2014 New Years Resolutions – Want vs Needs

Breast Cancer Yoga Happy Bew YearShifting into 2014 Green Wood Horse
NEW YEAR RESOLUTION: Want vs Needs

By Kathleen  O’Keefe – Kanavos In part one of this blog we discussed   New Year Resolutions, the  Chinese New Year and wants vs needs tied into the shift of consciousness taking place in the world.

Now is the dawning of a new year with a shift toward consciousness and self-awareness.   I’m ready to make the shift into personal responsibility. My first New Year resolution will be to allow myself to love, embrace, and always put myself first. I give myself permission to be number one in my life. How can I possibly share with others if I am empty? I want to be embraced by others but need to love myself first.

During chemotherapy, my psychotherapist armed me with a powerful mantra to help survive the uncertainty of treatment. “You are number one. No one and nothing is more important than you.” She was right.  Years later, as a cancer hotline phone counselor and mentor, that mantra is still important.  If charity begins at home, and home is where the heart is, then an empty heart cannot give anything to anyone else.

The importance of this mantra was even more evident during my Stitch-n-Bitch (as we liked to call ourselves) radiation therapy group. It broke my heart to see the care-giver suddenly discarded when their circumstances shifted, and they needed family care.  These women felt that without family love and devotion they were useless. Their chances for recovery were challenged by their depression and feelings of emotional emptiness. Our little group spent hours discussing wants versus needs. We want a beautiful house, but we only need shelter. We want to eat in fancy restaurants, but we only need nutritious food.  We want others to love us, but we need to love ourselves. The list of wants versus needs is endless. Realizing the difference between them may be the first step in avoiding emotional and financial bankruptcy. When I see something enticing, I’ll ask myself, “Do I need that, or just want it?”

In 2014, I will focus on inner-balance by being kind, and forgiving to myself.  I will seek out and join a community “sister-hood of women” who can be my support system. Their strength will keep me from feeling alone during times of despair, and their resources will help me meet the needs of my family and friends.

When my body is fatigued, I will rest. When my soul is tired, I will meditate, and give thanks for all that I have. I will surround myself with things I love; my husband, friends, pets, plants, music, and fragrant candles while taking a warm bubble bath. While I care for my body my soul will soar.

Like the Chinese yin and yang, which are seemingly opposing forces bound together, intertwined, and interdependent in the natural world, we are complex creatures comprised of body and soul. These two diabolically different parts must be in balance as a duality for complete health of body and mind. Like yin and yang, male and female, body and soul are a dynamic equilibrium. If one disappears, the other must disappear as well, leaving emptiness.

Too many of us have lost a part of ourselves and are experiencing an emptiness of being. The two faced mythical King Janus, patron of the new year, had two faces for an important reason; one to see the past and one to see the future. Although we too can also look in both directions, we tend to focus and judge ourselves by past events that cannot be changed. It’s time to face forward into a new year of balance comprised of yin and yang, old and new, need and want.  You can learn from your past to build a positive future. The good news is that a sisterhood of women is only a phone call, blog, website, social media site, magazine or tweet away to help refill you with the love you deserve and NEED.

Balance yourself. Know you needs. Embrace the new shift taking place in the new year. Take care of your soul and it will take care of you . . . then you can take care of the wants of others.

BIO: Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos, Intuitive Life Coach, survived three breast cancers, wrote SURVIVING CANCERLAND: Intuitive Aspects of Healing (Cypress House, Jan 2014) http://tinyurl.com/p7cjfxa  websites: http://www.survivingcancerland.com  & Access Your Inner Guide, Hosts Living Well Talk Radio, Cancer Q&A columnist- CapeWomenOnlineMagazine,  Dream Queen columnist-Wellness Woman 40 & Beyond,Blogger for BreastCancerYoga.com, YourDreamIntrepretation.com, WakeUpWomen, PATHEOS; R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation Hotline Counselor. Represented by Steve Allen Media

Why I Sing Mantra

Why I Sing Mantra Diana's Desk

By: Diana Ross, E-RYT 500 Co-Founder Breast Cancer Yoga

Well, I know it has been forever since I wrote in the “Diana’s Desk” section. Somehow felt no one was listening but then I thought again and said “This is good for me.  It keeps my enthusiasm and connectedness going.”  I do love life, and I do get sad.  I guess just like all of us.

Recently I lost my best friend, Riley and I still am having difficulty coming to terms with it but I know in my heart I must. So what can I do? Well, there is one thing I keep returning to that helps me feel connected and not so alone and that  is music and mantra.  I have been learning how to play harmonium and sing mantra with this wonderful woman, Shyama. One particular mantra seems to really bring peace to my aching heart, and that is the Hanuman Chalisa.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0gRc2FMNsU

For those of you new to mantra – please let me explain. Mantra is like uncovering your inner essence. When repeating a mantra over and over one reveals something deeper within, as to what we show on the surface or superficial layer. Mantra can be one word, a phrase or a combination of both with sound. Together this helps us to connect to this world and the world that transcends our ordinary sensory and intellectual experiences.  The mind holds us in this world when we repeat the mantra and then slowly and surely the mantra is internalized. The mantra is then beyond this world.

Mantras are not puzzling or unexplainable. Instead they simply are to gather up the energies of our inner life, our dreams and desires and then lift us up to them to be realized. Repeating mantra with music for me is the most satisfying form of peace and connectedness. When I sit in front of my harmonium and let myself go while singing mantra I disconnect from the words and feel connected to the infinite.  An inner quiet sweeps over me.  It’s me; not what I feel me should be. I feel connected to what the mantra embodies. I don’t know if I am making sense to you but when I sing or even repeat mantra my mind remains focused and my heart opens. The sounds fill the space in my mind and other silly and useless thoughts leave my awareness, thus stabilizing my attention. I begin to sense that I am more than my mind’s endless chatter. I begin to feel a deeper enduring pressence of happiness, and hopefully purpose. Thanks for listening and please check out Krishna Das’s Hanuman Chalisa. Absolutely one of my favorites.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

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