The good crash and burn

Yesterday I had a potential opportunity that I thought I wanted for quite some time totally crash and burn.  For a full day and night I became completely distraught over this one thing not coming to fruition.  Sure, it could have possibly made all aspects of my life better for a while, but as a good friend pointed out, it wouldn’t of made me happy.  It would have just been more of the same, maybe with a nicer package.  I would still be the ‘walking dead.’

So nice to have someone pull you out of a bad space–exactly what I needed.  I cannot thank you enough, Kamishia!  When you are mired in it, sometimes it’s hard to see straight.

In reality, God, the Universe, whatever, is saying, “no, you must stay in the fire–you’re not done yet.”

I need spiritual bypass surgery!

Great blog post from Mastin Kipp’s The Daily Love blog.  See full post at:  Do you need spiritual bypass surgery?  by Mastin Kipp, October 28, 2013.

The following are particularly good quotes from his post: 

We need a spiritual bypass surgery when our fear blocks us from feeling our feelings.

You see – your Soul doesn’t need any personal growth work. Your Soul doesn’t need therapy. Your Soul doesn’t need yoga, green juice or an alkaline, gluten free diet – your body does.

Fear is not the opposite of Love….


We tend to carry so much shame with us when it comes to feeling our feelings because we believe that feeling our fear or negativity are “unspiritual.”

The only thing unspiritual is the judgment of our feelings, which is actually keeping us blocked from happiness….

We can’t make our dark side conscious if we are too self-judgmental to allow it to come forward – this is a spiritual bypass and it’s as deadly as a blocked artery.

A tortoise in a world of rabbits

Busy little bunnies running around everywhere.  Where are they all going in such a hurry?

Slow down and enjoy life.  No, run faster not to miss anything!

Life is so disjointed.  Must work on balance.  Balance is something I lack.  Either a speed freak or a stoned hippie, but nothing in between.  Just metaphors by the way!

Life lacks luster.  Shouldn’t it be the opposite?  Cancer and all, shouldn’t it change your perceptions and make you more aware instead of having a desire to become more numb?

Not sure how to get out of this hole.  I guess it’s true, things must be torn down before they can be built up again.  That’s where I think I’m at, the tear-down stage.  I must first conquer the storm before the sun will come out, right?  And just maybe there’s even a rainbow in my future.  I’d like to believe that.

DIY retreat to commense this weekend

I’ll be preparing and focusing on the start of my retreat this weekend.  I’m excited to take some serious time to focus inward and make serious changes regarding my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.  I’ve been teetering back and forth for some time.  Making strides and then collapsing back into old habits again.  This last time in a serious way!  I need crucial change now!   It’s time to dig in, work hard and move forward.

Yesterday was my 9th chemo treatment on Taxol.  3 more to go.  The countdown has begun! :-)  My last treatment is November 14th.  I was thinking of an ‘end of chemo’ happy hour or something–Possibly at my favorite Austin restaurant, Fonda San Miguel.  I will think on it some more.  For the very few who actually read my blog, please chime in!

I had a long heart to heart with the nurse practitioner at the MedOnc’s office yesterday.  She noticed that I’ve been moving in the wrong direction regarding my health and wellbeing and not focusing any longer on preparing for surgery.  I seem to be sabotaging myself, yet again.  Just the thought of surgery makes me teary-eyed.  I started getting emotional just talking with her about it.  It’s not just that it’s a major, life-altering surgery; my fear comes from the pancreatic surgery I endured 3 years ago for a rare, mucinous cystadenoma.  Initially, everything went fine, and then the complications started.  I suffered many complications, several more stints in the hospital, more surgeries, and painful rehabilitation with a 6-month recovery.  I cannot express here how brutal that all was.  I almost didn’t make it a number of times.

This has struck a fear of surgery in me that is so strong.  Honestly, it’s not the fear of surgery itself, but of the complications that can develop.  I have to move past it, somehow.  I’m hoping my DIY retreat will help me conquer this fear and move forward with preparing for surgery.  I cannot afford to keep moving the timeframe of surgery.  It must happen within the next 6 months, and my doc has made it clear sooner than later.  My MedOnc has given me a window that I must stick to, to stay on the safe side of things, hopefully!

My MedOnc has asked me to consider mastectomies and delaying reconstruction, but even now, as I write this I’m tearing up.  I cannot.  It’s too hard.  It’s all really hard.   My situation is different than the average woman’s, always has been.

Many women jump at having this done, immediately.  Their fear is very justified.  More and more women are having bimx/recon surgeries, a good majority who do not need to take such drastic measures.  Breast cancer scares the crap out of you.  I know, I’ve had this monkey on my shoulder my whole life!  I, unfortunately, fall into the category that absolutely should take such drastic measures.

