Category Archives: Wholeness

Truth’s Whisper

Rose, Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro

Rose, Lustica Peninsula, Montenegro

Truth’s Whisper

By Vicki L. Flaherty

My truth

speaks quietly.

It whispers

so that sometimes

it is hard to hear.

In quiet moments

of stillness

I feel its breath

upon me.

It’s voice is clear:

Be who you are, completely.

Your light is for giving.

I am worthy



Inspired by Brene Brown and her book The Gift of Imperfection and Ruth Fishel and Time for Joy

If you liked this, you might also like David Kanigan’s post from yesterday, There’s the purpose. Right there. Ah, to accept myself completely and let go of pleasing others as a way to feel good about myself.

Fixing Helping Serving


In Steve’s 3-minute coaching (check out his Training You Need blog) he refers to ‘distinctions’ which he defines as “subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude”. Rachel Naomi Remen, in the Belonging chapter of My Grandfather’s Blessings, makes a powerful distinction between fixing, helping and serving.

After reading the chapter, I found myself being more conscious of my frame of reference as I went about my day. When engaging with others and the world, I asked myself, “Am I fixing, helping, or serving here?” Often I caught myself wanting to ‘fix’ things, others, and mostly myself. I saw my underlying assumption: I am somehow broken. How empowering to make the shift to serving and reframing the question to “How can I best be of service to myself? What would enable me to see this from the point of view that I am whole and good?” I knew that if I could shift the viewpoint for myself, it would enable me to do the same for those my life touches.



“Seeing yourself as a fixer may cause you to see brokenness everywhere, to sit in judgment of life itself. When we fix others, we may not see their hidden wholeness or trust the integrity of the life in them. Fixers trust their own experience…Perhaps fixing is only a way to relate to things. Relating to another human being in this way is to deny and diminish in some profound and subtle way the power of the life in them and its mystery.”



“When we help we become aware of our strength because we are using it. Others become aware of our strength as well and may feel diminished by it…A helping relationship may incur a sense of debt…In helping, we may find a sense of satisfaction.



“Service is about taking life personally, letting the lives that touch yours touch you….Service, like healing, is mutual…in serving, we have an experience of gratitude…When we serve the unborn wholeness in others, we collaborate with it and strengthen it. Others may then be able to see their wholeness for themselves for the first time. Service is closer to generosity than it is to duty. It connects us to one another and to life itself. When we experience our connectedness, serving others becomes a natural and joyful thing to do. When you serve, your work itself will sustain you, renew you, and bless you…”

A letter to my friend  

courtesy of

courtesy of









I know you can’t see it. Not now, when so many things block it from view. But it is there. Oh, yes, it is definitely there inside of you. It’s a light. I bright and beautiful light.

Right now, your soul seems to be screaming, covered in fear. It wants out of the darkness. And it will find its way out. Oh, yes, it will definitely find its way to the light. And you will find yourself shining.

May you see that the fuzziness of your thoughts is protecting you. That uncomfortable softness will give way to clarity. Oh, yes, clarity will find its way to you. And, when it does, you will radiate light.

May you soon be in a place where you wonder why it ever felt dark and heavy. May your vulnerability now be the source of infinite strength.

I see your light, my friend. It is glowing inside of you. It is filled with hope. It sees possibility. It believes in life. Life without cancer. Life without fear. With each passing day may a layer of darkness peel away so your radiance reaches the world in all its beautiful power.

My heart is holding you in love,



Seeing it



Photoa Courtesy of Carol at Radiating Blossom

Last fall I found the job I’d been dreaming about for several years. I moved into IBM’s leadership development organization. Then, in January, I was promoted to a leadership role within the team. Ever since then, I’ve been in a whirlwind, and all sorts of feelings have been swirling around. From moments of confidence to fear, from hope to uncertainty, from calm to chaos, from peace to distraction…and so much more. Frankly, there have been moments of profound overwhelm. And, moments of incredible possibility.

This morning I came across the poem below that I wrote back in the summer of 2012. It’s unfinished but it spoke to me so I thought I’d share it in all it’s imperfection. The words resonated with me and connected me to how scary it is when I glimpse how amazing and powerful I can be. It touched me with its doubt and its hope. I frequently come back to my experience with cancer and the fear I felt then, the hope I grabbed on to. When I go there, I am reminded that there is nothing more important than my finding aliveness and joy in whatever I am doing and that life has a way of moving me with grace when I open to it, flow with it.

