My Current Tightrope

I want to share something I am doing personally RIGHT NOW. TODAY. AND YESTERDAY. to help me thrive more in this current life that we have.

I am currently working hard on this, let me tell you. Because I have so much to overcome.

We teach that often during a crisis mode, it feels similar to being on a tightrope because every move counts. Every word counts. There is so much at risk.

I feel that way now. Because my ability to move forward on our projects WITH CONFIDENCE and with MY WHOLE HEART is at risk. Every word and thought counts right now.

You see, my thoughts have been holding me back.

My thoughts have been burning up energy that I’d like to have available for moving this work forward.

For example, this last year the darkest things in my heart have felt this:

“I don’t have the energy to continue this endeavor and it crushes me.”

“I am tired.”

“Either this works or it’s over. It will be time to do something else – something more secure.”

“I don’t know how much more I can go without making a livable income.”

“I don’t want to live in Ecuador anymore if this endeavor is going no where.”

“I feel too weighed down to write.”

But I am working on changing my language to this:

“I choose to follow my heart and continue what I started. Because not doing so would not be aligned with my deepest desires. Following my heart is the only way to truly thrive.”

“My truth is worth sharing fully. When I do so – without worry about the future – I am present. I am love. And the world responds.”

“Money is not why I started this. My needs are met. If I continue to share my truth and share love, I will continue to receive something more valuable than any amount of money I could make if I returned to a traditional job.”

“We HAVE been successful already. Wildly successful. The lives that have hope because of the words here – the changes that have been experienced by thousands…this work is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”

“I can release the money that it will require to take some projects to the finish line. I can dedicate those funds to this effort. I can be at peace knowing it will not go to waste. There is no risk.”

“This work is a joy. All the tasks before me…they are a joy. They lead to connection and community.”


Feeling empowered is a gift. 

It’s a gift we give ourselves.

We give it by changing our thoughts.

It’s that simple. 

I’m feeling a shift. And I’m grateful. 


Do you feel empowered as a person? What is it you would like to be empowered to do? Do you struggle, too, with thoughts & words that hold you back? If you’d like to practice change – feel free to share in the comments some thoughts you’ve struggled with and how you’d like to change them. I’m telling you, it’s the key to everything.  

P.S. This topic is one we cover at our retreats. We have an activity where people can be empowered by a new set of words – and people often just have tears streaming down their faces. It’s an experience I wish everyone could have!

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  1. Jody August 14, 2015 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Mara this is so cool! I think educating our desires is exactly the hardest thing we do every day, but also the most important. Your reference to a tightrope walk reminded me of this artist, whose thoughts on walking a tightrope changed my life perspective forever.

    Not to ruin the realization (spoiler alert!!) but understanding that balance isn't about finding the perfect place to stand so much as being comfortable with being out of balance wherever you find yourself…was infinitely freeing and empowering and has made my life struggle much more shareable (which lets be honest makes life so much better!).

    Thanks for sharing yours!

    • mara August 16, 2015 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      I *LOVE* this. Thank you so much for sharing this and also sharing the beautiful point about being comfortable when out of balance. That is always the goal. For me to – this year – I have had to come to peace with a lot of things, things that haven't felt in balance. It's been a great journey to go through that process, as it always is. And, as much as I'd like our careers and future to turn out in a certain way, I will be at peace and will accept it if they don't. I have a Plan B. (Though it took me awhile to get to that place of peace, it's true. Somethings take longer than others. 🙂

    • Jody August 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm - Reply

      exactly–because it isn't about plan a or plan b but stepping beyond willpower and putting our trust in the divine/universe/whatever works for you to provide the actual plan a. the one that will take you somewhere so amazing–you couldn't even imagine! and where you belong in order to grow.

      xoxo have fun getting there!

  2. Sharlee August 14, 2015 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Yes. I believe so much in the power of thoughts and moving forward without holding back but IT'S SO HARD! I have seen some amazing things happen lately that help me believe in that. (I quit working to stay home after my daughter was born. It wasn't planned, but I couldn't go back to work. It's been a very hard and stressful 18 months. We've found ways to barely make it, but that wasn't how I wanted to live forever. I ultimately would love to work from home with a flexible schedule doing something I love in the education field. A few months back, my source of income ran out and I was scared. I started imagining what my day would look like if my "ideal situation" presented itself. Then I carved out a little workspace for myself with some of the things I would need if I were doing what I hoped to do. I got a temporary job for the summer that allowed me to do just that. At the same time I started feeling like I needed to finish my graduate degree (I started in 2012 just a class at a time as I could afford them). I enrolled in a class for the fall semester with no idea how I would pay for it, but feeling so good about enrolling. Now I've been offered a position as a graduate assistant for one of my professors. I'll be working part-time for her from home on my own schedule, involved in work that I love, while finishing school and having it paid for. I'll have a Master's degree at this time next year! It opens up so many more options for me. ) This is all to say, I've seen the power that the mind has and I've been trying to shift my thoughts toward other goals. I have a few index cards with thoughts I want to have that I read every day. I read out loud my thoughts on becoming more financially stable, thoughts on my body image and relationship with foods, and more. I could talk about this all day. I still struggle with the heavy thoughts ..I try to go on a walk–just me and my daughter–every day and really spend that time with positive thinking and imagining the future. It's so empowering and energizing to dedicate time to that.

