In my autobiography “Living Cancer Free,” I write, “We could say ‘could have, would have, should have’ and kick ourselves in our own butts for decades on end—or, take a hard lesson, reflect on it and learn to share it with the world.”
Traditionally, I’ve never taken the easy route, so instead I bring you to my hard lessons learned. I was diagnosed with stage IIA Hodgkin lymphoma. While any cancer diagnosis is no sunny walk in the park, I am grateful for some of the habits it awakened me to that ensure I live my life more fully and freely today.
1. RESPONSIBILITY = FREEDOM
From the moment of diagnosis through treatment and even after, cancer can give the feeling of being powerless. It’s not like we elected to invite such a disease into our lives, but we were forced to take action towards minimizing or removing it.
When I started looking back on my cancer as a wake-up call and took some responsibility in its formation rather than feeling like a victim, it gave me the power to be able to change what I had been doing on a day-to-day basis. It empowered me with making healthier, more informed decisions and habits for living cleaner and abundantly.
2. NEVER SETTLE
Mediocre is a word that I’m only OK with when it comes to a breakfast buffet—mainly because I intermittently fast and usually skip it. If you were to rate your job, a close relationship, your environment and even your daily schedule on a scale from one to 10, with one being empty and 10 being utterly fulfilling, where would you rate those aspects of your life?
If it’s below a five, I ask you then: What life are you waiting for? Why settle? Live it now. Or, at least take the first step to move upward on that scale.
3. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
I had four main people in my life when I was going through treatment. Four. I had plenty of friends that were off in college or doing their own life thing, but just four who were actually there in the trenches with me. And I’m alive and well to this day.
Friends. Clients. Vacations. Family interactions. Calorie consumption. The quality of what you’re taking in is far greater than the quantity. Make each one count.
4. SEE THE LIGHT, OR BECOME THE LIGHT
Cancer presents some dark tunnels ahead, whether you’re in it now or post-treatment in remission and beyond. And let’s face it: Life does too. When we can see the light in those tunnels, rather than focusing on the dark, more often than not we start to attract more life into our lives.
Even on the darkest days, see a flower and the life it spawns. Enjoy a delicious cup of coffee and be present with each warming sip. Eventually, with a more mindful approach, you’ll see light in more places than expected.
5. THE BIG C ISN’T CANCER, IT’S CHOICE
The phrase “the big C” can get a bad rap. Rather than seeing cancer as the “C,” what if we redefined it as a big choice? It’s the choice to choose a different mindset; choose a different lifestyle; choose to meditate five minutes a day; choose to move our bodies for 20 minutes.; choose a new life plan that creates joy, life and fulfillment. I say, why not? It’s your choice.
Learn more about the author at saraquiriconi.com.