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Adulting: Holding on to Your POP

 Who you are and where you are are two different things.

What we believe about ourselves, and the core of who we are does not change just because our surroundings and life might. How comforting is that?

For me, it is very comforting.

The times I choose to remember that.

You see, it can become a mental habit to equate ourselves to where we are externally in life. If we have a job we don’t love or make less than we desire it is easy to think we might not be worth finding something better. If you are in your 30s+ and single, there are people who will always be confused as shit by this, or if you are in a relationship but choose not to get married there are people who will always be uncomfortable as shit by this. Married? Where is the kid? Kid? You just want one?

No way.

Here comes that shit again.

Amigos,

Embrace everything YOUR soul desires. It is not anyone else’s to do so!

And just as you are-you are simply you, and you are just fine.

The major parts of your heart, character, and natural gifts cannot be shaken when life moves you. In any direction, good or not so good. Even finding that exciting job that makes you happy to get up in the morning, and the compensation to match, or finding that person who gives you all the butterflies will not change that.

It adds to the you you already are, but it does not change it.

Finding your POP, your point of peace, is all about grounding into this part of yourself that cannot be shaken when life moves you.

Because here is what happens when you do not learn ways to come back to yourself.

You will generally witness yourself in the midst of two moods:

In an extremely positive mood, or in an extremely negative one.

This is not a healthy way to live, but many of us do it because we have not learned to gently hold and care for our core. We give it to our circumstances, mostly being other people, and allow it to be shaped.

So how do we exercise this form of self-preservation?

Well,

IT TAKES WORK.

You need to continuously work on accessing your POP!

Here are a few ways to get started:worth

1) Know Thyself-if you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses you can share your strengths with others while working on your challenges.

2) Compete with yourself-stop comparing yourself to other people in your life and set goals that reflect where you are and where you want to be. You are your own worst critic right? So why not be your own best cheerleader too?

3) Accept your feelings-what? I always accept my feelings! You might, but guess what else you do? You run with them, parade them around and magnify them!  Stop taking one moment of frustration and turning it into a “bad day.” Accepting how you feel is actually a great first step to letting go of feelings and thoughts that are no longer serving you.

If you hold on to the core of who you are, and care for it, everything that stems from it will be authentic, organic, strong as hell, and true.

No matter where you are.

Maggie xo

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Feeling Brave

I recently started a new gig hanging out with a young woman who has special needs. She was tough to read when I was interviewed with her, but mom told me that because she didn’t just get up and go to her room, I impressed her. Ahh, got it! From that point I started to visit her once a week for a little fun socializing. We shoot hoops in the backyard, play games, and cook. I am really enjoying it.

Today as we were side by side prepping to cook delicious shrimp quesadillas there was this moment. It was this beautiful quiet that can happen when you are fully present with cooking. If you love to cook, you know this moment well.

We were having it.

A few minutes in I hear a giggle, and feel a light touch on the small of my back:

“I like you.”

Let’s stop for a moment here. Think about this. How often do we tell people we like them when we like them? How often do we say “I love you” when we feel it? Not “love ya,” but the entire thing.

I. Love. You.

I. Like. You.

I think it is because it puts us in a fairly vulnerable state to say these words out loud. We feel so yummy inside, and it’s our feeling, but caused by someone else. We don’t say it much because as simple as these words are, they carry so much meaning. And just as my friend had to let out her giggle right before she touched me, statements such as these almost always bring a visceral reaction, right before we say them.

I have learned in my recent years to step into this type of vulnerability over and over again. I say I like you when I like you. I tell you are awesome if you are awesome. If you amaze me, well, take that to heart because I am not the easiest person to impress, ha! And if you asked any of my family or friends if I love them, they without hesitation, would say yes.

Because as much as I try to show them, I tell them too.

Back to this endearing moment.

“I like you.”

Oh! and awe. This feels nice to hear.

And for that moment, I could see myself through her eyes. She just liked the fact, that I was me. How cool is that.

And how bravely sweet of her, to tell me exactly what she was feeling.

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Maggie xo

Butterfly Feels

I was recently chosen to do a video shoot for Callavida. How fortunate am I? How lucky. I was excited!

I was also super nervous-even though  I can do videos on the fly for my Instagram account this was different. I get so much anxiety around planned attention on me. This is my introverted side.

The time came to meet at a beautiful botanical garden, as I had asked to shoot everything outdoors. We met at 7:30 am, and by 11:00-ish a few things started to happen…

I became so freaking hot.

