Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉


In yoga practice, you are asked to set an intention for each session. It can be a word, like “breathe” or “strength”, or a phrase, such as “be grateful” or “honor your body.” When you find your mind drifting away from your practice, this is the word or phrase you remember to re-focus on what you are doing on your mat.

Today, I somehow landed on the word “stretch” as my focus. At first, I meant it in the physical sense. As a returning runner off the heels of almost a year’s worth of cancer treatments, my hamstrings are perennially tight. And, having recently added weight training into my workout regime, my arms are often sore as well. So, for today’s warm vinyasa class, I was all about remembering to stretch out my arms and legs, as many poses, when done properly, are as much about pushing one way as they are about pulling the other way, thereby maximizing your stretch. Whenever I felt like I was “done” with a pose, I remembered my intention and reached a little higher, bent a little farther, and dug a little deeper. Since some poses are downright painful due to the neuropathy in my feet (thank you, Chemo!), I sometimes have to do a modified version of a pose.

And although I am quite competitive outside of the yoga studio, I have learned that when you are on your mat, you do what you can do, and that is a gift to yourself–even if you can’t contort yourself into a pretzel like the gal next to you.

Usually, I pick “breathe” as my intention and then promptly forget it until I am huffing and puffing and near-death. But for some reason, “stretch” stayed at the forefront of my thoughts, which never drifted too far away from my mat this particular day.

Later, as my yogi sweat was drying, I thought more about the concept of stretching and how it was so fitting for me at this moment in my life.

Pretty much my entire adult life has been spent as an educator. Due to complications with chemo, I ended up resigning my job as the Dean of Instruction at an inner city high school. BC (Before Cancer), I was planning on taking a year off to figure out what exactly I wanted to be when I “grew up.” God and my body had other plans in the form of a completely unexpected cancer diagnosis. About a month before I completed chemo, by referral, I was approached by a tech company to do some marketing. I told them my skill set and work experience and said that if they were still interested after hearing how unqualified I might be for the job, we could meet for lunch. Maybe they were desperate or saw something in me I did not, but I was offered a job at that lunch and after a few short weeks was awarded with the fancy title of Marketing Director (still a bit of a misnomer—I do a whole host of things!).

Working at the Chevron Houston Marathon Expo for my then-new gig
Working at the Chevron Houston Marathon Expo for my then-new gig

They quickly plastered my picture and bio on their website which prompted me to question myself. Who the heck did I think I was working for a company that specialized in online event and club solutions? I was a liberal arts major, for crying out loud, who has thrown her iPhone on more than one occasion out of frustration at not being able to get something to work on it. But, I needed to do something to bring in a little money and to keep from going brain dead, and this job allowed me to work from home at hours mostly of my choosing, so it was a great set up as I completed my chemo treatments and attempted to find my new post-cancer normal.

In the last seven months of working for The Driven, I have asked more questions about how to do something or what something means (tech companies rival education with their jargon) than I did in 15+ years of education. But, I keep stretching and reaching, and I have learned things I never thought I would and done things I never thought I could. I can actually explain what I-framing is and how you might utilize it on a website. Who’d-a-thunk-it? Certainly not me!

Two of my resolutions for my life are to be my own problem-solver and to learn how to do things I don’t really want to do—like work the Apple TV or change a flat tire on my bicycle. These intentions force me to stretch my capacities and remind me that I am smarter, better, and stronger than I give myself credit for being. As I continue to struggle with side effects from treatments long ago ended, I must be both kind to myself and yet not allow myself to back down from challenges. 

I’m going to hold onto “Stretch” as a mantra for yoga and for life. Breathing is important, especially in yoga, but I am going to do that anyway…until I don’t. But stretching ourselves beyond self-imposed limits isn’t involuntary and will make the time that we are gifted on this earth that much sweeter. Namaste.

You can follow the author’s cancer-and-beyond journey here.

