gratitude, health, holistic health, kindness, positivity, shamanism

The Source of Creativity

What are these wild and whimsical ideas that come forth to me in the dark?

Where do they emerge from when they burst through the boundaries of my consciousness.

Creativity finds its source in the most unusual places

We do not ‘have’ ideas. They come to us. They ‘have’ us.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about ideas seeking their host. Nothing has resonated with me more. I have new book ideas every week. A new passage tries to birth through my fingers onto the keyboard each day. But I have learnt to only accept the ones that speak to my heart. I have learnt to only embrace the ones that call to my soul.

Where is my passion found? What is my motivation? What is the one true message I want to birth into the world? I ask myself these questions every time a new idea comes to me.

The answer is simple. The answer is always the same.

I want to teach people how to live, how to truly, unashamedly live their one beautiful and precious life with joy and love and kindness.

I want to inspire people to embrace the magic of the everyday, to break free from the mundane, the drama and the suffering.

I want to spread a message into the web of the world about hope, love and kindness. I want my words to demonstrate that magic and joy are not found in a perfect life, one without suffering or trauma or anxiety or fear. No, magic and joy are found in accepting our life just as it is, right now, without change, without question. They are found in the deep surrender of our heart and soul.

So I say yes, without fear or question, to the ideas and words that speak this truth – the only truth I know – and I send love and gratitude to every other message that calls out to my soul, sending them on their way to find the storyteller who ‘will’ birth them into existence.

I know why I’m here. I know what my message is, what my purpose is, and I will spend every moment I can expressing that through my words, both written and spoken.

I often see my creativity, my writing muse, as a crow that sits with me while I write. But sometimes she flies beside me, desperately trying to get my attention. Sometimes she pecks at my eyes and face while I try to sleep. Sometimes her persistent attention grabbing nature is unavoidable and I climb out of bed in a sleep induced daze and let her write through me.

That is when my best writing is done.

Other times, I find myself too tired, too busy, too distracted, and she simply flies off, delivering her words to someone more willing.

In those moments I lose my best work. But it was never mine. It was hers. She is the messenger from spirit, from source, not me.

I am written through, the words breath through me, through my heart and my soul and onto the page. They are not mine, they are yours, they are gifted to you through me.

May they inspire you to live the life of your dreams.

It’s all temporary, this precious life that we each hold. But, it’s up to us to make it memorably and meaningful rather than mundane.

And, in my experience, a memorable and meaningful life is found in connection, in acceptance, in love and friendship and hope and closeness and curiosity and passion and surrender to something bigger than ourselves, whatever that may be. But it is never, never, found in seeking perfection.

With live and gratitude always, Fi xx

gratitude, health, holistic health, kindness, motivation, positivity, shamanism

The Path of a Shamanic Storyteller

On Sunday night I returned home after the penultimate five day weekend of my shamanic practitioner training.

I graduate in March.

I’m not sure how to even begin to describe what this training has involved, or what it means to me.

I’ve met, and connected with, 5 incredible women who have become like sisters to me. Soul sisters with whom I’m sharing a spiritual path and, whom I hope to continue to share and grow with for many, many years to come.

They know me at such an intimate level. They have seen and witnessed the depths of my soul in a way that is indescribable. At each training weekend we sit in a sacred circle and share with intimate detail the essence of who we are, without fear of judgement and always in receipt of pure and unconditional love and acceptance.

But the training isn’t just about the sharing. It’s also about learning to work in a shamanic manner. ‘Re-learning’ I should say, as we already know…we have just forgotten.

It’s about connecting with something bigger than ourselves, stepping away from the dramas of every day life, being guided by spirit, allowing ourselves permission to learn, to grow and to step onto the true path of our soul.

And, still it’s more.

It’s a coming home. A reconnection. A remembering. Like parts of my soul are reawakening.

Put simply, it’s indescribable. Because there are no words to describe what this path, or this training, is like. Words don’t do it justice. No, this path has to be felt, to be lived.

During this particular weekend I had the honour, and privilege, of my 5 peers, my mentor and another qualified practitioner working on me as a group for 2.5 hours.

Together they held space while I talked through my healing journey and then I embodied my cancer and, for nearly an hour, I spoke it’s story, it’s voice, it’s essence.

