Food for Thought

Practical ideas for raising your spirits

Inspirational quotes and prayers

Music to soothe the soul

Having cancer can be a frightening and stressful business. You will not only need practical help, but also emotional and spiritual support if you are going to get through the ups and downs of treatment. Here we have collected some sayings, prayers, and images which we hope you will find inspiring and uplifting. We have also made suggestions for music to feed the soul, including mediation and relaxation selections. If things are getting you down, sit a moment and read, think, enjoy the beautiful images. Give yourself time to recharge your spiritual batteries.

Practical Ideas to Raise your Spirit

Have days when you don’t watch, listen or read the news. Much of the news is depressing or alarming, and it can make you feel anxious and helpless to be confronted with such rafts of universal misery.


 

Get outside and connect with the natural world, even if it is only an urban park or garden. Nature soothes us, helps us to relax, and the fresh air will invigorate you.


 

Spend time with people you love, and those who make you laugh and feel good about yourself.


 

Sit and listen to some favourite music. Music acts on our spiritual and emotional energy. It has the power to uplift, soothe or inspire us.


 

Have the DVD of you favourite movie to hand, and sit and indulge. (some favourites include The Sound of Music, Some Like it Hot, High Society.)


 

Don’t allow yourself to get hungry or thirsty. It’s easy to forget to eat and drink when you’re busy, but doing so can make you irritable and emotionally vulnerable without realising the cause.


 

Get a new bed, or at least a new mattress. It’s amazing how many of us endure the discomfort of old, lumpy, cramped beds without realising how much it ruins our rest and sleep. Impoverished sleep can contribute to unnecessary emotional highs and lows.

Inspirational Words

Sayings & Prayers

There is more to life than increasing its speed.

Mahatma Gandhi

The more you are focused on time – past and future – the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.

Why is it the most precious thing? Firstly, because it is the only thing. It’s all there is. The eternal present is the space within which your whole life unfolds, the one factor that remains constant. Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.

Secondly, the Now is the only point that can take you beyond the limited confines of the mind. It is your only point of access into the timeless and formless realm of Being.
Have you ever experienced, done, thought, or felt anything outside the Now? Do you think you ever will? Is it possible for anything to happen or be outside the Now? The answer is obvious, is it not?

Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, book and CD


“Every day, God gives us the sun – and also one moment in which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy. Every day, we try to pretend that we haven’t perceived that moment, that it doesn’t exist – that today is the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if people really pay attention to their everyday lives, they will discover that magic moment. It may arrive in the instant when we are doing something mundane, like putting our front-door key in the lock; it may lie hidden in the quiet that follows the lunch hour or in the thousand and one things that all seem the same to us. But that moment exists – a moment when all the power of the stars becomes a part of us and enables us to perform miracles.”
Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

“Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted.”

John Lennon

space

space

space

With wings which I have won for myself,
In love’s fierce striving,
I shall soar upwards
To the light which no eye has penetrated!
Its wing that I won is expanded,
and I fly up.
Die shall I in order to live.
Rise again, yes, rise again,
Will you, my heart, in an instant!
That for which you suffered,
To God will it lead you!
Gustav Mahler’s continuation of the poem Die Auferstehung by Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock written for his 2nd symphony, known as the Resurrection Symphony.This is a beautiful, stirring piece of music.

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving…
TS Eliot, Burnt Norton from the Four Quartets

Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.
M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
From Psalm 121: 1-2

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, no. 6

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Dalai Lama

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18

Every time you make a decision, something happens. When you make a different decision, something different happens. What happens depends on what you decide. Wherever you look, all that your five senses can see is the movie. You can’t see outside the theater, but you can decide what the movie is about. You do that with each of your decisions. This is a very important thing to know because your life is the movie.
Every decision you make causes something to happen. Sometimes it happens right away. Sometimes it takes a while. Either way, you choose. Once you understand this, you can make your movie the way you want it to be.
Gary Zukav, Soul Stories

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 6, 34

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
John Donne, Death Be Not Proud

Music & Meditation

Relaxation & Meditation

Seven MetalsSinging bowls of Tibet, Ben Lobst

1, Tibet – Nada Himalaya, 2, Deuter (1 also good, but 2 is fantastic.)

Dawn Chorus, recordings of birds at dawn in Britain. British Library

Sound Bath, Tom Kenyon

Alpha Relaxation System, Relaxation Company

Yogi Marlon site for a wide range of yoga DVDs and books

Guided Meditations on CD

Meditations for Life, Rod Stryker, from Pureyoga.com

Meditations for Inner and Outer Peace, Rod Stryker

Relax into Greatness, Rod Stryker.


Modern

 

Chet BakerIn Paris

Bob DylanThe Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde

John LennonImagine

Tina TurnerSimply the Best


Classical

Albinoni: Adagio for Organ and Strings

Johann Sebastian Bach: Air from Suite No. 3 in D major

Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings

Beethoven:
Violin sonatas Nos: 5, 8, 9
Symphony No 4 in B flat Major

Berlioz: La damnation de Faust

Elgar: Enigma Variations
Cello Concerto

Handel: Water Music Suite No 1 for orchestra in F Major

Mahler: Symphonies 2 and 5

Mozart: Anything by him, but these are some favourites:
Requiem Mass in C Minor
Operas: Cosi Fan Tutte
The Magic Flute
The Marriage of Figaro

Schubert: Quintet in C Flat, Allegro

Sibelius: Symphony No 2 (Finlandia)

Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending