Adding flavor to your 9 to 5.

The vast majority of the people work a typical 9am-5pm desk job. We wake up to a boisterous alarm clock, slovenly roll out of bed, and start the daily grind. We trudge to work in our cars and join the daily rat race.

That is a depressing description of a typical morning, but my fear is it is an accurate one. Day after day, we get up and go to work and get lost in a mundane routine. I have some strategies to help you open your eyes to the beauty of an average day. You have the ability to make average…extraordinary. The root of this concept is mindfulness:

Mindfulness is maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. It is being conscious of the simple moments.

A typical day is filled with precious moments that are often overlooking by the blinders of auto-pilot that so many of us wear. Here are some tips on shifting your typical day into a day of beautiful awareness:

  • Enjoy 6 mins of desk yoga. Connecting with your body and finding movement after hours of stagnate sitting is a blessing. Here is a link to a lovely video by my girl, Adriene
  • Get outside. Most jobs do not require being “office-bound” so slip outside for 5 minutes and get some fresh air. Listen to what you hear and take stock of the visual gifts in front of you.
  • Enjoy your commute. I have become a lover of all things Podcast. I use my commute to learn new information about subjects that I typically would not be expose to (hoarding, clock-making, LSD…just a normal day).
    • some of my favorite Podcasts that can be found on any iPhone: S-town, This American Life, The Daily, Serial, TED Radio Hour
  • Sneak in some yummy breathing. I am an advocate for the belly breath and taking moments throughout the day to engage in 2-3 breaths to center myself. I like to take deep breaths before I enter each patient’s room because it clears my head and allows me to be an active and engaged listener

Enjoying the small, beautiful moments is a great way to combat the “rut” feeling of doing the same thing each day. How do you find joy in your work routine?

Love and light.

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Post-Chair yoga in the office

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Enjoying the Healing Garden at work during lunch

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My spirtual guide wears cargo pants. 

Today started off like a typical Saturday in the Mauldin house. I crawled through a thick wall of bacon odor and made my green tea. We did a little yoga and then watched some European soccer until we formulated the offical weekend plans. The weather was gorgeous, so we decided to take the new Jeep for an off-roading adventure. God, I’m such a redneck (insert “hey yall’s” and denim shorts.) 

We headed to Raven cliff falls and Tray Mountain to explore two off-roading trails. The summit of Tray Mountain intersects with part of the Appalachian Trail. For those of you unfamiliar with the AT, it’s basically a 2,100 mile trail from Georgia to Maine. It’s a trail of self-discovery and typically consists of retirees and the post-college “finding myself” pack. It’s blissful and I would give anything to commit to hiking it. I digress. 

As we sat on the mountain summit, a greenish forrest dweller approached from the trail. Ahh, ’twas the green of a backpack and the stench of an AT thru-hiker. No sweeter smell, my friends. This gentle man approached our muddy vehicle and told us he was having some heart issues and wanted to know if we could help him into town. Being the healthcare providers we are, we said (in sync) “Yes!” 

Meet Zack from Oklahoma. A man on a mission to find himself again after an unexpected career change. It took us an hour to get into town from the summit and over that hour, we shared stories of serondipity, travel, compassion, wanderlust, and sustainability. I asked Zack if we could help him with his medical concerns or call anyone for him. He simply replied, “I trust everything will work out and I have no fear.” And there he went. He walked off into the distance leaving nothing but muddy boot prints and an irreplaceable message in our soul. Life isnt about knowing the answer to everything. It’s about trusting the process. It’s about faith that the stars align to keep you safe. It’s about letting go. 

In that one hour, I realized more than all the self-help books ever taught me. Letting go and surrending to what will be is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. 

Zack, may you get back on the trail and be safe. Thank you for shifting the trajectory of our day…maybe of our lives. We plan to repay the favor by helping spread some of that “Trail Magic” to others. 
Love and light. 

Eulogies, rock climbing, and book club.

What do these three things have in common? Nothing. I just wanted to get your attention. Hello, hi. The first part of the title is the true purpose of this piece. On Monday, April 10th, my husband’s sweet grandmother passed away at the age of 105. Conceptualize that age. She was born before the Titanic sank and preceded the invention of the car. Her eulogy was sweet, sincere, and perfect. It encompassed a love of bridge, church, and chocolate. Perhaps it was the deliciously blue sky as a backdrop or the songs of a robin, but the eulogy truly stuck my soul. On the drive home, I thought to myself,

What will my Eulogy say?

Morbid? Maybe. Hear me out. If you died tomorrow, what would you want your loved ones to say? Would you want your love of Chinese take-out and romance novels to be the focus? Perhaps you want your philanthropic hobbies discussed and a few sentences about the animals you rescued?

