what makes you smile?

The other week I was asked, ““What is one small simple thing that makes you smile?” This question was a lot easier to answer than I thought I was going to be. Suddenly I had a running list in my mind of all the little sweet moments in life that warm my heart.

-When you see dogs stick their heads out the windows of cars while driving and their ears flop in the wind, their tongue sticks out, and they looks so pure, so happy.

-Those nostalgic commercials on TV you see for your childhood favorites like Jif peanut butter or Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

-Those nights where you are with great people and you completely lose track of time because you are so absorbed into the moment. You know that ones-they cause your face to hurt because it has been hours upon hours and you have yet to stop smiling. The times when you are sitting there with whoever makes you happiest realizing that you literally aren’t doing anything yet you remain in that serene state, always smiling.


When I was thinking of these things it reminded me that despite the hardships and troubled past I have lived, these little things are still able to bring me joy.

My favorite is when I see those who I know have struggled and been through the most in their lives that come out with the biggest smiles. Somehow, they show up at the end of the day not being defined by despair or torment. They show up with a smile that screams triumph and resilience.

They live their lives on a different viewpoint than the average Joe; they see things in a different light. A brighter light.

These kinds of souls are incredible if you think about it. Despite being torn down, they’ve built themselves back up. They have somehow fought through the demons in order to reach that light at the end of the tunnel.  They understand fearful and ugly moments you may go through in life because they have been there themselves. Several times. And have gotten through every. single. time. They sense the rainbow coming in after a rainstorm. They will dance in the rain rather than be fearful of getting wet.

These people will introduce you to a world you never knew existed because you never saw it the way they’ve seen it. Grasping onto every little thing that brings them happiness like they’ll never have it again. Because, in reality, that’s how it feels for them sometimes.

And because of this, they do not take things for granted. They hold power in life’s blissful moments.


“It’s amazing seeing you smile so brightly when just a few months ago you thought you would never see that light again. When you thought everything was ultimately hopeless, yet here you are, living in the moment and not taking these small experiences for granted. The freedom and magic you feel shows through these simple smiles in these simple moments. It’s truly incredible.” June 2nd, 2017. Told to me by a friend who had seen me in the depths of my despair to hearing my nonsense stories in the middle of the night when I was full of euphoria.

Hearing that made me think that maybe I, too, am one of these types of souls. Different from the average Joe. A tour guide of this new, blissful word. One to dance in the rain.  One to stick her head out the window of the car with a dog whose ears are flapping in the wind and tongue sticking out. One to not let my battles define who I am or how I live.

If I had to give you one piece of advice, it would be to keep these kinds of people close. They are not broken, let me tell you. Broken is too clear-cut. They are still here. Not broken, but rather some of the strongest, bravest, most resilient, people out there.

 

xoxo, maddy

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find your happy, find your tribe

April 18th, 2017

“It’s not often you find someone looking as happy as you look right now while grocery shopping. I appreciate it. Your smile is contagious.”


Lately, I’ve been wrapped up in this whirlpool of fantasies.

The kind of fantasy where time slows down yet your mind is racing, darting around like a hummingbird. But then, at the same time, your entire body remains completely calm and serene. It’s the most charming type of dreaming. Here I am, smiling like a fool in the grocery store trying to pick up some sweet potatoes. Taking risks for an extra dose of joy. Exploring life for the sole purpose of fulfillment. Authentic, heart pounding fulfillment. The kind of fantasy where time slows down yet your mind is racing, darting around like a hummingbird. 

I’ve never been one to really take risks or jump into new and daunting tasks. But the thing about being so wrapped up in fantasies is that my eyes have been opened to the new, incredible things that happen when you do just so. I’ve found myself spontaneously acting upon those butterflies in my stomach at 1 am while I’m lost in the depth of my emotions. Learning more about myself at the peak hours of the morning or the darkest times of the night. Stepping outside of my comfort zone and growing, thriving, living. Learning to stop fearing the unknown and grasping onto the concept of becoming uncomfortable in order to find comfort. 

It’s funny to think about how just a few months ago I remember sitting in a grey sectional grabbing onto a pillow for dear life, not thinking I would ever make it to where I am now. Absolutely distraught by the mess that my life had become, stuck in my own fears and doubts.

Yet here I am. 

I know for a fact I would never have made it this far without the incredible people I have met along the way.

On February 10th, I was sat down in that very grey sectional, looked at in the eyes and was told,  “Please, speak up for yourself. Please treat yourself like gold. You are not something to be forgotten. You are not something to be tossed to the side of the road”. 

