Kelly McGuire, 33, at her home

Kelly McGuire, 33, at her home

I met Kelly through Sasha (from a few posts ago). Sasha described her as "the brightest light". That's quite a reputation to live up to, but Kelly did it. She was radiant from the inside out. She seemed blissful to the point of overflowing with her little baby growing inside her. And she was extraordinarily kind to me, but in a way that made me understand she is that way to everyone she interacts with. 

Who are you?

I'm Kelly McGuire. I am first a mother, I would say in my personality and my persona, who I identify most with. I'm very maternal. I have been a manager of Mother's cafes in town for the past six years and have recently given my notice. So that's a big change. I'm kind of reestablishing my identity through things that are important to me. I love to learn. I love to grow. I'm super curious about everything. I love animals and kids and outdoors. And I love arts. I'm a really lovey person. If you saw me with my friends or with family or at work, I call everyone Hunny Bunny, or Sugarplum, Love, Sweetie Pie, you know, that kind of stuff. I guess that's me. I was a very young mom. So, it's fascinating kind of experiencing my own evolution. I went from being a really young mom and feeling super grown-up to now I feel more youthful than I did then. I think it's just a matter of learning that it's okay to enjoy things and not have to sacrifice and fight and struggle. It's okay to just kind of slow down and take a deep breath and nurture yourself and learn to love yourself, because that's something that is a life lesson and also a gift. If you can get a little smidgen of it and just reach for it on a regular basis, then it's a good thing. I'm kind of meeting in the middle from feeling really old at a really young age and then becoming pregnant and feeling like a young mom and getting to experience the excitement of it, for really the first time. Because the first time I was so young and I was determined to succeed and be a good mom. And I really was. I was a really really good mom. I got pregnant when I was 14 and I had my son when I was 15. I moved out when I was 14. I got my first apartment when I was 15. I raised my son on my own. I was really raised with this mentality of you work hard for what you get. You don't take hand-outs, so I didn't get on any kind of state assistance. I worked three jobs and tried really hard. Bu there was a lot of stuff I didn't know. I didn't know how to cook. I didn't know how to do anything to take care of myself. I have a really wonderful family, but when I had my son it wasn't a supportive environment. It was just in my best interest to not be there. And then we kind of grew up together, obviously. He's 18 now. So I have an 18 year old and I'm pregnant with my next little baby, which is really exciting. Who else am I? I'm also a student. I've got three new little kiddos in my life that I'm learning a ton from. I also have been a manager for the past six years at Mother's and that's been an incredible learning experience for me and I'm really grateful for it. And I never want to manage again. (Laughs) Ever. Even though I've been told that I'm really good at it and I'm just cut out for it. I can't. I'm an empath and I feel other people, but I also have this really unwavering work ethic that is just diehard. I will do whatever I need to do for the success of something I believe in. But I also feel the pain of the people who are opposed to it or don't agree with how I do it or whatever. And I just kind of push through it and then I feel the backlash and it hurts me inside even though I don't necessarily show it. You know? I love kids. For probably close to six years, I was also on the board for Serendipity West Foundation. I could go on and on and on. 

Where do you come from? What brought you to Bend?

I come from the Santa Cruz Mountains in California. When I was 11, I actually ran away from home. And came up here to live with my mom. I hadn't spent a whole lot of time with my mom. It was kind of a new experience for me. I was raised by my dad, a single dad. And then my stepmom and him met when I was seven and married when I was nine. And we're really close now, which is awesome. I ran away from home to be with my mom because I had this fantastical idea of what it would be like. And I got here and it wasn't really the life that I thought it was going to be. But what's incredible about that is once I did move out on my own and separated myself from the situation, I realized how much I loved Bend. I fall more madly in love with it every year. Because you can go an hour and a half in any direction and be somewhere completely different. And it's so full of life. And it's so diverse. It has four seasons. I'm an intense person. I consider myself a very deep person. I like extreme cold and I like extreme heat and I like anything that's just exciting, really. A big snow storm is my favorite or just raining for 10 days is like I love this! (Laughs) The stuff everybody hates. What keeps me here is that it's like my dream land. I still want to experience the world and I want to travel and see everything, but I still feel like I haven't even sunk my teeth in to everything that's here. And there's so much more that is good. 

How do you contribute to the community?

