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Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Elusive “More”… Altogether now…

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Not a big surprise that many of my conversations with others these days meander around to health and wellness: My health, their health, practising the art of wellness… and the like.

Tonight’s conversation is the same story I hear constantly. Consistently. Routinely. Different twists, but same same. I wish, en masse, I could help the world see things differently… even just on this one habit in our thinking that has been instilled into us since we were children: “I’m not good enough.”

Here’s the conversation:

“…but,” I say, “you’ve looked after yourself very well.”

“No, not really,” she answers.

“You eat well, you walk often, you are doing volunteer work you enjoy and that keeps you mentally active, you are using the skills that are your expertise, you have a social life…” I ramble on. (She’s over 75. She’s rockin’ it.)

“Umm…Yes,” she answers haltingly as she processed what I said, but then very quickly added, “but I could do more.”

Yup, that’s the clincher. Never thinking that what we are doing  is good enough. Never acknowledging what we are already doing well. Always beating ourselves up for not doing some elusive ‘more.’ It is an ingrained thought habit, and wow, is it ever fed by media.

“The only ‘more’ you could do that would help your wellbeing is to stop saying “I could do more,” I suggested.

She snickered and agreed. She got it. I hope it lasts more than an hour before the old thinking habit comes back.

Okay, altogether now: “I’m good enough!”

Ya ya.. I know. First thoughts are all the things you need to improve. Pretty please, just for a moment… can you find one area of your life that you can say, even hesitatingly for starts, “I’m  good enough!”?

Or you could go for the biggie:  “I Rock!”

Me? I could beat myself to the ground for all kinds of things that I have not done ‘perfectly’ in my life, if I listened to everything the media, the ‘experts’, and the foodies say about how I got to the point of dealing with cancer. It’s a challenge enough to keep spirits lifted and manage treatments and keep going forward… can you imagine how hard it would be to be sitting here beating myself up in the process?

There are, in fact, no answers… not one fact… about how I got here. If I constantly drained my energy imagining the elusive ‘more’ I should have done or should be doing, there’d be no energy left to go out and snowshoe, to play with the little ‘uns, to hang out with muse friends, to write a blog post, to work on my book, to paint my tall ships, to find the funny in things, to dance under the willow tree, to make jokes about my Eddie Munster hairline, or even to plan a decent meal. And those are the things that are healing me. Good enough, I say.

(Coming soon to a blog near you: “Finding a less elusive more, if the “I could do more” is beating it’s way to the top of the thought factory anyway.”)

Going Green…My Hair, that is.

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Today I may have dyed my hair greenish.
Today I found my studio under months of mess that I just hadn’t been able to get to.
Today I fixed the rungs on a wooden bifold door that’s been broken for 6 months.
Today I made a little tiny sculpture of a castle out of a book and hung out with three muse friends while doing that.
Today I was still in awe that I finally finally got my taxes done this weekend, only 6 months late.

Today I’ve been fine tuning the Muse Facilitator course that starts tomorrow… my first step back to rebuilding my business. It’s by phone, so the green hair is okay. Never mind… they’d be cool with green anyway. It’s a group of creative people… they’d likely recommend complimentary colour streaks. ~smile~

Today I laid out giant paper to mindmap the “what nexts.” I didn’t do more than that. That would have been ridiculous on top of everything else. My goodness.

Tonight I’m rather ecstatic.

I’m ecstatic because 3 months ago, I thought I kicked ass if I even got the dishes done in a day, and 3 months ago there was no hair on my head to accidently dye greenish.

3 weeks ago planning to do this many activities in a day would have overwhelmed me even thinking about such a thing, and would have still tuckered me physically.

Given that I’m still doing treatments has me whoot whooting that the side effects are getting less; I don’t want to kill anyone like when the most recent treatment began. (Yup, it’s a hormonal treatment) Wait, is it what made my hair greenish?

Today I’m beaming because by the time my new grandbaby really notices things, she’ll see that her Nana is not an alien, after all. Yes, she’ll see this mousey greenish hair, but hair nonetheless. (It’s just a henna, it’ll wash out. Probably by mornng. So I had to write this post tonight or the whole darn greenish thing would have been redundant.) My five year old granddaughter thought purple would be nice. Maybe that’ll be next.

Today I feel like I almost have a real hair-do, (which is what inspired the henna dye job)…even though the 2 year old granddaughter has been saying, “Nana no nudey head” for a bit now. It’s been a 3 months process, this regrowth, and I’ve had moments of panic when it seemed it wasn’t growing.

It’s like my hair is a metaphor for my healing.. physically and mentally. Like my hair, my body and mind are clearly heading back toward happy and healthy. I have moments of trying to rush things, and likely I turn a bit green, and then I recognize I need to keep practising patience, gentleness and playfulness to keep my spirits lifted and my body healing.

And today a friend gave me homemade soup, and today I found out that artist Allen Okoye has made fundraising for me a part of his art show, and I am in awe of this continued support. I tried to tell someone about this today and just started crying… happy, ‘touched to the depth of my soul’ tears.  I may use this theme, “The things that made me cry” to get some of these stories down on paper.

Today reminds me that all is well with the world. Even with greenish hair. I just wanted to share that with you.

Turning the Page…A pen, the back of my hand, a bookstore, again.

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Turning the page into another year, I’m percolating where I will put my energies and contemplating what will feel, not just good, but fabulous.  The philosophy worked for me during this past year of surgeries, treatments and healing. Okay, I didn’t go for ‘fabulous,’  I went for good, although now I’m curious what might have evolved if I’d taken it up that notch from ‘what will feel good’ to ‘what will feel fabulous;’ much of that good did become pretty fabulous.  What comes after fabulous? Hmmm….

