Then and Now
I was a small child with light blonde hair, wearing a heart necklace. I was quiet, reflective, self-contained, sensitive and shy. I had a joyful open heart for nature, animals, gentle folk, angels and God. I was afraid of aggression, nightmares, and most people, including other children. I loved the inner journey through fairy tales, art, music, and the stories and questions in my mind. I wanted to know why I was here.
Now I am in my 60’s, petite with light brown hair and a touch of grey, and my favorite jewelry is heart necklaces. I am a professional speaker, author and psychological counselor with a penchant for helping people with traumatic histories. My heart is open to the natural world, the world of spirit, and the struggles, joys and healing of humanity. My faith is usually stronger than fear. I am here to know the gifts of my heart and extend them to the world in all circumstances and conditions. I am grateful for my birth and the challenges and nourishment that life brings me. Thank you all for being here with me in this celebration of life!
About Mary's Life
Palos Verdes, CA. I was 18 years old and my life was the beach, modern dancing, health food, teaching exercise classes, writing poetry and wondering what to do when I grew up. I was a passive hippie, a reluctant socializer, and a silent rebel. I took the wrong path many times. I mistook freedom for fulfillment, danger for mystery, and anger for strength. I knew that my smile reflected a deep, sustainable joy that connected me to spirit, but I lacked navigation skills in social relationships. I learned much later that the mistakes, heartaches, anger and angst were necessary for me to embrace humility, compassion, courage and faith, in face of any fear, and to accept and appreciate that life is always greater than what I can know.
1960’s & My Hope For Today
I was a teen in the turbulent 60's, living in the pastoral landscapes of Palos Verdes, California. I loved dancing, singing, photography, writing poetry, reading books, and being outdoors. I loved the music of Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Judy Collins.
This was a time to question materialism, corporate power, corruption, and U.S. involvement in a faraway war. It was a time to learn about organic foods, recycling, green living, personal growth, meditation and cosmic consciousness. It was a time to promote rights for the natural environment, animals, and all of humanity.
And it was a time of glorifying drugs, promiscuity, and rebellion against the establishment. It was a time of youthful arrogance and denial, as if
equitable love, peace and goodwill toward all could be achieved solely because we wanted it, without addressing and healing the roots of injustice, hate, war, and selfishness that lived inside of us and between each other.
50 years later, I hope that this is a time when our personal actions, thoughts, feelings, and communication model our highest ideals for the world. I hope that we share and assist each other, rather than hoard and compete with one another, use diplomacy rather than destructiveness, and honesty and transparency rather than deceit. I hope that we take healthy responsibility for the well being and development of our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits, and treat others with equal respect. I hope that we understand that we are all in this together, and commit to our part in this evolution to make everything better for the entire planet.
October 11, 2014
Today I celebrate the first 64 years of my life.
In my child life, I was afraid of people and the energies of chaos and conflict. I loved the natural world, animals, stories and the arts. I felt holy presence when I was alone, and lost it when I was in crowds and over-stimulating environments. My imagination gave me peace, harmony and comfort when I was awake. Sleeping gave me nightmares of entrapment, torture, mutilation and murder. I was labeled oversensitive and I didn’t know what to do when the energies invaded me like armies. I longed to grow up and find a mild climate in which I could build a little hut, grow my own food, and have only animals and Heavenly spirits for friends.
In my adolescent life, I was sad, angry, and fearful that I couldn’t create the utopian future I wanted. I didn’t know how to negotiate relationships with people, and my attempts were mostly unsatisfying and troublesome.
I thought the world was oppressive, yet I had no clue how to take healthy responsibility for myself and my life. I threw myself into poetry, dance, music, and exercise to identify and release emotions within me. I taught myself to speed read and read stacks of books weekly, looking for answers, although I was increasingly uncertain of my questions.
In my adult life, I traveled extensively to see indigenous people and wild animals living lightly and simply upon the earth. I changed colleges and majors four times, finally settling on Psychology for graduate school. I realized the questions about myself, humanity and this life had something to do with that subject. I improved in my abilities to relate to people and I spent 10 years in therapy. I gardened, wrote, and took photographs, still loving nature, animals, stories and the arts. I developed a longing to be grounded and grow strong like a tree with its branches reaching to Heaven and its roots deep in the earth. I wanted to create a life of acceptance and gratitude for both dimensions and how they were teaching me what I needed to know. I was divinely led to a career in counseling, with a specialty in addiction recovery. Here was a population that included many whose waking lives were similar to my childhood nightmares. The tools of understanding and transformation were given to me in this work. I realized relationships had more to do with the soul’s journey, than mind, heart and body. Today, my adventures in life, both waking and dreaming, have more to do with faith than fear. I feel the Source of love deep inside me, whether I walk through the darkness of chaos and conflict or the light of peace and harmony. So today I celebrate each present moment of my evolution.
And I celebrate all of you with sweet grace and gratitude for your own journey!
I have prayed in confusion and crisis, asking for clarity, and received courage to walk through continuing darkness.
I have prayed in heaviness, pressure and urgency, and received lightness, laughter and patience.
I have prayed to be released from pain, and received more pain, which brought me necessary lessons and growth.
I have prayed in grief over deaths of loved ones, and received their Heavenly presence.
I have prayed to surrender fear, and received the manifestation of my fear, to teach me resilience.
I have prayed in angry threats and anguish, and received amazing blessings.
I have prayed for understanding and received nothing, for I lacked the readiness to accept and wisely use it.
I have prayed for release of my faults and defenses, and received acceptance, and compassion for them.
I have prayed in gratitude for all that exists, and received the perfect trials, tribulations, triumphs and treasures.
Prayer, like life, is an adventure of magnificent, mystical proportions.