Archives

beginnings and an opening for sessions today*

img_1056

The happiest thoughts to you from me and my family for a magnificent 2017!

I love the energy of today…hours before the beginning of a new year…anything and everything seems possible. If you could choose a word or a phrase to represent the energy you’d like to step into for 2017, what would it be? I think for me it would be, “I am exactly where I am supposed to be.”

My wish for you is that you feel a deep sense of being in the right place and assurance that your life is perfect, even if in this moment it feels challenging. May blessings of all good be yours today and always. Love and happiness, Mary

 

*An opening happened in my schedule so today is free, and I’m offering 20 minute sessions for $20. If this is of interest to you, just email me at mmuncil@verizon.net and we’ll set up a time to talk.

This entry was posted on December 31, 2016. 6 Comments

reckless loving

 

img_2219

Jack brings home piles of antique books from the recycle center…he just cannot bear to see them thrown away… I just found a creative way to deal with some of them!

I was on an early morning walk yesterday, several miles from home, when I noticed a bird in the road. I assumed that it had been hit by a car, so I wanted to pick it up and lay it gently under a tree, but as I got closer, this gorgeous red-headed woodpecker turned its head and looked at me. “You are alive!”, were the words that came out of my mouth as I reached down with mittened hands to pick him*up.

I began to walk home, but decided to stop at the nearest house and ask for a ride. The man who answered the door was so kind. Before I could even ask, he was grabbing his jacket and car keys. As I approached our front door, Jack was standing in his robe, looking rather concerned as he said, “What can I do?”

We’d just taken our Christmas ornaments out of the boxes and set them aside, still full of fluffy tissue paper…perfect as a temporary place to put our feathered friend while I went to my computer to look for help. The first site that came up was North Country Wild Care (http://www.northcountrywildcare.org). The woman who answered the phone gave me the number of a local vet who usually takes wild animals/birds for evaluation. She told me to call them but added if they couldn’t take him, to call her right back and she would figure something else out. I don’t know what I expected but I was overwhelmed with gratitude that this woman cared so much and wasn’t going to drop us. The vet’s office said that they would take him, and told me to bring him right in.

Jack and I gently closed up the box and put it on the front seat of my car, but as I drove to the vet’s office, the bird became agaiated, moving inside the box in a way that concerned me. I thought that classical music might be soothing but couldn’t find a station, so I began to sing Christmas carols. To my delight, the scratching stopped.

After a brief evaluation, the vet tech told me that she thought the woodpecker would be OK. They were going to do a complete examination and if he couldn’t be released into the wild, they would call North Country Wild Care and a wildlife rehab specialist would pick him up.

Back in my car I sat for a minute and let myself soak in all that had happened in the past hour. The love and care that we (the little injured bird and myself) were shown was overwhelming. From the moment I picked him up from the road, to handing him over at the vet’s office, it was as if we were floating on a ribbon of Grace. Loving help was there at every turn…for me, for him…

When we talked later that evening, Jack said, “I’m not sure that I would’ve known what to do if I’d come across a bird like that. How did you know what to do?”

“I didn’t”. I replied, “I just knew that I wasn’t going to leave him in the road so I picked him up. Then I began to walk. It was as if “instructions” were given to me at every step.”

This incident made me think about the unconditional love that was shown by so many people in the helping of this little injured creature. Selfless, generous, love, by the vet, the wildlife rescue center, the man who gave me a ride, Jack…and even me. It also made me think about how I love others.

This year has been an eye-opener for me…many incredible gifts and also some painful realizations…the most significant being that I had not been generous with my love…especially at home. As I examined my life, I could see that I’d been stingy, cautious, and calculating with my affection: withholding it if I felt slighted, or sensed it wasn’t being returned in an equal or greater measure.

But that changed this year, and even though I know that spiritually I’ve stepped into a new world, it has at times been terrifying. I’ve become acutely aware of my fear of being hurt, or taken advantage of, or being made a fool for trusting. And when those fears come up, it feels like there is a battle for my soul happening within. I can feel that old frightened self say, “Cut and run” and the voice of Love say, “All is well. You can trust life. You can trust love. I am here with you each step of the way and you are now on new ground. Leave the past behind and live fully now.”

A friend sent me the quote below yesterday, and I felt like it spoke directly to my life, my heart, my situation in life. I just love the words, “Love is reckless ….” Reckless! Just reading those words makes me feel braver. I no longer want to weigh and measure my giving. I want to be reckless in my loving. I want to be oblivious to what I get in return. I want to love for the sake of loving.  I want to give all of me to all of life. WIthholding ourselves may feel safe but it isn’t. Eventually, a “safe” life becomes small, steril, joyless, and unbearable.

