Interview: Meagan O'Nan, The "Mistress of Happiness": Creating Your Heaven on Earth
For two years I’ve been friends with Meagan O’Nan, and throughout that time what has impressed me the most is how she effortlessly flows through huge undertakings (the starting of a non-profit that has been taken up by school systems in Mississippi, the writing of her published and soon to be published books, and developing her Life Coaching practice); somehow maintaining her joy in the midst of challenges, the unknown, and what must be hours, and HOURS of intensively dedicated work.
I interviewed her for the Fire newsletter because, more than anyone I know, she is a living example of someone who is connected to her heart and living it fully–her Fire is expressing itself in an incredibly balanced way.
In this interview, Meagan teaches us about living an ease-full life of allowing Life to unfold for us through staying connected to our passions. She talks about the importance of happiness and faith in making our dreams a reality, and about drawing the right things towards us through keeping our spark of clarity alive.
Meagan is what a balanced Heart Element looks like on fire!
Inger: Meagan, the Fire Element is like a hearth..we want to come close and be warmed by its nourishing and enlivening energy…it fills our hearts and when our heart is filled up we’re able to share that joy with others. Your energy is like that fire…you live from your heart, and people are drawn towards you. How do you connect with your heart and joy, and how do you get back when you’re not connected?
Meagan: Balance is important, but I think that word can be misconstrued. The dictionary meaning of balance is things being equal in all areas of your life, but I don’t think it needs to be equal in all areas of your life…your home, your work, your relationship, your health…it’s important to figure out for yourself what amount of time or energy you want to put into these areas in your life that makes you feel good in return. You have to figure out patterns that you can get into that aren’t necessarily about a schedule, but something that feeds you on all levels…
Inger: That feels particularly relevant to me right now, because the Wood element which we just left, is all about schedules and regimens…about goals, discipline, and getting out there in the world and doing, doing, doing. It’s the sowing the seeds in the garden. But now, it’s not about regimens, it’s about sitting back and letting things unfold.
Meagan: That’s fabulous, and it’s true. Everyone wants to get to a place in life where they can sit back and allow things to unfold…One way to do that is to look at all areas of your life, and really see where something’s not working for you, and see what YOU need to do…rather than looking outside you and seeing all the things that need to change… ‘if that person wouldn’t do that, if the gym wasn’t so far away, if that situation would change’…instead of making excuses for your life, look at what YOU can do, focus on YOU to make YOU feel good, you start to put yourself in more of a position to allow life to be unfolding for you, so you’re not constantly banging your head trying to get life to change…you start changing yourself. I think that’s an important thing to get first. Get yourself in alignment with all the things you want, and start taking baby steps. A lot of people think that’s a lot of hard work…
Inger: And that’s what I was thinking next, you’ve manifested incredible amounts of “things”, there’s been a lot of “doing” in your life, and yet it never looks like that, it looks like a lot of being and a whole lot of unfolding. So what do you have to say about if people feel just daunted by this overwhelming ‘ok well, I really want to get my PhD but Oh my god, it’s overwhelming.’ How to get out of that doing place and into that more joyful heart place.
Meagan: One thing I think that’s overlooked is being in the moment. If I’m trying to work on a project, and I sit down at my computer, and I get frustrated the minute I sit down because nothing creative is coming out of to me to write, I know that that’s my cue to either go outside and get realigned with who I am, get centered and put myself back in the moment and then come back later and try it again. And if it’s still not working it’s not ready to come out. We’re so programmed to push and push and push because we think we always have to work hard. So when I’m trying to accomplish something and it’s frustrating, that’s when I step back. And that’s what keeps me in a really good position to manifest things quickly, because I’m always trying to find a way to put myself back in the moment. So as individuals, we need to find those things that put us back in the moment. It might be a short walk with our dog, or maybe we’re just dehydrated, or hungry.
Inger: But what about for people who are so disconnected from themselves that they don’t even know what they want or need, who are stuck in their Metal Element which is kind of the opposite of fire because it’s about grief and sadness and depression. What if you’re working with someone who’s expressing so much of their grief and sadness that they don’t have any passion, they don’t even have a dream? How can they get connected to their heart so that they can have passion, which is a huge part of the Fire Element?
Meagan: Somewhere deep down in all of us, even if you’ve never lived the life you want to live, there is a passion, just waiting to come out. When I work with someone, it’s about getting people to a place where they experienced bliss, when they had hopes and dreams, and that usually sparks a passion or a dream, in that moment. A lot of times it doesn’t take much. Even if it was just for a minute or two, that gives us enough information to go off of to move on and start building some blocks.
Inger: If someone is reading this interview and they’re feeling depressed and stuck, completely disconnected from others, maybe awkward or don’t know how to respond in social situations (which is common when we’re depressed), what tips would you give of things people can do on their own to reconnect to their spark?
Meagan: When I’m in that deep dark place, it’s because something is trying to shift in me, and I’m resisting it. So I think if you get to a deep dark place, where you feel like nothing is working for you, everything is empty, no one’s on your side, you’re not confident…that’s just change trying to happen. So it’s important to say ‘I’m in a deep dark place, and what I really want to create is happiness and joy’ and then start allowing whatever is happening outside of you to give you the information you need to help you with the next step, and the next step. So you can start letting life come to you and give you a helping hand. Sometimes it’s a person that life gives you, sometimes a circumstance, sometimes a situation that helps you break out of that. It’s important to get back to that place of trust, saying ‘this is where I am, this is where I want to be, and Life, I trust that you’re going to help me get to where I want to be’.
