Are you at war?

Two sides. There’s conflict. Arguing and contradictions. Hot energy and fire and fire and fire. There’s a war.

This war isn’t a physical one. It’s not a tale of two counties. It’s not a battle over religion or oil.

And it’s not a war that will have a winner.

But it is just as damaging. It will leave both sides weak. And when it’s all said and done, what started the entire thing is buried deep in the destruction, hard to remember and even harder to find. Few will want what’s left.

I wish this war wasn’t happening. But it is. And it’s happening in that beautiful brain of yours.

You don’t trust . You second guess. You undermine. You judge. You do this all to yourself.

Why?? I’m going to ask it one more time… why??

I ask why because it takes so so much energy to engage with yourself like this. And let me tell me what’s happening while you’re at war with yourself…

You miss the beautiful meal with your best friends because you’re so busy freaking out over that extra glass of wine you just had.

You don’t receive the compliment because you’re too busy wondering what’s wrong with him that he’d think that about you

You pass up a killer opportunity because the bitchy voice in there said you weren’t ready.

Your moment is gone. And you’ll never get it back. Because you were in judgy, yukky, shamey, war land up there.

So much was missed. So much was lost. But it doesn’t have to be.

Your dreams need your energy so damn badly. Your love needs your love. Your creativity needs your calmness.Tweet: Your dreams need your energy so damn badly. Your love needs your love. Your creativity needs your calmness http://bit.ly/1HabQ2J @maxiemccoy

Your life needs you, not the battling version of you, but the one united force – of your mind. your heart. your soul. your energy. your spirit.

When they come together, so will everything else. So stop the war already, will you?

On being wrong…Deliciously wrong

If you ask my family, they’d say I love being right. And while I am right most of the time with them.

Being right can feel nice, for a moment. But being wrong gives us something that lasts a lifetime. We learn from being wrong. Who ever learned from being right? Not this girl. I still remember getting my first B on a spelling test in Mr. Bell’s second grade class for misspelling ‘exercise’. If anything, that tells us how how deep the lesson is planted when we’re wrong.

Learning to spell ‘exercise’ hasn’t been the only unforgettable lesson I’ve learned from a mistake, these are right up there with that abominable spelling word:

Talking won’t always help

If the prolific amount of words found on this blog over the course of almost 3 years is any indication of my love for words… it’s probably obvious that I work through things with communication. I love talking things out. I love analyzing. I love problem solving. I love juicy conversations over wine with my girlfriends. I love conversation with strangers. I always thought that made things better. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it just gets your panties in a knot-of-a wod. You’re worked up. Things are out of proportion. And if you’d just shut the heck up about it, the issue that you’ve used your words to turn into a disaster would probably go away. Not long ago, I had some major things happening that I kept 95% mum about, and I found I was so.much.less. worked up about something so major. #lessonlearned

It’s either joy, or its not

A few weeks ago I couldn’t have loved more the fact that I was on the other side of the world. I was pumped: for the space. the experience. the adventure. the travel. the creativity. the building block. But in the same moments of loving my life decision, I was equally as W-T-F. Why am I here. What am I doing. Is this awful or awesome? I can’t quite tell. And I couldn’t tell because it was both. I was happy and unhappy about all of the same things. And that’s OK. Life is messy and fluid. We’re experiencing so many things at any given moment. Knowing that both the joyful and unjoyful parts of the spectrum can exist within the same experiences can and should allow us to quit judging the feeling of the moment so much.

Your interests are your identity

I’m doing things I never would have been interested in 3 or 4 years ago. I chose to hike up a volcano over night in the pouring rain on my birthday. I’m surfing aka spending hours and hours on a floating board in the middle of the freaking ocean, and I’m liking it. I’m playing with strange dogs on the beach just because they’re cute. I’m watching hours of videos on quantum mechanics and cannot get enough. Our interests aren’t us. They can and should change. Think about all the things you say no to because “you’re not into that”. Are you really not? Or is that just what seems to fit your definition of self? I’m learning what’s on the other side of our interest identities, boy did I have it wrong…there’s so much fun to be had when we do something even if it isn’t “us”.

Knowing will make it better

I’m a person that wants the details. Or I think I do. How may people actually slip climbing this mountain? Could I get a staph infection from this surfboard? Is he married yet? I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes that knowledge will make things worse for you, not better. It’s knowledge that isn’t going to affect your decision either way, so then why look? Why know? Ignorance can be a beautiful thing and can keep you focused on the important things – like having fun, enjoying the moment, working on the task at hand.

