A little look into my livingroom. As I stated in a previous post, my husband and I upcycled almost our entire apartment. We left almost everything when we moved to the Chicago suburbs from Pennsylvania.
Couch: FREE curb side.
Coffee Table: $5
Book Shelf: $3
TV Stand: $5
Small Glass Door Table: $10
(GoodWill, Local Thrift Store, Yard Sales)
Books, crystals, PS4, extra throw pillows and TV were brought with us from Pennsylvania.
This is week #2 in this house. I have a $300 budget left for decorating and random little things for the house left. I am still deciding.
I plan on posting an update in the next few months to show all the changes we come up with. Ultimately we still want it to look clean and not too cluttered. Open space is important to me in the livingroom as I do my meditation and yoga in there.
November's new moon is called the Beaver moon and it will be on the 7th . This beautiful moon is in Scorpio. The Scorpio born are strong willed, passionate, intelligent, jealous, possessive and secretive.
What is the story behind the Beaver moon? November's full moon was named Beaver Moon by colonists and Algonquin tribes. Some say it has to do with collecting the furs to make clothing and blankets to last all winter long. Beavers build their winter dams at this time of year. The moon represents strong foundations. This moon is so also called Frost Moon and Mourning Moon, depending on the winter solstice.
In Hindu name for this beautiful Full Moon is Kartik Poomima. it commemorates the end of a four-month period during which Vishnu sleeps. It is also the birthday of Vishnu’s fish incarnation, Avatar.
The Beaver Moon is a great time to dig deep and think about how your past is affecting you now. It's also an opportunity to rebuild things in your life. Much like the Beavers building their dams, you can take this chance to work on the foundation of your life. Set some goals to last you through the winter.
For me this new moon brings along a huge change. Much like our beaver friends, I am packing and moving into a new home. I have noticed lately my life is moving along with the cycles of the moon. When I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed I try to remember the universe has my back. Good things will come to me if I go with the flow.
New Moons are all about reflection and setting your intentions for the cycle ahead. Here are some of my favorite rituals to help you manifest and take advantage of some moon power in your own life.
○NEW MOON RITUALS○
• Organize Your Alter And Favorite Crystals:
I am always asked what crystals should I use. This is hard for me... I can easily read you the text book meaning of the stones. However in my practice, that has never worked for me. I buy, collect, and trade stones that resonate with me based off of vibes. Gut feelings that draw me to each crystal. I find this method brings me the most peace. Whatever method you chose, remember there is no right or wrong way to manifest with your stones on this new moon.
Besides crystals, you want to fill your alter with things that resonate with you. Mine is filled with items I have found in nature. I have leaves, pine cones, a deer antler and even an old bird's nest. I keep pictures of saints and spirits. Some like to keep pictures of their loved ones or things they have as goals such as pictures of money or a new house. Think of your alter as a spiritual vision board.
• Take A New Moon Bath By Candle Light:
Before I start I always sage the room ensuring good vibes and positive energy.
Grab some candles (white are best) and place them around your bathroom and bathtub. These candles will represent the moon and inner clarity.
Use some purifying essential oils in a nice hot bubble bath. Frankincense is really good for spirituality, meditation, and purification. Whilst elemi is good for fresh starts and new beginnings.
Much like my advice on crystals, I think it's important to use scents that resonate with you when it comes to personal rituals. If those don't work for you, find some that do.
• Journal Keeping, Meditation, and Affirmations
The new moon is the perfect time to start a journal. Let it be for short and longterm goals, or something deeper like the thoughts swirling around in your head.
Remember the new moon is all about setting up your intentions and letting go of your past burdens. Write down things as they come to you.
I do my journaling monthly and enjoy looking back at the end of the year to reflect. Whilst others don't like to think about their past moons and only want to go forward.
Some people make lists on paper of the things that really hurt them the moon before. They write them down, then burn the paper in a glass bowl whilst watching the flames. As the flame dies down, so does the weight of these burdens that you carried from the previous moon. This can server as a great meditation point.
This is a good time to get together affirmations that truly resonate in your soul. As you sit in front of your alter and have let go of your previous moon, speak these out loud. Let them flow through you. The practice of meditation is really important throughout the manifesting process. This is because you actively relax and allow for your desires to flow from your higher self.
Remember there is no right or wrong way to manifest and take advantage of the new moon energy flowing. Try some of my methods, research others or even make some ones of your own.
Love and light friends!
