merde happens…

We have a bit of a plumbing situation nightmare on our hands. It’s going to involve some serious plumberdrilling outside and possibly a full tear-down of our downstairs bathroom.  With the polar vortex and Junior’s due date fast approaching, it’s not the best timing.

Former Maya would have been freaking out about this. Freaking right out. But that’s not my style anymore.

Instead, I’m choosing a different approach.

As I see it, when life inevitable throws you a merde sandwich, you’re much better off with this strategy:

  1. Assume the best.  Don’t bleed until you’re shot. And stop worrying in excess.
  2. Perspective. Remember that whatever it is you’re going through, however truly terrible the situation, you can probably spin a globe and randomly point to 100 countries where someone is going through something much worse, like apartheid (my friend wrote this amazing piece).
  3. Believe in happy endings. They happen. Here’s proof and more proof.
Jelly sandwich looks much better than a sh*t sandwich...
Jelly sandwich looks much better than a sh*t sandwich…

Stay warm out there!


tiny steps…

Today was better. Significantly so. 

Here’s why:

I ate every meal at a table (NOT a desk), sitting down, doing nothing else but eating. Who knew?!

I deleted all of the social media apps on my phone (except Instagram – I like taking pictures!) I need more quiet moments to notice the raindrops and let magic in.

I logged out of every social media site on my computer. It seems I check them mostly out of habit. When I navigate to one without thinking and stumble upon a login page, 9 times out of 10, I don’t care enough to log in. 

I ate tremendous amounts of greens. Tremendous.

I left work at 5:30 and got my steps in. I love the rain.


drama & choices…

Truth: I’ve been struggling recently with a particular situation in my life. I’ve been resistant to the changes that are occurring. I’ve felt stuck and helpless (woe is me!). I’ve created drama and, not surprisingly, I’ve been a wee bit grumpy – okay, a lot grumpy.

And then I read this, shared by one of my beautiful friends:

There is freedom that comes with awareness. Rather than thinking we are stuck in a repetitive cycle with no escape, we begin to see that we very much play a hand in creating our lives. Whether we are aware of them or not, our behaviors and choices are ours to make.

Madyson Taylor

Sigh… but of course! The situation I’m in is not the cause of my grumpiness. It’s not the source of my stress (more on stress very soon). My struggles are caused solely and completely by my resistance to the ebb and flow of life, my shitty ‘tude and the way I’ve been behaving. Crap. I did it to myself.

BUT, here’s the power in the realization, the freedom in the awareness: the only thing that needs to change for me to feel differently is me… just me!

It’s amazing how much drama we create in our own lives and how much things can change when we change how we look at them… and how we respond to them!

Happy Thursday!

the tough moments…

This week has been difficult. I’m going through something at work that really shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but for some reason, it has rocked me to my very core.

I can’t help but feel like something bigger is going on, like I’m in the midst of a bigger change, but I can’t see it yet. Right now, I’m in muck of it and my chest is tight.

But I’ve realized this in the past few months:

 life is beautiful because of it ebbs and flows. 

Everyone will always have ups and downs, and that’s just part of the process.

The less we fight it, the more we let ourselves just experience this moment as it is, the sooner we will figure out what it’s for.

I get that hearing how grateful you really should and how much worse it could be (a.k.a. perspective) isn’t always appreciated. Sometimes you don’t want to be told to snap out of it. Sometimes you just need to feel the rawness.

So feel it. Like really, truly feel it.

And, dear reader, whoever you might be, I hope you can find comfort in this:

  • This too shall pass.
  • Everyone you see feels the same way you do. You’re not alone.
  • One day you’ll look back and understand, but for now, just take care of yourself in whatever way you need to.

Love u.

This is my happy place. That’s me, the blondie next to the gorgeous bride. 🙂

burn out…

Last time I attended a pretty amazing Q&A with Brett Wilson.

I have also been devouring his book, Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes.

Tonight, after some 15 days straight of work (yup, including weekends) and most of them overtime, I left work in a haze. I was so absolutely out of it that, thankfully, all I was able to think about is how ridiculously I have been living recently.

I have been heading FULL steam ahead towards burnout. Silly Maya.

