A FREE Spring Gift For You!

Happy Spring day, Dear One!
I’m coming to you today with a little gift.

Recently I was on a hike near my home
— my senses gobsmacked by the birds and moss
and honeysuckle blossoms scenting the air.

In every direction there was some new delight to take in.

Since I had my phone in my back pocket,
I decided to record the sense meditation I practice
to feel more awake in my body
and connected to all the natural world offers me,
if I’m aware enough to receive it.

Maybe you’d like to take this meditation along
next time you’re out walking
— or even sitting at an open window?

You can download it below.
Enjoy.

Nature Walk Sense Meditation Email graphic (2)

What Sources Your Happiness?

Do you wonder?
I’m curious about joy.

When was the last time you were deeply happy?
Take a minute now to remember!
You can enjoy it right now, if you like.

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If you let yourself,
even the memory will bring with it a visceral feeling in your body.
Notice how joy feels.
Likely, it feels good.

That bodily connection with an experience – past or present –
is my definition of intimacy.

I’ve felt it
…each time I held my seconds-old newborn children to my breast.
…in the arms of a new beloved encircling me for the first time.
…singing a soaring soprano line of Brahms Requiem with 150 others. 

These were some of the most extraordinary moments of my life.
Surprises of delight and wonder.

But I believe this intimacy – this deep felt connection – can also be invited.
We can choose it, if we decide to,
and even make it a practice.

You see, I don’t believe spiritual practice demands a certain posture
or particular location or somber attitude.

The essence of each of us — what some call the soul
longs for a connection that is deeply intimate.

But so often we believe we’re alone, separate from what we need,
and that robs us of a connection that’s more possible that we imagine.

In fact, we need that deep connection to our joy now more than ever.
Trouble is, for most of us unless we choose otherwise,
our neural pathways are grooved to notice what’s wrong instead of what’s right.

Blame it on our fight or flight, primitive vestibular brain
or early childhood patterning
or simply our preoccupation with whatever is occupying our mind at the moment.

Our day-to-day lives have the potential to be filled with far more joy than we allow,
regardless of what else is going on.
Unfortunately most humans are so out of practice attuning to their senses
that they rarely notice what’s also there to en-joy at any moment.

There’s the crescent new moon in the western sky at dusk.
The clarian call of a particular melodic bird song you can’t ignore,
or don’t choose to.
White splashes of blossom in a greening world.

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Our connection to the natural world ignites our joy
simply because we are OF Nature, not separate observers of it.
After 500 years of belief that humans are above nature,
here to dominate and control it,
As we realize what Joanna Macy refers to as “the greening of ourselves.”
There’s a connection we can only ignore if we numb our senses to the truth…

The beauty we sense in nature helps us remember a visceral connection to joy
that always exists.
And is always possible, if we allow it.

Weekly over the past month
I’ve been sharing a 5-step sense medication practice to help you reconnect to joy. 

By pairing the mind’s focus and intention with our senses’ awareness
we invite a deeper felt sense of connection with the world around us.
Then there’s more joy in any moment we choose.

Since you’re likely inside at this moment, look out a window.
NOTICE what catches your eye. That’s step #1.

Next, step #2, ask yourself WHY.
Why did your glance go there first?
Was it the color that attracted you, or ???
The more time you give this step
the more accessible the next will be.

Now, step #3, let yourself feel how fortunate you are
to have this glimpse of beauty.
Feel the THANK YOU of gratitude emerging in you.

If you allow yourself to recognize the fullness of this truth,
…if you give yourself permission to feel amazement for your good fortune
…to have sight in the first place, to live on a planet with beauty abounding,
…to have this particular instant of exquisite sight
you may also feel a WOW in your being!
Step #4 invites awe and wonder.
Appropriate reactions when we contemplate the miracle of our existence and this moment.

Step #5 is more a result than an action you’ll need to make.
When we feel this fullness, this intimacy with anything around us
it’s hard not to be aware of the truth of our interconnectedness with everything.

In this state, we feel open and welcoming.
We sense the beauty and connection with others and our surroundings.
We enjoy our differences and an interdependence that feels deeply intimate.

This sense of awe can feel numinous and quiet.
Or its very visceral power can drop us to our knees.

But as body and being unite,
we remember our connection to All That Is and feel whole again,
engaging our natural desire to reach out to help others.
The connection is so full it might be called Oneness… or Love.