I’ve had some major errors in judgement – some big and some small. Some worth writing about and some not. But here’s what I do know about being wrong: it’s a gift. It shouldn’t be feared. It should be accepted and respected.

You grow, stretch and glisten because of the lessons learned from being wrong.Tweet: You grow, stretch and glisten because of the lessons learned from being wrong. @maxiemccoy http://ctt.ec/b4fXj+

The best way to find your balance

Balance is a funny thing. We hear about it often – from staying emotionally balanced to finding work-life balance. It’s a rather interesting asset that we seem to place a lot of emphasis on.

Where does it come from? How do you find it?

Balance has come up a lot for me in the past few weeks, specifically in a physical sense. From trying to learn how to scooter to learning how to surf, my balance has been in a constant cross fire.

And at the beginning of both of those experiences, as soon as I began to feel myself losing equilibrium, I bolted. I would slam on my breaks and put my feet onto the ground while on my scooter. While surfing, I give my instructors great joy and myself great pain, belly flopping off the surf board and crashing into the water – unwilling to wait the imbalance out in order to stabilize. I’d ditch the board and plunge into the wave.

Then, I came across this adorable little sign at a shop by the beach that read: “The best way to find your balance is to keep moving.”

I stood there, staring. Reading it again and again: The best way to find your balance is to keep moving.Tweet: The best way to find your balance is to keep moving. @maxiemccoy http://ctt.ec/G35mO+ ‎

That’s exactly it. Both on my scooter and on my surfboard, the more I kept moving forward, the more I found my balance. Ditching the situation just left me frustrated (and sometimes in pain). But when I kept going, not only did I find my balance, I made progress and I got places.

What a reminder for all the moments we’re feeling like we’re about to lose it. When we’re feeling like we don’t know how to walk the tight-rope and keep the wave of life any longer…we just have to keep going. We might fall, we might tumble, but eventually we’ll find our balance and see ourselves getting farther than we ever thought possible before.

The only way to find your balance is to keep moving. So go baby go…keep moving and dreaming and pushing forward. You will find your equilibrium amongst it all.

26 lessons I learned while 26

26 lessons I learned while 26

The sunset is setting in my 26th year. Literally. I’m on a beach in Bali writing this on my last day of 26, thinking about all that came and went, like the waves crashing not far from my feet.

It was a year of lessons, that’s for sure. Isn’t every? But something about 26 was particularly teaching. It was messy. It was freeing. It was scary. It was so so fun. And above all, it was loving.

I grew, with pains, and with new perspective. I laughed a lot. Cried hard. And wondered often.

So my birthday gift to myself, is one to you: may you learn from my lessons, remember you’re not alone, and as my friend Amanda would say is the worst advice ever: it’s all, always, going to work out. 

1. Don’t hide from vulnerability. Even when it means that you might end up in a puddle of pain, do it anyways.

2. Propose new ideas that you can and want to take on. It might be a long shot. But you also just might end up spending 3 months in Europe.

3. Go ahead and show up at his door. (Or hers). There’s something beautiful about being so unafraid to love…even if you’re wrong.

4. Say yes often. To strangers. To new friend. To weird opportunities. Adventure awaits.

5. Use your words for good. They’re so much more powerful that way.

6. Don’t let distance keep you from the ones you love. 

7. Fall and get back up. Every time. Even if it takes you a while.

8. Be OK with being angry. Just make sure you understand what it is you’re protecting.

9. Give. and meditate. They’re two things that quite literally have the power to change your life.

26 lessons

10. If you get a chance to see Britney Spears in Vegas. Say yes.

11. No matter your religion. Or your beliefs. You’ll feel the energy of the spirit at the holiest sites in the world. So go to them.

12. Make time for a dinner at sunset by yourself. You’ll never feel more connected than watching the greatest light show on earth.

13. Don’t stalk any ex’s social media. Just don’t. For real.

14. When you feel wronged, let it go. Honor it, and let it go.

15. Get on a last minute plane to surprise someone you love. It’s too fun. 

16. Don’t shy away from other people’s grief. The greatest gift you can give is to sit with them in that. Plus, they really need you in those moments.

17. Ask for help from people smarter and more talented than you. They want to see you succeed.

18. Take a leap of faith. And take it often.

19. Raise your hand for the opportunity that scares the shit out of you. You’ll be so proud you did.

20. Learn to surf. It’s the greatest sport you never knew you’re missing.

21. Be OK being alone. And be equally OK with feeling lonely.

22. Get rid of the constant weighing yourself habit. A number is not your worth.

23. Family. Near, far, blood or not. Family.

24. When the voice in your head has a crazy idea. Honor it. And act. It just might be your calling.Tweet: When the voice in your head has a crazy idea. Honor it. And act. It just might be your calling. http://ctt.ec/hMiFg+ @maxiemccoy

25. You’re constantly growing. What you didn’t like last year may just be something you fall in love with this year. Like dogs.

