In this captivating episode of The Fire Inside Her, Diane sits down with the dynamic and inspiring Megan Miller, a true testament to transformation. From experiencing a life-altering breakdown on a bustling highway to unraveling the layers of her own self-doubt and unhealthy patterns, Megan shares her journey of self-discovery and the power of intentional living. Together, they dive into the significance of asking ourselves the right questions, the importance of boundaries, the impact of a simple act of kindness, and the path to finding your purpose. With her infectious energy, Megan offers clear and actionable tips alongside her story that will leave you both armed and inspired to embark on your own path of authenticity. Don’t miss out on this fabulous conversation that will spark the fire within you.
Megan Miller is a professional speaker, creator & host of Attention to Intention podcast and on a mission to help high-performing go-getting professionals detox off the drug of achievement.
Over the past 15 years, Megan’s laser focus on climbing the corporate ladder resulted in a successful career as a Sales Executive in the Hospitality industry, managing a portfolio of 150 hotels & $1B in revenue.
Raised by a single mother in rural Pennsylvania, inflicted with a speech impediment and feeling like she had to fight for her seat at the table, Megan clawed her way to the corner office & when she landed there, she realized that she was empty, unfulfilled, and addicted to the drug of achievement.
After realizing she was living in a lonely dark world focused on hustle & achievement, she made a choice to get brave and get still and start using the power of intention to live a more inspired life.
This laid the foundation of helping high-performing go-getting professionals stop living to make it to Friday, sleepwalking through life in a robotic nature, and start living with inspiration and fulfillment, and connection to your most trusted advisor: yourself.
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Diane Schroeder [00:00:00]:
Welcome to The Fire Inside Her, the podcast where we explore the incredible stories of individuals who have discovered their inner fire on their journey to authenticity. I'm your host, Diane Schroeder, and I am so grateful that you are here.
Diane Schroeder [00:00:23]:
A bright busy highway, a woman in the driver's seat, and a life fueled by one relentless pursuit, achievement. This woman raced through life driven by external accolades and societal expectations until one day something happened. On that very same highway, amidst the chaos, she experienced a breakdown that would forever change her course. Stay with us today as we talk about the journey of Megan Miller, who traded in the drug of achievement for a more intentional, purpose-driven life. This conversation is fabulous for so many reasons. What I love most about Megan is her infectious energy. She is such an amazing hype woman, and she's just an amazing human. She is so genuine and vulnerable and honest, and she has worked so hard to get where she is. Another thing I really respect about her is that she turned in her drug of achievement to step out on her own and work for herself. You can read the rest of her bio in the show notes. And I just can't wait to hear what you think about this interview. I am so excited today. I have a very special guest. Megan Miller is joining us, and I'm really excited to talk about a lot of things. Megan, welcome.
Megan Miller [00:01:58]:
Diane, my spiritual sister. Girl, 2 seconds into seeing your smiling face, and I'm like, she is my jam, my human. Thank you for having me and for building this community. I was reading all the intentions behind building this, and I thought to myself, oh god. I needed this for so long in my journey. So, thank you. Thank you.
Diane Schroeder [00:02:20]:
Thank you. I appreciate that. Those kind words. Woo. Gooseies. But before we dive into the real meat of the conversation, I would like to know what your favorite show growing up on TV was. Your favorite childhood show that you just didn't want to miss ever.
Megan Miller [00:02:35]:
Oh, God. There were so many. We were just talking about this the other week. Do you remember TGIF?
Diane Schroeder [00:02:40]:
Megan Miller [00:02:41]:
I was a chubby kid from Central PA, and I loved myself the combos. The combos that were the cracker with the cheese inside.
Diane Schroeder [00:02:49]:
Megan Miller [00:02:50]:
I would grab a big bag of combos, wouldn't share them with my brother, and I would sit there, and it I was all about TGIF. And I love them all. Although, I do think Perfect Strangers always stood out in my place. I just love Balke. Remember him?
Diane Schroeder [00:03:04]:
I don't remember that show, actually.
Megan Miller [00:03:07]:
He was, like, a little quirky and weird, and I felt like, I'm quirky and weird. I feel like,
Diane Schroeder [00:03:13]:
I get that. I get that. Awesome. Well, thank you. And before we hopped on, I watched your TED Talk, and well done. I had the privilege of giving one a couple years ago. And I don't know about you, but I'm curious. Did you have the vulnerability hangover after you gave your talk?
