#WomenOfAce: Meet Morgan Craig-Broadwith
There’s something about this woman that simply makes you want to know more (while also making you feel like you have been friends for years). Whether it’s her inspiring ability to be vulnerable and real, the ease her presence seems to have on those around her, or the simple fact that she’s funny as hell, this week’s Women of Ace is one you need to know. Meet Morgan Craig-Broadwith.
PS: you can meet her in real life at our next Babes Who Brunch in Calgary, December 15th.
Ace: What are you up to? ( Your current hustle )
Morgan: My current (and forever) hustle, as Chief Wellness Officer of Live It Active, helps women tap into their inner gritty badass (oh, it’s there) by grounding them in their worth, giving tools to improve the inner chatter and make change, and write their Personal Manifesto (more on this later). More specifically, we create beautifully curated retreats for professional women striving to balance home and work (no, it’s not just for working mommas – it’s for all the ladies hustling to make things happen).
Ace: Why is this important to you? ( Where did this passion come from? )
Morgan: This work is important to me because I believe, and much research and anecdote indicates, we are in need and want of deep connection to our work, community, family, friends, partner, children, and selves. Yet we spend a lot of time disconnecting for fear of what we will find when we actually sit with ourselves.
I get it, I’ve been there. I was terrified to start my journey with mindfulness for fear of what I’d discover – who knows what lurks below the surface? But then I sat in the muck and let it seep in, and in that moment, I began my journey towards less anxiety, less fear, less doubt, less scarcity (it sounds lame and made up, but I swear it’s true). I think others want this too. Actually, I know others want this too.
My journey, my research, and my corporate work led me to create the Rejuvenation Retreat: Cultivating Grace & Grit; a retreat that isn’t simply a day away (which is BIG TIME important), but one that stirs the soul. It encourages the exploration of your interests, purpose, ability to engage in deliberate practice, and your mindset (the core traits of the gritty) to help you write your Personal Manifesto. Or, at the very least, it gets you started.
Ace: What was your dream job growing up? How do you think this has influenced who you are today?
Morgan: I think I had many: hairdresser (but if you saw my hair now…it’s not like you would say ‘well done’), veterinarian (I’m allergic to many small animals and dealing with wounds/illness is not really my forte), and a ballet dancer (…I have the flexibility of a 90-year-old man).
I am not certain that any of these dream jobs have really influenced where I am today, which is perhaps an important thing to share – we often don’t know what we’re about until we go and test. And that’s OK. We need to interact with the real world to discover our interests and purpose – two core components of cultivating grit. So, to all the youngsters, or people moving into or out of school, don’t worry too much if you’re not sure yet. Go and test.
Ace: If you could describe yourself in only three words, what would they be?
Morgan: Driven. Energizing. Spicy.
Ace: Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
Morgan: My granny. Her ashes sit on my bookshelf (you may think this is weird, but I find it comforting) and they regularly remind me of her badassery (yes, it’s a word).
She grew up an orange protestant (exposed to extreme religiosity) in Ireland and later became a superstitious atheist (yes, it’s a thing), was abandoned by her mom, met a fiery Irish dude, had two kids, had an affair and separated from my grandfather, travelled solo with two small kids (while pregnant) on a ship traversing across the Atlantic, walked from the country to a small town while in labour to get access to a hospital, got back together with my grandfather after much back and forth, had a fourth kid, became a top realtor, and loved her grandchildren fiercely. A badass. She came to Canada to change the trajectory of her children’s lives and she did. She was my champion. I miss her every day.
Ace: What does the term “Boss Babe” mean to you?
Morgan: An ambitious, driven, badass lady who feels a fire in her soul to do something different.
Ace: How do you empower other women?
Morgan: I offer them space to discover who they are.
Ace: What is the best advice you’ve ever received from another woman?
Morgan: Try to be better next time. Context: as a mom, I constantly mess up. I lose my patience, I get upset, I stop meeting my kids where they are at. My sage (a.k.a. one of my childhood besties) simply, without judgment told me, “try to be better next time”. The advice has stuck, and it’s applicable to so many different contexts. You mess up? Try to be better next time.
Ace: Can you share the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a failure?
Morgan: My business is in a growth phase. I’m at the beginning of my journey, and to support this I work full-time at an energy company in Calgary. I actually love that Live It Active is a part-time hustle (part-time with almost full-time hours?) because it provides me the freedom to test and correct, test and correct, and do it again. I realize this isn’t for every entrepreneur and it does come with downsides: you can’t keep up with those doing it full-time, you want to keep up and feel like a fraud, you can’t do everything that you want to when you want to, etc. I realize this isn’t really answering the question, but I thought it may resonate with folks on the start-up journey.
A more general lesson? Crying is an important release, but it only gets you so far. Once you’ve released the emotion (please, please, please do not suppress it – it grows), do something with it. Give yourself a day or two to process the setback, but don’t internalize it. Don’t let it define you. Go forth and multiply…not necessarily procreate, but go and multiply your awesomeness. You do have something to offer, even if you are not sure what it is yet.
Ace: When you are feeling overwhelmed, what do you do to find peace?
Morgan: Get my ass into the forest. Research is showing us, again and again, how important the forest is. Have you ever tried forest bathing? No, it’s not getting nude in the woods and taking a bath. It’s about slowing down, and letting your brain tune into your senses. It’s from Japan (the formal name is Shinrin-yoku) and started back in the 80’s as a result of the high volume of suicides due to overwork. Doctors started prescribing nature…and it worked. There is a guide out in Canmore, Ronna, who works wonders in the forest. Check her out.
Also, don’t discount the power of meditation. When I’m feeling especially frantic, I lay down and listen to a Loving Kindness meditation. It always brings me closer to balance.
Ace: What legacy do you hope to be remembered for?
Morgan: What a beautiful question. My greatest legacy will be my children. They will be more than me (I hope). I hope they remember that I was kind (something I work to be every day, and often fail at) as well as hard-working and spicy.
After that, I hope I make a lasting impact on the lives of the women who attend my retreats and workshops. They may not remember me, but they will remember the changes they make to improve their lives, and that’s enough.
Ace: Where can we find out more about you so we can continue to support you?
Morgan: If you are ready, come to a retreat. I have more coming in the Winter and Spring of 2019. They are small, awesome and hopefully, life-altering in a powerful way (but you are the master of your soul – if nothing changes, nothing changes).
You can email me at email@example.com or let’s meet up! I may not be able to meet right away, but I would love to connect in person, over a coffee (or wine), and if schedules don’t align, we can always chat on the handy dandy phone.
Thank you for reading this novella (even though it’s not a work of fiction), and I welcome questions and connection.