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Wednesday, 24 September 2014 16:27

I am a cancer survivor, a monster, a joy guru and more

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Accepting all of me is key.

Yes, we all have light and dark in our lives. Yes, we all have parts of ourselves that we would rather not embrace. Imagine however the freedom when we do, even the bumpy and jiggly bits.
When we love our emotions; from joy and enthusiasm, to that anger and rage monster in our bellies.
Danger happens in our lives when we don’t embrace our shadow side. Then all of a sudden, when you are not looking, it will come out and it will be darker than you ever remembered or imagined.
Acceptance means looking within and seeing all that is there. Once we take responsibly for who we are; we realize it is up to us.
We are responsible for our lives and nurturing every sacred part of it. Then we start living into the full abundance of who we are.
I was 29, living in Montreal, studying for my masters in Dramatherapy, and my thesis was exploring the benefit of Dramatherapy with children facing childhood cancer.
I soon became my own research project.
My thesis and research was 15 years after my own childhood cancer experience and I thought I knew my story well.
However, as I used Dramatherapy on myself to explore that cancer story of so many years ago, I had to face shadows and feelings that I didn’t know were there.
The biggest surprise for me was my “Monster.”
I had no idea I was so angry. I created my angry monster unknowingly — subconsciously — by not sharing my feelings of fear, worry, anger, sadness and rage. As a teenager I didn’t have the words or awareness at the time to say these deep and powerful feelings to my family who loved me.
I believed that if I did share my true feelings my feelings would kill them.
So instead I held them inside, deep inside.
Going through my childhood cancer experience I became “the Superhero” — one that is always fine, needs no one and is invincible. Cancerman cannot get me.
Sure the Superhero had a purpose and a mission to be strong and invincible in the face of cancer.
The downside of the Superhero is there was no room to feel afraid or to need help or to be upset, angry or mad. Superheroes don’t feel — they get things done.
My inner Superhero was very strong and powerful and kept those dark and scary feelings at bay.
My fears and worries and anger for having cancer did not g away.
These shadow feelings stayed within me where they oozed and festered until one day my “Monster” came out and damn did it have a lot to say.
It was during my masters program in Montreal where “Monster” appeared. I was working with a Dramatherapist and a psychotherapist as I was exploring my thesis and using Dramatherapy on myself as part of my research.
In these sessions as we progressed, more and more of these layers of feelings, emotions and stories came to the surface.
I had no idea I was so angry about having cancer. I was angry at my parents, at my sister, at the doctors, at my school friends, at the teachers, and the world. After all these years I was now facing my shadows and it was completely liberating.
No I can’t go back and change the fact that I had cancer. I can’t go back and change how I responded; what I said and didn’t say, or what I felt and what I shared. But now by seeing all of me and seeing me with new eyes I could make new choices.
I could accept that part of my life and let it go. I could take steps to put “Superhero” at bay. I could provide more space for sharing my dark feelings and know that no one will die or disappear because of them.
I could now take responsibility for my sacred life with this new depth and awareness. My Cancerman, my Superhero and my Monster all served different purposes in my life.
Now however as I accept them, Idon’t have to be them.
I have new tools and resources and helpers in my sacred toolbox of life.
I am beautiful goddess dancer. I am wise woman warrior. I am feeling opening flower.
In all of who I am: I am emotional, safe and free.
So today, as we embrace more acceptance in our lives, let us savour all of who we are. May these new unveilings lift us into a greater acceptance of our journeys, of who we are, and give us the strength to release our past and live right now for our highest good and the good of all.
My invitation: If you or someone you love is facing cancer, I invite you to attend the  Living Well With Cancer Retreat in Swift Current Oct. 25, at the KIVA Studio. The Canadian Cancer Society in Saskatchewan has a special day planned for you.
The retreat is offered at no cost and survivors are welcome to bring a support person. Enjoy a day with people in your community who are going through a similar experience and learn some practical and emotional tools to assist you on your cancer journey.
I will be there and I hope you will be too.
To register, phone 1-855-725-0313.
Like what you’ve read? Desire more? Shine on with Christine & Join other Joyful Abundant Life Seekers as together we shine every week. Sign up for my “Be Alive & Shine” Newsletter at
For more tips and tools on how to live abundantly from the inside out, please visit me online or join us at KIVA (in the Carmel Mall).You are always welcome.
(Visit Christine at; Twitter@ChristineCiona or Facebook/KIVAsacredstudio)

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