Inger: And that’s the word that kept coming up for me, that if you don’t have that trust that something good is trying to come to you, then you’re not going to want to even start the process; there’s a lot of despair and hopelessness. Also I know from personal experience, that when our heart isn’t open, there’s not a place in us to receive the goodness that’s coming. So there’s the important piece of openness to receiving the goodness that is coming, which I think you’re really good at!
Meagan: It’s important to get yourself in a space of faith. No matter what religious or spiritual background you come from, if you take care of and nurture yourself in every area in your life, then you’re going to naturally be in a place of trust and allowing good things to come to you. A lot of times we don’t want to do that because sometimes we just want to feel miserable. We’re so used to being told that we’re not good enough, that we’re sinners, or whatever, but it’s a lot easier to get out of that it if you train yourself, and you’re committed to wanting to feel good, to create your heaven on earth, then it’s easier every time you get into a rut to get out of it very quickly. It’s about making sure you’re in alignment with everything you’re doing, and nurturing yourself. If you can do that then you put yourself in a position to trust the process of life even more.
Inger: That’s an interesting point, because when we’re not doing what’s in alignment with what our passion and joy is, it’s probably a lot harder to let things unfold and express things to the fullest, which is the Fire Element.
You don’t want to trust because something inside is telling you it’s not right so why would you want to sit back and let it unfold! You’re not going to be allowing that relaxing unfolding, ease-full process to be happening, and you get stuck in that Wood energy of the doing doing doing, this frantic going around in circles, picking up the loose ends, always trying to make something happen but it’s never right so it’s always hard.
So it’s all about being in alignment with what your passion and dream is, and that feels like a really essential piece, and I guess that’s kind of the core of what you do with people, helping align them with their goals and dreams and helping them express them in the world.
Meagan: Yes! And we’re not taught that. I was not taught to figure out what my passions and dreams are, I wasn’t taught that I can live in my heaven on earth; I thought I had to die to get to heaven!
So for many people it’s about opening up to the idea that it’s possible to be happy! If you can open your mind to that possibility, then you start to see the world in a whole new way and things can start happening for you. But it’s first, that shift of knowing that something else is possible, that life is trying to lend you and hand, to help you out, to give you a hint, to tell you where to go next. So we need to open our eyes and allow ourselves to see what kind of information we’re getting so we can move past whatever blocks we have so we can move on with our lives in whatever way we want it to look. Rather than just sitting there and chilling out and just being OK with it. It can actually be great!
Inger: And the fire element is so NOT about mediocrity! Fire rages, right? Fire moves outward, fire expresses itself fully, and big…and so, it’s really easy to get depressed in the summer time, if we’re not expressing ourselves out in the world, and living our dreams.
For a lot of us who aren’t Fire types, it’s sometimes a struggle to stay in that Fire space of joy.
One of the reasons why I write my seasonal articles for my patients and why I spend so much time on them and really try to talk to them about this, is because the universe, the whole environment and nature around us, is really supporting us with each season, with what we need to be doing, and being, to really nurture and honor ourselves at that time of year.
So in the summer, what do people do? People go on vacations, people plan trips. People visit family, it’s that time to take a break from our workday routine. But in this modern culture, people forget that just because our society says that it’s not important or maybe we have bills to pay, it doesn’t mean that our hearts need that connection any less. So if we don’t take that time during this Fire season to engage with people and connect, even if we don’t think it’s important, we’re going to pay for it later in the winter, because this fire is going to warm up our hearts and nurture us for the whole year when it’s a more down time.
You are a big connection builder. It really seems like a lot of what you’re doing is enrolling and enlisting people in your dream. You’ve got this ability, you really are in tuned with your heart’s ability to connect with other people, and you’re realizing that you’re not doing this on your own. You’ve realized that we don’t accomplish things on our own, we’re not islands. What wisdom do you have to say about joining with others in the process of co-creating.
Meagan: We think we have to do everything on our own, but we don’t.
Inger: And maybe that’s why it’s always looked so ease-full watching you, because you’re not doing it all on your own.
Meagan: For my project, when I realized I was going to be creating a program for middle-schoolers in Mississippi, it was so effortless as far as attracting the right people. But I think that’s because I knew what I wanted, and because I believed in it. It’s about finding what you believe in, and what your purpose is. My purpose is, I really wanted to create positive change in the world, in a place where it’s really needed, and I wanted to be inspired by it. From there, I was open. And all the right people showed up effortlessly, and I KNOW they will show up, I have no doubt that they will show up, I have complete faith in it.
Inger: And I guess that’s what being that that fire energy is, it’s that hearth, that attractive force that people want to come forward towards it because it’s bright, it’s shiny, it’s exciting, it’s warming. So again, if we get back to that, if you’re not connected to what that passion is, if you’re not connected to your heart and your heart’s not connected to what you’re doing and being in life, then that attractive force is not happening.
Meagan: The bottom line is, this is our home, it’s supposed to be easy. Life is on our side.