Why I Created An Anti-Anxiety Pocket Meditation
My relationship with Breast Cancer started when I was 11 years old. My mom, Perlita, had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy on her left breast. My only true understanding of cancer at that age was endless visits to the hospital and watching both my parents go through the wildest emotional rollercoaster ride they had ever been on. I think my parents thought they were doing their best to hide the stress, fear and anxiety from my sister and I but it was easily felt through the silent rides home and the lost facial expression that was permanently etched on my mom’s usual brightly-eyed spirit. I’m sure my mom’s understanding of cancer was not far from my understanding as a child. As an immigrant with very basic English and being in an era that did not have access to a worldwide web full of information, the most she knew about cancer probably came from a few pamphlets and some of the doctor’s explanations that most likely went way over her head.
Every time I go through the motions of my own annual check-ups, I think of how lucky we are to have access to all the information, resources like Rethink Breast Cancer and advanced medicines to have a broader perspective on breast cancer to maintain a positive outlook compared to the late 80’s and how much more fear my mom would have had to endure to go through the motions blindly. I truly believe the fearful mindset didn’t help my mom in reaching her full recovery. My mother had no support tools to help manage this fear and anxiety; in the 80’s “self-care” and “stress-tools” were not part of the vocabulary. We lost my mother to this “dis-ease” on the day of love, Valentine’s Day and years after that the same life-stress also took the life of my father, Nestor.
After so many years of re-living these memories I am able to see the life lesson and importance of committing to a life of enjoyment and work-life balance. This journey has led me to becoming a meditation and mindfulness coach to be able to help others discovering tools to manage the stress and fear for unexpected circumstances in life. Pocket Meditations is inspired by fellow humans and real moments in life. And for me, there is no “realer” moment than having to sit in the waiting room for an annual MRI or mammogram and to know that the results of it could change your life. The fear and anxiety may be sensed even more once our mind starts wandering about all the stats of cancer, the higher risks because of a family history and/or past memories of seeing our loved ones fight for their lives. When we meditate, we can observe when our mind is pulling us into these stories and to identify what is “real” in our wandering minds to return to the present moment. The Hospital Anti-Anxiety Pocket Meditation was created to help you lessen the fear and anxiety that arises in the hospital and move to a place of care and love for the self. – Natalie Matias
Have you been experiencing anxiety after your cancer diagnosis, click here for more information.
Natalie Matias is a mindfulness and meditation coach in Toronto. Visit www.nataliematias.com for more resources.