Megan Miller [00:03:31]:
Girl. Yes. Yes. This is the shit that no one tells you. When you are vulnerable, regardless of, if it's on a big stage or not, it can be just in a conversation, there is a moment afterwards where you think to yourself, did I share too much? So, when it came out, my husband put it on the TV in our living room. It my husband and it was my parents. So, talk about, like, a trusted tribe, people who are really rooting for you. Diane, I wanted to throw them the entire 15 minutes. Then I wonder if you did the same thing. I was staring at myself, and I was like, look at your double chin. Could you say right one more time? You loser. You suck. You failed that. Well, no one's going to want to watch this. Then I couldn't talk about it for days afterwards because I had to, like, digest it. I'm curious if you felt this too. It felt so big and it felt raw because it was out there for the world to see.
Diane Schroeder [00:04:28]:
Yes. All the things. When it was released, I couldn't watch it. I couldn't look at myself because my security detail was being just a big dick. Like, you are terrible. What was that outfit that you decided to wear? I mean, seriously, that's it. You have this one shot. Like, it was this whole mindset, and yes, I've nitpicked everything. I just felt so exposed. And about a month right before the talk was released, I met my now-future husband, and we went on a first date. And somehow it had come up in our predating, like, oh, I just gave a TED Talk, you know. And he's like, but I didn't watch it. And I'm thinking, oh, great. Now you don't even want to watch and he's like, I wanted to get to know you first. I didn't want any, like, anything about it. So, we watched it together, and it was the 1st time I had watched it, like, a couple months after we started dating, and I was, like, oh, this does not feel good. I still wasn't ready. And then finally, almost 2 years later or about a year and a half later, I watched it again, and I was like, okay. That's not terrible.
Megan Miller [00:05:34]:
You know what? That really says something about your relationship with your now honey that you were willing to be that vulnerable from the beginning. You know, I just started reading Viola Davis's book, Finding Me.
Diane Schroeder [00:05:46]:
Megan Miller [00:05:46]:
Have you heard of it?
Diane Schroeder [00:05:47]:
No. How is it?
Megan Miller [00:05:48]:
Oh, girl. Here's what I have taken away from it. We are all so much more alike than we are different. And Lola and I have had different life paths. As she was talking about the conversations with herself, the lack of self-love, the trying to find it that you just thought relationships were the way that they were, the spending your whole life running from yourself, these battles and these wounds that you try to numb. I thought to myself, I know her, I see her, and I am her. It was like a permission slip to get to know parts of myself that I ran from, and she talks about Diane, and I just made me connect to this as you're sharing the story of your honey. She talks about when she found her husband, and she didn't realize the walls that she had built up. Now made me realize that for so long, I just thought it was the way it was and shitty relationships. I just thought it was the way it was and how he came in and broke down all these walls that she had and gave her the courage to be vulnerable.
Diane Schroeder [00:06:47]:
Oh, yes. That is exactly what happened in my life. Now I wish I could say it was this fairy tale up until then, but, nope, I went through about 45 years of a lot of trying to do all the things. And when I realized I was just in the middle of life, and I'm not alone. There are people out there that are in similar, like you said, different. Maybe a different chapter, but we're all kind of in the same book or same storm, different vessel. And I was like, yeah. That laid a lot of foundational work. And I think that's why your talk really just hit home because you talk about the addiction to achievement and the always running. So, please share more about your story and, you know, how you got to where you are to realize that, damn it. I'm addicted, and I've got to do other things.
