Yet.

Such a powerful word when you think about it. I haven’t run a marathon yet. I haven’t been to Croatia yet. I don’t own a bed & breakfast yet.

There’s so much possibility borne by the word “yet.” Without it, the door seems closed, almost inferring that I will not run a marathon, go to Croatia, own a B&B or other things that might present themselves in life.

I love answering questions with yet. “Have you been to South Africa?” “Have you read Bossypants?” My new favorite answer is, “No, not yet.” It’s amazing how many conversations that phrase can open. “Oh, are you planning a trip to South Africa?” and so on. It’s a great little word.

I will be positive and persistent

Today, I bought a new bag for my yoga mat. I have one that’s cream colored and gets dirty very easily. I saw this one today and couldn’t pass it up. It has the colors and symbols of the chakras on it, and I’ve talked before about how I’m using the chakras to keep my radiation treatment positive and focused. It was apropos of everything.

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When I was cleaning out my former bag, I found a small slip of paper in the outside pocket. It was from one of Petra’s yoga classes. It said, “I will be positive and persistent.” From time to time, Petra asks us to choose a mantra for class to set as our intention. If we want we can use our own mantra or choose a slip of paper randomly that she has folded and put in a bowl. I chose this one last summer. And, obviously, kept it.

I’m glad I found it today. I went to Brianna’s yoga class earlier, and I found myself feeling frustrated afterward. It wasn’t anything to do with the class per se. I was frustrated with my ability to fully express poses these days.

Right now, I’m two treatments away from finishing radiation therapy. So, parts of my skin are screaming red. Like a terrible sunburn. The worst place is my left armpit — a pretty unfortunate place to have a burn. Every arm movement causes friction. And all of the creams and ointments I’m using make it sticky. The skin is tight and sore. I’ve been given Medihoney to put on it. As the name implies, it’s 80% honey and is used for burn patients and diabetic wounds. I’ve also been given a prescription antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. It’s not currently infected, but the skin is cracked so it’s a good idea to prevent it from happening.

Because of the radiation and because of the continuing muscle restrictions I have from my mastectomy, doing yoga postures that I’ve been doing for a decade have suddenly become out of reach. I can’t do side angle pose, triangle pose, warrior one pose, even child’s pose like I used to. Yoga has always been a fun challenge. It has always felt good. Now, sometimes it hurts. And I have to back off. I have to modify — a lot.

Finding this mantra today reminded me to be positive. Be persisent. And most of all — say, “I can’t do side angle pose … yet.”

Namaste.

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