From that I became so freaking sweaty my face started to develop a “sunkicked” glow.

I realized having breakfast would have been a good idea.

Any opportunity a bug had to bite me, it would. Nothing I could do in a knee length dress.

Overall, I was feeling the exhaustion of the work we put in, as he warned me I would.

But shortly after all of this hit we arrived at an area of the garden that had patches of plants specifically grown to attract one of my most cherished creatures on this planet.
Butterflies.

There were mostly monarchs, and a few adorably petite, lightly colored ones. I stood there completely enchanted.

And here is the part where I connected with my POP…my point of peace.

Remember how I felt? Toasty, itchy, shiny in a bad way, and slightly lightheaded from having not eaten. All those feelings were at the forefront of my mind, and my skin. But when I stood there in front of these freaking awesome symbols of growth I suddenly became very present. It felt like when I was kid and would lie on my stomach with a book. There was this touch of magic.

For the next 15 minutes or so, as my friend took video of them I slowly made my way around. I giggled at the ones that flew so suddenly close and away, as if gently jolted by my being an obstacle of flight. I stared as closely as I could with every fiber of my attention at the ones landing on the dusty yellow parts that continuously provided them a sweet feeding. This fed me too.

I talked to them, mostly in my crazy cat lady voice but hey, I think they got it. Even if they didn’t I imagined they did, and that in itself calmed me down.

This was my POP

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Your point of peace does not have to be anything grand. It can be the weightlessness of floating in the tub for a few moments. The mindlessness of reading that celebrity magazine you splurged on after a stressful day, or diving into to the depths of a good book, if even for a few pages. It can be ice cream satisfaction feels or the “ahhh” sigh with that first sip of coffee.

Or, it can be butterfly feels.

Maggie xo  

 

The Some of Everything

Hey Humans,

Most of the time I don’t know what the hell I am doing.  I plan on certain things happening-eating, sleeping(at some point), work, and bills. Most everything else, I navigate day to day, gut feeling by gut feeling.

I kinda just do as I go, and go as I do.

I love it.

I love it because I used to plan a lot in the past.

I had a plan for every possible negative outcome that could happen when it came to my health, relationships, and any natural talents I possessed.

You see, all the planning I was doing essentially stemmed from fear. Sketched out by my insecurities, outlined by my worries, and essayed by my anxiety.

I didn’t realize how much this way of thinking contributed to my habit of self-sabotage until I saw a therapist.

Which is a whole different blog post I might get to in the future.

Back to the planning thing. Planning is not all negative. Planning can be really great, and imperative for certain situations. The planning I was consistently doing was not healthy. Over the years I learned, and am learning, what kind of planner I am, what kind of planner I want to be, and what kind of planner I don’t want to be.

These are three things I believe we should not hold off on for the perfect plan.

The weather, people, and creative ideas.

Waiting for the perfect sunshine weather to take a walk along that beach you love? First of all, be grateful you live close enough to a beach to do that because I am very jealous right now, and second, put on a hoodie…go for that walk. Waiting for the perfect person to sweep you off your feet? Sweep yourself off your feet, and your vision of this desired person will become less narrow, thus opening your eyes to greater possibilities.

Have an idea that charges up your creative mojo, lights up your mind, and ignites your soul? Don’t wait to talk to someone you think has it all together to help you perfectly lay things out. Don’t wait until you’ve sorted through all your notes, sketches, or recordings. Pluck one thing from the beautiful mess of a potentially amazing idea, and do something with it.

Because if you wait until some perfect sign, person, or plan comes around you are not really doing much more than waiting, are you not?

You gotta do at least one thing with your something in order to figure out if this something, is even…something!

And who knows? This one thing from this something could be the key to discovering if it is even anything.

It could be something.

It could be nothing.

It could be everything.

calla

Maggie xo

 

The Point of Peace

Dear You,

Sensitive Soul

Anxious Mind

Frustrated See-er

Global Feeler

Lover

Fighter

Thinker 

Healer

I know lately you might be looking around at what is going in our world and feel a number of things…and I understand. I feel it too. I am not all of these things all of the time, but I am all of these at different points in time.

