| MADISON HEDLUND |
I’m so excited to share this first Beautiful Being interview with you today!
I met Madison while studying at Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy. This girl is one sassy human, full of vibrancy and an infectious energy for life. She continues to inspire me, and is one of those people who I truly look up to, as I aspire to follow in her footsteps and create a wave of change throughout the community. Her passion and determination shines through everything she does- she’s a true trailblazer and is doing some incredible things in the world- it’s such a joy to watch!
Madison Hedlund is a life coach, speaker, writer, and entrepreneur who helps women own their story, step out of fear and shame and come alive to their most vibrant, confident selves. Known for her soulful spirit both online and in person, she brings authenticity, power, and creativity into all she does. Whether she is working one on one with clients, facilitating a workshop, or speaking to a large group, it is Madison’s deepest desire to see women step up to their very best and truly come alive.
Madison is co-author of Be The Better Bride, the creator of the Come Alive Journaling Guide, and is a co-founder of The Bravery Board, a mental health collective in Springfield, MO where she facilitates and speaks at local gatherings on topics such as cultivating creativity, building healthy and authentic relationships, and self acceptance.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO JUST GO FOR IT, AND START LIVING THE LIFE YOU LOVE? WAS THERE A TURNING POINT OR AN ‘A-HA’ MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU REALISED YOU NEEDED TO MAKE THE CHANGE?
Since childhood, it was in my bones to have a connection with God (divine, whatever you call it) and to share that love with others. I wanted to be a motivational speaker in high school, and started leading women’s groups as a teenager. It wasn’t until after college, however, that I came face to face with my toxic behaviours and beliefs. Through a series of hard family situations, I realised that if I did not go to counselling and heal myself, that I would never healthfully impact anyone- I could remain stuck in my shame and victim mentality, or I could heal. I was so full of pain, bitterness, and false ideas about who I was until gave my life to wellness, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Went to counselling, got a life coach, started working out consistently and haven’t looked back. The best thing about becoming healthy is that it has a sort of ripple effect, it’s contagious!
HOW IS YOUR LIFE DIFFERENT NOW AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
Life now is less painful. Sure, my life has dramas and the pains of life, but it affects me differently than it did before. I am able to bounce back, I am self aware enough to know what I need and take care of my emotional well being.
I think people assume that you will go to counselling, an energy healer, or life coach and after your time there, that you’ll be good- but it is an everyday thing. It is choosing love, it’s being aware of your thoughts, of loving others, and respecting your values. It’s an everyday choice- a choice that is much more second nature now, but took a lot of intention at first. I am far from perfect, but I have come such a long way. Someone recently told me how they love that I can speak my mind confidently- I was stunned to hear that, because I used to cower in fear of what others thought, I was a doormat.
I truly feel vibrant, free, and myself. I can’t help but smile writing this because there was a time I wasn’t sure that I could ever say that.
WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST FEAR OR BLOCK (EMOTIONAL, MENTAL OR PHYSICAL) THAT YOU HAD TO OVERCOME TO GET WHERE YOU ARE, AND HOW DID YOU BREAK THROUGH IT?
The fear of what others thought. Hand’s down.
I was your typical victim, afraid of what everyone thought and crippled by every criticism. Each step in my journey took overcoming this fear- from choosing to seek counselling, to quitting jobs that did not serve my vision, to approaching things and people in the past to clear and forgive, to becoming a life coach. I care what others think, I can’t avoid that fact, but I care about what I think the most. Getting clear about my values, what I want in life, and who I want to be trumps the opinions of others every time. I realised quickly on my journey that someone will always disagree, and I get the choice to remain stuck or take a stand.
So, I took a stand for myself, and it has proven to be the best decision I’ve ever made.
HOW DID OPENING UP AND ‘BEING AUTHENTICALLY YOU’ AFFECT THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU OR YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEM?
I wish I could say it was amazing in every way, but that just isn’t true. People reacted differently; many people welcomed my journey with open arms, and have been of utmost support. Others didn’t understand, and I lost a few friends. The most beautiful thing is that through my journey, I have developed more real relationships than ever before. Relationships with family have deepened, and my large friend group has gone from a mile wide and an inch deep to an inch wide and a mile deep.
