I Think of You and Smile…


The other day I was able to connect with a patient of mine who is currently in the hospital.  She’s doing fantastic (relatively speaking); a few days ago she wasn’t feeling well as her bowels are a bit (very) blocked up and she is battling cancer currently.  Recently her husband emailed over her contact info at the hospital (she’s been in for about a week, but needed some time to herself for calming her own nerves), so of course I called her!  I started our chat with a “laughter yoga” hello (a customary “ho, ho, ha, ha, ha!)  And I could already feel her smile through the phone.  We caught up on her health, her improvements, her challenges, her eagerness to get home soon.  Some serious chat-time, some laughs and all genuine connection.  Ahh… what a great start to the day!  I finished the call with another laughing outburst which led to contagious laughing from her, and I felt we both had an equally good start to our day.

Sometimes it takes the smallest gestures to share kindness.  I think of many friends and patients daily.  If I haven’t called you or heard your voice lately, or emailed or facebook-messaged you, don’t think I’m not thinking of you. 

I encourage you to find a way to connect with someone you’ve been thinking of today to allow both of you to smile.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!



Nurturing Hope

Do you nurture the hope within you?  Or do you allow fears and worries to guide your actions and thoughts?  In 2012 I encourage you to nurture the positive inspiration and hope that can come from within the depths of your being to manifest in health and happiness.  Why am I thinking about this, you might ask?

Well, as a health care professional working with a large number of cancer patients I am often surprised to hear about patient experiences with family members and friends and even health professionals (often radiologists, oncologists and family practice medical doctors, but not limited to these), which are less than hope-inspiring.

I am aware that there is a fine line between healthy optimism about health care outcomes and offering false hope to patients, but if this line is so fine, why are people more comfortable in preparing themselves/friends/family or even their patients for worst-possible scenarios rather than the best-possible outcomes?

The mind-body connection in health has been demonstrated in so many of the patients I work with.  When there is despair or gloom, patients have difficulty in fighting off even the mildest of infections.  And when there is positivity and optimism, many patients overcome even the most chronic diseases. The term “overcoming” which can include everything from shrinking tumor sizes, to extending quantity of living years, to vastly improved energies and quality of life.  So why shouldn’t we encourage these sorts of outcomes with our own optimism?  Patients need encouragement to reach achievable goals.

I believe that each and every person should have some preparation for their own death.  This may include making a will, arranging  finances to ensure savings go to loved ones rather than to the government or to bill payments, or saying important and meaningful messages to our loved ones.  Often, however, it is the diagnosis of chronic illness that makes us think about these details.  But this should not become the focus of the patient or practitioner.  In doing this, one assumes that death is imminent.  I think death is eventual.  For all of us.  We know that this is the end that each of us will face one day.  If this encourages a person to truly live in each moment and appreciate the nuances of life, this is a wonderful thing.  If the awareness brings about a sense of hopelessness and desperation, this is not useful to the individual or for their loved ones.  I believe we all need to know that our lives aren’t forever.  But as long as we each have life, we should enjoy our families and/or friends and the beauty that surrounds us.  If any healthy person was caught up in gloom over his/her eventual death, we would be worried about depression leading to an earlier (possibly) self-fulfilling prophecy.  So why is it good to see someone with a chronic diagnosis in a hopeful state?  Symptoms can more easily be overcome and health can be more easily achieved with a positive and hopeful state of mind.  I have seen this time and again in my practice.

I am often reminded of the following poem that I read years ago when I face difficulties in either my own, my family/friends and even my patients’ lives.

When things go wrong as they often will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.

When the funds are low and the debts are high

And you want to smile but you have to sigh.

When life is getting you down a bit,

Rest if you must but don’t ever quit!

–Author Unknown

I hope this will encourage and inspire you to live in this moment.  Choose to be happy in the now and hopeful for a happy and healthy future.  There is always something good in the now – you just have to look for it and feel it.

Wishing you a happily hopeful and healthy year ahead!



RIP Jack Layton

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” — Jack Layton, 2011

Wonderfully wise and kind words from one heck of an inspirational leader.  I sincerely hope that our future leaders will be as clear in their messages and behaviours.

And I hope that every one of us will keep these words close to our hearts and the sentiments at the forefront of each action we take.



Qi of Life


Hello there!

Isn’t it interesting how so many of us want to share our ideas with each other?  Here I hope to share with you some of my thoughts and perhaps you will think about how you were also thinking about this, or perhaps you might see a new way of thinking about something?  Of course I would love to hear your (positive) thoughts as well.  I envision a mutual give and take of healthy and positive information that will enhance all of our lives.

Let this space be our Qi of Life.

With positive tid-bits to come…

Hanifamcos :)

“When our focus is toward a principle of relatedness and oneness, and away from fragmentation and isolation, health ensues” – Larry Dossey

by Hanifa Menen, BSc (Neuropsychology); former ND (now retired after 21 years of practice!) – helping people become empowered through the integration of Eastern Philosophy, Mindfulness-based Training and Energetic Rebalancing