I feel like I contribute to the community in a variety of ways. I think that we're connected. We all benefit from recognizing that connection. You know? And supporting each other. I'm a helper by nature. I love to make people feel special and good and I love to nurture. I like to inspire. The most important thing to me is empowering people, making them feel strong and making them feel solid and powerful. One of things that I'm really passionate about is wellness. And one aspect of wellness is nutrition. I came to Mother's for a variety of reasons but the thing that was the seller for me was their mission statement and their value statement, they talked about integrity and wellness and supporting and inspiring and accountability and all these things. That is awesome! I love that stuff! Not because it is what I am, but because it's what I aspire to be. So why not be in a position where you're going to be surrounded by something that is going to support where you want to be? You can't be healthy if you're just eating healthy foods and you're not treating every aspect of wellness. Right? Because it's holistic. I think that everything's connected in that sense, as well. It's just as important to eat healthy, vibrant foods as it is to have fun eating healthy, vibrant foods. And to value and nurture yourself while you eat. And to be kind to yourself when you're doing it. Or if you choose not to eat healthy foods, being accepting of that and forgiving. And supporting other people and enjoying the fresh air because I think that your mind has so much to do with your wellness. If you believe that you're not well, you're not going to be well. If you believe that you have the ability to heal yourself, you have a lot more capacity to do that, than if you don't.

So through Mother's, I was able to create a wellness presentation series, which was awesome. It was health care practitioners and healers in the community that could come together and speak about things that they were passionate about. I did it every week. That lasted all last year. This year we were opening our new restaurant, so I wasn't able to do that, but I do want to do that again. It was an awesome opportunity for people in the community to come to a free event that was about maybe breast exams or eating disorders or the importance of nutrition. One guy came and talked about the different specific values of the full spectrum of color in your diet and what it specifically targets when you eat vibrant reds or vibrant purples. I had people come and talk about cancer and where we're going wrong and what we can do about it culturally and cognitively and how we can reshape our thinking about the world around us. Step away from this lack mentality and step more into more inclusive this is what I do get to experience type of things. I helped spearhead and create a successful juice cleanse business through Mother's. It's doing really really well. That business is fantastic because it basically resets your body. Just eating vibrant, organic, healthy foods in a variety of ways. You're eating incredible foods, but you're also setting that intention to take care of yourself. And you're learning about nutrition. You're opening your mind to something new. Usually when you participate in it, you're participating with multiple people so you're experiencing that sharing of wellness. A lot of times when you meet people, the first thing that you do is try and bond through hardship, right? But it's a totally different experience when you bond through empowerment. It's something different entirely. I see this wonderful thing in you and I want to bring that out. And I want to talk about that. Being able to share those things with other people. And then being able to be the victor. You know? Like, I did that!  You're able to experience the full capacity of your willpower and your capacity to heal and your body's natural state of wellness and thriving. I think it is, I think the natural state is wellness and thriving. All these different ways that we get to experience those things.

I did the Challenge Day program with the kids, which blew my mind. It still blows my mind. I mean, to be able to participate in that is mind-blowing. I think that's one of the most powerful programs that anybody can participate in. And it's amazing that it's free. You go and you participate in this and you get your world rocked like you would want it rocked if you paid $300 for a workshop and you go and help out kids and they blow your mind. Really powerful stuff. Through the course of time, I've had a lot of opportunity to support nonprofits in town. Whether it's co-ops or it's working with the LOFT in town. I did some work with the LOFT, which is transitional housing for homeless kids. It basically teaches them life skills, from personal hygiene to how to go grocery shopping to how to have an interview and a resume and all those kinds of things. How to communicate. How to receive affection. Like, all of those basic skills that, it's amazing, you aren't taught in school, so where are you going to learn it if you don't learn it at home? That was a really powerful program. I think that I contribute to the community by being the absolute best version of myself and reaching for that. And I fall way short of that on a daily basis, but to be somebody who wants to be that. Who's maybe in a compromising situation, who's frustrated or upset and can choose to either be valid in my response or choose to be empathetic and understanding. You know? I want to make the right choice. I want to show people what love and forgiveness is. I want to show people what happiness is and thriving, even amongst hardship and contrast. That's something that I think I have to offer because I do really well in contrast. And I tend to look for the silver lining. That's a gift that I can share with people. Help them see that they can choose that to. 

