#176 Creating Space for a Better Way

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When your closet is full, it’s a challenge to find anything and overwhelming to think about clearing it out. 

When your mind is full of an idea or belief it’s hard to see any other way to be or any other path that can be taken. 

That’s a painful place to be and a place we often put ourselves in when we believe there’s only one way for an experience to go. 

It’s where we get stuck when we believe life isn’t happening in the right way or the fairway. 

And it’s why you need to stop yourself sometimes and create enough space to stop creating more suffering than you need to endure. 


Read the full transcript here:

Laura Lummer  00:01

This is Laura Lummer, The Breast Cancer Recovery Coach. I'm a healthy lifestyle coach, a clinical Aruyveda specialist, a personal trainer, and I'm also a breast cancer survivor. In this podcast, we talk about healthy thinking and mindfulness practices, eating well, moving your body for health and longevity. And we'll also hear from other breast cancer survivors who have reengaged with life, and have incredible stories to share. This podcast is your go to resource for getting back to life after breast cancer.


Laura Lummer  00:37

Welcome to another episode of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. Happy to be here with you today. And I got to say something really exciting is happening right now. So February, you know, notoriously the month of Love should I say notoriously infamously, from famously depends on your opinion, of Valentine's Day in love. But let's just go with looking on the bright side, February, the month of love. And this has been a really big thing for me, I think, you know, focusing on self love, and self compassion is not just big, because it's February, it's something I've really been focused on a lot since shifting the way that I think about health and healing, especially when it comes to cancer. And the benefit of thinking in a way in which you love yourself and love your body. And not just you know, I'm grateful and grateful to be here. But like, truly appreciate and love yourself for the amazing human being that you are, learn to love and appreciate all that your body does for you in this life. And notice how that serves you how it just feels better to think about yourself. In that way, instead of judgment and criticism and self loathing and fighting your body and fighting disease and fight, fight fight all of that. So when when my mindset shifted, that is when I started really digging into and working on myself in this area of how do I talk to myself? How do I treat myself? What do I make my choices from? What do I make the decisions in my life based on? How much do I allow other people's thoughts to influence my decisions? How much am I really connecting to myself to see and feel how a decision feels to me. And that's really been a big part of this process as I research all of the great things you can do for a healthy lifestyle. And that includes food and exercise and supplements and relationships and attitude and meditation, right? It's all encompassing. And so this month, I'm very focused on unconditional love. Because I think it's so important. And we have so many barriers to that we have so many thoughts that block us from really appreciating ourselves from feeling comfortable. Expressing self love, oftentimes we judge that from whatever a cultural standpoint, or just all the conditioning that we've had for ourselves over the years of our life. So feeling comfortable and understanding true and authentic self care and self love. Versus oh my gosh, isn't that conceited? Oh my gosh, isn't that so pompous? Isn't that so selfish, right? All the labels that can go with loving yourself. So we're not talking about arrogance, we're not talking about pride, we're talking about truly just appreciating from your heart, who you really are. And so I offered a challenge to my members. And I said every single day this month, I want us to post something that you love about yourself, whether that's a physical attribute, or a characteristic, a personality attribute, whatever it is, because oftentimes I'll be coaching someone who's very, very down on themselves, and who's using a lot of language that's very harsh and very painful. And when I ask them to tell me something good about themselves, they struggle to come up with one good thing that they truly believe that they truly connect with that they say, I love this about me. And it's extremely difficult for many women to do that, for many survivors to do that. And I want to support changing that. Because we have to be able to appreciate and love ourselves for this full experience of being able to appreciate and love others have more empathy, have more understanding for us, for ourselves for others, and just live with less pain. You know, we create so much pain for ourselves. So I wanted to share that with you because the Better Than Before Breast Cancer Life Coaching Membership is open. That's an option. You can join that today at the breastcancerrecoverycoach.com/lifecoaching or I also want to invite you to come Come to if you're already a part of and haven't checked in for a while, or if you're in there, the breast cancer recovery group, which is my free Facebook group, because I extended this offer also into that group. And even though in my in my membership, you know, we're talking about it, and I'm coaching people on it in in our Facebook group, I really want to support the hundreds of women who are in there with this same process, this idea of learning to appreciate yourself, of learning to love yourself without condition. And so that's a big focus this month, because I think that that is foundational to just living a really full life, you know, dropping the labels, dropping the judgments, understanding that we are not perfect, because nobody is perfect. And this whole perfect thing is just craziness. There's no perfect person. There's no perfect face. There's no perfect body, right? I remember one time. I think Angelina Jolie is absolutely stunning human being. And I remember saying that to someone one time and I was like, Oh my God, she's just, I could just stare at her forever. She's