Category Archives: Spirituality

How I learned to slow down and stop over-exercising

The more time I spent going on hikes and exploring parks and trails, the more I realize that time spent in nature has greatly helped curate my perspective on movement and exercise.

 

Nature forced me to slow down.

 

I spent years swimming in lakes and oceans, cycling through hills and mountains, and running roads and trails. This was all in the name of triathlons, half-marathons, half-ironmans, dozens of 5ks and 10ks, a marathon, and an ironman.

 

The irony is not lost on me that it was my training for various races, over the course of about 5 years, that got me spending more and more time outside. To the point that outside became my most favorite place in the world (maybe second to curled up on the couch with a dog and a good book.)

 

Moving back to CT several years ago I found myself hiking and running trails in Easton, Redding, and Weston. I got a dog and spent even more time exploring local trails. I started booking trips not around races, but around nature – national parks, seashores, and other hidden treasures the earth had to show me.

 

I couldn’t exactly pinpoint it but I always felt like I couldn’t spend enough time outside. Even with bugs, heat, and humidity – I wanted more.

 

There was something big I was receiving. Some intangible yet powerful gift.

 

I was learning to slow down. Nature evolves at its own pace and I wanted to absorb every morsel I could. Every sound, every smell, every glimmer of sunlight through the trees. Every sweeping vista and mucky footprint. All of it. I felt a profound connection to something greater than myself.

 

My eyes welled with tears and I was rendered speechless when I first saw the Grand Canyon and Yosemite Valley. I wanted to feel this humility over and over again. Even by the babbling brooke on the trail in the town where I grew up reminded me of mother nature’s vastness and simplicity all at once.

 

So I kept hiking and I kept seeing and I kept feeling. And I began choosing a walk in the woods over pumping iron at the gym (don’t get me wrong – I still lift heavy things on occasion). I began listening much more acutely to the wishes of not just my body, but of my soul.

 

Now I fully acknowledge when I need the groundedness of the earth beneath my feet. I’ll touch a tree as I make my way down a trail and even when running through the woods, I’m no longer in a hurry.

 

And you can bet money this movement has nothing to do with burning calories or getting a yoga butt or anything like that.

 

It’s about feeling freedom. It’s about simplicity. It’s about being humbled by something much greater than myself. And it’s just about the deepest gratitude I have ever known in my human existence thus far.

 

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How I healed myself from my eating disorder

I healed myself from my eating disorder.

How?

Yoga

Meditation

Journaling and writing

Nature

Mindfulness

Breath awareness

But what this all ultimately amounted to was that I was (at times unknowingly) cultivating a spiritual practice.

I think I’ve always been spiritual but wasn’t fully aware of it until this past decade of spiritual growth.

And I read a sign the other day when I took a trip to my local dispensary that read:

Faith is not believing God can, it’s knowing that he will.

And insert any word you prefer for God: source, the Universe, vortex, nature, etc.

In my path to healing I always had the knowingness that I was not on this journey alone. I didn’t have a word for what (or who) was supporting and guiding me, but I always had faith that I was never alone.

Because for the human body and mind alone to recover from ANYTHING is a gargantuan task. In any recovery and healing process, we are always supported.

Whether that support comes in the way of discovering a meditation practice or stumbling upon teachers, coaches, and therapists that are able to guide you in just the right direction … or a book that truly illuminates what you have been wondering all along …

Universal support and guidance is ALWAYS available to you. You simply have to open up your body, mind, and soul to receive that guidance.

It does not mean that you don’t do any of the work. But that most of the work is in turning inward, getting quiet, and leaving space for that guidance to appear.

And so it was the tools of yoga, meditation, and writing that enabled me to open up this space for my spiritual intuition and connection to strengthen.

So that I was able to recognize (and to this day STILL recognize) when I was potentially harming myself – emotionally, physically, physiologically, etc.

And if I felt I could not do it alone, I asked for guidance.

I ask for guidance every single day. In every situation imaginable.

Again – this does NOT mean that I just sit there and wait for shit to happen. But when I take action, I do so with deep awareness. And I listen and I look for the guidance.

And guess what?

The guidance ALWAYS appears.

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THIS is the house of belonging

I have been thinking a lot about what it means
to feel a sense of belonging in our bodies and I shared
this with my email list this morning…

Because it’s about more than just loving our bodies.
It’s about a mindset that no one can fuck with my inner peace.