Megan Miller [00:07:37]:
I'm a damn addict. You know, I'll tell you what, girl. Thank you for watching the talk, for sharing it, and for sharing your own story. So, isn't it so funny, Diane? You can spend your whole life running from yourself. I did. I didn't even realize it. So, my whole life was spent, I'll be happy when. I'll be happy when I get this corner office. I'll be happy when I get this in the bank account. I'll be happy when I drive this car, when I fit in this size jeans, when I get this fun handbag, insert anything you want. And you get it, and you're like, that ain't it. That ain't it. Must be something else. You're moving the goalpost on yourself. And, Diane, I lived my life like that for my 15-year corporate career, never realizing I kept saying myself, hashtag surface-level thinking. I'm going to be happy when I get that corner office job. When I run sales for this $1,000,000,000 company, that's going to fix everything falling apart in my life. So, I get the job, God, universe, divine, has a sick sense of humor, and I had a mental breakdown on the busiest highway in Philadelphia. Busiest highway. Talk about the irony in that. I've been telling this shit for 7 years until 2 years ago, a girlfriend said to me, Meg, isn't it ironic that you were so busy so you wouldn't have to feel, and your breakdown happens on the busiest highway. Oh, that's good. So, I realized, Diane, and I wish I could say I had this whole big revelation in this moment. What I did realize in that car, it's funny how life can take you back like that in a 2nd, the life tattoo moments. 7 years ago, I can picture being in that car and whizzing by and me sobbing uncontrollably, thinking to myself, how did my life get here? I have to be meant for more. I think we could all write that same memoir at some point in our journey. There has to be more than this. Diane, that was the first moment that I stopped and really looked at my life, almost like a movie screen was playing below me. And I realized while I had the fancy title, while everything looks great on LinkedIn, while I was in the company newsletter closing deals right and left, my life was a shit show. I was popping Lexapro. I was binge drinking. I was in loveless relationship after loveless relationship, so desperate for attention because I didn't know how to give it to myself. I was $20,000 debt, overspending, and I was cut off from my closest friends and family because I could not tolerate to hear what was going on in your life when I was barely hanging on, and I'm known to be a cocooner. I want to run. I want to hide in my own little dungeon until I feel ready to put on a face. That was my coping mechanism. And that began, Diane, the slow and steady journey of realizing, fuck. My whole life was spent getting you to like me, getting the validation. I was raised by a single mother who was a beautiful strong human being, 23, raised 2 kids by herself. Anyone that's a mama, you're a rock star. I don't care if you're doing it with a partner or not. But I was a chubby kid. I struggled with abandonment dad issues that I'm still unpacking. I was a C-student with a speech impediment. And according to me, the world told me that I wouldn't amount to anything. And the first thing that ever made me feel, Diane, that I was worthy, that I had something to contribute was this job, and then I was an addict to it.
Diane Schroeder [00:11:01]:
Thank you for sharing that. They got a lot out of you. They took a lot.
Megan Miller [00:11:06]:
And here's the really messed up part. I keep saying this in this big buzz world where we're talking about burnout and self-care, and what does any of it mean. Here's the thing, the burnout, the exhaustion, it's you. It's you. When I look back now, Diane, on my journey, no one was telling me I had to sleep with that phone by my head. No one was telling me I had to hit refresh on the emails on the way to the damn grocery store. Why we do that? Like, you're going to answer anything. No one was telling me I always had to be accessible. It was me.
Diane Schroeder [00:11:39]:
Yep. That's a hard pill to swallow, when you realize, I always think of the Taylor Swift song, I'm the problem, it's me. Yeah. Me. I’m the problem. It's me. You know, everything on and to detoxify your life of all that accessory stuff is one of the hardest things I know I've ever gone through, and I'm assuming it was very challenging for you too to be like, I got to step off this roller coaster. I can't outrun myself. I got to do the work, and it's time for a reset. A different kind of cocoon, I guess, experience, I'm sure.
Megan Miller [00:12:18]:
Yeah. And also, I'm curious if you feel this too, especially in our digital world. It is easy to feel that everyone is ahead of you.
Diane Schroeder [00:12:28]:
Oh, yes. So, I went through a similar, I chased, climbed, climbed, climbed in the fire service. I started as at 23 years old in the fire service. My dad was a firefighter. I wanted to make my dad proud. So, there's some father issues there that I've definitely had to work through. And then when I got to where I was like, okay. I can be the top here. I can be a fire chief. I made it to the rank of battalion chief; I realized I didn't want it anymore. I wanted something different. I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to be present for my son, single mom for 9 years, working shift work. It was hard. And when my life started to fall into place, I was like, okay. So, I retired 3 months ago at the time we're recording this. And I was like, oh, but everyone else is already ahead of me, and I've already lost. So, what was I thinking? The self-talk. So, yes, everyone's ahead of me in the digital world. Everyone has their act together. Everyone, you know, looks perfect on social media, perfect. Or when they work from home, I'm like, I roll out of bed and, you know, do a walk, and maybe I'll shower at some point before the day ends. But it's definitely not to go through emails. So, yes, that's a very long answer to your question. Everyone's ahead in the digital world. I've just come to accept it.
Megan Miller [00:13:49]:
I love that you're admitting this, because I don't feel like we talk about this enough. Here's the thing, my friends. You feeling like everyone's ahead of you, you feeling like you're behind, that's normal. That is normal, but you just push through that by making one small commitment to yourself and keeping it. That's how you may move through it. Like, dang, and I was telling a girlfriend the other day, I did not have a business plan when this business was formed, when the intentional living method was created. I had no fancy Excel spreadsheet, but guess what I did have? Trust in me. And it was the first time I ever felt that, and that's all you need.
Diane Schroeder [00:14:32]:
Betting on you. A friend of mine, she said it, and she says it before, you know, if you bet on yourself, you can't go wrong.