What's your favorite activity? 

I love cross-country skiing in the winter at night up to snow shelters and wrapping up burritos in foil and putting them on the snow shelter stoves and heating them up that way. That's like, I don't know why, but that's amazing! Surrounded by snow in the dark, out in the middle of nowhere and getting a work-out and then heating up a burrito out there. Food tastes better outside, first of all. That's just the way it is. And then, summers. Summers here are incredible. Everything is perfect. It's green. It's bright. We have the most sun, I'm sure you've heard this from everybody, but we have more days of sun here than Florida. I just love the sun. Water, I love, oh gosh. Okay, I do have a favorite. I actually use this in my meditation. I've had past passions for yoga. Bikram yoga, it's the most amazing thing in the world. Very intense, but I love it. There's a meditation that I do when I'm in Savasana. Laying there, I picture this incredible, pristine lake that I've been to. It's a super secluded lake up the Cascades Lakes Highway. You have to drive like seven and a half miles up this super rocky dirt road that you have to have a big truck that's super beat-up to do and then when you get up there, you hike in like two miles to this perfect lake. It's crystal clear. It's warm because it's semi-shallow. It's only probably 12 feet deep. And it's perfect. It's surrounded by trees. There's these perfect rocks that you can jump off of into the water. Probably one of the most euphoric moments, it was like a dream that I could navigate through. Going to this place, jumping in this water. You gotta go there. It's so good. 

What do you wish for the future?

I wish that we would find a way to be a little bit more involved in the community. Because I think we're a community of really incredible people that is really connected. But I think this election and stuff that tends to happen from time to time, you curse the voting system and the political system and all this stuff. A lot of it is stuff that you can start changing right where you are. I think that if we were more involved... people saying this is being cut in the schools and this is being cut in the schools and I can't believe that, but when's the last time you went down to the school and volunteered for an art program? You know? Anybody can go and volunteer and do an art project with a class. This is stuff that you can participate in and make a difference in. Or cutting veteran funding. Or Meals on Wheels and stuff like that. How about we drive things to people who need it? It would be so cool if we were so connected that we could do that. I can name probably 50 people who would be willing to do that, if we just did it. I'm guilty as well. I guess it take a measure of vulnerability and it would take some inspiration and motivation to kick start something like that. That's what I want. I want people to be more connected so if you need something, you aren't afraid to ask. And then you have somebody to help and you're not just relying on a vote for it. That's a form of a copout when you say, well I voted. Yeah, but you didn't do anything. You can have a little bit more ownership in the outcome. 

I wish that I will be able to sync into this joyful state that I've been able to kind of tap into with this beautiful man in my life. Be able to fully embrace and experience being a mom without having to work so hard and not being present. I was paying other people to raise my child with my son. I just wish for that. I know the best version of myself is when I'm able to be a mommy. And be able to express my love to the people that I love. And this is my partner and his beautiful babies. And my son, my family, my friends, and then this unbelievably amazing life inside of me that's growing and that this little baby is going to be be healthy and maybe a girl (crosses fingers and laughs). That's what I want. I want to be happy. I want to step out of this workaholic state of being that has become me and I want to create something new and fresh. And I'm ready for it. 

Do you have any thoughts regarding Bend's growth?

Bend is this really unique, amazing place that draws people who are excited about life and living. That is what has made it such an attractive place to be. I have a very different opinion than anybody else that I've talked to. I think the growth is fantastic. We have the room. This lack mentality that there's not enough to go around. That if somebody has something amazing it's going to take something away from me, I think that is false. If we were a little bit more sharing and less fear based, we could invite something even more beautiful to evolve. I think that is taking shape. We're beginning to be a bit more welcoming. I love the expression on people's face when they are from out of town and I say, Welcome to Bend! It feels so good. It feels homey and it feels comfortable. The growth is amazing. It invites culture. It invites diversity. It opens up different perspectives. It allows us to grow in so many different ways. It helps us be innovative. One of the things we have struggled with as a culture is like for example, coal. What did we do when there was a coal crisis? Well, we created innovative strategies to create more energy. It's the same thing with growth. We just need to innovative. We need to be smarter about building materials. We need to be more efficient with what we use. Those are all positive things. There's always different ways you can look at it. If it makes you feel better to focus on the positive, then that's what you should do because you're going to be a better person at the end of it.