God is the madwoman in the attic.
I'm camped out on the threshold with my journal, camera, and plenty of snacks.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

gratitude Sunday: Caitlin Marcoux

This week I'm especially grateful for discovering Caitlin Marcoux.  She's the friend of a friend on FB, which is how I found her, and she's pretty freaking amazing.

She's a yogini based on Nantucket and you can find more about her life, practice, and teaching here: http://www.caitlinmarcoux.net/.

What impressed and inspired me is her commitment to life, which is something I struggle with as I wrangle with depression.  This is probably my favorite post on her personal blog: 10 Practical Tips for the First 10 Days of Cancer.   She calls cancer is her teacher. Then she gets nitty gritty about what real life supports can facilitate this new relationship. She's honest about the shock, anxiety, pain but maintains the ability to also step back and make choices about how she wants to relate to this new development in her life and even make choices about how to engage others.

Depression is by no means on par with cancer when it comes to shock, symptoms, treatment, threat to life and lots more things I can't name or claim or understand because I've never been close to cancer.  I get that.  I also selfishly, passively, wish for a "10 Practical Tips for Living with Depression" to guide me and support me.  So I'm claiming Caitlin, through her blog, as one of my teachers for living, including living with major depression.  Not because I think our diagnoses are similar.  But because she has something, in her essential Caitlin-ness that I don't have today. And her diagnosis has given her a new, additional medium for expressing what is essentially her - a commitment to life - and I waffle on that commitment.  I yield to depression.  I've let it shape my life, my reactions, rather than choosing a consistent commitment to my own life and the life I share with other folks.

What are my 10 Practical Tips for Living with Depression?  What I have learned from this relationship?  What choices am I making, will I make, now that I am more awake to my own will and agency?  My own desire to live well for myself and with others.

Another of her blog posts that I love is A Great Day to Have Cancer.  In it she talks about the great support she has from folks who love her as well as the alternative treatment support and daily life supports that she is choosing to supplement her medical treatment path.  It offered me suggestions and reassurance about living well.  In one little paragraph she lists things like what she's drinking, spiritual practice, a gratitude practice, and yoga as daily ways to support herself.  I really resonated with the gratitude practice, since it's something that I already try to embody, and took instruction from the rest of her daily plan.

Caitlin Marcoux is a beautiful woman with a beautiful life and a shocking new relationship with cancer that she is navigating with grace, honesty, and openness to others, even those like me who have never met her.  I wish her healing and peace as she continues her treatment and her vibrant life.  I am so grateful to have found her, for my own selfish, needy reasons, and for the gift that she is all on her own, and all with the folks that love her.    She is a bright light in our world.

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