A common denominator for us all? – Emotions. I’ve learned over time to respect all my feelings. We have them for a reason and it’s okay to not have a perpetual smile on your face. It’s all about degrees. Without sadness, we wouldn’t appreciate the joy in our lives. I saw the Pixar movie “Inside Out” and loved it! It’s not just for kids, adults as well can learn a lot about how emotions affect us.
My heart went out to Sadness. For her, situations always seemed to go wrong. I’ve always felt that we’re conditioned to believe the only acceptable feeling is joy and the others, anger, fear, and disgust are to be avoided. Even in the movie, Sadness tends to get a bad rap, but we need her. Plus, she’s so darn adorable!
I always try to remember that it’s okay to be sad sometimes. Just don’t forget to get back up again and celebrate joy!
Connecting with a like-minded soul is a reaffirming experience. An immediate recognition of similar heartstrings and shared views of life. My husband and I relocated numerous times during his career so I was always the new kid on the block and the fact is it takes time to bond and to establish new friendships.
But, it wasn’t until we moved to Chicago and I ventured into the theater world did I realize how to make those connections while also feeding my creative soul and spirit.
When I walked into the audition space, there was an air of familiarity and excitement. As we talked and laughed about goofy things I thought I was the only one who got, a big happy grin appeared on my face. “I think I’ve found my home!”; others who appreciated a sense of expression and openness I was totally tuned into.
My cancer journey has been such a similar revelation on so many levels. It’s been an awakening, a greater appreciation of my blessings, and a new opportunity to connected with beautiful, like-minded souls. I’ve often remarked how God sent me to Charlotte to connect me with all the incredible angels I needed to see me through and help me grow as I kept my faith and determination to live one moment at a time.
From day one, the joking, laughing, and enjoying music in chemotherapy to my positive and best in their fields physicians who cared for me, the karma and the sense of kinship was very real. And once again, I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.
And beautifully, it’s happened once again; connecting with new like-spirits. My new soulmates at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and I share the same passion, drive, and commitment to ending the horror of cancer while also finding time to share a laugh and embrace a positive attitude and life of living one moment at a time.
I saw this poster the other day and loved its concept and message of recognizing a blessing a day. We can tend to forget the good things in our lives with the news serving up what seems like an endless stream of bad after horrible after worse stories on a loop. But within the madness let’s not forget to stop and “smell the roses.”
Time as we mark it is merely minute by minute. The past is over the future is yet to be but right now, this moment is the only thing that’s real.
I love this idea of The Happiness Jar because we get to pause and say thank you, Lord, for this wonderful gift of life. And, at the end of the year remind ourselves that things aren’t really that bad after all.
What a fabulous way to start my day! Upon checking my Facebook page this morning I was struck by this saved memory, “What a Difference a Year Makes” thank you post to friends and family for all their love and support on the one year anniversaryof my cancer diagnosis in 2015.
Emotions hit me and I started to cry as the never ending blessings of God washed over me.
August 29, 2016:
“What a difference a year makes! All your love, support, and prayers continue to mean so much. Every day I give praise for having made it to the other side of my cancer journey by the grace and favor of God. Love you all.” 💞💞
August 29, 2015:
“I am so blessed to have such an incredible circle of love and support. My life’s journey has taken another path and although I don’t know what’s on the other side, my faith and determination will see me through. I cherish and love you all.”
And, here I am today, giving more testimony on God’s amazing love and how he has continued to favor me with unexpected joys and walks with me every step of the way.
August 29, 2017:
Experiencing cancer has been a tremendous blessing in my life. As I celebrate 2 years cancer free, I also celebrate being named an Advocate for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. God has blessed me to be able to use my voice to speak for those without and fight for cancer research funding and eventually an end to a most heinous disease that has taken so much from so many.
A dear friend reached out to ask that today be deemed “Gratitude Tuesday” and I’m totally on board that train! The more we share and livea life of gratitude, the more blessed our lives become.
I believe we have to wake up each morning and create the day we want it to be. Learn to believe that we have the power to take the miracles of God and breathe them into life. Our attitude of gratitude and faith afford us the opportunity to share our life as a miracle and be a living testimony to the grace and favor of the Lord.
A mantra that I embrace is that attitude is everything. Living a conscious life with intention and purpose. We reap what we believe. We all have the ability to create the world we wish to live in. What you visualize, you internalize and what you internalize dictates what you realize.
“You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you.”
I am so honored to have been named an Ambassador for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and representing Charlotte, North Carolina this September in Washington, D.C. for the Lobby Days Summit and Lights of Hope Ceremony. As an Ambassador I will be shining a light on the need for access to quality health care for all and Congress’ responsibility to do everything they can and more in the fight against cancer.
On September 12th, more than 24,000 Lights of HOPEluminaries will line the steps in front of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. For some, this ceremony is a celebration of survivorship. But, for far too many, it’s a remembrance of someone who was lost to this dreaded disease.
Each Light of HOPE luminary costs just $10 and will be personalized with the name of the person you’re honoring and placed in front of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool as part of this beautifully moving ceremony.
When diagnosed with both colon and breast cancer in 2015, my world was turned upside down as I fought to survive the beast that cancer can be. I am a fighter and a survivor and knew that if I made it through I would volunteer and dedicate my efforts towards finding a cure for cancer and being a voice for fellow cancer patients.
I give testimony to the fact that you never know when cancer may strike. Just recently, my heart was broken when I lost my dear, sweet Nurse Navigator, Pat McKinney, whose love and spirit helped ease the anxiety my husband and I felt when I was first diagnosed. She set appointments, answered our questions and eased my journey with her calm and gentle voice. Not only did I lose this beautiful angel, but I lost her to cancer.
When we first met she was on her way to the Lobby Days Summit and Lights of Hope Ceremony in Washington, D.C. She imparted to me her belief that I would be there one day fighting for a cure with all the passion in my heart. I will be lighting a special candle for my dear angel and friend. Her spirit will be there along with my mom whom I know watches over me.
Pat McKinney, Me
The Lights of Hope event is a beautifully moving ceremony with the glow of lights from thousands of luminarias lining the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in dedication to the survivors and in remembrance of those we’ve lost to the nightmare of cancer.
Please join me in this fight against cancer while celebrating the lives of survivors, friends, and loved ones.
Click this link to donate to the American Cancer Society and purchase your luminary for this very special and moving event.
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 a wonderful opportunity to give back.
Here are 5 acts of kindness you can do to spread the love and make the world a kinder place: