Last week, I was telling my friend about a private message I received on Instagram that touched my heart.
This is what she said:
“Wow Emilee! Your tribe really asks great questions and look to you for inspiration. Why don’t you make a video series called ‘Hotline With Emilee’ and answer questions from your followers each week?”
I realized right away what a great idea this was!
After all, YOU are my #EmpowerLifeTribe.
I’m lucky to belong to a tribe of women who understand what I go through and have the same fears and worries.
I want to give back to all of the women who are not only a part of my tribe, but who are also suffering and need encouragement.
So, I said YES. Yes to standing up and being seen so I can help more women recovering from cancer … or divorce … or heartache … or lack of self-worth and self-love.
I may not always have the perfect answer, but I will answer ANY question because there is no such thing as a “stupid” question.
I’m kicking off this series with some questions from one of my Instagram followers who wishes to remain anonymous:
Do you ever feel hopeless? How do you stay unafraid? I need your positivity today. How do you stay so happy?
These are all great questions!
I think it’s normal to feel hopeless!
The first 6 weeks after my cancer diagnosis I thought I was going to die until I decided to stop letting my fears control me.
These are normal fears. Yes, even being afraid!
All of your feelings are valid, but you have to believe that you can fight this!
Save your energy by not wasting it on negative thoughts! You need all the positive energy you have to fight! Half the battle is the mental mindset!
Don’t let cancer take away your power!
The doctors are doing their job using the drugs in your treatment to kill the cancer ... now, your job is to Stay FOCUSED on the end result! Survival!
Just think of that! We had to go through shit and hell to get there, but if you survive in the end it’s all worth it! You can do this!
You can’t compare yourself to others. Just focus on YOU!
Worrying doesn’t do anything! Try to be in the moment, today! That’s all we have really!
I had a friend who was dying from ovarian cancer and I was so afraid.
On her last day before she died she wrote me, “Don’t waste your time worrying or being afraid of death.”
For some reason it helped me not to worry! It is what it is. It’s already stressful so why make it worse? I don’t know why or how, but I just chose joy. My life felt hopeless before, so anything was better than what I was going through, even cancer!
I asked my dear friend and client Ken to respond to these questions on video.
We all have pain and we all have fears. My intention is to share these small, intimate moments of encouragement with you each week.
Do you have a question or need a special message of encouragement and hope? Send me a private message via Instagram any time.
We all have someone in our lives who is going through a difficult time. Please share my message with them. Perhaps it will put a little smile on their face and bring a little glimmer of hope to their life.
Thank you so much for always supporting me on my journey as I am finding my North Star!
GET MY BOOKS AND VIDEOS FOR $9.99 JULY - AUGUST!
I'm still in the process of fundraising for my Cancer Survivor retreat coming up in Santa Barbara.
I would love to reach my goal of $5,000 by August 1st and right now we are at about $300. I know as a community we can do this!
Throughout the month of July, I’m offering my books (pdf format) and videos in the online store for $9.99. All sales directly sponsor young girls with cancer to come to Santa Barbara, CA for a yoga and pilates wellness retreat.
Please help support a cancer survivor! You can also forward this email to your friends and loved ones who would enjoy my Cancer Core Recovery Workout manual and videos.
Thank you! I appreciate you and am grateful for your caring and encouragement as I pursue my life's mission.
Love and hugs,
I am no longer a victim. I am a survivor.
It’s a new chapter in my life.
These past years I have been doing some major healing, both physically and mentally.
I survived cancer, the loss of friendships and the loss of my marriage ... I somehow managed to survive cancer and a divorce at the same time. To be honest, it was the hardest thing I have ever done.
The crazy thing is that all of this heartache has made me a much stronger person.
That just goes to show that even in the darkest times of your life, there is hope. Some days it might seem like too much work to get to where you want to be. The thought of becoming the person that you want to be—the person that you strive to be—can be overwhelming. The person that is inside of you just waiting to jump out and shine; she is in there. You just have to discover her.
