Colleen M. Doumeng
Mindfulness and Support Gathering - January 26, 2023 Deep gratitude to the Mondays At Racine Cancer Care Program for the opportunity to meet over zoom Thursday. What an inspiring group of woman who showed up for our mindfulness and support gathering. Some of us by phone, some from a cozy, quiet space no camera, and some of us with our cameras on from California, St Louis and Long Island.
We had a soul filled, heart expanding conversation about,
how do you find your true Self or hold on to your “anchor” (as one of our “teachers” offered) in the midst of a serious heath challenge, or being a caregiver, or finding yourself again after your adult kid has moved on? Or, after the death of someone you love? What tools do you use? Do you have a relationship with that “mysterious” part of you beyond our social roles, our reputations, our thoughts, our bodies our diagnoses? Do you want one?
Those that did share said they absolutely wanted to deepen their relationship with “that part” of themselves. That was why many showed up. They want to come back into balance, find more peace in the chaos, find inner calm, have less fear based thoughts, learn more about themselves on a deeper level.
Some bravehearts shared that their health challenge is so serious that it makes it very difficult to connect and sit still. They are physically and emotionally drained… dealing with "chemo-brains", afraid of the future, or a reoccurrence. Afraid too - and yes we said it out loud: dying. We nodded in understanding and empathy - no advice - no judgment. We’re not therapists, counselors, or doctors on this call - we are friends. Sisters brought together in Divine Order - "walking each other home" as Ram Dass teaches.
We learned from each other their "how" - how they come back to Self ~ walks in nature help, hugging a tree, praying, reading scripture, being a student in A Course In Miracles, practicing meditation, laughter, being in service. And, then we meditated and no one wanted to leave the call.
It was unanimous that the opportunity to spend a few minutes in meditation, to be in community to share our stories with people who “get us” - who practice deep mindful listening and who willingly and authentically share their experiences and what they have learned about themselves is so very healing and a pathway to return "home." And as one "sister/teacher" said to me after, "we don't wallow in self-pity during our gathering - we inspire and lift one another up."
Deep gratitude to everyone who showed up and flowed their unconditional love. I look forward to connecting with you at one of our Thursday gatherings.
And, again, deep gratitude to the Mondays At Racine Cancer Care Program* for this very special and gifted offering. I AM humbled to be in the midst of such amazing souls. "Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.
Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they dont exist in the human experience. We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be - a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation-with courage and the willingness to engage. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly." - Brene Brown