Hello, and thank you for visiting! I am currently on an extended blogging break. We have shared some wondrous times and I thank you for that. I look forward to connecting with you when I return. In the meantime... keep creating your mandalas! The process is an amazing Portal to the Soul. If you are new to the process...you can get started right now by clicking here as well as other links below. Wishing you fulfillment and joy on your journey.

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October 12, 2009

Blog Tour: "Bright Side of the Road"


The Perpetual Mandala of Life brings us full circle again and again through the eternal spiral of life-altering experiences that on some level whisper to us to "go deeper". Each ending completes that Circle - or Cycle of the Spiral - and a new one begins...and the Mandala of Life spins on eternally. In this Blog Tour, my dear friend Anne Marie Bennett - through her debut book: Bright Side of the Road - A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer - candidly shares her intimate journey with us; ultimately discovering her Bright Side of the Road and the emergence of a new direction for her life. Whether your journey has been touched by breast cancer, or a different challenge, may you be inspired and uplifted by Anne Marie's journey, and discover your Bright Side of the Road as well.

1) Anne Marie, what would you like readers to receive from your book?  I would like my readers to know that a journey with breast cancer is not the end of the world, no matter how scary it might seem. Also, I want them to know that any kind of a Life Journey Interruption can be a good thing, even if it’s hard to believe at the beginning.

2) What entered your mind when you heard your diagnosis?   What immediately entered my mind was absolute terror. It was a completely surreal feeling. My thoughts went something like this: I can’t believe this is happening to me. I don’t WANT this to be happening to me. I don’t have time for this. Am I going to die? Get the cancer OUT of my body. And really, my immediate response was fear. I know some women whose basic emotion was anger, but I honestly didn’t feel a lot of anger. My main emotion, the one that had huge potential to keep me from the bright side, was fear.

3) At what point did you realize that your creativity would lead you into your healing journey?   There were two points. One was very early on in the journey. Before my diagnosis, I had been working on several collaged calendars to give as holiday gifts, and they were lying unfinished on my art table. I decided to give one of them to my breast surgeon, Dr. Karp, because I felt so well taken care of with him. Also, throughout the treatments, I created lots of collaged note cards to give as gifts to my treatment team and nursing staff at the end of the hospital journey. Even though I didn’t feel well many days, I was motivated to sit down and create more collages on my good days because I wanted to give something back to these extraordinary caregivers who were my healing team.

The second was a few years after my treatments were over. I was still reeling from the fear that the cancer would return. In some ways, I was allowing this fear to paralyze me. Then I discovered the simple art of SoulCollage® and made some cards that expressed my fears, as well as the damage that the cancer had done to me. Just that simple act of making those cards helped me to honor the journey in a very visceral way, and that made a huge difference in how I went on with the rest of my life. You can see my breast cancer SoulCollage® cards here: www.kaleidosoul.com/breastcancer.html

4) What was the most difficult part of your journey through breast cancer?  Well, I have to stop and think about that. There were many difficult parts: figuring out how to tell people about my cancer, living with the fear, not being in control of what was happening to my body, losing my hair…etc. But really, the hardest thing was getting through the 3rd and 4th chemotherapy treatments. Not because I lost my hair or felt nauseous a lot of the time, but because I just didn’t feel like myself. I was exhausted and weepy and felt like a shadow of my former self. I read somewhere about trying to think of the chemotherapy drugs in light of what they were doing for me instead of what they were doing to me, and that helped a lot too.

5) What was the gift?
Ah, there were so many gifts… I don’t think I can choose just one. The gift was the love and support I received from the people in my life. The gift was a closer connection with Spirit. The gift was a re-routing of my life, a re-direction.

6) What do you know for sure?  What I know for sure is that we are not alone. I know for sure that life is a journey and our journeys are all individual but we are all intricately connected. I know for sure that if you follow your heart, all shall be well.

Anne Marie Bennett is a writer, self-taught collage artist, website goddess, cancer survivor and SoulCollage® Facilitator. She received a BS degree in Education from Southern Connecticut State University and has taught people of all ages throughout the East Coast. She lives in eastern Massachusetts with her middle-aged husband (also a cancer survivor), two elderly cats and one very playful dog who keeps all of them young-at-heart. She is happiest when she is reading, writing, breathing salt air, dancing, and hugging her beautiful grandchildren.

For more information about Anne Marie’s book, Bright Side of the Road, please visit this page:
www.annemariebennett.com To purchase the book, please visit this page: www.annemariebennett.com/how-to-purchase. For more information about SoulCollage® please visit www.KaleidoSoul.com and www.SoulCollage.com

8 comments:

Lisa said...

Beautiful interview Cheryl.

Gourmet Candles Distributor said...

How inspirational and thanks for sharing your interview with us.

jgy said...