Beaver photo credit; riptide bait and tackle
Moon research: mooncircles, mystic familiar, farmer's almanac and tarot.com
"Avoid overthinking, overanalyzing, and complicating things. Keep everything simple. Life is much more beautiful and enjoyable this way."
Sometimes the tools to a happier life are right within my grasps. Yet, the struggle of knowing what's good for me, and training my mind to think positive sometimes feels impossible.
I truly admire those who do it so well that it has become an effortless art form.
Just my Monday Morning thoughts through meditation after a mostly sleepless night. Sometimes the best motivation is knowing that small steps are ok and you're not the only one who struggles to get it right. It's not always our accomplishments that need celebration, but our attempts as well.
*Disclaimer; I was not paid or given any free products to express these opinions.
The very first time Doterra was mentioned to me and how I needed to try it was when my father was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. Now I had already been using Essential oils... but this was supposed to be THE brand to go to.
My father was dying and I was desperate to try anything to give him some peace and relief. My bill with them was over $200 for 3 oils. Yes, you read that correctly. Full disclosure, I do not mind paying more for quality. I buy organic vegetables and locally grown from my farmer's market. So I was willing to pay for quality. But even more so...to dig into the way I was thinking at this time. I wasn't in my right mind when my dad passed. I did not have time to do price checking. My only concern was if these oils were real and could get here fast as I could not travel to the place where I normally went. I needed mail order.
They arrived a little later than what the website said. But still a fair amount of time. I take no issues with this.
After my father passed, which had absolutely no relations to the oils. He had end stage lung cancer, oils were for comfort... I started to do a little research on Doterra and their oils.
And again, let me stress... the oils were good quality. But I noticed right away that they were not much different, if any than the oils I already had in my home. So I got to thinking... why were these 2x and in some cases 3x the money?
Their website says: "certified pure therapeutic grade"
That sounds amazing, right? But what does it mean exactly?
"Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils is a Potentially Misleading Claim. No governmental agency or generally accepted organization "grades" or "certifies" essential oils as "therapeutic grade," "medicinal grade," or "aromatherapy grade" in the U.S." (aromaweb)
And the more I researched I found that not only is it basically a meaningless term. Doterra made it up. This next part is from their own website;
"Without an accepted standard for essential oil quality, doTERRA created its own testing process, calling it CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®."
I started to feel a bit stupid. I wished I had reached out to other people in the cancer community before spending all that money. But the cancer industry, much like Doterra knows when people are desperate for health and a long life for ourselves or a loved one... well we would do just about anything.
Then I got really curious about their marketing techniques and the way they ran their company. Full disclosure, I despise MLM companies. I think they sell people pipe dreams, encourage bad Karma, and make you sell to your friends and family to be successful. What a nightmare.
The lady I bought mine from was a casual friend on Facebook. She tried to push me to join, and it kinda irritated me at the time because I kept having to reiterate to her that my father is dying. I am in charge of his hospice care. I have no time to join your team.
I also found it odd that she, and other sellers on Facebook insist you give them your email address so that they can further discuss the benefits and uses of these oils.
Why was this? Well I later found out Facebook has been laying the ban hammer on MLM company reps. Especially those who make statements not approved by the FDA.
Come to find out the FDA has been up their bums since 2014. And before you jump on the conspiracy theory train.... The FDA isn't anti Essential Oils. Neither is the National Cancer Society.
Again, not disputing Essential Oils. I think they are AMAZING! And if you want some science to back it up, check out this study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4070586/
My issue is the shady dealings and over priced product of one company. So let's continue....
I still couldn't find anything that justifies the increased cost of these oils that use the same exact ingredients and sources as other companies.
And I wasn't alone. Many people and former reps have came fourth with their stories about the extreme costs of these oils. Many felt guilty for selling these products to people with limited income because they knew that there were cheaper alternatives out there.
(I will link some of those stories below)
One thing I keep hearing over and over is all the good this company is doing for people. How amazing their oils are for people. But if the average person can not afford the oil, what good are they actually doing?
I am a firm believer in this:
So exactly how much more money is Doterra to other companies? Let's break it down.
Doterra Lavender: $28.00 for 0.5oz
Eden's Garden Lavender $10 for 0.5 oz
Plant Therapy Lavender $6.95 for 0.5 oz
How about something as simple as Basil. Here are screenshots from their websites;
These are huge differences. And if you research just these two companies I used as examples (Eden's Garden & Plant Therapy) you will see they have absolutely outstanding reviews.
