I would like to share about a walk I went on recently in a city that lies on top of an engineered landfill. The homes all look the same, and there is generic shopping center after shopping center.
In other words, the general scenery is more bland than iceberg lettuce.
But the sweet job I landed in this city is worth the eye boredom.
I have to cross a bridge in order to get home. On this particular day traffic was still high after work, and there was no way I was going to sit idle on a bridge in earthquake friendly California. So I drove with intuition around the neighborhood I worked in, pulled over, and started walking.
I came across a trail by more bland homes, and ended up walking on a path parallel to a small body of water.
Then things shifted as I paid attention.
And here is a little bit of what I captured.
It ended up being a really nice walk! I had some good music on the headphones, embraced the chilly weather, and searched for pretty plants.
As you can see, I was able to find them.
It reminded me of life-we are not always in the midst of blatant beauty. It is not always right there in our face and for the most part, most of us don’t really pause to capture it in our day to day lives.
But it IS there, and it is only when we begin to set the intent to find it that things will start to step forward to us. Maybe a really bright gorgeous piece of fruit at the grocery store that also smells delicious. A passing moment when you walk by a stranger, and there is a brief exchange of smiles.
Think about it. What are the little things that you find beautiful? The things that give you the feels? I actually have some of those things written on a memo in my phone to bring me joy. I also jot down moments of unexpected enchantment to remind me that there is still the little girl in me whose soul likes to be fed.
More importantly, there is the adult that I am, who needs to be fed.
It is important to find some beauty amidst the bland.
This is another way to access your point of peace.
Contact me today to receive support with accessing your personal point of peace!
You are so deserving of self-love, overall health, and internal balance. Part of maintaining a life like this is remembering to check in even when beautiful momentum hits. Because as important as it is to enjoy the ride of beautiful momentum we sometimes end up exhausted from it. We wonder why, only to look down and realize we are riding with both hands holding on, too tightly clenched.
This is the point where we need to figure out how to stay on the ride while letting go just enough to relax our grip on things, in order to stay fully connected with the beauty.
For myself, beautiful momentum is hitting me through my work as a Reiki practitioner.
I could not be more grateful! As I sit here writing this to you, I am filled with loving thoughts of the people I have been able to support thus far.
I am also filled with a fiery type feeling with thoughts of the work that is still to come.
I have been thinking about what would be the best way to continue this work, and to grow it, while loosening my grip just enough to stay present with the momentum. How can I support others 100% if I am not continuously supporting myself, doing this work?
So here I am, sharing my thoughts with you, and with great excitement presenting an updated version of my services!
Thank you so much for your support! I look forward to this updated chapter!
Please forward this post to anyone you feel might benefit from support through Reiki.
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?
Here comes that shit again.
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?
IT TAKES WORK.
You need to continuously work on accessing your POP!
Here are a few ways to get started:
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
Let’s talk meditation, honestly.
So you already know that sitting in a one-hour guided meditation is the equivalent to sitting through a moment to moment experiment with your utter incapability to focus and clear the mind. Have you ever experienced the monkey brain syndrome while trying to follow a guided meditation with one of those lovely people with breathy, soothing voices? One of my favorite YouTube videos is of a Tibetan Monk describing meditation as a conversation with the monkey: “Hello monkey! Watch breath.” My monkey brain is super smart and clever, always busy, jumping from one tree to another, happily creating havoc and whipping up the energy in my brain.
I used to lie on the floor of my guided meditation class writing mental lists of all the things I needed to get done before I could relax and meditate. It was a very, very productive time in my life during my fancy yoga and meditation classes paid handsomely out of my New York paralegal salary.
