Truth is… I don’t have a bucket list. Since I was diagnosed, my focus has shifted away from external “doing” toward an increased awareness of my internal feelings and struggles. My younger years of Peace Corps volunteering and 3rd world adventuring must have filled my bucket list. My travel choices were off the beaten track, living and eating with locals, always finding meaningful contentment in a foreign reality. So many places felt like home to me, to this day I continue to believe “we are all the same person”. With cancer as my new teacher, keeping me unavoidably focused, I welcome the opportunity to refine this “person” we all share. My adversaries: anger, agitation, control and judgment remain with me, but are easier to recognize at a slower pace. This is the “suffering” Buddhists describe to be greater than that of old age, sickness or death. I agree. These harpy moods have been an unwelcome fly at life’s banquet; furies firmly nested in my family tree, passing pain between generations. Recently, I was told “you are too sensitive”, which tells me that I am moving in exactly the intended direction…feeling the world rather than defending against it. My intention is not to “harden up”, instead I choose to let everything in…to feel, accept, and integrate EVERYTHING as it IS. Words and articulation, my habitual safety zone, are slowly being released as I learn to listen and accept “as is” without challenge. Opinions and angry politics bolster my ego into rigid “be-righted-ness”, like clutching a rock rather than learning to sail and swim. My brave new adventure is to live life “soft”, sans gripes, complaints, opinions…to let it all flow through me as the natural flow of life. Time afforded me by my illness makes change easier , and the knowledge that I am dying makes it simpler not to react or clutch…why, who and what am I protecting? My mantra is “respect and kindness” for all, it is a better outcome for fellow humans and for me. I rehearse this mantra in the sleepless night and practice during waking hours. My goal…to suffer less, love and live more. I know a kinder, sweeter reality is possible because I have experienced it while on extended meditation retreat. With enough quiet space, brain chatter fades out and a sweet feeling of love and connectedness can open up. If there is a heaven on earth…this is it. Now finally, sitting in my waiting silence, there is no busyness or self-preservation holding me back, my goal is to open this door and stay. Join me?
I have a good life with wonderful friends and family. This blog is meant to keep me in touch with everyone.
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