What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? The gift of life, family and friends. That’s what I’m thankful for every day – God’s grace allows me to open my eyes to another beautiful day.
I’m so thankful that God tapped me on the shoulder and woke me up to what’s real and precious in this world. I was walking around, complaining about the usual crap and not appreciating the sweetness of all the love in my life and how incredibly blessed I’ve been.
Not that I’d wish to have cancer, but it’s proved to be such an awakening for how I live today and the rest of my life. I’ve seen and continue to see the quote “tomorrow is not promised” and nodded yes and brushed it off as true but it never really resonated with me until I was diagnosed with Breast and Colon Cancer.
One of my favorite spiritual guides is author Don Miguel Ruiz, and his New York Times bestseller “The Four Agreements.” I’ve read and re-read this book and it always brings me clarity and a deeper understanding of how we interact with others and view ourselves.
On this Thanksgiving, I share “The Four Agreements” as a blueprint and roadmap for living our lives.
I’d recently read “The Four Agreements” before my cancer diagnosis and Agreement Number Three – “Don’t Make Assumptions” has been a life saver for me. Instead of freaking out upon hearing the news, I applied the principle, had faith and promised myself to live one day at a time.
So, Let’s Always Remember 💖
Feeling inspired by a message of Hope, Belief, and Love I put together this video filled with some of my favorite Believe quotes. Hopefully, it will move and empower you to have faith in yourself and your dreams.
Believing in yourself is where it all starts. Waking up in the morning feeling blessed and sure that something wonderful is going to happen. The mind is incredibly powerful and shapes the life we live and the world we understand.
From the beginning, I announced and claimed to the universe that in my fight against Colon and Breast Cancer I wouldn’t have any major side effects and that although this battle is a challenge, it is also an opportunity to learn about my true self, grow in my faith, and share my blessed journey.
This is what my heart believes, this is what my soul believes so this is what will be.
I was reading this wonderful, “Acts of Kindness” article on Upworthy, a website for viral content started in March 2012 by Eli Pariser, the former executive director of MoveOn, and Peter Koechley, the former managing editor of The Onion and thought what a great philosophy of life and being the season of Thanksgiving, a wonderful opportunity to give back.
Here are 10 super easy acts of kindness you can do to continue to spread the love and make the world a kinder place:
1. Thank someone who’s supported you in the past, like a teacher, friend, or mentor, by giving them a hand-written letter.
2. Spend a couple hours volunteering at a local nonprofit organization.
3. Donate goods to a local shelter.
4. Buy lemonade at a child’s lemonade stand.
5. Call a friend and tell them how much they mean to you.
6. Send kind words to someone getting a lot of hate on social media.
7. Send groceries to a friend who is busy and/or going through a difficult time.
8. Put a quarter in an expired parking meter to help a stranger avoid getting a ticket.
9. Send flowers anonymously to a receptionist or security guard.
10. Leave an encouraging note somewhere on a store shelf or in a popular library book.
We all have the power to change a life, to change the world with a simple act of kindness. Let’s uplift the world and ourselves by reaching out, lending a hand or sharing a smile.
The Beatles – “I Am The Walrus”
Before being diagnosed with Colon and Breast Cancer, I understood the devastation of this disease because I lost my mom to Colon Cancer.
A conversation with my husband a couple of days ago about top ten westerns somehow led to actress Elizabeth Montgomery. (Star of 1960’s TV show “Bewitched”) Now, I find myself reflecting that some of my favorite actresses (Gilda Radner and Madeline Kahn to name just 2) succumbed to cancer. The spotlight gave them the opportunity to create awareness and be real about their story.
I have a friend who lost his wife a couple of years ago tell me recently I inspire him. I felt so humbled by his statement, especially in light of his personal heartbreak.
I’m not a celebrity, but I do feel passionate about relating my cancer experiences through my writings because I want to use my journey as a way to give back and maybe inspire someone else reading my posts to have faith and believe in their own power to create a beautiful life.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
– Maya Angelou
This quote by the late, inspirational Maya Angelou touches me because I subscribe to this attitude of rising from whatever challenges come before us.
I believe my fight with cancer is an opportunity to find out who I am and what I can rise above.
The more I share my thoughts and feelings about this challenge, the more my heart is warmed and my spirit lifted by messages of encouragement and support. I’ve expressed to friends and family that God loves me so much he has given me this opportunity to evolve; go to the next level on my life journey.
Every day I feel more empowered and determined to come out on the other side of cancer with my hands in the air celebrating my victory!
What does Freedom mean to you?
To me, Freedom is a frame of mind. What I choose to believe. How I shape and share my journey and move through time and space.
Freedom to believe in the impossible since there is no impossible, only the unwillingness to try.
Freedom to leap. Freedom to fly. Freedom in the faith that if I do I won’t die.😅
Whatever Freedom is for you, pursue it, embrace it and live it!
While watching one of my favorite tv shows, “The Voice”, I was struck by the lyrics of a song I haven’t heard in years, Joan Osborne’s incredible 1995 hit “What If God Was One of Us?” I instinctively grabbed my laptop and began writing down the bleak thoughts that had started rushing through my head.
With all the conflict, and negative energy coursing through the world these days, the question of the song lyric – “What if God Was One of Us?” made me pause and ponder; in what spirit are we living our lives?
“What if God was one of us, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home?”
How we interact with or judge others has a ripple effect. Love and compassion shouldn’t be dirty words and we should be offended by and call out those who judge the world and view people through a crooked lens. As we go about our daily lives let’s be mindful and strive to live a life of hope, mercy and kindness.
What we say and do matters. You never know who’s listening and watching.
“My religion is simple. My religion is peace, love, compassion and equality.”
“Notes from Nora”
the ultimate question!
I’d like to believe that I’ve always been willing to go for it. Running towards the possibilities and not letting fear of the unknown be part of my thought process. My mom always instilled in me that I could do anything so being a student at the University of Michigan was another step forward and a fantastic opportunity for me to express myself. I took my dream of being a writer and turned it into a reality, majoring in Radio, TV, and Film and subsequently landing an incredible job as Creative Director for a local Rock/Country radio station.
Getting married! Come on now, that’s a leap of faith. 😍
Deciding to have a child and owning the birthing experience on my terms. Not in a hospital (too sterile and rigid for me) but, not at home with a midwife. I believed there was another option so started researching for something I didn’t even know existed. A “Birthing Center”, one of the first in the state of Michigan in the late 1970’s.
Starting an acting career at 40 yrs of age and performing in one of my favorite stage productions, West Side Story!
I sang, danced, was a Jet girlfriend and executed (for the first time ever) the most amazing gymnastic flips off my partner’s arm, his back and had the time of my life! Of course, my daughter had to bring my 40th birthday cake to the theater complete with 40 flaming candles. Loved it!
Today, fighting and surviving 2 cancers at once, it’s more important than ever to live up to a credo of living fearlessly! I do believe that attitude dictates the quality of your life and tomorrow is not promised so what the heck – trust yourself and go for it!
Note to self – never stop asking this ultimate and most important question:
What Would You Do if You Weren’t Afraid?