This morning I awoke to static, playing loudly in my ears.

I started to spin in all directions, a girl getting lost in her fears.

The sun is shining but I don’t feel it, I don’t see the tall blades of grass.

Nor the dragonfly that stopped to rest, while I stay stuck in the past.

I hurts to know that I am missing it, the now of Divine Perfection.

I am so sick of living this illusion, I am ready for a new direction.

I awake each day and pray for clarity, for the courage to follow my heart.

I curse and wonder why oh why does my truth have to set me apart.

Would it hurt less to buy into the norm, and silence that voice from within?

It may or may not, but I’ll never know, because I came here to listen.


**We interrupt this very melodramatic poem because the author has temporarily left the building… We will return with our scheduled programming when she returns.

I move to get quiet, I get into my body, I know that this might sound weird.

This is my way to turn down the static, it takes me beyond the noise and the fears.

Today it was biking, and I became one with the Earth as I pedalled amongst the hills.

This is my medicine, my pathway to freedom, healing without any pills.

Of the elements present, Air was the loudest, my teacher for the day.

Hawks, eagles and songbirds, ducks and seagulls, surround me to show me the way.

In my mind’s eye, a clear vision appears, a feather flying high on the breeze.

I am that feather, and the message you ask?  It is simple: fly high and release.

And this is how I listen, how I return to myself, whenever I can’t seem to hear.

I take to my breath and I move in my body, until things once again become clear.


Photo by Nathan Jones

Photo by Nathan Jones



Don’t let anyone take away your dreams!!!

Me at my desk, loving the space I am in!

Me at my desk, loving the space I am in!

I would say that I am settling into my new home, that I am adjusting… but it wouldn’t be true.

It’s not true because from the first morning I woke up here it felt like home.  It felt like ME.

On some level, this isn’t a surprise.  After all, I have been “floating” between other people’s homes for the past six months, but more significantly I think is the fact that this is the first time in my life that I have chosen the house/dwelling/structure that I call home.

This house is very different from any of the houses that I have lived in while I was growing up, or even as an adult.  It’s quite a bit older and a whole lot smaller.  In fact, I hosted a community dinner here this past Sunday and the 7 adults in attendance ate dinner with their plates on their laps :)  It might not sound appealing to you, but the character that often comes with an older home and the fact that it isn’t very big are the things that I love most about this house.  Old houses also mean old neighbourhoods: big trees and big yards.  Lots to love I tell you!

I have always known this about myself too.  In fact, a few years ago, Trent and I went looking to buy a house.  We stopped in at an open house not far from here, about a block away.  It is a little yellow house, not much bigger than the TLC (aka “The Little Cutie” – my nickname for my house).  Well let me tell you, it was love at first showing!  In that moment I just knew that it was the perfect house for me.

In the end, we decided to go a different direction and we ended up in a brand new, luxuriously big house in a different part of town.  It is a lovely house, but it never did feel like home to me.  It just didn’t.

What I remember about the conversation around the little yellow house, and also about my decision to move into the TLC, was this: other people didn’t think it was right for me.

Turns out that other people have NO IDEA what is best for me.  Only I know that.

Before I published my book FIERCE Integrity with Difference Press, I had submitted it to a publishing house contest (put on by Balboa Press which is the self-publishing house affiliated with Hay House — arguably the biggest self-help publishing house in the world).  I knew, I just knew, that it would be selected as a finalist!  Inside I had high hopes that it would even win the top prize of a publishing contract with Hay House.  Oh yes, this book was going to be my ticket to the stage…

(One of my dreams is to reach a larger audience and travel/speak my message around the world).

Well, that’s not exactly what happened.

My book didn’t even make it as a finalist in the contest.


A had tea with a brilliant friend of mine today (yes you Karie Nothof).  She reminded me of a fundamental teaching: “There is no such thing as failure, only feedback”.  Tweet that.  Write it on your forehead.  Put it on your fridge.  Really, because it’s a gem.  (This is an NLP teaching btw, click here to read more).

