Lucid Dreamers: Mackenzie Sweeney's Life of Yoga, Travel & Everything Inbetween
Sharing many of the same creative spots, Mackenzie and I had a habit of ending up at the same coffee shops scattered around town. After a couple months of regularly showing up at the same series of venues, she became something similar to a coworker of mine, a word very foreign to a digital nomad.
How would I describe Mackenzie? Unique. Beautifully unique. She stands nearly 6 feet tall and her hair is never the same color -- red, green, blue and nearly every hue in between. Ink decorates her skin like an open picture book, holding true to Jack London’s famous words,
“Show me a woman with a tattoo and I’ll show you a woman with an interesting past.”
My only critique to the literary legend’s quote would be the addition of the word present. You see, Mackenzie’s entire life is interesting. She was born to be interesting, I don’t think she knows any different.
Even as I type away at this post, Mackenzie is thousands of miles away practicing yoga in Bali.
Born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She was a super big choir nerd in high school. Eventually finding herself enrolled at the University of Evansville with a scholarship in Opera and academics.
Post graduation, her years revolve around her summers in Alaska, where she spends about 5 and a half months in little tiny Skagway, Alaska, working as a tour guide performer at a historic saloon and brothel museum.
She also works as a Virtual Project manager at a firm called ‘Leverage’, recently promoted to the marketing lead of the company. Yes, the yoga-loving, opera-singing free-spirit has some brains too.
She is one of the most self-loving and compassionate individuals I have ever met, but she hasn’t lived a life free of pain.
“During what was going to be the graduating semester of college, I was struck by a car walking across the street. It was Valentines Day, 2014. It knocked me for a 3rd-degree concussion. I didn’t understand. I could remember things. I lost my ability to speak French, which I was fluent in.
I was one of the greatest multitaskers, couldn’t do that anymore.
It really fucked with my emotional processing. I never struggled with anxiety and depression until then. I didn’t have a calm, I was either really high or really low.
The year of 2014 is still very fuzzy as I was healing from that concussion. I couldn’t process things, my mind was always hurting and my heart was aching.
At the start of 2016, I was vacationing in Central America during New years. And I realized that something was wrong with me. I was in a shitty relationship, working a job in Corporate America I hated and I was over it. I quit the relationship. I quit the job. And I decided I was going to go do the things I had always said I wanted to do.
You’ve been saying you want to be outside and wear workout clothes? A dog-walking position opened up, and I started walking dogs. You’ve been joking about modeling for 10 years? Why not go get a modeling contract? And I did. I did all of these things and I started seeing a therapist that specializes in traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s).
All I did for four months was walk dogs, go to yoga and go to therapy.
Sometimes I still have issues from the accident. When I do a lot of mental work through the day and my brain gets tired, I have trouble completing my sentences. Yoga has helped with that, it has taught me to think before I talk.”
I asked Mackenzie what her future dreams and aspirations were. She is constantly on the move, hardly ever finding herself in one place. I was curious to know if she had any intention of ever slowing down.
She said she had two dreams. One is to be a mom. Another is to create a program that helps preteen girls feel empowerment and embrace self-love.
I think she will be exceptional at both.
What is a routine you do every single day that keeps you on your A-Game?
“I list off 10 great things in my head, starting with “I am loved”. I started doing that when I was in a really dark place and couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I would wake up and start listing, and if the first 5 were hard, I would go back to bed for 5 minutes and start listing again.”
What is a book you most often gift to others?
“The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. It taught me that if you love yourself so so fully, nothing and no one else can control you, loving yourself is giving yourself power.”
What is your superpower?
“I can calm a room. I can come into any situation and really neutralize it.”
What is your biggest weakness?
“Overcommitment. No is the power that the good witch wields. I love to say yes, but I have learned I need to say no.”
If you had a billboard at the busiest intersection in the world, what would it say?
“Take a moment.”