In the early part of my life, I put a lot of my self worth into achievement.

I am worthy because I made all A’s/got the dream job/etc

As I’ve leaned into my late twenties, I’ve learned that my self worth is built from my compassion, humor, positivity, and kindness. I want to be known for the type of person I was, not necessarily my achievements. This concept permeated into my workplace today and I posed the question to my colleagues. One of the psychologists at work told me that writing your eulogy is a true psychological strategy for motivating patients. It forces the patient to focus on the main priorities in life and identify your purpose and passion.

I ask you this question:

If you wrote your eulogy tomorrow, what would you want it to say?

I am humbled that sweet grandma lived to be 105 years old and I can’t comprehend the knowledge and sage wisdom she accumulated. Each day is truly a gift and I am going to spend it working towards becoming the woman I want to hear about when I’m listening on the other side of the clouds (in many, many, many years from now).

Be present, be kind, be the light.

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Natural beauty 

DIY: Stop a Panic Attack.

Everyone (from my Starbucks barista to my family) knows that I am the queen of anxiety. I started having panic attacks in nursing school, but my overzealous brain told me that it was something physical. My brain interpreted these strange moments of adrenaline to be a deviating physical aliment such as a rupturing aortic aneurysm or a heart attack. It was a combination of knowing too much about the medical field and deep dark dives into google that led me to believe my pounding heart was the end. Fortunately, nursing school also exposed me to this concept called anxiety (typically common among the wealthy suburbanites that do not have real things to worry about). I kid, I kid. Fast forward a few years and a few hundred dollars in therapy and I arrive at the present day…with an arsenal to defend against the dreaded anxiety attack. I am humbled by many late nights spent surfing Amazon for self-help books and streaming TED talks on Youtube. I have developed a few successful tips that can help you get through a panic attack after years of self-study.

  • Engage your 5 senses.
    • what do you see? Name 2 items you see.
    • what do you hear? Name 2 times you hear.
    • what do you feel? Name 2 items you feel.
    • what do you smell? Name 2 items you smell.
  • Belly Breathe
    • the core of calm lives in our bellies
    • inhale for 1-2-3-4, hold it 1-2-3-4, exhale 1-2-3-4
    • when you inhale, feel your belly pushing out as if you were preparing to sing a high note in chorus (shout out to middle school chorus and the awkward pubescent moments of doom and acne)
  • pick your manta
    • “I’ve been through this before and I survived/thrived”
    • “Let it go”
    • “I am calm and compassionate”
  • Seek gratitude
    • in the midst of panic, finding something you are grateful for is a challenge, but it makes all the difference
    • say one thing in your mind that you are grateful for
    • the shift from fear/panic to gratitude is a powerful and beautiful moment

Panic used to make me feel spaced out and strange. I would feel dizzy and disconnected. By focusing on my senses, I would feel grounded and connected to the earth. Sometimes, I would smell peppermint oil to really jolt me back in the present moment. Mantras work well for me also because it stops the continuous negative thought pattered and replaces it with something positive. Our brain has this miraculous area called the limbic system. It has allowed us to survive for thousands of years and outrun tigers /prevent us from burning our houses down etc. It is a bad ass emergency system. Unfortunately, we live in a state that has the limbic system switched to “on” most of the time, resulting in hypervigilance. This explains why you might be in line at Target and the next thing you know, you are sweating and feel a desire to run out of the store. Thanks, sympathetic nervous system. By utilizing the techniques listed above, we can counteract this overstimulated response system and begin to engage our parasympathetic nervous system. I fondly refer to it as the chill the f*** out system. Our brain is phenomenal, but we can still manipulate it to halt panic and allow space for a more calming energy. You have the power to trick your brain with your body.

You are a warrior goddess/defender of the good/captain fantastic/super human….just if you needed a reminder.

Love and light.

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Plot twist. 

Blogging fell from my pocket and got lost within the junk drawer of life over these past two months. I love writing and sharing ideas with my readers, but I’ve gravitated away from this creative outlet. After diving inward and working through the kinks, I’ve decided to revamp the content of my blog. I’m humbled by my readers and I hope you continue to find a space to cultivate new ideas with me. This blog is taking a sharp left and will start to evolve….because, well…I’ve evolved. I want this platform to be a genuine expression of what works for me and what does not. I’ll be sharing my tales as I continue on this adventure of self-discovery and I would be honored to have you join me. Lean in, grab a cup of tea, and let’s wade through the sludge together!

New/continued content:

Minimalism 

Yoga 

Meditation 

Self-improvement 

Mindfulness 

Organization 

De-cluttering 

Repurposing 

Stress management 

Stay tuned! New blog posts every week!

Love and light. 


This little free library inspired me to start writing again ❤