I was diagnosed with cancer in November of 2010. I was thirty years old. I started traditional treatment immediately; chemo, surgery, radiation, pharmaceutical drugs, and it worked for a time. It took a couple of years, but my cancer went into remission. I went back to my life, only now it felt emptier than before. I still remember the day when I realized the voice in my head was saying, “What is the point? I should have died from cancer.”. I wasn’t quite suicidal, but I was close.
That scared me. I had struggled to stay alive and now I didn’t want my life. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t start changing my life immediately. Instead I started answering questions I had avoided in the past. I had to admit some hard truths to myself like:
Too much of my energy was spent defending myself to others.
Most of my relationships did not benefit me or fulfill my needs.
My job left me empty. It provided financial security, but at a very high cost.
I was no longer happy with the man I had married, and I hadn’t been for many years.
The people in my life did not support a healthy lifestyle.
My college degree was currently useless.
Most of my daily actions did not support my values.
I felt my life was being wasted.
I would struggle with these truths and others as I worked to build a life I wanted to live. I had no idea what I was doing or how I was going to do it. The only thing I knew was why. I needed to have a life I wanted to live. Often, I would feel like I was stumbling in the darkness, never sure what I was going to run into as I tried to find my golden.
Five years after being diagnosed with cancer I separated from my husband. The next year was filled with emotional stress and pain. Many of my coping mechanisms were unhealthy. I had never learned how to deal with strong emotions. I would bottle them up, ignore them, discount them, or hide them. My separation, and eventual divorce, was just the beginning of my fall to rock bottom. Actual rock bottom would come when my oncologist told me my cancer had returned and spread and wasn’t responding to my current choice of treatment.
It was time for massive change. I thought I already had changed, but it was only the beginning of my transformation. My world burned (for over a year), and I wondered if I would die in the flames. I didn’t. Instead I started to rise. Like the phoenix, I was being reborn. I discovered I had to be willing to let go of who I had been to become who I wanted to be. If I could look past all my fear I could see something beautiful forming, if only I’d let it.
The traditional path wasn’t an option. I had never fully recovered from my initial experience. While my cancer had disappeared for a time I had never regained the same strength or health I had before. I shuddered at the thought of what another round of their treatment would do to me. Instead I followed my heart, my intuition, my soul, whatever you want to call it, everyone has their own name for it. I had spent the previous five years creating a foundation of knowledge on health, wellness, and cancer research. It gave me the confidence to say, No – There is another path.
And I started walking it. There is too much information out there for it all to be quackery. Some of it is, but a lot of it isn’t. I started sorting through piles of information. I didn’t just focus on cancer. Cancer is a symptom, it happens when there has been a breakdown, a disruption in our body’s processes. My immune system had failed, and I needed to start with making it strong again.
I went through and looked at all the unhealthy habits I had in my life. It wasn’t any surprise that I was deathly ill. I was in a constant state of mild dehydration. I ate the standard American diet which is rich in meat, white flour, convenience foods and severely lacking in nutrient dense foods and plants. My body was filled with toxins. I had lost my ability to sweat. I constantly shorted myself on sleep. My body begged me to move, to use it. My energy had grown stagnant. In my mind nothing I did was ever enough. I would get lost in a maze of thoughts of hopelessness, desperation, and fear. I was living to please others, and even when I wasn’t, I was stressing over whether they would be upset with me. My body and my mind were in a constant state of stress.
There isn’t an instruction manual on how to find yourself or rebuild yourself. There are thousands of books, websites, and everyone is always willing to offer you their opinion (including me!), but in the end it’s up to us. I had to figure out how I was going to grow into the person I wanted to be. I had to figure out who I wanted to be. I had to figure out what worked for me.
I started to see how all my choices and actions had shaped my life up to this point and how my future choices would do the same. I saw the new world that was trying to emerge, and I could be a part of it. The something beautiful that I had caught a glimmer of was becoming clearer.
I went looking for the answer of how to heal my cancer and instead I discovered myself. In discovering myself I found my path to healing. I needed a way to share my discoveries, my thoughts, my ideas, and my outlook with people. I needed to share what I had learned. I decided to become a certified life coach. Life coaches help people grow in a way that leaves them fulfilled. You expand and grow in a way that you choose instead of as life occurs. Many of us aren’t taught how to do this. I wasn’t. I wanted to help people avoid what I had been through. I want to help them grow without experiencing everything I had.
Now I dedicate my life to helping others claim their power and create a life of wellness that they want to live. You don’t have to do it alone. I’m cheering you on even if we haven’t met. You can do this. You’d be surprised how many things fall into place once you create a reality that fulfills you. When you start living the life YOU want.
If we create fulfillment on an individual level, it will ripple out into the world. Be a ripple, find your golden.