Welcome to October! And, to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month I'm going to share some of the many things I've learned about healing from my own two bouts with this dreaded disease.
My first lesson came two weeks before my surprise first diagnosis. I was walking on a beach in Mexico, which was covered with bright-colored stones and streaks in the sand. Suddenly my photographer's habit of framing things enabled me to mentally frame an arrangement, and to see a form! Next, I found the whole beach was inhabited by these forms, so I photographed them for five days, not knowing why. These became my Sand Spirits Insight Cards, which I have shared with hundreds of people, including cancer survivors. After all, these images were instrumental in my own healing journey.
Of course, what I discovered was more than the Sand Spirits, which I believe were a shamanic experience, a preview of things to come. When I would do my shamanic training, I would find that there were many portals to such experiences, and that we all can access spiritual guides and assistance.
One portal is the active imagination, the place where we see stones as heads and streaks as feathers, or where we "see" spiritual guides who appear to some people in guided journeys. The active imagination is also where we can see anything "through a different lens," and change how we picture our present moment and future ones.
We don't need to be shamans to do such things. The principle of shamanism is that each one of us has direct access to spiritual help. So, I invite you to put on a mantle, some glorious garment that will allow you to feel empowered to be a co-creator of your own well-being. No matter what is going on. Even if you have cancer.
If you are well, I know you want to have compassion for those you know who have to deal with cancer. And yet, you don't want to feel pity. No one really wants to be pitied. Instead, you want to "feel with" the person's pain, while holding in your heart an image of them whole.
The word "heal" means "to make whole." (And my author and professional name Hale comes from the same root, and means healthy, strong, and hearty. That's why I use it; I want to become more and more "Hale.") Let's use this month to imagine everyone suffering from breast cancer as whole.
I learned on my two journeys that while I left the physical repairs and treatments to doctors, my role was to use all my abilities (and get help) embracing the possibility of wholeness and well-being. Of course I wanted that to mean being cancer free, and I pictured that too. At the same time, I knew that if things did not turn out that way, I wanted to be at peace with whatever was my destiny. And even if I had to lose quite a few body parts, my being could be spiritually and emotionally whole.
I have a perfect idea, by the way, for the mantle you could use to empower yourself to do this. It's the Angel Scarf! I'll be wearing mine next Thursday, October 8, when we join together on the phone for a Divine Feminine compassion meditation via phone. I hope you'll be there!