Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chatting on the back porch

Good morning rock star,

Community bulletin:

What an intense, deep, amazing, and powerful week it has been for our little (but growing) electric town! By definition, a community consists of a group of people who have a particular interest in common. Our mission at CSC is pretty simple.

1. Get Real
2. Eat smart
3. Live like you mean it
4. Dig deep and tap into the sweet spot where your spirit cuddles
5. Speak up and get active
6. Plan for a long future BUT live in the moment

If you dig the mission then move to our town, set up residence, open a shop and give us a discount. Where am I going with all this? Well, for a while now I have been noticing the folks who quietly hang back and feel weird posting. You follow along in silence balancing your love for the community with a voyeuristic guilt. From this day forward let it be known that this is NOT just a cancer community. We are a loving group of seekers, holy rollers, hot tomatos, handy cowboys, urth mothers, food lovers, health advocates, makers of change, voters, yogi's, teachers, children of blinding light, and truth spinners. Do you fit in here? Heck yeah! In fact, the folks who don't have cancer make our town better, stronger, and more well rounded. So please confidently join the fun. Give us more of your insights. Trust your key board tickle and know that we not only value it, we (canSer babes and chaps) need it.

Looking ahead to some more inclusive directions.

A book club
An electric altar (an area where we can place the names of people who need a little extra love and prayer)
What's on your ipod?
Spiritual cinema
Guest bloggers
A forum
Featured community members
Relevant news and politics - yup, Crazy Sexy Vote! We pow wow about our healthcare daily, soon it's time to chat n' chew about the healthcare of our nation AND the environment. The part equals the whole.

My personal vision is to captain a well informed, passionate, pro-active, and empowered ship. If you'd like to sail with me then get your life vest and let's go tootsie!

Have a buddhaful day filled with a firehose of sunshine,

PS. I think our first book should be Michael Pollan's latest, "In the defense of food" - thoughts?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The final Party

Good morning precious,

Several members of our community are going through some trying times right now. As I promised Tae, today I am posting some words from my new book Crazy Sexy Cancer Companion: Inspirations and Reflections for the Ride. Some of you are awaiting scan reports, others preparing for a passage. I have found extreme comfort in allowing myself to "go there" and play with the idea of what it would be like. This isn't morbid. It's sobering, liberating, comforting and freeing. Also, if we can "go THERE" then we can do anything HERE. Remember death is a comma, not a period.....

From the book:

"The terror of death is so powerful that most human beings will do anything to avoid even thinking about it. Unless we’ve flatlined, seen the light, and lived to tell the tale, most of us can only speculate about what the actual journey entails. For years the thought of death made me physically ill. A spooky, jinxing paranoia grabbed my mind before it could wander into the void. At the time, I believed that worry was praying for what I don’t want, and since I didn’t want to die, I refused to think about it. What if the worry could bring it on? Yikes, creepy, no thanks! Better to smoosh the heebie-jeebies than to play roulette.

However, anything that we hide grows in strength. If you refuse to allow yourself to taste extra-dark chocolate, the curiosity will one day get the best of you. Eventually, the temptation to explore the door in the floor became too great and I had to open my mind to the darkness. By allowing my imagination to drift and wonder, a very cool possibility floated to the surface of my frontal lobe. What if death is just like leaving a room? If you are willing to swim in this murky pond with me, read on; I promise the water isn’t too deep and that I have a life vest and a first-aid kit in my bikini.

Picture this. You are at a party with your family and friends, and you are all really happy, eating crackers, and enjoying one another’s company. You are laughing, hugging, and whooping it up. After a while you leave the room to go into another part of the house. Although you are no longer you with your friends and family physically, you can still hear them. Maybe you can even make out exactly what they are saying. No doubt Uncle Buddy is telling a great joke and Grandpa Harry is advising your sweet little sister to be careful.

You then open a different door to an area of the house even farther removed from the party. Now you can no longer hear your friends and family—but you know they are all still there, still in the house, still with you. Instead of hearing their laughter, you can now feel it. In fact, no matter where you go in the house, you feel their presence. You know that even though your physical relationship to them has changed, your energetic connection has not.

