A new self proclaimed motto
Be infectious; with your words, your actions, accountability, your vulnerability, your motivation. Just be infectious. Share yourself with others, rise to greatness with those you infect!
Senior year of high school was the first time I recall someone referencing my energy as being contagious: It was during a high school football game, I’m standing on the trash can placed in front of the senior bleacher section, rallying up the students to cheer on our beloved BCHS Cougars toward victory. I was young, therefore unable to fully comprehend the comment, partly because the staff member questioned my sobriety before making the comment but mostly because I hadn’t yet realized the power of energy. This wasn’t the first time I had been recognized for my natural leadership abilities, or being labeled as “special”, but where I was hung up was on the word, contagious. As time went on, I continued to hear comments of the like, so I began to embody it.
Literally, I knew what people were saying, they were drawn to the energy I exude and enjoyed being a witness and benefactor of it. Where I lacked was truly understanding the power and responsibility that came along with it. Slowly and surely, as I navigated my journey, I began to gain a better comprehension of the infection I continued to spread.
That power is simultaneously scary as shit and inspiring/motivational! There have been many, brief moments, where the motivation was absolute and the fear subsided. In those moments, I’d write and share myself with the world, or send a voice memo to various friends early in the morning, or start a podcast. But, If I’m being honest with myself, the majority of the time, I played it safe, doing the minimum to contaminate the World with my Spirit.
It took a trip to the hospital, to kick my ass into gear. And, I’m okay with that, because by not judging the moments previously mentioned, I stayed the course of the Universe that led me where I needed to be: In the ER, pondering my purpose. My journey placed me exactly where I needed to be, exactly when I needed to be there. I’m not going to sulk in or give power to my “should haves” or “what ifs” I wasn’t scared or held back – there’s no use in that and to be perfectly frank, those “things” didn’t happen therefore, undeserving of my energy. I choose to have gratitude for those times I might have tried and failed, not tried at all, or gave nominal effort as they are opportunities to learn, grow, and be led to the next experience. Anyway, I digress.
Here I am, exactly where I need to be, in the hospital, pondering what in the actual hell am I doing with my life and why am I not living out my purpose. I wasn’t making myself wrong, I just kept asking myself, “why?”. When I got no true, or valid response from myself, I made the decision to make decisions that supported what I want most out of life: to infect people. It was here where the light bulb just went off and everything seemed so clear to me; I can hear the little voice in my head (seeming like) finally in my corner telling myself, “stop being afraid, dive right in, make a decision, then make another one. Nothing’s wrong here and nothing is wrong with you.”
Crazy to think I know this about myself, have for the majority of my life, yet I spend so many hours of my week not filling my cup. In fact, I’ve spent so many hours being scared of my potential to infect people! It’s honestly mind blowing, and laughable, at this point. I’m aware of the light I bring to people’s lives, so aware that I’ve had to remove myself from certain relationships, set boundaries for others, and constantly remind myself that I can’t be everything to everybody, yet I don’t live out spreading my infection as constantly as I’d like. On the contrary, I love when people plug into my energy source and then go infect other people! It brings me the greatest joy in life! I get excited hearing about an experience a friend of a friend had that was inspired by me. It drives me to do more, share more of myself, and continue down this journey.
The most recent experience, and the driving factor behind this self reflection and storytelling, is the decision my boyfriend made to stop drinking. I believe, and don’t quote me here (we never actually talked about this decision at the time of his decision), his last drink was Sunday, July 25th. I noticed he made this choice but I didn’t mention anything about it until the morning of Saturday July 31st. We were on FaceTime, I had just finished cycling with a friend and during the conversation, I declared not being hungover at CycleBar felt great! (we typically drink Friday night) He went on to respond, “Not feeling hungover in general feels great” and continued to give details about his decision to stop drinking. I said, “Yeah, that’s true, great idea” then looked at my friend and said, “let’s do a dry August”. It was in this moment, we were infected: One person’s decision to make a healthy life choice contaminated two other people!
Leave it to Meaghan, the connector, to then spread this “dry August” like wildfire! The group of ladies I ride my Peloton with at 6:00am had previously pledged to a “BlueGust”; receiving a blue dot every day in August (completing a workout = blue dot). Naturally, I extended the invitation to a dry August to these lovely ladies. Without hesitation, our mighty group of 3 turned into 8! Fast forward to August 2nd, I’m laying in bed, thinking about someone who I know would be game to participate in this challenge! Devoted to that decision I made about making decisions, I text her, shared with her what we were doing and she not only met my expectation of agreeing to a dry August (after she finished the glass of wine I so rudely interrupted), she exceeded it with countering our challenge with thirty minutes of stillness each day.
Let me break this down for you: One person made a decision, shared that decision, two people piggy backed off said decision, and then shared their decision that led to ten people exercising daily, not consuming alcohol, and meditating everyday! INFECTIOUS. Period. We are all better together; accountability yields drastic results. No one in this group of people would have made the decision to complete all three of these healthy life choices every day if each person weren’t vulnerable enough to be willing to share their journey with the next! That’s the beautiful part about sharing, it’s contagious, especially when it’s open and honest. I, the connector, DON’T EVEN KNOW ALL OF THESE PEOPLE, and yet, here we are. UGH! This infection just gets me going, every time!
Vulnerability, authenticity, motivation, and discipline are prevalent in this space of commitment to a healthy, happy August. A challenge for you, the reader, who are you going to infect? What are you going to infect them with? Who are you going to be vulnerable with to share your journey? Be infectious! With your words, your actions, accountability, your vulnerability, your motivation.
I have self proclaimed my motto to be Infectious. Who’s down to take on this motto with me?! Something about redefining that word to be seen as an act of positivity is a challenge in itself for me and I’m bound to oblige those around me (and you) to reevaluate the connotation that is attached to this word. Let’s get better and infect the world with positive, healthy, happy choices. Together.