The call to myself this day, this year, this holiday season, is to love everything and everyone. To forgive everything and everyone. To give everything ,and to become a reckless fool for Love.

Fear and love are contradictory terms. Love is reckless in giving away, oblivious as to what it gets in return. Love wrestles with the world as with the self and ultimately gains mastery over all other feelings….” Mahatma Gandhi (On Love)

*I’m not sure what sex the woodpecker was.

Write a new script and change your life…and a give-away!

 

img_2175

Fred this morning watching me write

Several weeks ago, I was looking for a blank notebook and found a dream that I’d written down a couple of years earlier, along with some letters I’d written (not intending to send) to various individuals whom I’d had problems with. Below is what I wrote about the dream,

“I entered a beautiful room, after being in a bunch of situations that seemed somewhat disconcerting. At once I noticed that the room was made entirely of puzzle pieces. I was told not to take any pieces out. I noticed a man, who was also a puzzle piece with writing on it, and I held it in my hands, amazed at how intricately and beautifully it was made. Each piece was also beautifully and exquisitely made and came to life as I touched them.” Then I woke up. Re-reading this dream affirmed my belief that no person is in my life by accident, and everyone who is now, or has ever been in my life, is a vital part of me in some way.

All of the letters were written for the purpose of healing the relationships and bringing me inner peace and resolution. In these letters I was able to say things that I couldn’t say in person without causing more pain or confusion. I didn’t write about how I had been hurt or what they had done to me. I wrote about my part in the difficulty. I wrote about the petty, mean, hurtful, thoughts I’d had about them, and asked for their forgiveness.

As I thought about the dream and the letters, I realized in a deeper way that we are all connected, and since this is a Truth, we have the power to change/heal our lives using our minds…and I was holding the proof in my hands. All of the letters that I’d written had resulted in either reconciliation with the person or release of the resentment I’d been carrying, and all of this happened without confrontation or needing to talk it out.

I’d forgotten about this tool, and today realized that I really need to do it again with several people whom I have been harboring less-than-nice thoughts about. It is time to sweep my side of the street…even though there really isn’t a “my side” and “their side”…it is all my side. I clear up my thoughts and find that I am transformed and restored to wholeness in what feels like a miraculous way.

 Save yourself…” Jacob Marley’s last words to Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

THE GIVE-AWAY!

I am giving away a 20 minute session with me. To enter this give-away all you need to do is comment with a word or a thought that brings you a sense of inner peace. Feel free to tell a story or just post one word. Everyone (even if you’ve won before) is free to enter. I’ll select a random entry on Thursday, Dec. 1st. To read about what a session with me is like, go to my home page, and click the tab at the top that says, Private Sessions

NORTHSHIRE BOOKSTORE CAFE GALLERY From December 1st through the 30th, I’ll have my artwork for sale at the Northshire Bookstore Cafe Gallery inn Manchester, VT. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. mmuncil@verizon.net

img_2174

“Freedom to choose my direction” about 7.5 x 7.5 x 2″ on very old wood, $95 (all of my artwork will be at the Northshire Bookstore Cafe Gallery on Dec. 1st, but can also  be purchased now…visit *MY ARTWORK Page to see more

 

 

 

 

your own success story

P1260726.JPG

“Together” (mixed media sculpture) for sale on my artwork page

Jack and I hit a huge crisis in our lives several months ago. At times, all we wanted to do was pull the covers over our heads and hope it would go away…hope that it was all a bad dream. But those thoughts and feelings were only sporadic. We both knew that anything that was in our faces, was not only called into being by us, but was actually there to help us grow, awaken, and become more than we dreamed we could be.

One day, when I thought that I’d never get rid of the ugly scenes that flowed through my mind, I began to say, “Of course this will become a non-issue. You are continually changing. Don’t hold yourself to such a low standard of thought. Never say that you, or anyone else, can’t change.”

I felt instant relief as memories of how I had changed, in very significant ways, began to flood my mind. I recalled how in high school I felt dumb. I did so poorly in classes that I almost didn’t graduate. But when I decided to challenge that, it changed… I changed…and now, there is no part of me that feels inadequate in this area of my life. I needed to “do the work”, but that was OK. At 29 years old, with 2 children, I graduated summa cum laude, phi beta kappa, from the University of New Hampshire, and went on to study at Harvard Divinity School.