Yes, as Lisa said, beautiful interview.
Thanks for always sharing such heart-full and heartfelt inspirations...

Fannie said...

thanks for sharing the interview with us. beautiful and inspiring . . .

Laura Hegfield said...

Hello my friends! I thoroughly enjoyed this interview...I think my favorite question was, "what was the gift?"...that's one of those questions I put to myself nearly daily...but in this form:"what is the blessing in this moment". Essentially the same question, one that allows us to see past the suffering of our lives to the beauty in each moment.

Namaste,
Laura

Postcards from Wildwood said...

Hi Cheryl, What a beautiful and uplifting interview. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Like Laura, the question 'what was the gift?' stood out for me - where would anyone find a gift in breast cancer?! But Anne Marie did, and this is a reminder to us all to look for what any experience is teaching us. There is always something positive to take if we look for it.
Janice. x

Debra W said...

Beautiful, Cheryl!

I hope that all is going very well with you and that you are growing and thriving! You always radiate such a warm and loving spirit. It is one of the things that I really love about you.

Hugs,
Debbie

Laura Hegfield said...

Hello my fellow blog travelers, inspirers, angels, artists, writers, gentle good HUMANS,

Yesterday I had this wonderful Idea! To create a special blog for American Thanksgiving with gratitude quotes from many people I know...some of you received the request below....My Blogging Co-ConSpiritor Deb Whaley asked me a great question-would I mind if she did the same thing on her blog? OMG...this was the best idea ever! So now I am asking all of you on my blog roll to consider joining in to make this a worldwide BLOGGING GRATITUDE EVENT...I LIKE THE IDEA OF MOBIUS...BECAUSE IT NEVER ENDS...LIKE LOVE...I LIKE THE IDEA OF QUILT BECAUSE IT'S A PATCHWORK OF COLORS AND WORDS STITCHED TOGETHER...AGAIN WITH LOVE... A BLANKET OF GRATITUDE TO WRAP AROUND THE WORLD!

I know that some of you are in other countries and do not celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday November 26 like in the US, but I figure every day is an opportunity to share our gratitude so why not just all do it on the same day?!!!

So below you can read the simple message I put out...my REQUEST TO YOU, IF YOU SHOULD CHOOSE TO ACCEPT THIS LOFTY ASSIGNMENT, IS TO COLLECT A TON OF GRATITUDE QUOTES FROM YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, COLLEAGUES...AND THEN FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO YOUR BLOG BUDDIES...SO THIS WILL GROW AND GROW AND GROW INTO A WORLD WIDE EVENT.

I AM VERY SICK RIGHT NOW...THERE IS NOT A WHOLE LOT I CAN DO PHYSICALLY TO DO TIKKUN OLAM (REPAIR THE WORLD) BUT THIS IS ONE THING I CAN DO...PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS AND MAKE THIS THE MOST AMAZING BLOGGING EFFORT TO WAKE EVERYBODY UP TO THE BLESSINGS THAT ABOUND IN THEIR LIVES...IT IS TOO EASY TO GET CAUGHT UP IN THE DETAILS OF OUR LIVES ...WE NEED SOMETIMES TO BE REMINDED OF HOW WONDERFUL OUR LIVES TRULY ARE.

IF THIS FEELS TOO BIG, TOO OVERWHELMING ...FORGET ABOUT IT...THAT IS NOT MY INTENTION FOR ANYONE...BUT IF IT FEELS LIKE A GOOD HEALTHY CHOICE FOR YOU...THEN PLEASE JOIN ME IN THIS QUEST FOR MORE GRATITUDE, MORE JOY, MORE AWARENESS OF THE GOODNESS INFUSED IN THE WORLD!


LOVE TO ALL,
LAURA

AS most of you know you know by now..I have trouble with language...I worry about my blog...it very important to me...I'm thinking ahead to Thanksgiving...I would like it if all of you special earth angels would right a sentence or two about what you are grateful for in your life...in the moment you recieve this message...or the minute you have time to get to it...but be present in that exact moment when you write. don't think too much...just close eyes...breathe into the moment and allow feeling of gratitude to arise...then write words that flow from you deep well of truth. OK?

then send to me...I publish for thanksgiving blog...I was hoping for interview with cami walker...but not sure that will happen...that ok...life all about changes.

some of you are very present voices online, in books, as teachers, coaches...also just my friends...all voices important...please do this for me, for us for all the world...we all have much to be grateful for....

I know this sacred task I ask of you...I know some of you shy and also busy people...it not take long for you to do this...it mean so much to me and other people when the read what you say...it can even be silly...that fine...happiness a good thing

if you too shy or busy, I understand...but i think this be amazing outpouring of gratitude for world

love to you all

Laura
http://www.shinethedivine.com
Reveal Your Sacred Spark & Realize Your Creative Dreams
...breath by breath...moment by moment...step by step.