The big difference? 30% 40% and in most cases over 50% cheaper. Their blends are double and some go for over $100 for 15 ml. Why in the world is that?
I am not here to bash the quality of Doterra. Again, I purchased my own oils from the company in 2016. I was happy with the oil... but I felt I was cheated with the price.
Is Doterra a scam? In my honest opinion, all MLM companies are scammers. And most people will not make the money they are told. In fact, most could earn more getting a part time minimum wage job.
And their oils were not any better than most of the leading brands you can buy on the market. Including those sold in Walmart and other major retailers.
But ultimately this is a decision you have to make for yourself. And YOUR Karma.
Do you honestly feel it is morally right to sell people who may be struggling financially oils at 3x what other companies charge for the same quality oils? Because again, let me stress... the oils were good quality. But I noticed right away that they were not much different, if any than the oils I already had in my home. So why 2x and in some cases 3x the money?
Do you think it's fair to take advantage of people who are already paying HUGE medical bills? People with cancer? People with chronic illnesses?
Do you want to push products on your friends and family to make a little extra income?
People who trust YOU to help them make an important choice.
That is for you to decide. Personally, I can't lie to people just to make a quick buck.
If you found this blog post because you were worried about Doterra and heard some of the things I did... And now you're like crap, then where do I buy my oils?
Here are a few alternatives that I use. I encourage you to do your own research and make the best decisions for you and your family. There are MANY others out there. You could probably even find some small local person who makes their own blends as well.
Other blogs discussing Doterra:
Lover when you don't lay with me
I'm a huntress for a husband lost at sea
If I had you here, we were here together
I'd be boy and you'd be girl, beautiful
Calling moon and moon
Shoot that big bad hand
It'll drag me to your door
Now I won't see you no more
(Moon and Moon - Bat for Lashes)
Ashlie, Poppy Marie, and I pulled some universe cards and picked out our favorite crystals so they can be charged by the full moon tonight. We added some pinecones and simple earthy rocks we found on our hike over the weekend. We are trying to make this a mother / daughter tradition. It's really nice to have this to share with them.
The full moon means a lot of different things to different people. Some use it as an opportunity to remove the things that no longer serve us and to complete things we need to do.
Many cultures and people believe in following the cycles of the moon. One complete cycle of the moon takes exactly 28 days to complete. Similar to a women's menstrual cycle.. which is why some cultures believe the moon to be female. And a full moon being the time to embrace the feminine, emotional, creative and nurturing aspects of our lives.
I personally notice I am a bit more anxious around this time. Sometimes a bit combative. Whilst I have heard others experience happiness during a full moon.
Lots of different rituals are done on a full moon. Some really neat group meditations and gatherings. Beautiful candle ceremonies. Moon baths. Making alters.. Charging your crystal and pulling cards from your favourite decks. Some people make full moon teas and healing sprays (full moon nights that rain).
I love to focus / meditate on the things I need to work on, and the things I need to let go of. I keep a simple journal of monthly goals and I go through the ones I still need to complete and work on.
I plan I going for a hike this evening to really take it in. I am hoping it doesn't rain. Happy Harvest Moon. 🍃🍂🌾🌻🌕
My new sleepless night routine is listening to the old 1950s Scifi radio show X Minus One. I am obsessed. The story telling is great. A lot of it is predictable, but there are some surprises. I was very surprised at the quailty. Sounds as good as it did when it first aired I imagined.
I think it's also a cool way to connect with my dad as this was one of the shows he listened to as a kid. I find a lot of enjoyment in doing the things he loved. I truly believe that our loved ones live on through us. Doing their hobbies, listening to their music, telling their stories.
“Dear Universe, May I now be permitted to clear this space so that my intentions can flow clearly from my heart onto paper. So be it, so it is.”
#NewMoon #MoonRitual #NewMoonManifesting
I wanted to share the story of my journey from atheist to believer. My mind changed based because of several experiences I had with my father the last week of his life...
My father found out her had terminal Lung Cancer (extensive stage small cell with mets in both lungs, neck lymph nodes, and later found out several in his brain) in late April. In mid May we tried Chemotherapy. Our intentions were not to cure, but to shrink the cancer a bit to allow easier breathing and possibly give him some more time with us. We also could have went with hospice then and there. (The choice to not do hospice then still bothers me. But I had to let him do what he felt was best for him.)
