Center For Survivorship
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Center for Survivorship Blog

Find inspirational articles, poems and educational pieces on cancer rehabilitation, treatment and survivorship!

Why the Hummingbird?

Why the Hummingbird? Author, Alberto Villoldo, in his book entitled “Courageous Dreaming”, discusses what Hummingbird Courage and hummingbird consciousness is. On page 100 he states, “in hummingbird consciousness, we engage life from the level of the soul, just as that tiny birdfinds the valor to take his monumental journey, we can discover the courage to perceive ourown lives as a journey of growth and discovery, of spiritual maturation. We don’t fuss aboutthe details of our flight…we’ll make it to our destination.”

He continues on with “the hummingbird isn’t even supposed to be able to fly given the shapeand weight of his body. Likewise some of feel that we weren’t made to soar…but despitethinking that we don’t have enough …..”wings”, we each have a great journey that’s availableto us should we choose to accept the invitation from life and respond to the call”.

These words spoke volumes to me. When Alberto talked about how hummingbird courage “canempower us to rewrite our stories” and “look at life as a journey of discovery and growth”, itbrought tears to my eyes. That is what being a cancer survivor has been for me, a journey ofdiscovery and growth.

After the shock of the cancer diagnosis, I struggled through the world of decision making andquestioning every step of my journey, completed surgery and recovery, waited for the phone callto tell me whether I had cancer in my lymph nodes, prayed and prayed and prayed for help andcourage and then spent five years dealing with side effects of hormonal therapy to preventcancer recurrence.

I kept reading on and Alberto stated that “as determined hummingbirds willing to trust that we’ll have all we need on our journey… we can start to paint a very different picture of who weare and what the events of our existence mean”. I did just that. My new journey began with mydiagnosis. Along this journey I have met some amazing people that I would not have had theopportunity to meet otherwise. What a blessing for me.

But Alberto didn’t stop there, on page 102, he states “the saga of a loss or illness can now be one of initiation into the tribe of survivors, who can wisely guide others through this passage.” Iknew that I had a purpose in life and that I could use the skills and knowledge I had acquired asa physical therapist and educator to help in the fight for quality of life for cancer survivors.

My dear husband has always kept a hummingbird feeder at our home during the summer. Mymother had given me a hummingbird feeder that hangs outside my office window. Here I’vebeen surrounded by signs of hummingbird courage and didn’t even realize the power that it hadgiven me. I do now.

I challenge you to accept the invitation from life, respond to the call….

Embrace your Hummingbird Courage!