Life Transition

“Forgive them even if they are not sorry”… a valuable life lesson to learn

Are you in Pain?  Take yourself on a Forgiveness Retreat. I did.

It was August 2010, I was on a church weekend Forgiveness Retreat.   I had heard about the retreat a couple weeks before and knew immediately, with every cell of my body, a 100% yes !, that I needed to get myself there.  No matter what favors or babysitting I had to call in, my heart and soul knew I needed some deep level healing.  I may not have been ready to heal just yet, I was still licking my wounds. I was more at a place where I was trying to practice deep breathing between emotional roller-coaster outbreaks of “Why me?” and “What next?”.

So there I was, at this forgiveness retreat, not having any idea what to expect.  I was new to the divorce journey and I hadn’t quite found my allies of support just yet.  I was too busy processing the pain and trying to accept this new life for myself. On top of this pain distraction I had just moved back home to the bay area and was attending a church I hadn’t gone to since I was in High School.  I was still in a no man’s land, somewhere in between the life I was leading before the “life change” happened and the space in between where I didn’t know quite who to trust, talk to and where to receive support. I was a little lost.  And as a woman who had always prided herself on knowing what she wanted and where she was going this was hard for me.

I walked into the main hall of the retreat center and it was dark and uninviting. I was early. I was the first one there.  Great, this is going to be a long weekend, I thought to myself. Can I still return to my car and take off before anyone see’s me?  Apparently my spirit wanted me to get over myself and be there for healing but my broken heart, overwhelmed mind and distrusting body wasn’t quite on board yet.

Me? somewhere early, that never happens.  Usually I’m squeezing in a workout or an errand and walking in just in time.  But that day I was there early because I was scared.  I was out of my comfort zone but I was also eager to do something different in my recovery.  It had been more than 6 months since I’d started my divorce journey and I wasn’t in a good place yet. Before I had the chance to dart to the door a woman called out to me.  It was the pastor leading the retreat.

There was another reason I was there early.   Before the retreat we could book special prayer time with the pastor throughout the weekend. I nabbed the first spot.  I wanted to be able to tell the pastor if I was crying uncontrollable that I was fine.  I didn’t want the group to worry about me or hold up the itinerary of the workshop.  I wanted her to know my story before the weekend began. It was my tendency to hide, overlook my own needs and take care of others needs before my own.  Not this time. I wanted to heal.  I wanted to have accountability with the pastor who was leading the retreat.  I wanted to have a “deal” that this time I was going to break some of my life long patterns that I was beginning to identify. I didn’t want my life to ever be in this magnitude of depletion, turmoil, loss and grief ever again.  It was too painful.  To great of a loss.

After we met, the pastor walked me outside to a garden spot.  As we sat there overlooking a Mountain view, she told me a little about her story and how she came about to leading the retreat.  I then began to open up to her and share with her my story.

Healing takes admitting you are in PAIN

Why did this retreat call to me? Why am I here?  It had been more than 6 months since my life and marriage relationship had forever changed and I needed more then the weekly counseling sessions and the books I was reading. I needed to find a way to integrate forgiveness into my unraveling marriage relationship or the pain was going to get the best of me.  I wasn’t a fan of forgiveness but I needed to do things differently. I wanted to stop crying.  I wanted to be happy again.

I told the pastor I was going through a separation process with my Husband of 10 years.  We had 2 small children together, age 3 and 4 1/2.  Our separation was a complete surprise to me.  To say the rug was pulled out from under me was an understatement. I never saw our abrupt and painful ending coming.  (Well at that point I was oblivious, I was busy with 2 small children and running a fitness business from my home.  Later as I did more work I did see more pieces of the puzzle I was able to see later, but that is a sharing for another day.)

Even though I wasn’t a fan of forgiveness I instinctively knew that I needed to get my bearings on who I was and what I wanted so that I could make some real life decisions.  Life decisions that would forever impact my family as I knew it.  I didn’t know much about the journey I was on but I did know that I didn’t want to make any decisions out of hurt, anger or fear… I wanted to at least make my important life changing decisions from a neutral place.

Forgiveness work only works if you actually want to set the intention to forgive someone.  I wasn’t there yet. And that was okay.  I was still so resentful to my husband I knew I needed to clear that before I could do the next layers.   Honestly, I had enough self-awareness that I was there that weekend with the intention of hearing people talk about forgiveness not actually ready to take it on the practice for myself. Not yet.

