Hello. Welcome to my blog, Enlightenment at Gunpoint. I should note that the name, Enlightenment at Gunpoint, comes from a chapter title found in a book by Richard Rohr (The Immortal Diamond), which is a fantastic read.
This name stuck out to me during my recent journey. It was the perfect encapsulation of not just what I am going through during my journey, but also what I would want for other people (well, I don’t want you to have to do anything at gunpoint, but the sense of urgency it conveys is critical). This blog will be about living in the moment. “Now”-ness, “oneness”, “mindfulness” “being present” will all be phrases that will be used over and over again. My experience has taught me how crucial this is, and I want everyone to be able to experience the joy of living a present, intentional life. I have also learned that there are many survivorship stories out there that should be told. Since my experience has come from cancer survivorship I will be addressing that in various blog posts and features. Cancer is not going away and it’s my hope that I can provide some real-life cancer surviviorship stories that will provide hope and inspire– whether you are the cancer survivor yourself, a caretaker, or friend and fellow human being.
This blog is not my about journey through illness. For the narrative of my journey, from my brain tumor to my cancer diagnosis and survivorship, please click on the “My Journey” tabs. “My Journey – The Beginning” contains the 12,000+ word story of my hospitalization and cancer diagnosis. “My Journey – Updates” contains all of the weekly medical and life updates as I am going through them.
I am in humbled at your interest in my story and I am eager to share it, especially if it helps other people. I promise to keep this tab updated with results from my tests and various treatments. However, for my own well-being I would like this blog to focus more in my interests at the moment. Hopefully those will resonate with others and help people as well- sick or healthy.
To invoke a cliche, if this helps just one other person, then it’s worth it. My neurosurgeon invoked the same cliche to me in a follow-up appointment after my successful brain surgery and removal of the tumor.
So far, I am a survivor. Survival is good but to quote Richard Rohr:
Richard Rohr, Falling Upward
“Merely to survive and preserve our life is a low-level instinct that we share with good little lizards, but it is not heroism in any classic sense. We were meant to thrive and not just survive. We are glad when someone survives, and that surely took some courage and effort. But what are you going to do with your now resurrected life? That is the heroic question.”
Writing this blog will help me thrive. I am honored to have you as a reader. Let’s take this journey together.
Why was there a picture of your dog on the front page of your site and as you site’s icon? My dog Athena, in her life and death, was the perfect example of living in the present for me. I held her as she left her body and kept telling her “thank you” for her example. As Ryan Holiday writes about his dog, Hanno, in the Acknowledgements section of The Obstacle Is the Way, “she is a constant reminder of living in the present and of pure and honest joy.”