This last room is the universal God soup. The place where the saint tells us we’re home; welcome to the new party. Jesus hands us butterfly wings, Buddha offers a bowl of rice and peas, and Elvis gyrates in white socks and sequins, offending no one.

Your what-if visualizaton will probably be very different from mine. Perhaps religion or a spiritual practice has given you a comforting model of what to expect when your last breath is exhaled. If you feel secure enough to explore this space, I encourage you to do so. I promise that worrying is not praying for what you don’t want, and that the anxiety of the unknown can actually be more dangerous than a gentle fantasy.

I have no idea how the long dirt nap actually works, and to tell you the truth I don’t want to find out anytime soon! But this visualization really helps me in rocky times of fear and doubt. Remember, death is the end of the chapter, not the end of the book.

What helps you? Can you imagine death in a way that will give you peace rather than panic? If you can let go of the fear of death, what would your life look like? Picture it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Bucket List

Hello dearest soul family,

Yesterday I had a great time chatting about the film "The Bucket List" on a show called On Point hosted by Tom Ashbrook at WBUR, Boston's NPR news station. There were two other inspiring guests and myself. Phillip Krone, 66 years-old political consultant. In 2005, he was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer. In 2006, came a diagnosis of liver cancer and he was given six months to a year to live. Judith Freedman, 59 years-old psychotherapist. In 2002, she was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and given 6-10 months to live. Both of them have out lived their odds and are still going very strong. High five, hip shake!

Have any of you seen the film? Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman's characters get the news that they're going to die of cancer, and soon, they set out to do all the things they always wanted to do before they kicked the bucket-- skydive, climb Everest, see the Pyramids, travel the world. Sounds like a blast! And yet there are also so many great adventures to take on the inward bound journey as well. Are they mutually exclusive? No. But can you truly see the pyramids if your lens is fogged? The most breath-taking sunrise will blur if you only see metastatic bleakness in your minds eye. Do ya know what I mean? Have you ever been to the coolest party, in your honor perhaps, and been 1000 miles away?

So for now, my "bucket list" is less high impact, less about traveling the world in the search of the majestic and more about diving in and getting to know Miss Kris on the deepest possible level. Less adrenaline and more truth. Why? Because the REAL majesty is in us. Let’s raise our shades and open your eyes. It's far more dangerous and thrilling to truly live and SHARE that knowledge than to swim with sharks or free fall. Plus, most of us don't have the cash for one last top shelf super disco like Nicholson's character did. :)

Cancer (or any real adversity or pain) puts us on the rim and while we are on the rim we have an opportunity to appreciate and express fear simultaneously. Fear can be exhilarating! We are given more freedom to sail into flight and take great freaky leaps. Why not? The worst that can happen already has!

Can you have a healthy body while still having cancer? YES. A portion of your body can be dying from cancer while the rest is moving towards health. Healing is a centrifugal force; you have to stop it before you can turn it around. A bad scan or test doesn’t necessarily mean that you are lost on the road to recovery. Keep going…

Monday was the Reverend Martin Luther King's birthday. In a famous eulogy for four slain children he said, "Death is not a period that ends the great sentence of life, but a comma that punctuates it to more lofty significance. Death is not a blind alley that leads the human race into a state of nothingness, but an open door which leads man into life eternal."

Some of us have been given sell and use by dates. Others have relapsed and like Streisand are on yet another farewell tour. A “bucket list” = a life list, one that we should continuously be checking off.

Because you are part of this Crazy Sexy Family, part of your list includes educating yourself and bringing health and vitality to your life. I bow to you. Do you bow to you? You should.

This year let’s direct more energy and effort towards the inward bound. And yet.. but.. however, the Hollywood version of "the bucket list" reminds us do stuff instead of just reading about it, to play too. God is in the play especially when we add heaping doses of soul seeking. As always, it’s an active balance.

Portions of my bucket/life list...

