meganjbruneau meganjbruneau

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Megan Bruneau M.A., RCC  Vancouver->NYC psychotherapist, writer, coach, storyteller & host of The Failure Factor. Here 2 help you like yourself (and life) a little more 👌🏻☺️

http://meganbruneau.com/latest

When we give ourselves permission to just be as we are – permission for our lives, hearts, bodies, and inboxes to be in their imperfect states (okay disastrous state re: inbox for this gal 😬), – something really fucking magical happens ✨: Our focus moves from where we're "not enough," to actually LIVING – to letting go of our futile efforts for control or protection or "reaching potential" 🙄, and in so are able to just experience this ride we're all here to experience (cause you know it ain't gonna last fo'eva 🥀 ). .
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Instead of obsessing over our career, our body, our debt, our relationship status, our spirituality, our mood, our health – suddenly we can find contentedness alongside pain; suddenly we can find peace amidst chaos. This isn't denial or ignorance or complacency; this is #love 💙 – Love we all deserve, no matter how "bad" or "broken" we believe ourselves to be. And in loving ourselves in our "mess," we open up space and energy for healing and change. We open up space and energy for joy. 💫
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#tbt to capturing moments of said peace (or at least it appears that way 🤔) with @aimeeisaksonphoto in #BC (I'm comin' back for ya soon 😘)
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#selfcompassion #jerichobeach #buddhism

"There are only two great tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it."
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– Oscar Wilde ✨
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A couple weeks back I sought refuge in the @marltonhotel, after being trapped in a Pride Parade bottleneck (which was both super inspiring and super anxiety-provoking for a crowd-averse gal like myself 🙈). I intended to work there until the mayhem had died down; but an elderly woman (also seeking refuge) offered to buy me a drink, and obviously this was right up my alley 😏. We proceeded to talk love, purpose, kids, regret, and the idea of the "heart's desire." .
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She then shared this Oscar Wilde quote as one of her favorites, and it resonated for me in both a liberating and disconcerting way. I want love and success, yet I fear love and success. I want uncertainty and struggle, yet I fear uncertainty and struggle. The conclusion, it seems, is that this "life" stuff is some messy, spiritual shit. So take wise old women up on their drink offers, follow yo' heart despite what fear tells you, be kind to yourself (and others 😘), and remember there will be beauty and tragedy no matter which cards you play 💕.
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P.S. 2.5 years of living here and this #boatcruise shot tonight is the closest I've gotten to her🗽. But like, maybe the satisfaction is in the distance... 🤔 #okayokay #NYC #stoicism

Like most therapists, I didn’t study psych because happiness came easily to me. I studied psych because happiness seemed really effing hard. Because my baseline was #anxiety and #depression. Because – as for many humans – genetics and attachment and #trauma and grief shaped my brain into one that defaulted to fear 😱 and self-loathing 😔. .
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I used to be super ashamed of this – I thought I was weak or broken or not trying hard enough. In high school I channeled my pain privately into #Eminem and kickboxing and #bulimia and writing dark-ass poetry — and publicly into fleeting achievements like valedictorian and athlete of the year and awards and scholarships. But no dice. The pain remained. And so did my frustration and shame 😠🤔.
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Today (maaaany years of study, yoga, meditation, and therapy later), I totes still fall into shame-holes or have the occasional nighttime panic attack. I still feel overwhelming sadness at times and have nightmares worse than any horror movie. But here’s the difference: today, I don’t judge myself for my feelz. Today I know better than to believe everything I think. Today I know how to most servingly respond to my difficult emotions, and how to comfort myself until the tide shifts. Today I know when and how to rest and reach out. Today I know pleasure and pain come as a package deal – we can't have one without the other – and I thus make space for the difficult stuff. Today my baseline isn't fear and judgment, but trust and #gratitude 👊🏻. .
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#Healing isn’t about achieving some illusion of eternal, sustaining joy 🙄. It’s about getting to know yourself really fucking well, optimizing your inner and outer environments for contentedness, retraining your brain, finding meaning in your past, and loving yourself through the shit. So consider the idea that pain is part of the package, and an opportunity for self-discovery, self-compassion, and practice – not a sign you’re failing at this happiness thing 😘. #inthistogether #happymonday

