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Archive for June, 2012

The Conscious Edge

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

In Pema Chodron’s book Start Where You Are, A Guide to Compassionate Living, she writes, “Affirmations are like screaming that you’re okay in order to overcome this whisper that you’re not. That’s a big contrast to actually uncovering the whisper, realizing that it’s passing memory, and moving closer to all those fears and all those edgy feelings that maybe you’re not okay. Well, no big deal. None of us is okay and all of us are fine. It’s not just one way. We are walking, talking paradoxes.”


{Photo taken by Mary Anne Flanagan}

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Posted in Life | 1 Comment »

Lead With Passion

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Great leadership demands passion.

Passion is a quality that projects vitality, joy, and enthusiasm for all the tasks at hand.  If leaders can show their passion in an authentic way, then the effect will show to the rest of the team and the result can be profound.

Passion is the way you show what you think of your job, and your role.  If you are passionate, your team will know that you care about your job, and that gives them high hope that they can care about their jobs too.

I discovered a long time ago that I loved being a leader.  And so, showing passion was never a problem.  I went into my workdays full of positive energy and feeling like I had the best job on earth.

Did it make a difference? Yes, it did.

When I received feedback about my leadership, the most fulfilling comments were the ones along the lines of “you really inspired me with your energy and enthusiasm“.

Great leadership demands passion.

It’s also a very personal thing to put yourself “out there” like that – it can put you in a vulnerable position.  That’s why passion isn’t a trait you see in every leader.

It takes some fortitude to bring emotions to the surface like that, but the benefits are well worth the risk.

And besides, passion brings something else into play that goes beyond leadership – an enjoyment of life.

Great leadership demands passion.


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I Take Pride In…

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Being who I am…

Loving openly…

Living out loud…

Showing up fully…

Holding my partner’s hand…

Dancing in the streets.…

Marching to my own rhythm…

Choosing love…

Happy Pride! Mary Anne 

This is dedicated to my wife, Lorene, who I asked to dance 18 years ago on June 24.


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Thank You

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

You are invited to a mediation focusing on gratitude.

Take a nice slow breath, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Close your eyes. Make your spine long and tall. Allow your shoulders to drop away from your ears.

How are you breathing? Allow yourself to breathe in and breathe out. And with your next breath, hear the words: Thank You.

Take a deeper breath. Allow more to come in and exhale and allow more to go out. Allow your mind and heart to take in more and let go more.

Invite a free hand onto a part of your body that needs some attention. Listen and send the mantra Thank You to that part of your body. Allow the mantra to move more deeply there. Breathe in and out. Follow the inhalation and exhalation. Follow your brilliance. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Direct your hand to the center of your chest – your heart center. Direct the words Thank You to your heart center. Allow the gratitude to grow in and around you. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Carry this mantra with you. Notice when you are not in gratitude. Thank You. Notice how we can be gratitude with each breath. Thank You.

And take a deep breath. Repeat the mantra: Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Invitation: In the next 24 hours, find at least three people to say Thank You to and pass on a transmission of gratitude.

Open your eyes and look at the world you help co-create. Look at the world with Thank You eyes. Look at the world with a Thank You heart.

When we see this love and gratitude in our self, it will be seen in others. Thank You.

Mary Anne

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Step by Step…

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Looking up, looking out, looking in, I live life:

Step by step

Thought by thought

Prayer by prayer

Breath by breath

{Photo taken on Machu Picchu, Peru}

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Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Innocence has reappeared in my meditations the past few weeks. The word keeps showing up. While in Peru on my first day, we visited the Saint Frances Monastery in Lima to see a famous painting of the Last Supper. I had flown all night and felt myself start to drift when I heard the tour guide say, “Notice what is different about this painting of the Last Supper. You can find children in the painting and that represents innocence.”

Perhaps the journey is not about releasing guilt. Perhaps the journey is welcoming innocence.

I am listening to innocence…

Breathing into innocence…

Mary Anne

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Posted in Forgiveness | 1 Comment »

Share the Gift of You

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give it away. ~David Viscott

What gifts have you discovered about yourself?

What gifts are you willing to give away?

How have you shared who you are freely with the world?


{Photo taken by Mary Anne Flanagan, Machu Picchu, Peru}

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The Hidden Treasures Within

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

I thought I knew why I was traveling to Peru – to say thank you for 11 years of shamanism as a student and teacher. I started studying Peruvian shamanism after my mom passed away and shamanism helped me get through my levels of grief. I thought I was going to South America to give back; to offer some mesa stones and dark chocolate to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. It seemed so perfect that the name of my trip was called, “The Hidden Treasures of Peru.”

I was completely surprised that my experience was not the celebration of 11 years of shamanism that broke open my grief, but rather my trip was about 11 years of celebration of my life. As I journeyed through the many sacred sites and ruins, I had the opportunity to place my hands on large stones and to plant stones from a global medicine wheel throughout Peru. I experienced playing with children, learning from the women weavers, dancing in Lima, feeding llamas, climbing Machu Picchu, walking on a floating island, and making many new friends. I realized the journey was about my presence in the world and the gifts I offer. The hidden treasure wasn’t the ancient lands, landmarks, or even Machu Picchu. The hidden treasure was my life and I celebrated it everywhere I went in Peru. I realized by the end of the trip that other people had joined me in celebrating life – my life.

When I came home, I received a beautiful email. A new friend wrote, “You brought a very special dynamic to the trip, and truly added to my whole Peru experience…as I think you did for many. In fact I feel that you were one of the hidden treasures awaiting me in Peru.”

I came home realizing that my gifts are no longer hidden. They are available for the world to see and experience. The hidden treasure of my life is ready to be celebrated.

Please join me in celebrating life and all your hidden treasures within!

Mary Anne


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Posted in Shamanism | 7 Comments »

Empty the Bucket

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

As I traveled to Peru, I knew I needed to let go of some pre-conceived thoughts so I could make room for all the information and beauty I would encounter. I wrote in my journal, “I am willing to let go and let in.” There is no room if the bucket (of my mind) is full. I went to Peru with an empty bucket and it was filled with so much insight, joy, and laughter.

On my second day in Lima, I passed this little boy helping his father gather all the grass clippings and place them in the bucket. As soon as I took this photo, the little boy looked up and dumped the bucket of grass and smiled. His father quietly walked over with his broom and together they refilled the bucket.

As I smiled at the boy and his father, I was simply reminded: empty the bucket.

Empty the bucket and make room for more.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting my insights about my journey to Peru – after I empty the bucket of my mind.

Enjoy! Mary Anne

{Photo taken by Mary Anne Flanagan, Lima, Peru}

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