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Motivation Monday April 23, 2018 Social Media: Friend or Foe?

Me before Social Media, circa 2001.   (hahaha I couldn't resist. Matison Card at my First Communion...barf. Can you tell how unenthused I was about religion?)

Me before Social Media, circa 2001. 

(hahaha I couldn't resist. Matison Card at my First Communion...barf. Can you tell how unenthused I was about religion?)

            Last week I skipped out on my weekly motivation blog post because I was traveling back from Coachella Weekend 1 and didn’t want to put out anything that wasn’t well thought out or ready to be shared with the world. After ping-ponging around in my head as I barely made it through security on time, I decided against typing out a half-assed Monday Motivation post at 11:37 p.m. at LAX just to get it out “on time.” I won’t half-ass anything anymore, it’s full ass or no ass, all the time. Alright you caught me, it's always full ass... what even is no-ass? I digress. I’ve come to realize that art can’t be rushed. Life can’t be rushed. Absolutely nothing in nature is rushed and yet everything is always completed when, where, and how it's supposed to all along. With the internet and social media playing such a huge role in the way we create and relate to each other, I can’t help but wonder if some of the artistic magic is being lost due to this constant need for more new content. Not necessarily good content, just more, more, more. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Age of Instant Gratification meets Social Media. AKA The Death of Art As We Know It.


          Okay, okay, yes, I am being extremely dramatic, and I obviously recognize that social media has allowed so many like-minded people to connect and create together, BUT it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Let’s not forget that social media is NOT a portfolio, social media is NOT reality, social media is social media- a highlight reel of a person’s “life” or perceived “life.” In today’s blog post, I challenge you to take a step back and ask yourself, “Have I been making life decisions based off of what I see on Instagram?

           And if the answer is yes, “Has this decision making process been conscious or subconscious?”

         “Do you think it is healthy to make major life decisions based off of what you see other people (potentially strangers) doing online?” (More often then not, what it looks like they are doing, not what they are literally doing. Highlight reel remember.)

            I myself utilize social media platforms to get more exposure and connect with other creatives, however I did not start my modeling and acting career on Instagram nor do I intend to shape the face of my career because of it. Separation is key here. I have detached from the online realm as much as possible without losing focus on my outreach and networking through such platforms. It is a tricky tight rope to walk, but it is absolutely crucial in this day and age. I’m not telling you to delete all your social media platforms and go completely off the grind or anything (although I would probably fall in love with you instantly if you did), but I’m also not telling you to dive so deep into social media that you don’t even know what you actually like anymore, you’re just mimicking what trends you’re seeing online (subconsciously or consciously.) As cliché as it is, balance is key here. Pay attention to your tendencies and emotions surrounding social media. Does it empower you to keep pursing your dreams? Wonderful! Keep following those accounts and become inspired to live YOUR most authentic life. Feeling like you’re not enough or wishing your life looked different? Get off the internet, find your passion, and GO FOR IT! Stopping stalking those girls online who seem to have it all and go create your dream life for you! Right now! You are literally the only person standing in the way of your true happiness.

Motivation Monday April 9, 2018 Strategic Partnerships

Pictured here: Me (left) and Jude Salazar (right) Arsenic House shot by Denzel. 

Pictured here: Me (left) and Jude Salazar (right) Arsenic House shot by Denzel. 

 

Today marks 5 days until my 24th birthday, a celebration that's been a bit bittersweet. In the modeling industry, 18-24 is a very crucial age group. I've felt the pressure to "make it" in Hollywood before my 24th birthday for fear of being "too old" to be taken seriously since I started modeling and acting professionally at 18. I desperately wanted to be a childhood star, but my extremely wise and loving mother wouldn't allow me to do anything professionally until I was 18. At the time I absolutely hated this and tried on many occasions to convince her otherwise. She put me in every community theatre, choir, dance lesson, and even let me do a 'Legally Blonde' monologue for a casting director at age 8, but in the end she never let me do any of it professionally. When I was 16 I convinced her to let me audition for 'American Idol,' and I'm pretty sure it's the most stressed out I've ever seen her. She wanted to protect my childhood first and foremost, and as an adult I have never been more grateful to have been able to chose this career when I was ready and fully understood what the life of an actress realistically looked like. So now that I'm coming dangerously close to my 24th birthday and competing against people who were bred into this industry from birth, I have committed myself to my career tenfold.

Now, if you know me in real life you'll understand when I say that I function best when I am extremely busy with creative activities and jobs. I was already very dedicated to my career, but within the last few months I feel like I grew up ten years. I now have an accountant, an online yoga series, jewelry store, and got published in three magazines so far this year. I am releasing my first EP in less than a month, and I am writing a movie with Jude Salazar. If it's creative, I do it. All the dreams I subconsciously set aside for five or ten years down the line because I was too scared to really go for it are becoming my main focus. I am trust falling head first into my fears and my dreams. 

