Hi. My Name is Mara...

July 27, 2009

I think I am going to become addicted to getting the chills during my Unravelling ecourse.

Every day, I read such wonderful words from all of my Unravelling friends and I get the chills.

Good chills.

Chills that tell me that my heart just got bigger, my soul just got fuller, and joy just pulsed out of my body and into the universe.

By the end of this 8 week course (which already makes me feel sadness and we have so much time left!) I think I will be craving ways to give myself the "good" chills every day.

The chills come from feeling empowered, from understanding the struggles of others, from walking briefly in another person's shoes, and from realizing that we are all very similar. I identify with so many of them and we have never met. It really is a powerful connection.

Could I become addicted to unravelling?

"Hi. My name is Mara. And I am an Unraveller."

Poor little bird...

July 19, 2009

Shrinky Dink necklace made by joyful.marasoaring, originally uploaded by MaraRayanne.
So Thursday morning when I left for work there was a little dead bird on my front stoop.
I stopped, sorrowfully admired it's coloring for a bit, and thought...should I deal with this?

The last time this happened (only once) someone in the building took care of it before I came home from work. In the interest of not being late to the office, along with not being sure how to deal with it, I decided to head on to work and allow someone else to put the poor little bird to rest.

On my way down the street I started to wonder about the symbolism of crossing the path of a dead bird. I decided to look it up at work and there doesn't seem to be any historical bad omens (unless you know the specific type of bird) and only people's personal superstitions. Either way, Cass is bringing over some sage to burn in my apartment, in the foyer, and on the steps. Cass is very spiritual and I think it will be good for me to do this and that it will help us both to cleanse this space.

When I arrived home from work that evening, the poor little bird was still there. Laying awkward, yet peaceful, on my stoop. I went upstairs to put down my stuff and grabbed a spoon as my trusty shovel and a baggie as my transport and went down to the front porch.

I gently scooped up the bird and walked to a nearby bush to find him a suitable resting place. As I was digging the hole, trying to find solid earth (it all seemed to be loose and dry) I said soft prayers in my mind blessing mother nature's beautiful creature and said that I was sorry. I am not sure if it flew into my window, or if one of the neighbor cats left it as a present for our building, either way, I was sad for such a frail and gentle creature. I placed the bird in the hole and slowly covered it with one handful of dirt at a time until it was gone. Then I placed all of the small stones I had found while digging on top. Rest in peace poor little bird.

Today, I sit and think about things that we notice and don't take responsibility for. We assume someone else will handle it. Whether it's a piece of trash on the sidewalk, a mess to clean up, or even someone abusing a loved one. We tend to turn our head and tell ourselves that we didn't see it so that we don't have to take responsibility for it, whatever it may be.

I had passed the bird by. I even stopped to look at it for a few minutes. It's feathers were beautiful and I contemplated taking a picture. Then, in the interest of time and not assuming responsibility, I left it behind. Later in the day, the responsibility was offered to me again. For some reason, it was meant for me. This time, I embraced it and learned a valuable lesson. My eyes and heart show me what I am supposed to see in life. I cannot ignore the gifts that they give me. From now on, I will take responsibility for what is laid out before me whether it was my mistake or if I caused it to happen. I am one person who CAN make a difference.

It's a sprinkle kind of joy...

July 17, 2009

DSC_0156, originally uploaded by MaraRayanne.

Today...the gift of donuts dropped into my office.

With such sugary goodness I decided to have just ONE.

I opened the box and stared at the options with wide eyes and licked my lips.

"Which one will I choose?"

Such a difficult decision when the outcome quite possibly offers some insight into your personality.

"Who do I want to be today?"

Today...is a 'sprinkle' kind of day...

Fun. Colorful. Delicious. Joyful.

Happy Friday!

The Stepping-Stones of My Joyful Life

July 16, 2009

Photo: "Stuck between a rock and a "heart" place" taken by Mara

We all have turning points. We all have a road map of where we have been in our life. The roads twist and turn and when we look back at different moments we find that the map is constantly evolving. The list below tells about some of my life changing moments. Some are small. Some are big. But all of them are the bread crumbs left behind that help me to find my way back to who I am.