No one can tamper with my power.
No one can take away who I am at my core.

We only experience the above when
we ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN.

For example, someone once told me that I’m running
my business all wrong and how I should be running
my business completely differently.

This was unsolicited advice.
It came across very harsh. I thought the person
telling me all these things was mean and disrespectful.

And afterwards I felt completely deflated.
I blamed it on the person for months. I couldn’t shake it.

Until it hit me that I was allowing this person to tamper
with my power, my inner knowing, and my inner peace.

If anything this was a very valuable gift in
showing me this very lesson!

It took months for me to realize what was happening –
that I was the one putting myself down and questioning
myself by buying into and believing what this other person
said over my own beliefs.

When your inner knowing and intuition and connection to
your self and understanding of yourself are SO STRONG …

Not a single soul can mess with you.
Not a single soul can throw you off track.

We connect with that inner knowing through meditation, mindfulness,
and awareness throughout our entire day.

It’s a very simple concept. It’s not necessarily easy to get to that place,
but we ALL have the capacity to tap into our inner knowing and not get
so thrown off by external circumstances.

Because…
We always have this house of belonging, wherever we go.

Our bodies.

With Love,
Maggie

PS. Want more daily teachings and access to me?
Connect with me in one of my FB groups here:
>Living Beyond ED Recovery
>Belonging in The Body
XO

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The Diet Stops … HERE.

I’m re-launching my holistic health coaching program. I became a health coach many years ago because people kept asking me health-related questions and I wanted to be more informed and also because my sister was doing the program and it sounded interesting to me. Haha. Truth!

Becoming a health coach was an interesting process and initially once I became certified and got clients MOST of those clients just wanted to lose weight.

What I really wanted, at my core, was to teach people how to have a healthier relationship to food and exercise. And to do this from a spiritual place.

But I didn’t know how to say that. And actually I felt a little afraid people would judge or not want to work with me if I said the “S” word – spirituality.

Now, spirituality is a non-negotiable for me. All that really means is, I can’t not have it come up with the people I spend most of my time with. It doesn’t mean I force anything on anyone, but that the way I explain and understand most things in life comes from a spiritual place.

And so as I’m rebuilding my holistic health coaching program I am finally offering something that feels like a huge YES.

It feels like me because i’m not asking anyone to weigh themselves. EVER.
I’m not asking people to never eat certain foods.
I’m not asking people to watch as their waste band shrinks.

I mean, I never really asked people to do these things in the first place. But I feel more firm in my convictions now than ever.

I’m teaching people to love what they’ve already got.

OK, at the very least to accept what they’ve already got.

The body that God gave them.
The mind God gave them.
The soul God gave them.

You have to accept yourself and your circumstances, at all times. Or growth just will not happen. It might happen for a split second, but then you’ll go back to old habits and patterns.

So I ask this of my clients – accept yourself and your circumstances AT ALL TIMES. Then watch as you grow.

So growth starts from the place of true acceptance.

Once you get THAT ^^^ everything begins to fall into place.

That is a promise.

XO,
Maggie

PS. Stay tuned for the official announcement of my holistic health coaching program! If you want even more teachings like this and real-time video teachings from me, join my Spiritual Coaching for Living Beyond Recovery Facebook Group.

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Move because you are celebrating your body, not punishing it. Please.

Exercise is a whole different animal for me today than it was 12 years ago in the throes of my eating disorder. It’s even drastically different from how it was 1 year ago. Even 6 months ago.

 

I’m always growing. Allowing my soul to evolve and the more i let it rip and let my soul shine, the more fun I have.

 

To the point where playing with doing Bowspring on a Bosu ball at the gym gives me great joy. I feel like a kid playing with toys. My toys being the bosu ball and all the things i’ve learned and picked up along the way: yoga, lifting, running, bowspring.

 

Exercise is no longer about going to the gym and pounding out a workout. If it isn’t fun for me, i won’t do it. Like i took a barre class a couple weeks ago to try it out because it’s a part of my gym membership. But it was so boring and no offense to the teacher, she was doing her best. The class just didn’t resonate with me on a soul lifting level.

 

So i’ll go and i’ll challenge myself sometimes by doing workouts i find on pinterest or digging into my arsenal of exercises i’ve done with personal trainers.

 

Picking and choosing the things that are the most fun.

