Madison MacGregor
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Vision

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.)

Teenage career decisions- this or that?

I remember seeing this quote from Victoria Beckham, on a day that I was feeling especially stressed out. I felt like I had to sacrifice one thing to have another- sacrifice relationships for a career, or perhaps more specifically, sacrifice one career path for another. At this time in my life, as a grade 11 high school student, I know that I am not the only one who stresses from time to time (or most of the time) on what I should do with my life, and where I should go.

That day, my flustered, confused and frustrated state changed to one of more peace and relief when I read, “you can have it all.”

For myself, the more I grow the more I realize this is true. You can be wealthy, free and abundant in all areas of your life at the same time- sacrifice is not necessary for success (what ever success means to you- happiness, freedom, etc). The awesome relationship, the healthy lifestyle, body, and mind, the successful career, being financially wealthy, having a great family, and being a great person are all possible to be in your life at the same time.

For myself, it was such a great reminder of what is possible. Whenever I get worried, or fear I may need to lose something in order to gain something, I remind myself of all the things I want to give, and become in my life, and I know that it is all possible

New Beginnings

There is one thing I know for sure…

Life is unpredictable.

Looking back, it all makes sense… or at least some of it.

I am excited about this new venture into a new art form, which I hadn’t foreseen, which is acting.

I have always been a huge film buff from the time I was a little girl- watching lord of the rings, the secret garden,the little princess, jaws, and king kong (among many other movies). I have always loved movies, film, and the theatre- but it wasn’t until recently that I started to look deeper into the whole picture, and get to understand what really goes into it all.

I was lucky enough to be a part of an incredible T.V show this summer, and there I was able to see what really went on to create a television show- from the hair and make up to the writing, to the editing to the acting and producing and directing and everything in between. Being on set was like being a part of one huge, living breathing organism, who’s one sole purpose was to create and create better constantly. I loved it! The atmosphere, the people I worked with, the experience I was fortunate to receive, and the talent I was exposed to was unlike anything else.

I remember my last day on set, I filmed a scene with a director that was not only a director but was also one of the writers, and producers. She was such a kind, and passionate spirit, and I remember vividly looking at her doing her job, and thinking to myself, “Maybe I could do that one day.”

Until that point I didn’t think it was possible to be nice, and talented in “showbiz”, nor did I realize you could do more than one thing, and be a woman all at the same time.

It was a beautiful introduction to this industry for me, and I have really fallen in love with it. I aspire to one day be an actress, writer, producer and director. I also know to do that, I really have to hone in and study my craft and constantly better it- which has been such an incredible process so far. I can relate many things from my dance training to my acting training. I love learning, and performing, and I am really falling in love with this craft.

Not only that, but I love connecting with people on the level that arts allows us to do, to create something that can impact someone deeply- whether it makes them laugh or cry, feel inspired or makes them think.

Who knew that this experience in the summer would open up a whole new world of possibilities….

Life is unpredictable…but thats the best part!

Excited to see where this venture leads me,

Madison

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”- Steve Jobs

~Below is a book I’m currently reading on acting techniques and how to achieve your fullest potential- its blowing me away so far !

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Creativity…

What is creativity?

It seems to be this mysterious magic that comes and goes as it pleases. Many of us believe it is either something we have or lack to have…

Over these past few months, I have been trying to put together a new idea….

I was having a major “creative block”- nothing felt right, I just wasn’t coming up with the right ideas. This was extremely frustrating, and as a result, I would give in to the pressure I was feeling to come up with the “right” idea, and would resort to my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube feeds for some “inspiration” (aka an excuse to procrastinate). On my social networks, I would see people doing what they loved, and succeeding- and I wanted that!-and yet I wasn’t loving the work I was creating and was in a feedback loop of failed creativity,  frustration, procrastination, and disappointment.

I overwhelmed myself so much that I got to the point of having a “creative-anixety-meltdown”…

After that I decided to remove my creativity block…once and for all!

For starters, I chose to stop comparing myself to others, and to start listening to my intuition.

I would only do the things that only would make me happier, feel better or get me closer to where I wanted to go, which meant: no scrolling through mindless social media feeds, no pitying self talk, and no more bad habits. I decided to choose to focus on only what I loved and wanted…leaving no space for anything else. I recited affirmations, looked at my vision board, and did incantations (a form of physical meditation). I went back to reading books that expanded my mind- instead of reading articles that drained it.

Slowly, but surely, I was getting back to where I needed to be.

This simple mind-shift brought my creativity back!

Ideas began popping all over the place, and I actually felt like I could function (creatively) again!

I have discovered that creativity is not taboo, nor is it something that we must stare out a rainy window, on a dark stormy night for- it is available to us 24/7, all the time, anywhere.

Phew! What a relief!

