Superhero of Love

“Designing and Leading Waxing Poetic from the Heart”

Our founder, Patti Pagliei was interviewed by Bridget Fonger on her podcast called Superhero of Love. Listen to the interview here: http://bit.ly/2AVT3tE

 

patti

In the interview, Patti talks about how she overcame the many challenges that life threw her way, such as her battle with cancer, the threat of losing her home due to natural disasters, and the love that helped her family get through many health hardships. It’s a must hear, and we can’t wait for you to listen!

A sense of purpose from the CanSurvivor

Kelsey Smith amplifies the voices of those who have turned pain into purpose on her CanSurvivor podcast and website. Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 29, she has built a community of women using their talents to make a difference. We recently sat down with her for an interview.

jpeg-image-63d1b1b6e456-1

 

The Can Survivor is such a great name for your blog and podcast – it’s so perfect to have the word “can” front and center. Tell us a bit about that?

Thanks so much! When attempting to name the blog, I kept seeing the term “Cancervivor,” which appeared to give ‘cancer’ too much weight. So, The CanSurvivor was born. It was a way of flipping something traumatic like facing mortality on its head, an assertion I could survive. It certainly isn’t a guarantee since one-third of early-stage diagnoses turns into Metastatic Breast Cancer. For now, cancer doesn’t have the upper hand. I CAN survive, while sharing the experiences of others who have had a direct relationship to breast cancer. Whether it is a plastic surgeon, CEO, or nonprofit organization, there’s an incredible amount of resources to help with survival.

 

Receiving a diagnosis at 29 must have been quite a shock. Can you tell us a bit about your journey and how sharing helped you in the beginning?

 

Cancer was nowhere on the itinerary, as I had just started a position in a “dream job” eight days prior to the diagnosis. In fact, I was so into the job that it took a month to call doctors about the lump I had found in my left breast. While I had gotten sick twice in September, I didn’t put two and two together. Many family members and friends were across the country during treatment and the blog started as a way to keep everyone updated. It was helpful to articulate exactly what was going on while explaining all the details so everyone would be on the same page. It also served as a testament to what someone actually goes through in treatment.

img_7100-min

You do some pretty fearless things – repelling down a 16-story building for The Victory Center is brave as can be. How do you work up to challenge?

 

This is true! There’s something innate where the possibility of the result is more attractive than the method of getting there. Rappelling down a 16-story building meant more money for the Victory Center, for example. It was also a trust exercise: All of the tools that allowed participants to rappel were designed for safety, and professionals were standing by. It’s important to trust the goodness in even the most negative of processes. While rappelling was definitely scary, seeing the bigger picture negated the fear.

 

Helping women be their most brilliant, resilient and amazing selves as they navigate Breast Cancer is a bold goal and you do it with style. What’s a favorite example of brilliant resilience from your community – or yourself?

img_1511-min

Thank you! The best examples are the individuals who have turned their pain into purpose. In the breast cancer community, there are so many people who are using their talents to make a difference. Women like April Johnson-Stearns of Wildfire Magazine or Emily Hopper of Empowerhaus, who are unapologetically inserting their kick-ass attitudes into their brands. These are women who are vulnerable and impactful.

 

Your long-term survivor guests are fantastic. What are some of the top lessons passed along from these 30-years in ladies?

 

Yes, they are! There’s an incredible amount of wisdom to pick up from these women, especially since their treatments were harsher decades ago. Many people don’t know that less than 40 years ago, surgeons did not reconstruct breasts. It took decades for this advancement to be a standard of care. In fact, it is so embedded within the community that women are asking specifically to go “flat,” or not receive reconstruction. It’s really amazing how much long-term survivors have endured while maintaining a sunny disposition.

 

While we have a long way to go to cure breast cancer completely, processes are getting better every day. They’ve taught me to be appreciative of modern medicine. Older survivors have the ability to focus on what is important without letting small things ruin their day. They’re also the best at holding space during tough times of uncertainty.

 

How important is community in treatment?

