“How do you do it?” I hear it over and over again. How do you live with a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer and continue to live your life in a positive and productive way? We all have hard things in our lives. All of us. No one has it easy all of the time, but some people do seem to be able to weather the rough water, bumps, obstacles and tough spots better then others. What’s the difference? Sometimes I look at having cancer as trying to learn Tree Pose. In yoga, Tree Pose is when you balance on one foot and lift your other foot and place it somewhere on your opposite leg. As you get stronger and find your center of balance you’re able to place one leg higher, lift your arms higher over your head and find yourself feeling grounded and strong, just like a tree that’s been there forever. The trick is to ground yourself and to not condemn yourself when you loose your balance. If you start to fall you have to let the self-judgement go. The more you talk down at yourself for not finding your balance, the less balanced you’ll be. If you just let it happen, accept where you are that day then you’ll find your center again. It’s curious how this pose can be easier or more difficult from one day to the next. Some days it’s just hard to find that balance, that sense of calm and grounding. Living with a terminal, chronic illness is the same. Some days it’s easy, others it’s hard. There is no magic answer. I have found that the more I choose to be grateful and ground myself in the present moment, the better the day will be. If I’m in pain, I’m tired or I’m frustrated because I’m just not getting everything done that I thought I should be getting done or even wanted to, I need to let it go. Refocus on where I am at and think about what’s good about that very moment. Having gratitude and finding balance isn’t always pretty. Sometimes you just do it because you’ve made a choice to. Somedays I can’t do Tree Pose as well as I used to before cancer. I let that go too. I do the best I can. I forgive myself when I fall and I choose to try again. Sometimes, I let myself stay on the floor for a bit and study where I’m at. Sometimes I pull myself up, other times I have help and a friend reaches out.