My name is Maimah Karmo. Nine years ago, something happened to me that ripped my life apart. I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. I had a beautiful 3-year old daughter and my entire life in front of me – or so I thought. With those words, “you have breast cancer”, everything I knew ceased to exist anymore. The world as I knew it was a different reality. I had to learn fast. I had to adapt. I had to figure it all out – I had everything to lose – including my life. While undergoing my second round of chemotherapy, one night, I made a promise to God to give him my life in service. Next morning, my entire life was different, and Tigerlily Foundation was born. Although I was still sick, I felt stronger than I ever had; bolder than I’d ever felt and most of all, I felt a fearlessness about life I’d never known.
I realized that my cancer wasn’t just about my body and the awful cells that threatened to destroy it. Cancer starts to permeate our lives long before we even know it exists. It can affect our minds at youth, it permeates unhealthy relationships, it keeps us in jobs that make us miserable, it keeps us in unhealthy battles with food, weight and body image. Life cancer can take away your peace and infiltrates your life, so that you are no longer the confident, strong, fearless individual that was born into the world. So many people are afraid of cancer – as I was and to an extent still am at times; but the thing that I fear most is not living and merely existing. That is a sure and slow death. So, the morning my life changed, I made a vow to live as loudly as possible. I would jump into the things that made me afraid, I would risk everything to feel, to live and to love. Most of all, I would be fully present in life and give of myself so that others may have the incredible joy I feel every day of my life.
I also realized that we all experience challenges in life, and what breast cancer did to me was break me wide open, and forced me to really see myself for the first time. As I re-assembled my life, I realized that I had to create it and live it on my own terms. I wanted to live a life of “bliss”, but I didn’t know what that meant. Was it skipping in the fields, pretending everything was okay or was it really learning to see, love, feel, like and embrace the flow of life – exactly as it was, and then gently and gracefully change the parts that didn’t serve my life’s purpose. That’s where Bliss Magazine came in. I met thousands of people who lived their lives blindly – people who life “happened” to and some who were living a truly purposeful life. So, I thought, what if we all took this journey of self discovery, self un-peeling and practicing radical self love? What would that look like. So, with this quarterly publication, we bring you powerful stories on the resilience of the human spirit. You’ll meet people who are creating new paradigms and shifting how we think and live. Thanks for joining us on this journey into Bliss!
Much love always,