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}

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

i will continue

“Your eyes are lacking that sparkle and cheer they had when I first met you.” -january 21st

“You know, this is a fatal illness. And you’re walking down a very narrow pathway.” – january 23rd


I’ve always found comfort in the extremes. I’ve always like the idea of this peaceful mindset, happy and healthy life. The idea of going ice skating with my friends and walking around the mall and celebrating holidays freely. The idea of waking up in the morning with a smile and the sun shining through my window. Yet at the same time, there was something exhilarating about those two statement one of my doctors had said to me. This messed up idea of comfort. Being sick takes away the uncertainty. The fear. The real world fades away and suddenly you don’t have to worry about a single thing. So full of emptiness. Something about being so sick just felt so right, like I was finally doing something right.

WHY ON EARTH HOW DO YOU FIND THIS COMFORT IN SUCH A SCARY SITUATION YOU CRAZY

Well, let me tell you: If you’ve never craved the feeling of complete and utter emptiness, you won’t ever fully understand why someone would pursue this mission to become empty. It’s a feeling of accomplishment when nothing else is going right.

However, it comes to an end. And for me, January 25th marked the end of (hardly) surviving in this black and white world and beginning to travel to the gray area. The area filled with uncertainty, fear, doubt.

Today is March 10th. It’s been 6 1/2 weeks. Every day is filled with constant decisions to stay on the right path.  To be completely honest, it gets tiring waking up each morning knowing the hesitancy can creep back at any time.

However, each day I wake up stronger. Each day I fight that ambivalence, no matter how strong the desire the crawl back into the previous comfort that I had beforehand. Each morning I wake up, I acknowledge that uncertainty, that desire to go back to the ways things used to be. And slap it in the face.

Today marks one week of being back at home. 7 days. 10080 minutes spent choosing to continue. And it’s been anything but easy. But I can already tell that the hard work I’ve put in these past 6 1/2 weeks are already paying off and cannot wait to see my life continue to unfold as I persist and fight. Today, I choose to keep going.

And that is not something I could have said back on january 23rd.


It’s kind of funny, looking back to two years ago, knowing that I wrote about all 365 days I had spent being free from the hospitals-yet here I am, after breaking that streak, returning to a simple 7 days. But you know what? That’s okay. Because this is only the beginning.

From here on out, I will flourish. I will thrive. I will grow and gain more and more hope as each day passes by, no matter what challenges may come my way.

I will continue.

xoxo, maddy

Look in the mirror. Yes, right now.

Take a look at those blue eyes of yours – and remember they aren’t blue.

 

They are sapphire against turquoise mixed with the most beautiful royal blue, and when they water they glow, they are two perfect spheres the same color as the sky on the perfect summer day.

They are not simple.

You are not as simple as you think you are, as you may have been told you are.

 

You’re a soft, tender, loving thing. A little bit of a mess, a little scatterbrained – and that’s okay. You have fallen and you have risen day after day, you are a trophy of the shreds of your triumphs and tragedies. You have been stitched up by ounces of hope that you have collected over the years despite the many hardships-yet you still shine.

You still radiate.

 

Your big heart may get you hurt. You may be left feeling a little lost, a little confused, a little abandoned. I cannot promise you that this journey you are about to embark of moving past this hopelessness is going to be easy, but I can assure you, I can promise you, it will be so damn worth it. Remember, this big heart of yours has filled you with so much love and empathy and every feat you have faced has grown this heart of yours to be even greater, even tougher.

 

And I know it sucks to feel so much in a world that moves too fast for feelings. I know how you feel. Afraid of the world seeing you at your weakest. Craving to shrink yourself into the smallest, most insignificant ball of nothing. Wanting to withdraw from the outside world and crawl away into the some underground wonderland, pretending nothing else exists-that you don’t exist.

 

Afterall, I’m in my own journey of searching for that underground wonderland of nothingness myself, too. To be honest, I have been living a life where I am scared to share my true ambitions and passions because of the fear of disappointment. I have gone to bed too many nights afraid to share the amount of passion that is overflowing from this five-foot-two body of mine.

However, I want to escape this trapped mindset I’m stuck in. I want to live. I want to feel, to explore the tenderness of this big heart I have contained in my chest. To look in the mirror and look past these so-called simplistic blue eyes of mine.

I want to impact others. I want to influence the world in the most personal way. To spread encouragement through spreading my truths. To cultivate a life full of light and passion. Exploring this uniqueness I possess. Simply living and being, energizing my soul and redefining happiness. Cultivating the passion and abundance I have to offer this world.

I want to flourish.

I want to relinquish my fears and share my true ambitions, pushing past the doubts and judgement.

So together, us big-hearted people who are ultimately fearing our own self-discovery, we will embrace these sympathetic and intricate lives we have unknowingly been living.

For me personally, I will take this one day at a time, one bite at a time. Go to bed every night with the intention that each day I will wake up and feed my mind and my body in order to nourish and flourish. It may look different for you, or perhaps you need to do the same thing as well. Either way, cheers to new beginnings, new strengths to be discovered, new skills learned to defeat these feelings of self-doubt.

Embrace your feels, embrace that big heart of yours, embrace those two perfect spheres that sparkle when you talk about the things that set your soul on fire.

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

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

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

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