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Seeking Health and Joy: Overcoming Cancer and Embracing the Path of Yoga for Forgiveness and Peaceful Aging


Dr. Antonietta Francini has not had an easy life. Stricken with post-traumatic stress syndrome after World War II and subsequent terminal cancer, she is a true example of courage, determination, faith, and the ways in which one woman can walk through struggles and come out a better person for it in the end. Now retired, Dr. Francini shares the compelling details of the second part of her life and how she has attained a happy, rewarding life-even into her eighties.

She divides ...

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Seeking Health and Joy: Overcoming Cancer and Embracing the Path of Yoga for Forgiveness and Peaceful Aging

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Dr. Antonietta Francini has not had an easy life. Stricken with post-traumatic stress syndrome after World War II and subsequent terminal cancer, she is a true example of courage, determination, faith, and the ways in which one woman can walk through struggles and come out a better person for it in the end. Now retired, Dr. Francini shares the compelling details of the second part of her life and how she has attained a happy, rewarding life-even into her eighties.

She divides her story into two parts that first detail the story of her life and then explain the philosophy that guided her behavior throughout her extraordinary spiritual journey. Upon receiving her cancer diagnosis in 1965, Dr. Francini shares how she found healing with the help of surgery, diet, yoga, meditation, visualization, and breathing exercises. But it was not until she experienced a spiritual awakening in India that she learned to completely heal her soul and understood the power of unconditional love. As she offers a glimpse into her journey, she shares the cultural and spiritual factors that influenced her well-being and how she eventually evolved through forgiveness and selfless love.

Seeking Health and Joy shares the extraordinary life story of one woman's hard-earned, joyful wisdom as she learns to embrace the cosmic powers for successful aging.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781475927115
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse
  • Publication date: 6/1/2012
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Seeking Health and Joy

Overcoming Cancer and Embracing the Path of Yoga for Forgiveness and Peaceful Aging
By Antonietta Francini

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Dr. Antonietta Francini, MD, MA
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-2709-2

Chapter One

My Recent Birthday!

On November 27, 2011 I turned 86 Great date!

What I was thinking that day was very interesting and I wrote it down as follows:

"When you get old every day may your last one! Finally you are able to live fully in the "now" without caring very much about the dead past and the non existent future!

When you reach your seventieth birthday, you are "born again"!

Every perspective is different, and mostly you cannot be employed anymore, as nobody wants you: they do not trust your "efficiency"!

So the ghost of career and money that forced you to struggle like a slave of society and run all your life suddenly disappears and you have no duties and no future ...!

But, what a wonderful freedom, peace and joy!

Finally your consciousness expands and you have time for whatever you want to do!

You feel the surge of subtle vibrations and creativity as you are not constricted by routine and economic duties. You can work on yourself and increase the subtle powers that keep your body flexible and renovated. Finally you can really enjoy life!

Life has a Spiritual and Practical Value.

We can achieve the Perfection of Peace and Joy when we are able to forgive ourselves, others and overcome the ups and downs of human life.

The Kybalion, ancient Egyptian Wisdoms, says:

The hidden meaning of our life is our evolution from simple human beings to conscious co-creators of Perfection!

"The Principles of Truth are Seven; he who knows these, understandingly possesses the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple Fly Open."

The first Principle says that:

"We live in a world where everything is connected and everything is vibration."

This is the Truth that ancient wisdom discovered and that modern science re-discovered with the efforts of Einstein and other scientists.

The fundamental trick is to vibrate on the harmonious tune!

Finding this mysterious harmonious tune was one of the guiding Principles of my life!

Besides being happy and healthy in my 86 birthdays, it was a warm feeling to have my family around me and to live in my own house for the first time in many years. So, the first thought of gratitude must go to the benevolent Cosmic Forces that helped me reach a situation of comfort and stability which is a rare event, given the whole course of my wandering life.

The season was pleasant and still warm allowing long walks in the beautiful surroundings. I live in northern Canada, in a small village on the shore of a very large lake called Nipissing. It is a pristine setting for nature, for wildlife and for the ancient native Shamanic tradition. It is a climate of spiritual awareness, tranquillity and far away from the agitation of modern large cities. The air is fresh and pure, with the gentle perfume of ancient pines and of all kind of evergreens and deciduous trees.