In October when I held a ‘cancer divorce ceremony’ I wrote a letter to my cancer. I guess, you can say, this was cancer’s chance to respond.

It was powerful stuff. Pure magic unfolded as words that didn’t belong to me flowed from my mouth.

The words were soft, protective, nourishing even. It seemed the essence of cancer was not there to punish me but to guide and protect me.

I felt overcome with a deep sense of peace, acceptance and surrender.

All fear left me. I felt held. I felt connected. I felt safe. I felt honoured in my wholeness and vulnerability.

Something had shifted in me. Not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually too.

Many people ask how I ended up on this course. It was pure guidance and coincidence. A friend of mine had bought me a one to one shamanic session with, my now dear friend and retreat colleague, Rhonda McCrimmon. That first session blew my mind. I’d never heard of shamanism, the spirit world or any of the other magic Rhonda talked about.

But that’s not why I started training. A few months later (during which I was reading everything I could about shamanism) I found myself at Trew Fields Festival in Surrey (a holistic healing festival for people with cancer). There I kept meeting shamans. Suddenly, I’d gone from never having heard of shamanism to it being everywhere.

I sat in circle with one of them whom some of you will know as Anne (the founder of Cancerucan) and had a profound experience with a spirit snake. Talking to her she suggested that I was already on the path to shamanism and should seek a tutor or mentor.

So, I found myself googling shamanic training during my train journey back to Scotland, the friend I was travelling with (Claire – The Independent Single Mum) encouraging me to ‘send the email’ when I found a practitioner that resonated.

So I did. Then, during my next session with Rhonda it transpired that the person I had emailed was who she had trained with – it appeared I was being guided, once again.

Not only that but my soon to be mentor, Carol Day, and I had actually crossed paths previously while I was studying my PhD…it seemed I’d missed the path’s previous calls to my soul.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the course, or even why I was being guided to do it, but, I just ‘knew’ that it was what I had to do. This knowing was deep and unavoidable.

Has the path been easy? No. Without doubt it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But, one thing is for sure, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made for my personal and spiritual growth and development.

To date, I’ve held back in what I’ve shared about the training and the growth I’ve experienced through it, but my guidance now is to open up completely.

Increasingly I am realising that my background as a researcher for the NHS and Scottish Government enables me to be a translator of spirituality into the realms of the every day and even into the scientific areas of life.

So this is where I will position myself, a shamanic storyteller, bridging the guidance of the spirit world into the everyday world and into the lives of those who read my words.

After all, it’s what my writing and talks have been doing for years already, only now, I’ll be more transparent about it.

With love and gratitude always, Fi xx

gratitude, health, holistic health, kindness, ovarian cancer, positivity

Today I Rise Again

Today is a new day.

I rose today having felt what I was meant to feel, having seen what I was meant to see, having said what I was meant to say.

So many people ‘advised’ that I stop writing and that I focus on me. I know they meant this with the deepest kindness but writing ’is’ me focusing on me. It is my therapy, my release, my way of processing and feeling everything that is there to be felt.

I do not write for anyone else but myself – although, admittedly, it brings me so much joy to realise how my words have helped so many others.

I can’t help but wonder how different our world would be if someone had told Anne Frank to stop writing. I’m not suggesting I am anything like Anne Frank, a courageous young girl whom I have admired since first discovering her words when I myself too was only young, but I am suggesting that our stories are important, healing and essential. We must share our stories. We simply must.

I feel in a good place today, like I am emerging from something, like I am shedding an old version of myself and stepping forward into something new.

I sense change ahead, yes, but change isn’t necessarily bad and I find myself feeling a sense of excitement at this new adventure I find myself on.

I’ve been in worst places in the past four years since my diagnosis than I find myself in just now. There is, of course, one significant difference now. Now I don’t see chemotherapy as an option for me when the trial completely stops working (which it hasn’t, yet).

As I’ve written many times before, chemotherapy (and any treatment) is a very personal choice and I do not advocate for or against any options. But I do know that chemotherapy is not the right option for me. Not again. Not after 4 years ago. This is my inner guidance and I trust it profusely. Nothing and no one will ever change my mind.

