Any of us can remember a day recent or not when "bad news" punched us in the stomach out of nowhere.
Unexpected death of a dear one, drab diagnosis at the doctor's office, loss of a family supporting job, dismissal from a partner, or less dramatic but much disruptive news, mishaps or accidents, they are part of the journey.
For me, as a young adult, and many years after that, they were part of my journey a lot.
A full lot.
And every occurrence was turmoil and pain. Every bad time was hard to deal with.
I did not know at the time, that the bulk of my pain came not from the event, but from my reaction to it.
But, wait a minute you'll say: bad news are bad news, right?
As a matter of fact, bad news are only news that we don't want to hear.
Ten years ago, almost eleven now, I got a phone call between Christmas and new year's eve, informing me of a biopsy result: breast cancer was the news.
I had known for a while, or rather I had intuitively felt, that something was wrong, not aligned, that I was out of balance. But still, it was a shock to find out.
Talk about a game changer.
It's very fortunate that I had become accustomed in my life (through various challenges) with the idea that we are insanely resilient and able to induce our own healing in many circumstances by giving our body appropriate care and attention and being proactive.
My first decision was to pause.
And put the conventional medicine process on hold for a month.
I gave myself time to start a cleansing diet, research cutting edge alternatives and most of all to process my thoughts and emotions. I searched and learned from authors and healers who had sterling track records.
I slowed down. I listened deep. I perceived that I was offered a chance to re-invent my life.
It was crystal clear urgent to re-assess my priorities and to reform my way of living.
Precisely, my way to relate to Life itself.
I won't get into details; enough is to say that I only accepted a minimal lumpectomy, kept all my lymph nodes, refused any other conventional protocol and committed myself to a profoundly cleansing regimen, physically and emotionally.
Most importantly I chose to RECEIVE what was happening instead of resisting and fighting it.
My daily focus became practicing peace of mind, primal joy, curiosity, self love, gratitude, and an immense desire to evolve to the next level of myself (a healthier, happier me), to shine my light brighter, to live full out on my own terms. I trusted that quitting my job was a good move. And I painted a lot.
Was there fear?
Heck yes! But I would thank it and dismiss it: "This is not what I'm doing right now".
Instead of letting my thoughts err into bleakness and feel like a victim, I EMBRACED the whole process.
And you know what? Though I sure prefer to live free of it, at that time cancer was the biggest gift of my life!
It was the punch, the shake, the startling proverbial wake up call that I needed to enter a new chapter.
Richer, larger, happier.
The real life changer though was not the diagnosis.
It was the realization that I had (always had and always will) the tremendous choice to DANCE WITH WHAT WAS and make it beautiful, until the last minute of my life, no matter how long. (And don't get me wrong: the longer the better!)
The real life changer was to shift from ordinary thinking to intentional, deliberate, high frequency creative thinking.
In front of any circumstance, we can decide to not qualify what's happening as "bad".
We can choose to simply be there and show up for it, to learn from it, to grow and expand, to experience it, as a valuable and enriching course in the curriculum of our life.
When we choose to do this, we actually get to feast at the banquet of Life, to enjoy every moment, to savor every breath, to exist at our fullest.
One day we'll leave this human body behind. Not maybe, but surely.
Meanwhile we are offered a life time of experiences and opportunities to grow joyfully, willingly, into the highest version of ourselves.
The beautiful twist in all this, is that when we live this way, our very circumstances shift as well, in the best of ways.
My life today is so much easier and happier than what it used to be, it feels like a different life all together!
This is what I know to be true in my own life: when I let Life show me, when I let the unfathomable intelligence ruling the stars above and the tides in my cells point the way, and when I heed its lead, willingly and purposefully, trusting that Life knows what it is doing, there is no struggle, and so much more ease, and deep joy.
When I befriend "what is", "what is" becomes my teacher and my golden opportunity.
To your path...