I was diagnosed at 19 with malignant melanoma. It dawned on me that if I might die very soon then, I should definitely enjoy what was left. It was a lucky break. I realized that life was meant for living. The timing could not have been more perfect.

I extracted myself from the college library pre-med madness and begin re-focusing on people again: being with them, socializing connecting, goofing off and playing. It was a wondrous time.

When I entered medical school, of course, my new way of living was challenged again. But, something inside me had shifted. I knew on some atomic level that it was my purpose to live my life like a torch burning brightly.

I managed to go through medical school and residency without too much light snuffing. Slowly, as my own family grew (into four amazing children) and my practice grew, I became disconnected again. My life had become complicated and I had become less illuminated.

Having had that fortuitous shift at 19, I caught myself at 43, took a sabbatical and realigned my focus. Now, after much recent internal seeking, I am back to living my life as a torch. In fact, my torch feels stronger and brighter than ever before and that feels good. Some days, I feel like a blowtorch (big smile).

In my daily experience, I see a lot of people seeking light. Some are starving for it. But, of course, this is an illusion. We can always choose light. Connection. Hugs. Calling a friend. Music. Petting a dog. We are all potential blowtorches. It is not just in some of us. It is in each of us.

One of the fastest ways to recharge my blowtorch-ness and to feel connection is by spending time in Nature. While it might appear I am alone, I am actually in some of the most wonderful company among the stars, squirrels, trees and great lakes rippling and swelling together.

I would like to move to a place of even greater ease…to be that blowtorch burning, fearlessly, moving along my path doing what I came am here to do. That next internal shift might just look like some spectacular northern lights…strange, wondrous and magical.

What one word describes the way you life—what word do you live by?

{Originally published at life by me}


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