From Nothing to Everything!

https://www.thiswomancan.org/nothing-to-grateful-experience-everything/

I wrote this article, for www.thiswomancan.org, about my journey from being stuck in a place, in a body, in a mindset full of hate and ungratefulness into a journey of seeing what I have,  finding love for myself and my body and finally everything life throws at me (even though I cant always see it and feel it strait away)

I found myself frustrated again, feeling that life wasn’t treating me right. I felt like I was doing everything “right” but got nothing out of it and I sat with this feeling of failing when I remembered how I, for so many years, never believed that I could love and be loved at the same time – today I do love someone who does love me back. I remembered how I never believed that I could ever eat without guilt and feel love and peace for my own body – today I feel happier than ever to live in my own skin and food is magical to me. I have actually learnt to communicate and feel my body and I can tell what it needs which to me, is completely mind-blowing.

Reed the whole article here: https://www.thiswomancan.org/nothing-to-grateful-experience-everything/

What the hell are panic attacks?

Living has been a challenge lately. Just being in my own mind really. For the first time I am actually getting along with my body which is simply amazing, but now it is my minds turn to play tricks on me. I am obviously aware of the fact that I am a bit crazy. I love to be able to allow my mind to go wherever it sometimes feel curious to go, and quite often my own mind make me laugh. It has a sense of humour that I appreciate. But god, sometimes I want nothing but to disconnect all of my thought trains.

I wonder how many people that get these panic attacks I’ve been getting lately (due to cutting down my antidepressants?) I wonder how people cope? I see myself as a person who has a lot of self-perspective and I can often distance myself from… myself really. I am used to feel a lot and separate myself from my feelings and be the observer of what is going on inside of me. Lately I’ve found it extremely hard. Lately it has been like someone is standing with a vacuum cleaner and sucking my whole being into it. After I am rushing around as a vacuum cleaner just sucking the joy out of everything that is coming my way. No fucking mercy at all, everything that matters to me and the people around me it sucks up and down the black hole. It doesn’t separate good from bad – because it is a machine with no emotions or awareness.

I actually don’t know what a panic attack really is, but if what I am getting isn’t a panic attack then I don’t know what is. I literally feel as if I cannot move, cannot be still, cannot love, cannot function at all. All I want is for someone to wrap me in those white tops and thigh my hands around myself put me in a car and drive off to neverland. All I want is that tranquilizer gun from Old school (“most powerful tranquilizer on the market”) – someone, something, anything please just put me to sleep!

All metaphors aside, I have to admit that I am so scared when they happen. So scared. All my self-control is gone out the window in those moments. All that is good about, with and from me is nonexistent. Sucked into vacuum space. All my dreams mean nothing, thinking about the future seems completely pointless. And maybe that’s what this vacuum is trying to tell me – that there will be no future if I cannot learn how to live and be happy in the moment. That here and now the future actually means nothing unless this moment at least is worth as much – because this moment is what is going on forever until it is the future from where I am standing now.

I have been focusing so much on where I want to go that I forgot how to enjoy all the small things along the way. I have turned the journey itself into an obstacle my body is trying to break down and overcome – when the journey isn’t anything I should try to overcome. Rather I should try to get into it. My mind is breaking down because the journey is all I’ve got and in one-way or another that needs to be clear to me. Well, I’ve got it now.

I know my tools but then, in the joy-sucking-tornado I don’t know how to use them. I follow my breath, remind myself that we have been though this before and even though it feels like this is going to last forever it wont. I know my tools but then and there I don’t believe in anything other than the pain I’m feeling inside from simply just being me in this world.

So what is triggering them? How can I avoid them? (please if anyone know anything about this I am gladly taking advice, no advice are stupid, send them over!)

I have got a feeling that they come every time I cut down one more day of my pills which happens every second or third week. I always slow down the cutting down process after an episode. I also notice that when someone is trying to reason with me then it seems to fuel the force of the vacuum and instead of helping it is making it worse – turbo mode worse. I cannot listen to anything that isn’t telling me that what I am doing, feeling or being is ok. If someone would tell me otherwise the turbo power kicks in and I feel like I am capable of swallowing the whole universe. I fall and it is scary.

