Category Archives: Inpatient Psych

System Upgrade

Last April, I started a yoga teacher training program at my studio, Love Yoga. And so began my love affair with yoga.The training proved to be surprisingly transformative for me in so many ways, and yoga turned out to be a real game changer in my life.

I always knew that yoga was more than simply going through the postures, more than just another physical workout. I knew that yoga also had to do with breath, being conscious of your breath and linking breath with movement. What I didn’t realize is how much yoga happens OFF my mat and outside of the yoga studio. Yoga is a way of living. It’s about how I interact with myself,  my family,  my friends,  strangers and the community as a whole. Yoga is about finding a space of calm, strength and focus within myself, allowing me to listen to my intuition and my heart, and taking action from that inner strength and intuition.  Yoga is about being fully present in the moment and living with acceptance, respect and honesty toward oneself and others. And yoga is a PRACTICE. Every damn day I practice living my yoga off my mat. Some days are better than others, and my family can attest to that. But they can also attest to the fact that I am happier and more at peace — physically, emotionally, mentally — than I have ever been in my life.

As I’ve been diving head first into my yoga practice and yoga teaching, I’ve discovered other helpful personal development tools that so many people do: I meditate. I read a book of daily meditations. I write in a journal. Every night I write down something from the day for which I am grateful.  I’ve become much more mindful with my eating in that I’ve decreased the amount of dairy, meat and bread products I consume, because I discovered that too much of those foods makes my body feel heavy and tired. I’ve learned to listen to my body, acknowledging and honoring how it feels physically from day-t0-day as I participate in different activities.  From that awareness, I discovered that my body feels best when I don’t run as much as I’ve been running in the past. Finally, I read what many people might refer to as “self-help” books. As I scan my bookshelf, these are the titles I see: Being of Power, Journey Into Power, 40 Days to Personal Revolution, Living Your Yoga, Three Simple Steps, Journey to the Heart, Optimal Health for a Vibrant Life, Crazy Sexy Diet, The Heart of Yoga, Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness, Wherever You Go, There You Are, Start Where You Are.

Very recently, I discovered Brene Brown and I’m currently  reading her book called Daring Greatly.  Her research and writing are completely hitting the spot for me right now, so much so that I signed up for  her 6-week e-course called The Gifts of Imperfection. Through reading and interactive art journal explorations, Brene Brown will guide me from the thinking of “What will people think?” to “I’m imperfect and I’m enough.” Despite having very little arts/crafts skills, I’m super excited to start this e-course. I think it will be a very fun process of self-discovery and empowerment, and these days, I’m all about continually improving myself.

So that’s what I’ve been up to during much of 2013, and I look forward to what 2014 will offer. I’ll continue to practice my meditation, my mindfulness…my yoga. I’ll read my self-help books and do journal explorations. I’ll continue to eat less dairy and meat and strive for a more plant based diet. I’ll move my body in ways that make me feel refreshed, energized, strong and calm.  And I’ll continue to work on living and loving fully, in the moment, with courage. All of this has helped me become a happier and more loving mom, wife and friend, and I’ve become more comfortable and confident with who I am. By no means am I saying I’m perfect … But I am a better version of myself. It’s like I got an update…Maggie v. 2.0, just when the system was starting to feel a bit stuck.  I’m still a work in progress, and always finding ways I can improve and grow.

And for the record, even though I’ve been making these slight changes in behavior and thinking, I haven’t changed all that much — I still love a good cheeseburger and fries. I drink wine. I lose my shit in front of my kids. I love trail running. I love watching football. And I love to drop the F-bomb, especially when watching football.  Like tonight…because the Seahawks are going to the f’ing Superbowl!!!! F— Yeah!

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My Favorite Poem

Just before Christmas, bits and pieces of this poem came to mind. I couldn’t quite remember all of the words and I couldn’t think of the name of it. For days, I kept telling myself, “Google that poem. Google the poem.”

Then one day, I was in the bathroom of our local bookstore, having done my business and was washing my hands when I looked up and saw this — my favorite part of the poem:

IMG_3003

It’s a fabulous poem. A friend gave me a copy of it after I had finished grad school and was about to start my job as a 1st grade teacher. I had the poem by my desk and read it nearly every morning before the children arrived at the classroom. Today, the poem makes me think about being present, as a mom, wife, sister, daughter, yoga teacher and friend.

Enjoy…

You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life.

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

 — William Stafford

‘Twas the Night Before Valentine’s Day…

…and all through the house, Penelope was screaming, “MOMMEEEEEEEEE! I NEEEEEED YOU!” Shrieking, really.

Cecilia climbed up the stairs calmly asking, “What’s wrong Penelope?”

Where was I? Ok, I admit, I was kind of ignoring Penelope. I mean, she pulls the “Mommy, I need you” phrase A LOT. So at some point, there’d be a “boy who cried wolf” situation. This was it.

Penelope, absolutely hysterical, continued, “I WANT MOMMY. I NEED MOMMY!”

“Mommy…come here!” Cecilia started yelling, with some panic in her voice. That was my cue that something was actually wrong. It wasn’t just that Penelope couldn’t get the toothpaste cap off or she couldn’t reach the towel.

As I ran up the stairs, I saw Cecilia pushed up against a wall pointing at something on the bathroom floor. Meanwhile, Penelope was practically climbing into the bathroom sink, tears streaming down her face, cheeks bright red, panic and fear in her eyes.

I looked at the bathroom floor and saw something black, about two inches wide and slightly shorter than the length of my palm.

