The Exorcism of Clenched

There is a young child I am working with right now that perfectly portrayed one night, exactly how I had been handling recent stress at certain points throughout my daily life.

He had a meltdown I could relate to on an almost spiritual level.

You see, I am this kid’s pusher. I am the one who celebrates his abilities while pushing him outside of his comfort zone. I am the one who changes the schedule when he gets too comfortable with routine. I reward him for taking risks, and I keep him going when he melts down with perceived failures. I am the one who plays with him, but also has to tell him it’s time get back to work. I surround him with love. I piss him off.

I make sure he is learning, and growing.

I am to him, what life is to me.

The night this was made clear I had decided to reward him after completing a non-preferred task with using “okay Google” on my phone. He was thrilled! He got to ask one question. He got to see the answer. We got to talk about it.

And then I put the phone away.


With a red-face, and body contortions so extreme I thought we might have to call a priest, this kid proceeded to writhe all over the couch. I stood there calmly, taking loud enough breaths for him to hear. After what seemed like an eternity later he slithered onto the floor and started to breath with me. He wiped his tears, sharply stood up, and with raised up arms he said with a smile,


After a big hug were able to transition to the next activity. He was done, but he was not finished. Realistically, his meltdown did not take anything away but a few minutes of awkward observation on my end. It was more of a physical release than anything else.

For most of us, surrendering to an internal struggle is the best thing we can do to release it.

When you are brought down by life it is okay to meltdown for a bit with the intention of repairing so you can get back up stronger than before. Make friends with your breaking point, and even go a bit nuts. If you are thrower-lover find something appropriate to further release the tension, if you enjoy exercise do a bunch of frustrated push-ups, or sprint down the street. Do yoga. Call a trusted friend to word vomit to, or if you are a writer like myself, pick up a pen and without judgement jot down what you are really thinking.

Do something with your body to support your mind.

Because guess what?

We are not robots. Even the most ultra spiritual person can’t possibly have enough sage to smudge away certain stress.  Who knows? You might find a vegetarian eating bacon on their worst day. Or the most poised person yelling into their pillow when it all feels like too much.

This is all okay.

We all feel, we process, we absorb, and we carry on.

This is what it means to be human.

Maggie xo

It is surprising how sane you will become when you allow yourself to go a bit nuts.”


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.


Maggie xo

Mom: the real Shero


How do you it?

I am not a mother, and after my earlier/mid 30s when my biological clock lost its tick (which excuuse me feels more like a BANGING) I now rest easy knowing it may or may not happen.

Because being a mom is tough, and I know that even at 35 years old I personally am not ready to take on all that entails.

So again I ask…

How the hell do you do it?

You know the top answer I receive when I ask this question?

“I don’t know…I just do.”

This is where the awesomeness comes in.

You might not recognize it all the time Mamas, but still you know you do it all,

and that’s exactly how you do it.

You are resourceful.

A teacher.

A leader.

THE leader in many cases.

The entertainer,


Cooker (mayyybe)


and boo-boo healer

(for any age)

You are

our comfort,

protector, and a source of

significant support.

You are loving,


and needed.


Maggie xo

Happy Love Day

Love comes in many forms.

So on this Valentine’s Day remember:

If you are in a healthy relationship spread the love to others in your life who might need a little reminder. A quick text with a funny pic can make a difference, or a phone call to ask what they’re up to over the weekend. A simple gesture to let your other loved ones know that they are loved too-just as a little reminder.

If you are in an UNhealthy relationship know that you deserve more. Please-REALLY sit with this thought and see if there is ONE small step you can take today towards better health. Do it today and watch LOVE and an honest CHANGE show you you CAN-as a little (or huge) reminder.

If you are feeling low, or lonely (or both) it is most likely because you are thinking about something or someone you don’t have. Look towards those in your life that DO love you-just as a little reminder.

If you are sort of pissy about the day and feel the need to express this to everyone via snarky comments or posts on Facebook this in an issue. With you. Stop fighting it and face it so you can be happier. Plus no one likes a person who pisses on a day even as cheesy as this. Reread this as a little reminder.

If like me, you see the positive in this day but know you will need to occupy yourself then grab onto some love as a little reminder. Grab onto a friend, go on a casual date, watch some terrible movies with family, or reach out to someone you know is feeling down.

I prefer to call this day “LOVE Day” because it SHOULD be about THAT….