Megan Miller [00:14:40]:
Yes. And here is this. I have found, I was just telling a friend this the other day that one of my pillars is to let my intuition, which can be hard to hear when you've silenced it for so long, to let that be my driving force with the decisions that I make. And that comes to me in moments of silence. So, I am bound and determined to keep the commitments to myself the way I do for everyone else in my life, to create moments of silence when I feel I need them. So, that can be getting in the car and just aimlessly going for a drive with the music off. That can be sitting on the back porch, 39. I love myself my robe. I now know why my mom lived in one. I always laugh. I'm like, welcome to almost being 40. I love my housecoat, and I don't wash my hair anymore, and I love mints in my pockets. That's such a tall one.
Diane Schroeder [00:15:42]:
And a spare tissue wherever you need it. Just in case you sneak.
Megan Miller [00:15:48]:
And the slippers. But those moments of silence, why we are so quick to defeat them because they seem so simple, it's the simplest things that have the most beautiful impact in your life.
Diane Schroeder [00:15:59]:
That is very well said. So, then tell us, tell me, tell my listeners more about your AHA moment. You've decided you were going to break down. You were tired of chasing, and you pivoted, created your own business brand, doing your own thing. So, what is it all about?
Megan Miller [00:16:19]:
Yeah. And Diane, I love this question because here's the other thing. In our big consumerism world, we are so quick to say, quit your job. Make your side hustle your full-time hustle. It'll be great. Girl, here's what I want you to know. That shit that you're running from, it's following you to the next thing.
Diane Schroeder [00:16:39]:
Megan Miller [00:16:41]:
So, whether it's the job, whether it's the relationship, whether it's packing up and moving, you got to work on you first. So, this has been a journey. So, that breakdown happened 7 years ago. It took me 5 years to understand what I wanted. That's the hardest thing because that's the question we're never taught how to ask ourselves and listen to. And then once I started to build this out with podcast episodes, with some content on LinkedIn, things that felt right to me that I was going through, it took 2 years of still working at my job, full-time, until I had enough big pump that I could finally make the transition, and I still had to do some consulting work. So, I say, all that to say, it takes time. Impatience is so damn hard. I really struggle with it, but it takes time. And to answer your questions, Diane, you know, where I started, a friend asked me this the other day, and I think I jacked up the answer because aren't we so quick to forget the past, like, how things happen, and you can make up stories. If you're like me, I make up shit all the time about how things transpired. People are like, that's not really how it went down. Like, oh, it's not. So, where I started after I had this mental breakdown is I got very intentional on the content that I was feeding my mind. That's the only place I started. So, when I was driving, I would listen to podcasts that elevate me, like the work that you're doing here with The Fire Insider Her. I would listen to things that made me feel not alone, that made me feel inspired, that made me feel motivated, that made me have these sort of nugget moments where I thought, oh, interesting. That was the springing point in what you listen to, it has a powerful impact in how you show them.
Diane Schroeder [00:18:38]:
Absolutely. Yes. Well and I think it also started probably opening the gateway for your intuition to be like, hey. Here I am. You're listening to these things. Now will you listen to me?
Megan Miller [00:18:49]:
Yes. And, you know, Diane, it's so funny that you bring that up. Oh, I just got really excited about that. It's so funny you bring that up because I just was talking to a girlfriend of mine last night about this. And I said to her, I had no idea where any of this is going, but I let this, my gut, be my guide. And it's hard when you silence it to your point for so long. But what I started to do as I started to listen to this content, I would reach out to people that I admired, or that wrote the thing that I really was inspired by, or that I thought was a powerhouse and that I wanted to get to know, and my only intention was to hear their story. I had no ask, but I'll tell you what, Diane, it changed the rooms I was in.
Diane Schroeder [00:19:33]:
How so? I'm curious. That's a powerful statement. How did it change for you?
Megan Miller [00:19:38]:
Yeah. The ripple impacts, you know, they say online, and sometimes you hear these things so much. You know, I got that, I'm over that. But it's true. Who you surround yourself with matters. And if you're not inspired by the people that you surround yourself, you're sitting in the wrong damn room. So, as I started to get to know these people that inspired me authentically, I did not come in with a hard ask, get me a job. Tell me what to do. I just wanted to get to know you and hear your story because I'm a huge believer that someone can teach you in 15 minutes what it took them 15 years to learn if you listen, which is what you so beautifully do here. And so, I started to get to know people. Hey, Meg. I have a friend for you. Well, I want you to talk to this person. I just feel like there's a connection there. Hey, Meg. My friend is starting to do this. Why don't you talk to them? Hey, Meg. Thought this content would really speak to you, and I think that there is something whether you want to use God, universe, divine, whatever word you want to use, there's something universal and spiritual about when you have those opportunities like we were talking about earlier to leaning into them. So, when someone says I want to introduce you to someone, when someone says I want you to read this book, when someone says listen to this podcast, I take it very seriously because I truly believe there is a message, there's an opportunity there that I am meant to hear and listen to and take advantage of.
