Jane Schwartzberg

Schwartzberg, JaneWife, mother, daughter and friend, Financial Services Professional, Stage 4 Cancer Fighter

Jane was first diagnosed with breast cancer as a newlywed at age 31. She was declared “cured” 10 years later and soon after was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer that is considered treatable but incurable.

Her book Naked Jane Bares All, co-authored with Marcy Tolkoff Levy, is the book she wished she could have read when she got sick a second time.  In it, she shares many of the lessons she has learned from fighting an insidious and powerful disease—with poignancy, humor and humanity.

My personal practice is ….

Being deliciously good to myself which, for me, means tuning out and turning off. It is most often an activity of omission, rather than commission. Shutting down the outside world enables me to recharge and rejuvenate, so that I can be fully present as a parent, wife, community member, professional and medical patient.

I know many people are constantly connected through a variety of electronic devices, but I find it restorative to go to a deep place of quiet and disconnection. Sometimes this includes treating myself to a massage or a one-on-one session with a yoga instructor—but more often it means simply being at home with my husband and kids. My practice may involve our simply snuggling together under a soft blanket, playing a game or reading a book; it may also mean cooking or baking a healthy meal or treat.  Or it could mean some good old-fashioned REM sleep, where I get to check out of Cancerville and consciousness for a bit, and take solace in sweet dreams.

How did you discover your practice?

It evolved. It only became a “practice” when I accepted that it was okay to be supremely kind to myself and not to feel silly about needing so much down time.

Why do you practice?

It brings a peace of mind that I don’t get anywhere else or any other way.  It gives me strength and comfort.

How frequently and for how long do you practice?

Totally depends on the week and what is going on. Typically, I practice on the weekends, and try for at least a good portion of Saturday or Sunday.

What’s something that gets in the way of your practice and how to you move through it?

Activities involving my children are a top priority for me, as well as other family commitments, so if something like that comes up, I’ll be “all in” for the time I’m there, and then go back to nurturing myself as best I can. At times when I’m simply too exhausted to participate, my husband will run lead and I will freely and lovingly allow myself to take a “pass.”

What supports you in staying committed to your practice?

How much clearly better I feel when I am able to get this type of rest and connection to my home. Also, my husband is extremely supportive. He sees the value of rest and rejuvenation and is in favor of anything that enhances my physical and psychological well-being.

What role does your practice play in your work?

Describe someone you know whose practice inspires you.

One of my best friends Toni’s practice.  She is committed to her yoga and meditation practice in a way that completely inspires me—with a real commitment to it. Once every couple of months, I accept her gracious invitation to a weekend at her home, where we practice together how to best quiet our minds and truly rest.

A practice I’d like to explore is…. 

Meditation

Check out more on Jane and her book here.

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