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Enduring Breast Cancer Survivor

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This may be a controversial post, I’m just warning you.  Maybe not, depending on how you view what I feel.  I’m a breast cancer survivor although I abhor the badge survivor.  Yes, I survived breast cancer and have for almost 16 years, but I am not one of those who go to the Pinktober or Breast Cancer Walks with pink frilly enthusiasm.  It’s just not me.

I think it’s nice that people unite for those walks to raise money for research, but in the sixteen years since I was diagnosed, there have been a few strides, but not many.  So where’s the funding going?

There are thousands of items bedazzled with the pink ribbon during Breast Cancer Awareness month that are for sale.  While I appreciate it, I also feel the superficiality of it.  For enduring breast cancer isn’t all pink ribbons.

It’s grueling surgeries, treatments and fear-induced sleepless nights.  Like all life threatening situations, it requires bravery to face our inevitable death, with the threat of it coming too soon.  I was 34 years old when I was diagnosed out of the blue, having found an M&M sized lump in my breast.  Complete shock overtook me on that New Year’s Eve in 2001 when the diagnosis was delivered.

Fast forward to 2017 after having endured countless surgeries, chemotherapy (ACT) and radiation, not to mention a double mastectomy, two implant replacements and then a radical replacement of my breasts with my own fat tissue instead of implants because my body kept rejecting them, I’ve been through the ringer like many people have in my situation.  I’ve lost my hair, been in menopause since 2003 and aged faster than my friends because of the illness.  I have lingering effects from the cancer which include chronic fatigue which I battle daily.  The funny thing about the chronic fatigue is that most people just don’t understand what I experience because I look normal (or as normal as possible).  But that’s a whole different post.

However, the word survivor when applied to my breast cancer experience sticks in my craw.  Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I merit the word survivor.  Victims of the Holocaust merit the word survivor, people who survived horrendous experiences merit the word survivor in my book.  But for me, no.

Me, I endured breast cancer.  While its aftereffects still play a role in my daily life, I am gratefully still here.  Sure, I have had more threats to my health than I can count anymore.  I am tested routinely due to other complications and I have endured countless uncomfortable tests and more sleepless nights than I want to remember.

The term survivor to me is having lived through something awful and to be able to go on afterwards.  Maybe that’s how some people feel about their diagnosis in the breast cancer world.  For me, it’s not a been there, done that, wear the pink sparkly t-shirt and smile.  It’s still enduring the illness in whatever shape and form it reemerges.

The Presents of Presence emerged from my journey with breast cancer.  In being present with my feelings, acknowledging the gifts in this moment and in taking the time to be mindful, spiritual and experiencing all that presence allows, is how I live my life now.  I am still a work in progress.  I thank you for reading my post today, for holding my hand when needed, for your kindness and connections and for showing your heartlight as a beacon of hope for others.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

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Defending Your Life

Do you ever wonder what happens when you die?  I was watching a movie called Defending Your Life the other night when I began thinking about just that!  It’s an Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep movie which came out in 1991.  Maybe the trailer below will ring a bell in you?

In the movie, after death, there’s a stay in Judgment City whereby you defend your actions on Earth in order to ascend to a higher plane of existence.  Daniel Miller (Albert Brooks) is on trial for being afraid.

And that’s the thought that jolted me out of my limited thinking.

Fear.  Being afraid.  Worrying about what others think.  Not taking chances when we could have – which might have led to growth.  Holding back.  Not taking opportunities which were given to us.  Tormenting ourselves over woulda, coulda, shoulda times when other choices, like the road less traveled, were presented.

We’ve all heard the adages in different ways:  We only have one life.  Life is short.  100% of the chances not taken, are missed.

I am sure you could add to that list exponentially, but those are just a few of the ones I’ve heard in my lifetime.  And yet, it’s not complacency that holds us back from living our lives to their fullest potential.  It’s fear.

So today, perhaps as you go about your day, look for those miraculous opportunities which present themselves quietly.  When given options, maybe you’ll decide to take a calculated chance to do something different.  Go after your dreams and press out of your self-limited comfort zones, a baby step at a time.  Live your life with enthusiasm and openness.  Free yourself from the confines of your fears.  Open the gate to living an authentically, beautiful life which is yours by Divine Right.

Be YOU, in all your splendid beauty.

Shine On!

xo

 

How Do You Remember The Birthday Of A Loved One Who’s Passed Away?

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This past week, two of my loved ones who have passed had their birthdays.  In a quiet moment, even though I suppose that after one has passed away, birthdays aren’t celebrated, I took a few moments to remember them and their kindnesses to me.

But it brings up the question, What do you do on the birthday of a loved one who has passed away?  Do you think of them?  Do you say a prayer for them?  Do you talk with them?  Do you feel anything from them when you do?

I often wonder if after we have passed away if we look down (because this is how I imagine it) and see if anyone thinks of us?  Do we have the ability after we’ve died to communicate with loved ones who are still living?  Would we feel that tug to let them know we are ok and that we’re here in spirit?  Would we still care about those still living?

I know people have had experiences with psychics as I have as well.  I have had experiences that are not explainable and I feel like they could be signs from above or from deceased loved ones.  I have had messages given to me that were spot on from a medium whom I met on a whim.  So I do believe there’s communication between the living and the dead.

I did say prayers and talked with each of them on their birthdays.  Maybe it’s my imagination, but I felt that they knew how much I loved and appreciated them.  At least that’s what I’m hoping for I felt a sweet peace in my heart afterwards.

I know for me, if there’s any way I could reach through the veil after I pass and let my loved ones know that I’m still here, still loving them and sending all the blessings my heart could give to them, I most definitely would – especially when they were thinking about me.

What about you?  Do you have any stories to share?  Please do!

