Madison MacGregor
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Thankful Thoughts

Taking time to be grateful today.

Thank you for reading my content and for subscribing to this blog! I believe that I can use this platform to show how wonderful life can be when we take time to look and reflect on the moments that make up our lives. Thanksgiving… this weekend…this day, is a big moment. You are alive!

Reflecting today on what I have been given, one thing jumps out. My mom has worked so hard to provide the lifestyle she wanted to live for her children, her family and her own soul.  My mom’s story is below:

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“One of my dear friends sent me a copy of this picture with the quote below, to inspire me while I was still working at my full time job, hustling my side-gig evenings and weekends to gain back TIME FREEDOM in my life!!! “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

I printed a small version of this, with the quote, that I hung in my office beside my computer. I looked at his face and read that quote EVERY SINGLE DAY. I stayed hungry and motivated by the LIFE I was determined to create for myself, my family and as many awesome people as I could support as possible-who were looking to create change too…to “stop wasting their time living someone else’s life!” No coincidence that THE DAY I randomly see this giant sized picture hanging in a hotel on my way to visit a friend – I happen to be wearing the classic Steve Jobs attire – black turtleneck. An inspiration, even after he is gone!!! I meet so many people who want MORE for themselves but they’re so STUCK in their own FEAR! Letting the ‘noise of others’ opinions drown out their own inner voice.’ It actually breaks my heart – because time IS limited and we need more people who have the courage to follow their heart and intuition. So grateful I followed mine-even when it arrived in a very different package than I thought-it has lead me to the life I dreamed of. I am committed to supporting as many people as I possibly can in this lifetime to help live their version of life by design! Because every minute of the hustle and pushing through the fear to live a life of PROGRESS on your terms is BEYOND worth it!!!” – Kim MacGregor

I am grateful for my mother’s example. Thankful for what she has given me and our entire family.

Happy Thanks-Giving!

Thankful for you!

Madison

 

Be Yourself

DirectionHealthInspiration / Nov 17, 2017 / 0 Comments

When I was in kindergarten, there were two things I loved most:

  1. Dinosaurs
  2. Matilda (the 1996 fantasy/comedy) 

I liked to dress like Matilda, who wore a ribbon in her hair, a dress and socks with buckled up shoes. At the end of a class I was approached by a fellow classmate who said to me, “You think you are so cool! With that ribbon in your hair, and that dress on!” Her tiny finger pointed at me and laughed. I was so embarrassed. The next day I showed up with jeans and a t-shirt.

What would’ve happened if I had decided to wear that dress and ribbon anyway. Regardless of what anyone thought?

Happy #FridayThoughts,

Madison

 

 

 

Keep Your Head Up!

Centered. Open. Aware. Connected. And able to Hold whatever is there…

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Madison aged 14 in this picture

That is the meditation I listen to one or more times a week. It helps me stay present and more importantly, deal with anxiety. When I started high school, as a young fourteen year old, bright eyed and excited to start my education, I noticed that often students looked down. Either on our phones or avoiding interaction.

Now, as an “adult” (weird…) I see that we avoid interaction or look at our phones just as much as we did in high school. As the meditation says, to stay open and aware is a gift. To actually notice if someone got a new hair-do, or that they are a kind person is incredible.

Connecting with another person puts you in a vulnerable place. Making conversation can be painful, but it is far less painful than the regret of not speaking up. Who knows what you will learn or discover? When I am talking to someone, I am now trying to be mindful of what I can give or contribute to the conversation.  Then it becomes about what we can give. 

As an 18 year old, I am learning this. That giving is important. That if we are anxious, thinking about what we can give can make us realize what we have. That we have worth, value and so much more to offer another person than we may think- the most simplest (and scariest) to offer a friend, family member or co-worker is love and connection: an open mind, to be centered open aware connected and able to hold whatever is there.

Happy #ThursdayThoughts,

Madison

 

 

Thursday Thoughts

“Run your own race.”

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Madison aged 10 with her 5th Grade 1st Place Cross-Country Ribbon

 

This past (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend my sisters and I decided to go for a run (something we never do). I tied up my shoes, walked out the door, and found myself exhausted at the first thirty seconds (of what would be 10 minutes) of running. Elle, my younger sister, was ahead of Ava, my other sister. (Ava and Elle are twins). I was running and felt tired. “Why am I so tired?” I asked myself privately…. aside from the fact that I was running, something else was weighing me down. “Alright Mads, pace yourself, take your time,” I said, as Elle got further and further ahead of me.

I was comparing this run to my cross-country running experiences from grade five to grade eight. I had trained multiple times a week and was winning 1st, 2nd and even 13th place at school events. “Why am I so slow?” I thought again. Then, as I turned a corner on our street, the phrase “Run your own race” popped into my mind.

I stopped focusing on Elle and instead on the finish line ahead. This time, when Elle passed me, I stayed my course. I focused on the stop sign ahead. I ran harder than ever and almost caught up to Elle.

Beating Elle wasn’t my goal anymore, it was to now run my own race.

Happy #ThursdayThoughts,

Madison x

 

Vulnerability

Every time I try to hide flaws, I fail.