Enjoy!

 

 

Have you missed REALLY sensing your feminine self?

Today, mother or not, 
it’s easy to forget that we live in bodies built for pleasure.

You see, Western culture teaches us to idolize the mind…
Still does. 
Without honoring the balance that the feminine brings 
physical pleasure has been turned into a shadow perversion
most women naturally distain.
So we learn to ignore our senses and mistrust our pleasures.

Our cultural ethos says,
“If we know enough we’ll feel safe.”

Only, I’m sure you’ve noticed…
though it’s vital to our safety,
all that information isn’t bringing us more happiness and contentment.

https://youtu.be/7_dgXcw1Ymg
Here’s a one-minute practice to help you FEEL more of that.

What we need and crave, 
especially during this COVID time,
is connection.

Question is…
where do you find more connection when socially distancing is insisting you have less?

Seeing folks on Zoom has been a help for some.
Last week my family virtually celebrated my son’s college graduation.
The connection was so precious, none of us wanted to end the call.
I was super grateful for Zoom!

But perhaps with all the virtual focus
— and our mind’s preoccupation with trying to make sense of it all —
we’ve numbed ourselves to the connection and pleasure that is ALWAYS available,
pandemic or not.

We have 5 senses and a most exquisite world to enjoy more than we do,
to even viscerally feel a tingly sense of awe and wonder.
(step #4 in this week’s sense meditation practice in my vlog).

Unless we’ve forgotten how to notice.
Unless we’ve let our senses atrophy.
Unless we’ve devalued the joys of living in a body,
Unless we’ve diminished our feminine capacity to receive
— instead overdoing, overthinking, overgiving.

My mission, Dears, is to help us remember who we are
as women, yes, but as humans! 

We are mind and body.
Head and heart.
Doing and being.
Remembering to give yourself balance is the hard part!

We’ve been celebrating motherhood today,
but the primal, elemental experience of being a woman
isn’t limited to birthing and succling.

We are built for intimacy with our bodies,
and an innate capacity to connect on a deeper level 
with everyone and everything we draw to ourselves.   

The work I do as a spiritual counselor and intimacy coach
is to help folks delve beneath the mind’s preoccupations
— and the stories and compensations we create to manage life’s suffering —
to reconnect to what is also true.
Always true.
And always there to help us feel safe and alive again.

I love this quote by Yeats, 
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

Connecting to our senses
brings us back to a place of connection with a deeper sense of ourselves
and everything around us…
back to this place of home and steadiness
and a visceral knowing that we can trust all that is always here to support us.

No matter what’s going on in our world
— right here, right now, always —
we have the support we need to manage and to thrive.

Take on this practice, if you like.
And watch the precipitous escalation of your joy.
Isn’t that what we need now, more than ever???

What’s Bringing Me Back Home to Myself Again?

***Sensual Sanctuary Series Week #3***

We’re months into this odd year of COVID. 
Most days I’m enjoying this new normal
of more time to enjoy a hike with a friend 
– 6 feet apart, of course. 

But there are other times, especially these days,
when I completely unravel over the smallest of frustrations.
Maybe you, too?

I’ll share in this week’s video how daffodils bring my back home to myself.
Good thing, because I can get completely lost in my mind otherwise,
like just this morning!

Today it was my earbuds not pairing with my phone. 
No big deal, right? 
But I’d been deep in a sticky conversation this morning with my partner
about when and how to social distance.
And then we were in a rush to get out biking.
…a perfect setup for trouble.

This damn WiFi! 
Uh… no, it’s Spectrum and my lousy reception! 
Wait! Which one is it?
I can’t remember…
Did the pairing work last week? 
I think. 
But maybe…! 
Oh, shit.
I can’t remember…..!!!

My frustration soon devolved from confusion to overwhelm,
as I stood sobbing in my driveway for all the world to see,
screaming at my phone, 
sure I was not-so-slowly slipping toward Alzheimer’s,
and convinced that no one would want to care for me. 
All this in the space of about 3 minutes. 

Ah, the fearful mind!

When it takes hold, I’m likely to lose all sense of reality 
and slip into a fatalistic miasma of wild predictions. 
Most minds tend toward similar trajectories, left to their own devices. 
Guess I’m human.

