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

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}

because you deserve​ the best

We live in a world where it has become more normal to numb ourselves than it is to experience each wave of emotion that comes over us. We have become scared of the ‘crummy’ feelings. You know the ones – vulnerability, pain, loneliness, sadness, shame, etc. And maybe we’ve become scared of the good ones too – the happiness, joy, excitement, love. We fall into this addiction and vicious cycle in order to turn our emotional mind off. We’re entrenched deep in our fears, terrified of getting lost in the paralyzing world of these messy emotions. At the same time, we are so numbed out it’s as if we don’t feel worthy enough to let ourselves dive into the world of joy and undergo the positive, vibrant emotions that we truly are deserving of. We have become afraid of crumbling and afraid of rising; yet when we avoid both, we remain stagnant in this ongoing numbness that ultimately will bring our lives to a screeching halt.  

I know, feeling is scary. And if you’ve been numb or blinded for long enough, it may also sound batshit crazy, something completely out of your reach. Then there’s the flip side; when you finally gain your sight back and drop that addiction or whatever may be dragging you down, thawing out those feelings and having your mind flustered with the overwhelming emotions hurts like a bitch. Everything that has been suffocating you crashes into you at high intensity. Learning to wade through these waves, to keep swimming despite the crashing waters is one of the hardest lessons you’ll face; but oh please trust me, it opens you up to so much beauty and light and potential. 

Feeling is one of the most courageous decisions you can make. Giving yourself permission to express your emotions, ride through them, and let go of the aspects in your life that bring you down and drown you isn’t only important – it’s truly what you owe to yourself. You owe it to yourself to gain your sight back and recognize what is drowning you, what makes you feel distressed. You owe it to yourself to feel the good side of things – the joy, happiness, love. To be around those who truly care about you, removing toxicity from your surroundings.

Let the feelings flow. Keep your heart wide open. And if you’re trapped the pain and heartache and crumminess, I promise you your day is coming. The vicious cycle of being stuck in your heart-wrenching situation and caught in the numbness will end as soon as you let yourself become vulnerable and feel. Acknowledge those who are out there that care for you and purge the reluctant thoughts that are keeping you stuck. 

Your bright and shiny days are coming. Remember your worth. Be honest with your feelings and chase after what your heart truly and genuinely wants. 

xoxo, maddy

reminders, thank you’s, simple things

For all those who have reached out to me, helped me through my toughest times, said hi to me in the morning, told me that you care – this is for you.

For anyone who isn’t feeling on top of the world right now, I may not know you personally, but I believe this to be true about you, too. You are a rockstar. Believe in yourself, I am rooting for you. You will climb back to the top of the mountain soon, I know you will – remember these statements when you’re feeling low.

For those who know a friend who isn’t feeling too hot – things you should share with them to give them your support. At the same time, don’t devalue the simplicity of smiling at them. Smiles can brighten even the darkest of days – and for the times you’re filled with not only smiles but words as well,  these simple comments can mean the world to them. Share your support, share your sympathy. Remind yourself of these too; don’t let your kind soul go unnoticed.

For myself – this applies to you too. Don’t forget your own worth. Self-care is not selfish, it is necessary.

  1. Your ability to find the silver lining is an awe-inspiring quality and I hope you are able to acknowledge the beauty in this. There’s no doubt that you have gone through some tough times, and no doubt you have made it through like the brave warrior you are. And throughout anything that comes your way, you are still able to do some amazing things and make an incredible impact in people’s lives and create some amazing memories. You rock.
  2. Your heart is so pure. You are a selfless human being. You caring, thoughtful soul is something so incredible, words cannot even describe how thankful I am to know there are people like that out in this world
  3. Your passion is contagious. You make me want to become a better human. Your warm heart brings light to the darkest days in this world.
  4. You have a way with your words. Comfort, forgiveness, joy, thoughtfulness. Never underestimate the power of asking “are you okay” or saying “tomorrow will be better”. They may be short, simple comments, but your concern & care means the world. It’s refreshing. Thank you for making me feel like I matter. I hope you always remember how much you matter, too.

I hope you never forget how much you matter. How important you are. How grateful so many people are to have you in their life.

xoxo, maddy

be irrefutable. be unstoppable.

Recovery is tough. The process fills up with extreme highs and laughter and memories as well as extreme lows and tears and fights. Sometimes it’s scary, sometimes it’s overwhelming.
But as months pass and bites are taken, things slowly start to get better. You slowly start to get better. 
Recovery is a decision you make every single day. And it will be the best decision you make, even when it feels like the worst.
Sometimes listening to the eating disorder may seem appealing because it’s easier, because it’s comfortable, because it’s familiar. Sometimes recovery can just really suck.
But it’s worth it.
I promise it’s worth it.
So be kinder to yourself. Know that despite the eating disorder it attempting to drag you down into the deep end, you are stronger. You can keep your head up and fight back. It will be worth it. 
In the days when you’re drowning, choose to move onto tomorrow, not to dwell on the negativity. Remember the bigger picture rather than hyper-focusing on the darker moments. Remind yourself of the long term happiness you will gain from this short term uncomfortability rather than the short term satisfaction and lifelong suffering given by listening to the eating disorder.
We all have these days, and yes, they suck. But we cannot let that stand in our way. We are irrefutable. We are unstoppable. 
xo,
maddy

don’t u know that ur toxic

Thank you for having that smile in which the sunshine bounced off your teeth even on the cloudiest of days. Thank you for having an incredible laugh. For laughing at the littlest of things. It was contagious.It was cute as hell. Thank you for your sense of humor that matched mine. And your audacious vibe you let off whenever I heard words slip from your mouth. The way you would leave me hanging on my toes with everything you said, even as simple as “hello”. Thank you for showing me what it is like to laugh again, to truly laugh again. Thank you for trying not to show your nerves (but I could still sense them anyways-the feeling was mutual). Thank you for making something as simple as walking out my front door in the dirtiest pink flip flops seem like an incredible, magical fantasy. And for being there with me when I was completely and utterly falling apart. It’s funny how much a five-second snapchat or a jar of peanut butter and new adventures can transform into such magical things. And it’s funny how quickly those can be ripped right out of your hands, with all extraordinary qualities left to disappear. And with that, thank you to MYSELF from MYSELF for continuing to breathe, even when it feels like there’s no air. For learning that those who truly care for me will stay. For learning to remove the toxic people in my life in order to make my dreams a reality.

Thank you, self

xo, 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

TO YOU

Dear extraordinary human being,

I just want to let you know that you are capable of tackling whatever challenges you may be facing, or any walls that may come your way. You are courageous and brave and can live this life full of light from the inside out, illuminating everything and everyone in your path.

I know what you’re  thinking, “How am I supposed to believe any of what you’re saying?” I know its not easy to think positively about yourself, to stay true to your soul. Sometimes there will be days when we want to do what everyone else is doing and forget about our own path.

But if every daisy in the garden spent their Friday nights coating themselves in red in order to look like the roses, would the garden still be its spunky, colorful, calming self it was with a variety of Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 1.05.15 PMdifferent kinds of flowers that brought so much into the blank slate it used to be?

You are a priceless, authentic, unimaginably marvelous person..no one has ever been like you and no one ever will be. You are worth more than you can ever know.

It is time you are able to hear this, to recognize the fact that you  are loved unconditionally, full of kindness and forgiveness. Today, let go of shame. Let go of every ounce of whatever is holding you back from allowing those unique eyes of yours to see how wonderful you truly are. It is time.

You are so very loved,

xo, maddy