Affirmations

“It’s just Brain Surgery,”…said no one ever…why I chose to WAIT the 3 Phases you need for “right for you” decision making.

My intention of sharing with you today is to communicate my {How To Deal with your “Bad News” phone call}, or as us growing in consciousness folk like to call it, aka the {How To DEAL with your “Wake UP” call} tools. You must receive it, absorb it and move to the place of  healthy decision-making.  Here is how:

My Personal Life Changing Wake up Calls:                                                                                 I will give you the quick back story of my experiences so that you are aware of where this wisdom comes from, the most significant being; the heartbreak of two miscarriages (2003 and 2004), the day I received a four page letter from my husband’s girlfriend (2009), and most recently, the Wake up Call of my LIFE, facing the news of a brain tumor diagnosis (2015).

Weather the cause of the call is family, love or health, on the other side of your pain journey will be the life lesson of it.

It has been my experience that the tools and mindset you use are similar no matter what the reason… what really matters is your ability to surrender and accept the pain and learn what it is here to teach you.

When I received this last “Bad News/Wake Up” phone call I was 41 years old.  A solo parent of 2 kids, divorced for 5 years.  I was happily making my living as a healthy and super fit personal trainer and life coach. I was 6 weeks out from racing a 70.3 Ironman triathlon, an achievement to me that symbolizes that I was making time in my life for what I loved and what was life-giving to me.  I felt great. I felt like I was on my soul’s path of who I chose to be in the world.  I felt like I had been tested, had my deep night of the soul and had come out the other side, better for it.  But unbeknownst to me, my soul’s journey wasn’t done. My confidence and health security all changed the morning I woke up feeling so terrible that I couldn’t walk or drive and before I knew it, a day later, I ended up in a hospital emergency room.

How did I, someone who had studied Health & Fitness my entire life?  end up in the emergency room?  Don’t we all ask ourselves this when we find ourselves in the deep dark scary painful places that we “never thought” we’d be?  The Why Me spin out phase as I affectionately like to call it.  Well, I didn’t know why me, all I knew was that I was there.  And I had to figure out a way to DEAL.

So you got your bad news. .  .  Forget the Why Me…, Now What?

  • You are in shock…Breathe.  Your only job now is to Absorb the news.
  • Sit with yourself and let the emotions come.  Emote, it’s okay to cry, let the tears come, heavy loud sobbing or even ugly cry, completely unleash here. (Hot soaking bath’s are best for this process)
  • Write in a journal.  Brain Dump. Emotion Dump.  In vulnerability.  In Anger. Allow your confusion and emotions to come up and out. Go deep. Go full spectrum. Don’t hold back. Allow the questions of why this, why me? to come up and out as well.
  • Receive and ask for help. Call your friends and family  (the supportive ones). Especially the ones who will bring you healthy and nourishing food to eat, take care of your kids and make you relax and take time to sleep.

Talk about receiving from the ones you love!  The day after I received my “bad news” brain tumor diagnosis phone call, my twin sister was in her car heading toward me.  She dropped her kids off at school and just… kept… driving!!! She drove 2.5 hrs to see me, hug me, cry with me and bring me my favorite foods even though I didn’t “feel” like eating.

I did all these things during the first Phase of my diagnosis.  Absorb, Emote, Write and Receive.

In the receiving and asking for help I called on my power of 5 (the 5 people in my life that I identify each month who are life-giving and supportive to me and my energy).  I did the Facebook post of sharing the news and received all kinds of love, nurturing support and helpful health resources and contacts.  I dove into this research full throttle. In between rests and naps of course.

Phase 1:  I gave myself 30 days at a slow pace.  I focused on the absorbing, allowing of my emotions, writing and receiving.  I cleared everything off my calendar.  Except doctor and pain relief treatment visits and cuddling with my kids.  I prioritized slowing down and seeking rest and comfort. I somehow managed to endure living with a full-blown Migraine for 30 days.   I would wake up in the morning and before I would even open my eyes I felt a jack hammer in my head wreaking havoc.  For four weeks, I went to several acupuncture treatments, Osteopath treatments and Doctor visits.  Finally my Neurologist prescribed me three days of steroids to kick the migraine out of my system so that my poor body would get a break and some much needed relief from all the pain.  Something finally took, and the 30 day migraine finally cleared.  Short relief! Unfortunately, the migraines kept coming back but that is another part of my story for a different day.

