Monday, November 25, 2013

Consciousness and Life

 by Bernie Siegel
(I give Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos permission to use and post my blog on her sites. Dr. Bernie Siegel.) 

Dr. Bernie Siegel is my guest blogger today in the fourth of our series of shared blogs for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, that have flowed into November due to popular demand. Have you met your spirit-guides or had a near death experience? Bernie shares some amazing stories of both.... 

In 1978, nearly a decade before retirement, Bernie launched ECaP—Exceptional Cancer Patients, in which he and his wife and co-worker, Bobbie, remain active today. ECaP is a therapeutic approach Bernie calls Carefrontation that helps patients interpret their drawings, dreams and images to express their feelings about the healing process.

The physical, spiritual, and psychological benefits that emerge strengthen the immune system, a direct response to the power of the Mind-Body Connection about which Bernie has written and spoken extensively. He is currently working on other books with the goal of empowering patients and teaching survival behavior to enhance immune system competency. Bernie believes that in the next decade, the roles of consciousness, spirituality, non-local healing, body memory, and heart energy will all be explored more intensively as scientific subjects.

When I was four years old I was home in bed with one of my frequent ear infections. I took a toy telephone I was playing with and unscrewed the dial and put all the pieces in my mouth as I had seen carpenters do with nails which they then pulled out to use. The problem was that I aspirated the pieces and went into laryngospasm. I can still feel my intercostal muscles and diaphragm contracting forcefully, trying to get some air into my lungs, but nothing worked and I was unable to make any sounds to attract help. I had no sense of the time but suddenly realized I was not struggling anymore. I was now at the head of the bed watching myself dying.

I found it fascinating to be free of my body and a blessing. I never stopped to think about how I could still see while out of my body. I was feeling sorry my mother, who was in the kitchen, would find me dead but I thought it over and found my new state preferable and intellectually chose death over life.

Then for no apparent reason the boy on the bed vomited and all the pieces came flying out. He began to breathe again and I was very angry as I returned to my body against my will. I can still remember yelling, “Who did that?” My thought as a four year old was that there was a God who had a schedule and I wasn’t supposed to die now. So an angel apparently did a Heimlich maneuver on me is the way I would explain it today.

I really do believe there is a schedule we create unconsciously because of later life experiences. Twice I have had my car totaled by people driving through red lights and once I fell off our roof when the top rung on my wooden ladder snapped off. In none of these incidents did any significant injury occur to my body. Someone told me it was because I had an angel and he knew his name. I asked what it was and he asked, “What did you say when the ladder broke?”

“I said, Oh Shit!”

He said, “That’s his name.” I will add he always shows up when I call him in an impassioned way.

Olga Worrall
My next experience was with the healer Olga Worrall. I had injured my leg training for a marathon. It was very painful and not responding to rest or therapy. At an American Holistic Medical Association conference Olga was a guest speaker. My wife told me to ask her to heal me. I was embarrassed to ask and very frankly a non-believer. Never the less my wife pushed me forward and Olga sat me down in a chair and placed her two hands on my leg. The heat from her hands was incredible. I remember putting my hands on the opposite leg to compare the heat sensation. There was no sense of warmth from my hands coming through the dungarees. When Olga was done I stood up and was completely healed. The pain was gone and I could walk normally.

Another time Olga and I spoke at the funeral of a mutual friend. After the ceremony we were standing in a deserted hallway when she asked, “Are you Jewish?”

“Why are you asking?”

“Because there are two rabbis standing next to you.” She went on to tell me their names and describe their garments, which included their prayer shawls and caps. Her description of them was exactly what I saw in my meditation and imagery sessions when I had met these figures while walking on my path.

Another evening after I gave a lecture, which felt like someone else was giving it and I was simply verbalizing it for them, a woman came up to me and said, “Standing in front of you for the entire lecture was a man and I drew his picture for you.” Again, exactly the face and features of my inner guide. I still have the picture hanging in our home.

