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Click to learn about Allison's music, storytelling, coaching/teaching

Click to learn about Allison's music, storytelling, coaching/teaching www.allisondowney.com

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Totally Wigged Out!

So they tell me I’m going to lose my hair. It’s the least of my worries about chemo –  considering I could also lose my hearing, my digestive health and my sense of touch… But, as I get closer to that possibility, I’m really cherishing my time with hair (as well as hearing, touch, and … digestion). As a matter of fact, I’ve grown accustomed to having hair. I mean, it’s something I have in common with all the other mammals. Not saying I will suddenly join the reptiles when I sport my Teli Savalas, but hair is something we’re used to seeing.

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Rise Up! And go… to the parade?

Suzan wrote: “Rise up…” And I did, today. What you must know about Suzan is that she is some kind of a shaman. The kind that make you hear the deaf speak and taste the sunrise. That kind of shaman. She was right. From the covers, and hats, buckets, tissues, mops, cool nest of the linoleum tiled bathroom floor soothing my clammy face – I rose up. Why? Because you rise from your patheticness when your 6 year old wants to go to the parade. Continue reading

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CHEMO ROUND #1: BAD DAY

So today it is Chemo Round #2, Day 4. I wrote this post last round, but it sums up the last 2 days – except this time it was a struggle to hold down a teaspoon of water and the sun is shinning on melting snow. Here ’tis…

Genanne said to me, “There will be good days and there will be bad days.”

Yesterday was a bad day.

Sucker punch in the stomach. Sinking into the Polar Vortex. Continue reading

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Hold only what is yours to hold

A friend shared with me a Zen quote: “Do only what needs to be done – and nothing more.” I thought – why? Why should I only do the minimum when I could do soooo much more…? Well, that’s another story, another post.

But 4 months ago at the start of all this cancer craziness, that quote popped into my head. I was waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting… waiting for test results, waiting to take more tests, waiting for what felt like news on my fate. The first announcement from the doctor – “I think it’s cancer.” and the waiting for results to find out what kind. There was so much for me to hold – What could it be? What’s the protocol and prognosis for each option? What if…? And after learning it was anal mucosal melanoma, it was waiting to take the PET scan to see if and how far it had spread. What if? Somewhere some radiologist knew more about my fate than me. Again, all the questions, all the possibilities.
It was during these questioning times that the Zen quote popped into my head, but this time with a twist:

“Hold only what is yours to hold – and nothing more” Continue reading

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CRAP! No one told the birds!

The other morning I woke to a faintly familiar sound. A strange chirping that reminded me of something deep in the recesses of my memory. What could it be? A call from another time. A time before the Polar Vortex. Wait a minute….! It couldn’t!

BIRDS?! It IS March, after all. But – birds?

Then in my ADD manner, I forgot about them – until I was on the way home from walking Michael to school. There it was again, but this time a cracking sound. “Woody? Woody Woodpecker? Is that you?” And sure enough it was. The other birds were building nests… I admired them for a while. And then –

OH, CRAP! NO ONE TOLD THE BIRDS… It’s still winter and they came anyway. Continue reading

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A Walk in the Woods

The other day I didn’t feel like going to the gym. I didn’t feel like yoga. I didn’t feel like much of anything but being inside nesting. I was tired.  BUT – I’m supposed to exercise. Even 20 minutes of walking will help with fatigue, I’ve been told and told and re-told. It was March 1st, the inkling of Spring and practically balmy in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Yes, the mercury hit 25 degrees by the height of the afternoon. So, I gave myself a swift kick in the hurty tukus (tookus?), bundled up and laced my winter hiking boots and out I went beside the 2 feet of snow in our yard. Continue reading

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This is my story and I’m sticking to it!

I am a storyteller. I see the world through the lens of story. I am keenly attuned to the pivotal moments, the essential components and letting everything else go. The moments you would linger on in a telling. The ones you would describe with salient details, eliciting the senses. I become aware of the preciousness of the moments. The transitional moments, the beat changes. The “before the news,” after the knowing. The shift in world view, in perspective.

Stories are not the experience. Stories are the crafting, the molding of those experiences into a thread of meaning. Storytelling is an act of creating our view of life. Reframing the past to impact your who you are today. Continue reading

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Presence

I am a storyteller. I see the world through the lens of story. I become aware of the preciousness of the moments. The transitional moments, the beat changes. The “before the news” after the knowing. The shift in world view, in perspective. Stories are not the experience. Stories are the crafting, the molding of those experiences into a thread of meaning. Storytelling is an act of creating our view of life. As a storyteller, I am keenly attuned to the pivotal moments, the essential components and letting everything else go. The moments you would linger on in a telling. The ones you would describe with salient details, eliciting the senses. Continue reading

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