Tag Archives: truth

Recovery and Resilience

I have been in recovery from my eating disorder for 11 years now. I used to be really hard on myself when I’d have a set-back, like when I turned to compulsive exercising to find control and micromanage my body and it made me feel more accepted. Or the periods of time when I just didn’t like my body. When no clothes fit me the way I wanted them to. Or adhering to a certain diet and I’d lie to myself that this is just a healthy way of eating! I thought for sure I regressed for good and I’d find myself back in my full blown eating disorder.

But I’ve been learning over the past few years, as I’ve been sharing my story more and More with all you fantastic beings … I’m learning that I’m a human being. And what that means is I’m capable of falling. I’m capable of falling out of a feeling of connectedness, acceptance and love. And that’s perfectly ok. As long as I am aware of what is happening. And as long as I can trust that I will, in time, make my way back to connection.

I can now watch in those moments where I feel like crud in just about anything I put on … I watch my distorted body image mindset. I give myself the space I need to feel the emotions that are arising. I say hello to them. And I allow them to move. They are just energy that wants to move!

And so in this time I am learning more about recovery and especially my own. That it takes many different forms. It has so many different layers. I learn so much as I watch my own students in recovery! As they learn what it means to befriend a “new body”. As they learn about slipping out of connection and rising back into divine connection when they least expect it.

My own recovery means giving myself unconditional love over and over and over again. (You can never get too much of this love stuff). I’m sure some folks feel I overshare my story. But I’m not here for them. I am here for the beings who are on a genuine path to better understand themselves. To find TRUE love and connection. To remember that we will always rise. Thank you blessed beings. You all have my heart.

For free guided meditations and information on RESILIENCE, my new project, click here. XOXO

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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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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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I used to want to be anything other than myself.

I love listening to talk radio in the mornings. Like the early early mornings 7am and earlier – on my way to see clients.

It’s one of those “guilty pleasures” although I feel no guilt about it. So, it’s one of my pleasures.

Z100, 95.5 are two of my favorites. Though Z100 has a soft spot in my heart because I have been listening since I was a teenager. Wow!

And I do listen to news on occasion but when it’s this early (we are talking in the car by 5:45am some mornings) I need to keep it light. I want to hear my horoscope and how the Shaun Mendes concert was last night.

Something I notice is that when they take breaks on the radio they often segue into a segment about “I’m using this fabulous product for body contouring. This body contouring product gives me confidence and makes me happy!”

I don’t blame the DJs. They are simply doing their job. And usually I turn down the volume or flip to another channel because: listening to this does not serve me.

Also, in my head I am saying:

People: body contouring alone is not the quick fix that’s gonna make you happy people

What I want to do sometimes (in my little dream world in my head) is this:

Call into the station and start talking about how body contouring or going on a diet and losing weight might give you confidence … but it’s temporary.

The only way the confidence and joy and happiness will stick is if you do the inner work.

These qualities we want in life, they’re an inside job. They do not come from our external circumstances or conditions.

While we might feel extremely excited and happy when we get a dog – the excitement wears off if we aren’t truly committed to accepting and loving the whole dog experience unconditionally. We can’t sign up for a dog just to snuggle with us when we are feeling blue. We have to commit to it all: the daily walks, picking up poop, training the dog, taking it to the vet.

We have to commit to accepting and loving the whole human experience unconditionally. The highs and lows. The fuck-ups and the accomplishments. The stability and instability. The joy and the pain. The growth and the loss.

The way I see it, I have three ways I can respond to these radio ads:

  1. Be convinced that yes, I do need to change the way my body looks in order to feel good. Period.
  2. Get angry. Get angry that these ads perpetuate the judgment and hate that permeates so much of our society.
  3. See it as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to see the contrast: they are telling me one thing and I’m just like “Nope. Actually I like that my left thigh has that little dimple in it. I don’t even care about my thighs looking smooth and seamless anymore. Or the rest of my body. I want all the shapes and dents and dimples… all of them. I actually feel really good in my body.” And so forth. This is the new story. And i can go on with it. For a long, long time.

In total honesty, I sometimes do get angry. But if I stay angry, that’s choosing my old story and I’m already living the new one. So I don’t want to linger in the old anger story for too long.

In fact, I stay there less and less and it gets easier to move from #2 to #3. Or jump right to #3.

It took me years to get over not being perfect. And I’m not just talking about my body. I’m talking my clothes, my writing, my vocabulary, my education, anything you can think of – I was severely judgmental toward myself. I was convinced that if I wasn’t happy all the time, I was failing. I believed that if I was angry or jealous or sad or did anything imperfectly, I was failing.

I used to feel so sad that I wasn’t something else. I used to feel disappointed that I wasn’t anything other than myself.

And now … now I wouldn’t want to be anything other than myself. Even on the dark days. Even where there is struggle.

I take myself. I love myself no matter what.

For anyone out there who hears these radio ads (or any other messages from media or society telling you that your body needs to be a different way in order to be accepted/happy/confident) and jumps to #1 … I encourage you to explore the inner work first.

There’s no rush. Just check in and see what happens.

If you’d like some guidance on getting to the inner work, please fill out my contact form and we can set up a call. 

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When someone offers to help you up a mountain … Let them!

For that first incredibly difficult rock to climb on the Pemi Loop in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Chris literally extended his hand to me as an offering of assistance.

 

To help me up because CLEARLY I was struggling.

 

But nope. I would NOT TAKE HIS HAND. I would not take his help. I had to do it myself.

 

I was pissed at myself. I was on the verge of tears (on the side on a fucking mountain.) I was pissed at Chris for trying to help me.

 

Didn’t he believe I could do it on my own??? (Nope. I clearly could not and needed help but had no idea how to ask… or receive for that matter.)

 

I stubbornly wrestled my way up the rock and in doing so, banged my right shin really hard (I now have a bruise covering half my shin.)

 

You can’t shut down like that. I’m offering you my hand and you are just shutting down.

 

Holy shit. He was so right.

 

As much as I hated to admit it, he hit the nail on the head.

 

My eyes welled with tears when he said this because it wasn’t just about climbing steep rocks and mountains.

 

All my life I don’t like the way it feels when someone helps me. At least when I’m not asking them for help.

 

It’s like they’re telling me I’m not doing a good enough job.

It feels like they’re bossing me around or trying to control me or tell me what to do.

 

And I DO NOT like being told what to do.

 

Where does this come from? {I ask myself…} Why do you so hate being told what to do? Why are you so resistant to help?

 

Is there a belief that needing help means I am not enough…

It means that I am not strong enough…

It means that I should already know. I should already have the answers.

 

But I don’t have the answers. I don’t always need to know everything. And I can’t do everything on my own.

 

And therefore there’s an old story in me where desperately needing help means I have failed.

 

So… needing help means I failed.

Needing help means I am a failure.

 

For the rest of the trip with Chris, I accepted his extended hand or trekking pole. Almost every single time he offered.

 

And I noticed this:

 

Not only did it become easier to accept assistance, but I started to trust him way way way more.

So … there is a correlation between receiving help and trusting others.

 

Receiving help = trusting others.

 

That they have my best interests in mind. Or that they (in this case Chris) just want to help because they straight up love you and want wonderful things for you.

 

They want to help because they straight up LOVE you.

 

Not because they expect anything in return.

 

Not because they secretly want to push you off the ledge (that only happens in action movies.)

 

Not because they have an ulterior motive.

 

No… the motive is love.

 

The motivation is LOVE. Giving love. Receiving love. Exchanging love.

 

THAT my friend is unconditional love.

 

And it’s unconditional love to accept a loving hand. To receive it with your full body, heart, and soul.

 

THIS is uncovering an old belief. And setting it free to make room for a new belief. We are going to do tons of this kind of stuff in my Fall Mentorship. There are very few spots available so as to keep it an intimate group. So I highly recommend taking a look and signing up if this sounds like you!!!

Fall mentorship link>>> http://www.maggieconversemethod.com/events/2017/9/15/fall-mentorship

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