We had the good fortune of connecting with Meghan Klein Toups and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Meghan, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
As much as we all might aim for balance, I’m not sure the concept can truly exist for the modern woman. As women, and mothers in particular, we hold space for many different people, places, schedules, ideas in our life. It can create enormous expansion, and also lends itself to enormous overwhelm. The phrase, work-life balance feels like two entities to be managed, which feels stressful – one more thing to “do”. And in the past, I think I used to try to do it all focused on compartmentalizing facets of my life to fit into the work spot or the personal spot. Rather, I propose that women can reclaim the notion of work-life balance to one that promotes a sense of inner balance, a fluid movement between the external and our the internal world. If I work on maintaining a more regular practice of inner balance, it will positively shift my relationships, work and hobbies. To me, this is the key! A focus on inner balance might look like incorporating a mindset of: how can I live each moment (as best as possible), doing whatever I’m choosing to do, with a sense of acceptance and peace? So, if I choose to have dinner with a friend, I check in with myself to be sure that I can enjoy this time – can I be present? Or will my mind be somewhere else? Can I suspend guilt that I “should” be doing something else? Balance to me, means being able to be present, and also to feel like I have some sense of choice in my life. A tiny shift, “I choose to do ___” transforms a mentality of “I have to do ____” even with something like the laundry! My work is also very personal work, and in this stage of my life, work life balance feels more integrated, and I truly believe that presence and emotional regulation are key components of this. When I can remember to stay focused, present, and internally balanced, I don’t get as overwhelmed, having a sense of juggling all the different facets of life. Self care and emotional awareness is a key component of this, simple acts: checking in with myself and naming, “how am I feeling now”, and 30 second pauses to breathe are built in mini self-care practices. And of course, this is an imperfect and ongoing journey. There’s not a certain place to be, or a level to attain in this practice. Growth work is ongoing, expansive and fluid! This is my redefined notion of balance.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My work is in helping women transform anxiety into empowerment and awakening. In this work, we begin to decode the language of the body which speaks to us in many ways, largely, in our symptoms. As we incorporate this compassionate perspective in therapy, life begins to shift in amazing ways. I am a holistic psychotherapist and my business is unique because I integrate a deeply rooted orientation of mind-body-spirit-community connection. I believe that mental health symptoms are here to give us messages about our life and the areas which need to shift. I don’t ask my clients to do anything that I don’t do – I believe that growth is forever ongoing and that there is always opportunity to learn, grow and heal. I understand the importance of the microbiome in facilitating mental wellness, the power of nutrition, meditation, mindfulness and releasing emotions through body work and therapy. My practice has evolved over the last 14 years as a therapist as I did not begin as a holistic practitioner. Over many years of my own work, further education and certifications, I find my work deeply rich and fulfilling, so much has shifted as I learned to work with my clients in ways that move beyond the traditional medical model. My clients are brave, beautiful women who embark on difficult but empowering journeys. I am finishing my PhD in Psychology and am researching maternal anxiety from a cultural and feminist perspective. Additionally, my husband and I have a local wellness business called Merge Health Fitness and Nutrition, where we merge all aspects of health to ensure the highest level of wellness.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love to explore locally owned spots, especially around Marietta. We’d stop by Sessions Street to visit Sessions Stand and take yoga at Sacred Garden Yoga. A street over is Good Kitchen, which has amazing mood-food! The Marietta Square is charming and there’s many special places here. I’d be sure to stop by Cool Beans for an Au Lait, The Butcher The Baker, Two Birds, and Thaicoon are some of our favorite restaurants scattered among many different shops, breweries and history museums. Kennesaw Mountain is a great hiking spot nearby. We’d have to venture into Atlanta of course to visit Ponce City Market, the Belt Line and Krog Street Market. French food is a favorite cuisine so we’d dine at Anis Cafe & Bistro for dinner and jazz. Of course, the Aquarium and Zoo are great choices too! Lastly, we might take a day trip to Blue Ridge to explore the eclectic and fun town. Lots of great shopping, food and local wineries, too.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I fully believe that success comes with support and love of mentors, family, teachers and friends. I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my loving parents. When I was in middle school, they worked incredibly hard to allow me to attend Marist, which really helped me learn leadership skills and also deepen my spiritual life as a child. They drove me and my siblings to schools that were 45 minutes away because they believed in the power of education and in their children. Their values were always were rooted in family, spirituality, and school. They have always believed in me and supported me in a multitude of ways, sharing, caring, cooking, laughing. They are wonderful, loving people and show their love consistently. Both amazing chefs, each year on my birthday my dad cooks me a pan of my favorite Eggplant Parmesan, and my mom always teaches us the joy of cooking, with love. They remind us that no matter what happens in life, we can always come home, and cook together in the kitchen!

Website: www.meghantoups.com
Instagram: @meghanktoups
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meghanktoups/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Meghanktoups/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ZlK8S1OsLmBaaj5tS7wLw
Other: www.mergeintohealth.com

Image Credits
Brittany Remle of Southern Luxe Photography

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