Happy Thanksgiving to all!

IMG_5391

There are truly a number of things that I am thankful for, especially my continued good health. Just a few weeks ago I celebrated the 4 year anniversary of the day I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, and though I was diagnosed again about a year later, I am happy to say that I have been cancer free ever since!

Strangely enough I still find myself adapting to my new “norm” but all in all I feel great, and far more in tune with what I want to achieve in this lifetime. I’ve kept very busy with work, Gift With A Pink Ribbon and school, and it is all bringing me closer to doing what I love most, and for that I am extremely thankful.

But none of this would have been possible without the love and support of my family, friends and the big man upstairs, who always finds a way to keep me grounded.

So while there are a million things that don’t always go my way, like my participation in the New York Marathon that I had to postpone, there are a million and one things that go exactly as they should, even if I don’t always see the moment in which each puzzle piece falls into place.

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! ‚̧

Stay tuned,

Elizabeth ūüôā

 

Thank you Kaliada!

I must admit that there is nothing more wonderful than receiving a card or gift¬†via snail mail. Especially when that gift is from a complete stranger, with a note full of gratitude and encouragement. Whoa, where did that come from! ūüėÄ ‚̧

In the package I recently received was a beautiful rose quartz cuff bracelet from an incredibly talented and inspiring young woman named Kaliada, and a special note too. I must say however that this particular note in itself was a gift.

Not only did¬†Kaliada¬†gift me one of her beautiful designs, she also took the time to make me feel incredibly special by acknowledging all I’ve done with Gift With A Pink Ribbon, and what I’ve gone through in my journey. The acknowledgement¬†alone is a gift in my book.

What makes this extra special is that she herself has experienced cancer first hand, and through her very own journey discovered her gift for creating beautiful pieces of jewelry.

I admire her dedication to empowering women to feel beautiful and confident after cancer, regardless of their emotional or physical scars, and I love that gives back by sharing her own journey.

I am  humbled to have received one of her  pieces, and will forever be reminded of her kindness, and her incredible journey each time I wear it.

Thank you Kaliada for your heartfelt gift! I can’t wait to see all of your future designs! ūüėÄ

Stay tuned,

Elizabeth ‚̧ ūüėÄ

P.S. If you are interested in¬†viewing Kaliada’s designs, you may do so by ¬†visiting www.kaliada.com. There is currently free shipping on all orders over $100 and, you can also save %20 percent by using code: LOVE at check out! ūüėÄ (This offer is valid until February 13th, 2017)

My letter of Thanks…

To those I have loved, hurt, made laugh, offended in some way, made cry, made sad, angered, disappointed, made proud, embarrassed, cared for, neglected and/or even taken for granted…. I thank you.

Thank you for forgiving and loving me unconditionally even though I had my faults, and helping me grow into a better person. Teaching me to forgive and love without holding grudges, just as you have done with me, and for allowing me to take care and assist you the way I knew best.

To those that have loved me, hurt me, made me laugh, offended me in some way, made me cry, made me sad, angered me, disappointed me, made me proud, embarrassed me, cared for me, neglected and/or even taken me for granted…. I also thank you.

I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to put into practice the choice I have to forgive, and to love unconditionally without holding grudges. And for my opportunity to practice allowing others to assist and care for me in the way they know best.

I thank those I have not yet met, that are reading this post right now, taking a moment in their busy day to read what I have put into words today.

I hope that on this Thanksgiving Day, everyone is able to find and express what they are most truly grateful for.

Tomorrow is never promised, but today can certainly be the day to make the most of this gift we call “the present”.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Plaza ūüėėūüíĖūüôŹūüŹĹ

#feelingimmensegratitude #feelingblessed

 

There are signs everywhere…

12238065_449477678577635_426028636529326597_oLong ago I¬†read a quote by Melody Beattie that said…

“Remember the words you were told when this last adventure began, the words whispered quietly to your heart: Let the journey unfold. Let it be magical. The way has been prepared. People will be expecting you. Yes, you are being led.”