Fortunately I know my mind well enough by now
not to believe everything it thinks, 
and to be compassionate to the scared little girl inside 
who learned early she needed to be perfect and always have it together to be safe. 

And… I have the wise teachings of the natural world to bring me back home.
Ahhhhh….

In today’s video I’ll sing you into May
and share Step 3
of a body-based presence practice that helps me remember what’s also true
when I’m overwhelmed or worried or disoriented 
by the radical shifts in the tempo of our lives since COVID.

Because no matter what else is swirling around in my brain, 
what’s also here is MAY!

When I look around and really SEE what’s there,
— like the daffodils from my garden that I use for the practice I share in the video —
I’m back to a reality that is likely more true 
and definitely more helpful 
than what I’d imagined just a few minutes earlier.

Enjoy with me this step-by-step process
for taking in more of the pleasure that’s right here waiting,  
whenever you choose to simply take a moment to notice what catches your eye.

First 
NOTICE what in your surroundings is drawing your attention right now, 
— like my daffodils — or whatever your eyes notice in this moment.
Stay with it for a few breaths, really seeing, tasting, smelling it.

Then
be curious about the WHY. 
What about this object allures you… the color, line, texture, scent? 
Acknowledging the particulars will wake you up to more joy.
Exactly what we need right now!

Finally – as this week’s step – 
let your heart open in GRATITUDE 
to feel what Joanna Macy calls the “primal WOW of life.” 
It’s what this moment offers to shift your mind and your day.    
You just have to remember to say thank you.

Please join me next week on Mother’s Day for Step 4
perhaps the most transformative one yet
to help you move toward a visceral, more potent connection
with your body, your senses,
and everyone else who lives on this magical and beautiful planet.

I believe this work has the potential to heal the world.
It starts with tiny choices we make over and over again.

I’m loving sharing this 5-step process with you.
What are you noticing for yourself?
As you really NOTICE what’s there to please you,
ask WHY you were drawn to it,
and say THANK YOU,
what’s changing for you?

Please let me know in the comments below!


Could a Closer Look Be All You Really Need? Step #2 to Awakening your Senses and your Joy

***Sensual Sanctuary Series Week #2***

With more time at home,
and lots to keep me busy,
I’m beginning to feel a little stir crazy.
Maybe you, too?

I miss the variety my daily life used to offer.
Spur of the moment meet-ups.
Hugs with an old friend I bump into on the street.
Catching up over drinks at Prairie Whale.

Now I need to look a little closer
to find the spice that variety used to give me.

The spice I need is right here,
But I’m likely to miss it unless I DECIDE to really take a look.

That’s why I’m sharing this 5-week, 5-step video series
and the simple process I use every day
to help me remember the joy that’s right here,
whenever I DECIDE to take a real look.

Otherwise I’m likely to numb-out to what’s actually there to please me.
And that’s a darn shame,
when there’s so much else to take me into spirals of worry and sadness and despair.

I need these sense practices to bring me back to WHAT’S JUST AS REAL!

That’s why I’ve been developing this 5-step sense meditation practice for years
and sharing it with every client I see.
I believe they are that essential!

It’s too easy to forget that joy and sorrow live together
Life is a BOTH/AND paradox…
as much as we’d like to simplify it and push away what is hard to hold.

With all that can freak us out right now, personally and worldwide,
we need practices to
~ bring us back home to a deeper connection that’s always here.
~ remind us of the joy and beauty that’s everywherealways

You have all the tools you need.
Nothing to buy or download from somewhere else.

Take a look around you right now..
Notice what’s there there that catches your eye.

That’s what we did last week in Step #1.
Simple, right?

Now… for Step #2
Why does it please you?
Why did it catch your eye?

Really look…
Was it the color?
The way it caught the sunlight through the window?
Or its delicacy, like the stamen on these peach blossoms?

ANYTIME we come back to what we feel and sense
— letting go, even for a few seconds, of the incessant preoccupations of the mind —
we land back home again in a grounded centeredness we may have forgotten.

Next week I’ll add Step#3 — for more fully receiving what’s here to bring more joy to life.

Until then…
Decide to NOTICE MORE  
Notice what pleases you.
Stay with it for a few breaths… 
really seeing, tasting, feeling.

Then ask WHY.
What is it that pleases you?
What touched you?
Acknowledging the particulars will wake you up to more joy.
Exactly what we need right now!

