Lately I have felt the value of compassion on both ends of the spectrum, the giving, and the receiving of it. As a chronic workaholic and overachiever I have a tendency to push myself to be very productive, sometimes to the point where my mind, body, and soul become exhausted. I don't always take or make the time to properly care for myself or practice self-compassion however I do find an incredible ability to take care of others.
Recently I have been challenged with caring for my 83 year old mother who has a recurrence of her breast cancer from over a decade ago and recently badly injured herself from a fall. It takes a lot to care for someone who has cancer as well as other health issues and has tested me to my limits.
I have realized in the six months of caring for her during her cancer treatment how important the small acts of kindness and compassion are. Holding her hand, helping her walk, sitting with her during an exam, and sharing a laugh while watching her favorite show, Golden Girls, are small acts I can do to show compassion and support for her.
It is puzzling to me sometimes how well I am able to care for her and others but not for myself so I am trying to practice more self-compassion to make sure I don't burn the candle out on the giving end. I recently went 'off the grid' and took a few days off to just be with my husband and friends and to enjoy time outside in Mother Nature enjoying the Autumn Equinox back east. I felt an incredible sense of respite which was much needed.
Through the decades some of those I hold dearest, both friends and family, have been affected by cancer. It is a terrible disease which unfortunately is more common than not. My best friend is a breast cancer survivor who proves to me how important it is to live in the moment and each day to the fullest. My father was a survivor of prostate cancer and taught me how important it is to become resilient. Throughout his treatment he kept smiling and going and afterwards made time to work in his garden and enjoy his piece of paradise every day where he felt his spirit was at home. My mother continues to be a cancer survivor her second time around and is a fighter who is facing her fears head on by choosing the path of curative treatment.
Needless to say cancer is something I am very familiar with and a disease I would like to contribute in finding a cure. I am also concerned with the well-being of cancer patients and survivors so I am dedicated to supporting non-profit organizations, like Wellness for Cancer, who help train therapists on how to provide treatments like massage therapy for cancer patients. Through this experience of my mother's cancer I realized how significant the sense of touch is to the healing process. Simply touching someone by holding their hand can energetically change the level of compassion felt by both the giver and receiver.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month this October Mala and Mantra designed two very special Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) bracelets. These bracelets will be sold on our website to raise funds to support Wellness for Cancer's efforts to help teach those who touch others how to heal through the senses of touch and sound. We will be launching these bracelets on our website soon so please stay tuned!
Let's all find ways to contribute to the circle of compassion this month with those suffering from breast cancer.