I have noticed how I get excited about the simplest things these days. After having lost so much, I appreciate everything. People, self, chores and things I used to take for granted are more precious than ever.

  • I light up when I do my dishes, and appreciate that I FEEL like doing them.
  • Creating a new ad design or class write-up inviting people to learn and play with me opens my heart with joy.
  • My laundry continues to be a wonder.
  • Learning to use my computer and phone and what they can do to keep me connected.
  • Calls and time enjoyed with my daughter.
  • I enjoy feeding the multitude of birds providing my cats and me with nature TV.
  • I am still tickled weeks later that my office and center are finally painted a warm welcoming green after 3+ years of off white I never liked.
  • Working with new people looking for what exactly what I have to offer.
  • Anticipating an intern starting next week to help me get new systems set up and programs, writings and recordings out.
  • Bringing home and planting a fragrant yellow rose bush that captivated me this week.
  • And most of all, as I write each check I appreciate that I can pay my bills.

These things and more please me like a child experiencing each moment with wonder.

Years ago, when I was so busy working, doing and producing; I did not have as much gratitude as I do know. Pushing life, everyone, and myself, facing challenges and co-creating easily, I had no perspective.

A+ personality, run, run, run always the hare moving quickly towards the goal. Whether it was as a Realtor or as a Healer-Teacher-Director of a Healing Center things were always moving and grooving.

Challenged continuously in health, happiness and work since a child, I could somehow battle through and find a way to recover and make things happen, until I could not.

At one point four years ago, no matter what I did and how good I was, nothing worked, everything went wrong is many areas of my life and things fell apart and were slipping away and then finally, instead of holding on to a sinking ship, I decided to let go. And like Humpty Dumpty of the nursery rhyme, I fell and was smashed into hundreds of pieces. Humbled, broken and yet still moving.

Nine months later, I had recovered and regrouped enough to start again and just as I was about to move forward tragedy struck and I had to really stop.

Losing an adult daughter suddenly broke me apart beyond anything I could imagine. The tearing of my child from this life, split my heart and self-open raw, and in the worst pain, tried to break my spirit, and render me hopeless. I learned what one-day at a time truly meant, and learned to live it.

In shock and grieving, I found that performing simple tasks and everyday things were often out of my reach and control. Every moment was a challenge to be alive and keep going. I knew that Being the Medicine for myself was my only option if I was to survive.

My saving grace was that I did not give up on life, love, happiness and possibilities. I knew to stop and be very gentle with myself and allow the process of healing and living. This was at great cost, but had many benefits.

There is no paid leave for death of a child, most parents have to go to work in shock and pain and fall apart silently, and some never heal. I look back and wonder how I did all I did, and also how I helped many during this time.

I had no choice but to take the time I needed before, during and in between working and teaching. Sometimes people would just not show up when I needed to stop for a bit and take care of me.

Always living the roles of caregiver and benefactor for others, I learned to accept help and receive all gifts. It was humbling and at the same time felt so good to receive and have others nurture me and show their love and appreciation.

Grateful for all of the learning from many past losses, healing and recovery, I knew a strong pathway to healing and learned to honor myself as precious and vulnerable and was loving and patient with myself as I dove in daily and learned more, as I healed and reclaimed myself piece by piece.

Slowing down and paying attention to the little things allowed the big things to build back up to where I wanted to be.

And now, three years later, finally healed and feeling fully here and alive again and moving forward in my full-time work, I was visiting a friend my age in an oncology ward reminding me that I still do not have any hold on this life.

I know if I die today it will have been a full life of love. I did my best. No regrets. But, I am not in a hurry to leave. I have decades of things to enjoy and explore. I want to enjoy my hardily fought for life, my precious surviving daughter, and my work and enjoy a man to love and be loved by again.

All that I lost has resulted in more gifts of inner strength, learning, living, value, clarity, peace, gratitude and grace.

I learned in finite ways that I am the medicine for my life, health and happiness. Recovering by living my work and sharing the tools I have gathered over these forty-four years have refined the practice and teachings into practical, simple and clear ways to help others to move forward in all areas of their life too.

It is spring and new beginnings abound for all of us.

That new yellow rose bush will be my delight, as she fills out and reminds me to appreciate her beauty and mine as I smell her sunny blooms and continue to smile with the gift of life as each new bud appears.

And when I hang up the dishtowel after finishing a sink full of dishes, I am grateful to have a home of my own, a kitchen, nourishment and a life I choose, wanting to live it fully each day.

Taking nothing for granted.

Life as an adventure in being.

Enjoy the Journey,

Janet StraightArrow

Be The Medicine, Living the Power of You. 973-647-2500

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  1. elisa says:

    That was absolutely beautiful and delightful! Thank you Janet, for sharing yourself with me! 🙂 I am still reaching for the tissues!

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