Let’s put aside the fact that Angelina Jolie is a movie star, rich and had access to all the best medical care – she is still a woman and mother making a difficult decision about her health. Of course she is now an easy target for everyone to make comments on whether her announcement was a good thing or a bad thing. Everyone has a different opinion and that is what makes life interesting. Personally, even though I am always up for pointing out celebrity PR schemes, I think that what she did was brave and obviously the best decision for her and her family. Take away all the layers of who she is and look at her as a woman who lost her mother to cancer, is a mother of 6 and wants to be around for her children for as long as she can. We can all relate to that in some way and see the humanity in it. She made a personal decision for her body, her health and her family.
BRCA and Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer
I think her article created a great platform for discussion. The information she included will help spread awareness for two other aspects of breast cancer treatment, the BRCA genes as well as the option of breast reconstruction. There are still many people who are not aware of the BRCA 1 and 2 genes and hearing about it in the news might actually get a few more people looking at their family history or talking to their doctor about any questions they might have.
If you want to find out more about BRCA check out these resources:
Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada – In Our Genes program - http://www.inourgenes.ca/ioghome
Force - http://www.facingourrisk.org/
Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Foundation - http://www.hboc.ca/3/miscellaneous1.htm
As someone who is in the middle of the breast reconstruction process I can honestly say that it is not an easy decision to make or an easy procedure to go through. However the results are pretty great and if it is the right decision for you it can give you back the boobs you lost to cancer. They don’t look or feel the same, but they will stay perky for decades! A friend of mine who has also had reconstruction thought it was funny that we now have boobs like Angelina Jolie! ha!
Angelina talked about being back to normal in a few weeks, which is great for her, however the difference between her story and most other women going through breast reconstruction is that she did not have cancer first and did not go through one or two years of aggressive treatment before her surgery. If you are thinking about reconstruction keep in mind that depending on the type of reconstruction you choose and what your medical history is there are several procedures and quite a bit of recovery time to plan for. I had to also do extensive physiotherapy after my surgery to regain full mobility in my arm and shoulder – but for me it will all be worth it. It really is a personal decision and everyone is different.
Here are some good resources for more information on breast reconstruction:
Breast Reconstruction.org – http://www.breastreconstruction.org/index.htm
Canadian Collaboration on Breast Reconstruction - http://www.breastreconstructioncanada.ca/
If you know of anyone who is interested in finding out more about BRCA or breast reconstruction feel free to forward these link along to them.
And of course if you have any thoughts you want to share about Angelina’s announcement please join us in the comment section below.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you mommies, grandmothers, mother in laws and aunties!
I was asked by Rethink Breast Cancer to write their Mother’s Day blog post. I wanted to share it with you here as well.
Take a read:
Beauty’s Way: Inspiration on the Path of Awakening is a new book by Lori Myles Carullo. It dives into the idea of finding beauty in the heart, in life and in love. Lori explores ways to move through the challenges life throws at you and offers ideas on how to come from a place of love and inner strength in all that you do.
Lori tell us a little about yourself?
I am almost 40 years old and I feel more well in every way than I have my entire life. As a young child, I had a big passion for dance and I dreamed of becoming a professional dancer. My life changed dramatically in my teen years as I struggled with illness – parasites followed by chronic fatigue syndrome. It was very difficult to lose my energy and to watch my dreams dissolving – and yet a new dream emerged from the depths of this experience. I learned a great deal about health and healing and I longed to help others in the same way I was helped.
I studied massage, energy work (Reiki), nutrition, herbology, meditation, yoga, psychology and spirituality. I found tremendous healing through all of these modalities and I also developed a new passion for writing and sharing my gifts in this way. A couple of years ago I sat in the Tree-House in our Costa Rican retreat center and through all the seasons I wrote my first book to be published, ‘Beauty’s Way’. Now I live in Costa Rica part of the year with my husband and young child Valentino (20 months old). Here I teach yoga, offer massage, Reiki, and life coaching sessions in the tree-house, and co-ordinate yoga & adventure retreats.
What inspired you to write the book?
I was inspired to write Beauty’s Way because I felt that through all of my life experiences so far, I had gained much wisdom and inspiration that could light up the lives of others. I didn’t want my experiences of suffering and struggle to have been just for my own personal growth – I hoped that all that I came through and the beauty I found in it all could also be a blessing for many others.
It was a difficult decision to publish the book because in it I share many personal stories of my healing journey, and various family members offered great resistance to my sharing this with the greater public. However, I felt called to share the book and I listened and respected my loving inner voice and the Divine guidance I received every step of the way.
What has been the feedback from people as they read the book?
The feedback from the book has been incredible. I offer here a quote from a woman who just read Beauty’s Way and shared this with me:
“Thank you, thank you, thank you for Beauty’s Way. I have been reading it for three days and trying some of the beauty tips. I don’t want it to end. I feel so connected, so inspired and am slowly awakening again. Certain chapters resonate deeply with me and throughout I am inspired by your honesty, vulnerability and love that radiates through the entire book.”
Mostly, people share that the book resonates with them as my stories echo many similarities in life lessons as their personal stories, and that the illuminations of wisdom that come through are deeply helpful in a very real way.