And by fail, I mean learn. Failure is not the end, it is only the beginning of something new…so I’ve learned in 18 years of living my life.

I stopped writing this blog because I was embarrassed. I would read over my comments, from two or so years ago and didn’t want to revisit those posts again.

I have taken up new endeavours since then, started a new project (stay tuned…), finished a second season on Backstage (that is out on US Netflix BTW and Family Channel in Canada this November!!!!), graduated high school (YAY!) and am realizing that running away from vulnerability has brought me right back to where I started. Here. Writing this blog.

In this past year, I have learned that the most important thing is to BE vulnerable. Whatever makes you feel embarrassed, or you feel a resistance towards (which is very different than a gut feeling about what is right or wrong for you) are the very things that make you human and in a way, special. That vulnerability makes others look up and notice you and see you for what you really are.

We connect through vulnerability, it is the most loving thing we can do for ourselves. 

I had always been embarrassed about being myself… I’d tense up in social situations or feel the need to change because I feared what people thought. At the same time, I have always been a very confident person with a strong sense of who I am (and who I am NOT). In moments of vulnerability, I had resisted the urge to step up and be myself…

The very thing that makes you feel embarrassed is the very thing you need to do and face every day.

There’s a saying that goes, “What we resist, persists...” And it is true for being our selves.

Being yourself is brave. 

It is easy to be like everyone else. It is hard to be yourself.

Think about those contestants we see, up on that stage, in talent shows on TV or even in your own school. They are being completely vulnerable up there. Sometimes they succeed (or win), sometimes they fail (or lose). But the most important thing was that they were up there. Being themselves for everyone to see…

being yourself does not guarantee success in the outside world all the time, but you can guarantee it gives you inner success, happiness, with yourself.

Be more of YOU. Who ever and whatever that is. It is not easy, but it is worth it!

I am choosing to be true to myself, even though the outer world doesn’t always reciprocate back to me in a positive way when I make that choice. I am open to learning, but I am not willing to give up who I am for short term outer rewards, that in the long term mean nothing to my self worth.

No matter what….we are ALL faced with challenges. We all fail, and have the potential to learn, grow and be happy with ourselves. But that doesn’t happen before we step into our “embarrassment zone.”

Before I performed my dance routine I would tell myself “There’s no hiding on stage.” Going on stage was just what I needed to step into my “embarrassment zone” and it was where I felt the most alive (the thought of it was much scarier than actually doing it!) We can not only think of an actual stage as the place to be our most vulnerable selves, but can think of life as a stage as well. Providing us the opportunity to step into our own, every moment of everyday.

Push yourself, put in the effort and know that being yourself is the best choice you could ever make!

Step into that vulnerability, use your “voice”, and allow learning, sometimes thought of as failure, to guide the way; it is all a part of living!

Have an awesome Thursday,

Madison

 

SCARY

After a great response on my last blog (link here)I feared the next one. “Will it be good enough? How could I beat that?”

I wanted to hide and make sure nothing else got out that wasn’t at that caliber…..

I was scared and I wanted to play it safe.

Just so you know: playing it safe is what feels natural. It comes from that part of our brain that wants safety and certainty (that part of our brain is called the amygdala – you can learn more about how it works here in Seth Godin’s blog).

Ironically, what I actually need to be doing is work that is unsafe and uncertain, with no guarantee for success. Playing it unsafe is about leaving all possible places to hide and exploring the unfamiliar place of unsafe, uncertain and completely unprotected.

That place feels scary….but we need to be there in order to discover the thrill of doing the stuff we need (and deep down actually want) to be doing. Because there, and only there, will we really know what we are capable of.

Are you feeling the fear and choosing to do it anyway?

I hope you had a great Thursday,

Lots of Love,

Madison

 

Think About It

Teaching myself how to think, not what to think, has been an interesting process thus far.

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Photo by my wonderful friend Zenon Zubyk – you can check out his work here

I am immersed in a different kind of education, where I’m not learning how to “mindlessly” regurgitate information, but instead to process “out-of-the-box” ideas in order to formulate my own way of thinking. To think on purpose. To chose who and how I want to be, and to always make sure that it is in line with my goal of doing work that matters. 

At this age and stage, I’ve realized that what I consume (everything from what I watch to what I read, etc) influences me, but it doesn’t have power over me. I do not aspire to be other people, but I am certainly inspired by other people. I’ve reached a point where I am recognizing the dis-empowering narratives that have played in my head and how they no longer serve me. I am deconstructing them…and re-writing them in a way that is in tune with the truth which is empowering. This is allowing me to move towards my long term vision for the change I want to make in this world.

Letting go of these stories is like flying through the air without landing yet. It’s new, at times it’s scary, but it’s incredibly empowering to be in this learning stage… I know that my destination is worth it.

There is an interesting talk from Jill Bolte Taylor about the Teenage brain, neuroplasticity, and why now, more than ever, at this time in our lives is the time to develop our brains, and ways of thinking, to create a better world, to do work that matters, and to live happily as a result.

Are you choosing how you want to think or are you simply accepting what to think?

Happy Wednesday,

Best,

Madison

(PS My favourite reads and watches right now are from Seth Godin, you can check out his blog here, and one of his many books here.)