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Archive for December, 2010

My Favorite Books of 2010

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

As an avid reader, I search out books that will broaden my thinking, open my heart, teach new ideas, and provide inspiration. I have put together my list of the best books I have read in 2010 (many of which were not published in 2010). Rather than give a synopsis of each book, I am including the book title, author, and a quote that moved me or inspired me. Please feel free to recommend books you think I ought to add to my 2011 list.

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
“Humans, even nomadic ones, need a sense of home. Home need not be one place or any place at all, but every home has two essential elements: a sense of community and, even more important, a history.”

Facing Codependence by Pia Mellody
“I believe that everyone is conducting their lives out of what they perceive to be the right thing to do for themselves.”

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”

By the River Piedra, I Wept by Paulo Coelho
“You have to take risks, he said. We will only understand the miracle of life when we allow the unexpected to happen.”

The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron
“Our life’s work is to use what we have been given to wake up.”

The Fifth Agreement by Miguel Ruiz
“Self-mastery is all about awareness, and it begins with self-awareness.”

Slow Love by Dominique Browning
“Nothing to do” is not the same as “Nothing can be done.” One is hopeless; the other, the place from which hope becomes possible.”

A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie
“An open mind is the only way to peace.”

Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth
“Our personality and it’s defenses, one of which is our relationship to food, are a direct link to our spirituality.”

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer
“But compassion is a muscle that gets stronger with use, and the regular exercise of choosing kindness over cruelty would change us.”

Happy reading! Mary Anne

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Now, and Now, and Now

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Every moment a gift: are you unwrapping yours now, and now, and now ……? ~Byron Katie

After I read this quote, I picked up my pen and wrote in my notebook:

How can I be peace now, and now, and now?

How can I be joy here, and here, and here?

Mary Anne

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How Will You Become the Alchemist of Your Dreams?

Monday, December 27th, 2010

What has transformed into gold in 2010? What inner treasure have you discovered about yourself this year?

While an enormous snowstorm blew into New York City, it was the perfect opportunity to sit and read my new book, The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel. I read the original novel, The Alchemist, over ten years ago and remember highlighting many parts of the book. Before reading the new one, I decided to pick up the original book again and reread some of my favorite lines.

“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

“Everything on earth is being continuously transformed, because the earth is alive…and it has a soul.”

“It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say. That way, you’ll never have to fear an unanticipated blow.”

“People are afraid to pursue their most I important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.

“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself,” the alchemist replies. “And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

How will you become the alchemist of your dreams?
Mary Anne

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Give and Forgive

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

“It is your forgiveness that will bring the world of darkness to the light…Forgiveness is the demonstration that you are the light of the world. Through your forgiveness does the truth about you return to your memory.”  A Course in Miracles – Lesson 62

In this season of giving, one of the best gifts you can give is forgiveness. Living the love that we are is a gift we give ourselves. Forgiveness is a gift we can share and remind ourselves of our capacity to love. Unwrap your heart and forgive at least one person this season.

Who are you willing to forgive this season?

Forgiveness is opening to endless love.
Mary Anne

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Celebrating the Light ~ Happy Winter Solstice!

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Light will guide you home. Love will welcome you in. Happy Winter Solstice!

I awoke early this morning and thought about the lunar eclipse and winter solstice. Thinking about the return of the light warmed me up. While watching the light change, I read some of my favorite blogs and checked my emails. I received a lot of beautiful messages from folks thanking me for my recent newsletter. While the responses were sent to me, I think the love that came with them can be for all.

Ahhhh…Namaste sister!  Much love to you.

Ah Soul, Ah Soul, how beautiful you are.

You are beautiful.

Success = Peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable.” – John Wooden

I wish you much success in 2011

Lovely! Thanks for being in my life.

And the light keeps pouring in!
Mary Anne

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Peace in Me ~ Peace on Earth

Monday, December 20th, 2010

As we prepare for a season of “Peace on Earth”, may each exchange this season be one of love & presence. 

