Cancer Changed Me

cancerchangedme

Hope ~ Strength ~ Power ~ Belief ~ Courage ~ Honor ~ Determination

I have been told that cancer changed me.  Indeed, it wasn’t said it in the nicest of ways.  In fact, it was taken as a disparaging comment and I was appalled by the off-hand comment.  My first reaction was to defend myself at the time, to show how cancer didn’t change me.  But I left well-enough alone and decided to say nothing.  However, I was hurt by the retort.

Had cancer really changed me?

The question mulled in my head for days and many sleepless nights, more than I’d like to admit, but it’s true.  I’ve written how cancer changes you enough times in this blog to know that the reality is – YES, cancer changes most of us.  It has to, or we wouldn’t still be here.  For we have seen into the yawning mouth of our own demise, endured the most feared emotions and have come out of it alive, so far.  Looking at your own potential death does change you.

It makes you more aware for the most part.  Some of us now see with finite definition that life is short and there are no guarantees how much time we have on this earth.  We become grateful for the beauty in nature, for the simple pleasures that kindness brings and for a real, loving hug which can cure many ills.  We look to connect with others more because we know what it’s like to feel alone.  We share our stories, encourage each other and find the courage to be who we authentically are!  We smile when we are tired.  We work hard to overcome obstacles and to be there for others, even when we feel depleted.  We take that extra moment to smile and to enjoy goodness when it comes into our lives.  We are grateful for the support that we have been given and we look to support others to continue the flow of goodness.  We share tips to help others and happily receive tips to make our lives easier.

We know that all the money in the world, with all the frivolities are fleeting and really don’t mean a damn when death comes knocking at our door.  It’s that silence between ourselves and our maker (or our beliefs) in the quiet of the night that counts.  It’s regarding peace within as a precious gift, time spent with loved ones and a centered calm in which to retreat when life becomes hard.  It’s the voice within the stillness which speaks of love, gratitude, peace with ourselves and others and God.

Yes, cancer changed me.  That’s for sure.  Perhaps it was the misunderstanding of me that caused this person to spout the ‘dig’ as I took it.  Sometimes it takes a loss for us to be humble and perhaps there will be people who simply never understand.  And that’s ok with me.

I am me, authentically me.  I make mistakes, I ask for forgiveness and I forgive.  I choose to live in a state of peace within when I can, but I am always evolving, ever growing and yet, trying to do all things with love.  I intend to do my best, at any given moment, but I’m human.  I’m a work in progress.  Aren’t we all?

What’s precious to me in my life is love, kindness and connections and I strive every day to live with those three precious gems in my life.  Cancer made me a better person by giving me so many lessons in my life.  I’ve learned so much from cancer, even though I never wanted to endure that disease.  Looking back on my life, I realize that I am who I am today because of cancer.  Even if others don’t understand me, it’s ok now.  I’m at peace and I’m ever grateful for the peace within me.

Shine On!

xo

Smooth Seas

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A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sometimes we wonder why hard times fall on us.  We blame karma, bad luck, ourselves or others for the sad times.  We can’t understand why or how bad things happen to good people.  Have you ever felt this way?

I love the quote above as it makes sense to me.  Sadly I agree that in good seas, we don’t have to practice what we preach.  It is only when the storms arise that we must walk our talk and talk our walk or however that quote goes.  You know what I mean, don’t you?

During stormy seas, we realize who our true friends are and who we can count on.  Unexpected friendships can arise and we may even be surprised by who reaches out in kindness…and who doesn’t.   We may even finally realize who supports us and who doesn’t, as words without actions are simply words.

Kindness goes a long way, especially when you are hurting.  Being a warm, safe haven for someone is a precious gift, especially during stormy seas.  I want to thank those who have helped me over the years, the ones whose kindness never waned and whose support I felt even in my darkest hours.

Shine On!

xo

The Gifts In Surrendering

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Sounds like a strange title for a blog post, huh?  Well, I guess it is, but a comment from this post made me feel like I wanted to write more about surrendering.