Go on a motorcycle trip with Brian out west
Get a tattoo
Work with animals
Study at the Tree of Life and teach more often at Hippocrates
Publish more books
Try a new detox method, one that has less to do with food
Look into fertility options – yikes!
Have dinner with Maya Angelou
See a democrat in office (not sure who yet, more on that soon)

How about yours?

Big love and prayer and ok, a wee bit of skydiving too,


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Honeymoon Album and a techno detox

Hellooo beloveds!

Oh my word, ya'll have been super busy and I am so blown away by all your conversations, comments, encouragement for each other, education and information. So many new voices as well. WELCOME. OUR blog rocks! My honeymoon was amazing. DECADENT, restful, and just what I my cowgirl soul needed. Basically I blew it out in every way and now I'm back in Woodstock (and Brooklyn) rolling up my sleeves and digging into my resolutions. While trekking around Costa Rica I had a major revelation about a different kind of detox I want to share with you, unplugging from technology. Bottom line, I need to peel back and tone down my addiction to all things cyber (except OUR blog) and computer related. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a chip in my neck at this point! My desk has 2, sometimes 3 large monitors and I bounce between blogs, news, medical journals, Eco biz, and health sites while working on my own writing and co-running Red House Pictures with my hubby Brian. I spent the month of December shackled to my keys for 10-12 hours per day. It was so intense I gave myself tendonitis and have fully committed to my new quest for a chiropractic guru to unravel my torque.

Detoxing from the techno soup (and all the radiation and aggravation that comes with it) creates serious symptoms! My first few days were brutal. What are we doing now? Where are we going? What do you mean we're just going to read?! I didn't bring any nutrition or self help books! There was nothing to accomplish other than finally finishing "Eat Pray Love" which at this point is totally torturing me. I have been reading it for over 6months! Basically, I was crawling out of my skin and praying for a damn Internet cafe so I could just run away and be with YOU.

In my office, beyond my wall of monitors and out the window is the most amazing site. A cathedral of pine trees, a meditation bench, and a garden in slumber hidden by an enormous quilt of white snow greet me daily IF I take the time to take it in. How often do I look at it? Not enough. In order to thrive in this word do we have to spend more time in a cyberworld? How many hours per day do you devote to the box? What time do you unplug, rub your eyes and re-enter reality? Do you ever notice that your temper seems to shorten and your attention span drifts, jumps and gyrates? Do you get bored easily? How about listening, unless a story particularly turns you on do you start making lists and planning dinner while your friend is musing about her muse or her car payment?

As the days and weeks unfolded I felt the layers of stress melt away (until I had to ask for directions in Spanish in the middle of third world, back road, no habla Ingles-ville). I excavated my inner pace and remembered that I am really a loper at heart. In fact, many of my friends (and my hub) make fun of my walking stride. Apparently I have 2 speeds, slow strut and slightly faster slow strut. I'm a get there when I get there sort of gal, always a bit late but happy to arrive and full of sweet apologies. Though I blaze a trail, I trail behind. Brian is always chirping 'come on little duckling" as I try to keep up with him. But if this is my natural physical MPH, why am I NASCAR on the inside? Hmmmm. Doesn't marry well.

So my biggest resolution is to create a life in keeping with my natural rhythm. If you don't have time to smile, have fun, and do something mindless that accomplishes nada then lovey, it's time to re-prioritize.

1. Set reasonable time limits for tickling keys, surfing, and tube time.
2. Turn it all off by a certain time nightly, without fail. My hour for '08 is 7 pm.
3. Replace online activities with real world actions.
4. Call your pal rather than emailing him or her.
5. Go out rather than getting sucked in.

That said, I am so happy to be back, blogging and learning how to be a new kind of Kris in '08. Lot's of surprises in store for you over the coming months, including weekend workshops at Omega, The Crossings, Kripalu and the NY Open center. If you aren't on my mailing list already take a moment to sign up. Plus, I've got lots of really incredible guest bloggers lined up. This is going to be a great year! Love you all, each and every one of you...

Peace and kill your television,