From Panicked to Peaceful

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Panic.

The alarm goes off, but I'm already awake. Gasping for air.

The alarm goes off, but I'm already awake. Heavy breathing. Constriction in my heart. Gasping for breath, wondering when it will end. Will this be the last one? The walls close in. Crushing pain & anguish. This feeling of heaviness, despair. This life isn't worth living if this is what living is. 

As the panic subsides, my body still reveling from adrenaline, I peel myself out of bed. Embarrassed. Ashamed. Empty. My fiance looking at me as though he is going through it himself. I can see the helplessness in his eyes - it's mirrored in my own feeling of helplessness over my own body. 

I head to the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror. Puffy eyed, a shadow of my former self. Who is this girl looking back at me?? The once gleaming, blue eyed optimist that believed anything was possible was looking more like a ghost. Doing anything and everything to get through the day.  And a part of her not even caring if she did anymore. 

I open the medicine cabinet and reach for the bottle. Anger swells inside of me that this is what my life has become. I pop the pill into my mouth, knowing the side effects are only a matter of minutes away. Slurred speech, memory loss, numbness in my limbs. The new normal. 

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The New Normal

There is an incredible strength that resides within people who suffer from chronic anxiety, but we are often too fearful to truly see it until it's in hindsight. Our bodies and brains work overtime just to make it through the day. Sifting through real and perceived fears. Trying to keep pace with our own obsessive thinking. Attempting at every corner not to slip down the rabbit hole of worst case scenarios. 

I know this life all too well, because it consumed me for years. Despite my own training as a social worker, yogi and reiki practitioner - I felt helpless. I decided it was time for me to turn the reigns over and surrender my healing to these practices and mentors. Healing from anxiety is a team effort. So if you are looking for a teammate on this journey to heal - I am here for you. 

If you are ready to dive into your emotional well being and clear out the gunk that's weighing your down, let's talk. You don't have to muscle through alone. True strength lies in accepting help from others. Let's partner together for your healing. 

You put that crystal where?!

I wait with baited breath for a special package to arrive. Slowly unraveling the velvet bag in which it's housed. I've meditated with crystals before, but none like this. Out from the pouch falls a beautiful jade yoni egg. Radiating with powerful goddess energy that holds centuries of sacred feminine knowledge. 

Holding it in my palms, I know this holds the key to my release, surrender and pain. I create a sacred space - bathing my new treasure in a bath of warm rose water. Cherishing the vibrations it has already brought to my home. Patiently waiting for a ceremonial meditation to engage the divine within. 

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Awaken

Instantly, I feel the sacred energy of generations of women before me. 

 

I remove the yoni egg from it's bath, sealing it with reiki energy and whispering intentions of release, surrender and trust into the sacred tool. Creating a peaceful space to begin, I turned on the sounds of surrender, my favorite guided meditation (Insight Timer App). 

Instantly I feel the sacred energy of generations of women before me . Tears flood into my eyes and a warmth builds in my womb that I have never experienced before. "This is your power. Your key to abundance," I hear from a voice within. 

Emotion floods my heart. Let it go already. These feelings of unworthiness, loneliness and failure. Don't you realize what a powerful being you are?! I tell myself. As the meditation lingers on in my ears, the tears are uncontrollable. Warm tears that held on to year of pain, doubt and shame. Released. One by one and then by the dozen. 

The heavy energy leaves my body and I am left with the feeling of power, purpose and presence. Radiating from the seat of my creativity and feminine power then out through my legs, up my heart and through the crown of my head. Aligned. Dignified. Sexual. Powerful. Radiant. 

There is no shame in the human body. The powerful female energy that creates life. I know this. I feel this. Connection. Pleasure. Power. 

I encourage you beautiful women to connect with this power that resides within you. Release the things that no longer serve you and connect with the divine goddess you are. I'm challenging myself to commit to this practice for 30 straight days to see what unfolds. Don't be afraid to share your journey and story. It is in our own practices that we find our healing release. 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Use Healing Crystals Every Day

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Using crystals to protect your energy can be a fun, simple and beautiful way to take your self care game to the next level. When I look around my apartment, surrounded by beautiful crystals, it instantly grounds my energy (added bonus - my non woo woo fiance is totally getting into it too). There are so many benefits to using crystals to protect your energy, especially if you tend to absorb other people’s energy. Here are 5 of my favorite ways to easily use crystal healing in your everyday life. 


On The Go


Carry a crystal or a worry stone around with you. If you tend to have social anxiety, absorb other people’s energy or work in a toxic environment, this is a great and discreet way to protect yourself. A worry stone is a smooth, flat, tumbled crystal that you can grip in your hand and run your thumb over. Perfect for meditating and calming your energy. Some of my favorite protective crystals are: Obsidian, Black Tourmaline, Hematite and Carnelian.


Nighttime


Place crystals on your headboard, nightstand, or pillow. If you’re experiencing stress or anxiety, it tends to take a toll on your sleep, which keeps you in this super frustrating cycle of stress. Certain crystals will help promote restful sleep, which in turn, promotes more energy. Amethyst, Malachite and Clear Quartz are amazing for helping to protect your energy while your asleep. Added tip: if you have a Clear Quartz in your bedroom, before you go to sleep ask the crystal to absorb your bad dreams and negative thoughts from the day.


Throughout Your Home


Place crystals around the entrances of your home. Protecting the energy that comes into your house is important for your energy protection as well. Especially if you work in a toxic environment, this will help make sure that your negative boss or nosey co-worker’s vibes stay outside your home. If you have molding over your door, you can place crystals on top or place a sachet of crystals on your doorknob. I have a little Selenite wand and a piece of Celestite over the entrance to my home. Good vibes only please!


Cleansing


 

Wash your hands with salt. Salt is a powerfully cleansing and protecting crystal. A practice I have recently started is to wash my hands at the end of the day with Himalayan Sea Salt. I crank a few crystals in my hand and ask for other people’s energy to be released from my energy. Since I work with my hands and interact with a lot of people throughout the day, this has been a great practice to bless and release those excess vibes.


Around Technology


Crystals for your cell phone/laptop. We are so connected with technology, which can be a blessing and a curse. Hello, you’re finding this article and amazing website on your technology device! But - while you’re scrolling through pictures of cute puppies, you’re also taking in EMF (electromagnetic radiation). Even though we can’t see it - our bodies retain that energy. Placing certain crystals on your laptop, cell phone and desk, help protect our bodies from this energy. Orgonite, Shungite, copper and black Tourmaline are great for this purpose. 

Original Blog Written for Little Box of Rocks. To grab some crystals of your own or send a beautiful bouquet of crystals to a loved one, head over to Little Box Of Rocks and shop their GORGEOUS healing collections. 

Energy Vampires & Empaths - OH MY!

Oh the journey of an empath. The blessing and curse of feeling things so deeply. Absorbing energy, being overstimulated and the genuine empathy that comes from truly understanding another's pain. 

Being an empath, lightworker and yoga teacher, I often get asked by people on how I protect my own energy in conducting reiki as well as how people can protect their own energy day to day. There are so many ways to protect your energy and the key is to be consistent with these practices. I know I have been guilty of getting in a self care groove and once I start feeling really good, I let the habits drop off.

Cue: energy vampires. Our greatest teachers. If you have one in your life - thank them for the lessons they teach you. Hey Carly, wtf is an energy vampire? You might be asking yourself. You know the type. Someone in your life that is chronically negative. They come to you with all of their drama, wanting to glean your positive energy but as soon as you have a problem.....crickets. These people can be draining, physically, emotionally and energetically. But they have also been the conduit of me wanting to help myself. 

So here we go. Here are a few of my tried and true favorite ways to protect my own energy. These are simply things I have learned from others and also tried myself after years of working in social work, reiki & yoga. It took me a while to find what worked for me, including getting sick after sessions, chronic anxiety and migraines/psychic headaches. I have noticed a huge shift in my own energy levels & personal power. 

1. Rub a dub dub. If you are in a profession where you are hands on with other people (yoga teacher, massage therapist, nurse, reiki practitioner, etc) wash your hands often both physically and energetically. After I finish a session or in my group work, I run one hand along one arm from shoulder to fingers and repeat. I simply say: "I release Sally's energy from my energetic body" to myself. I'm also sure to wash my hands regularly. 

2. Sage YO self! Keep sage or palo santo wood handy in your home. Keep some by your front door - so before you step foot in your house, you can cleanse your own energy before bringing anyone else's energy into your home. 

3. You Salty??? I sprinkle salt outside the front door of my house & bedroom. If you have more than one entrance to your house, sprinkle salt outside your entrances. Salt is highly healing, cleansing and protective. Another tip is to frequently take epsom salt baths. 

4. Break out the bubbly! No not like that. I mean your energy bubble! Have you ever walked into a room, store, space - wherever and just immediately felt the energy was "off." If this happens to you , take a step back, stop and take 5 mindful breaths. Ask yourself to be protected in this situation. Some people find it helpful to imagine themselves in a bubble, with a white light around them or an invisible shield. I find the visual helped me when I was starting out. 

