Monday, January 30, 2012

Spring 2005 Newsletter

I continue to enjoy re-reading my old Email Newsletters as I transfer them over to my blog. In many ways, they are like reading snippets of a diary or a journal, which I have tried to do, over and over, both during sickness and health, always feeling that the process was a 'chore' and what I wrote was uninteresting even to me. True confession time, I have actually thrown away all of these past attempts without even re-reading them. The only way I can think about that lack of desire and pleasure from writing just for myself is that perhaps writing about me, but for you, frees the creative part of my brain by removing some blockages to both the desire and the process.

I don't think that is how most writers, great writers, do their best work, and I would never put myself in their echelon. My writing is certainly not creativity at that level. I think it is simply about service, sharing, action, balance, compassion, kindness...........hoping that something I write will help someone somewhere have a less difficult cancer recovery journey than my own have been.

So I am re-sharing the introduction to my Spring 2005 email newsletter. The full newsletter is available here.
Spring 2005 Greetings from Diana Dyer, MS, RD, author of A Dietitian's Cancer Story.

On April 8, 1997, The Detroit Free Press published an article in which I was interviewed about the impact of nutrition on cancer recovery. It was the first time I had spoken to a reporter, and I thought it would a little article buried in a big newspaper. In a nutshell, I never could have foreseen the multiple opportunities that would subsequently come my way to help other people with their cancer recovery journey after that article was published.

From that “little article”, I recently had the opportunity to speak at The American Society of Breast Surgeons’ annual meeting in Los Angeles. It was an awesome opportunity (in the true sense of the word) to be able to speak to and potentially influence the practice of 1000+ breast surgeons in this country about the importance of nutrition for their patients.

I recently came across this meaningful quotation:
No one could make a greater mistake than he who
did nothing because he could do only a little.
• Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
We never know how far the ripples of our small actions will spread, but spread they will, just like the ripples that result from throwing a pebble into a lake.

I urge you all to do something “little”, not knowing where it will lead, hoping only that your actions will help someone else with some aspect of their life.

Diana Dyer

As I slowly re-read my two copies of the Tao Teh Ching side-by-side, I find I keep coming back to one particular saying or poem (#8). Of my two copies, the version I prefer is from the 1944 translation by Witter Bynner, which I first read in 1970. I like the softness of the words in this translation, along with the images and the feelings they create for me. 

I'd like to end with a portion of the 8th saying that seems relevant to my thoughts this morning. 
Man at his best, like water,
Serves as he goes along:
Like water he seeks his own level,
The common level of life,
Loves living close to the earth,
Living clear down in his heart,
Loves kinship with his neighbors,
The pick of words that tell the truth, ..........
~~ Laotzu
The curious paradox in my mind this morning is pondering if I am the water, the pebble, the ripple, the thrower of that pebble, or all of the above. 

It started with the courage (and naiveté) to say yes to a reporter for what I thought would be something small, perhaps insignificant. I remember that she even asked me "Are you sure?" This morning I am also pondering if she saw something coming that I did not. :)

I hope all of you will also do something small, knowing the ripples, no matter how small or difficult for you to see even in the beginning, will find their right end, being more than you know, hope, or imagine.

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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