so beautiful. And that person said to me, I don't get it. I don't see her that way. And I thought, really, Angelina Jolie, you don't think she's beautiful. And I share that here right now not have anything to do with Angelina Jolie, just that no matter how beautiful or perfect we think something is someone else will always have a different opinion. Because there is no perfect there is no one characteristic or, or perceived beauty that every human being will look at and say that is perfect. And so why do we hold ourselves to such a judgment? I hope that through this practice of conditioning our brain and really posting thinking about every single day, what can I love about me? What do I love about me? What value do I bring to my life into this world and to my family and to my friends, and learn to condition your brain to think that way to think about your beauty and your strength and your awesomeness, rather than what's not good enough? What's not pretty enough? What's not whatever enough, you know, so come and join us. And let's spend this month learning to love ourselves. I think it's awesome thing. So speaking of that, it kind of leads into what today's show is about. And here's what happened to me. So I'm in a situation where I needed to change medical insurance, or I thought I needed to change medical insurance. And if you're listening, either have had do have or been through breast cancer, you know how important benefits are. Right? And here I am in active treatment for stage four cancer, I have appointments for what I'm hoping for is a surgery to fix the lymphedema in one of my arms. I'm super excited about this and went through a lot of hoops to get appointed with a specialist, all this stuff, right? You know what I'm saying with all the doctor's appointments, all the meds, all the things that you need to get referrals and approvals for. So I'm in this situation where I'm you know, in this flow of treatment and doctors that I absolutely love. And then I find out that I'm going to have to get a different kind of insurance, a new insurance policy. And I got to admit, I did not feel comfortable with that. Because I know how insurance works, right? When you're in the system, you know how insurance works. And you know how many loopholes and how many times you think it's working one way and then it doesn't. And so I was very, very cautious and very, very careful as I chose my policy. And I made many phone calls calling and talking to people and double crossing my T's and double dotting my eyes and saying very specifically using very specific language. So I get this physician, I get this treatment, I get this medical group, right, verifying things over and over again. So I paid for it, which you can imagine is not is not inexpensive. And but I felt good. And I thought okay, good. I'm covered. And everything was supposed to start February 1, and I woke up to a phone call February 1 For my physician saying they chose another physician and they won't approve us. We're trying to put through your referrals and they won't let us. So to make a very, very long story short, I got back on the phone with the insurance company. And they're like, Oh, well, sorry. You were misinformed. And now I start the process of trying to force it right. I start the nope. This is unacceptable. This is what you promised me this is what I paid for. And I go from person to person and phone call to phone call. And I'm getting super frustrated, right? It is draining to me. I'm feeling emotional. I'm feeling angry. I'm feeling worried. And I'm just telling myself you know, this is this is bullshit. I was supposed to have this this is it right? This is unfair. And I started to notice thank God at one point I thought oh my god, I mean, I want to drink it's three o'clock in the afternoon. I want to drink, right. I mean, that's the, you know, saying that tenseness and the tightness and the just the awful physical sensations that come along with feeling very frustrated. And so I noticed that and I thought, okay, stop for a second here. So what is going on? His I'm looking at this from there's one way, there's one path, I'm trying to be a bull in a china shop, right? I'm gonna bulldoze through this, I'm gonna keep banging my head against this issue until the issue works out the way I want it to work out. And I am clearly not having success without this is after hours and hours of phone calls, right. And I stopped and I said to myself, Okay, you need to settle down, take a step back. Is this happening for a bigger reason than what you're allowing yourself to see? Can you Is there another way? Does it really have to be this insurance? Does it have to be these physicians? What if it isn't this physician? Is it possible that if you do have to change physicians, that could be an even better thing, and it could be an amazing physician with an insight that might really help you? And you're healing? Right. And I just started to think, what are other options here? What are other things that I could do? What are other policies I could look at? Can I cancel this? Can I make some more phone calls to different people who might be able to support me? And I took a few minutes, and I went through this thought download, right? I went through what I was thinking, and I did decide, okay, stop for a sec, stop fighting this and explore two other options that I had. And so I did explore those two other options, I did find a better way to work things out. And I did go with that. And everything worked out beautifully and actually exactly the way I wanted it to, but not with that insurance and that policy. So I share that story with you. Because I think that creating space is something so important to us holding space for the possibility that there's a different way to think about something, to feel about something, to experience something. As I look more into this, as I think more about this for myself, I realized that even that language exists out in the world, right? We say people are closed minded, or they have limited thinking, or they're open minded, or they think outside the box right outside the box, meaning give themselves more space, to look at things and to experience and to think of new and innovative ways to explore and experience life.


