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  • Mia Rose

Turning on the Light

I realize the last thing most of us need right now is another thing to read and clog our minds during this time of ever changing information (ahem, chaos) being thrown in our direction, so I will keep this short. Bear with me though, because to be honest, it's as much (if not more) for me than perhaps for you. The national emergency and global pandemic we find ourselves in has reached a level of utter horror as we strive for some peace and familiarity to keep ourselves and our spirits afloat. By Wednesday night I was overcome with anxiety. I was scared. I felt unprepared, uncertain about what is to come and I honestly felt almost as vulnerable as I did the day I found out I had cancer. The difference for me this time, is I've been living in a similar state of fear and uncertainty for the last two years....alone. Now the whole damn world is dealing with it and I felt like I couldn't escape it. So here's what I know to be certain.....

Yesterday I was feeling tensions high all around me when suddenly I had an epiphany. I was strolling through Target (NOT buying toilet paper) and there was a slightly different feel to such a familiar weekly routine. We all were stressed wiping down carts and very mindful of not getting too close to one another. Yet, we were also very calm doing something that just felt normal. I think we all kind of needed to engage in something that brought us down about ten notches. That's very much cancer survivorship. Uneasy, yet manageable with the right mindset. This realization that I've been here before, hell, I've been here all along, settled me a little bit. I have endured the crazy and surprisingly, I'm still here! I mean, I'm still contemplating keeping my kids in a bubble, but I also found a little bit of reassurance in this moment that it will be ok. Later that afternoon, news started buzzing about school shut downs and stores running out of this and that. I got nervous that maybe I didn't have all of the supplies I need to make it through what was coming...even though I really have no idea what is coming. Again, anxiety and panic start to creep in. I found myself doing what I do best and what I've learned to center me over the last 2 plus years of my life. I placed both hands on my chest over my heart, closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and said to myself "I am ok. I am here. This moment is enough. In this moment, I am ok". It sounds silly and maybe a little too simple, but instant peace. I then booked a candlelight flow yoga class to attend last night because finding time and the space to slow down and just be in times of such turmoil and crazy is ESSENTIAL to keeping you intact. None of us know where this is all going and none of us can predict what will happen next. There is so much out of our control and it is coming at us at warp speed. It sucks, it's hard and it is difficult to navigate. I do know, however, with absolute certainty that controlling our thoughts, acknowledging our emotions and taking time to do what gives you peace even for a moment is crucial to surviving something that seems impossible to survive. For any of my cancer survivor friends reading this, I know it feels even more amplified for you with us being the lucky "immune compromised" people who are at higher risk, but know this...you are ok. Right here, right now, all is good. Take precautions, yes. Be mindful, absolutely. Don't let this situation throw you back down that damn black hole that you worked so hard to climb out of....I will admit I was starting to slide back in, but I bravely hit reset once again. We've got this. I was putting my boys to bed last night and I was reminded of a saying that I had hung on their wall during the darkness part of my cancer battle. It is a quote from Albus Dumbledore, a character in Harry Potter. We were reading the series together at bed time when I found out I had cancer. I used this as an opportunity to teach my kids something about mindset and how to deal with life when everything seems dismal. The quote reads: "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." Turn on your light my friends. It is there, even if you have to look a little harder than normal to find it. Take time for yourself and settle in and find some peace each day. Read a book, journal, light a candle, take it to your yoga mat, go for a run....whatever. You are ok and this experience and uneasiness won't last forever! In closing, this morning I woke up a beautiful fresh snowfall. It is so tranquil and picturesque. My nine year old, however, hates it. haha! He just wants to go outside and play basketball. The snow is not working for him! I told him he will be able to get out and play in no time. For now, however, look at the beauty that is being created right before our eyes. There is magic in a fresh, clean canvas. The light is turned on...take care, be safe, be mindful and know that in this moment, you are ok. Much love-M


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