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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Bitton

Is Your Cup Half Full Or Half Empty?

Chemo Tuesdays

I started my second type of Chemotherapy treatment last week called Paclytaxol, Taxol for short. I can't tell you how much better it is than the first one, It's practically a walk in the park! Well, last week Tuesday I was a bit anxious as I heard Neuropathy is a side effect but decided not to think about that, I decided to focus on this time around, being easier and kinder on my body. That Tuesday I was pumped full of antihistamines to prevent an allergic reaction, standard on taxol. It was actually only half a dose of the prescribed amount but I was so zonked by the end of chemo I felt like I had taken a horse tranquillizer, I had to call my mom to collect me and they had to get a porter to wheel me down in a wheelchair to her in the parking lot. I looked stoned, drunk and like I was sleepwalking all at the same time, it was quite funny.

I went for Chemo again today, I was still zonked afterwards but managed to walk downstairs with my nurse Belinda (who is the funniest and best!) to my mothers car.

I came home had a 2-hour nap, woke up and ate some delicious chicken pie, my neighbour, Sheri kindly brought over for dinner and instead of switching on Netflix I felt compelled to write...

I was speaking to my little sister the other night who wasn't in such a great space but after our conversation she started to feel a little lighter, thank God.

I spoke to her about how..

In life we have 2 choices, to look at the glass as half full or half empty.

It's very easy for us to focus on what we don't have and believe that only when we obtain these things, will we be happy.

I used to be that way inclined. I felt sad that I wasn't in a relationship, that I didn't get the main lead role and was the alternate (ego-driven), that if I could just lose those 2 extra Kg's I would be the happiest woman alive! It's quite ridiculous when you think about it, how could such externally validating things bring us happiness within?

Well, they can't, the secret is happiness is within you, not out there, not by achieving some accolades and definitely not on your scale!

Sure we strive to be the best versions of ourselves but is it worth being so hard and unkind to ourselves? Most of us wouldn't talk to our best friends the way the voice inside our head speaks to us.

That little voice is the ego, that voice in your head will always tell you, you aren't good enough, aren't thin enough and prevent you from fully experiencing your true brilliance.

So what do we do about this bastard? How do we kick Mr Ego to Timbuktoo, never to return? It's not easy, but it's do-able.

It's really a new way of being, moving away from being in that fearful space, the feeling of lack and instead of focusing on everything you don't have, focus on what you do have!

The practice of meditation is a brilliant way to calm the mind and bring you back to your physical body. By doing that you can to tune out that bloody bastard, Mr ego's voice! Allowing you to connect to that part of yourself, your soul, your true divine being that gets drowned out by him every day.

I used to wake up in the morning and pick up my phone immediately, hungry for the dopamine rush we are all so accustomed to on our social media. Then we start to scroll down the feed and see this one's engagement and that one on holiday and on and on, and let's be honest we can start to feel a bit shitty, thinking they have it all figured out and I don't. Not a great way to start the day is it?

Now I do something different upon awakening. I give thanks, Thanks for being alive, for awakening and been given the most glorious opportunity to live another day, for the most comfortable bed I am lucky enough to sleep in, for the beautiful apartment I am lucky enough to live in and call home, for the gifts God has bestowed on me, thankful for my amazing friends and family and that they are all healthy, I am so thankful that a miracle has happened, that my sister and I have bonded and become closer than we have ever been before,

I give thanks for natures miracles, this beautiful city we are privileged to call home as I gaze at the ocean and for the food I can afford to nourish my body with.

I'm telling you when you move into a space of gratitude a new life will start to unfold.

Let's get back to external validation. When I started on my tour as the Lead alternate, my ego was hurt, I wanted to be the main lead, but as time went by and I got to play the role and look forward to my couple of shows every week, I realised how lucky I was to have this experience and there wasn't much difference, I was still living my dream playing Eva Peron in EVITA!

Since I have journeyed within, I have a healthier relationship with my body, I'm not obsessing about calories anymore and you have no idea what a huge departure that is for me! I listen to my body, treat it kindly and I eat intuitively, what I want in moderation. Since I know what it's like not to have an appetite on Chemo, I am thrilled when I do and am excited about food again. Just last night I made the most delicious Mexican inspired wraps with fresh salsa and Guacamole and I savoured every delicious morsel left on my plate!

