“You need to remember that you are in a healing year. The traumatic piece of being sick has passed, but you need your focus to be on healing.”
This came from a woman who has grown so dear to me last week after I shared with her the struggle I was having with figuring out how to rejoin the world and to meet the expectations people seem to have with the conclusion of chemo and the status “remission”. I’m going to share more on this with y’all later this week, but suffice it to say that I am coming to terms with my body’s need for 10 hours of sleep a night and the fact that migraines are a new piece of my post-chemo landscape.
But her saying this to me reiterated that I was on the right track with my focus for the year.
While I don’t make resolutions, I do take stock at various times during the year (usually my birthday and the winter solstice) and shift my focal point if I need to.
So that is my focus this year.
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I’m still using my intuition to guide the steps I take in my healing and recovery journey. Dr. Jones has reminded me that just like in recovery, in remission we take things one day at a time. Every day that I move further and further from the date I got that magical CA125 that placed me in remission makes it more and more likely that we will label me cured one day. And the first five years out from that date are the most critical. So I am listening to my body as it tells me what it needs – what needs to change, what needs to be modified, what should stay.
For awhile my body has been asking me to continue to take my vegan lifestyle further. I received a cookbook recently that focuses on crafting a routine that would allow me to make everything from scratch, rather than relying on any processed foods at all. I was all gung-ho about this idea (if you’ve ever met me, I have a tendency to go from zero to 100 faster than most people blink). And then I got my forecast for the next year from one of my healers – and the worst energy in my home finds itself in the kitchen this time around. So that plan is not where I was meant to go.
[The rooms with the worst energy are ones that are supposed to see low levels of activity and for my healing body are places where I should spend the least amount of time. This is why my bedroom moved after my surgery and why I slept on the couch for so long.]
So I went back to listening and my body was asking for me to start looking at my household and body/beauty products. So that is an area of focus for me. I am slowly researching alternative products and replacing the ones I currently use in an effort to lower my toxic load and step a bit further down the vegan path.
I am also feeling pulled toward learning more about herbs, teas, and oils and how I can use them in the place of the toxic over-the-counter the medications that currently fill my medicine cabinet.
So that is sub-focus number one for 2017.
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My sponsor pointed out to me recently that I apologize all the time. She isn’t the first person to note this tick. I apologize for asking you a question. I apologize for asking you to pick me up if we are headed to the same place. For talking too long. For deciding not to attend a function. Even when I am not in the wrong, I apologize.
I saw a post circulating Instagram recently that caught my attention. It suggested changing all those “I’m sorry”s to something positive.
Instead of “I’m sorry for bothering you”, “thank you for being so patient with me.”
Instead of “I’m sorry for asking you to give me a ride,” “thank you for helping me.”
Instead of “I’m sorry for talking so much,” “thank you for hearing me out.”
How does this relate to healing?
My disease was called by all that lack of self love and self worth and codependency and people pleasing that I was drenched in for so long. I believe that working toward this shift in how I communicate will assist me in reclaiming even more of myself – allowing myself to take up space and not be apologetic over it.
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My third sub-focus might be the most difficult. It’s a focus on slowing down.
I do not excel at slow.
I still need to write about Big Sky, but the major take away from that trip was the necessity that I give my body what it requires during this time of healing, and that involves a certain degree of slowness. I need sleep. I need quiet.
The world will railroad over your good intentions, so this is a real practice in boundaries for me. It’s a practice in learning that enough is good enough – I do not need to be doing the most all the time. Life is not a competition and the most important thing for me is my health and my well being and that requires jumping of the fifteen different hamster wheels I had put myself on.
This does not make me a failure, although part of me feels that way. It makes me self-aware. It makes me more true to myself. I have a competitive streak, so its uncomfortable for me to step back and say that the paramount concern at this point in my life is solidifying my remission. But it is. And I am learning to slow down and be comfortable with that – even when society says it means I will be marked with a big red letter “F”.
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As a final piece of the healing puzzle, I have committed to doing six things for myself each day.
Take a 30 minute walk with Hope. Meditate for 10 minutes. Allow myself a 15 minute asana practice. Drink 64 ounces of water. Read my daily devotionals. Take my supplements.
These are small things that makes an enormous difference in how my body, mind, and heart feel, and I am hoping that this commitment to doing each one daily will further my healing even more. I tend to think that if I cant get to a 60 minute yoga class, there is no point in doing any asana at all. If I cant meditate for an hour, its pointless. In allowing myself these small, daily, goals, I am hoping to realize that even on days when I cant do things in my ideal way, I can still do them in a way that is beneficial to me.
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So there you have it. You know I'll be keeping up updates as these things progress. I am excited to explore them as 2017 progresses.
And I'm excited to bring you along with me.