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  • Maria Vandenburg

My Birthday Present to Myself

Today is my birthday, and my gift to myself? Ease, Grace and Compassion.


I come back to her innocence when I need a reminder
My favorite picture: Me as a child in London

These last few months have been a bit of a challenge for me. A lot has unfolded


  • I left a job and a company that I love - full blog entry on that here

  • I gave up my lease for my apartment in Seattle and temporarily moved to Kingston, WA

  • I surrendered and opened up to the Universe to figure out what's next

  • I started a new job at Microsoft

  • I found and signed a lease to what I am calling my dream apartment

In many ways it feels like life has been leading me into this moment, this moment of making peace in the unknown. I'm still onboarding at work (and probably will be for at least the next few months), I realized I am a city girl at heart, but even more importantly, I'm catching myself in repeating patterns of my past.





I seem to love to tell myself stories of how I can't do something, or how overwhelmed I am feeling, or how I should have accomplished XYZ by now. AND... I'll believe them. In an odd sort of way there is a sense of comfort for me in anxiety and overwhelm. I am not entirely sure how I developed this but I am conscious of it now. One of the teachers I love, Dr. Sue Morter, talks about a practice called "taking it to the body." So rather than jumping into a story of how I can't do something, I feel into where does this tension show up in my body. And then I feel into where can I "build circuits" (think of building circuits like holding/and loving your own energy and letting yourself know it's safe to be here - hugging on the inside as Dr. Sue says). And then I take a series of deep breathes.



Whenever I remember this practice, it brings me back to compassion and not judgment. The cycle I have been finding myself in is one I also lived through last summer when I sent myself through a 9 month "incubation period." It was a cycle of judgment. It was a cycle of me beating myself up because "I should know better." But THIS is what I am letting go of on my birthday. I am choosing to come back to compassion and grace. I am choosing to know that there is a lot going on in my personal world right now and rather than being angry at myself for reverting back to the patterns of the past, I am grateful for the opportunity to begin again. This is how to I choose to open this next year of my life and I hope that I remember this intention every day. AND I love you all. Thanks for tuning in. I hope you all find yourselves well no matter what the external circumstances. ❤️

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