• Optimism is a muscle. Exercise it.

    Hi. My name is Mo. I believe in the power of positive energy and intuition. I believe when you tune into energy it leads you to the answers you are seeking and ultimately, the life you want to create. I'm a no nonsense, practical, grounded soul and if you want to cultivate greater awareness of energy, then start reading.

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April 2020: Will NYC Ever Be the Same?

It’s April and oh boy, what a ride it’s been through COVID. We are all tired, but It sounds like if we can keep the pace of vaccines increasing, we are going to be in a better place soon. You might be asking yourself, where can I find the patience and energy to get through the rest of this with so many more challenges ahead?

Over the past year, we have all been given a different snapshot of how we deal with stress on so many different levels. Some of us become angry in so many forms (depression being probably the most common, because depression is anger at its core), some become more compassionate towards ourselves and others, some go numb to realities, and some just trail blaze through the different circumstances we all have never seen.

I think for many, the stress highlights where home is for you, where your heart feels content, and how important it is to surround yourself with like-minded people who share your values and concerns. I’m lucky to be able to live outside of the city while things have been so intense, to have a less stressful situation for my family. I miss the city, but I know right now the city is not the same, just as many other towns and cities are not the same. I go back and forth to the city only for necessary trips like the doctor, dentist, and anything essential that I don’t have with us. Every time I go back to the city, the streets look as if it’s a holiday weekend, when the city empties out.

Most recently when I visited, though, there was an increase in the amount of people walking around the streets– nothing like pre-pandemic, but not empty like my other visits during the winter. The city will have its challenges from this pandemic, but this visit assured me that it will work its way back to being the New York we all read about, where dreams are made of. Each time I see people I know on my visit, I feel a sigh of relief knowing these people are like-minded, sharing the same tolerance and concern for others despite the common stereotype that New Yorkers can get about being self-absorbed. Yes, there are self-absorbed people in the city, but you can find self-absorbed people anywhere. New Yorkers live at a much faster pace, and I think people often mistake the pace as rude or short.

The thing is, New Yorkers keep it real, and real can sometimes come across as brash, or not as soft as one might like. But there is a persistence to New Yorkers that is often hard to match. It’s this persistence that creates those dreams and makes it the wonderful city that it is. I have lived in NYC for over twenty years and every time we get knocked to our knees, that persistence reappears and we build it back up again.

This is going to be what the rest of this country and world will need to do and can do. We are all being tested like no other and wow, has it been hard, but we can all find that source of strength within to start building life back to a new normal. It can’t be done alone. It just can’t; it’s too large of an undertaking and requires those like-minded people that surround you with the same values to keep kicking until we don’t have to kick anymore, and the door stays open so the wind of renewed energy can come through. We do this through helping one another. So keep helping. Keep helping those around you get this vaccine if they are willing to get it. Keep helping even though you are tired. There is always someone more tired than you and if you need help, ask. The resources are there and better times are ahead. We also have support from above. I know this in my heart. We have an entire army of spiritual beings looking out for us, guiding us, giving us nudges, connecting us. They want to help us heal. Lean on those spiritual helpers. Speak to them. They will respond in ways that speak back to you so that you know they are there. Guaranteed.

The marathon is coming to an end and we will go back home to the city when we feel it is right for us. It will be different, but it will build itself back up again just as all the other cities, towns, and really the world will do. In the meantime, take lots of deep breaths and know better times are ahead for all because of the innovation of humankind. When we work together, we are all miracle makers in our own way and don’t forget the powers above for some added support.

December 2020: Manifest a New Year

As the new year approaches, why not gear up to manifest some wonderful new things? 

I recommend starting with your environment. Clear out your space and pass along those things you don’t use. There are so many people in need this year and if you aren’t using something, someone else will!  It’s a great way to start your new year with good vibes and high energy.  

Then, sit and take 15 minutes to just quiet your mind and focus on your heart and what you would like to manifest. Don’t tell yourself it’s too hard; you have tried this before. Instead, tell yourself it’s going to work this time, because you are going to really be open and push away any doubts. Every time a doubt comes up, think of something positive.  Know in your heart you can create your desires.   

I remember when I moved into my one bedroom in NYC, I had been living in an L-shaped studio apartment for years. Once I finally got into a one bedroom I had so much more physical living space than I was used to and it energetically felt like someone new had to show up in my life to fill the physical space. 

And guess what? He did. My husband showed up within three months of moving into that one bedroom.  I put a lot of effort into manifesting my husband thought-wise, but also physically. I read every book I was drawn to about manifesting your soulmate. Energetically, I found that I had developed a strong masculine energy that was necessary and even helpful for navigating the workforce of New York, but found this wasn’t the best energy for cultivating loving relationships. So, I had to remind myself to let my softer side show and began making every effort to bring my feminine side to the universe. At times I thought: “Is this ridiculous?” Well, my husband showed up, so for me, it wasn’t ridiculous.

When trying to manifest my dreams, I have to remind myself that whatever path I’m on has to be for the highest good of all, whether I can understand the reasons or not. I remember this feeling when four of my sisters were pregnant all at once and it felt like the one thing I wanted was to be pregnant too. In my heart, I wanted to be pregnant, but I had to believe that it wasn’t for the greater good at that time, despite my desires. I did end up having my son 2 years later, but it was a hard thing to be patient for at the time. I was in different circumstances with a different path and just had to accept that.  

Do your best to trust there is a larger plan you cannot see. It’s not easy when your heart aches for something and it hasn’t shown up. How many times can you ask for this something?  Keep asking, keep believing, keep seeking, be open to something different, and pay attention to what you are drawn to in 2021.  

Happy New Year!

-MO

November 2020: Pace Yourself

As a kid, my dad was the catalyst behind a couple of sports that my siblings and I participated in.  One was soccer; the other was running. He was a runner in college and always felt that running taught you so much about life: it’s about keeping your pace so that you don’t peeter out and can make it to the finish line; it’s about literally leaning into hills and pumping your arms to take you up the hills. To him, these parts of running taught us about moderation and persistence. 

 

It’s actually simple: the people who can pick themselves up and keep moving, no matter what their circumstances, are powerful.

 

Both these lessons are very relevant to this pandemic.  Innately, we all want to do our best, whether it be while running a race or participating in life, but it’s been an intense nine months in which we have all had to figure out how to pace ourselves through the intensity of everything. 

Right now, I think we are all on a hill, pumping our arms trying to make it to the finish line until this vaccine shows up for some relief.  We can decide to lean in to the hard stuff, walk up the hill, or just stop entirely. What we all need to do right now is lean into the hill and let our best, most powerful selves show. 

How do we do this? 

It’s actually simple: the people who can pick themselves up and keep moving, no matter what their circumstances, are powerful. It’s these people who know that in life there are hills and mountains, but once you get over those hills, there will be a plateau and relief.  Knowing and remembering this… is power. 

Power is knowing you can sustain yourself through any situation, through any circumstance and know you will find your grounding.  You will find a solution even though you don’t know what or where that solution will be found.  You believe in the power of having faith in yourself.  This is the only tool you really need in life to be your most powerful.  

We can also never forget that love equals power– loving yourself through whatever situation you are in and coming out on the other side with more love in your life even though at the time, it may not seem apparent.  You always have someone on your side whether you are conscious of it or not. Always. And this is you in your power. 

My dad is in his 70’s and although he doesn’t run anymore, he takes daily walks in the state of mind of a runner.  Keep pumping those arms, people. We are almost there.

A New Kind of Muscle Tee

Last year, I was so proud to have published an article for Conscious Magazine. I have done work with Conscious in the past, and I love the life-affirming content they publish every month.

This particular article was really successful! It garnered even more feedback than usual, and seemed to have its own life even months after publication. When I sat down to look back at some of my work in 2019 to see where we wanted to 2020 to take me, one saying jumped out of that article more than any other: Optimism is a muscle. 

I decided I wanted to make tee shirts with this saying to spread the conscious choice of optimism. Just a few months into 2020, it became more apparent than ever that our world was desperately in need of some optimism.

Please take a gander at these vintage-inspired tees in the web store and share your optimism with pride.

July 2020: Priority Shift

The “new normal” that we are all getting used to is quite an adjustment.  What is the “new normal” really going to look like in the next year? There is no definite answer other than we all have to continue to take it day by day and go with the flow, that it is a work in progress.  How is this “new normal” affecting our families? our jobs? our priorities in life? This pandemic is pulling these answers out of us whether we like it or not- ultimately, it all comes down to answering the question, “How have your priorities shifted?”  

I don’t like to camp, but camping does force you to simplify and prioritize what is needed.  Maybe we can look at the circumstance of socially distancing as a form of camping away from what was our everyday life?  This is a very long camp out, and I would like to go back to my everyday life just like everyone else. I want to go back to doing the simple things, like walking the dog with my son and then stop to pick up a tea latte with the morning bustle of the city amping up, head back home and put the baby down for his morning nap, giving me a little bit of quiet time. Tea at home is my new normal and I’m fine with that, but I imagine I will always enjoy having someone else make me that latte in the morning. My new normal also means there is no babysitter, so I cannot take a break, run out and do some errands or go out to a quick drink or lunch with a friend. Babysitters are just not happening. 

