I made this image of myself coming alive through my encounter with mortality in 2006. Outfit, makeup and photo by Paula Kramer. Puppets by Emily Jarrett Hughes.

I made this image of myself coming alive through my encounter with mortality in 2006. Outfit, makeup and photo by Paula Kramer. Puppets by Emily Jarrett Hughes.

I never thought I’d say that I’m grateful for my cancer experience. My healing adventure was painful but also unexpectedly blessed. I’m happier and more solidly myself than if I hadn’t been forced to transform.

It’s the transformation that I’m grateful for. And it wouldn’t have happened if it were not for the crisis to push me along.

I’m remembering this as I look at a different sort of scan: election results. The threat to immigrants, people of color, religious minorities, LGBT people, women and the environment has never been more transparent.

It is painful to know that so much of what we love is at stake. Whatever feelings you are having in response to the election, see if they can guide you back to your love. What love of neighbor is under your grief? What love of truth is under your anger? This is the love that will fuel our collective healing.

Love moves irresistibly towards more love.

Love wants to love us into transformation. So as we recognize the need for deep healing in our country and in the world, let’s stay open to transformation.

  • We can not just stop autocracy but find a new sense of personal and collective power.
  • We can not just stop hate crimes but find a way to live in deep communion.
  • We can not just stop economic injustice but work for a world where each person has a sense of meaning in their life and able to live into their full potential.

I know it looks like these big goals for empowerment, community, and meaning just received a huge setback. They may even feel like luxuries while safety and survival are at stake.

Putting a stop to destruction is very important. It is similar to my choice to receive chemotherapy. Thankfully the drugs quickly got me out of pain and I could then better focus on the other aspects of healing.

The wonderful feeling of healing, of coming more alive, came through love. I had deepened friendships. I become so much less controlled by fear. I had renewed purpose.

Commit to Love

Both my conventional and complementary treatments were huge commitments. Hours and hours in an infusion center. Hours and hours re-balancing my energy. Hours and hours sitting in contemplation to allow the figurative mud to settle so I could see the world clearly again. Many, many friends and healers helping me along the way. Each of those small steps added up to a miraculous transformation.

Healing and transformation take our dedication. There are all the conversations, letters, petitions, phone calls, meetings, and events that are necessary for our democracy. There is also the surprisingly challenging practice of convincing our ego to step aside and let in the love.

Healing also feels way better and more joyful and freeing than we can imagine. It’s worth it. So let’s go for it!

With love,



Needing help remembering that love is possible?

I offer one-on-one support, a qigong practice group, and healing dance practice.

My partner Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew has also been blogging about our experience with cancer and the election. Read her reflections here.



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