Step Forward in 2019

Over the past year since I’ve been on Twitter, I’ve often used the hashtag #stepforwardfromcancer. That phrase came to me when I was planning a group for breast cancer survivors. I was using my Life Coaching knowledge to help those participants move toward a better place in their lives. When I remembered back to my treatment, I thought of how the meaning of ‘stepping forward’ was relative to where I was in the process. (You could substitute another illness, #stepforwardfrom_____ if it stopped you in your tracks and changed your life).

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path up Mt Constitution overlooking Puget Sound, Washington State

In the early days when decisions needed to be made about my cancer treatment, a step forward could be making a choice that gave me more control: whether to take an aggressive approach, what location I’d go to for my infusions, what time each day to have my radiation appointment. When I was further along and feeling the impact of treatment, stepping forward could be pushing myself a little harder to get out of bed and walk outside. Sometimes it was choosing to participate in activities in spite of my nausea, taking my aide of a ‘nausea cocktail’ of cranberry juice and Diet Sprite on crushed ice. And once I was done with treatment, stepping forward was about moving toward the things that I’d put on hold, trying to let go of the fear of the cancer returning in order to enjoy life.

Sometimes with my hashtag I’ll go further and add #stepforwardfromcancer or whatever holds you back. While a physical illness is an obvious block to moving forward in the way we’d planned, sometimes the things that hold us back are not visible. For me one of those things is feeling inadequate, doubting myself. I’ve experienced this in various areas of my life, but the one that comes to mind that I’ve learned most about over the years is having the confidence to take solo journeys.

Taking solo journeys started by accident when I had that serendipitous trip to Sedona, Arizona in spring of 2001—right after I finished my 8 months of cancer treatment. I had the chance to travel for a few days between 2 business trips out West—but I had to do that alone. At first, I thought, “How can I go by myself to an unfamiliar place so far away?” That seemed like something other women might have the confidence to do, but not me. Taking those first awkward steps was rewarded by discovering the freedom of time alone without the distractions of fellow travelers. For me, it was a time of spiritual renewal in the presence of God, and eventually, after years of journeys, helped me to discover more of myself.

Each year when I approached planning that journey, I dealt with some level of doubt: Why are you going to that destination instead of another? How are you going to fit in with that group of people? Will you have the physical ability to carry out your plan?

What I’ve found is that those voices of doubt sound pretty familiar over time. They pick on the same vulnerable spots where they know they’ll get a reaction out of me, those areas of pride that will quickly defend themselves when they’re accused. By taking risks and not letting that thing hold you back, whatever it is for you, the more times you do it anyway, the more routine, the less of a hold it has on you.

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At the top of Mt Constitution, Washington State

So now, as we’re into the first week of 2019, I hope that you can start this new year by stepping forward from whatever has had a grip on you, whether it’s a physical illness or an emotional thorn in your side that keeps you from living the life you desire. Each small step leads to another to make the journey down your path the best it can be.

 Blessings to You!

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What about You?

Are there physical or emotional things that you need to #stepforwardfrom in 2019?

What first step will you take? Are there supports that would help you?

Related Post

Sedona: A Serendipitous Journey

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Step Forward in 2019

  1. I think the emotional aid a person needs to step forward is to recognize what she does well. So often when we are young, we let ourselves be defined by what we can’t do instead of by what we can. We search out our failings instead of searching for our talents. Part of the wisdom of age is to learn what you do well and to follow that path. And as you do, you lose yourself in the passion of the pursuit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Erika,
      Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts. I like how you say that our perspective changes as we get older and we focus on what we do well instead of our short comings. That is an advantage of aging–seeing the broader perspective.
      Yes, finding your passion is key to seeing your strengths as they emerge.
      Thanks, Erika,
      Connie

      Like

  2. Connie, You are setting the bar high this year, and I love it. You never need to think of stepping back as this happens. Keeping our minds open to the change that makes the greatest differences. All setbacks will appear to warrant a move forward. I am going to change my diet to keep things on a healthy path. I always look and find my moves in your posts. Thank you. If by chance you are going to Asheville, NC, try to stop in Columbus, at the Rural Seed Restaurant 322 E Mills St, Columbus, NC 28722, you can call ahead at 828-802-1097 if, in a hurry, This is well worth the time to stop,. Ask for Dad’s Table and Chef John. Just a shameful plug for my Son. I look forward to the next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey John,
      Thanks so much for reading and for your words of encouragement. Good for you that you have stepped forward by changing to a healthier diet. That’s so key to good health.
      Thanks for letting me know about your son’s restaurant. I do go to Asheville sometimes and I’ll keep Rural Seed in mind.
      Best to You in making that change in your life in 2019!
      Connie

      Like

  3. Hi Connie, thanks for another great piece. Depending on the circumstances one could also say #ForwardWith…. #ForwardDespiteOf….
    Since my recurrence I identify with that. My best wishes for you and your work.
    Karin Sieger

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Karin,
      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. I like the way you’ve included “with” and “despite” because one thing doesn’t exclude the other. It’s so important that we find how to do it “our way” that gets us to the next point on our unique path.
      I appreciate all that you do in your work to encourage others and to help fellow cancer survivors figure out a way through whatever we encounter.
      Thanks for your good wishes and the best to you in 2019!
      Connie

      Like

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