Family Cancer Diagnosis, Mindfulness, Then There’s The New Year

What’s And What About Cancer?

My previous post, 2017 New Years Resolutions From Lessons Of 2016, was focused on both the past and the future, but there have been many questions on my mind lately about the present. How can I identify the discomfort in my life, my body, my mind, and how can I acknowledge and move forward in healthy and productive ways that work for me?

I have found relief in the guided meditations on A website that features meditations intended for people dealing with cancer. It comes at an odd time, because my paternal grandfather, a man I have not seen or spoke to in many years (too many to count or quantify) has been diagnosed with cancer. I don’t know how far along their diagnosis is, or what the pain or discomfort in their life is like.

It’s troubling because this lack of contact and lack of a strong relationship despite being related leaves a strange sense of guilt. Guilt that I cannot decide what its weight should be. In many ways I feel completely disconnected, but in other ways I am curious about what the finite nature of this diagnosis might mean? Is rekindling a relationship selfish, or a necessary part of the process? I haven’t decided quite yet.

I do know that becoming more mindful about this year and the new year ahead of me is important. But that work starts with being present in this moment. Right here. And right now.


Mindfulness Before and Into The New Year

The meditation tracks are listed by emotions and feelings. This makes it extremely easy to identify where to start in your practice on any given day. Some of the reflections and stories are geared to people dealing with cancer, but many of the information is calming and can be applied experientially to your personal circumstances.

Intent for mindfulness

Remembering to start a session with an intent can be tough on the super difficult days. Slowing yourself down for a moment and asking yourself, what is it I want to get out of this moment is important. It makes the time you spend in stillness feel less like a routine or task that is just another part of your day. It transforms it into an opportunity to ground yourself. A moment to really think about where your mental space is, and how you’d like to use the next 10-15 minutes to channel that mental space into a more quieted and relax state.

Mindfulness is a practice

Okay, so you’ve gone to the site,, and you’re at the tab entitled ‘Play.’ You have decided you will dedicate 10-15 minutes to a couple moments of grace and doing good by yourself because you are a worthy human being! If the quiet doesn’t come as you had intended, remember that muscle memory and getting yourself in the same mindful place the following day is just as important.

Muscle memory is important because when you first start meditation, or prayer as a practice, you are consciously acknowledging all of your senses. You do so until you can allow those thoughts about your senses to float away. Unless of course your using your senses and channeling them in your meditation (for example, the post I wrote about cooking and utilizing those lovely 5 senses many of us privileged individuals have got)!


A place to start

If you’re hoping to head into the new year by burning some sage, or your ex’s old things, or rearranging some furniture, please remember that taking care of your body, mind and spirit in the present moment are oh so very important too. For you, maybe that looks like heading to and exploring how you’re feeling today. Stick with that feeling, learn to identify it and fully explore it. Exploring that emotion will only help to deepen your understanding of  yourself, but also how you interact with others in any given moment.

It’s a great starting point for reflecting on who you are, where you’re at and where you’d like to be. So, if you haven’t made your resolutions quite yet, maybe starting here in a moment of meditation about awareness is your best bet? Plus, you wouldn’t want to jump into resolutions too soon before you’ve figured out what’s going on with your mental junk anyway!



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