Soul Shine


I’m a classic rock kind of gal so when I woke up this morning singing “Soulshine” by The Allman Brothers. I thought why not write a little more about the glow. Remember that bluesy tune? “Soulshine, better than sunshine, better than moonshine, damn sure better than rain.” Well those fellas were on to a deliciously universal truth.

Ever since the TLC commercial for my film started playing, the Crazy Sexy word, is rippling out to the ocean of people experiencing adversity. We’ve been getting hundreds of emails a day, 99% of which are EXPLODING with love and big thanks sista! But, what about that 1%? Since I am a story teller, the 1% of folks who don’t understand the name (which I’ll blog about next week) or HATE the sunny message (and love to tell me where to put it) make me think long and hard about the human condition. I learned pretty early in my acting career that if you believe the good reviews you have to believe the bad ones too. As soon as someone says you’re the next champagne supernova someone else will let you know you’re a turd. No thanks!

My friend, the celebrated and beloved author Marianne Williamson had me on her radio show “Oprah and Friends” the other day and Marianne said something about the book and film that made me giggle a big Amen, Aho! Yahoo, she said, “you catch the beam and shine it out girl”. Very cool right? So why did it make me blush and feel uncomfortable? Because happy can be spooky! I used to think it was arrogant to show my happiness, like I was bragging if I shared the good things in my life. So I joined the hurd and bitched with the best of them. It’s just so easy to do. Politics, the environment, the economy, the war, you name it, there is plenty to complain about! Then I got slammed by hurricane canSer, my levees broke and my world was drowning. In that moment I realized that the secret to happiness is the decision to be happy.

CanSer is here so now what? Fold up Kris, or find your eagle feathers? Happiness doesn’t come from a permission slip. When I focus on what’s wrong in my life I some how seem to get more of it! There’s no question, canSer changes your life forever, there will always be a BC (Before CanSer). Yet, I have chatted with so many people who say it was the best thing that happened to them. Why is that? Because if you let it, canSer will take you to your zero point and teach you what it means to live like you mean it.

The Talmud says, “During the time of the darkest night, act as if the morning has already come.” Act as if. Buddha (the ultimate dude) taught that the purpose of life was suffering and the end of suffering. Which to me means that when the sh@t hits your personal fan, swim deeper than you’ve ever been willing to go, where blue becomes black, that’s when you’ll find a buried treasure of diamonds (and oxygen).

The opportunity for happiness is staring you in the face right now. Wink back.

Kris Carr

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26 responses to Soul Shine
  1. Dearest Kris,
    Found you via Heather’s website. Thank you for sharing your story with the rest of us. I am 32 and to be quite honest scared that one day cancer will hit me. I am scared of that because I see so many young people having it that I know I won’t be one of the lucky ones. Crazy I know, but I am no exception. In my mind I have always thought that the bravest souls are the cancer survivors that have lost their hair and flaunt their sexy bald head with grace.
    I adore your beautiful, or should I say sexy attitude. I can’t wait to see your documentary. I am rooting for you girlfriend! Keep up the fight and win this war.
    May God bless you in all that you do and pursue. 2 Corthians 12:10 says That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in harships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
    Smile today! Thank you for sharing your heart. You are a light into the darkened world of cancer!

  2. Hi Kris,
    I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma one week after my twentieth birthday. This was two months ago. No matter what kind it is (and according to a friend’s sister, I have the “best kind of cancer to get”), people treat cancer with such a taboo. They don’t want to ask you how you are, because they’re scared of that answer. There are some dark days. Right now, I think it’s all hitting me that I won’t be going back to school to be with my friends, and that, to me, feels like my life has been taken away. But reading about you and how you are choosing to live and get out there with cancer instead of waiting for something to happen is so nice to hear. It is just a word, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that. When you’ve got your whole life ahead of you, it can feel like you’re being left behind, but it’s just a slight detour before you get to meet up with everyone on the other side of canSer. Thank you so much for hopefulness in the canSer bubble of hopelessness.


  3. Hi Sunshine,

    So happy is really in and negative is out, like last year’s fashion. Yeah!!! Keep spreading your happy attitude because the dark clouds eventually pass on by.
    You’re one vibrant spirit. I love reading your blogs, theu make my day.

  4. Girl you hit it right on the head. I love how you can express some of the very things I’m thinking in such an eloquent way. Keep writing.