One of the best things you could ever do for yourself is to fill your life with those who believe in you. Truly, genuinely, believe in you. Those who look at you when you’re speaking your passion and see the stars. Those who will lift you up when you’re falling, no matter how hard you fall or how badly you refuse their help. Those who help you recognize your worth, who help you see that you, yes YOU, most definitely should be treated like gold. That you are undeniably NOT something to be chucked out a car window onto the side of the road. 

Thank you to these people who have rescued me from myself in the past few months. Those who have helped me create these fantasies that hype my soul up enough to be found dancing in the grocery store.

This level of contentment and exploration of emotions is something I most definitely would not have gotten to without you all. So thank you. I will never stop thanking you.

{m, m, d, a, b, s, z, k, c, k, d, c, k, a, j}

mantras, reminders, self love

just a few simple mantras for you to tell yourself on the good days, the bad days, and everything in between. start every day off with something positive when you look at yourself in the mirror.

  • You are hereby declared a strong, resilient warrior of heroic proportions. Enjoy your battles, whatever they are, because you are guaranteed to come through them stronger, brighter, and more compassionate.
  • I choose to live a life of my fullest potential. I trust that this will draw me towards experiences and people that support my growth and accomplishment. Tuning into this frequency, I now reach higher heights than I ever thought possible.
  • I believe in magic. I see evidence of it all the time. And though the tricks can probably explained in a sensible, rational way, I choose to not ruin the fun. I choose to believe in the magic.
  • I am exactly where I need to be, exactly when I need to be here. There’s nothing more I need to do because I am already here. I will take a deep breath, relax, and trust.
  • I am a rare person. A precious one, too. My brilliance will be reflected back to me when I am paired with my true match. My ideal partners and working relationships are easy-going, free-flowing. I deserve greatness, because I AM GREATNESS.

Cheers to a good morning, a new day, a fresh start, and a hot cup of coffee

xoxo, maddy

start now

“But why not now?” 

What even are these extravagant moments if they aren’t remembered-or worse, if they never occurred because you always held back? 

I was recently asked, “if you were handed a book about your life, would you skip til the very end to find out the biggest mystery life contains?”

Maybe your initial response is “fuck yes I would fast forward my way through season 6 to figure out who the Gossip Girl is before anyone else does”

Or maybe you are rereading your past chapters, laughing at younger self and the back-and-forth thoughts of whether you and Ryan Gosling would get married and whether the wedding would be on an all-inclusive island or in the most magnificent castle on Earth?

Or would you go through page by page, reading your story and absorbing the magic of your greatest adventures (whilst sipping your green tea on your yoga mat in your Lululemon to channel your inner yogi)?

Today, I sit here, soon to be moving onto a whole new road of my life; with the graduation of high school (T-82 days, not that I’m keeping track or anything) and soon to be celebrating another year of my life on this planet (23 days and I’m another year older yet still feel 5). At the beginning of a new year, at the beginning of hopefully pulling myself out from the deepest of trenches and up into the light, I am not going to wait another day to start. I will start here, where I am, scared, afraid, terrified, and all. Not fearing what the future has to hold, not regretting the past, just simply..being. I am moving page by page, moment by moment. Knowing that each day I fight through, my book of stories will only grow longer and longer so I can look back at all the wonderful things I have done. 

Celebrate what you have in this very moment. Your future will come. Don’t rush. Forgive. Live. 

And hopefully many, many, many years down the road (because I will make it through the battles I face and long live the troubles) I will be pretty damn proud that I didn’t wait, didn’t hold back.

So start now, living each moment. Not fast forwarding into the future, not remaining stuck in the past – simply being right here, right now. 

xoxo, maddy

reminders for a fresh start, a new year, new beginnings

  1. Don’t stick to those who are good to you 20% of the time because the other 80% isn’t worth the torture.
  1. Great things come outside of your comfort zone.
  1.  Don’t make excuses for those who treat you less than you deserve. I know that **deep down** you know that you deserve to be surrounded by those who enhance your life each and every moment and don’t cause fights and bitterness. You deserve the same magnificence you put into those you care about.
  1. Take a deep breath and just simply be present. The only moment you have control over is now. Relish it, be mindful. Slap the overthinking and the overanalyzing in the face.
  1. Sometimes you slip. But be also damn proud of yourself when you watch yourself slipping and stop instead of letting yourself continuously fall into this downward spiral.
  1. If you ever find yourself stuck in your thoughts, get outside. Talk to people. Laugh. Help others out. Smile. Hug. Pet a dog. It all rebalances.
  1. The best weight you can be at is whatever you are at when you are able to live the healthiest life you can – enjoying each moment, able to go out to eat with your friends, not being consumed with food/exercise thoughts, thriving on self-love. You cannot live a glorious life fueled with self-hatred and constantly critiquing this body of yours.
  1. Remember to spend quality time with yourself. Make your own personal happiness and wellbeing your #1 priority.
  1. Your body is one pretty freaking amazing being. Always working to keep you alive; making sure you breathe while you sleep, repairing broken bones, allowing your heart to beat several beats a minute. It loves you oh so much. Love it back, quit creating a war with yourself.
  1. Life will never be perfect, but it can be pretty damn sensational if you let it.