Shine On!

xo

I looked back and I’ve written about this before in my blog a few times.  In case you’re wondering…here are a few of my past posts. xo

Papa can you hear me?

Orb of Light and Flickering Electricity

Life After Death

Have You Ever Had Signs From Loved Ones?

 

Never Forget 9/11/01

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Never Forget

As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,

We became one color.

As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building,

We became one class.

As we lit candles of waiting and hope,

We became one generation.

As the firefighters and police officers
fought their way into the inferno,

We became one gender.

As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,

We became one faith.

As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement

We spoke one language.

As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,

We became one body.

As we mourned together the great loss,

We became one family.

As we cried tears of grief and loss,

We became one soul.

As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes,

We become one people.

We are:
One color
One class
One generation
One gender
One faith
One language
One body
One family
One soul
One people.

We are The Power of One.

We are United.
We are America.
(Author unknown)

Sixteen years ago today.

Let us take a moment of silence with love in our hearts.

God Bless.

Shine On!

xo

P.S. Daily Prompt is Sympathy…perfect word for today xo

 

Rest In Peace Louise Hay

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In the infinity

of life

where I am,

all is perfect, whole and complete.

– Louise L. Hay

At age 90, surrounded by loved ones, Louise Hay passed away peacefully in her sleep of natural causes on August 30, 2017.  Many will remember her legacy of healing through her business  Hay House as well as the plethora of books she authored.  She shared authors who brought peace, love and empowerment into our lives through Hay House.

I remember the first time I was given her book, You Can Heal Your Life back in 2002.  I had breast cancer and I was so troubled by the diagnosis and feared what lay in store for me.  A friend tried to explain how in reading her book, I would be healing myself, but back then, I wasn’t very spiritual.  However, the dear-hearted friend who gave me the book was further along on the spiritual journey than me and I trusted her with my heart.

So I read You can Heal Your Life and I began to shift – in my thoughts, in my words, in my healing, and with love in my heart.  I have never looked back at the woman who held a book in her hands disbelieving that Louise Hay’s simple message could change me so profoundly.  And yet, here I am.

Louise Hay’s book began my spiritual journey and my soul healing.  I am ever grateful to my friend for opening the door to me by giving me her book.  I am ever grateful to Louise Hay for believing in herself and for being the light in so many lives.  She helped many of us find the light again.  God Bless You Louise Hay.  Thank you for my healing – one book, one thought, and one affirmation at a time.

Shine On!

xo

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P.S.  I have written about Louise Hay many times on my blog.  If you’re interested just search Louise Hay and they will come up!  “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

We Help The People That Need Us

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When I wrote about Collateral Beauty before in my blog, I thought I was done.  But I felt a pull to write again.  I am a bit teary this morning, but I can’t explain why.  On the outside of my life, all is well and the pieces that in the past fell apart and broke, are mending.  Inside I feel a healing coming forth, like a flower bulb awakening after winter’s frost and pushing through the garden dirt towards the sun.

I am re-awakening from my life’s slumber.

Since the eclipse, I feel more profoundly these days.  Not like mood swings exactly.  Simply it’s that I feel such a deep connection to others, to Mother Nature and to all that is behind the veil.  No, I am not losing my mind.  I think it is emerging with knowledge, with knowing and uncovering from the mantle of fear and sadness which clothed me for so long and held down my spirit, my authentic self.

It is a slow process as I dig out from the ruins of my former life into the sunshine.  Bit by bit, stone by stone I am releasing what held me back, what I allowed to hold me back and freeing my soul from her immersion into solitude.

It isn’t easy this reawakening.  It tires me. Bursts of energy excite me and here and there a plateau seems to appear where I find respite for a bit.  Sometimes I drop a few steps from the plateau only to have to climb back up again to rest, but the journey is simple.  It requires letting go of the sandbags which held me down, the fears which pinned my soul into a box of belonging and the embracing of freedom to be me, without worry of judgement.

Emerging from a shell, a cocoon.

That’s where Collateral Beauty calls to me in movie form again.  Although our circumstances were different, the journey was similar.  Isn’t that the way it is with most connections?  At this time I have friends who are slowly losing family members to death and I feel as if we connect in a higher plane.  It is as if I am here to help them on their journey of accepting the physical loss of family because I have experienced it as well, numerous times now, in all different ways.

Please do something small with great love today.

Collateral Beauty Trailer 2

Shine On!

xo

This post is part of SoCS.

The Gift In Ordinary Moments

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The other day, I shared that a friend’s Mama recently passed.  Although we hadn’t known each other for more than a few years, what we packed into those few years was a lifetime of friendship.  You know, when you bond instantly and there’s no rhyme or reason to it.  It just happens effortlessly?

I can’t seem to stop the tears when I think about the good times we had and I just realized why…Because I am grateful for the ordinary moments we shared that ended up being extraordinary.  Let me repeat that…

Ordinary moments we shared, ended up being extraordinary

There’s a preciousness to ordinary life that we forget in our haste to be special.  There’s a gift in being present without fanfare, the gift of just sitting around talking or sharing a meal that when we look back, it wasn’t special, it wasn’t a hoopla holiday.  It was the ordinary mealtime, but because we were all together, it was special.

Am I making sense?

It’s the simple things, the ordinary meals that are like home to us.  The caring, the camaraderie, the joy in just being together in the routine setting makes for a precious memory.  We don’t need the hoopla all the time.  Yes, hoopla holidays are special.  I have no doubts about that!  But the preciousness of being outweighs them in my book.

Perhaps I’m feeling melancholy today, noticing the simple pleasures that surround us in everyday life that we sometimes overlook.  Being in that moment of presence is just so important.  Don’t you think?

Shine On!

xo