An island I swam to not far off the coast of Little Cayman Island during a break between rounds of chemo.
An island I swam to not far off the coast of Little Cayman Island during a break between rounds of chemo.
So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Rebecca Wells

Rebecca Wells is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. In addition to being a mom and a wife, she has been a teacher, instructional coach, and most recently, the dean of instruction at an inner city high school in Houston, Texas. Due to factors surrounding her treatment for stage 3 colorectal cancer, she has traded a career in education to pursue other passions and interests. When she gets all done with chemo, she will return to running, cycling, swimming, yoga and soccer. Rebecca lives in Cypress, a small suburban community just outside of Houston, where there are fields of donkeys and llamas right down the street from the grocery store, and small trailer parks nestled in between subdivisions featuring homes valued at half a million dollars (she doesn’t live in either one!). She shares her home with her husband, daughter, son, and two crazy, crazy dogs.

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex

In: Health, Kids, Motherhood
The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex www.herviewfromhome.com

I currently have four kids in elementary school from kindergarten to fifth grade. My kids have not experienced any sexual abuse (to my knowledge); we have been very careful about any potential porn exposure; we closely monitor their involvement with pop culture through music, movies, books, and even commercials. While we might seem to err on the side of overly sheltering them, what we have also done is be very open with our kids about sex. We have told them the truth when they’ve asked questions. And have they asked some questions! Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been asked...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does

In: Health, Mental Health, Relationships
I Don't Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does www.herviewfromhome.com

I don’t have anxiety but my husband does.  We should have realized this years ago but we missed it. The realization came suddenly and as soon as it popped in my mind, it came out of my mouth. “You have anxiety.” I said. He looked at me trying to determine if I was joking or serious. “I am serious, you have anxiety.” His eyes left mine and found his phone. He picked it up and said, “Hey Siri, give me the definition of anxiety.” As the virtual assistant read off the definition she may as well have been reading my man’s personality...

Keep Reading

This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids

In: Health, Journal, Motherhood
This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids www.herviewfromhome.com

I’ll never forget the time I was standing on a dock in the middle of a lake, casually draining my long hair of water, soaking in the summer heat surrounding me. Little did I know, my right breast had escaped the clutches of my bikini top; it must have popped out when I dove into the cool lake. But because I wasn’t wearing my hearing aids—I can’t wear those babies in the water—I couldn’t hear those back on land who were calling at me to shove it back in. So, there I stood, clueless of the fact that I was...

Keep Reading

Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s

In: Health, Humor
Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s www.herviewfromhome.com

Do you remember that day in the fifth grade when the boys and girls were separated for the “Sexuality and Development” talk? Some nice old lady health teacher came into your room and gave you some straight talk about how the next few years were going to go for you. It was awkward and shocking and you knew your childhood would never be the same. When you hit your mid-thirties, there should be some kind of Part Two to that conversation. All the ladies need to be rounded up, lead into a dimly lit classroom that smells vaguely of pencil...

Keep Reading

How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

In: Health, Journal, Relationships
How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

He walked over to the table I was sitting at with some friends and casually, yet confidently, pulled up a chair. His voice was deep and he had a luring accent that immediately caught my attention. His distinctly cut jawline along his perfectly trimmed beard made him seem older, I thought, than the age I’d soon learn he was. Our paths had crossed before like two ships in the night, forbidding us from ever quite meeting as we did that day . . . eye to eye, energy to energy He chatted with me and our mutual friends for a...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Mom With the Anxious Soul

In: Journal, Mental Health, Motherhood
To the Mom With the Anxious Soul www.herviewfromhome.com

I see you, mama. You’re the one sitting alone at the family party. You’re the one hovering a little too close to your sweet babies at the park. You’re the one standing in the bathroom at work for just a moment of quiet. Your thoughts are swirling constantly, faster and more fearful that a “regular” mama. You find yourself spaced out at times, and hyper aware at others. You’ve heard the words “just relax” and “everything is fine” more times than you care to count. Sometimes you wish you could make everyone understand why you are the way you are...

Keep Reading

I Am My Child’s Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me

In: Baby, Child, Health
I Am My Child's Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me www.herviewfromhome.com

What started out to be a normal Thursday ended with a race to the children’s ER with my six-month-old. I was terrified. My adrenaline was pumping. My baby was struggling to breathe. The day before, he had been diagnosed with RSV. A simple cold to most healthy toddlers and adults turned out to be life threatening to my infant.   Once we were admitted, I knew this was serious. I knew he was in danger. I could sense the concern and urgency in the doctor’s voice. I knew the gravity of that wing of the hospital he was being wheeled...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes www.herviewfromhome.com

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading