Announcing My New Video on My Homepage!

 

Everywhere women are served up messages that say we’re on the downhill slope of life past 40.

Did you watch my video above to hear why that’s such a LIE?

When we believe that deception we fork over our time, money, and power just to try to feel good enough.

Somewhere deep inside — when you really listen — you’ve lived enough life to know what’s true.
Because that illusive happiness never lasts!

The truth is simple…
Every woman is a channel of divine love. 
It’s remembering that truth and living it that isn’t easy!!!

If you’d like to know — once and for all — how to live in what’s true AND possible, let’s talk.

I’ve just opened 5 spots on my calendar this week for conversations with 5 women who want more.

We’ll begin to discover what’s been secretly sabotaging your fullest joy, greatest wisdom, and deepest connection AND create a custom plan to reunite you with your divine essence that will bring real happiness — and act as a magnet to draw resources and people to you.

All in just 55 minutes. And for $49. That’s one fifth the usual cost of an hour’s work with me.

But I’m only offering this to women who are serious about their joy…and book a time today.

I know every woman alive can live her fullest life!
— no matter her circumstance, relationship, or fears!

I can’t wait to dive in with you, Dear Woman.

marysig

Are you still secretly hiding a dark side on this darkest of days?

Did you think a boogie man hid under your bed when you were 4 years old, Dear Friend?

Every child imagines something terrifying in the dark.

For me it wasn’t the bed though,

it was the basement!

 

As a kid I was told to go fetch my mother’s canned tomatoes.

But I hated to go down in our basement!

I’m not sure what I thought might be hiding in the dark,

But even after I’d flipped the light switch,

I was still a little scared of what might be lurking in the shadows.

 

As I grew into my teens

it was my brain that helped the panic.

Probability and logic got me past the fear.

I’d straighten myself up, stand firm on the top step,

and muster every bit of my courage, reminding myself…

There’s really almost no chance that a serial killer is down there waiting for you!!

You can do this!

 

I’m wondering if that’s the way we humans are.

Afraid of what might be lurking in the darkness.

 

Is that why you keep so crazy busy in these darker days?

Why you make sure the lights stay on and the music keeps playing?

And why this season is so hard for many of us?

 

Stopping to ponder what’s really going on in the dark, deep inside, 

can feel as viscerally terrifying as that boogie man was when we were young.

Our bodies remember the terror and still grip around it.

 

But I’ve found that it’s only digging deep to see what’s real that de-fangs the fear.

Every time.

 

I may not like what I find when I ask questions like…

what old habit is holding me back?

what is crying out for change?

what wants my gentle compassion?

 

But looking straight on clears away the fog.

Then I can see a path forward into the light.

 

You see, fears live in the imagination 

– in what might happen in the future.

It’s the mind that takes us there,

but it’s also in-sight-ful, compassionate, embodied inquiry that finds the truth 

and illuminates the path forward.

 

I hope you’ll let this solstice time be your invitation to go deeper.

Here are my first and second very specific blogs from earlier this month
to help guide you on your solstice deep dive.

 

I’ve been fortunate to have a wise guide over the past ten years

to help me peak under the proverbial bed.

I couldn’t have done this deep work on my own.

 

But with her beside me,

when we lifted the covers together

the little 4-year-old girl that still lives inside me felt safe enough to take a good look,

and the scary monster I feared was nowhere to be found.

 

And that is what I am offering to you today 

Will you let me hold your hand as we bring light to your dark places?

 

Because going it alone is terrifying.

It the reason we start and stop and don’t have much success.

But having a professional ghostbuster by your side make everything possible.

 

What I know to be true in the marrow of my bones 

is that fears that stays hidden will devour the best life you were born to live.

 

So if you’re ready to move into your joy, 

to feel the weight of years of worry lift from your shoulders once and for all,

Let’s talk.  

Click here to reserve a private Discovery Session with me. 

and in 30 minutes we will do ONE vital thing:

 

We will discover what is holding you back in the dark recesses of your worries and doubt,

and then we will create a path forward into the light you have always been.