Diane Schroeder [00:21:09]:
Yes. That is so powerful. And to your point, until you stop and do the work on yourself, you won't hear it. Like, you can't hear it because there's so much noise trying to outrun, outlast, you know, play the game of survivor with yourself, and you're the only one playing. There is no trophy at the end.
Megan Miller [00:21:29]:
And it never ends.
Diane Schroeder [00:21:31]:
It will never stop, and it's so hard to slow down. But I think what you just said is beautiful. When you do, the opportunities that are meant for you will present themselves to you. And that fear is just like this roadblock or whatever metaphor you use to stop you is really, it's fear because you can't see, and then it's control issues and maybe some boundary issues moving in there and, you know, all the other stuff. But you can work through that if you do the work on yourself.
Megan Miller [00:21:59]:
Yes. And, Diane, I love when you talked about the work on yourself, and I want to share this because I'm all about the tangibility. Sometimes you hear things and you're like, well, that's great that that worked for you. Where do I even start? Moving into action's the hardest thing, and this is what I would love you beautiful listeners to take away from working on yourself. I started to ask myself these 4 questions every morning, and your life is a direct result of the questions you ask yourself. And I never even paused to realize that. I was just so busy answering what everybody else wanted from me and what I thought the world told me I should be. And so, when I stopped in the morning, instead of getting up and going right to the phone, would you do that for 3 minutes? You have a 70% higher chance of having a bad day. Scrolling the phone, going through the emails, the social feeds, talk about the world feeling like it's ahead of you. To take those 3 minutes instead and ask myself these 4 questions. Question number 1. How am I feeling today and why? Sounds hokey, but you can spend your whole day thinking that you got it, thinking that it's in here, and that's where trouble starts. There's power in releasing it in pen and paper. How am I feeling today, and why the awareness? Question number 2. What is 1 small act of kindness that I can do? So, whether that is writing a little love note for my husband by the coffee machine, whether that's texting a girlfriend saying, hey. I listened to this podcast, check it out. Whether that is something as simple as holding the door open for the person behind me in the grocery store and smiling and saying having a good day. It doesn't need to be these big grandiose things, small little acts of service, or the colleague to say, hey, you killed that presentation yesterday. One small act of kindness. You know, I heard someone say, and I love this. We think of purpose as something that you can get off an Amazon shelf, the digital shelf. But purpose finds you, and it finds you when you have a spiritual connection to something higher than you that feels right to you. And when you do acts of kindness, it'll find you.
Diane Schroeder [00:24:04]:
That's beautiful. I believe that. That is hoo.
Megan Miller [00:24:08]:
Right? And it is. And here's the thing, my friend. Doing these small acts of kindness, it will give you such a high. And I will tell you when I send a message to a friend that says, hey, I'm just thinking of you. No ask. I'm just thinking of you. 98% of the time I get a text message back that says you have no idea how bad I needed that.
Diane Schroeder [00:24:26]:
Megan Miller [00:24:28]:
We are all struggling with our own shit regardless of what it looks like from the outside. And then question number 3, what is one thing, one small micro step that I can do that'll inch me towards my goals? So, for instance, you feel like shit in your body. You keep telling yourself you're going to work out. You tell yourself you're going to lose the 20 pounds. A micro step is taking the dog for a walk around the block. A micro step is taking the stairs instead of the elevator today. It's not about the time commitment. It's about the action. If you've always wanted to write the blog, or you have a story to share, or you wanted to write a book, or you wanted to start the podcast, it's blocking 10 minutes and it's just writing. It's blocking 10 minutes and it's going to YouTube and it's investigating. It's blocking 10 minutes and sending a note to the person that already has the podcast going, Diane, tell me how you did it. It's making one small promise to yourself and keeping it.
Diane Schroeder [00:25:26]:
I love that. It reminds me, it's that you know, it's the Atomic Habits.
Megan Miller [00:25:30]:
Diane Schroeder [00:25:31]:
I listened to that book, and I was like, you know, my mind was blown because sometimes we get so caught up in the achievement and the success of, you know, I need to run a marathon, and I'm like, maybe I should just start with walking around the block for a while.