  5. Hi Kris,
    I love your blog and am looking forward to your show (have the DVR set to record it)!

    I was diagnosed with bladder cancer last fall and had a recurrence in May. I go in for my check-up on Monday. This type of cancer has a 50 to 80% recurrence rate, so it’s something that’s always hanging over me. I have check-ups every 90 days for two years, then every six months for five years until I’m cancer free.

    I’m really trying to change my attitude toward it but it’s hard. So I’m looking forward to your show because I admire your sexy, graceful attitude. Thank you for your boldness and courage and for what you’re doing for all of us.

  6. Kris’ book is also a ray of sunshine in this cruddy storm of cancer. Pick it up, and it’ll pick you up.

    Jen Singer, mom with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

  7. Kris- Thankyou for this site. I just had a stem cell transplant for Hodgkin’s in April, but I’ve been fighting this bastard since last April. There is no “best” canSer, it sucks. I’m looking forward to the doc and I’m ordering the book. I’ve been contemplating writing a book, now I feel inspired and know that I can. My advice (which I don’t always follow) is to never lose yourself while you are on this journey. For me, its makeup and fashion. I dress up for chemo and radiation and doctors appts. I truly feel better when I do, which is why I started Beautiful…..becauseyouare! Image Consulting Service. It is my joy to help those who don’t see it find their OWN beauty. Holler at me cowgirls: Stay crazysexy no matter what canSer is trying to do to you. Peace,Love,&Remission.

  8. Hi Kris!
    I just heard about your documentary yesterday and watched the trailer. It is the best thing for young adults with cancer I have seen yet.
    A few months ago a friend asked me to share my own cancer story with her. She said, “Tell me your cancer story, the whole thing and don’t miss out any bits.” I froze. I am currently 39 and I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when I was 19 and have been in remission since then. I have rarely told the whole story…usually the hopeful bits people like to hear…or the gory bits I liked to tell. I am currently training to tun the Nike Women’s half marathon in San Fransisco on October 21st and working to raise $100,000 specifically for young adults and their families for better patient care. For 20 years I have denied the real impact cancer had on my life and I am eccstatic at what you have produced and at how well you are marketing it to get it out there. Keep smiling cowgirl!!

    Here is what I am up to and from this link you can read my canSer story. Any chance you would want to come to Canada to speak or do a retreat? I would love to connect with you about this!

    Our team name is LIVING PROOF

    And our quote for the run is:
    “In the depth of winter I found within me and invincible summer”
    Albert Camus

  9. Like Laura, I am only now learning to recognize that I have denied the impact cancer has on my life. Less the one month after graduating law school, at the age of 25, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease. Ten years later, I am only beginning to acknowledge all that I have dealt with. Everytime I receive an email from a friend who is raising money for cancer-this or cancer-that, I kick myself for not doing more, for not being motivated by my own experience to do something for those who were, and will continue to be, diagnosed after me. Thank you so much, Kris (and Laura), for doing what I did not. (And Soul Shine has been on my list of favorite songs for as long as I can remember.)

  10. positive, positive, positive!

    you just get it and i thank you for sharing your infectious positive attitude!

    heather marks

  11. hey there Kris,

    First off, you make my smile even more genunine (fuck, i dont know how to spell that…hahah cheers to my poor halted dean’s list college education). This past June I had just came back from a year long abroad “studying” in Ireland and traveling Europe, only a week later to be tickled on the brain with a grand mal seizure, a brain tumor diagnosis, brain surgery, and a lovely phone call telling me I have stage III anaplastic astrocytoma. Basically, my favorite organ, my pretty brain, has had a parasite – and like any parasite, i know it must get the hell out of there and not take any more memories of old South Park episodes or nights out with friends and beer….and the other, unbelievably supportive familial things. So, basically, I am in the process of radiation, walking around with a smile and a better, sexier, and secret understanding, i think, of what our ocean, fish, and sycamore trees (even that coil left over at the construction site down the road) have been trying to say. And you know what, my theory is in all of this is: I’m much too pretty to have cancer!!!

    as we all are. and we have to be dominate, and dance with our tumors in the fast songs, then push them to the bleachers as we slow dance with our afflicted parts. give them the ride they want then dump them for the hot guy (or doctor)

    Thank you Kris for being crazy and sexy – I can’t wait for the documentary – may crack open one of my non-alcoholic beers for that one!!!

