The dictionary defines health as: well-being, healthiness, fitness, good condition, good shape, fine fettle; strength, vigor, wellness, physical state, physical shape, condition, constitution.

It seems that when we say health, it is implied that we are talking about our physical state of being- more specifically, the function of our body.

What if we were to take a broader perspective, use the strength, vigor and well-being definition of health as a large umbrella, with not only the function of the physical body sheltered under it, but many other aspects, such as relationships, attitudes, economic, spiritual, mental and emotional? Would that not expand the field of health care and healing tremendously?

I propose the concept that health is only a reference point, a point of evaluation in the many aspects of our lives and the term health care is not limited to only the physical, mental and emotion body.

For a car to function effectively and efficiently, all it’s parts must be in fine working order, there must be fuel in the tank and someone to guide it’s course. If there is a problem with the transmission in our perfect car, it causes strain on the rest of the drive train, and the car does not function as smoothly and efficiently. I propose that all parts of us are so interconnected that when separating them into little categories, the pieces in the categories lose their life force and the interconnectedness between all the other parts, and we don’t function so well.

My point: it is so easy to focus on one thing- a physical ailment, an emotional upset, mental trauma, financial woes, what is not working in our relationship- or even not having one, that we lose sight of all the rest of us. It is like we steal energy from the other functioning parts of ourselves and put it all where our attention is focused. A case in point is the current ‘symptomatic’ approach to health care of our bodies.

What about the careful balance that exists between all elements? When attention and energy get too concentrated in one area, other areas get robbed of energy, the energy flow gets distorted, and a cascade of events move more chaos in the system. It does not matter if the energy is focused on something positive or something negative. Too much in one place causes imbalances and distortions. The trick is find balance AND the life we want.

Lets use the scenario of an 65 year old lady diagnosed with terminal cancer. This is a highly charged emotional topic. Perhaps you know someone in this condition? Notice what happens.

For many of us, the diagnosis of cancer = fear (of death). A vast amount of her energy and resources go into processing this information. She has the power to choose whether this is devastating information or simply another challenge in her life or a gift. In the first two cases, much of her time and attention are drawn to this condition. And she draws the energies and attention of those around her into the cancer situation. In the meantime, energy that she normally would have to take care of family, her relationships, her financial picture is re-directed to her cancer- and these other areas begin to suffer. It is like the cancer takes on a life of it’s own, gathering energy and life force from not only the lady with the diagnosis, but her family, friends, and doctors. Maybe she can’t work because of the treatments she is taking. Maybe she doesn’t feel good enough or is too tired to socialize. Maybe the pain dominates every waking moment, and depression sets in. As more and more of her attention gets sucked into the vortex of cancer, the rest of her life loses energy; apathy sets in, her life is not as interesting and stimulating, and her world deteriorates into a more chaotic state. The ultimate state of entropy and physical chaos, is death: which shifts her to complete coherence again as her energy field takes on a new state of being.

What if this person could have chosen to see cancer as a gift, a means to expand her awareness and become more of who she is? What would have happened then?

Let’s speculate. Perhaps the vortex of cancer would not have been so big. Perhaps cancer’s life force would only be taking a small part of her life energy. Perhaps she could have kept energy flowing to the different areas of her life. Perhaps the reflections of herself that she sees in the life situations around her would give her encouragement. Perhaps she stops resisting and makes peace with the blessings in life she has been given. Perhaps energy flows more evenly, nurturing her on her journey. She may still choose the cancer path to exit her existence on the planet, but maybe she does it with grace, dignity and peace.

What is the gift of cancer? What does it teach us about who we really are?
This is a very individual experience that each of us has to choose how to respond. It is really hard to not get caught in the fear of the diagnosis for cancer. Seeing the bigger picture may or may not stop the cancer activity, but at least will give perspective to the event and perhaps even bring personal and spiritual growth, and ultimately, peace.

Author's Bio: 

Seeking her whole life for a 'cure' to psoriasis, Elaine discovered the 'key' for her was in her spiritual connections with her Divine Self and Spirit Guides. From there energy 'trickles' down into the physical. She has extensive knowledge about many healing modalities; her favorite is Eastern philosophies. She is a Spiritual Midwife, Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Breema© Practitioner, Soul Realignment™ Practitioner, Health and Life Coach, Licensed Tax Consultant and Business Owner. For more detailed information about Elaine, go to her website: and her blogs: and