The photo above is from a Kailua beach walk - a basking green sea turtle (honu) which we all respectfully flowed around. Flow is both a principal in my studies of Frequency Energy Medicine with Ondre Seltzer and yoga. How does flow apply when facing major life challenges?
In April 2016, I bought a smaller electric car. For me it was a symbol of wanting a smaller, healthier, sleeker body as well as creating a different way of connecting to source bypassing gas usage for electric charge. I had been working out regularly (mostly spinning) for a couple years and lost about 25 pounds that year. I’m a big believer in paying attention to the signs along life’s path.
In my new smaller car I was driving home from work on a three lane highway over the American River which has no shoulders. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a gas tanker semi about 4 feet off my back bumper. I thought “Get out of the way” and moved to the empty lane to my right. At that point, I felt something life threatening may be pending. But It was so easy to just move over and get out of the way.
So in June when I noticed the sensation I had in my left armpit was no longer coming and going, but had instead stayed for a week, I went in right away for a mammogram. I had mixed feelings about mammograms. Since I had dense breasts they often resulted in an additional ultrasound. I preferred to have an ultrasound instead but this is not the standard of care.
The lab called back and they wanted an ultrasound, again they got me in right away. My neighbor Sandy who had breast cancer a couple years back talked to me all the way to the appointment. She said, “There is nothing to do but face it head on.” While there I saw the blood supply on the ultrasound and I told them I knew. I also told them, “If you don’t find something you won’t be doing your job.” Later, I brought the doctor and technician orchids, for what they detected from the mammogram was the size of a pin prick. Because I had a scar fibroid where the seat belt hit my left breast in a car accident when I was 20, I would not have been able to detect a bump until it grew significantly. I had sensed, been warned, and had help reading the signs along the way.
In October 2014, while driving home from an early morning spin class before work, I saw one dead crow in the street, and then a second. Logically it was the start of the fall and cold weather so that could've explain it. But I felt it was a strong sign that I needed help interpreting. I have a friend who helped me interpret this sign saying that someone close to me in my life might become ill. It turned out that my Mom became ill with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). She was diagnosed in April 2015 and passed July 2015. Our dog Meischka got liver cancer in December 2014, and passed June 2015. Our other dog Sammy passed at the age of 15 a week after my Mom in July 2015. This all happened within 5 weeks - Joe and I lost our beloved Meischka, my Mom, and Sammy. Each time I’d let my managers know (I had 3), I could feel their disbelief and love. Joe had open heart surgery in February 2016, and finally six months later in July 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my left breast over my heart.
How did I flow with breast cancer? I got out of the way. I recognized it, decided on my approach, and took that path without hesitation. I changed my diet right away and never looked back. How did I flow with the heart break of those years? All I know is if I have to be a caregiver again, I will use all the tools I need and keep a certain emotional distance as many caregivers pass before the person they are caring for.
Luckily they were able to schedule the surgery three weeks later on 8/4/2016. While I was getting ready for mastectomy surgery and trying to remain calm and stress free so it would not spread, Joe had a surgical biopsy on a fibroid. All during my recovery Joe needed to use a walker and was having side effects from medication.
My sister Beth cared for me post surgery. Although we had support from Joe’s family as well, I hired a medical advocate for Joe as well as caregivers. In addition, I started taking a medication that significantly decreased the quality of my life. We have worked through these challenges and Joe has recovered well. A family trip to Oahu had Joe kicking his walker aside and he started healing. In August 2018, I will have two years with no evidence of disease, and will have recreated my entire life.
When there is a block I can step aside, go around, or go through - all are flow. When I’m in my head and need to teach yoga, I can rely on the practice. Sharing that practice can help me get out of my own way.
As Christine D’Ercole, one of my Peloton spin instructors, says, “What if you had to?” How does one deal with all that can happen at certain seasons of life? There is no other choice. Muster as much grace and support that you can, deal with it, flow with it, and do your best. Hopefully if you face such challenges you will be guided and given grace like I was. Joe and I kept riding life’s waves to an entire new life on Oahu. Although we miss our friends and family in Sacramento, we flowed away from our former life entirely and have built a new one of health, happiness, and flow.
❤️ ♂and 👻 🐝