I thought I was destined for a life of struggle. What I have realized is that I am the creator of the stories I live. I could keep reliving my past, but you know what? It wasn’t serving me or my purpose.
I didn’t know what my purpose was at that time or if I even had a purpose, but deep down inside I knew I was worth it. I knew that my life was worth fighting for. I knew that one day I would be helping others find their light.
However, there was always something holding me back. A limiting belief. A story that kept repeating like a broken record.
"You are not worth it. Nobody likes you. You are unloveable. You are not good enough. You are broken. Nobody cares about you. You can’t do it. You’ll never succeed."
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
What is it in your life that is holding you back from living the life that you truly deserve?
You may not even know and that is totally okay. I didn’t figure this out until recently. It has been a slow process, but let me tell you—I am not the same person that I was a few years ago.
In order to change your life, or what isn’t working in your life, you have to take one very simple step.
You have to RECOGNIZE what it is that you want.
You need to recognize what is missing in your life, and the behaviors or patterns that you keep reliving.
Change only comes when we realize what is broken so that we can OWN it and change it.
Remember you are worthy.
You are the light! Shine on!
Love and hugs,
What an amazing time at CancerCon I had! I am so grateful to have met so many kind and powerful people.
It has taken me over a week to get back into the groove of things here at home. I wanted to write sooner, but my brain has been on overload. I'm sure you can relate!
I made so many new friends at CancerCon. I even signed myself up for a river rafting trip, which I'm really excited about!
I met the founder of Epic Adventures and told her that I have a non-profit foundation called The Cancer Core Recovery Project. We empower women through movement, incorporating yoga and Pilates. I expressed to her that I would love to bring a group of women there and create our own special session! She was all in! See what happens when you put yourself out there?
You never know what doors will open for you when you tell people about your dreams!
What is one dream you want to manifest for this year? Health? Happiness? A cure for cancer? (This is on my list too).
Maybe it’s something simple, like adding some more movement into your day?
Don't forget to sign up for my FREE online program, 7 Days to Restore Your Core. These are samples from my book, so you can get to know me and my work a little better.
Simply click the link below and fill out the form on the page to access the free course:
Having cancer 3 times in my life has taught me to take nothing for granted. It has taught me through this recent battle with stage 3C ovarian cancer that I CAN do anything I put my mind to. I know you can too!
I have often felt alone in my life. I was born with cancer and had my first big surgery at four years old. My father committed suicide at the time of my cancer. I grew up thinking that it was my fault. I held all of my feelings inside of me and struggled with anger, shame, abandonment, fear, and feeling unworthy of love.
I look back now and feel compassion for that little girl who felt so broken. I never had anyone I could trust or talk to and always felt judged by others. I never want you or anyone else to feel this way.
That’s when the idea of creating a book and a survival guide to help women in cancer recovery came to me - I didn’t want anyone else to feel alone.
It wasn’t until I stumbled on Instagram that I found other women like me. Having a community for support is so important.
My passion is helping others find joy in their lives. Actually, it's more about helping others see that hope exists. I am a perfect example of hope and so are you.
On day two of CancerCon, there was a moment when it was really slow and my team and I almost left for the day. I want to share with you the story that validated my WHY. I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life.
A young woman named Danielle and her husband approached my table. He said, “This is my wife and she has stage 4 breast cancer.” I immediately stopped everything I was doing to listen to her story.
I won’t tell you the entire conversation, but this young woman was looking very down and sad.
Do you remember times when you felt like maybe there was no hope and you almost gave up? I do. I can remember that feeling vividly and I wondered if this woman was feeling hopeless.
After she told me about feeling weak and the chemo treatments that were causing holes inside of her bones, I knew that I had to try and help her. Perhaps I can’t fix or cure cancer, but what I can do is show up for YOU in times when you feel scared and hopeless.
I invited her around my table and asked if I could try a few of my exercises with her that are in my book, Cancer Core Recovery: A Survivor’s Guide.
“I know Phases 1 and 2 say they are for in the hospital or at home post surgery, but they can also be for anyone who feels weak, scared and not sure what to do,” I told her.