My next experience came when I was telling a friend about how busy I was and she said, “Why are you living this life?” Her intention was to get me to slow down and travel less but her question sent me into a trance and I immediately saw myself with a sword in my hand killing people. My first thought was that I had become a surgeon in this life to use a knife to heal and not kill.

I spontaneously went into a trance again a few days later and saw myself living the life of a knight who killed because he feared his lord and what he would do to him if he didn’t carry out his commands. I killed my wife, in this life, and her dog and was devastated by the experience. But at the same time it revealed to me why my wife’s face has always had a hypnotic effect upon me and why I am so involved in rescuing animals.

Ultimately it taught me about having faith in the true Lord and like Abraham, Jesus, Moses, Noah and others to understand that what our Lord asks of us is for the greater good and that if I had said yes I would have not been asked to kill anyone.

Most recently one of our cats disappeared when a door was left open. After several weeks with no sign of her I was sure she was killed by a predator. A friend I had made, Amelia Kinkade, is an animal intuitive who lives in Los Angeles. We live in Connecticut and Amelia has never been to our home or near it. I pestered her to tell me where the cat was and one day I received an email, without even sending Amelia a picture of the cat, and it detailed the house, yard, other animals and people who were involved in the cat’s life. The next day I went out and found the cat exactly where Amelia said it was hiding.

She told me in the email, “The cat is alive because I can see through its eyes.”

If that doesn’t make me a believer nothing will. I totally believe that consciousness is non-local and not limited to the body. I also have experienced this through the drawings and dreams of patients I have cared for which allows them to know their diagnosis and what the future holds for them. As Jung said, “The future is unconsciously prepared long in advance and therefore can be guessed by clairvoyants.”

I believe it is this unconscious awareness which we each bring with us when we are born. So I do not believe we literally live many lives but that we bring with us the experience of previous lives. Thus the wiser we get the better the future will be for those who follow us.

I wish to thank Bernie for sharing his amazing blog of true-life miracles with my readers. It just proves that we are born with Spirit–Guides/Guardian Angels, we are their job and they take that job seriously. Meet your guides in your dreams.

Guest Bio: About Dr. Bernie Siegel: Bernie, as he prefers to be called, was born in Brooklyn, NY, and attended Colgate University and Cornell University Medical College. He graduated with honors and holds membership in two scholastic honor societies, Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. He trained to become a surgeon at Yale New Haven Hospital, West Haven Veteran’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. In 1989, Bernie retired from Yale as an Assistant Clinical Professor of General and Pediatric Surgery to speak to patients, their families and caregivers.

Bio: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos, Intuitive Life Coach, survived three breast cancers missed by the medical community, wrote SURVIVING CANCERLAND: Intuitive Aspects of Healing (Cypress House, Jan 2014) websites: Surviving Cancerland & Access Your Inner Guide, Hosts Living Well Talk Radio , Cancer Q&A columnist CapeWomenOnlineMagazine, Dream Queen columnist- Wellness Woman 40 & Beyond, Your Dream Interpretation ,WakeUpWomen; R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation Hotline Counselor. Represented by Steve Allen Media

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Self Induced Healing and Remarkable Recoveries

by Dr. Bernie Siegel
(I give Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos permission to use and post my blog on her sites. Dr. Bernie Siegel.) 

 Dr, Bernie Siegel, Bernie by preference,  is my guest blogger today for October's Breast Caner Awareness Month, which has been received so well, that we are extending it into November. His words of wisdom concerning healing and medical prognosis, are profound. Read, remember and live a fulfilled life....

In his latest book, his 12th, published in September 2011, entitled A BOOK OF MIRACLES—Inspiring True Stories of Healing, Gratitude, and Love, Bernie is described in the Foreword written by Deepak Chopra who tells us, “Bernie Siegel began his writing career twenty-five years ago, and from the outset he didn’t shy away from miracles. The title of his first book—LOVE, MEDICINE & MIRACLES (1986)—flaunted his disagreement with mainstream medicine. An MD who advised more love as a path to healing would have been in enough trouble. Opening the possibility of miracles was grounds for dismissal. In his new book, Bernie reaffirms his original beliefs, and with a lifetime’s wisdom and experience, he trusts in miracles more than ever.”

