Monday, July 25, 2016

What I Learned From the Cancer Diagnosis

What I Learned From the Cancer Diagnosis 

A diagnosis of cancer.
On Thursday, I found out that an old friend has been diagnosed with cancer.  No one, yet, knows what type of cancer she has, but, with an MRI scan, the cancer has been located in her lung, kidney, and femur.  Tuesday, we will all know what type of cancer it is.

I was taken aback by the news. Somewhat dumbfounded, confused, and dazed.  I heard the news only by accidentally bumping into her brother, my ex, at the grocery store down the road. This news was very new, though, and I think everyone was just trying to deal with what just happened.  I immediately told two of my children since she is their auntie.

So, as you can imagine, my mind is not as present as it was prior to Thursday.  I am still getting things done, but in the not so far distance of my thoughts, I think about her. I think about a life that may be cut short because of a growth that is now housing her body.

My son and I went to visit her on Sunday.  It was a very pleasant visit. I got to see one of her brothers and his wife that I haven't seen in years. It was nice to see old familiar faces and talk like time in-between our last visit was only yesterday. They left and the three of us were there to chat, but, really, it was mostly to listen.

As I sat there listening to her and how she plans on approaching the tumors, refusing to do any chemotherapy, I started to think about why I waited so long to visit.  I see her about once a year, but, really, once a year!  How could that be good enough?

The importance of staying connected with the ones you love.
I preach to my children that life is 'always' busy, and you have to make time for the people you love and care about. They do and I do, for each other.  That's what makes our bond with each other strong.  We see each other weekly chatting on current events and work, talking about the deep issues of life and our goals, recipes and the food we eat, and laughing about everything. Just recently, I had seen the three of them on Saturday morning. Since they all live together, I was able to do a respiratory and cardiovascular assessment on two and them.  I was glad they volunteered their time to do this for me so that I could practice my nursing skills. As a mom would do and an up-and-becoming registered nurse, I started giving my advice regarding health and blood pressure. They listened intently to my advice since mom is not rambling from some random self-help book anymore but from hard scientific facts.

Why do we wait so long to see the one's we love, or why do we wait so long to see certain people that we love?
The excuses we use to not see a loved one is not only about life's 'busyness.'  We have thoughts that ruminate every once in a while which dictate why or why not we visit loved ones. There are definitely good reasons. Some family members, in my circle, were abusive in the past and still are today, so I chose to leave them. Some, that are not abusive, I have kept in touch with.

Does your ex play a role in visiting the ones you love?
Ex's play a different role, though, and this old friend that was recently diagnosed with cancer is a sister of my ex. I always found myself questioning the relationship between me and her and the rest of the family when I moved on with my life. It wasn't a smooth and easy end. She and I always had a close bond, though. I remember when she arrived at Lion's Gate hospital when Fabio (my youngest son) was only 9 weeks old after a respiratory arrest. She seemed to be the only one that cared for the children I had with her brother, at the time. She was the one that was never judgmental and that meant a lot to me. She was always sincere and humble.

Not seeing the love that was always there in front on me.
When I went to visit her on Sunday, I picked up on her heart-felt care and concern for me by what she keeps around her home.  23 years ago, I was into making topiary trees and wreaths, and sewing kids costumes, aprons, and oven mitts, as well as ornamental pillows. I made her a pink heart-shaped wreath arranged with moss, ribbons and flowers. This wreath, that is falling apart, still hangs on a hook on the outside of her door welcoming visitors. I asked her if I could make her another wreath. She refused. I then asked her if she wanted me to fix the wreath I made for her, and she said yes.

By removing the wreath, she removes the memories, and she doesn't want to remove the old memories that are so precious to her. She doesn't see the unsightliness of the dilapidated wreath. She only sees the memories of connected-ness, love, happiness, and the children. Sometimes I wonder, can I also see beyond the unsightliness of things in my life as she does? How beautiful is that.  She also keeps a two and a half foot tall metal Eiffel tower that encases a candle the children and I bought her many years ago within her beautiful display just outside her front door.

What I learned from the cancer diagnosis.
My excuses are many. What does she think of me? Maybe she doesn't care? She doesn't have the time? She doesn't want to see me? I don't want to hear her say no and feel rejected. Maybe she's been influenced by the family. With these ruminating questions and statements, I am allowing time to pass as though life will never end. What I finally realized on Sunday was that she really did and does care about me, and not only about her nephews. That she always wanted me in her life, and even with my absence, I was a part of her life. It's my turn to step it up a notch now: to be there for her, to support her and her journey, to phone her, and to visit her.

Time is precious. Who knows how much time we each have on this planet. Spend it wisely with others--the one's you love.

Wake Up to Live

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pray For Nice France


In the wake of what happened in Nice, France, as well as every other terrorist attack that has happened in the country, I cannot proclaim how to respond or react to the individuals, let alone the country, who are grieving such a great loss, but because I don't know how to respond to such mass sorrow doesn't mean that I shouldn't say anything. Life cannot move on as business as usual when something as horrific as this has happens.

I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what this feels like. Living in the Canadian West thus far we are fairly isolated from these attacks so I cannot profess to say how devastating it would feel. I could only imagine, and I can empathize with you.

There is a somber feeling in the air and in my heart. It's a feeling that doesn't seem to shake as quickly anymore with so many attacks. It's becoming even more difficult to understand the world. Why people commit such atrocities in such great numbers. Innocent lives have been taken away from us, and it breaks our hearts to see this.