To surrender is to allow the Universe to have a hand in life.  Surrender isn’t a negative as many of us deem it when we hear the word.  Surrender is simply presence during whatever chaos surrounds us.  It’s not picking up the karma of chaos, but simply allowing it to swirl around us while we stay peaceful, centered and present.

Surrender isn’t allowing the past to whip our emotions up into a frenzy of negativity, of hurt, or of resentment.  It isn’t allowing the good of the past to be lost, but instead to hold it tenderly in a place of peace.  It isn’t allowing the loss of the good to overshadow the present good with bereftness or grief.  It is being in the present moment, truly being in the present moment with peace – no past – no future – just now.

And if that sounds hard to do, well, by golly, you’re right!  (Sorry, I needed a giggle to break the seriousness.)  Because many times it’s not easy, otherwise we’d all be doing it and be like Eckhart Tolle or the Dalai Lama without straining to stay present.

Surrender isn’t giving up or giving in or allowing others to control you.  It isn’t being a doormat or losing the battle.

Surrender is breathing in the gratitude for what we currently have at this very moment and acknowledging it.  Surrender is faith in integrity.  Faith in ourselves.  Faith in the Universe that all arrives with Divine Timing.  Surrender is letting go and letting God.  Surrender is putting the desired outcome out there and taking the baby steps that we can in order to accomplish whatever it is we want without putting restrictions, nor past or future limitations on ourselves and our situation.  It’s stillness and prayer.  It’s a loosely built plan of what we’d like ultimately, but with the caveat that somewhere close in that vicinity would be fine as well.  It’s allowing the Law of Attraction, the angels that are friends and strangers or maybe, actually angels, to help us.  It’s continuing to do our best daily, with integrity and lay our worries on the bedpost as we sleep in peaceful slumber, knowing we have done our best today and have earned a restful sleep.  Surrender is  allowing the freedom of peace to envelope our souls.  To find the peace in the current situation, no matter how bleak it seems and to remember that tomorrow is another day with a new dawn and the possibilities of miracles abound.  It’s reaching out to others when times get tough, for more often than not, they are waiting in the wings to comfort, to help and to encourage.

It’s finding The Presents of Presence, unwrapping the peace and being grateful for what is in this very moment.  It’s finding the good now.

Have you every surrendered?  What was the outcome?

Shine On!

xo

I Am In Love With Hope

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The above is an excerpt from Mitch Albom’s book, Have A Little Faith which touched my soul and I just felt the need to share it.  So please enjoy and let me know what you think!

I am in love with hope.  That’s the truth.

Shine On!

xo

Begin Again

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A friend gave me a magnet awhile back in anticipation for all of the changes that were in store for my future.  At the time, I didn’t want to Begin Again as it was daunting for me to think about all that would be changed.  Regardless of how much I didn’t want the changes, they happened anyway, out of my control.  Instead of accepting that my life would dramatically change in all ways – divorce, moving, financially, health-wise, etc., I fought like a tigress to remain in that stagnant limbo of wanting no change, all while change happened anyway.

Finally, I surrendered.

Broken, exhausted and drained, I surrendered.

It’s not that I didn’t agree that the changes were imminent and necessary.  It was that I was fearful of how I would continue on in this uncharted territory for my journey and the journey of my children, for it wasn’t where I wanted to be.  But when I stopped fighting against the rising tide and began to doggy paddle to keep afloat, I received help through the transition.  Angels disguised as friends and strangers reached out to me with kindness.  I began to see the future as a new chapter in my life, a new book on which to write my story and a fresh clean slate which I controlled (for the most part) of how I am the captain of my own life’s ship.

I began planning what had to be done and like a sergeant, began the transition with what I hoped would be military precision.  But alas, I may have had a plethora of military family members, but precision has not been a characteristic blessing unto me.  And so it was, I surrendered.  I did my best daily, fell asleep on my pillow with a bone tired body and rose up the next morning to do it all again.  And finally, it was accomplished, through the help of my angelic human angels.