This resonated with me on so many levels. First, when I realized after being diagnosed with cancer that I¬†wasn’t alone, and that those who came¬†before me, had placed in my path an abundance of tools to help educate and guide¬†me through the process.

I came back to this quote recently and the¬†words, “let the journey unfold”, now made even more sense, when I took a leap of faith and started my nonprofit¬†Gift With A Pink Ribbon, Inc.¬†Everything I had gone through in my journey, and even in my new career, were tools to prepare me for my new venture.

Have you ever asked yourself, “why am I here”¬†or “why am I going through this journey”?

I encourage you to “let the journey unfold”, by trusting the process and experiencing what may come of it. Sometimes the mere process of what you are going through, is preparation for something greater than you could have ever imagined. Embrace it, and with “the words whispered quietly to your heart”,¬†manifest in your life what you are most passionate about.

 

Stay tuned,

Elizabeth ‚̧

 

You can find Melody Beattie’s, Journey to the Heart, on Amazon by clicking here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! ūüôā

 

 

Why do we do this to ourselves?

I can’t deny that today was a tough run. In fact, it was more like a long walk with some running in between.

Once again, I found myself spending most of my time reflecting on how well I use to run, and beating myself up for not being able to run in the same way after so much time out of the running world. 

I don’t know why I do it to myself really. Each and every time I start from the beginning, I tell¬†myself that I won’t compare my new accomplishments to what once was, yet after a few days of running, my mind always wanders back to those memories. In fact, it usually occurs when the going gets tough, like today, go figure.¬†

The same thing happened to me when I started working on my yoga teacher training certification just a few months back. All I could do was focus on the many things I thought I couldn’t do, and never once did I¬†imagine I could accomplish all the things I have so far.¬†

Why do we do this to ourselves?

More importantly, “why do I do this to myself?”¬†I can always manage to find¬†the silver lining¬†for others, but what about remembering to be kinder towards myself?¬†About being genuinely happy with going out and being active, even if that means walking some of the way. This has always been a challenge for me, even through my journey with breast cancer.

¬†Nevertheless, what started today as a run ultimately ended¬†up¬†being¬†a reminder. My goal for 2016 is not about “running 1000 miles”. It’s about getting out there and just doing what I can,¬†even if that means walking the distance.

Stay tuned,

Elizabeth ūüôā ‚̧

A Survivors taste of the world…

If there is anything I’ve desired most in life, other then helping others, it’s been to travel the world. Earlier this year we had booked¬†our tickets for Paris, my dream destination, but after being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time and undergoing surgery, I had to postpone my trip.

As the year went by and I underwent one treatment after another, we realized that if¬†we didn’t¬†reschedule¬†our trip prior to the years end,¬†we would¬†forfeit the money¬†we had invested earlier in the year so, we booked¬†our trip to Madrid, Spain for the Thanksgiving holiday.

12314110_453026501556086_5682738134371543505_nI couldn’t have been happier with the destination we chose. Madrid and Toledo, the two main towns we visited, were amazing. The architecture was breath taking, as was the history behind the structures and landmarks that surrounded me.

IMG_3908Of course, the food was also delicious. Especially theIMG_3909 typical Churros and Chocolate that I had at least once a day while there. ūüôā

This trip inspired me once again to fulfill that desire to walk the last 100km of el Camino de Santiago de Compostela in the year 2016. It’s an experience of a life time and I feel I am finally ready to¬†take on not just the challenge, but also¬†humbly accept and appreciate¬†what that journey has to offer me. I returned refreshed and in love with life, feeling no boundaries existed, even those I built in my mind, moving me into the next stage of my life…

Stay tuned,

Elizabeth ūüôā ‚̧

To my newly diagnosed reader…

Dear Reader,

Being diagnosed with Cancer is not an easy thing to swallow, and if¬†I could share some words of wisdom I would say, “let yourself be”.

Of course, there are many other important things like taking notes, asking questions and informing yourself of other treatment options available to you.¬†You would be amazed at whats out there. However, please keep in mind that¬†not every treatment option is the right one for you, which is why I can’t stress enough the importance of doing your own research.

