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U is for Unexpected

  1. not expected or regarded as likely to happen.
    "his death was totally unexpected"

    "an unexpected change in plans"

    There is a way we view our world. We know the players, the backdrop, the goings-on. But sometimes something so unexpected happens that it shakes up that orderly arrangement. This rearrangement, brought on by unexpected news makes you question all of the aforementioned parts of your seemingly orderly life.

    Acrylic on Canvas, c. 2015 Stephanie Rose Bird

    I received some unexpected news yesterday. A friend of the family has been suffering with breast cancer, quite quietly, I might add. I had no idea, which also causes a variety of responses ranging from guilt to shame, and then inevitably the question rises, What to do?

    The friend of the family has just always been there, at least for the past 12 years or so. She is an indirect friend, meaning our children our good friends, and by default we have been brought together on many occasions. Yesterday I found out that this lovely person, who has always been so helpful, so open and welcoming, has breast cancer. She has been enduring chemotherapy, and in the process she has lost her lovely blond hair--all of it.

    So now I am re-examining things because that's one of the challenges unexpected news offers. I'm wondering what is the appropriate thing to do and I keep coming back to heart. While unexpected news is a shake-up of sorts, it is also a reminder of the heart center or heart chakra we learn about in yoga. My intention is to give of myself, as selflessly as she has, from the heart. 


  1. You have a sympathetic heart. It is hard to know what to do to help someone without being a burden.

  2. I'm sorry to hear of this Stephanie - not only for your friend but for you too. You will help her by acting from what your heart knows to do. And yes we have to know to expect the unexpected - it happens so out of left field.

  3. This intentional awareness to heart-centered navigation sounds like a beautiful way to meet this unexpected news Stephanie.

  4. Lovely. (Not the news, your reception and decision.) That's all someone who is ill with cancer needs, someone to help when they need it and with the things they need. I LOVE your painting, fabulous. ~Liz

  5. All you can do is offer your support. Help if you can see where to help. Sometimes that's enough.

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

  6. Thanks so much Liz! Your words and thoughts are very uplifting. The painting is all about the random aspect of chance and fate. I'm so happy that it speaks to you!

  7. So sorry to hear about your friend. I hope she makes a good recovery. I think at times like this, the best help you can give is just by being there - ask what your friend needs and provide it

  8. Stephanie, This is a very difficult situation. I too recently have gotten unexpected medical news that is very challenging and complex with a beloved family member. It has far-reaching ramifications that overwhelm me and I am trying to keep my heart open, trust, and love. It is a test of my Buddhist nature.

    1. I'm so sorry to hear of this Beth but I'm sure that through your being such a grounded and centered person you'll know just what to do. Thanks for the well wishes!

    2. Thank you. Staying centered is challenging for me right now, I confess. Breathe.

  9. Life takes such unexpected turns, one can least imagine what's lurking in the corner. Being there for someone is so crucial at this point. I can't even imagine what you and her family and friends must be going through.
    [@samantha_rjsdr] from
    Whimsical Compass

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  11. I am so sorry to hear this news, Stephanie. What I do know from reading your blog is that your friend is lucky to have you in her life...

    1. That is the nicest comment to wake up to Monday morning. Thanks!


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