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Penny recently sat down with Namaste and shared her powerful story of overcoming a terminal cancer diagnosis and a lifetime of self-rejection by learning to connect to the healing wisdom and love within.

"I spent most of my life running away from myself as fast as possible I had decided early on that I was worthless and that in order to be lovable, I had to pretend to be someone else. I became a fashion model, an anorexic, and then an airline stewardess who hid behind a uniform and traveled everywhere but inwards. I didn't know what it was like to feel happy, comfortable, and at home in my own skin . . . how to be joyous and fully present in the moment....

"From the outside, I had a picture-perfect life, but I felt disconnected from myself and, inevitably, my husband, and this led to our separation. I loved my two beautiful daughters unconditionally but had not learned to love myself. I needed love from the outside, which took the form of a lover. I gave my power away and created a lot of guilt. The separation eventually turned into divorce. My life had broken into pieces and I couldn't stick them together anymore.

"At the same time, my already metastisized melanoma (a dangerous form of skin cancer), spread to my lymph nodes, and my doctors gave me a grim prognosis. I could no longer put a band-aid on painful feelings and circumstances, hoping that if I ignored them they would go away.

"To make matters worse, I had an allergic reaction to a strong cancer drug, which lowered my resistance to such an extent that all the pain, anger, and fear I'd suppressed for years came flooding to the surface and I had a nervous breakdown. During these two weeks of fighting shadows in the underworld, and a near-death experience, all my pretensions and defenses were stripped away. I was crouched in fear in the corner of a dark room, a skeleton with my hair falling out in handfuls, wearing one of those lovely backless hospital gowns.


"With nothing left to cling to, I became aware of a strength and a will to live that was more powerful than anything I had ever imagined, and I was determined not to leave my daughters. Through this experience, I became aware of a benevolent force much greater than myself that was separate from the roles that I was playing. This connection to spirit gave me guidance, clarity, and peace of mind at this critical time, enabling me to make the right choices for my own healing.

Conventional medicine could offer me nothing more at this point, and I chose the path of detoxification and purification of mind, body, and spirit. I was guided by synchronistic meetings with wonderful people who spread light on the way forward. I used nutritional therapy, regular cardiovascular exercise, yoga, Primordial Sound Meditation, the Shadow process by Debbie Ford and all the inspirational knowledge from The Chopra Center seminars.

"Through meditation, I was able to expand my intimacy with my true Self, and in the silence, wisdom, and purity of being, access the source of all healing, creativity, and transformation. Beyond the confines of ego, I was able to let go of the powerful negative belief that I was worthless and feel my sense of separation dissolve into new-found wholeness. Now I was a precious part of a rich tapestry interwoven with everyone around me. The synchronicities in my life increased and I discovered faith that when we are on the right path, God holds us in the palm of his hand and that 'with but the faith of a mustard seed, we can move mountains.'


"I am here and alive today because of my experiences in meditation and self-healing They created light at the end of my dark tunnel. . . turning the tunnel into a field of infinite possibilities and my healing journey into a magical mystery tour without the drugs I was "Lucy in the Sky" without the diamonds, an ageless hippy bubbling over with bliss and laughter, especially towards myself - fortunately!

"My dermatologist recently admitted to me that when I first came to see him, he thought I had about a 1 % chance of survival, which has now changed to 99%. He said that he didn't know what I had been doing, but to keep on with it!

"I am presently editing my book, The Message of the Butterfly, for publication. It is the story of my journey into self-acceptance, transformation, and - ultimately - healing. The title came to me while I was meditating in my garden when I first thought I might be dying. I posed the questions. How could I justify the expense of a Seduction of Spirit seminar in San Diego? What would be the value to me of attending? As I came out of the silence of meditation, there was a butterfly spreading its wings in front of me and taking nectar from a flower in the grass. A thought came to my mind: Nature takes what it needs in order to survive. It doesn’t question whether it's worthy or deserving. My doubts disappeared as I realized that giving myself the gift of the meditation retreat was my next step in moving closer to God.

"Now every time I guide someone else on their healing journey, especially when the person is dealing with melanoma, a butterfly appears in some form or another and it is like a message from Nature or God that we are on the right path. In these moments I feel so connected and unified with life and this power, that I am filled with joy and wonder. I have so much gratitude that I can now help others. I have turned my home in the South of France into a mini healing retreat where I guide people through the methods that not only help them to heal, but also to create the life of their dreams."

Penny Burns
Certified Perfect Health Instructor

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