Think back to when you were diagnosed with breast cancer. Did a story come to mind of what that meant and what your life would look like as a result of it?
What about your thoughts on turning 40, 50, or starting a business, or traveling to an exotic location? All of those stories create boxes that we easily get stuck in.
We find ourselves living our lives and managing our healing by our collection of other people’s thoughts on what life experiences should look like.
But, what if you didn’t?
What would be different if you threw out all the boxes created by you and everyone who’s given you a box throughout your life?
Scary to think about? I know.
In this episode, I’ll tell you about the importance of doing things your way when it comes to making life choices and why it’s never too late to start doing things for the first time.
Referred to in this episode:
Better Than Before Breast Cancer Life Coaching Membership (90 Days of Wellness)
Laura Lummer 00:00
You're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a Certified Life health and nutrition coach, and I'm also a breast cancer thriver. If you're trying to figure out how to move past the trauma and the emotional toll of breast cancer, you've come to the right place. In this podcast, I will give you the tools and the insights to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer. Well, let's get started. Welcome to Episode 207, of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I am your host, Laura Lummer. And I'm on fire today. I'm just feeling so much energy and so excited and so inspired. And I'm going to share all the reasons why with you. One of those reasons is yesterday, I did a photo shoot for some new pictures for the website and also a really cool project that this photographer was working on called be seen. Her name is Judy Riggs, Judy Riggs photography. And it was just such a great experience. She had a wonderful partner, Lucy who is the hair and makeup artist, and it was just a special day. And it was hours of just a lot of fun. And something that I really felt in that session. And I know Judy tries to bring out is just really feeling comfortable in my own skin. You know, and I think that that's a process that we go through CAUTI as women for sure at every stage in our lives. Definitely after breast cancer, definitely after menopause. I think every time our body changes from the way we had it the longest period of time in life. So we looked one way for the longest period of time, which was young, usually, as we age, or we put on weight or anything like that, we start to judge ourselves and say, I don't look like me, or I look different, but we're still me, we're always me, we're changing and evolving. And every station of life, every phase of life has its beauty. And if we can just really step into accepting ourselves, then we get to experience more of that beauty, less of that judgment. And I love that that's really what I felt in that session. I love how God looks for women to just bring out their story, bring out their power, and really show them on film. It's pretty amazing. So that was great, super excited, had a wonderful experience. And I highly recommend a professional photo shoot, if
Laura Lummer 02:35
you haven't had pictures of yourself in a long time. If you shy away from the camera, do something to help you feel really beautiful, you know, do something to step into that skin of yours and love it and appreciate it and just dote on your own beauty without judgment and self criticism like so nice, such a great experience. So that was very inspiring. And then in the better than before breast cancer life coaching membership this month, we are embarking on a program called 90 days of wellness, it's only happening inside, the better than before breast cancer membership. And I am so excited about it because health and wellness is my jam. It was my duty life coaching, health coaching nutrition coaching is this one big ball of all of these aspects and all of these facets of the way that we think and the way that we treat ourselves, I don't really align with much of what you hear is the common beliefs in exercise and nutrition. You know this hard core beat yourself up discipline only eat this specific kind of kale grown in this soil after 12 o'clock in the afternoon. I just don't think eating should be that hard. I don't think loving your body and feeding your body from a place of love should be that hard. I invite you to join we'll be in our first week when this podcast comes out. You have plenty of time to catch up to be a part of it and lifetime access to the program as long as you're a member. So please join me at the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash life coaching, join the membership. And within that we will be doing 90 days of wellness. We're going to be just adopting this new approach. We're not going to be doing a food program. We're not going to be doing a diet. We're going to be learning to love our bodies, nourish our bodies support our body's ability to heal from a place of self love. Not a place of judgment or deprivation or restrictiveness. But this whole program is really about getting to know yourself on the deepest level a deep deep health level. And that doesn't just mean what supplements and what foods do it's how do you eat when do you eat? What do you think of yourself when you're eating? How do you move When do you move? How do you sleep? What are the stories you tell yourself about yourself. Because when we can get into that, when we can look at the stories behind the things you do and why you do them, if you say you don't want to do them, and you're doing them anyway, that's everything. That's when we get to really know ourselves, love ourselves, like ourselves, and learn to trust ourselves and trust in our bodies. That is the key, the foundation to supporting your health, and your body's ability to heal. Okay, another reason I'm inspired, and this is really going into the meat and potatoes of the show. Now, sometimes I see things and I just think, you know, people are amazing. People are super inspiring. I take a walk, just about every morning, I'd say 98% of the mornings. And I walk on the beach. And I noticed some of the same people who make their same beach walks every morning, we say hi. And there's this woman, and she walks on the beach, and I see her. And when I first when I first saw her this is a few months ago, when I first saw her starting to walk on the beach, I thought, wow,
Laura Lummer 06:13
