Healing

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

How do you tell your child that you have a brain tumor? and not let your own FEAR scare them to death?

I just had a conversation on the way to school this morning with my 10 year old son, Ryder, about Brain Tumor Awareness Week. Yes! It’s this week!
I asked him what he remembered about that day, the day I told him that his Mom had a brain tumor…(he was 8 yo at the time).
“I was surprised, Mom, I wasn’t scared… I was just surprised”…
Ahh…I breathed a deep sigh of relief and thought …“Well done Mama”….
In those first few days of being diagnosed, I confess that I was as emotionally stable “as a piece of furniture from Ikea”…. however, I didn’t want my kids to experience that with me !!! I myself was uncomfortable and having a hard time processing all these emotions.
I wanted them to experience me as they always had; strong, stable, steady, solid. (Of course also happy, healthy, vibrant, playful & fun but those were temporarily on the back burner.)
As their loving Mama, I had always made a point of telling them that I could be counted on no matter what, that I had their backs, and that I would always love them unconditionally, no matter what. Those values were now in question.
There I was swimming in the whirlwind of emotion. Emotion that I needed to experience to figure out my treatment plan and accept, come to terms with and allow what was happening for me. I was feeling it all:
– fear
– grief
– anger
– sadness
– frustration
– pain
I knew I was feeling all these feelings that were triggered by having to face and “deal with” being diagnosed with a life threatening illness or disease. However, I knew I needed a strategy of how to deal with my own personal journey but also be strong for my kids. I wanted to be that good teacher to them, I wanted to weave the vulnerability of honesty and truth, but also faith and strength into the tapestry of our family experience. These small ones in my life were, and always are, like sponges, they absorb everything. I didn’t want them to take on too much nor too little.
On my own, I diligently faced my own perceived loss of health, loss of control, loss of confidence, loss of life as I knew it. I faced being frozen in my tracks. But with them I showed up with borrowed faith, for their benefit and then in turn my benefit as well.
What I remember about that day is I sat down with my kids to intentionally share with them to the level in which they “needed to know”, at the level that would inform them but not overwhelm them. Face to face.  Looking them both into their eyes. I led with “Mom is going to be okay…..Mom is healthy and strong….but…right now I have to see a lot of Doctor’s and get a lot of treatment…I am going to need a lot of rest. No matter what, I love you and I am going to face this thing head on. You have my promise! Nothing is more important in my life than being there for you! It might take a few weeks…it might take a few years before I am back to 100% but know that I will be here for you!!!”
So with Ryder’s words this morning,
“I was surprised, Mom, I wasn’t scared… I was just surprised”…
I am thankful and full of gratitude that all my intentions were honored. Ryder was, and to this day, informed but not overwhelmed. Aware of what I am going thru, along side me in my journey but not scared.
So in my book, choosing to live in Love over FEAR will always be the right answer. I gotta be here for these Kids!! For me! For my life-purpose…after all I more than know that I am just getting started, just getting my feet wet, on this life of service, life purpose path.
In health, In healing and more importantly in great Love,
Meredith
mkm

The Universe Leaves Clues…how fainting at a party was a health clue for me and what meditation questions you can ask your body

{The Universe Leaves Clues}…YES, fainting can be a CLUE

Mar 28, 2017

3 years ago, I was in LA for the weekend at a big coaching event. I was studying to become a Life Coach and the first of four Live training meetings was having it’s evening kick off party.  I’d flown into LA that morning, took a 10 mile run to the Santa Monica pier and back, (yes, my favorite way to do sight-seeing when I travel).  I’d gotten back to my room with plenty of time to meet my roommate, get dressed up and get ready for the glamorous party night.

Little did I know, that what happened about an hour later, was a clue for my own health journey.  

This party night was a blast! There were 200 women signed up for the year long coaching program and as many as possible had come into LA that night.  This party was a kick off for an amazing year of learning, transformation and personal growth.  I was in my element.  Meeting so many like-minded, high-vibrational women for first time; amazing, strong, beautiful, brilliantly smart women, all up to great things in the world, with big hearts and souls ready to serve coaching clients.

BUT what happened for me was about an 1hr into the party, I went from feeling excited, lit up and full of life to all of a sudden I feeling:

-uneasy
-warm
-disoriented

As soon as I felt this way, I quickly excused myself from the group of women I was talking to.

Was it the heels? Was it the champagne? Was it all the excitement of the event? Was it the 10 miles I ran on the beach that afternoon?… something was wrong. I did not feel right.

I started making my way to the door, fresh air, I need fresh air I thought. Panic was overtaking me and my body started getting fuzzy.  The walk across the banquet room felt like the longest slowest walk of my life. Each step was slow motion. I couldn’t get to the door fast enough.

