Year End Reflections + Intentions for New Year

meegan.JPG

I recently turned 46, and I have to say, it feels pretty damn good!

I am coming from a place of deep gratitude. It’s been quite an adventure. I never would have imagined that life would be so full.

I have learned so much about myself in the past few years. I have to be honest, I am not so sure if Lyme had not come into my life that I would be where I am today, doing what I am doing...being. Allowing myself to be “all” me.

It has brought magical people into my life, led me to the work I am doing, deepened relationships, given me endless opportunities to grow + expand, taught me so very much. Who would have thought that such a dark difficult time in my life would end up being one of my greatest gifts? I choose to see it from the perspective that there is always a lesson, an invitation for us in the challenges we face. It’s up to us to decide whether we are open to exploring what that is.

Opening up, being vulnerable allowing myself to even go there was something I rarely did for much of my life. Sharing all the parts, allowing myself to be vulnerable has been very healing in its own right. Not always easy, I find there are times I still resist (hello ego). It has for sure made some of those closest to me uncomfortable. Not my intention. My intention is to be me, the best version of me, my truest self. To share all the parts, the good and the not so good. Not keep them all locked up and hidden for no one to see or hear about. Life is pretty frickin’ real + for me to just share the “good parts,” well my actions would not be in line with my intentions now would they?

Allowing myself to go there + trusting all will be as it should be has opened me up to so many things.

The New Year is nipping at our heels. As you think about what you want to call in, what you want for yourself...if I may share a bit of advice...I encourage you to let go + get as vulnerable as you can. Become the best version of you...for you. YOU deserve that. Surrender. Let go. Embody who you want to be. Share everything you can with everyone you can. Sharing gives you the opportunity to let the Universe put new opportunities into your life. And when you do arrive at that place of full surrender, you will find you are exactly where you were supposed to be. You will realize there is no possible version where it could have been any other way, at any other time for any other reason.

That right there is one of my biggest take aways during my 45th year. As I start my 46th, I am so looking forward to what the next 365-day journey has in store for me. I will be sure to keep you posted!

What is it that you are wanting to call in for 2019? What do you want for yourself? Think about it, get really clear, get honest with yourself + trust.

All love,
Meegs

Manage Stress during the Holidays

IMG_5661.jpg

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is in FULL swing!

This is my favorite time of year. The lights, the music, gathering with friends and family, those holiday warm and fuzzies...I just love it! Some of you may agree with me, and some of you may remember feeling that way about the holidays, but perhaps now you feel a bit differently.

It wasn’t that long ago where my once beloved holiday season was something that created a massive amount of stress for me. The holidays can be a stressful and emotional time for those who are dealing with a chronic illness, not to mention exhausting!

Many things change as we navigate life with a chronic illness. And in the beginning it can be very difficult to wrap your head around. It is very important to be gentle with yourself in this process of “trying to figure things out.” It requires a bit more planning, yes, different than what you have been used to, yes, your current reality, yes. So instead of pushing to keep up, how can we find ways to support ourselves during the most “wonderful time of the year?”

Through some exploration, trial and error I put some things in place for myself so that I am able to enjoy the holidays without the added stress, supporting myself so that I can feel my best.

While I am writing this for those chronic warriors out there, much of what I share here can be for anyone with a few tweaks here and there. It may also be helpful to you if someone close to you is struggling with a chronic health condition.

I hope you find these tips as helpful as I have.

5 tips to help you have a more enjoyable holiday season.

  1. Make a list and check it twice: If you plan to travel during the holidays, plan ahead and make a list of EVERYTHING you need to pack. This will help with possible last minute stress that may creep in if you are running around trying to figure out what you need to bring along. This list is going to look different for everyone, but some key items might be medications, supplements, essential oils (I never leave home without them), anything you use on a daily basis that brings you comfort, etc. Knowing that you have what you need to support you while away, helps you stay on your routine and allows you to enjoy time with friends and family.

  2. Schedule appointments ahead of time: You want to go into the holidays feeling your best right? Think about any treatments or services you may need and schedule them as close to the holidays as possible. That way, when things kick into high gear, you are feeling as good as you possibly can.