Okay, okay, I’m digressing…

And now here I am, a new year, a page turned, and percolating the “what nexts.”  Challenging myself to go for what feels fabulous* this year is no minor challenge. I do have some big changes to make, including selling my home. I am transitioning from “all energy going to healing” to “wait! I have more energy! Huzzah Huzzah”…. but, as you might expect, a year in treatment for cancer leaves one reeling a bit: still  in treatment but gentler, still healing, feeling some uncertainty, feeling vulnerable, wishing my hair would grow faster and that some more eyelashes will soon join the six that remained, and needing to deal with the financial challenge this has all been. Oy.

BUT  on the other end of the ‘reel’: PLEASE KNOW.. the help I’ve had financially from so many of you truly made it possible for me to heal with much less stress. I am so grateful. And on this end of the ‘reel’ there’s also enthusiasm and excitement, celebration at every food that tastes good again and every physical capability that increases, every playdate with my grandkids, every playdate with my snowshoes and walking boots and clay and my friends and family.  Constant high of gratitude for all the support, (exactly WHY did I tell my friends who were cooking that it was okay, I had energy, I could cook for myself?  I miss them and their treats!)  And perhaps now I also have  a bit more wisdom, wonder and magic.

And the huge celebration: we have a new baby in the family!  My granddaughter Emaline Rae was born December 28th.  I call this little one Miracle Child, because she is…that’s another astounding story for another day.  We are so blessed and she is so dang adorable.

So, in my reeling moments of this transition, we definately weigh in on the “Life is Grand” side.  Still, I need to make some choices and move forward. Given that I’d related the New Year to a book and ‘turning a page’, my mind took me back to this post (below), and this activity from last spring.

At the time I was on the journey of dealing with breast cancer, but I hadn’t shared that with everyone yet. And now that I’m in the rebuilding phase of this particular adventure, I’m going to head back to the book store. This time, I’ll take paper, not just my hand. (When you read on, three notes in advance: 1. do not panic at my lack of interest in creativity and self-development, 2. do know the book is complete except for a final edit, and 3. do know the boat is still for sale!)

One last comment before you get to read the actual post I’ve been leading up to… Thursday, Jan 10th, early evening… I’m going to the book store.  If you would like join me on this creative thinking and discovery escapade, let me know. Bring pen and paper, (or your hand).  Now here’s the post:


I hadn’t gone into the bookstore with the plan of redirecting my life. It just happened that way. One of those series of synchronistic moments that lead you to … well, in this case… not only an ‘aha’ or twelve for me, but an awesome exercise in self discovery for everyone.

My original purpose was to see if any novels leaped out at me yelling, ‘Read me! Read me!” That helped… I had walked in with the intention of being open to noticing.

I walked past the gardening section and thought, “Wow, I don’t ever buy gardening books anymore.” At one time it was a passion of sorts, and I do like to play in the dirt.. but I’d probably be just fine if someone else planted the dirt. That was curious.

I could feel the little niggling naggling thoughts that have semi-consciously nagged me each spring ( ‘why don’t you put more effort into the gardens? You used to love the gardens!”) simply bow out graciously. My gardening interest was no longer worthy of a new book and that’s okay.

A smile curled onto my face as I let go the nigglenaggles, and realized I was beginning an adventure in the bookstore.

And so I asked myself,

“What no longer captures your interest?”

“What DOES capture your interest?”

I even asked,

What has never captured your interest?”

I wandered through the book store making a list on the back of my hand:

What books no longer capture my interest?

tournament ski boats, waterskiing, dog training, creativity, self-development, visual art, pottery, home renovating, technology.

That’s rather curious since these things, other than the interest in dog training and home renovations, ‘define’ me.

What REALLY captures my interest and excites me?

quantum physics, science of mind, travel (as always), writing, games, hiking, camping, wilderness survival, paddleboarding, maybe kayaking, outdoor maps, tall ships

What has never interested me?

magazines about organizing closets. (Just in case I’ve ever felt guilty about my closets, I now know I can let it go and acknowledge it’s ‘not my thing.’)

I left the store with a new backroad hiking map book. AND a great basic guide to backpack camping. When I’m out in the woods, which is often, I realize there’s a lot I don’t know. I was practically skipping out of the store excited about learning more.

BUT what about those things that define me?

I walked out of the store knowing, again, how important it is for me to finish my own book.. my crazy true story about creativity and life. I don’t need to read any more books in those areas right now. I simply want to trim the current 350 pages to a more readable and concise and flowing 150. Maybe tips from those ‘organizing closets’ magazines might be helpful. Ha!

I walked out of the store with a plan to sell my lovely and precious tournament boat.

That’s big. Trust me, this is a REALLY big decision for me. But dynamics have changed, and the bookstore adventure confirmed I’m as crazily excited about paddleboarding and other outdoor adventures as I once was as my ‘most- obsessive- and- insanely- passionate- waterskier- ever” self.

I had a bunch more discoveries.. but really, how long can a post get? The point though is that ‘what lights my fire’ is essential for me, through the ups, downs, thick and thins, crazy wonderful and crazy-making moments in life. Sometimes we need to give ourself permission to notice that we are ever evolving and what worked in the past is allowed to shift to something new.

So. All you need to get clear on your direction is a pen and your hand and a little visit to the bookstore. Napkins, or even a notebook could work as well as the back of your hand. Arrive delightfully open to discovery and armed with the three questions above.

Wishing you many aha’s as you let go what isn’t serving you well.. and welcome what is right for you right now! I wonder if you’ll be as surprised at the absolute clarity and as excited as I am from my discoveries!

*Feeling fabulous: meaning, ‘feeling really really alive;
what feels so great that the inspiration is always there
to motivate you to be more of that, do more of that.

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