Still, for me the hardest part was allowing myself the freedom to openly feel the way I was feeling in that moment without judging myself.

I would understand if your first thought was that this isn’t really relevant to your care however, it’s actually a key component. Not honoring my feelings made me realize the unrealistic goal I had set for myself.¬†I couldn’t accept the urge¬†to cry, feel sorry for myself or even feel anger because in my mind these were signs of weakness and/or being ungrateful. This emotional roller coaster eventually made me feel physically ill.

The truth is, these are all natural emotions, and you having them doesn’t make you less appreciative for the good things you have in your life. I say this because we’ve all heard the good old saying, “it could be worse”. I do feel it’s true and I use the phrase regularly, only now however, I do a better job of acknowledging that I am also human and am allowed to have a bad day here and there, as long as I also do my best to acknowledge the good that has come from my journey with breast cancer.

My “gift with a pink ribbon” taught me that I am stronger than I had ever imagined. I also believe that¬†this may be gods way of using one of his social butterflies to help others by sharing my story and I am humbled to play such a vital role in bringing awareness.

So with that said, I leave you with this…

Free yourself from your emotional binds and know that it’s okay to feel what you are feeling in this very moment. It will take some time to figure it all out and that’s okay. The important thing is that you embrace each moment as an opportunity to love yourself and who you are in that moment, all judgement aside. This will help you cope with the new challenges that come your way, knowing that you have yourself on your side of the cancer battlefield, instead of working against you.

With all my love,

Elizabeth ¬†P ūüôā ‚̧

P.S. Sending a special thanks to Cure Forward for encouraging every survivor to share their cancer journey with new patients.

We can all relate to this…

Have you ever searched¬†deep within and asked yourself, “What makes me happy?”

I know it may seem like a daunting task to ask such a difficult question but in reality it isn’t so difficult at all. We actually make it harder by thinking of all the things that keep us from getting to that happy place. I for one am 100% guilty of doing this.

If you erased all of the negatives and asked yourself that question again, what is the first thing that pops into your mind?

“What makes me happy?”

Did you think of something?

Now ask yourself, “When was the last time I did this?”

If it’s to hard for you to remember, it’s time you penciled yourself in for a little visit to fun town. A wise person once told me, “Time passes regardless of what you are doing”, and with that being said, don’t you think you deserve to throw a little fun into the mix?

Please allow me to fill in the blanks to that question…. “Yes you do!! ūüôā ”

The problems will always be there when you return so take a break from your norm and do something you’ve been wanting to do for a while now. Don’t over think it, just do it! You will feel renewed and your mind and body will thank you later for the break. ūüôā

Stay tuned,

Elizabeth ūüôā

Those I’ve met along the way… “The Cashier”

I’d like to say it was about a year ago when we made a pit stop at¬†Dunkin Donuts for a delicious coffee and snack, only to run into a very special young lady. She was so sweet and it was extremely refreshing to be around a person with such good energy after a long day on the road.

Prior to leaving I shared my contact and blog information, and to my surprise, she opened up to me about her mother, whom if I remember correctly lived in Cuba at the time. Her mother was going through her own journey with breast cancer and I could see and feel the sadness in hers eyes as she shared her moms story.

She was living so far away and I could only imagine how much pain she was feeling and the frustrations of not knowing what to expect. My heart went out to them both and till this day I keep her and her mother in my thoughts and prayers.

Truth be told, the memory of her kindness and warm embrace helped keep me motivated after being diagnosed the second time around. Knowing that in that moment I was able to provide her some kind of support, was a reminder of what I feel is my journeys purpose.

It’s not just about the support I get from others for sharing my story, it’s more about the¬†support I can provide others in the process that really brings me joy and gives this whole experience true meaning.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been an extreme blessing to have so many wonderful and kindhearted people supporting me throughout my journey. ¬†I honestly couldn’t imagine what it would be like without all of you being a part of it, which is why I want nothing more than to be there for others. Simply put…¬†we can all use a helping hand every now and then.

Stay tuned,

Elizabeth ūüôā ‚̧