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May 23, 2018

I have written many cancerversary blogs over the past twelve years since I was diagnosed, and sometimes I feel as if I’ve processed everything there is to process about my cancer experience and said all there is to say, but of course that’s not true because we are never really done with cancer. For some it’s because of a terminal diagnosis, for others (like me) because our cancer keeps coming back, and for others the emotional scars remain even if the physical ones have healed. There are always reminders of what we have lost, or on-going issues that we have to deal with. 

This cancerversary, my thoughts aren’t very organized, and I’m not quite sure how I feel. In the past I have felt celebratory, triumphant, hopeful and sometimes fearful, alone or frustrated. Today, I am feeling doubtful. N...

March 27, 2018

How do you feel when someone you are attracted to gives you attention? Do your feelings depend upon whether you (or they) are single? Whether you are on the street, in the office or at a party? Do they depend upon what kind of attention is given – a look of admiration, a smile, a wink, a catcall?
 
Ok, how about another example. What happens inside you when someone gushes in front of others about how great you are? Are you flattered, uncomfortable, touched? How do you respond? Do you demur, letting the group know you’re not really all that? Do you accept the acknowledgement uncomfortably and change the subject as soon as possible?
 
It’s the rare person that can receive, really RECEIVE, all the attention, acknowledgement, gratitude, praise, admiration, and even love and affection that come...

February 28, 2018

My friend wrote recently about practices that are not luxuries, but necessities. I appreciated her approach to thinking about things that we sometimes treat as nice to have when really they are mandatory for our health and well-being. I really resonated with the example she shared about giving herself time to re-charge between busyness, travel and big projects in life. I definitely need that too, and when I don’t give it to myself, I tend to get sick. My body finds a way to make me rest when I don’t make that a priority.
 
Another practice that has become absolutely mandatory for me is mindfulness. That term can encompass a number of different things, but it really means taking time every day for just being present.
 
Mindfulness can be as simple as being totally focused on whatever you ar...

January 17, 2018

Nearly universally people seem to be thrilled that 2017 has come to an end, and eager to begin a new year. Perhaps that is always the case, but it seems especially potent this year. Massive changes are taking place in the world, and though it seems chaotic at times, it sometimes takes a bit of chaos to create something beautiful. I think about the butterfly emerging from the cocoon. It's not a pretty or an easy process, and it must feel like a tragedy for the caterpillar when it all begins, but what emerges at the end is spectacular. 

Our planet and its people are going through a similar process at the moment. The past year exemplified the messy, struggling stage - the metamorphosis that is beginning. Watching all the powerful people brought down by the #MeToo movement, witnessing the mas...

August 30, 2017

It’s time for me to come clean about something. I have known for a long time that I would have to do it eventually, and nearly nine months after I made this major choice the time has come.

But first a little history. I was originally diagnosed with stage IIC granulosa cell ovarian cancer in the summer of 2006. After two surgeries and six rounds of chemo that summer and fall, I was declared NED (no evidence of disease). That lasted for four years, and ever since cancer has been something I have “dealt with” approximately every four years.

Between my original diagnosis and my first recurrence, I did a ton of reading and research, and I knew that if the cancer came back, I wasn’t going to take a conventional approach again. There are countless alternative, complementary and integrative approach...

July 18, 2017

Have you ever gotten in your car to go somewhere and then suddenly realized that you are going the wrong way? That your car seemingly had a mind of its own, and you, on autopilot, have driven the same route that you often drive even though it is not in fact the direction that you intended to go at that moment?  This is a classic example of the mindlessness that we often find ourselves in on a daily basis. Maybe we have an extra-long to do list, something big on our minds or a concern we can’t seem to let go of. These distractions keep us from being connected to the present moment in myriad ways.

Perhaps you have heard that living in the present moment is the key to happiness and contentment. There is even a cheesy saying about this: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a g...

June 20, 2017

This hash-tag has gained prominence lately in the political realm to denote women who are standing up to blatant sexism in the halls of Congress and persisting despite attempts by colleagues to silence them on the floor and in various hearings. Most notably it has been applied to Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, the former after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used the phrase to explain why he took action against her. Gleefully, it has been co-opted by feminists everywhere and used as a rallying cry. This post is not going to be about politics though, despite the fact that so much is happening right now. That’s not my gig.
 
The phrase came to mind this morning as I was thinking about what myself and some of my coaching clients and friends have overcome. Perhaps you can identify...

May 9, 2017

As I prepare to launch a big new project around receiving, I have been especially attuned to its rhythms recently. You know how when you buy a red car, you suddenly see red cars everywhere? Well, as I have been contemplating receiving over the past few months, suddenly so many messages around this topic are showing up in my life in emails and books and things I listen to. Amazing!

Specifically, today, I would like to talk about receiving guidance. Recently, I embarked on a road trip to visit a guy. I met him 8 months ago at Burning Man, and had seen him once since then during a four-day stop off in San Diego on my way to my three-month internship in Hawaii last fall. It was a lovely visit and we had kept in touch regularly for months. I had been excited about seeing him again, and we had lo...

March 30, 2017

I strongly believe, and have written often about, the fact that we are each responsible for our own lives. When we feel victim to circumstances, other people or fate it is hugely disempowering because we don’t feel we are in control of our lives. A large part of my work as a coach involves helping people see their challenges from a different perspective – a more empowering perspective, which gives them more control around dealing with whatever circumstances come along. One of the chapters in my book Being Single, With Cancer is titled You Are Responsible, and this has been a huge theme in my own life.

This concept, though, is distinct from what we often see as being a responsible person. This designation is sometimes laden with judgment about what it means to be a “contributing” member of s...

February 28, 2017

In a time when various groups are taking to the streets to protest what they see as the ills of our society and politics, and hundreds of people have been living in the elements for months to halt what they view as a destructive pipeline project at Standing Rock, do you feel guilty for not marching, calling your Congressperson daily or standing in front of bulldozers for a good cause?

I have a heart for service – always have – but there was a period of time that I felt as if I wasn’t doing enough. I thought I had to foster a child, serve as a big sister, and/or volunteer at a soup kitchen on a regular basis in order to really be doing my part. It also occurred to me that I should put my writing skills to use by penning op eds, or letters to the editor or to my representatives in Congress, a...

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