Maria Menounos - A Second Chance at Life


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Maria Menounos - A Second Chance at Life
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Have you ever faced a life-threatening crisis?  The thought of losing your life or a loved one can be unthinkably scary, but you still have a choice in how you handle a crisis. I had the absolute privilege of speaking with someone who knows all about facing crises and death: Maria Menounos. Maria not only faced her mother's brain cancer, but she also took on her own brain tumor. Maria's proactive and positive approach to dealing with her mom's cancer and her own tumor is incredibly inspiring. Her advice for facing adversity will help you during moments of INTENSE difficulty.  In addition to her helpful advice on dealing with a crisis, Maria shares her incredibly enlightening perspective on SUCCESS. Maria is an immensely successful TV reporter and actress, so you're not going to want to miss her perspective on career success and how she learned to redefine success amidst her health problems. 

Who Is Maria Menounos? 

Maria Menounos is a Daytime Emmy Award-winning reporter, actress, television host, pro wrestler, and businessperson. She hosted Extra and E! News and appeared on Today and Access Hollywood. She also made several film and television appearances, including Fantastic Four, Entourage, Without a Trace, and One Tree Hill. Maria also hosts the podcast Conversations with Maria Menounos, where she talks to various health experts and celebrities to improve every area of her listeners' lives, including physical and emotional health, finances, and relationships.  Four years ago, Maria’s mother was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer, and Maria herself was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2017.  Maria worked diligently to help her mother battle cancer by researching and providing holistic treatments. Four years later, Maria's mother is still with us despite the fact that patients with her type of brain cancer have a median life expectancy of six to twelve months.    After having success with her mother, Maria began coaching brain cancer patients to address the potential underlying causes that can physically manifest into cancer.  Whether or not you've ever had a deadly health issue, you're going to experience a crisis at some point in your life. Maria's advice for staying positive, trusting your instincts, and defining your own success can help you overcome life's hardships. Her story and advice will absolutely change your life, so let's get into it! 

How to Stay Positive During Difficult Times

Something that I've always admired about Maria is her smile and positivity. Her tools for staying positive during difficult times are essential, especially during these uncertain times of COVID-19.  Maria lists everything that she is grateful for during her nightly prayers. This helps her focus on the positive things that happened in her day rather than dwelling on the negative:

"It's a great way to end your day because it's so easy to go through your day and remember the bad. And then hold onto the bad and forget the good. And so when you do that, it forces you to say, 'Oh, that was actually a pretty good day.'" - Maria Menounos

Do you find yourself listing the things that you're grateful for? GRATITUDE is an essential part of your wellbeing. According to Maria, not only does it help you stay positive but also helps continue the flow of abundance: 

"So when you list everything you're grateful for, you are in an alignment that continues to pour more of that towards you. That's just energy. … And I know the Laws of Attraction are really powerful. And so I use it to my advantage. … Part of my prayer ... I'll say like, 'Please continue to flow abundance of health into my life, [and] into my family's life.'" - Maria Menounos

For those readers who may be unfamiliar with the Law of Attraction, it's the idea that positive and negative thoughts directly impact the events in a person's life. If you focus on positivity, more positivity will follow. Many have found this to be a very impactful and helpful tool for success and MAXING OUT the different areas of their lives.    Another tool that people often overlook for staying positive during difficulty is simply remembering to smile and laugh more. Maria is a complete expert at both. If you're not already familiar with Maria's charming smile and contagious laugh, you've got to look up an interview with her or just watch this episode. She projects so much positivity, and that positivity helped her deal with her mother's cancer and her own tumor:  

"My choice is to go through this and make it fun because you have a choice. Like I had a choice. ... So if someone's listening to this, go through whatever crisis you're going through. Make your choice, [and decide] how you're going to do it. I was cracking jokes all the way through, and it made it easier for me." - Maria Menounos

Maria made a conscious decision to stay positive during insanely difficult times in her life. I hope that all of my listeners and readers out there take note of this. Someday, you're going to be going through a crisis, and you can decide how you're going to handle it. Are you going to let stress and negativity overwhelm you, or are you going to take in stride and be positive to get through it?  Maria says that even the act of smiling itself can alleviate pain:  

"So literally just smiling through the injection. You won't feel it." - Maria Menounos

Guys, this is so essential for you all to hear. Maria was able to get through unthinkably difficult times by staying positive, and you can too! 

