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Editor's Note: The following is the introduction to a new book I have written in which I seek to offer encouragement and support to anyone diagnosed with cancer. The book shares some of my thoughts and experiences since being diagnosed with colon cancer in the fall of 2013. The book is entitled The Upside of Cancer: How a Terrifying Illness Led Me to Courage, Wisdom and Inner Peace. It's a slim volume which I plan to publish soon.

There’s no history of cancer in my family, and it was a shock, to put it mildly, when I was diagnosed with colon cancer in the fall of 2013.

But here’s the surprising thing: despite the fear and discomfort I experienced following my diagnosis I am happier now than I have ever been.

It is as if the cancer, designated stage 2, has forced me to go deeper into the courage and wisdom of my true nature. I’ve discovered, in the process, that our true nature is not fear—it is love, which as the disciple John proclaimed, “casts out all fear.”

Don’t get me wrong. Fear still arises. But as I move forward in my 80s I find that almost anything makes me happy now: watching a bird, saying hello to a server in my favorite coffee shop, listening to the sounds of a nearby creek, washing the dishes.

My new happiness has a boundless quality to it. I am dreaming new dreams and setting new goals even though at the same time I am becoming more practical in various ways. This is extraordinary, because I have always been a poet and a dreamer at heart; my wife, JoAnn, is the practical one.

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A timeless invitation for 2015

I send greetings and love as a New Year dawns and wish for you what I wish for myself — that you may be at peace and unafraid in the midst of whatever joys and perils lie ahead. Is this possible? Is this actually possible in such unpredictable times? It is possible, I believe, if […]

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Accepting our abundant nature

I stepped out on the front porch first thing this morning to connect for a moment with the larger world of which I am part, and was overwhelmed by the grandeur of it all. It’s one of those clear, sunny days that Colorado is so good at, and as I looked up at the blue […]

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Claiming the gift of inner peace

If you or I were to win a lottery one day, I’m sure we would waste no time in claiming our reward. But we already possess a gift of enormous value given to us freely at our birth. It is the gift of inner peace — the peace of our own eternal presence – which […]

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Do you want to change your life?

“Stillness is the cornerstone of true character.”– Native American saying. Do you want to change your life? Do you want to heal your life? Make stillness your friend. In stillness is our solace. In stillness is the wisdom and courage we need to handle the tribulations and challenges of life. And in stillness we hear […]

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Thoughts from Heaven (2)

A moment of wonder As I walked out onto our front porch this morning, my gaze was drawn to the Russian Olive tree that stands a little distance from our house on a small hill. A robin was singing at the top of this tree. It’s a rather scrawny tree in a way but birds […]

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Thoughts from Heaven (1)

A thought about thoughts What to do with those negative thoughts that grab hold of you sometimes when you’re not looking and do their best to ruin your day or even your life? Some try to ignore them. Some try to change them. But really, who cares? You are an angel of light sent from […]

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It’s time to be free

It’s time to be free. You don’t have to disguise yourself any more. I don’t have to disguise myself any more. Turns out a great secret is in process of being revealed in this time of blood and chaos. We are being given the opportunity by a Universe of Love to acknowledge the truth that […]

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3 steps to your true purpose

It’s natural, as we age, to wonder at times if our life has had meaning. I had a touching letter from an older reader the other day in which she says, “I don’t seek honor or praise, but just that I left the world a tiny bit better than had I not existed. I don’t […]

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Listening to our own calm, steadfast spirit

We live in a time of great change. Confusion, conflict and fear seem to be on the increase everywhere. And yet paradoxically, something else is intensifying also – the call of our own calm, steadfast spirit, unchanged and unharmed by any of the events transpiring in us or around us. Whether we face adversity in […]

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Doing our best every day no matter what

I received such a touching letter this morning from a reader of my blog who has become a close friend in the past few months, and who recently was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. “My life expectancy is about five years,” my friend wrote, “which I intend to live fully and make it longer!” We […]

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Please read my guest post at Good Life Zen

I’m happy to announce that my good friend, Mary Jaksch, has just published a guest post that I submitted to her a week or so ago entitled “Can adversity be a door to a new life?” I put a lot of myself into this post and would be delighted and very thankful if you’d like […]

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Is death really the end of everything?

Is death really the end of everything? No, it’s not. It’s the end of our physical body, obviously. But it’s not the end of our spirit. How could spirit, which is ageless, ever have an end? Heck, it doesn’t have a beginning, as far as I can see. Many years ago, when I was a […]

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The healing power of a smile

“The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.”—Dale Carnegie The human smile has been a source of wonder and mystery for ages.  We are still fascinated by the smile – or the suggestion of a smile – on Mona Lisa’s face. A lot of […]

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Can cancer open a door to a new life?

Can cancer open a door to a new life? And can life keep getting better as we age? Absolutely. There will be dips in our journey, of course. But while aging has its perils and challenges just like any other phase of our lives, it also has a remarkable promise to offer – a promise […]

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