26. You are connected to something so much bigger. Your time here, however fleeting, is a journey of the spirit. Do everything in your power to stay connected to that. To the universe guiding you. To your soul’s whispering to go after your dreams. And to the sweet, sweet love of this cosmic experience.

Why You Should Lose the Big Picture (sometimes)

Why You Should Lose the Big Picture (sometimes)

But you MUST remember the big picture!

How many times have you heard this? Or how many times have you quietly said that to yourself? I sure have. So many times. I must be working toward the vision. Toward the goals. It must all lead there. End up there. Add up to that.

Or does it?

Sometimes, we need to drop this vision all together. I think there’s a lot of power in knowing what you want for your life. But I also know that our power can be stripped when we’re too focused on it all the time. We force ourselves to know with certainty. We have one course we’re working towards and when we venture off of it we freak. We constantly ask ourselves if we’re doing enough to get there. And in all of that worry, we lose the connection to the thing that makes us so mighty.

Our moment. Our right now. Our present, unknowingness.

I was given a lesson hard when I arrived to Bali. Here I was on the other side of the world…without knowing a soul…without a schedule….without knowing what life was going to look like 6 or even 3 months from now. I remember waking up in the middle of the night on my first night here and panicking. What the hell have I done?

And then I read a quote that rocked me to my core. That brought me back to the beauty of not being able to answer the question that I desperately begged the Universe to answer the night before.

“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” – Agnes De Mille

It brought me back to the trust that we’re all deeply, tightly connected to an energy that will carry us forward. It carries us to that “later” big picture.

You may not know how. You may not know why. But have faith that it’s more powerful than anything you could know right now. And keep leaping.Tweet: You may not know how. You may not know why. But have faith and keep leaping. http://ctt.ec/M1FRd+ @maxiemccoy

 

 


 

I love how travel can strip us down to our truths. If you’re dreaming of traveling, read my Guide to Traveling the World on the College Prepster.

Guide to traveling the world

One voice you must stop listening to

We all know that we’re supposed to “live outside of our comfort zones”. But actually doing it is quite the other story.  Yes life happens over there>> outside the zone. You all know the diagram I’m talking about.

But there’s a reason the good stuff is out there. Because it’s damn hard to get to. No one ever tells you that in order to get there, you’re going to want to quit about 70 thousand times in your head.  And your brain will tell you that’s the right thing to do. “Stick with the safe thing” will be blaring on surround sound in your head.

A few days ago I arrived in a place that is really only accessible by motorbikes or scooters. I knew this going into it. And while I’ve only ridden on the back of my besties motorized two wheels…I figured it couldn’t be that hard and I’d have my floral printed kimonos blowing through the breeze on my new wheels in no time.

Glamorous vision. What actually happened was that I went to rent a scooter and they handed me over an impossible-to-drive motorbike. And I about crashed, twice, in the alley where there weren’t even other bikes, cars or potholes. Forgot the c h a o t i c street with people zipping around on the wrong side of the road. I tried to get comfortable, for like 30 minutes, then finally threw in the towel…wayyyyy to scared…and paid the rental guy to drive me instead.

It was 48 hours of agony before I could muster up the courage to get behind the wheel again. The only reason I did is because I was given a scooter that was supposed to be way easier than the motorbike the other people had me beginning with. And because I’d be chained to my little cottage if I didn’t woman-up and figure it out.

Figure it out I did. I’ve just spent the day whizzing around on two wheels, which in a place like Bali, is the absolute most freeing experience. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt anything like it.

And while I did, I thought about my 48-hour panic. Of all the things I’ve been telling myself the past few days: you’re just bad at this. you’re literally going to die. things are too crazy here. why did you think this was a good idea. idiot. repeat. repeat. repeat.

Ugly tape huh? Really ugly. And these fear-mongering voices, they exist in all of us. The key is in turning down the volume. Learning to quiet them. I’m not sure they’ll ever go away, but we don’t have to listen to the voice that tells us to play it safe.

We always have a choice. We can buck up and tolerate discomfort. Bite the bit. Muster the strength. Whether it’s something as silly as riding a scooter in the other side of the world, or having a conversation with someone that we’d do anything to get out of.

