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Archive for August, 2009

Accident or Purpose

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

forestroadAfter more than 9 years, I decided this past May it was time to move on with my spiritual teacher. It was not an easy decision. She has been my teacher, therapist, shaman, coach, and confidant for a long time. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She was there after my mom died and my heart was consumed with grief. And she celebrated with me when I started my company, Toning the OM™, and eagerly awaited to hear about my next venture, creative project, workshop, and collaboration. Every step of the way, this amazing woman was with me on my path.

One day I was sitting in meditation and I asked for guidance on where and how to deepen my spirituality. The answer that came, and the one I ignored until May, was that it was time to move on from my teacher and create a new path. I walked into her office and said, “I think it’s time for me to go.” Smiling, she said, “I was waiting for you to say that.”

We decided we would spend some time over a period of weeks reviewing and giving space for completion. We wanted to be sure we gave our long journey together a proper ending. I knew it was the right decision, and yet, after the reality of my words hit me, I cried my eyes out. Nine years of having a witness from someone who only wants wholeness and love is a long time. I knew this was a big step into transition. I didn’t have a plan for who would be my next teacher. I just knew our road had come to an end. We completed the last week of June and I wasn’t sure I was ready for this unknown territory – the abyss – to be my teacher.

As I was internally preparing for my last session with my spiritual teacher, I reached out to friends to get their advice of what I should do next, how to find another teacher, and how to sit in the space of transition. For the most part, my friends said to allow myself time and space, to be in the fog, to be open to what’s next and who’s next. It wasn’t the answer I wanted. I wanted my friends to say, “Go back to your teacher and stay there forever” or “I have a teacher for you”, or even “You would love my teacher.” None of that happened. All I heard was people saying to just stay in this empty space.

I went to my next mode of action. I begged God to show me my next teacher. “Just give me a sign God” I implored. Then three days after my completion with my teacher, I was in a car accident. An SUV slammed into the passenger side of the car I was in and smashed the whole door. I walked away, stunned and shaken. The talk to God shifted to shouting the question, “Are you kidding me God?” I even screamed, “First I lose my teacher and now I lose a car?” After calming down, I realized I just needed to be in the space of transition on every level. For the next few weeks I had to pay attention to my neck and back. I had to slow my pace down and recalibrate my nervous and energetic systems. I had to listen to what I needed, ask for help, connect with friends, do some writing, meditate, and listen to nature. In this quiet space, I began to see what and who informs me.

Oddly enough, the accident gave me purpose to reveal myself more humbly and lovingly. I trusted myself and others in ways I had not been able to do before. I even asked a coaching classmate to help me walk through ideas of how to find a new teacher. She asked me what I was looking for in a spiritual teacher. I told her I wanted someone who is compassionate, smart, generous, challenging, and knows my head and heart enough to push me. Her answer to me was, “Wait, isn’t that you?”

I received more confirmation on the same day when I saw my shaman friend, Joe, and he looked me in the eyes and said, “The teacher you are waiting for is you.” The accident showed me it was inside all along and the teacher I was looking for was me. I am the one I have been waiting for.

So I can’t help but wonder – accident or purpose?

Mary Anne

This is dedicated to my spiritual teacher, GH, who taught me that my inner compass will always show me the way and to my many, many teachers throughout my entire life.

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Remove the Label and Live Your Dream

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

MAF 8th GradeEver since I can remember, people have been asking me what I want to be when I grow up. I realized that over the span of time that answer has changed. I have wanted to be a cop, a radio DJ, a nun (it’s true), a teacher, and workshop facilitator. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to gather some stuff that has been stored at my parents’ house – the stuff that will never fit in a NYC apartment – like trophy’s, plaques, photo albums, boxes of letters, and even school papers (the one’s when I got an A). After cleaning off the mounds of dust, I began to get a good look at my life since I was about age 12. Going through theses boxes, I began to reflect about all the people throughout my life who helped me get to where I am today. I found letters of support from my parents and sisters sent to me while I was on retreats, along with many letters from friends from all around the world.

As I read these letters, notes, and even high school yearbooks, I noticed that throughout time, people said similar things to me. They often complimented my hard work, my poetry, enthusiasm, faith, commitment, generosity, and humor. It was a nice feeling to see how many people one life touches and that my core values have remained the same.