At first things seemed well. He handled the chemo like a boss. Didn't feel too tired.. things seemed great. He was happy and confident he made the right choice. Around day 5, something drastically changed. He got huge blisters all over his legs and feet. It was a rare reaction to the chemo...
As the days passed his blisters were just getting worse and worse which made walking very difficult for him. He got transferred to a rehab center to help him learn to use his walker. Before the Chemo he was able to walk around... but after that first week, he would never be able to walk on his own again.
He was in the rehab center only about a week before we got the terrible news that he had contracted pneumonia. At this point my father had been in the hospital and rehab a combined total of 27 days. He was tired. He refused antibiotics and had me call the hospice.
We called hospice on a Tuesday am. They had everything set up in my home by Wednesday and he came home that evening.
It was really weird because at first, he was almost himself. Granted he needed help walking around, using the bathroom etc..but he had this HUGE burst of life and energy. And all he wanted to do was talk to me. About life, his childhood... my childhood. The circumstances were not the greatest... but I never felt so close to him.
I asked my father several times over this whole thing if he thought we would see each other again and each time he would say no. He told me that if it made me feel better to pray, I should do it... but it meant nothing. Sigh... I still asked. It was like in my mind, even as a non believer, if he could believe, then I knew I could... but it didn't happen.
That Saturday my dad's best friend came in from NYC. They got to spend time together and say some goodbyes. It was almost like my father was waiting for him because that is where things got bad. After my dad's friend left, my dad was in a lot of pain. He just could not get comfortable... and he hardly slept.
The following morning, Sunday he started to not know where he was. He was able to recognize the kids and I, but he thought we were on a boat and heading to an island. He kept telling us we had to be careful because the crew couldn't be trusted. Both my dad and I were on less than 1 hour sleep. It was pretty brutal.
Throughout all this he was still letting me help him walk, eat his meals, and use the bathroom. The hospice suggested a sleeping pill. He took it no problem. My bedroom was next to his... and when he finally went to sleep, so did I...
I remember it was around 12am when I felt really warm. I can not explain it... almost like someone put blankets from the dryer on me. So I sat up, and standing in the hall without his walker or help was my dad. I sprang up, yelled for my husband and literally caught my father before he could fall. My husband helped my dad to the chair and I laid on the floor bawling my eyes out. I felt so guilty for failing because I didn't hear him get up.
At this point my father no longer remembered that he had lung cancer. He didn't understand why he was so weak he could not walk. I asked the hospice nurse and the doctor on call if they thought he would come back to us and that he would remember where he was. They told me with the size of the mets on his brain and the infection, I am lucky he still knows who I am.
The hospice brought me a baby monitor. And my husband, oldest son, and I all took turns sleeping in shifts. At around 7 pm my dad was very upset. (This was Monday night). He told me he would be to the island soon, but he had to figure out the numbers first so we could be safe. I had no idea what any of this meant, but he asked for pen and paper. I gave it to him and he did what looked like some math and wrote out some numbers.
We gave him another sleeping pill, and my son fell asleep in the chair next to him. My husband and I were awake in the room next to him. We had the baby moniter, and were going to try and do sleeping in shifts.. but he (my husband) had what we believed to be a minor case of food poisoning. So I was between helping my dad and helping him as well.
I don't remember the exact time, I want to say it was roughly 2am but I head a strange sound on the moniter. Like someone going through a drawer. I called out to my son, he didnt answer. So I walked to the bedroom and as soon as I got to the doorway, I see my dad take a lighter to his oxygen tube. HUGE rush of flames as I instinctually pulled the plug to his oxygen machine. My husband ran to our son as I went to aide my dad.
Somehow he remembered a stash of cigs and where he hid his lighter. It was his bedroom and I honestly never thought to hide things. He had quit smoking 2 months ago and had been doing great at it. To this day I still blame myself.
He had some burns and the hospice told us that we should call an ambulance despite my father's wishes. When we were in the hospital, he started to forget who I was... or anything that was going on. The ER doctor told me that I could keep him there. That dealing with a dying person with dementia is hard for professional care takers emotionally and that he could not imagine what it was doing to me and my family.. I thanked him, but said I would please like to take my dad home... and a few hours later, I did.
All afternoon I sat with him. He randomly yelled... cursed. Talked more about getting to the island...telling us we were lying, he was never sick. He did not even remember the fire.
