Postcard from Asheville, NC
I was born in the mid-fifties, and one of my first introductions to the theatre was the play "Oklahoma." In the musical, they sing a song "June is busting out all over!" What an apt description of last month.
I introduced my new blog AHA! for professionals seeking information, inspiration, and insight to stand in their power and become the full expression of all they are. I hope you'll subscribe (it's free) and comment if something strikes you.
I added a new section to the BuildYourLeaders.com and BuildYourInfluence.com, products that offer a number of nominally priced, information-packed books, eBooks, and special reports to help you find the perfect job, build your career, and enrich your life.
I'm especially proud of the new eBooks The Charismatic Communicator: How to Communicate in the Flow and If Life Is a Musical Why Can't I Hear the Music? and the special report Don't Leave Your Career to Chance: Inventory Your Ideal Work Environment.
My house was featured in a story that appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Finally, I spent seven days at the end of the month in New York with my buddy Andrew, who has been sick. A story about Andrew follows.
A Gift from Andrew
Five years ago, I wrote about a friend, Becky, who had leukemia. One day she was tired, and the next she was in a hospital in Columbia, South Carolina, undergoing chemotherapy. For Becky's closer friends she became "a living altar." Her sickness became a kind of "burning bush" that transformed our lives. When I first saw the movie "The Matrix," the concept of parallel universes intrigued me. Could it be possible that while we are living our lives here, others are living theirs in a time and space different than our own?
Becky's illness showed me that the concept of parallel universes is not as far-fetched as I had thought. Each of us experienced Becky's disease differently, in our own parallel universes, and found that the more conscious and present we were with her illness, the more we were blessed. For me, Becky's illness was an opportunity to be present in a way I was unable to be when my mother was dying of cancer. Twelve years after Mother's death, I was able to grieve for the first time.
Now, one of my dearest friends has lymphoma, and as I write this I am sitting in the hospital as he undergoes the next to the last session of chemotherapy. Once again, I am being blessed.
Andrew is teaching me about life and loving. He is handling this awful illness with humor and a grace that's hard to put into words.
What's truly amazing is that ever since he was diagnosed with lymphoma in January there's been someone with him. Friends and family have taken turns sitting with him in seven-day shifts.
First, this is a testament to Andrew's deep friendships. Second, there's a lesson in this for us all. Andrew has had the courage to ask for help, and people have responded. They have been delighted to step forward and help.
Once again, I am reminded of the bumper sticker "All One," which I often see around Asheville. Like Becky, Andrew's sickness is our sickness, and his healing has become our own.