How do you start your day?
I love to be the first one awake in the house. I love padding out of my bedroom and into the kitchen. I love gazing out through the windows into the back patio while I make the coffee, pour a big glass of water, and dole out my daily vitamins into a little glass so I remember to take them. Whenever possible, I start my day in this languid, intentional way, because many days, moving around my kitchen waiting for the heat to kick on is the only bit of silence that I encounter. I read on the couch while I drink my first cup of coffee. I wash my face and brush my teeth before I get down to business. My heart unfurls into these quiet rituals. I find myself in them. When so often, I get ahead of myself and want to jump right in to the day or start responding to emails, I guide myself back here.
What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?
It’s interesting, because for so long my answer to this question would have been to lose myself in the familiarity of a book I had read many times before or episode upon episode of a favorite show on Netflix. For so long, this was how I ushered myself into a state of suspended animation when overwhelmed, by visiting my favorite fictional communities.
Lately, I have been working to get outside for a walk around my neighborhood. I strive to make a habit out of this because I find that it pre-emptively soothes my stress, but I certainly also lace up my sneakers when I feel my shoulders rising and my breath getting shallow. I get as close to the water as possible. I watch the Osprey nest or keep my eyes out for a Blue Heron as I walk through the reeds. I remind myself that I am a part of that natural surrounding. I belong, just as the waves belong. I get curious with myself about whatever it is that is overwhelming me, asking it questions. Upon realizing that I have likely cultivated an artificial situation of stress, I work to let it go while I walk.
What gives you the feeling of true bliss within?
Creating circles for women to gather—online and in person. Learning how to make soup. Detailing my car. Drinking coffee and diving headfirst into a creative project. Lazy mornings. Romantic dates with devices left at home. Finding the perfect word. Standing in a grove of Redwoods. The freedom to nap in the middle of the afternoon.
What are you currently reading?
Club Dead by Charlaine Harris. Since most of my waking hours are immersed in the self-help world, I love (lovelovelove) to relax by reading ridiculous fantasy novels brimming with supernatural creatures, sex, and hilariously circuitous plot lines.
What are you listening to right now?
The Epic Indie playlist on Songza. This playlist has carried me through 2015 so far. I love the ramp up of energy in the songs. I am particularly adoring Break the Fall by Laura Welsh.
What is your go-to simple recipe?
One of my favorite foods since I was a child has been avocado toast. Stunningly simple and ridiculously delicious, it is still something that I eat often. Toast bread. Slather with ripe avocado. Sprinkle with salt.
For an extra treat, I like to throw a fried egg on top.
What are some simple things you do for self-care?
The best of my self-care exists in waking up and choosing to ask myself the question: what do I need today? Then, devoting my energy to making sure that I meet my needs over the course of the day, recognizing that meeting my needs is my job and nobody else's. Sometimes, these needs are physical—water, sleep, food that appeals to my delicate sensitivities. Sometimes, they feel ridiculous at first. A new crystal. A gold notebook. An afternoon with my hands in paint. These ridiculous needs are the ones where I practice my kindness. I don’t judge my needs. I simply allow them—and work to meet them whenever, however possible.
What does nourishment look like to you?
My nourishment shows up in the choice to lower my defenses, daily. I choose to soften beyond my natural inclination to push myself to the brink of my abilities, gearing myself up with cup after cup of coffee. Nourishment exists in my determination not to fill the blank spaces in my calendar that I work so hard to create. It means that I am in charge of how much is enough. That I am the granter of permission and the deliverer of praise.
Nourishment exists when I am generous with my celebrations.
How do you make space for play?
For me, true play happens when I am disconnected from all of my many devices. I try to unplug for one weekend every month to make space. I resist unplugging like a little kid who is desperately tired, but refusing to sleep, bucking my legs and shouting. But, once the heavy mantle of having to respond is lifted, I am free to chase the things that light me up. I am free to play. I am free to simply be present and enjoy myself.
What are some favorite mantras you cling to?
These days, my absolute favorite mantra is the temple is meant to be enjoyed. I use this bit of brilliance to remind myself to take stunning care of my physical body as well as remember to run and jump and dance and have orgasms and sleep and play. I also use it as a reminder not to take myself—my life, my home, my relationship—too seriously. To not be too precious about the messy, delightful process of being a human.
The temple is meant to be ENJOYED.
Please share some words of wisdom you’ve learned as a direct result of soulful and embodied living.
Rest when you are tired. Ask yourself, is this really an emergency? Take space every single day to meet your own needs. Your feelings are the best map that you have towards the life that you are deeply hungry for. Don’t forget to eat breakfast.
Above all else—tell the truth.
Mara Glatzel is an energy healer and intuitive guide for women with the sacred (and stubborn) desire to belong to themselves. In gathering women together, her work facilitates daily conversations about intention, truth, and celebration. That means more joy and more grit. And, vibrant authenticity to spare. Hang out with Mara on instagram, facebook, or sign-up to receive weekly missives filled to the brim with the absolute best of what she’s got—unfiltered vulnerability and heart-opening encouragement.
Her newest class, The Deep Exhale, begins Monday!