It makes me think about how I would act towards a person in emotional panic pain such as myself. If I was a person who witnessed myself I would start with a firm and long hug and I would tell myself to let it all out, that it is ok and that I can scream and cry and laugh into my arms for as long as I need to. That I am not going anywhere and that the pain is okay. I would encourage everything that feels like it need to come out. Then I would put on some tea, maybe a movie in the background, grab a note pad or a computer to write my heart out, or even a deck of cards to play with. Get some blankets and everything cosy and make a dream out of the place I’m in, wherever that may be. I would tell myself that we can sit here and just be, cry and laugh together for as long as we need to, for as long as it feels hard to leave. I would tell myself that we can be here for a whole week, it doesn’t matter. Because then and there I’ve noticed that trying to escape from the tough feelings only make them worse – it gives them the power, the turbo engine. It is literally like running on quick sand. The only thing that helps is to create a moment of stillness where time doesn’t exist and where everything is allowed except holding back and resist.

Scary times but today I woke up actually wanting to get up. I wanted to do things. I had shit to write, weird movies to make, tea to drink, saunas to sweat in, a house to find and eventually make a home out of. I woke up this morning looking forward to finding a new place to live and make it a place I want to live. Reminded by a thought of my mum and how she, wherever we went turned a place homely – even if it was just for one day she brought ropes, tied them up and hung up sarongs, put up candles and rocks she’d found and collected along the way. She even turned our holiday car into a place where we could live one summer. Inspired by her I am now itching to create a good standing ground and bring it with me wherever I go.

It is interesting how shit work out, because I doubt that I would feel this motivated to move, and get organised, make shit happen and dive into projects if it wasn’t for that rock bottom I was rolling around on a few days back. Should I be grateful? I think so, well I have to be, even though it hurt like absolute hell at the time it seems to have powered me up and brough me closer to home; within in spirit but also in the physical world. So thank you you devilish vacuum, I guess, but please stay the hell away from me for a while.

The Butterfly Foundation

In my search for things to do with and in my life, that will make me feel as if I am doing something that is spreading good, love and happiness in this world I came across The Butterfly Foundation. It is an eating disorder organization and they work with boys and girls who are and have lived through an eating disorder. They also work with basically anyone who need support in this area such as families, care takers, partners etc. I love how this organization work, through sharing stories with purpose and through the stories generate hope and community.

Through attending The Butterfly Foundations story telling workshop I learned a lot about myself and others, and I learned that there are so many genuinely nice and caring people out in this world who are spending all their lives trying to help others go through what they’ve been through themselves.

This experience left me truly inspired and hopeful to find a path for myself as I now know that such places exist! Last but not least, it left me with a feeling of excitement that this is also what the world can be like; a world where we simply care for others and do our job to help where help is needed. It is such a beautiful thing to be in a room with people who genuinely just care about others. <3

Here is a link to my story:

https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/understand-eating-disorders/share-your-story/stories/view/57 

Can a life without booze be exciting?

Here is a link to a blogpost I wrote for the Hellosundaymorning community! For you who haven´t heard about it it is similar to Facebook and Linkedin but for people who are becoming aware of their relationship to alcohol. This is such a good meeting-place for those who are struggling with addiction or simply want to change their priorities in life!

Have a read here:

https://www.hellosundaymorning.org/2017/12/04/finding-self-love/

Always  love, Maya

Feel. Live. Be.

Ever since we got back from our holidays, Me from first two weeks in Sweden and then another two weeks in NYC with Adrian, friends and family, I’ve been feeling more down than up. It’s like I am not really settled in my life, I’m restless. I do what I do but there is a lack of joy and engagement and I am having a real hard time just being in the moment without constantly worrying or thinking or planning what’s next. I wonder if it is because of the fact (and I hope it is) that I have started to cut down even more on my antidepressants? I take it slow and it is so frustrating to do something without feeling any kind of reward from it. It’s like I’m peddling water. Like I’m standing still and all I want to do is just jump up and down and be involved in my life.

In Sweden I felt absolutely fantastic. I had been sick for a month, I think it was from cutting down  – apparently you can get physically sick, like the flue, from cutting down, who knew that? Honestly, I had all the symptoms; nausea, cough, temperature, blocked sinuses, panik anxiety etc, etc. It was like ‘it’ moved around in my body and settled down at a new place every day. I literally got well again on the flight over to Stockholm, which is another reason to why I think it was a mental reaction gone physical, and well there I felt so perfectly balanced. I didn’t stress over small shitty things that I let take control over me now and I didn’t constantly over think and analyse every single decision I made. I didn’t plan every minute of every day and I tried to make sure to be where I was and with whom I was with 

  

So comes NYC and I managed to bring that flow into this jack-hammering-city everyone loves, for a while. Sometime after the amazingwedding in Connecticut, where we got a break from the jack hammers and flashing signs, I somehow threw myself out of my own balanced flow and I haven’t really been able to settle down with myself since.  

