Maite had two breast cancers. The first was in situ, a cancer with a localized tumour. Then, sometime later, she was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, which is a tumour that spreads into the surrounding breast tissue without necessarily affecting the lymph nodes. Looking back on those two experiences with cancer, Maite realizes how much she hid her pain and her feelings.
Maite felt she shouldn’t complain: she saw patients who, having undergone much more aggressive treatments than she, were much worse off. Yet, despite her own situation, she never paused to listen to herself or assess her needs.
Her work with Soul Reconnect, which involved learning from the videos and doing the self-questioning strategies, helped Maite realize she had mistreated herself by denying herself the emotional space she needed during those two spells of cancer.
THE VIDEOS AND LEARNING UNITS
Users can watch the videos and carry out the exercises whenever they want and “at their own pace”. Each unit goes live once a week to give users ample time to assimilate the learnings before moving on to the next.
As soon as she started watching the videos, Maite told us, she felt they were addressing her directly:
“That’s just how I felt right then and there!”
As Maite progressed through the units, she experienced many emotions, including delight upon learning something new and astonishment when making unexpected discoveries. However, she also felt emotionally intense and even sad. On one such occasion, Maite burst into tears when she realized she was enduring a situation she didn’t want to be in.
In short, the course proved to be AN AWAKENING that allowed Maite to stop living as if the cancer didn’t exist and instead come to grips with it and begin to make changes. In other words, she decided to stop “beating herself up” and become more tolerant and kinder towards herself.
Each unit includes exercises that help users to gain a deeper insight into themselves through personal experience.
Each person’s experience is different. For example, Maite felt the most profound impact when she did the Future Self exercise (Unit 6), in which the user is asked to imagine themselves in 5 years’ time, in 10 years … and what their life is like right now.
As she says:
“The Future Self’ exercise was very shocking. At first, I knew where it was going, asking us to imagine ourselves at different moments in our life. But at one point, I was told to ‘look back’ and describe what I saw. What I saw was not pleasant. It had a massive impact on me. I clearly understood I needed to make changes in my life”.
Other exercises also had an enormous impact on her awareness-raising process. For instance, the Wheel of Balance helps users assess their satisfaction in key areas of their life and their relationship with their cancer. The tool allows them to see where they lack the balance they want so that they can define steps to transform this situation.
THE PERSONAL ISSUES ADDRESSED THROUGHOUT THE COURSE
One of the key benefits of the Soul Reconnect course is how the user is encouraged to explore personal issues in their daily lives that they otherwise might have overlooked, perhaps because they took them for granted or because, at times, they were too painful.
These are some of the issues that were highlighted in Maite’s case:
1. Relationship with her body
Maite became more self-confident and determined regarding her goals through her weekly work. She made good headway by taking responsibility and making firm commitments. Among the goals she set herself during the course was to lose weight, improve her nutrition and generally take better care of her body. Maite continues to make progress on them today.
I identified the areas where I wanted to progress and set myself a routine. I lost weight and started to make real progress.
Maite’s relationship with her family was distant. She left her hometown aged eighteen and cut ties with her parents, which was painful for her. However, she put those experiences aside and continued her life, thus rejecting a part of herself and her identity.
The course helped her reconnect with her own needs and emotions and revive her relationship with her parents. “The outcome was hugely positive and unexpected because I didn’t think I could transform an issue of this scale.”
I have reconciled with my parents. I’ve been able to forgive them and return home. Now I’m at peace with myself.
The training course for people with cancer encourages female users to explore the subject of their femininity. For Maite, it was like opening a door long kept locked: the exercise helped her see the emotional luggage she had to sort out.
Aware of the challenge of addressing her femininity, Maite decided to wait for a more optimal moment to approach it. However, she was confident that the outcome would be as positive as it was with family issues.
Maite’s analysis of her relationship with work was crucial to her transformation. Considering what her work meant to her and how she wanted to approach it marked a turning point in her professional career and personal growth.
She finally felt prepared to confront situations and make the decisions she had wanted to make for more than ten years. The upshot is that Maite now feels liberated and at ease with herself.
It’s interesting to hear Maite describe her experience with Soul Reconnect. Like many other people, she came to us after trying different therapies that didn’t fulfil her.
Unlike the therapies I tried, I felt progress from day one with the Soul Reconnect course. It helped me to see exactly where I was, who I was, and where I wanted to be …, which is where I went.