The truth is that I wasn’t ready to claim FIERCE Integrity.  I wasn’t ready to reach/teach a large audience.  When will I be?  I don’t know.  But I do know that I am not going to stop showing up in this world.  I am not going to let other people’s opinions of me/my work define the outcome.

I am not going to let anyone take away my dreams!  Consider this an invitation to do the same.


Oh, and because tomorrow is Friday, and Friday’s are funny, this:

Here is what I would look like as a space alien.

Here is what I would look like as a space alien.

Fill ‘er up!

I often ask myself, what kind of partner am I being to my business.  Lately the response that comes to mind has been a very vivid picture.  It looks something like this:

"Clam Digger" photo by Michael Reinhart.  Click image for link.

“Clam Digger” photo by Michael Reinhart. Click image for link.

It is not that I have been intentionally sticking my head in the sand, but as I have alluded to in prior posts, I am still in the midst of a major life transition.  Part of this transition has involved moving into my own space – a cute little rental house which I have dubbed “The Little Cutie” or TLC for short.  It already feels like home…

First morning in the TLC

First morning in the TLC

Anyway, in order to be able to afford said TLC, I have had to take on some extra work (a big high five to the Universe for having my back on that one!)  Currently I am putting my M.Ed. degree to use by doing some contract work.  Mostly this has involved doing research and writing papers.  Very heavy stuff… a lot different than the writing that I have become used to.  Actually, come to think of it, I haven’t had to do this type of work since I was in University so it is definitely a big change for me.  As a result of these projects, I am finding that my stress levels are much higher than usual.  In other words, I am depleting my energy faster than I can re-fill it.

I see this all of the time with my coaching clients.  So often we think we need to give and give and give and give… we do this until we are completely exhausted.  And if we don’t listen at that point, well, we get sick.  It really is that simple.  How do you avoid this ingrained pattern?  Fill your cup.  Fill ‘er up so full that she overflows.  The overflow is what will nourish everyone around you.

Now, I will admit, sometimes there are times where there just isn’t a gas station.  Like for me, right now, no stations in sight.  I have two papers to write, one due at the end of April, one at the end of May.  The reality of the situation is I simply don’t have time to completely fill my cup in the ways that I have been accustomed to (time outside, time with friends, reading for pleasure, writing for pleasure, working on my business, dreaming up amazing events in my community, working on my magazine).  Sigh.  I acknowledge that this indeed simply the truth about the situation.  It is fact.

BUT, that doesn’t mean that I can’t sneak some mini fill-ups in between now and the next gas station which I know is coming at the end of May.  I like to think of these mini fill-ups as little red jerry cans.

"Vintage Jerry Cans" photo by Fated Snowfox.  Click photo for link.

“Vintage Jerry Cans” photo by Fated Snowfox. Click photo for link.

What the heck do I mean?  Well, these aren’t necessarily tank-fillers, but they are mini-energizers or fillers that can range from taking as little as a few seconds, say, up to 30 minutes.  I made a list of these little jerry can ideas and stuck it up next to my desk to remind me to put some in the tank throughout each and every day.  My list looks something like this, but I would encourage you to make your own:

Only have a few seconds?

  • Close your eyes and take three deep breaths
  • Ground and bubble your energy
  • Stop and take a look out the window or at something beautiful at or near your desk
  • Light (or re-light) a candle
  • Get a drink of water
  • Stand up and take a big stretch – right up to your tippy toes
  • Stand up and shake: arms, legs, your whole body.  Laugh while you’re doing it because yes, you do look a bit goofy :)
  • Pet your pet (if you have one)

Only have a few minutes?