 

It isn’t just community that is important, it is the right community. During treatment, it’s easy to become the center of attention, which then makes others seem or feel like spectators. It can also attract the wrong attention. People aren’t afraid to exploit the situation. Since breast cancer is such a big deal (especially under age 45—Only 11% of us have it), word spreads pretty quickly which can be isolating. Anyone who has been diagnosed should seek out cancer support groups immediately because people may rally around during treatment, then disappear afterwards. It can be mentally exhausting, daunting, and lonely. People who have been through it understand like no one else can.

 

 

You’ve turned your pain into power and created something amazing as a result. Were you a coach before your diagnosis?

 

I was not. The diagnosis took the wheel, as I was in product marketing previously. Young breast cancer survivorship is unique as it leaves open the possibility of making big lifestyle changes in diet, relationships, and sense of purpose. Having a coach who understands this and doesn’t think you’re “overdramatic” or “crazy” is incredibly essential in the healing process, which is uniquely individual. No two cancers are the same, but if you allow it, you can make incredible connections and move forward with optimism.

 

What is the funniest thing someone has said on The CanSurvivor Podcast?

 

The talks with fellow survivors are always funny because we are SO not modest, and nobody quite understands our struggles like each other. There were some hearty laughs on an upcoming episode regarding prosthetic nipples. Yes, there’s a prosthetic for that!

 

What would you like to tell us about self-exams and mammograms?

 

Breast cancer does not discriminate by age. Eleven percent of women under age 45 will get breast cancer, so please do not forget to set time aside the first of every month to do a self-exam. If you have dense breasts, simply look for “sisters” (similar lumps and bumps). The lump I had did not have a sister, cousin, or anything like that. Mammograms are not typically covered for younger women unless a mass has been found, so “feeling it on the first” is a great defense. In addition to that, if you have a family history of cancer, please speak with a geneticist about testing for genetic mutations. Five to ten percent of all breast cancer diagnoses are caused by BRCA mutations. Luckily, there are solutions!

 

 

What’s next for you? And where can others find you out in cyberspace?

 

This week, we launched the podcast in video format on YouTube! The format of the show has changed to weekly interviews, which allows for more guests involved with breast cancer initiatives. It seems to be continuously expanding, so you will just have to wait and see what’s next!

 

There are several ways to find me:

www.TheCanSurvivor.com

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

 

We’re all pledging to take care of ourselves this month with a small step that’s easy to incorporate into every day; a walk, meditation, primal scream. What is your #mypledge?

 

#MyPledge is to spend fifteen minutes outside, whether it means exercise, taking in nature, playing basketball, or walking. October is a great month to watch the leaves change and fall. There’s an incredible amount lot of beauty in the Midwest!

We honor Kelsey’s spirit – and the spirit of so many others – with our support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. During the month of October, a donation from every sale goes to NBCF and the important work they do. Our hope is that one day there will be no more unexpected warriors.

Behind The Design: Heartscape – What Matters Most

dsc01417-minThere is so much coming at us in life, at all times, and sometimes it is hard to stay focused and centered in the truth behind it all. Something that seems like a big deal to us can actually turn out to be quite trivial, and some of the tiny things, the quotidian joys, we may take for granted and dismiss.

What matters, what doesn’t:  a life without difficulty may never give someone the opportunity to distinguish between the two. This is what I learned when faced with the greatest challenges of my own life: my own mortality, the sudden illness of my daughter, and perhaps losing this business I created and love so much in the midst of all of this.

So, then, this charm and phrase came into being.  WHAT MATTERS MOST.

dsc01414-min

 

In our humanity, we receive our lessons, we learn from our suffering, and if we want to keep refining ourselves to our highest state of being, we alchemize all so that what doesn’t matter no longer stands in the way of what does matter. And if we can’t alchemize, we let go.

The human experience leads to the divine.  We remember who we are and why we are here. What Matters Most, is perhaps, all of this.  When I wear this charm, I bring this reminder with me.  I have the ice cream. I hug my daughter tight. I breathe. I open myself up to doing what I love, with love, and loving the things that challenge me, bringing me back to what’s really important again and again. This precious life I have been given, the details of which are mine to matter most.

 

dsc01419-min

SHOP ALL HEARTSCAPE CHARMS

#IAMPOETIC

 FEATURED FRIENDS OF WAXING POETIC

 WHO I AM

carla-9382-min

Africa is in my blood.

I moved to Durban, South Africa from London with my family when I was young.

This is where I first developed my deep love and bond with horses.

I am a huge animal advocate and lover, and horses at that time were my life. Horses have a spiritual quality that give me a sense of being.

I rode competitively but more importantly I was living my childhood dream!

I spent most of my free time carefree, happy and at peace with my horses.

These memories of being one with horse represent freedom and joy.

I am a designer by profession, having studied in Durban, South African for 3 years and went on to do a post graduate degree in London at the Central Saint Martin’s School of Art.

I’m a creative thinker who has both held senior positions for leading companies and co-founded and built up two successful sportswear brands.

I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and live life with passion.

I’m purpose driven and care deeply about social and environmental causes.

 

BEING POETIC

Being poetic for me is about how one lives one’s life.

Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Seeing beauty in nature.

Living with love and kindness

It’s authentic self-expression, being true to yourself.

Self-expression is the heart and soul of creativity.

It’s about imagination.

euphony

 

MY LIFE / VALUES / INSIGHTS

In 2006, my husband, Shaun and I tragically lost our only beloved son, Mathew.

Men and women heal differently.

I felt so alone.

The unspeakable pain and grief led me to question my value and meaning in life at that time.

Soon after, I was introduced to The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.

TBCF supports families that have a child with cancer providing financial, emotional and educational support.

I threw myself into volunteering for them, finding helping others was emotionally healing to myself.

Giving back benefited me ……. knowing that I could make a difference in the lives of others in some small way, allowed me to begin a new life, living with gratitude.

TBCF gave me a sense of family and a sense of belonging.

It was life changing and powerful!

I continue to be committed as an Ambassador for Teddy Cancer Foundation and advocate for children in Mathew’s honor.

I’m so lucky to have Shaun by my side, and to have been given a second chance at being a family.

I believe in miracles ….

I believe in the power of prayer ….

I trust in the universe, have hope, humility and know love triumphs

Family connection matters most.

Luke, our second born son, is now 8, and I like to think we bring poetry into all aspects of our lives.

I value every minute of every day with him.

We share stories and I’m planning on writing a book about our dearly loved dog Buddy, who is our four-legged family.

Luke is going to illustrate the book which will be called “Buddy Belongs”.

Friendships are also pivotal to my existence, and enrich my life.

I ‘m surrounded by a circle of phenomenal friends here in Santa Barbara.

carla-9411-min

Dreams – we all have dreams

But what makes our come alive ….. believing in ourselves …

being divinely aware, our faith and love.

My dream is to love and be loved, to follow my own path, living a life of purpose.

The ocean heals my mind, body and spirit.

It makes me calmer and more creative.

We are a family of ocean lovers, so protecting our ocean and coastline is vital for humankind, and those we care about for future generations.

2013 I began volunteering for grassroots organization, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper and subsequently became a board member after a couple of years.

Channelkeeper protects the waters in the Santa Barbara Channel through science-based advocacy, education and enforcement.

The climate crisis affects all of us and we need to protect our environment!

Knowing that we belong to something bigger than ourselves and that all life on earth is connected to our oceans, protecting the beauty of our ocean and beaches for a better future is a commitment we can all make.

We have the personal power within us to share our inner most thoughts, our vulnerability and deepest emotions. Sharing our ideas, our journey, is not only magical for the writer/ artist/musicians/advocate, but can have an impact and help others.

Each and every one of us have the power to inspire and be a positive influence in this world.

It’s about doing something that matters.

 

ring

 

 

The first piece I bought was a necklace with an initial M on the one side and an astrological sign on the other side – gosh it was maybe about 15 years ago.

What drew me to it was a heart connection – this piece is a remembrance now it is my love

My old favorite piece that I wear stacked is a simple bangle that a close girlfriend gave me for a gift, many years ago that is inscribe “LOYAL AND FIRECELY SO”

I fell in love with this piece and went into the store and bought a few for my girlfriends.

My most complimented piece is small gold crest necklace on leather that I that Luke loved so much that I bought him one too.

My new favorite is the large silver ring I am wearing in the shoot!