 

Some people use this session to rekindle optimism, hope or romance.

Others use it to feel the love they’ve secretly longed for, for years.

But everyone leaves feeling lighter and more capable than they ever imagined was possible.

I know because it’s been my path.
And it can be yours, too.

I promise.


2 Keys to Every Transformation and 3 Ways to Make it Happen Over the Next 13 Weeks

suzanne-d-williams-794133-unsplashTransform… really?
Does your cynic scoff as much as mine at that overused word?
Can anything really change that much in just 13-weeks?

Celtic legend says that seeds do.
They rest in the dark for an entire season
Before stirring beneath the soil for their triumphant blossoming.
Imagine having an entire season to rest!

Winter is that season in the natural world.
We’ve been given 13 weeks of percolation
to take us from Winter Solstice to the Spring Equinox in March.
From longest night and shortest day to light harmonizing in time.
And it all begins next Friday evening.

But rest?!? Really?

The only way to let the dark time transform us
is to take matters into our own hands, Dear Ones.

In my last blog I suggested a very practical process
for creating a few precious minutes in this dark time for the next 13-weeks’ intentions.

One season isn’t much time really.
Or is it?
It’s enough for a seed to go from invisible to revealing its stunning beauty.

You see, every seed — and every artist of life,
no matter their medium —
must align with the natural forces that govern substantive transformation.

Creative flow can only happen if it’s held by some sort of structure.

If you know me even a little
You know that I’ve been rebelling against structure for most of my life.
Because it came packaged as rigid and punitive discipline.
Not really joy’s style.

Thankfully, fairly recently I’ve gotten a whole new take on structure…
(I’ll be sharing WAY more about that in the New Year, so stay tuned!)
And my life is flourishing as a result.

What I now know is
that it’s structure that holds the life of transformation I’m loving living!

See if this applies to you…

There are 2 kinds of structure absolutely essential for a seed to blossom
or a human to live a happy and satisfying life of beauty and artistry.

Obviously, the right circumstances or tools must be there
water and sunshine
paintbrush and canvas
pen and paper (or computer!)
inspiration and ideas

But something else is essential or nothing will really happen.

Every delicious creation reveals itself in structured time.
And showing up in time is what allows the creative process to be birthed.

So here is query #2 for your solstice season…
What tools do you need to let your next creative transformation happen?
And what sort of structure will you create to hold you in time

I invite you to use the next 13 weeks to bloom yourself into your next gorgeous revelation.

Dream into something you really want now…
(check out blog #1 for a bit of guidance) 

And then, over the next few weeks,
create a scaleable plan to allow for its inevitable growth.
This is how you make your desire — and your joyous life — real!

This dark time is made for inner exploration.
But that potent opportunity is only available if you make it happen in time.
I’d hate for you to fritter it away consumed by the season’s parties and busyness.
Your own precious life’s potential is too promising to waste.

I leave you with this question…
How will you value your fully-lived life enough right now to create a structure to hold its Springtime blossoming? 

Enjoy the quiet quest, Dear Loves!!!

PS… If you’d like a hand to hold for a season of transformation, here are 3 ways to be transformed in the next 13 weeks. Which one sounds more like you?1. Spend a season of intentionally structured time with me. Drop whatever’s standing in the way of the life you want and claim the joy and fulfillment that’s been waiting for you all along. 

2. Come with me to Haramara January 26-February 2. Because my retreat sold out in October (YIPPEE!), I’ve been given another casita and a dorm space if I want them. Is a Mexican deep dive into awakening the long-denied pleasures of body and soul calling, Sister?

3. AND if your desire is for more, I have one spot available in 2019 for a year’s pleasure exploration with me. Private. In-person, on line, (or both). Uniquely curated. My life’s worth of learnings, just for you. Hmmmm. Imagine!

If you’re not sure which one is you, click here to book a 15 minute convo with me.