  • Step outside.  Breathe in deeply.  Listen to the sounds around you.  Notice what you smell.  Feel the elements on your skin.
  • Do a short meditation — away from your desk
  • Do a quick angel card reading
  • Turn on a song – a fast one and get up and MOVE!
  • Roll out your yoga mat and move for 5 minutes
  • Make a cup of tea or a healthy snack
  • Text someone that you love, just to tell them that!
  • Write in your journal – 5 mins, max!

Up to 30 minutes?

  • Write a blog post :)
  • Take a luxurious shower — stay present!
  • Go for a short walk
  • Make a healthy meal (salads are good!)
  • Make a healthy smoothie
  • Read just for fun
  • Draw or doodle
  • Call a friend that you are dying to connect with
  • Write a poem
  • Play — through movement, outside in the yard, on your yoga mat
  • Make music
  • Do a longer meditation or journey

One of the keys is to sprinkle these throughout your day.  If you are like me and you find this tricky, set your timer.  Every 55 minutes, take a 5 minute jerry can break.  Trust me.  Your work will improve.  Your kids and partner will thank you.  You will have more to give the world in the long run.

These are just some ideas.  As I said, it will work best of you make your own!

Well, my 30 minutes are up.  Go forth and fill ‘er up!!!

Much love always and all ways!


Beach Dancer

beach dancerThe invitation into my heart centre, into the truth that lies there couldn’t be more clear.

The ocean is glittering, shining, foaming, swirling… she is showing up in all of her glory.

Unapologizing for her spirit and beauty… asking, no, begging for me to do the same.

I face her with my whole body – my whole being.  The music in my ears kindly offering to become a bridge to expressing my truth as movement.

I give in.  I close my eyes and begin to move.

The world around me falls away and I dance for her.  I dance with her… celebrating her beauty with my body.

I lose myself in the dance.  In this Divine Connection.

The song ends and I come back to myself.

I look up – strangers smile as I walk away.  My head held high.

Shameless.  Free.


How you do anything is how you do everything

Photo Credit Jody Goodwin

Photo Credit Jody Goodwin

You want to know a secret? I’m actually kind of shy.

I know, I know… you’re thinking, YOU? SHY? Bahahahahaha!!!

But it’s true.

One of my sneaky tools, my defence mechanisms, the way in which I avoid true vulnerability at all costs, is what I call “smoke and mirrors”.

What this looks like is I offer up some really juicy personal information, like about 90% of the truth of my experience, so that it looks like I am being excruciatingly vulnerable and transparent, but in reality I get to hang on to the last 10%. I get to avoid being truly vulnerable.

As a whole, my life has changed pretty dramatically since I returned from Peru in October. My living situation, my relationships, my body, my work, even my habits. I have changed and therefore the way I do things has changed.  I have started to live and share from that 10%. The place where I feel oh-so-uncomfortable. The place that I usually keep hidden at all costs.  You have experienced this directly if you have been following and reading this blog.

How you do anything is how you do everything

How you do anything is how you do everything

I love the above quote, and I wanted to capture in a general sense, the change or movement that I have experienced in the past four months.  I have been reflecting on the ways in which I “do” things: make a meal, get ready in the morning, make love, workout, practice yoga, even coaching.

I need to be in control became I allow myself to surrender.
I “have to” became I “want to”.
I need to be in control of my pleasure became I am open to receiving pleasure.
What was once prescribed, regimented, expected, & predictable became wild, living, breathing, & evolving
I was closed & hidden and I became open & exposed
My masculine, dominant energy became balanced by my soft, feminine energy
An expectation of myself to know everything became getting comfortable with uncertainty
My need to navigate & lead became a willingness to follow & trust
Something that was once rushed became something that could take all day
There are rules became there are no rules
What was once “serious” became playful & fun

How do you “do” things?

Attack Thoughts BE GONE!

Imagine that you are on a journey.  It is a sea voyage, and you are in a beautiful vessel carrying you across the vast ocean into the unknown.  There will be storms along the way.  Big swells that carry you up and down, up and down.  There will be sunny days.  Rainy days.  Sunrises that take your breath away.  A moon that silently speaks to you on clear nights.  Stars that somehow feel familiar.  On this journey you have everything that you need.  In each moment, you are supported.

