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Breathe In, Breathe Out

We are, without question, living in incredibly disturbing and fearful times. You can’t turn on the TV or log into Facebook or Twitter without asking yourself, what kind of world are we living in?

This is why it’s more important than ever for us to breathe in, breathe out and focus on what’s important and how to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.


Whenever I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed by life and the world events around me, I seek out motivational affirmations and positive reinforcements to lift my spirits. It’s so easy to get mired down in all the negative energy, however, pressing the pause button allows me to slow myself down and remind myself the way things turn out are in direct proportion to my attitude.

As a 3 year survivor of both colon and breast cancer, I stand as living testimony to the power and the miraculous effects of having the right perspective in living a life of joy. When we think in negative terms we attract negative energy. It’s the one aspect of life we can control, and determines the roads we will travel on our journey.


In the spirit and appreciation for living in the moment, I’d like to share this wonderful narrative I read at my first American Cancer Society Survivor Dinner. It was written on a simple plaque as part of each table centerpiece. I was immediately inspired by its uplifting message.

This beautiful account fits perfectly with the Dinner’s theme of celebrating survivors by giving us the opportunity to bond, share our own stories and uplift one another.

I haven’t thought about this piece in awhile but, for some reason this morning passing by it on my fridge (where it hangs) I stopped, took a breath and began to reflect on the impact of those words.


There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. “Well”, she said.

”I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So, she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she only had two hairs on her head.“Hmm”, she said.

“I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.” So, she did and she had a great day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well”, she said,

“Today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.” So, she did and had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head.


“YAY”, she exclaimed. “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”

What a way to flip the script and embrace the upside of your circumstances. Here she is, dealing with the devastating effects of chemotherapy but instead of pity or anger choosing to stay bright with a sense of humor and a smile. That was also my frame of mind when I went through treatment and it changed my entire experience. I thank her for sharing her spirit and her faith.

Those remarkable words of wisdom are relevant not only to cancer warriors but to everyone! Like the old expression says, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade.”

So, each day let’s make it our goal to be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Remember to:

  • Live simply
  • Love generously
  • Care deeply
  • Be honest
  • Speak kindly…

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”


Anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness put the body into a stressful and vulnerable environment which can jeopardize our health. So, not just for ourselves but for our loved ones, let’s learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit.


There’s no time like the present to relax and take the time to enjoy life!


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Written by DonnaMarie Woodson

As a writer, wife, and mother I feel it is my obligation to hold a mirror up to the world to remind us to treat others as we would wish to be treated. I’m a fighter who is a survivor of both Colon and Breast Cancer and live for every moment of every day.

My philosophy is we create our own reality so it’s up to us to live a life of peace, compassion, and love.

Contact DonnaMarie


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