Tuesday, May 6, 2014

It's Time to Take A #Selfie

So, my 11 year old daughter is crazy about this new song, "#Selfie". By now, we all know what a selfie is right? And if you don't know , then you better ask somebody. So, I love the song - it's fun and catchy. Yet, the other day, I found myself singing along with it in the car, while driving to a meeting, and thinking how popular "selfies" have become, but also I thought about how obsessed people are these days with their looks and bodies. It also occurred to me that if people were as focused on their internal self as much as the external, what impact that might have on health, wellness, lifestyle and overall lifespan.

Having been around women who are survivors of cancer, breast cancer, more often than any other, on a regular basis - health, wellness and lifestyle often comes to mind. When I meet women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the things that is top of mind after diagnosis and during recovery, as they learn about some of the things that can contribute to cancer, is this thought - what if I had known this earlier. Now, it's true that cancer can be random. It is true that 80 percent of the more than 250,000 women that are diagnosed with breast cancer annually have no family history. It is true that there the exact cause of breast cancer is unclear, but there are risk factors that are known - and known ways to lower those risks. With one in eight women being diagnosed with breast cancer, there has to be ways we can proactively be our own best advocates; and I wonder if young girls and women paid as much attention to their internal self as much as the external, and implemented some of the lifestyle changes that could lower their risk of breast cancer, what a different world it could be. Yet, even more importantly than tracking statistics on a particular disease, is the importance of living a lifestyle that can prevent other diseases and one that contributes to one's overall health - mind, body, spirit and soul.

So, how can we change the way we live in order to have a healthier lifestyle overall, and one that could contribute to a longer lifespan and perhaps one without cancer? And, how can women who have had other life altering health crises begin to transform their lives, so they live a more holistically health lifestyle. Here is some food for thought:

