Wednesday, September 23, 2015

" Support ... "

It feels like a while since I wrote a post.  That’s not to say I haven’t been writing as I am working on my personal story.  I started this a long time ago, but had to many triggers that were allowing me just put it away for another day.  But now, through my writing, a great deal of insights are appearing.  I am grateful for the realization that life truly is love.

Love.  How we express in many different ways.  One way is Support.  Supporting others when in need.  I have been so fortunate to have my family and friends that have been on this journey with me.  Their constant love, guidance and compassion is present and consistent.  And regardless of whatever is going on, they are familia.

Present and consistent.  We find ourselves helping others, altruistically.  No strings attached, yet deep down inside hoping that if we find ourselves facing a challenge, they may extend the same.  Yet, life goes on and things happen and people forget.  They forget the promise, when they are over the moon grateful how you have helped them.  So whose issue is it?  But wait … I ask myself, maybe MY actions weren’t altruistic after all.  
Because if they were, it really wouldn’t matter if it was reciprocated.

An interesting space to be in as I have been struggling with my own health.  Trying to sort whether it is a the flu, an infection or something that requires more attention.  But whatever it may be, that present and consistent support from those who haven’t given up on me, I am forever grateful.

When we fall ill, it is so easy to start running an unhealthy internal dialogue … I have found myself very tired.  Tired of dealing with all that is involved with this dis-ease.  I have found myself wanting to give up, but how can I when others haven’t given up on me?  I have found myself angry. Angry at reality.  I have found myself thinking life is passing me by.

So here today, with more insights and realizations … it is up to me.  To honour what I speak, what I advocate. Believing that anything is possible and miracles do happen.  Trusting in the unknown.  And walking the talk of all the previous blog posts I have written.  I thought I was, at least my ego kept telling me.  But somewhere in the subject matter of cancer, I wasn’t listening to my inner guidance.  

Support is available always, if we just look.  And by forgiving and lovingly releasing the past, others can step in and help. There is no baggage, drama, or unresolved feelings.  It is just a loving presence when it is so needed.  

Forced to slow down and just be has been a blessing in some way.  I don’t wish the pain and discomfort but when you slow down, things don’t seem as they might have at one time.  And so I am grateful for the realization that life is love … anything else is meaningless. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

" Slow Down ... "

“ ... Slow down, baby, now you're movin' way too fast
Baby what you're tryin' to do?
You better slow down!
Baby, now you're movin' way too fast ... 

Slow down, baby, now you're movin' way too fast ... “

~ The Beatles ~ Slow Down ~

There is something to be said for being viewed as “so strong”.  For the past five years, specifically since this cancer diagnosis, others tell me how strong I am, how brave I am, how courageous I am ... so what happens when the strong, courageous & brave get sick?  ... ah wait for it ... crickets.

... I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past ...

This year I completed my yoga teacher training.  It took most of the first quarter of 2015 and was really something that I did for me.  The training was phenomenal and intense.  I found myself along side twenty-somethings, trying to keep up.  Sometimes taking on two hot yoga classes a day, I knew I was pushing myself, but I felt strong and I felt capable.  I recognized that all my insecurities were on display and I had choices at times to cower and give up.  I didn't share with many that cancer lives with me.  I didn't want it to be a crutch, burden or reason to be any different.  And I had lost my close friend Mary earlier in the year. I knew her death was a push for me to do whatever I wanted to do, now. She inspires me to this day to live beyond a cancer diagnosis, to live life fully as long as I am alive.

“...dear God, if today I lose my hope today 
please remind me that your plans are better than my dream ... “

Then came the summer ... teaching classes at schools, visiting public places and ... I started coming down with a nasty cough.  Yet life seemed full of opportunities and I didn’t want to slow down.  But as we know, there is a time to rest and pay attention to your body.  Being sick is one of those times.  

