For each and every one of us, there will be at least one significant day where our whole world turns upside down. It’s a momentous time of clarity that provides us with new perspectives and opportunities to change our lives.
And in turn, the transformation we go through during this time enables us to help, inspire, and empower others to change their lives.
For Maria Menounos, that day was August 26, 2016. It was the pivotal moment when she went from human doing to human being.
From Human Doing
“At 22, I became the youngest person to host Entertainment Tonight,” she told Ezra Mitchell, Mindvalley’s Host of Live Experiences & Tribe Talks in an engaging, heart-strings-pulling conversation during the Mindvalley Summit.
In the early 2000s, entertainment news was filled with household names — MTV had Carson Daly, BET had A. J. Calloway and Marie “Free” Wright, Regis Philben had Kelly Ripa, Oprah was still on The Oprah Winfrey Show… And Entertainment Tonight had Maria Menounos.
Along with ET, Maria also had airtime at Extra, E!, and WWE Hall of Fame as part of her impressive career choices. She even holds “the title for the only family interview with the entire Obama clan.”
But reporting and hosting isn’t her only specialty. Over the years, Maria could also be found popping up in hit television shows including One Tree Hill, Scrubs, and The Mindy Project as well as blockbuster movies like Entourage and Tropic Thunder. And being a long-time WWE fan, she says, “I’ve even wrestled professionally.”
Now, Maria’s accomplishments and talents don’t stop there.
Prior to her pivotal moment in 2016 (we’ll get there soon, we promise), she was already on a self-improvement journey and engaged in self-awareness practice. She was also helping people with life, diet, and fitness, and cooking through her The EveryGirl’s Guide book series — one of which was selected as a New York Times Best Seller.
When the fateful August day came, she knew her life path had shifted, taking her on a new journey of being.
To Human Being
So, what happened on August 26, 2016? Maria, who was the host of E! News at the time, took Ezra and the Mindvalley audience back to that day.
“My dad called me to tell me that my mom was being airlifted to a Connecticut hospital and that they had discovered a tumor in her brain,” she said.
She recalls dropping her big assignment to interview Renée Zellweger to be at her mom, Litsa Menounos’s side. Maria was juggling a bunch of things at once. She flew her mom out to the West Coast to a specialist at Cedar Sinai in California.
Additionally, her mom’s 62nd birthday was on the horizon and Maria was planning something special on the off chance that it would be her mom’s last celebration. On top of that, she had to reconcile with her estranged brother for the sake of her mom.
“I was a wreck,” she said.
When Lightening Strikes
As Litsa went through her cancer journey, Maria started experiencing a lot of ear pain, headaches, blurred vision, and slurred speech. Thinking it was just an ear infection, she went to get it checked and the result of that was a second fateful day that only projected Maria further into her journey.
She had the same brain tumor as her mom. (Thankfully, hers was benign as opposed to her mom’s which was malignant.)
What were the chances? It was such a rare, yet surreal occurrence, like a lightning strike — that was how the doctor explained it.
But because this is the Maria Menounos we’re talking about, she sees her tumor as “a huge blessing.” It gave her the opportunity to see life from a new perspective, to pivot from being a workaholic, and to go from human doing to human being.
“I feel like everyone has a purpose and I feel like I have to find my purpose,” she said. And one People magazine ‘’mother-daughter brain tumor” cover story later and a number of women with similar experiences reaching out for help, Maria decided this was hers. She set out to share her journey, tough moments, and vulnerabilities for those seeking a beacon of hope to use for inspiration, to find faith, and to build resilience.
Better Together With Maria Menounos
Maria is on a journey to get better. But she has so many questions.
What did she (and her mom) do wrong to get a brain tumor? Was it due to a toxic work environment? Why did she feel the constant need and increasing pressure to please, to keep up, to tolerate toxicity, and to do more? Why did she feel like she wasn’t enough?
“I allowed it,” she explained. “I allowed them to gaslight me and I also gaslight myself.”
Her epiphanies and discoveries reveal the role societal norms, family patterns, social media, self-talk, and childhood traumas play in our lives that affect us to the point where we suffer from illnesses and diseases.
“I had the power all along to live the life that I wanted, set the boundaries that I needed, and to be my own cheerleader and my own savior,” she added.
Since her successful surgery and recovery, Maria has looked into all forms of therapy and is working with the world’s top healers and coaches to help those who are seeking to transform their life.
She has taken her life experience and turned it into lemons in the form of her show Better Together with Maria Menounos (the logo literally has lemons in it). Available on a few platforms, the show provides access to practical and accessible information for health, wellness, spirituality, finances, relationships, and much more.
As I say, getting better isn’t easy, but it’s a whole lot easier if we can do it together.— Maria Menounos
Your Transformational Rebirth
It took a brain tumor for Maria to decide that she would take that pivotal moment and use it as her “rebirth.”
“When your car’s making weird noises, you take it to the mechanic. When your body’s making weird noises, we’re like, ‘eh, shut up.’ Like, I’m too busy to go to the doctor. I can’t. I have so much to do,” said Maria. “And you realize really quickly when something like this happens, like nothing else matters.”
So, you don’t have to wait for something drastic, like a brain tumor, to realize your “rebirth.” You can find your pivotal moment by surrounding yourself with people who are also seeking theirs.
Mindvalley has tribes just for that purpose and our members come together to support each other through their transformational journeys of mind, body, soul, relationships, financial, performance, and career. With a plethora of Mindvalley courses to choose from, no doubt there’s a tribe for you.