So what are my options?

Just now, medically, it is to stay on the trial. It is to keep breathing in the gratitude that this wonderful cocktail of significantly less toxic drugs is doing something to slow down this disease (even if they can’t stop it completely).

But that is just the medical picture and, if I’ve learnt nothing else on this journey it is that the picture is bigger than what can and can’t be done in a hospital. There is so much more that can be done for my mind, body, spirit and soul.

So, yes, it is accurate when I say I am excited because I find myself wondering ‘what if there is another way?’

And that’s exactly what I intend to spend the next 16 weeks finding out.

Why 16 weeks? Because that is the length of time someone with ovarian cancer is on chemotherapy for…AND, more importantly, because 16 weeks today I plan to get my adventurous soul onto a plane to Bali where I plan to spend 4 weeks healing with my gorgeous husband…something that will only be possible if my lungs stay stable…so I’m excited…I have a focus, I have an aim and I have a shit load of passion.

It ain’t over and, as ever, I ain’t dead yet (motherf*ckers)

health, ovarian cancer, yoga

Raw Food for Post Cancer Holistic Health – Day One

Hello and happy Tuesday!
I’ve been thinking over my health lately and realised that it’s not quite where I want it to be…it’s been nearly 18months since I was diagnosed with stage four cancer and after months of being sugar free, vegan (except for occasional fish) and not eating processed food (plus 8 years of being gluten free) I still feel my diet isn’t optimal.

This weekend I went away with my family and found myself slipping easily into old habits of sugar and processed food. Not where I want to be at all!

The result? Today I woke feeling sluggish, tired and all in all a bit ‘meh’. And my skin has broken out again too! Eeek!

So what to do?

Well, after months of researching I’ve decided to embrace a raw food diet under the belief that live food is best for our health.

Now, let’s get one things clear, I’m not doing this for weight loss! I am a happy and healthy size 10/12 and I walk/practice yoga/run ever day. This is about achieving optimal health and helping my body to heal from the inside out.

So, today begins my journey with raw food. I’m under no illusions that it will be easy but hey, it can’t be as bad as high dose chemotherapy and major surgery can it?

I’m a complete novice so I’ve decided to share my story with you all in a ‘video diary’. If you have any advice or tips please let me know!

Here goes!

Love and light, Fi xx
Follow me on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

⭐️VOTING IS NOW OPEN!⭐️

I’ve been shortlisted for ‘The Health Blogger of the Year’. It would be super awesome if you could head here and vote to help me win.

You don’t need to provide any details (not even your name!), you just have to tick a box!

The winner receives a prize of £600 and if I win then I pledge to use it all for my random act of kindness to help spread more joy and raise awareness for ovarian cancer!
With your help I can reach more people and help to spread awareness of ovarian cancer; living with stage four cancer; invisible disabilities and so much more! 💜💜💜

New to my page? In Jan 2016 , at the age of just 30, I was diagnosed with non-genetic, stage four ovarian cancer. There is no stage five. Since then I’ve been campaigning to raise awareness of ovarian cancer in the hope that my diagnosis will help save lives. I have been handing out random acts of kindness to strangers as envelopes containing £20 and a card with the symptoms of ovarian cancer. I do this in the hope of spreading kindness and joy whilst also helping to get people to take about ovarian cancer! 💜⭐️🌈

In August 2017 I published a book entitled “Love, Light and Mermaid Tails” about my story and how I strive to live an incredible life with ‘terminal’ cancer. Get it here.

ovarian cancer

My Book is Now Available to Buy

It’s been an exciting week! I’ve finally achieved my life long dream of becoming an author and published my first book!

It is currently available to buy on Amazon in the UK, USA and Europe!

‘Using her values as a compass Fi shares a message of hope, not fear, about how you can heal your life even if you can’t be cured. A powerful message for us all.’ Lesley Howells, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Centre Head, Maggie’s

I’m giving away a free signed book over the weekend 🌈🦄💕🙏🏻 Please just visit my Facebook page for more info 🦄

Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement. I couldn’t have done this without you!

I hope you enjoy the book!

