Cancer through the lens of Personal Sovereignty
When I chose Personal Sovereignty as the first of my five fifteens experiment I had no idea how impactfull it would be.
Cancer has played a really big role in my life the past two years. My partner Blake was diagnosed and successfully treated for two leukemia’s, my brother-in-law passed from liver cancer just a few months ago, one friend is current battling breast cancer, another casually mentioned to me today that she is a recent survivor of thyroid cancer and tomorrow I am getting a breast biopsy for a suspicious finding in my mammogram.
As I think about Personal Sovereignty and what it really means for me, cancer comes front and center.
Blake and I talk about his being a survivor of leukemia and to him Personal Sovereignty means NOT identifying everything he is with cancer. Yes, he is a survivor, but foremost he is Blake. Surviving certainly has immense meaning for him but is not THE meaning of his life. Instead, just being Blake, as he was before cancer, is how he chooses to move forward.
People want him to scream, “I survived leukemia” from the mountain tops, he chooses not to.
People don’t understand that choice.
I do. Now, more than ever.
It is the eve of my breast biopsy and I am very contemplative about response, reaction and choice, all of which are really what Personal Sovereignty is about.
I am a storyteller and offer my life wide open and raw to anyone listening, so many know what I am doing tomorrow morning and they are either reacting or responding. Those who are reacting are worrisome and heavy. Those who are responding are concerned, but positive. They embrace who I am and do positive thing like enlisting a Buddhist monk to say a prayer for me or send me a gratitude poem (thank you Rob) and fun things like create new meanings for biopsy, big idea on people staying young (thank you Garnet).
I am oddly energized, centered and am in that “being present with what is” space. Just 4 years ago I had a call back for an ultrasound and reacted very emotionally and negatively to the experience, the difference, a richer, truer self awareness and amazing learning which came from CoachVille. I see things differently, but more importantly I respond to things differently.
It would be very easy to get caught up in the reactive negative energy. I know people have best intention at heart, but they already attaching negative feeling and story to my experience tomorrow.
There are great odds in my favor, as 90% of these biopsy are negative, but many dwell in the possibility of that 10%. I am not many, I am me.
Personal Sovereignty allows me the freedom to stay in my authentic space, allows me to have a really great week, teach some wildly energized class, to feel happy and to make different choices.
Today, I choose to put my flip flops on, get in my car and turn Pink “Raise Your Glass” up really loud. I choose to sing at the top of my lungs and drive to the beach. I choose to sink my feet deep into the sand and as I look out at the infinite blue just feel really extraordinarily grateful.
Personal Sovereignty lets Blake be Blake, and not just a leukemia survivor, and Personal Sovereignty lets me be me. Loud, goofy and grateful, maybe the 10%, maybe the 90%, but always me!
In the Spirit of Play and Possibility,
Join me each Wednesday and through out the week as I write about another of the Five Fifteens and examine my experience and my life through the perspective of that word or phrase. Experiment with me! Comment on my experience, discuss and engage or add your own voice as you become part of the experiment. It is powerful, thought provoking and keeps you present in the pursuit of human greatness!