Welcome breast cancer sisters, family and friends. We hope to make this chapter of your life a little easier, treatment less difficult, help families cope, provide inspiration and guide you to a new place of strength and purpose.

Beginnings and Opportunities

One of my favorite words is “beginning.” No words are more powerful than “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” I am humbled and awestruck every time I contemplate the power of God. Perhaps for me, that’s why the word “beginning” conveys such strength and hope. In the beginning, everything is shiny and new, and we’re brimming with hope, good intentions and lots of can do attitude.

Beginnings are opportunities for us to start over, to begin again, whether it’s with a diet, a relationship or New Years’ resolutions. We don’t have to wait until New Years, however, to begin, again, because the dawning of each new day brings us the opportunity to recharge ourselves mentally and physically. I think most of us look forward to new beginnings because each one comes with the promise of something that has the power to change our lives. For the most part, we are the one who can change our lives, not a new job or a new year, but what we, and only we, do with the opportunities they present.

Beginning again is what our bodies do automatically. Without our being aware of it, with each new breath, our bodies refresh our brain and our other organs. It’s part of what God thoughtfully set in motion when He created man in His own image, and it’s one of the keys to our survival. Every breath is an opportunity to start over, to forgive, to love, to learn, to let go of the things that don’t serve us well and to consciously make an effort to seek out those things that refresh and stimulate us.

This weekend I was looking at television programming aimed primarily at women. I tried to watch a couple of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” reality series, but they only made me feel sorry for the women involved. Whether they’re from New Jersey, Atlanta or Beverly Hills, I’m saddened by their foul mouths and the disrespect they show themselves and one another. Granted, there’s a certain shock value and train wreck quality to them, and who isn’t curious about how other people live, but aren’t you afraid you’ll get some of “it” on you, and it won’t come off? I think it’s been a long time since any of these “housewives” were brimming with hope and can do attitude unless it involves tearing one another down, or having one too many drinks from the illusive fountain of youth.

We are what we eat, what we read and with what we surround ourselves. I don’t know about you, but life’s too short to spend it on things that just fill me up without nurturing anything other than an idle curiosity about the bad behavior of others. Instead of consuming mindless filler, what if we look for ways to renew and strengthen ourselves each and every day? Even if it’s for five or 10 minutes a day, every day, what if we make, and take, time to go within ourselves and be still; to breathe and find our little voice and then think about what it’s telling us? Just start there. We don’t need a long list of New Year’s resolutions we won’t keep, just a promise to be still and breathe for five or 10 minutes a day.

All of us have lived through painful life lessons. Some of us are dealing with depression or that we have cancer, and we’re scared; we’ve lost a significant someone, or we’re wondering how to reinvent ourselves and become the person we’d hoped to be? With every thing you battle in life, start with the knowledge that you are loved by God, and you are made in His image. Regardless of where you are in life, He’s blessed you beyond reason. The other thing I want you to know is that you are important to me.

With this breath, and the next, I hope you’ll take this opportunity to begin, again.