Photo taken by Christian (click on photo for link)

Photo taken by Christian (click on photo for link)

The vessel itself is unique.  There has never been nor will there ever be another one just like it.

That vessel is your body.

I want to ask you something.

How many times have you looked in the mirror and attacked your body?  I don’t mean attack as in physically, I am talking about having and thinking attack thoughts towards your body.

Go back to the boat, that beautiful vessel that is carrying you on your journey through the sea.  Can you imagine taking out a hammer and pounding holes in the floor?  Ripping off the awning that shields you from harsh weather?  What about abusing it out of sheer neglect?

When you think negatively about your body, when you judge it, criticize it or harshly think/talk about it any way, this is essentially what you are doing.  When you wish your body to be anything other than exactly how it is, make no mistake, that is an attack.  You are doing that.  No one else.  You.

If you are doing this, and for the record, I have spent much of my time in front of the mirror doing exactly that… I am simply inviting you to notice that you are.  Be accountable for it.

In my book I shared a bit about my own experience with healing the relationship I have with my body.  The attack thought that I was having over and over and over again was, are you ready for this? “I am gross”.

Looking back at the source of that belief, it turns out that I had a great deal of shame around my body, and particularly, my naked body.  Put another way; I was ashamed simply for having a body!  I was disgusted or at the very least uncomfortable about everything to do with my body.  The way it looked was only part of it.  What about those “bodily functions”?  Oh my God.  I was totally one of those people who would rather die of stomach pain than “pass gas” in public… ever.

Anyway, I am getting way off track here.  I had no idea that this post was going to lead to talking about farting.  (See, evidence of tremendous growth – I just said farting in a blog post.  Farting.  Farting.  Farting.)  Hahaha!  Funny stuff!


What I want to leave you with is this: by simply bringing consciousness to your thoughts (and your words) around your body (and maybe even your bodily functions!) you will be able to make a different choice for yourself.  And it is a choice.  You get to decide what you are telling yourself about your body.

Today?  I can honestly tell you that I LOVE my body.  Ohhhh do I love it.  Every single part of it.  Even all of the perfect imperfections.

shadow body

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. ~Mary Oliver



Coming Home

It only took a moment to forget who I am… and then I came home.

For months I lived and walked in darkness… and then I came home.

The amount of pain that I endured was at times unbearable… and then I came home.

I have never felt so alone, so confused, so scared… and then I came home.

I believed that I was in control and I was hanging on to it for dear life… and then I came home.

I believed that others knew my truth more deeply than me… and then I came home.

I constantly argued with reality as it showed up… and then I came home.

I grasped, ached and suffered… and then I came home.

Maren putting up a tent

Today I am home.  I am back in my heart centre.  I am grounded and connected.  Completely at peace with what is.  I have a sense of clarity that has been eluding me for months.  I am free.

Looking back, I can identify the exact moment in which I left my heart and started living from my mind.

I can also remember the exact moment that I chose to come back, and it was today.

What a beautiful, and powerful journey it has been.  What an amazing spiritual adventure!!!

I can see clearly how in each and every single moment we are completely and totally supported by the Universe.  How we truly do have everything that we need in each moment.  However when we live from our minds, when we look through the lens of fear, we can’t see it.

In recent days, the emotional pain had reached the point of being nearly debilitating and the fear would literally paralyze me at times.  As such, I have been on my knees every morning for the past week praying for clarity.  Begging for the guidance that would finally allow me to get out of my own way.

The answer when it came totally astonished me…and it still does.

What I have learned (and I would even say re-learned) is this: NO ONE knows my true path except for me.  NO ONE.  Every answer that I have ever sought lies WITHIN me.

