A New Normal

I keep waiting for my body to feel ‘normal’ again.  I think, because I’m a hopeful person, I keep hoping that my body will go back to feeling how it did pre-cancer, pre-surgeries.

I’m just about done waiting….

Around 11 months ago my brilliant surgeons went in and removed all of my breast tissue, replacing the undesirable tissue with temporary implants, and eventually permanent implants.

Yes, that’s 11 months for me to get used to a new body, a new normal.  Yet I still wait.

I still can’t hold several yoga postures.  Or, if I manage to get into the posture, I find it difficult to get out of it.  I still have difficulty closing the hatch on my car (and that’s using two arms, my old way of doing it with one arm is definitely out of the question).

So I took up tai chi, thinking I’ll continue to build my strength doing my regular workouts, and eventually I’ll go back to yoga.  I haven’t given myself the option that some yoga postures are un-doable for me, they’re just something I can’t do now.  As for the hatch on my car, well, that’s when my boys come in very handy.

But there’s lifting luggage to contend with, there’s watermelon to put in the shopping cart, then the car, then in the house.  There’s any number of things that serve as reminders:  my body is different.  It’s not the same.  

Rationally, I know that as I grow older these things would have become difficult for me.  But it would’ve been a gradual process.  A process occurring so slowly that perhaps I would’ve developed methods to compensate on a physical, as well as emotional level.

But that’s not What Was.  Not What Is.

So I remind myself, as I’ve shared with you on numerous occasions, to focus on What Is.

What Is?

  • I am cancer free.
  • I am healthy.
  • I am stronger emotionally because of the experience.
  • I have grown spiritually.
  • I don’t have the upper body strength that I used to.
  • I am slowly becoming okay with asking for help, which can feel vulnerable.
  • I have dead patches where the nerves haven’t yet regenerated.  I let go of the idea that in order to feel normal again, they must regenerate and produce feeling.  If they do, fine.  If they don’t, fine.

I am inching closer to embracing a new normal.

And I will be truthful with myself:
I will no longer avoid yoga, just because my body can’t do what it used to.

I will recognize my ego when it shows up, acknowledge it, and refocus on What Is.

I will be okay with my best.

Where in your life are you waiting for your new normal?  After ending your marriage, are you waiting for your new normal to appear?  After moving to a new city, or starting a new job, or losing a big client, or ending a friendship — where?  Where are you waiting for your new normal?

Your new normal is here.  It is upon you.  As mine is upon me.  Embrace What Is.  It’s here to help us grow, to teach us something, to serve its purpose.  What Is is our Truth.

And I Trust it.

If you live your life with the understanding of What Is, there is no waiting. 

What’s the New Happy Hour?

 

The words beside her legs say: free your mind from negative thoughts

I ran across this greeting card the other day and thought how accurately it illustrates where I am at this stage in my life.

How about you?  I’d love to hear what your Happy Hour is.  (Even if it’s a TRUE Happy Hour!)  Leave a comment and let me know.  :-)

Goofy-Juice or Confidence?

No parent looks forward to their child going into surgery.  True, the surgery may be necessary and you may feel in your heart that it’s the right thing to do for your child, but the pure act of going into surgery is a bit unnerving.

Each time my son has been wheeled away on the hospital bed, I’ve stood and watched his head grow smaller and smaller as he leaves my side, being carted down the hallway, until finally they turn a corner, out of sight.  Last week was no different.

It begins the same every time.  Doctor’s appointments, followed by more appointments, more assessing, until finally I hear these words, “Mr. and Mrs. Green, at this point, surgery is the best option for your son.”  Then comes the pre-op appointment, followed by the call from the anesthesiologist the night before surgery to review his medical history and details regarding any adverse reaction he’s had to general anesthesia.

This time we had a slight variation.

The anesthesiologist said that based on my son’s age, he could now make some decisions.

Really?  What sorts of decisions?

She asked me to discuss two things with him ahead of time:

1)  Would he prefer the IV started while he’s awake or after he is put to sleep with the mask?  (Mask — no brainer.  I know my kid.  I asked anyway.)

2)  Would he like some ‘goofy-juice’ before he goes into surgery to ease any anxiety he may be feeling?

