Why You Must Listen to Your Soul Whispers
Exactly 16 years ago this week, I got the scariest news I could imagine—and yet, this news ultimately changed my life for the so-much-better.
If you’re new to my story, on Valentine’s Day 2003, I was diagnosed with a rare and incurable stage IV cancer. Even after a decade and a half, I STILL have trouble wrapping my mind around it. I mean… If you didn’t know me, you’d probably never guess that I’ve already far outlived the 10 years my docs predicted.
So much has changed for me since the day that ultimately reset my entire life.
I radically changed my diet and lifestyle and shared my journey and lessons along the way.
I fell in love and got married. Left New York City for fresh air and mountain living in Woodstock. I started my own business and dedicated the last 16 years to teaching others how to take back their health and their power—while also caring for the planet and animals.
Cancer made all that happen. It woke me up and shook me to pieces, and yet it taught me how to put myself back together stronger.
Cancer also rocked my world for the second time when my amazing dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Many of you “met” him in my film Crazy Sexy Cancer or you listened to his powerful message in our interview for The Healing Cancer World Summit a few months ago.
Since that time, my dad has had a few setbacks, including a recurrence and another surgery. He’s doing much better now—which is our biggest blessing. But more than the condition of his health, it’s my dad’s brilliant and resilient spirit that continues to be my teacher. (Love you, dad!)
So as I reflect on another cancerversary, I’m actually filled with gratitude.
Cancer sucks, don’t get me wrong. But it’s “gifted” me with this constant reminder that life does not last forever—for ANY of us.
Before my diagnosis, I was flailing in certain areas. As much as I’d love to change that part of my personal story, there’s SO MUCH good to be found in it.
And since it’s part of my life, I’m determined to wring every last lesson from it—and share those nuggets with you. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is this:
Life is NOW. Don’t wait it away.
Want to take a belly dancing course? Go for it!
Go to Italy and swim in the healing sea? There’s a sale on plane tix and bikinis!
Want to write a book, a song, a poem? Get going!
Teach yoga? I’d love to take your class!
Launch your own line of vegan treats for pets, become a midwife? Yes, please!
Or maybe you want to slow down, get off the hamster wheel and live simpler. Permission granted!
Slow down with some extra self-love! Download your free Crazy Sexy Self-Care Planner here:
Yes, I know all too well that this is easier said than done… As a kid, I was so fearful and timid. I know, that may be hard to believe, but I’m an introvert in extrovert’s apparel.
My mom was (and is) fearless. When I was young, she had a successful corporate gift business. I’d tag along with her to industry trade shows where we’d check out the latest products in the gift industry, including gourmet food, jewelry, home decor, stationary—you name it.
Many of the exhibitors offered samples of their goods to attendees. If there was something that caught my eye, I’d try to get my mom to ask them for a sample.
My mom was firm. “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there” she said. “If you want it, you need to get up there and ask. They won’t bite, the worst they can say is ‘no.’” And “no” to my mom is just a slight detour telling you to find another way.
So here’s this shy kid in the midst of all these business owners representing some major buying power… talk about feeling out of my league!
Over time, though, I learned that she was right. If I was willing to ask, folks were often willing to give. If I didn’t ask, though, I didn’t grow. So I took my mom’s lesson to heart and stretched myself.
Cut to my diagnosis, I realized that as brave as I thought I was, I was still playing small. I might have “grown up,” but I was still that timid little girl, afraid to step up, ask questions, push back when needed and ultimately own my power.
There’s nothing like a cancer diagnosis to light a fire under you.
I looked at my life and resolved to live big and true to myself, no matter how scared I got. I simply didn’t have the time to put anything off.
Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed… for ANYONE. So if you have a dream (and I know you do…), get a move on, oh magical one!
Everyone has something special stirring inside… A passion to do/be/have/give/create something—or to take what exists and make it better with their own special sauce. Yum!
I’m here to tell you, if you’re pulled to something greater in your life, you owe it to your wonderful self and the world to go after it!
And if you’re scared to try, for fear you’ll fail, listen to the advice my dad gave me when I was 15 years old and afraid to sing at my school recital. He told me to take a deep breath and silently whisper two words to myself: “Fuck it”—then get out there and sing!
There are no safety nets. No guarantees. Sometimes we’ll fall down, but when we do, we gotta get up and try again. The people, animals and planet need us too.
I hope my story, with all of its up and downs, inspires you. But I’m not the only one with lessons to share. You are a juggernaut of sunshine and talent. So seize the day, take all your so-called lemons and make champagne.
Squeeze every moment of the ride while you have breath in your body and fire in your heart.
Your turn: What’s something you’ve learned from life’s challenges, twists and turns? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Peace and living big,