    • mara August 16, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      Sharlee, this comment is AMAZING. I love, love, love how you have just moved forward – and that everything has been falling into place. Truly, this is exactly how we create the life we want. I also love the idea of index cards. So great. And, Danny and I use your walking technique, too. We often practice speaking in the new way when we are on our daily walks.

  3. Katie Marshall August 14, 2015 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Yes, my life has been one big pity party for the past couple of months. I'm not happy in my job or where I'm at, so it's been a lot of "I hate this" and "I wish I could move on RIGHT NOW" but oftentimes this just isn't realistic. Time to become happier with the present. Thank you for this!

  4. Amber Shannon August 14, 2015 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara,

    Samantha Hatch at Besos from America linked to your blog on her blog today, so I wanted to head over and check out your space in the web… doing some looking around now. I like that this post includes thought provoking questions that inspire reflection. Looking forward to checking out A Blog About Love!

    All the Cute
    Recent Post: Cobalt Blue Dress

  5. Sally Smith August 14, 2015 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara: You've given me much to think about! For me, it's the difference between knowing in my brain what's true and right versus the feeling in my heart of what seems to be true. I've read so much about "the voice" that speaks unkindly and keeps you in a bad place but I FEEL the those negatives rather than hear them. So I need the words to be stronger than my feelings. Affirmations have been of help, but I still often FEEL unlovable, untalented and weak. And sometimes my actions keep me feeling bad. And because feeling bad is so comfortable and "normal" it's where I want to stay even tho I know better! At least I haven't stopped trying! One thing I am positive about is that YOUR positive words to yourself are COMPLETELY true and COMPLETELY right. You are changing so many lives in such a powerful way. Yes, Oprah can spend all her money building schools and doing other wonderful things but its you and Danny that give us the actual tools to make powerful changes within ourselves. Priceless! So, jump off that tightrope and continue on! As you said, you've already been wildly successful in every way. There is so much more of that to come!
    With love and thanks 🙂

  6. Samantha Hatch August 14, 2015 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    Mara, I have read your blog for a little over a year now and I don't think I have ever told you how much you have helped me. Your words and your blog have helped me through some of the darkest times in my life and my marriage (which is thriving now, partly thanks to you). I am so glad that you are doing this blog and these retreats because you are helping people. Lots of people who I'm sure have not voiced it to you. I love this message about moving forward and doing what makes us happy. Thank you for always making my day better with this blog. And thank you so so much for the shoutout! Your words were so sweet, I couldn't believe it!! (I think you did it on Twitter, which I don't have or else I would have thanked you there.) You are awesome.


  7. - Michael August 15, 2015 at 3:58 am - Reply

    As I approach my fifth wedding anniversary, I am in awe of how the change in my thought process combated a lot of negative vibes and thoughts that I was going to fail by year four; just like my first marriage did. I did a lot of comparing of the signs I saw that were similar. Somewhere along the way, I can't exactly pin point, but I began thinking about how DIFFERENT things were; that I had a wife willling to work with me through the hard times, how much I felt I was worth the effort, unlike before…the many times I thought I can't do this anymore turn to..wait a minute….I AM doing this! Now that I got the marraige part down, I am desperatly trying to stay afloat as I apply the same attitude to that of my relationship with my stepchildren whose interaction with me hangs in the balance on a much harder tightrope walk. My stepson and I barely speak now since my parenting style left a lot to be desired. I struggle to reconcile with him. His defenses make it difficult. I'd give up except for the fact I had a relationship much worse with his sister and our turnaround into something positive took a long time in the making…lot of pain…lot of anger…but to see us now is a significant improvement. I am trying pretty hard to stay on topic. I indentify a lot with your perspective, Mara, and I'm glad to share such a wonderful postive experience.

  8. Anonymous August 15, 2015 at 4:48 am - Reply

    You are rich in love, friends, family, money and talents to share. Remember that. I know that many of us have irrational relationships with money, so I hope you will work on yours. You are wealthy. You have enough assets and savings to never work again if you chose to live a frugal lifestyle. You could live in a small studio in a "bad" part of Brooklyn, or in a more affordable part of the country, and be just as happy as you are in your more spendy NY life. You could not go out to eat and not buy luxury beauty products and be just as happy as you are now. So please give yourself the freedom that comes with recognizing that you have enough, that you have built wealth, and that you don't have any genuine needs regarding resources.

