Upon my return from Camp Koru – an Athletes 4 Cancer retreat for young cancer survivors, so many thoughts and feelings swirling in my head and heart. Although I’ve been back home now a full week, I feel like I am still riding those Maui waves. Such love and life was infused into me during this retreat that I can literally feel the pulse of energy still running strong in me. I am forever grateful for Athletes 4 Cancer and their mission so resinates within me:
Athletes 4 Cancer is dedicated to enriching lives through the healing powers of the elements and the outdoors as a way to move forward after cancer.
Well, mission accomplished! So many lessons learned from those waves that I will integrate into my life journey. One lesson in particular stands out for me and that is to “choose wisely.” Surfing on our last morning, I ventured out with a couple others to catch our own waves. I caught a couple great ones and then I just seemed to get pummeled for a period. Wave after wave kept crashing me over and I was getting exhausted! Our surf teacher Inu cried out to me, “Bam (my camp power name), I hope you choose your men better than your waves!” I nearly fell off my board in laughter and thought “well at least I got one of em right as I selected a fantastic husband!” And then I took a moment on my board and began to do as Inu suggested, “choose wisely,” and sure enough, I began to conserve energy and catch more waves.
When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer almost exactly one year ago, my life energy had one purpose – to heal and survive. To let go of my work, my teaching, even my caregiving as a mother (for a short time), in order to conserve energy and focus on my health was a powerful (and yet quite foreign) thing. It taught me to slow down and to be discerning – to decide if seeing this person would aid me in a particular moment or to take a walk would nourish me…most importantly I gave myself permission to do exactly what I needed and that was incredibly freeing.
Now as I’ve put everything back in my life and return to juggling and balancing the busyness of schedules, work, time with my family, time alone, etc…I welcome my Camp Koru lesson and will weave this back into my life – assessing moment to moment what will serve me in this moment. Of course as a mom, therapist, and teacher, I think one of the best ways to model for my kids, clients, and students is to take good care of me so that I may bring my best self out onto the world and encourage others to do the same. Not in a selfish way but in a powerful way of choosing wisely so that I may have the grace to allow myself and others to do the very same. May we all choose our waves wisely!