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.

Is it time to say goodbye to struggle?

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 11.59.33 AMLike those great sandals you’ve loved all summer…
Or the childhood friend who doesn’t quite fit anymore…
Or even the meditation practice that’s taken you deeper than you would have imagined not that long ago…
Sometimes it’s time to say goodbye.

Sometimes a conscious leave taking is appropriate.
It clears the decks for what’s been wanting to come in, but has no space.

In July I said goodbye to an old way of being. I knew it was time. But I needed a kick in the pants. I said yes to a week away with a brilliant shaman, Rose Khalsa, and gave myself the gift of a vision quest.

I already had a vision for my life. What I was questing for was a clearer view.

And that’s what happened as I lay on my sheepskin for three days, doing very little, looking up through the branches of beech and maple to clouds floating past in a perfect azure sky. Reviewing my life. And opening to Wisdom.

The message that came to me again and again, the one I often just can’t hear through the distracting noise of my constant busy-ness was this:

Relax, Dear One. Drop the struggle. You don’t need to try so hard. Receive the nourishment that’s poured out for you. Everything you need is here, and more.

WHAT?!! ”But I have so much to do! If I don’t do it for myself, who’s going to give me what I need? Where am I going to find the time to do something else?”

But it was my body that registered the first message as wisdom. I couldn’t ignore it. There was this deeper layer of what I’ve been teaching and preaching for ages. The essence of the feminine IS to receive.

We just don’t know how anymore.

(My Dears, don’t be fooled. The feminine has very little to do with what we think of as femininity, at least in our culture. I wasn’t wearing frilly dresses and high heals out there in the woods.)

You see, every day we live primarily in our masculine energy. Doing. Achieving. Being productive. Getting to the goal, only to drop into bed, exhausted. Even on our days off, we have our lists. On vacations we pack the days. Then we numb out so we don’t feel how deeply discontented we are. It’s clear this isn’t working. We just don’t know another way.

But there IS another way. And it involves learning how to receive again.Maybe just for three breaths. From the sun. From the morning’s chill. From this moment’s pleasure, often found right here in our bodies. When we listen.

This is the message that’s been pouring itself into my book since July. Along with the practices to help us all remember… Remember how to live in the joy of our feminine. And still make life work.

Saying goodbye to struggle starts when you decide to balance the effort you expend with one moment’s pleasure. Maybe right now?

On this one in-breath, receive the scent of your coffee, the crunch of buttered toast, tonight’s luminous almost-full moon. Please, Dear Woman, don’t put off taking in all the joy you’re starving for until everything else is done.

Don’t deprive yourself by trying to push through. When you feel depleted, just stop for 10 seconds! Look, listen, taste.

If this sounds too simple, well… it is! Receiving is what we’ve been waiting for. It’s totally natural to us.

The hard part is saying goodbye to the old habit of pushing it all away. We know that path so well. It’s often in the struggle that we feel worthwhile.

That’s why we need reminding. And why I offer my work. Message me if you’d like a helping hand.

In whatever way suits you, join this revolution. Take back the pleasure you were meant to know and live. It’s just one decision, right now.

A Deeper Turn-On?

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 12.02.16 PM

A deeper turn-on? Huh?

It’s about pleasure in the body, most definitely..
But it’s more…

More than the momentary high of a great orgasm,
…though there are little-known practices that create the magic.
More than someone else’s slow hands,
…though that’s quite a delight.
Even more than all the best techniques in the world.

A deeper turn-on comes from learning to access the source of your turn-on.
And that is YOU.

You won’t find it in the perfect body you wish you had,
or some fabulous setting or future time when you’ll finally be ready,
or even someone who knows how to take you there.
(OK, so that is lovely,..)

No, this deeper turn-on is available right here… and right now.
In fact, you already possess the tools to bring it on.

I’m talking about what comes from living fully connected to yourself…
Your senses.
Your body.
Your inner quiet.
Your intuition.
Your enough-ness.

It’s knowing how to more fully receive what is already there.
No working! No trying!
No walking on your knees through the desert for a hundred years, to quote Mary Oliver.

A deeper turn-on is just about remembering what we’ve never been taught.
It’s about cultivating the Feminine. And indeed, it is Divine!

But we’re constantly putting out and producing and trying to cross everything off our list. That, My Dears, is living in masculine energy. It exhausts us because too much of it is just not healthy or natural to our feminine essence.

A deeper turn-on comes from accessing the vitality and sustenance of your larger body, the natural world.

That’s Divining your Beauty. It’s what I’ve been writing about these past years. It’s the territory I’ve traveled and the path I wish to share with you. ​

Receiving Love from Unlikely Men

contradance

I went dancing last weekend. With hundreds!
The Flurry is a huge dance festival with hot bands from all over the country.
Big Band swing, Zydeco, Charleston, Contra, Blues, all sorts of ethnic sounds.
Like the proverbial girl in the candy story, I couldn’t get enough.