Megan Miller [00:25:48]:
And doing it and actually doing it.
Diane Schroeder [00:25:51]:
Yes. Instead of, like, thinking about it and talking. And again, it's that fear. Right? So, you start with the block and you just build on those tiny habits. I love that because consistency, and I know you talked about this in your talk as well. Consistency is hard. It's so hard. It's such an easy concept, but it's hard because we may not have the firmest boundaries in place to hold ourselves or someone to be accountable to. I would say on top of being consistent, take that action, find someone maybe or set an alarm or something to hold yourself accountable to it.
Megan Miller [00:26:26]:
As you're saying this, I'm just writing this down because I love this so much. Our world with the emphasis on self-care makes you think that it's something that you do alone. But caring for yourself, it doesn't happen alone. It can't. It doesn't. Because to your point, Diane, and I really struggle with this, and I'm curious if you did, too. A lot of the dad abandonment issues in my life, and I thought to myself, no one's going to hurt me again. I got it. I'm good, and so I never asked for help for anyone. I thought it was such a sign of weakness, but it wasn't until I had courage enough to get to know me, put these words out, I started to raise my hand and ask for help in these small little things like, hey, Diane, can you look at this content for me? Or hey, Diane. Look at this speech. Does it feel right to you? Just these small little asks. You have a tribe of people who want to help you, if you have enough courage to ask.
Diane Schroeder [00:27:21]:
Yes. Absolutely. I think that was, you know, I read somewhere along the line that hyper independence is a trauma response. And I was like, oh, you mean it's not normal or healthy to be ridiculously independent. And after I said it out loud, I'm like, oh, no. I guess not. Because we're villagers. We're tribe. We're community. And I preach. I think self-care is so important, but not in the cliche way. It's through community. It's through being around people who are fucking stuck in the middle or struggling too that you can be like, man, I got this because all boats rise. I believe that. I think as a collective that we take care of ourselves and we heal through community. I just leave that completely because it's nice to not be alone. It's nice to not feel isolated. Even in a virtual world, you can still feel part of something bigger because you matter. And I think sometimes when we get in our, you know, in our lanes or down the rabbit holes or whatever you want to call it, we just forget of our value, and our worth, and that we do matter. And that's why we have the village to pick us up.
Megan Miller [00:28:28]:
Oh, I love that. And also too, I feel as if, which is one of the many reasons I love the community you're building here. When you hear other people's stories, it gives you this sort of unspoken permission slip to know that you're not alone.
Diane Schroeder [00:28:43]:
Megan Miller [00:28:44]:
I just wrote this down as you were talking because I would love to ask you this. I don't feel that this is talked about enough. Did you find as you went on this journey to get to know you and have enough courage to put it out in the world, that the people that you thought would be on the ride for you weren't, and did it feel lonely at points?
Diane Schroeder [00:29:05]:
Absolutely. That is a fantastic question. And, yes, you know, it's that people you surround yourself with, and it'll change. That group changes a lot when you start taking care of yourself and loving yourself, and you find that, you know, it might not be the energetic match that it was before or, you know, everyone serves a purpose in your life at some point along the way. And so, I found that it's challenging sometimes to explain what I'm doing or the work. And on the flip side, there are people that have come into my life that I'm like, where have you been forever, and I'm so grateful that you're here. So, yeah, it changes. It evolves. It's the friend garden that I call it. Sometimes the flowers come back every year. Sometimes you have to go through and clean out the garden to make space for more.
Megan Miller [00:29:56]:
Oh, I love that. The Friend Garden. And I found too, and I know you're going to say the same. The more courage that you have, because it takes courage to continue down your path and not second guess yourself. Because my friends, there will be times, hand raise, I've had this, where I thought to myself, fuck. Like, am I doing the right thing? Because the naysayers will come out, and the people that you thought would be there to support you will not be, and it will feel lonely. You will second guess yourself. But this is the permission slip I want you to write yourself. I wish I would write myself this earlier. Continue to put it out there because your people will find you.
Diane Schroeder [00:30:36]:
Yes. I'm going to write that down right now. It might not be the people you think that they should be. It's the people that need to hear your message and to be open to it. I think that's beautiful at such, such sage wisdom and such a great permission. You know, I'm a little bit older than you. In fact, today is my birthday.
Megan Miller [00:30:57]:
Oh my god. Why am I finding out about these 33 minutes into our conversation?
Diane Schroeder [00:31:02]:
Megan Miller [00:31:02]:
Happy Birthday. How are you celebrating?