What is happening, though, is my family life is getting stronger each day, because my husband and I have no choice but to lean on each other, and no one else, for whatever we need. Then, I think of how lucky my son is to have his dad at home working; when my husband is able to take breaks throughout the day, my son can see his father. I think of how the family structure and the priorities of families are having light shed on them, just like the extremely bright spotlight on your cell phone that you reach for when you are in the dark. That flashlight illuminates what you need directly in front of you, just like this forced social isolation is shining a light on what our priorities and limitations are in life, reshaping not only how we live, but how we show up in our families and relationships. 

All of our relationships have shifted. Who do you now facetime with every day or once a week? Who do you check on out of sincere concern? What groups of friends or family do you zoom with?  Where is the silver lining in all of this isolation and loss?  

I think this camping out and flashlight spotlighting our priorities is a big part of the answer.  Families are spending more time together than they ever have before. Sure, they can sit on their devices, but no one can keep that up for this many weeks in a row. It forces human interaction with those closest to them whether we want it or not. As a result, families are going to bond differently and relationships hopefully will be strengthened more than harmed. Parents are making hard choices about their careers because the state of daycares and schools is unknown. Companies are completely restructuring how things are done, realizing much of the workforce can in fact work from home.  We are also making more small decisions, like when my husband decided to cut my son’s hair.  As my husband said after the attempt, his limitations are clear.  My son will wear a hat for a while and we will forever laugh about it. 

I am curious though, after all that society is experiencing, will we go back to the old times, when one parent stayed home more than not with children or when a relative lived with a family in order to help take care? Perhaps we will, partly out of necessity and partly out of choice. Will people be happy to go back to the old fashioned ways of society, or will people have morphed into a new way of choosing to live their lives? Once a vaccine is found, will people have missed the old ways so much that they will try to cram even more into their lives, or will they let things fall to the wayside and choose to simplify and fill their days with less in order to recharge?  

I suspect people will realize how much they were not allowing themselves to recharge and how they were filling their days with too much “stuff” that they felt had to get done.  We cannot ignore this new sense of gratitude for how easy things used to be. Perhaps people will slow down and really enjoy and listen in a way we have forgotten to since the invention of the internet. Our children have never been so stressed as they are today, and as much as this situation is not easy for our children, perhaps getting through this will start to heal a part of our youth.  Maybe having to be at home and figure out how to be creative with their time within the confines of the home with family will ultimately have positive outcomes. The social time they are missing out on has been substituted with an emphasis on family. How can we use this time to actually give our children  what they need to emotionally heal?

My hope is that by the time we have a vaccine, as much as we have lost in this tragedy, we will have gained through renewed priorities within our daily lives, our families, friends, and especially our youth … all from a forced “camp out.” 

-Mo

Parenting in the Pandemic: Advice from a Mother of 10 (yes, ten)

It’s not going to be a typical Mother’s Day this year. Nothing is typical during these times, perhaps other than having to go with the flow. Whether you are a working mom or a full time mom, tending to the needs of children at home during this pandemic is a constant juggling act. My little boy recently turned one years old. My hands are full, and we haven’t even reached the “terrible twos” yet. When I think about my sisters who have more than one child I remind myself that I have it easy.  Then, I think to my mother who took care of all of us- ten children, every day. Compared to her, we all have it easy!  My mom did it on her own- no nannies, no babysitters. We did have the occasional relative come to help, but it really was all on Mom, with the older kids chipping in on a regular basis.   

Whether you have one or ten children, we are all mothers who simply want the best for our children.  We question, research, and discuss our concerns on a daily basis. We always know there will be surprises that create a never ending list of lessons we learn from these little people who we pour our hearts into.  

I can’t tell you what my top lessons for mothering during this time are yet, because my little one is only one years old.  So instead, I wondered what would my mom say are the most important lessons she learned raising ten kids? I asked her.  Then I asked her if I could share these answers with the hard working mothers out there, in hopes that her lessons would ease any extra worry or concern during these challenging times.  These are my mom’s top seven lessons for mothering:

  1. Choose your battles. You can’t fight about everything. If you do, that is all you will be doing. Pick the thing that means the most to you. The kids will understand that.
  2. Try not to reprimand your children in public. Children should be allowed to make mistakes. That is what this growing up is all about. The whole neighborhood doesn’t need to know about your child’s learning experience, or be given an excuse to label them negatively.
  3. Tell the children your family stories, and not just the good ones. If they see that you or your relatives have fought to overcome troubles, the children will believe they can too.
  4. Don’t tell your kids that you just want them to be happy. Being happy is important, but it is the wrong goal. To be a good person is what they really need to hear. Character, conscience, confidence, and compassion are among the goals they need to be a better person.
  5. Watch what pessimism you reinforce. Sometimes we don’t understand that we can give off negative messages that your kids hear loud and clear!
  6. Self worth is very important. Kids need to believe in themselves and that we are here for a reason. It is not stickers, soccer goals, or 99% in school that gives a child worth. Their whole view of the world and how they fit into it comes from your love and a belief that there never was and never will be another them. They have a unique part to play in history.
  7. Love, love, love! Love can heal any mistake we make. Our children know that we are not perfect- they can see that; but as long as we keep demonstrating to them how loved they are, we won’t fail.

