As a new year approaches, I want to take this opportunity to wish everybody that reads my blog a very happy and healthy new year. I appreciate the fact that people make an effort to stay connected with me through my words.
We all reflect as we leave one year and enter into another and for me, I have to just be honest and say that 2013 was the worst year of my life. I not only had a miscarriage, but I found out that I have been diagnosed with stage IV liver melanoma. I think it’s safe to say that I’m not unhappy to see 2013 come to an end.
Having said that, when I think about 2013 and the sadness, fear, doubt and anger that it has unabashedly brought to my life (and to my family’s life, I have to think), it doesn’t all ring painful. I can still conjure up wonderful times, as well… everything from buying a beautiful house and beginning to create memories here to a summer dinner out on Cape Cod with my whole family, to a crisp fall evening where I could smell wood burning, to running through the rain in Central Park’s NYC with SHL, to the best, most gigantic hug from my nephew, to attending the I Can Do It Conference in D.C. with Marla and getting to meet Kris Carr, to visiting Anita and her family in Austin, to having a sleepover with my camp girlfriends, to the Red Sox vs. Yankees game at Fenway Park, to singing along with SHL at the Paul McCartney concert this summer, to feeling the deep-rooted unconditional love of so many family and friends every single day. Through the darkness there can be light.
I recently read an article by Deepak Chopra called “Your Path to Joy,” (if you’d like to read it just click here: http://http://www.chopra.com/ccl/the-path-to-joy), and I think it’s appropriate to talk about it here because I believe that creating an expanded awareness of oneself is healthy, not just for people suffering from cancer or chronic diseases, but for everybody. Couldn’t we all benefit from leading a more authentic, joyous, grateful life? What a great thing to keep in mind as we approach a new year (and always!).
I have to admit, as much as I love the article, there are still many pieces to it that I am trying to understand. Deepak, as many do these days, talks about “Life Purpose,” and he says that no matter how lost or confused you feel, you still have a purpose. This is a term that I try to remain curious about, instead of judgmental. Can life purpose simply be living a joyous life? When we hear the word “purpose” we tend to think of it more in terms of titles. “I work at such and such a place doing x,y,z.” “I am a Mom.” “I am a wife.” Perhaps life purpose can be about cultivating happiness, good health, creativity, and fun. For me, I think that’s what I want it to be about.
I also struggle with the “You are safe” words that Deepak writes about. I don’t necessarily always feel safe, living with cancer. When fear arises “observe myself,” yes, but then what? I struggle sometimes living in the present moment and not letting fear gain it’s grip on me. The last 6 months have been a true testament to my willingness to let go of the different scenarios that I can play out in my head, and to reign in that anxiety that can so easily rear it’s ugly head in a matter of seconds.
It’s also important to remember that I have the strength and the tools already inside of me to handle whatever may come my way, good or bad, and so do you. As much as we think that perseverating on a situation will in fact help us to play out the different scenarios of how we may handle it, hence giving us something that we’ll need in the moment, the truth is, it really only creates more anxiety. I feel better on the days when I can remember this, and try to stay in the here-and-now.
I love the idea that infinite energy is available to me, and to all of us. Let’s remember in 2014 to play, laugh, expand our curiosity, do mitzvah’s for others, focus on health in whatever way that feels right, and create joy in the every day. Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year, but also wishing for a passionate, loving, and fun-filled new year as well, filled with whatever purpose you and I find the most fulfilling xoxo.