Truth and sustaining the soul...

Stabilising the soul, that's what I have just read from my notes from the Windsor leadership dialogue. Wow! My yearly trip to Windsor is one of my attempts to do that in a busy challenging life and this year has truly been that .I was armed with thoughts of talking about how my blog had helped my authenticity as a leader. But in fact I said little about it. Reactions to  my story remind me that it's hard sometimes to hear about some of the things I have experienced and the work I do. I have become used to talking about it but I need to be mindful of the impact on others too. 

And  since then I had to see my GP with a chest infection and asthma so bad it's put me in bed and led to a tearful episode not at all expected during the consultation! I think the sharing pays a price as well maybe? I have done a lot of travelling and long hours too....I need to get back to pacing myself. Ah well it's life long learning is it not?

What about telling the truth when it comes to cancer? Can we have too much truth? I can't hide from it now in my job and generally my approach is to analyse the far end of...well you know where I am going. But at times I have had a fact too many. First time around I completely blanked the fact that I may need surgery for a third time if the margins of the tumour weren't clear. Fortunately I didn't need it but I chose not to remember that one. I know many people experience similar amnesia. Sometimes we need to not have too much truth. How do you eat an elephant? One bite of the breast at a time!

When I started work at Breakthrough Breast CancerI learned for the first time how common late recurrence was becoming. This came as a shock as I guess I thought I was out of the woods for the first cancer. And of course I have recently had a new cancer.I have tried to push aside thoughts of recurrence knowing both times to be early stage but at times like this when I am unwell and vulnerable they crowd in...hence the tears. Only human after all....

One of the things we touched on in Windsor was developing our meta narrative
-telling our truth, our own story to serve our work and mission. It resonated for me and also relates to the invitation a blogger with Britmums put out as well. For 90 bloggers to blog in 90 words about special women to them in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the fundraising work with Pink Bingo (there are 90 balls in play in Bingo hence the link). You find out more on Q

And yet another blogger did a fabulous and funny piece on our TLC work. Shows how well humour can open doors to challenging subjects too. You can read it here on  -How to feel a right tit AKA be breast aware via @Ellen27. 

It's World Cancer day tomorrow I believe. I had rather mixed emotions -no not mixed just negative if truth be told-as its also my birthday. (No not telling you!) Seemed a bleeping irony if you get my drift and not a connection I want to have with my birthday at all.  Considered re naming it F... Cancer day! and perhaps will hold on to that approach over the weekend.

Reasons to be cheerful are of course it's my birthday and I am subtracting and lying from now on too. Family are visiting and if I can drag my sorry self there we are going out for dinner together. My favourite times as you know. 
Perhaps this one shouldn't cheer me but this week we have also been giggling about fat cats. No not the ones that have lost knighthoods . Its Koshka who as a result of preferring a hibernation state is getting a bit of a belly! His bed is by the radiator and he can watch the TV from there. Earthflight is outright winner but if he starts on the football too I may have to leave home! Borgen remains my top TV tip. Wonder if I could pull off the tight  Mac look ,
like Brigitte?

And finally last words from a poem shared in Windsor. It really moved me...It's title is  lost. We touched several times on the dark nights of the soul in our discussions. I know I have had them and still do at times. Maybe this will give you comfort in your own dark nights.


Stand still. 
The trees ahead and the bushes beside you Are not lost. 
Wherever you are is called Here, 
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, 
Must ask permission to know it and be known. 
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, 
I have made this place around you, 
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven. 
No two branches are the same to Wren. 
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you, 
You are surely lost. Stand still. 
The forest knows Where you are. 
You must let it find you.

An old Native American elder story rendered into modern English by David Wagoner-My thanks to Stephen for sharing it.


  1. Thank you so much for the mention.
    What a thought provoking post about the ebb and flow of it all. And I hope you had a wonderful birthday on FCD (much prefer this idea).


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