I was a little shy at first, uncertain about sharing my energy so intimately with so many… and some, well… so odd.
Few of these men would be my choice for a date (no less a kiss).

As I entered each room, I scoped out those I might find acceptable.
The others… well, I did my usual – avoid eye contact, hope they wouldn’t ask.

But they did ask. and here’s the surprise.
I learned something amazing about receiving love by dancing with every man who asked! ​

Gawky college boys and gray-haired gentleman.
Sexy, long-haired types, men with balding bravado, and others with bulging bellies.
Ernest, but awkward new dancers and fast furious show-off aficionados.

Instead of being creeped out, I reminded myself that I was safe.
I could say no anytime I chose.
Being receptive doesn’t mean giving up all control. I could receive only what felt right.

So I accepted the gifts of these men.
Their smiles. Their hand. Their lead. Their gentle shyness.
Their enthusiastic spins. Their kind and patient instruction.
Their eyes enjoying me. Their touch against my body.
I let them be men.

In dancing, the man gets to lead.
He gets to protect the woman from overenthusiastic and bumbling couples.
He gets to set the pace and the direction.
He gets to be chivalrous. He makes the decisions.
And we get to receive.
Whether they’re awkward or skillful, clumsy or elegant,
our job is not to criticize, not to control and manage the way this offering of love comes towards us.

Our role – our opportunity, actually – is to allow the gift.…
To notice the kind intention, the warm willingness, the courageous invitation to make the most of this dance.

It was a dazzling day, but there was one last surprise.
Later that evening, at dinner in town with my kids, a lovely man came over to me to say,
“I just had to tell you, you are very beautiful!”

I think there’s some contagious magic that flavors the air around us when we choose this feminine receptivity.

So what’s inviting you to dance?
Let me know in the comments below.

Will you stay safe and sure of yourself?
Or will you allow a surprising bit of love to infiltrate your day?
If you try, I think you’ll find the world much safer than you think!
​And way more fun!

What Most Blocks our Vibrant Life Force…

Male feet standing on yellow maple leavesIt’s still October. I’m optimistic.
I think I really can do all I’ve planned.
Fabulous new projects as my career heats up.
Leading groups and planning retreats. Writing.
Making Halloween happen. Family events.
Keeping up with perpetual email and Facebook .

I’m betting you’re in the same situation. We do so much, and our standards are astronomical.
We want to bring our best to everything.

And then there’s what I want do for me. Hikes. Meditating. Fun with my son.
Buttoning up the garden. Time with friends. Tending my chickens.
Making quince paste.
(I just can’t resist this pleasure! It’s the first year my quince tree has produced its glorious golden mythic fruit.)

Oh, and there’s lovemaking. That’s right. I’ll squeeze that in somewhere.

Is this your story, too?
Partner or not, why is it that tending to our own sexual pleasure is often near the bottom of the list?
We know we should want it. But, what’s wrong that we don’t, or not so often.
It’s kind of crazy, really!
After I do make love with my partner or myself, I wonder why I don’t do this every night!
That’s what I say in the moment, at least.

But then my life happens.
There’s so much still to do!
And I’m exhausted.
Just let me sleep.
Please!

So here’s the issue, Dear Women…
The everyday stress of our full-on yang lifestyle is death to a woman’s desire.

And even more confounding – the masculine doesn’t work that way.
For most men, sex reduces stress. It chills them out.
Lets them relax and revive.
Perhaps this is why our hyper-yang culture is so sex-obsessed.
And why a constant diet of quick sex is often just not that great for women.
But stress defines the culture we live in!
What’s a girl to do?

Well, first. WHEW!
Does just hearing this truth help you feel a little less bad?
It’s not just you.
You’re not defective.

Here’s the thing…
Being relaxed is necessary foreplay for a woman’s pleasure.

Running as fast as you can — even if it’s doing all that good self-care – is really NO help at all.
But sinking into the sensual is.
Stepping back into the feminine.
And not by just making that another goal on your to-do list.

Begin to look for the simple sensual pleasures that are available to you in this moment, without any effort at all.
How do we move out this crazy hyper-efficiency obsession?

Here’s what I know.
Remembering to notice – and then  appreciate — what’s here now is the secret.
Really seeing beauty — the contrast of colors on my plate, the arch of a sparrow in flight,
a kindness received or given,
one exquisite breath expanding the tense muscles in my shoulders and chest – begins to turn my life around.

You see, pleasure begets pleasure. 
When I find the simple sensual pleasures that are available to me in this moment, my energy expands from doing-doing-doing to being present and welcoming.
Then a soak in the tub doesn’t seem such a ridiculous waste of time.
And THEN, almost magically, giving myself or my sweetie a hand massage begins to sound, well… delicious.

Try this simple practice — for just one day, shift your focus from efficiency to noticing beauty and see what happens.

Do your own research — and let me know in the comment section below what you find.
Here’s to the shift that wants to infuse this day – and every one to come — with the pleasure that moments of beauty bring.