When the "Teacher" gets Cancer

When I first designed my website I created a blog and I even made a few entries (which you can find below). Within a few months I hid the link. Blogging did not come naturally to me and now I know why. Up until now I was not able to write freely. I didn't realize it at the time, but I wrote with a filter of "how do I want to present myself to people?" versus "what is true for me?"

Well that was then and this is now. On November 8, 2017 my world changed pretty dramatically when I was diagnosed with multi-focal early stage breast cancer. After extensive research and even more extensive soul searching, I have opted to have a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (my surgery will take place at the end of January, 2018).

When I first heard the words “you have cancer” I was overwhelmed by the shame I felt. Sadly, I have since learned that shame is one of the most common emotions experienced by cancer patients - we often feel ashamed for having a disease that we think we should have been able to prevent. Of course this is ridiculous, but it is real nonetheless.

As a teacher of a modality that is intended to improve health and vibrancy, I especially struggled with the fact that I got cancer. I honestly felt like a failure and I even began to doubt the power of qigong as well as my abilities/worthiness as a teacher. Fortunately, I had the insight, courage and will to sit with these emotions and to recognize the conditioned patterns that were behind them. It was not easy (and it still isn’t), but I can honestly say that I no longer feel any shame or failure - in fact I feel quite the opposite!  As I let go of the illusion of control that I have been clinging to for years, I find myself giggling and smiling at the sensation of freedom that has overcome me. It is as if I am finally free to fully step into my authentic self, and to do so unconditionally!

Qigong and meditation have played a key role in my journey towards peace with my cancer and my surgical treatment. I am grateful to have such a deep practice, and above all, I am grateful for the freedom I have found the grip of control, regret and shame.

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 3.24.57 PM.png