Next thing I knew I grabbed a women’s arm, “I think I am going to faint” I said.  She looked at me bewildered, there were barely seconds for her to respond before I blacked out.  Next thing I knew I was coming to and people were standing and kneeling over me.  My Coach’s husband was asking if I needed water, if I’d eaten anything?  Eventually all the people who had gathered around me and the hotel staff took me outside for fresh air and to help me feel better.

In the moment, it didn’t matter that I experienced that sinking heart disappointed feeling of the party going on without me.  All that mattered was that I was shaken up by the fainting and the overwhelming weakness that I felt in my body. What is wrong?… this is not normal I thought.

Lucky for me, we were staying at the Ritz Carlton and the kind staff wheel-chaired me to my room and brought me room service of chicken noodle soup, tea and seltzer water. They wanted to make sure I rested, was as comfortable as I could possibly be, and even more important, wanted to make sure that I didn’t need any additional medical attention.

Thankfully, my roommate for the weekend, was a fellow Mom, Health and Life Coach.  She wasn’t alarmed.  She was sweet, nurturing and helped take care of me and made sure I rested the rest of the night.

Now, 3 years later, and 15 months into my healing health journey, I look back, and recognize that this fainting episode…was a clue. My health dis-ease was already happening…my job was to slowly stop ignoring the clues, like fainting on this night and start paying attention.

I share this story today to inspire you for a body check in meditation, I know, I know, we are all pushing for great success, our life purpose, making a difference, … but I encourage you today to take some time out, go out into nature, sit on a bench in the sun, sit in a chair in your living room and meditate.

Meditate on what signs your body might be telling you.
– body, is anything wrong?
– body, is anything deficient?
– body, is there anything you need more of?
– body is there anything your body need less of?
– body, where are the places that I could eat better?
– body, where are the times that I could to eat more?
– body, where are the times that I could eat less?
– body, do you need more sleep? more time to relax? more rest?
– body, do you need that annual check up I’ve been too busy to have?

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Ask 1 more question, what one thing could I do in the next hour? What 3 things could I do the rest of the day or week.

I wanted to share this story today as I was reflecting this morning of how amazing it is in our life journeys that before BIG things happen…it has been my experience that I can often look back and see where the Universe has left me clues.  

I am thankful today and always for the Universe and it’s clues. And of course so thankful if we can slow down long enough to get the messages before bigger and harder things happen.

In encouragement, strength and healing.

Meredith

mkm

 

Need to make a BIG life changing relationship decision? Should you stay or should you go?…this is where I started mine.

 

Sorting through the aftermath of a 10 year marriage is not easy…especially if heartbreak, betrayal, and disappointment is involved.

In my case I had a BIG decision to make:  Should I stay? or….Should I go?  This decision was no joke. I had been married for 10 years to my *ideal mate: Christian, Cyclist, Best Friend.  When this event came to light, we had  2 small children together, age 2 and 3.  I couldn’t just leave.  This decision weighed heavy on me.  In my pain I had to think bigger than the moment, I had to borrow belief and faith that was not mine, I had to be strong and unselfish for my kids, for the big picture of their lives, not just selfish or pulling back in my pain. 

So…what did I do?  I TOOK MY TIME. MY SWEET, PRAYERFUL TIME.  And you should too.

I struggled with this Big Life Change decision for weeks, months actually:

  •  I talked when I needed to talk.
  • I prayed when I needed to pray.
  • I journaled when I needed to journal.
  • I cried when I needed to cry.
  • I unraveled when I needed to unravel.
  • I got angry when I needed to get angry.
  • I yelled when I needed to yell.

You name it… I did it.  For the first time in my life I let ALL my emotions out.

My pastor at the time, the one I met with immediately, within 48 hours of “finding out”. You know that “fun” (sarcastic voice being used here) life altering first week where I cried non-stop and wore sunglasses to preschool pickup because I didn’t want anyone to see how puffy and bloodshot my eyes were.  But I knew the truth, anyone looking at me a mile away KNEW something was wrong. I was far from vibrating at my regular “high on life” , “high energy”, “high vitality” friendly and loving vibration.  I was in shock. I was just a functioning shell. All I could do was cry. Hug my sweet kids and cry again.

My pastor gave me these wise words, these words were a resting place for me to explore my options and honor my feelings and choices:

“Don’t make any decisions for 90 days !!! … you are in shock. You do not need to do anything right away.  You have children with this man, he will be in your life forever.  Don’t leave because you are hurt.  He is a man of God. Ask God what is best for you. Take your time.  Take your time until you know what your answer is.  You have this right.”

