When we feel a need for validation or approval…

I wonder if in that moment of feeling like we NEED someone else’s guidance, authority, approval, validation, etc. it means what we really need is to turn inward toward our own intuition and internal wisdom and guidance.

In those moments when we are scrambling for an answer…

For someone to point us in the right direction…

What if we were to let go and let God? Just, turn it over to the Universe. Get big on trust. Even ask for a sign. But the asking has to come from a loving, trusting, BIG YOU place. Not from your ego….

Turn inward and get quiet the next time you feel like you desperately need something from someone. And just see what happens.

Please feel free to share what you notice in the comments! I noticed a feeling of lightness when I turned this feeling of desperation and need for validation over the the Universe. I remembered my inner compass and intuition is strong and I am more powerful than I realize. I am eager to hear from you!

Need a meditation to get you grounded? Click here for my free meditations – available for a limited time! XO

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Letting Feelings Flow (+ Free Meditation!)

One summer afternoon a few years back I was sitting at my desk. Ok, more like wriggling at my desk. I could not sit still and I could not focus on anything. I was worried about everything. I kept picking up my phone hoping for a text or call. I kept refreshing my email. I kept getting up and fixing myself tea, a snack, or looking for tasks around the house I could busy myself with.

 

I was looking for a distraction to drag me out of the immense discomfort I was experiencing. To add to it all, I had a terrible knot in the top of my stomach. It was a giant rope tied in a terrible, unyielding knot.

 

I could not get past the nagging feeling that something needed to be released but it was far too uncomfortable for me to address.

 

I remembered reading or hearing somewhere that when we have a difficult emotion, it often manifests physically in our body.

 

Slowly but surely I got myself onto my meditation cushion, closed my eyes, placed my right hand over the knot in my stomach, and focused all my attention on the physical sensation of the knot, instead of trying to figure out my emotional state.

 

Within a few short moments I started to cry. I had no idea where the tears were coming from. I trusted that they needed to flow. I kept watching the knot and saw it beginning to unravel!

 

As the knot unravelled I felt an overwhelming sense of relief sweeping over my body. I eased deeper into my meditation, sat for a few minutes longer, then I opened my eyes as I welcomed this renewed state of being.

 

So often when we feel discomfort or difficult emotions, we look for distraction. What if instead of turning toward our distraction of choice, we made space for the difficult emotions to flow and then be dissolved?

 

Click here for a short meditation where I guide you through this exact process. Use it any time you feel your body could use a little nudge to release some old emotions or energy that might be blocked up.

 

With Love,

Maggie

PS. If you like receiving free meditations and musings, please subscribe to my newsletter by CLICKING HERE. XO

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All You Have To Do Is Breathe

 

There is a misconception about meditation. That I am supposed to halt my thoughts and completely clear my mind. I thought this when I first ventured into meditation. And it immediately turned me away because I had so many thoughts and it felt like an insurmountable feat to ever completely clear my mind.

 

 

Imagine what a relief I felt when a teacher told me that wasn’t the case. It changed my meditation experience forever.

 

 

When we sit or lie down or walk in meditation, all you have to do is breathe.

 

 

And I love this because I call it to mind whenever I find myself in a sticky situation: whenever difficult thoughts or feelings surface and instead of turning to the worst case scenario and freaking out because I can’t come to a solution, I remind myself:

 

 

All You Have To Do Is Breathe.

 

 

So I’m sharing with you this free 5-minute meditation. It’s short (although I know sometimes 5 minutes CAN feel long). It’s simple.

 

And there’s more where that came from! 🙂 I’ll be sharing more guided meditations with you in my regular newsletters. Not subscribed? —-> CLICK HERE

 

If you have any questions about meditation please post in the comments below! 

With Love,

Maggie

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Keep the channel open.

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
-Agnes de Mille to Martha Graham
I shared this exactly one year ago today (it showed up in my news feed – thanks FB!). And isn’t it remarkable how the universe provides you with exactly the right message at EXACTLY the right time?
 
Because I am working on fine-tuning my coaching offering. To something that feels remarkably … like me! It’s like it’s the something that has been brewing and building in me all along. And I needed all the experiences I’ve been through in order to create and make this offering.
 
The thing is… for a moment I started to have a pang of fear, of doubt, just this morning. That maybe it’s not good enough. That maybe my offering is not what the world wants. But truly, it is NOT my business to determine how good or how valuable my offering is.
 
If it feels like an authentic expression of myself, that is enough.
 
If there is something you are aching to do, some way of expressing yourself that you have been teetering on, I encourage you to act through the lens of love and keep moving forward with that authentic expression of you. Because ONLY YOU can offer it up to the world.
 
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Acceptance and Love

I awoke one morning this week after a particularly intense dream in which I received a very clear message:

Acceptance is a pathway to Love.

I sat with this dream for a few days and the very clear message I felt. I wrote the following in my journal that I’d love to share with you:

To find self-love, you need self-acceptance. Love comes through acceptance. Acceptance is a pathway to LOVE. What do I mean by this? Accepting your truth – and the truth around you. ALL. OF. IT.

Meaning that we can’t just accept the parts of ourselves that are easy to accept. In order to really connect and plug into love, we’ve got to also accept the parts of ourselves that are maybe a little more difficult to accept.

The more we practice the above, the less these parts of ourselves seem difficult to accept. The way that I see it, is that through ACCEPTANCE we cultivate a neutral perspective. We stop categorizing “This is good” vs. “This is bad.” Instead, everything JUST IS. Everything becomes a learning opportunity. A chance to grow. We allow ourselves to just be and to continue to evolve. AND … We stop seeing those “hard to love” parts of ourselves as unacceptable or bad.

And over time, the more we practice acceptance all parts of ourselves – our achievements, our successes, our failures, our mistakes, our hidden talents, our not so great habits – we begin to naturally plug into love.

With determination and sincerity we return to the practice of acceptance (it’s not always easy) over and over again. We wake up one morning and something clicks. We are plugged into love.

We may slip and veer away from love from time to time, but once we’ve plugged in, we can always find our way back.

Thank you for allowing me to share this with you. I always welcome your questions, findings, and observations.

With Love,
Maggie

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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.

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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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How letting go of the desire to control everything slowly granted me emotional freedom

I am investigating the importance of speaking my truth. And acknowledging, allowing, and accepting my emotions.

We hear that a lot. At least I do. From teachers and coaches and writers and influencers. And sometimes it makes sense to me but sometimes I’m like “I know I’m saying this thing that is GOOD but I don’t fully understand why.”

And last night something came together.

Last night I started to further understand – in my body and soul – the importance of not only speaking my own truth, but acknowledging, accepting, and allowing my feelings instead of shaming myself for having certain feelings {i.e. sadness, guilt, despair, etc.}

Sometimes I am afraid to say how I feel because I am scared to let people down. I am scared of messing something up. I am scared of causing someone pain. I am scared of upsetting something.

And so what does all of the  above really mean?

It means that I sometimes find myself terrified of speaking my truth and my feelings because I don’t want to lose control over a situation.

For a long time this was my default. And so, I would remain silent. For fear I would cause an upset, to myself or another person. I was afraid I’d lose control.

And so, I remained silent.

Silence is still sometimes my jam. But it doesn’t always serve me.

And I’ve spent a huge portion of the last decade learning about my own emotions. Primarily, what exactly to do (or not do) with them.

What I realized in that instant I uttered those words [I am afraid to say how I feel because…] is that I internalized the feelings, the hurt, the discomfort , and the pain.

And all of that discomfort materialized into more visible symptoms like anxiety, panic, and an eating disorder.

So what’s the point of even coming to this conclusion?

The point is that I see even greater value in being able to acknowledge and allow my feelings to process and to express them when a situation calls for it.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve bit my tongue and not said how I felt or what I thought because I feared judgment and I feared my world spinning out of control.

Freaking Control…

So now it’s about loosening the reigns on control. It’s about stepping into the emotions because when I do just that, they aren’t so scary or overwhelming and, usually, after giving them some of my attention (not ALL of it) they slowly fade away.

I don’t suppress them anymore. I don’t pretend that I don’t feel these uncomfortable icky feelings anymore. (And I used to because in my mind that meant I had no control over myself >>> which inevitably led to an eating disorder.)

I recognize that I too am human. I recognize that the emotions I deal with on a daily basis are part of the human experience.

While it may take me a little longer than some to move through emotions, I’m ok with that. I’m learning. I’m being patient with myself.

I’m also learning that emotions don’t have to take the lead! Which means… I’m stepping into my power.

I soften to what I feel. I surrender. I don’t give up on myself. But there’s something in THAT [the softening and surrender] that, for me, let’s the emotions feel less scary. I remember that they, like all things, will eventually pass.

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Running to celebrate; not punish.

It’s been two years since I’ve done any races. It’s been two years since Chicago Marathon.

Until today.

Initially I wanted to give myself one year. One year without any big races. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something just wasn’t sitting right with me.

Like I was starting to use the races as an excuse to exercise, excessively. Yes – each race taught me something invaluable about myself and how to approach life, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

But it was after Chicago that I felt something twinge. I felt like something needed shifting. I wasn’t totally sure what it was. But I knew I needed to take a step back.

I knew that – while I was nearly 10 years in recovery from my eating disorder – some old habits were coming back to haunt me.

My old habits were (not so) thinly disguised in my love affair with endurance races: anything from a 10K to an Ironman and everything in between.

Shortly after letting go of my desire to click “Register” on anything and everything my wallet could endure, it dawned on me what I wanted:

I wanted to run/bike/swim/move again with a different approach.

I wanted to be able to run a race not so I could eat an extra piece of pizza (or pizza all week).

I wanted to run a race to celebrate my body and celebrate life.

Last night just before bed I was walking Daisy and on the phone with my friend Emily who decided to join us and go up to New Haven to run the Half Marathon. I decided then that I’d run the 5k the next morning. Simple, short, and sweet.

I had no expectations. I had a pretty good feeling I’d finish. And – bonus – I got to spend the morning with some pretty swell people I love.

In my imagination I saw my “coming out” {of race retirement} race as a big to do. At the very least a half marathon or an Olympic distance triathlon that I’d spend months training for (and probably blogging about in anticipation).

I joked to Emily when I agreed to doing the 5k that it would be my coming out of retirement race.

But what I felt this morning, running the 3.1 miles, far exceeded my wildest dreams.

I realized that over these last two years I have finely curated or crafted (can I even say that?) a fresh, lovely, deep-hearted, spirited, compassionate relationship to movement. In this instance to movement of the more intense variety like running.

The 5k hurt at times. I listened to Daft Punk the entire time because a) I love them and b) I wanted to and c) figured I could use all the help I could get being that I haven’t been running much. At all.

It also felt wonderful. I let myself run at a challenging (but not too challenging!!) pace. I knew right there that I had done it.

It was in the time that had passed since Chicago Marathon 2015 that my relationship with exercise has gone through a massive overhaul. And I can say the same about my relationship to my body.

I didn’t want to return to a race until I felt really ready. Until I knew that it was for pure fun. Until I knew it was to remind myself of my strengths and all that I am capable of. Until I knew that it was to celebrate my body and the life I get to live.

Whether the choice was conscious or not, something in me knew it. Today was the day.

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