Sarah McMurray is one of the sweetest and most loving people I have had the pleasure of meeting. Every time I see her she is full of smiles and genuine care. She is an artist of life and she has a story to tell. At age 31, she is fighting Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. She agreed to let me ask her some questions. Enjoy her delightful responses and join her fight!
KS: What really excites you right now?
SM: Oh goodness, green smoothies with ginger, time in the woods, being with family and friends, a hot shower, lilacs and almond milk spicy chai!!
KS: Do you connect with Spirit (God, Mystery, a Divine Presence, so many words!)? If so, how?
SM:Great Spirit connects most often with me through nature, meditation and art, the poetry of Hafiz and Mary Oliver. Lately Mary Oliver’s poem Wild Geese has really been doing it for me.
KS: What feeds your soul?
SM:Community that is raw, authentic, present and willing to walk through life’s craziest things together! Since my cancer diagnosis, I have been absolutely in awe of the impact community has on my soul. As a highly independent woman, I’m learning to let people do even the most basic things for me and to not only ask for what I need, but to truly recognize it. It’s empowering to know tribe is such a gift to soul. I’m also someone who needs alone time to write and process and time in nature is the other key to my soul’s joy.
KS: You were at one time a food blogger, what did you discover?
SM: I was, I worked for a short time as a food blogger/photographer and recipe creator of organic, gluten-free and often vegan recipes. I loved it! Making nourishing foods and plating them creatively is an excellent ritual in self-care. Not only are you feeding your physical body, but also your creative spirit through the process. Some recipes were total flops, but having a sense of humor when cooking is a good reminder not to take our self too seriously. I’ve always been interested in holistic nutrition and at some point I would still love to study it formally.
KS: You are currently dancing with cancer (this is how I like to think of it). What are you gaining in the realm of self-care thru this experience?
SM: Oh I like that! Dancing with cancer! Honestly, that is a big question. I’m still fairly new to the cancer journey, but some of the things cancer is teaching me are to be truly present to the moment. None of us know how long our lives will be and yet we live as if we have all the time in the world. Being able to say yes to what you truly want in your life and also to say no to things and relationships that drain you is a gift. I’m also learning to lean on my tribe. This has never been something I have been good at. I wanted to present myself as strong, capable and self-sufficient. Asking for help and being vulnerable is scary business, but the tribe wants to help and learning to let them is the most empowering gift of knowing I’m not dancing with cancer alone.
KS: What is your favorite book? What are you reading right now?
SM: Oooh! My favorite book EVER is Kite Strings of the Southern Cross – a travel essay about a woman exploring the tropics by Laurie Gough. Currently my bedside table is stocked with all of Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Cancer books, Hafiz poetry, Beat Cancer with Nutrition, Grumpy Cat (humor is the best medicine).
KS: What is your favorite color? Why?
SM:I go through color phases…right now I’m loving teal and orange together! It reminds me of a tropical island.
KS: I love your style! Please describe it.
SM:I guess I’d call it bohemian-whatever-I-find-that-strikes-my-fancy. Lol. I’m a little bit country and a little global flair. I usually find my favorite things while traveling, or thrifting, so it’s very eclectic.
KS: Who inspires you?
SM:I’m inspired by anyone who loves hard, shares their authentic self with the world and follows their heart.
KS: What are you currently obsessed with? SM:Hand sanitizer. Scarves. My cat. Blogging about my cancer journey. Anything ginger!!
KS: Will you please tell me about your projects?
SM:Well….right now, surviving cancer. But I’m trying to work again – I have the most incredible job right now helping people connect to healthcare and community resources. It feels really lovely to help others with chronic health conditions while I’m dealing with my own journey. I’m also blogging about my journey with cancer at: love-write-be.blogspot.com because I found so few authentic resources for young adult cancer survivors and I wanted to document it so that when someone else goes through this journey they have an idea of what they might experience, and also to give insight to people who don’t have cancer. I had no clue, no experience with it and I know I’m not the only one. Being 31 facing cancer is an unusual beast and I want people to get a glimpse into this crazy adventure.
KS: What can't you live with out?
SM:My family and friends. I’m incredibly blessed with an amazing group of people in my life. Everything else is secondary.