I had the privilege of hearing Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick speak yesterday at the Annual Hunter Breast Cancer Public Forum. Stephanie = breast cancer survivor, psychotherapist, interfaith minister, author. And she spoke into that internal spiritual space of her audience with a profoundness and skill akin to a laser beam at work. Her message was graciously delivered and packed a powerhouse of challenges and humour.
Her message resonated deeply with me. Stephanie drew on the shared experience of breast cancer which brings us to a higher level of appreciation for our precious lives.
“This precious life is brief and limited and you cannot waste it”
Stephanie urged us to take notice of the things that lift our spirits. What are the things that bring joy and pleasure? How do we connect with others? Reflect on how we make time for these things in our lives and manage our lives to do more of them. Don’t save anything for a special occasion. Wear that outfit you love to the supermarket if it lifts your spirits.
This of course will help bring an awareness too of the things which lower our spirits. These things must be managed, dealt with and minimised. Because life is precious and we cannot afford to live in conflict, regret or toxic environments.
Lives are changed by cancer. We lose the innocence of believing that we can change events, or that we’ll live forever. In truth, we don’t know how long we’ve got. But we have this precious life now and we must not waste it. We must live it. We owe it to others and ourselves to live it, because it is a precious gift.
In response to Stephanie’s message, I left the forum and slurped up a long black coffee, spontaneously bought a new jacket and some new Jamie Oliver cookware (50% off in David Jones!). I accepted an invitation to eat Indian for tea and wore my new jacket out, while we laughed and sang Monty Python ditties, ate beautiful food then walked along the Newcastle waterfront.
I’m going to do this. I’m going to consider what lifts my spirits, ask myself what I need, and freakin do more of it!! Yes I am. Why? Because Life. Is. Precious.