I’ve always been on the forefront of this.  Knowing of my family history, I started seeing my breast surgeon in my early twenties.  She has been monitoring me ever since and even performed my recent lumpectomy.  When the BRCA gene testing became available, well, I didn’t do it right away but knew if I found out I did have a mutation I’d do what I needed to do to save my life.  But, after the panc surgery, everything became so much more difficult.  So many obstacles, around every corner.  The opposite has happened.  I’ve turned my fear of surgery into a more palpable beast than my fear of dying from breast cancer.  What kind of crap is that?  It’s all hard–So many brutal decisions!

I know I’m a survivor, I always have been, my whole life; but, how much can God place on one person?  How strong do I have to become?

The Alien in the Room

I’ve been in deep contemplation recently regarding my current interactions with the people in my life.  I want to change or correct some of my more severe flaws.  One of my most depraved, defense mechanisms is alienation.  Alienation of myself and of those I desire closeness with.  I alienate, seemingly in every way possible.  It certainly has the opposite effect of what is intended and just makes everything worse.

I’ve somewhat been aware of this affliction, personality flaw, bad character trait–I’m not really sure what to call it–for some time, but it creeps up and blows wide open at the most inopportune moments and can linger for long periods of time (even months).   It’s a hard defense mechanism to conquer.

I’ve found it particularly severe during my most desperate times–Through my panc surgery and recovery, and now through chemo.  When I actually have my boob surgery, no one will be around because I will have alienated them all.  I guess I became so used to going through hard times on my own for so long, since my early teens.  I’ve never been good at letting people in and apparently have a severe reaction to letting my guard down.  A few very close friends and several relationships that did not work out.   Not what I would have chosen for my life.   As I’ve stated previously, it blows going it alone.

This is what retreat is for, to work on getting rid of the negative and replacing with the good!

While In Retreat

I WILL focus on learning to:

i)   Be mindful.

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”Thích Nhất Hnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person.  It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart…”Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation

“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.”Louis L’Amour

ii)  Meditate.

“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence.  Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.”  –  Jean Arp

“Keep your heart clear and transparent, and you will never be bound.  A single disturbed thought creates ten thousand distractions.”Ryokan

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky.  Conscious breathing is my anchor.” Thích Nhất Hnh, Stepping into Freedom: Rules of Monastic Practice for Novices

iii)  Simplify.

“The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.”  – Steve Maraboli

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”  
Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!  I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.”  – Henry David Thoreau

iv)  Love thyself.

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”   – Brené Brown

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”Lucille Ball

v)  Live authentically.

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”May Sarton

“A lot of the conflict you have in your life exists simply because you’re not living in alignment; you’re not being true to yourself.”Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

“Following all the rules leaves a completed checklist. Following your heart achieves a completed you.”Ray Davis

vi)  Be vulnerable.

“Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. the new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable, i.e. open.”Stephen Russell, Barefoot Doctor’s Guide to the Tao: A Spiritual Handbook for the Urban Warrior

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.  Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.  Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”  - Brené Brown

vii)  Receive.

“And there’s also ‘To him that hath shall be given.’ After all, you must have a capacity to receive, or even omnipotence can’t give.”   – C.S. Lewis

“Give and receive with gratitude. Do the former, without expectation of, the latter.”  Jaeda DeWalt

“Pure love is a willingness to give without a thought of receiving anything in return.”Peace Pilgrim

In Retreat

I have decided to be in retreat of the next month or two (up to the new year, I think).  I have circled back to old habits and behaviors that are no longer me.  I need transformative experiences that will nurture my physical and spiritual being for a considerable length of time.  I will contribute to my blog whenever possible but will be limiting my contact with friends and family.  I hope everyone understands. :-)  Namaste.

Where Is Tony Robbins When You Need Him?

firewalker    I think I need one of Tony Robbins’ fire-walking seminars–Something powerful like that to push me through the fear of my soon, fated surgeries.

Various people have been pushing me to continue writing my book.  Although, honestly, I’ve been feeling somewhat uninspired as very few currently even read my blog.

Bali    A good friend at work told me today that Mastin Kipp, author of The Daily Love blog, is hosting a Writer’s Mastermind Retreat in Bali (  Wow, it sounds so amazing!  A whole month of mediation, relaxation and writing in Bali!  Ah, can’t you just feel the warm, ocean breeze?  Bali is a place I’ve always wanted to visit.  Plus, they push you to finish your book, at least the first draft, in 28 days.  If I could only win the lottery, well, if I played it that is.

That’s exactly what I need, a retreat to focus solely on myself, both my inner and outer workings.  The same friend also mentioned a woman who made it her mission for 30 days to, aside from work, devote herself to her own spiritual retreat.  So, whatever time she had outside of work, she spent creating her own DIY retreat.  I guess I’ll have to start there as my budget for a month-long Bali retreat is entirely non-existent at the moment.