Meghan Markle's Thoughts on Turning 33

There is no fairytale without a real story....

Borrowed from the thetigarchive. The Tig is Megan's former blog site were she shared her travels, fashion, love of food, and interviews with influencers.

Meghan's birthday post is a great reminder that what it means "to arrive" in this world is first coming to terms with yourself. 

Birthday post from Meghan
In 2014, she wrote:
I am 33 years old today. And I am happy. And I say that so plainly because, well...it
takes time. To be happy. To figure out how to be kind to yourself. To not just choose that
happiness, but to feel it. My 20s were brutal – a constant battle with myself, judging my
weight, my style, my desire to be as cool/as hip/as smart/as “whatever” as everyone
else. My teens were even worse – grappling with how to fit in, and what that even meant.
My high school had cliques: the black girls and white girls, the Filipino and the Latina
girls. Being biracial, I fell somewhere in between. So everyday during lunch, I busied
myself with meetings – French club, student body, whatever one could possibly do
between noon and 1pm- I was there. Not so that I was more involved, but so that I
wouldn’t have to eat alone.
I must have been about 24 when a casting director looked at me during an audition and
said “You need to know that you’re enough. Less makeup, more Meghan.”
You need to know that you’re enough. A mantra that has now engrained itself so deeply
within me that not a day goes by without hearing it chime in my head. That five pounds
lost won’t make you happier, that more makeup won’t make you prettier, that the now
iconic saying from Jerry Maguire -”You complete me” – frankly, isn’t true. You are
complete with or without a partner. You are enough just as you are.
So for my birthday, here’s what I would like as a gift: I want you to be kind to yourself. I
want you to challenge yourself. I want you to stop gossiping, to try a food that scares
you, to buy a coffee for someone just because, to tell someone you love them...and then
to tell yourself right back. I want you to find your happiness.
I did. And it’s never felt so good.
I am enough.

Why You Must Be Unreasonable

 
 PHOTOGRAPH BY TATYANA DOBERA  

PHOTOGRAPH BY TATYANA DOBERA  

To have anything in this life you must be unreasonable, like really unreasonable, like Elon Musk investing-his-Paypal-millions-into-Telsa-and-at-one-point-depending-on-friends-for-financial-support unreasonable.

Reasonable thinking says that living a life outside of the norm is ridiculous, it's risky, it's insane. But if you've dreamed of having anything outside of what you have today then that dream is only possible when you have imagination mixed with unreasonable thinking. 

I don't write these ra-ra-ra post for my health. I write them because I want you to understand that you must escape the confines of your reality in order to see all that life has to offer you. Yes, it's hard. Yes, everything for social media to binge-watching on Netflix is meant to distract you. Yes, finding your own way is frustrating and at times seems impossible when you are inundated with outright misleading advertisements; but at some point, you must choose.

Choose what you ask? Choose YOU. At some point, you are going to have to lay all those excuses at the feet of no-one-cares and go after what you want. At some point, it needs to be "do or die," "by any means necessary," "come what may." At some point, you will have to understand that no matter how comfortable you are and no matter how good life looks today, if you have delayed your dreams then you have done yourself a disservice and your children need someone to look up too, not a robot or a mannequin dressed in the latest trends.

You are not a mannequin, you are a human. You have been placed on this earth for a reason and I guarantee it wasn't so that you can drive the hottest cars and brag about your vacations.

Let's find out what it was.

Let's find out why you were made. Can you imagine the journey you would have to go on to do so? Can you imagine the people you would meet? The places you would go? The expansion of your mind in ways you never imagined? Whoa! I am feeling the tingles just thinking about it.

Who would you become at the end of this journey? I bet a person who loves harder, who feels deeper, whose sight is magnificent. It's almost as if you became a superhero and gained powers beyond your imagining. At the end of your life, you would leave nothing on the table and nothing in the gas tank. You would die on empty.

It starts with being a little unreasonable. 

Here are a few books that keep me thinking unreasonably: 
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard
Art of Work Jeff Goins 

My latest book dives further into this topic. Read a sample for free here.