It took me awhile to realize it this time because I’ve built my body up to a healthy, strong state and emotionally, I’ve been kicking it. But burnout is burnout and it gets everyone eventually if you don’t change your habits.

But back to Brett and how he handsomely fits into all of this (he is quite handsome!).

When I picked up his book, I was really expecting a guide on how to become super stellar at business. It’s not that, at least not really. It’s a guide on how to become super stellar at life from someone who had to make some mighty mistakes to figure it out.

I think everyone should read this book but for now, here’s one of the main takeaways: life is about so much more than work and your career.

  • Health must come before everything else because without it, there is nothing. 
  • Relationships must come directly after because without them, nothing really matters. 
  • After that, you decide, but somewhere near the top should be community engagement, giving back, or just generally, being a kickass person.

Without those elements, there is no true success. Without those elements, Maya is a crazy person.

So that’s it, I’ve stopped cold in my tracks before it got messy.  Now I’m redefining my non-negotiables, my priorities, my “be the most stellar Maya I can be” list. I encourage you to do the same.

I leave you with something my partner in crime said that really stuck,

What do you want to remember about your 20s [30s, 40s, etc] – that you worked late every night or that you worked a bit, saw your friends and family, had fun, felt great, etc?


Thanks universe!

the kind cure…

Last week, I wrote about my ongoing relationship with IBS. This week, I’m going to cover what I’m doing about it. 🙂

What I’m about to say may sound like sacrilege, especially if you know me personally, but so be it. A few weeks ago I finally admitted to myself that my constant cleansing and inconsistent dietary dogma just plainly weren’t work. Truth is, I’m tired of it. Then, whilst in my oh-so-flattering hospital attire, I realized that I needed a slight paradigm shift (well, I realized it awhile ago but it really sunk in last week).

Here it is: I have decided to cure my IBS with… wait for it… kindness!
Here’s why: There is an absolute wealth of information out there about how to be healthy. Some folks argue that a completely plant-based diet is the answer. Others suggest wheat is the devil (I read that exact line somewhere last week). Others still convincingly argue that dairy must go, or sugar, or both, and most agree anything processed is a no-no (well, I agree with the last one). 
But with the plethora of information available, and everyone’s good intentions, it’s easy to get down right lost. I know I did. I read so much and listened to so many people, that I started to see all food as the enemy. 

It’s really no wonder my gut said “no thank you!”

While it’s certainly great to take an interest in your health and be proactive, I think it’s even more important to do so with a discerning eye. The best prescription is the one that works for you because no two of us are the same. 
Apparently I am a chocolate monster… 🙂
How do you find the perfect prescription for you? By really, truly listening to what your body and self need – not what you think you want because you have deprived yourself for so long, or what you think you should want because you read it was healthy, but what you truly really need at that moment. Trust yourself to know the answer.
The only stipulation I’ll add is that it would help if you respond with real food (i.e. if you want bread, go to your local bakery and get the fresh baguette made with five ingredients rather than the suspiciously fluffy white stuff with 50,000 ingredients) – your taste buds and health will thank you. But even this stipulation can be broken, as we are all human after all! 🙂

And here’s the thing, after over a week of this kind approach, I can tell you honestly that I have never been happier about my eating and my gut has never been so joyous.

Phew, another long one. Thanks for reading!

Happy tumbling & stumbling!

P.S. I almost forgot! This kind approach is also quite thrifty. You can save yourself the magical potions and fancy pants foods, and focus instead on wallet-friendly whole, real food.

IBS epidemic…

In my last post, I mentioned that I was in the hospital this past week. I was getting my insides checked for scary things, and it turns out there are none (yay!) 
Instead, my far-too-handsome-to-be-checking-my-insides doctor confirmed that I have IBS. 
What is IBS? IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There are a lot of opinions out there about whether it actually exists, what the causes are, etc. It essentially means “your belly isn’t happy and we aren’t sure why”. There is no one cause, no one solution, but it is an indication that something is a little… well… off kilter in your gut.
Here’s what I’ve realized since being diagnosed several months ago: IBS is epidemic, especially among young women. Three of my very best friends have been diagnosed with IBS and the plethora of blogs on this topic is absolutely overwhelming.

