This summer, my husband, Andrew was diagnosed with a rare, stage four salivary gland cancer. Since then, our lives have been…well, vastly different.

For the past five months, Andrew has endured quite a lot: Multiple surgeries, long hospital stays, infection and incredible pain not to mention how he hasn’t worked, hasn’t spent time with his kids or his family or even his garden. His whole life has been put on hold and all of his focus has been on healing.

And now we are in the thick of it, in our sixth and last week of radiation therapy; which is basically just a wound creator, pain maker and huge energy zapper.

So, has life been kinda sucking? Yes. But I have to tell you…Strangely, it wasn’t all bad. And honestly, I know Andrew would agree with me.

I took about 5 weeks off of work to take care of him and while the kids were at school, we were together all day. Not on vacation or with time split up with obligations and kids, just us…and it was sometimes really, really nice.

When we weren’t dealing with the hard core day-to-day realities that come along with kind of major life change, we were truly making the best of it. While I helped him with surgical sites and wound care, we managed to cut up a bit. While he rested and took it easy, we were hanging out and really enjoying one another. We were just…together.

The fact that I can even see this, to be aware of any lovely moments…Well, I think that is HUGE.

I have always told or spouted off my personal philosophy to my clients and workshop attendees with a genuine conviction: That life is a journey to become who you already are…that overcoming obstacles is how we grow, how we become all the amazing potential that lies dormant inside of us until we are forced to show up, get through it and rise up in the end triumphant. I have always believed this to be true.

However, to face this reminder in a personal crisis; to live it and hope that it in the end it, too, will be true for you is a whole other thing.

It’s a gift actually.

Not just the gift of experience that can help me relate and treat my clients or help my students, but even more than that…it was many gifts all tied in a bow and when the time came, I opened each one up and then…just…received.

There was this big gift of opportunity, to rise to the challenge and find little sweet successes when I could be just what Andrew truly needed. There was the gift that made me review and get to practice all of my resources as a therapist and caregiver that could help him and give him glimpses of relief and peace. There was this strange new gift of the ability to ask for and accept help. I had no idea how hard this was!

And all the while, the loveliest gift of all, was love. First, loving Andrew was so good. It wasn’t filled with the day-to-day hassles anymore, they didn’t matter. Just love was good enough and it was easy as pie to love him. I was filled to the very top with love and also gratitude for not only Andrew’s love in return but all of these lovely people who went out of their way to help, to pray, to lift us up and help us out. Oh, what a gift indeed!

And then, all of these gifts of the mundane…they are still flooding back…I got to remember and luxuriate in all the beauty that I was often oblivious or too busy to stop and notice before all of this…the perfection in hugging my little Flakelings, a walk around the block or even just breathing or just…existing. It’s awesome!

Was it easy? No. But, remember, no one ever says, “That? That was so easy! That was the simplest thing! And now, I am forever changed because of it.”

I truly can’t imagine what lies ahead after we come out of the other side of this. Already we are forever changed, forever better…forever new and appreciative and capable of so, so much more.

The love. The connection. The community. The peace. The bliss. I can’t wait! It’s going to be such a sweet reward because we are still earning it now.

Please know that this outlook is absolutely astonishing and still relatively new to me. I used to be a freaked out, anxious, worried mess…but over the years, meditation has changed me. Saved me…and us.

In short, Andrew and I have no idea what our lives would look like right now without the regular meditation practice we had in place before all of this was even a part of our story.

Meditation prepares us for just this. It shows us the way out and heals us still. It changes the way that you think about things, yes, but the way that you react, the way that you SEE, it’s the single best healthy behavior there is…it connects you to your true self and I can tell you, she or he is just lovely.

Meditation doesn’t even change you, it allows the real you to come forth, take a seat and see that all is well. It is our right to peace and bliss. It is, I promise, a saving grace.

I want you to have this practice.

If you’re stuck, stressed and overwhelmed now, what will happen when the shit hits the fan? And I assure you, it will. Life moves up and down and all around and I can assure you one thing I know for sure:

You need this…before you need this.

Because then, it’s too late.

I will be at Decatur Yoga and Pilates on Saturday, November 16th at 10:30am teaching students not only how to meditate and why it is so important, but also how to make it a habit that lasts a lifetime.

You deserve all the benefits that this sacred practice has to offer and it’s time to get it into your life. I will show you how.

All you have to do is show up…HERE.

It was the lovely Dolly Parton who said, “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

We want it. We can almost see it. We look forward to that pot of gold like crazy!

And it will be such a sweet pot indeed.

I love you, I truly do,