Seeing it
By Vicki L. Flaherty

I glimpse it like a crack in a door
where the light comes in
or maybe it’s flowing out.

Mother always said it was there.
Father’s confidence pointed to it too.

Flickers like photographs
strewn across a table
bits of color
sparks of life.

She is beautiful.
A power all her own.
Grace dancing.
Hope shining.

Do you see it?
See it.

Better if you don’t.

Her strength is overwhelming.
The possibility is frightening.

Cover your eyes.
Glance away from the light.

Peeking, though.
It pulls you.
You have to look.




Two years ago, the phone rang here at my house. It was Jean, my surgeon’s nurse, calling to give me the results of the biopsy of the removed breast tissues and lymph nodes taken during my mastectomy.

No cancer. “The report is very, very, very good!” she had said, leaving the details for my surgeon to share with me. It’s impossible to put into words the sense of relief I felt. In a moment it was like I could breath again. No chemo.

After the relief came gratitude. I had been so fortunate along this road called cancer. No radiation. No chemo. Only a few lymph nodes removed – low risk of developing lympedema in my right arm.

I relished the calm that washed over me and the moments of celebration…

Chugging Train
By Vicki L. Flaherty

Finally, the train has stopped.
I’m clean — no cancer.
Nothing suspicious
That can be seen or detected.
At least for now…
It’s OK to celebrate this moment.

But, the engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.
At this juncture, there are questions
About prevention, recurrence.
What to do? How to live with the odds?
No conclusive answers.
The engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.

Navigating the course ahead
It’s up to me to decide:
Do I take the medication?
What tradeoff s, given the benefits and risks?
Choices, decisions — the signals along the journey.
The engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.

A related post is Waiting Game.

Hidden in the back of a drawer


On this blog I explore my breast cancer journey. Over at This Abundantly Delicious Life I focus on, well, how deliciously abundant my life is. Often, like today, the space between the two is impossible to see…so today I am reblogging something I posted on my other blog:

Patting Pockets

In search of wholeness


root chakra I found myself thumbing through my Chakra book (The Sevenfold Journey: Reclaiming Mind, Body & Spirit Through The Chakras by Anodea Judith and Selene Vega) today during my early morning inspiration time. I started using the book in December 2007 when I  joined my Chakra Group (which includes 4 other beautiful and inspiring women that gather monthly). In our early days we explored the chakras between our meetings and shared our experiences when we came together (now we are not quite as formalized about it).

chakra def

In the book I found a poem I had written about the first – or root or Muladhara – Chakra. It captures my experience of being grounded – of what it’s like when energy is flowing freely through me. Here’s part of the poem:

Muladhara – 12/13, 20007

I am whole:
 bright and powerful as fire,
 flowing and graceful as water,
 light and open as air,
 energizing and inspiring as sound,
 clear and guiding as light,
 creative and wise as thought.

As I explored the Chakras with them, I found myself writing poetry. I see now how this beautiful group of women were a heart-opening pathway. I didn’t know it then, but back then I was tuning up for my heart singing out loud!

Dancing like the tide

San Agustinillo, Oaxaca, Mexico

San Agustinillo, Oaxaca, Mexico

I wrote the piece below in my journal last spring. It seemed to resonate today. Something about a bright spring day filled with possibility that has me stretching toward the light. My heart keeps singing and I keep dancing. I feel stronger, fuller, more whole these days – well, most of the time. Small, vulnerable, empty, broken moments arise. I breathe into them, through them, and they pass. My emotions move like the tide. And as the waves rush to the shore and gravity pulls them back out again, I realize that I am not this OR that. I am both this and that.

Dancing (journal, spring 2012)

I am stading tall.
I reach for the sky.
My feet are solid on the ground.
My heart is open.
My body flows in movement.
I am grace.
Here I dance.
My very own dance.
To my very own music.
I sway.
I stand still.
I am small.
I am big.
I am vulnerable.
I am strong.
I am nothing.
I am everything.
I am empty.
I am full.
I am broken.
I am whole.

© Vicki Flaherty, 2013