I must confess I went through a Give Way sign the other day. It was 5.30am, dark and I was in unfamiliar territory. As I followed the curve in the road, I could have sworn I was on a roundabout and had the right of way. After all everyone knows Canberra is full of roundabouts and the airport is no exception. It’s full of them! I was lucky the other driver saw me and gave the horn a blast. But for the whole day, I couldn’t work out what his problem was. It was a roundabout after all, or was it?

My curiosity got the better of me and I went back to check it out in daylight. And then I saw it. The Give Way sign. And I realised with a sinking feeling that while most of the intersections around the airport terminal are roundabouts, despite the curve, this one is not. I gave thanks to the other driver for being more aware than I was. For seeing things differently. I was so sure it was a roundabout, that I was driving with this blinkered mindset. I simply didn’t entertain any other possibilities. They weren’t even on my radar. And despite the evidence in front of me, my self-imposed blinkers prevented me from seeing the reality of the situation. But it was there for others to see and it was only my mindset that blocked me from it.

We talk about this phenomena during the Embracing Chemo programme. How we can approach chemo and cancer locked into a particular mindset, a particular set of beliefs that do not let us see the other, often more positive, possibilities. Many people don’t realise these beliefs affect our decisions and our physiology. Isn’t it interesting that our beliefs can create much of our experience. Because there are many possibilities in life, aren’t there. There for our choosing, if only we could see them.

Many people don’t realise that stretching our minds can be one of the most proactive things we can do to help ourselves make the experience of cancer and cancer treatment that much easier.

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