“The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” – Viktor Frankl
We do not often get to choose our narrow spots; however, we do get to choose what and who navigate the passage with us. We all have the resources to make choices – a well of resources with which to face life’s narrow spots.
External resources enlighten and enhance our internal resources; those gifts, like resilience and tenacity, with which we have been abundantly blessed. We need only to discover them, strengthen them and use them. Here are a few external resources I have found helpful:
Timeless books to accompany the journeys of life:
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Anne Lamont – Humorous and irreverent in its inspiration. A favorite.
Finding My Way: Healing & Transformation Through Loss & Grief
by John M. Schneider – A meaningful guide on the importance of acknowledging the losses of life and working through the grief that accompanies them.
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Hinds’ Feet On High Places
by Hannah Hurnard – This is an allegorical tale written with a decidedly Christian perspective, but in my opinion, with a much broader message – the heroine’s journey. I read it for the first time 35 years ago. I have re-read it several times since then, always requiring a new copy due to highlighting and margin notes. Read it with an open heart and mind.
Letters to a Young Poet
by Rainer Maria Rilke – contains one of my favorite quotes about living with the questions of life.
Man’s Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankl – A classic and a must-read for navigating narrow spots.
The Power of Myth
by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
by Eckhart Tolle
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
by Pema Chodron – A wonderful book of Buddhist wisdom.
The Earl Bakken Center for Center for Spirituality and Healing
Programing for medical professionals and general public. Quarterly newsletter The Mandala has interesting and informative articles.
Gilda’s Club of the Twin Cities
No one should face cancer alone.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Perhaps the single most important resource I have experienced. It started in Massachusetts with Jon Kabat-Zinn. It is available in most metropolitan areas.
NCI Office of Cancer Survivorship
Its’ mission is to enhance the quality and length of survival of all persons diagnosed with cancer and to minimize or stabilize adverse effects experienced during cancer survivorship.