5. Red bottoms. Yes, like the shoes. Think of where your feet, your shoes and your steps are taking you. Are they in toxic locations or in locations that fuel you. If you have no choice but to enter a toxic environment (let's say this is your place of work) - take your shoes off before you come home. If possible - dedicate a few pairs of shoes that are work only and even keep them in your car. Our feet pick up energy EVERYWHERE - you wouldn't want to track dog poop in your house just as much as you don't want to track negativity in there. 

I hope this all makes sense my beautiful empath friends. Be sure to take time for yourself and your self care. I run plenty of retreats that help you with these tools, and my next one is June in Costa Rica! Click here to get more information on this exclusive self care getaway. 

New Body..who dis??

Recently, I was chatting with a new friend about health, fitness and body positivity. Another day at the office, amirite?? We exchanged cringe worthy tales about the things we begrudgingly did in the past to try to drop weight or feel better about ourselves. 

We ended up talking about is what happens when you reach your goals and lose that weight you've been wanting to loose or drop those last few sizes. All of a sudden you're a stranger to your own body. This is something that's not talked about enough. 

It's assumed that when you drop the 10lbs or get to the size 4 or whatever it is that is your goal, you're *supposed* to be happy, pat yourself on the back and move on with your life. That's not always the case though. Anyone who has been through a drastic weight loss or transformation knows what it's like to be a stranger to their own body - but why don't more people talk about this?

Part of this, I think, is that expectation that you met your goal - so be happy and get over it. I think another component is that if you're not working on your internal fitness, reaching your external goals seems empty. Having abs or fitting in to those jeans you haven't worn since your glory days is all well and good - but it doesn't get to the root of your unhappiness - especially (if you're like me) and struggled with emotional eating. 

Recovering from my binge eating disorder was a long and arduous process. I attempted to do so alone and in shame for longer than I'd like to admit. Even when I lost the weight I had gained, something was missing. I still felt deeply unhappy with myself, even though the outside package was what I "wanted." So what happened?? I ended up gaining the weight back and continuing to wallow around in unhappiness.

Ok - this does have a happy ending! What changed? When I sought support and started working my emotional fitness as much as my physical fitness. The synergy of doing this has made me more connected to myself, my purpose and my true mission along with the bells and whistles of having a toned and fit body. Not just that - I have surrounded myself with a community of amazing women and men who are likeminded. So the moral of the story is that you don't have to do it alone and you don't have to live in a strangers home - when you should feel peacefully at home in your God Pod. We only get one, so let's treat it right. 

Year End Resolution

Tis the season of fall flavors. Comfort foods, halloween candy, celebrations galore! Bikinis and sundresses are being traded in for sweaters, leggings and Uggs. Often this is a time where our health and wellness goals are also traded in, for holiday celebrations and the ever present, pumpkin spice latte. Don't get caught up in the cycle of trick o' treating-yoself too often. Eventually those add up and we find ourselves at New Years, stuffed, bloated and ready for a "New Year, New Me." It's a vicious cycle we find ourselves in. Then the beginning of the year hits and we are motivated, ready for a change. Until day 3 when the gyms are too crowded and you're face deep in leftover Christmas cookies for breakfast. 

There has to be a better way! Well there is. Coming from someone who has been stuck in the hamster wheel of staying laser focused on my own self care goals and then self sabatoges, it's important to work a little bit towards your goals every single day. This doesn't have to come from a place of scarcity or deprivation. Abundance can come in the form of your health as well. Although this is a difficult time to be balanced with the increase in socializing, typically around food, it is possible! Imagine how amazing your 2018 can be if you are ending 2017 feeling strong, healthy and committed to yourself, instead of bloated and hungover? 

You can start by revamping some of your favorite comfort foods into healthy versions. Ah the ever present pumpkin spice latte. I know I love all things pumpkin, apple cider and autumn flavored. Give me ALL the cinnamon!! But those lattes, cookies and pies add up quick! So to avoid being mistaken for the Thanksgiving turkey - I revamp a lot of my fall favorites. Here is a recipe for a healthy pumpkin spice latte alternative that is JAM PACKED with flavor and won't bust your goals. 

8oz Calfia Farms Toasted Coconut Milk

1C ice

2oz water

1/2 scoop Vegan Vanilla Shakeology

1/2 scoop Vegan Cafe Latte Shakeology

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Turmeric (great for anti inflammation)

1 tsp pumpkin spice seasoning

Blend and chug! You can add more ice/less liquid for a more ice cream like texture, or more liquid for a smoothie texture. You will be thanking yourself for this healthy latte that helps support natural energy, healthy digestion, metabolism, cell repair and your hair skin and nails will start looking radiant! Here's the thing, you don't have to skip out on EVERY fun holiday treat and in the meantime, there's healthy ways to get your sweet fix. 

