Grow Into Your Dreams

I was flying back to Houston after a week long visit to Pittsburgh to see family and friends. I hadn’t been home since the beginning of the year, and what a year it had been. I spent the first few months of 2019 really focusing on myself, and not what society expected of me. I spent a lot of time cracking myself open to myself – really training myself to be vulnerable with just me! 

Since last being home, I had left my Instructor Manager role at my previous studio and began to teach Lagree. I launched a start-up company, embarked upon ambassadorships for some amazing companies, dated a guy, broke up with said guy (side note: shout out to all the people in life who designed for seasons…let em go, people, let em go…) I auditioned for SoulCycle and put my entire life on hold as I moved to New York City to train for 5 weeks, and I returned to Houston to teach 20+ fitness classes per week. Oh, and I launched this blog.

Needless to say, there was a lot to catch up on. It was a great visit. I don’t get to travel too often, but when I do, I always carry my journal with me – I love “me time” on planes, where I can disconnect from everything. I’m a window seat kind of person, so yes, “me time” typically means stuffed into a corner with no arm room with my journal on my lap trying not to spill my ginger ale. Regardless, I love writing down my thoughts and visions, and on this particular trip, I flipped back to the beginning of the year to see what my goals had been for 2019.

It was quite hilarious to read – I had maybe planned a solid 30% of what actually happened in 2019, and the majority of the stuff that had come to fruition was extremely vague. I had written down a lot of goals that didn’t happen – but I thought if we expected good things to happen, they would? Trust me, they did – they just didn’t look like what I had written down.

Allow yourself to grow into your dreams. What was good enough for you yesterday might not be good enough for you today. It’s really as simple as that. No explanation needed. Why we’ve been trained to feel the need to justify ourselves after we say “I’ve changed my mind” is outrageous. Let’s let that go, shall we?

We tend to freak out when plans don’t work out the way we envisioned. Goals are amazing – and we do need to be forward thinkers – however, we cannot get stuck on goals that a less-evolved person made days ago, weeks ago, or even years ago. Don’t stick with the plan – stick with yourself! What does this version of you look like? What do you want the next version of you to look like? Work towards that, even if it’s ever-changing. (That’s a good thing, by the way.)

Should I have stuck with the version of myself on January 10, 2019 when I wrote down my goals I would have missed so much.

I planned to stick with my (then current) company and help build it to succeed. Instead, I outgrew my own goal and ended up at SoulCycle – an absolute perfect fit for me, where I can grow and thrive.

I aimed to plan one event over the entire course of the year that would bring fitness professionals together. Instead, I started an entire company based on abundance that is able to build the fitness community consistently.

I wrote down that I wanted to do a three day juice cleanse – this happened, but also led to becoming an ambassador for Revolucion Juice, and a few other companies after that.

I did actually write down in January that I wanted to teach a new format of fitness on the side of my main gig “for fun.” At the time, I had never even heard of Lagree. Shortly into the year, I began to instruct the format but could have never predicted how impactful the method, the studio, and all of the people I would meet were going to be in my life.

It’s funny – after I wrote down my goals for the year, I bought this very website. I had no idea what I wanted to do with it, but here we are. You don’t always have to know exactly where your vision will take you, and you certainly don’t have to stick to a plan that a version of yourself made a long time ago.

Some of my visions completely changed. Some of them turned out to be much bigger than my January goals allowed. Most I didn’t even see coming! That’s why it’s imperative to stay open to change.

One mantra that has ruled my 2019 is “Break the Mold,” because I want to change the way things are, change stigmas, change what’s not working and pioneer a new way of thinking. What I didn’t know at the time I decided to live by this mantra, was how important it would be to break my mold. Break the vision of myself I had on January 10, 2019 and allow for growth and new goals. 

It’s uncomfortable not being able to see how everything is going to pan out. But this is what I constantly tell myself: If the version of myself that I’m in right now can see everything that is going to happen in my future, that tells me from now until [x spot in my future] that I will not have changed, grown, or evolved at all.

Have plans, sure. But more importantly, have visions. A general direction of what you want in life. I was lucky enough to dream build with my SoulCycle team at Southern Flow Yoga last week. The girl who led the session, Jordan, referred to vision as “a launch point.”

A launch point. The beginning – where anything can happen. Where anything can grow and change. And when it does change, please don’t worry or apologize. Go with it. Will it be scary? Yes. Will it be worth it? I’ll let you think about that one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scared in 2019. Being scared is a good thing! It means something is about to change…

When was the last time you wrote down some visions and goals for yourself? Grab your notebook, and write down a few ideas for where you envision yourself going!

