When the Call to Action went out to support a sister in the midst of her journey with breast cancer, I felt compelled to respond. It’s not everyday that the opportunity arises to offer support on a personal basis.
Being a breast cancer survivor who’s currently in her 5th year of survival, I understand that everyday choices are a huge part of the recovery process. I decided to gift this beautiful sister with the Planter pictured above in hopes that it would help to boost her mood during these trying times and also add a little peace to her space.
I remember the fear and uncertainty that I felt during my journey, but I also remember the love and acts of kindness that were shown to me during that time. I remember the visits, phone calls and texts. I remember the Banana Pudding Cake from my Sister in Law Lanita and I remember the beautiful Orchid from my Nephew Nicholas.
My hope is that my simple act of kindness will also be remembered as a simple act of love.💖
To this Sister I pray for Peace and Total Healing. ✨
Welcome February…the month of love! This month we will shift our focus from spiritual wellness to emotional wellness. We will dive into our thoughts about love and acceptance of self. We will explore the possibilities within self-forgiveness while creating a stronger mental image of who we are and what we are capable of.
I brainstormed the following points during a creative writing session at the Pink House in Charlotte NC.
I pray your heart will open to the possibility of maybe…
My thoughts are inspired from a verse within the poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver.
“Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine….”
Most often pain is the point that brings people together.
Maybe we can share our story and get inspiration from each other.
Maybe I will tell you of my deepest fears and hope that you will still love me.
Is it okay that I confide in you and express what is truly on my mind or I could just sit in silence while you share your story.
If we lean on one another maybe we both can be healed, or maybe we should release all expectation and appreciate the things that we do not know…..
My name is Melissa Rivers and I am a Peace Coach. My mission is to help entrepreneurs and individuals manage conflict, make brave choices and take action to achieve their goals. I’ve been in business for myself for nearly four years and I’ve successfully helped dozens of clients achieve their own personal measure of success.
Like many others, I’ve made some pretty lofty goals for 2019. The most important one for me is to do more of what I love.
I think after my divorce, cancer, job loss and a handful of other setbacks, my focus shifted from hope and expectation to survival. Survival is necessary but there has to be a healthy balance between obligation and enjoyment.
My obligation for 2019 is to show up for myself and to do the work for my clients. Enjoyment for me comes in the form of writing & blogging. There’s definitely more of that coming this year.
So, I will end this year with a declaration: I make room for intentional enjoyment in my life!
Here’s to a year filled with bold, confident and powerful prayers. Intentional declarations of progress, growth and opportunity. Resources to be a blessing to others and invitations that will set you in the presence of Kings and Queens. May your focus be consistent and intentional, may your actions be deliberate and kind, may your opportunities be often and abundant. May you find peace in all you search for and may you empower the good in yourself, others and life. Release anything that no longer serves you, add all things that give you positive vibes and love!
I recently read a post on BET.com that really got under my skin. The article is entitled “Cancer Survivor Featured in Beyonce’s Lemonade Faces Backlash After Details of Her Medical History Don’t Add Up.” (horrible title)
The article is about Paulette Leaphart from Biloxi, Mississippi. Ms. Leaphart was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and underwent a double Mastectomy to rid her of the terrible disease.
Ms. Leaphart had a 0.7 centimeter cancerous tumor in her right breast and one of six sentinel lymph nodes removed tested positive for cancer.
The article (click here to read) insinuates that a double mastectomy wasn’t needed because Ms. Leaphart only had cancer in one breast. As a survivor, I have a problem with this assumption. Cancer is cancer, no matter the size of the tumor. Once a lymph node is affected, there’s a strong probability that the disease will spread to other areas of your body.
I applaud Ms. Leaphart for taking such an aggressive approach. My largest tumor was a little bigger than hers but my lymph nodes weren’t involved so I chose a less invasive option. I am constantly nagged by the worry of reoccurrence but I trust God with my life.
When I first found out that I had cancer, I immediately thought of my daughter and I’m sure Ms. Leaphart did too.
If you’ve never been faced with choosing between a lumpectomy, mastectomy or double mastectomy, your voice should remain silent about the choices that someone else chooses to fight for their life.
Why is it that people always advise you to live in the present moment?
Sometimes our present situations are scary. If you’ve ever experienced a true crisis, you probably wanted to think about anything other than those circumstances.
What about those seasons in life that seem to never have an expiration date, like the time when I finalized a divorce and was diagnosed with cancer within a two week time period and lost my job while going through treatments. All three of those challenges were my present moment and that sh*t was horrible. I wanted to think about anything other than my reality.