Wishing you and your family the joy and peace of the season ~ As we prepare for Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward All, let us pause and live the love that we are. When you need a moment to remember the gift of you, read these meditations:

The light in me is a reflection of you.

The reward of love is more love.

The more my heart expands, the more love I can give.

The miracle of me sees the miracle of you.

Forgiveness is opening to endless love.

Love, acceptance, & approval can only come from within.

Self-care is falling in love with yourSELF and sharing that love with everyone.

What if you lived the love that you are?

Thank you so much for being a part of Toning the OM! It has been an honor to share meditations, explore forgiveness, experience shamanic journeys, and celebrate sacred ceremonies. May 2011 bring more love.

 With love & peace~ Mary Anne

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You Are Always Worthy!

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

After singing many holiday songs this past week, a line from O Holy Night sticks in my head: “And the soul felt its worth…”

What if you felt your worth? What if you lived the love that you are?

Yes, your worth is “A thrill of hope…the weary world rejoices” – always.

Celebrate your worth,
Mary Anne

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What Is Your Story About Food?

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

I recently read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.  The back cover says, “Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with their creation.” It’s a great book that opens up a dialog about what we eat and how everything is related to food. He begins his book by telling stories of his Holocaust survivor grandmother’s complex relationship with food and his response to his new role in fatherhood.  He writes of his grandmother’s relationship with food, “It is terror, dignity, gratitude, vengeance, joyfulness, humiliation, religion, and, of course, love.”

My favorite lines in the book:
“Remembering and forgetting are part of the same mental process. To write down one detail of an event is to not write down another (unless you write forever). To remember one thing is to let another slip from remembrance (unless you keep recalling forever). There is ethical as well as violent forgetting. We can’t hold on to everything we’ve known so far.”

“Not responding is a response—we are equally responsible for what we don’t do.”

“But compassion is a muscle that gets stronger with use, and the regular exercise of choosing kindness over cruelty would change us.”

I have always dreaded eating (seriously). I ate because I was hungry and didn’t want to pass out. I never looked forward to making a meal or eating a meal, unless it was eating out with friends and it was the social aspect that brought me joy. I have had to change my story with food. I have had to look at how depriving myself of food was showing up in other aspects of my life. It’s a new chapter and I am looking forward to baking and breaking bread. I hope you will join me.

With love,
Mary Anne

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How Will You Celebrate the Light?

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

How will you celebrate the light in the darkness? As winter draws near, it is a time of going inward. The winter season allows us to align with a slower pace. In the depths of winter, when the bears hibernate, trees put their energy deep into their roots, and many of us dive deeper into the dream world, it is a natural time to retreat.

As we go inward, let us notice the beauty and tranquility of winter. Let us celebrate the light within that is always available. Let us embrace the opportunity for deep rest and integration that winter provides.

How will you keep the candle lit inside yourself this winter?

Join us December 16 for a Winter Solstice Celebration & Candlelight Ceremony in NYC from 7p – 9p. Love Donation. Hope to see you there!

In light & love,
Mary Anne

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Bullying Takes Many Forms

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Recently, there was a posting on Facebook intended as a joke that gave a link to a website called, “Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians.” While the intention may have been to provide some good laughs, what struck me even more was a few of the comments to the posting:

“Old lesbians get really worked up about this. Usually, I think, because they haven’t realized they look like Elton John.”

“and what I hate is butch lesbians that look like men and old men….”

Bullies don’t just come in the form of physical or verbal abuse. They can come in the forms of mocking and putting down a group of people. Anytime we belittle a person or group for our own pleasure, it is another form of bullying. Within the gay community, groups make fun of each other for their masculine or feminine style. Just see the comments above to get a taste of how easy it is to make fun of someone.

There is a fine line between humor and mockery. Perhaps the more we can recognize what is on the inside, we will stop caring what the outside looks like. In the end, we all have the capacity to bully with our jokes about people. Bullying takes many forms and ultimately hurts many people.

Perhaps, when we are laughing at others, we are tapping into a part of ourselves that is still feeling insecure. It can be easier to talk about, mock, or ‘hate’ other people, then to look at the parts of ourselves we dread.

Mary Anne

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