Love and light, Fi xxx

—-

“Fi Munro was diagnosed with non-genetic stage four ovarian cancer. In that moment, after months of pain, tests and assurances that it was ‘nothing to worry about’, her instincts were proved right and her worst fears were realised.

In the months that followed, understanding her diagnosis, recovery and health became her full time job.

Using her expertise as a researcher she dedicated her time to understanding everything she could about her diagnosis and subsequent prognosis.

In this honest, open and often tear-jerking account of her journey back to wholeness, Fi openly shares her story from diagnosis with stage four ‘terminal’ cancer to living an incredible, healthy life full of joy and laughter.

This book is a guide for anyone, not just those with cancer, who wants to embrace a happier, healthier and more caring approach to their life.

May it bring you peace, courage and, above all, hope.”

“Fi Munro (PhD) is a multi award winning researcher, author and public speaker recognised internationally for her presentations and articles on her journey and holistic health. She has been featured in two BBC documentaries, in TV and radio shows, and in newspaper and magazine articles across the globe.”

ovarian cancer

Birthday Celebration with my Family

So after my desperation to get out of hospital yesterday for my family birthday celebrations today, things didn’t quite go to plan..

The trouble with having a low immune system (especially right before surgery) is I can’t see anyone at risk of causing an infection so…thanks to a cold, a sickness bug, exposure to scarlet fever and chicken pox everyone had to cancel except my parents.

I was devistated! However very glad that I was able to see my mum and dad before I go back to hospital tomorrow!

Despite not being able to see everyone I was absolutely blessed to receive the most beautiful birthday present imaginable…made by my talented mum’s fair hands…a cushion hand stitched with fabric from clothes belonging to my deceased grandparents, my husband Ewan, my parents, my two sisters, my three nephews and my niece…meaning now my entire family can all be with me over the next few weeks 💖💖💖


This cushion is now, without doubt, my most prized possession and I’m so blessed and thankful for their sneakiness in getting this sorted without me finding out!

I love the addition of clothing picked by my niece and nephews, including my niece’s ‘little mermaid’ Tshirt!…my favourite Disney princess as a child!

There is also fabric from my husband’s kilt and my beloved grandparent’s clothes. It’s just beautiful and words can’t describe how happy it makes me.

Tomorrow morning I’m making the long journey back to hospital and I’m so glad I’ll be taking this with me 💖

Love and light, Fi xx

Uncategorized

Why I’m Grateful for my Cancer: Chemo 4 – Day 19

Three months ago I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer at the age of 30.

I often describe my cancer diagnosis as a gift…yes I know that sounds a little crazy but let me explain…

  We’re all guilty of going through life with the mind set that we will achieve happiness at some specific point…when we get the ideal job, when we get married, when we finish the house, when we earn a certain amount, when the kids are a certain age…the list goes on and on… but what if we don’t reach that point? What if tomorrow really never comes? Does that mean we are destined to be unhappy? Destined to not lead a fulfilling life?

Certainly not!

When the words ‘stage four cancer’ entered my life everything changed…
…but for the better!

I’m now living the best days of my life. I’m now the happiest I’ve ever been because cancer has taught me to let gratitude, positivity and joy be the only goals in my life

You see, what a cancer diagnosis does is really highlight your mortality. It makes you aware that tomorrow really isn’t guaranteed. Yes we’ve all read the many inspiration quotes about living for today but how many of us actually do? Well a cancer diagnosis (especially a late stage one!) is a constant reminder that today really is all we have.

Many people ask how I remain so positive and I think Charlie Brown and Snoopy sum it up perfectly in the following dialogue:

Charlie Brown: “Some day, we will all die Snoopy!’

Snoopy: “True but on all the other days, we will not.”

In truth none of us know when we will die, or indeed what will cause our death, but until then we are living and so we should enjoy each and every day.

There are days when I feel so ill from treatment that I want to just lie on the sofa, but I still force myself to get up and dressed and take our lovely rescue dog for a walk because it is so important that there is joy (and nature!) in every day. 

I no longer take anything for granted. Least of all the wonderful people in my life or the time I have with them.

Cancer is a gift because it wakes you up to a life half lived and makes you see the beauty in every moment. It makes you savor every second. I am grateful for my cancer diagnosis because I am not sure all the motivational quotes in the word would have allowed me to see life, or the privilege it is to be alive, in the same way that I do now.

