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Episode 8. The First Step to Healing: Embracing Change with an Open Mind

Feb 27, 2024



Today, I want to talk about…one simple thing…you can do to instigate…your healing journey. Because I can start confusing things and say to you to really heal, you need to look at your mind, body, and soul. But how do you get started with that? It becomes a bit overwhelming…So we break it down today. And what I really want to talk about is to instigate your healing mindset to start moving forward, it all begins with having an open mind. It's about having an open mind to challenge how you think about and experience your illness, but also all aspects of your life.



Embracing Change: The Key to Overcoming Health Hurdles


My life today would be so different if my answer had been “No!” to the following questions.


  • My physio suggested using a walker. And my immediate response? No.
  • A friend shares a positive experience with energy healing. And my immediate reaction is, “No!” that sounds strange, not interested.
  • Or feeling constantly drained, and someone suggests considering doing my job differently, even considering a different career. And my innate response was “No!”. I don't want to do that. I don't want to because MS has won then, and I'm having to give up the career I assumed would be mine. “No, I don't want to.”


So often, we automatically say no when ideas are suggested to us. And if I had said “No,” which automatically I did early on, but if I continued on with that, then I would have felt stuck. I certainly wouldn't have created the momentum I needed to stop my MS relapses. Fortunately, in dealing with this massive hurdle of stage four breast cancer, I'm already looking for opportunities to challenge my thinking. So I'm not saying “No” straight away if people say have you considered, for example, going on a healing retreat? Yeah. That sounds great. Why not have my two mastectomies in time so I can go to that healing retreat because within me, I know that will help me to continue on this healing journey.


But it's not about saying yes to everything, not at all. It's not about jumping on every piece of advice or trying every new method or every new treatment you hear about. You don't want to indiscriminately say yes all the time. Because some things won't be right for your journey. Some things won't encourage healing, and it might be right for someone else, but you know deep down it's not right for you.


Throughout my life, I've received countless well-intentioned suggestions, but I know they haven't been right for my journey. But I've learned to listen, to genuinely consider what's been suggested, but then to trust my intuition. And if we take that back a step, that's why I talk about how important it is to quiet your mind (or quiet your mind, I never know how to say that). But it's so important to learn how to sit with how things feel. So if someone suggests something and it doesn't feel right in my gut if I think no, that's not going to help me then I know it's not right for my journey.


I often talk about the pivotal time in my life was back in 2000 when I was just 25 years old and lying in a hospital bed for months and months unable to move, then learning how to walk again. And I was at such a loss. I didn't know what to do to get better. I didn't know how to stop the relentless relapses that kept landing me in hospital. But what I realised was lying in that hospital bed, that my health had to be my priority. My health was everything. And realising that made me bolder, and it led me to make choices I'd never previously contemplated.


I decided to take a redundancy package and to pack up and travel overseas by myself. And that started an incredible healing journey because I decided to change things up to do things differently. I knew if I got back walking, if I returned to the same apartment, to the same job, to doing things like I always had in my twenties, I knew that the relapses wouldn't stop. And I never want to experience the fear of lying in hospital unable to move again. That forced me to be open to consider new ways of approaching my life.


And since that decision to open my mind to challenge how I think about things, my life has changed incredibly. It has meant not only did I travel, but when I returned home, I work. Then I started thinking about where to live differently. I thought if I'm going to stay well, if I'm going to stop these relapses, life back in a city wasn't going to work for me. So I moved to a regional town, and that's where I studied social work.


Then after another massive relapse, I thought things are going backwards again, so what do I need to do differently now to live in alignment to ensure I prioritise my health, and that's when we moved down to the beach.


Although I won't go through all the different changes I've made, one thing they all have in common was I stopped automatically saying “No!” when I was brainstorming different ways to live my life. So, I started being open to new ways of working, a career change. And I started thinking about new places to live, and that led to a sea change.


