“Waking up with the promise of a new day is miraculous. The breath, my heartbeat, all the processes of my body working in concert so I can experience this beautiful adventure on this planet. The miracle of free will and choice allow me to choose how this adventure goes – with joy, or with trepidation and fear, with love, or resentment. I choose joy. I choose life and laughter. I choose to learn and to be an eager student each day that I am blessed with life and breath. I what wonder what will emerge today.”
Those words were written by Cheri Jameson, a student in a Write Into Healing class I offered via zoom way back in 2018. That paragraph was her response to a writing prompt from Thich Nat Hanh, “Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
Every day, all is a miracle, and we don’t even recognize. Cheri did.
Between our weekly calls, I gave prompts in our private forum for those who wanted daily exercises.
In response to Anne Frank’s “Think of all the beauty that’s still left in and around you and be happy,” Cheri wrote, “I find that my ability to embrace and recognize my soul’s brilliance is in direct proportion to how much beauty I see in others and in nature. To be kind to myself and journey with grace and ease allows happiness to flourish in my body, mind, and soul – a contentment, a peace. In this quiet state of mindfulness, I am able to look beyond the surface of so many things and celebrate the beautiful design of so many souls, all in the process of learning and growing.
I’m seeing the perfection in all of this, the beauty and elegance of the natural world screams and shouts to me. Nature is a perfect design – everything working in harmony and the glorious manifestation of this concert. Looking out the window each morning, I see my own perfection in this symphony.”
These writings were not posted in the forum by Cheri. She wrote them in her journal. After our month-long zoom course ended, Cheri asked to continue with me one-on-one. She confided then that she was sick, her cancer was back for the third time and had metastasized. Cheri wanted to share her essays and nature photography, and we mapped out a plan to do so.
Cheri emailed me: “I enjoyed our time together today. Has my wheels turning and my creative juices flowing. I’ll be in touch later, in the meantime, below are the chapter titles.”
Cheri died eleven days later. She was 52.
Shortly after, her husband, Keith, reached out and informed me that one of Cheri’s last wishes was for him to share her writing with me. He copied her journal pages and sent to me. With his (and Cheri’s) permission, I shared in a blog in 2018. It's time to revisit.
Cheri had the wisdom of someone who was at peace. She knew, truly knew in the fiber of her being, that we are all eternal souls, here on this earthly plane for a short time. She told me that illness strips you down to who you really are. Cheri said that the “death watch” of a terminal illness is really a life watch. She saw opportunity in everything.
Please read Cheri’s chapter titles slowly and take in the wisdom. May Cheri’s advice give you renewed purpose as you spend your remaining days, however many they may be, here on this earth.
Mend your heart
Tend to the soul
Surrender when necessary
Know your body
Nurture your spirit
Trust your intuition
Believe in magic
Make friends with change
Speak up for yourself
Live in the moment
Celebrate little things. Extravagantly.
Set your emotions free
"God comes wrapped in skin." Russell Brand