This is my current obsession. Maybe it’s the Scorpio in me. Maybe it’s my mid-life breast cancer derailment. But I think it’s also the fertile ground where so many of us need to explore, healing the places where trauma has eaten away a sense of safety and selfhood. That trauma might fall on a spectrum and affect us in different ways, whether from violence and abuse or a systematic and cultural oppression, to other events like a traumatic birth experience, illness and disease.
At the end of January, I issued a challenge to a group of women who had mastectomies related to breast cancer or a risk of breast cancer. I called it, “Taking My Sexy Back After Cancer/Mastectomy 30 Day Challenge” Within 24 hours, I had 60 women come forward and say, “YES! I need this, this is for me.” This overwhelming response was a wake-up call. I also thought of how every single time I’m with a group of women in one of my cancer support groups, how invariably the conversation comes around to intimacy and sexual function. I thought of how so many of us are left high and dry without any professional support guiding us through these changes to libido and functioning; how all of us had to struggle to make peace with our bodies and wade through complex emotions that get in the way of self acceptance, confidence and sexiness.
In this new book I’m reading, “Taking Sexy Back: How to Own Your Sexuality & Create the Relationships You Want,” author Alexandra Solomon talks about flipping the script from a label of “you’re sexy” to owning YOUR sexy. She talks about this as an “inside-out” experience that “is about believing that your sexuality connects to and reflects your physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual self.” I want this expansive, safe, empowered and enjoyable reclamation for everyone I know. I’m living inside this journey of reclaiming my body after breast cancer, mastectomy, reconstruction and deconstruction (explanting) and redefining what sexy is and can be.
What are YOU “taking your sexy back” from? What does that reclamation look like in your life?
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#takingmysexyback #lifeaftercancer #ysc #breasties #breastcancer #mastectomy
Does it feel like there might never be a GOOD time to speak out, to be seen and heard? Like, why does ____ matter when Australia is on fire or we’re on the brink of another war or (insert a dozen important headlines). Still the rest of life marches on... I’ve sat on this post for a bit and why? I just can’t anymore when I think of the thousands of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer this week, and thousands more who had breast implants pushed on them by the medical community, without a mention of remaining flat as an option, or without full disclosure about the risks associated with implants.
I am sharing this picture because I have this powerful vision for how to use my voice and experiences as a certified coach, breast cancer thriver and as a woman who both had breast implants for a few years and then explanted. I AM HERE TO HELP WOMEN GET THEIR SEXY BACK AFTER A CANCER DIAGNOSIS.
These last five years, I have been seeping in this powerful alchemy of offering sisterly support in younger women cancer support groups, falling in love with #coactivecoaching through CTI, getting certified by the ICF, then certified as a holistic cancer coach with #beatcancer .org. I fell in love with #EFT tapping after training with #eftuniverse. I then took a deep dive into the sacred feminine powers of pleasure and creation with #mamagenasschoolofwomanlyarts.
I want to share this #flatfire !
I want to reignite the spark for women who have be derailed by #breastcancer . I celebrate every person who has walked a similar path and know we need to continue to reach out and hold up our sisters who are struggling to find self acceptance and love in the #newnormal. For me, the greatest challenges came in the first year or two #aftertreatment. There was a void of support for me, and this is where I KNOW I can be of service.
I have some great free online group offerings coming up, and can share how to connect one-on-one if that’s your cup of tea. 💕
#explant #mastectomy #putflatonthemenu #flatclosurenow #BRCA1
I painted this stone at a time when I needed the weight of the word “maybe”. I was facing the holidays towards the end of chemotherapy, immune deficient and easily fatigued.
I kept this stone years later, because it reminds me of that valuable lesson to pause and check-in with myself. “Maybe” helps me avoid that knee jerk “yes” or “no” response, to answer from a place of presence rather than seeking to please, or avoid disappointing others, or choosing for fear of missing out.
As we enter this notoriously busy holiday time of year, your skills of discernment become so handy—that fine tuned ear, listing for what holds meaning and gives you strength, nourishment, joy, peace and connection.
By being present and responsive in the moment, we are giving ourselves permission to decline or accept invitations as needed. What are you needing now? What is in service to your greatest good?
Next time you have a choice, hold the weight and power of “maybe” in your hand. Take a breath, and check in with yourself first.
As a 5 year breast cancer thriver, certified coach and explant warrior, I am here to support other women facing mastectomies and their diagnosis.
Please message me if you would like to join this FREE zoom workshop:
Reclaim Your Story, Reframe Your Pain
Monday 12/9 at 8pm ET
We'll explore ways to process emotions like loss, grief and anger. We'll talk about how to work with your experiences, and learn tools to reframe and reclaim yourself after surgery.
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#BreastCancer #BodyImage #BRCA1 #Explant #FlatClosureReconstruction #Mastectomy #InformedConsent #BreastImplants #FlatFierceForward #FlatAndFabulous #FlatClosureNow #melissaeppardcoaching