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Balancing Qi

I was in Montgomery this past weekend, visiting from Wisconsin. Jayme hosted dinner Sunday night in her backyard, and I have never been so pleased to be exposed to 90+ degree temps (and mosquitoes). I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless top, but it was of course my shoes that stole the spotlight in that outfit. They are a sort of flip-flop/sandal, with dark brown soles and coral, cotton bands that wrap around the forefoot and ankle…they are not the cutest shoes in the world, but they are striking. And sincere or not, they attract a lot of compliments. And then comes the story (you know there’s a story).  They soles of the shoes are made of yoga mats…they are so very comfortable. So as I told my family that I had yoga mats on my feet, I brought my hands together in what I believe to be “lotus” pose, bowed my head slightly, and quietly said, “Namaste.”

I have to admit that I’ve dabbled in yoga…and also Pilates. But I don’t have a clue as to what a downward dog or a child’s pose is. And I don’t have a clue as to what Namaste means. So I did a little research. Namaste is a greeting…a hello, as well as a goodbye, which acknowledges the receivers generous kindness. It is often accompanied by nonverbal communication of putting the hands together with a bow…when stripped down to word origin, Namaste means “bowing to you.” It is generally used to express respect, politeness and courtesy to others.

In essence, Namaste means:

My soul recognizes your soul.
I honor the love, light, beauty, truth and kindness
within you because it is also within me.
In sharing these things
there is no distance between us.

But my search for enlightenment didn’t stop at Namaste. I stumbled upon a little symbol that we all know well…the Yin Yang. You know, the black and white circle with little tear drops chasing each other…each with a spot of the other within it? Well, as it turns out that little dot is part of the charm of the yin yang.

The circle symbolizes two energies (or “qi,” which is pronounced “chee” – by the way, this is a perfectly acceptable Scrabble word in case you are trying to get rid of that “Q”), one feminine and one masculine.The energies are constantly changing, balancing each other out, trying to balance the qi, if you will. The circle is symbolic that all things are made of both yin and yang. The movement of the circle indicates that all things flow from yin to yang, and back to yin. And the dots within the yin and yang show that neither is absolute – each energy possesses characteristics from the other. The center line is the still point…the balance…peace.

Who knew all of this wisdom could come from a pair of shoes?!

Logan is now 5 – going into Kindergarten in the Fall. He is likely to lose his first tooth this week. He no longer tells me that I love him better than the whole wide world (though he makes a “world” symbol in sign language when he is scared, and that makes my heart warm)…now when I ask him, “Do you know how much I love you?” He answers, “Better than pink ribbons!” And boy is he right about that. He has a boundless imagination and incredible energy. Although he says he wants to be a scientist, I suspect he will be an actor, a writer, or perhaps a preacher!

Parker Dean is 3 years and almost 5 months old. It’s hard to believe that he was under 5 months when I was diagnosed 3 years ago today. He found Logan’s “boo boo takah” the other day in the sandbox, and he asked me what it was. Before I could answer, Logan did…and the boo boo takah it still is. We better hold onto that thing. Parker is brave, and he sounds like the kid from “Overboard” who always talks about Dr. Death. I wish I were kidding. He is the king of the legos in our house. If Lo ends up on Broadway someday, Parker is likely a future engineer. 

The boys share a room, despite the space in the house. Logan is terrified of shadows. He won’t go to the bathroom by himself, which I think has largely to do with his vivid imagination. He will shutter and shake for 5 minutes until Parker says, “I’ll pwotect you, Wogan.” And with swords drawn, they conquer the darkness. It amazes me that bravery is contagious. I’ve tried to explain to Logan that you cannot have shadows without light – he is a pretty logical kiddo, but I cannot get that through to him. For now, I guess that Parker will have to pwotect him.

I had my 6-month checkup this month. All looks good. Labs are normal. Armpits are clear. Yvette and Shelby are free of lumps and shaping out nicely. I can hardly even feel them anymore (it used to feel like I had a couple of melons sitting on my chest, but not anymore). CT scan and Ultrasound show a clear abdomen and pelvis. And that brings me a lot of internal peace.

Work continues to be interesting. The healthcare industry is struggling to figure out how to remain sustainable while keeping up with the aging baby boomers, who are increasing the Medicare population by the masses. Throw Obamacare on top of that and you have the perfect storm. My only hope is that I get to be a part of the creativity and innovation that will improve this industry so that we can take care of those people who worked so hard to build it, all the while taking care of us.

I am still working with 2 breast cancer organizations. I am a PinkPal with - a great non-profit that connects young, high risk women with a community of survivors. They do truly great work. I am also proud to be the Vice President on the Board of the Central Wisconsin Affiliate for Susan G. Komen. What an amazing opportunity to impact women locally. I feel truly blessed to be a part of these wonderful and impactful organizations.

Life is full of ups and downs, successes and failures, shadows and light, yin and yang. And if we can find a balance in all of that, we can appreciate not only the love, light, beauty, truth and kindness in ourselves, but also in those we meet. And in that we get to come full circle. And isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Namaste.

This post first appeared on Bean's Breast Cancer, please read the originial post: here

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Balancing Qi


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