she is dedicated. She's an older woman, if I had to guess I'd say she's in her early 70s, if I had to guess. But what I noticed about her was that I could tell from the way she was walking, she was very uncomfortable. She was definitely experiencing some kind of pain. She had a cane, she was using the cane for support. She was walking very slowly. And I just thought, wow, I have such respect for that because she's walking on sand. And you know, when you're walking down on the shore in the morning, there's times if the tide is out that the sand is a little firmer, and it's a little easier to walk on it. But it's not as easy as walking on a hard surface no matter what. And she had to walk through the really soft sand to get down to where she's walking. And I look at her and I think Man, that is some dedication, that not only is she determined to get out and walk and get exercise for whatever it is that she's going through. Like she wants to be or she wants to be moving that body, she obviously wants that benefit of exercise on a regular basis. So I see her almost every morning, we say hi. And I from week to week have noticed how much better she's walking. Now I see her and she carries the cane instead of walking with the cane. Now I see her and she's limping, much less. And she's walking much more easily, much more carefree. And it's obvious from the look on her face that she's not in the level of discomfort she was when I first saw her. And to me that's just so inspiring. And I'm like, wow, she just got up even when it was hard, and she got up. And she just loved herself and said, I'm not gonna sit back here, right, I'm gonna get up, I'm going to keep moving, I'm going to support this body's ability to heal and our bodies are so incredible, that they will just respond right, and her body is responding to this daily movement. Clearly, it's healing, changing, transforming. I don't know the details of what she's going through. But it's obvious to see just from her movement. And I love that so much. I think that seeing people like that, and seeing that they can have this carefree determination to just live life in the way they want to live life enjoy their day in the way they're going to enjoy their day. And they're just determined to get out there and keep doing it. And I love that. So I've just been thinking about her a lot. As I've seen her over the last couple of days. It reminded me of this conversation that I had with one of my clients. So I'm talking to one of my clients. She is in her early 70s. She's in treatment for metastatic cancer. And she said to me, we're in a coaching session, we were coaching on some things. And at the end of it, she says to me, you know, Laura, I really think I'd like to have some more passion in my life. And I wonder if we could do some coaching on that. I wonder if you think that's something I can do? Or is it too late for me? And now, my heart is a glow when I hear that too late for you? Oh, hell no. Absolutely not. You know how I know it's not too late. Because you have a desire for it. You want it in your life. You're ready for it. And you're here today and alive today. And that is everything. And what I love about that is that she's just not going to stay in that box. Right the box we put around women who are over a certain age, people who are going through cancer treatment, what we think it means to be treated for stage four cancer, and she's just like, Hey, dude, I have to do to support my body's ability to heal and you know what I'm thinking I'd like a little more in my life right now. How about that? How can I start thinking differently, what can I do to create a space to bring passion into my life in my early 70s, in chemotherapy treatment for stage four cancer, that, to me is amazing and inspiring. And it's what I'm talking about here today. It's this quote that I saw, in a book, I think I talked about this book in the last podcast, or maybe a couple of go, and it's called the survival paradox. It's written by Dr. Isaak, he lays, and in the book, I don't have the quote in front of me, but it's something to the effect of, I don't want you to think outside the box, I want you to realize there was never a box to begin with. It was only a perception. Man, when I read that, I thought, that is so amazing, such a great way to put that. And that's what I thought of with my client. Because we create these boxes for ourselves. And we allow society to create these boxes for herself a box for women who are menopause, a box for women who are over 50, what shoes you're allowed to wear, when you're a certain age, how you're supposed to wear your hair when you're a certain age
Laura Lummer 11:10
boxes and boxes and boxes? And do we decide we're going to put ourselves in that box? Or do we decide that box is really just somebody else's thoughts. And you don't need to live your life by somebody else's thoughts. You can live your life, by your thoughts, you get to live your life in any way you choose to do it. And here's what got me really going on that. So my husband and I are watching this series, it's called the firm. I think it's on Netflix, I don't know, he's in charge of the TV stations. But it's called the firm's kind of mindless entertainment. And it's this very overly dramatic, overly simplified law, drama, the actor who plays the lead is a trial attorney. And of course, he's always trying to fight the good fight. And as he's doing that, he gets shot down again. And again, you know, it's kind of got a theme, like a bad thing happens. And he goes to court and it gets shot down. And in the end, you know, the good guy wins. And as he's presenting these cases, in the show, this judge will be saying, well, is there a precedent for that? Well, there's no precedent for that. So I can't change it. And I'm watching the show. And I said to my husband, I'm really feeling annoyed right now. Like, this is so annoying to watch this. And he says why? And I said, because this precedent thing, this, this idea that something had to already happen before or it can't happen again, this idea that we can't just be something new, do something new, have a new idea that it has to have come from something before. Now, again, this is a TV show, I'm just using it as an example. But when I thought about it, it just translated to what I see in life, what I coach people on what I've had to coach through and overcome in my own life. And I think a perfect example of one of those boxes, is breast cancer and breast cancer treatment. It is a stage at which you're diagnosed, right? When I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, what's that box? That box is, oh, she's gonna die. And I'm not going to be in that box. I refuse that box. No, I say no to that box. I don't believe it. When we get any kind of a diagnosis of breast cancer, and what is the box that we go into? This is going to be hard, this is going to be horrible. This is going to interrupt my life, this is going to disrupt everything in my life. There's all kinds of these little boxes and you know, it's like, yeah, are those set on a precedent? Yeah, they are kind of because we saw people go through them. We saw people be uncomfortable physically, emotionally, mentally, as they were going through these difficult times. And now we get a diagnosis. And we think, okay, that's what I have to go through. That's what it's going to be like for me. And I want to throw out there though, we get to set a new precedent, that we get to be the ones that you get to be the one that says, this may be challenging, but I'm gonna do it differently. This may be a detour to what I had planned in my life. But I'm not going to let it stop me from becoming all that I am.