The moment that I said YES to my intuition, instead of looking outside of myself for answers, I came home.  I came home to the love that is inside of my heart and walked away from fear.  I came home to a place where I remember to listen to MYSELF above what any/everyone else in my life is saying/believing.

In that moment everything changed.  I woke up.  I am home.

The Power of Water: Conscious Crying

Sooooo, I am not a big fan of crying.  Although, if I am honest I have always kind of been a crier.

In the past, I have actually been a magnificent crier.  I am convinced that no one can lock themselves in a dark bathroom and let ‘er rip like me.  In more recent times, it has been the floor of my closet.  Point being, I have always chosen some kind of dark space to cocoon myself and fall completely apart.

In the past few weeks, I have decided to bring my crying into “the light”.  In other words, make it more conscious, or aware.  I have actually started to schedule time for it.  (Because the true reality is, if I don’t do this, my body wakes me up every two hours to let some of it out).

So.  Conscious crying.

The emotions are undeniable.  They are there, in my body.  It is the deepest grief that I have ever experienced, and it seems absolutely bottomless.  I don’t have a CLUE why they are as intense as they are or even the full extent of what they are connected to and frankly, I DON’T CARE!

The truth is this: they are in my body.  And my body never lies.  So: I am trying something new this time.  Rather than choke them off, force them down, and wait until they erupt like a volcano… (*how’s that working for ya?) Instead, I am scheduling time in my life to cry…

What this has come to look like is: bath time.  I put Chephren to bed and the grief instantly intensifies.  I have experimented with different ways of dealing with this pain, but the best solution has been to go straight into the bath.

What could be better than coming completely unglued in the bath?  I have found it to be the most beautiful and safe place in which to fall completely apart!

What’s even better, is that I have merged bath time with ceremony.  I light some candles, I turn off the lights, I say some prayers, I smudge, I set intention, I put on music… and I cry.  I cry and cry, and I cry.

Candles by the bath

And it is so friggin’ beautiful.


I just want to point out once again: I have NO CLUE why/what/how/when these emotions are arising from… in essence, my mind has no idea at all what is going on.  And does it really matter?  The emotions are there, and I am finally allowing them to BE what they ARE.

Looking back, I have NEVER allowed them to flow freely, even though I was an “expert crier”.  I always hid them.  Denied them until they exploded within me and took over.

But right now?  This is what needs doing.  So, I’m going with it.  Conscious crying.

Huh.  Who knew?


Flying Tiger

Allow – by Donna Faulds

There is no controlling life.

Try corralling a lightning bolt, containing a tornado.

Dam a stream and it will create a new channel.

Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet.

Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground.

The only safety lies in letting it all in – the wild and the weak; the fear, fantasies, failures and success.

When loss rips off the doors of the heart, or sadness veils your vision with despair, practice becomes simply bearing the truth.

In the choice to let go of your known way of being, the whole world is revealed to your new eyes.

I love this morning.  As I sit here and bathe myself in beautiful words, those of others (thank you Donna Faulds) and allowing my own words to pour out into my journal, I feel peaceful, Grateful, calm.

I have been open and transparent about my current state of affairs.  I have chosen to share from a place of darkness, a place of pain.  I have received some criticism about this choice, and truthfully, I have questioned it myself on more than one occasion.  And then I read this:

“If you genuinely have something to say, there’s someone out there who genuinely needs to hear it.”

— Arnold Patent

And I remembered why I do what do.  Why I am the way that I am.  In sharing my darkness, in sharing my authentic truth, in sharing my heart, my greatest intention is that it be of Service to someone else.  If ONE person feels less suffering as a result of anything that I say, write or share, than it is worth it.  I am reminded that my transparency is a gift, and it is one of the ways in which I can Serve in this world.

So, back to this morning, and my cup of coffee, my journal and the beautiful soft pink morning light that is painting the world outside of my window.  I observe that things are changing inside of me.  Light is creeping back in.  I know it because it is coming in as one of its unmistakeable forms: Gratitude.