  1. Put yourself first. This might seem counter-intuitive, but bodies get tired, then sick when they run on empty. Think about it. How are you investing in yourself? Do you have daily rituals that feed your body (workout and healthy nutritional habits), mind (reading/inspirational stories or quotes), soul (meditation or prayer)? If you're in such a rush that you forget to honor the temple that houses your soul, then what good can you be to anyone else when you're depleted, sick and resentful. Some of us don't know how to say "no". We run ourselves to the ground and only stop when we are exhausted, sleeping or sick. An idea to consider - maybe illness is our body's way of saying, "pay attention to me", "stop doing that", or "are you trying to kill me or something?". The world tends to not stop pushing unless we are sick and tired, so your body gets sick and tired so you can stop - what a novel concept. Start saying "yes" to you, first. When your cup is full, you'll have more to give - and in a balanced way.
  2. Know Your Family History. Ask your mother and father about their family health history - on both sides of their family and dig back as far as you can. People often don't know their family history, and sometimes there is important genetic information, for example, the BRCA or breast cancer gene, which is an important factor in women's decision-making and preventative testing processes as it pertains to breast health. Knowing that you or someone in your family has this gene allows a woman to make important decisions - proactively, that could save her life.
  3. Learn the facts about food. Yes, exposure to the sun's rays could cause cancer. Yes, having a family history could increase your risk, but also learn the facts about what types of food to eat that can help you have a clean, less toxic body. Investing in buying foods that are better for you, like greens, avocados, berries, broccoli, nuts, tomatoes, red grapes and grapefruit, are among foods you can eat, that are shown to inhibit carcinogens from entering cells or suppress tumor growth.
  4. Schedule time to give to yourself what you give to others. Often people say they are too busy or can't afford to make time and space to live a healthier life, but if you were to take a mental picture of what you're saying to yourself, when you say this, it's really this - "I'm not important enough to myself to invest in me. Other things are more important." Because life can be hectic at times and demanding, it is important to schedule time in for a workout, a nap or even time to read an inspirational word or take a moment to pause and meditate and center in the middle of a busy day. I have time blocks on my schedule, where I have saved inspirational quotes that I'll meditate on. I schedule a half an hour nap twice a week, and I schedule "no electronic zone" times, where I can allow my mind to relax and my breaths to be still. I find myself at times running here and there, never feeling as if I'm getting anything done. It is at these times, when having a scheduled item that feeds my soul comes in handy. Sometimes, I even send myself little gifts in the mail. I have a monthly note to "surprise myself", with a card, flowers, or something fun. Nothing brightens up your day then a letter to yourself on a day when you really need it.
  5. Do regular internal "selfies". I have time that I have set aside once a month - it could be a half hour or 15 minutes - to see what I need - in every way - do I need a day alone, do I need nature, have I been practicing my rituals daily, exercising, eating healthy, feeding my mind, body and soul? It's quite easy to start healthier lifestyle practices, then when life gets busy, you find yourself back to ordering in, putting off that work out, meditation time, buying products (food, skincare, etc.) that pollute your inner environment, your temple. It's easy to begin to put ourselves last again, so that we make sure we check off our "to do" list. Having an informal time to do a quick "pic" of yourself and see how you're feeling is a good practice to get into in order to not allow yourself to get too far off base.
  6. Don't Wait Until a Crisis. Often times we think about making a change, but it's not until something happens that shakes up our entire life, that we are literally forced to look within for strength, for the why, how and what next. Because of my work in breast health and women and girls heath, I have had the opportunity to meet many women who have lived through ordeals you couldn't imagine - and turned their lemons into lemonade. One such incredible woman is someone I met recently, Brandy Gillmore, who developed Reflex Neurovascular Dystrophy, a neurovascular disorder that is rare and life altering. After taking medication prescribed by her doctors that left her dizzy and almost incapacitated, Brandy found herself spending most of her days in bed; and being confined to a wheelchair otherwise. Accustomed to being active and on top of things, she began to explore holistic medicine and study the mind, body, spirit connection. After implementing a mixture of herbs, holistic health , spiritual and mental practices, Brandy found herself transitioning to a walker, cane and eventually was able to walk  (pain free) on her own. Brandy was getting her life back. She was a walking miracle. After seeing how mind, body, spirit and holistic health practices transformed her life, Brandy is now practicing what she preaches. She founded Gillmore Holistics to help others learn and integrate healthy lifestyle practices in the hopes that they have a better quality of life. Brandy's message to others is start early and take ownership of your life.
  7. Have people in your life who keep you accountable to your goals. I have several friends who are my accountability partners, and women, like my friend, Brandy Gillmore, who has gone through seemingly insurmountable challenges. I love to surround myself with women who are "positive disrupters" - who face situations and then ask what they can do to make life better for others, then "own" the solution. Having accountability partners can hold you to your goals so that you have someone making sure you're on track; someone to bounce ideas off; someone to push you to strive higher; let you know when you do need to slow down; offer support resources when you need it and inspire you to be the best version of you. You can have more than one accountability partner; but it's better to stick with one person, set up a structure for your meetings and calls, so that you can support each other and be productive. One thing to remember, the accountability partnership support doesn't have to just be about work - you need to also have goals for play, family and health.

I look forward to sharing more with you on my next blog. If you would like to learn more about Brandy Gillmore and activating the ability to heal from within, visit Brandy’s website, sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter and friend her on Facebook. You can change your life - one step at a time!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Telling Your Story....The Bigger Picture

The other day, a friend called me and asked me to talk to the mother of a newly diagnosed young woman.  Noelle was finishing up her homework and I was about to shut down for the night.  I told her that I would make the call, then we'd have our mommy and me time. I got up to walk away, but she said, "you can talk here Mommy." So, I sat back down and made the call. 