  3. Food prep: I don’t talk much about food. But let’s face it, it a big part of the holidays. If you have any food sensitivities or allergies be sure to let your family and friends know ahead of time. You might also think about preparing some dishes to bring along with you as well. This can be an uncomfortable subject for some. Maybe you don’t want to be a burden, complicate things. A word of advice...don’t linger in that place for too long. Chances are your friends and fam will be more than happy to accommodate and have some food that will be yummy and safe for you to enjoy.

  4. Be present, rather than giving presents: A very real reality for many struggling with a chronic illness is that money can be tight. The cost of treatments and medications alone and then throw in those not covered by insurance add up. This can be one of the most stressful aspects of the holidays. Don’t stretch yourself here, you don’t need the added stress of this. Be honest with those you normally exchange gifts with. They will surely understand. You can have meaningful experience without physical things. Being present with each other is truly the greatest gift anyone could give or receive.

  5. Self-care: I wasn’t going to leave it out, my friends. I know I talk about it often. It’s so important that we not forget about self-care during the holidays. It is sometimes the first thing to fall off as it is an incredibly busy time of year. But it is vital to take this time for yourself during this time to do what you need to do for you. Listen to your body. If you need to cancel plans, do it. You are not being selfish. As much as we would like to just be OK and not have to slow down this time of year, the fact is our health and our bodies need the same amount of attention and care. Your loved ones will understand. If they don’t...well, that’s a conversation for another time. Don’t play with fire my friends, give yourself the time and space you need. Think of the alternative, pushing yourself, your body to the point that it’s going to become very unhappy and uncomfortable. Is that how you want to spend the holidays? Take the time, make the time. Your body + your mind will be ever so grateful.

Lots of love, laughter + cheer!

Xo

Meegan


Summertime Routine

meegan.jpeg

Hey hey everybody!

Yes, I am still here.  Summertime, summertime...you know.

It’s flying by! It’s been pretty jam-packed for me. And honestly, a bit chaotic at times with my kiddos home.  It’s all good, just a change to the regular routine. I know many of you can relate. I am fully embracing it all, enjoying time with friends, family, traveling, working and also trying to fit time in for ME!

I am savoring this sweet season here on the east coast. The summers are somewhat short, but oh so sweet.  How about you? What have you been up to this summer? I hope you are taking time for YOU as much as you can, even if it’s just a few deep breaths each day.

I am working on some new and exciting things that I am looking forward to sharing with you all in the fall.

Xo,

Meegan

Take Back Your Weekends

meegan.png

Do you ever feel like there is no time for downtime? I hear this a lot. And for a long time, I felt the same way.

For many, a somewhat hectic week can roll right into an even more busy weekend.  Whether this is spent attending to household chores and or squeezing in as many activities as possible.

For many, the idea of having the weekend to rest, play and connect has become a thing of the past. Being constantly productive is the only way they know how to be.

I have been there, at times it is unavoidable. I get that.  With that said, it is important for us to remember that it is called a “weekEND” for a reason.  For me personally, I got into the habit of having a ginormous to-do list for our weekends. My husband would sometimes look at me like I was crazy. Sometimes it felt like the weekends were more full than the week! Trying to squeeze way too much into two days.

We all need rest and rejuvenation. Some may argue that or say they don’t have time.  Living life constantly in “doing” mode is not sustainable. The need to always be productive can really zap you of your energy.  Without that deep restorative time, we power through our jam-packed weekends, as I said before only to wake up Monday morning feeling tired and dissatisfied.

Can anyone relate?  Is that how you want to feel after your weekends?

I am guessing that your answer is no.

It’s time to take back your weekends.  Your body, mind and spirit need a break.

I hear it all the time. “I will take a break when I am done with xyz.” We rest when everything else is done. But are we ever really done with everything? Seriously, are we? If we don’t take creating this time and space for rest and play, we are never going to get it!

For some, this requires a little mindset shift.  It did for me. As I mentioned, I definitely fell into the trap of piling on all the things on the weekends.  Leaving little time for the important stuff. Time for self, play and connection with others. And not to mention that I want my kids to see the balance in it all.

