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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Manifesting Desires -- An Article

Winning thoughts
Author/radio host credits positive ideas for his victory over illness

By SHARON DETTMER
Tribune Correspondent


ST. JOSEPH - Michael Cortson wrote the book on winning.

He is the author of "Winning Thinking," a primer written to teach winning techniques for finding success in life, business and sports.

The 57-year-old author is a cancer and stroke survivor.

He went from being a nursing home patient in hospice care to becoming an author, public speaker, golf instructor and radio talk show host of "The Mike Cortson Show."

The key to success, he said, is to understand the law of attraction - the universe gives you back whatever you are vibrating.

If you go around banging a drum of negativity, you are going to attract other negative drummers with that kind of beat.

So, he advises, try the opposite strategy. Think things through, and then ask yourself, "What positive benefit am I getting out of doing this, or thinking in this way?"

The challenge for him was great, given his circumstances. The retired trial attorney, who holds doctorate degrees in theology and philosophy, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003.

"I lost weight and my mid-section hurt. The condition became much worse," Cortson said. "I went from 175 lbs. to 110 lbs."

On April 1, 2003, the busy attorney collapsed at his sister's home and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

"All I could see was white. The next thing I knew, I was in the back of an ambulance. Someone from EMS said, 'His blood pressure is 60/40, step on it.' I woke up in the hospital with an IV in my arm," he said.

Cortson remained in the hospital for eight days until a definitive diagnosis was made by his doctor.

The news was devastating. He was advised to get his affairs in order and to make funeral arrangements.

So, at age 51, Cortson did just as he had been instructed. Hospice was eventually called in to assist him in a life-to-death transition.

Then, the unthinkable happened. On Oct. 16, 2003, he had a massive stroke.

Cortson said he has little memory of the months following the stroke.

He recalls the day that his lucidity finally returned. "It felt like a little comet of light ran across my eyes. I was still sick and I looked like a skeleton. I was scared," he said.

However, Cortson still made an important decision that changed the course of his life.

"I thought, 'I'm stuck here with one foot in the death-bucket. This is all I have left.' I've got to take it one heartbeat at a time. That's what I will do to make the most of my life,' " he said.

Cortson took his recovery one step at a time. He had to relearn everything - talking, eating, walking and speaking. Eventually, he discovered what he defines as his personal "zone."

Athletes speak of being "in the zone." That happens when their peak performances are near perfect and easily achieved, he said.

"After a lot of thinking and analysis regarding my own personal situation and trying to deal with massive amounts of pain each day, I intentionally placed myself in my own 'zone.' "

Cortson did this by changing his attitude about everything.
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"I had to let go of the things that I had no control over," he said. "I used many of the techniques used in Neuro-Linguistic Programming."

This programming teaches the brain healthy patterns and behavior to bring about positive emotional and physical effects, Cortson said. Replace bad thoughts with good.

Tranquility comes from within, he explained.

"Don't look outside of yourself for happiness," he said. "You were born with happiness and exuberance inside, so use it, just like little children do."

His struggles with illness and recovery are featured in "Living the Law of Attraction," written by authors Rich German and Robin Hoch.

He walked out of the nursing home on June 11, 2004.

It was one of the happiest days of his life, Cortson said.

These days, Cortson resides in St. Joseph with his wife, Rebecca. He has written many books including "The Secret to a Great Golf Swing," "About Nursing Homes," "Married and Alone," and "Winning Thinking."

Life is good. "My cancer is gone. I have some bumps here and there and I am getting old," he said.

"No matter how hopeless you think things are, there is always hope."

His radio show airs on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6 p.m. on WRHC-LP 106.7 FM.

Dave Repetto, station program director, is pleased to have Cortson as a talk show host.

"He came to us with a remarkable story. We feel blessed to have him in the Radio Harbor Country family," Repetto said.

"Mike has a wide audience reaching far beyond the range of 100-watts of radio power. He continues to be an inspiration to his colleagues here at WRHC-LP."

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