Laura Lummer  12:50

I think this translates even into your physical space. I think it was last year, February of last year that I did a month long challenge on purging, clearing out the stuff out of your house, creating space in your environment. Because when we allow ourselves to have a space, even when it comes to loving ourselves, right, a space that we could think about ourselves differently. And we say okay, am I allowing this space my holding the space for myself to be in? Or am I limiting myself to a specific experience? Because whatever was dictated by society, this how this experiences, it's my belief system, and I am holding on to it. I'm not allowing myself, other potentials other possibilities. And as a result of that, I'm freaking miserable. So when I shared that story with you, and I was going through this, I'm so upset. And I caught myself starting to what what if this goes wrong? What if this happens, and I won't have this, then I won't have that. And I had to say, whoa, whoa, whoa, right? Take a breath, settle down. And allow some space here. Because otherwise, it just becomes this very, you know, in my mind, this is the only way. So here I am making phone call after phone called banging my head against each one and it's not working. That is not serving me in any way. So as we think about, you know, bringing more love into our life bringing balance into our life. I think that the idea of am I creating and holding space for myself. And for those around me. A lot of times we're very close minded with people around us. And as we go through breast cancer as we live with breast cancer, a lot of fear comes up. A lot of ideas come up. Mostly it's stories that we tell ourselves about what other people think of us what other people mean by what they say. And I think this idea of holding space, even for the people around us can help us experienced them in a more positive way. Do we always have to put a label in a story to what somebody says? Or can we hold that space and think, you know, potentially that person is coming from a different place, maybe I need to explore it a little bit more with them. But more importantly, for ourselves, when we get used to that when we get used to just having space and noticing where we're holding ourselves into this one spot, where we're just saying over and over, and let me use cancer as an example. You know, when you go into treatment for breast cancer, the majority of people have already decided what it's going to be like. And that is the public message, right? Fight, fight. It's horrible. Cancer sucks all this. And there's truth to that. But believing it doesn't serve you going into chemotherapy, surgeries, radiation with the belief that it's going to be awful, doesn't serve you, right, that doesn't help anybody. And that translates into our healing and recovery as well. Because if we go into recovery from breast cancer, and we go in with this idea, and this belief, and these thoughts that your experience is going to be like the awful things you hear and see on Facebook, you've already set yourself up with such a limited space to work in. Right? Can you step back and say, Well, this is my healing experience. This is my journey. This is my body going through, which is different from every other body on the planet in the way that it works. Can I just be open to what this experience is going to bring to me and open to the way that I'm going to handle it. Even the members I work with in my coaching program, I have to give them so much credit. And I'm always so my heart just glows when I work with them, because they came to this membership because they were open to a different way. Many of them realize, like, I'm stuck, I hear this word all the time, I'm stuck, whether that's physically, mentally, emotionally, but they don't like the pain they're in and they want to open, they're open to another way. But they just don't know what those tools are. So they come to me for those tools. And I have a member right now, who is going through chemotherapy, IV chemotherapy for the second time. And she's so amazing. And she was willing to open her mind to being coached on the possibility that chemotherapy doesn't have to be miserable. And as challenging as it was, because she's already had an experience with chemotherapy, and it was very challenging. And yet she decided, I'm going to open my mind to the possibility, I'm going to hold a space for myself with the understanding that this might be able to be different. And I just think that that is so amazing, and so beautiful. And of course, because she holds that space, she is having a different experience. And that's what she's shared with me and with our group is just like this is a completely different experience this time. Does that mean she's not having nausea, fatigue, and all the things that come with chemotherapy drugs being put into you? No, but it means that it doesn't affect her in the same way, mentally and emotionally. And she's taking better care of herself, and you know who you are. And I love you. And I'm just so so so very proud of you. So I think that, you know, when I when we think about holding a space for ourselves, a visual comes into my mind of kids, you know, who've decided they don't like vegetables, they've just decided and parents, we first we get so frustrated and we struggle with them. Like just try it, just try it and they won't try it. And that's kind of how we can be with life sometimes. We've decided something's not going to work for us, we've decided that this is going to be miserable. This is going to be awful. This is what it's like to be in menopause. This is what it's like to recover from breast cancer. This is what it's like to be in treatment. And that's how it is. And that's how it's going to be. And we don't stop and say but hold on. This doesn't feel good. I don't like this. Maybe I can hold the space for the idea that there's a different way to be right now. We do this in our relationships. He's always going to act like that. They're never going to change. This is how it's always going to be. And we don't stop and say but hold on. It doesn't feel good when I think that maybe I could hold the space for the idea that this could work a little bit differently. And what could it look like if I did?