If you are still with me,  you may be wondering saying, “that sounds great and all Meegan, but I work all week and the weekends are my only time to get other things done.” I get it.  However, with a little planning, you can start to take back your weekends.

Here are some things that worked for me:

Rethink and adjust 
Try tackling some of your chores during the week.  Spend a few nights doing the laundry, cleaning, paying the bills...spread them out over the week and however much you accomplish, stop after Friday.  This may create a little bit of anxiety for some of you. It will require adjusting your standards a bit. This was a tough one for me. But I stuck to it and I am truly OK with not having all the things checked off and I have learned to be OK with a little mess.

Prioritize nourishment
When I say nourishment.  I am not just speaking of food.  Spend time on you. Spend time on things that nourish YOU. Take care of you body through sleep, movement and healthy meals. Recharge through hobbies and other passions. Spend time with people who nourish you.

Find the things that fuel your mind, body and soul.  This is nourishment.

Carve out free time 
If there is spillover from the household or work and you must take care of it,  be sure to carve out some free time for yourself. Put it in your calendar, make an appointment with yourself.  Take your dog on a walk, go to an exercise class, go for a walk without your phone. The more you unplug during the weekend, the better you will feel on Monday.

Setting aside time to rest and recharge is essential for optimal health and well-being.  You just might find it might help you be more productive and creative too!

Are you feeling the need to take back your weekends?  Try one or all of the above and let me know how it goes.

Have a great weekend!

Xo
Meeg

How Do You Want to Feel?

meegan.png

The other day I was out on the water testing out my new paddleboard. Just me on the water, taking it all in. The beauty of all that surrounded me.  It felt really, really good. I felt so grounded, present and at peace. That moment, those feelings...yes.  All of THIS.

I posted something on Instagram last week that started a conversation about how we want to feel, and the importance of paying attention to how we are feeling.

Feeling good I would say is an important ingredient to achieving true health.  When I say true health, that encompasses mind, body and spirit. How we feel in our mind, body and spirit has a direct impact on our wellbeing.

A while back I did some work with an amazing coach, Ash Cebulka, you should check her out. www.ashcebulka.com. She opened me up... period. But she opened me up to the idea of identifying how we want to feel in our lives, our work, our relationships, all areas of our lives and the important role that it plays. Truly, I had never given it much thought.

Let me tell you, it was a game changer. Identifying how I wanted to feel in all areas of my life and taking steps to bring this into my life made such an impact on me. I experienced the benefits and rewards of doing this and I bring this concept into the work I do today.

In many ways, I use my feelings as my internal compass.  Does it feel good? Yes? Proceed. No? See ya, I’m out! When I am connected to how I want to feel, I am in alignment. There is a flow to life. I feel GOOD. When I lose that connection, no surprise...I feel off.

This was the list I made 4 years ago. And it holds true today.

I want to feel:

Present
Grounded
Confident
Abundant (in all areas of my life)
Connected
Vibrant
Grateful
Fully ME

How do you want to feel, my friends?

Are you paying attention to how you want to feel?

My invitation to you is to make a list of how YOU want to feel. Not how you think you “should” feel, but from a place that you would truly love to operate from more than not.  Keep this list close, physically and mentally. Refer to it often, until you feel that it has just become part of your routine to check in.

Be honest and get real about how you want to feel in your life. All areas of your life.

When we focus on how we want to feel and figure out how to feel good, we start to create the right environment for our mind, body and soul to thrive.

Now go and give it a try.  It will not only benefit you but everyone around you.

Much love,

Meegan

The Body Achieves...

meegan.JPG

A little over four years ago was the beginning of a transformational time in my life. And an important part of the story.  Our stories are what shape us into who we are. How we decide to tell and share that story is the question.

I have shared a lot of about my journey with Lyme.  Sharing my story has helped me heal on many levels and it is beautiful and rewarding feeling to know that it has helped others on their journeys as well.

My healing journey was a long one, and in many ways, I am still on it.  As with any challenging experience in life, mine opened me up to massive growth, learning and healing.

My experience opened me up to exploring the mind-body connection. This was a fairly new concept to me. I soon realized this was going to play a big part in my healing.

