The Misappropriation of our Imagination: Beginning to Shed Light on Our Anxious and Fear-based Thoughts

Why do we tend to use our imagination to visualize our failures or worst case scenarios as opposed to everything being (mostly) awesome and to our benefit?

If we're supposed to be the greatest keepers of our dreams and visions-then we (myself included) are doing a really shit job sometimes. If it was an open position in the universal ether- I wouldn't always hire myself! 

Anxiety/imagining worst case scenarios stems from two places for me: fear and control. I have deeply programmed myself to imagine worst case scenarios since I was a child because it was how I could prepare myself. It was how I could “get ahead” of what i could potentially walk into and experience every day. That use of my imagination gave me a false sense of control over what the future could hold. As though if I imagined the worst things then I couldn’t be surprised. I would be able to have the upper-hand on disaster, on hurt, on sadness, on anger.  Though in reality, sometimes the bad things happened anyway. And sometimes they didn’t happen at all; or not nearly to the extent that I imagined. But-in life, from time to time- the hurt happens anyway. the pain, the sadness, the anger, the turbulence. They will happen anyway. But as you move out of those spaces: places of trauma, bad relationships, toxic environments; sometimes we carry over the coping mechanisms we created into our new, healthier, and more evolved environments.

This imagination use-stemming from fear and control-were defense and coping mechanisms that I needed, created, and used at the time. My child mind utilized those mechanisms to get through it all but they no longer serve me-and actually are a hindrance as I’ve evolved into the more conscious and adjusted (ha!) adult that I am today. The circumstances have changed and I am no longer in a place where those mechanisms serve me. 

As we grow, evolve, shift, and change we must revisit our old ways of operating.

What worked to get us through traumatic aspects of our childhood won’t always work for us now. We're running a new machine on old software-old and outdated operating systems.  So how do you update and reprogram your operating systems? Positive thinking won't necessarily shift it all; though I do believe that what we say to ourselves on a daily basis (consciously and subconsciously) direct and drive our actions and life. I more so believe that we must put new ways of thinking and new operating systems into practice. In this case, practicing using our imagination for ideas that serve us, our spiritual well being, our mental health, and ultimate goals as opposed to using our imagination to perpetually run the loop of fear and a false sense of control.  At this point I can imagine hearing you say “ Oh yeah wow yeah that’s really great but what the fuck does that mean? What the fuck does that look like?” To me it begins with loving your fear and your need for control into your light. It looks like beginning to speak to the child or the young adult or who you are today and letting them know that they are loved and held for who they are and who they had to become to get through certain traumas. And that you are loved and held as you move through the release of what no longer serves you. 

I call for you to get quiet. To call upon the child that you were when these coping mechanisms first formed and ask them some questions. Love them. See them. Integrate them.

Below are some questions to journal/meditate on and some mantras to infuse into your cells and meditate upon as your child-self. As the child that formed these mechanisms in the hope to shed some light onto the why so that you may begin to untangle the need for their use.

Journal prompts: 

  • Where did you learn to use your imagination for fear/control/anxious thoughts etc?

  • From whom did you learn this or was this a mechanism you created for yourself? What were the situations or specific traumas that created this need?

  • Are you in a place now where this mechanism is no longer serving you? What work have you done to release yourself from toxic environments/relationships/ etc? Celebrate that!! If so, how could you begin practicing using your imagination for wonder and joy instead? is there an art practice you could pick up, dance, music, writing?

  • If you are in a place where you still feel the need to utilize this mechanism, are there ways you can begin to shift yourself out of it? Do you need to set clearer boundaries with a person or an environment? What does that look like to you and how can you go about implementing that for yourself? Imagine this in baby steps; A-Z doesn’t happen in a day. A toxic environment or relationship or mental space doesn’t happen in a day and the untangling of it won’t necessarily happen in a single day either. Be gentle and kind to yourself as your begin the un-doing.

Mantras

Use these to begin re-writing your mind; enforce new patterns and begin to re-write your history. If these resonate with you-great! If not, think of some mantras that resonate with you and where you are on your journey. Things like this will only be effective if they first and foremost have resonance with you.

  • I love fear into my light.

  • I love control into my light.

  • I am capable of re-writing the trauma that was written onto my cells.

  • I am worthy of releasing trauma and stepping into my fullest self. 