Then I stumbled upon my 8th grade yearbook. It’s a handmade paper book that was put together by my school classmates. In the yearbook, we named our professional dream career. There it was in black and white – a writer. I had no idea I even said that back then. I must have blocked it because every time I told people I wanted to be a writer, folks would tell me about the struggle of getting published and how hard it would be to make money and pay bills. So, on I went to do other work in non-profit and then started my own healing arts company. And sure enough, over the past 18 years, I have helped write proposals, articles, workshops, brochures, outlines, blogs etc… Without the attachment of the label, I have always been a writer. I have kept a journal for more than 20 years and always have a notebook with me to capture the random thoughts and ideas that go through my head. Last month, I even became a contributing writer for a spirituality blog.

It’s nice to know I am living my dream with so much joy and enthusiasm. While I have probably been a combination of many professions, each one has included writing. No matter the label, I am a writer. It’s taken me this long to claim that inside and now I get to share it.

If you removed the label, what is your dream? Do it, be it, live it.

Oh yeah, my favorite song in the 8th grade – “Jump”, by Van Halen.

Dedicated to all those that have supported my dreams and to all those who read my writing (thank you).

Mary Anne

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Gratitude Attitude – Part 2

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Gratitude part 2I recently posted a blog about gratitude being an attitude that can become a habit like brushing your teeth. I also realized that I am surrounded by people who express and share their gratitude on a daily basis. Last week I posted the question on Facebook – what are you grateful for? All around the world, people responded with their gratitude list and gave permission to share it…pass it on…

“I’m grateful for my kids, hubby, parents, friends, family, new beginnings & abundance in everything…just to mention a few.” Lizelle Botha, South Africa

“I am grateful for my family & friendships that brighten my day, lighten my moods. I am grateful to those that broaden my horizons to see with clarity, appreciation and joy, all that I have to offer and encourage me to do more, grow richer with experiences, live life in a fuller, richer, spiritual manner. I am grateful”… Karen Brown, NY, USA

“Today I am grateful for opening my eyes to see another day full of possibility. I am grateful that I have one more day to enjoy, and be amazed, and to be involved with life. Today I am grateful for the light in the eyes of my friends and family. I am also grateful for the roadblocks and failures in my life. They turned out to be valuable lessons that led me to new opportunities and connections I wouldn’t have had otherwise.” Monica Snook, North Carolina, USA

“I’m grateful for my husband, my life, another day to be who I am full out. I’m grateful to realize my potential with each passing day and see what I manifest in my mind come into being. I’m more than grateful for every obstacle I face each day, because it brings on another solution and possibility for growth within myself and opens doors for others who come after me. I’m grateful for the opportunities: to turn others’ pity for me into respect, others’ presumption of my lacking ability into realization I have boundless gifts…” Monica J. Foster, North Carolina, USA

“I am grateful for my life and my humor. If not for my humor my laptop may be floating in a lake nearby. I am grateful for Radical Forgiveness and the change is has made in my life. I am grateful to facebook for bringing so many wonderful people who are able to be who they are and say so! I am grateful for all the beautiful people who are in and who have left my life as I now know.” Tammy Downs, New Hampshire, USA

“One on today’s Gratitude List …my cold-nosed, tail-wagging boys, Micah and Max. Beyond that, today I’m most grateful for my friends (and Facebook!), all the rain, a sense of humor, and all that I’ve yet to learn.” Karen Burd, NY, USA

“I am grateful for my 5 human senses to experience the wonderful extremes that life on earth offers and having that choice after to decide on which experience I would like to merge with and live with for the rest of my life. I am grateful to consistently be aware of what a genius our Creator is.” Aaron d’Almeida, Singapore

“At this very moment, I am grateful for the “Wake up call sound of the Thunder” rumbling as I work. It’s keeping me grounded and aware of something bigger and alive and is breaking up the mind chatter. What a gift!”  Robin Coley, NJ, USA

“I am grateful for the gift of creativity and people to share and create with. It’s one of the gifts that keep on giving.”  Michelle Broomfield, NYC, USA

“Everything….absolutely everything….” Ann Crawford, USA


Mary Anne

I am grateful for a life full of gratitude, to all who generously shared their gratitude list, for teaching, for being a student, for naps, sun and thunderstorms, lobster rolls, granola, crunchie bars, long walks, my family and friends, and love in all forms.

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