Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Affirmation:  I gift myself a generous amount of time to travel to my destinations.
I love being at home.  I can putter around the house for an entire day.  I know I’m not the only one.  I have spoken with a lot of people who feel the same way.  Consequently, I can struggle getting out of the house to make it to an appointment or other scheduled event.  “I’ll do just one more ‘little’ thing” I tell myself.  Then, I’ll realize I am not going to make that half hour trip in the fifteen minutes I have left myself.  How do I feel when I finally arrive at my destination?  I feel horrible.  I feel anxious, frustrated and wondering if the appointment will even still be available. 
One day, my whole day ran late.  I found it fascinating that I was operating on “divine time.”  I wasn’t the only one running late; all three of my scheduled events were also running late.  So, I actually arrived on time.  I wish the universe was always so cooperative but the truth is, it is not.  And, normally I need to make an effort, to be conscientious enough, respectful enough to show up at the time to which I have previously agreed. 
I’m never late when my husband is “in charge.”  In fact, he normally leaves so much time, we have arrived places way ahead of time.  I don’t like that either.  I mean, think of all the stuff I could have accomplished in the amount of time I’m waiting around before the event starts.  But, I’m never anxious and I don’t have to worry about missing that plane.  I once had a friend tell me her husband likes to leave so early for the airport; she thought he would start booking a hotel close by the night before they were to leave.  Yes, there are very different approaches to keeping time. 
I like to just allow time to flow, not to look at the watch or the clock and to believe I have as much time as I need to do all the things I want to do and that I will still be wherever I’m supposed to be whenever I’m supposed to be there.  It only works that way occasionally, very occasionally.  When I discussed this with my friends I found we all had different approaches to how we handled arriving “on time.”  One woman set her clock fifteen minutes early all the time.  It worked at first but then she started remembering she had set it ahead, and started arriving later and later because in her mind she had so much extra time.  Some people seem to have a clock implanted in their brain.  They can see the seconds ticking by and everyone in their vicinity needs to respond to their sense of time so no one will miss out.  Others simply decide they will arrive everywhere with an additional fifteen minutes to spare.  You can be late, but not them; they simply move along at whatever pace it takes to arrive ahead of the scheduled time.
I’ve tried all these approaches; none seem to work for me.  Then, I thought about how nice it would be if I wasn’t rushing.  If my travel to my destinations was serene, pleasant, evenly spaced, how truly healthy that would be.  So, I decided to think about allowing enough time to represent a gift I give myself, a generous gift.  I bet you’re wondering if I’m ever rushing now that I have adopted the affirmation:  I gift myself a generous amount of time to travel to my destinations.  Yes, I am.  Yes, I do.  But, it has slowly seeped into my subconscious and every time I head out the door earlier than I use to, I realize it has become an integral part of my daily existence.  More and more often, I have more than enough time to arrive where I need to be and I’ve allowed for unexpected delays and arrive feeling calm and serene.  If I’m early, I simply claim the time for something really important, like a few extra prayers or some mediation.  Yes, it may not sound that important but over the long haul I am sure it is a healthier way for me to deal with time. 

Monday, August 15, 2011


Affirmation:  I am a spiritual being having a human experience.

