“I can’t recommend meditation more with or without cancer.”
Buddha at Underground Cologne Ehrenfeld (sadly no longer there) – photo by (c) howlzap Cologne

Keeping calm while facing cancer sounds like an oxymoron, fear and panic come in waves and can take you away if you let them. They’ll kidnap your brain and spiral off into upsetting thoughts of the future given half a chance. Staying present, taking things step by step and keeping a positive outlook do make a difference and meditation unequivocally helps me to do this better, not perfectly but better.

I’d dabbled in the hippie arts of meditation for years, only really using it in times of need when it felt like a good thing to do. Tried it in the mountains in India and in the deserts of Australia and just at home on my own. It never really stuck although it did make me feel better and more “me”, more connected to my inner strength and power. I needed more structure I guess but even when friends did it religiously daily it didn’t stick with me. I worked in a holistic centre for a while and I loved the weekly mediations with the group but when I left the centre I left the weekly habit behind too.

Then I tried Headspace in 2015 in the summer when I was feeling stressed with too many deadlines and no space in my own head – I’d seen Andy Puddicombe’s TEDTalk www.ted.com and was willing to give 10 minutes a day a go.  An app was just what I needed; wise words on tap and flexible structure. I can honestly say I was hooked from day one – I felt so much calmer and more focused. I’ve not missed a day since. The universe was looking out for me when I started the habit before I really, really needed it. Deadline stress has nothing on cancer stress: I can’t recommend meditation more with or without an app or cancer www.headspace.com