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Healing Forward

I cried at yoga this morning. 

I allowed myself to fully crack open. 

It was all very unexpected. 

At the beginning of class, our instructor was talking about the power of names - both to shape our identity and the ways in which we are shaped BY our names. 

My name is Mary Allison, after both of my grandmothers. Mary = bittersweet; Allison = truth. Bittersweet truth. I’ve always thought that was a little depressing... but as I moved through yoga class today, it suddenly became so clear that my name has been my mission all along. Hidden in plain sight. 

I believe from the depths of my soul that I was given the divine assignment to heal the pain of the generations that came before me, in order to leave my daughters with a different legacy. To do that, fully, I have to speak my truth. There are people who won’t like that; that happens when you tell the truth. And there are times when the truth will be painful. Bittersweet truth. 

And sometimes...

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NO (to the No, to the NO, NO, NO)

(Anyone else singing the Megan Trainor song right now?  Because I honestly can't even help it.) 

NO. 

I don't know about you, but this simple little word can be really hard for me to say. I have this fear that goes like this... What does it mean about me if I say no? Does it mean that I'm selfish or a bitch or uncaring? 

I know that I have a tendency to derive my worth from helping others. That my service - to my clients, to my community, to the world - is fundamental to my sense of identity. But I can also see the truth that my ego's need to feel important and needed can be HARMFUL to me. It can lead to me feeling exhausted - emotionally, physically, and mentally. And not for nothing, but this need to feel important and needed has also done a disservice to the people I think I'm helping because there have definitely been moments in which I have shown up so exhausted, half-assed, distracted, and scattered. There have been times when no matter how hard I have...

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We Are Not What Happens to Us

It was recently called to my attention that something I had posted online hurt someone in my family. 

I had posted about a trauma in my life - a sexual assault that happened when I was in high school. The person who informed me about the hurt feelings asked me to please give a heads up or be more cautious about what I say online. 

And I said... respectfully, no. See, the thing is, I didn’t talk about what happened to me - to almost anyone - for almost twenty years. Other than when I got into a new relationship and had to confess that I had major issues with sex because of what had happened - I didn’t say a word. I carried the weight of shame and guilt for “allowing myself to be assaulted.” And the weight was crushing me. 

Last year, with the help of a beautiful coach and friend, I was finally able to wriggle out from under the crushing weight. I was finally able to say the words out loud, to truly believe that what happened to me was not my...

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Leaning Into Fear

I’m here today to share a story of shrinking, and expansion; of self-sabotage and learning to lean into fear to honor the commitments we’ve made to our soul.

See, in the past, I’ve had a pattern of self-sabotaging my efforts by not following through and leaving things unfinished. I would have this great idea, a burst of inspiration, and get really excited. I would go all in out of the gate, expand quickly, and then my energy would quickly fizzle out and the project would end up abandoned. I’ve repeated this pattern more times than I can count. 

Last November, sitting inside a coffee shop on a snowy day, I had a burst of inspiration to create a guided journal focused on helping people cultivate lives filled with joy and gratitude. I followed the inspiration and I wrote almost the entire thing in a week. 

But then the fizzle started... I got to the part that seemed harder. And I wasn’t sure how to do it because I hadn’t done it before. My...

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