Phase 2: Face the question of Now What.                                                                                  So you have your bad news, now what?  Well it’s time to do the research and survey all your options.  With some found relief I could finally face the burning question of, “Now what?”  Let’s get back to the basics we all know and write that PRO/CON list.

Why did I have to write a list?  My bad news phone call meant that I had a Mega decision to make.  Was I going to elect to have Brain Surgery? or was I going to have radiation? or was I just going to decide to manage my symptoms and become a “wait and see” patient.

In my case my brain tumor is benign and slow growth so I had time for treatment options.

The moment my option for brain surgery became a WAIT                                              There I was in a meeting with my Neurosurgeon, 2 friends had driven me there.  I had a migraine so bad I could hardly see straight.  It was an hour into the exam and meeting, I could hardly focus my eyes on her, as she said these words, “Well, your migraines have nothing to do with your tumor, they ARE NOT a symptom of your tumor”…. everything inside me sat up straight and forward in my chair, “Wait !, what?, excuse me?… what did you say? I thought I was scheduling immediate brain surgery so I could have my head back.”…my hopeful heart counting on immediate relief sunk.

“Your migraine is not a symptom of your tumor” she repeated.

I froze.  The room was spinning. There was no way I was going to have brain surgery if it wasn’t going to hold the promise of clearing the migraines. Everything in me knew I needed to get to the root cause of the migraines that were causing me so much pain and disability….FIRST.

So then I entered my Phase 3: which I am still in today!  NO rush people!  Quality of LIFE is my goal!  My goal is to completely heal my brain, body and central nervous system and live to tell about it.  Through my tried and true life decision making process it wasn’t going to be to choose brain surgery that day. Nor is it a yes now, a year and a half later.  But I do revisit this question often.

Phase 3:  Set up your Strategy Plan and allow yourself to revisit in 30, 60 and 90 day increments. Identify your Big Picture End Result and work your way back.

As I say above my Big Picture End Result Goal is to completely heal my brain, body and central nervous system and live to tell about it.  For this goal I have to be patient and in no hurry.  Putting health, solutions and managing symptoms as my priority. I decided and committed to myself that I will take the long way, my declared healing journey, for that is what I have concluded to be my life lesson as to what my health crisis is here to teach me.

The lessons I’ve learned:                           My bad news/wake up call in the form of my brain tumor diagnosis has taught me to slow down.  I have learned to meditate and and practice yoga so my mind, body, heart and spirit have room to Absorb information.  I have learned to allow and experience my Emotions in life.  I am learning to open up my voice, speak up and write.  Lastly, I’ve learned to set aside the ego pride of having to do everything myself.  I’ve learned to stop the push push and sit back, lean back and ask, allow and receive help from the people who show up for me and are in my life.

As a life long athlete I will lastly tell you that while I grieve often that I can not push my body at the duration and intensity that I love, I am still using all those years of endurance Ironman training, using that tenacious mindset…or stubbornness…you can choose what you want to call it, to go after my perfect Health Blueprint.

Yes, of course the thought of brain surgery scares every part of me but I am determined to find out my root cause first.  PAIN is always your body trying to tell you something.  My greatest lesson this past year has been truly to set aside that Ironman attitude of “sucking it up” and “pushing past the pain” and allowing my body to speak.

My current Strategy Plan for my {Health Blueprint} consists of  monitoring myself daily.  Continuing adding and subtracting supplements, foods, routines, that nourish and heal my body, brain and central nervous system

Extreme Self Care routine they call it

  • Food as Medicine and Food for healing
  • Prioritize sleep
  • Manage my stress
  • Checking my tumor for growth status every 6 months
  • Continue researching and praying for a new less invasive surgery for the removal of my tumor…

So in closing.  I hope my strategy tools of absorbing, allowing your emotions, writing and receiving encourage you no matter what your bad news phone call has been.