When I got off the phone, she came closer to me and said, "Mommy, don't you get tired telling that story? People ask you to tell it all the time and it's the same story every time..." I looked at her and thought about it for a moment, then I told her. "Well, it's not really my story anymore. This is the same story that many other women tell and for me, every time I tell mine, it's like sharing a piece of me, so that the person knows better, feels better and does better. Whenever I tell my story, if it gives someone hope, the feeling of comfort, love and makes people think and do something, then I have to keep telling it. Sometimes, Noelle, our story doesn't really just belong to us. It's for a bigger purpose. God just makes us the vehicle through which the story is told."  She looked at me and sat in silence as she digested it all for a few minutes.  I thought to myself, "she must think I'm freaking crazy." Then she said, "what do you mean vehicle?" I explained. After a long pause, she says, "okay, I get it." I have the feeling that's not the end of that conversation, but the beginning of many, many, more.
What I wanted her to understand was that sharing one's story isn't always just what it appears to be at first glance.  It's more about offering up a part of yourself so that you create a commonality that enables the other person to listen, open up, be inspired or be transformed.  It can be about connecting with someone else on a deeper level, letting them know and feel that you are with them, on their journey because you have walked in their shoes and that they are not alone. When you open your heart to someone, especially someone going through a challenging time, something beautiful happens between the receiver and the giver.  That thing can be inspiration or hope.  Too often, we keep our stories, "our golden nuggets" to ourselves. We think that someone might judge us, feel sorry for us, think differently about us, not understand or we think that our story doesn't matter.  Often times, sharing is like extending a hand or giving someone a hug through your words, and allows others to feel that you two are similar in more ways than you knew.
Nothing is more scary than feeling vulnerable or that you may have exposed too much of your heart, of yourself,, but if your purpose in doing so is to genuinely connect with the heart and soul of another, nothing is lost...

Friday, March 1, 2013


Today is day the that changed the rest of my life..and every year, it means something new to me...

Seven years ago today, on February 28, 2006 at 4:45 p.m., I was told, "you have breast cancer".... And everything fell apart. Although 32 years old, I still saw myself as the 15-year old from Liberia, landing at JFK airport in New York, alone and scared...I would be joined with my parents soon, but in those moments, I made up my mind to make something of myself, so I'd never feel as vulnerable and scared as I did that day...and I did.

18 years later, I had everything I thought defined success-nice house, car, office, paycheck and health, my beautiful baby, Noelle, confidence to spare and I was on top of the world. Oh and I was engaged to get married. Within a month of my diagnosis, all of the material things and my idea of being perfectly healthy, were memories. Within two months, bald and sick, I could barely recognize the person in the mirror. What does a cancer patient look like, I asked myself then. The answer was, like me. Like so many other young adults diagnosed with cancer, it was like sinking into a swirling abyss. One day, I decided to ask God for help. We talked. I made a promise to give my life to him in service if he would restore my spirit and make me a vessel for his work.

The next day...this all began. Today is my seventh year - my d-day (diagnosis) day...but from today on the letter 'd' will signify the word 'divine' because we never know where our circumstances will lead us to if we give up the idea of what WE want, open our ears and hearts, listen and act. If I hadn't been diagnosed, I would never had started Tigerlily, met so many wonderful people, served so many, learned so much and know all of you. My daughter and I may not have that survivors bond that ties us together...she went through it too...and life would not be as exciting, crazy, nuts, at times terrifying, but fulfilling as all get out. How serendipitous that today is the day that I start my ' Fearless' book tour! Personal challenges don't have to stop you, but could be a breakthrough. We owe it to future generations to use everything in our power, including the 'bad' stuff, to advocate for change.

The Bible and numerology experts say that the number 7 is a holy and magical one, symbolizing completion. In Hebrew, seven is shevah, which means to be full or satisfied. It symbolizes a higher awareness. Today, in this moment, I feel complete, full and satisfied. I have all that I need, great friends, family, community, including someone special, who is always there... It was different, yet reassuring to have him sit with me in the doctor's office recently ... Seven years ago, my almost life partner (yikes - lol!) was too busy to show up. I'm thankful for everything that happened that year though... even the things I didn't desire. They were all for my higher good. What a difference time and personal growth makes. I don't know what life will bring, but that doesn't matter. For today, for now, all is as it should be. Shevah is my word for the day. 
Love always, M

Monday, December 31, 2012

Trust, Release, Flow

There is a beautiful quote by Chelle Thompson, that I shared in my book, Fearless:  Awakening to My Life's Purpose Through Breast Cancer, "Change has long been a fearful thing for human beings and at the same time, it is our most Divine opportunity. Clinging to the banks of the river may seem safe and more secure, but life's possibilities are truly engaged only when we trust, release and become part of The Flow of the Universe." This quote has echoed in my head throughout the past months, resonating through my heart and soul as I begin moving into new territories in my life.  As I shared in Fearless, in many ways, the past six years were spent running from cancer and reaching for life, as I searched to find out who this new person was.  Now, I see that as I learned to trust more in the journey, I found more acceptance, peace within, and less struggle. I became more quiet and was more clearly able to see the things that were around me, and a lot of my judgements of self and others fell away. So, what if I fall down, I can always get back up or start over. That's the beauty of life.