The Startling Power of Fear

 
 PHOTOGRAPHED BY WILLIAM STITT

PHOTOGRAPHED BY WILLIAM STITT

 
While I was fearing it, it came,
But came with less of fear,
Because that fearing it so long
Had almost made it dear.
There is a fitting a dismay,
A fitting a despair.
’T is harder knowing it is due,
Than knowing it is here.
The trying on the utmost,
The morning it is new,
Is terribler than wearing it
A whole existence through.
— Emily Dickerson, 1830-1886

Let's face it. The end could come tomorrow. Yes, the real end. The mind-numbing, debilitating, I-knew-this-day-would-come end and you and I would accept it just as we accept the rising sun. 

What would happen if you made your worse fears a possibility today and embraced them? You would swallow every ounce of that fear and sleep like a baby tonight because you have come to grips with that fear as a possible reality and now there is nothing else to do but go to sleep. 

A few years ago, after accepting a job in New York, I had a lot of unknown fear feelings. I had never lived in the another state before, I had never lead a team of people before, I had never managed before, and I was leaving a man I just met (who turned out to be my husband) uncertain if the new relationship would survive. These facts created an uneasy feeling of "oh, crap" what the heck am I doing? But in the midst of the downward spiral, I took a few breaths and remembered this was of my choosing. I was choosing to become a person who enjoyed the unknown, challenges, and the mystery that unfolds when you just roll with life's plan. 

 PHOTOGRAPH BY ROB BYE

PHOTOGRAPH BY ROB BYE

Why? Because it all works out in the end. 

The fear reminded me of the risk I was taking and how choosing to live could work out in my favor. The fear prepared me for the unknown; it coaxed me to be alert, aware of my new surrounds, and purposeful in my dealings. Today, I look back on my experience in New York with pride, everything did not go as expected but I had the time of my life.

The startling power of fear is the awareness it brings to a situation, your muscles tighten, throat dries, fingers tingle, heart speeds up, and you remember what it feels like to be alive. 

The Secret to 2018

 PHOTOGRAPH BY EVGENIA ARBUGAEVA

PHOTOGRAPH BY EVGENIA ARBUGAEVA

Decide Who You Are

Deciding who you are is the tipping point to maneuvering through the madness of life. You need to go ahead and decide who you are – period. If you like to dance, dance. If you are secretly fascinated by celebrity culture, blog. If you want to be an artist, buy a camera or use your phone, paint, or write. But get off that fence and do something. Decide. The sooner you do this, the sooner you will find out if this path is right for you or not and from there you can make new decisions. 

Take No Prisoners

The Kardashians will be the Kardashians, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder) will be Mark, so you must be you. There's no sense in waiting for the tide to roll in your favor, go out and create your luck. You do this by holding nothing back each day. Leave nothing on the table this year! 

Know What You Want

Why did you not get a lump of coal for Christmas? Because that is not what you wanted and I bet knowing you, you got exactly what you wanted. Why? Because you knew what it is you wanted. The same magic works in life. If you want a different, fuller, more amazing life, know what that looks like. Paint the picture in your mind. Then, pursue only the activities that move you closer to what YOU said YOU wanted. 

Envy No One

This ask may be hard to digest seeing your Instagram newsfeed, and Facebook timeline is 24/7 but what if this year you decided to want the things you have and work for the things you want.  The outcome will be empowering as well as life-changing.  

Compete with Yourself

I want to be a better writer. I will not become a better writer by competing, stalking, or hating on writers that are better than me. I will become a better writer by competing with my last work, by challenging the way I view the world, and by writing. Your only hope in outworking your competition is by doing the WORK. Then, let the chips fall where they may and if they don't fall in your direction, TRY AGAIN. 

Happy New Year, Friend! 

Get my latest book project START YOUR MOVEMENT: A 5-Step Guide to Creating Purposeful Results in Life and Community for free by subscribing to my newsletter here

Live In The Wonder

 PHOTO DENYS NEVOZHAI

PHOTO DENYS NEVOZHAI

What does it mean to live amazed? In awe of the rising sun? In awe of growing children? In awe of metal planes that fly? Where has this amazement for life gone? 

When I spend even twenty-four hours away from social media, I rediscover things about myself that got lost in the noise. I believe the reason most of us can not see the beauty in life because we are overexposed. We have allowed ourselves to live quietly in the corners of other people's lives. There we are the judge and not the judged. A simple rule applies in this space, no harm, no problem

However, there is a problem, one that has grown under the skin. The issue that always arises when we choose to take the easy road; choosing to be bystanders to the lives of people near and far jade us. It creates lapses in our mind, spend more than fifteen minutes in someone's social feed, look up, and it feels as though the world has changed or at the least, that time is lost in a space that belongs to the curator. 

