“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”Margaret Atwood – The Penelopiad, 2005
Gratitude is a verb, as my good friend and Curandera, Espiritista, and Bruja, Carolina Gonzalez says. She is one of the many friends I am grateful for, and she has been one of my rocks.
Small plug here – consider joining her spiritual services; I did every single one last year and along with rituals, prayers, reiki from other friends, I absolutely believe it helped.
I’ve written about the importance of a daily gratitude practice before in my blog (on my blog?) even before cancer. It’s something I seem to come back to every Bealtaine/Summer Solstice.
Acknowledgment and gratitude practice has been such an important strategy over the last 18 months for me.
During chemo, I started linking my gratitude practice to a contemplation of a quote on gratitude, and I wanted to share them. When I started writing that up, I realised it was a huge, lengthy blog post, so I have decided to break it up into chemo cycles (maybe.. Unless that is too long too, in which case, it might be broken down to weeks). So that blog series will follow this one.
I’m hopeful it might help someone else.
Here’s a roundup of what I wrote about gratitude through my other cancer series posts.
Some of the links will repeat, because as I said, it’s a roundup of some of the gratitude practices I shared across the whole cancer experience, as opposed to the focused 85 Days.
There is a lot to be grateful for; the cancer has been detected early, and breast cancer is one of the most well-researched cancers, so there’s a lot of data available. The prognosis at this point is that it is completely treatable.How to tell people you have cancer
Language is important.
There are lots to be grateful for: the cancer has been detected early, breast cancer is one of the most well-researched cancers, so there’s a lot of data, and the prognosis at this point is that it is completely treatable.
Gratitude practice has been a strategy I have used for years to help me keep perspective and get through rough times. I wanted to ensure that I was setting it as a benchmark and strategy right from the start. I also wanted to circumvent any indulgence in toxic positivity – because that wasn’t going to help me.Facebook Post
One thing that has consistently been a source of stability, comfort, and marvel has been the incredible generosity of spirit that I have been enveloped in from family, friends, and colleagues.
People have been so kind, and so practically helpful with volunteering time and effort. It’s extraordinary to me, knowing how busy everyone’s lives are, that people have simply.. *made* time to help. Such kindness has buoyed up my spirits and underpinned my ability to cope.
Simply so much gratitude.FRIDAY 28TH MAY 2021 (CANCER JOURNAL 7)
IN RETROSPECT – SO MUCH GRATITUDE
In hindsight, if I did not have those discussions with my sibling and my housemate, with the time to consider all the demands of moving, I would have said yes to the surgery when that phone call came in. And given how much we had to sort, it would have been a disaster.THURSDAY 03RD JUNE 2021 – THE WORST MELTDOWN
I’m so grateful for all the messages of support and the prayers, ritual, and well wishes. I have masses being said for me, and candles being lit for me, and friends dancing for me, going for meditative walks for me; all manner of emotional, spiritual, psychological care happening, and I feel very cherished.WEDNESDAY 14TH JULY 2021 (CANCER JOURNAL 11)
🦋 I’m going to continue with my daily gratitude on Facebook… it helps.
This strategy worked amazingly well for me. As someone with a history of depression, I was concerned about my mental health through this experience. Daily gratitude practice meant through the day, I would make notes on my phone for what I was going to share that night on Facebook. It helped keep me in the moment and with a mental orientation toward gratitude. It is possible to be miserable and sick and still practice gratitude. I would like to make a distinction between gratitude and toxic positivity.THURSDAY 09TH SEPTEMBER 2021: CANCER JOURNAL 15 ~ CHEMO EDITION
I have mentioned this before, but from day one of chemo until I was officially out of the last chemo cycle, I did a gratitude practice every day.
Over the day, I would write notes on my phone through the day and then share them on Facebook at night.
I matched it with a quote about gratitude and I did this for 85 days. It helped me maintain an attitude of gratitude even when I was very, very sick and there wasn’t too much to celebrate.MILESTONES ALONG THE WAY.
🦋 I’m going to continue with my daily gratitude on Facebook… it helps.
This strategy worked amazingly well for me. As someone with a history of depression, I was concerned about my mental health through this experience. Daily gratitude practice meant through the day, I would make notes on my phone for what I was going to share that night on Facebook. It helped keep me in the moment and with a mental orientation toward gratitude. It is possible to be miserable and sick and still practice gratitude. I would like to make a distinction between gratitude and toxic positivity.
The support I have in terms of social interaction with all my Beloveds; mainly text messages, video messages, memes, etc; is absolutely the tapestry of love and care that I am leaning into daily and it is helping sustain me.SUNDAY 03RD OCTOBER 2021: CANCER JOURNAL 16 ~ CHEMO EDITION
🌹 Be kind, Gentle Creatures, tend your gardens, take time to eat he roses, and walk your boundaries.
❗Check your breasts, check your testicles.
Ensure that you are vigilant around your self-examination. Train yourself to check your breasts/testicles routinely, and monitor your bowel habits and your urine output. These are our body’s early warning signs, and we don’t have a lot of awareness of them.
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Helen Margaret Gilmour says
A deeply heart felt personal daily practice under conditions one wishes one should never have to face. Daily gratitude practices, as against endless positivity affirmations, can keep us sane and grounded in both glad and trying times in our lives .
It certainly helped me get through some very hard days! I think positive thinking is very difficult when you are deathly ill and the outcome / end result is still uncertain.