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.