More Than Just A Birthday Candle

This Friday, I’ll be 33. If you’re like me, birthdays always bring a moment of reflection. I look back on tough decisions, life lessons, what I’ve gained and lost over the last year, and so on – and each time proves another hard learning year was had. This year was different. While I still learned so much, I finally seemed to learn lessons “not the hard way,” if that makes sense. I found myself ahead of things, rather than behind them. I felt alive, rather than forcing things into place. It was a year where I wasn’t coasting – and where I found consciousness.

Last December, I stumbled upon a wonderful human in the most serendipitous way. Unexpectedly becoming my yoga instructor, Jaz ended up becoming my very dear friend as well. As someone who still struggles to touch their toes, I’ve been very aware of how much my body needs to stretch. It wasn’t until this year, however, that I realized how inflexible my mind was.

Jaz and her business partner, Alicia, produce Yoga Evolution TV – a conscious live talk show followed by a yoga flow. I attend monthly to listen to fascinating people talk about different topics, such as meditation, astrology, and self-love. At one particular airing, John Tran (yogi and creator of YOUniverSOUL Fest) enlightened us on the power of manifesting. He explained how important it is for us to share our dreams with others – and how we can actually manifest our dreams into existence.

What is manifesting? Jaz explains it as “tapping into our ability to attract vibrational matches for what we desire or envision.” I like to call it “bringing the dreams from inside our souls out into the physical universe.” How do we do this? By writing our dreams down. By saying them out loud and sharing them with others. By truly believing they will happen. If that seems a little “out there” to you, check this out:

John told us a story about his birthday some years ago spent with family and friends. It was time to blow out the candles on his birthday cake and he had a thought: Why is it that we don’t tell anyone what our birthday wish is? After all, we only get one birthday wish a year – why do we choose to keep it to ourselves? Doesn’t it make much more sense to say it out loud so the people around us (and the universe) can hear it? So on that particular birthday, he chose to say his wish out loud to his family and friends and asked them to share one of their wishes in return.

I was intrigued. Earlier in the year, I started to write down my goals and dreams for the first time ever in my life. I found it strange at first – the things I wrote down actually started to happen! I thought back to this as John was sharing the story of his birthday. I thought to myself – if this has already happened on a small scale, and I didn’t really even know what I was doing, what could happen if I really started manifesting my dreams? If I truly believed in them so much that I could firmly declare to others what I wanted and what I saw for myself in the future? I didn’t know what would happen, but I was down to find out.

I started to declare what I envisioned for myself – I shared it with friends, family, clients, and just about anyone who would listen! The more I said it out loud, the more I would believe in it, and the more things would happen – why I had never said my dreams out loud before?

I took some time to figure out the answer, but it came down to this: Insecurity. Insecure that what I wanted wouldn’t come true. Insecure that people would laugh at me. Insecure that I wasn’t good enough. Insecure because I didn’t know how to actually get what I wanted.

Why was I so concerned about what other people would think of my dreams? After all, they belonged to me! And I had no idea what the future version of myself would look like – what battles I would overcome, what struggles would make me stronger, what people I would meet to lift me up – why was I so worried about the future version of me? Did I not trust myself?

These thoughts made me keep my dreams inside – where doubt, overthinking, and anxiety would eat them alive if left there. I had chosen not to share them (even to myself!) based on an imaginary feeling that my future self might potentially have.

I felt kind of silly once I broke it down to be that simple.

My mind was absolutely blown at how much doubt I had in myself and how it was revealed. That day I made a vow – no more doubt. No more fearing what other people would say. I would tell my dreams to anyone and everyone, and in the depths of my soul, I would believe them to be true. I would manifest them into a reality.

While having dinner last night in Austin, the table next to me was celebrating a birthday. The room filled with life as the group lit the birthday candles and sang to their friend. When he blew the candles out, his friends asked him to tell them his wish. He laughed and refused to tell them. I found myself exclaiming across the room, “No, tell them!” The table looked over and I laughed. “Tell them,” I said again. “Manifest your dream.” This started a fun conversation between strangers. One of their friends yelled out, “The Power of the Spoken Word!” Yes! There is power in speaking your dreams out loud. There is power in truly believing that you can do something. (P.S. Shout out to anyone from Salty Sow last night reading this after I shamelessly plugged this post.)

This Friday, I’ll be 33. I’m going to spend the evening with friends, and I definitely plan on eating some cake – but before I do, I’m going to make a wish and share it with everyone there. They don’t know it yet, but I am going to ask everyone to share one of their own dreams as well. That’s what I want for my birthday! I want all of my friends to realize that they have the power to get everything they want – and that they really believe that power lies inside of them.

What dream have you been keeping inside, unable to tell anyone?

What thoughts cross your mind that talk you out of your dreams?

Can you commit to telling one person your dream? If so, who will you tell?

If that is too much for you, will you commit to telling yourself your dream out loud or writing it down? You’ve got this!

“With one mouth, you can sing so many songs. With four strings, you can play four hundred tunes. So also, one mind can give rise to so many thoughts. Your destiny is based on your character. Character is based on actions. Actions are based on thoughts. Therefore, cultivate morality and sacred thoughts. None can escape the law of action, which is based on the nature of the mind.” (A quote sent to me by my friend Vinod, appropriately timed for today’s post!)