So here I am, 20 years later, and my attention span for meditation is much shorter than what it used to be. Yet I still enjoy the health benefits of meditation on a daily basis! How you ask? I call them my Meditation Hacks! It is 5 minutes of meditation while cooking; really focusing on the sensation of the food I am preparing. How the vegetables look, how it feels to chop them, how the rough textures of the vegetables feel as I skin them. I focus on my breath and the sensation of the water, and the way the bubbles swirl down the drain while I wash dishes rhythmically. I sometimes take 5 minutes to focus on my breath when I lie down with my toddler as she falls asleep.
In the car it’s actively meditating while I drive. Yes, it is safe. In fact, we are so distracted when we drive, that actively focusing on our breathing and the visuals of the car in front of us, and the road, is far safer than what most distracted drivers do! I meditate while I drive, cook, put my toddler to bed and clean. It makes sense when you think of meditation as just a practice of mindfulness. Slowing down and noticing. Allowing without judging. Tuning in and grounding in the moment, whatever that moment may contain. As a mom, instructor, entrepreneur, speaker, wife and caregiver, I have few spaces in my day where I can do just “nothing.”
So I find ways to integrate mindfulness into my daily grind.
I also use BINAURAL BEATS. They are what many might consider a “cheat.” It is music that tricks your two cerebral hemispheres into coming into alignment. I am a sucker for the neuroscience behind this method, and this is my new fix. I put on my headphones, and the carefully syncopated, electronically coded beats resonate in each ear differently. The effect is very meditative. I have reached a state of what I assume meditation gurus are describe: very relaxed, yet awake and present. It is magical. We all need different things in life. Why do we think one-size-fits-all meditation will work for us? One size fits all may work for clothes, but not for mindfulness work. Part of succeeding at a practice is to play with different tools, notice our experience, and try something different if its not working for us.
The key is to start anywhere and to do it now , and the benefits will leave you wanting more. So you do it more. And maybe it’s not consistent at first, but bit by bit, it becomes a habit. A good one. You can do this. This is how it became habit forming for me:
Be kind to yourself, and congratulate yourself for each success, no matter how small your strides. Your commitment to care for yourself gently, will pay off in all areas of your life areas where you now find more room to breathe. You will have created more space where energy can flow to your creativity, your health and toward a deep sense of happiness and calm. So start now, and take that first deep breathe. Let it all out, very slowly. You are doing it, you are making progress, and you are succeeding. Congratulate yourself.
They say there is always some truth behind “just kidding,”emotion behind “I don’t care,” and knowledge behind “I don’t know.”
I made two huge decisions. I made them based on how I was being treated in both my own home and at a new job. Simply put, I was being treated unfairly. It has taken me a long time to really, like, REALLY stand up for myself. I do it now in a way that when any fear or self-doubt comes to the surface it immediately becomes transmuted, because I have done the inner work to let that shit easily go.
What’s not easy at times however, is what happens after I stand up for myself…
Roommate trying to get me to pay a large bill I had nothing to do with? Never cleaning up the kitchen and always late on rent? Now the utilities are turned off?! I can’t live here, it is not healthy for me. Time to move out, even if I don’t have another home of my own to immediately move into.
New job starts off with the agreement of typical full-time hours, and time to ease into things as it will end up being a demanding position that pulls me in various directions throughout the day….I worked almost 40 hours in 4 days, now you are calling my personal cell all weekend, on my days off, when you just gave me a work phone? I’m exhausted. My chest hurts. I can’t work like this, it is not healthy for me. So let me share with you how I feel. I am overwhelmed. This is too much and I work hard. You don’t care? Go find another job? Deuces.
Remaining in both those situations with no hope for change did not align with the person I represent myself to be and I for damn sure was not “Mastering Self-Care” during this time. As my mom told me, I needed to drink from the same cup I pour out of for my coaching clients. For the women who might not have all the answers but can feel it when things are not right. Who don’t play it safe and stand up for themselves. For herself. For She. For we. Even if the risk might be high, she knows the greater risk of not creating healthy changes for herself will end up costing her more. So I left the two things that essentially define us as we get older, and am left with just myself.