Sacred Animals Series: The Stag

This is a continuation of the Sacred Animal Series; currently featured is The Stag.

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Vitality

“As we begin to love and appreciate ourselves as we are, our channels open and we access the infinite vitality of life force.”

Shakti Gawain

Vitality is almost always interchangeably used with life force, energy, and/or internal fire. Vitality is the stream of the electricity of the All that moves through each and everyone of us. The Stag’s vitality is energetically shown through its stance, its movements, its connection and aliveness to the nature it inhabits. When observing The Stag, you are able to truly see the force of life pulsing through it. You can feel the energy and its magnetism, so much so that you pause and your breath is taken away. Vitality is a sure foot, a steady breath, a clear vision, and a grounded heart.

Your most vital and powerful self is in this very moment.

Vitality is also directly linked to your vital signs; the four primary signs that are tested to see how your body is functioning. It’s imperative to not only keep note of our physical vital signs but our spiritual and emotional ones as well. 

Here are some journaling/meditation prompts to bring you into closer connection with your vitality-your life force, the powerful essence that is flowing through you at each moment!

  • Respiration (breath) rate, body temperature, pulse rate, and blood pressure. These are the four primary vital (physical) signs that are routinely tested. How do each of these correlate to your spiritual and emotional vital signs? The temperature of your passions? The pulse of your joy? Take some time to reflect and make a list of your vitals! What keeps your energy/life force/vitality flowing?

  • Are there some areas of your life force or energy that have felt blocked or un-attended to? In what ways can you re-direct the flow into those places?

  • What makes you feel your most alive? Do you do that thing often? If so, how have you noticed that energy of your aliveness affect other aspects of your life and those around you? If not, why not?

  • Stop. Check your breath. Take one minute to just pause and breathe. Feel your life force flow through you within that breath. Where could you begin to love and appreciate yourself as you are? 

Sacred Animals Series: The Stag

This will be the beginning of a series that I’ll be doing on the blog all about sacred animals. To me, all animals are sacred and hold so much wisdom and guidance for us in our day to day lives. I think that we could benefit to take many lessons and ideas from the animal kingdom and utilize them as windows and mirrors into our own lives. I will periodically explore certain animals that truly speak to me and the lessons and traits that I believe we can gleam from them to help serve us in our human lives.  There’s an inherent intelligence that exists amongst the animals that seems to cut through all of the noise and confusion of our human existence; I hope to shed some light into the noise!

The first in this series will be The Stag. Each week I will highlight a certain trait of the stag and dive a little deeper into them with journal prompts and quotes!

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    The Stag represents:

grace, strength, vitality, reverence, and fierce love.

The Stag is seen as the protector or King of the Forest and keeps watch over all the other creatures within it. The Stag also embodies and represents the dance of masculine and feminine energies within a single being or entity.

    The Stag’s presence is powerful and revered amongst all the creatures of the forest yet only utilizes force when necessary. The Stag also calls upon our ability to pay keen attention; they are skiddish and require a stillness to be able to connect with their beauty and the nature they inhabit. In this stillness, we make room for observation, connection, and integration. The Stag is mysterious and has been a symbol of The Mysteries for ages. Their value has often put them in the literal cross hairs of violence. They are hunted and their antlers are taken as a symbol of the fierce love and strength they possess. For many living in this human experience, The Stag’s qualities either seem unattainable or they are unwilling to do the inner work to achieve them.

Grace

“Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part.”

Philip Yancey

Grace is commonly defined as simple elegance or refinement of movement. Grace can also take on the connotation of divinity or divine influence. Grace is about having and practicing a loving-kindness for yourself and those around you. As the King of the Forest, The Stag showcases and demonstrates this loving kindness to all the creatures that dwell within it. Also, as the guardian and gatekeeper of your internal forest, The Stag calls upon your ability to show this loving kindness to yourself. Within your internal forest is a well spring of this divinity or divine influence that is in endless supply. In doing deep, internal work, we may dig and find things that are not to our liking or parts of us that we may make us feel unlovable, unworthy, or even ugly. In those places, the low parts, we must let grace flow into them. And with grace, we are then able to integrate those aspects of ourselves into our whole and completely loved being.

