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Posts Tagged uterine cancer

Blogging at the Speed of Life

new life

Sitting in front of the computer, I don’t know where to start.  Blogging has been the most dedicated practice I have ever had in my life and the last 6 months Life pushed me off my game so I could pay attention to it.  This Summer I got sick and discovered I had uterine cancer.  It took awhile for me to get the surgery that was recommended.  But Life has its way of moving you into what is important. Its trick:  The more I needed to slow down, the less my computer worked.  I was pulled far from my blogging life.

Surgery behind me now….Today I woke up at 4:40 a.m. missing this space so much.  I grabbed my laptop and headed out for Sandi’s Diner.  Sandi is a dear friend who makes a mean breakfast at the break of dawn.   AND, also has internet.  SCORE!

 

The big question….would my computer work there?  Was something wrong with my internet or with my laptop.  If you are reading this, you will know the answer.  What was impossible at home is working like magic here.  Maybe life is just letting me loose.  Saying, go…spread your wings…you are free.

And that is how I feel these days.  Free.

I spent last month traveling back and forth to Houston’s MD Anderson, a world class cancer hospital that happens to be in my area of the world.  My hubby, Eric, went with me and several times we comment how we felt wrong for having such a good time at the hospital.  But they must have someone trained with running big places like Disney working there because it ran like a theme park.  I like to joke that they have a game you play there….take off your clothes, put them back on…take off your clothes, put them back on…and I was winning.  Yep, lots of tests.  Then the surgery.  And just last week, a check-up.

womb doodle

They feel like my prognosis is really good.  It doesn’t seem to have spread. YAY!  So they will keep an eye on my health every 3-4 months.

I chose the word THRIVE as my word of the year for 2014.  That’s what I am doing!

I have some catch up to do for Creativity Tribe.  My email has been down.  I hope to have that working in the next week.  If you tried to contact me and didn’t hear back from me…it was a little email snatching gremlin.

Big beautiful hugs to each of you.

Rachel Payne life creativity coach

Paint Mojo with Tracy Verdugo

Paint Mojo Austin

I absolutely am in love with Tracy Verdugo’s Paint Mojo approach to painting.  It is intuitive, based in a love of symbolism, an invitation to stretch yourself and let go of what painting is supposed to look like….it is beautiful and messy all in the same moment.  And sometimes the messies is where the beauty really surprises you!

I wanna share the evolution of my painting so you can get a feel for the way the workshop went.  But realize I can’t boil down a two day workshop into a small post.  So if you want the expanded version, you will have to catch Tracy the next time she comes around or….OR….. Head over and sign up for her upcoming Paint Mojo book.  (Can you say, Santa’s wish list??! I am eagerly awaiting mine!)

Pre-order Paint Mojo by Tracy Verdugo

Wanna dive into my Paint Mojo process with me?  Come on in! 

Tracy had us start our large piece by adding symbols to our painting.  This is the same way she started the first Paint Mojo I attended and I loved the idea so much that I have created a Symbol Journal that I have been filling with interesting symbols for the last year.

Symbol Journal 1

Inside my Symbol Journal, I collect and record personal symbols that have shown up in my  life with deep meaning or that have come in for a day that seem to capture the moment in a certain way.   When I apply them to my paintings, they flesh out a new story for me.

Inside Symbol Journal

Some of the symbols you might see in my painting (and their meanings for me) include a flower (growth), spiral (going inward), doorway (entering another realm), heart with cross at the bottom (neverending love), flaming chalice (sacred woman), female reproductive system (personal healing), and pelvic bone (cradle of creation)… to name a few.

Paint Mojo Austin 1

Next we added color washes.  These have the potential to bring the painting to life and give it cohesion.

Paint Mojo 2

It may take a patient eye to look for differences between these two pics.  At this layer we took small paintings we did as automatic responses to a poem and added them to the painting.  It was a stretch, but added more dimension and interest to the canvas.

Paint Mojo 3

I know it is a big jump from this image to the next.  My camera gave out on me, so some of it will remain a mystery.

