Peace Within the Chaos

“Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

My personal approach to life has radically changed out of necessity for survival, and I’m just now realizing its effect. You might have noticed it on Instagram (less of this, more of this), in my teaching style, or the subjects that light me up with excitement. The energy and enthusiasm is still there, but it’s different. More focused, more intentional, more grounded, and a helluva lot less conventional.

When my teaching commitments almost tripled in August, I cried daily on the way to school for two months before relinquishing as many classes at the studios as I could. It was hard to let go, but I knew it was was crucial for my own wellbeing.

It wasn’t enough.

I was still exhausted. I was still frustrated. I was angry, flustered, and flailing about trying desperately to stay afloat in the whirlpool known as: LIFE OF MEGAN. There was no remedy in the foreseeable future. So I gave up. I stopped fighting the current. 

As my body no longer had the energy for a strenuous physical yoga practice, my focus turned from asana to meditation. Each morning before work I pulled out a mala, sat on the floor in front of my coffee table altar (I’ve since upgraded to a bookshelf), swooshed around a stick of palo santo whilst evading Mr. Darcy, and silently chanted a mantra 108 times. Within a week my mood improved. My stress decreased. Somehow I began to settle into a rhythm.

I researched Ayurveda more thoroughly, and discovered I was naturally drawn to warm, heavy, vata-pacifying foods. As I incorporated more Ayurvedic practices into my routine, the more balance I found in my physical and emotional body. I decided to enroll in a 150-hour Ayurvedic Wellness Counseling training.

Meanwhile, silent chants became audible, mantras grew longer, and I threw in singing bowls, crystals, oracle cards, and revisited my archetypes. I studied ancient texts, philosophies, the subtle and gross energy bodies, chakras, etc. – things I’d thought were mildly fascinating, but had never really taken an active interest in. Last month I opted to take a vow of silence at an ashram in East Texas instead of my annual spring San Francisco trip.

These things? They are changing me.

As I was cautiously wading into this unfamiliar world of mysticism and spirituality, a student brought back a Ganesh statue from India for my alter. Ganesha is the remover of obstacles. My teacher once told me that he would also place obstacles in your path if there was a lesson to be learned.

Maybe this entire hurricane of an experience has been pushing me toward the place I’m supposed to be: Finding harmony and balance through fresh approaches to healing old wounds, exploring more pragmatic ways to confront challenges, sharing this newfound knowledge with others. I feel more connected to myself, others, and the universe as a whole than ever before.

Everyday is a deep, rolling sea of controlled chaos. Waves of motion – from place to place, class to class, student to student accompanied by storms of music, voices, emotions, bodies – threaten to drown me in their need for undivided attention.

I am learning to find peace within the chaos.

They say you have to sink or swim, but I think I’ll float for awhile instead. See where it takes me. And soak up all the lessons along the way.



Jai Siddhatma: Victorious Are Liberated Souls

Two weeks ago, I sat alone with a glass of wine desperately trying to decompress from another week filled with dance classes, yoga classes, students of all ages demanding my undivided attention, rushing from one space to the next, and found myself googling “silent retreats.” I stumbled upon Siddhayatan Spiritual Retreat. After browsing through their offerings, I noticed that for a small additional fee I could bring Mr. Darcy and within minutes I had impulsively reserved my space for the following week.

Monday morning the pup and I set off for the ashram in East Texas. The day was bright, brisk, and beautiful. Mr. Darcy napped for the majority of the drive while I sang along to all of my favorite 70s jams.


Upon arrival, I was greeted by one of the nuns who went over my options along with the general rules and guidelines. Since puppy was with me, we were staying off the main property. The space was simple, modest, and bare, but clean and more than enough room for the two of us.


The area surrounding us was enclosed with a special gate designed to keep the coyotes out, so Mr. Darcy was free to run wild and play fetch. We did a fair amount of wandering outside the gate before I had to head back to the main property for mantra with the Master and other retreaters.

My knowledge of mantra is limited, but I was familiar with several from my 300hr training. For the first few I opted to listen, but by the second page I readily joined in. The energy you feel when reciting mantra with a group is almost tangible. It reverberates and pulses throughout your body – you’re almost humming with energy like a plucked guitar string.


It was fun to meet people from all over the world who had found their way to this place. Some had been there for over a month, others had arrived within the past few days. One of the men asked why I was there. He said that everyone who came to Siddhayatan was searching for something. He also told me that while someone had successfully done a 38 day water fast, but the longest anyone had gone without talking was 8 days.