So I kept pushing and working through whatever this body was going through and sometimes ignore the signs ... slow down.  Ignoring because deep down I had another voice wondering if I was simply running out of time?  The five year prognosis mark was creeping up, the time frame given for my mortality.

There doesn’t seem to be a clear-cut answer of what to “do” when sick.  Moderate exercise seems to kick start the immune system into fighting off yucki-ness.  But intense and vigorous exercise may increase your susceptibility to being sick. Everyone has a home remedy and the staunch medical professionals will tell you that you are too late to do anything ...

And of course I ask myself ... how and why?  A guess-timation of what the cause may be.  Perhaps wondering with all the natural goodness in my lifestyle, where sickness can find a home?  Simply a waste of time.  Because I finally realized that the big factor of stress has to be considered ... again.  Stress produces the hormone cortisol which turns off the production of cytokines, the molecules that encourage an aggressive immune response.  Stress of job changes, relationships losses and lifestyle changes, all nicely packaged with a big bow ... yeah a perfect environment to allow yourself to break the self down.

So ... personally speaking ... 6 to 8 weeks of trying to naturally fight off this “heaviness” has resulted in learning that when I am sick, the best approach is to lean into it, specifically lean into the pain when it appears.  This in itself has been a very difficult but awakening process.  Pain has truly been my teacher.  Days and long nights of intensity, realizing that there is no control only acceptance to what is occurring in that moment.  Resistance is futile! I have had to yet again, take inventory of my body and the stress levels in my life.  I have had hard conversations around this with loved ones, which initially can cause aversion but can help uncover where there may be opportunities to make changes.  I am grateful for those words of direct wisdom. Sometimes it is the unconscious, unsaid, unstated tension that starts to simply wear us down.  

With this in mind ... I ask those of you who are reading ... please take the time to take notice.  We are capable of many great things but there comes a time to take a load off.  Take notice and take care of YOU, now.  You don’t want to spend the first half of your life carelessly so that the rest of your life you have to make up for it.  Getting sick is a time to rest, recover and reflect.  Bring the body back to balance and trusting, this too shall pass.  But if we take note now, we can learn and attempt to prevent ourselves from dealing with a more sufferings like this in the future.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

" Alone ... "

“ … And the night goes by so very slow
Oh I hope that it won't end though

But the secret is still my own

Till now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone

Alone, alone … “

~ Heart ~ Alone ~ 


The origin of the word ALONE comes from the Middle East in around the 1300s, from al all + one one. The word itself can be viewed as all one rather than the sad reference it has today.

Being alone doesn’t mean you are anti-social or unwanted ... some sorry state that is colorless unless reinforced by others … implying the sadness, isolation and longing for companionship. Rather, being alone begins with embracing solitude.  

We recognize the benefits and joys within fulfilling relationships with other people, yet on your own, you begin to grow as a person.  You get a chance to recharge and you get a chance to reflect more.  As we spend time by ourselves, we don’t have to bother with processing the thoughts and feelings of others.  It is a time when we focus inwards.  

… solitude provides the perfect environment for reflection … 

And as we focus inwards, we have a chance to get in touch with our own emotions to gain a greater perspective. Plus create a deeper understanding of what makes us happy and what we really want.  

With this awareness of what you want, you may start doing thing you actually enjoy as well as become more productive with less distractions.  You may even have a sense of independence, confidence in your ability to actually be alone.  The anxiety or burning desire for others begins to fade … and you get some distance from constantly trying to keep other people happy … simply, that constant interaction is not required.  

When we consider the most important relationship is with one self, we must be happy to give happiness to others.  Otherwise we are depleted, drained and have nothing really valuable to offer.  This internal new found happiness has always been within us.  Alone time or solitude allows us gain access to it and to not be concerned with validation or approval. So as we begin a journey of self discovery, we learn to be okay as we are, on our own or if we prefer with others.  That interaction becomes a choice not an obligation or burden, where we can reveal who we really are.