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why i never ”battled” cancer

Cancer didn’t just happen to me. It took time. I remember something within me trying to talk to me long before it decided to go it’s own way and become cancer.  It yelled and screamed. It made me uncomfortable. It made me sad. It cried and and made my belly tight. I ignored it. So it finally gave up. It was done with me. It hit the road and went it’s own way and took a whole bunch of other cells with it. They all became a tough gang called “solid tumor.”

I often notice the words people use to describe people with cancer.

“She is battling cancer.” “ He lost his battle with cancer.”

“His fight against cancer.”

After my own diagnosis, many told me to “fight” this cancer, that I “can win”. It felt as if I was suddenly in a boxing match that I could win if I only could only “fight” hard enough. At first I thought, “Good news! If I only fight hard enough, I can be healed!

I’m terrified here. I’m alone. I need to fight for my life…I’ll do anything! I’ll fight.  Just tell me what to do. I’m ready.”

So I put my gloves on, took a crouching position to protect myself and squinted. I looked around to have a look at the competitors who were…..me and…me again!

In one corner was a healthy part of me and in the other corner, there was the cancer that may be in my body, which is also me.

It got me thinking…who is my opponent? Who is the enemy? In both corners it is only ME. I looked around and could only see my own body. There was no enemy, only my own body. I realized there was nobody to fight. So I took the gloves off. And took a long, deep breath.

Then something unexpected happened as I released from the crouching. I no longer felt alone and terrified. I slowly began to smile more. I even danced. Almost every day.

I felt that I had been suddenly awakened and became aware of the precious gift of life. I became aware of the only vehicle I had for life: my body. I became aware of me.

By knowing that I did not need to fight my body no matter what its condition may be in, something deep began to relax inside. I felt a wonderful acceptance.  Then, a lightness came. I felt an openness surrounding me. I felt support all around me. And most of all, I felt love.

There was nothing to fight, fix or change. I felt like my own best friend.

And as best friends do, they listen, not fight.  So I listened to my body as a whole, and then I listened to my cells that were going their own way: the cancer cells.

They looked very intimidating. I was terrified.  But I still kept the gloves off.

Then I had one of the most beautiful experiences of my life: I dared to look at cancer straight in the face.  I was terrified but knew I had to listen. I felt it had something to teach me. So I listened. Humbly.  It expressed much sadness and hurt.  And it was angry; the same way children get angry.

Cancer was not the monster I had imagined. And it was certainly not the enemy. It was a part of me that reminded me of small little boy who was sad and lonely. And ran away from home.

It was a part of me that I had forgotten about. A part that I didn’t listen to.  A part that I hadn’t loved.  That part simply wanted to express itself and to be seen. Most of all, it wanted to be loved and accepted.

More than ever, fighting was not the right thing to do. How could I fight someone who’s sad and lonely? Sad and lonely needed a friend.

I knew after that listening experience that I needed to make some radical changes in my life.

There was no room for compromise. I needed to live life to the fullest! I needed to respect what that ill part of me longed for. Not easy, I tell you.  Why isn’t that easy, you may ask?  Because what we long for is often not what others would like us to do. And being a pleaser, this was especially difficult for me.

I still need to remind myself every day to listen to only me and nobody else.

I do this by staying very close to myself. Because there are a lot of voices out there in this big world.

I have to listen very closely, because my body is so gentle and loving…it only whispers.

I now trust that listening to my deepest voice can only lead me to health and deep love. It already has.

By listening, I am getting to know parts of myself I didn’t even know were there. And I like those parts. They are love. Love is always with me, no matter what. Cancer or no cancer.

 

Jivan Dios is a Canadian Family Constellation Therapist living & working in English, French & Greek  in Stockholm, Sweden and on the Greek island of Crete where she offers couples retreats, therapy & holistic healing.

Have you been diagnosed with a serious illness? You are not alone, and there is support. Online sessions are available. Visit her at www.opentherapy.se 

email jivan@opentherapy.se

tel. +46.760.455.299

 

 

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you are still innocent

Do you remember when you were a little child, you felt joy simply by running free for no reason,could laugh while chasing butterflies and could play with the same toy for hours? Your belly felt totally relaxed, knowing somehow you were completely safe? When you were sad, you cried. When you were angry, you yelled and frowned.

