Knowing and Experiencing

Jun 3, 2017

I have come to the realization that … knowing and experiencing are TWO very DIFFERENT things. I wasn’t going to write anymore about my C-Adventure on this website, but you know what … that is where I am right now. And, that’s okay. It is what it is. [a friend of mine shared those words with me, and it’s becoming a little mantra for myself :~]

Here’s the dictionary definition of these two words:
Knowing: having knowledge or information; intelligent
Experiencing: the process or fact of personally observing, encountering, or undergoing something

An “aha moment” came to me, when I started realizing my hair was coming out, not in patches but long strands [my hair was to my shoulders] I noticed it in the shower and brushing my hair. It was very emotional, let’s be honest … a bit devastating. I was crying about it one morning and my husband noticed, I shared with him why I was crying — his sweet reply was, “Honey, you knew this was going to happen.” And, then the words came out of my mouth through my tears, “Yes, I knew, but experiencing it is two different things.”

I came to realize how connected I am to my hair. Ego or not, it’s a real thing to me. Instead of shaving it right away, [which I thought I was going to do, knowing it would fall out] I asked a close friend to come over to my kitchen on a Sunday, and chop it off into a pixie. She proceeded and I saw it when it was all done, no previews with a mirror. And, when I saw my reflection in the mirror, I thought, “Hmm, I like it … it is so different.”  I haven’t ever had my hair this short. Then I remembered, I was maybe 6-7yrs old, back then my mom kept my hair very short. But, when my dad would see me [which wasn’t very often — they were divorced at the time] he would say, “you look like a boy with short hair.” I guess those words have been with me for all these years …

I have to admit, experiencing having your hair fall out, and cutting it short has been a huge relief. Now don’t get me misunderstand me, the hair is still coming out, but with more grace, or it least if feels that way to me. I see it as taking a baby-step forward to shaving my head. After I do, I am choosing to decorate my bald head with a henna crown and scarves. No wig for me, where I live right now the heat is rising, and in less than a month the 100° weather..

Another knowing and experience difference is with my Tai Chi and Qigong practice. I knew this modality would assist those going through cancer, I have witnessed it for the past two years. I currently still teach 2x a week at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Experiencing chemo myself now and having this continuous practice, I KNOW from EXPERIENCE it allows me to keep coming back to my center, my present moment. Yes, I drift to “what ifs,” but I continuously bring myself back. I cannot express enough what my practice now does for me, it’s a whole new perspective.

As my oncologist reminded me, “I am not the person I was before I found my lump. I am different.” I am now doing my best to truly live what I teach … slowing down [yes fatigue from chemo is real] moving through emotions and not stifling them … being OKAY with wherever I am. I feel the lyrics from Sheryl Crow’s song, Long Way Back from her recent album Be Myself* best describes me lately:

“Some days I feel alright and some days I can’t wait until it’s night. Some days you have to face the light, get back in the ring put on your gloves and fight.” I think it’s going to take some time to find a way and ease my mind. I am going to the the long way back home… ”

I am continuously grateful to each one of you, the prayers, thoughtful gestures, conversations, loving-support, reading and commenting about what I write.

*I have been a Sheryl Crow fan since the beginning, do you remember, “All I Want To Do … Is Have Some Fun?” Her latest release, “Be Myself” is the best she has done in years. Her lyrics are so personal, so real and relatable. Check it out. And, no I am not getting paid — just sharing what resonates with me.


  1. Love this post! And I LOVE your new look. You’re beautiful inside and out. xo

    • Pearl,
      Thanks for reading it and being so very kind. XOs back ;-!

  2. Hi Toni,

    the news of your cancer and recovery touches me deeply. thank you for writing about your thoughts and emotions so honestly and thank you for sharing your joys and fears so bravely. I hold you in my heart every moment.

    all my love to you,
    Val Kittel

    • Val,
      Thank you for your kind words, sharing with all of you helps me understand myself better. And, therefore it allows me to be a better teacher, one from experience, instead of knowing. Hugs back to you!

  3. You are a radiant, beautiful, inspiring, authentic soul! I love your willingness to be vulnerable
    I re-watched Brene Browns Ted talk on vulnerability just the other day and it was such a great reminder of the importance and transformation that vulnerability brings. You go ahead and just keep rising girl! I can’t wait to see the henna design!!

    • Jackie,
      I love how you feel I am being vulnerable — I see it as just being honest. And, when I write and share, it is very therapeutic for me. Thanks for being with me through this adventure!

  4. Hello Toni
    I’m sorry I can’t be closer right now. I continue to keep you in my heart. Your courage is powerful. I would agree that knowing and experiencing are different. And what I KNOW is that while you are different because of the C-Adventure, you hold the same core values and beliefs that are unshakable and unbreakable. You are beauty, light and love to the core that that will never change. Sending all good things with love, Rebecca

    • Dear Rebecca,
      Thank you for reminding me that my core will not change. You are constantly with me in spirit, though we are not physically together, I do feel you and your love.

  5. Beautiful writing and beautiful you!

    • Judy thank you for your kind words and continuous support.


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