UBC in NYC 😎 #PitStars4lyfe #13yearsl8ter

"We can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to change ourselves. #Meditation practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already."
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– Pema Chodron ✨
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The paradox of accepting the reality of our dynamic existence is we have no choice but to surrender to the continuous flow of life's feelz (😬😔😡😃😧). And in that surrender, we're freed from the anxiety and disappointment caused by attachment to the illusion of permanence – or what we perceive to be an enduring state of “happiness.” We’re liberated from the struggle to embody something else – physically, emotionally, relationally. .
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That’s not to say we don’t get to know ourselves better and better; that we don’t become more skilled in responding or reaching out or being especially gentle with ourselves and others 💕; but we let go of our craving to be something more or different in this moment. And thus we let go of shame and unnecessary suffering. .
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So if you’re judging yourself for being “crazy;" or feeling unworthy; or still feeling anger toward someone (after all these years of personal development!!!); befriend your crazy. Befriend your unworthy. Befriend your anger. Befriend your imperfect. You are human. We all are (until the 'Borgs take over, at least 🙄). You are enough in your perceived brokenness. You are lovable as you are. 😘💕. .
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#fbf on this rainy #NYC day to last week's #Vancity #sunset seawall walks – with the girls who remind me I'm lovable as I am, with my cray (after all these years...) 💜 @erae_ @lindsa_loo @hatchy_poo @ashibop
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#Vancouver #falsecreek #cloudporn #anxiety #depression #mentalhealth

“Wherever you go, there you are.” – John Kabat-Zinn ✨.
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People always ask, “What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled?” (common first-date talk 🙄). I find it an interesting question (and generally irritate said date in prefacing my answer with this caveat) as a place in itself can be relatively benign – subjectively determined by our headspace at that time. Before this recent trip (#tbt to last week-ish), I hadn’t been to SF since 2011 when I was a catatonically heartbroken 💔, anxious mess. I remember being on Lombard Street but not REALLY being there. I remember thinking, "San Francisco sucks" (and so did every other place I traveled that year). .
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Wherever we go, there we are 😘. Our pain, our thoughts, our #perspective. Don't try to run from yourself – it ain't happening; instead, bring yo' supportive self along as a travel companion 💕. Six years later, this solo walk down Lombard Street was empowering AF (even though I concurrently felt like a lemming - swipe right 👉🏻). So if you’re going through a rough time and wherever you are (physically and emotionally) looks bleak, be gentle with yourself and trust the lens through which you see your world 🌎 your body, yourself, your life – will shift as you heal 😎. #sanfrancisco #inthistogether
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Sidebar: I now love SF. It's like #Vancouver and #NYC had a baby 😃

How do your feelings about a person or situation change when you imagine they’re truly doing the best they can? 🤔 Homegirl’s “Rising Strong” quote resonated hard for me when I read it, and feels appropriate right now as our beloved #BC is burning 🔥😢. A natural response to fear and powerlessness is criticism and blame; yet a different, more healing, more effective response is empathy and compassion 💜. .
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So whether you feel hurt or frustrated by a parent, ex, friend, coworker, or political figure, consider they’re doing the best they can and see what shifts inside ⚡️👊🏻. Sending love and strength to my beauty province 🇨🇦, displaced and anxious communities, and everyone involved in the 🔥 fight who is doing the best they can 💕. #inthistogether #wisdomwednesday