You are our brothers and sisters. We stand with you and we mourn with you. You are not alone in this. These attacks are beginning to be too frequent and too many lives are lost. We must all stand in solidarity.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This Is What Life Coaching Can Do For You

What is Coaching

On the most basic level, as most coaches would describe it, coaching is a form of personal development and growth in which a coach supports a client or a group of clients to achieve a specific professional or personal goal.  You can probably find this definition in most, if not all, coaching books.  But how does the coach really support an individual?

The majority of us believe that we are good at motivating and disciplining ourselves to achieving our goals, but, in actual fact, unless you are one of those rare personality types, many of us need some support at some point in our lives and in some area in our lives to give us a kick-start and hold us accountable to attaining our goals. Goals can be in the fields of health such as nutrition and fitness, finance, career, relationships, or academic, for example. Besides, there are many unconscious beliefs, values, and principles that you may be following, or basing your choices from, and you may not even be aware of them. This is what a coach does. . . holds you accountable, motivates you, inspires you, challenges you to be your best, and creates awareness (besides many other things).

People Not Really Seen As Coaches

When you were a teen or a young adult, who usually held you accountable? Hopefully your parents. If you are an academic student, who holds you accountable with your studies?  Your teacher most likely, but also your parents if they understand the value of education. Or, maybe you have a mentor that gives you support and encouragement. I know my weaknesses, and there are certain things in my life that I need someone to hold me accountable to get things done.  The old weight loss issue! A day goes into weeks and then into months. Next thing you know, a year or two pass and you wonder what actually happened to losing that 10 or 15 pounds or being diligent in attending the gym or some exercise regime at least 3 to 4 times per week.  I know I can be the best procrastinator when it comes to this! And, because I know that I am terrible in disciplining myself with this, I hire a life coach.

Various Types of Coaches

Your coach doesn't have to be someone who presents themselves as a "coach" on their business card or website. A few years back, I went to Jenny Craig for some support.  I loved their program.  Each week I would go into the local office and talk with an adviser/coach about my achievements, challenges, and goals. She kept me motivated and accountable.  Of course, I slipped up on occasion, but that's not a big. I just got back on the saddle and started again with her support.

You WILL Have Failures

What happens when you don't hire a coach?  I'll share my experience. Because I can be an excellent procrastinator in not getting to the gym, over time, I notice I begin to lose my self-esteem.  Over time, and after many failures of not getting something done, I start to see myself as a failure, and then I start the negative self-talk.

How A Coach Supports

A life coach helps you realize that you are not a failure. A coach shows you and reminds you of your successes and to appreciate them.  Thankfully, a coach sees so much more in you than many of us see in ourselves.  Sometimes, what holds us back is that if we do slip up, we think we are hopeless. That's not the case at all.  Failure is part of success. You cannot have one without the other; that's being human.

Consider Hiring A Coach In Your Life

Don't put your life off to tomorrow; it always comes back to bite you.  I, myself, had an organizational coach, spiritual coach, writing coach, business coach, success coach, weight-loss coach, as well as many others during the times I needed them. They work; that's why I hire coaches. Personally, I do not look for accreditation because I find many of these coaches are becoming too rigid in there ways. Just because coaches are accredited does not mean they are good coaches. There are many valuable coaches that are not accredited! I have some deep feelings regarding this issue from what I have experienced with accredited coaches. However, since I am a member of International Coach Federation, I definitely adhere to the ICF code of ethics and core competencies.  I, myself, look for coaches that have coach training in the fields I prefer and not accreditation. All of my previous coaches were specially trained, one with the Tony Robbins group, and not accredited. I also look for coaches with coach training from various schools that have a 'broad' perspective and are not narrow minded in their fields.


Nonetheless, it is your responsibility, as the reader of this blog, to fully research the coach you desire. I take no responsibility in your results for who you hire. All blog posting are for entertainment purposes only. I do not offer any medical, legal, or professional advice.


Putting Off to Tomorrow

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How Hard Do You Bash Yourself With Negative Self-Talk

How Are You Speaking to Yourself?
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Today just seemed like a tough day all-around.  It's not that the day itself was difficult in meeting challenging people or having a jam-packed agenda. What made is so rough was realizing how hard I can be on myself--my negative self-talk.  How my expectations of myself can be through the roof, but they only leave me, at times, especially when I don't reach them, down in the dumps.  I have time-and-again told my closest friends that I don't need anyone bashing me down; I do a great job myself.

My instincts said to do one thing on the computer, but I over-ruled my intuition, only to find myself in a predicament--in a situation I didn't want.  I was down and frustrated without really knowing why, at first, until I did some reflecting. Then I realized I was angry at myself because  I knew it was my fault in the choice I made. I overruled my gut which already knew what was right in that moment. And, because I didn't listen to the voice within, I quickly started the negative self-talk.

Over the years, I have figured out which feeling are my intuition talking with me--the ones I should listen to- and which ones are just my thoughts rambling in my head and distracting me. Yet, I have the ability  to over-rule my intuition too quickly.  It's frustrating to say the least.

I'm being really honest here. I can be so hard on myself that when I actually begin to listen to myself, I am floored to how rude and nasty I am to myself. I would NEVER treat another person as I do myself when I get to this point.  Once I finish bashing myself with negative self-talk, you can only imaging where my self-esteem goes?

So, right now, I am saying to the committee that meets inside my head to sit down and shut up. I must be forceful and determined to stop it. I cannot expect myself to be perfect, and, really, that is where the problem lies when I make a mistake.

Be Good to Yourself.