Think back to January 1, 2019 – what has changed within you since then? How do you feel about that change?

Why do you think it’s uncomfortable for you to not see exactly how your plan might work out?

What are some things you can do to trust yourself more?

Trusting ourselves can be difficult. Being open to things we can’t see yet is even harder. But just remember: very few things in life actually require knowing all of the answers.

The Hug Theory: The Power of Expectation

The final sounds of the last song begin to fade, and endorphins sky-rocket as heart rates slowly taper. We step down off of our bikes and prepare to stretch. At the end of every SoulCycle class, we plant both feet on the ground and find that forward fold. We rise up as a pack, scooping up the amazing energy created in the room, and I leave the class with one last message:

“Expect good things, and they will happen.”

What’s it like to think about what we really want in life – the dreams that will truly fulfill us? If you’re like me, these ideas will begin to consume you. Suddenly, they are all you can think about. This is a good thing! Somewhere along the road, when dreams don’t happen right away, or an extra challenge gets thrown into the mix, we find ourselves not confident in our journey and begin to trick ourselves out of believing that we really want these dreams. This is not so good of a thing.

Have you ever talked yourself out of wanting a dream? I know I have before. We all have! Doubt is real, y’all! It’s easy to become overwhelmed with fear, competition, thoughts of failure, lack of confidence – the list goes on. We talk ourselves out of our dreams because, honestly, it comes down to this – it’s embarrassing, even if just to ourselves, if we end up not being able to achieve them.

We talk our dreams down so we’re not disappointed if they don’t happen.

Eh, I don’t really want this anyway.

It’s okay, I’m probably not going to get it.

I’m not qualified.

I don’t really deserve this.

I’m not good enough.

I could never do that.

That kind of thing doesn’t happen to people like me.

I’m happy enough doing exactly what I am doing.

I’m doing okay, and that’s good enough for me, right?

Wrong. There’s so much more waiting for you. You just have to be open to receiving whatever that may be. Enter: The Hug Theory.

(Bear with me here. Also – this will be way more fun if you act this out and not just visualize it – just have fun with it. Grab a friend and try this if you’ve got a buddy nearby.)

Imagine yourself standing up and walking around the room slowly. Cross your arms firmly across your chest and stay set on keeping them there. You could really use a hug at the moment, but no one is around so you don’t really see a hug in your future, so you just keep to yourself. A friend comes into the room and unexpectedly swoops in to give you a hug – but you weren’t ready for it! Your arms are still firmly crossed while your friend embraces you. Wow – this hug just got really awkward, and now you feel weird.

That’s kind of what it’s like when you talk yourself out of your dreams. You think it would be nice if your dreams were to happen, but you don’t want to get your hopes up only to end up disappointed if they don’t pan out the way you want. You walk around closed off to protect yourself from getting hurt.

Now imagine this. Here you are standing up, walking around slowly again – but this time, your arms are open wide. You can just feel that someone is going to walk in at any moment and give you a hug! That same friend swoops in and gives you a huge hug, and your arms are already open, so you embrace your friend back and you just got the best hug ever!

Wow – that sounds much nicer than the awkward weird hug in the first scenario. 

Why don’t we walk around with our arms (and minds) wide open, expecting to actually get our dreams? Just how we’re more likely to receive a good hug with our arms open ready to receive it, the same goes for our dreams! Live your life expecting to get what you believe you deserve! I mean, why not? We don’t need to justify why we want something, and we certainly don’t need to talk ourselves out of wanting something because we fear it won’t happen.

Changing your mindset to actually believing good things will happen is an ongoing practice. Catch yourself with the little things and develop a habit for when the bigger things come into your life.

If you want to have a good day, expect to have a good day.

If you think you deserve that job promotion, expect that it’s already yours for the taking.

If you are searching for a deep love in life, truly believe that it’s out there for you.

If you are seeking a life of fulfillment, know in the depths of your core that it is achievable.

Pro-tip for just about everything in life: It works better if you actually believe in it.

Expect good things, and they will happen.

What are some instances where you’ve talked yourself out of wanting something because you feared it wouldn’t happen?

How do you think that situation may have changed if you believed you deserved to get what you wanted?

Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed, I repeat a mantra out loud to myself. “Everything will work out for my good.” I say it, and I expect it. What’s a little phrase you could tell yourself when doubt and fear start to overwhelm you?

The best thing about walking around open to good things happening to you, is that you’ll be ready when amazing things you hadn’t even imagined yet come your way! Expect good things – and please, after all of this talk, follow through with your urge to give somebody a hug today! We could all use a hug at some point. I’ll see you next week.

