Things You Must Do Everyday

“If we were standing in your physical shoes, we would do these things everyday, and then anything else that you have time for.

We would meditate for 15 minutes. Everyday. Which means we would quiet our mind with the simple intention of allowing our cork to float.

We would go outside, no matter what the weather, and we’d move around in it in appreciation of this planet. We would look up and around and we would find things to acknowledge and we would talk about them right out-loud.

We would buy a notebook. We would call it my book of positive aspects and we would fill at least 3, 4- 5 is even better- pages of positive aspects. 5 different subjects and write the positive aspects of it. Training your vibration into that upward place.

And then there is one last thing, that if we were standing in your physical shoes we’d do every single day. We would look upward and outward (best if you do it outside or standing at a window) and we would acknowledge that there are universal forces that are focused right at you. We would acknowledge by calling it by name, and we would say – “I acknowledge that I am the subject of your positive attention and I am appreciating your continual gaze on behalf of my well being, and today, no matter where I am, no matter where I am going, no matter what I am doing, and no matter who I am doing it with, I will be in conscious awareness that you too are there with me. Appreciating me, supporting me, assisting me, acknowledging me, inspiring me, guiding me, having fun with me, helping me, loving me, showing me, uplifting me…..”

Abraham-Hicks

 

Country Music Nostalgia

I listen to country music when I drive to New Jersey and Massachusetts, because it reminds me of home.

It reminds me of Midlothian, when I’d wake up on a Saturday morning with my younger brother in our house on Glenshade.  We’d watch the newest hit videos on the GAC music countdown.   We’d dance to Rascall Flats, Blake Shelton, Martina McBride and so many others.  While our peers where watching cartoons, we were anticipating the next guitar rift and taking bets on who would be number one that week.

Some of our favorite videos were Rascall Flats “This Everyday Love,” Blake Shelton’s  first hit “Austin”, and of course Shania Twain’s empowering “Man, I Feel Like a Woman.”  (He’ll deny this fact, but he was just as big of a fan as I was).  I listened to “Independence Day” by Martina McBride on repeat, along with Jessica Andrew’s “Who I am,” and every song Faith Hill ever recorded.  To this day, whenever I hear Toby Keith’s “How Do you Like Me Now?” or Travis Tritt’s “Great Day to be Alive,” I’m brought right back to those moments on the couch, in our Pajamas eating omelets- with our whole lives ahead of us.  We didn’t realize how lucky we were.

At that point, I don’t think I could have anticipated how much life would change- but that’s just how it works, isn’t it? Life is complicated and horrible and unbelievably amazing all at the same time.  What’s even crazier is how music has the ability to freeze certain moments in time and allow you the chance to relive them whenever you need them the most.

We always kept a soft spot for country music, but over the years our go-to changed to alternative, punk-rock, Springsteen, Seger, and those perfect 90’s throwbacks that will never get old.  We’d wake up before school and listen to Elton or the Beatles before breakfast.  We’d drive to Midlo high with the windows down in the ‘02 silver Hyundai, and blast Foo Fighter’s “Best of You” along with Train, Third Eye Blind, and Match Box Twenty.  We were always late, but it didn’t matter.

There were just too many songs to listen to, and never enough time to hear them all..

 

My Week of Raw Food Detox

I haven’t had coffee in over a week.  Yes, it was as painful as it sounds.

Monday morning I began a raw food detox.  Every morning I chugged a glass of water, followed by a green juice-kale, celery, cucumber, apple, ginger, and lemon.  The rest of my day went as follows:

9:00 AM-arrive at work, eat a banana.

10:30 AM-eat a cup of fresh pineapple and sometimes a couple almonds.

12:30 PM– time for lunch: a salad full of greens (a handful of beans if they were available at the salad bar and a scoop of mushrooms.  I love mushrooms.)

3:00 PM-drink some hot tea, eat a clementine and some trail mix

6:00 PM-home from work, drink a smoothie: spinach, banana, strawberries, almond milk.

8:00 PM-drink herbal tea, fall asleep on the couch watching the final season of The Office.

Look, I’m no nutritionist.  I am just a firm believer in the idea that the food one eats has a huge impact on sickness/health/clarity/stability.  There are a millions documentaries on the subject, and the first month after moving here, I watched them in a continuous cycle every day.  “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” made by Joe Cross had the biggest impact on me.  The Australian Entrepreneur was just as the title describes.  He was at his breaking point, so he decided to make a change.  He consumed nothing but juice for 60 days, lost weight, curbed his disease, and was able to throw away his old medication.

A month later I decided that a juicer would solve all my problems-so I bought one.  It was a 150 dollar Juice Fountain Plus model from Breville. I decided I’d juice for a week-how hard could it be?  I even convinced my dedicated meat-eating boyfriend to join along.  After all, Cross did it for 60 days.  60 damn days.  7 days would be nothing!

Let’s just say I’ll never live down the fact that after my days of enthusiasm on the topic, I made it a grand total of 12 hours and decided I couldn’t do it.  In my defense, I had only 2 juices after waking up and then spent 3 hours waiting in line for America’s Got Talent at Radio City Music Hall and was there until the show let out at 10:30 PM.  The seats were perfect, rows behind the judges, we saw amazing talent (with of course some crazies), but to be honest I couldn’t fully enjoy it.  I was dying.

I ran out, and before the clock struck midnight, I had consumed a turkey sandwich, a bottle of water, and two slices of greasy New York pizza.   It wasn’t my proudest moment.

It’s been about 8 months since then, and after an intense winter hibernation, I decided last week that it was time to try again.  This time, I wasn’t trying to destroy myself in the process.  I realized that in the end, it was really about balance.  I had also done some reading on the Raw Food lifestyle, and although I am aware I’ll never be able to give up anything forever, it couldn’t hurt to try it for a little while.

I started Monday and for five days I ate nothing but fruit, greens, and the occasional handful of nuts.  There was a detox process, but I know the heaviest symptoms came from caffeine withdrawal.  By Wednesday, I woke up and went to work without feeling overwhelming groggy.  By Friday, I was fine.  I felt lighter than I had in months.  I felt energized, I felt happy.  This weekend, I started my mornings the same, but cheated at night.  I had nachos on Friday, along with beer and a half a buffalo chicken sandwich.  Saturday I went to Little Italy and had wine and ate a plate of some of the best pasta I’ve ever tasted, followed by a trip to the famous Ferrara Bakery and Cafe.

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PepeRossoSocial (173 Mott St. New York, NY 10013)

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Ferrara Bakery and Cafe (195 Grand St. New York, NY 10013)

I know, it’s not great.  No, I didn’t feel so hot afterwards.  But life is about balance, and tomorrow, I’m going to continue sticking to the greens.  My food philosophy is a work in progress, but once I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, if you’ve never tried a green smoothie, it’s really not as gross as it sounds.  I promise.

Treat Yourself: An Open Letter to the Class of 2014

I. love. this.

Meaghan McGoldrick

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To the Class of 2014,

This is it. One month ’till May and, odds are, you’re feeling numb and nauseous. The walls are closing in, all rugs have been pulled out and you’re compulsively spell-checking your resumé (while simultaneously snapchatting, putting off that ten-page paper and planning your next pregame). In six or so weeks you’ll be saying goodbye — to friends, to family, to weeknight whiskey specials — because an Irish Exit isn’t in the cards anymore. Not for four years of college.

You’re scared, (see also: restless, sleep-deprived, and a slave to happy hour), and that’s okay.

Trust your convictions. Go out on a Tuesday even though it’s raining and you know the bar’s full of freshmen. Have one, or ten too many people over (your neighbors won’t hold that title much longer) and stop censoring your rounds of slapcup. Put a ten in the jukebox. Take more selfies. Wear more sweatpants…

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Hokie Nation <3

I had never considered applying to Virginia Tech as a senior in high school.  Everyone wanted to attend a big traditional university like VT, and because of this, I was determined not to.   I had rolled my eyes at the murmurs of UVA jokes and rivalry you tube videos.  To be honest, I thought it was all overrated.   I didn’t understand the pride or why football mattered or what was so great about the grey stoned buildings that covered campus. 

