“YOU HAVE CANCER” are the 3 most feared words in 7 different languages. No one wants to hear them, however, it became my reality on October 8, 2009, the birthday of my deceased sister, who happened to pass away from cancer. I couldn’t believe I was hearing those words from my doctor. However, I didn’t just hear those three words. I heard, “YOU HAVE CANCER and you don’t have a husband yet to support you through this. YOU HAVE CANCER and you don’t have your white picket fence and 2.5 kids. YOU HAVE CANCER...and you really haven’t lived. YOU HAVE CANCER...and you may die.” I was scared to death. I was scared of death.

Fortunately, I didn’t die. I was given an opportunity to course correct and live my life in service to others. My unique experience and wisdom can help others in their journey. In the words of the poet, Maya Angelou,

“My mission in life is not to merely survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some style and some humor.” Her words, my life. And I am passionate about helping others do the same.

But how do we not only survive but thrive as we’re facing a global crisis? A pandemic? This is new to us. We are navigating through uncharted territory and we are experiencing a period of uncertainty. The fear is real and justifiable.

Here are five (5) strategies to help get you through these challenging times.

  1. Faith over Fear. Don’t operate from a place of fear. Fear is paralyzing if you let it control your life. Connect to a higher Source and trust all will be fine.
  2. Have a positive mindset. Take control of your thoughts. Focus on positive things and don’t allow yourself to give too much attention to things that don’t serve you. TURN OFF THE NEWS. It will suck you back into the negative thoughts.
  3. Be Present. Pay attention to the PRESENT moment. Don’t get lost in worrying about things beyond your control. Accept this time for what it is. In this moment, BE WELL! (I received these words from Oprah)
  4. Self-isolate. Even if your state isn’t enforcing self-isolation, isolate yourself as much as possible. This virus is very contagious and can be extremely harmful to those with a compromised immune system.
  5. Escape from reality. Be intentional about finding distractions. Read books. Watch some light-hearted movies or comedies. Assemble puzzles. Connect with family and friends. Listen to music. Meditate.

I have a HUGE concern for others. Anyone who knows me personally and deeply, knows I care a lot. In the words on one of my favorite TV characters, Monk, “It’s a gift and a curse.” I’m concerned about you. You are not forgotten during these times. I see you. I hear you. I understand how you