Motherhood is not for a faint of heart

I have always been intuitive which sometimes takes me on a ride because I feel that I can prevent things if I act early enough.  Last night when Marko fell and cut his forehead, I instantly knew it was a big deal (not in a sense of him being in danger, but as something that required immediate and complete attention.)  Luckily, my husband acted even more quickly, slapped a band-aid on his cut and got ready to take him to emergency.  I stayed at home, powerless.

Trying to justify why part of me freaked out so badly about this event, I realized, in the past week, minus the holidays, I received a call from my older son Adrian’s school every day, once because he threw up and I needed to bring him home, second time because he was coughing and insisted to see the nurse, and today he was bit by another child and it broke his skin so they had to let us know and advise to call the pediatrician.

On one hand, I get it, it’s a first world problem, there are people who are battling issues and sicknesses with their children that can hardly compare. Yet, I cannot deny that my heart skips a beat every time I get a phone call from school that I don’t expect or I hear something thumble where I know my kids are.  It’s an instant “fight” response for me and the one that provides me very little freedom to relax and just BE.

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”

This poem by Kahlil Gibran was a lot easier to understand and accept when I didn’t have children.  I had a lot to say about how I would raise them and what kind of a mother I would be.  In fact, for the longest time I had so much to say to my mother about mothering me, even though that is not my place.  It’s humbling.  Motherhood is humbling and it reaches deep into the places we didn’t think were there.  It uncovers the darkness we feel inside and it exposes it.  Children don’t do as we say, they mirror what we do.  There cannot be anything more glaring for us about us than that.

All this to say, mothering is not for the faint of heart.  We are not meant to be wonder women nor any other super heroes.  We are meant to love them with all of our hearts but give them freedom to be their own people.  If that means they will have a scar on their forehead or a bite on their shoulders, so be it.  Control will not provide them much.  I say this and I understand fully all of you controlling mothers out there because I belong to your club. And, I know, without a shadow of a doubt that this experience is transforming us into the people we are meant to become in this life time.  We just have to keep bring awareness to it so we can keep flowing with life and not against it.


Marija ❤

My Come Back


Dear Reader,

I am getting close to being 40.  It has me self-reflect a lot.   In addition, working as a personal coach, I am constantly looking at ways to reinvent myself and my life.  Sometimes it’s not even a choice, it is what is needed for me in order to serve a client, but it never fails to be exactly the thing I need.

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for some time now, to share my life, my message, my life as my message.  Then last night as I was drifting asleep, I realized, I already have a blog, I just stopped attending to it.  So instead of starting fresh, I decided to continue.  I decided to accept what I have already written and just continue on.  I am not doing this to let things linger, on contrary, I am doing this so I can fully own all that I have been and all that I am now.  If there is anything to repair, amend, then it will surely show up as I continue to write and I will repair/amend accordingly.

I welcome back those of you who read my blog posts before and I welcome all the new readers with open arms.  You see, since I last posted, I had another child, moved back to New York City and have grown in ways I can’t even explain.  And I won’t explain, I will just continue to share my voice and continue to grow.  I invite you to grow with me.

With gratitude for life, love and light


Marija ❤



Pregnancy – reality check (from August 27th, 2013 – about a week before I birthed my first son)

I think all of my life, with some rare occasions of being rebellious, I have wanted to be a wife and a mother.  Definitely, the moment I was clear I wanted to be in a relationship, I was looking forward to everything the relationship would bring: partnership, prosperity, wealth, marriage, and children.

I have envied people who were in powerful marriages, who got along well and at the sight of pregnant women, at least after my 20s, I was envious and jealous.

It’s not until I got pregnant myself that illusions of the miraculous child birthing were beginning to crash.  Namely, I had visions of working and being completely mobile until the day of delivery and have found myself exhausting and sick for almost my entire first trimester.  My breast were getting bigger and it was painful.  I could no longer sleep on my stomach which is how I liked to sleep since I was born.  The worse thing was, no one could tell I was pregnant, because nothing showed on the outside, so I wouldn’t necessarily get a better treatment while in a metro or waiting in a line.