You were innocent then. Guess what, you still are.

This innocence and simpler way of being are still inside of you and each and every one of us and can be felt at any moment, no matter what hardships you have endured. This simpler way of being cannot be taken away from you. It is essentially who you really are. You possess a wonderful inner intelligence that is based not only on your mind. This intelligence is much bigger: it comes from a knowing from your entire body. You are an amazingly intelligent and loving soul with simple needs. Your deepest wish is to live happily and playfully, with a career and relationship that makes you thrive and live your fullest potential. Sounds simple, and it can be. You just need to listen.

Transforming pain, depression, blame, unhappy relationships, chronic illness, fear and anxiety into something more beautiful than you ever imagined is not only possible, but easily within reach. With this shift, a deep inner compassion is revealed as well as a closer and deeper relationship with yourself and others. With this shift, healing happens. Life becomes more fun and creative, richer, full of wonder, love and gratitude. In fact, this is what life wants for you every day. Life is always wanting you and helping you to come back to your true nature of boundless joy and unconditional love.

Jivan is a Canadian Family Constellation Therapist living & working in English, French & Greek in Stockholm, Sweden, as well as on the island of Crete in Greece where she offers couples retreats, therapy & holistic healing.

Online Therapy is also available.

email jivan@opentherapy.se

tel +46.760.455.299

 

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lessons from a dog: just be yourself and hug

 

He loves for no reason. He plays for no reason at all. He simply IS whatever he is doing. He doesn’t overthink anything.  He is open for anything and everything! He is Buster the dog. And we will be caring for him this week at our home.

I noticed yesterday that he is currently the most loved being in our home. Humans included.  When he is playing, I want to join in and hug him and kiss him and play! And so does everyone else.

I wondered why  we were much more likely to hug and kiss and play with this dog than with the human beings in our own lives?

For example, when a human friend comes through the door, I feel very happy to see her, but don’t jump on her, dance around her and tell her she is “the cutest thing ever” every time I see her.

That thought made me realize that I think that that friend would probably love the same welcome I offer the dog. And I would like that too.

At the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to be welcomed with open arms, a big smile and an even bigger hug?

I notice that during such moments, I often don’t allow my natural spontaneity to come through. Buster has helped me realize that I want to play more, hug more, kiss more, and just be myself–more.

Thank you, Buster.

We are not very different from dogs. We only think we are.

Buster

Buster

 

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Jivan Dios is a Family Constellation therapist living and working in English, French & Greek in Stockholm, Sweden & on the island of Crete in Greece where she offers couples retreats, therapy & holistic healing.

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Feeling stressed? Read this.

It happens to all of us. We feel overwhelmed. We feel tired. We can’t focus on what we’re doing. This is what I call Stress.

You’re looking at that computer screen with a blank stare. You don’t remember ever having chopped those 2 onions. You think to yourself, “Let me just keep going”, even though something is just not feeling  right inside. You need to stop. Now. You are feeling stress.

Stress means that You are trying to tell You something and it’s time to listen.

First thing’s first. Close your eyes. Breathe. Breathe again. Look for a quiet space where you can be alone and relax, be it at work, home or (even better) outside. While siting down, feel your bum on the ground or seat. Feel how the ground or seat is supporting you.

Relax your body, or as many muscles as you can, and breathe. Ahh! Doesn’t that already feel better?

Now, let’s gently go a little deeper. Breathe through your mouth at a slow, steady pace for a few moments. Be curious about what you’re feeling. Notice any discomforts or pain in your body. Is your chest tight? Maybe your shoulders are tense. Do you have a headache?

Becoming aware of our physical sensations first can help us feel emotions we have a hard time with or didn’t even know we had.