Below are some downloadable journal prompts to help you dig deeper into the quality of grace! Do you think we have many things to learn from animals? What animal are you most drawn to? Do you have any suggestions of animals that you would like me to do for this series? Let me know!




WTF Is...

I’m going to be starting a new WTF Is… series based on all of the different things I see floating around in the wellness/holistic/health/beauty/etc space. Some of these products and supplements are awesome and I think serve to help us or at least can contribute to certain aspects of our well-being. I don’t believe all of what is served to us as “magic pills” or “necessary supplements” is necessarily true.

Though I believe that the only way to truly know if anything will work for us is to, first and foremost, become informed. I want to give brief overviews to certain products, herbs, supplements, and substances to hopefully encourage you to kickstart your own research into these things. My information is not the end all be all and you should always do your own research on things before you decide to implement them into your daily routine. Because what works for me, or anyone else for that matter, will not always work for you.

I think the age of the guru is coming to a close- it’s time for the age of YOU!

You are the one and only being that knows what feels good and feels right for you; so listen to that!

With as much access as we have to information, we should take our health and well-being into our own hands. Do the research. Figure out what works for your body and your body alone.

I’ll be creating infographics and linking you to articles that you may read to gain further insights. First up is

WTF Is…Ashwagandha

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Research pages

Have you taken Ashwagandha before? Has it worked for you and your body? What benefits or adverse affects did you notice? Do you like being given article links to continue on with your own research? Let me know!

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Sometimes we can be so fucking smart that we actually negotiate so much with our minds that we work against ourselves. This shows up in so many ways. Example: I have a goal to get out of bed at 5 am every Wednesday to go to a HIIT class. Then the brain negotiations: well you can always do it after work so that means you get to sleep an extra hour. I mean it doesn't really matter WHEN you do it, so long as you do it right? It’s kinda rainy out, do you want to get your shoes wet? If I don't go to class this time then I'll commit to going to the rest of the classes this month. etc etc etc and on and on it goes as I'm sure you understand because we do this with literally everything that is good for us and helps us out in any way.

This class, for example, is a priority. Even moreso-working out and feeling good is a priority. But maybe we can take it one step further.

In addition to making something a priority-we must make it non-negotiable.

We make action steps that will help us achieve our goals (if they’re working and serving us) non-negotiable. Ie: we do not make room for allowing our minds to out smart us out of the things that we truly want. There are a lot of things as a creative that I don’t really want to do but I know that I need to do them. I need to do them to allow my voice and vision to be heard and seen, I need to do them to create an audience, I need to do them because if I want to pay my bills with my own business then I need to do the hard NON_NEGOTIABLE shit that will make that happen. I would much prefer to sit and draw and embroider all day-not take pictures of anything, not post things to instagram, not contact galleries for shows, the list goes on. But I have to implement the action steps of allowing my work to work for me and that makes the things that I don't really want to always be doing not just a priority but a non-negotiable.

Waking up an hour early each day to meditate and journal has become a non-negotiable-simply because I'm a bit of a monster without doing it. I need that simple quiet space to gather my thoughts, gather my heart, and set my mood and intention for the day. My daily mental health is not only a priority- its NON NEGOTIABLE. that simple flip in idea changes a lot and moves things into better alignment. That shift in thinking allowed me to realize that i was justifying my INACTION through "logic" and "reasoning" that my brain was really good at doing.

in a lot of ways i feel that negotiation and doing these mental olympics with yourself is a fear response. It can seem ridiculous but we often fear our abilities. fear our potential. We can fear the possibility of reaching our goals, achievement, and being exactly who we believe we can be. Because we all know that when you work towards achieving goals, striving to be better, and doing more each day what do we usually come across? The big brick fuck-you-wall-of-failure. Which is truly awesome because failure is just as much of the process as success (this will be a topic I explore more in depth later-because lordt knows we all love to hate failure).

I love me some journaling- it helps me brain dump and organize my thoughts, work things out, and generally voice everything that I have tossing about in my mind. I’ve created a freebie journaling prompts sheet that you can download on the topic of priorities and non-negotiables. I’ve also created some mantra images that you can print surrounding this topic that hopefully will help you remember to keep yourself (your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health) NON-NEGOTIABLE!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Are there any priorities that you’ve set for yourself that you seem to be unable to show up for? Is the shift of priority to non-negotiable helpful for you? What would you like to make non-negotiable for yourself? Are there any tips and tricks you can give to help create this mental shift?

