When I first met her years ago, I sat across from her at dinner. Bella was just a tiny baby and I was a new young mom asking every question I could regarding health and wellness – after all I was now making choices for another humans life.
I’ll never forget this particular encounter, you see, being married to Lee McCormick has made many an interesting dinner. Lee draws to him some of the most amazing thinkers in the health in wellness world and as a result I have made some pretty fabulous friends.
What I didn’t know when I met Dr. Joan Borysenko was that she was going to share a piece of information with me that in my future I would cling to, she was laying the groundwork for where life was fixn’ to take me. You see she is one of the only Harvard Cellular Biologist that has studied Cancer & HIV cells and the effect of ones faith upon these cells. What she learned is that Cancer is 80% environmental – meaning food, water, air, earth. The rest is a combination of emotions & genes. She has proven that where we place our faith determines the direction of our life and our illnesses. Folks that “believed” deeply in their wellness found ease and the diseased cells lessened.
When I was faced with a 50% chance of having intestinal cancer I had to walk it out “shorty” and dance with me, figuring out just where I was gonna place my faith, deciding just who I was gonna be and this brings me to the piece that Dr. Joan Borysenko brought to my dinner table again this week. Joan came into town to speak on behalf of Vanderbilt University, The Ranch, and Integrative Life Centers (Lee’s new project) at The Belcourt Theater. As I sat in the audience I watched Joan (she is a fantastic story teller) I felt as if I was watching a member of my own family shine. If I love you, I love you like family – to me there is no point in dividing up the way I care for those in my life.
Resilience – that’s what she/we talked about for 4 days, one of her recent books (she has written 15) “It’s Not the End of the World: Developing Resilience in Times of Change”, she shares her point of view on who is resilient and what makes us resilient, according to Joan 50% of our resilience is inherited/learned the other 50% is CHOICE – that’s right y’all we get to choose who we become. Like most folks I wanted to know if I was resilient, so I looked into my life and took the test:
1.) Do I face things head on – NO ROSE colored glasses? YES
2.) Do I find hidden meanings in my experience – good or bad? Yes
3.) Do I turn against myself when things go bad?
Joan told a very funny story of how she and her kids were stranded in a boat and she turned on herself. I answered NO I’m not like that and then I remembered– OK well maybe for a minute, EVERYDAY! That’s right at least once a day I go against myself with the same inner conversation “What am I doing? Can I really write books, will they really like the food I’m preparing, do I actually KNOW anything and the worst – am I really well?” I always let the list run and then I cut it off kicking those crazy thoughts to da’curb – however non- resilient folks stay there in the crazy thoughts and can’t get out of their own way.
4.) Can I improvise? Hell yeah shorty, whatcha’ think this website is all about? Lol…
5.) Do I Learn something from the experience and take it out into the world – participating with life? I’m gonna have to say yes again.
So, there I was taking the am I resilient test and feeling good about it, then I had a thought how can I teach this to my girls? Yeah they will have 50/50 shot at inheriting but what can I do? According to Joan, teach ‘em to complete – yep that’s right folks resilient folks are masters at completion. They start and finish everything.
The emotional piece for me this week with Joan was hearing once again that the direction of my faith is determined with where I place it – meaning do I see myself getting well? Do I see my cells as healthy? And is my opinion of me what really matters?
I was tested, my blood pressure dropped REALLY low and so I went to see a new Doc, immediately they looked at my records and not me the person in front of them – Mee healthy, glowing, upbeat, pain free and 20lbs heavier than I was 1 year ago. They read my old diagnosis and then projected onto me their opinion “ I will never be really well.” Hmmm, this got me spinning – mind you they’d not done ANY blood work only taken my blood pressure.
I knew what I had to do, get right with me inside again – ‘cause you see minus low blood pressure I feel really, really good. Part of being a resilient human is being mindful of others projections upon us. That Doc has no idea the walk I’ve been walkin’ and in her mind disease is a dinner guest that never leaves, but in my faith I’m showing this “Over Stayed It’s Welcome Guest” to the door.
As I dropped Joan at the airport I hugged her goodbye, my eyes welled up with tears and I climbed back on my horse again ready to ride. Life is amazing; a mirror always appears when I’m ready to really see Mee and this week a message came loud and clear; See my own resilience.