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I had the privilege of spending my fiftieth birthday with my mother and my daughter, who both flew in last month to be with me commemorating half a century’s existence. 

A few days before my birthday, a dear friend asked me how I was feeling. I had to pause and then I told her that a year ago, there was a (brief) moment when I thought I would not be able to make it to this day. My physician had detected some alarming growths on my breasts which precipitated me on an emotional roller coaster, and caused me to re-think health and wellness - me, a healer by profession!

From that perspective, everyday I get to live is like a bonus, a miracle, a gift, to be enjoyed to its fullest and not wasted. So I learned to be even more supportive of my body and its functions, leaning into natural ways of nourishing and detoxing. 

Spending my fiftieth birthday surrounded by loved ones was both a miracle and a dream come true. I try to remind myself of this when things get tough and the weight of existing seems unbearable. What a gift to be alive and loved - what a gift to love.

As the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh said, even if your mother is not with you physically, you can simply look at your hands, and you are looking at hers. 

Friends, spend time with your loved ones and cherish every moment. We are but here on this Earth for a short visit.

Photo by Jon Unson

Scorpio season was intense, but it also came with two amazing retreats - the Reikido retreat at Soul Sierra, and the Enchanted Exploration retreat at Alhibe (both in Cebu, Philippines).

This was also the month the printing of my very first oracle deck, the Reikido deck, which was co-created in collaboration with Manila-based artist Maria Mison. Order one while supplies last!

Many of you have been inquiring about my health, and I do appreciate it. This is why I thought it would be a good time for an update.

Backstory: in February of this year, I felt a lump in my right breast, which led me to see my doctor whom I had not seen in seven years. To make a long story short, she asked me to get an ultrasound and mammogram, and when she got the results sent me an alarming message to get a biopsy ASAP.

After taking a moment to pause from the adrenaline wreaking havoc in my nervous system after the day filled with tests and hospitals, I decided not to proceed. I instead went into my own body for guidance, after which I sought the opinions of two additional MDs I respect very much. Bough supported me in my decision.

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It was a frightful experience, and the fear of Death was real. First thought was that I wouldn’t be able to attend my Samurai and Reiki retreats in Japan in May. Next thought was that I might not be able to celebrate my fiftieth birthday in January 2024.

One of my doctor friends asked me to reflect on my course of action and if I wanted to risk my life to go the natural way, using energy and nutrition and mindful movement. After a brief moment, the answer was clearly, YES, this was what I was born and training for. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, if I was wrong and this experiment would cost me my life, I was happy and content and did my best.

Here I am, almost nine months after that horrific brush with our modern medical system. I feel well although I need to carefully monitor and manage my energy expenditures, my nutrition, and what nourishes my soul. I am grateful that I find so much meaning and fulfillment in my work, studies and relationships. They are all extremely challenging at times, but also an endless source of enjoyment and expansion.

I look forward to serving on this planet regardless of the time I have left, be it days, months, years or decades. Always grateful and again thank you for your concern.

If you have loved ones suffering from cancer or chronic/terminal illness, there are countless ways to bring ease and light into their experience. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

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