To make us well

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.....


  1. Hi Aud, thanks for the TED lecture Aud, truly appropriate and meaningful. Hope you are well and go forth in Heartfulness and embrace your vulnerabilities. Much love Viv x

  2. Audrey, This post is so beautiful. I know exactly what you mean about not being able to "put cancer away." I recently had an experience that brought it all back for me far too vividly... I have not listened to this TED talk, but would like to. I must read Brene Brown's book sometime soon. I love her blog. You will find your new path. Just remember to take your time, be kind to yourself and allow things to unfold. These things cannot be hurried sometimes. Thanks for writing.

    1. Thanks Nancy, sorry it's reared it's head for you too. I really apreciate your warm advice and kind words. It's an exciting time but hard too......all my best Audrey x


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