The reason that medicine has not explored the issue of self-healing and patients who exceed survival expectations is that we either give the treatment the credit or refer to them as miracles or spontaneous remissions. Medicine does not study success because one cannot learn from spontaneous events but when one thinks of these cases as unique to the patient and self-induced you are more likely to ask the patient for their story and learn about survival behavior.

Psychologist Bruno Klopfer, back in the 1940’s, was given 24 personality profiles of cancer patients and correctly predicted 19 times who would have a fast or slow growing cancer. In one case he couldn’t decide and his predictions were wrong four times. Yet when a patient enters a doctor’s office and is given a diagnosis they are not handed a list which tells them how to behave and act like a survivor or a list of questions to determine their personality profile and find who is more likely to become a long term survivor and who needs psychotherapy. Doctors are not trained to communicate with patients and so our words can kill or cure. I have found that “wordswordswords” can literally become swords.

Let me share two cases of remarkable recoveries in which I was personally involved. One was a woman who lived in North Carolina and was told by her doctor that going to Duke for chemotherapy was a waste of time and energy as she was going to die anyway of cancer. Her niece was caring for my father-in-law at the time and without asking me told her aunt, “Doctor Siegel helps people to get well all the time, come up here to Connecticut.”

When she arrived and I was called, I admitted her to the hospital and found she had leukemia. As a surgeon I had nothing to offer her, so I called an oncologist to see her. He basically said what her doctor had said but started chemotherapy to give her some hope. She responded dramatically and went into complete remission. His last letter to me, with a smile said, “Isn’t chemotherapy wonderful.” Her niece later told me she went home and was driving her doctor crazy and that she knew she would get well when I sat on her bed and hugged her.

Another case involved Jordan Fieldman, a Harvard medical student who developed visual problems many years ago and was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. He underwent surgery and woke up blind and was told he would be blind for the few months he has left to live. A week later his sight returned and he went to the medical library to research his disease. Every book he read said recurrence is invariable and death occurs within a year. Now a good student would have gone home and died, but Jordan was not a good student. He said, “How dare they say invariable!”

Jordan also suffered from ulcerative colitis and noticed that when he decided to change his life style and not die of a brain tumor that his colitis also responded. He combined traditional medical therapy with other modalities and his tumor never recurred.


The essence of the story behind remarkable recoveries can be symbolized by the image of a rainbow colored butterfly. It is the symbol of transformation and every color symbolizes an emotion; when your life is in order you are transformed and heal. It is about being born again; religions and myths show us the benefit of that act. Picking a new name for yourself and changing who you are by giving up the untrue self-imposed upon us by others is life-saving. He who seeks to save his life will lose it, while he who is willing to lose his life will save it.

As a three time breast cancer survivor whose dreams found  cancer my doctors and the tests on which they relied missed, Bernie’s words ring true on so many levels. My recurrent cancer was stage 4. In order to ensure I lived, I had to embrace death as a friend who would one day come for all of us. This gave me the peace of mind to live my life to the fullest, and I am still here to encourage others to do the same. We all have an expiration date stamped on our body by our Higher Power, and only she can read it. Thank you Bernie for being my guest blogger today.

Guest Bio: About Dr. Bernie Siegel: Bernie, as he prefers to be called, was born in Brooklyn, NY, and attended Colgate University and Cornell University Medical College. He graduated with honors and holds membership in two scholastic honor societies, Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. He trained to become a surgeon at Yale New Haven Hospital, West Haven Veteran’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. In 1989, Bernie retired from Yale as an Assistant Clinical Professor of General and Pediatric Surgery to speak to patients, their families and caregivers.

