I had terminal cancer in 1975 and was told that I had just one or two months to live. The tumour was in my spinal cord—in the neck—and as it grew it was pressing the spinal cord against the inside of the spinal canal. My right arm had become paralysed, and my legs were spastic. An operation to remove the tumour had been unsuccessful, and I was told that for various reasons chemotherapy and radiation therapy would not work. Doctors warned me that the end might come very suddenly, any moment, if I coughed or sneezed. I was faced with a reality in which each day was possibly my last day, each hour my last hour.

From then on… it was only me

One thing I knew for sure—for whatever time I had remaining, I wanted to be happy, just being myself. For that reason, unappealing special diets made no sense to me, despite the claims they may help. Each meal was possibly my last meal and I wanted to eat what I really enjoyed. I had to be true to myself, to be real in all that I did. My values shifted. I lived in the present moment and everything I did was for its own sake, because I really wanted to do it. Some things that had seemed important before suddenly weren’t any more. The only important thing was being happy and to me that meant doing whatever I felt happy doing, and not doing anything that made me unhappy.

Two months later, I was still alive; I had run out of time, but I was still alive! One month later I was on overtime, and still alive. I wondered how long it could go on. New Year was five months away and I decided that if by some miracle I was still here, I would celebrate with a vacation in a tropical paradise. What I didn’t know then was how that vacation would save my life. Five months later, I was celebrating the New Year in Martinique, having a mind-expanding talk with a man who was there to teach Zen meditation. He said to me:

“Cancer begins in your mind, and that’s where you can go to get rid of it”.

It was like someone had switched a light bulb on—it was so clear. I knew what he meant and could see how the cancer was a metaphor for things held in and not expressed. I saw how my former lifestyle and way of being had led to me killing myself in many ways. I realised there and then that if I changed my way of being, I could somehow release the symptoms. I could use my mind as a tool to accomplish the changes in my way of being, and in my body. For the first time since I had been given the diagnosis, I was able to consider a possibility of turning around my condition and getting rid of the cancer. I could save my life!

Some things that had seemed important before suddenly weren’t any more

Several weeks later, I listened to a talk about Silva Mind Control [now renamed the Silva Method], which teaches people how to use their mind as a tool. The idea presented was that our perceptions create our reality, and since we choose our perceptions, we can choose to change any aspect of our reality. My consciousness had been the effect of programming; in the same way that a computer produces results based on how it has been programmed. I could reprogramme my consciousness. My perception had been that I was terminally ill, so I had to reprogramme my consciousness to create the perception that I was well. I was not prepared for such an abrupt shift. For some considerable time I had perceived myself as being in a state of deterioration, getting closer and closer to dying. This called for a major change in my thinking. I realised that I could much more easily create the perception that I was getting better and better, until I was eventually well. I knew the turnaround could happen in any moment. It was a matter of turning a switch in my mind, and insisting on knowing it had been turned. I decided that if the moment of change could be any moment, then let it be now.

The shift in my consciousness was immediate, I felt it, and I knew then that I was in a state of improvement. I also knew the importance of maintaining the integrity of my decision. From that moment on I knew that my perceptions had to reinforce the idea that I was now getting better and better, so I would eventually be well. As I ate whatever food I wanted, I told myself it was exactly what my body needed and was asking for in order to accelerate the healing process. Physical sensations similar to electric shocks in my body had previously reinforced the idea that the tumour was growing. They still came, but now I chose to perceive them as evidence that the tumour was shrinking. My mind looked for more and more ways of knowing the improvement was happening.

The shift in my consciousness was immediate, I felt it, and I knew then that I was in a state of improvement

I knew I had to stay away from people who insisted on seeing me as still terminally ill, not from any lack of love, but rather to maintain my own positive attitude toward the healing process. I had to be with people who were willing to encourage me on this seemingly impossible task I had set for myself. Whenever someone asked how I was doing, I insisted on answering, “Better and better, thank you”. And it was true.