The first thing I did after settling in my new house was to walk in the forest nearby and find two baby pines: a spruce and a white pine. With the help of my family we transported them to the backyard of my house and planted them with lots of good soil. So I have two new baby trees to care for. Next, I got into the brilliant idea of buying three plants of roses: white, red and pink; all were beautiful in full bloom. I planted them under my balcony with the hope of enjoying their perfume and colourful presence; but the next day all the flowers were gone. I first imagined that a very strong wind must have blown away the buds and asked my neighbour if she had felt the storm.

"No", she said, "there was no storm! But around two in the morning I got up and saw three large deer eating your roses!"

What a shame! I love deer but they should not eat my roses! Well the reality is that they eat everything tasty; and the roses are certainly very tasty!

So, in preparation of planting a garden next year, my son prepared a large construction, like a huge box full of good soil and four two meter tall posts at the corners. The posts will hold a good fence to prevent deer and other nice vegetarian animals to feed on our future food. A good fence is the only way to combine our home grown vegetables with the pleasure of living close to wildlife!

I moved to this new home at the beginning of August 2011 and the season was perfect to explore the nearby lakes with my kayak. I put the kayak on top of my small Nissan and away I went to lakes and rives People told my son that in few weeks I was already famous in town as the "kayak-lady."

The environment around here is incredibly beautiful. This was the land of the original native tribe of the Nipissing; they were rich and prosperous with the abundant fishing in the lakes and the large amount of different species of wildlife. They were not in touch with the traders from Europe and they never hunted to sell the furs Unfortunately, some of their southern neighbours got involved in the greed and aggressiveness of the newcomers and depleted their hunting stocks. So, to find new sources of income, they moved north to take possession of the fertile land of the Nipissing. The dramatic story that elders still narrate is that the Nipissing's territory was invaded from the south and only a few of them escaped the massacre by rowing in their canoes to the end of the lake and entering a river that was unfamiliar to the persecutors. Many years passed before some families returned to their original settings.

It was interesting and emotionally moving for me to get in touch and talk to them. This is how I got involved in shamanic culture; I now belong to a drumming circle and to a dream circle. For the moment, I am still an apprentice and do not own my own drum! That will come later when I am more advanced!

During my paddling and exploring lakes and rivers I had to always be alert about the wind conditions. I did not know that there are often strong winds that start in the early afternoon. The first time that I realized this, I had a serious experience! Around two in the afternoon I was involved in a little storm! My son had told me about certain nice islands in one bay not far from the coast and I decided to paddle there and explore the islands. I left early from Callander Bay and, following the north coast I reached the islands in about half an hour. There were many birds, lots of wild flowers and it was very pleasant to paddle among the small islands. While I was there I was protected from the wind, but when I decided to start paddling back, the wind had changed. When I tried to paddle back to return to shore I had a really hard time and it took me about two hours to make it back!

That was a good lesson. I learned to look at the weather report and if it was announcing an unfavourable wind condition, then I would go paddling to a small river very pristine and always calm called "Lavase River". That river has a great historic importance as it links the large bodies of water used by the "voyageurs" in 1500 and 1600 to discover Canada from the shores of the Atlantic to the remote shores of the Pacific.

The Lavase River opens and ends in the "sea-like" larger part of the Nipissing Lake.

One day, after paddling in the up river for about one hour I came back to the place where my car was parked, but I felt that my exploration day was not over. It was a very calm morning with a blue sky and a shining bright sun. So I decide to paddle down river further and pay a visit to the Mother Lake Nipissing. It was so beautiful! I reached the place where the river entered the lake and I faced the immense body of blue water in front of me.

I asked loud: "Mother Nipissing do you accept my visit? Am I permitted to paddle for a few moments in your deep mysterious waters?"

And the Nipissing answered: "Yes, my daughter, come in, you are welcome!"

I was thrilled to accept the invitation and I entered with great respect, the waters of the Nipissing. In a few strokes I found myself far away from the river and from the coast and the feeling was so great that I continued to paddle until I could see no land around me.