Sending you Love, Faith and right decision in your healing journey,

Meredith

mkm

If you are facing a health diagnosis and you need support be sure to email me at meredith.mills.lifecoach@gmail.com.  I will send you my resource list.

Brain Tumor Survivor Stats…1 year out

DEC. 3, 2016

So my 1 year update MRI is in….
12mm x 10mm x 6mm – Nov. ’15
12mm x 10mm x 6 mm – Nov. ‘16
This means…. {NO GROWTH}

Now, the question on the table, the question I have been sitting with all week…

DO YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT THE BRAIN TUMOR IS REMOVED? OR WOULD YOU BE SATISFIED KNOWING THE GROWTH IS ARRESTED?…

Well….no growth for a year does mean my tumor is arrested…is that enough?…

This was a tough one with me this week. The problem solver. The goal oriented achiever.
Yes, absolutely with out a doubt I am so so thankful there has been no growth!!
Yet, I did want to see progress!…I had to keep myself from spinning out…another year of this…ugh !!

Am I SATISFIED…well what do you think?
That was a clear… NO!
(I didn’t even have to muscle test that one.)

I spent time this week regrouping and realigning with the BIG Picture.
I traveled thru the lessons, learnings, healing and growth the last 12 months have been about and I get the bigger picture…Just because I “get it” though doesn’t mean it is not hard to face.

My goals now:
– Continue to seek and find answers and the right treatments for my tumor symptoms and pain management.
– Continuing to take good care of myself (adequate exercise and sleep) so I don’t get Physically depleted.
– Continue to increase my ability to FACE this HEAD on. Which means continuing to take action & not give up.
– Continue to nourish my brain and central nervous system with the best supplements and nutrition
– Continue to surround myself with the people who are loving me and supporting me thru this and that with me hold that hope and Vision of a clean MRI and the most optimal health I can achieve with the cards I have been dealt.

Please continue sending your prayers, love and light. Please continue to pray for more healthy painfree days and less migraine days, less hours and even less minutes.

Love and health to ALL of YOU!!
Meredith Mills

mkm

Divorce Recovery 5 years out: Showing up with more love and more forgiveness

Feb. 26, 2017

I had a “Facebook memory” this a.m. and was moved to recognize THIS woman I was 5 years ago!!!
There I was….facing Change, Loss and Transition. In 1 day my life as I knew it changed. Security, Love, Marriage, Trust, Faith, Safe Harbor, Comfort, etc etc was gone.
What did I do?…in that deep valley of pain?…, all I knew was to focus #1 on God and I asked him over and over and over,…in anger, in frustration, in Why Me?, in tears, in fear, on my knees, in weeping, in prayer, in sadness, in disappointment, in loneliness, in weakness…..and the answers kept coming.
The Best thing I did was find myself, find my strength.
I returned to my outer strength of being a Competitive Athlete.
What was life giving to me? I returned to running, biking, swimming. These adventures and workouts made me feel free, strong, and that my whole life was ahead of me and that I could handle “anything” that was coming my way, not that my life was “over”…..It also helped me move thru all the emotions I was experiencing.
So today I celebrate!! Wahoo! Cheers to this Woman I was 5 years ago, on the cliff’s just north of UCSB. Enjoying the beach, the trails, the salt water air, the breathtaking views of the ocean, the sounds of the waves. Soaking it all in. I was also the fittest I’d ever been (2 months out from qualifying for Triathlon World Championships, and 1 month out from PR half marathon 1:35!! beating the PR I set when I was 24!! That felt good to have my body at optimal health and performance.
And to the emotional part, the inner strength that has all continued to be work in progress. After I reclaimed and built up those outer muscles the inner strength has followed. I have continued to spend the last 5 years of realigning myself with God and his plans for my life, working thru relationships that have grown me and challenged me. And of course the health and healing journey!!
Now it is a continued cycle of renewing my faith in my future by being more present then I’ve ever been able to be. Taking time out to meditate, pray and show up FULLY every day, in ALL my relationships with
#forgiveness
#love
The 35 year old version of me was so set on what my life was suppose to be AND I didn’t have the tools to surrender and forgive when that life path, life expectation changed.
The 40+ version of me keeps saying….. build that muscle, build that muscle, build that muscle. AND keep going…..
Showing up with more love, more forgiveness, more love, more forgiveness.
Sending you all much HOPE this morning.
Hugs in the healing journey!!!

