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An old friend scheduled a c-section after enduring a complicated, high risk pregnancy. The doctors were taking no chances. “It feels so strange to be scheduling a birth like a dentist appointment,” she told me. “Monday at 1p I’m going to walk into the hospital and have my baby.”

I am thinking of this now as I call the vet for the third time in two days to reschedule Bruno’s euthanasia appointment. I am scheduling his death. It feels grotesque and surreal. I am asking his death to accommodate my life.

I want to do it on a Friday so we have the privacy and down time of a work free weekend to let our grief loose, like a let-go-of kite. But the kids aren’t ready. They want more time. And he’s not in pain. He’s just already so far over the threshold of being gone that he’s not really here. We’re down to bodily functions. The practical stuff. His soul, his magic, is a dim light at the end of its wick. …


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Are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life? — Mary Oliver (pic: doveneon)

It was my birthday this week. I announced it broadly across my life and let it be a big tah-do — which is not how I normally roll. I’m more comfortable as a disco ball, reflecting the light back at everyone else, than a dancer under the spotlight.

I heard Esther Perel describe this sort of chronic deflection as: “I make sure not to need much so nobody will say no.” That’s been me, my whole life, in a nutshell. It’s a brilliant tactic, of the wound, to avoid disappointment. …


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What we know is not all there is to know.

There’s a secret black hole in my house that sucks all the good pens and separated halves of sock pairs. Maybe there’s one in yours, too?

When we die and cross the threshold into our next incarnation, I think we’ll be handed back a pail of these things. The same way my favorite store in the East Village used to insist that we check our bags while shopping and then turn in our ticket on the way out to retrieve them.

Given all of this, I’ve been keeping an eye on my favorite black pen very thoughtfully and have been mindful to put it back in my desk drawer at the end of a day when my sessions are over and I’m done taking notes, to make sure it will be there when I reach for it the next day. …


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Separation is a delusion.

At some point last week, I turned away from the news screen of red and blue puzzle pieces to look out a window in my home office and watch a gust of wind carry the leaves from my yard downhill to my neighbor’s freshly manicured lawn. It scattered them recklessly, like trash, across the clean, green, abutting landscape.

My neighbor is elderly. Her husband died last year and she has told me how overwhelmed she feels trying to keep up with the house without him. He used to patiently walk the grounds collecting fallen branches or tugging on weeds or micro managing the lawn guys who mow and blow and raise holy hell on his behalf on a regular basis. …


We don’t hold the harmful people in our lives accountable by harming them. We can’t, as Toni Morrison put it “out hurt the hurter.” Because once we step into that quicksand there is no ground floor and no way to extract any kind of real, honest relief, justice or freedom.

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photo credit: Alex Edelman

There is a difference between schadenfreude and peace. We can’t wish harm upon another and be well within ourselves, this is spiritual law. Wishing someone harm is like hurling a fireball at their heart. It is impossible to pick up the ball of fire without injuring ourselves in the process.

What is equally, simultaneously true though is that it’s totally natural, after a person has experienced abuse at the mercy of another, that they should feel a sense of justice or even gladness when the perpetrator shifts suddenly into a position of disadvantage and is no longer able to wield the sword with impunity — even if just for a moment. …


Whatever we’re afraid to look at in ourselves secretly owns us. We can’t live empowered lives if we’re turning away from who we are and only able to acknowledge certain parts of our experience. Our shadows contain important information for us. The magician reaches into the dark space of a top hat to pull out a rabbit. We are tasked with the same challenge in our healing. Our work is to reach into the dark parts of our psyche to retrieve what lives there, pull it into the light and make sense of it.

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To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Carl Jung

We’re often afraid of our ugly side. We take 45 selfies to weed out the one we find acceptable. We reinforce the idea that we’re OK, that we’re beautiful even in our pain, that we’re moving toward the light — that this is the point of healing. But what if the point of healing is not to eradicate our pain or overcome the parts of ourselves, our stories, that we dislike? What if the point of healing is to open to our shadow self and integrate her? Make her a place at the table? Hear her out and take her into consideration, authentically? …


I did a round up of all the Energy Vampires in my life years ago, when I got serious about healing. I realized my neck was available to too many hungry little suckers. I had grown up believing that I was only valuable if I was giving myself away. My worth hinged on making other people feel good — my feelings and needs were secondary.

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picture by Jay Pingree @pingreeart IG

This kind of conditioning is nothing new in our culture, especially for girls, and it’s something all of us in the helping industries have to keep a close eye on. …


Enlightenment is a reckoning. It isn’t really as romantic as it’s been commonly depicted: a quiet, contemplative leaning against a Bodhi tree. Enlightenment is about the burning desire to clean up our own ignorance. The work begins when we realize the extent of just how much we don’t know. There is humility in this. And surrender.

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“When you can look a thing dead in the eye, acknowledge that it exists, call it exactly what it is, and decide what role it will take in your life then, my Beloved, you have taken the first step toward your freedom.”

― Iyanla…


One of the most profound realizations for me as a spiritual life coach has been how often the understanding of the Ego and the Soul get lumped together in people. Many of us have never taken the time to self reflect with curiosity and to notice that what we call “the Self” is comprised of two things, not one. And they actually oppose each other! Which is what makes being human so endlessly fascinating and complicated.

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When we smoosh the Ego and the Soul into one category we can’t hear their feedback accurately

The Soul wants to tear through the fences, hit the open road and transcend any obstacles which block it from aligning with its destiny in this precious incarnation. The Ego wants total control. It wants us to stay small and manageable. It is directly threatened by the longings of the Soul. And it knows the best, fastest way to keep us away from the edge of our own advancement is to shame us and shut us down. So when we say that each one of us contains multitudes: it’s true! The real challenge of our lives is understanding the different, contradictory parts of those multitudes and getting them to sing harmoniously together, working toward the same end: our highest actualization. …


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Rest In Power George Floyd

I watched you kneel. You knelt with the casualness of a man changing a tire. A man tying his shoe. A man picking up spare change off the ground. I watched you kneel and what struck me was your ease. How natural it seemed to seem. Your body pressing its privilege, its assumed power, its hate with the weight of hundreds and hundreds of years of disregard, entitlement and brutality against the neck of another.

I watched you casually press the life force out of his body. On a Monday afternoon. In America.

I thought of the old air mattress and how the kids would crawl on top and bear down to help me deflate it. We would press and press until all the air was gone. Then we would roll it up and put it away again in the back of the closet. But George Floyd cannot be put away. His name runs through the lips of millions now. His honor runs through the streets of our broken country like a cracked open hydrant. The tears. The noise. The rage. It runs and runs now. With a momentum that can’t be contained. …

About

Mary Welch Official

I coach 1:1 ppl who are plateaued w traditional therapy and seek real transformation for this one “wild and precious life.” Learn more: @marywelchofficial IG/FB

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