It’s Time to Let Go of Needing to Be “Special”

Autumn is a time of letting go. Facing all the uncertainty of this strange year, I’m wondering if you’re feeling as I am that it’s time to let go of what’s not been working?

We all seem ready for a real change. And fortunately we’re helped right now by a rare moment of synchronicity with the natural world during this short season when our ancient foremothers believed the veils between the worlds were thinnest. 

No one is trick-or-treating anyway, so I’ll be using Halloween to hallow what wants to die in me.

You see, I’ve been noticing lately an old pattern that’s ready to go. Like all habits, it began innocently enough. And it made me feel really good at first. But I’m realizing now that it’s actually ensnared me for too many years! I know it’s time to let it go. 

My life has been run for way too long by a need to feel special. 

I felt special sitting on my daddy’s lap as a toddler as he read to me every night, before my other four siblings came along. 

Special with my mother’s effusive, “GOOD GIRL, Mary!” learning that obedience could earn me that special feeling. 

Special in my 4th grade class of 35 kids, when my teacher caught me whispering, and with a mock scolding smile chanted, “Mary, Mary, quite contrary.” (It’s amazing how strikingly clear that memory still is!)

Special getting good grades, when I realized that I could earn specialness.

Special winning blue ribbon rosettes at the county fair for my meticulous sewing.

And intoxicatingly special when Randy held my hand in our 9th grade assembly. That began decades of striving to be special to men. 

                .   .   .

But trying to earn all that specialness came with a price. My happiness was dependent on someone else letting me know how special I was. Or me striving to prove it to myself. When I didn’t feel my partner’s adoration, life felt dull and uninteresting. No one was feeding my special appetite. 

I’ve spent half a century chasing approval to feel valuable and worthwhile. With years of good therapy and spiritual development, and oodles of self-development workshops, I know the roots of all this. And at my core I know I really am good enough, whether or not someone else or my successes make me feel that way. 

But this fall I know I want the help of something wiser and more powerful than my intellect to really let this thing go.

That’s why I’m turning to Nature’s guidance and a wisdom that lives in all of creation. Like the leaves falling right now — letting go of the life they’ve known all summer as they surrender to the wisdom of the seasons’ cycles — I can feel the impulse to let go, too. And the encouragement.

Nature lets go every autumn. She can show us how when we let her in. Her example can help us trust that what’s dying now will make space for new life to be born. 

    .  .  .  

I’ll be building a fire in my backyard firepit on Sunday evening, November 1st, using ritual to support me in helping my worn-out grasping to be special die. We don’t like to think about death. But autumn has always been a time to honor the dying, even if our materialistic culture has reduced it to a children’s cartoon-ish Halloween trick-or-treating. Still, if you’re willing to take it on, there’s a deep and powerful opportunity now to use this brief season for a broader view of the transformation it invites.

Are you curious about what’s wanting to let go in you? Something likely just below the surface right now? That troubling pattern, belief, or situation you know is old and not serving you anymore, but is comfortable because you know it so well. 

Take a moment now or sometime in the next few days to begin to listen for your own inner wisdom. Then journal your discoveries before the end of the month, when Nature is uniquely supporting you to allow real change to find you. 

Ask yourself what is ready to die? 

  1. Write about a habit or way of thinking that has lost its usefulness and is holding back your happiness or potential?
  2. Remember FIRST how this old pattern might have served you. How did it bring you what you needed so badly? How did it benefit you? Can you allow yourself to acknowledge what was good and what came your way because of this old strategy? If you can acknowledge its benefit, you’ll also be able to more easily let it go.
  3. During these few liminal days when cultures all around the world honor the dead, follow their ancestral wisdom to guide you as you create your own simple ritual. Tear off a small piece of paper and, in a few words, write what you’re ready to let die.
  4. The ancients used fire to symbolically burn away what was no longer needed. Light a candle or, if you can, a bonfire and speak your intention as you burn the slip of paper and the words you’ve written to call out this old pattern. Watch the flames eat your sacred offering.
  5. Then, notice how your body and being feels. There may be regret or confusion or a sense of freedom. Honor whatever is there and be gracious with yourself, allowing all the time that’s needed to integrate. 

The darker days to come will offer you time to let what’s old decompose. And it’s likely that between now and the solstice, you will watch flare-ups of this old pattern before its dying embers completely smolder and extinguish themselves. Allow this letting go have your attention in order to take the time it needs, just as seasons compost leaves into rich humus and fertile soil.

I hope you’ll join me next weekend — in person here in Western Massachusetts or in your own private ritual. Allow the mystery of this liminal season, nighttime darkness, and the full moon’s brilliance to help you honor and let go of what wants to die in you. Then you’ll be cleared out for what you want to be born!

As always, sending my love,

Mary

Finding Grounding and Balance in COVID times

In this message, I’d love to share with you a little gift and an offering.

With the uncertainties of this COVID time
I’ve noticed how much my private clients have needed grounding.
And how much I’ve needed it, too.

So…
1. I planned an in-person event for September’s Fall Equinox
(See more here)
2. I amped up my own grounding practice and began starting every client’s session with a few moments of grounded mindfulness.
I thought you might enjoy listening to a short version…

You see, when COVID landed, life as we all knew it hit the brakes… 

My retreats and every in-person event I had planned screeched to a halt. 
And I haven’t seen a client in my office since February. 
I felt confused, ungrounded, lost in the what ifs.

But here’s the thing…
As my life was forced to change
I began to see what what I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise…
I could see more clearly exactly what hadn’t been working all along.

I’d put up with A LOT,
made due with situations that weren’t pleasurable (to say the least!)

I was working way too hard, 
putting off what I knew would make me happy.
And then feeling ashamed of myself.

I’d acclimated to living with that undercurrent of yuck!
But COVID came like a fierce March wind to wake me up!

Here’s what I learned…
I was unbalanced WAY too far toward the masculine end of the spectrum. 
Doing, doing, doing.
But out of touch with being in the moment with my emotions and senses,
IN SHORT… what I was FEELING,
and the feminine wisdom and joy that are my birthright.

Maybe we all have been?

When research began to speculate that we were all safer out in the open air,
that’s where I went.
And where I found real grounding.
Rain, snow, March muck, whatever.
No such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!

I began meeting a client or two on the phone, walking down Haley Road to the river.
Or we climbed the trail up to East Rock side by side
(6′ apart of course). 

Almost every day I got myself outside…
and I found a balance I’d needed BADLY,
but wouldn’t have chosen without being forced to.

You, too?
What’s your story?
Maybe you’re just now getting this balance thing…
That your joy — the core of your feminine being — is sourced in connection.

But not just any connection.
Connection to yourself first.

I needed time and space to hear the wisdom that wants to speak.
That’s what I find most easily when I’m in Nature.

There without the distractions,
I can tune into my senses to really feel what’s really going on
and what brings me joy. 
In that expansive state my body relaxes,
and I can choose the next wisest step.

In every private session I share with a client,
I listen to my intuition for what might be of greatest service to her in that moment.
Then I let a guided meditation flow through me.
These have been so helpful to those I serve that I’ve decided to record a few to share with you. 

Take a moment now to find your ground now.
To sink into your deeper wiser self
and remember the grounding that’s always there for you.
I hope you enjoy this little gift… and those I’ll keep sharing right here.

And stay in touch. 
Connect with me if you could use a little help these days. 
You’re not alone!

Sending much love
Mary

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.

Untitled design-15

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.

IMG_8169

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.