Then I remembered getting sober in 1986. Because I had started drinking when I was 13 (one of the reasons for the pitiful grades and behavior in high school) I couldn’t imagine a life without alcohol. But one day, Grace hit me over the head with the words, “You are an alcoholic and you need AA”, and from that moment on, I never drank again…and more importantly, never wanted to.

For years, I had tortuous relationships with my parents. I truly believed that I’d never feel inner peace when I thought of either of them…but it changed. I wasn’t hit over the head with Grace on this one…I had to work at it, but eventually my thoughts evolved and now, I can easily say that those relationships are perfect…just the way they are. My parents don’t need to change for me to love them. Amazing.

As I pondered more ways that I had once been “possessed” by negative thoughts (about anyone and anything including myself) and realized that I was no longer there, I knew in my heart that the current situation was going to be the same, and very quickly, examples began showing themselves to me of how this situation was really a profound gift.

I thought of all of our friends and family who’d supported us, loved us, and told us that they were holding us in their prayers and thoughts. So many came forth with just simple words like, “You guys have always been great together. You’ll get through this.” Jack and I would always talk about these incidents at night and soak in the blessings….and gifts….and this brings me to “the nights”.

For years, we’d had separate bedrooms…thinking that Jack’s snoring and my need for a lot of space were the reasons, but as soon as this happened, we clung to each other as if we were saving our lives…and being back in the same bed just happened. What a gift. Something that we thought we didn’t want at all (someone talking to us or waking us up in the middle of the night) has become one of the favorite parts of our day….gentle, soft, words like, “I love you”, “You are wonderful”, “I am so happy to be married to you”, float between us like clouds of blessings….what a gift….what a success story.

One thing that I am sure of is this: every situation in my life, in your life, in anyone’s life, has within it a very different story, outcome, or result…if we choose to look for it. We cannot curse the events of our lives and expect them to yield blessings/good. We cannot call someone horrible, deranged, stuck, unable to change, or any other “curse” and expect a different person to suddenly show himself or herself to us. All of life is happening for me. All of life is happening for you. Bless it…release the past…and claim your success story now.

“A metaphysician once gave me a wonderful recipe for taking every trick in the game of life, it is the acme of nonresistance. He gave it in this way; ‘At one time in my life, I baptized children, and of course, they had many names. Now I no longer baptize children but I baptize events, but I give every event the same name. If I have a failure I baptize it success.” In this we see the great law of transmutation, founded on nonresistance. Through his spoken word, every failure was transmuted into success.”

From, The Game of Life and How to Play It, Florence Scovel Shinn (published in 1925)

This entry was posted on October 29, 2016. 18 Comments

join the festival

p1260656

“bon appétit” A new mixed media sculpture of mine (details on my artwork page)…as I was photographing it outside, a chickadee landed on top…so sweet.

I was talking with someone the other day and she seemed off. I wasn’t sure if this woman was just in a bad mood or was feeling physically ill, but the visit was edgy and a little uncomfortable. We’d made a plan to go out for coffee, and I really felt like cancelling, but I didn’t. Half way through our time together, she brought up something painful that I’d said to her in the past.

She said it with a laugh, but there was also a barb.

I almost apologized but stopped myself when I realized that I had already profusely apologized to her…several times. As a matter of fact, almost every time she brought up the past, I would find myself apologizing for something.

As I drove away, I thought, “No apology will ever be enough for her. She sees herself as an innocent player in a hurtful past and seems to crave, and get some sort of temporary relief from, apologies that she either can’t believe or accept. She wants to have meaningful, loving, relationships, yet holds onto the idea that almost everyone in her life has hurt her…and she will not forget, so she never really forgives anyone. She is stuck in the past…the unhappy, unloving, unfulfilled, past…and no one can free her except herself, but she doesn’t know it.”

I forgot about this interaction until several days ago, when I woke up in a less-than-good mood, began a conversation/grievance (can’t remember about what) with Jack, but was stopped mid-sentence when he said, “I am so sorry. Can’t we put that behind us? We are in such a new place….”

In that moment, I realized that I was doing the very thing that I hated being done to me. I was bringing up a past hurt (because of my own in-the-moment, bad mood/insecurity) and wanting Jack to, yet again, apologize, say he was wrong, say I was right, acknowledge how much he’d hurt me… I wasn’t at all interested in looking honestly at my own past behavior and how I’d hurt him. Nope…in that moment, I was (rather unconsciously) blaming him for my bad feelings and demanding that he make me feel better.