So cheers to a new year. Be kind to yourself. Don’t let the negative committee in your head wear you down. Stand up. Be strong. Be a hero. Cheers to a year where we will go on new adventures, meet new people, experience new things, check things off our bucket lists. 2017 will be a good one with these reminders set in place.

 

xoxo, maddy

case of the mondays

I am sitting here, at 1:13 in the afternoon, unable to complete tasks due to being held hostage by an endless stream of thought. Sitting here, suffocated in the fear of letting the vulnerability bleed out from my fingertips and onto the keyboard.  Sitting here, overanalyzing even the simplest of situations.  I am a people pleaser with a deep fear of disappointment. With this aspect shining through, I have been neglecting my own personal well being, because after all, only so much compassion can fit into this five-foot-two body of mine – all of which has been devoted to those around me. However, as I sit here a room full of complete and utter silence, typing out whatever comes to mind, my heart is gaining the capability to breathe again.

It’s scary when you feel as though your insides are spilling out and you’re left drowning in these black and white thoughts. It’s terrifying being told, “I know you’ve been through hell. I know you’re still going through it, battling to get out and escape” and hold back the tears. It’s exhausting and painful talking about this built up melancholy  until your voice becomes hoarse. It’s saddening going about your day soon to be filled with disappointment of the fact that your imagination made things a little more hopeful with your relationships than they actually are.

However, as I sit here, I’m slowly but surely grasping onto the power of our thoughts and mentality in every situation. Our minds truly are a beautifully chaotic masterpiece, and learning to manage the clutter that takes place is quite the feat. Living in a world that rushes through life and making the conscious choice to thoroughly slow down can feel strange. However, it’s been a beautifully weird sensation – this completeness, this peace. As I sit here, in this quiet library on a Monday afternoon, I am aiming to clear my mind of this chaos with each word I type. I am aiming to relinquish my fears and cherish my own self. To look beyond those in front of me to fulfill this feeling of worthlessness and emptiness, because after all, my happiness cannot be found in the hands of others.

I want to flourish.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, at 1:13 in the afternoon, I will hopefully be able to cultivate the passion and abundance I have to offer this world whilst nourishing my own being. I will move past the uncomfortable experiences this Monday has brought me and will begin this audacious journey of nourishing and flourishing.

Because after all, I am unstoppable. I am irrefutable. I will go about my day with tenacity and authenticity. I will move past the negative thoughts that weigh me down and send me into this whirlpool of hopelessness.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, at 1:13, I will complete the tasks I set out to do, with a clear mind and open heart.

xoxo, maddy

gaining hope

Gaining hope to gain my life back, to step away from doubts. I did not come this far to only come this far. Goal setting for a future of nourishing & flourishing

  • To be one of those people who, when you look at, their eyes sparkle and they are simply a ray of sunshine. You see them and suddenly feel a little bit happier, a little more inspired. And they look back at you with warmth in their eyes and a smile that could turn any frown upside down. To be able to transfer this light onto anyone that crosses my path and sprinkle little bits of serenity everywhere I go.
  • To do what I love. To help others achieve their goals and work towards gaining the life they’ve dreamed of. Help them do what they’re passionate about and watch that blossom. To turn struggle into something beautiful.
  • To take risks and distance myself from fears. Never allow myself to become too comfortable to the point of feeling stuck. Thrive, not just survive.
  • To remember that I am worthy. Worthy of staying on this earth, being a part of this life, simply just..living. To look myself in the mirror with a smile knowing this is a girl that can make your heart soft and eyes glisten . That I may get insecure and doubtful, but I have the power to light up your day if you allow me to. That although I may not allow you to talk to me before I get my breakfast (let’s be real, who really does), I will listen to your stories for hours on end. That I have things to offer.

So cheers to working towards a peace of mind, to learning to hold onto hope, no matter what storms may come my way.

xo, maddy

18 things I’ve learned before turning 18

1.)Other people are not the answer. Don’t seek your worth in others, don’t place you’re worth in their hands. You may think they help bring you peace and leave you happy-which they might-but in the end, it’s up to you. Be able to love yourself even if they weren’t a part of your life.