Start a revolution in your mind

I have been on this track. You know the one you're supposed to be on. Go to school, get a good job, work hard, succeed, have a good life. The one where critical thinking, dreaming and creativity are stifled and work hard, do what it takes is encouraged. I sunk myself in debt to get the education to get to the job that would get me to the place where I would work hard so that I could get the dream. The good life, with a nice house and a feeling of comfort. 

So I work. And I keep working. But I never feel that success that is supposed to come with this "dream." I must be doing something wrong. Maybe if I have more stuff. So I fill my life with stuff. Clothes, shoes, bags, knick nacks, whatever. These will make me happy. This is the success that I'm supposed to have. Nothing. Only more debt. More anxiety. 

Well clearly I'm doing something wrong. I'm not meant for success. I just wasn't picked as being a person who is destined to have the things and life they want. I will always struggle - that's just how it's going to be. Complacency. Anxiety. 

What kind of bullshit is this? I'm a warrior dammit! Success is my birthright. The thing is. There is no prescription for a dream. Our lives, each minute, each day are in our hands to design and live the way we want. Success is subjective. To me - freedom is success. creativity is success. Living life on my own terms is success. These things were never taught to me when I was being pushed on to the hamster wheel of adult life. 

Life by design is just as it sounds. Building a life around YOUR terms. When you realize what you want, make a plan and go for it. Life doesn't have to be about convention, following tradition or doing things because you are supposed to. We all have a little rebel in us. What kind of revolution do you want to start?

Most recently, the revolution has started within. I have realized that the track I have been following is not working for me. Chest pains, anxiety, debt, emptiness - this is what the traditional lifestyle has given me. I don't know about you, but I don't like living that way. So while I can't change my situation immediately, I can change my mindset. I have been meditating on opportunities, positivity and gratitude.

For the first time in my adult life, opportunities have been coming my way that are giving me a light at the end of the tunnel. A way to design my life. What started as an opportunity to change my health and outer appearance has evolved into so much more. Not only am I learning about myself as a person (I'm a freaking badass warrior), but it has ignited a true spark in my life to move towards this purpose of helping people. I've always had that passion, but seeing the opportunity to be able to help people on my own terms is exhilarating. 

Mindset is a powerful thing. When you make your mind up that you want to get rid of the things that no longer serve you and invite into your life what you want: MAGIC. FREAKING. HAPPENS. 

Be magical today, my warriors <3

 

Shoot for....Mediocrity?

When you grow up you can be, ok, average, struggling, living paycheck to paycheck. When you grow up you can work in a cubicle and live life on a hamster wheel. A treadmill that you'll exhaust yourself on for 45 + years and you *might* have the chance to retire and enjoy a few years living out your dreams, maybe.

Um what? Imagine if that's how our parents talked to us and motivated us when we were kids? They didn't implore us to shoot for average results. At least in my experience, my parents taught me I could be anything, do anything and would achieve greatness if I just worked for it. So then why do so many of us settle for less than what we deserve and what we are capable of? Because we're scared? Because we don't want to fail? Because our culture is that of focusing on a very specific way to live? Maybe some of those things, maybe all of them. 

For me, working in a cubicle has NEVER felt normal or ok. It's actually the antithesis of what I had aspired to be when I was younger. Seriously, 17 year old Carly is ready to kick 31 year old Carly's ass for giving up on her dreams of becoming a rockstar artist and graphic designer. But life happens. If I hadn't taken the path that I did, I wouldn't be who I am today and it turns out, I still ended up being a rockstar. I've always been the person to kind of take the long way around my dreams. The path less taken. Or learning the hard way. So ok, I've given cube life a try for a few (ahem 9) years now and it is absolutely, explicitly, wholeheartedly not for me. So I am flipping the script on what I'm "supposed to do" as an adult, and doing what I want. Going into business for myself and working the entrepreneur life full force for the next few years so that I don't have to spend 45 years feeling like my soul is being sucked out of my life. 

I think a lot of people think - well so what, that's life. Everybody hates their job. Grow up, we didn't have it easy. This is how it's always been, what makes you different? Well to that I say, so what? I don't care if that's how it's always been, it's not for me. If you keep doing what you've always done, you're always going to get what you've always got. So if you're living paycheck to paycheck or feeling underappreciated and overworked, why continue on that path? Break outside the bubble to create a life of abundance, success and if it doesn't work, the rat race is always there. But for me, success isn't a one time destination, it's a way of life. And it's an uphill journey to get there, but wouldn't you rather walk uphill for a few years as opposed to a lifetime??