Called to Courage

There are times in our lives where we are called to be courageous. Times where we need to dig deep, sink our heels in, and do the heavy lifting in life. Those times can feel incredibly painful and sorrowful. They can feel empty and isolating. They take from us a deep sense of vulnerability that opens us up to feeling real exhaustion both emotionally and physically. But what I know from witnessing some of the most incredible journeys to healing inside of my office walls, is that these times can also call us to grow, to heal and to manifest powerful blessings and lessons in life.

It’s been 7 months since I met a brave woman who was called to step into her own courage with a breast cancer diagnosis last fall. We met by chance. (Or what I would rather call, by choice of the universe.) Following her diagnosis she picked up one of my bodytalk brochures at a local business, and felt intuitively led to book a session with me (her words were “It can’t hurt me.”) Since that first session last fall, we’ve had a Wednesday morning bodytalk date every single week since then. She’s become more than a familiar face to me, she’s become a friend whom I both admire and respect.

The first time we met, her story hit me like a tonne of bricks. It weighed heavily on my heart because truthfully, I could easily be her. 39 years old, 3 children, happily married, living in rural Saskatchewan, just minding her own business and loving life before the C word was dropped like a boulder on her shoulders. Three words that changed the free and easy life as she knew it. You Have Cancer.

The F word not only tags along with Cancer but it sets up camp for good I think. (and no, I’m not refering to the one that rhymes with duck - wink, wink,) Fear is the single, most debilitating emotion that is the root of everything unknown to us. It’s ironic how we feel like if we just knew what would happen, things would be all that much easier for us to process. If we could just see what the future has in store for us, what path we should take, we would be able to make decisions and plans all the better. The truth is, that’s the ego’s way of seriously messing with our minds (and our hearts). I often wonder if knowledge really is power, or if ignorance is actually bliss. Is it easier to know what’s going to happen? Or is it easier not to know?

In the face of fear, and all that comes with it, this woman has literally jumped in with all of her courage to take not just the front seat on her highway to healing, but she’s got both hands gripped tightly on the steering wheel too. Our western ways of treatment tend to rely on a flow chart so to speak of specific action plans and steps to take with a Cancer diagnosis. There is little room (or lets’ be honest, little tolerance) for straying from this flowchart. Anyone who faces Cancer draws on every ounce of courage and determination they have to heal from the disease, but one of the most courageous and vulnerable acts in life is to make a decision to do things differently than the masses, no matter what it is. Witnessing the kind of courage, tenacity and bravery it takes to step outside of a very rigid belief system box and follow your gut and heart has been sobering for me as a practitioner.

Her journey has been similar to a traditional treatment plan in that it has had its ups and downs, but she always stays true to her heart and her beliefs in what’s best for her body, even when there have been some tremendous roadblocks in the way. When doors close, she finds an alternate entrance (or back door) and she’s always had a powerhouse mindset of positivity rooted in faith and a deep belief of knowing her truth. On her journey to heal her physical body she's opened up Pandora's box and dug deep into the emotional side of healing her bodymind, and without this, true physical shifts are limited. She shared with me that the Cancer has taught her lessons and brought her wisdom and experiences that she never would’ve found without it. Now that’s a courageous statement if I’ve ever heard one.

Months ago I asked her permission to write a blog and share her courageous spirit, to help lift the veil of fear that clouds our decisions and limits our personal power, especially when it comes to our own health. I thank her from the bottom of my heart for being the inspiration behind so much of my own courage the last year to pursue passions and make decisions that I may have not made before I met her. Whatever it is in life you are facing that’s rooted in that F word, let this story of courage and inspiration settle in your mind and your heart. With courage, grace and love, she (and you and I) can live a path true to you.

Laura Lawrence