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Meet today's guests:
Bringing Calm to Cancer, David Dachinger and his wife Tamara Green, LCSW are co-founders of Loving Meditations and international best-selling authors of their book, Live Calm With Cancer (and Beyond…). David is a Grammy® nominated composer, fire lieutenant and stage-4 head, neck and lymphatic cancer survivor. Tamara is a psychotherapist, dating & relationship coach, and meditation facilitator, who Elle Magazine dubs “the soul-centered relationship and meditation expert.” Together they create meditation programs that dynamically assist those living with cancer and other major life challenges. Loving Meditations has the only app specifically designed to help cancer patients, survivors and caregivers cope with their physical and emotional symptoms.
Imagine going to the doctor with your 13 year old son and being told your child has Lyme Disease and will need to start an intensive treatment immediately. Now imagine, it's four days later and you are sitting across from a doctor who has just told your seemingly very healthy husband that the lump he's found on his neck is stage 4 cancer.
It feels like too much… even just writing about it.
Yet it's exactly what happened to my guest Tamara Green and her husband David Dachinger!
But they didn't let that stop them.
Instead they used the experience to become aware of and question limiting beliefs; to practice using the tools they knew about to stay grounded and calm, such as, meditation, yoga and mindfulness; to learn and implement many new health strategies into their lives; and even to come up with a way to share all this information to help others with their cancer journey.
Out of their experience was born the international best-seller, Live Calm with Cancer (and Beyond) as well as Loving Meditations, the first (and currently only) app specifically designed to help cancer patients, survivors and caregivers cope with their physical and emotional symptoms!
I read their book and I truly believe every person dealing with cancer (or really any life threatening illness) in any way would benefit by reading it. So whether you're a patient, caregiver, professional, neighbour, co-worker to a person going through this journey…This book would be an awesome addition to your library. It would also make a great gift to anyone you know who might be dealing with this challenge.
You'll find the link for where to pick up the book and the app (along with a complimentary gift Tamara and David created) at the end of this blog. But before you go there, let me share some of the highlights from this uplifting and empowering interview.
February 4th, 2018 was World Cancer Day…In this interview, David and Tamara provide quick and easy mindful tips you can use to decrease anxiety and overwhelm and feel grounded and calm. They also share a breath technique that'll have you blissed out pronto.
David shared with us how receiving a cancer diagnosis put him into an immediate state of chaos. His mind was going crazy trying to listen to the treatment plan the doctor was describing while thinking about having to be off work and putting life on hold for 4 months or more.
"How am I going to get through this; what am I going to do about work; the kids; the mortgage?"
"I realized I had a choice on how I was going to experience this whole journey. I had the choice of looking at it like the worst thing that could possibly happen or as an adventure… "
"What can my body and I do throughout this cancer journey that would be more like an epic survival story rather than that of a victim who puts all their power into the hands of the doctors?"
"I joke that I was the poster child for good health at the fire department where I work and, just in general, because I was always keeping myself fit and eating good food. So it felt like a failure initially, to have to tell these guys that I work with that I've got this stage 4 cancer and I'm not going to be coming to work for months…. It's how you get up from something like that, how you reinvent yourself from something like that that really defines you"
Tamara's experience was different from David's yet no less intense:
"I'm the caregiver to not only my husband who's very sick but also to our son who is very sick and there's no one else in the house. So it's just me, kind of holding down the fort for everything.
I really did go into a lot of fear and had a few sleepless nights until I realized …hey, wait a minute…what am I doing? Let me take my own advice that I would give my own clients and take care of this fear."
Tamara taught us about what fear really is and laughed as she shared some of the ridiculous ideas her brain was creating around what was going on. She talked about how tools she already knew and practiced, such as meditation and gratitude, suddenly became life lines for her. She also shared some very important tips for all of us to remember:
"Even though I had a practice like this [meditation], it doesn't mean that if you're going through a major crisis or challenge in your life that you have to have years of practice behind you. You can start immediately with super simple things that you can do to have these mindful moments or even a meditation practice."
"A great tip for self-care is to make it a priority; to set time every single day just for you – at least 15 minutes to talk to a friend on the phone, get your nails done, or take a luxurious bath. Fit it into your calendar and make it happen.
Fortunately David was so supportive of me making time to take care of myself so that I could then turn around and take care of my guys. So I didn't stop my yoga practices and all the things I do for self-care."
Listen to the interview to find out how David used his cancer journey as an opportunity to push the reset switch; to enjoy Tamara leading you through a short, yet powerful meditation session; and for both of them to provide plenty of little tips and tools that helped them not just survive this challenging time in their life, but truly thrive!
Check out David and Tamara's website at lovingmeditations.com