Just a little reminder.

Screenshot_2015-02-12-18-57-30 Click me =)

Maggie xo



Welcome back everyone! As you can see I am in the process of making some big changes on Callavida, and in my own life.

With that said I thought I’d share what it has been like being unemployed for the first time in almost 20 years. I have held down some kind of job since I was 15 years-old and particularly the one I just left I had for ten years. To honor my younger hopeful self I cut the list down to 15 somethings.

Thanks for stopping by!

15 Somethings of Being Unemployed

1. People need answers even if you don’t have them. “Well what EXACTLY are you going to do?” Not sure but I know I am going to look for work. “WHERE??” Out if the Bay Area. “WHY??” and the questions continue…

2. It felt weird at first. Still connected to the old job, but cognitive of the fact I was not returning.

3. My last day was on a Friday. So waking up with nothing to do that first Monday felt…well it felt like this:


4. There are no more weekends. Every day is Friday and you start to forget when exactly the real Friday is…

5. I feel guilty going out-even though I have money saved to get by for a bit every time I go out I realize that money is not being replenished.

6. Because of number #1 I sometimes lie about my plans so the incessant questions will cease. It works.

7. After about a week of no work I started to feel super weird. That weirdness turned into panic. Aaaand this is the week I applied for 100 jobs most of which I wouldn’t have applied for had I been in a more sound state of mind. But you settle in a state of panic.

8. There are bursts of excitement-emotional outbursts of joy thinking about the possibilities. The world is my oyster!

9. There are also bursts of The thought of a new person was scary

10. You make big plans to exercise daily and read that book that’s been a part of your bed set for the last 3 months. You are going to hit the beach. Visit a friend who lives far away (but not so far you have to buy a plane ticket).

11. In reality those big plans happen tomorrow. Because until I land a job there’s always tomorrow!

12. I am sad at times and have to just let it sit with me. This one is kind of a head scratcher but I am a big believer in allowing things to sit without question when you don’t have the answer immediately.

13. I eat weird things at weird hours. For example nutella and a Hawaiian king roll at 10:30pm. For dinner.

14. I actually can be very busy most days because I am ambitious and make lists. Furthermore, these days filling out a job application online is pretty much the first interview, and takes…a very, very long time…


15. No matter what somethings come in and out of my daily unemployed life I am generally certain I will be just fine.

moving-forwardMagdelena xo

P.s. Just realized you can do the math on my age…knock yourself out! =)

The Take Away

I am a pretty positive person.


I meditate. I forgive. I move forward. I try to grow from the unfortunate events that pop up in my life. I spend time surrounding myself with the things in life that keep my spirits hopeful. I try to keep away from negative people as much as I can. I read The Oprah Magazine (that’s kind of a joke even though I do!). I enjoy pictures with inspiring quotes, and empowering affirmations.

But I just can’t bite into this phrase…

“Everything happens for a reason.

For those of you who embrace this phrase and find it comforting please bare with me as I am not trying to squash your belief. I just have a tweak to it.

By self-proclamation I have stated I am a very positive person. Part of that is because I know what the pits of negativity feels like. I know that living in a generally negative state of mind not only impedes my personal growth, it affects my relationships, and how far I make it in life. I know that finding the good in people and situations is a healthier way to live. However, I also know sometimes not finding one or the other in life’s occurrences is okay. Because for some things-the experience itself is enough without a reason to solidify it; to get lost in the negative of it, or work to find the positive. For some situations I simply like to have a take away.

When my sister was going through chemo I remained pretty peaceful. I went into work and did my job. I kept in touch with my friends to let them know how things were. No searching for the answer to why this was happening to such a good person or placing blame on my God for her sickness. Life kept going so I adjusted and went with it. During that time my appreciation for my sister was even further solidified. It became clear when I was staying calm, and taking care of myself it also helped make the most of the time I was with her. By simply getting through this time I experienced growth in my way of handling a scary, and potentially devastating situation. This of course was a positive thing, but it was also organic. It came from just being what I needed to be during this time.

A take away is something you can learn or face from a situation without the added search for a reason. Sometimes the growth isn’t in finding the reason-it is in simply getting through the situation in a way that serves you in the healthiest manner. Sometimes, abandoning reason leaves more space to learn, to grow, and to take away something helpful that contributes to your personal growth.

