Posted in empowerment

Find your Voice

This post did not turn out as I planned.

Once my fingers start typing, what unfolds surprises even me at times. It’s simultaneously cathartic, invigorating and exhausting. I think it’s wonderful! How great is it, when we can surprise ourselves?

I wanted to write about how I had retired from writing. I did, you know, for a few months. But, I still had books to promote, and a  toilsome website that I felt I had outgrown.  The person that created that site years earlier is not who I am today. I wanted a fresh, uncomplicated start, but I was still undecided if a blog was the way to go. Truth be told, I wasn’t really sure what a blog was.

 Then, I listened to a webcast by singer/certified Kundalini and Naad Yoga Instructor Simrit. There’s two simple things she said that resonated with me; it was about finding and empowering your voice and owning your vibe.

Simple, right?

It should be, but yet, so many struggle with these two things. People are afraid to speak up, or haven’t developed their own voice, their own vibe,  afraid to be thought of as the weird one, the one who’s different. What if my ideas suck, or I sound or look stupid, or I fail, right? Does this sound familiar? 

Then there’s those that don’t feel comfortable in their own skin because they’re so engulfed with trying to emulate someone else and  “keeping up” with all the latest trends.

Hopefully along the way, these people stumble onto something that grounds them, opens their eyes and makes them see life with new eyes and experience it with a new mindset. Something that makes them see their true self. 

How many people can say they know their own voice and vibe? How many have taken the time, effort, guts and raw emotions needed to strip away all the false, outer layers and confront who they really are?

It’s not always nice. We have this image sometimes of who we’d like to be, and maybe we’ve even convinced ourselves that we’re like that. When you take the time for some introspection, you have the opportunity to marry reality with self-perception. You might identify some areas that could use an overhaul, and you can take that empowering decision to make those changes. 

I’ve had ample opportunity over the past two years to dig deep (we’re talking rock bottom) into the cob-webbed recesses of my mind to explore who I am- who I really am. I’m not perfect. I never will be, nor do I strive to be, but I’ve always thought of myself as a kind person. 

Regardless of my vast professions over the years, I always aimed to be kind. My work may not have always allowed that aspect to shine brightly, but at my core, if nothing else, I knew I was kind and I strove to surround myself with like-minded people. 

Re-invent

I’ve had to re-invent myself. Many of us have been there before, or will be at some point, to some degree.  That’s life, folks. Some of us are faced with having almost everything stripped away from us, having to dig way down within to find who we really are- our voice, our vibe- and rebuild from there. 

I was a manager, an author, a wife and mother. I was dressing sharp (ish), trying to find time to exercise, stay on top of work and housework. With whatever time was left, I would snag a couple of guilt-ridden hours to write, and try to carve out  time to keep in touch with extended family and friends. 

I was one of the few, or perhaps the only, managers at work who did not handle work emails or matters after I left the office. In addition, I usually left at my designated quitting time.   In my mind, I told myself this was work/life balance.  I was on the right track, but it was hardly balanced. I was headed for a burn-out and knew it, but was powerless to prevent it.

“In my mind, I told myself this was work/life balance”

While I was teetering on the brink,  I went from feeling physically great, to being constipated, to then noticing some lumps in my abdomen all in a four month span. 

After a series of doctor visits and diagnostic scans, it was confirmed that my kidney had moved down into my stomach due to the size of the tumour that was attached to it. I was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. I was 47 years old. 

I lost my right kidney. Four little tumours that had spread to my lungs remained- and still remain- in my body. I had an ugly scar right down the middle, and I was the weakest that I’d ever been. I was on disability leave from work, and I was living an hour or more away from my son and friends and other family. In my heart, I knew I’d be unable to ever return to work. The only part of my identity that I thought I had left was being an author, but I was uninspired. 

So, what else was there?

I was still a kind person. Despite the anger, bitterness, sadness, anxiety and the “why me’s”, I was still a kind person. 

Let’s fast forward a little. We’ll save the details of those gruelling two years for another time, perhaps. I will never say that cancer was a blessing in disguise, but it has given me the opportunity to discover meditation, and in the process, myself. Once I was strong enough, I branched out into the physical aspects of yoga, and I continue my journey of rebuilding a better, stronger and kinder ME. 

For this reason, I will still write. I have found my voice and my vibe and I hope to somehow touch the lives of others, through writing, to help them find theirs. What’s on your mind? Share you voice, share your stories. THIS. This is why I chose to start a blog. My voice. Your voice. 

So, no. This is not what I thought I’d write about. But I love it.

Cheers, my friends.

If you’d like to share your personal journey, please contact me.

Author:

Cozy mystery author, cancer warrior, certified yoga teacher, food lover, empath...healthy, happy, strong. Namaste!

9 thoughts on “Find your Voice

  1. I enjoyed that immensely. Your way of writing inspires me. While I was reading that I could hear your voice in my mind. I’m one of your biggest fans mom. I’m so proud of you.

    1. Thank you for the lovely words. To be honest, I had one of those moments I write about- the “what if I fail or people laugh, etc” – probably about half a dozen times. But in the end, I did it, and it feels great!

      1. You should feel great! As someone who has been along with you in this journey for all these years of friendship, I have witnessed your personal growth, courage and grace under such difficult and scary challenges you have been faced with. All while keeping your sense of humour and yes.. your kindness! I’m proud of you my Juju, you have found your voice… and your internal strength. I continue to be your cheerleader and am always here as a sounding board to you when needed! xo
        Keep on blogging girl… keep on inspiring!

  2. Judy you are amazing. Everything you expressed here resonates. I am also on the journey of stripping away and facing my demons. Second time around at least. I must be a slow learner!😄 Thank you for giving us the “gift of vulnerability” (Brene Brown)

  3. Hope you’re in good health post surgery. Yoga can help you out but if it is under watch of a good teacher. Work to find out one and then give 100% of yours… 👍

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