He finally fell asleep and I just broke down. I prayed..... for the first time in roughly 15 years
I just kept asking god.. I said whoever is listening... I know his body is destroyed. I know it. And I know that he can not be healed. I know it's his time... I know you have to take him.. But PLEASE...not like this. Please god... whoever is up there. Let his soul say goodbye to us. Please. Let us have him back. Please give us our goodbyes. Please god. I never ask you anything. Please give me this. Even if just a day...
This was Tuesday night.... I fell asleep in bed next to him. First time sleeping since Saturday really... I heard a voice..
"Maggie is Robbie ok.."
(Robbie is my son)
I thought it was my husband, and I started to reply and then the voice said..
"I don't know why I tried to smoke that last cigarate, I am sorry. Please tell me I didn't hurt Robbie..."
It was my dad!!!!
I jumped up and said Robbie is fine! We are all fine. Do you know where you are? He looked at me confused and said I am at home?
He remembered everything! The cancer, the fire, being on hospice etc. He did not remember telling me he was on a boat, or that he was going to an island. And when I showed him the paper with the numbers, he had no idea what they meant.
The next day we even had a laugh over the whole thing. It was incredible. Like his mind never left us. We had an amazing day.. but that evening I started to notice he was getting weaker. He didn't want to eat, and told the nurse he did not want to wear his oxygen mask.
I told my husband... I knew... I knew it was going to be soon. Early Thursday am the hospice nurse told me she didn't think he had more than a few hours left. I put some music on for him. And he told us he loved us all. He told my husband to watch over his daughters, and protect his grandkids. He told Robbie he had many regrets, and there was still so much he wanted to tell me. We told him we loved him dearly and I know he loved me. And that we would all be ok.
Just before 11am he took his last breath in my arms. And I will never forget when they took his body from my home, soon as he was in the car it poured. Pouring rain and thunder.
Next 3 days were a blur.. I didn't leave my bedroom. The hospice came to get everything quickly. I asked not to watch. When I finally did go back down stairs, the first thing I saw was the paper with the numbers on it....and that is where it hit me...
I felt the warm again. Just like the night I woke up and stopped my dad from falling...
Then I thought about how tired I was the night of the fire. But my husband was ill... so we were both awake...
Then I remembered the prayer. My prayers were answered. NO ONE can tell me otherwise. I was told he wouldn't remember me again, but he remembered everything. All of us. He got to say goodbye... and so did we.
I still have no idea if the numbers actually meant anything, but I took pictures to remember. I also often wonder if the island was were his soul was going and the "crew" who was hostile to him were his fears of death.... I hope some day to understand.
But because of this, I try to look for signs everywhere. I have faith that there is a life after this one and that spirits are all around us. Finally working up the courage to write this whole story up is my Father's day gift to my dad. It has taken me two years to do this, but I feel much better after telling it.
This time of year is always very hard for me. My grief is in constant waves. But June will always be the hardest. As memories pop up here on facebook, or people comment old posts (with the purest of intentions)... I have to remind myself that thinking about what I could or could not have done differently.... living in constant regret is only killing my soul slowly. It's not what my father would have wanted for his daughter. It isn't what I want for myself.
I am working on redefining what June means to *me*. It will always be sad... but maybe it doesn't have to be so difficult.
I sent a love and light package to my dear friend back home in Carlisle. Her and I both lost a loved one on the same day and I wanted to help her get through it even though I couldn't be there in person. Such a terrible thing to have in common with someone, but it created an amazing bond.
I talked my best friend into doing my baba Ram Dass's Summer Solstice Meditation Renewal. He has an open mind... but is probably like lol what am I getting myself into!
Finding hope.... looking forward to little things. It's what gets me by.
Depression doesn’t discriminate. It knows no boundaries. Anthony Bourdain had money, he had fame, he was respected. He touched many lives. He had maybe the coolest job I can conceive of. A life I wanted.
Sigh...What I am saying is.... Depression doesn’t care. It can happen to anyone.
We all need to do a better job at understanding these things are out of our control. There is no simple solution. You can't just tell someone drink some water, get more sleep... think positive etc..
Sure I talk a lot lately about love, light, and my inner spiritual journey. Crystals and affirmations have brought me a lot of happiness and help me deal with my greif and PTSD...
HOWEVER... it is important to stress that I am also in therapy. I do not think ANY of this would help without my peer to peer consoling or chats with my thearpist. I get regular help for dealing with depression. I speak openly about it. I bug the heck out of my support system and close friends. You don't have to suffer alone. Get help if you need help.