Since that weekend, I have learned again and again, that my soul came here to learn a life lesson. A Life lesson of practicing “FORGIVENESS”…. Note to self, please choose a life lesson a little less traumatic next time, please !?… Thank you.

So in the energy of teaching what we most want to learn…I need to flex my muscle a little and tell you the truth…on that weekend “forgiveness retreat” my wise pastor who heard my story… took a deep knowing breathe and said:

Build your Forgiveness MUSCLE

“Meredith, that’s a lot of forgiveness you will need to access to come through this to the other side.  I know you have the courage and the strength to do this but it is going to take work and a lot of time on your part.  You are an athlete, think of forgiveness as a muscle, this weekend, is only 48 hour container, this forgiveness with your husband is too much to accomplished in such little amount of time.  Let’s think of something small, small disappointments, small betrayals, small heartbreaks…that you can practice working on in the meantime, this way you can build some muscle this weekend and you can keep going when you are ready.”

This pastor was speaking in terms I could understand.  I could practice the way a beginner runner would run a 5k, then work her/his way up to a 10k, then a half-marathon and so on.  Taking each mile a couple blocks or laps around a track at a time.   No runner would just do a Marathon without a lot of work, time and planning.  So neither was I going to forgive my husband overnight in a short weekend.

With this advice I could breathe a little deeper. Or actually start breathing. I think in all the shock and trauma and upheaval in the months leading up to this retreat. I don’t think I had been doing much breathing. Sobbing yes…breathing and surrendering into the process, No!  Accepting it was going to be a long, very long process. No, definitely not.

The Weekend retreat started.  The retreat was full of exercises, ceremony, music, quiet time and prayers.  If you are a place that you too need to admit your pain, try this exercise below. If you are also feeling blocked of giving and receiving love freely in your life also try this exercise, it will help unblock you:

Forgiveness Exercise, start your List:

Step 1) Take out a piece of paper and answer the following questions. Write down names and as many details and emotions that come to the surface for you. Be open, vulnerable and allowing:

Who has hurt you?

Who has told you, that you couldn’t BE something you wanted to BE?

Who has told you, that you couldn’t DO something you wanted to DO?

Who has told you No?

Step 2)  Go back and rank the level of forgiveness on a scale of 1-10 how painful it is to forgive that person.  Work on your lowest levels first, then work your way up this way you will build up your forgiveness muscles and take the time that you need.

Step 3) Keep this list. Meditate daily on this list. Sit with the name, or names. Be in a posture of sending love and forgiveness to the person. Give yourself Grace for as long as this takes.  Keep asking for help and support from those who have walked the forgiveness road too.  Admit that that your journey is hard, then breathe and keep going.

 

More inspiration from the retreat.

Over this weekend I also heard these powerful releasing words,

“Forgive them, even if they are not sorry”

Did that ever take my breathe away.  These words shook me up.  Up until that time all my conditioning had been, that I could forgive someone if they said they were sorry and said the right thing.  Childhood flashbacks of my 2 sisters and I fighting and our parents demanding us to face each other with eye contact, through tears and say we were sorry.

To be honest, my ex-husband did tell me he was sorry over and over again.  In fact, he wrote me over 100 love letters…but I had gone to a place of unforgiving. Trauma and pain will do that to you.   I remember reading his letters and even wanting to hear specific certain words from him.  Nothing was acceptable.  I now know that was my heart had hardened and closed in pain.

The Healing Journey

In my divorce journey I have learned a new ability to strive towards recognize the pain, staying open in the pain and showing up in and with LOVE anyway. This is so tough to learn and can only be learned by practice.  Yes, and in my experience the Universe will send you those exact relationships to practice your needed skills if you need them.  But I promise you, the more I have practiced, the stronger my forgiveness muscles, the more freedom and love I have been able to enjoy in my relationships.

In closing, if you are working on forgiveness muscles I want to leave you with another quote that I have served me in prayer, meditation and journal time in breakthroughs to deeper and deeper forgiveness:

“You can have a grievance or you can have a miracle but you can not have both”  Marianne Williamson.

Some forgiveness mantra’s that have helped me:

“The success of my Relationship is always in my Hands”

“Freedom is a choice. Not something that happens to US”

“I am giving and receiving profound Love”

 

It’s been 8 years since I first started this forgiveness journey, divorce journey, healing journey and I am still going.  And that is okay!  Each person I meet on this journey leads me to a deeper understanding of myself and a lighter perspective of true Freedom.