When I looked up the word "fearless" recently, aside from meaning "not having fear", one of the definitions was to be "bold, intrepid". This is the definition I choose to embrace.  Being fearless is to be undaunted by circumstances, and to boldly walk into new terrain, regardless of one's inner doubt.

I spoke at an event recently and someone asked me, "so does this mean that you're not afraid of anything anymore?" I responded, "Absolutely not." I am afraid of something or the other, on a daily basis - as we all are, but instead of letting my fears stop me, I think about the excitment of discovering something new, of being inspired to think a new way, letting go of old habits, or awakening to new possibilities.
It is quite easy to become stuck in knowing who "we are" - in our idea of our selves.  I find it interesting these days, to "upset" things a bit, shake things up and not stay in such a safe place any more.  It's scary, but exciting and keeps me on my toes.  I was inspired by my daughter last night. She did something she has done a million times, but for the first time, it meant something different to me. As I slept, she did this thing where she looks at me until I wake up, and I always do. Then she asked me to go to the bathroom with her. "Why, love?" I asked.  "Because I'm scared." "What are you scared of baby,". "It's dark and I don't want to go alone to the bathroom."  "Okay," I responded, "let's compromise. I will come with you but I'll stay a ways away, so you know I'm close, but I want you to learn to trust that you'll be okay if you walk into your fears." She looked at me like I had two heads. Two a.m. in the morning was no time for life lessons, but I stood there and smiled and eventually, she went in and came out alive.  "You made it, I see." "Yes, thank you, Mommy".  I guess, even though she was afraid, all she really needed was the comfort of knowing that someone was close by to love and protect her, and that's what we all need, at the end of the day.  It's easier to take those leaps when you trust that you are safe with the love of family, friends or a partner close by. 

As the year winds to a close, it touches me deeply to take note of all the wonderful people and energy surrounding me, inspiring me to be intrepid in my quest to be the best that I can be, and who love me - imperfections and all....all of you in your own lives, giving light and life to ideas, creations and manifesting wonderful things.  I, for one, will be taking more risks in 2013 and spicing things up a bit. I'll also be doing things that are a bit out of the box for me...wish me luck!  Happy early new year, my friends.  I look forward to creating many more wonderful, Divine experiences together... trust, release, flow...

Love from the bottom of my heart and happy 2013,


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Your Heart's Desire

As a child, I would sit under or near my father’s desk, always close by, watching him work.  I spent countless hours listening to him negotiate deals, grow his business, inspire people to do things he wanted them to do, and become successful at a young age.  He, in turn, spent hours with me, teaching me how to influence people, communicate effectively and encouraging me to find that thing that made me most passionate in life.

It seemed only fitting that when I entered college, I became a Communications major, later pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  My first job out of college, ”coincidentally” was working for a large telecommunications company, then later, I went into marketing.  I tried my hand at a few business ideas, with the philosophy of allowing myself to dabble in fun things I was good at and enjoyed.  However, I never could quite figure out what it was that moved me to my soul. I wanted to find that thing that I woke up thinking about in the morning and that I could give myself to all day – at the end of the day, leaving fulfilled, complete, purposed and with a knowingness that for that day, I had given my best to the world.

In my early 30’s, I began to feel a deep need and an almost near desperation to find that thing that I was supposed to be doing. I woke up daily thinking about what it would feel like to live a life of purpose, joy, and utter “being-ness”. So, in usual Maimah style, I put together a plan.  I would focus all my attention on attracting and cultivating what I wanted. I put together a ritual of prayers that I employed for two years, calling what I desired into my life. I also made a vision board, and I put post-its on my mirror. I needed to see what I wanted all day and everywhere. My desire for my “passion” was part of my waking thoughts, with me all day and the last thing on my mind at night. I wanted it and I wanted it bad.

