My therapist said to me that you don’t go through something like Breast Cancer without finding some clarity in the process. I almost laughed out loud on my way home from the appointment, as I thought to myself, “not only have I not found clarity but I am all over the map.” And that is really where I’ve been hanging out…one minute I think we need to get a puppy, the next it’s “let’s get an addition on the house”, next I’m researching family trips to Zimbabwe, and then I’m looking into aerial dance classes. See, pretty all over the map, right?
But then as I’ve been sitting in this place that often feels scattered and confused, I realized this is very much what Brene Brown refers to in her book “Rising Strong” as “Act 2”. She refers to Act 2 as being the part of the story where we look “for every comfortable way to solve the problem” and then realize what it will take to really solve the problem–including our “lowest of the low.” She says that we cannot skip Act 2 and calls this process the reckoning, describing how we need to engage with our feelings and get “curious about the story behind the feelings.”
Well I’ve been getting really curious about my Act 2. And although on the surface it does seem to be scattered, there is also a clear theme. The theme is about my desires and my yearning to do it now. I know that may sound cliche but that’s what I got. What’s the point of waiting? We just really don’t know what the hell is going to happen tomorrow. And for God sake, if I can get Breast Cancer, than anything can happen. So why not make that anything, going to Zimbabwe?
In Nia there is a principle called “RAW” which stands for “Relaxed, Alert, and Waiting”. It is a meditative-like state in which we are relaxed in our body, alert in our mind, and waiting in our spirit. From this place, we are open and we can receive. Much of moving through cancer for me has been about “allowing” and letting things emerge. It is very much the practice of RAW. Every time I dance I connect to a new sensation or feeling and then in the next class it changes. In fact, for me, the decision not to teach Nia this fall was very much about me being in both practices of RAW and in Act 2 – taking the time to be in my reckoning.
Even in my blogging about my cancer journey, I realize I often write after I have sorted things out in my head. And then the writing helps me refine where I am at or what I am internalizing. So here it is – I haven’t figured it out. I am in it. I can feel it in my bones that I am way closer to finding my clarity than when my therapist first said this statement to me this summer. But I am also learning a lot about trusting myself and the process – that as I engage in patience and discomfort, I know what will emerge is going to be better than if I had just jumped right back into everything just the way it was. Even if eventually, I do step back into things just the way they were, they will all look and feel different, because I have been through my Act 2.
For the record, I have made two decisions which feel quite clear at the moment:
1. I am growing my hair long.
2. I have my breast size all picked out for my reconstruction surgery on Tuesday! 🙂