Then second trimester came and I had felt much better. I could finally eat food again (something other than lemons, grapefruits and sour cabbage), but my body was changing.  Now, I wasn’t looking pregnant but slightly chubby and for someone who suffered from extra weight and many impacts of that in my teenage years, that was a big mental struggle to overcome.  Don’t get me wrong, I wanted my baby more than anything else, but the way I felt was hardly matching or feeling like it’s  a fair price to pay.  Mind you,  I am talking about healthy pregnancy.  I cannot even imagine what women who have slight complications have to go through.

And finally, I am approaching the end of last trimester, very close to delivery.  I have interviewed more than 50 mothers, checked about different ways of delivery etc.  And, it seems that, while there is a small percentage of women who were mind strong and were able to have a relatively easy and natural delivery, most women had some kind of complication, lot’s of pain and perhaps some further impacts in their life from birthing their child (or children).  Yes not one of them is ongoingly complaining and most of them did all they could to put that experience behind the moment they brought life into the world, but I know, from having talked to all of them, that they all experienced pain in the process.

Then a friend of mine recommended a book by Ina May and on her website, even prior to ordering, I found this quote:

“It’s not just the making of babies, but the making of mothers that midwives see as the miracle of birth.”

— Barbara Katz Rothman

I realized that there was more to it than what we initially get to see.  This fear that I had my whole life about birthing a child, as much it can be justified, is also a bit unnatural.  And, I am out to find out.  AS my friend said, affirming: “easy, natural, child birth!!!”

My last unpublished and unfinished post


There comes a time in our life when we realize that we aren’t just students but teachers, not just children but parents, not just ones who receive but the ones that give.  I have been thinking about this topic for quite some time, but I am still not sure that it’s ripe enough to be shared or that I can describe it clearly if I do.

I think we are mostly taught to push down our emotions or set them aside when we are making big decisions.  Even if we have the opportunity to express them, we are expected to move away from them as soon as we speak their truth.  That is a big problem for women because we are then inevitably invalidating who we are for the purpose of action, progress and result.  While we move forward, I don’t think we move towards fulfillment.

To love deeply is to know the pain, to truly move forward is to allow yourself to linger in mud and fully experience being disempowered, angry, sad…

“I don’t matter”


I subconsciously create my life mostly to avoid painful experiences from the past.  My parents divorced when I was little, probably around 4 though I actually just realize that I don’t know for sure.  As my father moved away a few years later, I would visit him mostly on holidays or school breaks (and mostly arranged by my mother not initiated by him), so it is no surprise to me that my interpretation of this experience was that “I didn’t matter.”  Interestingly enough, if I saw that from my mother’s perspective, it would be obvious to me that I mattered a lot, but my father broke my heart. To fight the shameful notion that “I don’t matter,” I made choices in my life to avoid experiencing it at any cost.  I chose environments and circumstances that allowed me being numb and not dealing with the pain that not being important caused me.  In fact, I am a Capricorn, but am extremely social and often times, not really because I enjoy people so much but mostly because I can’t stand being alone.  When my phone doesn’t ring, something inside gets triggered.  I remember my mom once telling me that if someone wanted to talk to me, they could initiate the contact.  I would be terrified that I would be easily forgotten and used to think she was so mean to put me through that.  In fact, for years, whether it had to do with a relationship or friendship, I was often the one who called first. Even now I have friends that I regularly check in with though they never check in with me.  I have very little in common with most of them and our paths have crossed long ago with no intersection on horizon, yet I nurture those relationship with everything I got.  I thought of it recently and considered: what would it look like if I gave myself freedom to just let some people go, to let them be only a part of my memory but not continue to be a part of my present given that the only time they were in my life was when I dialed their number.  With all the new social inventions of Facebook, Skype, Viber and alike, it takes everything I have to just keep contacts alive with people who have moved on long ago.  They are glad to hear from me, but nothing in their life has ever had them get in touch with me. I was dealing with this phenomenon in the last two days triggered by an event that had me feel really angry.  But I was done being angry so as I dug deeper, I realized that what lied underneath the anger was real hurt of being irrelevant and left behind.  I shared this knowledge with my husband to just get to the bottom of it all and realized that most of my decisions were made to prove that I mattered.  In fact, working as a private coach is completely a response to wanting to matter in someone’s life, even though I am not personally related to them. Having spent over 6 years training, assisting and leading events at Landmark was all an attempt to make a mark.  In fact, I was often accused of talking a lot which is all an automatic response to wanting to matter, to be heard, to leave an impact.