We need you here. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It isn't your fault....
Suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255
But if you're like me and are weird about being on the phone... there is a text service too. The 'Crisis Text Line'
Text 741741 from anywhere in the USA
to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.
"Every texter is connected with a Crisis Counselor, a real-life human being trained to bring texters from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening and collaborative problem solving."
I have personally used this service several times. And even at 4am, they connected me with someone to talk to.
Another good service is https://www.7cups.com they also peer to peer help as well as licensed therapists. If you download their app, they have grounding exercises and other things you can do to offer a distraction. Most of their services are free.
You can also talk to me. Inbox me. I might not have the right things to say. But I will listen, I want to listen.
I think everyone has such a mindset that death disconnects us from our loved ones. This isn't true. You can still connect with them. They are always with you. We are energy. The physical body has died but the soul is eternal. In life we interact with souls even though we see bodies. Changing the way we think about life and death is a big step towards changing grief. Yes loved ones are not physically here but energetically will always exist and be with us. We can still speak with them any time we choose. If anything I think there is more accessibility because there is no physical barrier. It's all in how you think about souls and death.
I put together my first Crystal Grid. I love it so much. I plan on later explaining just what a crystal grid is, what it's used for and why all crystal lovers should add this to their meditation. Also, I pulled these two cards.
Remember Siddhartha, his journey, and the amount of time he spent in the garden of pleasure with a woman who had much to teach? She always had a new thing to teach--she will always have a new thing to teach--always.
Can anyone imagine that a woman as full and seductive as that is not going to teach something?
Is not going to continue to teach something?
"Our whole spiritual transformation brings us to the point where we realize that in our own being, we are enough." - Ram Dass
Self-care is so much deeper than bubble baths and manicures. It's spiritual, it's mental. Sure those things help, but getting deep into your core... deep inside your soul is where your care needs to begin.
As hinted in my other post, I have started the book "Be Here Now" by the amazing man of love and light himself Baba Ram Dass
As I learn more about myself and my longing for a deeper connection into my soul and spirit, the teachings of Ram Dass just called to me. Taking care of my heart, mind, and soul are top priority in my self-care routine.
This week I picked up some lavender essential oil to help with sleep. I also got some raw amethyst crystals for anxiety.
We have lost part of ourselves previously and we will again someday. Ultimately, we are spiritual beings in physical bodies on Earth. We are here to learn. It’s okay to lose ourselves more than once. Because when we find ourselves again, life is going to be so amazing. It’s going to be worth it living through it as you have known what it’s like to be lost. They always say, “It’s better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all.” I hope that this message reminds you of why you’re still living and contributing to the positivity of humanity today.
The following post is from my personal facebook;
I deleted facebook a couple nights ago because I have been feeling very triggered as memories I had turned off keep popping to my feed and this is around the time 2 years ago were I was looking up hospice.
I have also been struggling with drastic mood changes which cause me to engage in stupid arguments that are nothing more than semantics.
It's funny how facebook has become the needed platform for a lot of our lives. I am not talking addictions, that is a whole conversation in itself. I am talking about the way companies, artists, support groups, teachers etc have based their whole entire business through facebook.
I sat down this morning, made my coffee and thought to myself... oh yeah peer grief therapy tonight. Got to make it. My therapist hosts these 3 times a week. Two of which are streamed via facebook live in a private support group.
These aren't mandatory meetings, and apparently facebook is the preferred method as others tend to be internet challenged and only use their devices to access facebook. Sigh
Then I realized with my own bussiness, deactivating my page makes it not visible. In 2018 your value as an artist or photographer... well, business owner really.. Your work, at least in part is evaluated based on the activity and popularity of your social media pages.
Not complaining in the sense of.. oh my let's all delete facebook. Merely saying that I am surprised how reliant I am on this platform for more than the basic checking up on family and friends.
I am not in the greatest place right now mentally. And I say mentally because everything else in my life is pretty... awesome.
With that said, I am in therapy. I have been seeing the same therapist since Pennsylvania through her private sessions online every two weeks and group peer meetings weekly. I attend. I don't usually want to, but I do it anyway.
Long story short.... my page is here... but my mind and heart really aren't into social media right now. I know a lot of people love and care about me... So I wanted to make sure everyone knows that I am ok and I will be back to posting normal again as we get more into summer.
This time of year will always be hard for me. Thanks for understanding.
So that is where my heart and mind are this morning. As I promised, I won't just share the good through my journey... but the bad too.
