Living the Dream: Featuring Megan Gray

This post is part of a series of interviews by real people who are going after their heart’s song. Whether they are taking baby steps or giant leaps, they are living their dream. Our Featured Dreamer will talk about their challenges, inspirations, and tips about how they juggle life with what they love to do. Be inspired in your own life to go out there and lasso that dream of yours. Find other inspirational stories here.  (More coming soon!)


5b9eee23-4192-4524-bc24-0a517d477aa6Megan Gray Arts

I’m Megan Gray, and along with being an artist, I am a mother of three, and major supporter of Creative Mothers everywhere.

I help make collecting original art easy, and to inspire other mothers to be creative. My oil and watercolor paintings are inspired by our simple life and the natural landscape around us. I want my art to be available to everyone, no matter their budget. To me art is connection. Art is community, and how I engage with the world around me. That’s why any art you purchase directly from me is priced “pay what you want.”

I believe my work isn’t finished until it finds a home. A home where it is loved and valued dearly. I want my art to make you feel like I feel when you ask to buy it, happy. I trust in my collectors, and in return they keep me making art!

Like, Follow, Instagram, + Find Megan Gray!

 

d3dea401-15c2-4352-9f0c-929970197e24Can you tell us about your dream and what inspired you to go for it?

Honestly, I just want to paint. I went for it because it allows me to be my own boss, as well as there for my kids. I need to paint or else I get very unhappy. It’s the only time where my mind is completely calm and focused. So, if don’t paint for a while I feel out of balance.

What sort of challenges do you face and how do you get around them?

Finding the time to paint. I’m always letting things get in the way. Cleaning, errands, etc. sometimes you have to let other things go so you can create. Sometimes I have a hard time letting go, and sometimes I let those things become excuses as to why I’m not painting.

de13fb17-b6e3-4b09-904c-fd9bc9efc7d2What do you love to do the most?

I love to paint landscapes in oil.

Who supports you in following your dream?

My husband and my children as well as my extended family too. My husband is my biggest supporter and being a creative example for my kids is my greatest motivation. My kids also let me know what they like and don’t like when I paint, so they actually help me to grow in that way as an artist.

Who inspires you?

Anyone who is making time to create especially if they have kids.

Where do you see yourself in five years?19279767-5209-4fc1-87a1-221b85f0743a

Not changing anymore diapers, and painting more regularly instead of whenever I can.

What is the biggest tip you have for anyone looking to following their dreams?

Just do it. Stop making excuses. You are by far your biggest obstacle, so knock it off and be your biggest supporter!

 

 

 


 If you or someone you know, is reaching for the stars (big or small) and loving it, I would be honored to have them featured here!  Please note, this is not reserved for artists only, dreams come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it be crafting, doing yoga, chasing kids, coupon clipping, or playing golf. If it’s a dream and someone is trying to get their hands on it, I want to hear from them!

Living the Dream: Featuring Erin Berry

This post is part of a series of interviews by real people who are going after their heart’s song. Whether they are taking baby steps or giant leaps, they are living their dream. Every Thursday, our featured Dreamer will talk about their challenges, inspirations, and tips about how they juggle their life with what they love to do. Be inspired in your own life to go out there and lasso that dream of yours. Find other inspirational stories here. 



1477575_10152392411707895_1740386664_nErin Scott, founder of SillyFit, Inc.

I am a fitness professional and owner of my own fitness business, SillyFit Inc. I currently live in south Alabama (our beaches are lovely!). I really started this journey to living my dream while still living in Boston. It’s funny. I remember in high school saying to all my friends and family, “One day I will live in Boston and be a scientist.” And I did it.

For 13 years, I was a neuroscientist and worked on various research projects for Harvard and MIT. It was exactly what I wanted to do. It was exactly what I went to college to do. However, I have always had a passion for dance and performance. Long hours in the lab and living a not-so-healthy lifestyle for several years started to show up on me physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I fell in love with a workout program called Turbo Jam–a workout I did at home, in my living room. I eventually lost 50 pounds and it sparked my love for fitness. I became a team Beachbody coach and fitness instructor just for fun in my spare time. It fueled my love for dance and performance…and I actually found that I could help other people see their true potential through health and fitness. It was so FUN, too!

When I moved from Boston to Alabama, I decided to retire from my career in neuroscience and focus on making fitness my business. I am still a coach and fitness instructor. I’m also a personal trainer and Master Trainer with Beachbody. I certify group fitness instructors in Beachbody Live formats and mentor instructors as well.

Like, FriendFollow, LookFind, + Talk to Erin Berry!

 

Can you tell us about your dream and what inspired you to go for it?

Honestly, I’ve never had a very specific dream…rather an overall feeling: freedom. I would dream about just having the freedom to do what served those I care about and allow me to do the things I love. Totally happiness. I think all of us just want to be happy. It looks so drastically different for every person, but when I see other people living out their passion, with a servants’ heart and truly free to live their best life, I’m completely inspired. I think inherently, we know when something’s not right in our lives…or “something has got to give.” I knew long before I discovered how to do it, that I needed to do it (seek out that freedom and happiness)…for my own well-being. Fortunately, I can do that while having fun.

What sort of challenges do you face and how do you get around them?

Every challenge I have faced (and there are SO many) I have been able to work through with faith that everything will be ok, things will work out, just keep going, stay the course. Naturally, I do revisit what’s working and what isn’t and will always “reinvent” myself from time to time. But I never just stop completely. I may pause, but never stop. It serves no one doing that. In terms of what sort of challenges…. it has a lot to do with knowing that there are always going to be disappointments. Not everything will work out exactly as you envisioned it. And sometimes, that’s actually good thing.

