18 Jan The 14 Archetypes of Healing
The Spiritual Fanatic
I was convinced that I was going to die and so I made it a mission to find a supportive spiritual community that could assist my family with my end-of-life affairs. After realizing I may be around for a while, I believed the universe was in control of everything and got really lazy. I would constantly say things like, “If it is meant to be, it will be.” I still believe the universe is in control of everything but it is my responsibility to do my part as well. It is why I’m never not working, studying or moving my culito. I simultaneously pray and walk my talk.
The Juice Cleanser
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I was convinced it was solely caused by the food I consumed. It is why I chose to go raw vegan. I sprouted my beans, juiced wheatgrass and lost 20 pounds even before starting chemotherapy, which led to an additional 20 pound loss after I completed it. I looked and felt terrible. I’ve learned that being so extreme is counterproductive, cleanses don’t necessarily clean anything, and vegetables in their natural state, combined with other foods, are extremely good for you.
The Pink Hater
Well-intentioned friends flooded me with pink everything. Intuitively I sensed there was a grand scheme taking place and after researching where the money goes, I dispised all things pink. After people began apologizing for taking part in breast cancer awareness walks and hiding their pink paraphernalia, I realized that I was actually scaring people. While you won’t ever seeing me wearing a pink ribbon, I have learned to tame my anger.
The “I’m gonna work this bald head”
Amber Rose became a thing right after my hair grew back. First I was bitter about it but as I look back, I realize that I rocked the heck out of my bald head. I learned to recreate perfectly shaped brows, wear beautiful scarves, and rock big my accessories in a way that is still useful.
The Pill Popper
During my very frequent doctors appointments, I always had to pull out my ridiculously long list of supplements. I was pill-popping like a fiend. As I’ve now transitioned to live more like my ancestors did, I realize none of them did this and lived long healthy lives. As a result, I’ve drastically reduced my intake. Now I treat it like medicine. My consumption is very temporary. A little Vitamin D3 in the winter, maybe some probiotics when dealing with a sensitive stomach but other than that, I rely on good ole’ food, essential oils, and herb-infused teas like my abuelita…
The Queen of Denial
I remember sitting in the doctors office getting my diagnosis and thinking, this cannot be true. I am going to wake up tomorrow and this will all have been a dream. The next day I woke up and was like, “okay, I guess not”…Dayum! That said, I did adopt techniques like visualizing my self completely healthy and repeating affirmations such as, “my body is whole, well and healed”, particularly on the days when I did not feel well.
The Hot Yogi
I’ve read a lot of studies on yoga for breast cancer risk reduction but to be quite honest, I’d sit in class a little bored. I also struggled with my meditation practice. I just needed something more invigorating. It was at that point that I dedicated myself to hot yoga, even working at a local studio for six months so that a I could totally immerse myself in the practice. In the end, I just looked like a teenager with horrible acne. I still love it but only take a class every now and then because yoga is also expensive.
The Conspiracy Theorist
Once you’ve entered the world of holistic health, you end up in funky places where folks are telling you chemo is just a grand scheme to kill you and make money for the government, big pharma, and your doctors who are all in on it. For a while, I was convinced that my healthcare providers were the devil. After meeting many longtime survivors who went through conventional treatment and also looking through scientific articles, I decided somewhere in the middle was the right place for me.
The “There’s nothing I could do about it so…”
This is a dangerous place. Returning to school, working, and raising a family left me totally exhausted. I got comfortable and simply needed an excuse to be “normal” so I ate and acted like everyone else, which in most cases is actually very abnormal. I felt and looked a hot mess. It was when I realized going zero to a hundred real quick was a bad idea. I’m back to dark leafy greens, healing spices, chocolate (not necessarily the dark variety) and some wine here and there…
The Warrior Princess
This archetype has been imposed on me by others. Having gone through cancer and still living to talk about it, people often refer to me as a “warrior princess”. I actually don’t like that name… it’s just weird. Other than in the movies, are any princesses actually warriors? That said, I do appreciate that others see me that way.
The Emotional Wreck
Speaking of not being a “warrior princess”, I do realize I used to pretend to be stronger than I actually was. I never allowed myself to be angry, cry, or even acknowledge that being sick actually sucked big time. I kept myself distracted and one day when I sat still with my thoughts, I finally just let it out and the tears just poured out of my head like an open fire hydrant in a New York City summer. I learned that an occasional good cry made me feel better. What I felt was actually validated by science. Dr. William Frey, biochemist and “tear expert”, discovered that reflex tears are 98% water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and feel-good hormones.
I am a passionate pisces. In other words, I am a save-the-world type to my own detriment. The more broken you are, the more I am drawn to you. I have worked in a homeless shelter, volunteered for at-risk youth, and now work at a cancer center. This is a characteristic that will be with me as long as I am breathing. However, I am also learning that “no” is a complete sentence and healthy boundaries work for all involved.
I have always been called bossy, outspoken and unique. It used to make me feel some kind of way, if you know what I mean. Who knew that I was simply a leader in the making? With 3 daughters who watch my every move, it is imperative that I show them that this is as much a woman’s world as it is a man’s. Period!
Listen, the world is going to offer you all kinds of unwarranted advice. While it is all with the best intention, please know you are also your own healer. Your heart and intuition are your greatest teachers. Go inside for guidance. You are fierce, my dear.