This month my very good friend Debbie Noyes received the startling and unexpected news that she had an aggressive form of breast cancer.
Since then Debbie has been sharing her journey and experiences on her Facebook page and with fellow attendees of the upcoming and third A Walk on the Wild Side: Answering the Call of the Wild.
Debbie’s journey is one that unfortunately too many women are sharing these days, but her perspective is slightly different; a difference that I felt needed to be heard by many. I asked her permission to reprint the following, and she graciously gave it.
Thank you, Debbie!
Journey of a Goddess
by Debbie Noyes
Well now, 2012 certainly has taken an interesting turn, hasn’t it? Many changes in a short time with lots of decisions to make. Illusions of long periods of rest have been shattered by the realization of how much work there is to do, both internal and external. It is time to release old stories to the fire.
Yesterday was my first day of chemo after a port was placed in a minor surgery on Tuesday. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the many, many friends and family who have stepped forward to help and who have given me some good suggestions.
But I also desperately need quiet time, time to process and reflect on what I need and just time to heal. I have been going to a Buddhist monastery for mediation classes, even before this all happened. They have been very helpful, if for no other reason than to carve out 2 hours in my week to silence that busy brain. They call it a monkey mind, always moving.
I checked in yesterday for my chemo appointment and sat down in the waiting room. The receptionist came running after me and said, “Your room doesn’t have a television or a refrigerator. Is that OK with you?” I snickered and said it was alright. What is this, the Hilton? They promised they were installing these amenities into every treatment room to entertain those who have to spend all day in chemotherapy. Luckily, my treatment is only 30 minutes, although I do have other prep work that extends it to 3 hours. But hey, parking is free for cancer patients!
They hand me a stack of magazines while I wait to get started. I chose Smithsonian. On the cover was a picture of a statue of Aphrodite with the title “Journey of a Goddess.” It was the story of how the statue ended up where it wasn’t meant to be and chronicles its journey back home to Italy. That so perfectly reflects my journey as well. This is a journey back home, back where I am meant to be, regardless of how I ended up here. The details of how that happened are emerging but at the same time, it feels important to release it. My focus is shifted to returning home. I just need to discover where “home” is for me. It is my Goddess journey.
My thoughts were interrupted by my treatment. Even though the anesthesia was unpleasant, I am happy to have a port. Now they can draw blood and give the medications through there in a painless way. No more daily catheter placements!
After a long discussion about side effects and wig purchases, I reach for another magazine. This time it is a Nature Conservancy Magazine issue entitled “Bringing Back Nature.” These people know what I like!
I open to the front page and see a bison staring at me. Again I chuckle. Rose and I spent a lot of time with bison last year in Yellowstone on our way to our retreat with Bluebell the bison at Earthfire Institute in Driggs, Idaho.
Earthfire is a special place where people and animals come together as equals—sentient beings who share special moments of connection when we drop our guards and release our misconceptions about what is possible.
Rose and I plan to return to both of these places again this year in the fall. It appears I will still be able to make it, with a few minor changes to the details.
The article was eerily reflective of our mission in Yellowstone (see Return of the Buffalo: Visions and Ceremonies). The Bison Elders have called us to ceremony to repair our connections with ourselves, the land and the animals. Last year we discussed the horrible tragedy of how nearly all native Yellowstone bison were slaughtered in the 1800′s and early 1900′s as a way of ridding the land of Native Americans so that the white men could take the land. Recently, there have again been problems with nearby ranchers who wish to see them exterminated for trespassing on their property as the bison leave the protected boundaries of Yellowstone in search of food. These areas are their ancestral foraging grounds but the bison are seen as a nuisance by local ranchers. Every year thousands are killed for many reasons, including accusations of spreading disease and damaging land. Fortunately, a local Native tribe has donated their land and many were rescued and transported there to live last year.
In Welcome to El Uno: What does it take to restore a short-grass prairie in Mexico? I read about how the bison are being reintroduced. Their native land is on the border of Arizona and New Mexico, which overlaps the southern edge of their ancestral territory. The Nature Conservancy has helped one lone farmer rejuvenate the land that has been destroyed by cattle overgrazing.
In 2009, grasslands were carefully restored and then smaller animals began to return. Working with local elders, it was decided that the great Bison was needed to maintain the grass. Unlike cattle, the bison leave shoots of grass to regrow. They also roll and create burrows in the ground that fill with water necessary for all animals to drink.
The project has been very successful and it has united a community around conservation. School children are learning how to work with the land and animals. It is clear that our work at Earthfire will be a continuation of this process.
And my healing is directly tied to it. For we are all connected energetically and what heals me, heals the land. What heals the land, heals me.
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©2012 Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved. http://www.reikishamanic.com
Think Outside the Cage
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is a mesa carrier in the Peruvian shamanic tradition. In addition she is also a Reiki Master Teacher, animal communicator, author of the acclaimed book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, and creator of Animal and Reiki Art. As an animal shaman, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth.
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