Abraham Lincoln summed this up best we he said…

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

So today, if you do nothing else, be sure to laugh a little louder, smile a little longer and hug a little closer.

Oh, and please tell someone you love them.

Love and light, Fi xx

ovarian cancer

Love is marrying your best friend: Chemo 4 – Day 11*

I’m one of the lucky ones.
 I married my best friend.

There is no one who makes me laugh more. He is the first person to tell me ‘if anyone can do it you can’….even if what I’m suggesting is utterly ridiculous. He supports me in every decision I make…even the bad ones like painting our bathroom pink(!)…(a story for another day).
 He’s always been my confidant and companion and now…well now he’s also my ‘carer’.

  I remember so vividly the moment following my diagnosis when my GP broached the subject of noting my husband as my carer in my medical records. My what? I’m 30! How is this possible? What does this mean? How will this affect our relationship? So many questions about a situation you don’t expect to face just weeks after celebrating your two year wedding anniversary in Vienna.

  Most of the time I continue to fight for my independence because of this fact floating in my head. Most of the time I refuse to accept that my medical file has a name in the box labelled ‘carer’. Most of the time I battle through doing things around the house even on days when I know I’ll suffer afterwards (actually more so on these days because I’m stubborn and often trying to prove a point).

Most of the time….

But sometimes I get frustrated. Sometimes I have to sit down half way through hanging up the washing or cooking dinner or changing the bed covers because the chemo has made me too tired; because the fluid on my lung is making me too breathless; because my blood levels are too low; because my body is too weak; because I need a carer….

In those moments I’m still married to my best friend. He tells me to take my time. He helps. He supports me in the way he always has to do everything I do.

  Other times, like tonight, I’m too weak to even try to do anything. Instead, whilst I’m lying on the sofa wrapped in a blanket, my husband, who has already done a full day at work and then picked up some food shopping, comes home and does the dishes I’ve not managed from during the day, cooks dinner, tidies the kitchen, takes our dog for his daily walk, hangs up two loads of washing, and puts away the washing he took down this morning before work. He does all this whilst intermittently checking on me.

By the time he stops doing everything it is past 10pm and he hasn’t sat down since he got in the door. Not for a second. Not even once.

This is on top of our dog waking through the night and my husband getting up to let him out and settle him. 

He does all this whilst working a full time job.

He does all this whilst worrying about me and my diagnosis and treatment and surgery.

He does all this whilst not complaining.

And I realise, as I watch this man I love doing everything he can to support me, that I don’t have to worry about him being labelled my ‘carer’ because I married my best friend…

He is doing what he has always done….he is doing whatever he can to make sure I can do whatever I need to do.

When I was well and didn’t have cancer (or didn’t know I had cancer) I commuted two hours to my job, studied for a hypnotherapy course, volunteered and maintained a regular exercise routine. At the time I thought I managed it all because I was well organised and motivated (and, admittedly, stubborn) but, on reflection, I managed it all because I married my best friend who, as it turns out, has always been my ‘carer’. He has always done whatever he can to make sure I could do whatever I needed to do.

You see, as it turns out, having a ‘carer’ doesn’t need to label you as critically unwell. It doesn’t need to change anything. It doesn’t need to be a weakness. It’s just about being supported by someone you love. It’s about returning that support. All that’s changed is the exchange of support.

As it turns out, I didn’t just marry my best friend. I married my hero.

I love you Mr Munro.

People ask how I manage to stay so positive. The answer – you.

People ask how I remain so grateful. The answer – you.

People ask how I get through everything. The answer – you.

I love you to the moon and back.

