10 January 2011

2011 - Ideas and treats

2011 was the year I turned 60 and stood back from my usual activities to review and reflect. The blog of 13/12/10 summarises something of this ongoing process. Now for some personal thoughts on the future; and in this blog a few modest suggestions.

The question is, how to be most helpful? How to help the most people possible? My own focus for helping people is through healing – healing the body, healing the emotions, mind and spirit.

There would seem to be three primary avenues for healing – conventional medicine, complementary and alternative medicine, and lifestyle medicine.

Over my 30 yrs in this field, I have observed some real progress. Meditation, for example has gone from alternative, to complementary, to mainstream. Great progress. But some aspects of things like nutrition still seem more on the alternative end of the spectrum, and lifestyle medicine itself seems under-recognised and under-valued. There is much to do.

My focus for the years ahead will be on working in this arena of lifestyle medicine and hopefully contributing to its ongoing development. The appeal is that lifestyle medicine focuses on what a person can do for themselves – diet, exercise, meditation etc, etc. It complements all else. It is cheap to teach, easy to learn. You can take it anywhere, do it any time. It has very few side-effects except chronic good health and its research base is strong. Perhaps its big downside is that financial support for it is limited. Currently this is a non-corporate venture – with no pills or products to sell, just techniques that empower all who learn them to better manage their own health.

For myself, lifestyle medicine neatly divides into 3 broad areas:

  1. Healing – and I remain committed primarily to working within the cancer field; although lifestyle medicine has direct relevance to all illnesses and to disease prevention.
  2. Wellness – and I wish to continue my long-term passion in this field too.
  3. Spirituality – which is really about finding long-term, sustainable happiness – the area that underscores all that I am interested in.

For the immediate future, writing is a commitment. The blog will continue. I have just completed a major rewrite of my old “Imagery” book that will be released in May as “The Mind that Changes Everything”. Next comes an extensive rewrite and update of “You Can Conquer Cancer”. Along with this, I continue to explore avenues for using the new technologies usefully, and I will begin to present workshops again later in the year. More on this later.

I welcome feedback or suggestions for “You Can Conquer Cancer” – elements you feel need more or less coverage along with feedback and stories you can offer.

Also, if anyone has interest or energy for these plans and share in the vision of taking personal health empowerment to more people through a lifestyle-based approach, please do contact me, either through the comments section below or writing to PO Box 575, Yarra Junction, Victoria 3797, Australia. (I still prefer letters to emails although I seem to be doing more of the latter these days!)

Three suggestions for 2011:

  1. New Year’s Resolutions are just that – resolutions! Definitions are so useful: “resolution: determination, firmness or steadfastness of purpose. The act or an act of making up one’s mind, a positive intention”. (The Oxford). Most New Year’s Resolutions fail because they lack most or all of the above. On the surface there can be all sorts of excuses, reasons, evasions; but in essence we change habits and we begin things anew when we put our mind to it and make a firm inner commitment. Think about it. It really is all in the mind.
  2. A Suggestion: Adopt the habit of gratitude. Research shows it to be a powerful antidote to depression. Experience proves it to build inner peace and wellness – a positive, healthy state of mind. Each evening as you get into bed, dwell on three things from your day you can be grateful for. And if during the day you find yourself lapsing into feelings of gratitude for even the most ordinary of things, that would be OK too.
  3. Treat yourself:

As there is a steady influx of new people reading the blog, it may be helpful to point out a couple of related posts from earlier times, so here goes:

  1. 2010 in Review - 13/12/10
  2. Meditation and Satisfaction – 5/10/10
  3. In the Beginning – 4/10/10


  1. I read Eckhart Tolle's New World over the Christmas break. It did inspire two very simple resolutions for me:
    - remember to breath (at least a few times a day take a really conscious breath)
    - remember that the main purpose in my life is simple to be present. Everything else is secondary to this.
    (I dont need to resolve on continue meditating that goes without saying!)
    Martin Hosking

  2. Thank you Ian your regular reminders on what is important are a blessing to all. Robyn