The following is an excerpt from my speech to share with you my experience:
Like Millie mentioned, my name is Stephanie Austin and I’m a certified holistic health and nutrition coach, and owner of www.WellnessByMotherNature.com.
When Millie first asked me to present a speech at the closing ceremonies, I figured, I’ve got this – I’m a writer and a holistic health practitioner, I’ll present the latest nutritional studies and maybe even some whole-life healing techniques.
Trust me, if given the time, I would talk and talk about nutritional healing, but after last night’s Luminaria ceremony, I drove home behind tears realizing, what can I possibly teach this group? How can I possibly inspire them? What can I say that will help them celebrate, remember and fight back? Because in less than one hour, I learned more from you all than you can learn from me here today.
I witnessed healing through humility, laughter and joy as grown men danced around wearing bras on the outside of their clothes and children played to the latest tunes from the DJ. What a great DJ right?
In a rather famous Relay event poem called HOPE:
“H” is for Hope, which is everlasting.
“O” is for Oneness, because we all stand united in the fight against this dreaded disease.
“P” is for Power, because that is what we have, as part of the more than 4000 events across our beautiful nation!
“E” is for Eradication, because we will ERADICATE cancer and make it a distant memory!
Amid such hope as when you’re hoping for the life of your loved ones, that is when we really learn how to LIVE, right?! While I am sorry you’ve had to experience such illness and loss, I can really see how thoroughly it has taught you all how to LIVE.
Look at your commitment to this event. Look at the people you were here for. Not just the people you came with or for but everyone here.
To those with cancer, let the survivors offer you hope. Connect with your community of healers and embrace every avenue of whole-life healing you can.
To the survivors, be the hope for others who are going through what you’ve been through. Sometimes the best way to heal is to help somebody go through what you’ve already seen.
To those here who have lost loved ones to cancer, you are a survivor with a different definition, and you can carry on the legacy of your loved ones’ fight by helping others learn what you’ve learned.
To the caregivers, you are like Mr. Lee’s hope – the light when they can’t find the switch for themselves. Hope is what is needed when we cannot do it for ourselves....
I am forever grateful for the reception I received as I read this speech through tears and sniffles. The dedication people have to this cause has forever inspired me to continue teaching Eating for Healing.