Posts by Natalie Spanner

How to Create Real Life Practical Magic

Over Thanksgiving, I dug in to instances of what I call Practical Magic (for more on this concept, you’ll love Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear). After a particularly dramatic day, my fibromyalgia went haywire and I felt myself becoming overwhelmed, unable to stop it, and furious with myself for this inappropriate timing. What did I do? I got a hot shower, the release the water allowed me was striking. I was able to let go of all the effort I had made to keep it together all day long. The liquid hitting the top of my head felt exactly like a spell designed to remove the tension. Real life magic. I was so happy by that comfort that I cried. Practical Magic Method #1: Engage with the elements in full vulnerability Water, fire, earth, air. Dare to depend on them for comfort. Humanity has always done this, and we

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How to Not Hate Yourself Long Enough to Enjoy the Twinkle Lights

The holidays are exhausting in every way, good and bad. And for everyone they’re tinted with memories of the past, good and bad. No matter what, don’t forget that what Catherine O’Hara reminds the airport attendant in Home Alone, it’s also “the season of perpetual hope.” So, by jingle, I have hope that I won’t always hate myself. That’s my determined Christmas wish. In the last few years since graduation, I’ve come a long way. I was fortunate enough to have the time to tackle my anxiety, depression, and PTSD head-on. Skilled therapists, mentors, family members, and other close confidants helped guide my ambition away from external rewards and turned it inward to securing my mental health. No one close to me would deny how hard I’ve worked. Overwhelmed at first, I broke it into sections. I remember the moment: my mom was sitting in the bathtub with the door

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When It Comes to Thinking About Your Intuition: Don’t

Intuition. I used to really hate intuition. Everyone can agree that intuition is a subconscious sense of knowing. Knowing where to go, what to do, who that person is, or what will happen next. I used to think some people were blessed with more intuition than others. I used to think I had a gimpy one. How completely unhelpful… Then I began living and studying yoga more intently and a certain amount of fog lifted, but most of it just changed colors. I could still hate intuition, but it’s kind of like shooting yourself in the foot. Hopefully, if you follow me down the rabbit hole here, you’ll join me at the end in a healthier perspective on the whole intuition-thing. As a yoga teacher, we reference chakras a lot. These spinning wheels of spiritual energy located in our bodies which correspond to physical nerve clusters and major organ centers,

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