 

Like doing the stair climber and rocking out to “Sorry not sorry” — sorry not sorry to all the gym rats who gave me weird looks.

 

My point is – what’s the point of exercise if it does not elicit some joy? If you aren’t enjoying yourself?

 

I look around the gym sometimes to see the pained expression on so many people’s faces. Or I notice people checking themselves out in the mirror.

 

To be honest, my heart aches for them. I wish they could be in on my little secret.

 

But I know it took years and a lot of inner work to get to the place where I’m at.

 

There was a point in my life where I said i’d never again set foot in a gym. Not after how much abuse i put my body through over-exercising.

 

And now I am overjoyed that I can step foot in my gym and exercise as little or as much as i damn well feel like on any given day.

 

And you bet your butt I take days off. And relish in the rest.

 

Exercise and movement can be spiritual.

 

What’s not spiritual is exercising to look a certain way or to get rid of our belly or cellulite or whatever.

 

What is spiritual is exercising to bring ourselves closer to alignment. What is spiritual is exercise that makes you smile, laugh, or wanna dance. What is spiritual is feeling joy, elation, excitement, and celebration about life.

 

Move because you are celebrating your body, not punishing it. Please.

 

I wish you love in movement.

Maggie

Get more musings by signing up for my newsletter here —> http://eepurl.com/czLI35

Or join my free Facebook Group: Spiritual Living Beyond ED Recovery!

 

XOXO

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it all boils down to one thing: love

Sometimes I feel like I do so many different things. That i wear many different hats.
One day I’m with private yoga clients.
the next i’m at the recovery centers and then guiding a coaching client into their meditation practice.
and sometimes i feel like i wear too many hats…
but today i realized that all these “hats” are really just variations on a theme.
i work with people in the way that i can best connect with them.
whether it’s bowspring, yoga, meditation, health coaching, life coaching, or reiki… my intentions are always the same..

i hope and wish for people to feel aligned and connected.
i hope and wish for people to better understand and accept themselves.
i hope and wish for all people to know their purpose in life.
i hope and wish for people to know and understand that they are loved so that they may find unconditional, universal love. no matter the external circumstances.

i know that i’m good at what i do.
i know that i’m good at sharing my story.
i know that i’m good at reaching people.
i know that i’m good at holding space for people.

i know that i’m good at helping people understand that their bodies are a way to experience this planet, celebrate life, and feel joy.

if you’re interested in a class or 1:1 work with me in any capacity please use this link to connect with me. most of the work that i do IS customized. but it is all around creating connection. to your Self. to love.💖

CONNECT ⬇️⬇️⬇️

http://www.maggieconversemethod.com/connect-1/

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We must change our energy to change our lives.

We must change our energy to change our lives. – Panache Desai

Announcing: Group Reiki!

I have been practicing reiki with small groups in the specialized centers where I teach. Going into group reiki was purely based on my own intuition. I felt that the clients I was working with were open to it. And that little morsel of wisdom was spot on.

As a result I am opening this offering up to the public on February 10 at 2pm-3:15pm.

In this 75 minute class we will gather and spend the beginning of our time together setting intentions silently. You will be gently guided through a meditation while lying on your mat – using any and all props for your comfort. Tibetan singing bowls will play in the background as I go around the room, visiting with each person and delivering the Reiki.

What is asked of you?
That you be open. Really that is all! That you genuinely, sincerely be open to receive the positive energy that flows to you in abundance.

With Reiki, you, the recipient, are an active participant in the process. Watching your breath. Sincerely committing to being open to receive. And simply watching and witnessing what happens.

When we gather I will provide more direct guidance and as a follow-up to our group session each person will receive a 20 minute phone call and email support during the 2 weeks following the session. The purpose behind this is to simply provide support and guidance to you – for any questions and observations that arise.

Ultimately I want YOU to be able to really trust your intuition and inner wisdom. I’m just nudging you in that direction!

Please email me or comment with any questions. To sign up, simply email me at maggie.converse@gmail.com.

Space is very limited.

group (2)

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Do you want to know what enlightenment is?

Do you want to know what enlightenment is? It’s with you every moment.
-From East Forest Enlightenment. Click here to listen.

Enlightenment is with us every step of the way. But we forget that because we get bogged down by clutter. We get distracted: by thoughts, by the should’s, by what other people think of us.

I think of these distractions as junk in the attic. Or dresser drawers sostuffed to the brim that you can’t find that soft old t-shirt you love. You know, the one that really feels like you.

And so in order to better find that t-shirt, we’ve gotta get rid of the excess. We’ve gotta get rid of the clutter so that when we open the drawer, it’s clear. There’s the t-shirt!

Enlightenment, or Truth, or Self, is always shining bright. It’s a brilliant bright flame of a candle constantly burning. It’s the root of Love. It’s connection. And it’s our job to clear out the clutter, the excess so that we stay more connected to our candle. To our brilliance.

How do we stay connected? How do we stay aligned?
I want you to take a minute to think about things you do in your life that raise your vibration. What makes you feel the MOST comfortable in your own skin? What makes your heart swell? What makes YOU feel most like you?

Meditation is one way that can guide each of us to keep connecting with our candle. Whether it is a walking meditation through the woods, sitting down to play or listen to music, or sitting on our meditation pillow… meditation blasts through the clutter that dims our light. Meditation is a pathway to finding our candle. Again and again and again.

If sitting on a meditation pillow (or sitting in a chair) isn’t for you. Find your meditation. Especially during this time of year when we are hit from all directions with unnecessary stresses and worries. And if you are in need of some support with your meditation or have questions, just hit reply to this email.

The best gift you can give yourself, and anyone else, is connection. Alignment. Enlightenment. So be an example. Stay in your power, your strength, your light. You don’t even have to say anything to anyone.

Just watch …

May you remain in love and light this holiday season and into the new year.

XO
Maggie

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How Spiritual Practice Guided Me Into Eating Disorder Recovery

This was originally posted 9/28/17 on Nonpoliticalnews.com as “How Yoga Saved Me From Myself.”

I grew up going to Catholic Church every Sunday and CCD until I asked my mother in 8th grade if I could quit. I told her there were aspects of it that didn’t feel aligned with my beliefs and she agreed under the condition that my sister and I accompany her to the hippie church in the barn in the woods every Sunday. We complied.

I hold nothing against the church, or any organized religion. I am aware that many people derive deep healing and goodness from religion. My religion, however, wasn’t serving me. Little did I know I was already on a spiritual path in 8th grade and I recognized that the Catholic Church didn’t support that path.

I have had issues with my body since I was a child. My earliest memory was that my little puffy tummy was a problem. I prayed it would go away by the time I was a grown-up.

Fast forward to high school. I was tall and had body dysmorphia. I believed my body was unsightly.

By my first semester of college I developed bulimia nervosa. It felt like a completely normal thing to do as a means to having a sense of control. On the surface, I saw nothing wrong with the behaviors I was committing to.

My best friend and boyfriend at the time were the only ones who knew and they did everything they could to help but overall I isolated myself.

I lived in my mind: constantly calculating calories. I sought control over food and my body. But mostly I wanted control over every aspect of my life. Food and my body were the most attainable way to feel any semblance of control.

There is a lot from this dark period that I don’t remember. I’ve blocked it out for self-preservation. I was also so distracted by my obsessive mindset and behavior that I detached and disassociated from my body and college experience.

In college I found a yoga studio. I had been practicing yoga since age 16 but there was something about going to this no-frills studio that resembled the rituals of going to church but this time it felt right; it felt like a spiritual match.

No one said: a spiritual practice will heal you! But this is exactly what happened. As I practiced yoga regularly, I also grew my spirituality. I integrated yoga teachings into daily life.

When I learned the yogic practice of non-violence I saw my eating disorder as being brutally violent toward myself. I had to stop.

My primary concern for years was controlling my body/appearance since I couldn’t control the world around me. I was operating on a very small-minded level.

As soon as I decided I was going to heal from my eating disorder, I felt at ease. I surrendered and loosened my grip on control. My world-view expanded. I valued my intelligence, my passions, and my relationships. I felt like I was part of something greater than myself and my appearance.

This was over 12 years ago. Today yoga is still part of my spiritual practice. Today I walk in nature and connect to something greater than myself. I meditate and remember we transcend our bodies. I spend time with my dog and cats, friends and family, and revel in the relationships I cultivated. My spirituality is all around me and is in my daily life.

I’m not saying you need a spiritual practice to live a good life. I’m saying it worked for me. And it keeps me in recovery from my eating disorder, every day.

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