What’s waiting for you in this darkness?

andrei-lazarev-719761-unsplash
It’s almost the solstice… the darkest time of the year.

Over the thousands of years before electricity made us forget what darkness gave, most folks weren’t going to twinkling holiday parties in mid-December.

Instead it’s likely they used this darkening time to rest, to take stock.
How was the harvest this year?
What grew well, and what should I do differently next spring year?

So many years later,
no matter how modern and productive we may be,
the season’s darkness is here
to do its work in us.

All those lights make it easy to avoid though.
I’m so busy, busy, busy during the holidays.
Not you, too, Kristin!?

The bah humbugs are bound to take over.
And all these flickering lights and ho ho ho’s just make it more intense.

Years ago I called my brand of late autumn struggle seasonal affective disorder.
And it’s true that sunshine helps.

But I’m discovering that there’s clarity waiting in the dark.

What if we haven’t evolved so far as we think.
What if, like our ancestors,
what we need most right now is time to take the year in?

To look back.
To be quiet.
To listen to our inner knowing.
To decide what needs to shift
so we’re ready for Spring and what wants to bloom.

Since the solstice is this Friday, here’s the question I’m asking now…
Where do I want to be 13 weeks from now?
How do I want to feel when Spring arrives this March?

Lately I’ve begun to ponder and plan my work and life over the 13 weeks of each season.
Instead of the pressure of a New Year’s resolution,
Before each equinox and solstice
I give myself the following powerful inquiry.

I create space for these precious few weeks of dark time to feed me.
Maybe I’ll find a few moments as the morning’s late sun begins to rise,
or I’ll make space just as it’s beginning to go dark outside.

I bring my journal,
light a candle,
And just sit, gazing out the window for a bit.

Then I ask into the darkness…

What change wants to come?
What’s begun that I want to feed?
What needs to drop away so I can live my joy?
What do I most want my life to feel like on the Spring equinox in March?

I wait. . . until the answers find me.

This is the time to make yourself the priority you need to be in order to move with purpose and joy into what’s really your deepest desire for the new year.

What if you gave yourself the gift of quiet darkness over the next few weeks?

Or, if you’d like, I can help.

If you’ve been doubting your light, Dear One,
I want to hold a candle to help light your way.
It’s not my candle though. It’s yours.
Together let’s reignite what’s always been within you.

You, too? A channel for Love

I was a young mother, finally taking a nap after hosting a big New Year’s Eve party the night before. As my head was sinking into the pillow I caught sight, AGAIN, of the dead branches on a ficus tree near the window.

Damn it!
I was going to get rid of that ugly thing!

In all the chaos of my wild life with a 3 and 6 year old
remembering to water the poor tree had been WAY down on my list,
for way too long.

But as I drifted off to sleep
The tree began to speak to me.
       (WAIT… don’t leave yet!)

“I know I’m ugly.
I know you want me out of here.
But I have something I want to tell you.I’m only here to love you.
I’m just a channel for Love.And not just me.
Everything is here to love you.

Every bald of grass, every cloud.
Every rock and plant and breath of air.
It’s all here to love you.

We’re all just love, being what we are, for you.”

OK, I know!
I’m as hard boiled as the next person.
And I’m not one of those people who remembers her dreams.
But this one has never left me.Because if every blade of grass and leaf and cloud
is here to love,
— just by being grass or leaves or even clouds —
then so am I.I must be here to love, too.
To be a channel of Love.
Love expressing through the uniqueness of me.

Only some days I forget!
Some days my channel of love gets all gummed up.
Then every cell in my body feel tight.
I’m full of doubts or overwhelm,
afraid… or worried… or stuck in some old story of my not enough-ness.

But sometimes, somehow, I do remember.

It can happen when I’m out walking in the woods.
Or holding a newborn.
Or dancing.
Or just sitting quietly, taking a breath.
Then that channel of Love that I am somehow gets clearer.