It is so important to try to hone in the weight of super heavy emotions, and do what needs to be done to lift them off. With everything that we are it can feel so tough, but we are not the ones experiencing the toughest. There are people suffering in real time, right now, and for those of us who feel it yes, it is a legitimate feeling. But if you are reading this, you are also mostly safe right now. The tears are being shed in the safety of our homes, apartment, office, and cars.
Go ahead and feel it, but please don’t forget this:
1) You have the power to take action with the things you feel are wrong with this world. You have a voice, you have social media, maybe a little extra income, or some extra time.
2) Your getting back to that calmer place inside of you, your point of peace, WILL make a difference in the world.

How?

As you step outside into daily life, going to the office, getting groceries, or taking your kids to the park…your peace could very well become the one refreshing, or comforting thing to someone you cross paths with. Think about how caring for yourself has a ripple effect on the every day interactions you have with other people who could very well be challenged just the way you have been.

This is how you make a difference.

Maggie xo

M.A.S.H.

I have a student at my work who is a little negative Nancy. She never seems entirely happy from moment to moment, nor easily satisfied. For example, one day we were coloring during free time, and she mentioned wanting to have her old teacher back. I asked what did she like about her that made her want be back in her class? She replied “Well she let me draw and color during free time.”

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Gotcha…

A few days ago it ended up being just us two girls and a handful of boys in program. For first period they all wanted to play basketball. Normally I play with them (grandma shots and all), but of course, my negative Nancy was unhappy that we all wanted to do something physically active…during physical activity time. She slumped onto a bench nearby and crossed her arms. I decided to see if I could help shift her mood.

“Have you ever played M.A.S.H.?”

I took out some paper from my work binder and gave her first turn. She chose potential jobs, number of children, pets, and “types” of future husbands. When it was time to count off she declared that picking a type of husband was the hardest part.

I might have to agree with her on that one.

When we finished the first round she was appalled at the job she landed. “Whyyyy did I get THAT job?!” Imitating her signature whiny tone I answered.

“Becaaaause, you CHOSE that job!”

Then, it was my turn.

Now this is where it got kind of cool. My girl initially picked some pretty mediocre shit. She had never played the game, and was understandably unfamiliar with how to fully engage it. So as my turns went on, and I had named a horse as one of my pets, “a wild warrior” as a potential husband, and one of my jobs getting paid to travel it started to sink in for her.
There were no limits.

What were her dreams like at this age?

Amazing!

We played back and forth for the entire period. By the time we got to her last turn she was clapping in delight, as she landed an “artistic guy,” a pet dragon, zero kids, and a job as an artist. When I asked if she thought these things could come true she shrugged, but then mentioned with a slight smile, “But it’s what I WANT.”

 Later that night I thought about our time together and how my turns went. The initial ones were more in the area of magical outcomes, more silly to reflect the lightness of the game to my Nancy, but also with a hint of truth to which I would not share with even the closest of friends. Sometimes children keep the best secrets. One turn midway I realized was what I thought I wanted, and the very last turn ended up being most of things I currently, really wanted.

Well, maybe I can’t have a pet wolf.

But perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to pet one.

Maggie xo

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I find peace in the wind and a smile in the sun. I make conversation with the trees and giggle with the animals. A day of fulfillment does not begin with how the world greets me, but how I greet it. It becomes beautifully mutual that way.

The richest moments in my daily life might entail feeling the light from a chat with a cashier, or a brief moment when I sense my presence on this planet fully understood from someone I admire. They often understand it, more than I do right now.

For it is in the little things that create the knowing there is something out there, bigger than myself.

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And that’s what makes me happy.

Maggie xo

Dating for Funnies

First dates can be funny for me.

No joke.

When the date is “funny” it means at one point I was doing my uncomfortable laugh, and/or at one point confused by who my date was.

Generally, as a human.

I grab my keys posthaste as we walk to my car, and give the polite pat on the back hug as I say thank you. I immediately want to call a friend so that I can transmute the oddness of my experience with comedy.  Over the years I have had a handful of first dates that when shared with friends inspired the type of laughter that always made me feel like a stand up comedian. And still does.

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Thanks, I try.

What is my point? Well, my point is this…laughter really is the best medicine in the case of first dates. Before to calm nerves, during to connect, and after to decompress. Whether through continued laughter from the date (phew! it went well.), or a fresh new set of laughs to share with a good friend by way of simple story telling.

Single friend over 30, it can easily feel daunting at times. I understand. I empathize. I live it. But I also try not to see it this way. Why think things are daunting when this can end up becoming a belief that things are hopeless? My Beautiful, Hopeful, and Uniquely Spirited single person-feeling hopeless can turn into harsher types of negative thinking. If you are to attract positive you need to be positive and happy about dating. And you (and I) don’t need anyone or anything in our lives to create these feelings.

