Home Lifestyles Advice SEPTEMBER 2001 BRAINSTORM



Here, a little later than usual because I have been on Skyros for a month,
is our monthly bulletin. I scrapped the original in favor of this shorter
version because I felt something different was appropriate in light of the
events of September 11.
In Skyros I was leading a workshop called Create Your Future when news came
in of the terrible events in the United States. Suddenly we were reminded of
the degree to which others also create our collective future, and also how
puny some of our selfish goals seem in this larger context. Maybe there are
no grand gestures to make, but we can spend a bit of time every week thinking
of small changes or actions that might collectively help to make this more
the kind of world that offers a better future for everyone. Among these are:
Donating time and money to organizations that make life less miserable for
the poor.
Taking more care in terms of how we treat the environment.
Taking the time to let our elected representatives know what response we
want them to make.
Finding ways to help children retain their natural creativity and joy and
Letting the people we care about know how we feel.
Making the effort to find what unites us rather than what divides us.
Convincing those in power that when what we have done in the past does not
work, it is time to do something different.
I am aware that all of these sound prosaic, yet if enough people did these
very ordinary things, the world would change.
Bernie Siegel is a surgeon and author of several books, including "Love,
Medicine and Miracles." In an interview, he talked about the qualities of
patients who do well in their battle with cancer. He said:
"My wife came up with the term exceptional cancer patients. We realized that
a minority of people really participate fully; it is not about dying, it is
about living. They are not afraid to take on challenges. So this is what I
began to teach. There is a personality to survivors. This is true of any
activity you go into. If you said what makes a great athlete, actor,
statesman, whatever, you would find they have certain qualities. These
qualities are: action in terms of expressing emotion and doing things,
willingness to change your life, seeking wisdom and knowledge, and the
spiritual, devotional aspect. What I (also) found with one hundred percent
of these patients, if what they were doing did not work they would then have
You have to look at your life, because you could live seven years and say, I
have done all I came to do, or you may live 97 years and still not have done
what you were sent here to do. People need to say, What am I here for, what
is the purpose of my existence?"
Martin Bronfman was diagnosed as having terminal cancer, but he healed
himself of it. I think what he wrote applies to healing an individual, a
family, a society, the world:
"When there has been a recognition of the path to health, nothing must
interfere with that path. The development and maintenance of a positive
mental attitude is imperative. Nothing else must be more important.
It is imperative that we keep our hearts open and replace judgement with
acceptance. It is vital that we learn to love once more, and to allow
ourselves to be loved. We must relate in our relationships and use
communication to clear misunderstandings and disagreements.
With our hearts open to the love all round us, and fully accepting
ourselves,we can heal anything. Anything can be healed."
Until next time, Jurgen

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