Meredith

mkm

{BE} ing Substance

Today I woke up insanely early, 3:03 am to be exact. . .

After checking my phone, yes, yes I know I am not suppose to have my phone under my pillow, or by my night stand or in the bedroom for that matter…but let’s agree to save the “what’s healthy” conversation for later…

So after checking my phone I of course couldn’t go back to sleep. I took a look at my inspiration boards (no, these are not my vision boards, I have those too, but those are in a book. Something about being a private person until something is REAL in my life I don’t want others to see the desires of my heart.) #inspiration
However, is different.
What inspires me, inspires you.
What inspires you, inspires me.
It’s reciprocal.
It’s a life flow.

So my eyes fell on a colored 3×5 card,… and on the top of it is said Character.

At some point I had written:
#sweaty
It took grit to get here and will take grit to keep going
#soulful
Let’s get grounded & go deep
#spiritfilled
Let’s connect above & fill with light
#smart
Let’s read, listen & keep learning
#successful
Let’s celebrate all the wins

All of a sudden I started breathing in and breathing out these.

Hmm, how am I doing on these ?
I reflected.
I closed my eyes and asked myself that again.

Where am I at with these?

Then the word I got was #substance
Aha, to be a woman, or man, of substance…..
-Isn’t it important to define how you show up?
-Isn’t it important to connect with your strengths ?
-Isn’t it important to live out your true core values and what you believe in?

Hmm, yes, yes it is.

Your character grounds you! Your character gives you substance.
So I encourage you today, take inventory of your character, your values and #BE a Woman or Man of substance.

#wordoftheday #substance #character #corevalues #ground #howtoground #define #defineyourself

How to use {Gratitude Tags} to make a major life change decision

October 2014

Are you in touch with what in life makes you your Happiest?  Most people are not.  The statistic is that only 1 in 100 people know what they want.  For me it took facing a career path life change to go deep and get my top 5 answers. What are yours? I found using a Gratitude Tag helped me connect to what I valued most and wanted. Read more to find out about how you can to.

I give you permission today to pause and give yourself some time to ask yourself this question: When are you your Happiest?  Personally, I find this an important decision making direction question when it comes to charting out the course of my life.  Once you’ve answered this question for yourself, and taken it one step further by writing it down you open yourself up to daily connecting to what makes you Happy. Being in touch daily with what makes you happy and come alive also helps facilitate you prioritizing these things. And please don’t stop at just one thing, make your list, first the top 3, then 5 more, keep going until you have 10!

Why is, “What makes you happy?” such a fundamental key soul connection question to ask yourself.  Soul seeking, spirit answering, go deep kind of question?  Personally, I found out this the hard way.  Not prioritizing all my values was a mistake I made for years.  I unconsciously carried a torch that being a competitive athlete; cycling or triathlon training or just great fitness in my own body made me so HAPPY “the rest” didn’t matter.  The other all important life components; like financial security, loving growing relationships, life purpose career path, time for myself were falling by the wayside.  I got lost in the stuck belief that “who was I to have everything I wanted.  Now that has changed.  I finally learned how to “do” life differently. This path, journey and belief system I followed for so many years wasn’t wrong …it was just limited thinking.