1. I was born. September 19, 1978 to two beautiful parents who loved me very much. I was looking through my baby book the other day (I still think I looked like Oscar the Grouch as a newborn) and I could feel the excitement of all of my loving relatives and our family's friends bouncing off the pages. It's good to know I was welcomed and embraced with such joy.

2. My parents divorced and my father moved out. (Age 5) Divorce is definitely a big thing in any child's life, but I have to say that for my parents it was never negative or angry. They shielded my sister and I from that pain. Even now as my sister and I are all grown up, they have continued to keep a healthy friendship. I am not sure I have ever thanked them for that. So...Mom, Dad...Thank you. I love you too.

3. I moved to Idaho with my Mom, Step-Dad and sister. (Just before my 12th birthday) I am still not sure how to quantify this experience, though I know it was a big turning point. I said goodbye to friends, family, and role models and bravely started a whole new life in a much smaller town. I wouldn't trade any of the experiences I had there or the friends I have made for anything, but some days (as I now live back in Seattle) I wonder about what my life would be like now had we stayed in Seattle. I hope that I would be at least a shadow of the person I am now, but in my heart I know that I would be so much less without the wonderful friends I have made in both of my hometowns. I think I have spent the right years in both places and for that, and for all of them, I am grateful. (To give you a timeline...1-11 Seattle, 12-21 Post Falls, 22-25 Seattle, 26-27 Post Falls, 27-NOW Seattle)

4. Broke up with a controlling, jealous, and emotionally abusive boyfriend. (Age 26) I definitely don't want to go into the details, but this was a defining moment for me. Yesterday, I wrote an email to a friend about how much I hope that adults will continue to educate young girls (and boys for that matter) that your life can be anything that you want it to be. You don't have to fit the mold and get married, have babies, and work the same job for 30 years. (Not that it's wrong, but it's definitely the default setting.) You don't have to wait for prince charming to come along to start your life. You should be independent and strong in order to be anything for anyone, including ourselves. In this relationship I was not. I was broken. It took my Mom crying for me to realize how my choice to just wait it out and see if it got better was affecting the people who loved me most. The next day, I broke it off, moved into my Mom's house, and started the rest of my new life. On that day, I stood up for myself and took the first step to becoming the strong, independent, happy single woman that I am today.

6. Taking my first solo vacation. (Age 30) Last year, many of you know, I set a goal (along with many others) to travel more and I have been on the go ever since. A few months ago I went on my first solo adventure and proved to myself just how strong I am. For those of you who know how shy and reserved I can be until I get to know someone (then I talk your ear off) this was a major step for me and for the boundaries of my comfort zone. The best part about the experience was realizing that the person I was on my trip was exactly who I was at home. I AM strong. I AM independent. I didn't have to go somewhere else to prove anything. I just had to open my eyes and accept who I really am. She is here to stay.

7. Learning to become a strong and independent woman. (Age 30) You know, ever since I turned 30, something in me has switched. A bright, beautiful light went on. I knew this would be the best year of my life. Though birthdays aren't really turning points exactly, they are still milestones. This one woke me up and challenged me to be better. From that day on I have accomplished more in one year than I feel I have in my lifetime. Goals have been accomplished, new beginnings have begun, my inner and outer styles are progressing, I am proclaiming a love for myself and others from the mountaintop that is this blog, and I am evolving every day right before my own eyes. Now that 31 is approaching I have to be honest that I feel the momentum slowing down, but in my heart I know it's only adjusting to a strong and constant speed. This is only the beginning.

So, that is my inventory of the roads of my life so far. I have many other stepping-stones laying about, but these were the ones that stood out strongest to me. This is a very honest post, and I hope that many of you are encouraged to make your own list, and that I didn't share too much of my soul. This sort of reflection can be hard to swallow sometimes, but for everything I listed above, I have only the deepest love, pride and appreciation because these moments have brought me to where I am now...this place is simply joyful.

Unravelling: Ways of Seeing My Self

July 12, 2009

Finally! It's here! My first Unravelling ecourse is just about to start and I can't wait to start this next big adventure.

Welcome fellow Unravellers! Thank you for checking out my blog. I can't wait to meet all of you.

For those of you that know me already, I will update you on this fascinating new addition to my life. There will be pictures, and stories and lots for me to share with you. To learn more about the unravelling course and our inspiring instructor visit www.inkonmyfingers.typepad.com.