Why the epidemic? 
Is it because the food we are eating is incredibly bad?  Possibly, but the people I know who suffer from IBS are among the healthiest eaters I know. They eat like saints on a cleanse.
And why so many women? Is there something in the extra X chromosome that makes us particularly susceptible to digestive issues? Possibly… but I doubt it.
The most delicious decaf almond mylk latte from Mylk Uncookies… joyous yum!
I think what we really have on our hands is an epidemic of unhealthy relationships with food and our bodies. Men certainly suffer from this as well, but women are particularly afflicted with calorie-counting, thigh-lamenting, and obsessions with being “healthy”.
Many of us see food as the enemy. We worry about how the calories will manifest on our bodies before we even take a bite. We worry about what the glutenous croissant will do to our GI track before we even order it. It’s no wonder then, that the food we eat often becomes an unhealthy lump in our stomachs that our bodies just don’t know how to deal with. 
Sure, there are common triggers and things that can be removed to make you feel better (wheat, dairy, deep fried and processed foods) but I would venture to say that none of that will work if your relationship with food is completely out of whack.
My new favourite dark chili chocolate from Chocosol!!
To cut this already far too long post short, I leave you with this to contemplate: your stomach is your second brain. It’s something my holistic nutritionist told me and my GI doc reiterated this week. Quite simply, if you’re stressed, anxious, unhappy with life or worried about your dietary issues, your stomach will reflect that and even the healthiest green juice will cause problems.  
So how can you give your stomach… and yourself… a break?
More about all of this soon… as for now, I’m off to enjoy the sunshine!
Happy tumbles and stumbles!

Crazy Sexy Week

I disappeared again – sorry about that!

Here’s what happened in the last week, in rough chronological order:
  1. I had a physical and emotional breakdown over Easter.
  2. I got so frustrated with my dismal state that I decided to take my health and happiness into my own hands. 
  3. I started a mostly raw, very green cleanse (inspired by one of my role models, Kris Carr).
  4. I had a follow-up session with Joy McCarthy (read about my first session here).
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = the perfect reset at the perfect time, and the start of a new direction.
What I have known intuitively for awhile, and what Joy confirmed today, is that I need to focus less on dietary restrictions and labels (raw foodist, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc), and instead focus more on my emotional health, especially when it comes to food. 
So many of us desperately cling to diet after diet, food trend after food trend, and we do “all of the right things”, but we continue to suffer. What we often ignore is all of the other toxic aspects of our lives: jobs we might hate, bad relationships, maxed out schedules, etc. 
Here’s what I’ve realized recently: health and happiness are holistic. We each have a perfect blend of where we need to be mentally, physically and spiritually to be happy and healthy. But you can’t be happy or healthy if one of these elements is drastically off balance. You can take all of right supplements and eat all of the right superfoods, but if you’re not addressing the other elephants in the room, you’re not going to get very far.
I believe the key pillars to health are:
  1. Nutrition – are you eating foods that truly nourish your body and enrich your soul? how is your relationship with food?
  2. Exercise – are you moving your tush every day? are you pushing yourself too hard?
  3. Stress – what are you doing to curb stress in your life?
  4. Sleep – are you sleeping a solid 7-8 uninterrupted hours each night?
  5. Job – do you like what you do? are you stressed about your finances?
  6. Relationships – do each of your relationships support you? are there toxic relationships you can let go of?
While each needs to be addressed, it can be overwhelming to tackle everything at once! In the spirit of breaking things down into manageable pieces, start with the one pillar you know is the most off balance.  Personally, I’m going to attempt to tackle my guilt-ridden, misguided relationship with food.

So here’s what I propose (for me): I’m throwing out all rules, labels, and 30-day challenges that I’ve set for myself (because they didn’t come from healthy places). Instead, I will listen to my body, provide it with the nourishment it most desires, and I will try to enjoy every single morsel. Generally, I’m going to start being good to myself holistically…. oh yes, and I’ll share my journey with you!  
The road may be bumpy but I’m not afraid of a little hard work! 

What do you most need to do right now, what one step can you take to steer you towards your most perfectly happy and healthy self?

Happy tumbling & stumbling!

P.S. Phew! What a long post! Oops… 🙂