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How to Prepare for Brain Surgery


Dear Warrior Soul,

I have never been a worrier.

Not when I was 20 and temporarily dropped out of college to trek the Nepalese Himalayas, traverse India and explore Thailand and France—by myself.

Not when at 28 and adventured solo on embargoed Caribbean island for a few weeks without knowing anyone or speaking the language.

I didn’t even worry when I was rushing to the hospital, en route to save someone’s life.

These experiences just felt like living at the optimum level—one where I listened to my intuition, trusted my instincts, and relied on my something larger than me to have my back.

When I survived the avalanche, it was a test of faith—a split second invitation to know that following my gut would have to be enough.

So, when the doctors told me that in order to remain mobile, continue to use the restroom unassisted and retain the use of other bodily functions I hold dear, I’d have to have brain surgery…

I was not worried.

Shocked, yes. The cyst inside of my spinal chord extends from my scull to the top of my lower back and was discovered only a month earlier.

Uncertain, sure. I’ve never had surgery, broken a bone or spent much time with the medical industry. The night I learned about the cyst was the first and only time I’d stayed overnight in a hospital.

This is an unchartered world with no clear indicators of what to expect or how to prepare.

But like with all of my previous adventures, I trust that I am continually being readied for what lies ahead. This does not make it easy or simple. It means like everything else, the lessons I learn through brain surgery will be invaluable for the rest of my life.

Here are a few that have come up thus far:

1. Boundaries will save your life (and sanity) every single time:

Once I began digesting the doctor’s news, I called my mother with an update. By the time I checked my phone a few hours later, it was full of concerned voicemails and text messages from across the nation.

She’d thoughtfully disseminated the update to friends and family with a request for prayer. Despite everyone’s big love and good intentions, the inundation of inquiries and well wishes was too much, too soon.

We had a candid come to Jesus conversation in which I explicitly asked for what I needed – space to come to terms with the news on my own terms first. Then we could spread it to everyone else.

2. Self-care is the foundation of (r)evolution:

(R)evolution is disruption of the sufficient as you create the miraculous.

Click to Tweet!

Most days I’m fine. But sometimes while I’m perusing Trader Joe’s for chocolate covered potato chips it hits me that I’m about to have brain surgery.  And suddenly I feel uncertain, overwhelmed, inconsolable.

I don’t want to be unconscious, prostrate on an operating table while someone removes parts of my skeletal structure and addresses issues in my brain and central nervous system.

Despite its long-term benefits, this is not how I’ve idealized spending a gorgeous June afternoon.

So I give myself permission to feel and think and do whatever I want. I let the tears roll, the temper tantrum flail, the pouting ensue—for about five minutes.

Then I move on.

As long as I allow myself to be exactly where I am, the feelings rise and fall like waves. Click to tweet!

The moment I resist or deny what I’m feeling for fear of being too uncomfortable, unattractive or awkward, the resistance chains me to the anger, the fear, the grief and I get stuck.

Honoring my feelings while recognizing brain surgery as a miraculous opportunity to be broken open and restored is ultimate freedom. Click to tweet!

This is (r)evolution embodied.

3. Know when to forge ahead and when to take it easy:

In light of retiring the Spaciousness Sessions and my impending 4 to 6 week medical leave, I’ve been working tirelessly to create something that will keep you connected and ignited while I’m gone.

My brilliant business coach, Tara Gentile and I have been joyfully cooking up my first digital product all about sacred Nos, divine Yeses, making choices that serve you and allow you to be of even greater service to the planet.

I’ve been working tirelessly to have it written, copy edited, designed, finalized and available for you before I go on leave.

Last Monday it hit me like a bag of wet concrete that the emotional, mental and spiritual energy required to prepare for brain surgery entails much more gas than I’d been giving.

I needed to slow down, take things off of my plate, give myself time to relax and ease into the procedure.

I needed my own Sacred No.

Instead of barreling towards a finished product–come hell or high water–I gave myself permission to gently and gracefully do the best I could, and pick up where I left off once I was recovered enough to do so.

4. Keep your support team in their power positions

My mother, bless her heart, is the master of high level resolve and get-er-doneness (see Point 1). If there’s a problem within her sphere (or her sphere’s sphere), she’s on it lickety split. It’s an invaluable gift that’s particularly wonderful when she’s your mother.

Once we’d cleared up what I actually wanted her to do (specific tasks) and what I wanted to handle myself (everything else), she played her position like the master problem solver she is. When she organized my father, uncle, and physician Godfather for a conference call with the neurosurgeon, it felt good, supportive, empowering.

When a cherished healer friend of mine offered a private ritual invoking art, the ancestors and ceremony, I felt blessed, honored and grateful.

When my cousin appointed herself to organize a hometown prayer circle, I felt relieved, overjoyed, touched.

When my beloved makes room for me in all kinds of flexible and expansive ways, I feel cherished, comforted, blessed.

When friends and family send me thoughtful, kind, loving emails without expectation of a speedy reply, I feel connected, valued, loved.

Brain surgery is an opportunity to anchor deeper in my power, shine brighter in my love, surrender fully into the benevolence that holds me.


Since the initial posting, I’ve received messages from  several people asking how they can support me. Thank you for your thoughtful inquiry. 

Here are the ways I would totally appreciate your support:

1) DO NOT WORRY. Know my healing, my recovery, my health. Trust and believe. Surround me with light and love. Put me in the Divine’s hands. Celebrate modern technology for catching it. See me whole and healed.

2) Pray, meditate, chant, talk to whomever you talk to for support.

3) Send me cards, letters, postcards, care packages, etc. I LOVELOVELOVE getting things in the mail and think it would be even more special during a time like this!

My address is:

(Want to send something and have no idea what? Click here now for my Amazon surgery recovery wishlist)

Thank you!!

All my love,

Ready to be
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