I am stressing a lot about the small and the big stuff at the moment – which simply needs to stop because stressing and worrying is the opposite to living. I stress about money because I want to be able to plan trips to Sweden without having to let the bank decide for me – at the same time I am not willing to sacrifice my freedom of living a hippie-life with not too many musts – unbalance. I have to accept that trying to discover and engage in a life I love it is going to be a little work since I’m not quite sure what that would look like, yet. I am testing different ways and I know that I will stumble across something I love soon enough, I’m just not patient enough.

I have all these forces inside of me that all want different things – a lot of them contradict each other;

I want money but I refuse to do work I don’t enjoy. I want to feel like I am good enough and I want to feel like the life I live is amazing but I often find myself comparing my life to other peoples lives, thinking they’ve got it all sorted because I see what people are up to. I think that because peoples lives are scheduled they’ve succeeded. I am not super busy by normal western standards, and my mind thinks that because I am not busy every hour of the day I am useless and not worth much. But when I am busy I am not happy. When I have a job to go to I get really bad anxiety, almost panic; it is like my organs forget how to support me and I feel like I have to give up and quit. If I’m not aware I could easily pull my own hair out in panic. I am starting to believe that I not really made for the calendar life. Then my question to myself is; Am I just a pussy? Have everybody got screaming anxiety when they “have to” be somewhere? I feel like such a failure when I wake up to a mood and emotions that just hammer me with complete resignation.

Theoretically I know that I am very lucky – I really am! But why can’t I feel it? Why can’t I be in it? Why have I got such a hard time just living and enjoying it? (I really hope this is just my anti-depressants numbing…the real me. And as soon as I am done with this shit it wont be such a struggle just to land and be present in a moment).

I get it down to the fact that my mind is caught up in the doing and I am trying to find a way towards the being, that’s the mission I am on. I want to explore, enjoy and experience but at the moment I do too much planning, thinking and worrying.

I have to stop planning and start feeling, stop worrying and start living, stop expecting and just fucking be a part of my own life.

 

Hot tip!

I thought I should share this big but little Hot tip that really has improved my health and wellbeing here as well – time restricted eating.

https://www.mydeal.com.au/blog/post/daily-habits-better-person

Maya Kiusalaas | My Monday Love

“If I could recommend one thing that would help anyone and everyone it would be to check out time-restricted eating. Coming from a person who has tried all the diets and nutritional shake programs out there – diets are crap. At least if you think long term. Instead, I’ve adopted a time restricted eating where I make sure to eat and drink within a 9 hour time frame. The rest of the time I allow my body to rest.

When the body gets a break from food and metabolism it cleans, maintains and repair (things it cannot do while there is food in the system). Adapting a lifestyle where I give my body 14-16 hours of rest every day has had such a huge impact on my health and wellbeing. I feel lighter, and more aware of what my body is signalling. When I stick to my 9-hour “eating-window” I have so much more energy for working out, my mood is better, my stomach feels under control. Instead of eating by routine I now eat when I am hungry, which before I was always hungry.

I also notice that when I eat late at night I wake up feeling more tired than usual which has taught me to eat my last meal two to three hours before I go to bed.” Find out more about Maya Kiusalaas by following her on Facebook and Instagram.

For a more information about time restricted eating – Dr Satchin Panda and Rhonda Patricks breaks it down for us in this podcast;

<3 <3 <3

#Metoo

#Metoo.

One of the most beautiful things with this movement is, for me personally, the feeling of release and relieve of seeing people let go of their own shame and guilt –  with pride.

It might sound tragic to see beauty in the unity of something raw and wrong, but in some way it seem to ease that pressure I’ve carried around on my chest. That pressure that comes from wishing that I would have made “better” choices in life, and that pressure that comes from believing that because of my past I will never feel complete; that I fucked up and it’s not reversible.

