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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

How Do I Find ME Again?

Updated: Mar 7

Dear Kristen After All That I Have Been Through, How do I find ME again?

It’s completely normal to feel disoriented and detached from our old lives and original selves after anything as life-altering as a breast cancer diagnosis. It’s like we’ve been picked up in a personal tidal wave, tossed and tumbled, and washed up on a new shore, dripping and wondering where the heck we are.

When this happened to me–after the initial diagnosis and urgent treatment, when I could see I was going to live a while longer–I turned to my most tried-and-true coaching tools to help ground me and get me back in touch with myself.

One thing I like about the coaching tool I am going to share with you today is that it’s uncomplicated. Another is that it’s steeped in research into what is most important in life; in positive psychology, these are called The Pillars of Wellbeing. They are universal; as relevant to me in Boulder County, Colorado, as they were to South African township students I taught it to years ago.

What I recommend is that you spend a few minutes thinking about what matters most to you in each category outlined below. This will connect you deeply to what matters to you now and what has always mattered to you–threads that will help weave together the “yous” from all stages of your life.

The acronym for this tool is SIMPLE:


Success gets to mean whatever you want it to: professional, financial, personal, social–any goals that will make you feel fulfilled. What do you want to accomplish? What dreams have you had since you were young? Since you got older? What ideas have been bubbling up inside that you’d love to bring into being?


What do you love to do? What makes you lose track of time? How would you spend a paid holiday? What section of the bookstore do you gravitate toward? What did you love as a child? What project supplies are gathering dust somewhere in your home?


How do you want to leave your mark on the world? In what ways are you involved with something larger than yourself, like a community or a movement? If you have children, what lessons do you most want to teach them?


This is probably the most important category of all, as the quality of our relationships directly determines the quality of our lives. Who do you love? Who would you invite on to your life raft and who might you lovingly invite to take a seat on another raft with other people? Who fills your bucket? If you drew concentric circles, who would be in the innermost one? The next one? The next?


How do you nurture your body, mind, and soul? What are your goals or dreams for your precious self? What brings you a feeling of physical well-being, or what do you imagine for yourself in the future? What fuels your imagination, your curiosity? What do you love learning? What spiritual beliefs feel right and affirming to you?


How do you like to feel? We might all say “happy,” but what does that mean for you? Safe, calm, and content? Zestful, energized, and vibrant? Fierce? Brene Brown’s new book, Atlas of the Heart, is a wonderful resource for ideas and vocabulary around emotions, and we have an “emotional thesaurus” you can download right here to help you think.

That’s it! I’ve used this to plot big-picture goals (I call it my SIMPLE life plan) and from there, I can set daily and mid-term goals to help me stay connected to myself and do what’s most important to me.

I hope it helps you do the same.

For now,

Kristen <3

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Meditation Mondays:

Chakra Chanting with Gloria

Mondays at 10:00 a.m. ET 


Thursday Night Thrivers:

All Stages Support Group

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group

First and third Thursdays

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET



Thursday Night Thrivers:

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support Group

Second Thursday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET


The Caregiver Huddle

Third Tuesday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET


Tuesday Night Thrivers

Después de un Diagnóstico:

Grupo de Apoyo en Español

2do y Cuarto Martes de cada mes 

7:00 p.m. ET


Encourage and Empower

For Newly Diagnosed

September 10, 11:00 a.m. ET


Breast Cancer Book Club

The first Sunday of the month



July 19,  10:00 a.m. ET


Restorative Yoga:

Unearthing Opportunities

July 15 ,  5:30 p.m. ET


Reflect & Recharge

Expressive Writing

July 22,  6:00 p.m. ET


Art Therapy

August 5, 6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Fitness with Chair Assist

August 13, 11:30 a.m. ET


Forest Bathing

August 13,  6:00 p.m. ET


Yoga Stretching for DIEP flap

August 20,  6:00 p.m. ET


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Upcoming Events


Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 


Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 


The Book Club meets the first Sunday of every month at 11 am ET. You are welcome to join each month or pick and choose your month based on your availability and the book we are reading. 


Through art, writing, and other creative modalities, we hold the power to manage our stress, make sense of our now, and relax into moments of stillness. 


Free, monthly, online classes in restorative yoga, yoga for breast cancer, and Zumba. 


Después de un Diagnóstico

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