"1. Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. What is truly important cannot be lost in a health challenge, and all that is of value can only increase when shared.

"Regardless of the condition of our bodies, giving and receiving love can be our central goal and focus. When I was recovering from a severe bacterial infection that took me close to death, I found that I was able to receive the love and care of those around me much more than I had in the past. Previously, giving to others had been easier for me than receiving from others, and I discovered that with a balance of giving and receiving, we are healed.

"2. Regardless of my physical condition, I am a whole, complete, and loving person. If I choose, my health challenge can teach me lessons that will bring more, never less, into my life.

"I have always tried to stay in shape, and I have done many athletic endeavors. At one point, my body became ravaged from my disease, and my physical ability became a shadow of what it once was. Instead of riding a bike one hundred miles, I was barely able to walk, and I was skinnier than I had ever thought I could be. It was during this time that I was guided to begin the ultimate endeavor: choosing to find the truth of who I am beyond my physical form. Now, I still strive to be in shape, but I never lose sight of the ultimate lesson: I am not a body. I am free. I am as Life created me.

"3. The present moment always offers the choice: Do I want what peace of mind offers, or do I want what fear offers?

"After getting repeated bad news from doctors, I found it was not easy to remain peaceful. I was afraid, no question about it. Yet at some point, I began to look at the fear, to question its origins. I said to myself, 'Okay, I am afraid. This is all happening. But I don't have to take my fear as gospel. There is a quieter voice in me that says with certainty "None of this really has an effect on the truth of who you are. None of this has the ability to stop you from giving and receiving love." '

"4. Through compassion for all life, my suffering is reduced.

"As I took the primary focus off of myself and my body and focused instead on extending compassion, quite miraculous things happened. Extending compassion, rather than expending energy on suffering and preoccupation with the body, creates healing.

"5. True health comes from the ability to love yourself and others unconditionally, regardless of the obstacles you see.

"As I stopped thinking that my health was defined by my physical state and began to see beyond all the obstacles I believed existed because of my health challenge, I found much more peace of mind. To be healthy is to be unwavering in our commitment to seeing the opportunity to love each and every moment.

"6. Your inner teacher, the quiet voice within, goes beyond all guilt and shame and whispers the truth. You need only to choose to listen.

"I now know that there are two distinctly different voices that I can listen to when approaching my health and physical condition: the voice of my ego or the voice of Life. As we turn to Life, our inner teacher, we are better able to respond to what is happening now and better able to see the path ahead.

"7. No physical condition can stop you from making gains on your spiritual path.

"I found that everything can be fodder for my spiritual growth, and within this truth, we can live a life of gratitude rather than worrying about what may or may not happen.

"Though at times I still get trapped in the ego's fear-based way of making decisions, I have committed myself to Life-centered decision-making. So I consistently practice quieting the endless chatter of the ego and its fear-based thinking in order to allow myself to hear the wisdom of Life."