While staying with your breath and these bodily sensations, you may begin to notice different feelings coming up. Are you feeling sad about that argument? Maybe you’re feeling angry with that colleague? You might even feel sad and are crying for no reason at all. Good. This is all very good. You are listening to and honouring yourself! This is the time to allow all of that to happen. It is actually more than ok to feel angry, sad and hurt. It’s called being human. The important thing is to take a few moments to actually feel those things and to allow it all without judgement, and not put them aside and “wait for later” cause “it’s not a good time”, and my personal favourite, “I shouldn’t feel this way”. All of these feeling are energies that need to be released, just like when you feel like dancing when you feel happy…it just needs to happen.

Energy needs to move!
Something amazing can happen when you express exactly who you are and how you really feel….You feel free and alive and You have become your own best friend. You were there for You!

Plus, you might even remember how many onions you chopped.

 

 

Jivan Dios is a therapist living and working in English, French & Greek in Stockholm, Sweden and on the island of Crete, in Greece where she offers couples retreats, therapy & holistic healing. Online Therapy is also available.

email jivan@opentherapy.se

tel .+46.760.455.299

 

What tools do you use when you feel stressed?

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And feel free to comment below….

 

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4 Festive Drinks For An Alcohol-Free Party

Since I greatly reduced my alcohol consumption, I realized how much drinking  felt almost mandatory during most holidays, most of them anchored in a boozy tradition.

Since I follow a low-alcohol diet (not to mention plant-based), I usually tend to feel a little boring with my tall glass of water.

This year, I will come prepared. I will feel festive! And I would like to help you, too!

At some party events, I allow myself a tiny bit of alcohol (a little high-quality organic wine never killed anyone), but for the most part, I will be sipping on the super-yummy, alcohol-free drinks I suggest below. Pouring these drinks in beautiful glasses such as wine, Champagne or Martini makes them that much more fun.

Eat, drink and be merry!

 

1. Green Juice or Smoothie

Is there any better time of the year to have a yummy green juice? I think not. With your tall green drink in hand, you will look and feel better than any drunken leprechaun I’ve ever met.

It is always preferable to make your own green juice or smoothie at home, (see below for my fave) where you can save cash and select your own top quality organic  ingredients. Of course, any organic store-bought green drink will do just fine. Just make sure all ingredients are organic and that the sugar content is in check. 

St-Patrick’s Day Green Smoothie

Yield: 2 servings

   1 avocado

   1/2 banana

   1 cucumber

   a fistful of kale or romaine or spinach

   coconut water (or purified water)

   a sprinkle of cinnamon or some cacao (optional)

1. Blend ingredients in a high-powered blender.

2. Kombucha

One of my favourite party drinks, Kombucha is a probiotic, raw food that aids digestion and boosts the immune system with its enzymes and Vitamin B. With a nice fizz, it is fermented tea that tastes and feels delicious and festive. It even looks like Champagne!

kombucha

Fizzy Kombucha

The Chinese have been using it for 2000 years and refer to it as ”The Tea of Immortality”. Good enough for me!

My absolute favorite flavor is anything ginger.

 

3. Coconut Water

coconut water

Vacation-y Coconut Water

Fresh Coconut Water (not to be confused with coconut milk) is one of the healthiest foods you can put in your body. With its elevated  electrolyte content, it is highly hydrating and contains many vitamins and minerals your body will thank you for.  Plus, it is super refreshing at a hot, irish party. I avoid canned coconut water  and make sure I buy 100% Coconut Water with no added anything. With a twist of lemon and few strawberries popped-into a martini glass, you got yourself a party!

 

4. Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranates are low-sugar fruits rich in vitamins C, E and whole range vitamin Bs and minerals. They are alkalizing and anti-inflammatory.  Need more? They also contain lots of antioxidants and flavonoids (all the healthy stuff in red wine, without the damaging alcohol). Because of all of these amazing qualities, I drink Pomegranate juice every single day, midsummer or not. For an added festive feeling, I like to add a little pear nectar or mix it with some Kombucha. I buy 100% pomegranate juice, not from concentrate.

pomegranate juice

Pomegranate Juice

What are your favorite festive alcohol-free drink?

Would love to hear!.

Just enter your comment below

Jivan Dios is a SE Trauma and Family Constellation Therapist living in Stockholm, Sweden and on the island of Crete, in Greece.

Visit her at www.opentherapy.se

contact jivan@opentherapy.se