Now we begin again, in a new home with new challenges.  Regardless, I have surrendered what was and I embrace what is and I plan for what I would like to be.  To Begin Again requires letting go of the past and staying in a peaceful present and allowing a hopeful future to blossom, petal by petal.

I am grateful for the peace within now.  Although transitions are often fraught with wiggles and compromises, I knowingly stand with peace in my heart, grateful for the lessons and learning which have come with the experiences I’ve endured.  I’ve learned so much about people, about myself and about love.  Life lessons have been tough at times, but well-worth the growth that came out of them.  Sure, it’s easy in hindsight to feel this way, but I guess I wanted to share with you so that you can remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  We just have to keep walking towards the light.

I’m here for you if you are going through any transitions as I’ve been through a bunch of different ones:  cancer, multiple surgeries, chemo, radiation, divorce, selling a house, finding the right rental, starting over at 50, death of family, family with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, etc.  If you need a friend, here I am, with my arms wide open for a hug.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Honeybee Spirit Totem Animal Message

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I thought that yesterday’s post about my 3 encounters with the honeybee might interest you as to what I found the message to be for me.  Perhaps you’ve had a visit from a honeybee as well, so I thought I’d share what I found from here.

When the honey-bee spirit animal appears to you, it’s calling your attention to your everyday miracles. Just look at your honey-bee totem which is so small yet able to achieve so much.

The honey-bee symbolism is also of community and teamwork. Use your talents to help humanity and make your personal contributions to change the world for the better.

Add your voice to the collective consciousness. Raise the vibrations of the world you live in.

Wow!  Who knew the honeybee was such a powerful totem?  And as I begin my next chapter into uncharted territory, I am grateful to that sweet little honeybee’s message.  I love our community of bloggers and the friendships we have made.  I am hoping now that we are transitioning into our new home, I can begin again to write, to read, to comment and to grow our community.

Please join me in raising the vibrations of the beautiful world we live in!  It’s time to spread our wings, band together and fly like the darling honeybee!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

A Honeybee Came To Me

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Recently my life has changed dramatically.  Divorce is final, we’ve closed on our home and we have moved to a new place.  So much upheaval physically, emotionally and mentally, but as I joke when people ask how we are faring, I say we are still upright which to me means we are still here, still walking on our paths and still getting up every morning to greet the dawn with gratitude.  Of course, that’s my description of what upright means!

I’ve continued my tradition of quiet prayer over coffee outside in the mornings before anyone else is up in my house.  Luckily for me, we have a small yard where I can sit and think among Mother Nature’s gifts.  While watching the birds, the small chipmunk who lives nearby who wanders around the patio and listening to the gentle awakenings of nature, I say my prayers and talk with God.

Friday morning began as usual, quietly sipping my coffee and feeling the gentle breeze blow the weeping willow nearby when suddenly a honeybee alighted on my shirt.  She didn’t scare me as she walked on my sleeve.  I looked at her and realized she was a honeybee with no stinger to injure me.  When was the last time I’d seen a honeybee so close up and why had she alighted on me?  Immediately, I thought that she was a spirit totem animal as I’ve had many instances when animals deliver messages to me.  So I looked it up and read what I could find.

Saturday morning began my quiet routine and again, the honeybee came to visit.  This time she landed on the cell phone in my hand.  I watched as she gingerly walked on my phone for about 5 minutes, just walking across it in circles, looking like she was sniffing it as if she were a dog.  Again, she made me smile and as quickly as she had appeared, she flew away.

Saturday night, I was outside again, enjoying the night sky, talking on the phone with a dear friend and who do you think came to visit again?  Yup!  My friendly honeybee alighted directly on my arm.  Her feet tickled my skin, but I remained still as she walked down my upper arm to my elbow and then flew away.

However, this morning, there was no visit, which I have to admit made me sad, as I was enjoying our little morning routine.  With spirit totem animals, there are messages to deliver via Mother Nature’s children and certainly, when we are aware and notice, the messages are delivered.

Have you ever been visited by an animal?  Do you know anything about totem spirit animals?  When was the last time you saw a honeybee?

Please share!

Shine On!

xo