We cannot change who we are, we can only know it, or not.
– Jenn Greenhut
Religion is not a factor in the face of a daunting cancer diagnosis. And regardless of what religion you identify with, the human spirit often finds solace, strength, and healing in the profound practices of prayer and meditation. Amidst the whirlwind of medical procedures and emotional turbulence, these ancient and deeply spiritual practices become beacons of light, illuminating the path with hope and resilience. I have developed a meditation practice ever since cancer, and it’s been such an amazing tool, that I have continued to practice daily. You cannot change what is happening around you, but you can definitely change what is happening within you. My goal is always to keep the peace and love inside of me that is always there, remaining non-reactive, calm, and present, no matter what is going on around me. I have experienced the God within me. I realize now, we are all made up of this energy, Source, the Universe, and we have everything we need to exist. To know who we are is the most powerful superpower we can embrace.
1. Prayer: A Source of Comfort and Connection
Cancer, with its challenges and uncertainties, often leads individuals to seek comfort beyond the realm of the tangible. In the gentle whispers of prayer, there is a profound reassurance that one is not alone in this struggle. It becomes a sacred conversation, where fears are laid bare, and hopes are expressed. Through prayer, cancer patients find a deep sense of connection—with the divine, with loved ones, and with the universal energy that binds all living beings. This connection becomes a source of immeasurable comfort, reminding them that they are held in the arms of a higher power, even in the face of adversity. We all have guardian angels, and prayer is just another form of communication.
2. Meditation: Cultivating Inner Resilience
Cancer disrupts not only the body but also the mind and spirit. In the practice of meditation, individuals discover a sanctuary within themselves. Amidst the chaos of treatments and the whirlwind of emotions, meditation becomes a journey inward, a process of self-discovery and acceptance. Through mindful breathing and focused awareness, cancer patients learn to navigate pain and discomfort, finding moments of tranquility even in the midst of physical distress. This inner resilience becomes a powerful tool, empowering them to endure the challenges of cancer treatment with grace and fortitude. I recommend reading The Power of NOW by Eckhart Tolle. There are also so many guided meditations on YouTube that are FREE and great to get you started. I like Dr. Joe Dispenza, Sharon Salzberg, Abraham Hicks, and Tara Brach. Lastly, I worked with a meditation teacher on a weekly basis (Jennifer Leigh Friedman). We met virtually and I found it to be a very important part of my healing journey.
3. Fostering Hope and Positivity
Prayer and meditation are potent sources of hope. In the darkest hours of the cancer journey, they shine as beacons of positivity. Through prayer, individuals find the strength to believe in the possibility of healing, even when the odds seem insurmountable. Meditation, on the other hand, teaches the art of living in the present moment, finding beauty and joy amidst the pain. Together, they instill a sense of trust—a trust that transcends medical prognoses and statistical data, reminding cancer patients that the power of belief and positivity can work miracles.
4. Healing Beyond the Physical
The healing power of prayer and meditation extends far beyond the physical realm. They touch the emotional and spiritual core of individuals, offering a balm for wounded hearts and weary souls. In the silence of meditation, emotional scars are acknowledged, and acceptance begins to replace fear. Through prayer, forgiveness and gratitude find a voice, transforming bitterness into acceptance and anger into peace and love. This holistic healing nurtures not only the body but also the mind and spirit, fostering a sense of completeness and wholeness. It is a practice, and like everything, the practice is something that is neverending, never perfect, and always changing.
In the journey through cancer, where the body is tested and the spirit challenged, prayer and meditation stand as pillars of unwavering support. They offer not just moments of respite, but pathways to profound transformation. In the gentle folds of prayer and the quiet depths of meditation, cancer patients discover the extraordinary strength within themselves—the strength to face each day with courage, to find beauty in the midst of pain, and to embrace life with an unshakeable spirit. These practices become not just rituals but lifelines, guiding individuals through the storm towards the promise of a new dawn—a dawn filled with love, acceptance, forgiveness, healing, and the boundless possibilities of the human spirit.
For more information about Zero Negative, visit www.ShopZeroNegative.com, and check out the book I wrote with my husband, Everyone Needs a Larry, on Amazon. It’s a he-said-she-said story about how we survived love, marriage, and stage IV cancer, and it’s written by the patient and caregiver. We help couples turn their negative cancer journeys into positive, healing experiences!
To a healthy and happy world,
Jennifer Greenhut Tollin turned her stage IV breast cancer diagnosis into an inspiring, uplifting story. The lessons she learned led her to create Zero Negative (www.ShopZeroNegative.com), which promotes love and positivity through accessories. A portion of the company’s profits is donated to UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation to support cancer research. Jennifer’s story and products have been featured on Extra Tonight, Good Morning LaLa Land, the Hallmark Channel, Ventura Blvd Magazine, and in various podcasts. In addition, she was honored by UCLA Health and the Lakers in their Laker For A Day program, sharing her story at a Lakers Game. She was a US National Gymnastics Team member and an actress, singer, songwriter, and yoga teacher.
In addition, she also wrote a book with her husband, Larry Tollin, called Everyone Needs a Larry. Told from both the patient and caregiver perspectives, Everyone Needs a Larry is a he-said-she-said quirky and humorous survival story that shares the mistakes, lessons, challenges, and joys of a couple fumbling their way through love, marriage, and cancer. Whether you face the challenge of cancer or another adversity, Jenn and Larry demonstrate how our scariest times have the possibility to become our greatest chapters. Life is about sharing stories, healing ourselves, and helping others, and now on the other side of cancer, Jenn believes you will always win at life once you LOVE who you are and the challenges that come with being you.
X (Formerly Twitter)- @jennandlarry