If you could choose to live out the truest version of yourself in this lifetime, would you say YES?
This episode is about awakening to the life that you're meant to live without all of the layers of crap that have been piled on us over the years. It's like peeling back the onion slowly to get to your truth, to how you want to live this life, how you want to be here.
Learn how discovering your inner child can change your life.
Awaken to Your Freedom
Megan on Instagram
When I talk about, the things that have happened in my life, I'm not bitter. I'm not a victim. I'm still sad about things, but I don't live my life every day reliving those moments.Megan:
Me neither. It's an interesting thing sitting down and talking about your life a little bit. I don't know if you've thought about it, but it's an interesting kind of journey in itself.
My name is Sandi McKenna, and this is Unforgettable Conversations. The podcast that is your roadmap to resilience, sharing, extraordinary stories from people, just like you and me who have weathered life's storms. You'll find inspiration and motivation in every episode.sandi:
Let's start from the beginning. Megan Bedford. You are a mom and you're a marketer, you're a podcaster, you do a lot of different things and you had, which I've read a wonderful childhood. So that's where I'd like to start. I'd like to start at your childhood and tell me what made it so wonderful, because I feel like I had a wonderful childhood too.Megan:
Well, I grew up in a small ski town in central Vermont. It's like a mix of a ski community and a farming community. Both my parents moved there in the sixties. Because, you know, when you talk about moving to a place because you don't know what you're gonna do for a living, but you moved there because it's incredible. And I think that is what Vermont is made of. It's made of all of these different kind of very creative personalities. There's not a lot of commerce there. So you bring in all of these people that are there because they love it so much. And they've created businesses. there because they were going to make it work. So when you bring that kind of energy to a place, it was this incredible community to grow up and have this hodgepodge of creative people who love the outdoors and love to ski. My mom was a horse woman. So we had horses. From the time I was five, my mom raised my brother and sister and I on her own, started her own real estate agency at 24. And, back then there weren't a lot of people divorced. So for us, it was just normal, you know, growing up with my mom and she ran a business and we had this beautiful property and she worked her butt off and she always would say to us, you know, in order to keep this place, I need your help. I need you guys to chip in. And so what happened is this like sense of we're all in this together. And because of that, the four of us created this very special bond of, this is our property. We're going to keep it, we're going to create it together. We're going to work hard together. and it was pretty special.sandi:
And so what was an average day for you?Megan:
well, I had a really strong work ethic from a really young age. I would wake up, at six and go to the barn and feed the horses. Vermont weather's pretty bad. I mean, in the winter it can be negative 25 in the morning, especially back then. So I'd feed the horses. my sister and I would kind of rotate responsibilities. Walk to the end of the road, which was about a half mile go to school. I'd had sports after school every day and then, feed the horses again, muck stalls, and also I took on a very mothering role in my family from a very young age. So I would do a lot of laundry. I would, help cook. I helped clean the house. I felt from a very young age like I had to really pitch in here. I had to really make my mom's life feel easier. and that was probably just something nobody was telling me to do those things. I think that was just who I was, you know, helping out with my younger sister. And, I felt from a very young age of very strong sense of responsibilitysandi:
Now how has that affected you as a parent? And how are you raising your children? Are you raising them the same as the way you grew up or do you have a different parenting style?Megan:
That's a really good question. I don't want them to feel like they're responsible for our family. Yes. I think the sense of, I was part of something bigger was a really good lesson that we're all in this together. I think that was something that I liked knowing that I was contributing as a kid. And I think that's an important thing, but I, I took it to the next level as a child, meaning. I shouldn't have been doing all of those things. I remember doing laundry at five years old, and a lot of it and folding it and putting on my brother's bed and nobody was stopping me. So my biggest change, as a parent now is really looking at my kids as individuals. And, allowing them to be kids. My daughter has the same nurturing tendencies as I do. I can see it. And so stopping her and letting her know, like, you're not responsible for your brother. He can do it on his own. You know? So taking kind of some of the things as a child that Molded me into some of that people pleasing codependent and making sure that my kids know, like I got you. I, I am your mother. You don't need to do these things. And that's not saying that they're not responsible for certain things. It's it's a different message.sandi:
Now what is your day to day now? What kind of life?Megan:
Well, I wish I had horses, Sandy, but I don't, you know, it depends. So I am a single mom too, but I split time with my ex-husband with the kids. And so if they're on a week on week off, so there's one week where life is super busy, you know, and balancing work and sports with the kids and getting them to school. And, it feels like there's really No time to breathe, but then there's also this whole week where I have to really focus on things that, that lift me up. So it's like this replenishing week, you know, where I can spend more time in nature and, um, fill my cup up and focus on the things that I love, like podcasting and other things. So it's actually kind of a gift in a way, although. I miss my kids during that time, but you never really ever have that time as an adult to take a break. And I do, you know, so, It's almost like, go, go, go, go, go. And then it's like, okay, I have to now find these things that fill me up and get to know myself again on what does Megan like and what does Megan like to do? and that's been a whole journey in itself is, is rediscovering who I am and, and what kind of lights me up.sandi:
So who are you? What have you discovered about yourself?Megan:
Good question! I think the biggest things you look at yourself, you look at yourself and your past, and you look at yourself now as an adult and, I think many of us have like a big catalyst for change in our life. And when I look at, myself as a younger person, I, I look at myself that, definitely people pleasing tendencies. I learned from a young age, if I am responsible and don't rock the boat. And things run smoothly and I don't, ask for too much, that things go pretty well for me. That life is pretty easy, but also during that time, I realized a lot of my needs weren't being met. I, I never felt like I was validated or a had space to kind of ask for anything. Um, I would just do, do, do, do do, And then some of the choices that you make in your life kind of reflect those things, because I didn't really have a lot of opportunity as a young person to, To really know what I wanted at the time. I was focusing on everybody else and not myself that I didn't really have a lot of time to understand who I was. So I, I got married young and, I was in, a relationship that really was not healthy for me. And, I was kind of plodding along life, had a good career kind of going through the motions and becoming more and more numb as I got older. I re I remember, that my big catalyst for change for myself was 13 years ago. I got a call from my mom and, it was April 21st, 2009 or 22nd rather. And she said, are you sitting down? Uh, why, why do people ask that question when something important is about, and then, you know, something's, something's up. I just picked my in-laws up at the airport and we were having lunch. And she just said to your sister, all I heard was your sister drove her. Drove her car off a bridge and drowned. Um, that's what I heard later. Whole different story came out. I remember kind of running around the corner of the restaurant I was outside. And I think I kind of collapsed in a way. and. I couldn't get home till the next day to Vermont. I was in Colorado and I had a one and a half year old. And I remember laying in my bed that night and, you know, knowing she was dead and just feeling so alone, you know? So, so. Numb yet. It seems surreal. I didn't believe it. I just couldn't even believe what I was hearing. So the next day when I flew to Vermont, I remember I'm walking through the airport with my daughter and I see my brother and my mom, and we like just embraced in this hug in the airport, you know, crying and. That was my, that was my start of my unraveling. meaning sometimes it takes us to get to this place where you're so depleted in your grief and you're so raw that you have no choice, but to start feeling the things that you've been pushing away forever. And so I stayed there for three weeks and grieved and, and hung out with our family and really started my journey. When I got back to Colorado, you know, after I know, you know, this after death everybody's life is keeps going and your life suddenly has changed so much. And nothing's the same, everything's the same. And nothing's the same. Right? So, that was when I really started. To make some changes in my life. When I hired a counselor and started to unpack all of the things that had been building up over the years and really get to know, who I am and what kind of life I want to live here. So that was a long-winded answer, but who I am now, I'm I am somebody that's extremely present, with my kids. I know how to set good boundaries now. I'm no longer a people pleaser. I say what's on my mind more. I don't worry about so much what people think I. Have a big wide open bursting heart. And I feel everything. I can walk into a room and feel everybody. And so learning not to take that on myself, is something that I've healed and worked on. But to me, I'm, I'm somebody that I love life. I'm very joyful. I feel like there's just so many opportunities and I don't want to waste any time.sandi:
And what steps did you take to get to this point? I mean, your sister's death was the catalyst, but there had to be action, steps that you took during that time in order to 13 years later, get to this much different point in your life.Megan:
Yeah. So you name it. I tried it. The first thing was counseling, you know, just being able to say out loud, Some of the things that were going on with me I didn't say it out loud to anybody. I didn't talk about my marriage. I didn't talk about, how I really didn't like what I was doing career wise. I was just a shell of a person. And I was scared that if I started to share some of these inner feelings that people would think I was a failure or people would think, that I didn't have it all together. Cause that's kind of this image that I put out to the world was so silly. so first was being able to tell the truth about my story to somebody that didn't know me and would just listen. The next was, I needed to get grounded in my body. so once you realize kind of your story and how you got there and, and the ways we were as kids and the parents we had in our family of origin, all of the things on why we ended up the way we are, then I had to figure out, okay, I understand all that. Now I need to unpack it. I need to really unpack it. One of the first things I did was I went into some Reiki sessions because, My husband and I got separated and I felt so much fear and so much, um, inner talk of what are you doing? You're not strong enough to do this. Um, A lot of gaslighting going on. I felt not in my body, not grounded. So Reiki, is energy work, um, is another word for it. But what would happen during those sessions is I was able to. Really get back into my body and, at least feel, be able to feel versus I had operated in fight or flight for so long that just being able to feel what my body was telling me, was really important. So Reiki was a big part of my healing at first, and I feel like. You know, when you're on a healing journey, you kind of, you try these things and they work and then you kind of outgrow them and move on to the next thing. these things come into your life where you just like, oh, that makes sense now. But it wouldn't have made sense six months. Yeah. So at the same time I was meeting with this lady on the phone and what she does is body talk. And it's almost like energy work, but she's kind of looking at blockages within your body. So old trauma that you might be holding, or if you got in a physical accident. So she would go through and scan my body and this was over the phone and she would really help kind of clear, not only blockages, but old trauma that was stuck in there. And it could have been even from a past life, which sounds bizarre. But it's true. So she was constantly scanning and clearing my body. That was something I did for a while. I found another healer in Boulder, Colorado that, um, would really help kind of do some cord cutting. Have you ever heard of that?sandi:
I've never heard of that. What is it?Megan:
When you're someone that's pretty open, you know, if you're an empath or, or even just a feel, or just call yourself a feeler, if you feel a lot of people's energy, what can happen is energetic cords can kind of be tied to you and you can also energetically chord other people. And so what happens is you're not really feeling your whole body all the time, because you're carrying around all these cords of other people that have kind of energetically corded you, and you've done the same to them. So one of the things that really helps me now that I understand this, and I was never able to do this on my own before, but every morning when I wake up I kind of clear my body and I'll say, if I taken on anybody else's energy, I'd like to give it back to them and you do it in lovingly way. You know, I'm gonna cut all the chords and send them back. And then if anybody's kind of put their cords on me, send them back and you want all your energy back. So you're just like reclaiming your energy. So you start whole in the morning. and that was something that. I was being corded a lot back then. That was something that really helped. I did a lot of inner child work with her as well. For me, you know, when I look at like, when some of my abandonment issues kind of started when my dad left, I think that child's voice got lost. So all of the needs that she had were not met. And so what happened over the course of my lifetime with my inner child is she started not to trust me. You know, she, she would feel these things and I, I would find myself saying, you're fine. You're feeling stuff. Like I've got this, don't worry about it. You know? And so not validating her at all. So I went through this whole series where I literally went back to Megan, as, a baby and held her and loved her and as a five-year-old and as a seven-year-old and, and that is powerful work. And I'm am summarizing me to talk about inner child work for a long time, but really getting to this place where now that inner child of myself trust me enough to know that I am going to protect her and I am going to listen. So how it looks now is say something comes up in your life and your initial reaction is maybe an old reaction to say, you know what? I've got this, don't worry about it. Instead of doing that now, instead of bypassing her, I say, I know you're scared about this. I know this doesn't feel good, but we're going to be okay. I'm hearing you. I love you. I'm going to take care of you and it's this whole different way of operating because I'm honoring that little child in me that was never heard and validated, and now I'm validating her and she's trusting me. Wow. That's a beautiful way to heal. I've done a lot of other things, but I, I think the biggest thing about my healing Sandi has been honoring those feelings and not bypassing them. You know, the tough girl in me was always like, you've got this, that feeling you're having push it away. It doesn't matter. It does. What I've found is on this journey, the more you push things away, have you ever noticed, like when you keep ignoring something, it just keeps showing itself again in a different way. That's the same thing. Like all of these cycles are going to keep happening in your life with relationships and whatever, until you choose a different way. And so by choosing a different way, You're saying to yourself, I love you enough that I'm going to honor what you're feeling, and I'm also going to choose a different way. And so now it's so easy when something comes up now, instead of it taking me out for a week or whatever, you can just, you feel it, you honor it, you pay attention to it, but you don't attach to that feeling. It's not who you are anymore. It's just a thing. It comes up. It's a part of you. It's real. Don't push it away, but you don't have to attach to it. You don't have to believe it. It's not who you are, but you have to honor it. Does that make sense?sandi:
It does. It does. And now how has all this healing process over the last decade changed your career? You said you were in a career that you weren't really happy with. Wasn't fulfilling. And so how has that changed professionally for you?Megan:
I think it's all part of the same thing, right? If I'm honoring myself in who I'm in relationships with and who I'm friends with and how I parent, I better be honoring myself too, and how I'm spending my time. My careers have always been great. You know, I've, I've been good at them. I started in a sales career marketing career. we built up our businesses and we sold them in 2017. And then I went on to work for the company, that we built it up and sold it to, and I, I loved those careers. I think what's happening for me is, they just didn't fill my cup. I was good at them and it was kinda like, okay, been there, done that. I'm ready for something new. So now, I've gone out and I, I do consulting marketing, which I still really enjoy, but I think for me, you have to define in your life what is important to you? Right? So for me, it's like freedom is a word that's very important to me and going into an office and showing face and doing that whole corporate thing is that's just not who I am. Actually the thought of it just like being in a cage. I, I can't do it and it's not that I don't like people. I just. I want to be home. When my kids get home from school, I'm going to take them to school. There's certain priorities that I have that are non-negotiable and that's one of them. So. Having my own consulting company frees me up to do that. And I, and I love the work. I also have a nonprofit which encourages kids to get into the skilled trades. And I'm passionate about that because I believe our system is broken. I think there's a lot of young kids that get pushed into college and it's not for them. It feels like I'm giving back and, that feels really good. It's kind of putting all this experience that I've had in the skilled trades, my whole life, and also doing something that feels good, that, that feels purposeful. And I have a podcast going with that called trade up, which I interview young people in the skilled trades and tell their story and. I, I do think that's an important part of our future. There's a lot of people not going into the skilled trades yet. There's a ton of young people that would really find those careers rewarding. Then underneath it is like this bubbling feeling of awakened to your freedom, which is one of my passion projects. My podcast is really about awakening to the life that we're meant here to live without all of the layers of crap that has been piled on us over the years. It's like peeling back the onion slowly to get to your truth, to how you want to live this life, how you want to be here. Every part of my journey to this place has been about Getting here, arriving at this place where I feel that I love myself and I love what I'm doing. and I'm putting that out into the world. and I think awakened to your freedom .It's been bubbling. I launched the other one first because it felt safe. It felt like a safe place. I didn't have to be too vulnerable, but something's that happening where, you know, you keep getting that knock on the. And it keeps coming and the voice keeps coming in and you're like, it's time. And when my friend reached out to me, we had done the recording six months ago. She said, I, I want to take a listen. You know what I did, I went in and I edited it. And you told me it's not that hard. And it wasn't, it was actually fun. we're all being called. Like every part of our journey is bringing us to this place. Of our purpose. Right? So everything that I've gone through, I have such gratitude for, because I feel like it's gotten to us to this place of like, oh, this is how I'm supposed to be here. My work is a mix of a lot of things. But that's how I like it. I don't like to be bored doing just the one thing I, I like to be engaging with a lot of different people in a lot of different things. So my work has changed because I'm doing now what fills me up fully. And nobody else is in charge except for me. And that, that feels really good.
Every episode of unforgettable conversations has been like therapy for me, I learned so much from my guests. Today's conversation with Megan taught me to look inward, to embrace my younger self and to be gentle with her and forgiving. It really struck a chord. I often think we robotically move through life without ever stopping to feel. Sometimes it's just too painful. Other times it seems so insignificant or just self-absorbed. As adults we're multilayered. Life is a series of pages that create our stories culminating into the chapters that have made us who we are. Megan shared her story so eloquently and I hope it resonated with you as much as it did with me. In her podcast, season opener, awaken to your freedom. Megan talks to Liz whose daughter Mary, along with four other teenagers died in a tragic car accident. It is the story of how a mother has transcended her grief into living a more present life for her children and her family focusing on gratitude, and others who have suffered tragic loss. Liz is resilience, personified. Not allowing this tragedy to define the way she shows up to the world. I'll leave all the links in the show notes below