To live in the wonder means to go on a journey, being content with your view, and changing that which is changeable. 

Living in the wonder means that I know when to engage and disengage from that which darkens my soul. It means that I live more aware. The awareness of my faults and shortcomings have not come without a fight. In 2014, I had a social media addiction that was out of control. It hindered my writing, and I felt it could derail my life so much so that I addressed it, among other things, in a twelve step program here in Dallas. 

I was able to return to the wonder. 

The wonder for me now is serving my husband, being present for my friends, checking on my sisters who live far away, spending time with my mother, undisturbed and undistracted writing time, and working out because your girl enjoys a good sweat. 

The wonder can be found in the ordinary. 

This piece was originally posted on my stand alone blog at Blogger. 

What if you gave brave living a try?

 PHOTO CREDIT:  Kinga Cichewicz

PHOTO CREDIT: Kinga Cichewicz

I never thought about the dangers of bravery until I heard Kyle Steed, artist, and muralist, give a presentation about his work and the resistance one of his murals received. When telling people to live brave, I ask them to leave where they are, to change, and you and I know that change can be hard. It requires work, perseverance, humility,  and self-discipline. It also challenges current notions of identity, ways of thinking and firmly held beliefs. That is what Kyle's artwork encountered painted on a public space in Fort Worth.

Should then the artist, in my case, the writer, or the singer not ask? Not ask you and I, the receiver, to change, to be more, to leave established comfort zones? Of course not. Asking introduces new ways of thinking, and it produces ideas and innovation. It also makes us a more inclusive society. I'm sure Jonathan Haidt is shaking his head because, yes, sometimes "diversity can be divisive," but we should still try to move closer to communal oneness (click here to listen to Jonathan's interview with Krista Tippett on On Being)

Asking my readers and those who show up to my book tour to be brave is asking them to be who they know they can be. At least that was the case in the story I heard from an older gentleman today named Lonzo. I'm sure Alonzo had no idea what he was getting into when he sat at the small circular table positioned directly behind my book signing set up. But what he received was two millennials, my husband and I, who love to engage strangers and encourage those who have turned their backs on their dreams for whatever reasons. Lonzo wants to be a singer. He has had the dream since he was young, and now as an old man, he sings in his Baptist Church's choir. But Lonzo wants more. He wants to create a life and provide for his wife with his vision. Lonzo merely is too "afraid" to go for it. After an hour of corralling, encouraging, and strategizing with Alonzo about the potential technology, especially Youtube held for him, he smiled and thanked us for the uplifting conversation. Who knows, we may have given Lonzo exactly when he needed.

The dangers of living brave are this, today you occupy a space in the world but you, like Alonzo, want more. More cannot be found in your comfort zone; it cannot be found in the habits of your today, it cannot be achieved through good intentions, it takes action. It takes an artist like Kyle, writers, poets, filmmakers, and teachers to challenge, ask, and reveal the flaws and potential. But you must be willing to look at that which disturbs, that which calls out, that which stirs you.

Engage that which disturbs. 

Why “Not Caring” Is Hard

 photo credit:  Cristian Newman

photo credit: Cristian Newman

If you read through the comments section on Amazon for Mark Manson’s breakout hit, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k you will see that many of us spend too much time caring about what other people think of us.

We can’t help it.

“Caring too much” is in our DNA and Mark wittily explains why you should give less f**s and the power you gain in doing so.

But why do we care so much about what other people think about our lives anyway?

They, of course, are not and have not lived our experiences, shared our pain, or walked where we have been. Why do we care so much what other people think of us especially when the people we use to gauge our progress are just trying to get on with life, same as us?

I once heard a friend attribute her social media addiction to gauging whether her life has ended up better off than her exes and friends. Here again, the cycle of trying not to care but caring too much continues because we fail to realize that the human experience is a common experience.

No problem, situation, or shortfall is new under the sun, the Good Book says.

Manson argues that it's not that we should not care at all, that's called apathy, but that we should care or give f***s about the right things: family, our aspirations, community, love, our well-being.

