If you have just joined our M-Powered community (and that’s very possible as our community has tripled in the last 3 months!) you probably don’t know my story.

A year and a half ago at the age of 36, having been a healthy woman my entire life—a marathon finisher, a skier, an owner of a fast-growing business, a traveller, a wine lover, a friend, a partner, a sister and a daughter­ — I was diagnosed with an aggressive lymphoma, a malignant blood cancer. Doctors told me that my cancer was extremely aggressive and rare. I’m one of just a couple of such cases in the world (turns out being special isn’t always a good thing!). They said that to try and cure it, they would have to throw every possible treatment at me. I agreed, although I was told that with all this chemotherapy I wouldn’t be able to work or exercise.

Well, the doctors were wrong. Yes, I lost my hair and was weak, but I was able to exercise and work, and I’m absolutely sure that my efforts to keep up my normal life were an important part of my healing success.

On 28 May, people around the world show their support for people with blood cancer on World Blood Cancer Day. Coincidentally, 28 May 2020, exactly a year ago, was the day that I got my last chemo treatment (you can read about what helped me go through the treatment here). I celebrate this day almost as my birthday, being reborn as a healthy, but quite different, person.

Why am I bringing this up today? I think it’s because World Blood Cancer Day reminds me of a phrase I heard in a documentary movie Heal, which I watched during my treatment. It said: “Remission means to remember your mission”

My dream is to support other cancer patients. I know for a fact that there are so many things (like physical activity, diet change or releasing suppressed emotions) that can help us to heal, yet as a patient, one has to be very determined to dig into scientific research papers and be brave enough to listen to ones’ intuition. If you have a similar experience or simply would like to get in touch with me, please feel free to email me at marzena@m-powered.eu

My personal mission is very close to our M-Powered mission, which is to help people to live a healthy life, find ones’ unique life balance, and adapt to the changes that the life brings. However, to feel in balance, one has to learn how to manage and restore the four essential energies: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. This is what I’ve learnt and tested during my cancer treatment, but also what I try to be mindful of every day. Read more below about the four energies and how to restore them.

4 energies

Human beings have a finite amount of energy that they can use before they need rest and recuperation. We may want to push ourselves more but once our energy in a certain area is spent, we are asking for burnout by pushing ourselves further. It is, therefore, more important to focus on managing our energy than managing our time.

Physical Energy

Recuperation of physical energy is based on three basic components: healthy eating, physical activity, and rest. There is nothing revelatory about this statement. We have all known since childhood that these three areas are the cornerstones to physical wellbeing. However, these three components of health tend to be the first thing to go when we are stressed and overwhelmed at work.

What helps to restore this energy:

  • Healthy diet
  • Physical activity
  • Rest

Emotional Energy

Feelings like anger, fear, and anxiety are useful when we are in a dangerous situation. Humans evolved our “fight or flight” response over millennia as a defence mechanism to cope with extreme situations. It is because of this instinct that we have survived as a species. However, the unfortunate reality is that our bodies have not had time to adapt to the modern world. Life has changed dramatically for us humans. We may not be facing ferocious predators on a daily basis anymore, but our bodies don’t necessarily know this. When we face a stressful situation at work, even though we know that we are usually not in any danger, we can still react with the same extreme intensity as our ancestors would have in the face of a physical threat. Our “fight or flight” instinct can become part of our daily routine and can lead to long-term stress, frustration, depression, exhaustion, and, eventually, burnout.

What helps to restore this energy:

  • Stress management
  • Cultivating positive emotions
  • Letting go of suppressed emotions
  • Social connection
  • Mindfulness

Mental Energy

Be attentive and sensitive to your mind. This is one of the most important parts of your body, it needs to be nursed and treated well, just like everything else: Your muscles, stomach, heart, etc. We all want our minds to be productive, clear, rested and ready to tackle difficult tasks. But they are not machines or computers. They need rest and time to refuel.

What helps to restore this energy:

  • Creativity
  • Daydreaming
  • Avoiding multitasking
  • Mindfulness

Spiritual energy

This source of energy is maybe the most important for our sense of balance but, at the same time, it is the most challenging area to define and replenish. It revolves around our values and priorities: “Why you are doing what you are doing?”. A simple question with no simple answer. To discover your true, deeply held values, you need to be in touch with your inner ego and to constantly develop self-knowledge.

What helps to restore this energy:

  • Living according to your own values
  • Listening to your intuition
  • Whenever you feel it’s right – serving others

You can read more about 4 energies in our work-life balance workbook 

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