What Now?

This month, I got to spend two weeks away on a not-so-crowded beach in North Carolina. It was so physically detached, that we were able to pretend we were in different times. While there, I cut off the remaining remnant of my gel polish from a manicure way back in February. Yes, February. My trick on gel manicures: I get a clear polish, it makes my nails healthy, strong, and sealed. You can leave it on forever. Literally, I guess.


 Pretending in Bald Head Island, NC


Over the past five months, I would stare at this little gel nugget, the last piece of my old life. I would rub my fingers over that little reminder silicone nub of “The Before Times.” But during my vacation, I clipped it off and I said out loud, “What now?”


Can you see it? Zoom in. Also, wow, my fingers are really wrinkly.


As we walked in the door after traveling back from the beach, I said it out loud, “What now?” And again, as I walked past all of the untouched school supplies in Staples – “What now?” And most recently, and most importantly, this week after another senseless, unjust shooting of a Black man in Wisconsin, Jacob Blake. WHAT NOW?

I almost didn’t write this post because I didn’t know how to wrap it up. I couldn’t put my fresh-nailed finger on the theme. And then I finally realized it…

We are not making progress. Normally after a vacation or the change in season or the start of a new sport, school, job, life, rite of passage… there is progress. There is forward movement along with the passage of time. Now we’re stuck in this “new normal” purgatory of stagnant sadness, hopelessness, and fear.

But that’s the external. I had this conversation with Sara at our empty MtM studio just today. The external is stagnant, sticky, and dead. Hopeless. “It’s hard to just sit in it,” she affirmed. “But, the internal has to move forward.”

What Sara said, “moving forward internally” reminded me of my favorite line in everyone’s favorite movie. Tim Robbins’ character coins it and Morgan Freeman’s character champions it: “Get busy living or get busy dying.” That’s us. That’s how we claw out of the mud. We’ve been training our whole lives, but we just didn’t know what for. Now we do. We have to figure out a way to internally move forward to get past this… humanity and our souls depend on it.

As I type, I’m looking down at my bare nails. They’re fresh, virgin, and smooth. They are a new canvas. I get to decide what I want to paint on my new canvas and how I want to show up. That is what.



I’ll share with you what I am doing and what Mind the Mat is doing to move forward internally:

Cultural Agility Training – This summer, MtM committed to taking a deep dive into culture. We’ve hired a diversity and inclusion expert to guide us. I am inviting you to join us. For more information click here.

We want to see you more outside and virtually, so we want to offer you a discount:
20% off
Use promo code at checkout: TOGETHER (only online, cannot be used on the app):
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Membership Deal:
Get unlimited Outdoor & Virtual classes all for only $99/Month here PLUS buy now and get a FREE workshop.
After purchasing, email info@mindthemat.com to let us know which workshop you want, and we will set you up.


  • The latest from Megan
Megan Brown, physical therapist, Pilates instructor, mother and co-founder of Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga in Alexandria, VA, likes to goof around. Yet her commitment to her students and her skill set in the field is no joke. After graduating from University of Virginia with a degree in Sports Medicine, Megan went on to receive her Masters in Physical Therapy and eventually her Doctorate in the profession. Although Pilates was never part of the plan, the method changed the way she treated patients, positively re-directed her career path and enhanced her own active lifestyle. Customized Pilates instruction is her specialty–she designs classes based on clients needs: athletes, new moms, rehabilitation or just for fun (why be serious all the time?). Pilates + Yoga is the best of both worlds, hence the creation of Mind the Mat studios providing classes for all—in every walk of life.

Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation and Sara VanderGoot, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (e-RYT 200, RYT 500). In their private practices as physical therapist and massage therapist respectively Megan and Sara observed that many of their clients were coming in with similar needs: relief for neck and shoulder tension and low back pain as well as a desire for more flexibility in hips and legs, stability in joints, and core strength.

Together Megan and Sara carefully crafted a curriculum of Pilates and yoga classes to address needs for clients who are pregnant, postpartum, have injuries or limitations, who are new to Pilates and yoga, and for those who are advanced students and are looking for an extra challenge.


2214 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301


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