Take The Risk

Hey y’all – your response last week was touching and heart-warming – thank you! I don’t know about you, but it felt good relate to one another and know that we’re in this together. So here we go…(grab that notebook.)

Last week, we decided that we deserve better than a “Shouldy Life,” right? We committed to taking small steps towards living a life that we actually want. Maybe you started thinking about your dreams and you felt alive and on fire, just thriving with thoughts and ideas…until a small flicker of fear appeared and grew a little bigger the more you thought about it.

PSA: This is normal! Welcome to your human experience, where nothing (that’s actually worth anything) is easy. True fulfillment will not happen overnight, and that’s okay – there’s no set timeline for your journey. Take a deep breath in…and now exhale. Loudly. Seriously – do it right now. It just feels good. Trust me.

After I realized my life’s decisions were controlled by what I thought I “should” do, I started to see things differently. I started to take the time to actually think about what I really wanted in life – I wanted to begin to define myself and discover my purpose. How does anyone even begin to do this? If this question overwhelms you and you don’t know where to begin – just start thinking about what you don’t want to define you, and go from there.

For me, I didn’t like the way I was spending my time. I was teaching a few cycling classes per week, but I was employed full-time as a dental hygienist. While I absolutely loved my co-workers and patients, I hated that I had to show up every day and sit in an office knowing I was wasting my talents and gifts. Bottom line. I knew I was designed for something more, but I didn’t know what to do or how to get there…I didn’t even really know where “there” was, to be honest! I realized I was living a life where I was coasting and didn’t like it.

But what was I going to do about it? At the time, I was in the middle of a less-than-cordial divorce, unsure of what my financial situation was going to be, having no idea where I would be living, completely clueless of how much daily expenses were going to cost me. What if I couldn’t support myself on my own? What if I was making a huge mistake by leaving two “stable” things at once – financial income and a financial partner? Honestly, I hadn’t been on my own in five years – I couldn’t even remember what living alone and supporting myself was like. Not exactly the best time to quit my job. I was lost and stopped in my tracks by “What Ifs.”

One day, in a quite serendipitous way, I ended up talking to an old friend on the phone and informed him that I was going through a divorce – something I hadn’t told very many people yet. We started talking about happiness, and unhappiness, and the way I was feeling about my marriage, my job – my life! He empathized with me and told me about a book he had recently read that changed his thinking. 2 days later, it was in my mailbox.

The 4-Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferris. I read 50 pages of the book and put in my resignation the next day. It was a done deal. The book is amazing and very eye-opening in its entirety, but here was my biggest takeaway:

Tim asked me to define my best-case scenario for fulfillment. What was my dream? At the time, it was to be employed in full-time fitness, nationally training cycle instructors how to make people’s lives better through exercise and give riders the best experience possible, while writing my psychological thriller novel on the side. I would be a Master Instructor within my company, and I would publish a book that would later turn into a movie, clearly starring Ryan Reynolds.

(Hey, dream big, right? Again…my deepest self knew my desires, it was time to say them outloud! And for the record, my dreams have changed over the years, as have I – but that’s a story for another time.)

Ok, so Master Instructor, traveling, book-writing, movie with Ryan Reynolds. Tim asked me to rank this dream actually coming to fruition on a scale of 1-10. Wow – I mean, clearly this would be a 10! Can you imagine? Definitely a 10.

Then he asked what I would need to do to make this happen. Well, I would have to quit my job as full-time dental hygienist, go into teaching classes full-time to advance within the company and dedicate time towards writing my book. Great – then he asked, what’s the risk? If I did this – what would be the worst-case scenario if it didn’t go as planned? Well, I suppose I could run out of money, as I was leaving a six-figure salary to teach fitness classes, and I would have to go back to working as a dental hygienist at some point. Alright, on a scale of 1-10, how would I rank the risk? Honestly, I ranked it a 2. All of a sudden, the “What Ifs” started dimming as my 10 started shining brighter and brighter.

Ok, great – the dream is a 10, and the risk is a 2.

Why was I risking a 10 for a 2?

My mind was blown. I was never one for fast math, but those numbers just made sense to me. I was never going to feel fulfilled if I continued to not pursue my 10 out of the fear of a 2.

I chose to take the risk. My original plan has changed and evolved over and over again, and I would have never guessed I would have ended up where I am in this moment. And you know what – I’ve never been happier.

Take the risk. Don’t be bound by fear. I had fear and I had doubts – choose to use them as tools, and see them as necessary steps towards taking on something bigger than you can imagine. We’ll continue to dive more into this.