In my sadness and broken heartedness I put up that boundary.  TIME, I need my time. This is a LIFE CHANGING decision.  I am in no rush.  My husband was.  He wanted to renew our vows.  I couldn’t. I wasn’t there yet. “What do you mean?” I remember saying after a counseling session, “I don’t know if I can even talk to you without throwing up,…how could I possibly renew my vows?!?!… and then, “Forgive you,?.. I’ve never forgiven anyone in my life”…gulp.  Whew. Truth. Truth is not easy. I knew my weaknesses.

So where did I go from there.  I needed to make a decision that was for my higher good, for my children’s higher good but I had zero connection to myself.

Dear SELF…What do you want?…..

I did not know what I wanted.  I am a Mom with 2 small children, running a business out of my home with no childcare, what do you mean want?

Dear SELF…How do you feel?

Feel?… all these feelings I was feeling were not familiar to me. I didn’t know what to do with the amount of judgment seething and anger and resentment flowing thru me. This was unknown territory for me.  Not to mention the inner child who sure had her days of pity party ….”This is not what I signed up for?!?!: I remember saying.

Dear SELF…Who do you want to be?

I don’t know, I am so confused and disappointed, Me BE? Who is this man in front of me?  He is NOT the man I married. The man I married would have “never” done that to me. ..

These questions continued for months.  After 4 months of this level of soul searching I DID decide to leave.

On March 21, 2010, I loaded my kids up for a 2 week vacation, leaving Oregon for some rays of healing sunshine in California where friends and family were waiting for me with open loving arms.  That 2 week “healing vacation” however, slowly evolved into a long-term {Fresh Start} but that is a sharing for another day.

In the meantime, if you too are facing a real life change decision I can not tell you enough to:

Take your TIME.  BE true to YOURSELF.  Honor and cycle thru all your emotions. Take Care of yourself. Surround yourself with people who will love you but not tell you what to do.  When you know, you will know.

In Big Love,

Meredith

mkm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wives, do you want to figure out your part in your husband’s affair? ‘Advice to a Young Wife from an Old Mistress’ ***Book Review

August 2016

Women teaching women how to BE is one great muscle I gained from pursuing and becoming a Life Coach in 2014.

In my opinion Michael Drury‘s book , “Advice to a Young Wife from an Old Mistress” embodies this in it’s sweetest form.  Let me tell you why.  I had the opportunity this past year to look back on my married life (married for 10 years, now divorced for 6).  My ex getting remarried this summer brought on new questions and contemplation for me.

Who I am?  

What quality of love relationships do I have in my life?  

Have I owned my part in the end/deterioration of my Marriage?

In my search for some new learnings and perspectives I found this book.

Drury’s book is a quick pleasing read.  It is just over 100 pages and divided in 5 sections.  While reading this book I first put myself in that place of the Young Wife I was when I was married… before kids, more than a decade and a half ago.  I intentionally connected and agreed if I were to sum up my divorce learnings in one sentence it would be aligned with Drury,… “Women, our first and last requirement is to BE a woman.”  This is what I didn’t know as a young wife, especially a young wife with 2 small children.  As woman who are natural givers and nurturers it is easy to lose ourselves in our marriages and our children.  Living in the masculine energy of do-do-d0 instead of being soft and living or rather slowing down to embody our feminine energy of be-be-be is where the problem lies.  I unfortunately learned the hard way.  A couple years into being a young wife with kids, My Ex on his own soul’s journey took on a mistress.  This horrible experience challenged me to ask “Why? and Why me?” for years.  When a woman loses herself in marriage, loses herself to her children she loses herself to herself.  What I have learned on my own journey is a Woman can come back to and ground into and live into is Drury’s statement: “Be a Woman, a whole person with brain and hands.”

With years of water under the bridge and the sting of betrayal worn off, if I were to honestly grade myself now on what I, a young wife might have gotten “wrong” in those early child bearing years that drove my sweet marriage to decline and end.  It would be this, “Wives too easily identify husbands and even themselves by their functions, but the mechanics of living are not living”.  Yes, my identity was surrendered in those early years. Not out of intention. Definitely out of conditioning of both my own mother and what I defaulted in what I had assumed the duties of what “a good wife” did.

So dear woman, let’s work on ourselves, work on our relationships. So we pursue real and vibrant Living.  Manage your time, energy and growth in yourself, relationships and work.

I know 6 years later after suffering the trauma and the wound of a marriage partnership ended, I have been able to see many gifts of where thru the pain of perceived loss where my true self and being were actually found. I know with out a doubt that I am a much greater Woman after going thru broken to get to the other side of recharge, rebuild, rebirth.

