20 June 2015

Saying Hello!


NYC > Vermont > Chicago > Jackson Hole > Yellowstone > Salt Lake City > Southern Oregon > Next up: SAN FRANCISCO & PHOENIX.

Saying hello from our U.S. Tour!

Our travels have taken us to...

Picnics and best friends in Prospect Park in Brooklyn
Perfect summer dinners on the porch in New England
Doing the morning commute in downtown Chicago
Seeing herds and HERDS of buffalo, several elk, and my very first moose in Wyoming
Drives up the canyon and glorious sunsets over the valley in Salt Lake City
Eating berries from farm stands in Oregon and hanging with nieces and nephews

It has been so, so good. We're not worn out yet.

And the cherry on top?

Our retreats.

I mean that.

They have been better than we could have imagined.

No matter what happens going forward, I'll look back on these events as one of the greatest things I was ever a part of. Connecting with people and hearing their stories and being able to teach something that could be helpful to them has been beautiful and completely rewarding.

People ask: which event has been the best? And I say ALL OF THEM. Not a single one has been better. They all have blown us away in different ways. And the people. Goodness. I think they're the best people in the world. And you are too. I'm not biased one bit. ;) There is something so dang beautiful about deciding that you want a better life, a better marriage - and deciding that you want to do something about it regardless of what you're facing.

And sheesh, I miss you when I don't blog! Do you miss me, too? I'm itching to get back to it. I guess I'm no longer a blogger who travels and blogs through every day of it. But I hope you somehow still see this post and know that I'm still here...blogging slowly from time to time. And trying, as always, to blog meaningfully.

I look forward to connecting more soon!

Lots of love to you all,

Mara

Photo taken at one of my favorite spots in New England: The Snapdragon Inn.

There is still time to sign up for our U.S. Tour in San Francisco and Phoenix as well as our Body+Soul Camp in Ecuador! See these links for special Couples/Friends Pricing and for Scholarships. And don't miss the F.A.Q.

15 May 2015

Love Announcements (& Galapagos Tortoises!)


(photo by Danny)

(photo by Melissa Hope

(photo by Melissa Hope

(photo by Melissa Hope

A lot is going on in our world! Next week we'll head to NYC where we will see family and friends before our U.S. Tour begins. We're currently getting every last detail of our events together. And every day our hearts feel a little fuller as we get closer to meeting so many of you. I hope to be able to teach and mentor and give the best of what I've got.

And...tortoises. Can you believe these guys?? I'm so glad we got to see them. The truth is, the tortoise population has sadly dwindled significantly so you can't see too many of them any longer.

And before this Friday is over, here are some Love Announcements!

-We finished the Serial podcast. Did you listen to it, as well? I didn't get sucked into it quite as much as others did. But the story did break my heart - a ton - as it seems way, way too easy for injustice to happen in our judicial system. And now I guess you know who I think is innocent.

-Some Japanese girls on our boat in the Galapagos had these summery Uniqlo UV jackets to protect them from the sun (instead of using gobs of sunscreen). I WANT ONE SO BAD! They have slits in the arms so that your hands can stay covered, too. So smart. My hands are getting way too much sun down here while on Sila's walks and my hands look leathery and wrinkly at the moment. oye.

-This is what the best stuff in life is made of: An Open Letter to My Daughter's StepmomBeautiful. We can all learn so much from these two women. 

-How many of you are so very excited for The Little Prince movie?!? The release date has not been announced for the U.S., but it will be released in France in July. And, the movie has a new side plot not based on the original book...it includes a female protagonist! That's a lot to celebrate come summer.



-I love this: Expanding the Ways We Experience God. Finding new ways over the years to experience God & Heavenly Mother has been one of my most incredible journeys. My latest experiences have been related to raw food and raw juice, actually. I never anticipated this, but I have found it to be a spiritual experience eating all the abundance that Mother Nature has provided for us. 

-You guys have to see this new idea for a Kindergarten in Tokyo - it's designed for kids to be SILLY and I think it's pretty genius. I totally need to go back to this Kindergarten in the worst way. (Silliness is not my best suit. Danny? He rocks it completely! :)

-And, these words were amazing. For anyone who is feeling like life is falling apart, you need to read this: Other Worlds Await You. I read it twice, and it was even better the second time.

May you have a good weekend.
And mostly, may you feel love some way.

-Mara

Event registration is open NOW for our U.S. Tour and Body+Soul Camp in Ecuador! See these links for special Couples/Friends Pricing and for Scholarships. And don't miss the F.A.Q.

