1. Find Your Own Way 2. Ask For What You Need and Want For Your Life 3. Trust Your Intuition 4. Be Prepared to Be Inspired Anytime, Anywhere 5. Be Willing to Accept Direction From the Divine 6. There is Holiness in Quiet Contemplation 7. Spend Time Every Day Improving Yourself 8. Let Go of the Need to be Right And Listen for a Change 9. That’s Not Right for Me 10. A River Knows the Way 11. Be Ever Mindful 12. Be of Service
I’m going to shine my light
For everyone to see.
Not out of ego,
But for the Glory of Spirit
Who placed it there in me.
“Things do not change;
Henry David Thoreau
On November 11, 2008, my life changed forever. I was admitted to the emergency room at Lake Forest Hospital near Chicago. The doctor informed me that I had Chronic Myeloid Leukemia - CML. I never heard of it before, but would quickly come to know it well. I had not been in the hospital since my son was born over 17 years earlier. That had been a joyous occasion. This, not so much.
A normal white blood count is between 3.6 - 10 thousand. That day my white blood count was 271,000. It was not pleasant. As your white blood count approaches 300,000 it turns to sludge and tends to pool in your heart and brain; you are at serous risk of suffering heart attack or stroke. I was not in a good place. I was sick. I was scared. I felt lost.
I suggested to the oncologist that perhaps I could go home, get a good night’s sleep and then return in the morning to begin treatment. A part of me knew that if he agreed, I would never return. He looked across the room at me, and without hesitation, in a tone I knew it was hopeless to argue with, told me “You’re not going anywhere.”
Nothing could have prepared me to make the phone call to my son from the hospital room. I wondered, where would the words come from to tell him I had Leukemia, but not let him know how frightened I was.
I was hooked up to an IV machine that I named “Bob”. I was handed a lovely hospital gown (who designs these things?) to put on. I sat on the stiff bed, rested my head on the rubber sealed pillow, and cried. This was the last place I thought I would be.
Cancer is not a pretty picture and to protest my stay I refused to wash my hair until they sent me home. I sat wrapped in a blanket in the chair by the window in my hospital room looking out onto the parking lot where I knew my car was parked. I wanted to go home. I wanted to run away.
DANGER - DETOUR AHEAD! I had been going down the same path for years. Nothing awful but nothing amazing. I had once confided to someone that I wanted a life less ordinary, but one year blended aimlessly into another. Here I was, forced to make a sharp right turn, right into a new direction, right into a new life. I didn’t want any part of it.
My son was going off to college the following year and I was afraid that I hadn’t given him the wisdom that I wanted to share with him, lessons I had taken a lifetime to learn the hard way. What if the doctors were wrong. What if the “miracle drug” they were giving me didn’t work and I wasn’t going to be around when he embarked on his journey in life as an adult. What if I couldn’t be there to guide and support him. My heart was aching.
I wanted him to know that if I didn’t make it, if I couldn’t be there to hug him, look into his eyes to tell him I loved him on graduation day, when he got married, or when his first child was born, that he was not alone. He would never be alone. In his heart I would always be with him, by his side, whispering in his ear, and watching over him.
Sometimes when fears cloud the words I wish to say, the angels bring them to me in my sleep, so that I may know them and hold them in my heart to share with others. Over the next several weeks after my diagnosis, I awoke in the early hours of the morning with words running through my mind like secret whispers from a friend. I scribbled them down on scraps of paper and went back to sleep. In the end, I found that there were twelve pieces of wisdom I was led to write down.
These are the lessons I wish to pass on to my son and to my daughter.
I hope that some few words in this little book have meaning for you, sustain you through times of challenge, and let you know in your heart that there is always hope, for you are truly never alone.
The trip of a thousand miles begins with just one single step. -Lao Tzu
It may seem overwhelming to even think about making life changes. You’re not certain you truly want to make a change, and you can’t see the road ahead to where the changes may take you. Fear sets in. Have you ever experienced that dream where you are on a darkened staircase; you can’t see more than one step ahead and you’re afraid when you take the next step, it won’t be there and you will fall into space.
Fear is part of our lives. We are hardwired to react to fear. On one level, it works to keep us safe from dangerous situations. It keeps us from crossing the expressway on foot during rush hour. Fear is to be respected but not allowed to be in charge, or it can freeze us in our tracks when the best thing for us is to move forward.
Living in fear is not living.
While we all yearn to make changes that we know will make us happy, it is important to have the courage and strength to take a step in the direction that will bring us out of the fear of our bad dream and into the light. It is really the small steps that add up and take us where we truly are meant to be headed.
To all who pick up this book. I send you healing prayers and best wishes at creating healthy change in your life, one step at a time. Know this, you will not only change your life, but everyone you meet will be transformed.
Love and Light, Theresa