    • mara August 16, 2015 at 4:54 pm - Reply

      Anon – thank you for this reminder ! You have read between the lines to see that I do actually have a unique relationship with money. I grew up in poverty. Our basic needs of food and shelter were met (by some miracle) and I still had a wonderful childhood. But it was still a very complicated upbringing due to money and there were so many hardships because of it. I started earning my own living from a very young age and never stopped working to pay my own way, to have the life that I wanted, to be self-reliant, and to have an abundance. So, this experience of leaving that money-making life in NYC has been a challenge. And you're right, I do need to work on my relationship with money. I'm doing it often, actually. That's where this thought training comes in ! I should add some of your lines to it: "You are rich in love, friends, family, money, and talents to share." Thank you, thank you.

  9. Rachel Cole August 15, 2015 at 11:45 am - Reply

    In the past few months, my husband and I have also made hard financial choices so that we can pursue our higher purposes in our work. It's SO hard. But you are right…we all have control over our own internal dialogue, and being intentional about that dialogue gives us personal power.

    In moments of unrest, I have been clinging to this verse from the Sermon on the Mount: Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

    Thank you for all of your encouragement.

  10. Stephanie Samuel August 15, 2015 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Great post Mara! Your post is a powerful reminder that our thoughts really affect how we feel about things and some times we have to answer our negative thoughts with positive statements to keep ourselves motivated and encouraged.

  11. sonia de macedo August 16, 2015 at 12:07 am - Reply

    What a beautiful way of turning the negative into something beautifully positive. The last two years for me have been beyond difficult and I can't help but dwell on it and compare myself constantly to the paths of others. I want to take your exercise and turn it all around and try my hardest to focus on that.


  12. Mary Beth August 16, 2015 at 6:29 am - Reply

    Mara–I have to say with love and concern that maybe this alternative lifestyle is just not for you. Perhaps you prefer to have the joys of a more conventional path. It really is ok. You don't have to do this. There is nothing wrong with living in Brooklyn in your own house and working.

    • mara August 16, 2015 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      Hi Mary Beth, ha – thanks for the note. I certainly know it is ok to go back to a traditional life and I could do that at anytime. And trust me, I have thought about it a lot over the last while. But for the moment there's a lot of hope and momentum with our dreams. Our retreats really have been beyond incredible so right now we want to do everything we can to keep them going. And we also want to make our classes more accessible to those who can't attend a retreat. So…this will take some more time, which means it makes sense to continue this lifestyle here which is drastically cheaper than living in the U.S.

      I'm okay with this alternative lifestyle as long as there is a PURPOSE behind it. I'm kind of a stickler about that part because otherwise I wouldn't choose to live here. It turns out that the purpose has been challenged many times over the last year due to various things out of my control. So it's been an up and down journey which has affected my thoughts about it greatly. So that's why I've needed to work on changing my thoughts about it all if I'm going to move forward with all the confidence, energy, and empowerment that I need.

  13. Colene August 17, 2015 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Mara— I LOVE this as it's something we all struggle with, and something I teach frequently in my workshops and with my one-on-one clients. Here are some things to think about:

    1. Yes, how you talk to yourself breeds how you feel about yourself. Changing up the language is key.
    2. You can talk to yourself and still not believe what you are saying… You have to BELIEVE the affirmations, or they can become a crutch.
    3. Action is the key to momentum. You keep moving and you see progress.
    4. Focus on imperfect action. Know it will NEVER be perfect, but you do it anyway because the world needs your voice.
    5. Confidence first starts with commitment. Think of everything in your life that you feel confident about. I can almost guarantee that it started with you making a commitment to see it through.
    Commit to the life and lifestyle you desire, and then the confidence will come.
    5. Remember the name of your blog. Approach everything with love– pure love and service and you will reap the benefits.

    So proud of y'all. Would LOVE to chat sometime, as I find you inspiring, and we're in similar paths. 🙂

  14. Anonymous August 18, 2015 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Thank you for writing again – your words are saving me right now little by little.

  15. Sandra August 20, 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara (& Danny),

    I've been away from my regular reading of your blog all summer, the loveliness of travelling minus reliable internet, but I wanted to say something you've both said over and over that sticks with me: compassion.

    Change, uncertainty (especially about the future, career, money) has always had this power to make me doubt and feel such insecurity that I lose sight of the real why for what I am doing. And the doubt and fear can trick me out of a real sense of self-honesty (I'm very good at convincing myself of things and seeing the brighter side, or making one up, a very flawed coping mechanism).

    I'm learning that being compassionate to myself in these crazy times of fatigue or uncertainty or frustration gives me the head and heartspace to get underneath the surface and investigate my thoughts with a smidge more self-honesty on an intuitive level, rather than transforming my language (like I said, I'm good at the spin, so I can't go there right away when I'm needing to change my attitude). I've been turning to mindfulness meditation tactics that focus on noting my thoughts but focusing on my body and breathing, trying to pay attention to recurrent themes.

    Homesickness and culture shock and rebuilding a new life and all the things that come from relocating to a place that may not compare as favourably to where I used to love to live are themes I need to honour, as they affect my mood and even have the power to tire me away from what I'm choosing to focus on.

    So, compassion as a way to lessen the struggle with thoughts and words?

    And much hugs!

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