Sharing what we are ashamed of leads to a combined realization that there is nothing to be ashamed of, not from our side. Sharing what we are feeling ashamed of is finally helping us, and others, to let go of that useless shame. That pressure. over the chest.

Me too have things to share, things that I today find it hard to speak of. It’s not so much what others have done to me, but what I’ve done to myself. I am ashamed of the fact that I’ve been weak. I’m ashamed of the fact that I’ve been sacrificing love for nothing other than misery. I’ve sacrificed love for friends, family and myself and for that I feel so guilty. I’m ashamed of the fact that I didn’t allow myself to ever feel like a worthy human – and what I, through that mindset, put myself through.

To me, its not just about sharing what people have done to us, although for so many that is the biggest pressure many are carrying around. For me it is about realizing that you and I are worth living life without guilt for the past or anxiety for the future no matter who or what we have been through.

I constantly try to share my demons, so that someone out there might be able to relate and get that pressure of their chest, if only for a minute – because I know how valuable that minute can be. That minute of realising that you are not alone. That minute of completely feeling that who you are is who you are and that will never change so whatever your past is carrying – it doesn’t have to have anything to do with the rest of your life. That minute of feeling that right here and right now – all is good.

There is a lot of anger attached to this movement. A lot of blame. And although I do wish that people who have exposed others to fear, shame and guilt really feel that guilt for themselves so that they can share and educate others on how to avoid it, (through respect and care(!)) I believe that the most important thing here is to realise that this type of shame that us, mostly woman, put ourselves through, is in fact shit and useless and I think that everybody who share things that they’re carrying all by themselves in order to help others should be so proud. Because sharing really is caring. Relating is fantastically supporting and it is really what this world needs.

It is in fact the main reason to why I wrote the book Free the girl; so that those girls out there who are ashamed of how they treat and think of their own bodies and minds can find someone to relate to, and realise that they are not alone. And then, through that experience they can see how one person realised that being ashamed, full of self hate for simply being a human is not at all what life is about. With my shame and guilt they are given one of many perspectives on how to break free from that destructive mental prison. It is my way of helping. My way of sharing. So yes, Metoo – in more than one way.

If you would like to get my book, you can get it here:

   https://www.amazon.com/Free-Girl-story-finding-self-love-ebook/dp/B074GV3DPZ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503383002&sr=8-1&keywords=free+the+girl+a+story+about+finding 

Either order it to your tablett or as a hard copy.

If anyone is interested in writing tips from…. writers:

 

https://www.mydeal.com.au/blog/post/authors-share-writing-tips

Maya Kiusalaas | My Monday Love

Stay true to yourself
“The absolute hardest part with publishing a book, for me, was to ask people to use their valuable time to read something that I have created. In other words: the overwhelming self-doubt and the feeling that what I have worked so hard on, and passionate with isn’t good enough for people to invest their time in.
You have to have an ongoing conversation with yourself where you stop thinking about how every individual person will “receive” the book and just focus on staying authentic to yourself and to your purpose with creating the book. No matter what – you have to find a way to be proud of the work and the passion you have put into the process, and humble for the fact that you have left a timeless part of yourself with the rest of the world.”

<3 <3

 

Kids party tips

https://www.mydeal.com.au/blog/post/ultimate-kids-birthday-party

“Indulge their curiosity

The most memorable adventures your kids will have are the ones that get them thinking. Create a mystery at the party and send them on a scavenger hunt to figure it out. Maya Kiusalaas from My Monday Love had this idea:

“Stick objects (toys, keys, an apple) in jars filled with different contents (slime, spaghetti, frozen peas, oats – anything that feels funny). Have the kids cover their eyes or go in a dark room and guess the objects in the jars through sticking their hands in them and feeling the objects out. Creepy and makes them think. It works best if you build up a story around it; The theme of the party can be “Magic forest” and when you arrive you will be told that something terrible has happened; something important has disappeared and the kids [have] to figure out what it is and how to get it back!”
For more on Maya check out Facebook or Instagram.”

I cried for 48 hours (or more) after I published my book

The critics inside of me are telling me to stop whining and excuse myself constantly. They are telling me that what I love to do and feel alive doing is useless, worthless and a waste of time. The insecurity inside of me are telling me to stop ask for peoples time – you are not good enough, they say.