Tolerate it. Sit in it. Don’t let your “you can’t do this” thoughts win.Tweet: Tolerate it. Sit in it. Don’t let your

Trust me, if your pushy voices succeed, what’s ahead is a boring, chained-to-your-cottage life when an entire world is waiting.


Have you entered to win the AstroTwins Best Year Ever Giveaway yet? There’s still some time left to do it!! Enter today!

Some STAR Power Just for You

This cosmic universe is a beautiful one. A powerful one. And I believe more and more every day that those stars I obsess over twinkling in the sky are just as connected to me as the heart beating in my chest.

The pattern of stars and planets in the heavens and their affect on us humans is widely known as astrology. Some people are into it. Some people aren’t. I’m the former. Big time.

JP Morgan famously said, “Millionaires don’t use astrology. Billionaires do.” Amen JP. Ayyyymen.

Astrology gives us a beautiful understanding of our strengths, characteristics, weak spots, and energy. Which is why I start every day reading my Horoscope, written by the AstroTwins (aka the Oprahs of Astrology). My favorite activity with a reluctant girlfriend listening to me gush over the Astrotwins and my love of astrology is to read her her astrological profile. Wins every time. They’re so spot on and so telling of our personalities.

If you’ve ever wanted to dabble in Astrology, you’re in luck! Welcome the starpower that is the AstroTwins Best Year Ever bundle Giveaway

AstroTwins have designed a special 90-minute online workshop for an awesome new year. They want you to live the best life you possibly can and make decisions at the RIGHT time. They’ll show you how to use 2015’s stars to chart your course. And they’ll throw in a 2015 Planetary Planner ebook just for you. You want in on this one. Enter Here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want to jump on this opportunity right now, AstroTwins have given all the Maxie readers a special discount off this bundle. Enter “2015” at checkout and you’ll get 20% off. Hello Future Billionaires!

 

 

 

 

 

How to make your goals happen

Well, it happened. An entire year has passed and we’re moving into a new one: 2015.

H o l y  s h i t. Is how I feel about the new year. Where did the past one go? How is it already here? How are all the things I’ve been planning for about to be upon me? It’s not about talking anymore, it’s about doing.

And this is the time of year where everyone (everyone) is talking about the goals you should set and the resolutions you should keep.

There’s so much setting. But what about the doing? The achieving. The reaching your goals.

Here’s the thing about your dreams becoming a reality. It all happens when you’re not looking. It all happens day-today, while you’re out there busy. While you’re doing.

Your goals happen by falling into them.

A few months ago I had big goals set for the beginning of 2015. I had big plans. And once I set them, I started the daily fight of making them real. Having the conversations I needed to have. Making the lists. Making the plans. Putting in the work. I thought about all the things I needed to do, and I was doing them. And now I’m sitting here with it all happening. I fell into it.

Like falling asleep, it’s slow at first… and then all at once you’re achieving, you’re winning, you’re making it your reality.

I think about what it felt like to zipline over the waterfalls in Hawaii. I had to exert so much energy in getting myself up on the platform – to face my fears. to fight the anxiety. to step off the ledge. But as soon as I did, the rest was effortless. It was happening with me.

Falling into your goals happens the same way- by knowing your vision, but then by going after it each day. Every day you go to work. Every day you focus on what needs to be done. Every day you put the energy in.

And before you know it, you’re falling into your goals without even realizing it. You’re not living in the expectation. You’re not waiting for it to “all be better when.” You’re in love with the moment. You’re rooted in the day to day. And falling into your dreams. Falling into your goals.

Here’s to a beautiful 2015 for you – to falling into your goals.

Remember, there’s still a *wee* bit of time left in 2014. Check out your final to do list for the year on The College Prepster.

Is your focus completely wrong?

Imagine that you’re rock climbing and you really really want to reach the top. And you KNOW you can get to the top because this is one of those easy indoor places where you’re totally straddled in. However, you’re having a hard time getting there because all you can do is look at the ground below you.

You look at the ground and you freak out. You do not want to be down there. You don’t want to fall. You don’t want your feet to slip off the rocks they’re currently hoisted on.

All of your energy is focused on everything beneath you. Everything you don’t want. So focused, in fact, you don’t have time to look up, to move upward. Basically, you’re as far as you’re ever going to get with 99% of your energy looking down and an occasion glance up.

I don’t rock climb. So it’s not like I was all holstered up thinking about this. But I was recently reflecting on how in so many areas of my life, I easily think about the vision and rarely think about what failure looks like. I move towards that vision with ease.