13 May 2015

Retreat Scholarships Available


We have some exciting news!

A few readers and supporters have made some generous donations which make it possible to offer a few scholarships to readers who would love to come to an event, but felt they couldn't afford it. The scholarships will be for 50% off the U.S. Retreat locations (excluding Vermont).

We're grateful to these kind donors, each of whom have devoted much of their lives and efforts to spreading healing through their own unique gifts and experiences. I think that's one reason why they've been so kind. They really believe in the overall message, and specifically in the value of participating in a live event where more powerful connections can be made to the process of transformation, healing, and choosing happiness.

Transformation really is possible. Mara and I love hearing the updates we get from past attendees days, weeks, and months after they attend. People regularly accomplish remarkable things, and take steps to make personal growth and healing a more consistent part of their life experience.

I don't think we can take credit for that transformation, nor would I want to. That power is something that already exists inside each of you. Our role is to facilitate a conversation that helps you consider things from a new perspective, that helps you discover that inherent power and capacity, and provides a supportive environment that lets you practice proven principles of change, making it more likely for you to move beyond theory, and into experience and knowledge.

So, if you're interested in the scholarship, please fill out this form. We look forward to hearing from you!

With Love,

Danny & Mara

(photograph by Melissa Hope)

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Event registration is open NOW for our U.S. Tour and Body+Soul Camp in Ecuador! See here for special Couples/Friends Pricing. And don't miss the F.A.Q.

11 May 2015

Lots of Love in the Galapagos


(Photo by Melissa Hope)
Our trip to the Galapagos was really such a treat. 

I was especially so excited to just BE with my husband. Even though, admittedly, we get to be with each other all the time. But there is something so, so nice about being together without other routines, to-do lists, dirty dishes, or pressures staring at you in the face.

We also didn't have wifi nearly the entire time. 

And so it was even easier to just sit. 

To read. 

To watch the stars from the top of our boat.

To chat for hours.

To lounge.

To start from episode 1 of the Serial podcast. :)

To walk on the beach.

To reminisce about our wedding, honeymoon, and 5 extraordinary years together.

It's very likely that when we move back to the states, we won't have the flexible schedule that we have here. I'm trying to soak it up while we can.

Also, today I thought I'd share with you:

Our Top 5 Favorite Experiences at the Galapagos...(get ready for lots of animals!)

07 May 2015

5 Year Anniversary & Untold Details About Our Beginning

(from Danny)

Five years ago today, Mara and I got married! Holy Cow! I can't believe how time flies and how so much LIFE can happen in such a short period of time.

Our last night in the Galapagos we shared a wonderful meal together as an early celebration of our anniversary. We spent the whole night reminiscing about every wonderful detail we could remember from our wedding day, which in all honesty takes a lot of time. It was one of those days that felt totally and completely perfect from start to finish. It was stress-free, simple, and full of love, family, and friendship. It was a true celebration of Life and Love.


An Unlikely Meet-Up

Whenever I think about that wonderful day, or our heavenly courtship, or what it has been like to have a partner like Mara for the last five years, I can't help but think how mind-blowing it is that it happened at all. We were about as unlikely to meet as you could imagine two total strangers living in different cities over 200 miles apart could be. In ten years in New York, Mara had never traveled to Boston. And in four years in Boston, I'd never bothered traveling to New York.

In all of this unlikeliness of ever meeting, let alone falling in love, there was one very tenuous thread connecting our two worlds, but I suppose it was all that was needed.


The Tenuous Thread Connecting Our Worlds

When I first arrived in Boston, I met a couple who would become dear friends over the next 3 years. A group of friends would get together nearly every weekend, and these two were the main instigators for the gatherings. Following a great job opportunity, they moved to NYC just weeks before my whole world came unraveled. Infidelity. Separation. Divorce. Those were the most difficult moments of my life, and also the most joyous and transformative, primarily because of how I chose to respond.

Over a year later, my friends returned from NYC (three little boys and NYC apartments don't mix), and almost immediately had me over for dinner to see how I was doing. Just before they left for NYC, they helped me and my wife move into a condo we'd purchased with the intent of starting a family. Over a year later I was in the final stages of divorce. "What happened? Are you okay? Is she okay?"

I think they were surprised to hear that I was doing GREAT! I spent most of the dinner talking about all that I'd learned about happiness, the surprising ways real healing had come to my life, the power of compassionate love and forgiveness, and my deep hope and optimism for the future. Basically, we talked about the things we try to share on this blog and in the retreats - that circumstances don't define us and don't dictate our responses -- and about the power that comes to our lives when we live like we believe that.