If you’d like a hand to hold during this difficult time,
I offer a number of FREE ways to work with me below.

Or maybe you need just a bit more?
Like a sweet woman who messaged me last week.
Sheltering at home with no way to distract herself,
stuff was coming up she knew she couldn’t put off any longer.

If you could use an extra boost right now, please let me know.

Do your Joy muscles need a good workout these days?

***Sensual Sanctuary Series Week #1***

What’s catching your eye right now? Beyond this screen?
Look around you…
What are you noticing?

Do you REALLY SEE IT?
Its shape?
Its color?
Its particular beauty inviting you in for a dose of NOW.

Or do you totally miss what’s there for you, 
Lost in confusion, like I found myself so many times this past week.

Mary’s 10-second sense immersion to return you to what’s ALSO true.

With my days COVID-sideways and my routine oddly askew
my mind can whirl, frantically trying to make things right,
but disconnected from what’s already right, right here.

So when I notice I’m frozen in worry or frustration
…or angry and flailing around
looking for answers where there are none,
what’s helping me most these days 
is a 10-second immersion in my senses.

That’s all!
But it’s so simple you might not even bother.

10 seconds of stopping didn’t solve the bigger problems that plagued me this week
Like every one of my credit cards being hacked last Tuesday
Or the tears and anger that came from nowhere to overwhelm me.

But as logic-defying as it is sometimes,
and as easy as it is to forget,
I keep finding that 3 breaths will bring me back to what is here, right now,
Waiting to bring me joy.

It’s those little 10-second helps that have made a BIG difference this week.
They brought me back to thankfulness and my sweet struggling heart.

Then I remember the sacredness of this sense connection to my body. 
and what’s real in the world around me.

You may be a bit out of practice taking in the simple pleasures your body offers.
Schools don’t teach this simple yet powerful mood-changer and truth-revealer.
And too often our religious upbringing
relegated the body to something defamed or impure.

But there’s a delicious mystery I have access to through my senses,
and an undeniably simple truth beyond dogma
when I take the time to notice what’s always here
waiting to ease the week’s and world’s troubles.

The bulk of my work these past few years 
has been to bring us all back to a deeper connection
with the sacredness of what IS HERE… 
a TRUTH more salient than the stories our mind creates when we’re in fear.

Daffodils did the trick this morning…
10 seconds of their smiling faces, 
their subtle scent,
and a creamy yellow profusion soaking into my soul. 

Yesterday the deep pink of my water bottle brought me back to myself.
I found my center again simply letting myself feel that twwwaaaang of color.

Give this a try right now if you’d like….
1. For 10 seconds soak in whatever catches your eye.
It hardly matters what.
Whatever happens to be sitting on your kitchen table or out the window.

2. Notice what attracted you to this thing.
Was it the line? Color? Texture? Contrast?

3. Now… can you let yourself really take it in?
Feel it touching you?
Changing you? 

When I make it a practice
of sprinkling these few seconds of sense immersions throughout my day
I’m enjoying what I call a Joy Workout*.
Many light reps building my joy muscles.

Then everything feels just a bit easier.

I’m cutting this short now…
Gotta get out for an afternoon of windy Spring delights,
and soaking in as much of this exquisite world’s beauty as my joy muscles can receive.

Want to join me???
What 10-second joy is catching your attention right now?
Share is down below in the comments!
Let’s inspire one another!!

With all that’s wrong, can you see what’s RIGHT?

It’s a new time!
In just a month
we’re all living some version of a strangely different reality.

With grim statistics dominating the news,
it’s easy to see only what’s wrong
and lose our center to confusion and overwhelm.

But there IS another option right there in plain sight.
if we know how to see it…

In this vlog I’ll share why humans weight life toward the negative.
Then I’ve filmed a simple 2 minute practice I use every day
to remember the joy that’s just as true!

You see, when there’s a threat,
the most primitive parts of our brains
(that kept our forebears alive through the eons)
dive into action to protect us.

Ideally it partners with the more evolved prefrontal cortex
to focus on the problem
and strategize to understand, fix, and solve it.

But when we feel particularly threatened or impotent
that primitive part can react impulsively
— fighting, flighting, or freezing —
and reverting to patterns we used in childhood
to keep us safe.