All in all, there is a magnetic effect to being authentic- people crave it, search for it, and want to surround themselves by what’s real- so I have found myself walking alongside the most incredible people, watching them and journeying with them to their most authentic self.
DID YOU FACE ANY JUDGEMENTS OR CRITICISMS, WHETHER FROM YOURSELF OR OTHERS?
Yes. Oh yes. Because of my roots in Evangelical Christianity, many people were worried for me. Some didn’t believe in counselling and tried to talk me out of seeking help, becoming a life coach, or walking the journey to self love. Like I mentioned before, I really cared what others think, so I allowed the opinions of people, good people with good intentions, to stand between myself and what I knew I needed to do. Each step I took in the right direction, however, paid me back tenfold in freedom, abundance, love, and healing, so I kept on. Each step was followed by proof that I was on the right journey and eventually I gained confidence. Plus, I kept in mind that the people who spoke against my decisions truly had my best in mind, we just saw things differently.
WHAT IS YOUR TRUE ESSENCE? THE NATURAL PART OF YOUR BEING THAT MAKES YOU SPECIAL.
Oh wow, this question.
Freedom, vision, connection, joy, and light. I feel that I am gifted in entering into the joys and pains of others. I am highly intuitive and also a visionary, so I can easily pump people up for what is possible. I like to joke that my hobbies are daydreaming and having conversations. I’ve never answered a question like this before, but I keep seeing those toys from childhood with the fairy that spins off the base! Haha! Maybe my essence is a fairy hahaha!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF?
I love my resilience, my genuine love of people, my curiosity, and my hope. I feel like they make a great combo for life, and I wouldn’t want to be any other way!
WHERE DO YOU FIND BEAUTY AND INSPIRATION?
Where don’t I?! Nature, people, books, poems, mystery, art. I love modern abstract art. I like to find beauty in pain, and meaning in hardship- maybe because I have experienced a difficult childhood and used it as a survival tool- but either way, alchemy is a good way to describe it.
For me, The pattern in the things I find inspiring and beautiful is the freedom for interpretation- the mystery, the questions, the application and attribution of meaning that is different in each situation as we grow and evolve. From art to people to nature, we get what we need in the moment- it’s surprising and beautiful.
It reminds me of a recent trip to Nashville. I was feeling hopeless about an event in my life, and in the park that day I found a tiny toy pegasus. It may have been coincidence, and knowing it may mean nothing, I chose to see it as a symbol of hope anyway. That meaning is good for me, it’s beautiful and it inspires me.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO DO?
I was fortunate to grow up on a lot of land. My parents did not allow us to play on the computer or have video games. We loved being outside, making up games, and exploring. School came natural, but I preferred to be talking with the other kids or in art and dance classes. (Almost every report card came back with a talking complaint). I started my first petition in the fifth grade, so I had no regard for rules at a young age, haha!
More than anything though, I loved performing and creating. One sister and I made up an alien civilisation, language, and made our two younger sisters believe we were aliens inhabiting our bodies- and they believed us… for years. I was a spunky kid, chatty, and creative.
WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP AND WHY?
I find myself getting really fired up good conversations. I love learning and talking about new ideas, possibility, and expansion. I also feel very lit up in groups of people. I love to stretch myself and see when I can accomplish, so reaching goals and helping others achieve goals makes me really excited. I love a good challenge.
Also, give me a dance party and I’ll be happy for days. To me, dancing, good conversation, learning, dreaming, and being with people are the things life is really about.
WHEN LIFE GETS BUSY, OVERWHELMING AND THE NEGATIVITY STARTS TO CREEP IN, HOW DO YOU UNWIND AND ALLOW YOURSELF TO ‘JUST BE’?
I’m learning to take time to actually do this these days. I used to say people, but now that I am with people a lot, I find myself going to the park with my dog, taking a bath, or reading a book. I love to create art and work out as well, but lately am trying to do things to be that are not actually just other ways to be productive (I’m a sneaky goal setter like that!)
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE WANTING TO RECONNECT WITH THEIR OWN NATURAL WAY OF BEING AND FIND THE BEAUTY WITHIN THEMSELVES?
You will lose yourself trying to live for others.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE YOU?
It feels amazing. Free. Joyful. Like a summer day with a snowcone.