Hello, epic wells and beauties and welcome to another episode of the Art of Epic Wellness. We are still in season 2, where we discuss the habits and rituals and what keeps us going – plus we listen to inspiring stories from all of our guests on the show!
Today’s guest is a life thriver. Melissa is a mother, wife, professor, licensed social worker and author. She’s an avid volunteer, gardener and loves to connect with others. She’s passionate about sharing her story so that others can receive healing through it and can recognize they are not alone in their cancer journey. It is my pleasure to welcome Melissa to the show.
Ladies and gents, the wonderful Melissa Weaver!
Listen and be inspired:
Learning to Overcome:
Melissa calls herself a Life Thriver – It’s after she has been on her knees at the lowest of lows when she stands up again that she finds the hero within.
She is working with the facilitation of grief and wellness through her social work practice.
It’s amazing how our lives can change in less than a minute. I was told that I had breast cancer and life changed in that one minute. Words can come out and they can transform where you are going in that one moment. In that moment, that first thought was what can I do to be there for my children in a year from now. After that the thoughts were how can I fight and what are the steps I can take to get there.
Melissa’s nickname became “too stubborn to fail” after hurting her knee during marathon training. She did water running for a month and a half until her knee had healed. Cultivating that resiliency in digging deep and carrying on through hardships is an excellent skill to cultivate.
There were bumps in the road. Resiliency is not about not being scared, and not struggling, it is about overcoming adversity despite all those different components. I consider myself a resilient human because I got over those bumps in the road. Sometimes you feel all alone. I had very dark thoughts of if my kids would remember me, because no one can go through chemotherapy, and no one can lay on the radiation table for you. I kept getting back up after dealing with those thoughts.
Sharing your journey with others is powerful. I did not just overcome cancer, it completely changed my life. You don’t have to get cancer to do this either. I changed the way I lived, the way I looked at life, my priorities and what I considered important. Where I was in life and what I really wanted to be in life. I had to find my super power, and that is what I did. My journey of cancer treatment simultaneously happened at the same time I transformed my life and had my awakening.
I stumbled upon my abilities. When we call upon that power inside ourselves.
I wore boots to every chemotherapy session. I call them my “kicking cancers butt boots.” The moment I realized that I could make a difference in the lives of others when I was sitting in the chair receiving my chemotherapy that I decided to get up and visit with others receiving chemotherapy. I realized that the more I give to people, I was helping myself.
Similar to what Melissa found, I have seen the same healing in my life. When I lost my boyfriend Mark, as I started serving and doing art therapy for those with dementia and alzheimer’s, that was healing for me.
The key to everything is human connection. The human connection with yourself and others, is the key to living a life well lived. The connection piece is everything, without that we are lost.
The most recent lesson:
I’ve been pouring myself into this book I’ve been writing. I stopped and I started crying. I realized I’m not living my book. I realized that sometimes you have to disconnect with the computer and connect with the moment and for me, that’s spending time with my kids.
Melissa’s book Reconstruction: Defying Cancer and Building a More Purposeful Life is about reconstruction of my internal self after electing not to have external reconstruction surgery after chemotherapy. The book was written for two purposes: first, I want people to not feel alone, that others can relate to what they are going through. She has had people reach out and say that they have read her book and not felt alone because someone understands what they are feeling and where they are coming from after being diagnosed with cancer. Secondly, her favorite charity is Front Row Foundation and she wanted to give them a monetary gift. She’s so excited about it because people can be so affected through the book. It sends the message of feeling the same things. It gives hope when hopelessness runs rampant. By reading through Melissa’s book you can experience what it is like to go through cancer and be more compassionate to those around us.
Overcoming grief is finding a way to embrace what life has to offer, despite what has happened. In the book, there are a multitude of things that are covered by what Melissa has experienced. She wants them to not walk alone.
Resources: Reconstruction: Defying Cancer and Building a More… Essentialism The Miracle Morning Melissa’s website Melissa’s Facebook page Melissa’s Twitter account Melissa’s Instagram account
Want more energy? Get the free resource from me, Nicole, to become more alive and present. Text ENERGYNOW and send to 33444!
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