With so much life-threatening news
(and very little we can really do about it
beyond wash our hands and sew masks)
you might find yourself raging,
lost in your many available distractions,
or frozen in overwhelm.

Then life can feel pretty grim.

Then it’s hard to notice much of anything else.
But there IS something else
just as true
as the news.

And it’s in plain sight
if we let our eyes
and ears
and noses
and tongues help.

If we let our bodies receive what’s been there all along
just waiting to show us what else is true.


But with COVID taking up so much space
perhaps we’re just a little out of practice
taking in what’s always here for us
… what’s always here supporting us
… what’s always here gifting us with joy and pleasure and happiness
to help balance out the stress and challenges that overwhelm us these days.

Over the next five Sunday mornings
I’ll be offering a 5-step process
— with powerful daily practices —
to put our brilliant intentional brains to work
reorienting our focus back to what is also true.

We’ll allow the wisdom of our bodies and senses
to help us find an ever-present safety we may have forgotten
to ease the worry and anxiety of this strange time.

On today’s vlog I’ll share with you
a short 1+ minute practice I do many times a day
to help you get in the habit of noticing what else IS real, right now.

Because meditation practices from any spiritual tradition do just that.
They guide us come back to the immediate moment.

Our bodies give us a place to practice this
… because our bodies’ senses are right here, always.

When our brains are overwhelmed or worried, 
our bodies remind us of what is also true.

…What tastes great.
…What smells wonderful.
…What sights are beautiful.
…And a truth that’s there beneath all the worry
to help us calm down and find our ground again.

Then I’m not in my head worrying, I’m right here in this moment.
And the moment is good.

I hope you’ll join me for the next four Sundays.
Step 2 is next week.
I’d love to be there with you, coming back to what’s also true.

With my love,
Mary

PS…If you’d like a little more…

  • On my Divining Beauty website, try out my Turn on in 12 days. These short daily email inspirations will help you stay focused on what can support you at any time. 
  • If you identify as a women, join me on my Divining Beauties private FB group every Wednesday evening at 8:30 for Joy Workouts. Ask to join here.
  • I also have a number of videos on my YouTube channel. Check it out and subscribe here.
  • AND I’m waiving my usual fees during this COVID pandemic. Ask me at Info@diviningbeauty.com about intimate one-on-one sessions, working together to help you remember what is true and feel the deep support that’s beneath everything.

Why is it so hard to receive deeper support?

These are crazy times! 
Like none we’ve ever seen.

And yet… 
Here’s what I know.

When it all gets to be too much
what I really need most
is to remember what’s real.

I’m not talking about all the accurate reports on how many have died from this virus.
And the scientific projections and statistics for what’s ahead.
These truths frighten us to death
And in that state, can unhinge us entirely from what is just as true.

There is vast wisdom and support in our bodies 
if we just get out of our wild, spinning minds for a few minutes
and give the body a chance to do what it does best.

Mary shares supports to remember what is MOST real and a short meditation

So why is it so hard for us to receive deeper support? 
I’ll be riffing on this over the next few weeks, so stay tuned,
and every Sunday offering these video blogs and a short meditation to help.

You see…
we’ve been taught in our hyper-masculinized culture
— and likely by our very early conditioning — 
that when we’re feeling most vulnerable

It’s  up to us to figure this thing out!!!
Think fast! AND RIGHT NOW!

We’re humans… 
so we’re in the habit of expecting all the answer to come from our minds.

Only in a panic, 
we lose any connection to the wisdom of our bodies.
When we’re terrified about what might happen
our minds don’t work so well,
and we feel even more vulnerable. 
And scared.
And lost.

Here’s where I think the confusion starts.

YES…those brains are smart!
And I want every brilliant mind alive to be working on this crisis.  

Go for it — epidemiologists, researchers, scientists.
Let’s crack this thing wide open, and fast.

This purposeful and strategic analysis,
All the in-depth study and careful technological advances
Are evidence of the mind’s yang, healthy masculine energy 
taking action
to find ways to protect us.

And ABSOLUTELY, I want the mind’s strategic brilliance
From every human, regardless of your gender.
Don’t get confused here… energy has nothing to do with genitalia.

Only here’s the trouble.
Most of us aren’t scientists.
We’re folks stuck in our houses waiting and watching our screens. 
And it doesn’t look like this thing is gonna wrap up anytime soon.

