Strength to Survive and Courage to Thrive


Courage to Thrive (Image courtesy of Unsplash)

Living in Balance with Chronic Illness

“The words echoed within me “all WILL be O.K., all WILL be well.” — Merging Worlds

When the phone rang, I was in the kitchen. Hearing the words your physician begins with “unfortunately we need to talk about it” brings instant uncertainty. I sat at the kitchen table with my cell phone in one hand and a pen in the other. You think your ready — you’re not. You think you will crumble — you don’t. White clouds of nothingness surrounded me like a hazy dream without music.

In December of 2012, 8 weeks after being fired from a six-year position as a fundraiser for healthcare, I received a diagnosis of prostate cancer, alone in my kitchen.

It changes you.

In ways we can’t imagine, physically from the treatment you receive, the stress on our bodies, and emotionally — both, our new perspective on life and our detailed evaluation of ourselves, and our values.

It changes life.

Cancer survivors or anyone with a chronic illness become numbers, statistics, risks for employers and possible losses for loved ones. What you wish people understood about you is just that — life changed, so did you, but you are still the same loving soul somewhere in the midst of the unpredictable hurricane.

“Know you are loved, you are safe, you are enough, and you matter!”

There is no magic answer. Some doctors will say your fine, some of your closest friends and family will say your fine. Some healthcare professionals will tell you more dire outcomes that engage fears in ways like fiery dragons emerge from their caves — not allowing for much hope.

What worked for me is faith in something bigger than myself, taking charge of my diet and exercise regimen, and creating a network of social connections that either understood what I was going through or had other life experiences that brought them similar questions and perspectives on life.

The resources that help me to remain positive, humble, and to get through are the ones that hold me in service to myself, others, and to the planet. They facilitate purpose.

  1. Daily prayer and meditating
  2. Yoga and nature
  3. Creativity, writing and recording music

Having a morning and evening ritual of prayer or mediation help me tremendously. It sets the tone for the day and creates a space to rest at night. I’m grateful for each day and the blessings, the gifts, the opportunities it brings. I have found amazing peace in that.

Attending a yoga class helps the body to flush out toxins, stretch out tight muscles, align our spine — and chakras, our bodies energy centers. Eastern philosophy and medicine have worked with our bodies energy systems for thousands of year’s and now is getting major attention in the West, along with new scientific proof that bodywork — works. Nature has also always been a grounding and healing place for me. A walk on the beach, a hike in the mountains, a stroll in he park is an instant cure-all.

Any type of creative activity is not only good for the soul, but builds healing energy. Especially when you do it with or for someone else. Cook a meal, paint a bedroom, paint a painting, write a poem. I have always been a writer, a poet, and a musician. For me, I am in joy as life-force flows through me in the creative process.

Since my cancer diagnoses, I have written three books, began a blog called Yesrising, and am working on new music and videos. My platform, that began as an outlet in 2013, has evolved into resources and inspiration for other artists, survivors, LGBTQ or anyone who wants a different, maybe offbeat, maybe off the beaten path, perspective on life.

The biggest piece of advice I have to offer? Know this: You are loved, you are safe, you are enough, and you matter!

Namaste. 🙂



“Love is like the bookstore that holds joy and happiness, gratitude, dreams and healing — the books we should frequently read.”


You Are the Bookstore

-from THE GRACE OF REDEFINING LOVE, a guide to changing perception, coming soon. Namaste 🙂

You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Positive Vibe

Within Each of Us

“The ability to observe without judgment. The observer, at the seat of the soul, has no need other than to be the vessel for the child. And forgiving the child within, transforms the benefaction into the legacy — a bejeweled and lighted treasure.” —yesrising

Namaste 🙂


If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose. — TD Jakes



Let’s create a wholehearted world. Love over fear…there is no other viable option.

And, as Joseph Campbell said. “Follow Your Bliss”.

NO FEAR FRIDAY is a weekly campaign on INSTAGRAM focused on our choosing LOVE over fear. Namaste. 🙂 


“Everyone is the anomaly because everyone is unique…and the gift that the Universe provides is the room for all of us to live beyond expectation.”


Follow Your Heart – and Shine.

We are loved beyond belief. And made of that same love, same stardust that we are – beautiful and unique, we add our bright light to this giant jigsaw puzzle called life.

-from my book MERGING WORLDS


Everything is transforming. Energy changing – there is nothing permanent or even tangible the way we believe it once was…

personal development



Dreaming like wind on the earth
the sun may shine yet the rain might fall
bright like the sun at day 
shine the circles at night
mystical charms rhythm will carry
floating by like waves in the sea
every now and then the music will play
but cast away the bird takes flight
high in the sky of love and respect 

-from HERO, a collection of metaphysical poems 1990-2001


Eckhart Tolle suggests in the book The Power of The Heart — “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.”