Understanding the world and myself is one of my greatest interests. I have always been one of those people who respond “but why” to every answer I get. I want to go deeper and not settle so easily. I also love the magic of experiencing things I simply can’t explain and where the restless “but why” is exchanged with a fascinated “how the fuck…” My interest in writing comes from a combination of wanting to understand the why but also to express the lack of understanding.

What started off as a psychology assignment called “write about your life” turned into a dream about…a life. The relieving and revealing experience of simply trying to explain to a blank paper what is going on in your mind and body soon became my therapy and I felt like many people would be able to relate and maybe feel less alone on their own journey if I shared my experience with eating disorders, alcohol abuse and an overall lack of self-love.

The lead up

It had been a big week and my hormones were clearly supporting my emotional ride down towards that fear of how many people that wouldn’t read it, or even scarier; how many people that wouldn’t like it. I thought I was prepared for this. I wasn’t.

I mean, I had self published this book and if you have done that you might know that feeling of seeing yourself as a somewhat “fake-author”, no matter how passionate you are about writing. But I had worked so damn hard on this book, I knew that the book wasn’t fake, the work I had put in wasn’t fake – still I couldn’t separate myself from that feeling. Every word had come from my heart and bones – but right now I hated it.

Seeing it on the Amazon website with one review (from my partner) I felt the self-doubt just overflowing my body. My alibies for being a shit-fake writer was everything from; English is not my first language, nobody is ever going to find this book because it is self-published- to believing that I am too crazy and people will not be able to relate at all.

 

I mentioned earlier that it had been a big week, and it had. My caffeine consumption was through the roof even though I know it contributes to my PMS and I hadn’t prioritized sleeping. I basically hadn’t prioritized myself at all. Just this stupid book I’d ben working on since I was 17. Now I am 26 and it was finally time to click ‘publish’. I felt a little nauseous, my palms were sweating and I didn’t know if I was exited, scared or both.

The book isn’t stupid, I know that. It is actually pretty cool. It has a soul quite like mine; a mix of dark and light and a reverse-magnetic- will to spread love in this world. Not just by doing random acts of kindness, but through helping people find out for themselves how they can make their own life a little lighter, and at the same time also the world around them.

The only thing I could think of now was ”who the fuck am I to help people connect to their inner emotions?” I am sitting here, 24 hours after publishing the book on Amazon crying so much my partner had to shove me into an ice-cold shower to try and snap me out of my mental breakdown. Add on another 24 and I am out for a 10km run, still crying, sometimes so much I have to stop to be able to breathe. Who the hell am I to talk about love, health and helping young teenage girls to see their own self-worth?

 What happened next?

I watched some Netflix and felt sorry for myself, believing that I forever had lost my passion for writing. I drank some tea (chamomile mainly), cried a lot, felt like I was useless a lot, wondering if I ever would find motivation to do anything ever again, a lot. When I aimlessly scrolled through my Facebook feed I came across an interview with Ada Calhoun

( https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/07/how-to-become-a-real-actual-successful-writer-how-to-fail-other-tips-with-ada-calhoun/ ).

In the interview she shares the ups and downs with the craft of writing and she made me realize that I am not the only one feeling like this after publishing something. In fact, it seems to be playing a big part in being a writer, or any type of creative person, to feel this vulnerable when sharing your work. Sure, I can probably learn how to deal with my publishing-anxiety to not scare my partner (and myself) to death every time I publish something in the future, but listening to Ada speak about writing made me understand that it might not be such a bad thing feeling like shit about this whole publishing thing after all – because it means that I care for this book. A lot.

Of course I am scared that it might fail me, and statistically it should, I mean, isn’t that what they all say? But I don’t like statistic – I like emotions, and deep inside, in my gut, I know that I have put in everything I mentally and physically could in this book, never have I worked harder on completing something and doing it properly. Never have I cared about something like I cared about this. And now when it is out there I stopped caring for it. Why?

I was too scared to care because if I care I might start to cry again, and I have cried and walked around all shriveled up (you know that cry-walk) for so long that another 24 hours later I completely pinched my neck in my morning stretch and probably need to wear tiger balm and a flannel scarf for another 48 hours. I cared so much I couldn´t care anymore. Whoa, all of this felt so good to say, and it actually gave me back the writer inside of me who I 48 hours ago didn’t know if I would ever see again.

That’s the beauty of writing, isn’t it? It helps to pick us up when nothing else can…

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074GV3DPZ