  12. Wink, back at you

    Cancer Sucks! Body Betrayal…Hurt Soul

    Love your title. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year at the age of 43 (7 tumors in one breast, OMG, good news all “old lady” type IE. not aggressive). I was shocked. How could this happen to me? I eat organic and natural foods, breast fed my 3 kids for 2 1/2 years each and I there is no history of cancer in my family…I learned cancer does not care.

    I have gone from beautiful thick straight hair, to bald and now I sport very very thick curly hair! We laugh about my hair a lot. Humor is vital. Who wants to be angry now that we know how precious life is. Although I must confess when I was first diagnosed once while walking through Target I looked at each women pushing her red cart and thought to myself, “why wasn’t her?”. We all want answers; however, who knows if we will ever get them.

    We have been truthful with our kids from the start and they have been amazing. We just dropped off our two oldest at the Kids Konnected (group for kids who’s parent has had cancer) summer camp.
    They love it because the can talk to kids that share the same experiences…life at the hospital, doctor appointments and so on. I often think about my children and what their childhood memories will be.

    I am currently going through my reconstructive surgery phase and keep my friends and family informed with funny, crazy, silly e-mails.

    Three Cheers to all of us Crazy Sexy Gals and Guys!

  13. Hi Kris,
    I am 35, with 3 children. My oldest is going to High School, my youngest is starting primary.

    I’ve never even heard of appendix cancer before, until I was diagnosed with it over Christmas of last year.

    Four days before Santa came, I was rushed to emergency for ‘appendicitis’.

    When I woke up, my doctors told me the news.

    My world spun. How could this happen to me? I prayed and thanked God for everything. I loved my kids. Took care of my body…What did I do?

    I just found out in July, that some deposits were found on my ovary, and my uterus.

    I am scared. Scared that I will never see my children grow up.
    Mostly, that is my only fear. They deserve their mommy around for that. And I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that happens.

    You are like a breath of fresh air. Canser is a disease, it sucks!! But lots of people treat it like it does not exist, Or that it is the plague.

    Not crazy, or sexy..
    Thanks for that. I can hardly wait for your show to start!!

    I am a crazy sexy woman!!!

  14. Wow! I just saw your show advertised on TLC and had to come look you up.

    I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2005. I was 35. I’m almost 38 now… Woohoo! Love those Birthdays!

    It’s been journey I never thought I’d experience, but one I wouldn’t trade. My life is richer and each day even more special than I could ever have imagined. I hate cancer, but life is all about perspective, isn’t it?

    I love the quote on your home page! “Why, when we are challenged to survive, do we give ourselves permission to truly live?”

    Can’t wait to get to know you better!

    Many hugs!

  15. Oh yeah… and speaking of crazy, sexy cancer… I was all about that the day I went rollerskating! I was feeling pretty darn confident going backwards and then… whoops… reality gave me a big ol’ check when I tripped, fell flat on my face and my wig flew off 2 feet in front of me.

    Humble… oh yes I am! I don’t think I have ever in my life received more pitiful looks from complete strangers. LOL!

    The bright side, as my very sweet sister-in-law reminded me, was that at least my wig didn’t get caught in anyone’s skate to yet cause further chaos at the rink. 😉

    I love family. :)


  16. Dearest Kris,

    My mom was a cancer warrior for 10 years before she passed away last month. She found a new lust for life only after she was diagnosed. Even if we were down at times when she wasn’t doing to well, she would cheer us on saying she’s still got lots to do and she’s going nowhere. Even her doctors described her as beautiful, happy and caring person. Even after she lost response to all therapies available and her disease progressed, she never complained. She was happy for the 10 years she had to live the life the way she wanted. I see the same spirit in you. You go girl!

  17. Kris, Can’t wait for your special. Love the blog. Buyin’ the book. Tho I was just thinkin’ of writing one like it my own self. I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer at 39. 22 months later I’m living life and loving it but am haunted by the agro beast waiting in the wings

    My big, highly important question of the day is this: Where did you find the “Fuck Cancer” skull cap? I really must have one. 😉

  18. words cannot express how your story has, in an instant changed my outlook on life. I am 30 years old and was diagnosed 2/06 with a rare form of uterine sarcoma and in the last 18 months since my surgery, I have not once thought of myself as a survivor. shame on me! A huge thank you for you! huge thank you, just huge!

  19. Hell, yeah! You got it spot on. Found your blog, watched your doc and I am floored. Thank you.

    Me? A fellow cancer cowgirl (I *love* that!), 34, was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer last September. Surgery, chemo, acupunture, massage, lymphatic drainage, bodytalk, organic foods and 11 months later, I am cancer-free.

