I was recently invited to speak about breast cancer before several thousand people at a university basketball game (see Fear Is a Tool, from January 6). I gave this speech a few days ago, and it went very well. My goal was to make a spiritual and emotional connection with my audience, and to use that to decrease the fear of cancer and encourage engagement with the cancer journey. To lead and encourage by example.

I knew I was capable of this, but of course I was nervous. At the game, I made myself focus on the passing of time. The third quarter would end. Then the fourth quarter would end. Then I would give my speech, and that would end. Life would continue on in its rhythm, always approaching something and then moving past it. All I needed to do was be present in each of those moments. Not get carried away into a future that had not yet happened.

As the third quarter ended, I felt the need to center. Sitting in the bleachers with thousands of people, with all of that noise and activity, was not helping me. I went to the women’s room and stood quietly in the stall by myself. I brought my energy into my pelvis and practiced transcendence. Spiritual support instantly materialized.

A multitude of spirits appeared behind me as a cloud of butterflies. Their wings fluttered against my back, each one a soft hand of gentle encouragement. They were urging me onward with confidence and ease. It was not a cheerleading pep talk or pushy admonishment, just quiet acceptance of the moment and the intention––soft, loving, and joyful.

I had expected the gym to be noisy during my speech, with people getting their popcorn, going to the restroom, chatting. But it was quiet. Both the men’s and the women’s team stood at attention the entire time. People were sitting and listening. As I spoke, I felt myself walk through the small door of my ego and enter the All That Is. I felt spiritual energy filling the space of the basketball arena.

At the end, my daughter came forward and surprised me with a bouquet of roses and a big hug. Then the whole women’s team and I hugged. And then the coach. And the assistant coaches, and the trainers––all kinds of people. It was a big love fest! I had no idea that would happen. People approached me afterwards, thanking me and squeezing my hand, including the coach of the visiting women’s team. People shared their cancer connections. It all felt totally normal. This is how people love each other.

I am so glad I did not let fear stop me from doing this!