What does “joy” feel like in your body? For me, it is a “bubble in the chest” type of sensation, accompanied by a zinging effervescence running from pelvis to rib cage. This physical sensation is often accompanied by a feeling of limitless possibility and, for me, it is usually brought on by the prospect of writing. Especially for an audience. (I’ve missed you!)
When I write I experience what psychologists have come to call “flow,” a complete immersion and loss of time. Often, when I am writing, I suddenly come to my senses with the realization that I am hungry, cold, or surrounded by chaos, but blissfully unaware.
I have a secret to tell you… I have written 23 unpublished blog posts in the past year.
During my cancer experience I felt supported and embraced through my blog. Having cancer gave me courage and changed my perspective. Weird, right?! But when I was struggling through cancer treatments and wondering how my life would ever get back to some semblance of “normal,” I didn’t care about all the trivial things that normally hold one back from doing something different.
Publishing a blog before cancer was a definite no-no for me. Who did I think I was, after all? But when I had cancer, I didn’t worry about what people may think of me. My health status opened some strange portal into a world of just doing what I wanted. I had never experienced that before. My own needs came ahead of what others would think – wow! It was honestly liberating. Which is one of the silver linings of the terrible dark-cloud experience that was stage 3 colorectal cancer.
Emerging from the cancer experience and realizing that I had my normal human status back was strange. How could I continue to write a blog now? What did I have to say that anyone would want to hear? Had I exploited my terrible unfortunate illness in some twisted way? I have to confess, I became mired in self-doubt and even regret at ever having published a blog at all.
I convinced myself that I did not need to write anymore, and even told myself a story about how my writing dreams were stealing my mental energy. I needed to give up these dreams and focus on building my health back up, returning to my education job, and getting my private practice up and running. (I may have had too much on my plate, especially considering we were navigating a pandemic at the same time.)
It is funny how we tell ourselves lies and try to believe them. We can even convince ourselves for a while, but our bodies will tell us the truth if we will let them. More on that at a later date!
Some very kind readers have reached out to me over the past year or so and asked if I was going to return to blogging. At first I thought I would, and then I thought I never would…. But now, at the behest of my joyful chest bubble, I am making the choice to do it for today.
When my critical voice asks “Who do you think you are?” while I’m walking down High Street admiring the reflection of my favourite boots in a shopfront window, I will beware the dark mood it totes along behind it. I will confront that judgemental thought and tell it I’m done crushing my own dreams.
New learning for today: We don’t have to have cancer (or live in an alternate universe) to face our fears and embrace our desires.
Book therapy: Finding your own North Star by Martha Beck. What a great gift from my thoughtful friend, Krista, a.k.a. Mabel 😉
So grateful for: “Yoga with Adrienne.” Every year I do (parts of, on my own time) the free 30-day yoga challenge she provides on Youtube. She is definitely a mentor and muse for me. This year’s theme is Movement and I completed Day One while my handsome husband was brewing our coffee this morning. What a great way to start the day!! If you are looking for a mood lift or shift, some mind/body connection, or just want to relieve the soreness of a bad back, I totally recommend Yoga with Adrienne!