I am also not giving up on my journey to happiness through love, kindness, and compassion. I just need a little break.
I say it all the time, but self care is so important. You can not help others without taking care of yourself too.
I have a lot of topics I really want to touch on this week including my spiritual experience during my dad's hospice and why I feel openly taking my readers through this with me is very important.
I will also share some recent selfcare and meditation items I bought, as well as the current book I am reading.
I think one of the biggest confusions about trying to live a positive lifestyle is that you have to be happy all the time. That just isn't true. You will have off days. I have them. If you go through my blog, I speak pretty openly with my grief and sadness. This blog has been a way for me to heal.
I once had a blog that averaged 5k visitors and readers a month. It received many comments, mostly positive. It truly was something I loved. However when my father became ill, and I started losing friends, I stopped writing. Then when my father passed, I deleted the blog entirely. I regret it because I had a lot of things over the past 8 years that I would have loved to look back and reflect on.
This blog doesn't get much traffic. My website does, I get roughly 1k views a week which is wonderful, for business... but the blog is rarely clicked. But you know, I keep on writing. I keep going.
This blog is like therapy to me. My ups and my downs are all here for the world to see. It really goes back to a realness through vulnerability. I have learned without being vulnerable, open and honest. Without showing people that hey... I am human too that I am offering nothing to anyone in this world.
I blog for ones who've seen confusion and known struggle, who have pulled themselves up from the shackles of heartache and strife, disappointment and darkness, exhaustion, and loss. They have risen with a heart as open and unwaveringly wide as the ocean itself... but humble enough to not have to tell people how big their heart is. Because when you're a good person, have clean karma, a big heart, and are empathetic... there is no need to remind anyone.
That is one of the life lessons I have taught my children as they seek guidance in life let it be through spiritual leaders, friends, family, even politicians. Seek out the humble. A good person with a good heart and empathetic soul will not have to remind you how good they are. You may never even hear those words come from their lips. But you will feel it. The energy they give off. The vibes you have with them. You will just know.
Through my own imperfections, I find myself questioning things that happen to me. And I catch myself.... I don't always utter the words outloud. But sometimes I do say in my head. "Why is this happening to me, I have such a big heart... I am a good person". But I can not think like that. If I am going to put trust in the universe and have faith in my plan.. then I shouldn't question what I deserve or don't. I should just keep going with the flow.
And you know? As I started this post and mentioned above. Today is a bad day for me. I am not feeling my normal self.....
I have questions. I am questioning my journey. My path. My path to healing, working through grief, and finding happiness in my best life.
There is vulnerability in letting our guard down and experiencing joy. I recently heard the quote “Happiness is a feeling, not a condition.” I like that because it gives space for us to let that feeling come and go without having to attach to it, and with more appreciation when we feel it.
Something I pay attention to daily is ‘what feels like to flow and ease versus what feels like force and fighting?’ Even the hardest things I have accomplished, when done efficiently, timely and with proper alignment came with relative ease. Alignment can be felt and seen not only in your physical body, but also emotionally and spiritually. Alignment feels like integrity, honesty, a connection and expression from core values. Alignment with the people around you comes from clear conscious communication, doing what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it, setting and maintaining boundaries, and taking your hats and masks off so there is congruency in your self and in your life. You don’t have an endless amount of energy and ability to focus, and alignment allows us to conserve and create high quality energy throughout our day.
Days like this.... I can be honest with myself and others. I feel a bit worn out. I am missing my father. I feel overwhelmed...
I am human......
My alignment is off, but I am going to jump off the internet for a bit and do a little reflection within myself.
But I am going to keep going, and you should too. Don't let these days stop your progress. Maybe you had a fight with a friend, your mom, your husband... maybe you're left with self doubt and are questioning your own journey. Please don't. Keep pushing through. Trust in karma. Trust in the universe. Things will smooth out for you again.
So this is not my prettiest angle, but I am sharing it with you guys today (rolls and all) because I am 25lbs down and on my 5th yoga class! As I said in a previous post, sometimes being open and vulnerable is a good thing. It teaches us we don't have to pretend to be something else. In light of this new thinking, I have been sharing more and more full body images of myself. I can love myself even at the start of this weight loss and soul searching journey.
Early before going into my Tuesday evening Mindful Mini class, threw on some meditation music and just let go!
This space felt like Zen, the vibes were so beautiful. The blessing of just letting it go flowed so beautifully for me in this space.