Yours in Love, Big Love, the kind of love that loves through the pain, sitting in a body with deep healing.

Yours in the healing journey!

Meredith K. Mills

If you are finding yourself facing the need to forgive someone, in pain and struggling through it. You are not alone.  Please contact me through MeredithMillsCoaching.com. I’d be happy to support you on your Life Change and healing journey.  I’ve been there and I can help support you to get to the other side.

 

How I Manifested my Dream House

It’s move in day and you could JUST pinch me !!!

In my line of work as a life coach I live and breath intention, vision boards and manifesting…however, manifesting this Dream HOUSE, for ME and my children, in the ease and timeliness that it was found and came to me still has me over the moon excited and just blown away in a miracle of JOY.  Read on below to find out more.

 

It was June, I received a notice that made me think.

Less than 90 days ago…. I received a letter from my daughter’s school for residency.  It had been less than a year since I had left my previous live-in boyfriend. (That conscious uncoupling break up is a story for sharing on another day!)  The need to prove where I lived brought up the question in me, is this the right place? Is this where my kids and I need to be right now? Maybe it was time to consider change? Perhaps I needed a new plan. But, what was that plan??  I wasn’t sure.

I folded up the school letter, tucked it into my “to work on” file and jumped on a plane to LA. I’d had a business trip planned for months and I wanted to focus on my re-entry to working full time as a coach again. I didn’t want to be distracted off course thinking about a move.   Ahh, I don’t have to worry about this now I thought, as I headed to LA.  Of course the question kept looping in my head prodding at my attempt to travel in peace. In response I thought, no no, I can do this, I can stay in California another year, my current situation isn’t ideal,.. but enough of it is “okay”.  After all I need to just keep doing what I’d been doing, focusing 100% on regaining my optimal health. Please, I can’t think about a move right now.  I am comfortable…Ugh. I said that word. Comfortable. eek. That’s not my word. That thought left me unsettled but I still tuned out the need to think about a move just yet.

When your friends become examples…

Fast forward 6 weeks later.  I received another nudge. My dear and close friend, Erin,  who just so happened left Oregon the same year I left Oregon was leaving the Bay Area.  Her and her husband and their 3 girls had packed up and left for Idaho.  We met for a farewell walk on the beach and a nice goodbye dinner. In our lengthy conversation we agreed how hard it is as Mom’s, athletes and trainers to really make a living and afford a house in the increasingly expensive and overpopulated Bay Area.

It made me think again of the statistic of how only 10% of people KNOW what they really want….well Erin and I sure have known for a long while what we wanted. Fitness, happy family life and successful businesses.

Well I came home from that goodbye beach walk and dinner and thought about it.  It’d been a while since I thought about the Big Picture.  So much had changed in my life since fighting a brain tumor the last 2 years.  I’d been so focused on getting a clean MRI reading, living less migraine days and keeping on top of medical bills…. “Mere” Erin’s voice echoed,  “you gotta think about more then just paying the medical bills”. Oh yah, I thought, there is more to life then this !!  Oh yah,… who was I before I got sick??  What was I dreaming about? I had gone back to survival mode, otherwise known as settling or playing small.  *Note to self, time to start the dream intentions again.  Then dream bigger. Stop with the small stuff or the settling. Obviously I’d gotten off course a bit.

Life Coaching Exercise for Manifesting

The next morning in my meditative, writing time, I turned to a life coaching exercise.

  1.  I took out a sheet of blank copy paper.
  2.  On the top I wrote: “If I had a million dollars… I would ________________”.
  3.  I closed my eyes and thought.

The Answer I got:

Move to Eugene and buy my Ex-Father in Law’s House

Oh!….

With this exercise you utilize the notion that  you act {AS IF}.  As soon as you act {AS IF} your true hearts dreams and desires can get through.   Without blocks, limits, or excuses  in the way your clarity can come.

What blocks, limits or excuses you ask?  Come on, you know them; the resistance loops of “I don’t have the time”

“I don’t have the money”

“I don’t have the energy”

“I don’t have the time, money or the energy”…

Delete those.  Step into and focus on living in the possibility of what it could be for you.

 

Back to the Answer I got:  Move to Eugene and buy my Ex-Father in Law’s House

 

I got my answer, now what..

Well it was July and it just so happened that for a year and a half I had heard through my Ex that his Father was about to sell his house. Why did this matter?

For years I had loved this house. In my married days I’d spent many holidays and bbq’s there.  I looked at pictures of this house that called to me and lit up my heart’s desires.  I made a list of what spoke to me about this house and why I loved it.

Here is the list:

  • I loved the windows
  • I loved the wood work
  • I loved the huge kitchen with a gas stove
  • I loved the decks to enjoy the outside (there were 3)
  • I loved the gorgeous well kept landscaped garden
  • I loved the various trees that surrounded the property
  • it was in Eugene, close to my EX so my kids could see their Dad more
  • it was in Eugene, which meant I could get a much needed break from the go go go of city life

With manifesting, you recognize your heart’s desire and you repeatedly say “I desire THIS… or something better” and so I did this.   I completed this exercise and did the mantra. I spent time meditating on my heart’s desire and why (both in the morning 5-10 minutes and in the evenings 5-10 minutes before I went to bed). I pictured the house.  I saw myself in the house. I saw my kids in the house. I envisioned the friends, clients and gatherings I’d have in the house. I set my intention of a place that would be a sacred quiet sanctuary to recharge myself and raise my kids.

I focused on this house for a couple of weeks.  Talked to my ex about buying it.  Worked out what it would look like in my personal life and my business life, with my kids and my schedule to actually uproot from California and trek back up to Oregon, re-root and make Eugene, home base again. I saw the plan unfolding and the steps it would take to make it all happen.

Then an amazing thing happened.  The door Closed.

I didn’t get my Father-in-law’s house. The one on my vision board. The house went on the market and it went to someone else.  HUMPH!  Now what?  I didn’t miss a beat. Seriously! Not even a moment.

Apparently, I was completely in alignment with the idea of “this or something better”.  Hmm, this door has closed. I stayed in high energy, I stayed in curiosity. I didn’t abandon my hopes and dreams for this gorgeous sanctuary house. I had touched into what I desired and I wasn’t shaken by the change of events.

“Ok, Universe,” I said,  “what do you have in mind for me and my children now?”  Being on board with Gabby Bernstein and her well versed book and mantra “the universe has my back” I didn’t lose hope for even a moment.

I jumped right into,  “Ok, what else could it be? what else could it be? what else could it be?”

By the next morning after hearing the news of losing out on the house, I started in on plan B, for me it was a start of looking for rentals.  A couple days of this went by.  I made a little list: South Eugene, a place with hard wood floors, a big kitchen to cook in.  I sent out a couple emails even did a “wanted” posting.  Waiting and staying in action in full 100% anticipation that the right house was out there for me and my children.  I kept thinking in curiosity of what was “better” than the house on my vision board.

On about the 4th day, I set out to look and I took time to meditate before I went on the computer.  Up until that day I’d been jumping online as soon as I woke up looking for what had posted since the night before.  Reminder, *Note to self keep that first 30 minutes every day clear for meditative thought or writing … the phone, the computer full of messages, facebook updates or instagrams can wait. ! Life is a lot easier if you lead it and not just start your day in a reactive state.

“look for 2 bedrooms“…. I heard. 

Boom, I jumped on my computer and reduced my search criteria to 2 bedrooms (I have 2 kids, a boy and a girl, of course I’d been looking for 3 bedrooms, why would I look for 2?).  The first thing that popped up was this gorgeous dream house.  I circled through the pictures. My heart racing that sweet pleasure pulse of excitement. This is it!!  I felt.  Exactly what I wanted. I didn’t even have to look at my previous list. I knew it had everything I had loved about my Ex-Father in law’s house and more…

  • lots of windows
  • gorgeous wood work
  • a huge kitchen with a gas stove
  • decks to enjoy the outside (there were 3)
  • gorgeous well kept landscaped gardens
  • trees surrounding the property
  • located in Eugene, close to my EX so my kids could see their Dad more
  • located in Eugene, which means I could get a break from city life

Even better than, and more fitting to what I had originally had had my heart set on.  Wow.  This manifestation of my heart’s desire had truly taken REAL LIFE FORM.  What an awesome miracle and blessing.  This house even had extra’s.  A view of the sunset. It was tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac.  It was in South Eugene, close to the running trails.  The house also has a meditative rose garden with a fountain. In addition to a fountain in the front yard that I could look at and hear while in the kitchen. Oh, I could go on and on. What a complete dream.   Thank you! Thank you! Thank you Universe I have said over and over.

So please, I share this miracle story with you to encourage you that you too can manifest your heart’s desire.

Move past the excuses of not having the time… the money… the energy or all three!!  And just sit with what you really desire, {AS IF} you already had complete access to what it took to get it.

Trust me I share this to remind you that I know how hard it is to Dream Big, when you’ve gone thru a trauma, disappointment, heartbreak, illness, etc of any kind. It’s hard to dream big when you have defaulted to survivor mode.  If you are there, please don’t hesitate to schedule a call with me.  There is something about really accessing what you really want, beyond your limited thinking, beyond where you can’t see past yourself to that bigger picture. That bigger picture that is waiting for you.

If you told me 90 days ago that I’d be moving into this gorgeous dream house on Sept 1, I would have FREAKED OUT!!  No way I would have told you!  How could that happen? But it DID !

Thank you for reading! Here’s to not forgetting your power !

In all love and gratitude.

Meredith K. Mills

Please message me at meredith.mills.lifecoach@gmail.com to share your dreams and manifesting miracles with me.  To your great success and happiness.

 

 

 

 

Your past is never where you think you left it; my own strength in grief decision to MOVE Back to Oregon

MY past…

Last week my ex and I announced to our two children that there was going to be Big Change in our family.  Seven years ago I left Eugene, Oregon for California.  Now I am moving back and I want to tell you why. The picture above was taken the summer before I left.  My version of this picture was that we were a young happy family.

For family: My husband (at the time) and I loved each other, were best friends, and had two beautiful children, Ryder was 18 months, Carleigh had just turned three.  My heart was full.

For fitness: My husband and I had just completed a 50k the day before; my version of bonding and proving we could still be fit and healthy even while having two young children in tow.

For work: I was achieving my desire to stay home with my two small children and work, I had a thriving boot camp fitness business that I loved and that was successfully serving a tribe of awesome Moms, let alone me and my two children.

Two sides of ever story…

However, I don’t have to tell you that there is ALWAYS two sides of every story/photo; what is seen and what is not seen.  A year later I was to come to find out that my ex had internal work and personal struggles going on that he wasn’t sharing.  Matters of importance for his own soul’s journey, that to be honest, I was too young, naive and rigid to understand. In my own journey I am happy to say I have learned a whole new lens of compassion and forgiveness since then that I did not have access to back then, thus my big move to California. Things were much more involved but in short I will say that I believe that it is only my job to be an expert of my own journey.   I do not have to do my spouse’s (partner, significant other’s) work for them. I can choose to show up, choose to love, choose strength in grief, choose compassion and forgiveness, in every moment. But their work is… theirs!  Just like I would never do my children’s homework for them.

 

Seven years ago my choice was to leave….

The Course in Miracles, says regarding relationships,

“Sometimes the Lesson is to stay, sometimes the lesson is to leave”… 

Where was I seven years ago? To be honest if I remember back then or reread my journal entries, I wasn’t a 100% sure at any moment. I daily, hourly went back and forth on what I felt and thought was best for my heart, my soul and my spirit’s recovery and ultimately what was best for my kids.  I was hurt enough that I longed to find my own deep well of peace and happiness so I could be “the best Mom”, which included being healthy (emotionally, physically and mentally) for them.

When the Universe intervened on my good intentions: I tried to go back to Oregon three months in, but I got in a car accident….

That first summer I did try to go back to Oregon.  It was my daughter’s 5th Birthday.  I had been in California for over three months. I had promised my ex that I would come home from California to celebrate her Birthday as a family.  This is quite a story of it’s own but I will save the details of that story for a sharing on another day.  In short, I had never been in an accident my entire life, thanks to superior fast reaction bike skills. My car lost two tires and had to be towed back to the Bay Area. Don’t worry, no one was hurt!!  It just took three weeks for my car to be fixed, long enough for me to imagine starting a new life in California.

Back to NOW…a quick recap of the last seven years.

For five years I was 100% focused on building, creating and enjoying my life in California. I had set the intention early on to make my separation and divorce “the best thing that ever happened to me”.

For family:  I loved that my children were going to the same elementary school that I had attended and seeing their Grandparents everyday and cousins at least one time a month.

For fitness: I happily trained and raced 70.3 Ironman’s, with an amazing fast bike team, a great track group and daily access to miles of challenging trails and a state of the art swimming pool where I worked. I was in triathlete heaven.

For work: I was thrilled with my full time job at a country club. Personal training, teaching TRX classes before and after work hours and doing the books, billing and payroll for the club during the “off-peak” afternoon hours.

In any moment if you had asked me then how I was, I would have told you that I felt I was doing exactly what I wanted to do and that I was soul happy.  I never thought anything would change.  I even said quite a few times that I would never leave California. (Psst…word from the wise, never say never).  I often told people divorce was the best thing that happened to me because I could live where I felt Alive, Inspired and Content.  That I was thankful and grateful and I had a new lease on life.

But a funny thing happens when you think you have everything you want….I started getting nudges to think about how else my life could look like. The idea of moving back to Oregon routinely made its way into my meditations and journal entries.  I found myself thinking about moving back several times throughout the year.  Yes, especially when I had to endure long summers without my kids or holidays without them.  There were quite a few times in the last three years where I’d “try on” the idea of moving then convince myself I wasn’t ready yet.

“If you wait until you are ready you will be waiting the rest of your life”…

So there is a difference between being “ready” and timing.  As the years have gone by, and especially the last two years as I’ve been fighting my own health challenge of dealing with a benign brain tumor, I was slowly becoming more and more open to the idea of moving back to Oregon. However, each time I’d visit this idea, and explore what it would be like, not enough things were aligning in my thoughts, mindset and emotions, relationships, business and finances so I’d quickly put the idea back on the shelf again.

This last year, however, things changed.  One event after another door’s kept closing abruptly and significantly.   My heart kept longing for something new.  You know that feeling when places, people or thing’s that once held allure, excitement and joy for you all of a sudden are not holding your attention anymore? Yes, that was what I’ve been feeling.  Just a growing nag of “this isn’t it”.

The final decision…

I was in my Doctor’s office this summer. Reviewing how my health was. She asked me on a scale of 1-10 what was my stress level?

“20” I chirped, with no hesitation

We both just looked at each other. I took a deep sigh.  Yes. I need to change this.  It’s time. I breathed into this deeper and deeper. It’s time. In that Doc’s office I declared my need  physically to step off the “hamster wheel” of living in the city, being a single Mom 24/7 thru the school year.  It’s time for some more quiet.  A whole lot of it.  This time it is my brain that needs the healing.  My heart now wants my kids to have more time with their Dad before they are out of the house, and especially this golden time where what their parents say, think and do is as important as their peers think.  ha ha I know, I know, with my daughter who has now turned 12 and is heading into 7th grade this fall I am well aware , that this clock is ticking LOUD and fast.  And my son who is 10 now, to have more father son time with his Dad, the timing could not be more perfect.  My mama heart is happy.

So the time is here.  To take a deep breath and make this all happen.  The minute I said Yes and truly chose this new journey for my children and I.  Doors started opening. Flying open!!  My ex and I had long conversations about what it would look like, how we would tell the kids, and how we could collaborate in making this move back to Oregon happen.   I couldn’t do any of this big move without him and his support. In this same timeline of the last seven years my ex has done his own healing.  He got remarried last summer and I am really happy for him and his new life.

In closing, I want to say, I never thought my life would be this way – But I tell you the good story.  The one of personal growth, showing up everyday with gratitude, compassion and forgiveness.  I know, that I know, that I know that I am a completely different woman than I was seven years ago and I love that!  I see and experience life differently.  I am not so naive, I am not so rigid.  Lordy, do I have a ton more tools to cope with what life throws my way.  I am a lot more open.  It’s all part of my soul’s journey and I am so so proud of the fact that I have gotten to a place that I love and accept everything !! that has ever happened to me.  And with that acceptance has come this new possibility of heading off to Eugene for this new Chapter.  Old hurts and old wounds can heal as needed, they are just stories after all, my intent is to pull forward all the good friends, clients and experiences and focus now on creating Eugene as my new place to feel fully ALIVE, INSPIRED and CONTENT.

There is a huge road of transition and change ahead.  I look forward to giving you the recap on the *for family, *for fitness and *for work that is to come.  Stay tuned.  It’s going to be good.

Thank you for reading!

Meredith K Mills

 

Is there a big life changing decision weighing on your heart?  I encourage you to keep listening to that inner voice because when you are ready “enough” you will know.  If you are ready to rewrite your own story from deficit to abundance, from fear to love, from victim to co-creator, contact me for coaching at MeredithWellnessCoaching.com   Trust me, I have been where you are at and I can mentor and guide you thru your journey.  There is always room for an up-level and a new chapter.  Be strong in your grief.

“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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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