Here were my thoughts, excuse the language, but I tend to swear a lot in my head: WTF? What the hell is that? A piece of poop? A slug? How would a slug get in the house? I looked closer and saw fur and feet. Ew a mouse? No…there’s no tail. Those look like…wings?  Holy shit is that a fuckin’ bat? Why the fuck is there a dead bat on my bathroom floor?!? Now what? My kids are screaming and I’m supposed to keep calm right? Good god there’s a fucking bat on my bathroom floor!!!!

“A jar!” I said out loud.

I ran downstairs and got the biggest jar I could find, brought it back up and placed it on top of the bat. The bat wiggled. Ugh! What if it’s alive and gets out from under the jar?

“I know! A laundry basket!” I said to myself. So I put a an upside down mesh laundry basket on top of the jar. But wait, what if it starts flapping around in the laundry basket? I lifted Penelope off of the bathroom counter and closed the bathroom door. There. If the bat happens to be alive and escapes my jar-basket trap, he’ll just fly around in the bathroom until Fred gets home, I thought.

After calming down the girls and putting them to bed, I texted Fred, whose plane had just landed in Portland.

Uh. U got to get home. There’s something in the bathroom. Not sure what it is, think it’s a bat. It’s under a jar under a basket with the door closed.

You see, I don’t do well with animals that shouldn’t be in my home. Mice, rats, bats…I don’t want them in my house.

Fred got home about 2 hours later. He brought home cannolis from a pastry place in Boston’s North End, as well as a box of Voodoo Doughnuts for Valentine’s Day.

I left him a dead bat under a jar under a basket behind a closed door. Happy Valentine’s Day, dear!

 

Lessons from the 2nd Grade

This past Saturday, Fred and I attended the 2nd grade Parent Meeting at our daughters’ school. Every few months, each classroom teacher holds his/her own parent meeting in order for the parents to come together, get to know each other better, learn about the latest happenings in the classroom and discuss any of our own questions and concerns. These are usually well-attended, even fun meetings, because the parent body is comprised of individuals of all backgrounds who are supportive of the school, the teachers, and the Waldorf curriculum. Most of the meetings also have 1-2 activities in between periods of discussion. The activity is often one that the children do, and the teacher takes the parents through the activity in order for us to experience what the children experience in the classroom. This meeting’s activity: Form Drawing.

Form Drawing  is an aspect of the Waldorf curriculum that helps to develop hand-eye coordination, spatial sense, fine motor control, brain development and flexibility in thinking. Here are some examples of form drawing:

form drawing

Form Drawing 2

Form Drawing 4

Form Drawing 3

Form Drawing 1

Form Drawing 5

Each parent found a spot at a 2nd grader’s desk, unrolled our crayon pouches and watched as Mrs. M demonstrated the form drawing we were to draw ourselves. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous. What Mrs. M demonstrated looked like a complex pattern, and drawing of any form is not my strength. It was as if Mrs. M sensed my fear because she then said, “I always tell the children to bring their courage to all that they do. So just bring your courage to the form drawing.”

Bring my courage. I loved that. My form drawing was still mediocre at best, but I brought my courage and completed the 2 form drawings as best I could. The experience reminded of a few of my favorite quotes these days:

“We must walk into the arena with courage and the willingness to engage…we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen.” – Dr. Brene Brown

“Do not live in fear. Dream big.” – Tom Wells

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” -Beverly Sills

I love that my 7-year-old daughter is learning to bring her courage to everything she does, to everything new that she tries. There are several new adventures ahead for me: moving to our new house and starting our mini-farm, raising a puppy, several trail races to complete, and the new adventures that unfold as a wife and parent. To everything ahead of me, I will bring my courage.

A Good Poem

Poem of the One world by Mary Oliver

This morning
the beautiful white heron
was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this
the one world
we all belong to

where everything
sooner or later
is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel
for a little while
quite beautiful myself.

Eastern Divide 50K

My big running goal of 2013 is to complete my first ultramarathon trail race. I am officially registered for the Eastern Divide 50K in Virginia, which takes place in late June. Both Fred and I will partake in this adventure because why not, right? Well, it just so happens the race is less than a month before our 10 year wedding anniversary, so what better way to celebrate 10 years of marriage than by toughing it out together over 50kilometers of trail in the middle of nowhere? Wish us luck!

 

Sexy Pa

Cecilia and I started reading the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Currently, we are on the 3rd book, Farmer Boy. We are really enjoying the books and imagining life in the olden days.

So at the library the other day, I decided to check out a DVD compilation of 3 Little House on the Prairie shows. Do you remember that show? Melissa Gilbert as Laura. She was such a cutie! Michael Landon as Pa…

After the 3rd episode, I came to a realization about Pa. Here’s my realization: Pa was HAWT. I immediately texted my friend GK, because I knew she had watched that show as a young girl. Our text messages warranted a blog post. GK’s idea, not mine!

Me: The girls and I are watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie. Dayum. Pa was HOT! So manly!

GK: OMG. I hope you are joking. Please don’t ever say that again. WTF Maggie!

Me:  Seriously! Michael Landon in that show! What a man! And such a kind neighbor and friend. Google it. You’ll see!

GK:  No no I remember that show. I don’t ever recall Michael Landon being hot. LOL. Who are you? Lmao!!

Me: Omg. Seriously he is hot now that we (you and I) are adults!!

GK: shaking my head…

Me: His back, shoulders, ass. He’s in good shape from building houses and barns and shit.

GK: Jesus Maggie calm down. I never thought I’d see the day you lusted after Pa. I am seriously dying!!!!

I then sent her an email with two pictures of Pa, to which she responded, “Speechless. He’s all yours girlfriend. I am a little troubled by this…”

Come on, now. Don’t tell me Pa ain’t sexy!

Pa 1

Pa 2