Just because you are happy in one area in your life doesn’t mean YOU CAN’T be happy in ALL areas of your life!!  Truth be told, allowing yourself to be happy in just one area  of your life is “settling”.  You don’t have to settle.  You only have one life and it can get good, really good!  How good are you going to let your life get?  You will have to do some work but you don’t have to settle. When you are not in touch with your true Heart’s Desires it is easy to forget this. If you are reading this then ask yourself,  “is this the time in my life for me to take on a new mindset that having it all is possible?  What does having it all it look like to you?  for you?

A year ago, in the Fall of 2013, I was making the decision to become a Life Coach. I was on a weekend get away with my boyfriend; my children’s Father had splurged for a trip to Disneyland so I had splurged for a weekend in one of my favorite, okay #2 favorite, Healing Spots: Solage Resort in Calistoga, CA. ( YES, Santa Barbara being my #1 healing and spiritual place).

The entire weekend I continued to work thru my mental {pros and cons list} of weither or not to commit to a vigorous, challenging and expensive 1 year program,  what kind of changes and sacrifices would this program mean to my already overstuffed busy life?  Again that negative limiting belief, “Who was I to really go for it in my life?”.  Then the universe gave my soul searching heart a gift.  The gift came in the form of brightly colored “Gratitude Trees”.

On that fall weekend get-a-way I woke up and did an early morning run thru downtown.  Just next to Indian Springs Resort (another wonderful place) I found some Gratitude Trees in downtown Calistoga.  The Trees were loaded with bright orange tags. They caught my eye and I re-routed off my course and ran closer to take a look.  As I got closer I realized that these brightly colored tags were full of  other people’s written heart’s desires. Each tree was labeled a theme;

  • past loves
  • what do you want more of
  • what do you want less of
  • what makes your happiest
  • what’s the best decision you ever made

I memorized the themes and ran back to my hotel to think, pray and journal about where I was and what I wanted to say. On the next morning I ran by the gorgeous brightly colored gratitude trees again.  This time I was ready to stop and write my answers down.

In reflecting back, this one, “I’m Happiest When….” meant the most to me.  I believe the power of this question aligns you with your LIFE PURPOSE and brings clarity to what you say “yes” to and what you say “no” to…everyday. Everyday in every moment, in every hour, in every action big or small, loving or not loving.  Don’t you want to be aligned in every step of your life to what you really want?

In October 2013, these were my TOP 5 heart’s desire’s, my own heart and soul offerings that I now continue to connect to and live by,
I’m happiest When:
…I have Love in my Heart
…My Family & Soulmate by My Side
…Money in the Bank
…A lasting influence of Health & Fitness
…A Healthy Body to Run, Bike & Swim

At the time I wrote this tag I was truly connecting to what makes me happiest and what I desired. However, in truth and reality I only had 1 of these 5 things where I wanted them in my life. So when I got back from that weekend I knew I had to take my own Leap of Faith and invest in a life coaching certification program that would support me doing the personal development necessary to investigate and take action to boost myself out of deficit and into the things I valued as important to my life and happiness. What a move.

Taking time to be connected with what makes you Happiest, might seam like everything from too much work… to a waste of time or just plain frustrating, regardless I encourage you to take the necessary steps to connect with what you really want.  In no time at all these things were alive, real and vibrant in my life.  In all my years of coaching since, I’ve never heard anyone not benefit from connecting to their soul or slowing down to ask the right prayerful questions and hear their spirit speak.

I challenge you today to put yourself in touch with what really matters to you.  Close your eyes, breathe in and out deeply and identify it, or borrow my favorite technique,  figure it out during a workout.

I also encourage you to use the idea of the GRATITUDE TREE to make your own Gratitude Tags, after you have done your work, please feel free to leave your favorites below in the comments.  Pick up some brightly colored tags and sharpie pens from your favorite office store or craft store.  Ask your kids or your significant other or friends to write their’s too.

Write it down and you are half way there to your Happiest.

Your partner in the soul-seeking journey!

Meredith

mkm

IMG_1109

I’m happiest when I have love in my heart, my family and soulmate by my side, money in the bank, a lasting influence of health & fitness, a healthy body to bike, run and swim.