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I really don’t like cleaning; but I really love having a clean and organized space. Because I’m an average person that doesn’t have the extra cash flow to hire someone to do this work for me, I decided that instead of letting all of my shit pile up for weeks and then go on a cleaning frenzy I should create a cleaning schedule that makes my life easier. Sometimes creating a system helps to break certain tasks down into more manageable chunks. How’s the saying go? How do you eat an elephant-one bite at a time! Same rings true for me and housecleaning and generally any sort of adulting. But adulting, at the end of the day, makes me feel good. And it leaves my mind and time open to do other things that I truly enjoy more be it cooking, creating, reading, or doing nothing.

I’ve included a PDF of my personal weekly cleaning schedule that I hope helps you out too! Keep in mind that this cleaning schedule is built and created for a one bedroom apartment but I believe that it’s broken down in a way that could be applicable to any type of home you have. And because I really love doing things other than cleaning, the bulk of the cleaning is done during the work week-which leaves your weekends entirely cleaning free aside from the daily maintenance shit like dishes. But if your work week lands your weekends on different consecutive days then, by all means, adjust accordingly to keep you free of chores as much as possible during your days off!

There’s nothing like the feeling of having a clean and organized home, because for me I feel like it allows me to have a clean and organized internal space as well. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but when I’m feeling internally gunky and generally don’t know what I’m doing with my life-my home will reflect that. There will be piles of books and papers everywhere, dishes in the sink, and I haven’t folded laundry in two weeks. It’s the physical equivalent of keeping all the tabs open from my brain except it’s spilling all over my table and I have to move everything to eat dinner. No bueno. So, instead, I use this to help keep my physical and internal worlds clutter free!

Do you have any tips or tricks for creating a clutter free space? Do you have a schedule that you like to follow or do you struggle with keeping the clutter and mess under control? Let me know how and if you notice a correlation between internal and external clutter! I think it’s an interesting parallel to discuss!

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Hello! I wanted to introduce myself and give you an understanding as to what I wish for this space to be and what I hope to accomplish! My name is Maria and I have been on some level of a spiritual and wellness journey or path since I was about 8 years old. I've lost my way from time to time but always end up coming back to source. Throughout my time here on earth I have been ecstatic, devastated, content, broken, apathetic, fulfilled, sick, well, and everything in between. I wish and will strive for this space to be a place where I'm able to share the lessons from these states of being, knowledge that I've acquired, fuck-ups, mis-steps, wisdom that I've gained, and questions yet explored. 

The foundation of this blog will be based on an understanding that i have come to: there are key fundamentals that, I believe, we require to live in our fullness. Every single one of us was born and meant to be at our fullest and highest self. There are NO "throw away" people in the sense that all of us have an innate purpose to our existence. And, as we've all experienced, there are a lot of elements that seem to cause us to not live this way. We become distracted, tired, discouraged, confused, and don't know where to begin. In my own journey of striving to live in my fullness, I've realized a through line of certain factors that remain a constant. These are the separate fountains that individually contribute to and make up my Foundations of Fullness. 

1-Conscious/mindful/informed/pleasureful eating

2-Spiritual relationships and practices

3-The relationship with self/internal/shadow work

4-Meditation/mindfulness

5-Creative/artistic expression/making/curation of your space

6-Body maintenance/exercise/movement

7-The sharing of your gifts

These are, for me, what have truly been the keys to living in my fullness. I am a real ass person doing my best on this journey that I call The Mess of Rising. Some days I feel like I have it all together and then other days I eat tater tots for dinner. But you know what: both are real, both are valid, both are beautiful, and both are necessary. If I ever feel out of balance or out of alignment, I check in with where I am in these categories and will always find an imbalance or lack. In following posts, I will go into detail about what each of these foundations mean to me and how I define them. From there, all posts will hopefully serve to help myself and you keep each of these fountains flowing and your cup full. There will also be a healthy dose of art, tutorials, printables, journal prompts, and more!

There is no perfection on this path and that’s an amazing and liberating thing. We’re all just doing our best and this is my contribution to hopefully help you, myself, and the collective. I hope that you will find this space encouraging, engaging, informative, helpful, challenging, and inspiring!