I’m sure you’ve felt it, too, Friend.
There’s a sense of spacious centeredness bubbling up through you.
Or joy you didn’t expect.
Or just a gentle sweet feeling of safety and belonging.

That’s when I can be patient
remembering that my friend is doing the best she can.
Or generous when I’m cut off
knowing that guy’s probably having a really hard day.

On days like that
I know it’s all just Love.
That the grass and leaves and clouds and all of us
Are Love, being Us.

The trick, though, is remembering!

And what stands in the way every time
are all the habits and beliefs we’ve built since childhood to try to keep safe
— or that’s what we think.
(more on that next week)

Clearing Love’s channel
means investigating the muck that’s still there.
It means being curious about what I still do
to try to compensate for having not gotten the love I needed way back when.
This is the work of evolving.
It’s how we awaken to remembering what is really true!

This is the awakening so many of us are doing these days.
It’s what keeps me hopeful in the face of such much tragedy and darkness.

And it’s what I do with my clients every day,
whether we’re talking about relationships or sex or whatever else.
The work is just remembering the Love we really are
And walking back home together.
.

So… do you want to know the end of the story?
What happened after my dream with the ficus tree?

Well…
5 days later Love did its thing
And we conceived our third child.

Forever sharing Love,

PS…If you’re curious about exploring remembering the Love that you are more often, I invite you to come schedule a chat. My treat. Let’s walk back home together.

Asking for help

We’ve all been taught that feeling good is at it’s best frivolous —
and at it’s worst, narsistic and selfish, right?

Because you care so much about so many.
And truthfully, you really do enjoy helping others.

But secretly, if you’re like most women, you feel exhausted, isolated (even though you have friends and family), and you’re worried you’re losing your spark.

Here’s the funny thing:

If you needed help with you taxes, you’d hire an accountant.

If your car is broken down, of course you bring it to a mechanic.

But if your relationships or heart are suffering, you’re supposed to suddenly become a master coach and know how to fix it all yourself?
Ha, it’s laughable when you think about it.

So here’s the good news:
If you are secretly feeling hopeless in love and/or meaning in your life, it’s not your fault.
You weren’t taught how to heal these on your own.

But I am.

That’s why one of my clients calls me the Dating Doula.
When we first started working together she was terrified to get back in the game.
She thought it was about knowing how to please someone else.
She just had it backwards!
Once she worked the tools to come back to her own innate joy, she’s been loving her life. 

It’s so funny, how we know to invest in our home, and our business, and our family.
But we somehow think investing in ourselves is different?

Sure you’ve invested in yourself before,
like manicures and lunch with a friend,
but that doesn’t really change much, huh?

Even a great therapist might not have the tools to help you reclaim your vibrance!

It’s just not enough.

And here’s why:
There’s a reset that has to happen, and it starts with the way you think.

Because if you want to experience something different, you have to think about it differently.

And if you’ve never invested in yourself in a meaningful way, that might be the place to start.

You’re worth it,

PS – If you can relate to wanting to live better, but you don’t want to mess up what is already working, book a private session with me for FREE here.

Fear and my BIG birthday…

I love an excuse to celebrate most anything.
Always have.

But I have a really big birthday this week,
and something happened on Sunday
that has me celebrating much more than just the number.

Photo by Nikhita Singhal

Sunday I happened into a fascinating conversation
with someone on the opposite side of the political perspective.
This doesn’t happen often.
I live in blue country.

We could have spent our time defending our points of view.
But that would have been so boring.
What was fascinating to me was how we’d gotten there in the first place.

That’s when I had my birthday ah-ha.

You see, as kid I was pretty fearful.
Something bad happened to me when I was 4.
And we moved every year until I was 9.
New schools, new teachers, new unwritten rules to decipher.

So I was a careful child, and more than a little anxious.
If I could somehow get it all just right, then I would feel a little safer.

I got good at making the safe choices.
But the fear still lingered.
It always does… until it’s unmasked.