Whether WP are gifts for yourself or for others, whether to bless, inspire, encourage, or motivate I love the personal flavor.

 

FAVOURITE POEM

Maggie and Molly and Molly and May by E. E. Cummings

maggie and milly and molly and may

went down to the beach (to play one day)

and Maggie discovered a shell that sang

so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star

whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing

which raced sideways while blowing bubbles; and

may came home with a smooth round stone

as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like you or me)

It’s always ourselves we find in the sea

 

Hhhhhm so many beautiful quotes – this one today – The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched, but are felt in the heart.”  Helen Keller

FIRST DAY OF FALL 2018

Some call it Autumn, some call it Fall, our Celebrate the Autumn Equinox this September 23rd!

flat-55-1

We love the first day of Fall.

From

We are unabashedly in love with Autumn/Fall. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the only season with two names. Maybe it’s the light (ok, in some cases and places it’s very definitely the light — those of you in states and climates where you get technicolor tree leaves, we in California are envious and maybe be coming soon for a visit, so maybe get some cider ready and we’ll bring tacos to trade?), maybe it’s the wind (nothing feels quite like a brisk Autumn gale), maybe it’s the essential duality in the season itself — the first day of Fall, also known as the Autumn Equinox, has a kind of duality built into its name. Equinox quite literally the time of year (there are two) when the sun crosses the celestial equator and day and night are of precisely equal length, for one precious 24 hour period. It’s no wonder that people have been celebrating the Autumn Equinox with feasts, festivals, harvest celebrations, family gatherings, and collective gratitude for millenia, it’s decidedly kind of magical.

In a way, Fall feels fuller than any other season. Maybe even all seasons combined — maybe because in a sense, it IS the most interconnected season, a sensory feast combining the physical bounty owed to Spring and Summer (yum: fruits, veggies, squashes, grains, any and all harvestable things) and our collective gathering of warmth, light, attention and care needed to face the Winter (yes, even the cold California winter, where we break out our cashmere sweaters or burrow our normally sandal-clad feet in Uggs… for 58 degree evenings).

Fall is a season to gather and preserve, harvest and store, relish and celebrate all the bounty of the previous seasons, and also, to harvest and store light — whether it’s through outdoor sensory experience (making time to take walks in that rapturous, gilded light that only exists between late September and mid November –matched only by the leaves that echo the same tones), taking as many #nofilter Instagram-worthy pix of your favorite Autumn activities (apple picking, harvesting the last of your summer garden, taking your littles to the pumpkin patch, making pies, raking piles of dive-worthy leaves, taking up heirloom practices like making jams or jellies, and so many more), or metaphoric light — the light we create in relationships — via friendships, family ties, newly discovered kindred spirits, and communities of fun and faith.

dsc09337-min

We only have a few short weeks before winter — an equally magical time to be sure, but before we bundle up and head full-tilt towards hygge practices, let’s make and keep some Autumnal magic of our own. We suggest…

  • Throwing a feast. Sure, of course there’s Thanksgiving and we LOVE Thanksgiving, but historically Autumn is a time for harvest and gathering — what better way to celebrate it on a more intimate/informal scale than a Gathered Gathering AKA Pot Luck. Pick a date, choose to serve one or two things that you either have (or will amass) in abundance, and invite your guests to bring something to share. Not a gardener/cook? Make stovetop cider — cinnamon for all and spiked for some is a good call. Had a bumper crop in the backyard and are afraid of impending rot? Not anymore! Run with whatever veggie overdid itself in your garden…lots of zucchini/yellow squash/tomatoes? Ratatouille is delicious and easy to make and nearly everyone enjoys it. Have nothing physical to harvest? Provide the venue. Give ample hugs.
  • Make playlists. Share something heartfelt. A feast isn’t limited to food.
  • Dedicate a day — any day in the season — to celebrating nature, honoring the earth, and giving back to it. This might mean going on a meditative walk in the woods, or it might mean volunteering to clean up the bonfire area at your favorite beach (where summer revelers might have been a little lax in their care for the earth).

Fall is a season of shifting, gathering, glowing, and going forward: gather the good, share your heart, and get cozy. We love you!

1 2 3 50