Laura Lummer  19:50

What if I allowed myself to think about that? What if I open myself up to it? Could I have a different experience even with the things that are challenging. And I want to offer that you can, because I know you can, because I do this, and this is what I coach people with. And you absolutely can. But I think that this idea of holding space and creating space is something that is so important to begin with, to stop and recognize where in your life, you are telling yourself, this only works one way, this only happens one way, this is going to suck. This is going to be hard. This is not easy. This is exhausting. And can we think of it differently, so we can get through even challenging, difficult times? Frustration? And to me, you know, frustration is just a version of anger, right? Because you're angry. But you know, you can't have control over a specific thing. And so you just keep trying to force it like I did with those phone calls, you keep trying to force it, and force it, and force it, that becomes frustration, this should be working for me. And it's not working for me, instead of stepping back and saying, Okay, this is not working for me. I don't like it. But is there possibly a different way. Because at the end of the day, the goal here is always to have a human experience, coming from the best place of love that you can, and then consciously and deliberately making the choices to serve you. But just like if you have a house or a closet, or a drawer that is jam packed full of stuff you don't even need you don't even use. That's what happens in our mind, just jam packed full of ideas and beliefs and limiting beliefs and conditioned beliefs. So full, that there's no space for the possibility. You don't have to be suffering as much as you are. And that's just what I want to offer to sit back and take some time with yourself and look at those areas, any areas of your life, anywhere at all. Whether it's your health, whether it's your relationships, whether it's your business, whether it's your work, and ask yourself, Am I continuing to try to push through something that isn't working? How's that make me feel? If I don't like the way that makes me feel? Can I just take a breath for a minute and create some space here and allow for the possibility there's a different way? It doesn't mean that the first thing isn't unfair isn't wrong shouldn't be that way. But it's not helping you. So can you sit back in see if there's a way that can help serve you better so that you feel more at peace? I believe there is an I hope you're open to even holding the space to explore the idea of holding the space. And I would love to help and support and coach you with this. Please come to thebreastcancerrecoverycoach.com/lifecoaching and join the Better Than Before Breast Cancer Life Coaching Membership, because truly this is a transformational experience to have cancer to go through cancer. But I know for 100% fact that holding on to going back to the past does not create nearly the happiness and the richness in life as allowing yourself the possibility that it can be even better than before breast cancer. Alright, my friends, take care be good to yourself and I'll talk to you again next week.


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