(Goofy-juice is this nasty looking liquid they offer him after he has his gown on, but before they wheel him away.  It’s supposed to calm his nerves.)

Hmm….  This one was not a no brainer.  See, I’ve observed my son over the years and I’ve noticed that with each surgery his level of anxiety beforehand has increased.  To my surprise, before his last surgery, he had opted for the goofy-juice for the first time.  Maybe he’d want it again.

So I asked.

And he silently thought.

After about a minute, he looked up at me and said:

“I don’t know, Mom.  Have them ask me tomorrow morning when we get there.  I’ll decide then if I’ll go with goofy-juice or confidence.”

Well, okay then.

As he ran off to take one final dip in the pool, (before it became off limits), I thought, Wow.  Goofy-Juice or Confidence.  I had asked him a question:  Do you want the stuff or not, never mentioning the word confidence, never alluding to there being additional options to consider; it was a simple Yes/No question in my mind.  Yet he automatically created two buckets.  He had, in essence, acknowledged the option of ‘No Goofy-Juice’ by assigning it the label: Confidence.  (Pretty cool.)

So, I have to ask you, TLT readers, when it comes to goofy-juice:

What Is Your Goofy-Juice?

When you’re faced with a stressful situation, or you feel your anxiety begin to rise, what method/thing do you use to take the edge off?  It can be anything that helps to relax your mind, your body, your-Self.

After some self reflection on this question, I asked a few people what their goofy-juice is.  Here are some of the responses I received:

  • wine
  • watching TV
  • shopping
  • eating
  • sex
  • yoga
  • reading a book
  • meditating
  • calling a friend on the phone
  • watching a comedy
  • taking a shower
  • going for a run/working out
  • walking the dog

That’s quite a list.  And I only asked a few people.

Look over the list again.  Try not to slot anything into a ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ column.

(Because as a TLT reader, you already know it’s not about good or bad; Life has everything to do with Balance.)

As long as that balance exists, couldn’t each and every one of the items on the list serve you well (provided you’re not running with a broken ankle or something like that)?

It’s when we drink the entire bottle of wine, then the second….  It’s when we turn the TV on and stare at it for hours, while mindlessly grazing on a bag of Ruffles (oh yes, we definitely mix and match from our list)….

It’s when we do anything to the extent that we numb ourselves.

And it’s also when we don’t see things like Confidence as an option.  We ignore such things as Confidence and Courage all together.

Maybe because Confidence and Courage aren’t things we do, they’re characteristics we possess.

Does that mean we can’t add them to our list?  Of course not!

Here’s an assignment:

Create your own list.  Use the one above as a springboard.  Add, subtract, making sure to include traits you possess, as well as things you do.

Now, with list in hand, become aware of what your goofy-juice of choice is.

Then ask yourself:  Does it serve me well?

If you respond: Yes.

  • Then: Great!  Keep it up, Brother!  Keep it up, Sister!!

If you respond: Well, it kinda serves me well.

  • Then: Ask yourself, “What can I switch around?”
  • Maybe add more opportunities to laugh in your life.
  • Maybe take away talking to friend after friend about what’s bothering you.  Focus on one friend.  Someone who’s a straight shooter and speaks your language.
  • Tweak away!

If you respond: No.

  • Then: Know that your goofy-juice of choice is probably lacking any juice at all, it may be all poison.
  • But don’t worry —  Now you’re aware of it. 
  • And once you’re aware, you can do something about it!  That’s gotta feel good, knowing you can do something about it.

At this point, your list becomes a very inviting menu you can choose from.  And because you’ve done this exercise, you’ll know what to order as soon as you feel any anxiety begin to present itself.

And because I know you’ll wonder if I don’t mention it, I’ll go ahead and tell you that my son chose confidence over the goofy-juice.  But I hope he only chose it if that’s what he personally needed that day, at that time in his life.

 

Know yourself.  Know your needs.  And love yourself enough to make the right choices for you.

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Love, Leslie

 

Healing Team and Prayer

I apologize for the length….  I started out talking about my Healing Team and it took a natural turn into prayer.  Stick with it.  Future video blogs will be shorter I promise.  :-)