I sat there quietly and thought; “No one can free me except myself. It doesn’t matter what he says now. If I don’t change, I will continue to be the same kind of emotional victim that I find so unappealing.” This new thought brought a feeling of light to my mind and heart and I even felt grateful for that interaction with the woman several weeks earlier. It was as if I was given a glimpse of who I was or would become, if I didn’t change.

I also knew that I was being called up to higher level of living/love and that keeping my mind and thoughts in the now, continuing to gently turn them away from past and future, was the key to everything in this expanded field. Of course I’ve known this (at some level) for years, but this incident: being able to see this negative pattern in myself so clearly, brought me to a new awareness that the work of awakening is really quite a trip…and one that I really want to be on!

Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you’ll come to realize how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with you. You’ll see that no one else, other than you, was responsible. The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival.” Osho

Mary’s Skin Survival Balm available now!

I’ve made another batch of my skin balm. If you are interested in purchasing any, email me at mmuncil@verizon.net and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. The tins are 2 oz and are $8.95 each (buy 4, get one free). Shipping is $3 for one, and a flat $4 for any amount over one.

P1240031

P1240032

This entry was posted on October 16, 2016. 14 Comments

a simple tool

 

20160821_getz-007

Griffin and Nana (me) getting ready for Sullivan’s baby blessing

I often take my 2-year-old grandson, Griffin, to the library on rainy days, and the other day, I overheard a woman remark that she really enjoyed seeing the toddlers playing there. I loved her observation, and was about to agree with her, but she quickly followed up by adding, “It is such a shame and so disturbing that so many kids spend hours in front of the television, on computer games…” As she continued to speak, I could feel the energy become dense and low. Her brow furrowed and she looked distressed. If she had stopped at what she’d first observed, I think she would have felt better.

I didn’t blame her. I’ve done the same thing myself, many times. But I am quicker to catch myself these days. If I want to change and become a happier, more open, person, then I must stop dragging negative comparisons along. It’s a really bad habit and it also keeps us stuck.

A beautiful day today doesn’t need to be compared to the “rotten weather we’ve been experiencing”. A magical time with my mother doesn’t need to be contrasted with how difficult it used to be. A compliment from someone doesn’t need to be rejected or looked upon suspiciously, because they’ve never said anything like that before. If we stop and take in the beautiful day, the magical time, and the compliment, we will change…and isn’t that what we are here to do…to grow, expand, and become more than we ever dreamed we could be?

This is such a profoundly simple, spiritual, tool. So often we don’t need to do anything to change…we just need to stop doing/thinking negative, unhappy, thoughts that block the Goodness and the Grace that are there for us…and that are us.

“If you live right mentally, everything else will be right. By a change of mental diet you can alter the course of observed events. But unless there is a change of mental diet, your personal history remains the same. You illuminate or darken your life by the ideas to which you consent. If you find the world unchanged, it is a sure sign that you are wanting in fidelity to a new mental diet, which you neglect in order to condemn your environment.” Neville Goddard

 

an inclusive life

Luke trying to get Eleanor to play...she isn't amused.

Luke trying to get Eleanor to play…she isn’t amused.

When I notice that I’m not feeling good emotionally, it takes little introspection to realize that I’ve excluded someone from my life…maybe not overtly, like telling them to leave me alone, but in my mind I’ve made them into an enemy. Then my mind begins to look for evidence to support this belief…and it always finds plenty.

While excluding people, whom we feel have hurt us, initially can feel good, even powerful, eventually it shrinks our worlds just a little. Several days ago, I realized that I had done just that, and I watched this petty part of my mind try to justify its thoughts about someone. It was arguing for my limitations, telling me not to open my heart, warning me that I wasn’t safe.

I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I knew better, and that I would not accept living a small life based on exclusion…which is always fear in disguise.

I began to softly repeat, “I love every being. Everyone is included in my life.”

I thought about one person in particular, but I didn’t try to figure out how to change my thoughts about her, I just knew that they would…and I was right. I also didn’t take any action like calling or emailing her. Working with my mind was enough to bring me inner peace and freedom from fear of being hurt or of hurting her anymore with unkind thoughts…Love always leads me home to my heart where everyone (including me) is safe and loved unconditionally.

”Do I love you?” is the important question. It’s the only thing I need care about. ‘Do you love me?’ is a prison. It’s a torture chamber.” Byron Katie