The next fear that loomed over my head for a big part of my life, as most women who are single post 30, find they get stuck in the same loop, " Why don't I have a partner? What's wrong with me? Blah blah blah, The relationship anxiety.

The truth is, we are preconditioned by society, that a successful life, or "making it as a woman" is being married eventually with a child or two by the time we reach a certain age. Especially in the Jewish community, it's a right of passage and every mother and bubba's dream for their kinderlach.

As a Jewish woman being in her mid-thirties and still single, anxiety levels can start to build exponentially, particularly when winter comes creeping around the corner and my sunny happy Summer high is coming to an end, I'de say "Maybe now is the time to find a boyfriend" hahaha.

On a serious note, when I hit 30 I had a a very real quarter life crisis, in my mind I thought I was supposed to have it all figured out, that by the time you are 30, all your childhood fantasies and dreams of how your life should be and look like, had to come true, basically be married with a child, live in a nice home and live happily ever after, or else you were a complete failure... sound familiar?

The truth is I could have been married to my first love at 25, I could be living in Brooklyn with an Irish Italian whose life dream was to be an actor, but because he didn't have the emotional resilience, he set his mind on becoming the world's best bartender. Don't get me wrong he was charismatic and gorgeous and we laughed and danced in the rain and I was so in love until... well until it was over. If I think about it, getting knocked up at 25, having married the guy, being far away from my family and friends and missing out on the most amazing last 10 years of my life! Wow thank god I chose the road less travelled!

The thing is though, a lot of women don't want to start families so early anymore, we want to experience the most out of life and our careers if we are that way inclined, because as wonderful a blessing as having a child is, your life is never the same.

I remember my mother telling me this story. When she brought me home from the hospital, she was all alone with me one day in the apartment and had run out of milk. The simple act of quickly running across the road to the shop to buy milk was not so simple any more, she had to prepare me, pack a bag, figure out how to get the pram downstairs, the thought of it was so exhausting that she figured it was better to go without.She no longer had the freedom to just do as she pleased, she had me to think of.

We are living in a time where a lot of women find themselves older, wiser and not willing to settle for less than they feel they deserve, we have raised the bar and our expectations are higher, where as historically having no power at all, we were just so delighted to be picked by any man so we could have a provider.

Things are changing and with the Corona Virus, the dating scene will be changing even more. Imagine if before people went on tinder dates, they would have to be "screened" by providing a medical report stating whether or not they have had the Corona Virus and are cleared to date. Well, in that case, shouldn't they also present an STI medical report too for good measure?

Jokes aside, something did shift that night with my greek Guru in Skiathos, I surrendered.

I have realised that although there might be a part of me that is traditional in my values, I am rather unconventional and a non conformist, I have always chosen the road less travelled (more on that in my next post) and it would be quite ridiculous of me to fit in to society's preconceived social and cultural norms. However that being said I am human and would like to fall in love again, or should I say "grow in love"

and I believe that when the time is right and the one I am meant to journey with comes along, I will feel it in my heart, it has to be a soul connection and if that means waiting a little longer, well then so be it.

I'm also not going to lie, freezing my eggs has also lifted a huge weight of anxiety off my shoulders as now I don't feel like I have a biological time ticking bomb ready to obliterate my fertility at 40. Whew!

I went to see a good friend of my mothers and mine, who I have known since my teen years, Norma Simon, she is a healer and psychic. Norma has always been there at trying times and has worked with me in the capacity of a healer and has the most incredible way of containing a situation.