I asked if she could sit down in a chair and she answered, “I think I can manage that.”
Then I asked if she could follow along with me and lift up one of her arms. (I was assessing her, which is something I do a lot as a movement educator.)
She did it! YEAH! I was so excited and I think she was too.
Next, I asked, “Can you lift both arms up?”
And guess what? She did. She kept doing every single freakin’ exercise I asked her to do! My heart was singing inside.
I said, “You just did eight of the exercises that are in my book! You’re amazing!”
I got a smile from her and that made my day! She was doing so great that I couldn’t let her leave without teaching her my favorite modified yoga pose that helped me get out of pain: Downward Dog using your hands on a chair for support.
She was a little nervous at first, but I told her to trust me. She slowly stretched her body into Downward Dog and said, “Ahhhh this feels good on my back!”
Yes! That was confirmation I needed to hear. I knew that it felt good to me, but I often wonder if I’m the only one who struggles with pain post cancer and surgeries.
When we were done going through the exercises, I looked up and saw that my team had tears in their eyes. Seriously, it was one of the most rewarding moments of my life.
That one moment is WHY I do what I do!
If I can bring hope into someone’s life then I will feel like I have served my purpose.
Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself and maybe even spend a few moments writing in your journal:
What makes you happy? Or what could make you happy?
Write about that. Visualize it.
What would that look like?
There is no wrong answer!
This is YOUR life and this is YOUR story so let’s begin to write this together!
Some of my favorite CancerCon Moments!
Let's keep sharing our stories and inspiring each other!
You know, I love to hear your stories, so write to me any time. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Love and hugs,
When my surgeon told me I had Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer and described what I was going to go through in order to survive, I was shocked.
I burst into tears.
When she showed me what my new body would look like I told her, “I’d rather die.” She reminded me that I had three gorgeous kids to live for, and that was the first time I had hope that I could survive cancer.
I decided to fight. I chose to live, for me and my kids. Cancer would not control my destiny.
Since then I have been on a path of healing that you have had a major hand in supporting me with.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Every day when I wake up, I am GRATEFUL to be alive. July 11, 2017 was my 2 year anniversary of my first cancer treatment. This day is now more important to me than my birthday – it’s the day I was given a second chance at life.
In 2017 I saw many of my dreams come true AND was joyfully surprised when I saw how many of my goals I was able to achieve:
I took 3 Business and 2 Life Coaching courses this year and I’m on my way to building an online membership portal for cancer survivors and anyone who needs my help getting inspired and to move past blocks and barriers in their lives.
I always tell people cancer saved my life, and it all started with a life coaching program I did for myself. I’m now a Certified Live a New Life Story® and Wellness coach. I want to share what I learned to help heal others.
I’m rebranding my business to Em💙power Wellness. It fits since empower became my nickname during my cancer journey. Empower Wellness goes beyond physical exercise, it’s a mindset and I’m here to help inspire and empower others when they have fears that their bodies are broken. Exercise is the best medicine and I want to give back.
I was awarded the Women Entrepreneur of the Year in the Health category by The Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Foundation’s Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards™ in May 2017! Just goes to show that you can do anything you put your mind to; cancer was not going to control my life!
I completed my first book Cancer Core Recovery: A Survivor’s Guide, Learn How To Rehabilitate Your Body After Cancer, along with the companion exercise videos available online. (Phases 1 and 2 available. Phases 3-5 in editing and will be available soon.)
The Cancer Core Recovery Workout DVD, available in my online store.
I did my first weekend retreat for young, female cancer survivors. I loved every minute of it too! These young women inspired me so much!
I had two speaking engagements for charities close to my heart: The Organic Soup Kitchen and Queen of Hearts Foundation for Ovarian Cancer Research.
I am forever grateful to you – I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for your enthusiasm and loving support.
Through my foundation Cancer Core Recovery Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, I provide cancer survivors with safe movement exercises that help them rebuild their bodies, alleviating the long term side effects of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
Your donation makes a huge difference in the lives of cancer survivors.
