08/19/2014 04:40 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Epiphany In All of Us

Unexpected Moment:

Hidden in corner
Over the bend
Luminous objective
Is it hope that will rend?

Oft looking to find it
Confronting despair
Ashamed of doubting
My plight,
my dark lair

Suddenly it happens
That moment in time
Ensconced with the sages
Ancient in rhyme

Not a wind
Not an earthquake
Seems little
A thought

At once
Late Bloomer alive

Light floods
Doors open
Suddenly wise

Simple truth
Cannot fathom
Can't believe - it is there

It's the plan
It's the plea

Doesn't falter
Doesn't crease
Doesn't bend

It's forever
It's never
It is here
Not the end

Preserved for the ages
In moments of gold
Preserved giving story
held dear, feeling bold

"Thank You."
Not enough
The words cannot form
Thank you, a whisper
Nevermore feel forlorn

Mary Alice Peoples


We all hear the existential advice over and over: exist, be mindful, be present. I never disagreed. But it was elusive, whether I tried, whether I looked, whether I explored, whether I willed it or not.

One month prior to being diagnosed with cancer is when I became able to finally feel it. I want to share that. I hope to help. I hope to provide or inspire the spark that may just propel someone into a better place.

The memory is a treasure. It came out of nowhere. I was immersed in one of my favorite creative activities, making dinner. In an instant, deep in my soul, I got it! I am a living being. I am privileged to exist, down to my subatomic particles, I am one with all the other cells and particles in the universe. WE are singing a song and dancing a dance together, always. I am here to participate and enjoy my being, all beings. Suddenly it seemed easy. I felt etherial. I breathed the deepest breath I've ever known, feeling heaviness and oppression fall away while crying happy tears of relief. Almost right away Fear whispered, "Will it leave? Will it pass through like a phantom?"

Yet every day, I awake and joy waits. I am alive! Here is another day, to dance and party with the universe. I don't feel it as tangibly every day as I would like, but it's always there.

If there is any tiny chance that I can remind you of the miracle you are, in your being, I will know that my mission is accomplished.

Here are five things that help me maintain "the spark," and I hope will awaken something in you, too.

1. Upon waking, remember that each second of each day holds the gift and privilege of life.
2. Be determined to discover even the smallest moments of beauty and joy each day. (It's like a treasure hunt!)
3. Don't forget, our bodies deserve a big "thanks!" for providing us with each living breath.
4. Take deep cleansing breaths and pay attention to those initial sensory moments of waking - like the tickle of carpet fibers on toes, aromas wafting up from the kitchen and the quench of that morning sip of water.
5. Take a moment consciously honor the precious souls you will encounter that day.