Bio: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos, Intuitive Life Coach, survived three breast cancers missed by the medical community, wrote SURVIVING CANCERLAND: Intuitive Aspects of Healing (Cypress House, Jan 2014) websites: Surviving Cancerland & Access Your Inner Guide, Hosts Living Well Talk Radio , Cancer Q&A columnist CapeWomenOnlineMagazine, Dream Queen columnist- Wellness Woman 40 & Beyond, Your Dream Interpretation

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Death of a Fisherman – A Love Story (Something Special is Happening During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, for YOU! Part 4)

The Death of a Fisherman – A Love Story
(Something Special is Happening During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, for YOU! Part 4)

Unfortunately, bereavement is often a part of Breast Cancer Awareness. But this is a story about how love conquers all, including death.
Introduction: David Dibble is my guest blogger for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My blogs are on his site accessible by his website. He is the creator of DreamWork, host of the DreamWork Global Summit and lead teacher/host of DreamWork Day and the DreamWork Coach Certification Program. David believes most times cancer or any disease is a message that a person has been unwilling in some way to hear or act upon. If one can get the message, in most cases, the disease is no longer necessary. David also believes the message that needs to be heard and acted upon is encoded in every dream.

The Death of a Fisherman – A Love Story
Although not a really big man, my dad had been a star high school football player and we had lots of clippings his mother saved to prove the point. After high school, he became a tuna fisherman. In those days, even the largest fish were hauled from the ocean stout line tethered to bamboo poles. It wasn’t a job for the weak or faint of heart. My dad was neither. He could do five one-arm pull-ups with either hand and was afraid on no one other than my mother. Then again, this was sensible because no sane person would cross my mother.

When the big nets came to tuna fishing, bamboo poles and the fisherman who held them were relegated to the scrap heap. I can only guess how much my dad missed his time at sea, but miss it he surely did. He went to work on the night shift in an aerospace factory and years later, when his services were no longer needed, he was downsized in more ways than one. Unable to find work, he went to welding school and soon found himself surrounded by sparking steel and clouds of smoke. Still, he was working and that was the important thing.

It was a crisp winter day in 1984 when I got the call from Dad. He informed me that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was scheduled for immediate surgery to remove the diseased lung. After surgery, he would have aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments. I asked if I could visit and he said he preferred that I wait until after the treatments—that he did not expect to be good company. The wait turned out to be ten months.

The treatments bordered on intolerable. Dad liked his doctors and knew they were doing their best to arrest the cancer. Still, he also told me after his last chemo treatment that it would be his last, even if it meant dying. “Better dead than to be that sick, son,” he lamented.

In the fall of 1985, after his checkup with his oncologist, Dad called to tell me that he was going home from the hospital. The checkup had not gone well. The cancer had spread and there was nothing more the doctors could do. He was told to go home and “enjoy the last three or four months of your life.”

I was angry. I thought, After all he had endured—that’s it? Go home and enjoy the last three or four months of your life? It just wasn’t fair. There had to be something we could do. I put my anger to work.

Call to Action

I determined to read everything I could lay my hands on that offered alternative methods of treating cancer. I read about diet, exercise, laughter, meditation, contemplation, visualizations, and more. I sifted through tales of miracle machines, energy healings, rain forest plants and herbs, and clinics that were healing cancer in foreign countries after having been driven out of the US by the FDA. What was true and what was hoax?

Still, some of this resonated within me. I determined that Dad did not have to die if he was willing to change his life, really change his life. When I had gathered all the information possible in this mad dash against time, I called Dad and asked if I could visit him and talk about what I had learned about alternative methods of treating cancer. He was both curious and happy that I was coming to visit him.

When I arrived at his front door, Dad greeted me like never before. Although his once rock-hard body was now weak and frail, he hugged me strongly and for a long time. Was this really my father who never touched or opened up? It was. Yet, something in him had changed.

I told Dad that I did not think he had to die, if he chose to live. However, the only way he was going to get better was if he was willing to change—big time. I shared all of the information I had collected and asked if he was willing to commit to any of the methodologies. He seemed hopeful and I saw even little flashes of enthusiasm. After some careful thought, he chose to try changes in diet, a strict (if limited) exercise program, visualization, and possibly meditation. He would also quit smoking, which had been an on-again, off-again proposition, even after the discovery of his cancer. As additional support, I committed to go on the macrobiotic diet with him.

As a part of his healing, we agreed that as soon as he was strong enough (well enough), we would fulfill one of his lifelong dreams. We would travel together to Costa Rica, the one place that he had always dreamed of seeing before his death. The third member of our traveling team would be Jim, one of my best friends and one of Dad’s favorite people.

Then, I handed my father a present that I saved in case we reached this magic moment. He opened the gift the way a young boy opens Santa’s best present under the Christmas tree. Inside the heavy box were books, brochures, and travel information on Costa Rica. I told him that since he had been the navigator in the war and on the tuna boats, he would be our navigator, too. He should start planning our itinerary.

Miracles as Usual

From the first day of my visit, Dad began to improve. He changed his life. He was consistent in his wellness practices. He called often to tell me about his little victories or ideas for our Costa Rican journey. Sometimes his energy was so vibrant that I began to question my own aliveness. Six months into his wellness practice, he said something that both chilled and delighted me.
“David, the cancer is gone.”  “How do you know that?” I asked with care, so as not to dampen the moment. “David, I just know.” And he did.

Back at the hospital the doctors were dumbfounded. Dad was supposed to be dead, very dead. Instead, he was not only alive, but also well. He was cancer-free. He became a medical marvel for which the doctors had no explanation. Their enthusiastic advice now became, “We don’t know what you’re doing, but whatever it is, keep doing it!”

Ten Days in Costa Rica

In November 1986, Jim, Dad and I rented a small van at the airport in San Jose, the capitol of Costa Rica. Luckily, the old fisherman hadn’t lost his navigational touch, so we had full confidence in his ability to guide us to the best sights. Besides, based upon all the books and notes he brought with him, we were sure he had studied everything ever written about Costa Rica.

Our only caveat was that we would be always in the moment and allow the trip to unfold. We would be like the wind, free to follow the path of least resistance, free to change in an instant, free to be inspired and joyful during each moment of this most magical journey.

The ten days we spent together in Costa Rica were, without a doubt, the most satisfying and gratifying of my life with Dad. He was open, funny, emotional, and gracious. He was alive with gratitude for every sight and sound—and for the company, too. I saw the little kid in him, the parts of every father that are usually hidden from their sons in the name of parenting. Even today, I can still hear the laughter over beer and tacos. Jim, Dad, and I jostled to “one-up” the other with the most outrageous story, swearing absolute truth all the while. I also heard stories of life that I had never heard before, stories of Dad’s life. After Costa Rica, we became even closer—good friends.

The Continuing Saga of Life

Shortly after Costa Rica, Dad lost his job at the shipyard where he was a welder. The company had to restructure in order to become more competitive and the older workers were the first to go. No age discrimination, of course—just coincidence. The law required that he have a chest X-ray before being laid off. He was given a clean bill of health and told to stay in touch, that more work, like prosperity, was just around the corner. Dad checked every day, but the work never came. Unfortunately, the work must have taken a wrong turn and headed out of the country where wages were lower and profits higher.

Dad looked everywhere for work. First he looked for another welding position. Later, he applied for anything. Anything! But, as Dad pointed out, “Seems like they don’t want us old fellas. No luck today, but tomorrow’s a new day.” Brave words, but no job.

Dad had always been a hard worker. He took pride in his work. He needed to work. However as endless rejections bowed his once strong shoulders, his energy and will sagged. After a while, I think he just gave up.

Three months after the layoff, he stopped exercising and began smoking again. The diet went by the wayside, too. He mentioned that he wasn’t feeling himself and was planning to see the doctor. Four months after the layoff, the cancer was everywhere.

Dad said, “The bugger is back and I’m too tired to fight it this time.”

The Last Father’s Day

Dad and my sister Judy had their differences. They hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in more than five years. I invited Judy to come with me to Texas to visit him on Father’s Day, reminding her that the cancer was spreading fast and that he probably didn’t have much time left. I’d even pay for the trip. Although it was a difficult decision for her, Judy bravely chose to come with me.

I called Dad a week before Father’s Day. As usual, even though he was weak, he perked up when I called. I told him I had a surprise for him. He said that I shouldn’t send him anything--that he had everything he needed.

I told him I wasn’t sending anything, but I would deliver my gift to him in person. The phone went silent and I knew that he was wiping away a tear or two. After a minute, he came back to the phone and started to tell me how much my coming meant to him. Then I relayed my other news.

“Dad, I have another part to this surprise. Judy is coming with me.” I heard the phone fumbled and then hit the floor as Dad sobbed quietly.

I will never forget the sparkle of pure joy that shone in his blue eyes as we met him at the entrance to the Veteran’s Hospital. He moved with a combination of a shuffle and a hop, rather like he was dancing or doing a little jig. Waving all the while, his dance carried that stooped old body to meet his kids. He grabbed and hugged Judy in a way that I had never seen before, tears streaming down his pale, wrinkled, weathered face. He kept repeating the words, “You’re so beautiful. You’re so beautiful.”

He spent the better part of the day shuffling us to meet the nurses, doctors and all the friends he’d made at the hospital. His bragging about us should have been embarrassing. It wasn’t. It brought tears over and over to those who had come to know my father in his final days.

Moreover, it brought tears to Judy and me. After all, it was Father’s Day, Dad’s day, the fisherman’s day. Dad wasn’t a real religious man, but he told me later that it was an inspiration and a gift from God that we had come to be with him on his last Father’s Day.

Dad went downhill fast after Father’s Day. The last thing he told me was that the time he spent with Judy and me on his last Father’s Day was the happiest day of his life. It was a bit of a miracle that a person could be in such ecstasy in a tired, worn-out, diseased old body like the one that carried around my dad.

A Connection to Wellness and Healing

The purpose of this story is to illustrate the power of the body-mind-soul-spirit connection and its correlation to disease, wellness, and healing. Dad, in some sort of body-mind-soul-spirit dynamic, created his cancer, then healed himself completely, and then recreated his cancer again. We all have this creative ability. We all have the divine guidance we need to do the right things in any life situation. It’s in our dreams.

Sweet Dreams to One and All!
By David Dibble who can be reached at or

As a guest blogger, I give Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos permission to use and post the following blogs. David Dibble 10/2/2013

Guest BIO:
David Dibble, former CEO of a successful technology company, is an author,  keynote speaker, trainer, consultant, executive coach, systems thinker, and a practical spiritual teacher. He is the creator of DreamWork, DreamWorkDNA, & The Four Agreements at Work, based upon his eight years of work directly with don Miguel Ruiz, author of the best-selling book The Four Agreements. He is the host of the first ever DreamWork Global Summit and the creator and host of DreamWork Day, a global celebration of dreams, dreaming and dreamworkers. David is the master instructor of the DreamWork Coach Certification Program and winner of the prestigious T Award for innovation in coaching. He can be reached at or

BIO: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos, Intuitive Life Coach, survived three breast cancers, wrote SURVIVING CANCERLAND: Intuitive Aspects of Healing (Cypress House, Jan 2014)  websites:  & Access Your Inner Guide, Hosts Living Well Talk Radio, Cancer Q&A columnist CapeWomenOnlineMagazine, Breast CancerYoga, Dream Queen columnist- Wellness Woman 40 & Beyond, Your Dream Intrepretation , WakeUpWomen; R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation Hotline Counselor. Represented by Steve Allen Media