Too old at 24, HA! What a limiting and sad way of living that would be. "Oh, I'm just going to quit my dreams because I'm getting older."- NOT me. I think all of us dreamers have had that fear at least once in their early twenties, that if it doesn't happen young, it won't happen at all. Thank goodness anyone who thought that (including myself!) are absolutely wrong. 

What I've discovered in the last four months amidst my panic that not only is Trump still president (gag me,) but that my impending doom of being on the tail end of an imaginary age group would shortly begin, is that if I was going to do this I needed to do it full throttle, right now. I started focusing on strategic partnerships and ways to work smarter not harder. By hiring an accountant, I not only save money in the long run, but I also save time. By switching agencies I found a better fit for my personal goals and am now booking more, getting published more, and pursuing dreams far beyond modeling and what I previously perceived as possible within the next few years. I can't stress it enough: strategic partnerships, strategic partnerships, strategic partnerships! 

I often have people tell me that it seems like I have more time in a day than they do, but what they don't realize is that I have an entire team behind me. I know what my strengths and weaknesses are and rather than judging myself for being human, I capitalize on my strengths and hire people who specialize in areas that are my weaknesses.

You can 't do it alone. You shouldn't try to do it alone. You won't accomplish your dreams alone. So don't do it alone!

Motivation Monday April 2, 2018 New Month, New Responsibilities

This morning I woke up to my cat and a much larger neighbor cat fighting in the window well nearest to my bed. I jumped out of bed in a literal panic, scooped my beloved fur baby into my arms, and slammed the window shut before the other cat could get inside. Both cats were okay, but I found myself shaken- still sleepy and heart racing. In this moment, I remembered that today was my first official day as Manager of TGS Collective. Monday smacked in the face with an impressive right hook. 

The earliest Easter I can remember passed in a flash, just like that a new month appeared, and it happened to be the official welcoming of my birthday month. (Yes, I am one of those people who celebrates who for an entire month.) Despite all the wonderful family time and positive changes in my life, it all seemed to be out weighed by the fact that I (to be frank) now had a shit ton more work, responsibility, and to-do lists than ever before. As manager, I am in charge of interviewing all future collective members and deciding their fate. *insert evil laugh* All jokes aside, the collective already has 400+ members AND has more than 200 new applications every month. All of this on top of continuing my modeling and acting career, launching a new jewelry collection, dropping my first merch clothing line, releasing my first self-written album, AND writing a movie. Honestly, if I think too hard I bet I left some stuff out that I'm doing too! If it's creative I do it... Hence, my minor freak out this morning. Those pesky thoughts of self-doubt and worry sure do love to pop in when you're seeking growth and opportunity. 

"How will you ever be able to step up to the plate?"

"Are you sure you're ready for this?"

"You're only 23, can you really co-run a business AND do everything else you've already committed to?!"

Sound familiar? We all have these thoughts from time to time, but the trick is not giving them the power. Repeat after me: I am not my thoughts. I am not my emotions. I am the observer. 

Today, like every other day, I had a choice.  A choice to believe a passing thought that I might fail or to dive straight into my fears and trust fall. Trust fall into the reality of my choosing. I like to take on the perspective of the observer. By detaching from my thoughts and emotions, I am able to see how fleeting they truly are. I am not my feelings or my thoughts or even my body. I am the soul observing and experiencing it all. My body is my vehicle guiding me through this life. What a relief to not be every single thought I've ever had about myself or others. What a relief to not be defined by my current emotional state. With each thought and emotion, we are given the opportunity to learn a lesson. If we do not learn the lesson, then the same opportunity or "problem" will keep manifesting in our life in different forms until we receive the message. See how perspective plays a big role here? The same event could be a tragedy for someone and an awakening to another. We chose our own reality. It's a shame that so many would rather be in a painful situation that is familiar than to trust fall into a new reality that is scary because it's new and unknown. 

The beauty is that you get to decide, every single day, if you're going to live in a loving reality or in a fearful one. 

So which do you decide? 

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Photographer: Sterling Reed

MUA: Kyrsta Morehouse

Jacket: Boda Skins

Motivation Monday March 26, 2018 Yoga and Healing From My Abortion

yoga 2018 photo.jpg

Monday's are universally dreaded, especially when it's a Monday during mercury retrograde... talk about a double whammy. I woke up today with a list of shit to get done and no motivation to be found. I dragged my butt out of bed anyway, made myself a cup of coffee, and made damn sure I didn't miss my 1:00 o'clock Deep Healing Yoga class. And you know what? I feel like a completely new human! This is exactly why I love yoga so much. No matter how hard my day is or how crappy I feel, I have never left a yoga class feeling worse. In fact, every single time I have felt at least 50% better. The Monday Blues inspired me to start writing a 'Motivation Monday' Blog Post every week where I am simply honest about my experiences and how I get shit done even during turbulent times. I've struggled with anxiety and depression since a young age, but now that I have the proper tools my mental health is miles from where it used to be. Yoga is basically my go-to universal healer. Feeling sad? Go to yoga. Feeling conflicted? Go to yoga. Not feeling sexy? GO TO YOGA! 

