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In my field of cancer survivorship coaching, I often encounter powerful stories about how people are choosing to fight their illness or transforming their challenge into a way to help others.

It’s one of the miracles ~ that cancer can be such a thief, yet so many people dig deep down and turn the experience around.

Ultimately, when certain circumstances happen to us, the only empowerment opportunity we have is the choices we make on how we will respond.

  • What choices are you making in your life today…this month…in 2012?
  • How will you demand more of yourself, create more meaningful moments and play bigger in your life?
  • What kind of difference do you want to be in the world?When I hear stories like the one about Jessica Joy Reese, I pause not only to send my thoughts and support to the family, but to ask myself the hard questions.
  • Am I doing and being enough?
  • What ways and on what days am I playing small and am I willing to call myself on it and step it up to the next level?It is stories like Jessica’s, not once-a-year resolutions, that firm my resolve to live my life’s work, coaching cancer survivors and caregivers.

What about you?  Your mission or passion may be very different than mine.  It may be to juggle the challenge of being a working parent and still show up fully and be present at the end of a long day for your family.  It could be to finally share a talent you’ve kept hidden that will bring joy to others.  Or perhaps start a new career in a field where you directly make a positive difference for others…or volunteer for a non-profit…or support your local Veteran’s group or church.  Maybe it is simply the gift of exercising with your family by walking, biking or hiking together regularly as a way of preventing major illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and obesity.

I guarantee you there is at least one hour in your week each week you can find to be of service to others, not out of should or have to but out of choosing to because you have your health, a roof over your head, food in the fridge and family and friends who love you.  And, of course, I wouldn’t throw down a challenge without also being willing to walk my talk so I’ll be upping the ante on myself this week and in the weeks to come as well.

You can read Jessica Joy Reese’s wonderful story about the non-profit organization she created called NEGU ~ Never, Ever Give Up ~ for the 50,000 children currently fighting cancer each year in the United States in the touching article by John Thomas Didymus.

See how one child, who fought two brain tumors, found the energy to distribute nearly 4,000 Jessie’s Jars ~ jars of hope and smiles for children with cancer.  Or simply take five minutes and watch the legacy video created in her memory…and then ask yourself, “What choices are you making?”

Sometimes there are angels among us and we only get to borrow them for a very short time.  Rest In Peace, Jessica Joy.  May you live on as inspiration to others knowing there is always more we can be and do in this world to make a difference for each other.

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