2.) The longer you put things off, the more time you get taken away from being able to live. Stop telling yourself “I’ll start tomorrow” “I promise I’ll do it for real this time”. Life is happening now. You deserve to be a part of it.
3.) Do what you love. Wake up wanting to jump out of bed. Blast your favorite song and dance around the kitchen. Find your passion. Take pride in it. Look forward to Mondays. Cultivate what you love and light your soul on fire. Never stop working towards living your dream.
4.) Grow. Develop. Flourish. Never stop. Work towards what you want to achieve and don’t allow your mind to build barriers.
5.) It’s okay to have bad days. You’re allowed to cry. Cry your eyes out and hug a teddy bear, if necessary. Some days just suck. But bad days build better days. Keep going.
6.) Some people just aren’t meant to be in your life. Step away from the toxic environment, even if it’s incredibly hard. Accept that some people are only temporary. It’s unfair, it hurts. But you deserve to be surrounded by people who truly care about you and won’t abandon you.
7.) If something scares you, do it.
8.) Spontaneity is a wonderful thing. Ride your bike around town and end up getting lost in the woods. Go out to dinner and eat something you never would have imagined yourself eating. Throw cookies in mailboxes and always say yes to new adventures.
9.) It’s okay to reach out for help. It’s okay to need support. You are not expected to be 100% all the time. Self growth is not a linear process.
10.) Do not let anybody determine who you are. No one can tell you your level of intellegence, what you should wear, what you should do with your life. You are in the drivers eat. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.
11.) Change is unavoidable. It’s scary. It’s intimidating. But don’t fear it. You may be about to live the best moment of your life to date.
12.) Your body is an incredible thing. Treat it with  respect and it will respect you back. Learn to trust it, to listen to its needs. Appreciate all the unbelievable things your body is capable of. Think about those things when you’re feeling down in it.
13.) Learn to say no. Say no to the things that have hurt you, to the jobs you hate, the people that make your eyes water.
14.) The most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. So make it a good one. Love yourself (cliche, sorry). Never belittle yourself. You are worthy. You are amazing. You are a part of this world and make an impact. Never forget that.
15.) It’s better to have regrets than “what ifs”. Take chances. You may just have the time of your life.
16.) Making others smile will never fail to make you smile as well. Sprinkle kindness wherever you go. Leave everyone a little bit happier than when you met them.
17.) There are people that care, people that want to look out for you. Listen to them, trust them. Sometimes your own vision gets clouded when you get blinded by emotions.
18.) Do not waste your time trying to explain yourself to someone committed to misunderstanding you. Anyone who doubts you is not a real friend. Learn to let these toxic people pass through life like a summer breeze, not a ravenous storm.
Cheers to 17 1/2 years of life, and what the 18th will bring.
xo, maddy

When Your World Falls Apart

It’s been one of those weeks when you start off jumping out of bed, singing your favorite songs even though its 5 in the morning, ready to tackle the day and sprinkle kindness where you go. Untillllll we reached Friday. Ever since then the days have been piling up with negativity and heading in a downward spiral to the land of no where.

What’s important to remind ourselves in these situations is that 1. They will come to an end 2. Keep fighting. I know it may seem impossible, like everyone is against you, like your whole world is crashing down right before you eyes. However I need you to keep holding on.

Letter to those who are having a rough day or week or month like myself:

I am so unbelievably proud of you. Every day you get out of bed even though all you want to do is stay under the covers. Every day you take a shower, get dressed, put food in your body, and leave the safety of your home for the chaos of this world.

To me, that’s a profound act of bravery. You are choosing to live despite your tiredness, hopelessness, and brokenness provoked by the weeks events. You cling to the light instead of the dark. You leave your comfort zone every day for the unknown.

I’m proud of you. I hope you are proud of you. I hope you know how those seemingly little acts of courage are really the greatest moments of bravery. I hope that you will continue to rise each day and live your life, no matter what turmoil comes your way.

So thank you for living. Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting. For trying. Thank you for being in this world with me. Thank you for holding on when you want to let go.

Thank you for trusting in tomorrow.

Because you have the power to make tomorrow a better day.

-Maddy

WHEN YOU’RE STRUGGLING

To anyone out there struggling-

it gets better. There are hard moments, moments where you will want to stop completely. But keep. on. going. In the future you’ll look back and be so damn proud of yourself for the fact that you marched right through those negative thoughts and made it through yet another day despite the whispers in your ears telling you to end it all.

You’ll be extraordinarily happy you kept going. You get a glimpse of life again. And life simply becomes..LIFE. Not days passing by surrounded by that burning sensation in your heart. You’re able to live. Explore. Have fun. Meet new people.

I cannot express how grateful I am for those who have helped me and continue to help me along this journey. I am beginning to have a glimpse of what true living is and that has an infinite value

So hang in there, my dear. It will be worth it. Recovery is worth it.


“Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That is who you really are. Let go of any part of you that doesn’t believe it.” C. Assaad