Avoid A Zombie Apocalypse

“Wow, you’re so busy!”

That’s something I hear often from people – they catch my Instagram, see my teaching schedule, or we’ve just exchanged what’s going on in our lives. Take yesterday – I woke up at 5AM, taught four workout classes, engaged in a very productive three hour business meeting, and attended an amazing charity event hosted by Accel Lifestyle benefitting The Rose Houston. I finally sat down at 11:21PM, excited to finally write this piece, because you know what – these days I’m feeling more alive than ever.

There have been many points in the past where I haven’t been “as busy,” but I was simply exhausted, coasting through life, day in and day out, living someone else’s dream. Sound familiar?

This doesn’t necessarily have to refer to your professional situation, it can also relate to societal expectations of you. Personally, I’ve stayed unsatisfied in jobs for years, helping other people build something because I didn’t have a clear vision of what I wanted for myself. I stayed married long after I knew it wasn’t right for me because I didn’t want to upset the dream my husband (and our families) had of us staying in a “picture-perfect happy marriage.” I’ve stayed friends with toxic people because it was easier to just ignore drama than it was to confront it.

It was emotionally and mentally exhausting! I walked around with a wounded soul that I would try to patch with temporary band-aids. My heart was bleeding for something more, but I couldn’t see a different path, so I just kept walking aimlessly down the road I was already on. I was dead inside – I was a zombie.

Have you ever felt like a zombie? Like you’re actually sleeping when you walk around in life? Don’t really care where you’re going, can’t remember how long you’ve been walking. Don’t really see an end to the road, but it doesn’t matter much anyway because you don’t really have any other options. You ever feel exhausted by the end of the day and don’t really know why?

It’s because feeling dead inside drains you. Ironic, isn’t it?

Have you ever been driving somewhere and think, “How the hell did I get here? Did I run that red light? What street did I turn on?” Or maybe you’ve been walking somewhere, zoned out and completely passed where you were going. Ever think you might be living life that way, too?

“Where did the month go?” (Followed by the realization that there’s been no change.)

“Where did the year go?” (Once again…. no change.)

“Have I really been doing this for [x amount of time?]”

“I’m never going to have time to finish this.”

“I’ll start it eventually.”

…Zombie.

Fulfillment is a practice and is not meant to happen overnight. It takes serious dedication to figuring out who you are to truly find fulfillment. Today, I’m going to share three simple things you can start right now to begin to discover a little bit more about yourself. Three things, that if continuously practiced, will help you avoid an internal Zombie Apocalypse.

Spend more time doing what feels right. Make tiny changes at first, and eventually you’ll get more comfortable making bigger changes. These small changes can look like:

Saying no to doing something if your body and mind need a break – and not feeling guilty about it.

Signing up for a new hobby you’ve been scared to try.

Forgiving someone or (eek) apologizing to someone.

Surround yourself with good people. So much of our time, thoughts, and energy can be easily wasted on emotional drama with short-sighted people. Think about it – how much time do you spend listening to people complain? How often do you catch yourself complaining to people? Ditch the emotional drama and negative thoughts. Find forward-thinkers. Forward-thinkers will not let you complain – they will help you seek a solution. If you want to envision the big picture, you have to surround yourself with like-minded people who are doing the same things you want to do. These people will:

Not let you drown in a problem, but rather help you find answers. (If you’re dwelling in a problem, they will call you out on it too!)

Build you up and support your dreams, even if they can’t exactly relate to it.

Give you honest and constructive feedback on what they know to be important to you (skill level, personal ethics, overcoming hurdles, etc.)

Practice being present. This is the most important of the three things to do. It will take consistency to really feel present in your own life. Take time each day to really figure out how you feel in a moment. Actually ask yourself, “How do I feel about what I am doing in this moment right now?” If you’re up for it, maybe ask yourself why you feel that way. Use your senses! Look around – what do things look like around you? What does the air smell like? Listen closely for all of the many sounds that get drowned out by the thoughts in our heads. This is an important one: eliminate time suckers. Time suckers can look like:

Endlessly watching TV shows or scrolling through social media.

Doing the same exact thing every day.

Worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Live in this moment. (You won’t get it back.)

It’s funny – in a past job, every Monday the management team would participate in dramatic three hour meetings that I would absolutely dread. Dread! Three hours dedicated to this every week! It was a time suck and I wasn’t fulfilled spending my time that way.

Now, I’m building a business and sit down to grind it out a few times a week with my partner, and I will catch myself looking at the clock – Holy Hell, how did three hours just fly by?! And how do I feel? ALIVE. And so excited about what I’m doing.

Remember this: If you have been wired internally with a dream, know that you have also been wired with the capability to achieve that dream. Find the things in life that will energize you instead of making you feel like you are dying a slow death every day. (Sorry to be morbid – blame it on the Halloween spirit.) Try these three simple things – and note, “simple” is not to be confused with “easy.” It will take practice and cognizant consistency.

What are some instances where you’ve felt like a zombie, just coasting through life?

What are some small changes you can make to do more of “what feels right” internally?

Who in your life is filled with drama and negativity? What steps need to be taken to reduce this effect on your mindset?

What are some things in your life that you consider to be “time sucks?” What can you do to eliminate them to feel more present?

Happy Halloween. Don’t be a zombie.

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 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.