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There was a flurry of activity on Facebook and in the news last week following the announcement that due to a shift in the Earth’s access the signs of the Zodiac have changed.  It was interesting to notice the attachment some people had to their sign.

I’m not an avid follower of the Zodiac, though I do willingly own many of the characteristics of a Leo.  Those I do not own, I explain away with my Taurus rising.  All this to say that for me, reading my horoscope from time to time is mostly just for fun.  For many people, astrology plays a significant role in how they view and engage in life.  They were the hardest hit by the news.

But what if, for a moment, we were willing to embrace our new sign.  What additional qualities might we have access to that our current zodiac label fails to attribute to us?  And what about those labels that embody defining moments in life such as widow, widower or cancer survivor

Like anything, there are times when labels are helpful and times when they can limit us.  Clearly, there is power in language demonstrated by the degree of reaction people have to certain words or labels.  For some many people with cancer, “survivor” empowers them.  It inspires them to take a pro-active role in their healing journey and find ways to engage in life, no matter what.

For others, hearing the word survivor is like nails on a chalkboard.  Any of my clients or readers who have taken on the challenge to thrive, not just survive, can relate to one potentially limiting aspect of the label.  Focusing on just surviving is not enough.  I hold a core value that everyone ~  those living with cancer, people dealing with other chronic forms of illness and those who are healthy ~ deserves to thrive and live a life they desire and deserve.

Sometimes, the impact of an illness shifts what that will look like but life purpose and passion can still be found beyond the treatment room and the hair loss.  When we embrace the detour that a cancer diagnosis can generate, we may uncover parts of ourselves we had long forgotten ~ strength, humor, artistic talents, a desire to make a difference and a deeper search for what is meaningful to us.

If a label such as your Zodiac sign or being a cancer survivor empowers you, own it.  If it drags you down and doesn’t support you, make up your own or go label-free.  It’s your choice to make so choose what serves you best.

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