Like with “mental showers”, or anything we want, we have to commit to it consistently to make it happen, and I have discovered that creativity functions in the same way.

What a delightful, and convenient discovery,

Thank you creativity for coming back, this time, I’m gonna keep you!

Mental Showers….

In the process of bringing some of my visions to life, I have come to learn a lot about the creative process, and about patience…

I recently read this incredible book called Mach II With Your Hair On Fire, the power of visualization and motivation.

I was blown away!

When I danced, I would always visualize the outcome I desired- and incredibly I would always acScreen Shot 2015-05-20 at 1.59.20 PMhieve the result I was after. I can vividly remember one dance competition that I performed at, I had visualized my solo performance weeks before, creating my “mind movie” of how I wanted to perform and feel, I can still see it and feel it in my minds eye to this day. It was the best performance I had ever personally done as a soloist. It really proved to me the power of visualization, and that as soon as I decided that this was the way things were gonna happen, they turned out even better.

Now with my new entrepreneurial venture, I am trying to apply the same determination, and visualization techniques. It is tough. Some days I feel super motivated, like I am making progress, and other days I feel like I am getting nowhere. I am trying to master consistency, resilience and perseverance. To be a real, true visionary that is unmoved by any “failure” or “set back” or “doubt”- to keep pushing forward towards what I want regardless- it is what I did with dance, and now am doing with this.

Entrepreneurialism is a whole other kind of game than dance. With this journey, it is one that I have to create myself. There is no guidebook, no steps, and no rules. Which can have positive and negative benefits. I have to create my path, blaze a new trail, and learn as I go.

I know, like with anything worth pursuing, it will take perseverance, and dedication. What I have learned is that the one thing that will pull me or anyone through is our vision- the certainty that this is going to happen no matter what, and that it already is happening.

Another technique in visualization is experiencing the vision or becoming it before it officially “happens”. Visions are achieved in the mind first before they are achieved in reality. Experiencing it as if it is already happening is how we fill the gap between where we are to where we want to be, or who we are to who we want to be.

An easy example of this would be someone who wants to lose weight. This person sees, feels themselves as they would be at their target weight; how they are feeling, what they are doing. They will say “I weigh ______ pounds/kg, and I look and feel amazing. I love the way I look and feel and everyone agrees. I love my energy, vitality, and exuberance. My life is so full of health and happiness and I love it.”

Telling ourselves our vision as the present tricks our brain into thinking it is already happening, therefore this “vision” becomes an expectation, instead of a goal- or something far away that isn’t there yet.

This is the best way to fill the gap of where we are or who we are to who we want to be.

Visualization is something that has to be experienced daily; I refer to it like take a “mental shower”. We don’t just take a shower once and expect ourselves to be clean for the rest of our lives. We have to shower consistently, on a daily basis, to stay clean. It is exactly the same with visualization. To become or create what we want (like how we shower to get what we want-which is cleanliness) we have to experience and pursue it on a daily basis.

I hope that this provides some new insights on how visualization can be used to create what you may want, and be a new part of your daily care regime-like taking a shower, to help improve your mental, and emotional wellbeing.

Wishing you a great Wednesday,

Madison

Forgiveness….

GuidanceVision / Feb 4, 2015 / 6 Comments
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My elementary school picture circa 2007

During my entire elementary school education (kindergarten-grade four) I was bullied by classmates I considered my friends. As painful as it was at the time, I am grateful for what I have learned, especially the power and importance of FORGIVENESS.

These “bullies” ended up being some of my friends, and my greatest teachers as a young child. We all “make mistakes” from time to time…but we must learn to understand and forgive ourselves and others for what has happened, knowing that what happened may not have been right, but that it is in the past and it’s behind us.

We have a choice to let go or hold on to our past; whether it is a small conflict, or a major life-changing event. We need to recognize that we can’t change our past. As Oprah says: “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different.”

I was able to forgive the kids who hurt me in school because I was able to understand where they were coming from. I realized that these kids weren’t equipped to express their feelings, manage their fears, insecurities, and frustrations because they hadn’t experienced a situation that made them feel scared or threatened in some way…they simply didn’t know any better.

We can’t control how others will treat us, but we can control how we react, and the best way to handle this is to react with compassion and forgiveness.

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“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela

Think about some of our world’s greatest leaders and icons…Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, Oprah, Maya Angelou. Imagine if they had held on to every negative headline, or criticism? They would literally self-destruct. Their ability to forgive was so strong that it led them to rise above their hardships and “haters” and become something even greater.

Every day you are rewriting your past; add forgiveness into your next page and change your life for the better. Don’t let what HAS happened to you determine what lies ahead. You are the creator of your future, past, and present; learn from your hardships, let it make you stronger through forgiveness, and pave the path to move forward. Don’t ALLOW the past to hold you back from enjoying your present, for you will never get back this moment in time.

Best Wishes,

Madison