At that moment I felt a great emotion. It was like being the unique human being in the entire universe: only blue water, blue sky and my little blue kayak. I put my paddle inside and went into deep meditation to communicate profoundly with the grandiosity of Nature.

The movement of the water was gently rolling my kayak and I felt to be in heaven!

When I came back, before entering the river again I turned around to thank the Divine Cosmic Powers that had allowed me to safely visit the "Unknown" and I greeted the big lake who had been so friendly. My spiritual evolution and the subtlety of my vibrations were forever propelled one step higher on the eternal ladder!

Now let us start the story of my past adventures.

Chapter Two

The Meaning of my Life and Goals

During my early years I believed that the meaning of my life would be the medical profession. I focused intensely on that goal and fully achieved my purpose. After graduation in 1951 and working as Rural Doctor, I spent several years of specialization in the best universities around the world: in UK, in Italy and in Toronto, Canada.

In 1960 I returned to Venezuela and obtained a very good academic position at the University of Caracas in the Specialty of Surgery and Gynaecology.

I studied and worked in Venezuela after World War II and loved that country very much for its natural beauties and friendly people. It took me many years of intense study, work and travel to feel really well prepared for the great responsibilities that the profession requires. My efforts gave me a sense of meaningful life and were rewarded by my professional success and the awareness of helping suffering humanity.

When I finally settled with a good career in Caracas, Venezuela, I reached my most important goal and eventually asked myself: Now what next? Something very important was missing: a personal sincere and deep relationship. Having been a dedicated student and professional interested only in learning and perfecting my skills in different hospitals and universities, I had not paid attention to the emotional needs of human nature. The care of sick people needing help was all that I used to consider sufficient for the satisfaction of the human feelings.

I needed to set myself a new goal: to have a family and raise my own children!

I was exactly 34 years old and completely alone. I did not have friends in Venezuela as I had been traveling abroad for so many years. So, my perspective about the meaning of life changed profoundly. I understood that a professional career without a real human life was not meaningful I was very busy with hospital and teaching duties; and also with a growing private clientele; but deep inside me the desire to have a family and to have children started to be my next strong goal I needed real Love!

Well, when you desire something with a strong and focused intention it is likely to come true!

When I decided to have a family, I was not looking for any romantic adventure, or for money or social advantages, but for a solid, not corrupted, honest partner.

I must have made a list of requirements for such a candidate, somehow in my subconscious. Certainly, he needed to be an outdoor and sport person, he must like adventures, and I must trust him in intelligence, daring, and strength. He must be healthy, not drinking, not smoking and a lover of nature.

Well, as the story goes, when you truly look for something with deep conviction, you will find it. It happened, as I wanted. And here goes the story.

As soon as I established my self in Caracas, I bought a kayak.

I had been hiking and kayaking in Canada, in the large wilderness and lakes north of Toronto. Now, I dreamed to paddle in the Caribbean Sea, visiting the beaches along the coast.

One Saturday morning I drove to the coast, downloaded all my equipment on the beach, and started preparing my first short expedition into the sea. I was planning to paddle along the coast to another nearby beach that was not accessible by car, sleep there, and return to my car the next morning. I had a hammock, some water, food, and a few other useful items. The weather was wonderful; a soft breeze and a very calm blue, inviting sea.

Suddenly someone walked on the beach toward me; it was a tall, strong, smiling and good-looking young man carrying the full equipment for underwater diving.

He left it nearby and, walking closer, he addressed me with an inquisitive smile:

"Where are you going with that kayak?"

"To Playa El Limon," I said.

"It is a nice kayak," he said. Nodding his head in approval!

"Where did you buy it?"

"It was on sale in a sport magazine and I like kayaking I learned in Canada."

He was startled! "You are coming from Canada? But you speak Spanish without any accent! Where are you from?"

I laughed as I understood his surprise.

"This is a long story; do you really what to hear it? What about your scuba-diving?"

"I have plenty of time to do it some other day, now I want to listen to your story; I guess it will be more interesting!"