Even though I know better, I still “When.” What do I mean? Glad you asked 😃 Let me explain: What does your mind tell you is going to happen when whatever you’re waiting to happen, happens? 🤔 When you pay off the debt, lose the weight, find love, sell the company, get the degree or title or job, own the home, get married or pregnant, etc? .
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Our minds like to attach to the idea that once we achieve X, we’ll feel Y. Or be able to do Z. Or can be promised.. W(?). I, for example, think to myself, “When I get the book deal; when I don’t have to stress about money anymore; when I meet the guy who “gets” me – THEN I’ll completely be free of my darkness 🌚; of my baseline discomfort. THEN I'll find eternal peace.” 🙄 .
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But when I take a step back, I know better, and I know such “Whenning” prevents me from drinking in and enjoying the precious moments and interactions of my "incomplete" state (and #truthbomb: that promised sense of completeness is impermanent, like e'rything else 😘). So don't judge yourself for “whenning,” but do try to become aware of it. Then gently remind yourself there will always be something to “when” about, and that the illusion of enduring comfort is just that – an illusion 🔮. .
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Being human means experiencing the spectrum of feelz as long as your heart beats; so let go of “whenning," reset your intention to cultivating meaning, connection, and (self) compassion, and permit yourself to be in the messy present with the rest of us ❤️. #inthistogether
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#latergram from last week in #Vancity, where we "when" about the weather for days like this one 😬

Fun fact: Appreciation for the unpleasant or mundane increases based on perceived life left 🤔. So whether you’re irritated about your wet socks ☔️; frustrated with traffic 🚗 ; self-conscious about yo' body 👙; or raw from a wounded heart 💔; just imagine you’re going to get hit by a bus later today and these are your last experiences of feeling truly alive ✨. Happy Friyay 😃 #nobullshitgratitude #thinkaboutdeathandwin
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#fbf to last weekend somewhere in "The Valley." .
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#mindset #happiness #lifehacks

💗 full again. #NYCbound #gotmyfix
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📸: @aimeeisaksonphoto

When I started my blog five years ago, this was my tagline ✨ (along with “We’re all in this together”). I’d been counseling in some capacity for six years at that point, and I noticed a theme: everyone thought they were fucked up, not good enough, and were unlovable until they were “normal.” 🤔And that belief caused perpetual shame, which was at the root of (and exacerbated by) their addictions, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and so on. .
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Marketing and media want you to believe you need to be "fixed" before being worthy – if we all believed we were good enough as is, and that our experience of being a human was a normal one, we wouldn’t have a need for material items and detoxes and status and power 💪🏻. So we’re made to believe we’re broken, that our emotions are a sign of pathology, and that if we don’t have it “all figured out” we’re doing something wrong. .
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The comforting truth is we’re all a little fucked up, and nobody has it “all figured out.” Not your parents, not your spiritual guru, not the president (well, that’s obvious 😬…not the Prime Minister? Whattup JT 👋🏻🇨🇦). Life is beautifully, tragically messy and complex, and so are humans. So give yourself permission to be your imperfect self, quit “waiting until” before you open up to love or living, and remember feeling abnormal is totally normal 😘. #rightthurwitchu #inthistogether

I'll always be infatuated with #NYC, but realtalk: it's a griiiind 🏃‍♀️. I'm even super boundaried with my time, yet I still knock shit over constantly bc I'm always rushing (also bc I'm clumsy but luckily have excellent reflexes as a result of being clumsy) 😬
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I'm oddly grateful for the (at times expensive 📱) way my "rushing" manifests, bc I can't ignore the fact that I'm sleepwalking in those moments and am totally missing my life ✨. I'm smacked in the face with the reality (and oftentimes something I've knocked over) that ain't nobody gonna slow me down but me 🌪.
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So today was the first day in as long as I can remember where I did NOTHING (other than hang out with my girlfriends and eat delicious food 🍦🍣🍔) and it felt sooooo good. Like "Oh right. This is point." Thankful to be in Van for a hot minute and remember what we all here for 👊🏻 (the ice cream, hellooo). #dontmissyolife .
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To my #Vancity lovers and friends I won't see this time around, I'll be back in Aug 😘
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PC: @hatchy_poo .
#britishcolumbia #Vancouver #OlympicVillage

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