"OK....now to the thoughts that have been running around inside my no-longer-completely-bald head. This past weekend I had the absolute PLEASURE of attending a day long workshop called IN-ERGIZE, along with several of my dear friends from the Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreat. The workshop helped us learn how to be Awake, Authentic, and AUDACIOUS. I'm still thinking through a lot of what we learned and there will be more to follow on that at a later time. Not gonna lie, for me the best part was being able to once again spend face-time with some of the awesome people I met through Wind River. My friend Trish came in from Chapel Hill and stayed with us for the night. I also got to see my fellow campers, Lauren and Debbie. It was so great to be able to laugh with them and share life updates.
Of course, I also got to see Shannon, Dave and Cheryl -- three of my all-time favorite people. Wind River IS Shannon and Dave. Four times a year they open their lovely home to cancer survivors from all over the area (and then some) for their Wellness Retreats. Wind River is a little spot of heaven on earth that sits on a rushing creek that is now home to several dozen trout! It gives us cancer folk an opportunity to connect with one another and explore our feelings about having "da Big C." But here's the thing -- it's not a bunch of sick people sobbing about how much their collective lives suck because they're sick. It's quite the opposite. Shannon, Dave, and their amazing team of "Wellness Super Heroes" create a non-threatenening environment in which you can talk about your fears, your dreams, your loves, your hates -- whatever you want -- without being judged. There may be a few tears but I promise you, there is WAY more laughter. We eat well, thanks to Cheryl (even if we're all jonesing for chocolate), meditate, exercise, and play music. I don't know -- it's so hard to put exactly into words how this experience affects you. Oh, and did I mention that the entire retreat is free? Yes, Wind River is a non-profit and they offer this opportunity at no cost to its participants.
Cancer sucks, it really does. But one thing I'm learning is that it also brings out the best in people. Shannon, Dave, Cheryl and the other Super Heroes are just one example of amazing people who are there to love and support us. In the past seven months I have met so many people who volunteer their time to help cancer survivors in a multitude of ways. It's truly humbling. I hope (plan) to do the same in some way when I get on the other side of this journey. I'm not sure how yet -- but stay tuned because I think it may have something to do with me being Awake, Authentic, andAudacious. :-)