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Wednesday, 18 May 2016 16:01

A cancer, a clown and coming full circle

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Last week: I was in North Battleford, Saskatchewan facilitating my soul jam collective — self-care retreat for nurses who worked for the Meadow Lake Tribal Council.


Twenty-five or so nurses from diverse backgrounds and communities gathered. We shared stories. We took time to slow down, to laugh, to listen, to create, and to learn from our heart centre.
Through our sacred circle we had time to hear our heart song and listen to what we each individually needed, longed for, and desired.
“If you could get anything out of this day, what would it be?”
(Answer this question yourself my friends). “If you could get anything out of this day, what would it be?”
Deep knowing and perceiving arrived. Intentions of stillness, rest, knowing who I am, finding my purpose, healing, deep connections, joy and laughter arrived. It was a beautiful day full of sharing, stillness, laughter and light.
The invitation to offer my workshop to the Meadow Lake Tribal Council came from their Primary Care Manager Patrick Blais.
Patrick contacted me many months earlier. Here is where the invitation becomes magical.
I met Patrick when I was 13 years old and in cancer treatment at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. Patrick was my nurse as a child with cancer.
1986: I was 13 years old and in the early stages of my cancer treatment. I went through a battery of tests. I was in a shared room at The Royal University Hospital. I met medical interns, “real doctors”, “student doctors”, “teams of medical residents” going through rounds to visit different patients.
Patrick stood out. I don’t remember his nurse’s uniform. I do remember his style.
Patrick came into the room with joy and laughter. He had a clown nose that he would wear. He offered me one as well at times. Patrick treated me like a person not like a patient. He was truly eager and happy to see me, to visit, to be “real”. I noticed him. He stood out. He noticed me.
The magic of Patrick is that he didn’t treat me like I was dying. He treated me like a real person, not a cancer patient. 
I am so grateful for Patrick and his compassion and playfulness in life. In meeting Patrick and experiencing how he treated me and celebrated living, I was invited to do the same. I didn’t wallow in my illness, or my treatment. I lived my life while experiencing its many ups and downs.
Of all the doctors and nurses I met during the time I was in treatment there were only two nurses that I remember and Patrick was one of them.
Time Flying: After I finished treatment I said “goodbye” to the medical community and went on to other adventures and destinations. Patrick and I however would stay in touch. Every now and again — every few years or so — we would connect as volunteers at Camp Circle of Friends (a cancer camp in Saskatchewan), or through the occasional email now and again.
Patrick had signed up for my newsletter email list on my website a few years ago, and now receives my regular posts and emails of my many adventures, ideas, wonderings and creative offerings. To my delight Patrick replied back to one of my emails in January 2016 asking me to bring my joy and sunshine to his colleagues and staff in northern Saskatchewan. An amazing feeling oozed from my being.
Coming Full Circle:  To be seen... to be real... to be yourself, in a circle of others, is a healing and humbling experience. Patrick is sitting in the circle among us in North Battleford. He still has his clown nose and continues to bring his clowning into the hospitals, communities, care homes and his family.
Patrick sees the value of self-care and makes healing and learning events like this one possible for his colleagues. Patrick shares his passion for joy and laughter in his own creative “clown” way.
I am oozing with gratitude. Thirty years ago, Patrick walked into my hospital room and shared his joy and enthusiasm for living. How lucky am I to have the opportunity to offer Patrick and his colleagues my version of the same medicine — joy.
The Invitation: What would it take for each of us, to get out of our own way, to allow our light to shine, to tap into the core passion, desires, gifts and skills that light us up and share that with the planet? Whether you are a nurse at the Royal University Hospital, or living in a remote northern community helping those in need, or taking care of your family and the land, we all desire to shine. We all desire to feel well and to be seen and to be included no matter what. I’ll have some more of that please.
In Gratitude ... Shine on ... Christine
Like what you’ve read? Desire more? Shine on with Christine — #thejoyguru. One-on-one life coaching, counselling, abundant living guidance and more is available to you. Sign up for my “Be Alive & Shine” newsletter at www.welcometokiva.com. For more tips and tools on how to live abundantly from the inside out, visit me online or join us at KIVA (in the Carmel Mall). You are always welcome. www.welcometokiva.com. Twitter: @ChristineCiona or Facebook/KIVAsacredstudio.

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