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.

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

​What is it to be free?

 

Maybe it’s just paying attention
And choosing to participate
Really being in whatever I’m doing.

Maybe it’s a practice, really, this attentiveness…
this responsibility to what I feel, right now.
Being awake to my body and my emotional life.
Being affected – by life, work, a lover, parents, children.
Noticing what is moving in me.

And noticing my hesitation,
when I back away from being real in order to be nice.
Or when I am afraid to hold a gaze.

Being free is not holding back.
Freedom isn’t indulging in reactivity
or spewing emotionality …
That’s being bound to the old.
I’m not free there.

Being free is being true.
Allowing myself all of me.

And everyone else every last bit of themselves.

I’m playing in the the-a-tre of free-dom this week. Asking these questions and watching what comes.
With 9 other explorers and you, the audience, if you’d like.
Meet someone dressed in a vibrant color on a corner in Great Barrington.
Be led into an exploration of freedom and intimacy.

My kind of adventure, and yours, perhaps, adored ones!