I’m Here for the Awakening

Cancer changes everything.

Shock and fear cause strong emotional reactions in even the calmest patients, survivors, and family members. Pain, fatigue, and weakness mean you can’t ignore physical needs. Relationships change when a strong caretaker or family manager becomes ill and needs help.

In my own experience as a 10 year cancer survivor, as well as in my Yoga and Talk Therapy Groups for Survivors, I have observed that (post diagnosis) important life patterns and situations come front and center to be re-examined and re-evaluated. They can no longer be ignored.

Some people have an epiphany that they need to get a divorce or drop toxic friendships. Others decide they should change careers or that they want nothing more than to spend as much time with children or grands as possible.

Cancer gives you an encounter with Awakening.

Lydia shared with me that learning yoga and meditation gave direction to her awakening. With the diagnosis came doubts, questioning her ability to continue working, and wondering who she could rely on in the future.  Learning to meditate moved her from fear and confusion to greater self understanding, compassion, and love. “ I’ve been waiting my whole life for this – and it took cancer to get me here,“ she said.

Her life on the outside hasn’t changed. She has the same job and friends. But she holds the mundane life activities with a sacredness and a gratitude that give her life deeper meaning.

Awakening occurs when you are unexpectedly pushed out of your engrained patterns of daily living, habits of speaking or listening to others, caring for yourself, expectations of the future, and beliefs about the world. It helps you see that this moment is more vivid and poignant than you ever realized.

Cancer wakes you to the fragility of the human body and of life itself.

Even though survivors experience great suffering, you also have the opportunity to change how you make choices.  You can choose to focus on what brings joy, truly uplifts another person, and contributes to family or the world.

You try a meditation class, take a trip somewhere new, speak to someone who is different and know you share the same human experience. You are open to people and life in a freer way because time is of the essence and you know it.

This awakening is the part I want to hold onto and why I love working with other survivors. Because like you, I’m here for the present moment, for my relationship to the Infinite, and to connecting with other humans for the time we have.





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