Cancer in the Vortex: Zoe Routh
Of all the challenges deliberate creators may face, a diagnosis of cancer can strongly test our ability to stay happy and aligned (aka “in the vortex”). Even if we’re just supporting friends or family with cancer, our alignment can be tough to find.
Which is why I asked the brilliant LOA Coach Zoe Routh for her take on this topic:
When I was told I had cancer – almost six years ago now – I think I got belted as far as can be possibly imagined from the vortex. Terror, fear, despair are all pretty non-vortexy.
One thing I knew for sure at the time: that there was no way I would heal if I stayed out of the vortex in sludgy vibes. So my ‘work’ in dealing with cancer was to edge myself back into the vortex. (Quick primer on the vortex here.)
How the heck do you do that when you’re faced with a potentially life threatening illness?
First of all you face the facts.
Cancer is not some evil insidious invasion. It is just some cells that have gotten out of balance and freaked out. Kind of like kids on too much sugar. They’re not evil; their behaviour is.
So I made peace with my cells and sent them loving thoughts. I made peace with lots of my body parts. I made peace with lots of my life too – let go of ‘shoulds’, and ‘ought tos’, and obligations. I became a stress free zone. I opened up to all the loving support that started to flood my way, and felt myself edging much closer to the Vortex. This is when I started to see and feel appreciation for my experience.
I started focusing on each day, valuing the loveliness and delights of life in a way I had never seen or experienced before. Very vortexy.
When I went in for my surgery, I was a lot more aligned with well-being than I was before my diagnosis.
So when I got news on Friday that my five-month pregnant sister had breast cancer there was a distinct lack of hysterics. I thought to myself, ‘this is ok, this is manageable. She’ll be fine.”
Part of me was wondering, ‘should I be more upset? Was I being callous by not being more emotional?’
Well, duh, no! How is me being hysterical in any way going to help her get in alignment with well-being?
Time to face the facts again: she is in the care of very good doctors, the cancer type is not aggressive and localised, the surgery will likely remove all the troubled cells, people survive this treatment all the time with no problems, the baby is in no danger from the surgery or any post-operative treatment, she’s got a good and loving husband around her, my mum will be there to support her too and help with her two year old, she’ll be in and out of hospital in a day, and bonus extra – the breast reconstruction will mean removal of some belly fat and matching in shape and size – a tummy tuck and boob job at the same time, all covered under insurance – nice!
The fact is, if we think that it’s no big deal, that’s what it is.
If we catastrophise and imagine the worst, we set ourselves up for alignment with an unhappy ending.
I know what I prefer.
So I’m doing cancer in the vortex:
- I’m focusing on what’s going well, on the overwhelming evidence that there is far more wellbeing than we give the Universe credit for.
- I’m holding an image of my sister as she truly is: happy, laughing, and vibrant.
- I’m holding the intention that she will cruise through this, focused on what she wants, not what she doesn’t want.
- I’m trusting her body knows how to return to balance.
- I am trusting she is savvy enough to give herself space to align with peace and ease and flow.
- I know she is smart enough to take the benefits of the illness: support from Mum, rest and reading, and the flood of love and support from friends around the world.
- It’s nice to know that so many love and care.
I’m thinking of cancer with a little ‘c’. I’m not buying into the hysteria and hype and statistics (these are as Abe says, just evidence of what other people have done with their energy and has nothing to do with this situation). I’m buying into the story that cancer is no big deal – treatments are fast, effective, and getting better and better.
I’m living proof there is life – a very good one – after a cancer diagnosis.
I’m hoping by my example I’ll invite my sister to the Vortex too.
How would you do cancer in the vortex?
Zoe Routh is a Magnetic Leadership coach and expert with over 20 years experience in leadership and personal development, maximising the potential of youth and adults through outdoor adventure. She has worked with thousands of individuals and groups and counts amongst her previous leadership roles Staff and Training Director of Outward Bound Australia, President of the Chamber of Women in Business, and Chair of the Outdoor Council of Australia. Zoe also develops and delivers leadership programs for the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.
Zoe is committed to better leaders, better business, and better life for her clients. Get her tips when you subscribe to the Magnetic Leader at www.innercompass.com.au