Preface: In February of this year, a close friend of the family knew she was not long for this world, having suffered through the pain of ovarian cancer. She asked her sister Karen to post the words that had poured from her heart, a testament of sorts that could be passed on once she had been laid to rest…to follow are her thoughts, Part 3 and final.

“STRONGER: KNOWING
Falling down was painful
Getting up is hard
Yet there is no greater teacher

From experience comes knowing
Knowing I will be stronger in body, mind and spirit
Knowing that whatever comes I will prevail

I hold this as undisputed fact in my heart
Knowing that patience and belief
Will lead me to where I know I will be

I hold in my heart the belief that I can heal. That my body has the wisdom and the power to overcome the illness that invaded my body. I recall something I read from Marianne Williams asking why we would give our power to an illness and not our bodies. It makes sense to put our belief in our innate ability to heal and NOT the invader.

STRONGER: INTENTION
No longer will I drift through life
Allowing events to pull me along

I will set my intention each morning
To define who I will be each day

Remembering my purpose
Guides my actions and my life

Maybe it’s mostly the same…it is certain to change with the plans for the day. But I will not allow what happens randomly each day set the tone of each day.

STRONGER: LET JOY RISE
We practice presence and acceptance
So that we may find peace

We breathe and we flow
So that we may find calm

We consider aversion and attachment
So that we may release

We build connection and community
And we let joy rise

Yoga helped me regain flexibility and strength and also helped in the practice of staying present, detachment, and impermanence. There are so many lessons in Yoga…the studio that I joined placed an emphasis on the Yoga Sutras* which I had no idea existed. They also emphasize community, which makes it not just a studio but a sanctuary of supportive Yogis.
*https://chopra.com/articles/yoga-sutras-101-everything-you-need-to-know

STRONGER: MORE LESSONS: PURPOSE
What I was doing with my life was not my purpose
I knew deep down this was true

I talked myself into believing I was on the right path
Afraid of the consequences of change.

But now here I sit, ill again
For not listening to my heart

I had recovered from my illness, but it has decided to return again. I ask what are the lessons that I must learn this time? It is a bit more concerning this time, as it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I believe that I was not courageous enough to truly listen and follow my purpose. As I read through the prior pages I have written, I realize how much I have changed from the person that I was at the very beginning of this journey. I speak kindly to myself, [and] connect with the people in my life and the people that I run across in my life.”
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How did that leave you feeling? Is it sadness that, after all she went through, she succumbed to her illness anyway? Did you feel hopeless, like it’s all for nothing, why even bother?

Or, were you inspired, just as Kathy wanted and was hoping for? Perhaps you are thinking that NOW is the time to make the changes needed for you to fully enjoy your very special existence on this earth – before you are face-to-face with an unpleasant wake-up call!

What are you struggling with? If you are like Kathy, she felt that being
“…frozen in a shell
Protects me from finding the truth
From seeing my faults and limitations”
And also that she was
“Anxious that the next mistake
Will crack the fragile picture of my self-image”

And she had
“…fear of finding…a person who is not as magnificent as I dream to be”

We are so judgemental of self! We are already a magnificent miracle just by being alive and human. We are critical of much of how we look, what we have, what we are able to do…yet even what we consider to be flaws may be the very things that others like/love/find endearing about us (e.g. a “stupid” laugh, a crooked tooth, always honestly speaking one’s mind, etc.)

Everything comes down to not feeling worthy, not being enough…and not just “feeling” that way, but “knowing.” Really? To know is to have “clear and certain perception, as of fact or truth.” How does one come to “know” something?

In a blog written by Dawn Cady, she describes the transition from hope to belief to knowing. Hope is akin to a seed that is planted; belief is watering the seed, tending to the soil, and finally seeing a tiny little bit of greenery poking up through the ground; because you have been diligent and now see the fruits of your labour, that is, you can see something tangible to hang onto, you can more easily progress to knowing, to absolute certainty, and so can move on.

Because of “knowing” failure to be imminent and guaranteed, Kathy could not allow herself to feel joy. She believed she had to protect herself, keep her guard up. Giving in to joy and a sense of accomplishment would only lead to disappointment; however, joy is the very thing to embrace in order to weather through the storm of failure – or to avoid it completely. As a reminder from Part 2 “What you feel, you attract; positive vibration is the key.” https://chopra.com/articles/a-complete-guide-to-raise-your-vibration
Pursue joy, live in joy, feel it in every cell – as it occurs naturally or when doing things that you already know make you feel good. (Avoid the temptation to concentrate on those things you only think will bring this feeling to you, oft-times that’s not the case.)

So, how did Kathy come to “know” that “failure hangs over me”? She spoke of CHATTER. Yes, that incessant negative self-talk, the “nutter.” How wonderful! We can know, we can be certain, that we have the skill to convince ourselves of how unworthy we are!

Am I daft? Not about this. If you can convince yourself you’re a piece of rubbish (which is not true), you can convince yourself you are a beautiful human being (the truth). It’s the same mechanism.

Hey, but what if I’m really not worthy, not enough? Okay, why would you want to feel that way?
* it makes me humble (nope, humility is not thinking you’re better than others; we are all special, unique, worthy)
* I won’t ever be disappointed (wow, expectations of things/others outside of ourselves can bring that on)
* I can’t help it, it’s my nature (have you heard of nurture – very powerful)
* it will keep me safe (sure – why take risks, plus, it’s better to enjoy immunity from being responsible, if you can’t be relied upon to step up, you can stay comfortable hiding out)
That might have been harsh, but hopefully it hit home on some level. You have the power to be whoever you want to be, you need only to CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS. Again, this is simple. Not easy. It requires consistency, being present, being compassionate (as Kathy discovered). It helps to have (1) a Daily Grounding Routine (there are many suggestions out there, give it some thought, experiment…it is usually advantageous to include meditation & movement in some form) and (2) Support.

We are here to offer support, we invite you to join our Facebook community:
https://www.facebook.com/dawncady.mindsetcoach/

If you need more, if you are suffering from chronic pain (physical, mental, emotional), please click on the following link:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/freedomfrompaincommunity/

*EPILOG
“FINDING GRACE
Merriam-Webster definition of grace: Unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.
A personal definition of Grace: Being present, connected, finding joy in the present, being grateful. This is my story about finding grace.        – Kathy Escudero”