the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never
ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own
responsibility.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
of the greatest difficulties in Life is facing one’s own mortality. The
incidence of Breast cancer, as well as, Living with Breast cancer, and the
uncertainty of it’s outcome can be a time of emotional, physical, and Spiritual
upheaval in one’s life. Such was my experience and expression with a diagnosis of Breast cancer in October 2005…ringing in Breast cancer Awareness month for me in some new and different ways.
personal growth. Cancer free for 11 years now…and feeling, as well as looking, in my opinion, better than ever, that personal growth through difficulty has served me well.
accomplishment: “I made it, I finished my chemotherapy and radiation treatments
and I am here to talk about it.” You reflect on what you have learned. I sure
did! The Breast cancer experience
brought me to another place that I just had not encountered in normal everyday life. It is an
experience that stands alone and is set apart from everything else that has
ever happened to me.
others will say how much they admire you for the strength you showed in coping
with Breast cancer. Accept and be proud of not only getting through breast cancer
treatments but also for the Wisdom the experience has taught You. You are now
in a position to give back and it will feel good. You can choose to Empower
others, share what worked for you during your Breast cancer treatment, and
offer encouragement to someone who has been newly diagnosed. Empowerment knows
that no matter what situation you are in that there is always something
positive you can do.
choices…No one chooses to grow by facing Life’s difficulties… but this is how Empowerment
begins… and together with personal growth You emerge as a person with Courage,
Empowered to BE Your True Self.
and varies from individual to individual. But the Universal Truth of Empowerment comes
from the knowledge that You have options and control over Your choices… the
ability to make those choices… and the responsibility for the choices You make.
conviction that comes from having gone through a difficult situation and made
it. Capturing your “new normal” is taking that newly Empowered Self… and using IT to
form a new and improved YOU. The way you viewed yourself in the world and how
you filled your days prior to having Breast cancer will take on new meaning.
Your perspective may not change at all… but for most women (as well as men) living with Breast
cancer, the experience enriches their Lives and takes Life down a new
path. Finding Empowerment no matter
what stage of Breast cancer treatment You are in…regardless of what season of
Life You are experiencing… is about using it to create a “new normal” for YourSelf.
natural attractors. Yet due to cultural programming, many women have lost their
way, and we end up approaching work like a man. The masculine program is all
about goal-setting and goal-getting; this rarely works for women in the
long-term. Instead, women must fill our cup first with what makes us come
alive, and be immersed in a community of support, adventure, and inspiration.
And then, we blossom…and attract!
The Dalai Lama said that the world will be saved by Western Women. I happen to think he was right.
As a coach who has worked closely with women for over 2 decades, I find that
deep-down, women naturally desire to create work that makes a difference in the
world. The most important thing we can do is to discover and pursue work we
Love. This is essential for our Happiness…for our Health and Well-BEING!
nature for many reasons focuses on living.
People are busy making plans, setting financial goals, establishing career
moves, building a family life, and not dwelling on the end. Often much time is
wasted on unimportant things that are valued at that moment or time in your
Life. Having Breast cancer brings mortality to the forefront. What your
beliefs have been before now may be questioned as the reality sets in that our
Life on earth is only temporary.
is meant to be Lived. You are a unique partner in Life… with Purpose and Meaning
to your existence! So… Why not Live it with a participatory viewpoint? I Truly Believe…It is, perhaps, easier to prioritize the
important things, experiences, and people in your Life when you have dealt
firsthand difficulty, challenge, and struggle…with dis-ease…with Breast cancer. You can choose to waste less time or waste more
time. Spend less time at non-Purpose and non-Meaning work and experiences…and more time enjoying Your
family and friends, Nature…and that which Truly Makes your Tail Wag!
yet another Essential to ponder…
mind is one way to participate in your Life with a Zest, Awareness, and Appreciation
that may go unnoticed prior to having Breast cancer. Being diagnosed with Breast
cancer is not a gift in itself, but the Wisdom that comes from the experience
is a gift that can enrich and fulfill your life. Trust and Believe…I know…as I often referred
to my own diagnosis of Breast cancer as…”Not the best news, but not the worse news
either”! Life is meant to be Lived
with the thought that… Life is not a dress rehearsal — Life is a priceless gift meant to BE embraced….and, yes…The Show must go on!
you have come face to face with Your mortality, then you can truly Live. Well…that’s one way…anyway.
that Spirit, Debbie Mazza-Taylor, who lost her five-year experience with Breast
cancer just days before her forty-first birthday, wrote this poem:
what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind?
to melt into the sun. And
what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath From its restless
tides, that it may rise and expand Seeking God unencumbered?
when you drink from the river of silence Shall you indeed
when you have reached the mountaintop Then you shall
begin to climb.
when earth shall claim your limbs, Then shall you