Thursday, May 30, 2013


Sometimes I get so paralyzed with fear at the thought of doing something new that I almost convince myself that I'm not good enough or ready enough to do it at all. But then I realize that every other time I've tried something new, despite the fear and inexperience, I survived and adapted.

Sometimes I get so tempted to hurt and judge the people who hurt and judge me. Then I realize that that's just more hurting and judging and doesn't solve anything.

Sometimes I get so discouraged that every little thing that happens throughout the day evokes uncontrollable tears. Then I realize that discouragement is always temporary and that something good may be just around the corner.    

Sometimes I convince myself that I deserve nothing wonderful and that my happiness is invalid because it won't last. Then I realize that it's okay to be happy and that I deserve everything that makes me feel that way. 

Sometimes I get really sad for no reason in particular and decide to torment myself with junk food, darkness, and sad songs and then torment myself for tormenting myself. Then I realize that I have every right to eat junk food, sit all alone in the dark, and listen to sad songs if that's what feels right to me in the moment.    

Sometimes I put a lot of pressure on myself to write inspiring content for you guys and then tell myself my content sucks when it has no real rhyme or reason to it. Then I realize that you guys still think I'm pretty great and seem to like my simple, random posts. 

I'm just really glad you decided to stop by today.

<3 Madison  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Miscellaneous thoughts (Part 5)

~ Be nice. That sounds generic and overused, but please be nice. Don't tell someone who doesn't listen to the same kind of music that you listen to that they have bad taste. Don't get snappy with your grandmother when she has a hard time catching on to modern technology. Don't open up a floodgate of complaints and insults when someone makes you mad over something ridiculously stupid. When you pour a glass of lemonade for yourself, offer to pour some for someone else as well. Hug people. Smile at people. Befriend people. Laugh at people's jokes, even if you don't think they're funny. Don't judge, gossip, belittle and criticize. The world would be a much better place if we could all just be a bit nicer to each other.

~ Here's a dream following analogy for you. You're stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere, and your only source of food is the fish in the body of water surrounding your island. You have to constantly throw out your fishing pole and wait for a bite. You have to constantly be reeling in fish. You may have days where nothing is biting, and you're hungry and grumpy. You may have days where you want to just give up and lie face down until you starve to death. But you don't give up. You keep fishing and you keep reeling and you keep feasting because you know it's what you have to do to stay alive. Think of reaching your goals and dreams the same way. It won't always be easy, and sometimes you will feel discouraged and frustrated. But you have to keep fishing until you get a bite. And you eventually will get a long as you don't give up.

~ New beginnings are always a bit rocky. It's important to remember that they won't be rocky forever.

~ Happiness comes from the inside, not the outside.

~ If you're nervous and afraid, it matters to you.

~ Laughter is what love sounds like.

~ I read lots of articles and blog posts about living life to the fullest and doing more than simply existing. As much as I hate to admit it, they don't usually affect me or speak to me at all. I'm happy and I do what I love every day, but I can't honestly say that I "live life to the fullest." But there was something about this post that just made me want to tell everybody I love that I love them, throw caution to the wind, create something beautiful, and be the very best me that I can be---today.

~ You should read my new blog and tell your friends about it. 

<3 Madison

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The difference between giving up and changing your mind

I used to justify my tendency to easily give up on things by saying stuff like, "I just change my mind a lot." And that was true. I did change my mind a lot, and I still do. But there are some things I gave up on that I wish I hadn't.

I try my best to avoid regret, and I generally don't spend too much time looking over my shoulder and wishing I had done things differently 3, 5, 7 years ago. But today, I just wanted to explore the difference between giving up on a dream/goal and changing your mind about a dream/goal.

Like I stated earlier, I change my mind a lot. But over the past couple of years, there are certain things that I have surprisingly not changed my mind about. These days, when something really matters to me, I fight for it with everything I am.

If you change your mind about something that really matters to you, that's giving up.

If you change your mind about something that no longer feels quite right and doesn't make your soul sing anymore, that's changing your mind. And I just wanted to let you know that it's okay to change your mind.

Sometimes I make goals and then rinse them down the metaphorical drain within weeks. I always seem to feel bad about that---Like I owed those goals my willingness to follow through no matter what.

But things change, and that's okay. People change. Minds change. Hearts change. Paths change.

You might think you want something, and you might even put a lot into it. But if you wake up one morning with a tug in your heart that's trying to guide you in a different direction, or if you wake up one morning with a vague sense that you don't really want what you thought you wanted after all, it's okay to wipe your slate clean or go in another direction. When it comes to instincts, whether small or large, I say follow them.

Ultimately, your instincts, wants and needs deserve your attention way more than a goal you wrote down two years ago and swore you'd achieve.

One thing I know for sure about life is that it's far from a straight line. We will constantly be taking steps and bounds in every different direction. Two steps forward, nine steps back, three steps sideways, etc.

Don't give up on the things that bring light to your soul. And don't be afraid to let go of the things that no longer do.

<3 Madison

p.s. I launched a new blog last week! Please check it out and spread the word if you like what you see.    