I couldn’t do any of it without you xxx

—-

*This post was inspired by a telephone chat I had today with a lovely woman from Stand Up to Cancer. She asked me what my support network was like and how my husband was coping with my diagnosis and treatment and as I answered my mind filled with intense love and gratitude for the wonderful man I call my other half   xx

ovarian cancer

Megginch Castle: Chemo 4 – Day 7

Today I woke feeling much as I had over the past few days since receiving my fourth chemo dose, only now with the added side affect of ‘roid rage’ – this is caused by the steroids I need to take in the days before and following a chemo dose now leaving my system. This manifests suddenly with me becoming unreasonably emotional and angry. It’s not pleasant and it’s not pretty – but it does pass! Also it’s easier to deal with now I know what causes it – the first couple of doses of chemo I felt like I was loosing my mind!
Although still feeling ill I decided to combat these emotions this  round by having a day out with my husband and parents. First stop was an awesome lunch at my favourite cafe who specialise in accommodating food allergies – making my life a lot easier! It’s amazing how much more human I can feel after a bowl of hot soup! I also find that being out and about and around people helps me to feel better – as long as I don’t try to over do it or stay out too long. 

Megginch Castle – which isn’t too far away – were having their annual open garden day today where they allow members of the public to explore the beautiful grounds with the aim of raising funds for Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre. This provided our next stop and a great opportunity to take advantage of the lovely spring weather and, or course, an ever welcome opportunity to spend some healing time in nature. I’m very grateful for their chosen beneficiary. Maggie’s have provided such valuable support and care for me and my family during my diagnosis and treatment and it’s always lovely to see people realising this value and helping support them!

  
The family at Megginch Castle provided a warm and friendly welcome and the gardens were absolutely stunning! I felt so relaxed and comfortable strolling around their beautiful walled gardens and then resting for a cup of tea on the lawn with the other visitors. I only wish they were open to the public more often!  

  There really is something wonderful about spending time in nature. It’s so calming and I truly believe it is healing too. Simply being outside, breathing in fresh air and enjoying the scenery encourages a slower, medatative pace that allows me to enjoy the moment and – for at least a while – disconnect from being a ‘cancer patient’.

  In nature I feel relaxed and calm and, dare I say it, healthy. Such a priceless feeling and one we often take for granted. Instead we are often guilty of rushing around always ‘doing’ and never just ‘being’ – well I was anyway until my diagnosis! Time in nature, however, forces us to enjoy the moment; to look at the trees; to enjoy wondering down the shaded pathways; to loose our thoughts watching a bumble bee choose a flower – it’s beautiful and nothing quite compares.

I hope those reading this are taking some precious time to enjoy nature too.

Fi xx 
 

ovarian cancer

Gratitude and Thanks: Chemo 4 – Day 6

As always after a chemo session I expect to feel much better much too soon and as a result often push myself too hard before my body has had a chance to recover…not that I’m stubborn!…

So instead of focusing on the side affects I’m feeling…which are the same as yesterday with some extra fatigue and sickness…I’ve decided to write a little bit about gratitude… 

  
When in these first few days post chemo, especially during a ‘come down’ from steroids, it is easy to get caught up in the sadness and pain of feeling ill and forget to see all that there is to be grateful for.

But there is always something to be grateful for…

…Today I am grateful for the sun shining long enough that I could go for for a brief walk before siting in our garden with our chickens, cats and dog…how do we have five pets?!  

I’m also grateful for the wonderful messages I’ve received today. Messages of love and support and solidarity all letting me know that I am not alone and that I am in people’s thoughts. These messages come in different forms – photos, videos, links to articles or podcasts, comments – but all serve to fill me with love and hope. Some come from much loved old friends and some from new friends I’ve met on my journey or who are going through their own cancer journeys. It really costs nothing to show someone you care and it can make such a difference – thank you!

  I don’t really have much energy to write this evening but I wanted to end this post by passing on some gratitude from Macmillan whom I have been fundraising for since my diagnosis. The following is taken from a second email of thanks that I received from them this week…

Well done on your fantastic achievement! You’ve done an incredible job with your fundraising and it was really inspiring to read your story on Just Giving. You truly are an amazing person and we wouldn’t be able to continue with the work we do without dedicated fundraisers like you.

Just to put your fundraising into perspective, the money you raised could keep a Macmillan information and support centre stocked with all the information resources it needs for a whole year. These resources would include booklets, guides, directories and leaflets and are vital to ensure people affected by cancer get the support they need.

Now if that isn’t pretty awesome and worthy of a little gratitude and thanks then I don’t know what is!

Thank you to everyone for your love and support.

Happy Saturday, Fi xx