But then there’s other areas of my life that I’m obsessed with the negative, with looking down. So obsessed that I basically just try not to get worse, rather than really finding strategies to improve.

I get stuck there. So deadset on not being one way, that I don’t have the time or energy on being even better than I am.

So I decided that as I think about the coming year, I’m going to quit looking down, stop fearing sliding back and focus completely on moving forward. And I’m going to do that by really putting intention down with specificity in the areas that I identify myself always “looking down” in.

Maybe you’re so focused on not going broke, that you’re not putting energy into creating wealth. Maybe you so badly don’t want to be alone, that you’re not creating a life of love you deserve. You can’t stand the thought of being unemployed so you never take the risk to fully love your work. Or you so badly don’t want to become overweight one day that you don’t put your energy in being even more fit, right now.

This can look like a lot of various things for all of us. Take a moment to think about where you’re stuck in the middle because you don’t want to “go down” more than you truly want to “go up”. Take those times and reframe the way you think of those buckets of your life. Live for love, abundance, joy, wellness.

 

Holidays: How to React When Traditions Change

A magical thing about the holiday season is that we typically know what to expect. Year after year, we count on a program of events, meals and quirky songs that happen right on cue. Whether it’s the cupcakes your cool aunt makes after everyone opens Christmas presents, or simply knowing which family members will be at your mom’s house for the last night of Hanukkah – holiday traditions, whatever they are, stay close to your heart year after year.

But what happens when long familiar holiday traditions change? Whether it’s your sister getting married and trading off the holidays with in-laws, or your sweet grandparents passing, it’s sometimes hard to handle change with grace and without holding on to what was too tightly.

I’ve always loved my family’s holiday traditions. But as I’ve gotten older, along with the rest of my siblings, things have changed, majorly. We don’t spend our holidays where my parents grew up in Nashville. We stay in Texas. My baby brother is serving our country overseas and my other two siblings have families of their own to take into account.

At first, I felt all kinds of holiday resistance to the tinsel being pulled in different directions. I felt as if we no longer had traditions. Everything was different and left me thinking, “This. Is. Weird.” But then I realized that this was just change. This is life.

Maybe you had a similar reaction? Well, it’s up to each of us to keep the spirit of the holidays intact, with or without the traditions we’ve always known.Tweet: It’s up to each of us to keep the spirit of the holidays intact, with OR w/o our traditions. @COCACOLACO @maxiemccoy http://ctt.ec/ShROe+

After much contemplation, I came up with five ways to help you keep the holiday spirit, even when things are changing all around you.

1. Use this as a blank slate

Many of the traditions we hold so dearly are ones we were born into. When things change, you can see this as an opportunity to be creative and set new holiday traditions that are meaningful for you and your family. One of my favorite conversations in the Starbucks drive-thru with my mom was, “what do we want to do this year?” Ask yourself the same question. See this a positive time for new creation, rather than a time to regret what you’ve lost.

2. Stay connected to the important things

It’s called the holiday spirit for a reason, filled with warm cocoa, twinkling lights, and most importantly, the loved ones you’re surrounded by and the community that you’re a part of. This is a really special time to share your love with those who know you and those who need you. Remember that and any fading traditions won’t seem so deep.

3. Evolve

While you can use this time to create new traditions, you can also find a way to bridge what you loved into something new but still similar. When elements of your holiday traditions change, it’s okay to keep replicating the parts you love, even if it’s with things that are new and unfamiliar. This can give you the right amount of connection to the past while still being flexible for the present.

4. Holidays 2.0

When I was a child, my family always went caroling, and while we don’t do that anymore, you can be darn sure that I’ll be singing Jingle Bells on FaceTime to my little brother who’s on a faraway Air Force base. We live in a very connected world. Integrate this into your new way of doing things when your traditions start to change. Whether that’s a Google Hangout with the family who can’t make it to town, or the FaceTime caroling that I’ll be doing, technology can be such a beautiful thing during this time of year.

5. Spread the holiday spirit

Helping others feel the holiday spirit is a great way to get yourself into the spirit too. There are tons of volunteer and charity opportunities you can take advantage of during this season. Making cards for our men and women serving overseas, helping serve meals for those who have less, or even purchasing a few gifts for a family in need are all great ways to spread the spirit of giving.

Bonus Points: Make volunteering a new tradition with family and friends!

There’s nothing easy about changing traditions, especially when they signify deeper shifts happening in your life. However, you have a choice about how to receive the change. During this magical holiday season, use some of these tips to keep the holiday spirit alive.

This post first appeared on The Coca Cola’s Company’s site,  Journey.