In the beginning, my diagnosis was all consuming.  It quickly led to me creating stories in my head about all the what if’s, what the future was going to hold, was my life going to change forever.  All the unknowns were at times suffocating. They were some of the scariest and darkest moments of my life. These thoughts were quick to invade my mind and they would soon consume my whole thinking.

It became very clear to me after some time that plain and simple, worry, creates chaos.  I did not know if these thoughts would actually come to be. What I can tell you is the more I allowed myself to entertain these thoughts, the more I lingered in this pool of worry, the more desperate and depressed I became.  There came a time when I decided that I was not going to let this disease define me. I have written about this before. What I have not shared much about is the spiritual side of my journey.

I dove into teachings by Louise Hay, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Abraham Hicks, Gabrielle Bernstein, and others.  A spiritual deep dive if you will. I didn’t share this with many people, as it was all new to me, a little weird at first and honestly, I didn’t know how they would respond, would they get it?  It didn’t take long before I was hooked. This was what really opened me up to exploring the mind-body connection. Consuming this content, going inward, learning the ways that I could actively contribute to my healing, learning that I could become my own healer and more importantly, believing it.

I slowly started shifting my thinking, my thoughts.  I started seeing myself well in my mind and my body. I saw myself thriving, even during the times, I felt my worst.  I saw myself skiing down the mountain with my kids again. I saw myself on my yoga mat. I saw myself healing. I saw it and I believed it.

The more I saw it and felt it, the more my body would respond.  The better my thoughts were, the constant worry started to disappear. The mind is a powerful thing.  There is a lot to be said for the saying “the body achieves what the mind believes.”

This had such a profound impact on me and my healing that it is a big part of the work I do with my clients today.

It is important for you to know that this does not just apply to those living with a chronic condition. This can be used with any challenge you are faced with in your life.

For those in the face of a challenge or perhaps you are feeling stuck in your life, or in your in your health. Please remember this...

Always have hope.  Always believe in yourself. Always believe there is an answer. Always know you aren’t in this alone.

I invite you to start exploring teachers, books, coaches that you are curious about and drawn to.  Open your mind to what is possible for you. Tap into that beautiful mind of yours and let it help you. It is one of our most powerful assets.

Meegan

Benefits of Infrared Saunas

meegan.JPG

Let’s talk infrared saunas.  I have been getting some questions, so I figured this was a great place to share.

I was first introduced to them when my doctor recommended I start incorporating regular visits as part of my treatment. I needed another way to help my body detox.

Sweating is one of the body’s healthiest and most effective ways to eliminate toxins.  It is an essential element in detoxification.

They are different from a regular sauna in the way that with a traditional sauna you have to heat it to a very high temperature. Whereas infrared saunas heat your body while the air stays cool. This is huge for those like me, that can be sensitive to heat.

The infrared light penetrates deeper, the heat pulls out the toxins under the skin and exfoliates them through the skin, which is amazing for detoxifying and even weight loss.  All of this allows for your cells to eliminate toxins better. The heat from the infrared sauna helps you detox seven times faster than traditional saunas.

Studies have shown that the use of infrared saunas can help many chronic conditions such as arthritis, Lyme, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and so on. They have also proved to be very helpful for those recovering from addiction or depression.

It didn’t take long before my weekly visits to the sauna became something I looked forward to.  A quiet place for me to relax. Sometime meditate, sometimes listen to a podcast or book on audible, or just kick back in silence.  It was a place of healing.

Here are some of the benefits I noticed when using an infrared sauna.

Pain Relief
Regular visits to the sauna really helped with the pain I was experiencing in my joints, bones and muscles.

The heat penetrates the joints, muscles and tissues; increasing circulation, and generating more oxygen flow to the areas of the body that need it.  The heat flushes out the lactic acid, helping muscles loosen, relieving stiff muscles as well as reducing soreness, minor aches and muscle spasms.

Healthy Skin
My skin suffered greatly when I was going through my Lyme treatment. Consistent visits to the sauna helped a lot. And now that I am on the other side, when I sweat it out on a regular basis, I notice the difference. I always feel as though I have had a kickass facial and I am glowing from within.

