Mildred Lynn McDonald
My name is Mildred Lynn McDonald (Mildred means “gentle strength”) and I’m a Healing Conversationalist. (What is a Healing Conversationalist? A person who helps you engage in a conversation about aligning with your Higher Self to become happy, balanced and healthy).
My life adventure has whisked me across North America, through the industries of Health & Fitness, the executive halls of Fortune 50 high tech companies, and into the areas of Health & Well-Being, Integrative Coaching, Transformative Media, and Health Advocacy.
With a little time and patience, I created a vibrant mentoring and life coaching practice with clients spanning from Nova Scotia to California. I also host and produce mind-body-spirit podcasts, and have a passion for “breathing new life” into pre-loved clothing.
Many thanks to Vanessa Paesani & Liesl Mulholland through Amplify East for providing an opportunity to share my thoughts with you. Enjoy!
What are you most proud of professionally? And who or why?
In 2012, I moved to Northern California, joined forces with three energy healers, and entered the blossoming world of transformative media. Together we created an Internet Radio channel that reached hundreds of thousands of people.
The reason I’m so proud of this initiative is that we were successful in creating a platform to help many healers, balancers, creatives, and energy practitioners get their message “out there” for the betterment of the world.
On a professional level, this soulful work felt meaningful (still does). Thinking back to our early “on air” days warms my heart. We were all so new, uncertain and scared; a group dynamic that nurtured courage, put a twinkle in our eyes, and ultimately brought out the best in all of us!
What’s your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?
In my travels, I’m always saying that the world needs more of what “Cape Breton has to offer”; and I would happily extend that sentiment to include all of the Atlantic provinces!
In terms of opportunities, and in my capacity of a health and well-being advocate, I would strongly support initiatives that create:
1. A sense of “belonging”;
2. Connection to Nature (nature bathing is popular in Japan and now prescribed by doctors in Scotland);
3. Happiness (Yale University’s most popular course ever is offered by Dr. Laurie Santos and based on the science of happiness);
5. People-sized architecture ("Happy people in healthy, healing architecture" - Lone Wiggers, Denmark; "Healing Architecture" - Michael Murphy, USA);
5. Breathing new life into traditional, eco-friendly ways of living.
In 10 years? Since I always have one foot in technology, my 10-year vision for Atlantic Canada revolves around ensuring that the interface between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the above mentioned areas is healthy, accessible and ethically sound.
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
This is a big question. I would say that it was when I left the corporate high tech world, headed to San Diego to become an Integrative coach, acknowledged my intuitive abilities, and embraced energy work. As the Newfoundland saying goes, it was a “wonderful, terrible” time.
What sparked the shift? Although Silicon Valley was fast-paced, exciting and bursting with opportunity, it didn’t touch my heart. What touched my heart was a little mind, body, spirit bookstore in Mountain View, California (before Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn moved there).
I still remember the moment I walked in the door, scanned the bookshelves, and felt a wave of “truth” radiate throughout my body. It was a visceral experience and my personal California earthquake. I was never the same after that; and that is a good thing because it started me on a tremendous journey of self-discovery, trust, and humility.
What’s your favourite or most read book or podcast? Now or at each of your greatest stages of growth?
Being a life-long learner, I’m always on the lookout for new perspectives. That being said, here are seven books that created magical “ahh” moments in my life:
“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl; “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho; “Power vs. Force” by Dr. David Hawkins; “Hands of Light” by Barbara Brennan; “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz; “Anatomy of Your Soul” by Caroline Myss; and “Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind Body Medicine” by Deepak Chopra.
I know that there are all kinds of self-development books/podcasts available today. The value in these seven books is that they are cornerstone teachings and timeless in their ability to challenge commonly held belief systems. Plus, they teach you "how to” discern; an often overlooked, yet essential component to everyone’s personal growth toolbox.
What’s your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?
Last year was a time of letting go, change and loss; it pushed me past my limits and challenged me to dig deep and open wide. To be honest, I was tremendously happy to see 2018 waltz out the door and 2019 sashay in. Ha!
My deepest learning revolved around the ability to “focus and zoom in”; a back-pocket skill that I hadn’t paid much attention to, but ultimately saved the day on many occasions.
My application was simple and practical; I broke each day into one-hour increments and created a small goal for that hour. Then I ignored distractions, focused my attention, and hunkered down to the task at hand. All these little tasks added up and by the end of the day, I enjoyed a sense of accomplishment. On a comical note, some of my hour-by-hour goals were laughable, but when you are navigating choppy waters, little one hour “anchors” can get you through.
I should also mention that the above approach melded with my personality type; so before embarking on a similar exercise, I would suggest discerning what motivates and anchors you by tapping into 16 Personalities (FREE) (https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test).
Who’s inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?
I love this question because it makes me feel good inside; and to borrow the tagline from Amplify East, inspiration is "not a supply problem”.
Over the years I have been inspired by many people and experiences, but my greatest source of inspiration is of an internal nature; my “Higher Self” (or as some call it, “connection to Source”).
For the last several years I have devoted my life to all things mind-body-spirit; this includes meditation and visualization. During this quiet time, I frequently receive “inspiration” or as some might call it, intuitive guidance. This gift is linked to my life purpose, so I treat it with respect and strive to live an honorable life (as inspired by the Native American philosophy of the Red Road, or the good path).
Internal guidance is at the core of what inspires me; and creates the “lens” through which I see the world, directly and indirectly, each and every day.
What would you have done differently?
This one is easy; I would have left the corporate world earlier and embarked on my true passion/vocation (Healing Conversationalist) sooner. This is not to say I don’t value the additional lessons learned. Moving forward, I would be thrilled to be a Healing Conversationalist until I’m seventy-five years old. This is my dream; so no early retirement for me!
What motivated you to make the choices you’ve made? What are the principles you live by?
I interviewed Heather Plett a few years ago. She posted a blog about “holding space”; her work attracted a lot of attention and went viral. In a way, the work that I’m motivated to do is like holding space. I connect with a person, stretch the envelope, and hold this space with them until they are able to access the guidance they need from their Higher Self. It is beautiful work and I have made it my life’s priority.
To do this work consistently and sustainably, I had to learn how to show up in certain way, as guided by my chosen life principles:
Principle #1: “Primum non nocere”; First, do no harm.
People might be familiar with it from The Hippocratic Oath
Principle #2: Do your part; as best described in the story of “The Hummingbird”:
“The world was burning and all the animals were running from the fire in terror. Then, a lion turned around and noticed a hummingbird dipping its beak into the water and flying over the burning embers again and again. The lion laughed and shouted at the hummingbird: “You are so little, what are you doing?” The hummingbird simply answered: “What I can.” With that the lion paused, turned around, and began to help the hummingbird; soon the other animals joined in. Eventually, the fire was put out and the natural balance of the Earth was restored.”
– Author Unknown
Living by these two principles has offered a valuable perspective on my own life challenges. Each one touches something deep within and motivates me to strive, carry on, try again, regroup, and most of all, heal and laugh at myself. I would highly encourage everyone to spend a little time figuring out their priorities and principles. At first glance, they might not even make sense, but over time, the puzzle pieces will fall nicely into place. At least that has been my experience (and observation with many others).
In closing, I would like to share that it was a pleasure and delight to be part of the Amplify East project. I’ll look forward to discovering more about the talented, capable, and “not a supply problem” women of Atlantic Canada over the next year. Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I’d love to hear from you!