I have lived with the experience of cancer for almost 19 years now. Of course at times it has been a background light only and at others it has been omnipresent. So when I stated bravely a couple of weeks ago that's it behind me again now, I should have known that these journeys are complex. That often the moment you believe you have stuffed it back in the Pandora's box, it bares its teeth.
And it's not the cancer as such
that has reared it's head ,but the impact of it all. Mostly it's the
reminder I have not fully regained my strength. Nor fully embraced my
vulnerability....As I picked up the prescription of antibiotics and
steroids for worsening asthma, and then returned to work, I did
momentarily note the irony. Then got back to being as busy. So I am
coughing still but better and in part thankful to my condition for the
reminder to allow myself time to recover, in all it's light and shade. I
have just listened to "If it be your will" by Leonard Cohen. His songs
are always soulful but this one seems to come from a deep truth out of a
path from illness that connects with me.
It's his expression of
vulnerability that inspires and scares me. His raw ,raw honesty leaves
me wondering how can he then get up and sing it. Could I sing mine? But
at some level I know I need to. This blog has been a route to that but
I'm still struggling to write this down. I know the paradox that I am at
my most powerful when I embrace my vulnerability but its hard and my
default is to avoid it.
Perhaps you have already seen this TED talk by Brene Brown on vulnerability, if not do watch...if you have ,
watch it again! Following my Oasis Full Circle action learning set this
week when we discussed her latest book "Daring Greatly" I have started
to read it and reflect on what would be my daring greatly? This move to
self employment feels like a lot like daring greatly and some of the projects I'm
keen to explore, like "Heartful Scotland" feel daring too.........but is
that really it?
I acknowledged a real risk for me ,as I am
poised for my move , because my strategy in tough times has always been
to keep busy. Also I love new ways to get involved and make a
difference. And it struck me quite forcibly that me doing a portfolio
career could be akin to a chocoholic working in a sweet shop. Inspired
by so many different things and finally tipped over by the exotic dark
chocolate with ginger!!!
So from this place I recognise that my
personal daring greatly is to lean into that vulnerability and not rush
around filling time but take some time at least just to be, to
understand my truths. And know that from this place of centredness and
reflection, I will do my best work. In her book Brene Brown describes
vulnerability as the central part of having courage, compassion and
connection.......I know she is right.
Reasons to be heartful: it
has to be the full circle action learning set in Oasis. The deep
learning, the space to reflect, be challenged, be inspired and find
doors unlocked for the first time is quite, quite wonderful. And of
course it's also enabled deeper connections and new friendships. Perfect.
Thanks to all of you.
And finally snow arrived in Edinburgh as the
photo shows. The pup was uncertain and confused but playfully brave
nonetheless. Playfully brave now that's something to aim for.....