Q&A with Megan Castran Part 1

Q&A with Megan Castran Part 1

By dear molly

She’s been dubbed ‘Oprah’s best Aussie mate’, but after sitting down with Megan Castran over her drink of choice (espresso martini), I soon learnt that there is much more to this incredibly self-made woman. An ardent user and promoter of social media, Megan started documenting and videoing on YouTube years before any of us had heard of it.

Our interview took place at a favourite haunt of Megan’s, and for the four hours we were there, I grew to learn and appreciate a lot more about this remarkable woman. When I walked away and said goodbye, the first word that came to mind when I reflected on our afternoon together was ‘happiness’ which Megan has in spades. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.

You have been described by one person who interviewed you as ‘the happiest person they ever met’ and that your energy was ‘magical’. 

You have said that you consciously make the choice to be happy. Have you always been like that?

I think so, but I do wonder that myself sometimes. I think about if I was like that at school, but then I get letters from friends at school telling me I have always been like that. So yes, I think on reflection, I have always been a happy and positive person. Perhaps I wasn’t as outgoing then as I am now, but I did like everyone and was friends with a lot of different people.

Your secret to happiness?

I notice the little things. The taste of those oysters, the colour of rainbows, beautiful flowers and so on. It’s lovely as I hear Paul and the kids doing that now. Smelling the roses so to speak. Those things are important to me. I get as much pleasure from wearing a tie-dyed shirt as I do an expensive outfit because it makes me feel happy.  I’m very comfortable in myself and my choices, and I really don’t care what other people think of me as I am comfortable in my own skin. The people I attract are the people I need to attract.

In your life, you seem to create your own happiness, but also you have created your own path.  Was there a sudden change in how you lived your life that led to where you are now or have you always been like this?

When I was 40, when The Secret ( the book and movie which states that your thoughts control the universe) came out, I watched it. I realised then how much I had created my own life. I had a friend who had cancer at the time, her name was Leah, and she was another school mum. When she became sick, I made her some bracelets, and we ended up becoming friends. She was the person who encouraged me to watch The Secret, and she said to me at that particular time: ‘I don’t know why we met, but we have met for a reason’. I really think after watching that show I fully realised how much I had created my own destiny.

Funny things would happen to me, and I never realised. When I was 23, Billy Joel was coming to Melbourne. I love him, and I was keen to see him play. I said to Paul (Megan’s husband) at the time: I am going to meet Billy and get my picture taken with them. It wasn't an ‘I hope' statement. It was a factual statement. And you know what, as things happened to transpire that evening, I did, in fact, end up backstage chatting to Billy and getting my picture taken with him. It was the first time I actually said something, and it happened.

Since then, it’s happened a lot to me. I will say something and put it out to the universe, and it just happens. Another instance is that in 2008 I said to a friend of mine who was attending the Oprah show: ‘I don't know why but I don't think it's impossible for Oprah to come to my house and have a drink and we could make a YouTube video together'. Well, only about two years later that actually occurred. In fact, in 2008, I actually ‘YouTubed’ that conversation and to look back today on it is amazing considering everything that has transpired since. It’s kind of crazy to think that I didn’t think it was mad that Oprah could come to my house.

You seem positive, happy and upbeat most of the time. Do you ever have ‘down’ days?

Yes, obviously when my dad died. It took me a couple of months to get the smile back in my eyes. It wasn’t until I went away and I did a meditation about my dad that I felt better. I was at the Pearl Laguna health retreat in California, and while I was there, I was able to go hiking and just cry whenever I wanted to. I used the week that I was away to cry and be sad. I felt that after that week, I was able to get the smile back in my eyes. 

There have only been two other days when I remember feeling really down. One was a pivotal moment when I was about 31, and I was taking Zoe to Kinder, and I remember at the time feeling incredibly overwhelmed and breaking down in front of Zoe’s teacher at the time.  A friend of mine saw that I was very upset and followed me home and when we got home, her words to me were: ‘You have to learn to say ‘no’’. I didn’t forget them. So a big lesson for me since then has been just to say ‘no’ when I felt I had too much on my plate.

I watched an interview you did with Deborah Hutton in 2015 when you talked about the pitfalls of social media. You said in that interview that you ‘don’t go negative’ on social media. Can you elaborate on that? 

I’ve had a few experiences on social media where I have posted some things that weren’t necessarily positive, and I got such negative feedback about them. Even though there was nothing wrong with the posts, I feel that I now want only positive energy and that in turn means all my posts are positive and fun. I don’t focus on the negatives. 

You seem to really enjoy social media, and you seem to have some made some very good friends through it? 

Yes, I really enjoy social media because of that aspect. I have made a lot of friends worldwide. Even from when I first started to YouTube in 2007 when no-one else was, the friends that I made who were also videoing at that time are still good friends today. I have friends in New York, London, pretty much most places in the world I can go to and see a friend I have made through social media.

On your website, you say: I am so passionate about sharing happiness and encouraging others to choose happiness for themselves. This was always my intention on social media’.

Is that why you always share so much about yourself and your life? 

Yes, because I can’t even tell you how many people write to me and say every day with positive experiences from following me on social media. The other day a girl wrote to me and said: ‘I was watching you on Facebook the other day and had a crazy dream about you'. She said that when she woke up, she felt that anything was possible and had a whole new lease on life. She said she didn't know why, but she felt that I had made a big impact on her. So many other people write to me and say how much they love seeing me do happy things. People like the positivity because there is not enough of it. 

You share so much on social media. Is anything private or ‘off limits’?

I wouldn’t share an argument or an angry word. Why share negativity? I also wouldn’t share anything that someone asked me not to post. There is no joy in that.

Tell me about your relationship with Oprah. How did you meet?

I first met Oprah in 2006.  I was on holidays in Hawaii with my family, and I was staying at the same hotel as some of her producers. She had flown her entire staff and their families out to Hawaii (over 1000 people) and was there with them. I had, prior to this, had one of those moments where I thought before I went: ‘Imagine If I met Oprah’ on my holiday and was even going to take a necklace I had made her in case I did meet her. I didn’t end up taking it, but the thought never left me. Anyway, on our last day, she was doing a photo op with all the people, i.e. her staff that she had taken to Hawaii, and I asked one of the producers if I could meet her. I wasn’t able to, but I was so inspired by her that I called out while she was on a break and shouted: ‘Hi Oprah, I’m from Australia and I started my business because of you’. I was really shell shocked that I was actually speaking to her, but she smiled and waved, and in fact, she actually came over and spoke to me one on one.

Six months later I went to an Oprah show in Chicago and got called out because I had travelled the furthest to be there. I reconnected with her then and said: ‘Hey, do you remember me?’ She said: ‘OMG was that you?’ She then said. ‘Well if I ever come to Australia I will have to come and say hi as you are the only person I know there’. After the show, she took my card and kept it in her drawer. Every year I would return to the Oprah show, and the last time I went, she held both my hands and I said to her: ‘I really hope you bring your network to Australia'. She responded with: ‘I'm really going to try' and then I said ‘well I'll help you'. She turned around and said to me: ‘You know I never did come to Australia' and I said ‘I know because you never called me up'. She looked at me and said: ‘I totally remember that conversation and I still have your card'. I was thrilled because she also talked about what we had said to each other previously, and she had recalled most of the conversations we had. I was chuffed!!

Follow our Facebook and Instagram accounts for Part 2 of our interview with Megan Castran to read more on Megan's beautiful friendship with Oprah and more on what makes Megan a dear molly #inspiringwomen. 


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