My aromatherapy mentor and friend Sandy Powell has a feature on her blog where she posts about people in her life doing good things. I am honoured that this month she posted about me and the Stretch Heal Grow yoga retreat for young women with breast cancer. Sandy is always there to answer any questions I have about aromatherapy and natural healing. She is also a supporter of the retreat and donates awesome healing essential oils for all the women attending. As you know I am a little addicted to essential oils – that comes from my training with Sandy. Her knowledge and passion was a big part of what guided me towards holistic healing alternatives.
Here is her post:
Today I salute mothers of all kinds; biological, adopted or honorary. I salute women with children and women without children as we all know you can be a mother to others in so many different ways. The saying ‘it takes a village’ is so true. There are many women in my life who are like mothers to me and my girls and they each enrich our lives in many ways.
Today is my sixth mothers day as a mommy and my third one without my mother. I know she would be happy to see what good hands I am in and how many wonderful women help me out when I need it.
Thanks to Kaia and Adria for making me a mommy and giving me a chance to experience all the sublime love and delightful chaos.
Sending a huge thank you to the mother who created me, raised me, loved me like crazy, taught me how to be a good mamma and is watching over me and guiding me each day.
Motherhood is an adventure. You never know what will be coming next. But you do it with all your heart.
Happy Mothers Day to all you beautiful, brave, funny, strong, smart and loving mommies out there. You make the world a better place.
A few weeks ago I kicked off the campaign for this year’s Stretch Heal Grow yoga and wellness retreat for young women with breast cancer. I feel so lucky to be able to organize this retreat again for 2014. I am working with a great charity called Rethink Breast Cancer and have also had help from many friends. This special weekend retreat started last year and the first 25 women who attended were incredible. I was inspired by each one of them. Witnessing first hand how much they enjoyed Stretch Heal Grow and what a community it created made me determined to run it again this year. This retreat is and always will be close to my heart.
When young women are diagnosed with breast cancer it is often a more aggressive form of the disease. Many of them are just starting out whether it be at a new job or as a new mom and suddenly everything changes. Breast cancer changes you physically and emotionally. Picking up the pieces and trying to put yourself back together can sometimes be made easier with the support of others who understand exactly what you are going through. Many young women feel isolated during and after treatment. My hope for the Stretch Heal Grow weekend is to once again create a safe space for transformation, healing and support – of course sprinkled with laughter , fun and some good yoga!
I fundraise to make the retreat happen. The money raised covers the cost for the women to attend. All they need to do is get themselves to the retreat and all the food, lodging, yoga and workshops are covered for them through donations from our incredible community.
Please take a moment to check out my little video for this year’s retreat. It will give you a look into why I do this and also how awesome the first year was!
If you are able to make a donation that would be incredible. Just click on this link.
You can also help by:
- forwarding the Indiegogo campaign onto others,
- liking our page on Facebook,
- following us on Twitter @stretchhealgrow
- letting anyone you know who is under 45 and has breast cancer that this retreat might be something they would really enjoy.
- Help to spread the word in whatever way suits your style.
More info about the retreat itself is online at www.stretchhealgrow.org
Thank you for helping to make a direct difference in the lives of young women with breast cancer.
I’ve been so consumed with recovering from spinal surgery and radiation that I didn’t give much thought to the smaller surgery I’m having this week called a salpingo oophorectomy. In english that means removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries. All the doctors have said, “Don’t worry, you have been through much bigger surgeries, this one is quick and will seem easy”. Easy to call it easy when you aren’t the one having the surgery! ha! However I haven’t really worried. I’ve been told that getting this surgery will drastically reduce my chances of getting ovarian cancer and that sounds great to me. What I didn’t really look at was the way I feel about losing my ovaries forever. I’ve been on a drug that puts them to sleep, but having them removed is different. Now on the eve of this surgery I feel like I need to say goodbye to them. Kinda weird, but true.
I want to thank them for helping me make my two beautiful daughters. They did the job they were supposed to do and I feel very lucky for that. I wonder how I will feel when they are gone?
Technically I will be pushed into early menopause with hot flashes, more chance of osteoporosis, mood swings and the list goes on. But I wonder how I will feel with such an important part of my female anatomy gone? I actually think I will miss them more than my boobs. I was able to have reconstruction for the boobs and although they are not the same as the real thing it is still something. There will be nothing to replace my ovaries and all the important hormones they carried. I also will not be able to have any more children. My hubby and I don’t want any more kids but there is something to be said about having the choice versus having that choice taken away from you completely.
So today I thank my body for sticking with me through all that my treatment has put her through. There have been many changes in the past few years. She is a trooper and I love her. I will be sad to loose my ovaries but if it means I can be around loving life for many more years to come then I will take it. I’ll let you know how it goes and what it feels like to be in menopause at 36.
Oh and one last thing – I know it sounds weird but take a moment to thank your body for all it has been through in your lifetime. Everyone has their own ‘stuff’ and we all go through different ups and downs with our bodies. Never take it for granted. Taking time to thank your body is important to continuous healing and acceptance. She is going to be with you for the long haul so might as well make friends.
Lately I’ve been hearing about so many people practicing random acts of kindness like paying for the coffee for the person behind them in line, or even for the next ten people behind them in line. Those stories make me smile. I like that people are doing this and spreading the word about it. I caught myself wanting to do it today but then I chickened out. I all of a sudden felt shy and at the last minute didn’t do it. I wasn’t ready to break out of that comfort zone. So I found something else I could give, something free and easy. A smile.
So I decided to smile or say hi to the next 5 people I walked past. I was lucky because I am in Florida right now and people here seem to be much more inclined to smile and say hi anyway. Maybe it’s the sunshine and warm weather? Maybe lots of vitamin D makes people friendlier? Anyway I ended up saying hi to 15 people on my morning walk and they all said hi or good morning and smiled back. 15 beautiful smiles. Great way to start the day.
Back home in Toronto I might say hi to one person a week if even! Why? Why do we walk down the street so wrapped up in our own crap that we so often don’t notice the people around us and the opportunity we have for a brief connection?
You never know how a smile or a few kind words can possibly change someone’s day in a small way. After that walk I felt good, and really happy ( not only because I was walking down a sunny, palm tree lined street instead of on ice and snow in the freezing cold) I realized with each hello and each good morning I left smiling and so did the person who said it back.
Simple, easy and so often overlooked.
That little moment of Namaste – acknowledging the light in a stranger walking down the street.
So as an experiment I’m asking you to give it a try. The next time you are out walking try actually looking at the people you walk past and smile or say hi. Or if you go to a regular store or cafe smile at the cashier no matter whether they look happy or cranky. Just do it.Take note of how it makes you feel. Notice the expression on their face too.
Did you feel any different, even for a moment? Do you think you added a dash of good to someone else’s day with a simple good morning? Sometimes it really is just the small acts of kindness that can make a difference.
I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below – let me know if you try the smile experiment or have any other ideas on small ways to make change and bring a bit of light into someone else’s day.
I think I am going to continue this smile experiment for a while. I’ll let you know how it goes.
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.
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