Tag Archive | chinese proverb

Build a Windmill


“When the wind rises, some people build walls,

others build windmills.”
– Chinese Proverb

I think that life is about choices.  You choose your thoughts, you choose your path, you choose what you do with your experiences.  I don’t believe you can control everything, but I believe that you can decide how you live with those experiences.  Does that make sense to you?  I mean, to me, happiness is a choice.  I can wake up grumpy or happy.  I can decide to smile or to frown no matter what the situation.  There are awful experiences that we have endured and yet, there are those of us who find goodness is the wake of tragedy and there are those who simply cannot.  It’s a choice.

Which one are you?

Are you building walls against the winds?

Or are you using the winds’ strength to your advantage by building windmills to strengthen yourself?

I confess, I’ve done both.  I’ve isolated myself and built walls against the winds, finding the fear of recurrence overwhelming in my life.  I’ve thrown my own extended pity party, wallowing in the grief of what was lost in my life, the countless memories which are simply erased from my brain and the thousands of memories which because my health wasn’t good, were never made.  I’ve cried for the breasts which were taken, the multiple surgeries (more than 10 and counting) which I’ve endured and the reminders which line my body in raised purple tracks which never seem to fade.  The disfigurement of a body which I still inhabit, although I don’t always trust anymore.  A brain which had such ability to multitask, but now finds it difficult to focus.  Being a MOM who relished feeling SUPER, now relegated to feeling less than more often than not.  Being judged by others who don’t understand the intensity of being a cancer survivor because I strive to overcome my disease.

And yet, those winds of breast cancer’s disease, fuel my life’s windmill.  Instead of fighting them, I now allow them to strengthen me.  Sure there are moments when I wall myself in, but more often than not, you find me harnessing the strength of the wind to inspire others to find their own blessings in their lives.  It goes back to a simple choice.  You control that choice.  Your life reflects what you choose.  You can change and choose differently whenever you wish.  Because…it’s your choice.

Build windmills, not walls.

Shine On!


Here’s One Answer to “Why Me?”


“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials. “
Chinese Proverb

Let’s be clear, I’m not looking for perfection.  Not for myself nor for anyone else in the vicinity.  You can choose to look for whatever you wish.  I will tell you though, that I think you are perfect, just the way you are ~ the way you really are ~ that soulful you.  The one deep inside beneath all the rubble of your outside persona.  You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?  The inner being who inhabits the human body called YOU.

That being is perfect.  That person is love.  That soul is perfect.

And when it comes to asking that all-important question, “why me?” I think the above Chinese proverb is a good start.  Nobody likes troubles, illness, death, financial problems, feeling unloved, tragedy, violence etc in our lives.  We’d prefer a quiet, loving atmosphere in which to grow and to enjoy the time we have here on Earth.  But ‘life happens’ and we are many times thrust into situations of which we have little or no control over and we must dog paddle our way to the safe shore.  It’s not fun.  It’s not easy.  Trials and tribulations aren’t usually fun.  Little pings of anxiety after them aren’t either.  They are simply nudges I think to get our lives back on track if we’ve fallen away from our purpose.

But after the incident/illness, when we look back, we can see how the trials shaped us, refined us and polished our lives.  If you have endured life changing moments, you may understand what I am trying to say even though today I feel as if I am floundering in how I am writing to you.  I am not saying, for the record, that I am happy that I had breast cancer.  Oh no.   I would have been happy with a peace-filled, illness-free life.  But am I grateful for the trial so that I learned how truly strong I am, how I can reach out to help inspire others and how being loved and loving others means the most in life?  Well, then, yes. yes, and yes.

Breast cancer changed my life permanently in all different ways.  My physical body, my physical abilities, my mental state, my brain’s capacity and even my spiritual awareness all are irrevocably changed.  I have a chronic illness that I cannot overcome.  I have memory problems.  I have limited abilities in areas where BC (before cancer) I was limitless.  There is time that I can never get back.  There are many losses and few gains.  There is a learning curve which I never expected.  There are answers that I never even knew I could seek and find.  There are questions that will remain unanswerable and I must find peace within in order to move on.

Sometimes it boils down to the simple…I am here and gratefully present.

Shine On!