We’ve had some fantastic, successful and amazing women on Balance and every single one of them have debunked the “having it all” myth and given us clear instructions to simply “do what makes you happy”.
But is it as easy as it sounds? I don’t think so. Which is why I started reading a book by Megan Dalla-Camina called “Getting Real About Having It All”.
Megan is a self professed “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” kind of girl.
She’s had the big flying corporate career, been married with kids, endured a burn out, had relationship crashes and experienced life as a single working mother. More recently she’s become a yoga master and wellness guru.
But what I loved most about her bio was her surprising revelation. That after all the usual milestones for a high flyer turned wellness guru, she can also sing up a storm, and has produced a music album!
That and her wall poster that says, “it’s time to pull up your big girl panties and get on with it”, is what had me hooked.
So after reading a few chapters, I spoke to the author herself to find out if Balance readers could benefit from her infinite wisdom or if it was just me.
Because the book is in three sections, and 235 pages long, and because Megan was fascinating (and not just because she has a great name), I’ve split our interview into three parts.
1. Why the book is good (you’re reading it)
2. The best of the wellness chapter
3. The cheats guide to getting happy
Q: Megan in your book it says “Whether you are 25 or 45… I hope this book can help you get from where you are today, to where you dream of being”. Can it also help women over 45?
I’m 42 and the primary market for this book is Gen X, my age group. A lot of my clients are 45 to 55, so it is spot on for women over 45.
Q. Is it just a book for women or can men read it too?
Whilst I did write the book for women, I do know that many men are reading it are really enjoying it.
A lot of what I see in my work and my network, is that men are really struggling with balance and wellbeing as well and I think from a work perspective, one of the next wave of challenges for employers is how to keep the men engaged. Women are leaving the traditional workforce in droves, especially in the Gen X age group, but men are really struggling too now.
So everything I wrote is applicable to men as well as women.
Q. What will be the most important chapter for men and women over 45?
I meet thousands of people every year and what I’m finding for a lot of women and men over 45 is this piece around what does my life look like now, what am I passionate about now.
I’ve seen people who have had 20-year fantastic careers and are in that place of, “I really don’t know if I’m passionate about that anymore and if I’m not passionate about that, what am I passionate about?”
So it’s about rediscovering and getting clear on your passion because it is so important to every aspect of your life. That then flows into the discussion around “I’m over 45, I’m in the next phase of my life, what do I want that to look like for myself?”
I think, the chapters on passion and life vision are particularly important.
Q. Who really has time to sit down and go through all this and secondly, how do you fit your passion into life when you have other people relying on you?
I think no matter what age you are, this is a really big issue and it’s a real issue for women because we are the people pleasers and the ones who nurture and look after everyone else and put ourselves last.
The question is a really important one, but the answer I give is that you have to decide what you want your life to look like, and you need to create the space to do that.
This can be a really confronting thing for people.
But at the end of the day if you don’t decide that you want your life to look like something different to what it looks like today, then it is always going to look the same.
If you are exhausted, tired and unhappy with no passion in your life then you have to make a choice for yourself.
What I try to focus on in the book are small things. So it’s not about changing your whole life, it’s about finding what really resonates with you in the short chapters, with the small suggestions.
Q. We have this fabulous discussion happening around what we can do to improve our lives but have we forgotten that sometimes we don’t actually need to change our life and we are actually happy. Do we assume that everybody wants to or needs to change their life?
I don’t think everybody wants to change their life and if you don’t, you wouldn’t pick up my book or any of the other plethora of books that out there that can help you do that.
So no, I don’t think everybody does, I think there are a small percentage of people out there that are truly genuinely happy and that’s fantastic.
But I think there are also a lot of people, the vast majority of people, who are living in the vacuum of their life, on the treadmill or living in the greyness and they don’t know what they don’t know or think they are not in a position to improve their life.
Then there are a lot of people who genuinely want to be better. I put myself into that category. I’m a seeker, I love reading, exploring and testing. I think for people in that category, hopefully my book can help them on their journey.
For more information about the Megan Dalla-Camina or to purchase her book, go here.