What do you love to do the most?10620782_10152392414027895_3588555160552281496_n

This is tricky to narrow down to “the most.” Personally, if I’m singing, dancing or laughing…I’m good. Professionally, and personally, I LOVE to teach, mentor, inspire excellence and really, truly…with every ounce of energy in my spirit: help reveal a person’s true potential. So many sell themselves short of their potential, whether it’s circumstances or environment or lack of belief are to blame. I do what I can–through health and fitness–to help them see their potential more fully.

Who supports you in following your dream?

Definitely my family and friends. I am grateful for all the support I receive from colleagues as well. I think we are all out to serve and it’s great to know it’s truly a team effort.

Who inspires you?

Every single person that has that spark of faith and belief in themselves…that fire in their belly. Each one inspires me in their resolve. There are so many people who inspire me…too many to name.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This one is tough, because I have so many expectations for my business, my leisure time and how I’m doing personally: spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. I would love to see my team of coaches expand into the thousands. THOUSANDS of us helping people get fit, healthy and live happy, fulfilling lives. I would love to certify and mentor new instructors totaling the thousands as well! I see myself dancing more…just for fun…perhaps even dabbling in choreography. I see myself stepping closer and closer to freedom.

What is the biggest tip you have for anyone looking to following their dreams?

I know…it’s so cliché — but seriously: don’t give up on your dream too soon. Your dream is a part of you…and extension of you. Don’t believe for a second that you don’t deserve it.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Despite what odds you are up against, always maintain your sense of humor. It’s a literal life saver. I truly think I might not be where I am today had it not been for laughing about a lot of it…because some parts of the journey can be quite ridiculous. But that’s just it…it’s part of the journey. Laugh about it and keep your chin up. The second you lose sight of the bright side, you lose a piece of that dream.

 

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 If you or someone you know, is reaching for the stars (big or small) and loving it, I would be honored to have them featured here!  Please note, this is not reserved for artists only, dreams come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it be crafting, doing yoga, chasing kids, coupon clipping, or playing golf. If it’s a dream and someone is trying to get their hands on it, I want to hear from them!

Living the Dream: Featuring Dennis and Kimberly Branchaud

This post is part of a series of interviews by real people who are going after their heart’s song. Whether they are taking baby steps or giant leaps, they are living their dream. Every Thursday, our featured Dreamer will talk about their challenges, inspirations, and tips about how they juggle their life with what they love to do. Be inspired in your own life to go out there and lasso that dream of yours. 

Find other inspirational stories here.  



1c5863_3a68b636f052404d9f5b4194901c205b.jpg_srz_200_194_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzDennis & Kimberly Branchaudunnamed-5

Kodokai Martial Arts 

North Smithfield, RI

Dennis began martial arts training in 1978 as a U.S. Marine stationed on the island of Okinawa, Japan. His teacher was Seikichi Odo. He practiced karate for three decades eventualy achieving an 8th degree black belt. His school is one of depth, substance, authenticity and practicality.

Kimberly began her training in karate 14 years ago and currently holds a 4th degree black belt in Ryukyu Udundi. She also has a degree in education and enjoys teaching in the dojo and the classroom.

LikeFind, + Talk to Dennis & Kimberly Branchaud!

 

Can you tell us about your dream and what inspired you to go for it?

Our dream was to run our own business together, doing something that we would enjoy and that could benefit others in some way. Dennis had previously run a small martial arts school so opening our dojo in North Smithfield seemed like the perfect opportunity. We wanted to expose as many people as we could to the calm strength and self confidence that our art provides. Although there have been ups and downs to running a business, the enjoyment, confidence and success that our students have shared with us inspires us to continue.

What sort of challenges do you face and how do you get around them?

Our biggest challenge as Martial Arts teachers are helping people overcome their self imposed obstacles for success. This may be a physical obstacle but more often it is mental. Egos are typically an obstacle that people need to overcome. Sometimes, students are more interested in getting the next belt, instead of gaining the skills that the belt represents. Patience is something that both the teachers and the students need to nurture in order to get past these types of obstacles!

What do you love to do the most?

We love to watch students grow, whether it is in confidence, skills, patience, inner or outer strength or one of the many other ways people can grow in the martial arts. Everyone can succeed in some way at Kodokai and we love to provide the materials for them to do just that!

Who supports you in following your dream?

We have a lot of support from our students! Some help us financially, some help us in class, some participate in demonstrations with us, others help us advertise, etc. Our dojo is a community in itself and people help each other and the dojo in whatever way they can.
We also have received tremendous support from our masters in Japan. Odo sensei, Taira sensei, and Takamiyagi sensei have each visited our school and taught classes. Takamiyagi sensei has come five times! They have also helped us by teaching generously during training trips to their home, Okinawa, Japan.

Who inspires you?

Our teachers on Okinawa are a big inspiration to us. They train daily in the hot Okinawan climate and most are in their 70’s or 80’s! They have taught us that martial art training does not stop when you leave the dojo, or are tired, or old. Training is continuous, whether it is physical or the more difficult training of the mind.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

We would love to own our own building in a private and quiet setting. Having classes outside, in nature, would add to the benefits and enjoyment of the martial arts. A big reason many people sign up for classes is to relieve stress. We would like to offer quiet spaces for meditation, contemplation, and training.

What is the biggest tip you have for anyone looking to following their dreams?

Educate yourself, learn the skills that you’ll need and do it! Don’t get discouraged by people who will question your wisdom and would prefer that you took a more conventional route. Perservere! There will be obstacles, some that you antcipate and some will be surprises. Continue to educate yourself and grow.

 

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 If you or someone you know, is reaching for the stars (big or small) and loving it, I would be honored to have them featured here!  Please note, this is not reserved for artists only, dreams come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it be crafting, doing yoga, chasing kids, coupon clipping, or playing golf. If it’s a dream and someone is trying to get their hands on it, I want to hear from them!