• Beach Break
  • Blue Mountains
  • Beach Bird
  • Tree In Water
  • Field 01
  • Cloudy Mountains

mary-mackenzie-150I had an incident happen about a week ago and it took a few days for me to take the time to give myself self-empathy.  What came up was my longing for softness.  I have had a series of things that have happened in my life since September that have been harsh and hard and sad including my mother’s death, a very long and cold winter with over 160″ of snow, and a more intense than usual allergy season and many other things.  So, when I connected to a desire for softness I cried and cried.  I gave myself a lot of time to let this sink in and to remember other times when I’d received tender softness.

The mourning was very healing.

In an effort to support the need for softness I allowed myself long baths, longer than usual quiet time in the morning, and time to connect with a few friends who I find especially nurturing to be with.

Two days later I was on a plane that was VERY turbulent.  It was only a 30 minute flight but the plane rocked vigorously the entire time.  I ran to the connecting flight and only had about 3 minutes before getting on the next flight.  So, I boarded feeling nauseous.

I wrapped myself in my shawl, turned the overhead fan on, closed my eyes and tried to calm myself and my body.  I had a 3-hour flight and then a 35 minute ferry ride still to go on this trip.  After a few minutes the man next to me tapped my shoulder and said, “Do you want the fan on?”

“What?”

“Do you want the fan on?”

“Yes,” I said.  “Is it bothering you?”

“No,” he said.  “I just saw you wrapped in your shawl and I thought you might be cold.  I wanted you to know that I could turn it off for you.  I’m okay with it being on, though.”

He said all this with a huge and inviting smile.  He had one of those really warm faces.  The kind of face you just want to crawl into.

I felt so touched by his simple act of kindness and regard.  And I instantly remembered my self-empathy and my request to myself and the universe for softness.

This is one of the reasons I love self-empathy….because I clarify what I want and then I recognize it when it arrives.  Had I not just discovered through self-empathy that I wanted softness, I wouldn’t have noticed that my request was answered.  I still would have enjoyed this man’s kindness (probably) but I wouldn’t have seen it as a response to my request.

When I see it as a response to my request then that meets my needs for appreciation, gratitude, reassurance, trust and so many more.  My enjoyment and wonder deepens as a result.  In this particular moment, it helped alleviate my physical discomfort too.  And, ultimately moved me from an experience of fear (of throwing up in a bag!  Ack!)  to gratitude.  Awwww.  I just love that!

Here’s to the people who touch our lives so sweetly and who probably have no idea how sweet our passing was to us!


mary-mackenzie-150I’m sitting here staring at my computer wondering what to write.  The thing that is most alive in me right now is too embarrassing to write about, I say to myself.  “Pick something less revealing.”  Unfortunately, nothing has come to mind after staring at the computer for 10 minutes so here goes, warts and all.

I met with a dear group of friends for our monthly book club meeting this Saturday.  I got VERY triggered, my jackals were howling in my brain and finally I left rather abruptly.   During the 2 hour gathering I had tried self-empathy and I made a few requests that weren’t well connected to needs and one could even argue about whether they were clear, doable requests, but the point is I made an attempt at shifting the situation and my experience of it.  To no avail, though.  I left shut down and in tears.


mary-mackenzie-150Yesterday was April Fool’s Day.  This is a day when people play tricks on each other.   My mother enjoyed playing little tricks on people so April Fool’s Day was one of her favorite holidays.  One year when I was a little girl we were at the dinner table on April Fool’s Day when Mom said to my father, “John, did you notice anything unusual today?”  “No” he said.  “ANYTHING DIFFERENT ABOUT YOUR UNDERWEAR TODAY?” “Oh!  Yes, I thought I had put them on backward and so I just dealt with it.”  My mother was disappointed.  Apparently, she had sewn the fly in his boxers shut the night before.  My father had noticed a dilemma but had assumed he put his boxers on backwards and so just adjusted to it for the rest of the day.  We all thought that was hilarious.

This funny little story has been running through my head for the last two days.  This morning I realized that I often respond to things as my father did.  If something goes wrong, I assume it was my fault in some way and I adjust to the current circumstances.

I recently got a letter from the IRS which stated that a mistake had been made in my 2008 taxes.  I was certain I’d made a mistake.  So, I took my letter to my accountant, apologizing.  The mistake was his, actually, and not mine at all.  I left his office elated even though I owed the IRS more money.

Why is this?  Why do I (and my father and so many people) assume that we are wrong?  Or even that anyone has to be wrong?

I think it’s a core belief that we aren’t good enough, or that we’re not worthwhile.  Each time we believe this old, outdated thought, we negate our true self, our beautiful, spiritual self that has value and purpose just because we are breathing.

I’m taking a deep breath just writing this now.  I remember watching my mother hang on to life, frail as a rail, unable to feed herself, or even talk but she had breath, precious, life-giving breath.  I realized then that as long as we breathe we are spiritual beings with value.

I’d like to remember this more often.  It’s so easy to get hung up on thinking I’m supposed to do something, be better, or create an improved model of myself.  Today I want to remember that I am already good enough and this present moment is all that matters.  When I remember this, there’s no need for right/wrong thinking.

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