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Four Lessons I Learned From Cancer

January 28, 2007
by Lianne Avila, MFT

Take Risks
Let’s face it life is short.  Don’t hold back.  If there is something you have been waiting to do now is the time to do it.  There is no better time than the present that is why it is a “present.”  A recent risk I took was packing up and moving to Southern California.  I had to step out of my comfort zone.  It has been an Awesome experience and I have met many great people.  For some it may be going Bungee Jumping.  Whatever it is do not wait another moment!
Practice Gratitude
When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I thought I was going to die.  Well, here I am almost five years later feeling better than ever.  I now realize I have so much to be grateful for.  I keep a gratitude journal daily and I never run out of things to write.  Each day is a blessing given to us freely. 
Take time to smell the roses
Slow down!  I was always in such a rush.  It never seemed like there was enough time in the day, especially to get sick.  Unbelievably I never got sick until I got Breast Cancer and then I got really sick.  What a tough lesson to learn.  Now I take time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life like having a mocha and a good conversation with a friend.  Breathing in the fresh air that we are freely given and enjoying our beautiful sunshine.
Remember to laugh and love at every opportunity
Did you know laughing can actually burn calories and is good for your stomach muscles and it was one of the easiest exercises around?  Everyday I ask for God’s help in helping me make the most of every opportunity.  There have been times in the past that I have been so off the mark and I don’t want that to happen again.  There are so many opportunities in life that we just let pass by and before you know it, they are gone.  These days I look for opportunities to laugh and they really are not that hard to find.
This journey with breast cancer has steadily led me to trust myself because I have made conscious choices from my heart, putting those choices to the test every day.  This trust has proven itself in my health, energy and vibrancy.  I am cancer-free and know I will remain so! 
Lianne Avila, MFT
Breast Cancer Survivor
“The concept of total wellness recognizes that our every thought, word, and behavior affects our greater health and well-being. And we, in turn, are affected not only emotionally but also physically and spiritually.”  Greg Anderson

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