And getting into this pattern/ Of looking at my life and thinking okay, am I in alignment, and am I living a life that prioritises my well-being? When I started doing that, it became so much easier to have an open mind to consider different ways of thinking about and experiencing my life.


And I'm so glad I've learned that skill because in being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, I was again opening my mind to do things differently. So I started my own online business, I started Hurdle2Hope®. We bought 100 acres of land, a place I know is right for my healing.


Challenging Conventional Thinking: A Path to Healing


There's a saying which I know you would have heard of, and it's, “If it ain’t broke, don't fix it”. But the thing is if we're not well. If we're living with conditions like MS or another autoimmune or neurological condition. Or whether it's like cancer, like I also have. It doesn't matter. Our bodies. Our spirit is signalling distress. And it's signalling that what we're doing to live well, it’s not working. So it is broken, and we need to start changing things up. We need to start creating a life that's more conducive to our well-being.


If all this seems too hard, if you think no, I'm too scared to make changes, or I feel out of control. Like, changing my job, no way, I'm feeling safe where I am now. Or moving houses. “No!” I don't want to do that. You know it doesn't have to be these big changes. It just needs to be some small steps to start the momentum by doing things differently.


And I want to get you thinking about this perhaps a little differently as well. Part of opening yourself to new experiences, to new ways of doing things or approaching your health. This is where the magic happens. This is where unexpected growth and transformation in your life can happen. That's what I want you to get excited about.


If you're thinking change is too hard. If you keep saying “No!” to doing things differently, think of it like you're robbing yourself of unimagined possibilities. You're robbing yourself of amazing experiences that can still be part of your future. If I had not said “Yes!” to traveling. If I had not said “Yes!” to exploring natural therapies. I know my life would have turned out so differently, and I know my health would have been compromised.


But part of my healing has been open to new experiences. And although I'm not a fan of having MS and stage four breast cancer. Absolutely I'm not going to sit here and say I'm happy that happened. But I'm certainly happy where my life is at the moment in terms of where I'm living, what work I'm doing. And the relationships I have.


Embracing Change for Healing

"I won't inundate you with endless suggestions right now about how you can change things up. If you keep following the Wellbeing Interrupted podcast, if you enter the Hurdle2Hope® world, then I'm constantly going to be challenging you to not keep saying 'No!' when different suggestions, or different stories or insights are shared that may help you to live well.


So let's keep it simple. To live vibrantly despite a life-changing illness, an open mind is crucial.


I really want you to avoid immediately dismissing ideas that push you beyond your comfort. Or dismissing ideas that make you question limiting beliefs or patterns of behaviours that have kept you stagnant. That have stopped you from moving forward. Because without an open mind, your illness will start dominating every aspect of your life. And that will lead to feelings of being trapped, being in despair, being a bit pessimistic about your future.


And I've been down that road. Particularly early on with MS, I was so despondent about my future because I couldn't see how my life would ever be filled with any hope. And that sense of hopelessness is awful. And in living with now stage four breast cancer, I have hope for my future. And that seems a little ironic now that I'm living with what's considered a terminal diagnosis. But I know that I'm open to exploring different ways of treating my cancer, of experiencing my life.


And what I ask of you, I guess, is that if you continue on with the Wellbeing Interrupted podcast, if you're open to the different courses and different workshops that I have coming, that you have an open mind."


The Health Journey Beyond Comfort

I truly believe, based on what I've experienced with living with MS for 25 or so years and now breast cancer, is that when you start daring to venture beyond what's comfortable, beyond what's familiar, although that's scary, that is when you start regaining your power, and that's when you'll find a renewed sense of hope and lightness in your life.


I want to leave it there, and I really want you to reflect on this a bit. Because I truly believe that the first step on your healing journey is to have an open mind, and that will come with practice. But start by stopping saying 'No!' straight away when new suggestions are made. And you'll gradually start building momentum so you can stop feeling stagnant and powerless, and you can start reclaiming your life.