Immunity
Another way to boost and support my immune system.  The increase in body temperature from the sauna helps enhances your white cell blood function, helping your body fight infections and boosting your overall lymphatic function.

Relaxation
As I mentioned, the sauna quickly became one of my favorite places to relax. A place where I could get my zen on!  A quiet place all to myself all while detoxing my body. Can’t beat that!

There are many more benefits to using infrared saunas that I haven’t shared here.  All in all, the benefits are incredible!

It is important to remember to drink plenty of water before and after you sweat it out.  And pay attention to the cues your body gives you. Our bodies are smart cookies. The use of an infrared sauna can provide major health benefits.  

I hope that the information I have shared here was helpful and informative. And for those of you that have not tried it yet, maybe this has peaked your curiosity and you are ready to get your sweat on!

Meegan

Self-Care Basics

meegan.png

Self-care has been all the buzz for a little bit of time now.  I think we all know that self-care is more than just a trip to the spa.  It’s about taking care of yourself from the inside out and tending to our needs on a regular basis. More than just on occasion.  We often tend to overcomplicate things. Imagine that!  Since self-care has been all the talk. There is so much information out there about how we should or should not practice self-care. Am I right?  Do you find yourself a bit confused at times and perhaps trying to craft these elaborate self-care routines?

Something we can easily forget is that keeping things simple is most always the best course to take. Taking it back to the basics, my friends.  The practice of self-care does not have to be some overwhelming somewhat unachievable thing. We just need to simplify things a bit. And as with so many things we do in life, consistency is key.  Whether you are just starting out or maybe you have got it down but want to take things up a notch. Wherever you are, I am sharing with you some ways to simplify self-care.

1. Bring it back to the basics
Instead of making self-care an elaborate and overwhelming practice that takes up to three hours at a time, keep it super simple.  Start with your most basic needs.

Now some of you may think after reading that, “well, I don’t know what my basic needs are.” This is where paying attention to what your mind, body and soul need most.  If you keep those elements of your life in check, the practice of self-care won’t seem so daunting. And it should never feel like a chore.

2. Shift your mindset
How do you currently view/think about self-care?  How important is your overall health and wellness to you?  Wellness is about making healthy choices that improve our physical and mental state.  Self-care is a vehicle that helps us achieve that.

Self-care is about taking care of yourself.  Showing up for yourself. Finding things to help us in staying balanced and healthy. Physically, mentally and emotionally.

If we start to look at self-care as wellness and wellness as self-care, it might change how we view things.

As I mentioned earlier, self-care is all the buzz right now and for good reason.  It is important to try and not get caught in the swirl of ‘all the things’ and find out what we actually need, not what other people tell us we need.

This may take a little experimenting to find what works for you. Just remember do what feels good to you.  Don’t overthink it.

3. Make note
When things get busy it is easy to forget about self-care. It is often one of the first things to fall off.   But this is when we need it most. It can make such a difference in our lives.

Weaving in a little self-care throughout the day can really have an impact on our mood and how you react to things, especially during stressful times.

Making note, either mentally or keeping track in a journal or on your calendar is a great way to see how self-care affects you. Make a mental note or write down the day, what you did and how you felt afterward. I personally like to get things out of my mind and onto paper so I can go back and check things out rather than trying to keep it all straight upstairs.

After doing this for a little bit, you will begin to see that self-care really does have a positive impact on not only you and your mood, but your relationships and your work.

4. Just begin
Everyone’s routine will look different.  What I enjoy doing for self-care may be an absolute turn off for you.  For those that are new, you may that you are spending an awful lot of time searching for things to do.  I get it, but you may also find that you spend so much time searching that you never get to the actual act.

What are you drawn to?  What feels good? What do you enjoy doing?  It really could be as simple as taking a break from what you are doing. Stopping everything and just sitting for five minutes. Whatever it is, it is important to listen to your needs and practice in a way that feels right for you.

Above all, it is important to remember to listen to our bodies and attend to our needs.  Sprinkling self-care practices in throughout your week will help you take care of you.

What are some of your favorite ways to practice self-care?

Take good care of you,

Meegan