Awake at the Wheel, Lessons from a Diagnosis

Awake at the Wheel, Lesson from a Diagnosis

with Special Guest
Lori Merrill-Fink


Based on the work for Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map

(Choose your own.)

  • Vibrant
  • Free/flowing
  • Connected
  • Radiant
  • Whole

So to feel what I want to feel, I consciously choose practices that generate those feelings. 

BODY                                              MIND                                      SPIRIT/SOUL

Movement                                         Meditation                               Community

Pleasure                                           Script Flipping                          Gratitude

Whole foods                                      Affirmations                              Service

Quality sleep                                      Solitude                                   Talking to God

Lots of water                                                                                  Being in Nature


So here I am, a normal person, keeping it real. Doing my best to stay in flow, flip the script, stay open. A diagnosis cuts through all the BS, so my pilgrimage has led me to some essential truths, which I am doing my best to LIVE every day. Many may sound familiar to you:

  • Life is happening FOR you. Not TO you. It doesn’t (often) turn out as it should. It turns out as it DOES. This is a much more juicy and expansive place from which to live.
  • Nobody can take care of you better than you. And nobody should. That’s YOUR job.
  • Self-care is a discipline and you are worth every bit of the same loving care you give to your family and friends. Reverse Golden Rule. What are your Core Desired Feelings? What are your NON-negotiables? “I don’t have time” is code for it’s not a priority. Take time or make time. Make time or take time. You are worth it.
  • Your body is your friend. No matter the size of your thighs, or whether or not you have an overbite, or a six-pack. Treat it with love. Bless it. Care for it.
  • Be intentional where you focus your energy. Choose thoughts that SERVE, heal, nurture you. Light you up. Pay attention to things that matter. Your mind is your greatest ally. Drop the story you tell yourself about events, people, what it all means.
  • Watch your words. Make your I AMS work for you.
  • Shame and blame are soul-sucking. You deserve better.
  • Ask for what you need, and be willing to receive it with grace and gratitude.
  • You are so much more powerful that you may realize. Jesus may take the wheel, but he needs to be spelled once in awhile. You are a co-creator.
  • The present moment has to be enough, because that is all there is. That present moment can save you. And so can the next one. And the next….
  • Do everything in your power to keep your heart cloud-soft with joy and wonder, and sky-wide with gratitude.

To journey without being changed

Is to be a nomad.

To change without journeying

Is to be a chameleon.

To journey and be transformed by the journey

Is to be a pilgrim.

~Mark Nepo

The Book of Awakening

(cancer survivor)

James Cameron:

Hope is not a strategy.

Luck is not a factor.

Fear is not an option.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

We are slowed down sound and light waves, a walking bundle of frequencies tuned into the cosmos. We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play music.

                                                      ~Albert Einstein

Today I asked my body what she needed,
Which is a big deal
Considering my journey of
Not Really Asking That Much.

I thought she might need more water.
Or protein.
Or greens.
Or yoga.
Or supplements.
Or movement.

But as I stood in the shower
Reflecting on her stretch marks,
Her roundness where I would like flatness,
Her softness where I would like firmness,
All those conditioned wishes
That form a bundle of
She whispered very gently:

Could you just love me like this?

Author: Hollie Holden

Excerpt from Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

“New Moon Blessing” from Tanya Markul’s “The She Book”:

May you remember your ability to choose what is deeply nourishing.

May you ignite your power to make choices that align with your soul.

May you take action in the name of your authentic fire.

May you find the courage to heal, be free, and grow.


Lori’s “Survive & Thrive” Pinterest Board


Awake at the Wheel playlist (in Spotify):

Recommended Books:

Your Body Believes Every Word You Say– Barbara Hoberman Levine

You Are the Placebo– Joe Dispenza

Prayer is Good Medicine– Larry Dossey, MD

Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul– Deepak Chopra, MD

How Healing Works– Wayne Jonas, MD

The Desire Map– Danielle LaPorte

Crazy, Sexy Cancer– Kris Carr

The Book of Awakening– Mark Nepo

The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness– Greg Anderson

Dying to be Me- Anita Moorjani

The Cancer Whisperer: Finding Courage, Direction, and the Unlikely Gifts of Cancer– Sophie Sabbage

Everyday Strength: A Cancer Patient’s Guide to Spiritual Survival– Randy Becton

Change Me Prayers: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Surrender– Tosha Silver

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