Mermaid 500

At the very end, we looked into the mess of colors, symbols, textures, and marks that we had created and attempted to cull something out of it.  I sat with trust and tried to be open.  I felt a twinge of fear that I might not find something or that I might fall into having to force an image out, but in the end, a woman showed herself to me.

The skirt (or waist as it is now) was the first part to peek out.  Then, as I worked with her, she showed me her fabulous mermaid tail.   I was overwhelmed once I got her sketched out.  So much so, that I started to crying.  The image touched something deep inside.

I continued to work with her and soon, the moon over her womb appeared.  It was perfect.  The symbols I had chosen were my way of calling up the feelings and themes that circle around the uterine cancer diagnosis that I got this summer and the upcoming surgery that will ultimate leave me physically unable to have children.  I went to the workshop knowing I wanted to “go there”….knowing I wanted to give myself space to explore what not having a uterus will mean.  I also wished to invite myself to a new understanding of the womb itself.  As I painted, I asked myself, Is the womb a physical thing or could it be more?

The mermaid showing up as she did helped me somehow re-vision myself.  Uterus or not, I am a woman.  Or as the painting whispered to me that day in the circle of my Paint Mojo sisters….I am a Womb-Moon.  From the day I was born until the day I die….I am a creatrix… a supracreative… a spinner of dreams into reality…. a holder of space for the birthing of delicate cries for grand existence.  Take any part of the body away and I am still as much so….and perhaps with the trance-formation, even more.

That’s my mojo….ultimately. 

Paint Mojo Austin

Big thanks to Tracy for unleashing such beauty from each of us, for opening a circle that could hold our inner world as we turned it into an outer work, and for guiding our hands and hearts on the journey to discover our MOJO!   You are a dear friend and a gift!

Rachel Payne life creativity coach

In the Studio {Wild Child Art + Chia Seed Yummines}

art journal 2

Making Art…Making Life

The art below is out of my journal that is chronicling my journey since my uterine cancer diagnosis.  When I first drew her, I wasn’t in love with it.  Her hair was a little big and it just didn’t feel like I wanted to.  But then I decided to keep going, which is a great exercise in trusting the creative process.

I used my Yasutomo shimmer water colors on her with a few strips of collage paper.  The image is edited to help her show up a bit better for the computer.  In real life she is super shimmery and almost glows.

Looking at her now, I especially love the hair.  Isn’t that funny!  I have been growing my hair out and letting some of the gray have its way with me.  I am not loving the grey so I have been dying it purple.  It’s great fun!  And some days when the weather is just right, my curls come out to play.  Makes me feel like a wild child!

For more of my art images check out my Rachél’s Art page.

go to glow art rachel payne

Playing with My Food

In the studio with me this morning is also a bowl of chia pudding.  It is my creative food contribution to the day.  I have been playing with chia seeds for the last several months

chia seed pudding

The chia seed pudding is so crazy simple.  If you have never had a chia seed, I like to compare them to tapioca or flax.  They have a little gooey-ness to them when they soak a bit in liquid.  They are uber good for you.  Most people I talk to are pleased with chia seeds, but the texture is not for everyone.  I crave it!  And YES, they are the same chia seeds used for chia pets.  Cool, huh?

When I make chia pudding, I use what I have on hand and am very flexible with how it turns out.  The most important ingredients are the chia seeds and the coconut milk.  Some days I just eat it like that.

But this is how I LOVE it…..

I take a can of organic coconut milk (full fat) and add chia seeds.  Some days I like it super thick and some days soupy, so just play with what works for you.  I add to it shredded coconut (again, according to how thick you want it) and a nut I love (pecans today, but almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or cashews all work too.)  Nut butters are also a fabulous addition to bring a little flavor.   A few drops of stevia (an herbal sweetener) helps brighten the taste.  Add a dash of cinnamon and cardamom if you like those and a few berries for color  if you have them.  Let it set up for 15 minutes or put over night depending on your schedule and how you wish.