MCC on beach in Maine - 1982

OK, so back to Sunday…
Talking with this quite brilliant man,
I realized that my political views
came from my own personal experience with fear.
I’d never considered that!

Turns out, everyone on the right or the left wants to feel safe.
It’s just our strategies that differ.

But looking at fear,
Learning how to unmask it instead of falling prey to it,
is what I’ve loved about growing older!

Because it’s fear that limits joy.
And no matter our age, joy is what everyone wants in life!

So… tonight I’ll be telling my own story,
talking about how fear ruled my life,
…and how I’ve come to recognize and disarm it when it still tries.

This is what I’m celebrating on this BIG birthday
Instead of wasting even a second bemoaning my not-so-young body.

If you’d like to be a part of this conversation tonight – Tuesday – at 9:15 EDT,
just friend me on FB
and ask to join Divining Beauties, my secret group just for women.
(Sorry guys..
but later this month I’ll be hosting a webinar and inviting you to join in the convo.)

I’d love you to come celebrate with me!
Because making friends with my fear
is what has grown me into who I want to be in the world.

You, too?

Big hugs,
Mary

PS… If you’d like to go a little deeper on this life adventure unmasking fear, and replacing it with a deeper turn-on — real joy — you might like to join me on retreat in Mexico this January. But FYI, Friday is the last day for early bird pricing, so click here to find out more.

Here’s another blog I wrote a few summers ago about facing down the fear, if your appetite is whetted…

COURAGE

Are you still trying to improve yourself?

Closeup of running shoes

I’ve been on a self-improvement project pretty much my whole life.

I’ve been trying to be a good girl for as long as I can remember. Good at whatever it took to get a smile. Good at being Mommy’s little helper. Good at trying hard in school. Good at doing what I was told. Good at looking good. Good at being very nearly the best at everything, most of the time at least… and when I wasn’t, I felt I’d failed. Then I was no good at all. This is the shared story of most high-achieving women today… and frankly, that’s all of us.

We’ve been improving ourselves our whole lives. And it’s worked well enough, for long enough, that we are persuaded it must be how to live.

Added to that, the better we are at it – at trying to control ourselves and everything around us – the more convinced we are that this self-improvement project is the way to finally be happy.

I could be a case study in some graduate student’s self-improvement research project. I’m always trying to improve my body with healthy diet and exercise. Not drinking too much. Not smoking. Trying to meditate everyday. Generally trying to be as perfect as I can be. I’ve even been fanatical about trying to have good posture!

When my kids arrived, I researched the best breast-feeding approaches and schooling philosophies. I managed their food allergies and invented recipes for the best gluten-free pancakes ever. Of course I was also determined to be perfectly moderate in my self-improvement, not going overboard too obsessively on any of the above!

You get the drift… My whole life, I’ve been in the process of this perfecting to be acceptable — first to others, but deeper, to myself. It was my own bar that I placed so dramatically high. This is the one that plagues me the most. Not others’ expectations, but my own.

So I find it kind of funny now, when I realize that all this striving to upgrade myself hasn’t addressed the real issue. It’s not improving that I need. What I want now, more than anything else, is to come back to myself. The being I have inside that I’ve been dedicated to hiding all my life.

Coming back to me – to honesty and authenticity – isn’t done by trying to make myself better or fixing anything that’s not just right. It’s mostly about looking with curiosity at any place in me that wants to hide. Or another way to say this is — to see with compassion the ways I don’t want myself to be seen. It’s about looking clearly at how I’m still compensating for any feelings of inadequacy, any remnants of my protective ego’s convictions of my not-good-enoughness. When I can relax all that, what remain has no need of improvement.

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”   – Joseph Campbell

The non-dual spiritual teacher Miranda Macpherson speaks about how we spend our lives polishing the mud we’ve protectively caked on the outside of the unique, genuine jewel that we are. Yet what’s magnetic and gorgeous – what’s radiant – is our own natural and divine essence. It’s the gem shining inside that others most want to enjoy.