Instead of why, try asking, what.

“My point is, shit happens. Randomly. But here’s an amazing human capacity: We can use virtually any experience as a catalyst for hopelessness or growth…Each of these positions in equally untestable. So we get to choose.”

                ~Martha Beck: “Reversal of Bad Fortune”

Magdelena xo


Short one today, but with some meat. Hope you’ll enjoy these quick bites!

Maybe you can help me out and comment with some answers or similar ponderings you share with me.


Why do the instructions sometimes make things MORE complicated?


How come children ask you questions like “Are we playing tag?” When you just said something like “We are going to play tag.” Right in front of them. And they suggested it.

Does everything really happen for a reason?

Why do men like to hit on me at the gas station?

If every cloud has a silver lining how come I haven’t struck it rich yet when it rains?

Why does my hair look the most fabulous when I am home watching Netflix?

Speaking of beauty matters… 

  Why is it even when I follow the EXACT directions on YouTube..?                 


Magdelena xo


My first thought when I woke up this morning was “I haven’t thought about anything to write for the Sunday blog post!” My brain has been a little mushed because this was my last week of work. No “See you in August,” or “Is this your last year?” This was it, and with that goodbyes were in order all week long. My mind has been consumed with memories over the last ten years with both my coworkers, and the students that have come through. I thought to myself to be kind, and if nothing came to me just skip this week and something epic will certainly come up for the following Sunday.

As I lay in bed-relieved from that thought, I finally gave myself a moment to really pause. I let it sink in that I was no longer an employee with a place that I linked a major part of my identity to. Reflecting on what exactly I would miss nothing momentous came to mind, but after a few minutes I realized why. I jumped out of bed straight to the computer, and wrote this in one sitting. It actually goes back to the very first post I made when I started this blog. Which I find compelling; because once again I have no idea what I am doing, but am continuing to move forward.

It was all the small things.

 It was the quick interactions and brief encounters. Like being able to run to my coworker’s house on break after one quick text because my pants had ripped in the back and I was unknowingly flashing our students. It was the five extra minutes another aide would give me to go down and grab a coffee in the staff room before they ran out. Being able to pee during lunch duty because another coworker was watching her students and would gladly keep an eye on mine. Given space first thing by the teacher to decompress because she knew I was going through a rough time, and crying every morning on the way to work.

It was the words of encouragement in passing from one of our speech pathologists when I was trying to lose a bunch of weight. The students who screamed, “HI MS. M!!!” waving in excitement from afar. The teacher who offered to let me lead her class in a lesson and she would watch my student because she knew I needed a break. The parent who replied “Ahhh of course, always helping others Ms. M,” when I told him I wanted to be a life coach.

Sometimes in life, all the small things add up to being one enormous, important, positive, and necessary big thing. It is the combination of being yourself, and going the extra something. Going the extra moment to compliment the cashier’s hairstyle when it’s all she has because she wears a uniform, the extra mile to drive your friend home who had one too many, extending a smile to a stranger in passing without expectation, or that oh so important extra minute of coverage for a coworker so they can pee.

I would like to leave you with this thought. As much as we might embrace the small things others do for us, and as much as we might do little things for the ones we love…what about you? What if you did small things for yourself? What if you looked in the mirror for a moment and smiled? Took a walk around the block because the sun was shining and you wanted to feel it on your face? Or took out a few minutes while the kids played to call a friend that always makes you laugh, and leaves you in a better mood?

What if everyday you did just one, small positive thing, for you?

Imagine what that might add up to.

I woke up this Saturday morning thinking I had nothing for Callavida this week, and while lying in bed I paused to tell myself that was okay. Look what came out of that one small, comforting thought.


Magdelena xo

*Dedicated to my Foothill Family. All the small memories will keep our hearts connected.


Back with another great list to share! This month is for May/June and are some things in life that make us smile. If you like visual reminders make a list of your own things that make you smile. Can’t think of too many? Borrow from this list!

30 Things that Make Us Smile =)

1. When you hear a song you love in the car. And it just started.

2. Pictures of cute animals. Especially when there is more than one species mixed in.

I mean..!

