Get Unstuck Story #25 – Overcoming fear with humour

Get Unstuck Story #25 – Overcoming fear with humour

Desi Jagger's Blog

Get Unstuck Story #25 – Overcoming fears with humour

There is no easy way to hear “you’ve got a 7cm tumor on your ovary and we have no idea what it is.” Especially when you’re a 32-year-old girl who really wants to have children. Oh, and to live.


This is how 2018 began for me. I felt like I was trapped in a giant emotional washing machine. One minute I was getting splashed with horrifying diagnoses. The next I was drowning in fear. All strength was squeezed out of me. Occasionally small bubbles of hope would form, only to be crushed by what felt like the biggest injustice in the world.


I don’t want to burden you with the details. If you have been through something similar, you already know how it feels. And if you haven’t, I sincerely hope you never do. What I want to focus on is how I managed my fear – because the learning is valid for everyone.



I personified my problem


There was an unidentifiable object inside of me. It did not belong there. It was unwanted. And scary. “You will be called The Alien,” I informed it. It conceded. I asked all my family and friends to refer to it as The Alien. That felt much lighter than the dreaded c-word.


Giving it an identity allowed me to communicate with it. “Alien, I am bigger than you. And soon I am getting rid of you. Mua-ha-ha-ha!” I would proclaim, like a superhero that is about to save the day. Good communication is 2-way. Since I consider myself a good communicator, I thought it polite to ask The Alien a question:


“What message do you have for me?”


The Alien revealed all the things I had known yet had refused to act on. “You are impatient – you have all the time you need. You are indignant – remember life doesn’t owe you anything. A bit of gratitude would help.” I continue to learn from The Alien every day. Whilst unwelcome, it is a powerful teacher.


As I conversed with The Alien, new energy began to surface. Confidence. Empowerment. I realised I hold the power in this relationship. I choose how to see The Alien and how to respond to it. Humour, an unlikely energy also appeared. In the darkest of times, we began to joke about eliminating The Alien. There was even some laughter in between the worry and the tears. Humour made everything more bearable for me and my family.



I sketched my problem 


My surgeon had told me he would need to remove my left ovary in order to get The Alien out. I wasn’t about to just give up half of my potential babies, so decided to bargain with him. By sketching out alternative methods of Alien extraction:


For the untrained art connoisseurs, Sketch 1 = cut The Alien out with scissors; Sketch 2 = suck The Alien out with vacuum cleaner; Sketch 3 = call mothership to come and collect its Alien. All three options leave the ovaries intact.


As we sat in the doctor’s cabinet, he explained his plan for the surgery. I cried. I waited for him to finish because that is what polite people do and I am a polite person. Then I announced enthusiastically “I also have a plan!” I produced the piece of paper with the drawings.


The doctor burst out laughing. “This is brilliant, can I take a photo of it?” We all laughed in what was a highly unusual setting.


Whilst he loved the mothership option most, the surgeon stood by his plan. Partially because he is a surgeon and surgeons like to cut things out. And partially because my sketches were black and white and not colourful. I’ll keep that in mind next time I try to persuade an expert that my unqualified opinion is better than theirs.


After the surgery, the doctor called Mark and said these actual words “The Alien is out!” He continues to call it The Alien until this very day. So do all my doctors, nurses, friends, family, supporters and random people who for some reason end up knowing about it.



The humour didn’t save my ovary and didn’t make the tumour benign. It did, however, save my sanity. It nursed my broken heart. It inspired lightness and positivity in the people around me. That helped to keep my own faith up and to bounce out of the dips more quickly than slowly.



Get unstuck by putting a humorous spin on the situation. You will lighten up even the darkest of cases and you may even have a little fun in the process.

If you can’t move past negativity, let’s have a free sample coaching session. I’ll help you explore other perspectives.




Get Unstuck Story #24 – Staying positive in stressful times

Get Unstuck Story #24 – Staying positive in stressful times

Desi Jagger's Blog

Get Unstuck Story #24 – Staying positive in stressful times

Hospitals aren’t traditionally known as fun places. But why follow traditions that don’t serve you?

Before my checkup this morning, I took a long walk through Hyde Park with my husband Mark. I inhaled the fresh air. I watched the grass and imagined how green it would be if it wasn’t 6am and pitch black. We had a laugh. Oxygen definitely makes you high.

I opened my eyes after the procedure and, except for “How did it go?”, I had only one thing on my mind – “Where is my baked potato with vegetable ragout?” They make the best baked potatoes with vegetable ragout in the Royal Marsden hospital in London. You cannot imagine my shock and horror when they said “You’re fine, but there’s no baked potato.” I had to meditate to get over that.