Sometimes I have this for breakfast, other times it is a snack.  I also often save it for the end of the day when I know I want to feel like I am treating myself to a dessert.  It reminds me a lot of my grandmother’s rice pudding (especially if it has extra cinnamon and a few raisins) and other times it is similar to Indian Rice Pudding (especially when I add cadamom).  It makes enough to share or to have more for the next day.

NEW: Free Gift to Boost Your Creativity!

 I hope you will head over for my free gift.  I really put lots of love and energy into, wanting it to bring creativity to your life and life to your creativity!

 Sign Up for the Creativity Booster Pack

 Creativity Booster Banner 2 550

Blogtoberfest

Don’t forget to visit Blogtoberfest 2013‘s page!

Rachel Payne life creativity coach

 

Lessons from Gravity the Movie {spoiler free}

sensational

This Sense-sational Life is a blogging series that came out of my realization that the more I explore life and get a sense of its nuances (including the literal senses and figurative ones) the more my life feels sensational.

A Sense of Gravity

I watched Gravity, the movie, this afternoon with my hubby.  I donned the 3D glasses, munched on some popcorn, sipped from a cup with two straws and held on tight to my man when things in the movie felt a little too close to real life.  I promise not to give anything away, except for the fact that this movie shouldn’t be missed.

It may sound odd for me as a down to Earth artist to claim a movie about an astronaut hits close to home, but Gravity’s metaphoric symbolism grabbed hold of me and took me through the same journey as the main character, played by Sandra Bullock.  One thing the trailer shows, that is enough for me to share, is that this movie is about how we sometimes have an unexpected collision with life that just might send us far enough off our course to force us scrambling for something solid to hold onto.  And sometimes when things turn our world upside down, the only thing we may have to hold onto is ourselves!

prepare for impact

The last several months have been one of those uncharted journeys for me.  Boy, don’t we learn a lot about ourselves when we get untethered from our life as we know it.   A few months ago when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer, I just wouldn’t have had any idea that the lessons that are coming up for me would be the ones to come up.  I thought the challenges would be one thing going into it, and they are totally different.

I am watching how I choose to learn my lessons.  Some lessons are joyfully challenging to wrestle with.  They validate me somehow.  I could easily spend lifetimes wrestling with what it means to be a woman who loses her reproductive organs.  I could write poetry, make art, lead women’s circles, workshops, vision quests, write novels, and create a movement, work for a cause.  Can you feel the energy behind that? It is intoxicating, somehow!

Creative Spirit

Instead, the challenge for me is about the mundane.  About paperwork, deadlines, responsibility, and one task after another that all seem overwhelming.  There is nothing intoxicating about that for me.  No energy there that might inspire something. It stings and wears me down some days.  And so I have to motivate myself.

Now, I am good about motivating myself for some things, but wouldn’t you know, this isn’t one of those things!  It is almost funny, a cosmic joke.  And to some people I know it must seem convoluted.  But those are the folks for whom the mundane is energizing.  The people who have certain ducks in a row.  And those folks probably would be overwhelmed by the idea of creating art or writing in response to a loss.   That would be their big lesson.

So luckily, when the student is ready the teacher will share its wisdom.  That is what Gravity has done for me.  It inspired me to get over myself….to get down to business and get focused.  It helped me see I could make a valiant effort to reach for life…my life.

So if you are reading this today, know I am doing just that. Reaching.  Will you sit in your seats holding onto your honey, fearful of what my journey reflects in you?  Do that if you must, but I would prefer that you join me.  Let go.  Throw your arms in the air and reach for something you think you might never get to.  Get over yourself.  And go for it!  What do you have to lose?!

Galactic Selfie

“Houston….this is Galactic Earth Traveler Rachél Payne, in the blind.  If you copy me, Houston, I am adjusting my trajectory 3 degrees and heading out of range of the blasts that have been knocking me off course. My target is to complete of this mission.  The ride may get bumpy on the way, but I hope to see you on the other side.  Rachél out.”

NEW: Free Gift to Boost Your Creativity!

 I hope you will head over for my free gift.  I really put lots of love and energy into, wanting it to bring creativity to your life and life to your creativity!