What was my greatest lesson?  I have bared the fruit of self actualization – that ability to grow with love.  The wisest teaching of this mistress – “know how to be loved”.  That is what divorce has taught me. “If there is a secret to being loved it lies in not having to have it”.   I have to come to this place these last six years in pursing myself and my love relationships I get this Freedom.  Loving with open hands and loving as if you don’t have to have it.  Loving and letting go.

And a final favorite quote from this book, “We belong to ourselves.  We are all required at last to accept full responsibility for our own events and conditions”.  Just think… if all of us could step into this level of adult responsibility, soul level maturity for a moment, how amazing would we be able to let our relationships, our lives, our homes, our communities to be.

In finally summer, I agree, in the past 6 years of divorce my greatest blessing has been the self actualization of my own desires, my own person, my own identity.  The riches of our relationships stem from how we {Become} whole people ….loving……whole people.

In love, lessons learned and true growth

Meredith

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

Even Health Coaches get Sick…What 5 things I did when I got a brain tumor diagnosis

MiamiBeachrun

It’s January 2016.

I am running a new path today.  A path of healing.  After 2 month’s “off” of coaching and working out I am so grateful and happy to be moving my body again.  And when I say grateful I mean the deep down happy, soul level, happy to be back at life… grateful.

It all started in late October 2015, I woke up with flu symptoms that turned into days and days then weeks and weeks of life stopping migraines.  Worse yet, occipital migraines which means my eyes couldn’t focus long enough for me to drive, let alone work, run or bike.  Even reading or watching a movie was a stretch. I resolved myself to “listen” to movies.   From the minute I woke up to the minute I went to bed I had what felt like a jack hammer echoing in my head.  Overnight, this busy go-go-go Health and Life Coach, triathlete and solo parenting Mom of 2 was couch bound for weeks and life as I knew it was put on “hold”, complete standstill  for 2 months.

WHAT did I do?……Right away I did 5 things when I got my diagnosis.  First things first, I immediately went inward for healing.  I increased my long time morning practice of journaling time and added meditation time.  I came away from the ambulance ride, the ER visit, the pain killer medications and MRI results and turned to my holistic healers (acupuncture, osteopathic physician, essential oils, and energy chakra and sound therapy healers).  I was determined not to be medicated and use nutrition to heal me.  Please know that I didn’t find all the help I needed overnight it was a day by day, even hour by hour process.  If you are facing a life threatening illness you must be patient.

I had a SIMPLE GOAL.  Each day I just set out with a strong desire to live without massive pain radiating from my head to the rest of my body.  I had a strong manta in my heart of, “I will change and do anything and everything to heal.”  To heal, I started with baby steps. I wanted to reduce 24 hrs of migraine pain, to less 2 hours here and less 2 hours there…each day.  “I just want to be migraine free” I kept saying.   I also had family, friends, colleagues, clients and acquaintances pray for me when I got discouraged or overwhelmed with the questions of why me? and why now?  I also took my family and friend’s up on their offers to help with my kids, groceries and meals.  Both were hard.  Sitting still was a task I had no developed muscle all on its own.  And asking for help?!?! that was foraging new territory.

I have a good track record.  You know the one where I tell you I’ve been here before and I’ve squeezed the lemons into lemonade.  This season was different.  It took me. It knocked the wind out of me.  I had to be still.  I had to suffer pain and discomfort on the physical level, not just the emotional.  I couldn’t think.  I couldn’t use my head.  I couldn’t use my body.  I couldn’t “brain override” the challenge in front of me.  All the buzz about meditation and why we need to do it…is true!  I had to just empty my thoughts, all of them, as if my head was a 3 story house with overstuffed rooms and all the rooms had to be moved out.  My body was out of balance and demanding attention.  I had to sit still and do the work to empty out each room.  Item by item.  Discard. Purge. Clear.  And look again. 

I was determined to get my brain quieted, migraines to cease, back to working out, back to driving and back to real life.  I wanted to be off pain killers and off anxiety medicine.  I wanted to be “back to normal”.

I understand this is a great undertaking.  This is a journey.  My 2016 healing journey.  This brain tumor diagnosis, is here to teach me more than what I know right now.  For this  I am and will be grateful.

My question for you today is,  “How do you handle yourself when life stops you in your tracks? “ How do you move when you get stuck?

My key learning in all this, or reminder, was a coach who reminded me that I am the “Keeper of my own flame”.   By going inward I found my flame for life. From there I am daily led to find the help I need.  What have you done lately to keep your own flame alive?  The soul flame inside you?  This health challenge season will be rich in lessons for me, if I allow it….will you let what you are struggling with expand, open and teach you?

Sending you Love and Health in your healing journey,

Meredith 

mKm