As I open into my 5th cycle of chemotherapy, I am weeping at the moral courage that these times require and the many ways that people all around are standing up together to address the hatred, the destruction, the fear that is being poured into the psyches of so many. During the past month here in the Rockies, a few hundred golden warriors from around the world gathered to say no thank you. We are going to take some time to reset, to heal, to remember, to create, to love, and to listen to one another very deeply. Our precious time together was an antidote to these rigorous and often very rough times. As each young person stood and spoke, the shared longing for safe space and healing, for retreat and remembering was sounded by all. We devoted our way too short time to just that. We cultivated our quiet by moving masses of energy, pent up energy longing for liberation, refined energy longing for expression. We built potent bridges to the peaceful places within and between us. It was hard and satisfying work for all.

I was blessed to do my favorite things with some of my most favorite people during these journeys through Surfing The Creative, Youth, Truth & Talent, Heart Of Truth, and the birthing of Global Bridge, a new initiative created with and for refugees finding new homes around the world. I also leaned into a cycle of chemo at the end of our summer camp, probably one of my least favorite things ever. Yet dancing for weeks, journeying together way past the comfort zone into the vast zone of communion and community was the medicine that left the strongest imprint.

And now, everyone of us is back into our rigorous real life dances. Sitting by your mama’s side in an under resourced hospital in Kampala, figuring out how to complete high school in Jordan, taking exams in Kenya, creating a memorial for your mama by the sea, running a camp for dozens of pre-teen girls and figuring out how to deal with the lives they will face when they leave, being in a foreign country driving home alone from your night job that will not come close to paying all of your family’s bills, in the wake of extreme violence yet again, writing another brilliant poem about the truth of racism in our country, standing in the no apology zone when your identity is dishonored, the vulnerability of your beloved in a hospital bed without anyone to translate what the doctors are saying about her health and that of your baby’s, wondering about where the funding will come from for your hundreds of students who look to you as father. These are just a few images of lives being lived right now by these young leaders.

The realities are heart breaking. Your resilience is breathtaking.

So as I surrender into another round of chemo, please know that you are all with me. I will not take my privilege lightly. I have access to the best medicine, to doctors of all kinds, to a safe place to rest, to abundant foods, to clean water, to a community that I can call on if I so choose. Here in the chemo lab, I speak up for my health in behalf of all of your family members who may not have that luxury. (Yep, I got them to lower my dosage today in respect of my body’s real needs.) I lean into the poking and burning, knowing that my pain is nothing really. It will pass. I am in prayer with you all, in contemplation about you all, in total and complete celebration of your brilliance. I am trusting that somehow, our dedication to liberation and justice will trump all other delusional agendas seeking power.

Together, we can keep the faith and the focus. The dreams we shared are real. As the Mother said, If you can see it, you can manifest it.So let’s keep our eye on beauty, on the rebalancing of energy and resources, inside and between us, and on the paths forward that are just and inclusive for all. We do not know if we humans can create a more sustainable world, truly tipping the scale to orient towards life before nature does it for us. But we see what is possible. Let’s keep creating that.

Five months ago to this day when I was first diagnosed with a fast moving fallopian tube (ovarian cancer), I made a decision to do everything I could to eradicate this disease and renew my vows with life. I never wavered from my vision. I kept listening deeply within. I sat with the horrific pain. I honored the wisdom of so many who knew better than me about how to proceed. I let go of some funky habits around stress, eating, computer screens. I turned towards the gaps in my life, knowing this was a call to reset, rebalance, and from that place to return.

So join me in being brave. We are not that fragile. We are mighty people with noble souls that must be excavated and expressed despite the really rough challenges of our day to day lives. It is an act of disruption and creation to choose life, to cultivate vision, to pull it off and keep shining.

Cause in the end, we each must face our choices. I have been asked to look closely at mine since death came knocking at my door. It is a profound experience to see where we have kept our soul dates with destiny and where we have not. We still have time! I do too!

Yes I do! The cancer markers in my body continue to be at the low end of normal, staying in the undetectable range.

Thank you chemo. Thank you friends of Spirit. Thank you Elders, colleagues, dancers. That you dear family. Thank you friends of all walks and ways around the world.

I am bathing in the magic or our beautiful shared world despite it all. Please enjoy a few more of my favorite photos sharing what some of our dreams look like in manifestation … Images from our summer 2017, a mighty and moving month of life!

Together …
In bravery and love.
Melissa