The Sudden Need To “Own It”

My head is bursting with stories and I’m sitting quietly trying to decide what to say. Because I’ve decided to start sharing my journey somewhere in the middle of it, I’ll have to hop from one moment to another which may be confusing, mostly for me. For today, I’ve decided to share my October week on facebook. The week of my birthday and the moment I decided to “own it”.

I was sitting on the grass in the sunshine, thinking back to a conversation I had with a stranger in my final week on the Summer Holiday tour. I was told to “own my life” and be open and willing to share it because you never know who may need to hear it. Quite a bit has changed since then, but it’s special to look back…

Here are the posts from that week.

22 October

Hey lovely peeps. This post is not an announcement! To anyone who may have noticed my slight withdrawal from social media and even a slight distancing in communication in general, here’s why. I make no apologies for it, but feel it’s a good time to explain and as someone recently said …”I should own this”

I’ve been on a bit of a journey with my health since being diagnosed with breast cancer on the 1st of August while on tour with Summer Holiday. I won’t go into any details as this is not the space for that. This is also a very private and sensitive subject so I’m sure you all respect that too.

Those who have known since the beginning have seen that I have just carried on as normal and have been the same cheerful person throughout the past few months, but I just want to reassure anyone who is alarmed by this news that I am better than I ever have been. I do feel the urge to begin writing about my entire journey so perhaps at some point there will be a channel for me to share as I honestly have so much to say about this incredible time in my life that has filled me with such love and gratitude and confirmed my faith and belief systems.

I am recovering from surgery as we speak and have left the Summer Holiday tour, but fortunately I will only miss the final two weeks which is a blessing. So, as I am resting and have more time on my hands, I will gradually share some insights and magical aha moments to hopefully inspire you. I have been inspired by so many people and experiences already and I know there is still more to come. There is magic everywhere

So as this is breast cancer month and also the month of my birth, I feel it’s fitting to own and share a little bit of my “rebirth” with those who are happy to listen. Sending love and smiles from afar

24 October

So, here we go. Firstly I want to say that your kindness towards me is not lost. The way in which each of you has responded reflects back on you and although it seems that it’s all directed at me, it all actually flows into an energy flow that we can all tap into and share. So let’s whirl those beautiful messages around and each take strength and upliftment from them. The qualities you have chosen to acknowledge in me exist in each one of you.

My only desire in being open is to encourage and hopefully inspire a slightly different way of seeing a cancer journey. I don’t seek a platform or attention from this. Those who know me well know this to be deeply true of my nature.

I have often looked upon social media as something I don’t enjoy and something which takes too much time and energy. In this particular moment of my life, I choose to see it as community. My posts may not reach everyone and may even annoy some, but that is not my concern. Perhaps that may be the best way to start…with truth.

Since the start of all of this, I have chosen to speak my truth in every situation. Truth is golden to me. It’s on the top of my list and is a vital part of my daily food. Speaking my truth to the doctors has brought me freedom and time to work out exactly what “my” plan is for this. Speaking my truth to my loved ones has allowed us all to communicate in the most respectful and loving ways that support what I have needed every day. Speaking my truth to strangers has shown me how magnificent human beings can be and has resulted in little miracles which I will unpack later. Truth!!!! I can go on….and I will carry on writing, but for this platform I will keep it short.

All I want to encourage in this message is always seek the truth, always tell the truth and always know what your own truth is and stand in that and don’t apologize for any of it. There’s that saying….. “The truth will set you free” ..It’s the truth!! Have a brilliant day all. So much love

24 October “ Was a chatty day for me it seems”

The easiest way I can start to communicate where you find me in all of this change is to begin with Faith. This is often a conversation where some people shut themselves off and with respect I fully understand why. I can only share what is true for my life and the rest is all up to the individual. We all need to be authentic in how we approach such a personal subject. There is no right or wrong path…only the path you choose.

I have breezed in and out of the hospital most Monday’s which is our day off on the tour and although I have had a multitude of procedures to help the doctors get a clearer picture of things, I have remained calm, cheerful and relaxed and oftentimes, quite a joker. I asked my mom if this was normal and if I’d been this way from childhood. Her reply was pretty much…yes. The doctors have said “We don’t see people like you in London, let alone in the hospital”.