  Sign Up for the Creativity Booster Pack

 Creativity Booster Banner 2 550

 Blogtoberfest

 Don’t forget to visit Blogtoberfest 2013‘s page!

 Rachel Payne life creativity coach

A Celebration….A Challenge

CTBKGSpiral-3

A Celebration

Today I have been spinning with awe.  Something I wished to change in my life and set in motion last Fall rose up today to show me its resolution.  Sometimes we don’t know how our dreams will play out.  Watching them unfold can be a trip.

Last Fall, I began exploring a very ingrained story about dying at 45 like my mom and her father.  I don’t know why I got it stuck in my head, but I did!  I kept myself from truly following my dreams because I just couldn’t see life beyond that.  As 45 inched closer, I decided I would reach for wellness and longevity…..trying to avoid my fear of death wasn’t working so I might as well go through the back door!  I had tried to deny my fear for so long without making headway that I thought claiming life might give death a run for its money.

I began seeing a chiropractor who was also a naturopathic doctor.  Some of her methods were unconventional.  Some were cutting edge.  When it felt right, I followed what she prescribed.  I began listening to my body, working on the subtle issues that came up.  And a theme began to develop.  I was sick.  My cycle went crazy. You can read all about it in my previous post Boldly Saying the “C” Word where I share about recently discovering I have uterine cancer.

Yah, on my way to reaching for wellness and longevity I discovered the thing that just might have killed me just as I had been spinning in my imagination for decades.  Instead frantically wrestling with the fear, I shifted my reality.  Here I am with a very curable dis-ease, caught early, with a great outlook for the future.  I think some people might immediately see cancer as a pathway to dying.  I know for me it is a catalyst for living with more freedom than I have in decades. Cancer helped me let go of death and grab onto life.

With or without the cancer, I was on my way towards a better life thanks to the body work, emotional and spiritual work I have been doing since I started working on living longer.  Each day I would look for ways to make life better….healthier, happier, more connected to nature, people, myself, and that Something More that walks this journey with me.  Life felt like it was full of possibility!

So that is my celebration…..now an invitation for you to move towards a celebration for yourself.

art table 002

A Challenge

A Challenge:  What if there really was a field of possibility for you to pull your life’s desire out of….what would YOU set in motion?  Anyone dare state that today?   Check inside and see what might feel like it wants relief in your life.  You don’t have to know HOW you are going to do it.  You don’t want to know really because a big shift usually happens organically and synchronisticly.  Claim what you want in your life and then listen for the next right step.  For me it was moving towards a healthier, longer life by going to see that specific doctor.  I kept listening along the way.  Do it and I will hold that energy with you!  You can post here what you want or simply leave a note saying you want to make a shift and I will hold space with you.  Once you know what you want…listen and take the first move.  The Creativity Tribe is playing Possibility Tribe!

CollageCreate2

Deep Gratitude

I want to share my deepest gratitude for the incredible reception I got in sharing my diagnosis of uterine cancer earlier in the week.  I had a LoveStorm of support, encouragement, and prayers expressed here on the website and through my personal Facebook Page.  I had more visitors in one day than I often have in a good week.  So much love!  I can still feel a circle of care gathering up around me.  I want to assure each of you that although I have a diagnosis, I am feeling strong, have no out of the ordinary discomfort and am just waiting for my surgery. I am adding in lots of self-care, and doing what I love in my personal life and business life.  Thank you again….from the bottom of my very grateful heart!

 Creatively yours,

Rachel Payne Life Coach

rachel payne coach

Click the box above for your free discovery session.

Boldly Saying the “C” Word

inwardOver thirty years ago when my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she talked about it in a whispered code.  I remember saying the full word in front of her one day in the kitchen while we were making lunch together. She gently redirecting my speech by simply telling me she did not like the “C” word.  I respected that it was difficult for her.  She had a strong personality that felt like it steered the direction of our family and to see something knock her off her feet for awhile meant it was a force to be reckoned with.  Her breast cancer didn’t keep her down, though, Mamaw outlived it by nearly two decades.

