A lot of people who come to our workshops are very sick. While we’ve witnessed countless miraculous healings, not everyone makes it to the other side of recovery.

I say this because recently we’ve lost some beloved members of our community. Many of you attended workshops with these people and formed deep bonds and friendships. Others of you have seen them as true inspirations who caused you to believe in yourself even more. When we lose people we care about we often find ourselves asking, why did someone who possessed such a will to live have to die?

Speaking from my current state of ignorance, as far as I know we’re all going to die. No one, at least no one I have met so far, has avoided death. When someone courageously fights a disease for a sustained period of time, but ultimately surrenders the battle, it should never be viewed as a failure.

The most recent member of our community to pass was Carolyn Mickelson. The other day I had the opportunity to speak to her husband David. When I first met the two of them at a Vancouver Progressive Workshop the weekend of July 4th, 2014, cancer had taken hold of her. Like anyone in her shoes she was worried and scared, but beneath it all—just like I see in each person who comes to our workshops—I saw a light. All of us have this light in us, but not all of us have the courage to let it shine.

David shared with me that Carolyn had been challenged with a host of health maladies and conditions throughout her entire life. When she was diagnosed in 2013, the doctor told her point blank—as if handing down a death sentence—that she would be lucky to make it three months. There was simply no way she would survive longer.

Most people would have cowered and given up in the face of such news, but according to David, the diagnosis changed Carolyn’s life. Although she had been given less than a few months to live, Carolyn didn’t listen to her doctor’s prognosis.

Instead, every day she worked on changing her state of being by combining her intention to live and be healthier with daily states of elevated emotions, such as gratitude and love. In the process she extended her life by more than two years from the time we met, significantly changed her blood values for cancer, altered her attitude, and shed a good portion of her fears. To the benefit of all of us who witnessed her battle, she inspired us to live in our light.

David told me that out of all of the therapies and treatments Carolyn performed and received during her fight against the disease, the one thing that helped her the most—physically, emotionally, and mentally—was doing the work. He felt that the act of doing her daily meditations was the most effective treatment she had.

Whereas for much of her life she had been living in a constant state of fear and by the hormones of stress, she became “tough and resilient,” as David put it. He felt that she had actually won the battle against cancer, because she extended her life for 42 months after the diagnosis. David was very grateful Carolyn found our work because he knew it had extended and enhanced her life, but she had reached the point where she was ready to go.

The fact of the matter is not everybody heals from cancer because it’s not an easy process. While it’s possible, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. When we overcome ourselves, we demonstrate by example what is possible to others. When people witness the fruition of healing that began as a possibility in thought, more people begin to get better because they see it’s not just a theory. It’s like the four-minute mile—while once thought humanly impossible, Roger Bannister showed that it was possible. By breaking that mental barrier, many others began to accomplish the same feat. In other words, once the deep-rooted belief was shattered, possibility presented itself.

As with anything, there will be people who will make it and others that won’t. The bottom line is healing and/or overcoming the self is not easy because we’re reprogramming subconscious beliefs, past conditioning, and even strong social paradigms. To make it more challenging, sometimes we’ve only known one way of being our entire life. Fortunately, there’s been enough people who have healed in this work, and each time someone does, it sets a precedence of possibility. But just like the intense daily training it takes to improve someone’s time in sprinting a mile in under four minutes, we have to train daily and push ourselves beyond our personal limits as well. That means doing our daily meditations as we train the mind and condition the body over and over again.

To me, Carolyn made a great effort to do the work, especially in the face of stage 4 cancer. To live as long as she did was in fact a heroic act. The lesson here is we shouldn’t lose faith in our own personal healing, or lose our resolve in what is possible, because someone who came so far didn’t make it. The facts are she lived two more years with her family and friends, worked on a consistent basis every day to calm down her emotional body and to overcome her fears and anxiety, challenged the beliefs of her doctors when they witnessed how she changed her body by thought alone, and inspired all of us in the process. Someone has to make the effort to show others what is possible. To me, Carolyn has become one of my heroes—an individual, a leader, and someone who was willing to live and even die for the truth that we can heal ourselves by thought alone.

My goal when someone is sick is to increase their quality of life, extend their life for their family and friends, show them that they do have control over their health, and let them know their doctors aren’t always right. This requires reconditioning our bodies to a new mind and a change in our beliefs that is steady and consistent over time.

The fact is there are many people who have healed themselves despite what the “experts” have said.  Each time someone heals themselves, another person breaks the four-minute mile. While this may not be 100% of the time, where we are today in witnessing remissions from so many diseases is miles from where we were just a year ago. As we all continue to do this work, that percentage will grow as we shatter beliefs and show others what is truly possible.

Photo by LuciaJoy