The old, habitual, seemingly automatic ways our minds function from fear are what keep us from saying yes to Life. So like someone who has practiced a sport for years with ineffective technique, we have significant unlearning to do as well.
But do not mistake saying yes to Life as merely “positive thinking” or New Age healing. To the contrary, saying yes to Life is based on extensive research in health psychology, a field concerned, in part, with understanding how emotional and cognitive factors contribute to physical health and the prevention of illness. Don’t worry; this book is not cold, clinical, and full of research citations. Instead, it offers you very real and concrete examples, ideas, and exercises that you can use right now.
No matter what health challenges you’re facing; no matter how much fear or pain you may be experiencing; no matter how little control over your health and happiness you feel you have; no matter how worried you are about family, finances, and future; saying yes to Life will not only help you with what is going on now but may also even give your life new direction. Saying yes to Life will help you with your mental, emotional, and spiritual reaction to what is happening physically. It can take you from fear and confusion to clarity. As hard as it may be to imagine right now, you will even find ways to grow from what is happening right now.
There is no situation, no matter how catastrophic, from which we cannot learn and grow. I know, because I have negotiated several personal health challenges in my own life. And I have learned how saying yes to Life is the difference between suffering through a health challenge and growing into a better person because of it.
I see each health challenge I have experienced as a class in what is true and fundamentally important about life. Though I am not in any hurry to go through another health challenge and am enjoying life in the fullest, I am grateful for what each of my health challenges has offered me. Looking back, I know I would not be where I am today if not for the lessons I learned from each experience. For example, as I recovered from an illness that brought me close to death, I learned how to truly receive love, and a troubled relationship was healed. When I lost my hearing, I learned a multitude of lessons—from the many ways to “hear” other than with the physical ear to having the courage to follow my passion vocationally.
When I faced my first health challenges, it was certainly not with smiles and gratitude. My initial reaction was a mix of intense emotions, numbness, and even denial. However, because I gradually learned what it meant to say yes to Life, I am not only alive today, but also a happier, stronger, and more compassionate person.
Saying yes to Life takes us from fear and feeling as if life as we know it is over to seeing even the most challenging health situations from a place of clarity and options—even a place of growth and a deeper awareness. Instead of ruining our lives, it is possible that health challenges may actually enhance our days, no matter how many or how few days we have left. Saying yes to Life during a health challenge sets us on a course of being Life-centered in all situations, and as a result, we begin see the opportunities for growth and healing in every area of living.
In essence, saying yes to Life during a health challenge takes us from the worst place we have ever been and delivers us to the most meaningful place we can imagine. With this book, I invite you to join me on that journey.
Reprinted with permission from Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC, How to Say Yes When Your Body Says No: Discover the Silver Lining in Life’s Toughest Health Challenges by Dr. Lee Jampolsky is available wherever books and ebooks are sold or directly from the publisher at www.redwheelweiser.com.
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