I alluded to a little heartache earlier in the week and have debated for the last month or so about what I would write when the time came to actually share what's been up. Everything I write is influenced by my life on a daily basis, so it would be impossible to continue sharing my truth without some context.
At the start of September my dad was diagnosed with cancer and then last week, well, my relationship status changed.
Despite my desire to keep it all sunshine and rainbows, my writing since September has been my escape.
When things get rough, it is often easier to avoid life. To take a break from “Here-ing and Now-ing”, avoid being present with the challenges, the fear and the heartache and instead opt to make the really obscure details of our lives seem the most important things ever.
I had a beautiful summer. I took lots of time off and had a love-filled holiday in Tofino. Then it changed. September 7th, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My world was rocked, tipped, turned and landed me upside down.
The next day I cut off the end of my finger and then did my best to smile through a very tough weekend at The Vegetarian Food Fair. I had a busy week following- with my whole family breaking down a little. I was doing my best just to focus on the tasks of the moment and keep moving ahead.
My appetite vanished along with any semblance of regular sleep or exercise. Just because I know better, didn’t make it any easier to do better. If anyone were to hug me too tight, tears would squeeze out my eyes.
Off I went to California for The Longevity Now Conference and returned loaded with information on how we were going to work together, my man and I, along with my mom- ready to juice my dad some greens, make his smoothies, organize his supplements etc. We were going to get started on the healing adventure that would take all of our efforts, energy and prayer.
My classes started up and things kept rolling forward. I was too busy/exhausted/overwhelmed to realize that we weren’t all rolling forward together. I apologized to friends for not having enough time for them and to my bestest friend of all, asking him for patience, but it was too late.
I have been feasting on an emotional buffet of hope, sadness, anger and fear. At last that has passed and I have recently moved onto sweet optimism.
This calm sense of peace with everything going on feels like a great place to hang out in for a little while. There's something really nourishing, really healing about being present with pain. Like when your greatest fears are realized and all you can do is be with it all, and accept it all. To do otherwise, to hang on to what was, would only lead to more suffering. There's some comfort in feeling like you are at a place where it couldn't get any worse and being okay there. The little things that caused you fear when all was okay in your life, just disappear.
All these great big changes and challenges have reminded me that attempting to control anything great, grand or worth having or experiencing in life is a truly futile exercise. It will unfold as it may, whether we attempt to step in or not. So what's the point in getting bogged down in the nit-picky details?
My vision of my future has once again been changed, but the last time this happened this dramatically- wowzer beans, did I ever land in a better place than where I started! I am now feeling a little bit of freedom. The kind of freedom where you can do whatever your heart desires and your mind imagines.
I have to laugh too- for really, what could test me more, or suck bigger monkey balls, than finding out my dad has cancer only to follow that up with my heart breaking up a bit? This is life. It may not always be sunshine and rainbows but it really does take this kind of gooey, mucky, hurty gunk to make us so appreciative of the moments, days, weeks, months and years when that sky is clear and the sun is shining down on us.
I am reminded of my favourite quote:
"Courage and cheerfulness will not only carry you over the rough places in life, but will enable you to bring comfort and help to the weak-hearted and will console you in the sad hours." - Sir William Osler
It has not been the easiest of times, to say the least. I have accidentally lost about ten pounds and done so in five or six very blurry weeks. Weight loss has never been a focus of mine, you know I’d Rather Be Chubby. So many woman struggle with thinking it is the weight that is keeping them from perfect happiness. Let me tell you- those skinny jeans that I wore to my 25th birthday six years ago when I was sick with Crohn's, well, they now fit perfectly, but I don’t even like them anymore.
In a heart beat I would trade those ten pounds for my father to be in perfect health and my heart to be open, free and singing again. A little perspective, right? Heartbreak and health will reveal what matters most.
For my dad and my family, it will be a journey. He is in great hands. We have him green juicing, infra red sauna-ing, meditating, acupuncture-ing exercising gently, resting lots, and loading up on nutrition, while the doctors take their 'wait and see' approach.
The man and I are just fine. Without any hurt feelings between us for no one did anything bad or wrong, we maintain the utmost respect for each other. With us both having a spirit of warmth, kindness and sincerity, he remains one of the bestest friends I could ever ask for.
Life is a journey. Bumps in the road will come, as will road blocks, diversions, forks, cliffs, peaks and best of all, the most breathtaking views and vantage points you never could have imagined. From where I stand right now, it all looks uphill from here and the skies, well, I do think they are clearing.
Thank you all for your amazingly generous love and support, as always. The energy you put in to your comments and emails has been carrying me along. I will be back with a podcast tomorrow and more goodness on Monday. Yep- Monday is my 31st birthday and though not quite how I had imagined it would be, I will be celebrating the best way I know how- with a gorgeous flock of my bestest loving girlfriends.
With much love and gratitude,
"Challenges come so we can grow and be prepared for things we are not equipped to handle now. When we face our challenges with faith, prepared to learn, willing to make changes, and if necessary, to let go, we are demanding our power be turned on.” - Iyanla Vanzant, a Yoruba priestess and author.
"Now that all your worry has proved such an unlucrative business, why not find a better job". Hafiz
"The goal is to trust your creative visions, to take daily and consistent action towards them and to HANG IN THERE. It's pretty much guaranteed that RIGHT BEFORE you are about to succeed things will get really tough. It's called "The Dip". Mastin Kipp
"The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the ...day your life really begins." - Bob Moawad, author.