The silence wasn’t so bad. While a little lonely being separated from the group on the other side of the property, I was able to chant in the mornings and spend time with others during meals. There is something both peaceful and liberating to be able to absorb all of the activity and conversation happening around you without the expectation or obligation to participate.


I hadn’t realized how much I’ve been needing to slow down. I spent countless hours wandering through fields with Mr. Darcy, and the rest of my time reading, writing, and sleeping. I was able to identify my fear behind some of the issues I’ve been dealing with, and have felt a pretty big internal shift since naming them out loud. The next time you have an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary, I encourage you to book it before you have time to change your mind. It could change your life!



Smoke on the water after morning mantra on the walk to breakfast.


Beautiful flowers I was able to capture on the Spring Equinox.

Texas sunsets make my heart flutter. This was my view between mantra and dinner Monday night.


Function vs. Fun

I have done next to nothing to prepare myself for the upcoming week, and I feel fucking great.

You see, Friday I got tired of my own bullshit (again). I have been giving, giving, giving almost every ounce of myself for the past six months that I haven’t had much leftover at the end of the day.

I read this article a few months ago about what self care really means, and caught myself nodding along thinking “Hell, yes!” because it justified my seclusion.

Since August, I’ve been exhausted most of the time. My place always seems cluttered and I feel scattered. I have minimal patience with students, I’m overly sensitive and overreactive in my personal relationships (Shout out to R for being a champ the past month!), and ultimately spend all of my free time hermiting away trying to catch up on sleep, laundry, meal prep, and getting my shit together for the next task. All of my trips/visits since August have left me drained instead of invigorated, and Friday I remembered that: This isn’t the way I want to live my life. 

So I’m sitting here wondering… is all this stuff self care, or just necessary for survival?

It’s time to start refilling my own cup.

Friday I made the decision to reclaim my life. I made a list of what I’ve been missing:

Yoga classes
Social life
Life’s little luxuries

These are the intentions I’m going to focus on at the next New Moon (this Saturday). Practicing self care through making more time for the things that bring my soul joy. Yes, being a grown ass adult and doing all the things in that article are necessary and constitute self care.

But I want to have my salt baths and to eat my chocolate cake too.

So I’m doing that.

This weekend I did laundry, dishes, and in true bachelorette-style bought two vegan pizzas, coffee, wine, and tulips from Whole Foods. I’ve gone on about eight long, luxurious walks with puppy, bought way too much shit that I don’t need (but am super excited about) from Spiritual Gangster, took beautiful photos with my new iPhone of rocks, tarot cards, and pretty much anything else that will stay still long enough to use the portrait feature, and I even signed myself and Mr. Darcy up for a silent retreat.

This weekend I didn’t clean my place from top to bottom. I haven’t started mapping out the YACEP workshops that I want to do. I didn’t sit down with the book about Vicarious Traumatization, figure out how I’m going to manage to pay for all of the everything, or bridge the gap with that one friend.

But I did paint my toenails pink.

And I feel more put together than I have in months.

Cheers to finding balance in the self care department. The stuff you need to function vs the stuff you need for fun. Always a work in progress.

PS. Here’s a photo of Mr. Darcy. Obviously, the only I could get of him in portrait mode.




What gives you energy?

“To have energy you need love, rest, authentic self-expression, play, safety, creativity, joy, emotional honesty + release, connection, hope, water, security, healthy relationships, adventure, beauty, movement, a happy home and some real effin food.” Kylie McBeath

I saw this quote today on Kylie McBeath’s Instagram (if you don’t follow her already, I highly recommend doing so) today, and it truly resonated with me because I am seriously dragging right now. Feeling physically and emotionally drained after a beautiful (but long) weekend of growth, expansion, yoga, and travel. Some days it feels like the quest for balance is eternal. And maybe to an extent it is… because if you ever manage to cultivate balance, it requires constant nurturing and maintenance to retain.

But it’s given me the inspiration I’ve been needing to sit down and ask myself: What helps me create and build energy?

Here is my working list:
– sleep
– real food (loads of veggies and fruits, some grains and animal protein)
– less sugar + alcohol
– water (drinking it, swimming in it, sitting beside it)
– puppy time
– movement
– human connection
– nature
– music
– hugs
– art
– travel
– opportunity
– new ideas, creativity, inspiration
– space
– laughter
– rest
– books
– adventures
– friendship
– teaching
– security

Reading over these words I notice that I’m doing really great in some areas, not so great in others. So it looks like I’ve got a little self-care to work on.

What gives you energy?