I know we can’t completely check out of life when we experience hard times but I do believe we have to narrow our vision and focus on getting through the storm to actually progress through it.
The thing that kept me focused on rising above divorce and fighting cancer was a simple Bible verse. Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she who believes that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” From God’s word I know that he’s promised long life, good health and a sound mind. In order to take hold of those blessings I had to narrow my vision, limit my conversations and focus my mind on being well physically, mentally and emotionally
Almost two years later and I can appreciate my experiences, learn from them and move on.
Hmm, if it wasn’t for my divorce I would have never fallen in love with myself and discovered my unique flavor of love. Now a days if I’m not working out or trying a new vegetarian or vegan dish, I’m spending time with people who truly love me or I’m participating in activities and events that serve a higher purpose than myself.
I don’t know what crisis or challenge you may be navigating through right now but my advice to you is acknowledge your current situation and get ready to kick, claw and fight your way into a new reality. Sometimes the peaceful have to fight too.💖
Imagine lying comfortably on your bed gazing up at the ceiling. Picture little thought bubbles floating in the air above you and each bubble is filled with a short phrase or descriptive word. One bubble says loyal, the next says smart and the next one says dependable. The next bubble you see says lazy, followed by hopeless and disgusting. It’s amazing how the messages in the bubbles changed but your position didn’t. You’re still the same loyal, smart and reliable person who’s relaxing on the bed. The only thing that changed was your mind. You allowed your thoughts to go off course and disrupt your peace.
You have the power to choose your thoughts. You can decide which thought bubbles fit your life.
Our thoughts are the means in which we communicate to ourself. Its our self-talk.
What are you saying to yourself?
Do your thoughts empower you or do they make you feel weak? Does your self-talk make you feel strong or does it make you feel incapable?
Positive self affirmations are an excellent tool to help you manage the way that you speak to yourself. Practice reciting the following three affirmations to help you get started.
1. I am wonderfully created.
2. I am here to fulfill a unique purpose.
3. I purposely demonstrate love to others.
Now ceate your own affirmations and watch how amazing you feel after reciting them.
Thank you for restoring those things that were once lost. I appreciate your willingness to restore them better than they previously were. Its been said that time heals all wounds but I’m a firm believer that you make things right in your time and then you redeem the time that was lost. You are amazing. Always watching over us and guiding us through life. I pray to trust you more. I pray for a better understanding of your love for us. I thank you for blessing us according to your love and I am thankful that in you all is well.
It’s a new month with new opportunities and new blessings. This is your weekly reminder that God is still in control and working everything out for your good. There’s no need to be fearful, fretful or bothered. It will be fine.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month! As a survivor, I say “Thank you Jesus!”, as an advocate I say, “Please Schedule Your Mammogram!” As a fighter, I say “Exercise, Eat Right, Get Rest and Do Not Stress!”
Please tune in tomorrow for step 6 of Positioned For Peace. We have three more steps to cover as we breakdown the necessary requirements to be an effective Peacemaker. october-3-2016
Proverbs 24:6 After all, with the right strategy you can wage war, and with many advisers there is victory.
Surrounding yourself with good people is one of many ways to create peace in your life. When you choose like-minded friends and companions you’re empowering yourself with the gift of “More”! More creativity, more spirituality, more support, more love and more possibilities are just a few of the benefits. There is power in unity but you have to be connected with the right people. As the word says, with the right strategy you can wage war and with many advisers there is victory.
I’ve created a short list of tips that will help you to build a tribe filled with friends who are necessary for your journey through life:
Connect with people who share similar interests as you. Try volunteering at a local non-profit or community event to find people who care about some of the same things that are important to you.
Join a group or organization such as a local book club or bible study group. Conversations about spirituality are a great way to connect with like-minded people.
Get out of the house more! Make it your business to join a gym, take a class or attend local social events to connect with others.
Let’s face it, life is not meant to be lived alone! There is success, peace and power in numbers!
The picture above was taking at the Carolinas Breast House in Charlotte, NC back in December of 2015. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I knew that I had to connect with people who understood how I felt and those who were just as determined to live and beat the disease as I was. Pictured are just a few of the people that I have had the privilege of connecting with along my journey.
There is strength in numbers.
After you’ve finished reading the blog post, check out today’s podcast. I interview a dear friend of mine, Rashida Gittens. Rashida is a domestic abuse survivor and she credits her faith and her support system for helping her to find and realize her self-worth.
I invite you to take a listen as two friends hold a candid conversation about the power of being connected to the right people.