Diane Schroeder [00:31:05]:
Thank you. Well, we were gone for the weekend. We went to the mountains for the weekend, and then we're going to go see the Barbie movie later today because that's what I want to do.
Megan Miller [00:31:14]:
Yes, girl. And here's the other thing I want you to do, please. Today at some point, I don't care what it looks like, I would love for you to just create just a little bit of silence and think about all the ways that you've shown up and had your own back. Just have a moment and relish in that.
Diane Schroeder [00:31:30]:
Oh, I love that. I will do that. Thank you. I already did my morning meditation, but that's a good one. I'll have to add that on to it. But I think it's hard, this phase of life, to connect with like-minded women in general and making, you know, “friends” is really hard, and that's the community piece of it. So, if you're telling yourself, I'm too busy, you know, all the excuses that we make, and you probably are really busy. There is no doubt. Like, know, it's not a comparison game, but I understand busy on a very visceral level. You can still find time to connect with people that you're meant to connect with. And that is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself along with, you know, the 3 minutes in the morning. I would say a little bit of time to just, you know, however much time you spend on social media. And it's great because every week, you'll get a little reminder that says, oh, your usage is up however much percent. Take that time and say, okay. Instead of 6 hours a day on my phone, how about I spend 30 minutes on connection and being part of a community?
Megan Miller [00:32:35]:
I love that. Can I tell you the first time that I saw, I'm like an 80-year-old woman trapped in this 39-year-old body. I should have a Jitterbug phone, Diane. Like, I don't know half the shit on it, and I'll never forget when I first saw the screen usage. I'm like, this has got to be wrong. There is no way I've been on this phone this much, but shit. And I'll tell you it messes with you. When I had started this business about 2 years ago, and this has come to a head over the past couple weeks, I did not realize you can get sucked into the likes and the shares and the content, and you don't even realize how much it's messing with you. I had to make a change because I saw myself just getting sucked into it, and it changing how I was showing up. And I'm like, Meg, it's not about this. You're losing sight of the whole thing. So, in the morning, I had to keep my do not disturb on, and I do not turn that off until I've had my moment with me to ask myself those 4 questions, and whatever it looks like to you. Like, Diane, I love how you talked about you're meditating or whatever feels right to you, but putting the do not disturb on, creating the bumper lanes so I could actually be present with my husband at dinner, instead of thinking of the 75 other things I had to go on and say, wait a minute, or hearing the pings or dings, giving myself a moment in the morning before I go and let the outside world in, it's a game changer in changing the conversations you have with yourself.
Diane Schroeder [00:34:08]:
Well said. Another actionable step that people can take. And I will also say that turning your notifications off, not getting the pings. You can even turn the number of unread emails off so you don't see that when you open your screen, at least on Apple Phones. The world goes on. It doesn't stop. Like, you can find peace, and you may not be up to date on everything. And you may not get the email right away, but that's okay because email isn't your problem. You're responding to someone else's problem, and it's just a really great boundary to set for yourself. And my son, I just gave him a phone when he graduated from 5th grade, because he's going to be a big middle schooler. His screen usage is a fraction of mine. And here I am on him all the time about how the phone is a privilege and all this. So, I'm teaching him to be who I really want to be, and that is he spends hardly any time on his phone, and I love it. So, it's possible to do. If an 11-year-old can do it, then my golly, a 47-year-old can do it.
Megan Miller [00:35:06]:
What a proud mama moment. And I just wrote this down because this was a mic drop moment. I love, Diane, you took me to church right here. Email isn't your problem. You're responding to someone else's problem. Hey, listen. I still struggle with this. I struggled in it for a long time, and constantly putting everybody else's request of my time before me. Calendar invites are my love language, and I love me a calendar invite. But what I used to do, Diane, and I did not realize how much resentment was building from this, is even if it was going to the DMV to get my license renewed. Even if it was just going and getting my annual doctor's appointments. It didn't have to be anything crazy or sexy or fun. I would notoriously cancel it for me to accommodate someone else's request of my time. And here's what's on the other end of that. I like to call those the Darth Vader moments. It was for me. I would flip out over the email. You ever get an email and then you, like, angrily typed back and then 47 emails back and forth later, you're like, oh, I guess it wasn't that big of a deal.
Diane Schroeder [00:36:10]:
Yes. Yes. That’s engaging with a toddler sometimes.
