How I Went from Feeling Dead (for Years) to Feeling Alive

Oh man, the title of this post gets me.

To think that I used to feel dead

And now to know that there was a way out.

Oh my heart. 

THIS is why I started this blog.

I figured someone out there might feel stuck, too.

And I wanted to give people hope that there was a way out – and by that I mean a way out of your misery, even if your circumstances didn’t or couldn’t change.

The key to feeling alive was this:

I had to make peace with pain.

I had to…

Own it (instead of blaming it on something, someone).

Let it surround me.

Realize that it didn’t define me.

Stop resisting it.

Accept it.

Be grateful for it.

And let it move on.

Because pain in this life will never, ever, ever stop coming our way. 

We will ALWAYS have something in life that we desperately wish we could change.

Until we learn to have a different relationship with pain, it will continue and continue and continue to weigh us down.

I love this quote by Carl Jung: “What you resist, persists.” So true, right?

Here is an example:

Infertility. Pain up the wazoo on that one. That pain was never going to end until I had a baby. Oh me oh my. I resisted and resisted that infertility. Didn’t want anything to do with it. Feared it. Hated it. Pitied myself. It was my worst nightmare coming true.

But I finally realized that having a child would NOT be the end to my pain. There would always be something else, and then something else. My cycle of resistance to things that weren’t going exactly as I had planned would never end unless I made some internal changes. And here I was trying to bring some kids into this!

And so, I decided that infertility would be the reason I would learn how to heal from pain. Because I had the hope that I could teach my kids how to do the same one day. I decided that infertility would be my practice.

I began by stopping to blame infertility – as if I was justified in moping about for months and years on end. I took ownership for my reaction TO infertility. I couldn’t control whether or not I had a baby, but I could control how I reacted to it.

I realized that everybody has something they wish they could change. Why continue to pity myself and say woe is me and hide myself away? Perhaps this pain could lead to something. Perhaps it could connect me with others. It was no longer something to be avoided.

I decided that infertility didn’t have to be the end of me. Failure or disappointment in this area didn’t have to define me or hold me back from living a very joyful life. There were other parts of life that were dang beautiful. I could embrace my life just as it was.

And yes, I even became grateful for the infertility. Like wouldn’t-trade-it-for-anything kind of grateful. Because it made me who I am today. It was the reason I learned to be okay with pain. It set me on an extraordinary path. It was the beginning of understanding happiness from the inside-out. It is the reason for every bit of peace I now experience, it’s the reason I experience a beautiful life.

2016 is quite a year for me. It marks the ten-year anniversary of my awakening, the anniversary of changing my relationship to pain. And because of it, for the last ten years, I have felt alive.

How are things for you? What is some pain you’re experiencing right now? Could you imagine becoming at peace with it exactly as it is?

Sending lots of love to all,


P.S. Our retreat in Ecuador takes place in one week!!!! Our hearts are full to the max as we think of some hopeful people getting on a plane and coming to embrace more LOVE for themselves, for others, and for life. If any are able to come last minute, we’d take you in a second. Flights right now are in the low $400s – the cheapest we’ve ever seen (at least out of NYC). Register HERE. See what many people have written about the retreats HERE.

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  1. Anonymous April 11, 2016 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this post! Could you please write more about it after the retreat? How you walked the path , with ideas of exercises? Tips on how to forgive ourselves when we fall back to old patterns? How long did it take you?

    And have a wonderful retreat with the lucky ones who will be able to join you!

  2. Ruth April 11, 2016 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Mara, First you are beautiful inside and out! 🙂 You speak to me every time you blog. I think my ongoing pain is letting things irritate me until I just let it consume me. I need to learn that it is okay to communicate how I feel and not feel terrified of the response. I need to find a way to recondition myself for sure. Again, I apologize for not listening to your voicemails, when you were in town. Some day, we will cross paths, of this much I know for sure. You are a kindred spirit and I thank you for your insights. 🙂

  3. Unknown April 12, 2016 at 7:42 am - Reply

    thank you for this post, Mara. As always, you inspire.
    love, Rita

  4. Anonymous April 12, 2016 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Man oh man this is timely. I am struggling SO badly right now as my fiance and I broke up this last weekend. The pain is so real. I keep wondering if we made the right choice or how I'll live with this choice. I know it will get better but I just wish I felt more peace right now.

  5. Kendra Meyers April 13, 2016 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    So beautiful and true, Mara.

  6. Theresa Williams April 17, 2016 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    Hello, I am Theresa Williams After being in relationship with Anderson for years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem. His email: you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or any other Case.
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  7. Maria Zuber May 2, 2016 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    love this. Thank you for sharing and giving me a window into my attitude choices and how that could negatively impact my life unless i make a conscious effort! I had a rough work situation for nearly 4 years, but i made it to a place of peace and in the past 5 months it has changed for the better, even better than i could have anticipated… and now i'm so alive and it feels great.

  8. Sierra Prince October 25, 2016 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    I love this blog. Although I'm young and cannot relate to any of the infertility discussion, I can relate to not choosing my own happiness. I have been the person who hasn't taken care of themselves before and I had to learn how to do so, just like you. Your story and posts are so inspiring and something I think everyone needs to hear. Thank you.

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