In respect to the environmental imbalances that show up as floods and cancer and infertility, for a few ….

Today at Movement Mass, we focused our attention on our love and gratitude for the natural world. We moved with all sentient beings, those so often forgotten when there is yet another climate induced human crisis, or more like human induced climate crisis. We honored that beneath the impacts of global climate change on people is the environment in all of its profound glory. The animals. The land. The plants. The water ways. The winged ones, crawling ones, swimming ones. In our dances, we respectfully rededicated ourselves to the ongoing work of simplifying our lives, of consuming less to have more, more time to commune with the natural world, more time to create sustainable ways of living our lives, more disciplined focus on detoxifying rather than buying into more toxins, more time to creatively be together.

And, we celebrated the power of prayer and community in restoring balance to living systems. Mine in particular!

For this past week, I learned that not only are my cancer markers (CA-125 blood tests) not detectible, but that my post chemo CAT scan shows that there is no sign of any kind of cancer in my body. Nothing. Nada. 100% clear bill of health. True dat!

Very few words describe what my experience has been like since this news. Now that I have sufficiently unwound the overwhelming impact of the toxic chemicals given during the CAT scan on top of all the chemo, I find myself very quiet. I know that I am beyond blessed. My heart continues to break open through this initiation and the gifts it has given me. Many tears of relief have been shed. An out breath. Some disbelief. And, yes … a new and upshifted call to action is stirring within.

But that is for later. Way later.

For now, the third stage of this initiatory process is calling for my full attention. Incorporation.

Arnold van Ganepp speaks of the 3 stages of a rite of passage. You know them.

Severance. This was swift during the outset of this journey. A diagnoses on a Friday. Radical surgery on the following Tuesday, the Spring Equinox. Had to let go of everything in between. Let go of work, children, home, husband, community. All attention on the dance of survival pre and post surgery. Pray for a vision during surgery. Respect death’s presence, yet fully focus on life during this narrow passageway.

The threshold. The second stage. Surgery was one part of that. That liminal space between the worlds where the old is gone forever and the new is often not even in site. I have had months in the process of living between, between an old life and the new, not knowing if the new would be in heaven or on earth. Surgery and chemo uprooted me and twirled me through a rigorous labyrinth of pain, prayer, and power. I was not here nor there. I was not living a life I recognized, nor was I dead. The disease was mysteriously doing it’s thing, and we did not know what that thing was. The chemo was also busy doing it’s thing. Again we did not know what that thing was beyond the physical and emotional side effects. So I chose to anchor myself in the Spirit and in all things familiar … family, food, ritual, community, creativity, the dance. I chose to act as if, to let myself be wrapped in the love of the Divine while being normal,hanging out with a whole lot of life. It worked!

So here I am, gratefully feeling a full return to earth. The night sky is full of stars, even shooting ones. The sun’s rays at the end of the day are so brilliantly full of light. The golden flowers are abundant on the roadside. Water feels so sweetly cool on my naked head when I dive into the lake. I am dreaming and scheming about a future, renting movement spaces for next summer, taking jobs for the Spring, planning how the next year will be focused.

However above all, my priority is this third stage of the rite of passage process, incorporation, the slow and steady return, the organic integration of the initiatory process. This cannot be rushed nor skipped. Digestion allows for the deepest teachings to be actualized. I have writing to complete. Chemo to clear. A visual art project to return to. Gratitude to fully express. Closets to finally clean out. Family to support as they also move out of a survival mind set and into a more balanced way of being in life.

And … I’ll be very honest with you, ovarian (fallopian tube) cancer has a high rate of recurrence. As much as I would love to simply move on and never think about cancer again, I choose to be real with myself about this. I will be moving forward with the same faith and fierceness that I met this disease with over the past half year. I will not be obsessing about my every little ache and pain, but I sure will be living into a potent cancer prevention lifestyle. For now that involves a great deal of detoxification and regeneration. Chemo is a heavy drug. It has taken a toll on my hearing, my memory, my nerve endings, my digestion, my liver, and my eye sight. Likely, it has also impacted less overt functions of this blessed body. I am beyond grateful for chemo’s heroic ways of working with cancer. And, I respect it’s side effects and their potential long term impacts if not mitigated rigorously now that I am complete with the chemo. I also respect chemo’s limitations. There are specific holistic things I can do to radically reset my whole being. More on this as I learn. This call to be on the no recurrence track in an invitation to even more fully attune to my body and my soul. The stakes are high. However, I will not live in fear around this. Like all of us essentially, I will be attuning moment by moment to what I need to be doing to fulfill my soul’s code here on earth.

So dear friends, I continue ask for your support.

Join me in prayer for all the people, the vulnerable bodies, the Earth herself, for all of life. The toxins are too much. Let’s pray for a restoration of balance, for the release of toxins, for a movement towards simple ways of being that honor the fragility and majesty of life itself. Your prayers have been very powerful in my healing. I am eternally grateful. Shall we continue on? Together. For me. For you. For all the precious lives struggling around the world.

I also ask for your understanding that I will not be going back to business as usual. This work of incorporation is likely a many month process.

So please, continue to send your emails to the Golden Bridge office. I will see them. I cannot spend my days on computers any more. One of us will respond as soon as possible. We have shared so much intimacy over the years. Use your tools. Reach out to others in the community. Our golden bridge is strong.

And please keep your agreements with yourselves. So many powerful intentions have been set leaving our camps. Honor them. Go for them. Let nothing stop you.

We are woven forever. I look forward to resuming many conversations in the right time and likely in new ways. I ask for your patience. And above all, I bow in eternal gratitude for your love. You have cared well for me. Let’s keep that way of loving alive.

In fact …

Just south east of these Rocky Mountains, hundreds of thousands of people are seeking safe, sanitary, and dry shelter. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, they are seeking family, funding, something to call home, their next meal. What if we, those of us in Boulder who deeply understand the devastating impact of floods and who currently stand on solid ground, each help out one family. Family to family. Compassion. Action. Giving Care. Here is my favorite link to do that. http://www.upworthy.com/26-ways-to-help-the-hurricane-harvey-disaster-relief-efforts

This may not be your focus at this time. The world is vibrating with life force and longing. Whatever moves you, dance with it. The natural world, your wild nature, and the peoples seeking support.

We got this.

Groovy. Grateful. And Alive!
Melissa