I humbled by the experiences of the past four months, but I am also overwhelmingly grateful for them.

This morning I am also grateful for Chephren and specifically, for his level of independence.  He got up this morning, checked in with me (I was doing my daily morning practice) and then got himself a snack and settled in with a blanket and movie on the couch.

A short time later, when I joined him in the living room, his movie (The Croods) became the backdrop to my morning journalling session.  As I was writing about letting go, emerging from darkness and getting ready to fly, I hear this quote coming from the movie:

Guy: Once upon a time, there was a beautiful tiger.  She lived in a cave with the rest of her family.  Her father and mother told her: ‘You may go anywhere you want, but never go near the cliff, for you could fall.’  But when no one was looking, she would go near the cliff, for the closer she came to the edge, the more she could hear, the more she could see, the more she could feel.  Finally, she stood at the very edge.  She saw a light.  She leaned out to touch it…and she flew.

I love when the Universe talks and I can hear it.  I love it when I choose to listen.  The Universe is getting louder again.  I love when I can hear it, see it and feel it.

This tiger is getting ready fly… or, you know… the kitten.

Kitten coming to the edge

Kitten coming to the edge



I recently completed my certification exam for my life coach training with Martha Beck Incorporated (MBI).  Part of the exam is a written portion in which you are given a thorough opportunity to explore and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the coaching tools that we learned in the 8 month training program.  One of the tools that we learn and explore in great detail pertains to Byron Katie’s thought-work method called “The Work”, in which you identify and question limiting beliefs/thoughts in your own life/consciousness.

Anyway, in the exam, I was asked to do “The Work” on some of my own limiting thoughts/beliefs. Interestingly, it turns out that two of my strongest limiting beliefs are in direct opposition with one another.  One of them was “I have to do everything for myself”.  Another one of them was “I can’t support myself”.  Hmmmmm… can you hear the paradox here?  These two beliefs/thoughts are in DIRECT OPPOSITION to one another!!!

That is why, as I sit here tonight, alone, alone, alone… I feel a blend of emotions.  Trent is in Vietnam, taking some very much-deserved space and time to travel and do what he needs to do.  My partner (or “my person” as I have been calling him) and I have parted ways, for reasons that I am not willing to disclose here today.

Anyway, the point is, that I am alone, alone, alone.

For someone who has been in a committed relationship in some way, shape, or form since I was 15 years old, this is a strange state of affairs.

When I can stay in ‘observer mode’, I am fascinated.  I am at times, completely peaceful.  I feel free, competent, complete, whole and safe.  Literally moments later I find myself feeling scared, lonely, broken, ashamed and humiliated.  It can switch on a dime.  In a single breath.  Often without warning.

Who am I?

I don’t know.

My mom was here late last night, dear soul that she is.  She was here to hold space for me, listen to me, and be the “ground” that I am so desperately seeking, if only for just one night.  She kept asking me, “what is this really about?”  My reply was the same each time, “I am dying.  I am dying so that I can be re-born.  Who I think I am is not who I really am.”

Sounds pretty dramatic.

What is actually happening?

I don’t know.

And that is ok.

Thanks to the MBI program, what I do know is that I am in true “Phase One” of Martha’s Metamorphosis model of change.  She likens her model of change, or “change cycle” to that of the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into the butterfly.  In the first stage or phase of the cycle, the caterpillar goes into the chrysalis and literally melts down.  It literally becomes “goo” or “glop” as Martha so eloquently puts it.  It has to do this before it can transform, or for that matter, even begin to imagine what it might possibly become.

Me?  I am the glop.

And that is ok.

Right now, in this moment, I am allowing Trent to be Trent.  I am allowing my person to be my person.  I am not trying to change anything about anything.

I am allowing me to be me.

And all I have to say about that is ouch, ouch, ouch.

And the pain?  That is okay too.