Joke aside, jokes really help to keep positivity up. And fresh air helps with jokes.


Get unstuck by getting some fresh air. Inhale deep and fast. Enjoy the fresh perspective. If there’s a shortage of fresh air where you live, book your free coaching consultation with me here. I can’t promise fresh air but I’ll definitely bring some new perspectives.




Photo from Freepik

My Story #22 – What are you waiting for?

My Story #22 – What are you waiting for?

Desi Jagger's Blog

My Story #22 – What are you waiting for?


Think of the last time you were waiting to hear whether you passed the test, got the promotion or were confirmed healthy by your doctor. How did you feel?


I used to have a terrible relationship with Waiting. I rushed and pushed and shouted angrily at it until it became this big bad monster hiding in the corner of the room. Waiting was terrible with me. It dominated my mind until I was stuck in a swamp of scenarios. Even my yoga time wasn’t immune. The rumination was so strong that sometimes I would roll out my mat only to realize I have already done my practice for that day.


“What if scenario A happens? What about scenarios B, C… Z? Worse yet, what if something that I haven’t even considered happens… a scenario outside of the alphabet?”


The advice I usually got was “Don’t think about it” or “Just be patient” or a completely unqualified “It’ll be fine.” None of these ever worked for me. I couldn’t simply stop thinking about the outcome. When there is a void in the mind, it immediately fills the gap with whatever it wants (unless we instruct it otherwise). The concept of patience was just as irritating as Waiting itself. It stepped on my values for action and progress.


In June 2017 I was diagnosed with The Alien (that’s how I call cancer) Since then I have had 84 medical tests, 5 operations & 3 rounds of chemo; all causing 15 nights of stress, 2.4 tons of tears, and 55,670 ‘what if’s’. That’s precisely 300 hours of Waiting, or as Google defines it:


“delaying action [or being a certain way] until a particular time or event”


I was married to Waiting. Waiting for test results, confirmations, possible solutions… Waiting until I got through treatment in order to resume my normal life. In a perverse way, Waiting was even more destructive than The Alien because it was eroding my present, in addition to threatening my future.

My relationship with Waiting was dysfunctional. And since I couldn’t fix it by “not thinking about it” or “just being patient” or unfounded trust that “it’ll be fine,” I made a radical choice.


I divorced Waiting.


I stopped “delaying doing and being until a particular time or event” and this transformed the quality of my daily life.


Midway through chemotherapy, I was scheduled for surgery and biopsies to determine whether there was anything left of The Alien. With Waiting no longer in my life, I asked myself two questions.


Question 1:

What do I already know?


My internal intellect comes in a bundle of mind, body and heart. Through meditation and coaching, I had learnt to distinguish the messages coming from each source. I did this with a simple, 10min exercise I used every time I got scared about the future (which, in the beginning, was every day). I asked my mind, body and heart what they knew about my condition – and I listened for the first answer that would show up. From this exercise, I realized that only my overactive mind was stuck in the scenarios swamp. I knew deep down that I was healthy and only my mind was afraid.


Question 2:

What do I choose to believe?


The only thing I knew about the future was that it was uncertain. No doctor, expert or crystal ball could guarantee me a specific outcome. Rather than being disheartened, this time I was excited to be able to choose. I decided to believe the best-case scenario. Inspired by Dr. Joe Dizpenza’s book You are the placebo, I did long, detailed visualizations of calmly walking to the hospital, having the surgery and celebrating the brilliant results. This practice reinforced my belief on confident days and got me out of the dumps on nervous days. The philosophy is that thoughts eventually translate to reality. By thinking positive thoughts, I was creating a positive future. Whilst this was not guaranteed, I could see with certainty how much calmer and more energetic I was becoming in that very moment.


In essence, I tapped into my subconscious (body and heart) and reinforced the positive truth I already knew with visions of a continuously positive future. This gave me peace of mind and eliminated the temptation to wait for external confirmation. I was liberated. I gained 2 weeks, 5 nights of deep sleep, 7 dinner parties with my London friends, 600 doses of laughter, trashy-magazine-reading-time and endless walks through Hyde Park.


My doctor called yesterday – great news, the biopsies were clean! My friends’ first reaction was “You must be relieved.” Yet I wasn’t. I was happy and calm but not surprised. After all, I already knew inside of me that I was healthy and I had continued reinforcing that belief. I was anticipating but not waiting for the confirmation.


What external confirmations are you waiting for?


Get unstuck by by connecting to what you already know, inside of you. If you would like a deeper, fully personalized experience, book your free sample coaching session.