Laura Lummer 14:28
That this isn't what I planned. And it sure as hell isn't something I want to do. But I'm not gonna let it stop me from living. And when I think about how much energy we put into the precedent that's been set over decades and decades, for good reason, we didn't have the kind of medical care we do now. A lot of the knowledge we do now, a lot of the alternative care and complementary therapies that we do now. And so now is a time to change that precedent. Now is the time To shift that paradigm, now's the time for us to look at what is happening in our lives with a diagnosis of breast cancer, with going through treatment of breast cancer, with recovering from breast cancer, with learning to live from breast cancer, and learning to trust yourself, again, learning that you can do things differently than the stories that you hear. Learning that you can decide, you're going to support your body in the very best way. And you're not going to buy into the idea that you have to fit into the box of someone with cancer, or the life of someone with cancer. But you get to do cancer, and you get to do healing. And you get to do life, your way. If you can adopt this thinking, I think that when we step into that space after breast cancer treatment, that's so very challenging, because we hold on to this idea that we want to go back to normal, and then that creates more suffering on top of the challenges. But if you can adopt this idea that, okay, now, this is a new chapter. And it doesn't have to be like everything was right, I don't have to have done something before to be able to do it. Now, I can stop here and just decide one step at a time, one day at a time, what I want my life to look like going forward, and let go of the idea that it has to look like something that's behind me. And I think that's what really hit me when I heard about this, like, you know, when I was focusing on this show, and it was like, you have to set a precedent there. And you have to set a precedent, because I do hear from my clients all the time. I don't know how to do that. I've never done that before. And I get that that totally makes sense. But where we stop ourselves is where we say, I can't do that. Because I've never done it before. I can't do that. Because I don't know how whatever it is in your life, I want to change the relationship, I want to talk to my spouse in a new way. I want to start traveling, I want to create more space at my job or doing something on the side or get a different job that allows me more freedom in life. We have all these desires, and us and these amazing things that we want to feel and experience and do in our lives. And we stop ourselves so often because we say, I've never done that before. I have a sister who travels extensively. It's awesome. She works virtually she's got a fantastic job, she makes great money from home, and she loves to travel. And you'll hear a lot of people say, Well, how do you do that? Well, I mean, you know, she's going too much, you know, and there's a lot of judgment around that. And I think we face that also, in our own minds, we worry about how people will judge us if we start to live our life a little differently and do things our way, because it hasn't been done like that before. But we have to learn to get through those thoughts. That was where coaching comes in. Again, help yourself through those thoughts, self coaching, understanding that if you are making a decision based on what someone else is going to think of you, it's time to become really aware of that thought and dig into it and understand why that's important, why you would stop yourself, because you think someone else might think you shouldn't be doing something. So that's a really important thing to look at some of my very, very happiest moments in the work that I do. Or when I'm listening to a client of mine talk about how she has regrouped her life, how she's applied some of the skills that she has learned through life coaching to her life. And as a result of that, the freedom that she feels the ability to just show up as her the ability to do what she feels she wants to do and needs to do for herself without the judgment and the labels of oh my gosh, am I being rude? Oh my gosh, does
Laura Lummer 19:01
that mean oh my gosh, shouldn't I just do this because someone expects it of me. But just really breaking those chains and deciding for the first time ever, in so many people's lives, that she's just gonna live life by her rules. And that by no means means being selfish or rude or cutting people out. It just means being truly authentic yourself and being free to do that without guilt or shame or blame or beating yourself up for it because you don't fit into somebody else's box. It's a beautiful place to be. It's a healing place to be. It's a freeing place to be, it's a happy place to be. And it's a place that I wish for each and every single one of you and some place I wish for me and the place that I work on for me all the time. So I encourage you to look at where you're at in your life and see if there's areas where you're not feeling like you get to truly authentically be you if you if you feel that there are some areas of your life where you're feeling stuck, where you're feeling like you have to be a certain way, because that's the expectation and apply that quote to yourself and ask yourself, What if there was no box here? Who would I want to be? How would I want to show up, because this is the gift of your life. And you get to choose how you want that gift to look. And if you want help with that, come and find me come and see me in the better than before breast cancer membership. And I'll guide you through that process of looking at those areas in your life that you want to change so you can become more authentically you where you can feel freer and you can feel happier. And join me now and go through in real life real time with me the 90 days of wellness because it's going to be an amazing journey. And I'd love to have you along for it. You can find all the details for the better than before breast cancer membership at the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash life coaching. All right, my friend I'll talk to you again next week. And until then, Please be good to yourself and expect other people to be good to you as well. Take care.