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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, as a survivor myself, this month is vitally important to me. I honor all who have lost their fight against this horrible disease, and all who continue to fight, and those who have survived their battle. I honor you, always.

Recently I have found myself slipping back to my pre-survivor days; just doing the minimum, questioning where my art was going (or not going), unhappy that my life was once again mired in the mundane details of daily routine, even suffering physically with a mysterious illness that has lingered for over a month. So I reached for my “go to” book, Women Who Run With The Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD. and read it again cover to cover. This is an incredibly powerful book of archetypal stories that anyone can relate to their own lives.

One particular chapter titled “Finding One’s Pack: Belonging as Blessing,” caught my attention and sparked a new excitement in my soul. There are certain passages in this chapter which speak specifically to being a survivor and I wanted to share this with everyone!

Dr. Estes writes, “Being able to say that one is a survivor is an accomplishment. For many the power is in the name itself.” I certainly felt that power after my recovery from breast cancer but soon realized that I had to move on, to find a new word to define my new life. I needed something stronger to lift me out of my “funk.” I found it in this chapter. Dr. Estes goes on to say “And yet comes a time…when the threat or trauma is significantly past. Then is the time to go to the next stage after survivorship, to healing and thriving.”

And then it all clicked for me. I was once again reunited with my “wild woman.” Now I am excited and busier than ever, creating new artwork, establishing new relationships with business clients, jumping the hurdle of implementing the next phase of my business plan, and just loving life again. I am a THRIVOR!

So I leave you with another wonderful quote from Women Who Run With The Wolves, “But thriving means, now that the bad times are behind, to put ourselves into occasions of the lush, the nutritive, the light, and there to flourish, to thrive with bushy, shaggy, heavy blossoms and leaves. It is better to name ourselves names that challenge us to grow as free creatures. That is thriving. That is what was meant for us.”

Now, I am going out tonight to howl at the moon! Check out Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book! And thrive!

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