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Posted By Opening the Heart

Earlier this year I accompanied a friend out of the country for a medical treatment that had not previously been done for someone with her illness.
The flight alone was a big logistical challenge. One particular airplane had to be tracked at the corporate level so that my friend could use it.  We had to carry her oxygen tank and other medical equipment on board. Our day was fraught with the possibility that I would have to have the pilot  halt the airplane on the tarmac or have the airplane diverted for an early landing if a medical emergency developed.

These logistical challenges turned out to be minor compared to the public relations challenges awaiting us on arrival in the country delivering my friend’s treatment.

Essentially, the staff at the medical clinic was afraid to treat my friend. The cutting edge medical work done there relies on a delicate relationship with the country’s government.  They had never treated her illness before and if anything were to go wrong they feared a lawsuit that might shut their program down.

As my friend was unable, the relationships with the clinic fell to my care.  This included renegotiating her custom-designed medical protocol on a daily basis along with a price tag numbering in tens of thousands of dollars.  And it had to be done while navigating cultural differences in another language.

One of the lessons I have had the opportunity to practice at the Opening the Heart Workshop is to (as Clarissa Pinkola-Estes puts it) “learn deep love over time.”  That is to say, I have tried to learn how to anchor myself in an intention of love and to not be swayed by other people’s fear. Perhaps because of this practicing I was able to find that place of love inside my heart and anchor myself there in this situation.

In any event, many things came my way while interfacing with the  clinic’s receptionist, office manager, physicians, lab technicians, hospital staff and even the anesthesiologist.

Despite the many difficult behaviors - essentially expressions of fear - I kept saying over and over again inside my head, “Friend.”  While I had to be an assertive medical advocate, I also tried to treat each person with genuine respect, friendliness and love.

In the end, love won the day.  My friend got her custom protocol at a fair price, and we left the country with the medical staff considering us to be their newly-found friends.

The Opening the Heart work is one tool that can help us to learn deep love over time.   When we are able to embody that love we can bring its power to bear in our everyday lives.

Posted By Opening the Heart

As some of you may have intuited from my Loving Kindness blog entry of June 10th,  I am currently awakening to the presence of cancerous cells in my prostate. As part of my own care and as a way to process some of he feeling states that  will inevitably arise i have decided that i need to write about this experience. However - this blog is not the place for that. Instead I have created a separate blog called Dancing with Prostate Cancer.


I don't warm to the term "fighting cancer" - it seems too aggressive to me. I prefer the analogy of 'dancing' and here's why. In ballroom dancing either partner can be taking the lead, shaping the course of the dance, but in the end neither partner is in complete control. Each one is to a great extent dependant on the cooperation of the other. There is give and take, movement and response, action and reaction. i expect that to be the way with this particular cancer.


Pushing the analogy further - there are forms of dancing which involve many partners. My support network will be my other partners in this dance. Of course there will be my close group of family and friends, but there will also be my adjunct network of healing arts professionals - acupuncturist, chiropractor, herbalist etc. Other partners in the dance will be the huge amount of information and study to be gleaned from all kinds of sources, and the many healing practices (meditation, tai chi, visualization, nutrition etc) to which I have access.


One more connection with dance. At the end of The Opening the Heart Workshop™
Linda teaches the Action Step process. Each conscious step is designed to move you forward in the dance of life.  i now have the opportunity of crafting some steps of my own in Dancing with Prostate Cancer