Category Archives: As Easy as Breathing

In Remembrance and Healing

Should We

be known
by our scars
or by how far
we’ve come since
that wounding?

Could we
look at
where we are,
not
where we’ve been
and what’s been done?

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1996

I wrote this poem in August of 1996, after surgery for breast cancer and right before chemotherapy. It came to mind today in honor of remembering 9/11/2001. And all the various kinds of scars of life. This is one of my poems I know by heart…and use still in all kinds of challenges. Please feel free to share.

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From my book, As Easy as Breathing: Reclaiming Power for Healing and Transformation

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Listen to it on track 9 of my CD, Full Blooming: Selections from a Poetic Journal

Read these previous 9/11 posts:
On This Particular Day
Poems as Memory

I Am Willing: An Aid to Writing for Personal Revelation

I Am Willing: An Aid to Writing for Personal Revelation

I Am Willing: An Aid to Writing for Personal Revelation

Big news! I will just blurt it out. I just released my latest project: a guided journal based on my poem. “I Am Willing” (from my book, As Easy as Breathing)! This has been in the works for years and I will post more of the stories later. For now, a huge thank you to Anne Schneider (from the International Women’s Writing Guild) who contacted me in April to ask about using the poem in a women’s writing group. Her request got me moving…again.

Here is the brand new link to I Am Willing: An Aid to Writing for Personal Revelation

BOOK DESCRIPTION:
I used my poems as writing prompts when I taught my Expanding Our Possibilities ™ workshop series. To continue supporting writing for healing and personal growth, I created this lovely guided journal based on my poem, “I Am Willing.” The poem has been shared by blogs all over the world. This volume is for you to write, expressing and exploring your dreams and challenges, your hopes and fears. Ideal to use on your own or in a group setting, it also makes a thoughtful gift for someone in the midst of life changes.

The complete poem, from my book, As Easy as Breathing, is included at the start with a brief introduction. A stanza of the poem tops each writing page with ample space for your reflections and revelations. Use this guide however seems right to you. You may begin with the first verse and sequentially work through the poem, or you might open to any line that speaks to you right then. In preparation you can sit quietly, deeply breathing for a few minutes, or read the lines aloud. To get your pen moving you could copy the lines at the top of the page or dive directly into your own writing. Be patient. Trust. Be kind to yourself. Poetry or prose, let the words flow, no concerns about spelling or punctuation. Right now this is for you. Later you can decide if you want to share any of these insights. There is no right way, only what you choose, what feels right in the moment. Write, draw, color, decorate with stickers if you like. Make this books your own. Now begin…

6in by 9in, 70 pages, lined for writing. Check out the cool back cover on Amazon.

This poem has traveled all over the world. More stories to come. Please share.

I Am Willing

I am willing
to change what doesn’t work
for me in my life.

I am willing to listen
with an open heart,
without judging.

I am willing to plant seeds
that take a long time,
if ever, to grow.

I am willing to feel
and let go.

I am willing to make mistakes
and learn from them.

I am willing
to live in the present.

I am willing to forgive
and forget in my heart.

I am willing to love as much
as my endless spirit will allow.

I am willing to be seen
in all my radiance.

I am willing to be fearless.

I am willing to be powerful.

I am willing to be peaceful.

I am willing to stand tall
and walk gracefully.

I am willing to sing with my stunning, full voice.

I am willing to allow.

I am willing to let go.

I am willing to change.

I am willing to see
and be seen.

I am willing to hear
and be heard.

I am willing to feel
and be felt.

I am willing to heal
and be healed.

I am willing to love
and be loved.

I am willing
to be fully human.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1996

From As Easy as Breathing: Reclaiming Power for Healing and Transformation—Poems, Letters, and Inner Listening

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Christmas Cricket

Merry Christmas! Here is a poem I often post at Christmas, remembering and being grateful. Maybe a chuckle. The context: In 1996 as Christmas approached I had just finished chemotherapy, which had followed surgery and I was just beginning extensive radiation treatment for breast cancer. I was kind of out of it, but trying to function. Our kids were young and my husband and I wanted to have a “normal” Christmas, with gifts and tree and Christmas dinner. Here is it story of that dinner. Enjoy. And share if you wish.

Christmas Cricket

Just when I thought
nothing could shake me,
a cooked cricket
showed up on our Christmas turkey,

not crispy, but thoroughly well done,
black body sprawled across a browned thigh.

Awakened by the warmth of the oven
from winter hibernation
in a dark, safe place—the roaster,

it began the final journey
in ever increasing heat
and then succumbed,
at least where we could see

before taking a crunchy bite.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1996

From As Easy as Breathing

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and listen to track 19 on my CD, Full Blooming

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Inspired by “Deep Canyon”

Deep Canyon explores the journey of a wife, mother and career woman who receives the unexpected and terrifying diagnosis of cancer. As an ovarian cancer patient in 1989, author Annan Paterson experienced unusual but surprisingly universal situations and met people who influenced her life in a profound way. Annan’s love of theatre and passion for acting led her to create Deep Canyon to express these experiences and life lessons. Through both humor and drama, and a variety of characters, Deep Canyon explores how cancer was truly a turning point in her life and how it continues to deeply impact her life today.” (YouTube video description)

I saw an amazing performance of Deep Canyon at the Cancer as a Turning Point (TM) conference in California in Sept, 2001. The day after I flew home was 9/11. That morning the world turned upside down. Whatever I was going to write about all the amazing healing at the conference was lost in all that numbness.

But before that I wrote this poem inspired by Deep Canyon. (watch video)

9/8/01

After Deep Canyon
(At the Healing Journeys Conference)

Not behind me,
not behind me
this cancer, this disease—
the mistakes, the laughter
the judgment, the miracles.

Not behind me,
but with me,
the foundation upon which
all else was built fresh and strong:
the columns, the roof, the walls, the floor.

Not with me defining,
but with me as lattice, as bone,
to be built out from,
tendon, ligament, muscle, skin.

My skull unrecognized
for the face sculpted upon it.
It is not the bones that draw you to me,
but pure energy.

It is not my bones you see as beauty,
but it is the bones that support my form,
without my precious bones, I am Jell-O.
I would not wish it otherwise.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2001

From As Easy as Breathing:
Reclaiming Power for Healing and Transformation

This Is the Moment I Have

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This poem has been in my head the last few days. A bit of context: I wrote it after healing from multiple sclerosis and then rehab. And then, at age 44, after diagnosis with two breast tumors, one in each breast. Followed by surgery, chemo and radiation. Appreciating the healed body, reminding myself of all I am grateful for. So here it is:

This Is the Moment I Have

not tomorrow
with its joy or sorrow.

This is the moment—
when I floss my teeth,
and stand on two strong legs,

smiling in the mirror
at a face topped by hair.
This moment of easy breathing

with husband and children
deeply sleeping nearby.
This moment with fresh, cool

spring air blowing in my window
from a dark, rich night capped by stars.
This is the moment I have,

not next week or next month,
however much time and energy
I spend planning them.

How often am I actually
here…
in this only moment I have?

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1997

From my book, As Easy as Breathing: Reclaiming Power for Healing and Transformation.

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And track 25 on my CD, Full Blooming: Selections from a Poetic Journal.

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Feel free to share. Thanks for reading. Do you know this feeling?