29: How to deal with with life-changing diagnoses. Interview with “Last Cut” founder Samantha Paige
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After faced with one of the scariest diagnoses a person can face, at only 21, Samantha Paige was taken on a journey that forced her to literally strip away layers of herself. After returning from a trip to Italy in her senior year of College, and feeling on top of the world, her doctor found a lump on her thyroid, and shortly thereafter she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It was then, that her life profoundly changed.
Her recovery from cancer was a success, yet the physical and mental trauma she had experienced from this event was stored in the hidden places of her body and mind, and not looked at again until she was forced to. Samantha realized that she had spend a large part of her life running away from the truth within, and not listening to what her body was telling her.
To add to this trauma, Samantha underwent a preventive double mastectomy after the birth of her beautiful daughter because she was told she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation, that in many cases leads to breast and ovarian cancer. She agreed to silicone implants as was the societal norm after this type of surgery at the time, but didn’t know the health implications of having these in her body until years later.
Eight years later, after feeling unwell again, she did the most courageous thing of all. She had her implants removed. Samantha said this was almost an unleashing of all of the truth inside of her in this one decision. She realized she had been saying “yes” to too many things that didn’t serve her. She had already begun the process of reevaluating her life (including her marriage and business), but realized that she had to look fear straight in the face and continue the deep, inner work to find lasting wellness and freedom.
This realization led to her “Last Cut Project:” a multi-media documentary, podcast, book, and speaking engagements, that focus on creating a life that feels like our own. Samantha is not only a survivor but an inspiration not only to those struggling with scary health diagnoses, but for those of us who are living out of alignment with our inner truths.
Samantha has been featured ontoday.comyahoo.com, and people magazine, and has given talks at the Girl Boss Rally, CYCLES+SEX and Get Lit Literati in Los Angeles. She has written for various publications, including Shondaland, PopSugar and The Mighty. Samantha lives with her daughter in Los Angeles, California.
[08:31] . Samantha reflects on the power of the present moment. She also believes our outside world should reflect our inner world.
[11:59] Even though she survived her thyroid cancer she didn’t realize the trauma that had ensued in her inner world until years later.
[18:57] “That moment of action, of significant decision and these last cuts that I talk about-we’re all making those decisions all the time.” Samantha talks about the theme behind her Last Cut Project.
[28:02] Are we saying yes to things we don’t want to do? Think about what we are allowing ourselves to live, and is it always authentic to our inner wisdom?
[31:37] Enacting change and applying the inner work personally can also enact change on a community and universal level.
[35:09] Her commitment to truth? Removing her implants.
[42:08] It could be a lightening bolt moment, or maybe a subtler scenario that excites change in our lives.
[46:31] How can we make decisions to truly enact change in our lives? We have to slow down and get quiet enough to hear our inner voice.