So we do our little part.
We use our smart and strategic masculine energy 
to make personal choices to keep us safer
…like keeping 6 feet’s distance, washing our hands, wearing gloves, sewing masks…
Even staying at home.

But it just doesn’t feel like enough!
Maybe that’s because this thing is bigger than all our strategies to feel safe.
We’re left with no way to guarantee safety.
Except to let go of needing proof of that assurance with our minds.

Now we’re in the territory of feminine wisdom.
and a deeper support we can only access through the body.

Let me show you what I mean.

FIRST – take a breath!
It will help.
Then take another… and another.
Make each one a bit deeper and slower.

Notice how it feels when your ribs expand, 
when your lungs fill with that miracle oxygen the trees have been making all along
just for you.

And check it out…
Nature and your brilliant body knows exactly how to breathe you!
And how to calm you down… if you let it.

Gee whiz… you didn’t have to make that happen, either!
You didn’t have to teach your lungs to breathe.
You can trust your body and the mystery beyond what you can conprehend
to bring you back to sanity again
when the wild mind takes you into dangerous territory.

We cannot know all of what will go down with this COVID.
But we can know how best to resource ourselves for what’s ahead.

We can remember what’s been gifted to us
…what we didn’t have to think up or build or manufacture…
…what’s there for us ANYTIME we choose to receive it.

You have the sky, Dear Ones, even if you can’t get outside.
Let yourselves have even 5 minutes of receiving its gifts.

And if you can get outside, you fortunate being,
let the Earth and her wisdom supply you with what you most need right now.

This is what I know from experiencing living in a body.
We are being held. Supported. Loved.

It’s obvious if you simply let yourself fully receive all that a whiff of orange can bring you.
… if you open the window and really take in birdsong.
… if you invite your eyes to find splashes of color to awaken your joy.
… if you let a piece of chocolate slowly melting in your mouth take you to nirvana. 

Or even if you just take a breath.
And let a deeper, wiser support bring you back to yourself.

But why is it so hard?

Dropping into receiving that feminine embodied support 
is not what most of us have been taught to do.
Not by parents or schools 
or a society that capitalizes on our insecurity so we’ll buy more stuff.

Dropping into receiving that support is not what would have felt safe 
when we were small and panicking, 
when we felt alone and scared,
when we realized we couldn’t rely upon others to provide the safety we so desperately needed.

Then what made sense
was to grasp for whatever we could find to distract or avoid or maybe try to fix
the gaping hole of terror we felt, unprotected and vulnerable.

It’s little wonder in these terrifying times
— without practice at receiving support from a source we cannot begin to rationally understand — that we fall back into fear of not having enough support.

So… when the fear grips you,
I invite you to remember what’s also true.

Begin to practice more fully connecting with what your body actually senses
in its interplay with the vast world around you
…and allow yourself to drop into the inexplicable support
that may just be beyond our mind’s scrambling to understand.

What’s a joy there for you now, in this moment if you open to it, Dear?
Maybe let me know below?

With so much love,
Mary

PS… If you’d like a hand to hold as you navigate these frightening times, I’m happy to offer session times on a donation basis. My spiritual counselor is offering this to me… so I am passing along the gift. Please reach out to info@diviningbeauty.com.

When you want life or SOMEONE ELSE to be different…

How are you doing, My Dear?
Two weeks into this new world of COVID social distancing
How are you managing this wild new territory?

Isolating with one person can bring us together,
And…well, 
it can get messy, too.

Like yesterday …

My partner and I had barely begun to hike up Mt. Tom
when we really got into it.
He’s all about protecting… and I hate to feel controlled!
After weeks of managing who does what, when and how…
you can imagine the mess we made!

This Sunday’s video is all about fear, power and control,
and the personal resistance we all have to copping to our favorite defenses.
Because every time, that’s what blocks the love.

I’ll share how it finally relaxed as we reached the summit,  
and we could finally embrace a sweet compassion for our shared humanness.

I’ve added a short meditation at the end of the video, too,
that calmed ME even as I shared it.
Hope it does the same for you.

Because, My Dears, right now fear is everywhere. 
No denying it.
We’re afraid for ourselves, our families,
and those we don’t even know by name.

It’s really easy to get sacred right now.
…and get lost there,
franticly searching for some way to control whatever we can!

But frankly,
So much is just beyond our control.

So we latch onto what we can control.
Good thing, too, like washing our hands 
or keeping a good 6’ distance from others.

But when we try to manage what’s beyond our control
like somebody else 
— when we try to get them to change so we aren’t so uncomfortable —
That’s when we get into a real mess.

Here’s why…
Humans like to be in control.
It helps us feel safe… whether we are or not.

And we’ll do any manner of things to avoid feeling the terror lurking inside. 

We’re masters at distracting ourselves
Avoid what we don’t want to see
Or blaming whoever is nearest for making us feel crappy. 

I know… because it’s all coming up right now for me 
as I shelter in place.
And maybe, just maybe, you’re feeling it, too.

But here’s what I’m still learning 
through years of struggle and multiple messes, 
but annealed with with the benefit of much spiritual study and inner exploration.

Pushing the fear away
by trying to control someone else or the vast unknown
leaves me feeling weaker instead of more powerful.

Because at best, trying to control something “out there” is only a temporary fix
To keep from touching into the deeper realms inside, 
…the tender places we’d just as soon dismiss as irrelevant
…or too long buried to resurrect.

And every defense, no matter how facile or brilliant,
is a misguided attempt to avoid feeling the festering wound inside. 
One that only heals when the shield can drop,
relaxing into the vastly safer holding of a deeper wisdom.

That’s where freedom lies, at last.

So, Dear Ones, listen to your body…
and find the grounding there that will help you feel safe.

And if you’d like a companion through this storm,
…if you’d like to explore the yucky stuff coming up as you shelter at home
Or the fear that shakes your core during this challenging time,
Let’s talk. I have a few spots availble this week.

Sending so much love,
Mary



Finding Safety and Calm amid COVID-19 Anxieties

It’s been some week! 

No matter who you are and where you live, Dear Friend,
your life, like mine, has been turned upside down by this tiny virus.  It was a week ago when I woke up to the reality I’d not wanted to believe.
I cancelled that weekend’s retreat and every live event on my calendar
And hiked to the top of East Rock.

That’s where I go when I need to feel what’s real again
and find my ground.

Looking out in the mist over my sweet Great Barrington home,
the farms and fields to the west,
to Everett and Race Mountains
and beyond the Hudson
all the way to the Catskills
I wept for what’s likely to come.

I’ve climbed this mountain for 15 years
whenever I need to give myself a safe place to feel it all,
and then …
to trust the synchrony of my breath and body and this beautiful Earth
to bring me back to what is real and true.

I thought I’d share with you what I brought back
down the mountain in this short video.

It’s easy to “lose our heads” when fear, loneliness, and isolation shake our sense of safety. Join Mary as she offers practices and a meditation to incorporate the practical and clear wisdom of the masculine AND the flow, centeredness, and heart connection of the feminine through the body to help remember what is true.

I’m hoping the wisdom the mountain shared with me 
– and the meditation I recorded near the end of this video –
might be as helpful to you today as it was to me last Sunday.

Because here’s what I know…

Nature is there to shower us with gifts and wisdom
every time we ask
and help us remember what is true when we’ve “lost our heads.”

These are strange times.
If you’re confined to your home or apartment
hopefully you can still see the sky…
and maybe trees…
and if you’re lucky, a bird.

But if you’re still allowed outside
  GO OUT NOW!!!

Instead of searching for diversions on screens
allow yourself to receive the vast support
that’s right there for you, always.

Amply.
Abundantly.
Outrageously.

Ask for guidance, Dear One. 
You may be surprised at what comes your way.

See you next Sunday.
Much love to you,

Mary

P.S. If this feels like an opportune time to explore what’s standing in the way of deeper trust and joy, I’d love to walk with you on the journey. If money has limited your capacity, I’m creating some flexible pricing structures to help as we face COVID-19.

You may know me because of my work with the feminine, embodiment, or sexuality. When I work one-on-one we might start there. But often we discover powerful openings to what’s been blocking deeper connection to your beautiful essential self. Every journey is different, but those who are willing begin to uncover a path toward their freedom and joy hidden beneath what they thought was the “problem”. 

I’ve never enjoyed more companioning folks on this deeper work. Now with Corona limiting our regular out-in-the-world work, check in to see if this might be the right time to relax what blocks your joy. My calendar is freed up for two new on-line clients. If this feels like the time for you, please message me.