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.