I went to school the next year in a quaint town 60 minutes from home with 4,000 other undergraduates.  It was rich with its own experiences.  I grew and evolved and learned about the perks and challenges of living away from home, but after a semester, I knew it didn’t feel right for the long run.  My time there had run its course, and by winter break, I was in full-swing transfer mode.  At first, I wanted to go far away.  I wanted to experience other parts of the East Coast, and see how I felt about living up north.  I applied to Virginia Tech as part of a back-up plan.  By the time mid-February rolled around, I was already accepted into the two other schools that I had applied to, but I was still waiting to hear from Virginia Tech. 

I’m not sure what changed, but something did. The idea of moving away became less appealing.   I began to question why I felt the need to attend college-out-of state and what it would really be like to live 8 hours away from home.  I started to consider other options, and in the end, my gut started to edge me in a new direction.  In the following couple of weeks, I visited Virginia Tech with my family and a good friend.  It was sunny and warm, and I could feel the magic of campus from every corner of the drill field.  Burruss Hall looked like a magnificent castle, and I started to change my opinion of the vibrant grey building material that the tour guides lovingly referred to as “Hokie Stone.”  To put it simply, I was falling in love with this place.

In the end, somewhere between applying, visiting, and waiting for a decision, my back-up plan turned into my number one.  I remember getting the letter, opening it, and feeling like I was on top of the world. 

Orientation came and went.  In August, my family moved me into an apartment costing 208 dollars a month.  They set up my bed, desk, the closet, and drove back 3.5 hours home to Richmond.  In the following days, I woke up at 6 AM every morning and rode my bike to the practice field where I auditioned for the Flag Corps in the Marching Virginians.  In the following weeks, we started official practices, home games, and the infamous bowl-game trips to Miami and to Tampa.  In the following months, the relationships that started off as shy conversations between strangers were now memories in the making.  I joined the school TV station as an entertainment reporter and helped out with another show interviewing local musicians.  I feel in love.  I worked on group projects, found my passion in writing class, and spent hours laugh/crying with my roommates because my ’94 Lincoln was about to leave me completely broke.  I adopted my first pet, became a fraternity sweet-heart, and spent summer days tubing down the New River. 

It’s also where I started my professional career, as an official campus recruiter.  During this time, while recruiting out-of-state, I met many people.  There were some who had already experienced campus and just wanted to stop by and say how much they loved it.  Many students approached my table with the same standard list of questions on the programs and job placement statistics that every counselor receives- and there was always inevitably others who would lean forward, lower their voice and timidly ask “were you there when it happened?”   

I would tell them “no, I wasn’t,” but in my mind I’d go back to senior year in high school.  I was 18, and it was in the school parking lot where I first heard that there was a shooting at Virginia Tech.  I was leaving the building and heading out to my car, when I saw my best friend shaking and speechless in the parking lot.  Her brother was a current student at the time, and she had just heard that he was ok-  but there were dozens of others that weren’t going to make it.  I remember a feeling of helplessness and disbelief, and realizing that in that moment, thousands of people would never be the same again. 

While working as a recruiter for the University, I gave information sessions to prospective students. I always started out talking about community and how this small town in southwest Virginia, was not just another college campus, it was home.  I meant it. 

Blacksburg is the place where I first understood what it meant to be a part of something greater.  It’s where I started to discover who I was and what I wanted to be.  It’s where magic happens, but also a place hit with tragedy.  It’s apparent through today’s memorial of the 4.16.07 shooting, that I am not the only one who feels this way.  When I scroll down my news feed, I am reminded of the harsh reality of what today means.  But I also see hope. I see respect.  I see love for 32 remarkable fallen Hokies, who although taken too soon, remind us all of how fleeting life can be and how the strength and power of community-this community- is unlike anything out there. 

Today and always, Live for 32.  ❤