I enjoyed your insights on forgiveness and gratitude – What sections seem to be resonating with people the most?
I’m so glad you benefited from the insights on forgiveness and gratitude. I find that many people share with me how deeply the chapter on grief touched them (most likely because it penetrated a tender point in their own grieving…) and also the section about gratitude and friendship. I think that each reader will be inspired by different parts of the book based on where they are at in their life journey and what is most on their hearts. One young man I met who was in recovery from addiction read the introduction and told me that just that part moved him in ways no other book had. He felt very connected to the message coming through and like somebody out there ‘got him’. Such a gift.
What was the hardest chapter/ easiest chapter for you to write?
I believe the hardest chapter for me to write (and to re-read) was the chapter on grief. As I wrote the words I re-lived one of the most difficult times in my life – the losing of one of my best friends to a freak car accident. I cried many tears as I wrote that chapter, sharing both the beauty and magic of her life and death.
The chapter on forgiveness was also very difficult for me to write because it brought up the pain of that core relationship, re-opening some wounds that still were calling for the balm of healing.
The easiest chapter to write was the one about friendship. My love for my best friend and the various experiences we lived through together helped to make the words and thoughts flow freely and easily through me. I also found the chapter on change easy to write because it is something I have worked hard on accepting and flowing with in my life, so it was not too difficult to share.
If you could share 3 overall insights from the book that you would want people to integrate into their lives what would they be?
Wow – 3 overall insights from the book I would like people to take away with them…. Hmmm….
ONE: The beauty we create and unveil in life comes from the LOVE we offer to every single aspect of our human journey. (The good stuff, the tough stuff, and everything in between.)
TWO: One of the most important ways we bring love to our lives and the lives of others is through radical acceptance and compassion.
THREE: Miracles are always possible. Love is the great instigator of miracles and so we are forever capable of being the author and creator of miracles in our lives and the lives around us.
The mystical poet Rumi has been all around me lately. His quotes keep appearing in my inbox with just the words I needed to hear at that moment. My aunt is a huge Rumi fan and she often finds answers to her questions about life, dreams and spirituality in his poetry. I think that his work is resonating with so many people at this particular time in history because it is about love. Since love is everything Rumi’s words might be just the right medicine.
You can find out more about Rumi here.
I’ll share a few of my fave excerpts from his poetry. I’m sure if you look you will find many more that resonate with you personally.
“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”
Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life. ~Rumi
This week we are completing our chakra series with the final two chakras at the top of our energy channel , the third eye and crown chakras. Both of these chakras are associated with our spiritual side, our connection to our true self and to the universe.
The third eye is all about truly seeing what is around you and using your intuition to guide you. Growing up most of us are not taught how to use our intuition or to think along the lines of what exists beyond what we can physically see with our eyes. The Third Eye chakra also known in Sanskrit as “AJNA” which means to perceive, is about intuition, clairvoyance, dream images and visualization. Different schools of thought place it at slightly different places on the head but the general area is the forehead between the eyes. The crown chakra is sometimes called the thousand petaled lotus and is said to be your connection point to universal energy and divine intelligence. The lotus that blossoms right at the crown of your head still needs to keep it’s roots connected to the earth and that is why each chakra point is intertwined from your root all the way up to your crown. Together they form a full and complex energetic system that is said to exist in all of us.
Some signs that you might have a blocked energy in your third eye or crown chakras: nightmares, difficulty concentrating, headaches, vision problems, trouble finding focus in terms of your path in life, poor memory,confusion, depression
When you have good energy flow in the third eye chakra and crown chakras: keen sense of intuition, easily recall your dreams and have clarity around their meanings, imaginative, perceptive, open minded, spiritually connected
Take a moment and try this quick exercise to refresh tired eyes:
- Keep a dream journal – keep a notebook by your bedside and when you wake up in the morning take a moment to jot down your dreams, even if you only remember fragments of them. Later in the day review what you wrote looking for themes or symbols that might make sense to you. Over the week you may find that certain recurring themes appear.
- Create art to stimulate your visual and thinking process and tap into your intuition. It can be anything that resonates with you, drawing, painting, crafting
- Yoga poses to stimulate the Third Eye and Crown: Forward Bend to soothe your mind and Savasana to help you connect to the earth and open all the chakras at the same time
- Essential Oils that create balance and promote connection to your higher chakras: Jasmin, Patchouli, Vetiver
- Meditation is a very powerful healing tool, it’s like a shower for your mind – you can start with even a few minutes a day and increase from there
Over the past few months we have just touched the surface of what each chakra is about. If you are interested in learning more check out some of my favourite books about the Chakras. If there are any other books on the Chakras that you really like please let us know in the comment section below.
Some of my faves:
The Deva Life
I am Jasmin Fiore, a yoga teacher, aromatherapist, reiki master, mother and young breast cancer patient interested in all things that keep us happy and healthy. Please join us for weekly insights and info as we explore ways to create a brilliant,healthy, love filled deva life.
Deva - a sanskrit word for celestial or shining – a powerful connection to nature, the universe, and the ability to connect with the divine.