I believe all people want to make a difference in the world.  I am no exception, though my motivation behind was a fear of not being important.  As I thought about this newfound knowledge, I cried like a baby because my whole life occurred as an illusion created to fill the void of a little girl whose father didn’t show her she was important.  So what can I do? For a start, I am taking on a practice of designing my schedule making sure that the REASON behind what I am doing is created from what I want now, not a default past.  So, before I take an action from the space of “I should”, automatically and without asking, I will take a moment to breathe deeply and to create an intention for what I am about to do.  This doesn’t mean I will start avoiding things or people.  I will honor everything I want to do as long as I can come up with the reason to do it that serves me.  Otherwise, I promise to myself to let it go.

Nothing in life motivates us as strongly as our desire to avoid the pain and being in the situation we dislike.  I am grateful for my life and that it got me this far.  Going forward, I choose consciously the path I walk on. Love, Marija

Committed to Excellence

I come from a very small town in Montenegro, Eastern Europe…While I didn’t go out to see the world, my family was pretty well travelled so in some sense, there was a sense of having pretty high standards in our house. Especially in my case, my mom demanded the best of me.  I was a straight A student, I was in drama, on math team, reciting, singing in choir, playing basketball, I went to music school and wrote poetry and drew art in my spare time.  And it felt like I was never enough on one hand, but looking at it now, I can see that none of what I did was ever an excuse not to do something else well… If I was doing it, it was demanded of me to do it in the best way I could.

Fast forward, at the age of 16 I came to USA and while most other exchange students took junior level English in their senior class, I was at the principle’s office asking for what would have me earn a High School Diploma so that I had an equal chance of going to college as all the other American kids.  Among 7 of students from out of country, I was the only one who actually got a High School Diploma that year which allowed me to move directly to New York and start college there.  This happened because I took an advanced senior level classes despite their recommendation to stick to the easy ones.

Living in New York humbled me. I thought I had multiple talents with all the things I did that I mentioned earlier, but it took no time at all to see that almost everyone out there had that many if not more talents than I.  New York was competitive but besides that, New Yorkers were committed to excellence.  Having worked in service industry and having taken many jobs to work with people from all walks of life, I learned this notion that “customer is always right.”  And if you ever bartended in New York, you were probably annoyed at this fact as sometimes people abuse this notion of “being always right,” but I quickly learned that people who excelled the most were the people who listened to their customers, clients, patients but also demanded the same of others.

Today I work as a personal (life) coach and I temporarily moved to Florida when I had my first child thinking that this would give me a nice break from the cold winter of Montreal where I spent a year of my life marrying my husband who was born there.  I quickly learned that while the weather in Florida rocks, something is majorly missing for me.  Unlike how things are in New York, people of different caliber or class don’t mix so well in Florida…. And having a child makes it pretty difficult to mingle and meet new people and I only recently started driving so there were limitations to what we could do and experience while here.  I have to say, there are many great people here, with kind hearts  but the service overall is pretty crappy.  When we first moved into this small town, I was appalled how the owner of the cafe answered my completely curious question about her menu.  She was defensive and unkind.  Going there a few times with my friends who are now living here, made my experience more pleasant and I almost began to enjoy the small town feel.  But then I came alone with my husband and son and was treated with so little respect that I promised myself I would not go back (and not because I like burning bridges but because I am old enough to stop allowing people who treat others that way to get away with it).