I sat with her after being diagnosed with breast cancer and she told me that my heart chakra was closed. At first, I felt defensive, " what do you mean? My heart is wide open!" At the time I thought it meant, I might have been starved of romantic love, not having a long term relationship in about 6 years. Now I realise it was this inner love I feel for myself, loving and getting in touch with my true self, my essence. As Whitney Houston so eloquently put it " Learning to love yourself, is the greatest love of all"

By having an attitude of gratitude, meditating connecting to my true self and shutting down that Mr Ego's negative voice in my mind, by putting down the baggage that no longer served me, feeling the pain of past traumas instead of burying them and healing. As we all have traumas no matter how big or small that shape us and our beliefs about ourselves. Choosing a new way of being, which takes practice and discipline to change our thought patterns. "Nurturing myself" as Wanda my metaphysical healer told me to do (being kind to myself, getting rid of the egos self critical, judgemental nasty voice).

By doing these things daily, I have opened up my heart again, and felt a divine love for myself, the truth is no one else can give that to you! No one! Only you!

When you can feel that divine love in your heart, well that is what we call a miracle, there is no space for fear when there is love.

One of my greatest teachers who teaches the work of "A Course in Miracles", Marianne Williamson. I urge you to read or listen to her book "A Return to Love"

An amazing thing happened once my heart was open, the love had nowhere to go but up to the chakra above, my throat chakra, the fifth centre. It opened up in a way I can't describe, it was like my voice opened up. I wasn't creating the notes, they were moving and flowing through me. My head was no longer the captain of my voice, my heart was.

I went on my balcony to sing, to use my gifts to be of service, it made me happy to do so and I hoped it would make my neighbours happy.

The thought never even occurred to me it would reach so many of you and I would be called an inspiration. I am truly humbled and grateful I can be a bearer of light in your lives during these trying times.

It just shows you though, that anyone can be a bearer of light just by 1 small act of kindness <3

Gandhi said "Be The Change You Want To See In The World"

But did he really?

No, the quote was falsified by his grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi,

What Mahat Magandi actually said was this,

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi was pointing to the foundation upon which a lot of today’s “spiritual” teachings draw their rationale. But we also see that he was directing us much deeper. He was guiding us to do the inner work that we often shy away from; the inner change beyond simply wishing or visualizing.

He was revealing a profound spiritual truth that what we see in the world is no more and no less a reflection of what is unseen inside of ourselves.

Reading the original quote, one could understand how or why we might paraphrase what he said down to “be the change you want to see in the world” but doing so only gives us part of the story.

The real change comes when we go within and do the work of inner transformation. To examine ourselves openly, honestly, vulnerably and to purge out any resemblance of selfishness, depravity or insecurity.
This is The Journey Within!

Like on any journey there will be some bumpy roads and sadly as you all know, there have been some that haven't shared your positive sentiments.

This is a perfect example of seeing the glass half full or empty.

I could have focused on the few nasty comments on Facebook and the one very long unpleasant message I received on Instagram, but I didn't.

There was no way I was going to let the darkness overshadow the light, a light so bright, so full of love from all of you, your kindness, praises, your support and passionately voicing your opinions to help me fight the good fight.

My last concert was cancelled due to the Cape Town City Council intervening, they contacted my booking agent and informed her about a few complaints and that I would not be permitted to perform unless I got consent from all my surrounding neighbours. I thought, well how am I going to do this? I'm undergoing chemotherapy, we are in lockdown and now I must go knock on doors when we are trying to socially distance? I mean no one would even answer their doors, they won't even let uber eats delivery men into my building, you have to meet them at the main gate.

Heidi my booking agent came up with a great solution, an online petition. As soon as it went live and was shared on social media with in the first 10 minutes it got 100 signatures, I thought 500 would be enough, but 2 hours later it was at 1000 signatures. I couldn't believe the amount of support! People from my community in Sea Point, from all over South Africa and the rest of the world were signing the petition and emailing letters. I thank you, for your passion, for allowing your voices to be heard and for fighting for me!

I hope Ward Councillor, Nicola Jowell and the Ratepayers Association will vote in favour of allowing me to have my next scheduled concert on May 9 at Sunset 17:45 / 18:00 pm start. I changed the time of the concert to an earlier time to appease the City Council, If approved the access link will go live on in the next few days.

Since the petition is still going and around 7800 People have signed it so far. You are welcome to sign it as well.

Here is the KFM Article and Cape Talk Interview on recent events

I pray it happens and know that there can be miracles when you believe!

Sending you all lots of

Love & Perfect Health


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