The first step in Spiritual Surrender is- Prayer, and asking for the highest good for all! So I sat in meditation. Truly doing just that, praying for this feeling of acceptance. It is a powerful thing to become humble and courageous enough to dig deeper, to let go that little bit more. However, I am so ready for this work! This deep pull that has come over me to finally show up for what I have been so deeply ignoring.
Far too often I find myself judging .... ME!
Judging how I’m not getting enough done. How I’m not spending enough quality time with my children or my husband.
How, shoot for just a moment I want a minute to drink a coffee and sit in silence. Judging and picking apart every moment I feel inadequate or less than....
Ugghhh can you relate?
Something that I am learning on my matt and truly bringing the essence off my mat is the idea of no of myself. That each day I am where I am meant to be, doing the best I can in every present moment. When I let go of this idea of how I am supposed to be “Momming”, “Living”, “Being”, “Working”, etc. I have truly began to breathe in this beautiful presence that is the real authenticity that is myself.
Truly my authentic whole self is the best version of me. Something I continue to strive to always embrace.
My judgement of myself is no one else’s perception of me than me. Allowing myself the ability to release this perception only allows for a loving mindset to take form.
It has been a tough week with lots to do and so I just had to get on with it. I was so tired that when I got into bed on Saturday I actually felt emotional and needed to just let my tears roll and have a little cleanse. It wasn't because I couldn't handle it, it wasn't because I was weak, it was because my body needed to release the stress and the exhaustion and so I gave the day that last bit and then had the best 9 hours sleep. I haven't slept like that in years... having 3 boys who love to rise with the sun means that a morning in bed to chill isn't really a reality I know, but on this day- I got to stay in bed and sleep. Have to say that none of that would have been possible without my Mr and oldest daughter and I am so grateful to them for helping me create the space for me to prioritise a little diffrently this week.
I am so use to running my whole day, week and months around the needs of my family that those two days felt so different to me.
I got in a little yoga and am working hard on my posing. I am not as flexible as I once was, but I am working on it. I set a tiny goal for May, and a big one for the end of the summer. Here's to setting goals and achieving them one tiny step at a time.
"I may not fully understand it, but my life makes sense. I make sense. I can let go of the past and move forward. Today is the first day of the rest of my life."
Something that was shared in therapy this evening.
Time doesn't heal all wounds. Not when it comes to grief and loss of life. Time is simply the space we move through as we use our own trial and error coping systems in an effort to find ways within our lives to move forward. There is no getting over. You do not get over this kind of loss, you cope and learn how to move forward with a life without that person. Please stop trying to fix people who are grieving. Just listen. Sometimes the best way to help someone is to not say anything at all. Not every situation in life calls for advice, wisdom, and accidental opinions.
I get a little tired of people who assume that just because you have kids, you are automatically completely uncool, and that all your time is spent wiping babies from head to toe, giving spit baths, criticizing their every move, volunteering for PTA, blogging in your spare time, clipping coupons before crock potting a pot roast, ironing the clothes, bleaching the whites, mopping the floors, harvesting your eggs, sewing for your etsy shop, scrapbooking the little things, taking pictures of everything they do, saving for college, reading Dr. Suess, socializing at the bus stop, sweeping the floor, laughing over coffee with your jogging stroller, wearing your birkenstocks and listening to Baby Einstein.
Just because I DO THESE THINGS OCCASIONALLY.
Does not mean for one second that sometimes I don’t just want to be a kick ass girl with streaks in her hair, a ring in her nose, a tattoo on her arm, concert tickets in her purse, vodka in her fridge, a leather mini-skirt in her closet, her best single friends and a standing reservation for Las Vegas once a year with a don’t ask don’t tell policy, and the desire to just once be seen as more than the mother of 5 kids. Sometimes I just want to be seen as a “Maggie”. A “Maggie” with an extremely adorable set of children… (I joke, but sometimes it's hard to over come labels. )
Married + 5 Children
Born in New York
Living in Chicago Land
Italian + Mexican American household
Published Photographer + Artist
Lung Cancer Activist + Advocate
Social Media Enthusiast
Openly in Grief Therapy
Believes in Freedom Of Religion
Studied Animal Science
Backpacking + Hiking
Crystals + Meditation + Yoga
Writing + Scrapbooking + Blogging
Foodie + Cooking + Baking
Tropical Fish Keeping
Coffee + Coffee Shops
Travel + Road trips
Okkervil River + Good indie bands