I am empowered. I am happy. I am at peace.
Not much bothers me these days. Worry, something which I’ve been so good at for most of my life, I now see as utterly pointless. It’s a cliche, but it really does feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I embrace life as I never have before. This is not due to some rational thought process. I didn’t think, "Oh, I have cancer, I’d better enjoy life while I can." My euphoria is not the result of a conscious decision. It just happened, all of its own accord. It’s not on a time line and it’s not a matter of enjoying life until it ends. Life has nothing to do with beginning or ending. Life is now.
Suddenly, shamanism is everywhere. A friend lets me know she practices shamanism and offers to facilitate a journey for me, an offer which I gratefully accept. Another friend sends me an invitation to a shamanistic ritual taking place in town. The library offers an evening of drumming and shamanism. I think this is all synchronicity.
Out of the blue, I decide to wear lipstick. I’ve never been a lipstick sort of girl, but now I decide I will wear lipstick for every day of my first six weeks of treatment. And not just any lipstick ... I decide to wear red lipstick. This small decision feels meaningful to me. Within days of making this decision, I receive an order from Amazon. I unpack the box, checking my four items against the receipt. But there is still one more item in the box. I didn’t order it and it’s not listed on the receipt. It’s a shiny new tube of very red lipstick. Synchronicity.
At the very beginning of this cancer trip, an incredibly beautiful hawk showed up in my daily activities. It first introduced itself to me by swooping above my car, just slightly to the left of the driver side, so I could easily see it as it accompanied me up the hill I take to reach home. I immediately recognized this bird as a manifestation of a spirit animal, or a spirit guide, and s/he has shown up on several occasions since that first day.
The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. - Maya Angelou
When I awoke from my journey with the shaman, I was startled to see this odd branch in the woods. It was a message telling me my spirit guide, the one with the awesome wing span, had visited and left behind this image of her/himself. The hawk spirit guide is associated with intuition, victory, healing, nobility, recollection, cleansing, visionary power, and guardianship. Sounds good to me.
Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you - all of the expectations, all of the beliefs - and becoming who you are. - Rachel Naomi Remen