Every dollar received goes to helping cancer survivors to recover and strengthen their bodies through our Cancer Core Recovery Project® movement, retreats and exercise programs.
My book Cancer Core Recovery: A Survivor’s Guide, Learn How To Rehabilitate Your Body After Cancer, along with the companion Cancer Core Recovery Workout DVD, is made available to cancer survivors through your donations and cancer organizations throughout the U.S.
Did you know that in 2017 alone 22,240 women have been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer?
It is my mission to get my book in the hands of all of these women. And, I can do it with your help!
Click here for my end of year donor letter and donor card for all of the details and information you need to make a tax deductible donation to the Cancer Core Recovery Project.
You are welcome to send a check or make a PayPal donation by going to my online donation page, HERE.
Thank you for helping make 2017 one of the most memorable years of my life.
Thank you for believing in me because there were days I felt like giving up and didn’t believe in myself.
With so much love and deep bows of gratitude,
It's amazing to me just how much the universe delivers exactly what we wish for.
My Big Goal for this year was to do public speaking. I don't know about you, but the idea of getting in front of an audience completely petrifies me, or at least it did before.
In the span of a month I have had two speaking engagements where I told my story in front of about 400 people.
I told them that cancer saved my life. Certain parts of my talk brought tears to my own eyes as I relived some of the hardest moments of my life.
Like when my children stayed away from me because I looked so scary after my surgery.
Or, when my surgeon told me she had to cut out many of my internal organs and reconstruct my vagina from my abdominal muscles. Luckily, I didn’t have to go through that surgery, but when she described it to me I wanted to die right there, on the spot!
All of these experiences have brought me to where I am right now, right here. My life has been a gift.
No matter how hard things were when I had cancer at age 4 and again at age 38, I learned how to truly live a life that is uniquely mine, and one that can be shared with those I love as well as the world.
The highlight of the talk I gave at the Queen of Hearts Foundation breakfast fundraiser to find a cure for ovarian cancer was when a woman came up to me afterwards and told me her son had the same cancer I had at age 4 - Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare, embryonic cancer. Her son survived just like I did.
What is so extraordinary is that this is the first time I've heard someone else say they had the same cancer as me.
Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma is so rare that until now I've never met another person or at least someone who knew someone else that had it.
Another fortunate turn of events at the fundraiser was that I was seated next to a woman who organizes TedX Talks in Idaho. She was moved by my story and wants to now help me develop my own TedTalk!
Miracles and synchronicities are popping up everywhere!
Yesterday I went to my bank to turn in paperwork for my nonprofit, The Cancer Core Recovery Project, and began telling the guy who was helping me about my story. I mentioned that I wrote a book to help give back to others who have gone through similar surgeries. As it turned out, his dad just had ileostomy surgery and was in recovery!
“Do you have your book with you?” I just happened to have one copy left and he purchased it right on the spot!
Before I left the bank a woman walked out and said, “Are you the girl with the book? You are the talk of the bank! He was telling everyone about you!”
I left feeling on top of the world! I was so happy I was able to help someone else bring hope back into their life.
Today I would like you to think about how you and your life are miracles for those around you and in the wider world. I would love for you to tell yourself that you are a miracle of love and hope in the world.
Never forget how your presence on the planet heals others. Even if you don't want to get in front of people and speak, I urge you to at least write down your story.
The story that maybe no one else knows and no one else has lived exactly in the way you have.
The more I tell my story, the more I’m actually supporting and helping others!
Telling your story heals others as it heals you, and it is the best way to give back.
And maybe today you're not ready to share it with anybody but if you do want to share it with me feel free to email it to email@example.com.
It is important for you to be witnessed and held just as it was important for me to be witnessed and held by the caring people that I spoke in front of this month.
Click the link below to watch the talk I gave at the Queen of Hearts breakfast fundraiser.
(Due to major technical problems, my right hand woman Kris had to hold the camera and the audio wasn’t so great … but we were able to capture the talk without the sophisticated equipment we really wanted to use!)
I hope it inspires you and fills you with hope and joy.