That is our job.

So I say why not be a little humorous about it? Bad date? Oh well. It was one date and you knew at one point during it this person was not someone you wanted to invest anymore time with. So you make the best of it, you take your leftover food home, maybe crack open a beer, curl up on the couch, and call a friend. As you share and reflect on the date, placing yourself outside of it you now realize the funny parts. The odd or confusing parts. The parts that made you have a better understanding of not only the type of person you are looking for, but the type of person you are at the core. Nothing about the date can change that, and that is the beauty in it all. You just had this one date that didn’t make you really excited, happy, or yes, laugh.

But one day you will lock eyes with someone and you will feel it as the conversation flows. Where the laughs happen during the date, after the date, via text, the phone calls, and everywhere else; for so much longer Thereafter.

Maggie xo

Beauty and the Bleh

Getting out of bed at 1pm. Netflix marathons on the couch at my sister’s, ignored texts, and empty smiles. Late night potato chips and early morning roll overs thinking:

Bleh.

How am feeling like this when truly my life isn’t so bad? Or I guess I should say how am I NOT feeling much at all? New job. Bleh. New people in my life and places to explore. Bleh. A generous friend provides a space for me to live until I figure out my next move. Bleh. Thank you friend, but also, Bleh.

After about a month of the Bleh on my shoulders, and in my mind, I took a job dog sitting. This giant mastiff was unaware of his size and from the way he “talked” to me I’m not sure he even realized he was a dog. I would take him outside and watch him roam around the lush green property. The early morning check-in granted me the chance to see the sun come up. I felt a twinge of something familiar in my gut.

The feeling of content, and of being safe.

Then I started to feel excited about coming to this spot every day for the next week and convening with nature. The excitement turned into hope, and that hope turned into a smile. The Bleh was still there, but I could feel it struggling to stay on my shoulders with every effort I made to really sink into small but meaningful actions of self-care. Over the course of a few weeks the Bleh, still trying to cling but no longer able to hold on as tightly, started to slowly slide off of me, and float away.

I was able to connect with the beauty in my world again. Beauty in the new opportunities that had come up due to the lost ones, and beauty in the relationships that carried me through the Bleh. But also, the beauty of rolling out of bed, down the stairs, into my car, and on to simply being out. Thank god for the sunrise, sunsets, and giant dogs.

Maggie xo

The Art of Letting Stuff Go

I sto17349184_10155134360375816_572837452_ood staring at it. Someone on Craigslist had made an offer. It was still fairly new and oh so comfortable. I felt the tears make their way to my throat. I wanted to cry but sent it all back down. It bothered me that I was able to move out of an apartment in two hours, chuck a third of my things during the move, and yet here I stood getting choked up about selling a mattress.

Although I knew it was the right decision the emotional part of me that was oddly attached kept taking jabs. “Don’t get rid of it just yet…wait until next week, or next month, or just keep it…it’s YOUR mattress.” I had to ignore this part and focus on the logic. In order to help the friend who was helping me, the mattress needed to go so we could coexist for longer, and more comfortably.

Oy. Why am I so sad over this. The emotional part kept holding on in my thoughts like a young child clinging to their favorite toy “don’t take away my treasured thing!” The logical part had a firmer tone, presenting itself in a matter-of-fact type manner “in order for you to have a roof over your head you have to get rid of your treasured thing.” One I was ignoring, and the other was anchoring me from completely losing my shit as I navigated my way out of an intense series of unfortunate events.

Then I realized there was another voice that I had allowed to get lost in the fog. The voice of intuition. The voice that knew in my soul, not my mind the “why” of the “whys.” She was always soft spoken and often sent me signals that it was time to check in through a feeling in my gut or chest, and even my throat at times. What did she have to say about all this?

After taking a mindful moment it hit me that aside from my car, the mattress was the last of my own space. It was the last thing I owned that was mine to rest in, mine to think in, mine to toss and turn in on those sleepless nights, and sleep in during those dream-filled mornings. The emotional part needed to be sad about that. It needed validation. So I cried over the stupid mattress, and just as quickly as I cried the slight feeling of grief dissipated too.

I could feel it clearly in my mind now, and in my gut.

If you want to have what you need dear soul, you are going to need to let go of many things you want. 

This included my mattress.

Maggie xo