Here comes the Faith part. I have loved God from very early on in my life and learning and reading about the stories in the bible was the kind of quiet time I craved. I have complete faith in my “Father”. I wasn’t afforded much time with my physical Father, but my Father figure was firmly in place right from birth and I knew who to call out to when I was uncertain and needed guidance. My calls lately have gotten stronger and stronger and there is no doubt that I am being heard,

I walk every day holding Gods hand and openly talk to him throughout the day, not all day… but I find my moments to express gratitude or to just “check in”. I am also strongly rooted in my path of meditation and am deeply grateful for the teachings of my Guru, Paramahansa Yogananda. This is MY truth and THIS is a big part of why nothing has changed with this diagnosis. I remain grateful and ready to see what unfolds as each day comes. Where I am, is where you find me

25 October

Something that we wouldn’t be able to be without is family. Mine isn’t a large family and we are spread out all over the place, which makes things harder, but it’s the best darn family I could ever have wished for. They have been amazing.

Families aren’t always “rosebuds and daffodils”, as sometimes the dynamics of those individuals aren’t always in sync and the expectations can be hard to reach, but even those encounters can be beautiful as they allow you the opportunity to really test who you are within the circle of love that is your family. Sometimes the hardest encounters teach you the best lessons.

I think I have been quite a challenge for my family, with my choice in career and the fact that I am fiercely independent and quite self assured, but I think the fact that I have continued to stand in my power and not back away from my truth has slowly by surely made a difference. I appreciate their patience.

I had some conditions in sharing my news with my family. They were realistic I thought. No negativity and fear, as this is not how I do life. Keeping the circle as small as possible in order for me to not be so exhausted in having to share information on test results etc with a football team. And most importantly. This is a diagnosis, not a death sentence and I need support in my choices to manage this, not opinions and fearful projections that are not mine to carry. Not too much to ask for? These incredible people that I am lucky enough to call family have completely listened to what I needed and have shown absolute and unconditional love and support throughout.

So perhaps the lesson is that although families know one another intimately, they can’t be asked to guess what we need from them, unless we tell them and put a few boundaries down in a gentle way so we can exist happily and support each other. I speak from both sides in this message.

28 October

Fear, woohooo!!! A big subject and one of my favourites. Yogananda said, “Wherever your mind is, that is where you will spend your time”. So powerful! He also said, “When the consciousness is kept on God, you will have no fears; every obstacle will then be overcome by courage and faith”.

I have spent many years learning how to surrender. This little gypsy has been travelling from place to place and letting go of her old life and accepting and growing into a new space and I have to say. I love my life and wouldn’t change a thing.

I think there is an expectation when you’re told that you have cancer that there will be some kind of break down or traumatic reaction or feeling of hopelessness. The doctor and the nurse watched me very carefully and waited, but it didn’t come. I joked about this with a friend of mine and casually told her that I was fascinated with myself, not in an egotistical way, but more in a funny “haha” kind of way. Since that first consultation at the hospital, my appointments with the doctors are light and happy and there is an openness and support that I couldn’t have imagined possible. Of course it is all very professional and they say what is necessary, but they really get me.

I chose to go to each appointment and procedure alone as I really felt that I wanted to protect my space and not have to deal with someone else’s fearful reactions or heavy responses, although I know it would only be out of love and concern. I put my boundaries down with those who knew what I was dealing with and once they were firmly in place it allowed me to focus on carrying on with my life and the Summer Holiday tour. It was very important to me to just carry on as if nothing had changed and I really was given all that I needed by everyone, especially the cast, to be able to do that.

I remember when I was on the Sound of Music tour, I think we may have been in Johannesburg. One of the boys playing Kurt was feeling anxious just before we had to make our entrance onto the stage. I told him to look at me and repeat, “fear is afraid of me”. He did and we spoke it out together over and over again, “fear is afraid of me” and then we smiled at one another and walked on stage.

We need to make ourselves bigger than our fears and know that we have the power to overcome anything. “Fear is afraid of me” – P Yogananda

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