Why would this be an affirmation?  Is this something that would resonate with you?  Would it make your life any richer, any easier?  For me, believing that I am spirit inhabiting a human form gives me a sense of immortality and being a cancer survivor, immortality has a nice ring to it.  Actually, just aging makes the idea of immortality more attractive. 
One day when I was journaling, I searched for several yellow markers in varying hues and found myself drawing.  I seldom draw but I just knew I needed to get this on paper, this concept that had come to me.  I drew a circle of yellow and then rays of gold and brighter yellow coming out from the center and then I placed an outline of myself in the middle of all the light placing my heart right in the center of the brightest part of the drawing.  When I finished, I knew this was a representation of how I really am.  I am energy, I am spirit.  It is larger than me but it radiates from me.  I take the concept with me every day when I head out into the world and I share it readily and eagerly with most of those that I meet as I go through my day.  Can you visualize this?  It comforts me.  It makes me feel generous and compassionate.  Hopefully, it helps me stay in touch with that which is truly important and helps me let go of the mundane. 
I think we have always been and will always be.  And, because I am spirit, I can tap into those unimaginable qualities that are available to spirit, all those miracles and graces that are generously infused into spirit.  It’s a meditation.  Sometimes I forget but I don’t think that matters.  I think the most important thing is that I have recognized it and own it. 
One of my desires in life is to connect with spirit and let it direct my life.  The Pink Ribbon Yoga Retreat has been an example of that process.  Truly, I was directed by spirit to put my idea out into the universe and once it was out there, spirit led it to its fruition and has been blessing it ever since, blessing it and all those who are associated with it.
That’s how I’d like every day to be, lived in the spirit.  I begin the day with prayer.  I pray throughout the day with small ejaculations and deep breaths and I end my day, the very old fashioned way, with some traditional prayers.  I make an effort to stay connected, connected to God, to my Guardian Angel and to my guides.  I imagine them all being pleased that I have taken the time and made the effort to spend time with them, to continually keep them in my mind and my heart.  I don’t think they’d respond any differently than my loved ones when I treat them with consideration and thoughtfulness.  I have a mediation tape I used for chemotherapy that says just that, “Remember, we are always here.  It is you who comes and goes.”  So, I try not to go to far from all that support and guidance. 
If we truly are spirit in a human form, think of all the spirits that are surrounding us, encouraging us, supporting us.  They are helping us to recognize our true selves, to dream wonderful dreams and to support us in our desire to make not only ourselves better but to reach out into the world and to make that better.  It sounds nurturing to me.  It makes my life easier and richer and hopefully helps the lives of all those I touch as I go though my day.
The light in me salutes the light in you.  Namaste.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Affirmation:   My life is Joy filled, Miracles occur, Love surrounds me and permeates every aspect of my existence.  
On August 4th, 2011, 29 women and 1 man came together for the 7th annual 4 day, 3 night Pink Ribbon Yoga Retreat.  I began this retreat and each year I leave feeling the same way.  I am astounded at the response of the participants.  Everyone leaves feeling uplifted and empowered.  In 2010 the survey they took found 100% of the ladies who participated had an increased sense of hopefulness and well being.  100%!!  If that’s not a miracle, I’m not sure what qualifies.
I’ve watched this grow and thrive since the beginning.  It hasn’t been about me.  This is an example of something that is “spirit driven.”  Have you ever had an experience like that?  You had the seed of an idea and it bloomed into something beyond your wildest dream? 
I had this small thought about how nice it would be to have a yoga retreat at the beach for breast cancer survivors here in North Carolina.  I mentioned it to a yoga teacher I knew and then to the director of the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program.  The day of our first meeting, I didn’t have a clue who would come, other than my family and when we began the meeting, there were 12 people there.  I began by telling people about my idea and then admitting I was not good at delegating responsibilities.  Never once was a suggestion made when someone in the group didn’t volunteer to take care of it.  I should have known then that this was something in which God had a vested interest.  And, in seven years it has continued the same way.  Not only do people readily step up to take care of whatever needs to be done, people find ways to help with the retreat that some of us never dreamed of.  This year one of the ladies made comfort pillows for everyone with meaningful words on them.  They smelled of lavender and were squishy.  The women were very appreciative, especially after they found out this lady didn’t know how to sew until she began the project.  Another woman took it upon herself to buy cushy beach towels for everyone there.  We had homemade biscotti and pound cake.  A local ice-cream shop donated sundaes for everyone and one of our committee members made the supreme effort to go taste several of the flavors beforehand.  We raised enough money to help pay for anyone who wanted to come on scholarship.  It’s phenomenal how it all comes together and it’s obvious to all of us there that the success of this event is beyond anything most of us have ever experienced.  It has to have the hand of God in it. 
Miraculous, you ask?  What is miraculous about ice-cream and beach towels and homemade goodies?  They simply appear, like the manna in the dessert.  We never asked for these treasures.  But, what is really miraculous is what happens to the mind, body and spirit of each of the ladies and our one man (He’s the breast cancer counselor for the DCPSP.  This retreat is only for female breast cancer survivors.)  by the end of the four days.  A light comes on in each person.  There has been healing; there’s been a renewed sense of hope.  The women have found camaraderie and acceptance.  We have laughed, cried, played, swam, created, danced and done yoga.  We have found power, the power in each of us and as a group.  Words really can’t describe what happens over the four days.  You’ll have to trust me.  The event is laced with miracles, many aspects that cannot be easily explained, especially the overwhelming feeling of love that permeates each person as the retreat comes to a close. 
If you’re interested in attending, you can look us up on  

Monday, August 1, 2011


Affirmation:  I see the grace and blessings in all the events of my life.
Betty Ford died this July, July 2011.  She was the wife of President Gerald Ford.  I guess being the first lady might be enough for some women.  Maybe one day, it’ll be enough for some man, although I doubt that very much.  In fact, it seems like most of the first ladies of the past were pioneers in one way or another.  It has even been rumored that at times the White House, the government was run by first ladies trying to protect the ineptitude or disabilities of their husbands. 
Betty Ford was an addict and her obituary focused more on her achievement of creating the Betty Ford Center for Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation than on her being Gerald Ford’s wife.  Most of what I read about her after her death was about how courageous she was to admit to her addiction but not only did she openly talk about her problem, she took steps to heal and then reached out to over 90,000 others who have been treated by her center. 
I am sure you will agree that alone is a remarkable legacy, one any one of us would probably be proud to claim.  But, there was something else Betty Ford was known for; she publicly announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  At the time, that was a very radical and courageous thing to do.  There was a time when the word “cancer” created panic and fear in the people who were associated with the patient.  Yes, it still can but not because people think it's a communicable disease.  Then, it had a stigma attached to it.  It's people like Betty Ford whose honesty and courage led to taking cancer out of the closet and into the forefront of research and treatment.
I spoke with a woman recently who is a breast cancer survivor.  She told me she pretends it never happened to her.  Her denial is her way of coping.  I am not here to judge that right or wrong.  We need to do whatever it takes to survive, to heal.  If denial is your best tool, use it.  But, I do wonder if it really works.  What do you think?  Do you think you can really bury such a life changing event?  Sometimes I think I’ve moved on and then, wham, even after 12 years something comes along to remind me of how different I am now than I was before cancer.  I not only look at my life with a fuller understanding of my mortality, I look at the lives of my loved ones in the same way.  Experiencing death and life threatening illnesses has helped me to see life as more precious and fragile. 
I’ve chosen to share openly that I am a breast cancer survivor.  No, it is not the first thing I tell people, sometimes they haven’t a clue and they may have known me for sometime but when called upon, I readily share my story.  One of the reasons I like to share is simply because it’s such a success story.  I am still here.  It’s been twelve years and I am still here.  I think it’s important for people to know that a diagnosis of breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence.  Yes, it can be and unfortunately many times, it is but it’s not always.  There are more and more people like me who are living wonderful lives long after undergoing cancer treatment.  I feel it’s my responsibility to share with anyone who wants to listen that there is hope.  That while cancer treatment isn’t fun, one can survive and in many cases, like mine, one can thrive.