traditional methods of healing with quantum energy in the form of holograms.

Ecstasy of Rhythms

The stars were beginning to play peek-a-boo by the time the lectures ended.

After-dinner was time for ‘Songs of Kabir’ at the charmingly rustic Amphitheatre. And how! “Mann laago mero yaar fakiri mein…” Singer Vipul Rikhi’s mellifluous voice gave a depth to all that Kabir wanted to convey. And what an ecstasy they wrought. Feet couldn’t stop tapping and hands couldn’t stop clapping. It was only a matter of minutes before Vipul invited everyone to surrender to their inner dancer. The stars smiled as the delegates whirled and swirled even as the notes of the dohas added to the gleam of the moon nearing fullness.

It was an hour later when all turned in for the night, tired but equally excited to wake up the next day at 6am to meditate with Brahmarshi Patriji and the melodious strains of his flute.

(Quantum Energy Conclave2 was held in Pyramid Valley, Bangalore, from 26th to 28th January 2018).




I'm A Thriiver - Anamika Chakravarty

When cancer struck a smooth sailing life, it required Anamika Chakravarty to take a closer look at it. 
Here’s her story and what she learned from it.


SMOOTH SAILINGS

I can’t complain about my childhood. It was very happy. We were well off. My father was an engineer with a stable job while my mother was a homemaker. As a child I was never deprived of opportunities to realize my potential even as I went from school to college. After post-graduation I did an MBA from one of the premier institutes in India. I got a job in a prestigious organisation and went on to work for two of the Big 4 consulting firms. A very caring husband entered my life. We travelled the world and had a lot of fun. We were blessed with a cherubic daughter who has grown up to be a remarkable young woman.

THE SUDDEN SHOCK

Suddenly, around two years ago, I began losing weight. I ignored it but then came the fever that would not go. The blood test showed an ESR of 96 - my body was battling something very big. 

I had actually got a full medical checkup just two months back and it had shown everything was well!!

Now, the sonography showed an enlarged spleen. My GP dispatched me to the hematologist who did a battery of tests. Finally, the PET scan detected cells with ‘abnormal’ activity. These were sent for biopsy.

On 1st Jan 2016, I walked into the hematologist’s room and he said, “You have lymphoma - cancer of the lymphatic system. It is curable. Dr. X is the best for the treatment. I will call the hospital and let them know you are coming.”

THE REACTION

I had no energy to ask any questions. My husband, who was trying to understand what was happening, had no questions. My dad asked, in a small voice, “Why? What did she do?”

“Nothing,” was the reply. “We don’t really know what causes cancer!”

I was so weak and so much in pain (the enlarged spleen had squeezed the stomach) that I could not think of anything. I was sure of one thing, though – I did not want to meet anybody!! Not yet.

I have always been in control of my life. And now things were totally beyond my comprehension.

A CRUEL CURE

I had to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy. The challenge with cancer is its treatment, which kills the good cells along with the cancerous ones. This means, the first week of chemo is always difficult – lethargy, excruciating body pain, food tasting like cardboard, totally debilitating.

The first cycle was really tough. I did not have the energy to do anything. My daily routine was to consume 4 lt. of liquids daily to flush out all the toxins. I used to sit on my designated sofa and either read or listen to music. The first week after chemo is difficult and immunity is low. But during the second and third week my friends used to come to meet me. Those conversations helped to boost my immunity!

After the first cycle, I started to regain my strength. I had to find answers. I spoke to the assistant doctor and the chemo nurse to know more about the whims and vagaries of the illness. I sought out friends who had had a similar journey. I was determined to fight.

THE FAMILY RALLIES AROUND

My husband said later that he did not know what to feel. Everything was happening so fast! But the way he selflessly served me is something I will always be grateful for.

We get so anxious when our children have just cough and cold and here my parents were going through so much emotional turmoil to see their firstborn battling cancer.

In the first month I used to unabashedly ask my father to hold my hands or request my mom to press my hands and feet. A friend remarked later that my Dad had become quieter, but he never expressed his anxieties or his fears.

My Mom was a pillar of strength who prepared regular meals for the family and a separate one for me – high calorie and high protein.

One of the greatest investments my husband made was in a medical insurance policy of high value which helped us tremendously.

THE ADMIRABLE RESILIENCE OF THE YOUNG

I have a 13-year-old who was 11 then. At first I just told her I was very sick. But she heard the word chemo and knew it was the treatment for cancer – she is a voracious reader! So I sat her down and explained that it was indeed cancer but it was 100% curable and the medicines available were excellent. She was apprehensive at first but then accepted the situation.

She is a resilient girl and has tremendous inner strength. How my illness affected her I will only know later in life. But I hope the one thing she learnt from this experience is to fight back adversity with a positive attitude.

FACING THE SITUATION WITH EQUANIMITY AND SPIRITUALITY

The medical fraternity has no answers for what causes cancer. So it was up to me to make sense of the madness I found myself in. I read books like Heal your Life by Louise Hay, The Journey by Brandon Bays, and The Power of your Subconscious mind by Joseph Murray. The realization that our thoughts and emotions have an effect on our health and body was revealing.

The spleen signifies the need to control. Before retiring for the day I indulged in serious introspection to determine why I thought it important to control every aspect of my life. I examined each aspect and attempted to systematically remove the root causes. I am nowhere near done, but I am on the path. And I am sure I will achieve what I have sought to achieve.

Another conscious effort I made was to maintain a positive attitude always. If I have a negative thought I immediately bring 5-6 positive thoughts and the negative thought is gone. I indulge in colour therapy. I chant. I see happy movies. I read happy books.

I used to chant mantras or listen to their recordings when I felt weak. As much as was possible, I used to do some basic pranayams every morning.

SILVER LININGS

I am blessed to have gone through the experience without too much unpleasantness. I am a cancer thriver having turned my challenging cancer experiences into a springboard for personal growth. I am now a Cancer Coach and Wellness Counselor and use the science of Psycho-Neuro-Immunology (effect of how we think and feel on our health) to fortify the inner self. I conduct workshops on mindfulness, emotional fitness, meditation and spiritual practice.

I also moderate a page on FB called JoyHamesha where we explore impediments to being joyful 24x7.

A MANTRA FOR THE MIND AND BODY

The body is our most important instrument. Nourish it. Nurture it. Treat it like a temple.

We cannot predict or control what will happen to us but how we respond is totally in our hands. We can choose whether we want to go through life complaining or with strength and determination.