But we’re afraid to show that part. We learn very early to hide our naturalness. Sometimes people don’t react well. Best to give them what they want to see. We grew self-conscious and ration out our true selves in increasingly more carefully crafted proportions. So begins the hiding.

Some of us got really skilled at polishing the mud. We look so nice and shiny. But the effort we invest in perpetual self-improvement – in order to protect the vulnerable being inside – actually dims our full light. The thick layer of mud coopts the real stuff – our intuition, our smarts, our talents, our divinity. Then the successes and admiration we thought would make us happy instead leaves us identified with the mud’s shiny reflection instead of the naturally radiant jewel inside.

I’ve done a lot of polishing over the years. But lately, I’ve been lucky to have circumstances crack the glossy mud I’ve spent so long burnishing. Even as I struggle, more of myself is shining through, and oddly, that feels good. I don’t feel the need — as often at least — to hide out in the image of myself I want to project.

Now my self-improvement project is in reversal. I’m wanting to un-something. Un-improve. I want to kindly welcome, and gently let go of, my personality’s fixations and attachments – all those ways I’ve kept myself safe. It’s the only way to come back to the more real me…the me that’s not that different from all the other you’s and is also delightfully unique in her own beautifully messy ways – whether they look good or not.

I’m ready to be just-me, and I’m ready to be with just-you. Join me?

So my questions to you is: How do you let the just-me shine through? Will you share your brilliance with us down below?

​Let the jewel shine, Dear Ones.

Why is telling the truth so hard?

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I’ve been quiet for a while. Taking in the lessons from a bad break-up. It’s been tough. But amidst the heartache I’m starting – just starting – to sense that all this pain is going to be worth it. And I’m dedicating myself, more than ever, to truth.

Here’s why…
For most of my growing up (58 years and counting) I’ve skirted around the truth. I learned early, like everyone else, that telling the truth can be scary and dangerousBut evolution created the hard wiring in us to keep ourselves safe. No matter what. And kids are smart! So we find truly brilliant strategies to protect ourselves.

When I was young, I figured out fast that if I was carefully nice and kind and oh, so thoughtful, people were nice to me. Of course what lurked beneath my sweet surface wasn’t always so sweet. And speaking it would have felt selfish or hurtful – something I didn’t want to be — and would have surely gotten me punished.

I tried not to lie, since nice girls didn’t. My careful tact, innocent indecision, and quiet smile were effective ruses, and most of the time did the job. If you’re anything like me, you got good at being diplomatic and careful with truth. Each of us mastered ingenious ways to manage the truths we couldn’t handle. We had to, in order to protect ourselves or get what we needed.

Thing is, all this management begins to blur reality. We start believing whatever story best protects the image we like to project. And my inner nice girl wants to keep the peace. She hates to make anyone feel uncomfortable. She’s practiced for all these years pushing down messages from her body and intuition that said, “Hold up, Girl! Something’s not right here!”

The truth is hardest to see when we’re busy protecting a carefully engineered and highly effective self-image. We start believing it’s only safe to be that image of ourselves. In this breakup I received the gift of a mirror to see what I didn’t fully notice before in myself. And I’m grateful… if still feeling tender.

But here’s the wisdom I’m finally getting – and what’s becoming the through-line of my book:
Truth is the foundation of love. The more we can love and accept our real, unvarnished human being-ness — what’s really going on inside, and share that with our beloveds — the more intimacy we create and feel. That’s the authentic expression of the love we truly are.

Over the years my habit of not really saying what needed to be said has hurt a number of good men… and me, too, of course. It’s contributed to the ending of two marriages and several long-ish relationships. The more I delayed recognizing or sharing what was really going on inside, the more I craved truth. I missed its aliveness. It became my siren call. And when it finally came, it did hurt.

Along with the pain comes clarity and eventually, healing. When it’s coupled with courage and good will, when it hasn’t been too long poisoned by delay and denial, truth releases energy and aliveness. Instead of the Armageddon we so fear, what might just be possible is a fresh new kind of connection. It may not be what I’d wanted, but real and honest — I want that most of all.

