The New Year’s Bitchslap.

As we go into the New Year, we often go armed with resolutions, to-do lists, intentions, vision boards, burned things we’d like to leave behind, memories and hangovers. Then we wake up.

My 8-year old son had a good friend sleep over last night.

James woke up with a huge smile saying, “Mom, it’s the first day of 2014!!”
I said, “Awesome guys, how do you feel!?!”
His friend answered, “Exactly, the same.”

Kids always seem to get it right. They seem to cut through the crap, the lists, the future and the past and say what none of us want to say out loud.

Eventually, we will encounter the moments when the magic of our lists and graphics, our mastermind groups and restorative vacations will lose their mojo and we will be hanging in a moment of fear and doubt.

We will hit the wall. Some of us will hit that wall today. Some of us will wake up and say, “Shit, I am exactly the same Maria I was yesterday.”

So what will really make 2014 the best year ever?
It is the shift that is imperceptible to the naked eye on Day 1, 2014.
It is a profound acceptance that when we wake up, we are already the people we are born to be for today.
It is the awakening of that love in us that begins a moment-to-moment practice from within that has the possibility to change our lives.

Last night, I spent a beautiful day among friends, and loved ones, and my children.
New Year’s Eve, as the minutes, counted down, I found myself alone.
My husband had a night of needing to be two places at once for work, so he wasn’t home.
My house was still. My children were all asleep. The dishes from the fabulous meal were done. Friends had gone home.
I was alone. And honestly, I felt the loneliest I’ve felt in a long time.

Fireworks went off outside my bedroom window.
The moment hit me hard.
I wasn’t going to be kissed this New Year’s.
I wasn’t going to have some one hold me tight and tell me they loved me at midnight.
As the world celebrated, I was silent.
I felt the pissyness and the woe is me on New Year’s begin to set in.

Then, I looked over at my daughter – her mile long eyelashes and her breath rising and falling in her chest as she slept.

Time slowed down for me. Gratitude washed over me.

I was given the exact gift New Year’s was supposed to teach me.

To be without armor. To be with my greatest fear. To be alone.

In that moment, I realized this:
I am only ever alone by my choosing.
I am only insignificant by my choosing.
No one is waiting to make the magic happen for me. Not even the people that love me the most. Because they are supposed to be here to make their own magic, not mine.

God packaged you with every ounce of gifts you need to be YOU. We just forget to Choose Ourselves. We forget to be Loving in each breath so that becomes the air we breathe back in return. This is how the holy grail, abundant LOVE, becomes your experience in this life.

In the first minute of January 1, 2014, I realized how to make the magic happen.

At midnight, I chose me. I chose in my heart to be loving.

To me first.
Then to my husband.

I chose to honor what I love doing.
I chose to let go of the rest.

And then to simply keep on going…no matter what.

When we do that, God and the Universe or whatever you want to call that Greatness that surrounds you and me will have our backs.

Happy New Year my friends. I can’t say it better than Eckhart:

“You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are.” – Eckhart Tolle



5 Gifts I Wish I Could Give for Christmas

This Christmas my neck hurts. Like a mother. It’s from the insomnia of wracking my brain figuring out how to give gifts that bring meaning, surprise or pleasure on some level to the people I love.

How do I give gifts knowing we really already have everything we need?

In a streak of irreverence and exhaustion, these are the gifts I wish I could give for Christmas knowing the whole industry of the holiday is for someone else other than the real people that matter.

1. A case of 21 bottles of water with my smiling face.

Drinking water is probably the single cheapest, most sustainable life cleansing ritual we can do for ourselves everyday. It reminds us to stay in the flow. It reminds us to take a pause. It plumps the wrinkles and cleanses us from the inside out. I can bet most of us forget it. I know I do. When you do something for 21 days it creates a habit. When you have 21 bottles of water with my smiling mug on them, could you really resist doing something good for yourself?

2. A photo of the person at their worst with the words “I love you”.

That’s what the ones that love us most really need to know.

This week trying to write a blog post sitting at Whole Foods I shook up my Kombucha tea absentmindedly. It’s funky odor exploded all over me in my cool writer with headphones moment. I had a pretty big audience to witness the uncoolness. I laughed and the world laughed with me.
I wish I had my Kombucha moment in a photo because it reminds me that the screw-ups are the best comedic material we have. The people that really love us will love us anyway when they happen. The rest is the bullshit. Knowing that kind of unconditional love is a gift.

3. A Blowjob.

I’m a mom. I have 3 kids. Time is precious. If I want a gift that is certain to satisfy and keep on giving, enough said.

Unfortunately, this only takes care of one person on your list. Two if you’re nasty.

4. A Broken Watch.

So many people on my list including me forget that time is the illusion. What are we waiting for to make the life we want to live begin? New Year’s? Death?

I had three watches break in one week leading up to the holiday. I think the universe was trying to tell me something. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. And if it’s beyond broke, don’t fix it either. Start again. Right now.

5. A Single Blank Page of paper.

That’s what our life is each morning. We make it harder than that. There is no rule book. There is no hidden agenda. I lived a lot of my life believing the 10 commandments were my rule book. My parents were my rule book. The opinions of others shaped the games I played and the rules I played by.

We can leave our blank page empty and free or we can fill it. It is all good. It is simply accepting that it is all good.

I recently spent a day at a funeral with my 92-year old grandmother-in-law. It was the funeral of her daughter. She has advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s. I witnessed a human being that every 10 minutes has a blank page in life. She cannot remember the door she walked through to get into the funeral home. She could not remember that five minutes ago she learned her daughter had died and that she was the person we were honoring. She was free.

As I stood listening to a song her daughter’s best friends played in tribute at her service, it was as if I could feel her daughter over my shoulder, whispering in my ear in her elegant Texas drawl saying, “keep on dancing ya’ll. Maria, tell them to keep on dancing.”

My wish is that through the holiday craziness, the stress and expectations, we simply remember to keep on dancing. Don’t put your life on hold and the things that matter waiting for a man in a white beard and a red suit to come down your chimney. He’s arrived. The gift is you.

P.S. – I love you Jesus. I really do. Thank you for making me remember what seeing the face of God at the holidays is all about.


Tamales. Tradition. Love.

For as long as I can remember, we make tamales at Christmas. The joke in my family goes that even when money is tight, it gives us something to unwrap Christmas morning. Our tamales are a dish of corn masa (dough) spread on a cornhusk (hoja). The masa is filled with meat, beans or other […]

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