Saturday, April 29, 2006

Playing with Perspectives

This weekend I am working at my other job, with the Coaches Training Institute, where I get to train rooms full of people in the powerful and intricate skills of life/success coaching. It is an off the charts fun, wild, meaningful experience. Every single time I learn something new, something profound, something magical. And this weekend is no different.

I am co-leading the Balance workshop, which is all about exploring perspectives, reclaiming conscious choice, and taking possibilities from the land of Good Ideas into the land of Commitment. Cool, hey?

Let me demonstrate one of those components. On Monday I need to have my annual mammogram. Nothing exciting or special (like last fall, when I was having a “what is with the weird thing in your other breast” mammogram), just the annual mammogram that all breast cancer survivors and women over 40 are encouraged to get (yes, that is a hint, hint, nudge, nudge for you if you fall into that category!!!)

I am sitting in a perspective of Mammograms Suck. And it feels a bit like: how crappy that I have to have it, I have to do this every year for the rest of my life, this just reminds me that I had the disease in the first place, YUCK. For the sake of playing with perspectives one needs to have a clear topic, and then notice the perspectives, so, let’s say that Mammograms is the topic. And, clearly my first perspective is: they suck. So the fun part of the game comes in exploring what other lenses can you look at this topic through. I am going to whip through a couple, fleshing them out a bit as I go. Then I pick one. Here goes…

Mammograms save lives. For many women this is when breast cancer is discovered and treated, so, for them, mammograms saved their life. Thank goodness for that. This place feels like a fact, and a bit like I am thinking when I type it. The benefit of this perspective is that it really gets lots of women out to get their mammograms. The cost, to me, is that I feel obliged to do it.

Mammograms are a nuisance. One more thing to do tomorrow. I have lots on the go right now, the last thing I need is to schlep myself to the clinic and go through training up another radiation technologist on the ins and outs of working with my strong willed personality, not to mention my scarred (wow, I miss typed this first as sacred, and then as scared, that is just too precious!) and tender breasts. This feels heavy and like I am dragging my knuckles around on the ground.

Mammograms would be more fun if I wore wacky socks. Hmm, to think that I am even considering that mammograms could be more fun. What else from here? Maybe I could enroll the technician into having fun with me. What if I drew fun pictures on my breasts and surprised them. What if I chose to be fully naked for the mammogram, not just waist up? That might shock them. Fun to see the look on their face. Silly. Silly gives me lots of permission. There is a lot of movement here, and grinning.

Mammograms are time off work. Sort of a change of pace at the end of the day, mixing it up a bit. Maybe I could take myself for a treat afterwards. Make it a nice thing instead of a drag. I feel a bit like a little girl here, going for an ice cream cone after a trip to the dentist (wait, that can’t be good, kind of defeats the purpose of going to the dentist). Like go for a movie after, or a nice long walk.

Mammograms are self-care. The discipline form of self-care. The showing up for myself because I am committed to my health and my life and being a role model for how to be responsible around my breast health. I take a stand for this, both breast health and self care. I need to be in integrity and walk my talk. I feel called forth and like it is a sacred obligation, like the obligation to the cure that Lance Armstrong talks about.

Mammograms are the Goddess’ way of saying “Aren’t you grateful you have small breasts now?” I mean really. Faster, less trouble, less fiddling. Well, now that I am here, looking from gratitude, what else is there to be grateful for? Hmmm. I am grateful I am alive (as per my post a few days ago). I would rather have these tests each year than not have to. I am grateful I chose to keep my breasts instead of go for full mastectomy and reconstruction. I am grateful this technology exists (crude and brutal as it is, I mean if there were Testicle-agrams the technology would be different, yes?). This spot feels peaceful. Not so much struggle. There is a calm that stretches out to the horizon and has me see further. I think I will pick this one to hold for Monday. If you are thinking of me on Monday afternoon, and you want to send me loving vibes, throw some of the above thoughts in the mix, I am sure they will help me through.


At 9:05 PM PDT, Blogger emira said...

Signy, I say "thumbs up" to the drawing pictures on your breast to surprise them, the wacky socks and hell why not the magic mittens? Though perhaps that would be too warm at this time of year?

I love, love, love the pictures on the breast though. I know that not all the folks you encounter in the healthcare system are necessarily of "our people" but assuming for a moment that one of two of them are, imagine how they might feel about mammograms? I mean maybe they need a new perspective too? Maybe they too are thinking: "damn it there has to be more I can do with my days to bring genuine health and goodwill into the lives of other women" which is not to say that mammograms aren't good, just that you know, they too may get a bit sick of the old alopathic medicine thing to. So imagine the surprise of the happy face, or the peace sign or maybe a few extra x's and o's when you take off your top? Fun.

Either way, I'll be sending you happy thoughts for perspective shifting (because if there is anyone who can it is you) tomorrow afternoon for sure.

At 7:08 AM PDT, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Gosh, even when a patient talks and jokes it is so appreciated and probably makes the health care worker's day brighter. I always do that and I know that I am some colour in an otherwise dull grey day. Today, I'm seeing the cardiologist for the first time since my heart attack and stent surgery and I will be sending you warm healthy vibes from the electrodes over my heart directly to the Squeezeplate Vice Grip you'll be wearing! Bring it on!

At 7:32 AM PDT, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Forgot to share my wacky sense of seems so similar to your thoughts on the breast paintings!
While in the hospital, I had so many heart hook-ups they'd just leave those stickers for the electrodes on..(I called them "Ticker Stickers!) I was dying to replace them with Chiquita Banana stickers just to see their faces the next time they came to hook me up again! I'd break into the old song ad for those bananas! Ya just gotta laugh at yourself in every situation possible.

At 9:08 AM PDT, Blogger Signy said...

Yay! I feel better already!

And I am heading to my PT first, so she will help me to get into the right mindset!

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