I researched mental programming techniques, and learnt that if I put myself into a relaxed state and talked positively to myself for 15 minutes, three times a day, then within 66 days I could get myself to believe anything. And, whatever I believed to be true would be true. I knew that it was vital to maintain the positive programming, and that putting myself in a relaxed state of mind and talking positively to myself for 15 minutes, three times each day, was a part of the programming process I should in no way interfere with. There were temptations to not do the relaxations, and then I would remind myself that my life was at stake. Any such temptation, then, was something that stood between me and my life, and had to be removed, so that I could live.

Sticking through it

This may all sound very simple, but it was not always easy. At times—especially early on—it was very difficult. Sometimes my thoughts or words acknowledged something other than the idea that I was improving. On such occasions I had to be honest with myself and see that I had ‘blown it’. I would start again, telling myself I had been on a practice run, and the real moment of change was now. It did get easier. I was able to maintain positivity and integrity for just hours at first, then a day, then two days, and then I was solid. The programme was working. The doubting voice would occasionally make itself known, but I knew it did not represent truth. The encouraging voice within became my guide, leading me back to stable health, enabling me to maintain the single-mindedness of knowing positive changes were happening. When I was not feeling a symptom, I told myself that perhaps I would never feel that symptom again. If I did experience the symptom again, I would tell myself the process was not quite complete, but to acknowledge I was feeling the symptom less often and less severely than before. All was going well.

I had to know positive changes were happening now even if they were not always evident. I would tell myself they were possibly just at the threshold of my perception, so I could eagerly anticipate evidence to justify this. I was always able to find something positive, and assure myself it wasn’t all imagination.

There was much encouragement from my daughters, Jacki and Heather. Heather was only four years old at the time and she knew that love heals, so she gave me magic healing kisses—every morning and every night. I could also sense six-year-old Jacki’s belief in me, and in my ability to somehow come through this crisis. No other possibility was acceptable to her. In her eyes, I could always see her connection with me.

There were temptations to not do the relaxations, and then I would remind myself that my life was at stake

Catharsis was crucial

During my relaxation periods, I would visualise the tumour and imagine a layer of cancer cells dying and being released by my body’s natural elimination system. I knew the change was happening, even if it was not obvious and noticeable. Each time I released waste products from my body I knew dead cancer cells were being eliminated. I insisted on knowing this was true. I knew the cancer represented something held in and not expressed. With the tumour located right by my throat chakra [energy centre] I also knew this meant I had been holding back the expression of my Being. Since I wasn’t exactly certain what this meant, I decided it was imperative to express everything: every thought and every feeling. Whatever was in my consciousness and wanting to come out, I expressed it, knowing it was vital for my health. Before then, I had held the perception that expressing led to discord, but now I saw how what I was expressing and communicating was appreciated by those around me and resulted in harmony.

Before, I had had the belief that if I expressed what I really wanted to, something bad would happen. I had to reprogramme that to the belief that if I expressed what I really wanted to, something wonderful would happen. I made that decision, and it was so.

“After my healing, my outer vision had been transformed along with my inner vision”

Tuning in to the right frequency

I found myself having less and less in common with my old friends. It was as though we had shared a common vibrational frequency before, say 547 cycles [whatever that means], and suddenly I found myself at 872 cycles, with few things to communicate to the 547 cycle people. I had to find new friends who were also at 872 so I could have someone to talk with.

I found myself attracted to the 872 crowd, and them to me, as though I had become selectively magnetic. Certain elements of my reality were being released which were no longer in accord with the new Being I was becoming. Deep within I knew the process was inevitable and should not be interfered with. I developed a sense of compassion and understanding and knew my life depended on releasing all elements not in accord with my new vibration. The process was simple, though not always easy. I began each day as a process of self-discovery, with no preconceived notion of who I was, but with a willingness to discover the emerging me. There was a sense of delight with each new discovery.

Often I would imagine the scene in the doctor’s office after my work on myself was done. I would see him examining me and looking puzzled because he could find no tumour. I imagined him looking baffled and saying, “Perhaps we made a mistake.” I played this scene in my mind each day, during my relaxation periods.

