“You have cancer,” said my doctor. My mother had heard the same when I was six. Hers had metastasized by the time she got diagnosed. A devastating experience for my family. Now it was me.
About to lose it, I asked myself: “what would I say to a client if she were in this situation?”
As an eating psychology coach and intuitive eating counselor, I help clients improve their relationship with food and with their body. I guide them into finding what’s really eating them—which is rarely food— and coming up with ways to increase their mind, body, and heart wellbeing. I know our relationships, prioritizing pleasure and relaxation, movement, diet, sleep, creativity, and spirituality; are impactful.
I took myself as a client! I reached out to healers—some who are also great spiritual guides. I spoke to my husband and told him what I needed from him, and what I didn’t want from him. I practiced yoga. I asked my friends to include me in their prayers, and invited them to an “Energy Circle.”
I made up the Circle. On Saturday morning, on my way to synagogue, the whole plan for that afternoon’s reunion came to me: we would gather around the table with some snacks, bless our food, and we would share funny stories. Afterwards, we would pray, and I would guide a breathing exercise and a heart meditation. Before saying goodbye, we would exchange close and deep hugs.
I was worried of making anyone uncomfortable, as my friends have diverse levels of spiritual observance, and I’m kind of their crazy, hippie, weird friend. I also felt guilty to ask everyone for their time.
As the sun set, giggles invaded my bloodstream! My guests sang a beautiful Psalm, we breathed, we shared our heart’s energy. We hugged.
The group changed weekly depending on everyone’s availability. They brought guests and requested more gatherings. My heart felt full, my spirit strong. I felt carried by these ladies. The positive energy was contagious and healing for all.
The Energy Circle didn’t cure my cancer—I had a wonderful medical team— but it made me stronger, happier, more hopeful, relaxed, and accompanied throughout. It put my body in the best biochemistry for healing. I am glad I asked for help, and now I hope to help others as a peer supporter at Sharsheret by sharing the healing comfort and energy that I received.
Over the years, Sharsheret has become that energy circle that everyone affected with breast and/or ovarian cancer can access. It offers support in the many different forms we need it during every stage, and for everyone involved. From treatment, to emotional support for the caregivers, to genetic testing, to dealing with spirituality and finances, Sharsheret can guide us.
When I received my diagnosis I felt very alone and isolated, as if I had been swallowed by a dark vacuum that I couldn’t escape from. I couldn’t think logically. Calls, emails, tests, signatures, authorizations, medical terms, my family, my body, my pain, their pain, where to go? Sharsheret makes room for us in their own circle filled with energy to heal. It shows us that we are not alone. It throws a rope for us to come out of that darkness. Now, even more than ever, during this pandemic, in which we are more isolated, Sharsheret offers a hand that we can hold as we go through the process of dealing with cancer. Feeling that we are not alone in this is incredibly powerful.
I’m looking forward to volunteering with Sharsheret to reach as many people who can benefit from my experience as possible.