Weekly Round-Up

girl_with_lassoTime for this week’s round-up of the best of the blogs which I’ve read over the past week. These are the posts that have moved me, taught me something, inspired me, and which I’ve wanted to share with you. Remember, if you have written or read a post recently which you would like me to share with readers, then please leave a comment below.

I read a quote this week on how reading is a creative act – you bring parts of yourself and your own experience to what you read. I find this is so true when I read your blogs. I read through the prism of my own experience and this is reflected in my choices each week for the round-up – they are very personal choices which reflect where I am at in my own life. While reading Stacey’s latest post on Bringing Up Goliath, I could see what a lot she had to write about this week, but viewing it through my own individual prism, all I could focus on was her struggles with pilates, which echoed my own experience. Her post brought up all my old feelings of competing with myself and my perfectionism and my inability not to judge myself and find myself wanting. But, there is much more to Stacey’s post than this – so I encourage you all to read it and see which parts speak to your experience.

AnneMarie‘s experience of being Italian American doesn’t touch on my own personal experience  (although I loved reading it and learning more about AnneMarie) but her account of chemo brain sure does resonate with me. It’s a terrific post – full of humor and “oh that’s me too” moments.

I can’t seem to read enough about grief these days. In trying to come to terms with the heartbreaking loss of my mother, I need to know how others are walking this path, and above all, I want to know that it is possible to build a new life and even know happiness again without the beloved.   So, I was very interested to read Jackie’s excellent post on plans to reclassify grief as a depressive condition,  in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic guidebook.

Jackie is clear in her belief that grief is not a disorder and quotes  The Lancet  in this regard:

Building a life without the loved person who died cannot be expected to be quick, easy, or straightforward. Life cannot, nor should not, continue as normal. In a sense, a new life has to be created, and lived with.

I so needed to read this and it was also wonderful to read a comment by Maura (who blogs at up close and personal - a great new blog find for me)  who believes “that grief is part of the normal rich experience in our lives” .

Reading the comments section is a great way to discover new blogs and this week Candida Abrahamson left a comment on Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer which led me to discover her own research findings on one of my favorite topics – the power of connection.

One of the ways I have found to deal with my grief is to immerse myself in nature. As I wrote in an earlier post, spring has never been more welcome to me this year, and I find this echoed in Being Sarah‘s gorgeous descriptions of working on Plot 44 this week. I also loved Dee’s latest post not just for the beautiful spring like images but for her reminder of taking some time out to simply just be.

Nancy is determined to “find the good” this week, despite gray skies,  and she also shares some lovely pictures of spring coming into bloom in her world on her blog The Pink Underbelly.

The weather really affects my moods too (which is a pity for me living in a country of gray skies and rain!)  but sometimes the gray weather perfectly matches our moods and this is the theme of Kathi’s latest post The Weather Of Loss.

Brenda has written a very thought-provoking post on the stories we tell ourselves. There is so much truth in what she writes and it is sure to set you thinking about your own stories and how they contribute to your identity, or as Brenda proposes “are our identities more than just a story we tell ourselves?”

Sometimes in order to create new stories or identities for ourselves, we have to make tough choices on telling our truth – not everyone you tell your truth to is going to like it – but to be true to ourselves, we must be willing to do it. This is the theme of life coach Martine Brennan’s latest post this week.

“The thing I struggle with the most on a daily basis is knowing when to stop and relax” – so writes Debbie this week and she could have speaking for me! This is why I enjoy reading her Where We Go Now posts  - her reminders to be more mindful in our daily lives, her tips on creating our “survivor’s nest”, her wisdom and her insight are all wonderful antidotes to the everyday stresses of life.

Which leads me nicely onto Jan’s blog as she shares a beautiful watercolor painting she is undertaking at her art class, a limerick she has written, and her plans to fully embrace her creative side. Something which Florence could also consider perhaps as she contemplates what to do with her five-week radiation “vacation”.

Debbie’s guest post for me on allowing support into our lives really struck a chord with so many of you and it was lovely to see how it inspired Liza’s latest post Sharing Grace on her blog itsthebunk.

My prize for the best headline of the week goes to Terri of A Fresh Chapter for Want To See Joy Rising?  “When was the last time you witnessed a moment of pure joy?” asks Terri and I had to think about this and sadly conclude that I cannot remember the last moment I did. Not so Terri. She shares beautiful images of joy rising at a support session for people affected by cancer in New Delhi. It’s a beautifully, uplifting and humbling post and I encourage you all, if you haven’t done so already, to go read it.

Finally, Nancy is back from her vacation and has brought some beautiful new insights gleaned from being in the presence of the vast ocean. I love the title of her latest post “Ocean Gazing” and I want to leave you with some lines from her post which brought me a great measure of comfort this week

The ocean teaches by perfect example that calmness and serenity will return if only I am patient and allow for this to happen. No matter how rough the seas become, calmness and serenity always return to the magnificently vast ocean.

I hope you too can hold onto that image if you are experiencing rough seas right now – no matter how rough it is for you, calm will eventually be restored.

Until next week…

Marie xxx