This is part of a series of interviews filmed in 2016 before my third dance with cAnswer
When this interview was filmed, I was looking forward to another 18 weeks of chemo/dreamo treatments. I had wrapped my arms around my possible death from cAnswer as I had wrapped my arms around the treatment - as best I could with love, joy and a sense of humor. I've always known that positive things can come out of seemingly negative ones especially when we look for such outcomes. In some schools of thought, I've been taught to actually embrace if not look forward to seemingly negative situations or contractions- as they always lead to an expansion, a spiritual growing and knowing when allowed.
One such expansion was releasing the notion that I had to share my music by doing concerts and selling cds. When I recognized that all I had to do was post a song on Facebook from Youtube or Reverbnation I was on FIRE! Being able to share so freely inspired me to record more songs on the back burner and bring them to boil! I love seeing who listens, comments and likes my daily song shares!
Another expansion is my involvement and my "inLovement" with the Threshold Choir. This Divine connection would never have happened with my touring the country. I have community. I get to heal at home. Thanks to the internet, I can still minister, teach and share all over the world!
Expanding Standing Still! Imagine!
Birthdays have always been a really big deal in my family. My mother was famous for throwing colorful parties filled with laughter and song. My earliest birthdays were "frocked with frills." In my pre-teens they evolved into glorious slumber parties complete with séances and dancing in the dark in front of posters of David Cassidy and Donny Osmond.
My teens brought high school friends to our house to play charades, be stuffed into a small closet, and singing around the piano until the wee hours of the morning. My mother orchestrated all of this every year.
I naturally picked up her love of laughter and gathering together in song. When I moved to Florida at 20, what I missed most was being there for my mother's birthday. So from Sarasota, I organized, sent invitations and created a surprise party for my mom's 45th birthday! My sister was involved and lead mom into her apartment which was filled with people who loved her. I was on the phone and could hear the expression on her face. Although I was the only one not in attendance, I was pleased that I pulled it off and that she had a wonderful time without me.
In 2011 it was my stepmom, Mary Ann, who threw my 50th birthday party. My mother, of course, was there as were many of my old high school friends as well as current friends from my church community and singing groups. It was the last party before the cAnswer Dance which began six months later.
The celebrations now have taken on a whole new meaning. Last year, I threw myself a party/concert at Unity Bloomington, Indiana. My 55th birthday was the first one in my life without my mother. She made her transition in April 2015. In April 2016, Daddy crossed over. I realized early on that the older I grew the more people I would lose, but nothing prepared me for being on this planet without both of them at the same time!
But I am still on this planet and that alone is worth celebrating. So I do! Sometimes with friends and sometimes by myself but always with music. Having survived the cAnswer Dance three times now, I celebrate every day. When I reach a milestone like another birthday, the thrill of still being alive is inexplicable. Not only do I get to celebrate my life and my survival, but I get to celebrate the two people who brought me into the world and who treated me with the love and encouragement to be able to dance with cAnswer in the first place! So many blessings!
Celebrate with me the birthing of a new day everyday.
And Happy Birthday to YOU!
I have never liked the statement "It is what it is". To me it sounds pat, like the oh too familiar, "Whatever." "It is what it is" sounds like there's only one way "it" is. That is never the case. Every situation has multiple facets in many colors and an infinite number of ways to look at it. Perception changes everything does it not?
I learned about perception when I recognized that my sister had a happy childhood and I did not! We came from the same famn damily! That's when I started to notice the different stories she and I told. When I started telling better stories, I had a happier childhood! Imagine that! Not that things in the past have changed, but seeing it all from a different perspective, shifts not only my memories of it but the way it feels.
This was an incredible awakening in my life -- to know that even my past can feel better when I consciously focus on what's good about it. Focusing on the good in whatever happened within and around me became a daily practice when I "took it on the road" in 99. I toured the country for 12 1/2 years. It felt like a lifetime of conscious practice in positive perception. So when I was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer in 2012, I got to REALLY practice this.
I talk at length about how I had fun with cancer and how having fun helped me heal from three cAnswer (my way of spelling cancer) occurrences and 36 chemotherapy treatments in my new book, Holy Shift! Everything's a Gift! Suffice it to say that I have come to know that how I see something changes it dramatically.
A shift of perspective is indeed a Holy shift as it is up to me to choose to see it differently in the first place. I use a sentence from A Course in Miracles, "Show me a different way to see this." Then I breathe, open, listen and allow. It's amazing how, by reframing and renaming what most people think of as terrible, traumatic, poison and deadly, even cAnswer and Chemo/Dreamo can be filled with love, laughter, sweetness and fun and that it matters!
This sentence "It is what it is" had just become a popular cultural declaration when my sister and I had an opportunity to drive together to a singing engagement. I brought it up in conversation. "You know I really don't like the sentence "It is what it is" and told her what I described above.
She asked "What would you rather we say?"
"It is what I make it." The window was open and she didn't hear me correctly.
"What did you say?" she asked.
I repeated myself. She still didn't hear me. I told her to roll up her window. When I repeated it a third time, she started laughing. "What did you think I said?" I asked incredulously.
She replied, "I thought you said, 'It is when I'm naked,' both times! I was trying to figure out that if it IS when I'm naked, then it's NOT when I am clothed?"
By then I was in hysterics too. Laughter is such a wonderful thing! It helps me shift my perspective as does singing, dancing and meditating.
It IS what I MAKE it! What a great thing to know!
Nothing can compare with the mind blowing, life altering, holy shifting words “You have cancer.” Or in my case, “it’s back again.” And while the numbers are low enough that I can continue to pretend I am in the clear and healthy, the ever present gift is knowing that I may not be here for long.
So how then shall I live? Do I live for today and create/embrace joy wherever I can? Acting as if life is short, makes me want to dance and sing, meditate, eat good food, love and laugh with friends and sing and dance. Did I mention sing and dance? Acting as if life is short makes me want to gather all of the loose threads of unfinished songs and record them with lush and magnificent harmony! Acting as if life is short makes me want to write about all I have learned this lifetime and impart the information with as much passion as I can muster! Acting as if life is short makes me want to clean my closets, give away a bunch of once loved stuff, and make simple what I leave behind.
On the other hand, acting as if I have another 10 or 20 years ahead of me, I would develop a business plan. I would start looking for gigs, concert opportunities, book signings and speaking engagements. Acting as if I have another 10 or 20 years ahead of me, I would be learning all I can about marketing myself and my work in new ways. I would be working hard at making a living.
What occurs to me of course is that none of us knows when we will make our transition. I get that. But dancing with cancer for five years has been such an incredible Holy Shift and the questions I have remain deliciously unanswered. However, living for today -- whatever that means and all that that means -- is very different than making a living and marketing oneself.
Maybe singing and dancing, meditating and eating well, loving and laughing with friends will be all the “business planning” and “marketing” I will need to sustain a healthy happy life for as long as I do live!? And maybe by acting as if life is short, I will add years to my life! Hmmmm!!?
New Thought Advocate and well-known musician and workshop facilitator, Lauren Lane Powell, discovered she had Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer in the prime of her life. She offers wisdom gained from a lifetime of learning to live in love.
"We met on www.blogtalkradio.com/ ggmradio, on my show Namaste Nutrition. Lauren,you are such a wonderful inspiration, and to this day remain one of my favorite radio guests. Your magic, ethereal beauty, and journey was such an inspiration to me and to my audience."
-- Host of radio show “Namaste Nutrition”
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