What do you think of when you hear the word breast, anyways? Thanks a lot guys! Seriously. What comes to mind?
For me, the word that comes to mind when I think of the breast is – nurturing. After all, the breast is how all mammals nourish their young, right?
Women are notorious for putting the needs of others ahead of their own. Basically, they put themselves last on their list of priorities. We tend not to take care of ourselves, not to do what nourishes our souls.
Is it any wonder that breast cancer is rampant in today’s world?
Think of the classic airline instructions. When the oxygen mask drops, put it on yourself first. So simple, yet a profound instruction for life itself. We must nourish ourselves first if we are truly to be available to others.
Part of nourishing ourselves, one of the most important components really, requires that we learn to express ourselves, to express our feelings.
People, particularly women, are not encouraged to express how we feel. We stuff our emotions down and stuff them down. Don’t upset others, don’t rock the boat, just go with the flow, be the peacemaker. Well people, those emotions have to be expressed some time, some way!
Studies have shown that, in many cases, people with cancer have received a shock or a physical, emotional, or mental trauma within six months to a year before they received their cancer diagnosis. It is not a far stretch to conceive that unresolved or suppressed emotions related to the trauma are contributing factors in the development of their cancer.
I would have to agree with those studies. In the case of both my cancers, I experienced what I would call a major unexpected trauma within the year prior to each of my cancer diagnoses. I have spoken with some of my friends that have gone through their own cancer journey and they shared that, they too, experienced major trauma prior to their diagnosis.
Does that mean everyone that experiences trauma is going to get cancer? No, I don’t believe so.
Remember that movie “The Perfect Storm”? What if, cancer is just the body’s effort to deal with the trauma and the unexpressed emotions related to it and, like the perfect storm, other contributing factors such as lack of exercise, poor diet, stress, and unprocessed emotions all line up to prevent the body from being successful in encapsulating the trauma and disposing of it.
It is unfortunate that suppressed emotions are often expressed as dis – ease in the body before we face and process them. But, it does not have to be that way!
There are many ways to effectively express emotion. Physical exercise is a great start. From yoga and tai chi to intense aerobic activity. All physical activity helps with the release of bottled up emotions.
Meditation is another method for processing and releasing suppressed emotions. Connecting with your higher self and Spirit helps you to identify unexpressed emotions and the best ways for you to address and release them.
I highly recommend counselling for unearthing and processing suppressed emotions. It has been an effective and useful tool in helping me to safely process emotions resulting from my many losses, including the loss of my marriage and several loved ones. A tip from experience? When you feel you are in a good place and don’t require counselling anymore, that is exactly when you absolutely need to keep doing it for at least another year! I can’t help wondering, if I had continued with counselling for another year longer than I did, would I have unearthed all the suppressed grief I have since discovered I still had? Would I have prevented the grief from manifesting into cancer?
Energy healing is a great tool that coaxes suppressed emotions to the surface to be addressed and released. There are various types of energy healing available – massage, Reiki, reflexology, healing touch, acupressure, to name just a few. I have tried all the modalities mentioned above, and have worked with many different and wonderful practitioners. They have all been effective in subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, ways to help me get in touch with my higher self and in touch with Spirit. Explore the different modalities and practitioners with an open mind. There is no right or wrong. You will know when you have found the right modality and practitioner for your needs.
Are you having difficulty getting started? There are courses one could take to learn to express yourself safely. But, sometimes one just needs to scream in to that pillow, or go down to the ocean to yell and throw rocks, or to just wrap yourself in a soft cozy blanket, with a box of Kleenex at your side, and just cry. It is okay. Feel what you feel fully and completely. Let the emotions wash through you and over you, like a soft flowing river, and then let the emotions go. Don’t hold on to them. Don’t hold them back. Don’t stuff them down.
At times of great emotional release, whether on your own, after a yoga session, or with a practitioner, always keep yourself well hydrated. Lemon water is particularly beneficial. You may sometimes feel fragile and vulnerable after an emotional release. I recommend that you stay away from crowds for a while, spend time in nature, ground yourself, and nourish yourself with good food, good music, and beautiful surroundings.
Remember always, in the words of Charles Wright – Express Yourself!
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