    Oh, and I blog, too. Check me out!

  20. Kris; I don’t know alot about your total situation but I know cancer is curable and survivable. #1. godly trust thats #1. #2 stop eating anything with sugar because sugar feeds cancer. #3 get some ph test strips check your urine and salvia ph you need to be between7.0 and 7.50. if you can alklize your ph the cancer will die it must have an acidic enviroment to survive and grow. (That’s been proven by a nobel prize winning doctor) Oganic lemons is good way to alklize your ph. go to ph-ion .com check out their site.#4 do the master cleanse search the web you’ll find out how it cures disease and how to do it. be careful of conventional medicine it is extremly poisonous to the body. It is controlled unfortunaly by the pharmacuetical companys whose only concern is selling expensive and poisonous drugs. I sincerly care about your recovery and want to Help.#5 Please Read Kevin Trudeau’s book “natural cures they don’t want you to know about” it can save your life. I know all of this will help but there’s more. I hope you feel this is appropiate it’s the only way I knew how to try and contact you. steve

  21. Ooh fah, my little linguini! (Obscure Mad Lib reference from long childhood roadtrip.) You rock! Thank you for kickin’ my bum off the woe-is-me train. I think I landed in a place I’d like to hang-out in for a bit.

  22. Kris~
    I attended your signing in Denver last night…wow…I have to say it is extremely rare that I feel inspired and this is how I have felt ever since I heard you speak! I couldn’t believe it…you have profoundly affected me. I am 33 and a cancer survivor since the age of 24. Each year (sometimes bi-yearly) I go through recurrence tests (seemlingly endless blood draws and body scans and ultrasounds) that cause a frenzy of panic in my head which, up until this point, I thought was unavoidable. And then you talked about the bug hitting you square in the forehead, and the ritual of sitting your butt on your pillow to regroup. Oh my gosh! There are things I can do to ward off the panic, the “poor me” complex, the impeding feeling of dread and thoughts of what ifs. Life is too short for this shit! Especially when it can also affect my 5-year old son! Thank you so much for reminding me of what a strong woman I am, too. This is the 1st time in almost a decade that I have felt an actual connection to another person who has gone through somewhat of whatI have gone through…you put into words what I have felt this whole time. Talk about surreal. You are truly an inspiration and I am so happy to have run across you.
    Thank you (Karen–you know who you are) for inviting to me to this event…for allowing me to support you. I can’t wait to see the documentary and of course I’m enjoying the book!~
    Peace & Love

  23. Thanks for being such an inspiration to me….Hope to chat more with you in the future!

  24. Hi
    Has anyone tried or heard of “essiac-tea”???
    My sister is giving this a ‘try” for her Liver mets.

  25. Hello Kris,
    I am watching you on Oprah at this time. I would like to ask you a very serious question, and that is are you ready to die? Not are you ready to live, as I can see that you are. We are all appointed once to die and after this the Judgement. If this blog does anything for you, I pray that it is that it will enlighten you what I have to tell you. I have for sure no doubt been enlightened by you to live while I am living. I heard you say that you talk to God or a higher power…. Well, it is that very higher power that you and I will answer to. If you dont mind I would like to share with you a bit about my life, and how I came to know God. I went through a divorce of after 17 years, and three beautiful children later. I was so lonely and sad, but I searched for fulfillment through others.. meaning MEN. I felt used and got involved with a very wild crowd that I started to identify myself with. I was raped and I went through an abortion. I turned my back on God. I was heading down the wrong road in life, and I by all rights should have gotten either a disease or been killed. I know that God spared my life for a better one. Every body can live, but does everybody know how to die? I had to learn this through my walk with the Lord Jesus christ. He has taken the place of my earthly Father, and he is My Heavenly Father.
    God has given me a new beginning at life, so that I can be a better person when I die that I can encourage other’s to prepare to die. You Kris are here to show people how to live, and be positive while living before dying, but can you say that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are going to Heaven? I can truly say that I Am, because I am now a child of God.
    Thank you for inspiration and joy!
    Bless you Kris,

  26. Shine it out!

    I blog about having had cancer but I sure have fun doing it.

    Maybe I’m a bit of a nut bar for making fun of the cancer experience but what the hell else are we going to do?

    Anyway, I like nuts.