Penny Brohn UK

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Book Review: Blessed with a brain tumor

“I fell to my knees and cried with joy and sadness as a humbling awe and wonder overwhelmed me and somehow, from the depths of my being, I knew with certainty what I had already felt- there was nothing wrong, no problem. Just perfection continuing to unfold.” – Will Pye’s book “Blessed with a brain tumor” recounts his personal journey of accepting his brain tumour as a gift.

A challenging and provocative book, Pye pushes you to reassess your outlook and to breathe positivity into your life. He communicates an ambitious message with an energy and joy that is undeniably catching. A short read, this book would attract and benefit a wide variety of readers.

The book is powerful and raw. Pye really tells us how it is: “The possibility of imminent death is true for us all”. A poignant part of the book that has stuck with me was Pye’s experience of referring to his brain cancer as cancer as opposed to a brain tumour. People shied away from calling the cancer cancer and rather stuck with tumour regardless of its medical clarification. The importance of language here, as in many types of cancer, cannot be underestimated.

Interspersed with quotes, the book delves in and out of Pye’s memories and life experiences that have moulded and awakened the person he is today. His tone is understanding, forgiving and hugely welcoming. He shares with the reader a number of thought-provoking tools and perspectives to transform and find life purpose and joy.

Pye has a way with words. He writes eloquently and with humour. The book is split into two parts, the first reflects on the seven ‘gifts’ Pye received with his diagnosis: the gift of love, surrender, death, guidance, purpose, co-creativity and oneness. The second part details seven ‘invitations’ to create the life you desire. Each chapter ends with a number of questions to ask yourself, and later exercises to carry out. I was torn between liking this idea and disliking it, although towards the end I found myself really enjoying and benefiting from some of the exercises. Embracing these, as Pye suggests we should with a number of aspects of our lives, is testament to the ideology that Pye so effortlessly exudes.

Pye has truly accepted his brain tumour open armed and with an overwhelmingly inspirational positivity. However, this aspect of the book I grappled with at times. Pye invites you to embrace experiences and events in life with a love and passion and awareness that perhaps can only come with hindsight: “I intuited the diagnosis was somehow a deepening of my journey rather than an interruption, a gift rather than a problem.” This passion for life, however, is communicated contagiously: I believe you would be hard pushed to find someone that didn’t come out of reading this book with a newfound joie de vivre.

Review by Jessica Lawler

Here, Will Pye speaks about his diagnosis: “When I embrace what is happening all is well, when I resist I suffer.”

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