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Committing to and trusting your decisions

I've mentioned it once before, and I will mention it again. I am a terrible decision maker. It usually takes me a really long time to make a decision about anything, whether it’s something big or something small.

I also change my mind and doubt myself a lot. I’m not always in tune with what I really want or need, and sometimes this leaves me feeling completely lost and directionless.

But lately, I've been realizing that there's something to be said about just making a damn choice and sticking to it, even if you don’t know what the outcome of that choice will be. I think that’s the main reason why a lot of people, myself included, struggle with making up their minds. It’s because of uncertainty and being afraid of the outcome.

Here are some of the things I've recently come to realize about decision making:

1. Not making a choice at all is still a choice---a bad one.

2. No one ever has any way of knowing how something is going to turn out. That can either be paralyzing or beautiful. Let it be beautiful.

3. We’re faced with decisions for a reason. We come up with ideas for a reason. We are presented with opportunities for a reason. We have gut feelings and intuitive instincts for a reason. Sometimes simply trusting yourself and trusting your decisions is the single best thing you can do.

4. Fear, doubt and uncertainty have a way of trying to convince you that you’re making the wrong choice. But deep down, you know if something feels right or not. Deep down, you already know what you need to do. Trust that and commit to that. 

I've been faced with some meaty decisions lately and plan on making a few different changes in my life. It has been extremely powerful to just quiet the voice of fear and insecurity and allow myself to be lead down these new paths. 

It's not an easy thing to do at all, and I know that I will continue to struggle with it at times. But it's exhausting to constantly look over my shoulder and second-guess myself. Sometimes you just have to trust that the universe has greater plans. And it's okay to have no idea what those plans are.

<3 Madison    

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

10 ways to alleviate mild to moderate angst

Anyone who truly knows me can attest to the fact that I'm a bit emotionally charged at times. I have a tendency to fly off the handle or claim that my whole life is over when something I don't like happens. I've been getting sort of better about this lately, but it's still a fairly regular thing.

Sometimes I get so worked up that I almost swear I'm going to drown myself in the bathtub or run away from everything I've ever known and be homeless forever. And then ten to fifteen minutes later (or longer, depending on the situation), I'm totally fine again.

The discomfort involved in these little episodes is profound. During the bad ones, I pretty much resort to hating myself and everything about my life in general. And even though that feeling is always temporary, in the heat of the moment, I'm usually a complete mess.

If you're the same way or if you're prone to having mini meltdowns of your own, here are ten ways to alleviate the angst:

1. Get some fresh air. Get out of your house, apartment, hotel room, wherever, and get some fresh air. Go for a walk. Pace your yard a few times. Go for a drive and roll all the windows down (if you want). Whenever I sit around and stew in my own negative feelings, they multiply. It helps to get active or just go off by myself for a little while.

2. Cry. I'm talking about the kind of crying that would embarrass you if others were around (Side note: Make sure others aren't around.) You may feel pathetic and ridiculous, but you will feel so much better when you're done. Seriously. It's like a full soul cleanse.

3. Create something. Write. Draw. Build a Lego house. Put your intense energy into something useful.

4. Destroy something. Destroying something can feel just as therapeutic as creating something. I admittedly don't really like to destroy things too much because I tend to feel sympathy for inanimate objects. I will only destroy something if I know for a fact that it's okay or that it must be destroyed. Try destroying an old piece of junk or hacking away at something that needs to come down and/or apart.  

5. Read some inspiring or uplifting content. I bookmark inspiring blog posts on a pretty regular basis. I like to read back over things when I'm feeling particularly dejected. Here are a few examples: Don't Ever Give Up, Transcendence, How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship When You're Depressed

6. Surround yourself with nice people. I love nice people more than I can ever explain. There's nothing like being showered with love and kindness when a dark cloud is looming over your head. Try to stay away from negative, critical and belligerent people when you're having a bad day. They will always make you feel worse.  

7. Listen to music that matches your mood. I have a variety of different songs on my iPod---happy songs, angry songs, sad songs, inspiring songs, etc. When I'm in a bad mood, I like to listen to the angry, sad or inspiring ones. They make me feel less alone with my feelings, and I think that's ultimately what we all want when we're feeling something unpleasant.   

8. Reach out to someone. I've been getting better about reaching out for support. I used to avoid doing that at all costs out of fear that I would seem weak or self-indulgent. There is absolutely nothing weak or self-indulgent about admitting how you feel and reaching out to someone who can help you. Everyone needs a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on every now and then.  

9. Be proactive. As I mentioned earlier, when something I don't like happens, I tend to bathe in my own misfortune or claim that my whole life is ruined. My whole life is not ruined  There is always a way out. There is always another option. There is always something I can do to make progress towards fixing my current situation. I've been trying to be more proactive about things.     

10. Let go. This is one of my mantras. It's very simple, yet very powerful. Bad moods and mini meltdowns are sometimes triggered as a result of holding onto something that can easily be thrown to the wind. Take a deep breath. Forgive people. Practice mindfulness and acceptance. Figure out how to access feelings of happiness and contentment (which is totally possible, by the way). Be good to yourself and others. Let life happen.

<3 Madison