Get your notebook. Let’s do some math.

Note – my case involved my job affecting my daily fulfillment, but yours could be different! It could be a job or a relationship, it could be emotional, spiritual, or physical. I want you to think about what you really believe to be a big step towards finding fulfillment and start there. There could be many things, too! But pick one – the one you believe to be the most important – the one that pulls at your heart when you initially think about your dreams.

Describe your best-case scenario, where you be doing exactly what you want to do, feeling exactly how you want to feel. (Don’t hold back – remember, you’re just telling yourself what you already know. If you struggle with this – that’s okay! Just start thinking about it and be open to anything that might pop into your head and circle back.)

On a scale of 1-10, if achieved, how would you rank this?

What needs to happen in order for you to achieve this?

What is the risk of following these steps?

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rank that risk?

Why are you risking a _____ for a _____?

There’s so much more to talk about, but I want to let that sit with you. Over the next few days, just be in tune with how much you find yourself thinking about the first question. I’ll see you next week.

The World of “Shoulds”

Hey y’all! Thank you for tuning in – I am so excited about my first post! I hope to offer you some enlightenment on your journey towards feeling fulfilled to the greatest capacity on a daily basis as I offer raw takeaways from my life experiences. So let’s go! Grab a spare notebook, slap the date on a page, and maybe write down a few notes that you discover about yourself today.

Allow me to introduce myself.

I’m Meg. I’m 32, and for the first 29 years of my life, I lived in the world of “shoulds.” 

I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a middle-class family of 6, finding myself second in the lineup of 4 kids. I went to college to become a dental hygienist, got married at the age of 27, and moved to Houston, Texas for my husband’s job.

My husband and I lived in a beautiful house and we both had jobs that society deemed “successful.” We took fancy trips, drove expensive cars, and had a busy social calendar. We honestly had a picture-perfect life to anyone looking in from the outside. Nothing was missing. Until one day I realized that something was missing: ME.

I wasn’t present in my own life. I was coasting. Going through the motions. Day in, day out – wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner and watch tv, drink a bottle of wine, and go to bed. Comfortable? Sure. Sustainable? Undoubtedly, had I never woken up. I had never questioned why I made decisions. I didn’t have to – the “shoulds” had taken care of any answer I ever needed.

I should get married because all of my friends are married and I’m getting older.

I should get a job and make “x” amount of money by “x” amount of time because then I will feel successful.

I should play it safe to feel stable in life because stability will bring me happiness.

Where was I getting these ideas? I didn’t know, and the worst part was – I had never even thought to ask! How long had I been sleeping? Coasting through life without a second thought to be present for myself? How long would I continue to sleep, allowing the word “should” to dominate my future as it had my past?

I should stay in this job because it’s high paying and I’ve done this for 10 years.

I should stay married because my husband looks really good on paper and people really shouldn’t get divorced.

I should keep my dreams bottled up because they will never become a reality – they are too far-fetched.

Thank God I woke up. I started leaving the things I felt I “should” chase and started chasing the life that would actually bring me fulfillment. For the record, I quit my job and got divorced (both much easier said than done, and definitely topics on which I will be elaborating.) I now choose to fill my time empowering people through fitness.

Every day is not perfect for me. But each day I wake up feeling fulfilled and present in my own life. Let me tell you this – life moves pretty quickly when you coast, because you really don’t have to think about much. Stop sleeping, stop missing out on what you deserve in life – WAKE UP.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, grab that notebook (for real this time) and jot down a few things. (Why is it important to write thoughts down? Think: “putting them into the physical universe.” And remember – no one has to see this but you – tell yourself the truth.)

What are some things you’ve been doing because you feel like you “should” be doing them?

What dreams do you constantly find yourself thinking about?

What are some actions you are currently doing to help make these dreams a reality?

What actions do you need to take to help make these dreams a reality?

And that’s it. Leave your thoughts there. Just start thinking about them. If something new pops into your mind tomorrow, maybe add it to the thoughts you wrote down. We’ll start there – we’ll just START. 

Because I got news, y’all – this is just the beginning.

OCTOBER 1: OFFICIAL BLOG LAUNCH!

Hey guys! I am so excited to officially be launching my blog on October 1, 2019! Blog topics will focus around fulfillment, empowerment, and vulnerability and I share my thoughts and my own personal journey with y’all. (Yes, I’m a Yankee having lived in Texas for 5 years now and I say y’all.) Scroll down to the left to subscribe! If you have any topics you would like me to blog about, please drop me a note under the Contact tab. The countdown is on!

xoxo Meg

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