Users can delve as deeply as possible using the one-to-one virtual coaching and course exercises. “At your own pace” means precisely that: just as Maite did when she postponed addressing the question of her femininity.
Users decide how far they want to go and choose when and how they wish to do it. Soul Reconnect provides the user with empowerment tools to achieve what they seek and start working on what they want to transform in their lives.
This course and my personal work felt like a welcome ‘bombshell’, which acted as a catalyst. It gave me a massive dose of empowerment.
Maite described her personal growth experience during the course as a bombshell that empowered her to move forward. Who hasn’t suffered blows in life? Maite used the same term, bombshell when speaking about her second cancer.
She was grief-stricken. She made decisions that went against her innermost desires, putting her in situations where she didn’t want to find herself. However, the course was a driving force, emboldening her to make conscious decisions aligned with her desires.
Often, people with cancer are treated as weak and vulnerable creatures who cannot cope with situations. However, Maite’s example shows us this is precisely the opposite. Despite the challenge of confronting her fears and coming to terms with life, which led her to withdraw, she eventually emerged renewed.
ABOUT THE RESOURCES ACQUIRED
“If I hadn’t taken this course, I wouldn’t have been able to make the decisions I made, which changed my life.”
Maite was emphatic when speaking about the resources she acquired through her work with Soul Reconnect.
“If I hadn’t taken this course, I wouldn’t have been capable of making the decisions I made, which changed my life.”
She says. “I wouldn’t have been capable of…
- reconnecting with myself…
- feeling better and wanting to do things…
- feeling empowered and enabled…
- planning activities with other people…”
Maite described these emotions unwaveringly. Her eyes lit up as she acknowledged that sense of power and self-assurance she had acquired. She spoke of her self-empowerment process as almost addictive:
“As I did things for myself and saw they were working, I wanted more and more of ‘this Maite’ and this situation I was living. I told myself: ‘I want to feel all this and know I’m moving in the right direction. Thanks to this, I have found peace”.
Those first small steps of the decisions she took became enormous strides. For Maite, it was about empowering herself to make and fulfil commitments in the same way she honours her obligations to others. This is a remarkable achievement. We often are so used to putting others first that we forget about ourselves. And taking ourselves into account is not a sign of selfishness or narcissism – it’s a sign of emotional health.
Her friends were overjoyed with the progress she made “because”, Maite says, “it’s obvious from the outside what you must let go of. You sense this yourself, of course, although the final decision is difficult and requires strength. I felt emotionally weak like I wasn’t worth it. That’s why I couldn’t take those steps until I felt stronger”.
UPSHOTS OF COMPLETING THE ONLINE COACHING COURSE
Maite summarizes her experience with the online course as a “milestone” and lists among her achievements being able to:
- define where she wanted to be by taking the necessary steps to reach that desired place.
- want and know she can take charge of her life.
- feel empowered.
- make changes and continue to make them.
- cast off fears and self-doubt.
- reconnect with her family as well as with aspects of herself she had long forgotten.
- feel her physical aches and pains gradually subside.
- feel at ease.
As she says: “feeling at ease gives you a new outlook. I’m not afraid of the future. I know where I want to be and can deal with anything that might happen because I know where I want to get to.”
“Feeling at ease gives you a new outlook on everything. I’m not afraid of the future. I know where I want to be and can deal with anything that might happen because I know where I want to get to.”
MAITE'S MESSAGE TO OTHER USERS
“After my diagnosis, I was reluctant to work with associations. I knew I had problems, but I tried to avoid them. I was just as hesitant to take an online course of this type. But it has been a hugely positive and unexpected experience. It truly helped me turn my life around.
I highly recommend it. The course helps you connect with your inner self in a way you’ve probably never done before. You unearth feelings you might not have experienced before, which can be unsettling. Working on those aspects takes you elsewhere, to other inner places.
Her self-exploration has meant a brutal awakening: “I was living with cancer as if it didn’t exist. But I did have cancer, so the course helped me to stop beating myself up.
You’ll be surprised by the feelings that well up inside you. This course allows you to explore them and heal yourself”.
We conclude Maite’s case by returning to her words, which expresses energetically enthusiastically:
I didn’t expect that an online course could be so powerful. Thank you so much! You have helped me beyond your wildest dreams.
The ideas expressed in this blog are those of the author, a professional coach and a one-time cancer patient. They derive from her experience and training. Her opinions are in no way intended to supersede the diagnosis and treatment prescribed by the medical team.