Eh, not too shabby; I kind of like myself…
I will share though, that right now I am feeling a bit lost. What do I do beyond the basic mundane of finding work and a roof? I am unclear as to what exactly “settling down” looks like for me. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know.
And you know what?
Just as I did when I was 35 I will keep it moving in forward confusion.
Because the last time I did this-the most amazing things happened, and not only did I create positive change in my own life, it ended up trickling into the lives of others.
Being unclear might be the best thing that is happening to me right now. I just need to keep trying. I am definitely a butterfly mind, and I know what comes next.
Something amazing. Something better.
For many of you reading, if not all, we do not know what it truly feels like to be starved. So before you read the following short story please understand, that I understand how this experience pales in comparison to real world issues of hunger.
With that disclaimer, please enjoy and possibly relate to my experience…
9:00am. No breakfast. No time to fully prep but I did make a small sandwich to take to work. 11:00am. Small lunch. Felt more like a snack. Maybe I can run out and grab something else. Nope. No time. I had to go to the store after work. No dinner. Not yet.
6:30pm. First thing I pass is the deli. Okay, let me get 5 pieces of the general chicken and I can eat it while shopping. Then I felt embarrassed. So I quickly walked around the store gathering what I needed while catching a whiff of the spicy sweet chicken teasing me with its smell in the cart. Get out of my way kid. Why is she blocking the exact area I need to get to?! Crap I forgot the apple juice and it’s on the other side of the store. SIGH. I’ll get it right before I check out. Who is calling me?? It’s getting busy. I need to get out of here. Then, excluding my oh so special self with this next thought…
Why does everyone have to shop after work?
7:30pm. As I stick my card in the chip reader (and wait. and wait) I feel someone close by. Okay man behind me in line. Why are you standing so close? SIGH. Just think about the yummy new chocolate cashew milk you bought, Maggie. In about 30 minutes you’ll be seated with a tall glass of it, and dinner.
I hurry my cart towards the store exit, and just as I was about the leave the same man whom I deemed as annoying for standing so close to me tapped my shoulder, and handed me a bag I had left.
It was the chocolate cashew milk.
Wow! I thanked him for essentially chasing me down, and felt a slight surge of excitement knowing my chocolate milk was not forgotten. I threw the groceries in the trunk except for the chicken. The chicken got the passenger’s seat.
Damnit, I still forgot the apple juice.
I rip open the container at a red light and shove a piece of chicken in my mouth. The song on my playlist switches over to a little jazz number, and I feel a wave of calm take over. I thought “This is a nice song, why don’t I listen to it more often?” I suddenly felt more relaxed, and enjoyed being a passive listener versus the usual which entails my belting out any of my songs with reckless abandon.
Having chowed down on my 5 pieces of foul by the time I pulled up to my house, I grabbed the rest of the groceries, sticky fingers and all. Greeted excitedly by my nephew, niece, and a hyper little terrier I felt a familiar shift in my mood….was it them? I feel…less annoyed.
The hanger is real.
I mostly feed my soul with this blog, but for today, this post is not for me.
This is for the friend. The friend who wrote me that she is hurting because she feels like she does not know who she is anymore. She says the world took that away from her. She does not like herself when she looks in the mirror. She does not love herself.
“What do you think Maggie?” she asked me.
“What do you say about yourself?”
Instantaneously I am compelled to answer that
I am grateful.
Then I add….
I really like myself. Actually, I love myself. I am keenly aware of the things that make up who I am that I would not change, because then I would be changing the make up of who I am.
Sometimes though…this can be rather annoying…and I think it becomes this way when you REALLY start to like yourself. Love yourself. When you don’t really like or love you-these things can simply hurt. Sometimes…
It seems the world wants you to be anything but the realrawfreewildnonconforming Iamsohappyinmyownpersonalitybubblepleasedonotfreakinpopit-YOU.
So I try to be anything but.
What people that do not have their own best interests at heart, expect me to be.