Saturday, June 23, 2007

More on the retreat

The retreat is still interesting. Today we focused on using mindfulness to relieve stress and cognitive behaviour changes. Mindfulness is basically living in the present. It's almost impossible to do it all the time, as we do all have to remember our past or think about the future from time to time, but it's a good tool to have when we're stressed. Sometimes when we're stressed we are busy thinking about what has happened or what is going to happen; mindfulness allows us to let go of those times and to focus only on what we are feeling right now. It can make a situation much more manageable and bearable, that's for sure.

We were looking at the cognitive behaviour changes in relation to thinking disturbing or unhappy thoughts. Basically, we were trying to find ways to transform those thoughts into more positive thoughts. As an example, if you say to yourself that you'll never get through treatment because it's too hard and you don't have the strength (this is a negative thought, I guess), you could make it more positive be saying to yourself that treatment is very hard, that no one has strength all the time, and that's ok - it's ok to pamper yourself and take it one day at a time until you're through treatment. The exercise we did as part of this talk was very intense; people really opened up about what they felt, and the honesty was quite refreshing, if a little overhwelming.

Ian and I also helped Hopespring do some video scenes. Apparently the videos of us talking in a group setting, doing Qi-Gong, and talking together will be used in public service announcements. I've also been asked to share my cancer journey story for the same reason. It'll be interesting. My thinking is that the retreat is free so if I can help them in any way, I will do so.

I've also decided that I'm going to change Spirituality and Healing days. I'm currently in the Tuesday afternoon class but it often conflicts with Ian's dad's schedule. Therefore, I'll go to the Thursday afternoon class instead. The facilitator of that group is a better fit for me, too :)

After such a long day, we wanted to take it easy so we decided to rent movies. Tonight we watched the movie Unknown. It's about five men who wake up in a warehouse and who don't remember who they are. It's quite good; we enjoyed it very much and would recommend it.

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