You Have the Power to Deal with a Crisis

Maria detailed her experience in hearing her mother's stage four brain cancer diagnosis:

"I collapsed. Like I fell to the ground. And so it was the most excruciating and painful thing in the world to hear your mom as a brain tumor." - Maria Menounos

After her initial shock, Maria extensively researched her mother's type of brain cancer called “glioblastoma." She pulled together a panel of some of the best doctors in America and received multiple expert opinions.  Despite receiving expert medical advice, Maria learned that some of the best tools for fighting cancer were actually instinctual:     

"What I realized along the way, and my biggest lesson in all of this is that you have the guidance inside of you that you really need to get through a major life crisis or a major disease too. … I've realized my gut instinct and my intuition for my mom has been the most powerful and most successful tool I've had [for] keeping her alive." - Maria Menounos

Maria offset the toxins that went into her mother during chemotherapy with dietary changes and various supplements to keep her mother healthy. Maria also pointed out that people need additional assistance outside of their doctor's help: 

"When you get sick, you lay your everything at the foot of a doctor who has maybe fifteen minutes with you every time they see you, and they don't have the time to look at you as an individual, to really look at the full picture." - Maria Menounos

She explained that our emotions and diets play an essential role in our health. She thinks that if there's a deep-rooted emotional pain combined with a poor diet, it can eventually manifest into different physical forms, including cancer.  

"So with my mom, I knew instantly we needed to deal with the emotional. I knew we needed to deal with the spiritual, and of course, the physical. and part of the physical were things that [doctors] would not recommend necessarily. … most doctors ... [say] 'Oh, we see patients, families, you know, torture them all the time, just let her eat what she wants.'" - Maria Menounos

Even though her mother's doctors didn't explicitly recommend Maria's methods of addressing her mother's dietary and emotional health, her neurosurgeon agreed that addressing her mother's diet was a good idea for combating the cancer.   Maria's instincts in addressing her mother's health kept her mother alive. In the moments in which you're undergoing a crisis, your INSTINCTS may offer some of your best tools. 

Redefining Success

A year after her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer, Maria discovered that she herself had a brain tumor: 

"I went to the doctor, and I said, ‘I'm getting these headaches. I'm slurring my speech on set, and all this weird stuff's happening.’ And then I looked at him, and I go, 'Oh shit.' And he goes, 'What?' I go, 'I know you're going to think I'm crazy, but I think I have a brain tumor.' … So I got tested. … And the doctor called me, and he was like, 'I don't know how to tell you this, but you have a brain tumor as well.'" - Maria Menounos 

Maria's doctor diagnosed her with a benign meningioma. Despite having a brain tumor, Maria made a conscious choice to stay positive and face the tumor with humor rather than fear. She underwent a successful surgery to have the tumor removed on her 39th birthday.  Once Maria herself was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she found that her first concern related to her work: 

"The first thing I was concerned about was will I ever work again. Are people not going to hire me? And so, I was worried about that." - Maria Menounos 

This moment of concern for her career opened her eyes to the fact that she was valuing the wrong things in her life. She realized that her life shouldn't be enveloped in her career, so she re-evaluated what was important to her: 

"I realized that I needed to redefine success in my life because success for me should be my health, … and I should stop worrying about what outward success is." - Maria Menounos 

Maria stopped letting the world define what success meant to her. She noted that people spend their lives chasing the illusion of immense outward success to impress people rather than pursuing what they want in life: 

"I'm all for goals and stuff … but when it's at your health's expense, what's the point? At what point do we not sit back and say, 'Okay, I achieved, I did amazing stuff.'… What's it for? So I can continue to impress … all these other people, or am I impressing myself? ... We have to redefine what success is in our country because we're chasing after ideals that don't … exist. All of these Instagram accounts, all these things, they're all fake. None of it is real." - Maria Menounos

Maria brings up such an interesting point. You all know that I'm a big advocate for pursuing success, but if your pursuit is based on projecting an image of significance rather than personal GROWTH, your success will be empty. Humans require personal growth, but people confuse personal growth with recognition. Your journey is about you and not the image that you project.  Maria observed that you should be focusing on your relationships and what you love rather than outward success: 

"The only thing that's real is the love you have with your family and your friends and your health and your essence, like what makes your essence and your spirit, what makes your soul sing?" - Maria Menounos

Maria has such a great perspective on life. She recognizes what's important for her rather than what the world says is important. It doesn't matter if she goes on to achieve more worldly success because she focuses on the people she loves and the things that her soul values. Are you letting the world determine what success means to you? Prioritize what matters to you, and define your own success. 

#MAXOUT with Maria Menounos

I was so blessed to have Maria Menounos on my show. I hope her journey inspires you to stay positive during difficult times, trust your instincts, and define your own success.  If you want to learn more from Maria Menounos, check out her show Conversations with Maria Menounos and follow her on Instagram (@mariamenounos).   If you felt inspired by this episode, share it on Instagram! Connect with me (@edmylett) and use the hashtag #MAXOUT to share with me your biggest takeaways from the episode in the comments below! I read your comments every week, and a few select winners get all sorts of prizes from gear to coaching calls with me! Remember, you have a choice when facing a crisis. Face it with positivity, and trust your instincts!

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Ed Mylett