3. When someone you adore says “I love you.”

4. When you’re in the fitting room and something you try on fits…the first time.

5. Waking up and remembering you don’t have anything pressing that day. Go ahead and stay in your pj’s for a while.

6. When you realize you finally let go of something or someone that was not good for you.

7. Giving someone a gift they were not expecting.

8. Receiving a gift you were not expecting.

9. When someone tells you you look nice and prior to that, you didn’t feel like you did.

10. “Nailed it”-you knitted a scarf and it looks like one. You baked a cake and it didn’t fall apart. You went in for an interview and rocked it.

Throw in some wine…

11. When someone says out loud what you are thinking. Mind melting!

12. Sweet messy kisses and hugs from children.

13. Cheese and Chocolate. Pick one, or have both!

14. When someone says thank you in a genuine way, and you can truly feel their gratitude.

From followers via Facebook and Twitter:

15. “Seeing my friends or family smile (smiles are contagious!).”

16. “Macaroni and cheese burritos.”

17. “Beach and corona light!!”

18. “Getting your butt smacked lol”

19. “Seeing my kids copy exactly what I do.”

20. “The smell on the earth after it rains.”

21. “That first sip of coffee in the morning.”

22. “With my honey drinking a rita on the rocks watching old Eddie Murphy stand up.”

23. “PAY DAY.”

24. “Before anyone else is up, I go outside with my dog and listen to the quiet of the city and the birds chirping.”

25. “Hanging with my family.”

26. “Seeing my son smile/laugh. I can’t not smile back!”

27. “When I get to the cash register and something I am buying is on sale!”

28. “This morning, I was overhearing a conversation between two 3 yr-old girls.
Girl 1: “Wanna play with me?!”
Girl:”Of course!” 
Imagine that convo with as much enthusiasm as possible!”


Reply to #29

30. “I change ALL my answers to food. I love food!”


Magdelena xo

Continuous Discoveries

Latest self-discovery…

My career calling has changed.

It is time to move forward, but what does that mean for me?

I am 34 years old. The thought of switching careers initially bothered me because I judgexcited-jumping-business-woman-11809885ed myself for not being in the midst of a demanding career that required my wearing heels or included a hefty 401k. I work with special education students as an aide, and the main reason one would see me dressed up at work is because it was laundry day.

However, digging deeper I realized the major issue was I had worked with children and families for so long I had programmed my brain to believe it was the only work I was capable of executing with a natural skill. Yet it has kept me too comfortable, financially challenged, and in a spot where I can no longer move up the job ladder. However, appreciating the fact that I truly enjoy it, and seeing how I make a difference every day it has also kept me for the last 17 years engrossed in a generally rewarding position.

Then like a whirlwind wake-up call from the universe, opportunity in the form of stress brought me to new considerations and realized gifts.

I first besoul_seeker_flip_flopsgan to realize my calling had changed when I had to change. I needed to change my life because up that point life had been changing me. I felt like I was losing control of my happiness, and it was starting to suck. Then I realized that was because I had lost touch with the fact that I could take control of my own happiness. So I did. I changed my attitude with more meaningful meditations, set new boundaries in relationships that no longer brought as much joy as it did questions or negative thinking, surrounded myself with positive quotes, pictures, and fulfilling activities to really move my thinking train onto a better track. I pulled out every self-care tool I could think of and utilized my support system in a way that helped deepen my relationships with the loved ones who stood by me.

Then I helped other people in the same way, along the way. I started this blog, a women’s group on Facebook, and reached out to others with a new Twitter account aimed to give daily positive encouragement.

Okay, this all sounds great Mag, but I thought we were reading about your calling?


You just did.

I am in the process of becoming a life coach for women specializing in stress and anxiety management. I will be leaving a field that has defined me for almost twenty years, and following a calling that has unexpectedly, but powerfully, redefined me for less than one.

Have you been here? You’re doing what you’re doing, and you’re doing it
well, but…there’s something else in the distance that you start to see. You are not quite sure what you’re perceiving yet, but the closer you get the more certainly you walk towards it. Sometimes the picture pops right up so vividly and suddenly like mine did. You might shuffle your feet in caution as you realize what you see ahead makes what’s behind you blurrier. Other times, the picture becomes more defined as you purposefully clear your path towards it.

Be open to continuous discoveries. Your life around you changes throughout the years why not take a chance should your calling change over the years too? The beauty of continuous discovery is when you embrace it there is a part of you that becomes your anchor. The inner confidence that keeps you grounded as you walk towards expanded opportunities will always be with you.


Magdelena xo