So we went on talking and our conversation about my life, about his life, about sports, underwater diving and kayaking was prolonged for several hours. He did not go scuba diving that day and I did not go kayaking. We enjoyed our new friendship until late in the afternoon when we got hungry and prepared our snacks! We shared our meals and our fruit juices and then we climbed a nearby hill to enjoy the beauty of the sunset.

It turned out that he had been a champion of rough water kayaking in his homeland in Poland when he was very young. He then decided to move to Venezuela because of better employment opportunities that were available to a commercial Pilot as he was.

That is how it all started. We were both very happy to have met a person with similar outdoor interests. He was a healthy looking, friendly person, lover of sports and outdoors.

We quickly got involved in personal experiences of kayaking, underwater diving, hiking, and other sports. We became close friends. No drinking, no smoking, enjoying traveling, sports, and open air.

During the next few months we had an incredibly wonderful time kayaking along the beaches on weekends, doing scuba diving (I also bought my equipment) and exploring the northern wild coasts of Venezuela in his jeep.

Shortly after, he bought a small airplane, a single motor Piper, build with fabric and wood. It was a real antique in aviation, but perfectly functional for our needs and safety.

What a thrill to fly that little light plane! We could go anywhere, land anywhere, and explore every corner. We certainly did fly and explore. We visited every corner in the west and south of Venezuela! He was a wonderful flight navigator and pilot and I fully trusted his skills.

Our friendship became solid and deep. We always could find the time to be together and soon we became more than friends We became aware of a mutual, deep sentiment of trust and love and we decided to get married and to start a family. That was a wonderful decision!

I was teaching and working at the University Hospital as specialist in Gynaecology and Obstetrics. I was attending my private clinic and I had a good clientele.

My husband was as a commercial pilot with a private company. He also had his own private business with two employees and two small airplanes for chartering.

We rented a nice house and we bought some land to start building our own home.

My first baby was born in 1962 and my second one in 1963.

All my dreams had been completely fulfilled!

I had two wonderful healthy babies, and a nice family.

My mother came for a long visit, and also my stepfather visited us.

My profession continued to be very successful, but allowed me to stay sufficient time in the company of my children. I would be at the hospital or at the university from seven in the morning to one in the afternoon. Then, I would come back and play with the children until five in the afternoon. Afterward I would go to my private clinic until nine at night. That was the working time But we also had many vacations!

We had several years of exciting adventures that we shared with out children, carrying them on our back during long walks in the tropical forests.

During our free time and vacations we used to explore by plane first, and then landing, the mysteries of the uncharted Amazon forest on the Venezuelan side. We traveled to many unknown places; we climbed the Ayantepuy Mountain from where the Angel Waterfall starts and reaches one kilometre below the tropical forest that surrounds it.

Nobody ever had the opportunities of doing what we discovered. Boris, my husband was a magnificent pilot and navigator; I trusted his skills completely and followed him in all his explorations without any anxiety or doubt.

Shortly after getting married and before our first child was born we did fly south to Ciudad Bolivar and there we learned about some mysterious tribes that no white man had seen in their dwellings but only from flying occasionally over their territory Boris asked me "Should we go and try to land?" 'Yes, I answered, let go and see!"


Excerpted from Seeking Health and Joy by Antonietta Francini Copyright © 2012 by Dr. Antonietta Francini, MD, MA. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Introduction - Warm Welcome to the Reader!....................xiii
Chapter 1. My Recent Birthday!....................1
Chapter 2. The Meaning of my Life and Goals....................7
Chapter 3. Trip to India meeting Sree Gurudev Swami Muktananda....................30
Chapter 4. Moving to Canada....................43
Chapter 5. Meeting the Incas in Peru....................70
Chapter 6. The Return Trip....................106
Chapter 7. Back to Canada....................114
Chapter 8. Trip to the Arctic Circle, Inuvik and Alaska....................117
Chapter 9. Egypt, the Nile and the Great Pyramid....................130
Chapter 10. An Anthology of Ancient Wisdom....................137
Chapter 11. Ancient Hindu Wisdom- Isavasya Upanishad....................152
Chapter 12. Mysticism and Science of Forgiveness....................167
Concluding remarks....................171
The last words:....................173
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