Happy Mother’s Day!

-Mo

Amidst the Pandemic, Reconnect with Your Intuition

This article was originally featured in Conscious Magazine‘s April release. Read that version here

Through all of this anxiousness, concern, and worry, you can still hear your intuition—it’s still there. If you can’t, I think it is your duty to find it.

It’s been a month of tragedy for all of us. How can we make things better? I know people who have been lost to this pandemic, and I’m sure you do too. It appears New York may have reached the apex of this pandemic. It can never go down fast enough, but we also need to recognize, while New York may be seeing signs of fewer cases and deaths, other areas in the country are just reaching the peak of this illness or in the middle of an apex. Many people are going to need help for the weeks ahead. The anxiety of the situation is a little less intense because we have adjusted to this “new norm,” but that does not mean it is gone.

Like so many others, I’m sure you can physically see the results of your anxiety in your cracked, dry skin from all this hand-scrubbing. But, through all of this anxiousness, concern, and worry, you can still hear your intuition—it’s still there. If you can’t, I think it is your duty to find it.

Anxiety may make it harder to find, but worries will always lessen when you shift your focus and fears away from yourself and towards helping others. So, if your anxiety is at its height, focus internally with the intent of finding something or someone you can help. Then, listen for your intuition and let it guide you.

Being at home with your family is by no means a quiet situation, but it can be a way of rooting you, and that groundedness can make your intuition stronger than ever. Since this crisis, I have tried to check in regularly with my sister and brother, who are both doctors, to see how they are doing. I ask if they still have face masks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and how many COVID patients they are being exposed to. If I hear them say they don’t have the equipment, I will use all of my energy to find that equipment for them, like a terrier digging in the ground, or a horse running at its peak.

This morning, my intuition reminded me to check in with my good friend from college, who is a doctor in Baltimore. I asked the standard questions that are my new norm for my healthcare friends and family: How are you? Do you have masks and the PPE equipment you need? Her response was not the one I wanted to hear: she had been wearing the same N-95 mask and face shield for three weeks at the hospital. Three weeks. My first reaction was disgust. How is this possible in the United States of America? As frustrating as the answer to that question may be, my energy was not distracted from figuring out a way to help her. I told myself, “I don’t have time to answer that, because my friend is in need.”

Of all the places on the internet, my intuition nudged me to post a request on a Facebook group to see if anyone could help me get PPE equipment to my friend. Now, I can get very impatient when I want a response, even if it isn’t directed at one particular person. It’s the Aries in me. But, I told myself to be patient and went along with my morning. Just an hour later, I received one lead and was waiting to hear back. I told myself to be patient again, but the impatience in me was loud this time and led me to stare at my FB group, scrolling, and reading. I watched my toddler son out of the corner of my eye, who I am usually playing with. Today, I couldn’t play with him. I had to keep scrolling down the page.

Sure enough, that urgency was the right thing to do: I found an entry from 1 hour before from a company donating PPE face shields to healthcare workers in need. Within an hour, I had connected my friend with the contact for the donation. Unbeknownst to me, my other friend from college was on the hunt, too, and had located some N-95 masks to send out immediately.

I know this was both of our intuitions working at their best, whether we were aware of what one another was doing or not. This is an example of the tiny miracles that happen every day if you choose to see what is in front of you and be present, but continue to hope and know it is good beyond what you can ever imagine. This is just one small story, and I know there are so many others. Still, these days, little stories like this one are just as big as any other, because it ultimately comes down to the same message: love does prevail in even the most inhumane, gut-wrenching situations we experience.

It makes my stomach hurt, and my jaw tightens to think of what our frontline healthcare workers are enduring, but as much hell and loss as they are going through, they have to know that tiny miracles are happening on their behalf. There is no reason in a country like ours that they should have to endure this without the proper protection. But that’s where we can help. We all have to listen to our intuition daily to be another form of protection for these people, to have our intuition guide us towards helping them while they perform the unimaginable.

God bless our frontline healthcare workers, and please do the easy part: stay home… and please, listen to your intuition.