Do we care too much out of boredom or the same reason we watch reality television -- for the drama and spectacle of it all? Do we care too much out of habit or because high school conditioned us for the daily practice?

Do we care too much about other people's opinions of us out of fear or because we have forgotten how to hear our voice? The voice that says we are unique in every way. The voice that whispers when we remember to find our breath.

I believe we are afraid to care less because we want to know if others can see the deepest fears we have about ourselves.

What if you owned your fears? Adressed them all? Lined them up one-by-one and laid waste to them like they do in karate movies. 

You would care less.  

What To Do When You Are Afraid

 photo credit:  Elizabeth Lies

photo credit: Elizabeth Lies

Hide. 

This answer satisfied the younger me. The young girl who shared a bedroom for most her life because being born a triplet there was never quite enough space. Even after I got my own room, my sisters and I used to sleep in the doorway of our bedrooms with the bathroom light on. We were scared of whatever we imagined existed in the dark when we were alone. 

But when you have no doorway to sleep in and no bathroom light to keep on what do you do when you are afraid?

Your natural tendency may be to find the nearest exit, immerse your feelings in doubt and worry, or to place blame. But these solutions are temporary escapes, and your fears meet you at the door when you are ready to come home. Just as I had to learn to sleep in the dark alone if I wanted to keep my own room you must stare down your fear if you’re ever going to move past it. 

Remember, there were never any monsters. The boogie man under your bed was not real. You and I may have avoided stepping on the carpet in the dark or peering under the bed, but today we know all of it was in our heads. It was apart of our imaginations, which means you have the power to make the scary thing disappear. All I had to do was make sleeping alone a habit, look into to the dark and see nothing. 

As a result, I got to keep my own room, and it became a place to call my own. 

That is what we gain when we face our fears: a place to call home. Fear tries to crowd your mind, limit your dreams, and determine your destiny but if you can conquer it, you gain the world. You acquire a bold future. Have the hard conversation, tell that person you love them, fight for your marriage, and champion your dreams. 

When you are afraid to look towards the light, lean into the fear that seeks to consume you and stand firm.

What is Women's Empowerment?

 photo credit:   London Scout

photo credit:  London Scout

Is not wearing makeup women's empowerment? 

Is Oprah's checkbook women's empowerment?

Is Miley Cyrus's twerking women's empowerment?  

Is Ivanka Trump's position in the White House women's empowerment?

Is Kim K's embrace of her sexuality women's empowerment?

 Photo Credit:  Tim Gouw

Photo Credit: Tim Gouw

Is Maya Angelou's strong and passionate spoken word women's empowerment?

Is not shaving your legs women's empowerment?

Is power posing women's empowerment?

Is having children women's empowerment?

 photo credit:  Eunice Lituañas

photo credit: Eunice Lituañas

What is women's empowerment today and how should we define it? 

 

 

How Not to Be Used

don't get used

I realize with this current administration how important and powerful it is to stay positive and do the work. If you are like me, you want so badly to join the talk, jokes, and rants against this president and his cabinet. I could post comments, long essays, and Twitter rants that would destroy him, at least in my mind. I could personally attack his children, wife, and upbringing. I could meme the heck out of him, but what would be the point to it all? What would I gain? What do I achieve by spending hours of my day fuming? 

There is a better way. 

You are the better way. I am the better way. Our goals, originality, and authenticity when we are playing to our strengths is the better way to combat this crazy time in history. 

The key is not to get used. 

I scribbled this short phrase on my wrist this morning as a reminder that the moment I start complaining about the president and the state of the world I’m done. I'm playing myself in every sense of the word. I am focusing my energy in the wrong direction. 

Today, you and I are forced to reckon with ourselves. We are forced to look in the mirror and own up to the fact that the state of the world is a distraction and an excuse to put our work off until things get better. The truth is that you are the better. You and I are what turn this thing around. This horror movie can’t last forever so we need to prepare ourselves for the ride back up. 

The best way not to get used is by not forgetting your mission. Remember why you started and count your hard work as something. It can be easy to say “what’s the point to all this hard work” when the Kardashians are getting rich off their backsides, but again what is the point in that? You have something to say, so keep saying it until people take notice. Keep speaking your truth until your message is so refined and your voice is so loud that people can’t help but take notice. How can light on a hill not be seen? 

Don’t get used.