 


I took my first Yoga Teacher Training in 2014 as a 20 year old with big dreams and no idea how to accomplish them to my fullest potential. I was the youngest person in my training, but I was determined to help people discover the mental, physical, and emotional benefits of yoga. Even if I was a blonde, white American girl who had just left her teenage years behind her a short 4 months prior to signing up for Samadhi's RYT-200 Hour Program.  During my time in this training, my boyfriend of the time dumped me AND I found out we were pregnant. I guess I bragged about beating teen pregnancy a little too early... HA! We were young, freshly heartbroken, and broke. By no means were we ready to raise a child together, so I made the very difficult decision to have an abortion during the tail end of my training. I was honest with all my teachers and classmates about my experience and why I wasn't as physically able to hold the postures and why I was bleeding through an old granny pad every hour and rushing to the bathroom in hopes of not embarrassing myself further by bleeding through my pants. Abortion is a taboo topic, and most women (even ones who have had this same experience) rarely talk about it. 

Once I opened up about choosing to have an abortion , many women in my training and my personal life confided in me that they too had gotten an abortion, but didn't tell anyone for fear of judgment. In that moment, I promised myself that I would be honest about my experiences in hopes of inspiring other women to do the same. 

When I walked up to Planned Parenthood, I was greeted by a security team to escort me to the front door because there were over 30 people protesting, screaming HORRIFIC things at me, throwing things, and displaying photos of graphic still borns posing as abortions. And want to know the worst part? The security team informed me that these 'people' are salaried employees by a local church, and they are literally there as work. Torturing everyone who walks in regardless of if they happen to be getting an abortion or a cancer screening or just access to free contraceptives and STD testing. Those protestors had no idea why I was there, or why anyone else was there, and yet they harassed us to the point where security was necessary for patients to enter the building unharmed. Can we just take a second and think about that... and the fact that it costed over $800 and 36 days of me in horrific agony. 

All the while, I made it to class anyways. I pulled my bloody self out of bed for class anyways. Why you ask? Maybe I needed to prove to myself that I would heal eventually, maybe if I needed to distract myself from the emotional and physical pain, or maybe I knew deep down that yoga was the key to my recovery. 

I told my classmates and teachers what I was experiencing at our Yoga Retreat at The Starhouse just outside of Boulder, CO. A beautiful yurt that is perfectly aligned to the four directions, 12 zodiac signs, and has never had any form of technology inside of it. A scared space, the perfect safe circle for me to be honest and open about what I was experiencing. I hadn't returned to The Starhouse until yesterday. Another yoga retreat, 3 1/2 years later. 

I am currently taking a 100HR Immersion at Samadhi as a refresher and quite honestly as closure. Yesterday at our retreat, we spent all day in noble silence, ate lunch alone in nature, and practiced meditation, puja, and asana together. I didn't know if I wanted to  share my experience with this new group of classmates, but by the end of the day I knew I had to be honest. I opened up to the class and thanked them for holding space for me and allowing myself to feel it all come full circle. I made the right choice. After 3 1/2 years I can finally say confidently that I am proud to have not raised a child before I knew I was ready. I was proud to be honest about my abortion and my journey. and you know what? I wasn't the only woman in that room who had made the same difficult choice. 

That's when it all becomes worth it. If I can help just one person by simply being honest about my life, then how could I not? Being honest takes very little effort and has a huge impact on everyone around us. Chances are you're not alone, you just have the perception of being alone because most people are too scared to be honest ESPECIALLY about taboo topics. 

But I am here to tell you, you're not alone. You can do it. You're already doing it! You woke up today. Take advantage of that gift. And if life is kicking you in the ovaries, put on your sexiest undies, make yourself a cup of coffee, and get your ass to a yoga class. I promise you the emotional, mental, physical, AND spiritual benefits will start to melt away all that junk you've been carrying around since Alec Weed made the entire middle school class sing "Mati Fatty Chicken Patty."

The point is, we all have our stories, our dramas, and our pain. We also all have the opportunity to learn and grow from these situations we find ourselves in. The universe would never give you a challenge or obstacle that you aren't ready for. Growing pains are a real fucking thing, and if you're asking for growth then get ready for discomfort and pain. It's all a part of the process, and even pain can be a gift if your perspective shifts a little.

Yoga got me through my darkest days, and I now have the privilege of providing that gift and tool to my community. If this post resonated with you, I challenge you to check out the online yoga classes and guided meditations that I offer. No matter what you're going through or healing from, yoga can help facilitate the process in a healthy and supportive way. 

Click the yoga/wellness tab on my explore bar for more info!

All the love and Happy Monday! I'm here to tell you that YOU CAN DO IT!

XOXO,

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