Today is 9/11. The memory of watching the planes go through the twin towers will always replay in my mind. Those actions continue to put things in my life into perspective. On that day, I could no longer as an American remain untouched by global violence. I was not in New York or DC at the time, however, I had friends who were, and they described eloquently what they went through. My illusion of “it can’t happen here” was busted. 9/11 made it abundantly clear that we are one world. I may not always understand or even like my world family, but we are all still living together on this one beautiful jewel of a planet. We all have a choice whether to live in fear, or live with love. And this day of all days is a reminder of that choice.
Today, I again realize that we are indeed one people, one world, one messy family. With that realization I can no longer focus on the miniscule dramas of my life. The thoughts of “but you said you would, but you promised, but you were going to, stop ricocheting around in my brain. They just don’t seem as important. I can relax into more acceptance for what is. I can let go of fear and move into a place of loving my messy family. I can forgive people for not doing what I wanted them to do. I can let go of my expectations, resentments and come back to being in the present.
Powerlessness, lack of control that is often my dilemma. And when I feel powerless I can find myself wanting to fight back and strive to have control again. When I am caught with that striving I think my vision of how the world ought to be is the correct one. My vision is flawed — after all I wear contacts because I am near-sighted. Though I strive to see a larger perspective I am still limited. And with that limitation I cannot see the perfection of what is.
The planes flying into the twin towers are an extreme example of powerlessness. There was nothing that could have stopped them in that moment. We don’t live in a world where there are Supermen, or other comic book heroes who can step in at the last moment and lasso the planes. Conversely, I am not a superhero. I am not perfect, I am a beautiful woman who is growing into more strength and beauty each day. I have to keep reminding myself that I am not in charge of the outcomes. I am not in charge period. Some days there is comfort in that thought. Other days I want to be the superhero that stops the planes from destroying so many lives.
So on this day of remembrance I offer the message of Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono). Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. “Hoʻoponopono” is defined in the Hawaiian Dictionary as “mental cleansing” in a family conference in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness. What can you do today to cleanse your world? What can you do to bring forgiveness into your heart? This is my offering. I love you. I am sorry. Forgive me. Thank you.
This Independence day I am determined to change the stories about my health. I have had cancer twice and chronic illness for more years than I can count. One old story is a fear that I would never experience freedom from being in chronic pain. What an independence day it will be when I am done with that fear.
Today I am changing the story that I have to fight my body, fight my emotions, fight my reality. To me that fight is another word for feeling like a victim. The fight seems to have been knocked out of me. I feel relief to recognize that I am not a victim of my body. Instead I can say that I am awakening to more peace in my daily life. And that peace feels like freedom. Happy Independence Day!
Recently I found Ayurveda again. For a great definition go here http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/ayurveda.html . Many years ago I studied with Dr. Vasant Lad. Obviously I wasn’t ready for the healing offered. I thought I knew better than the health practitioners with whom I sought help. Thinking I have to have the answers is definitely an old story that has to go.
After a week of working the new Ayurvedic program I am feeling better than I have been in a long time. The pain in my joints has diminished and I am sleeping better. My routine is practicing joint freeing yoga every morning, followed by an oil self-massage. During the day I take a break to meditate, and eat more cooked veggies. I think the key is my willingness to try new things, closely followed by the discipline to keep doing those new things. I pray that the willingness and the discipline will stay with me and therefore I will continue to see positive results.
Do you have a story to share? We are still accepting submissions. Awakening the Hero Within: Stories from the Cancer Tribe. I have faced and survived cancer twice. Whether we have had cancer ourselves or are the loving caregivers, we are members of the Cancer Tribe. When diagnosed I did not choose the path of victimhood. I dealt with my fears that I would be fighting the battle of my life. Instead I chose to learn from this life-altering event. I believe when I face my fears and keep moving forward learning the lessons offered, I experience profound spiritual growth. When I focus on my spiritual growth as I face great challenge I become a hero to myself and maybe for those whose lives I touch. The stories I have included in this anthology illustrate how each author learned from the experience of cancer in themselves or in their loved ones. For guidelines and more information, contact me here in the comments section, on Facebook, or @selbyink on Twitter.
Capes are Optional Part II
Superhero stories inspire us to cope with adversity. Superheroes face “the bad guys” for us. They are both male and female, all ages and shapes. Throughout history it has been fairly easy to spot superheroes; they are those who have chosen altruism over the pursuit of wealth and power. A bit of cliché but nevertheless, we may personally encounter them as soldiers, firefighters, doctors, or police. We may find them in the usual places, or we may go to our local multiplex to be entertained by Hollywood actors like Will Smith and Bruce Willis who earn great money to play the hero. Continue reading
Capes are Optional Part I
I have encountered cancer twice. I would not refer to myself as a hero, nor would anyone of the people whose stories are included here. As we find our way through a health crisis of such magnitude we need heroes, and equally we need to not feel we are alone. My friend Dee Yoh inspired me to write my story, which is included in this book. Dee’s story and her husband’s story, are both included in this anthology. Dee was my hero because she faced her fears, kept working with the lessons that appeared, and she was brutally honest about her process. Since then there have been many people who have inspired me and touched me with their stories of heroism. No one facing this illness, or the grief of losing a loved one, needs to face cancer alone. We are a tribe, and until this plague is curtailed, we will strew bread crumbs for others of our tribe to find and follow. Continue reading