So… I’m practicing truth telling these days. I’m a little bumbly. Sometimes it comes out too strong. Or the old fears keep me silent too long. And it’s not a happy ending every time.

Though I’m still nursing my wounds, through it all I can hardly believe the aliveness that comes with truth. What I most need now is courage to keep trusting its revelation. And how it clears the decks for more love!

I think this will change my life!

How about you? Does this resonate? If it does, I want to hear in the comments below. What cost have you paid for not speaking truth? And what miracles have happened when you have?

Thank you for receiving my dawning awareness and for reading all the way through this long-ish blog!! If you know others who might find it helpful, please send it along.

We are in this together, Dears. Wanting to live all that life has to teach us, to feel it all…the desolate sadness and the euphoric joy. This is what it is to be fully human and to travel the journey committed to growth and love.

Sensual Aikido in the Ocean Life

Ocean wave

I was born landlocked in Pennsylvania. My parents were farmers who didn’t swim. And I had soundly failed Junior Life Saving at the Y when the lifeguard had to save me! The beaches I saw on TV were mysterious and alluring, but terrifying, too. And at 12, the pummeling I received by the New Jersey surf while visiting cousins kept me timid and fearful of wild water ever after. Pools felt safer and much more predictable. If I didn’t feel entirely at ease in the water, at least I wouldn’t be sucked down to unknown depths.

But of course the ocean is unpredictable. And as it would happen, when I played hooky and went to the beach in Rhode Island last week, the surf was crazy after days of storms. A phantom wave drenched our blanket in the first five minutes. I’d never seen waves like this at Ninigret State Beach. And just as I was mustering up the courage to make my way in, the sea sent seven raucous breakers toward the shore in ten-second intervals.

A flash of the old fear surged through me. But fortunately some years ago a dear friend taught me the secret to turning this fear into frenzied fun. You know it, I’m sure. When I dove directly beneath the wild heart of each crest, I came up soaked, but shockingly unscathed! And thrilled! Dancing with Mother Nature’s power and unpredictability – in whatever form it appears – has become one of my biggest turn-ons.

Still, this day’s display was nothing to take lightly. I was thankful for the lifeguard not 50 feet away! So I ventured in. Minutes later, I was no Venus stepping off her shell. Three leviathan waves – one right after the other – had caught me unprepared. I’d had a wild ride, mostly in intimate contact with hard sand and swirling water. And though I’d surely had moments of panic, I’d also loved it.

There seems to be a direct connection between what frightens us most and what makes us feel truly alive. Of course, some common sense and knowledge of Nature’s ways will keep you safer – up to a point. There’s always risk though. She’s not about to be tamed; nor should you be.

But, the waves that scare us don’t usually rise out of the ocean.

I’m betting there’s an enormous wave out on your horizon, coming toward you right now. Some opportunity for really living, for more​ feeling, for deep intimacy – with  yourself or someone else – that you’re scared to dive into, fearful that you’ll be swept out to sea – that you’ll fall into the same patterns or lose control or get hurt again?

But I’d also bet that you feel the pull of what’s possible. Can you let go enough to let life seduce you? Can you remember that you’re actually safer than you think when you catch the wave wrong, when you’re tossed under, out of control, scratching your elbows and knees on the sand, having your suit fill with grit? This kind of living isn’t about comfort. There may be consequences. But what I’ve found is that the more I let myself feel all that’s there, the safer I realize I actually am. It’s when I block feeling that I freeze in fear.

So how fully do you want to live? That’s the questions Jack Kornfield asks in his book, A Path with Heart. “In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you learn to let go?”

The more intimate we become with what scares us – the more we understand its ways – the more able we are to play in its force. Like an aikido master, we learn not to fight against the waves as they approach or avoid the water altogether, but to feel the waves all around us and swim fully with the energies of life.