In June I went to visit my friend Grace who lives in Nicaragua. This chick has played a huge role in my cancer journey - from day one. Lending her expertise as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and her years of experience in educating people on the healing properties of a plant-based diet.
Over the course of just three years, she built, from the ground up, a beautiful self-care centre called Gracious Living Oasis. And I was lucky enough to spend two weeks there, just three months after finishing chemo. Healing and detoxing my body - both physically and spiritually.
I went for morning walks on the beach. I meditated. I journalled. I practiced yoga and block therapy. I had massage, acupuncture, cupping and reiki sessions. I napped in the hammocks hanging in the yoga hut. I played with Chia & Noni (Grace’s beautiful pitbulls). I had morning tea with her father who lives with her in Nicaragua, and has Alzheimer’s - which she is reversing the signs of by integrating a healthy holistic lifestyle and A LOT of love and attention . I spent afternoons at the beach swimming and early evenings watching the surfers and the sunset. I went to bed early and woke up earlier than I ever thought possible, feeling completely refreshed. I ate some of THE most delicious meals (all raw and plant-based) that I’ve ever eaten.
And I did and experienced all of that with four amazing people (three of whom were complete strangers before this trip); Grace, Chris, Julie and Lexy.
On my last night there, Grace and Chris arranged for a burning ceremony on the beach, and I was able to burn all of my hospital bands - and there were a lot of 'em! So many in fact, that I gave Grace, Chris and Lexy some to burn as well, which was super special!
I had kept all of the bands from the very first day in July 2018, when I got my diagnosis. I had no clue why I was keeping them, but I felt inclined to do so for some bizarre reason. And I’m so glad that I did.
That burning ceremony, while super emotional, also allowed me to let go of a lot of the fear and anger I’d been holding in (without even realizing it). With each handful that I tossed into the fire, I was giving cancer a big “fuck you”, and oddly enough a “thank you” as well.
I've read that some people think of cancer as a divine tap on the shoulder. And while I'd obviously prefer something a little less dramatic and life threatening, I have certainly learned things about myself in the last 17 months that I know I wouldn't have otherwise. Things that are hard to even put into words.
But I definitely walked away from that fire feeling like I'd cleansed a lot of the emotions that I'd been holding in. It was like a fresh start!
I asked Grace to record the ceremony, so that I could watch it. I had no intention of sharing it with anyone though, as it was probably the most private and personal experience that I've ever had in my entire 43 years of life. And, like I said, it was also pretty emotional - which I totally wasn't expecting.
BUT, given that it's NYE and that we're ringing in an entirely new decade, which in itself feels like a bit of a cleanse and fresh start, I'm ready to share.
And I'm sharing because I think ceremonies like this are something we should ALL do. It doesn't have to be a fire. It's more about the process. The process of just LETTING GO of the things that are weighing us down, or keeping us from doing or feeling something that we know we need to do or feel! It's important for our psyche AND our soul!
So HAPPY NEW YEAR and NEW DECADE to everyone!
It's a fresh start for all of us. Time to just let that all of your shit go and wake up tomorrow with an entirely new take on any negativity that's been hanging on! Ain't nobody got time for that!
p.s. Please have a glass of champers for me this evening!