This summer, I found myself called to the bedside of my friend Patrice.  Patrice had boldly danced through life with cancer for twenty years.  Upon my return from the big road trip I took in April, I went to visit with her.  That began a streak of visits in which I did massage and energy work with her.  She would ask for me to help her with her legs and I found as much as she wanted me close by, I wished to be part of her last glorious days.  Her days were glorious, too.  She partied in the end more than any other person I had know who was on their way out of this life.  She held life by the tail and made sure it knew it was a tiger!

At the beginning of the summer, my cycle had become rather irregular.  I was returning from my trip when my period just lingered on.  I was consulting a naturopathic doctor and would see my gynecologist when I could get an appointment.   Each week I spent time during my meditation workshop exploring some of the issues that floated around what it meant to me be a woman. I looked at creativity, mothering, body issues, power imbalances, safety and vulnerability, objectification of the body, denial of the voice, freedom of movement, sexuality, abundance…..the whole nine yards! This summer has been packed full of personal growth.

Angel Work

Those few days after Patrice passed were very uncomfortable.  I had to stay close to home and became weak with an iron deficiency.  Something had turned a flood gate on, and I knew I needed medical help quickly.  I spent a month with the doctor doing this test and that, looking into options that might help me fix what was causing the crazy, heavy, unending cycle.  Just when we thought we had a plan of action we could all agree on (my gynecologist, naturopath, and me) I got the result back from a test that showed cancerous cells in my uterus.  That was about two weeks ago.

The “C” word.

I spent several hours after the doctor’s call alone at home.  I was shaken for sure.  You hear that word and the mind goes straight to the worst.  But on the fringe of fear I heard good news too.

We caught it early…we think it is contained…. you probably won’t need treatment beyond a hysterectomy.

Gratitude! Somehow I couldn’t help but think Patrice made sure I was taken care of.

Lots of things go through your mind when they give you news like that.  I thought about all the people I personally knew who had created a life with or after the “C” word.  I thought about the strength they had shone, about the way they framed their experience and what they made it mean to them and others in their lives.  Then I made a decision that I would be brave in my vulnerability, I would feel my feelings as fully as I could, process any old wounds that needed attention, celebrate the blessings that come with the journey, and when I could, I would share my personal story so others could support me and so I could help other women understand the beauty, strength, and essence of being a woman. What if this could change my life and the lives of others who needed….who needed….I don’t know.  I just feel like there is a gift in there somewhere.

That last part means claiming the “C” word to a world wide audience.  It is a big decision because in some circles you just don’t talk about your lady parts (yep, there is another “C” word some will never say) but I am bringing that conversation to this circle.  I am going to foster an honest, spirited sharing that doesn’t throw a hand up to make sure no one hears.

Memphis Mississippi

I HAVE CANCER.  Loud and clear.

It won’t define me, but it also isn’t going to be just a blip on the map of my life.  I believe that there is Something Greater working here and the same calling that sat me next to Patrice in her last days to share my gifts…the same calling that has had me build a global community for the last three years just wouldn’t want me to keep the gifts of this journey secret.  To fully share those gifts, I think I must surely have to share the force that ushered them in.

So around here, I am beefing up the self-care, the self-love, and introspection.  I am going to continue to make my way through this life with creativity leading the way (now more than ever actually).  I open my arms to your support, encouraging you not to hurt for me but instead to hold a space of exploration and curiosity about what in the world I am going to transform this unexpected experience into. Be grateful with me, keep me in your prayers if you do that, and in your heart if you will.  For this journey I am grateful.  For this community I am grateful.  With gratitude, I am….

 Creatively yours,

Rachel Payne Life Coach

rachel payne coach

Click the box above for your free discovery session.

 

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Welcome to CT

Welcome to CT

Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle!
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There is a beauty that comes out of sharing a journey with another person....a dream for yourself, a direction for a project, a way out of the muck that holds your Creative Spirit back. Let's talk about working together. creativitytribe@gmail.com