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Last weekend, I went camping with my husband. While there, I saw our neighbor’s dog – a golden retriever walking towards us. He was limping and clearly in pain. His hair was frizzy and felt rough to the touch. His owner (along with a 6 month old baby) came by and explained the dog had cancer and the only treatment would be to amputate two of his legs. Despite this, the dog was happily walking behind his owner and the baby, refusing to let his illness keep him down. The dog seemed happy and rolled over on his back when I was petting him.

I felt overwhelmed with sadness but there was also such preciousness and sweetness in that moment. With the dog, his owner, and the baby, on a camp ground, enjoying the sun. As I sat there, petting the dog, I wished him happiness. I also wished that I’d have the same kind of courage – courage to go on a walk with my loved ones, despite the pain, despite death knocking at my door if I had a terminal illness. It also reminded me how precious life is, that all of us are marching towards death and none of us know how many moments are left.

 

photo credit: -Reji via photopin cc

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I’m taking a Journaling class at The Writing Salon. There’s about 12 students, all women. Frequently, we’ll be given a prompt and asked to write about it. We wrote one on childhood injury or illness. As we went around the room and shared our writing, I thought it would make for a really good This American Life story. I can almost hear Ira Glass’s narration. “In this week’s story, childhood injury or illness. In 12 acts.” Anyway, here’s my story.

I only know that I was severely burned as a young child from the scar on my leg. It goes from my left ankle to my knee. I also know the injury took place because of my mom’s story. I know the story in every detail but I’m almost certain it’s not part of my conscious memory.

I like to pretend the scar doesn’t exist. As though if I can no longer see the scar, others won’t either.

I can only remember three instances where I had to face this scar as an adult.

1. Telling my husband how I got the scar
2. Seeing it in our engagement photo
3. Kimmie asking me

When Kimmie asked “what happened to your leg,” it caught me off guard. You can see my scar… 

I didn’t truncate my story (as I normally do). I told the story as it was retold to me. The bursting radiator, the endless doctor visits, my mom asking the doctor “can you use my skin for the skin graft?”

What I don’t remember is the pain. The burn no longer hurts. It’s just a scar. And I remember Kimmie’s response - we all have scars. Wear it with pride. 

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photo credit: deeplifequotes via photopin cc

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Day 113 – Meditation 101

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Meditation is good for the brain. I think about meditation as exercise for the brain. It’s also a time where I can tune in and pay attention to what’s going on inside my body, my heart, and my soul. If you’ve wanted to try meditation, here are some tips and suggestions. How to Meditate Sit […]

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Day 114 – Living with the Inner Critic

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The Amazing Brain The brain is an amazing problem solving organ. When you pose a question, the brain immediately goes into doing mode and comes up with the answers. The trouble is, we don’t always ask the right questions, especially when the inner critic is doing the talking. Meet the Inner Critic The inner critic is […]

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Day 115 – Perspective on Pain

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Pain. It’s the black sheep of the emotional family. In meditation, we are encouraged to cultivate a friendly attitude towards all emotions that bubble up during our sitting practice. This includes exploring pain. For a long time, I resisted this idea. After all, it seems crazy – why on earth would I spend any time […]

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Day 116 – Put down the damn iPhone!

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I really really really love my iPhone. It helps me stay connected to my Facebook and Twitter friends. I can stay connected to my clients and my work. I can text people. There are gazillion apps to solve every woes. It promises almost endless hours of distractions. Somewhere along the way, I became one of those people. […]

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Day 117 – Why are you here?

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I started meditating because I needed to find a way to cope. I have a tendency to internalize all of my client’s problems. When you practice bankruptcy law, you see a lot of suffering. That’s a lot to carry with you 24/7/365. What I didn’t expect when I started meditating was the fundamental internal changes […]

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Day 118 – After Anxiety and Insomnia

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Life After (Less) Anxiety It’s been 2 months since I finished the Stanford 8-week Mindfulness course. I signed up for the class because I needed a different strategy to cope with the anxiety, stress and pressure of practicing law. (Who am I kidding, I didn’t have any strategy.) Over the years, it felt as though my […]

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Day 119 – Jeena vs. Blue Shield. I win. But I’m still angry.

I wrote about fighting Blue Shield before here and here. This is Round Three (and unfortunately, not the last). As a lawyer, I bill my life in 0.1 increments or 6 minutes. The number in parenthesis denotes the time I lost.  There is one thing I do miss about having a fluorescent light office job – health insurance. […]

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Day 120 – Kitchen Failures

Be committed to the process, not the end result. As a lawyer, I’m always focused on the end result. The verdict. The win. What often gets lost is the process – the stuff that happens on your way to the end result. This week, I had lunch with my friend Karen Gifford who suggested that we should […]

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