On February 28, 2006, I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. My life turned upside down. Everything I’d known to be true was no longer, and over the next five months, I struggled to understand what was going on.  I wanted my old life back. What was happening was so “bad”, that I wanted no part of it; now, my prayer was, “if only things were normal again”.  After my shock began to wear off and I had time to think, I realized a few things, which I’ll share here:
  • Recognize and Accept – I recognized and accepted where I was – the challenges, and the infinite, beautiful possibilities of what I could create – in spite of and because of this challenge – my cancer diagnosis.  What this means to you is this – look at where you are – assess your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual surroundings. Look at the blessings and gifts in your life – and whether the situation is ideal, consider the possibility that where you are now holds golden nuggets that could catapult you into your dream.
  • Use your third eye – to see beyond natural and physical realm – by this I mean that if you look at your state of affairs, it may not seem the ideal place or time to do what your heart desires.  Well, there is no ideal time to start living extraordinary is there? There is no ideal time to start creating things that aren’t “normal”. There is no time that will deliver unto you perfect timing, funds, people, and the like.  See above and through that – and you create the circumstances and situation you desire.
  • Find what feels spectacular – and do that thing.  While I was in chemo, I had hours to think – about everything. I knew that this was a turning point in my life. I could complain or I could create. I could be victim or I could be victorious. I could be a drama queen…or I could decide to use all that was happening, tie it into what I enjoyed doing best and create something that felt right.  For me, that was creating my non-profit, Tigerlily Foundation, to help other young women going through breast cancer, with a twist – it would be about empowerment and education, but would also be like me, fun, crazy and out of the box. As I began to create it, I felt a way I never had before. I felt amazing.  As you start to move into creating your passion and vision, you should feel like a million bucks.  For me, I was tying in my creative, communication, business, marketing, personal experience, crazy self, compassion and all that I was together into one thing and, I could do it every day – on my terms. Amazing! It felt great.  What would that feel like for you?
  • Don’t think big – think gargantuan.  If you’re trying to make something happen and you think small, you’re never going to go anywhere. Trust me.  You have to think gargantuan.  Thinking small is for people who don’t what to win, people who don’t want to give their best to the world, people who don’t want to be extraordinary – and that is not you. You want to win. You want to be a game changer. You want to change the world. I never for one second thought that I’d create this little thing and help a few people and that would be okay.  I never thought modestly about it – modesty doesn’t suit me or you. I wanted my thing to be big and make an impact. You can create a plan to implement it in increments, but create in a way that excites you and others. Make big things happen!
  • Keep it real – be you. Don’t try to do what someone else is doing, don’t be jealous of people’s success, don’t think, “if I’d only thought of that first. Just be authentic, create from a place that is pure and you’ll find that there are ideas and ways of doing things that only you can do. There is something special that only you can be. Be that person and out of that wonderfulness and joy will flow.
  • Lead by Example.  I lead with my heart. Now, I know that flies in the face of everything we’re taught in business. We have to have plans, policies and procedures in place, think first and act later and so on. I’m not saying that is wrong. I employ all of those tools, but I follow my heart first. It never leads me wrong. I try to lead from a place of truth, I try to be the best example I can be, I honor and respect my staff, the responsibility of my work, my supporters, sponsors, the people I serve, their hearts, I employ compassion, honesty and all the things I ask others to be. When you do that, when you are your best, and you shine, and you don’t have to ask others to follow. Light attracts – people will naturally follow – even the ones who don’t like or support you, may at some point, be able to see and respect your truth.
  • Believe. In yourself and others. People often ask me how I have gotten Tigerlily Foundation to where it is so fast, and even though I have heard the question countless times, I understand it, and at the same time, I don’t, because I never saw things happening any other way.  I never thought that it wouldn’t be a success. I never thought people wouldn’t get it. When they didn’t I smiled and moved on. I was so sure of my success that I felt it as if it existed, even as I lay in the bed sick. The thing was, I didn’t see myself as sick or as having no money or resources. I believed – and my faith was so strong that others believed too. Within a year of my diagnosis, I was published in an international print magazine the rest just came over time, but I wasn’t surprised. I expected success.
In closing, I’ll say this. Life is now, this moment. We don’t get a second chance at this unique time.  Claim what’s yours now. Be it, live it.  Be relentless in your faith, design your life so that you give what you uniquely have to offer to the world.  Most of all, breathe joy into every moment that you create, my friends.

Love, M

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Convictions, No Limits, Forgiveness

Hello Fearless Ones,
Okay, here’s what’s on my mind today, or tonight, I should say….  Well, now that I’ve finished writing, it’s morning. There goes my resolve to go to bed before midnight tonight. By the end of this post, you might think I have 10 personalities, but that’s okay, just roll with me, as I go through several range of emotions as I get a series of realizations through me.
Okay, I digress.  So, this post is coming from a very raw place, as Thursday is the 5-year anniversary of my last treatment. I’m super excited, and yet, feeling a jumble of emotions all at once.  I’ve been a mass of nerves the past two weeks – I know my nervous tics and they’ve all been in full force… I’ve been thinking – what the heck is wrong with me?  
I just realized why… but really, nothing is wrong with me - everything is as right as it should be, and right on time.  After I tucked Noelle into bed and snoozed off next to her for a bit, I got up turned the bedside light on and looked at her for a while; she makes me smile. I then checked her book bag to make sure there were no papers she was hiding from me, packed her lunch, checked the lights, stove, candles, picked up shoes, sweater, laid her clothes out for tomorrow (she’ll change the selection anyway), straightened the towels, wiped off the countertops, fixed her dolls just so on the chair in the living room, then brushed my teeth, washed my face, put on my special cream, slipped on my office shawl (the one I like to cover up with when I’m working), sat in my chair and unlocked the computer. I opened my emails and found one in particular that struck me – and that’s putting it lightly.
I’ll preface again by saying again that after Thursday, I’ll be “over the hump”, as they say and my risk of breast cancer recurrence will be much lowered, since I’ve crossed to the other side.  I am excited, more than you know, but my excitement is mixed with other feelings deep in my soul. I’ve been thinking lately of all the beautiful women we and I have loved and lost to breast cancer.  I’ve never asked why, why are they gone, not me. Never asked why I get to be here and figure out how to do this thing called creating a legacy of a world free of this disease and help those left behind to cope, survive, thrive and re-define life and joy again, figure out new rules, rights, policies, decisions and choosing - choosing which things to fight about, then which things to leave to figure themselves out.
A dear breast cancer survivor friend of mine passed away over a year ago -almost two years now, and her husband sent an email out saying he has found love again.  This is one of the few topics that I struggle with when I’ve lost a friend and fellow survivor.
How soon is too soon… when my heart still aches when I think of her? How soon is too soon, when I still want to pick up the phone and call? How soon is too soon when I hear a song on the radio and immediately her smile appears before my eyes and the boyfriend or husband has someone new? How soon is too soon, when I see her picture on my mantle and for a split second, forget that she’s not here anymore?
In this instance, I'm happy for him and the kids, because I know they have hurt for so long...this particular friend lived with metastatic breast cancer for nearly 10 years. I can’t imagine what it must be like to love and worry and pray and yearn for the cancer to go away. I can’t imagine what it must be like for the children, family and the spouse… always worried that the next time could be the end, then watching someone you love transition, then, there, in the place where she once was, only a picture, a blanket and her smell remain – for a while.  I know that it (moving on and embracing life) is healthy, and that it should happen and if it were me, that I would want them to be happy, because I would have lived my life to the fullest, at the end of the day, I would want my friends to smile and live with joy in every moment, because that would give me joy.
…but, I guess it was something in his post that tugged at my heart... something in his blog to the effect of him finding someone else “ means realizing that she isn't coming back".  They’re not coming back, none of them are; I don’t think I ever articulated it in my mind or in words that way.  In my world, as crazy as it may be, I feel like I'm surrounded by all of my friends, so many angels, so I after I get through the tears, ugly crying (you know what I mean), punching the sofa, yelling in the car, jogging as tears roll down my face, trying to empty out the pain and the hurt, wanting it to go away, but still fiercely holding onto the love that brought the pain, I feel better knowing that these strong, fearless, fighter, warrior heart women I love are close. I feel them with me now, I feel their gentle spirits as I move about my life, they whisper love, they steer me in the direction I should go, keep me out of harm’s way, touch my face when I’m sad, lift me up higher when I’m happy, inspire me when I’m searching for divination and guide my steps as I move into my destiny.
They give me something to aspire to, so I never feel that they’re gone.  They’re close, yet they are a-way and they’re not coming back. I guess I just never thought of it that way, and my friend’s husband’s post gave me a new perspective. A part of me wanted to be angry with him when I first read the post and I read it over and over again, but as I read, I could also feel him asking her friends and all of us who loved her, imploring to let it be okay for him to find love again, to not be upset, disappointed or sad, but to be okay, because they’d talked about it before she passed and she said that it would be – okay, that is, for him to find love. How amazing was she to talk that way to the man she loved, the father of her amazing children, and give him the okay to live and love again after she was gone?
I wish him, my friend’s husband the best, and I thank him for opening up my heart and mind to another layer of healing and growing into my strength.  His vulnerability, openness and raw plea awakened something in me.  I realized just now that if she could and if he could, I can forgive - all that the cancer took from away because God gave me so much more that I could ever dream of.  Cancer’s got nothing on the power of the Universe that it unleashed when it hit me February 28, 2006 at 4:45 p.m.  I know that for a fact because I’m still realizing it more and more every day. Every day, as we change, and grow, whatever the challenges, the word fearless becomes re-defined and more real, because you realize that fear is just a word, and you can change what it means for you and how you choose to react because of it.
When you get diagnosed with cancer or someone you love gets it - something, a part of your innocence is taken away from you, and not by choice. You fight your way through to find your way back to the surface again, gasping for the air of a new reality, a new truth, then the days and years go by; some of the healing stones are left unturned…sometimes, until nearly years later… you find one, turn it over and you learn to re-define yet again, forgive it all and start anew, like my friend gave her husband permission to do.  And I guess we’re always re-defining in life, because of or in spite of something or another.
Without challenges we’d be still, with nothing to rock our world and push or pull us towards endless possibilities and feelings.  It's been an awesome 5 years - I couldn't have dreamed it better myself.  I've been able to watch my little girl turn into a big girl, enjoy family, meet thousands of new friends, grow into myself, and learn how to use my powers for good - it's been an awesome journey.  Now, on to the next 100 years, with no limits, God and angels who’ve “got our back”. I’ll see you on the other side of November 17th.  You ready??? Let’s go make things happen! God is unreal - He can make anything happen. I believe. Together, we can do the impossible and change the lives of young women - before, during and after breast cancer - around the globe. Let's do it!
In love, and fearlessly,

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Dream

This morning, I woke up after having a really weird dream. I kind of just jumped up out of my sleep. I guess I had a lot on my mind when I went to bed. It was one of those kinds of dreams where all the things that you thought about the day before are all there waiting when you shut your eyes. Yikes!.  So, my night was filled with thoughts tumbled together. I did get a good night's rest though.

The cool thing was that, as soon as I woke up and settled into realizing that I was awake, my concious mind realized that it wasn't real and I knew that I had the power to create the rest of my day.  Much like I shook off the dream and adjusted my waking reality to what I decided it should be, I know I can decide at any point of my day how I'm going to design my experiences and how I choose to react to them. 

That has set the tone for my morning. I know that I can make today what I want it to be. Whether I like something that occurs, I can choose to observe the experience without reaction to it, or delve in to see why it may be happening...or I can just enjoy the moment into the next. Every experience, whether we like it or not, leads us to the next step in our path of life, much like every breath moves us forward.  Enjoy today, breathe into the moment, appreciate your creations - and if you don't like them, shake them off and start over. Make it a great day!