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!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


As I sit here typing these words, I smile. I smile because I am about to embark upon another part of the journey that is my life.  When I came to the United States from my native country of Liberia in 1989, I remember landing at John F. Kennedy Airport.  My parents, brothers and I landed and when I exited the terminal the cold air hit my face. The air was so cold that it took my breath away.  I was barely 16 years old. People were standing around waiting for their friends and loved ones to come out, they were laughing, talking. I could not hear their words. I barely saw their faces. All I could think of was that I was in a whole big, new world. Who was I and what was I going to do? It was so big and I was so little. I had no idea what would be next.

As I settled into my new life, I told myself, that no matter what, I would always dream. I would dream big dreams and I would dream them often and whatever I dreamed, I would do. I would never just settle for the ordinary. I knew, knowing me, that I would probably pick the most difficult or challenging tasks, but my father always taught me to seek out the dream that appeared most impossible and that, that would be the one I should pursue.  “You are not ordinary”, he told me.  He told me those words often. And so, then, as a 16 year-old, in this big, new world, later as a young adult and now as a woman, I am always, still seeking to create the things that are closest to my heart. I dream big and I dream often, and then I begin to make it happen.  The things I do are never without fear; very often, I’m scared out of my pants, but it excites me to know that I’m stretching myself into more of the divine being I was born to be. Along the way, I embraced the word “fearless”. To me, not because it symbolizes the lack of fear, but to me, it symbolizes my ability and desire to jump into that fear and break barriers beyond what I can imagine.  And so, I continue along “the journey of the fearless female” – this journey is mine and yours. It is ours, because each of us seeks to become more than we think and believe that we are. 

My hope is that this website will help women break past barriers, pursue new heights and fearless go where no other woman has gone before.

Let’s create the world we dream of.