I know my voice is a small one here.  I am sure some of you may even think about “hm, how did you create this situation for yourself.”  Trust me, I went down that road and this is what I realized: most people don’t like to  be held to higher standards…Most people are not committed to changing and being better… So, when someone, like myself, makes a comment, they are left with 2 choices: ignore and invalidate me OR accept what I am saying and do something about it.  And most people go for the first one.  I don’t blame them, its their right.  What I am learning, however, is to own my commitment to excellence and to keep asking for what I want and then take time to accept whatever answer I get in return, as how people answer is their choice.

I thought about my own practice.  While coaching people for almost 10 years now, I’ve heard much feedback: “you are not really listening to me,” “that doesn’t really make a difference.” “I feel like you are just invalidating and criticizing what I said,” “I don’t think this applies to me,” even “how dare you say an F word to me.”  I couldn’t shut myself down and fire back at these people and told them that they don’t know how hard I worked to be where I am and that I have a very genuine intention to serve them.  Instead, I heard them and I heard them all and I didn’t use what I heard to put myself down or to stop my practice but to learn and train myself to be better.  And every now and then, I hear some of my clients tell me something that doesn’t work for them. I can’t say I ever feel happy to hear it, but I am grateful that they are communicating what is not working versus cutting out their contract and finding a coach who isn’t like me.  That is what I believe people who are committed to excellence do.  They are willing to listen to others to BE BETTER, and because of that, they are willing to DEMAND OF OTHERS to be better too.

Thank you!

Let go and let love

We have all experienced a heart break at least once in our lives.  By the time I was 30, I was an expert in being heartbroken.  And not only that, each failed relationship was feeding into my fear that I was not enough and that true love will never really knock on my door. I think everything I did since I became an adult was geared towards learning how to find and keep a guy.  I knew I was smart enough to succeed in other things, but the matters of heart – that I felt I had no control over. As someone who suffered from an eating disorder for a good chunk of my 20s, I knew what it felt like to be addicted to something.  And the power that had me to stop ED was the power that had me find love.

Now, I don’t believe that we can control when love will happen – that is in the hands of Higher Power, but I do believe that we can, and are responsible, to create a clear and pristine space for it, so that it can show up for us.  In the clear and pristine space, LOVE does show up.

I know some of you have done personal development work.  I applaud that.  And, for what I am about to say, I think that such work can be more of an obstacle than support.  In fact, it is that we keep on thinking that there is something for us to “work on” that has us stuck in the same old pattern of “not enough”.  We can’t be both: complete and in need of more therapy/transformation. As a coach, I make sure my clients never feel inadequate, but rather see our work together as their consistent evolving inside of a committed, clean, powerful, safe and loving space.  I don’t have my clients feel like there is something to fix, something many of the programs, therapies, works out there are based on.  For as long as we think we need to fix our relationship with our parents, for example, we aren’t really focused or present to the prince charming that may be right in front of us – mistake number 1.

The mistake number 2 is that we hold on to our past like it’s real.  Our urge to love and find love has us hold on to people and memories where we at least somewhat felt like our feelings were reciprocated.  And instead of letting go of all past relationships that did’t serve us, we mess up more in order to cope with what’s already messed up.  When I had an ED, I binged to cope with my urge to binge.  Other words, only when I binged did I relieve the anxiety that I was feeling when I felt the urge to binge.  It is only when I realized that the voice telling me to binge was not REAL ME, that I was able to silence the voice and take actions that I wanted to take: anything from being with people, actually answering my phone, making a difference in the world and alike. It is when I observed the voice in my head, without thinking I needed therapy, to journal my emotions, to read more books on the subject and give my power away, that I was able to see that the voice in my head did not have power over my actions.  In fact, more I recognized that voice as NOT ME, more silent the voice became.

So, please ladies, do not cling to the past relationships that don’t serve you, don’t send more emails so that you can get a different response, or send that last text thinking something will change.  Your urge to do these things is coming from the voice that isn’t YOU and the relief from that anxiety to say something is only temporary and making things worse in a long run.  The voice that tells you to do so is not who YOU are.  YOU can hear it and dismiss it and then do what works: move on, go out on a date with a new guy, or go visit a friend.  When you keep falling back into the same pattern, you perpetuate addiction and the space stays cluttered.  Love only comes into the clear and pristine space.  So, let go and let love.