About two months later I went to be examined by the very same doctor who had pronounced me terminally ill. He examined me and he found nothing. And guess what he said? “Perhaps we made a mistake.” I laughed all the way home.

I have transformed my way of Being. My lifestyle has changed dramatically. I had been working on Wall Street, designing computer systems and involved in computer fraud. While it was interesting, I didn’t feel it so important in the ‘bigger picture’. I was commuting 90 minutes each way to and from work, and living ‘the American Dream’ —a house in the suburbs, a wife and two children, two cars in the garage, a big dog… but I wasn’t happy. Working with consciousness, it feels as though I have moved up to a higher class of computer. The work I do now as a healer and teacher is meaningful to me, important to others, and of service to humanity. I feel a ‘high’ when I heal and teach and I know that I am doing my life’s work. The process of transformation is an integral part of the healing process, whether you’re healing your vision, releasing some serious illness, or if the imbalance exists on the mental or emotional level and has not yet reached the physical level.

I knew the cancer represented something held in and not expressed

An eye-opening effect

An unexpected but wonderful side benefit of my healing process was that I no longer needed the eyeglasses I had worn for 20 years. I used to be nearsighted and astigmatic, but my vision changed and my eyesight was tested as ‘normal.’

After my healing I was seeing the world quite differently, in a figurative and a literal sense. My outer vision had been transformed along with my inner vision. Curious about this ‘side benefit’ of my healing process I decided to research into what others were doing in the field of vision improvement. I read all the books I could find on the subject, not because I needed to find out ‘how to do it’, but rather to discover ‘how I had done it’. I found eight books, and seven of them referred back to the eighth, which was Better Eyesight Without Glasses, by Dr. William Bates. He was a pioneer in the field, and his ideas had startled the conventional medical community back in the 1920s. More recently, Dr. Richard Kavner, a behavioural optometrist, added some new information regarding brain/mind correlations and he achieved remarkable success through his work with children. The constant factor in all these areas of vision improvement was the process of personal transformation—just as in my own personal experience. With the insight I gained by reading the works of these experts I was able to build on their ideas, using my personal experience for additional insights. I began talking to people about these ideas and helping them to explore the links between their own vision issues and their way of being. After a while, those I spoke to were giving me their eyeglass, saying they no longer needed them. Since 1975, I have worked with tens of thousands of people, watching many of them improve their eyesight by retraining their consciousness, and changing their lives in the process. In fact, the attitude of change in their lives has often been such that these people consider their improved eyesight a relatively minor aspect of the whole.

I used to be nearsighted and astigmatic, but my vision changed and my eyesight was tested as ‘normal’

As we release tensions in our consciousness and accept new ideas, tensions are also released from the physical body and we return to balance on all levels. Dr. Bates stated that all impaired vision was the result of stress. When we think of impaired vision, we think not only of the organic mechanics of vision, but also about the function of vision, about what you experience visually. According to Dr. Bates, if we forget about the mechanics of vision and concentrate only on the function of vision—the experience in our consciousness—when the function of vision is restored, the organic ‘causes’ of impaired vision are also reversed. People who have had what are known as ‘organic’ visual difficulties [cataracts, glaucoma, etc.] have also reported improvement after conscientiously making a shift in their consciousness by using self-healing concepts. These include the idea that they were totally responsible for their condition, that it was the result of particular perceptions they chose to have, and therefore that they were able to change it, by changing their attitudes.

There’s a place in society for all of us. If we let ourselves be real there’s a place where we all fit in, where we are accepted and appreciated for who we are. We do not have to pretend not to see what’s real for us. We can allow ourselves to be who we really are, to be more and more real. With determination and a willingness to change perceptions and their accompanying realities, anyone can transform their view of the world—both literally and figuratively—and return to a natural state of clarity of vision.

Excerpted with permission from Improve Your Vision by Martin Brofman, published by Jaico Books

This was first published in the October 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing.