Strength

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 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 fix, 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 attending the elementary school I went to 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 in during the quiet 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 summer’s without my kids or holiday’s without them.  There were a quite a few times in the last three years where I’d “try on” the idea 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.  I 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.

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

How to make an “Ending” a new and fresh and life giving “Beginning”

November 2015

What kind of Ending? An ending of a relationship, a life status, a career.  The ones that make you wake up at night or bring on tailspins of panic or worry about whether or not you can life with or live without.

Endings are really beginnings even if you don’t think it right away, see it right away, embrace it right away, live it right away, love it right away.  Endings are really the only way you can start fresh, up level, and move forward.  What is an Ending? A chapter coming to an end.

I’m a writer. I am a reader.  An English Major. A lover of books.  I’ve loved books, stories and chapters….all of it, my whole life.  I am also an Athlete and a Coach, I love endings, especially finish line endings – nothing feels as good as a finish line crossing or a goal accomplishment.

However, why when it comes to my own life?  It’s so different. It’s almost as if I run away from the finish line.  I keep trying to imprint the belief that my relationships and stations in life are all but chapters in my big book of life.  Let’s talk about the real life, the inner one, not just the outward show, why are those chapters so so hard for me to close?  Why do I fight it so much? So stubbornly fight it so much? Resistance is there. Like a concrete wall, solid with no cracks.

RESISTANCE.  After being a triathlete, cyclist and runner and even a personal trainer for decades and more, resistance is great.  It is the magic, the secret ingredient to make the results and the change happen. But for the body!

BUT not in personal life.  In the heart.  More specifically the matters of the heart.

I am in transition right now. I know it with every part of me.  I am stepping into acceptance of this closing chapter.

What ending are you resisting today? What needs to complete or end in your life – so that you can open yourself up to Bigger and better things?  What relationship?  What job?  What pattern? What belief?

Let’s agree, let’s make a pinky promise, a handshake, a secret pack, to make endings the opportunity to a bright new shiny beginning.

 

Health, belief and growth,

In the healing journey,

Meredith

mkm