Q&A with Meagan Ayres
October is ‘Connection’ month at Mala Collective, which is why we sat down with Meagan Ayres, founder of @iamprojectyou - a women empowerment workshop series featuring female entrepreneurs - who told us all about how she likes to connect to her mind, body and soul...
Q :: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself?
Ah this question is always one that I find interesting as I always find there are so many fascinating things to know about all individuals. Most of the time I find it so hard to share just a few things, it seems like I could ramble on and probably some of those details about myself could be the embarrassing or the peculiar things! Let’s give it a try….
I grew up in a small town Barrie, Ontario and from a young age I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. In the sixth grade I decided to raise funds for my class field trip. I planned what became an annual Valentine’s Day Candy Gram. Spreading the message of love was what was really on my agenda.
You know, as a young child I always begged my mom to buy me the latest and greatest art supplies. I guess you can say I have always been crafty, fun and feminine with a strong passion for shopping. Following trends was something I just liked to do and currently I am making a career and living as Retail Buyer & Manager for Giovane at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in of course beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.
Upon moving to Vancouver what I loved most was being introduced to a new lifestyle that I became very passionate about – one full of personal development and holistic living. I started noticing the positive changes that occurred when I took the time to really get to know myself and nourish my body with organic foods and exercise. As I discovered more of who I was, I started to come into my own, and I really saw that my past did not dictate my future. What helped me most along this journey over the past three years of personal growth was surrounding myself with a support system of women. I really recognized the power that you have when you take action as a community and this is what led me to creating the next chapter of my life story – Project YOU. My goal is to empower women to create positive changes in their lives and to share this message and have an impact on others. This is just the start of the journey and I hope anyone reading this will come along for the ride!
Also, you should know that I have an obsession for puppies – currently, trying to convince my man that we need one in our lives haha
Q :: What does the word ‘connection’ mean to you?
When I think about the word connection to me it means more than just “a relationship in which a person, thing or idea is linked or bounded with something else”.
To me it’s having the courage to be vulnerable to share the truth of who you really or and what you are going through. When we allow ourselves to be fully expressed authentically and wholeheartedly to me this is what creates the connection deeply with ourselves and with the people who surround us. When we are living and putting this intention forth connections, feelings and sensations become in harmony with our body, mind and soul. Connection to me is created through trusting ourselves and having faith in others.
Q :: What do you think, are the physical and emotional benefits associated with maintaining connections?
I think the benefits to connection with self and with others are one of the many greatest gifts of life and learning to not disregard this can be one of the toughest things to do.
To me the physical connections are so important because these are the ones we can touch, feel and see – they are tangible and concrete.
For example, when we are sharing and making connections with those in our community this is so important because YOU have a tribe behind YOU. It is no longer just YOU out there on your own with an idea, or in YOU in your mind with all of your thoughts and ideas you have. All of the people who are around YOU are now there to help and support YOU when YOU need it. For me, recently one of the best things I learnt was that leadership is about having people support an idea or whatever it may be and empowering them to have the ability, knowledge and passion to carryout anything with or without YOU present. To me this is something that happens through building connections.
Emotional….immediately stability, growth and challenge is what comes to mind. When we are connected with our bodies, minds and soul we are able to feel what we are truly feeling and push through the pain to achieve joy on the other side. When we take a moment to just be still, and listen to these emotions you can hear what your body is telling YOU. This is where I feel we are able to be more connected to ourselves and this is what helps me understand what I need in that exact moment. Connection on an emotional level to me means being able to control thoughts and feelings and come back to our true intention – what does our heart and soul really want us to do.
Q :: What are some of the ways that you like to connect to you body, mind and soul?
Some of the ways I like to connect to my body mind and soul… it depends on the day but a few of my favourites would be:
- Journaling and meditating daily – this isn’t something I always commit to but right now I am working on this because I see the difference in how I show up for the world when I set a clear intention each day.
- Looking at the physical world around me, touching things, gazing far into the distance this helps to bring me back to present time. Sometimes it comes down to just being still and being here in the moment body, mind and soul.
- Always working on myself, having a plan in place for my goals and personal growth; this allows me to check in and know where am I at, how am I feeling today and what do I need to be doing less/more of.
- Spending my time with like minded people who I can share with, relate to and who bring out the best in me – this helps me take care of my body, mind and soul.
Q :: What are some of your favourite remedies for when feeling disconnected?
- Taking a long walk from downtown to Bayon Books, spending some time reading cards and then going to Aphrodite’s afterwards. It is so delicious there…. of course you have to have pie…or the bread. This was something that was introduced to me by one of my long time girlfriends Dallas and it is now a tradition in my life. Maybe it will work for you?
- Snuggling up with a good book and a cup of tea. It is important to take time to re-charge my batteries so I know what I need to keep pushing myself further towards my dreams.
- Checking in with myself and going over my core values to make sure I am living from them. Also going back to basics and ensuring I have a plan in place for my goals and personal growth.
- To be honest, just having a good cry. I find sometimes when I let it all out and confront what is actually going on I AM SO much more connected then before.
- Moving my body – this is so important or the anxiety tends to creep in for me. When I am breathing and working my muscles it feels so much easier to get balanced and grounded again.
Q :: What tips would you give others wanting to promote a greater sense of connection in their lives?
I would say know what your core values are and what is most important to you. If you check in with this daily you are stronger in knowing that you are making decisions that are important to whom you really want to become and what your soul wants.
Be willing to be vulnerable. Sometimes it can be hard to be fully expressed. I know I struggle with wanting to impress and always be liked and having the fear of not being good enough. When we share our pain, or what we are struggling with or even our great ideas, this allows for authenticity and from that I feel comes greater connection with self and others.
Try new things, and be willing to confront the things you don’t want to do! Sometimes it seems scary to put ourselves out there but when we do all of the connections come in! We get to meet new people and establish new foundations that will help us create what we desire in the future. I also find I create new connections with myself by learning things that I perhaps didn’t even know about me.
Choosing daily to live from a place of love. When I am making decisions that are out of love and not fear I feel balanced an so connected with myself and others. It is also very important to practice self-forgiveness to remove and let go of any negative thoughts and feelings and allow one to satisfy the desires of the soul instead! Our souls want to be connected!
Q :: What are some of your favourite mantras for facilitating greater connection?
Lately I have been using these mantras to feel connected and I have been working with Samantha Skelly from, Hungry for Happiness - she gave me a great tool – it is it make sure the I focus on the feeling of what I want to be. I love that! Practicing getting into the feeling of bliss, fun and happiness – ah, perfect recipe for connection.
I am worthy
I am deeply connected mind, body, and soul
I am living from a place of love
I am radiate
Each day and in every way I am making choices that leave me feeling deeply fulfilled and connected with myself and my community
Each day and in every way I am more and more trusting of myself and others
Q :: What role does connection play in your overall sense of happiness?
Ah this is a good question, my immediate chatter was EVERYTHING!
For me, right now I know that when I am not feeling connected I am not loving and trusting myself. When I am not practicing self love I can’t get connected into my body which means for me I can’t connect to others with ease. I think we need to all make the choice each day to rid of any stories and old habits about not being good enough or not being worthy. When we let this go, we have no shame we just have pure love. This self love and appreciate creates the possibility of love for others. To me this love is the greatest gift and that is what creates an overall sense of happiness for me.
***Interested in attending the next Project YOU event? Check out @iamprojectyou for details.