Megan Miller [00:36:16]:
Yes. And you get yourself all hyped up. It's consumed all day. And here's what I would want you to know because I've done this. When you cancel the thing for you, for everyone else, that's how you build the resentment. And the way you flip that is you just keep the promise to yourself. So, it can be something as simple as, let's just say, like, we were talking about earlier about moving your body or walking. It can be that you just want to get out for 10 minutes and walk. Maybe you told yourself that you were going to do 45 minutes, but all your calls ran over because hashtag that's life, or your errands run late, or life has just gotten busy, instead of saying screw it, it's doing it for 10 minutes. Because it's not about the time, it's about the action.
Diane Schroeder [00:37:01]:
Yep. Well and then you find you feel better. Right? Like, even a 10-minute walk in nature, your body, your endorphins, all the chemicals are like, oh, thanks, sister. Like, I appreciate that. Cool. And now because of that, you're going to sleep better tonight, or, you know, you're going to maybe not want to, you know, numb out with five glasses of wine. Maybe you'll be more present. I don't know. Like, the possibilities are endless. What can truly happen when you put yourself first?
Megan Miller [00:37:29]:
You know, Diane, as you were just talking about sleep, it made me think about this. Here's another actionable item. My sleep began to change when my husband bought me a phone charger from Amazon for the bathroom, and you just put it on a little, it has a little glass shelf and you put the phone on it, and I charge it in the bathroom. And not only has it forced me to get up when that damn alarm goes off, but it also has forced me to stop with the scrolling, feeling like shit, buying the things I don't need, sending the email before I go to bed, hitting the refresh, it has forced me to move away from that, and I sleep so much better. And I read something the other day, and I think it's so fascinating that if you have a shitty night sleep, like think of it of the preopening act of the day that you're about to have. Right? If you have a shitty night sleep, you are 40% more likely to be agitated, to misread emails, to misread people's facial interpretations, to just misread the whole entire day talk about the 45 emails back and forth and our anxiety ridden that didn't need to be, and it all starts with the sleep the night before.
Diane Schroeder [00:38:38]:
Yes. I lived that for over half my life. I worked shift work, and so I didn't sleep at night most of the time. I was tired. I didn't sleep the night before work because I was anxious about going to work, and then, you know, 48 hours in the firehouse, never knowing in that great sleep anyway. And 2 months after I was done, my son was like, mom, it's been really great to get to know you, the real you, the rested you, not the sleep deprived cranky you. I was like, alright. Well, thank you for giving me what I needed. You know, like, I could feel it, but now he could feel it.
Megan Miller [00:39:11]:
What a gift. What a gift.
Diane Schroeder [00:39:15]:
Yes. We know the value of community. We know the value of doing the work, we know the value of taking care of yourself. And, really, it all translates to leading the life you want. Right? You're showing up every day and leading. How can people find you if they want to explore more in that.
Megan Miller [00:39:33]:
I would say welcome on in, my friend. I am here with open arms, babe. You are not alone. If any of this resonated, if any of this took you to church, if any of this was like, oh my god, I feel seen, come on in to our tribe. It's, Megan, MEGAN-, Miller, MILLER.com. That's the website. That's where you can find our social links. That's where you can sign up. We email a little micro step Monday newsletter. So, when you're digging out your Monday emails, why not get one for you that talks about just one intention for the week, one thing that you can do for you? I'm a huge believer, again, like we talked about the content that you listen to. We have a podcast called Attention to Intention. Diane, we'll have to have you on that show, where we just talk about micro steps, things I'm going to, people sharing their stories. Would love for you to join that, and all of that is at megan-miller.com. Come check it out. We are getting the TEDx talk. So, hopefully by the time you get this, it's on the website. If not, you can just go to my LinkedIn profile and find it, or you can just even Google, TEDx Megan Miller and it will come up.
Diane Schroeder [00:40:45]:
I will put a link to it in the show notes.
Megan Miller [00:40:47]:
Oh, thank you.
Diane Schroeder [00:40:48]:
It's a wonderful talk.
Megan Miller [00:40:49]:
Or we could do that.
Diane Schroeder [00:40:52]:
You know, I love the work that you're doing. I love that again; it's all boats rise. There's not enough of us doing this work in the world to try and get everyone to slow down and be present. So, thank you.
Megan Miller [00:41:03]:
Thank you, and thank you for having me here. And thank you for the courage to continue to build this movement and share your story. It's a beautiful gift, and I'm grateful to be a part of it, my friend.
Diane Schroeder [00:41:14]:
Likewise. Another great conversation. Thank you for giving the valuable gift of your time and listening to The Fire Inside Her podcast. Speaking of value, one of the most common potholes we fall into on the journey to authenticity is not recognizing our value. So, I created a workbook. It's all about value. Head on over to thefireinsideher.com/value to get your free workbook that will help you remember your value. Until next time, my friend.