Thrilled that I was in such a good place in life, I remember my friend Ashley saying "I've got this girl in NY that I'd like to set you up with."

You see, about six months earlier, Mara had met Ashley and her husband one night because they were friends with a guy she was dating. They met once. Mara says Rockband was involved. The only other communication they had was when the clothing line Mara started with friends, Harvey Faircloth, was part of NYC's Fashion Week. Mara needed models to wear the clothing and Ashley was recruited by a mutual friend.

That was it. This was our tenuous thread.


A Little Vulnerability Goes A Long Way - "SET ME UP !"

That, and a little bit of courage/vulnerability. Mara had been dating for some time. Long enough to know finding the right guy might be like finding a needle in a haystack, and she might need a little help. So when Mara and Ashley shared a few emails after Fashion Week about some clothing Ashley wanted, Mara said what she said to all her friends:
"Anyway, if you guys ever come across someone that you think highly of, SET ME UP ! :) I love set ups ..." 
A few months later Ashley placed an order, asked about the business, told Mara she moved back to Boston, to which Mara responded:
"And, of course, if you come across any smart, solid men in Boston, I'd love to hear about them. hahaha ! :)"
A week later, I was in Ashley's home, sharing my story of healing. That night, Ashley wrote Mara the following:
"I'm going to keep you updated on a potential man here. He's a good friend of ours and is wrapping up a divorce. We are so sad for Danny, but not too worried because he's a great catch. Anyway my first thought was you. So if you're ever in Boston we'll have to arrange a little gathering of some sort. Or I'll send him to NY for some reason! You never know."
Ashley sent Mara my Facebook profile (which had two group pictures and zero status updates). And shortly thereafter I got an email from Mara introducing herself. A few emails later, and Mara and I both said to ourselves, "I'm probably going to marry this person!" Seriously!

Thank you Mara! That first email was quite literally an answer to prayer. Thank you for wanting to walk a similar life path, one motivated by Love! Thank you for five wonderful years of marriage, tons of crazy adventures, and many more years and adventures to come!

Anybody else have a crazy story about an unlikely meet up? We'd love to hear about it, it always makes us smile!

P.S. - If you haven't read our series called Love Story (start at the bottom of the link for the beginning), now's a good time to start. We post excerpts from the emails we wrote in the weeks before we met. Ummm, they are PURE GOLD, at least that's how we feel. It's two people, anxious to connect over the most important life lessons they've ever learned, and overjoyed to see someone else had discovered the very same thing all on their own. To get you started here's some links to the first few posts in the series - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.

(Photos by Rachel Thurston)

06 May 2015

Friendship & Sea Lions in the Galapagos





(photo by Melissa Hope)



By far one of the BEST parts of having this blog is meeting new friends. It's so, so lovely when that happens-when our lives cross and connect with someone new. (Gosh, just thinking about this makes my heart feel so huge. Sending love to all of you that we've been privileged to meet! Thank you for being in our lives! xoxo)

Just after Hurricane Sandy, we got to begin a friendship with a wonderful woman, Melissa Hope. She came with us weekend after weekend to do relief clean-up in homes.

And now we are together in the Galapagos, sitting on a deck with sea lions lounging nearby!

This feels too good to be true.

To sit here and chat and laugh and converse with complete ease is such a joy. Friends really are some of the best things on earth. Oh, to feel love and approval and kindness. It truly is the best.

29 April 2015

3 More Days - And A Retreat Update


FRIDAY IS THE DAY!!!

May 1st is the last day to get the early bird discount on one of our U.S. events. (Of course registration still is open for each event up until the day of.)

If you are wanting to come, we hope that you have the courage or finances or support or time off of work or whatever it is that you might need to attend. If you are one of those who isn't able to make it happen, please contact us. We'd love to still figure out a way to meet you or work with you or help you.

Also, we have a new policy for people who attend our U.S. events. If someone attends an event and they feel it was not helpful to them, we would like to refund their money. (Note: our VT guests would not be refunded for the cost of their accommodations at Snapdragon Inn or the Parrish House.)

Just a reminder, these retreats would be perfect for you if you:

...have had enough of a current challenge and you are ready to be happy!

...want a setting and space to RESET your life and honor a new beginning.

...could use some self care! (Is this not one of the most rare things in life?)

...want to improve the way you experience relationships with your spouse/partner, parents, siblings, bosses, in-laws, children, friends - and even that neighbor that stomps loudly in the flat above.

...want to prepare for a future relationship and learn how to bring the goods to the table!

...need to nip fear in the bud: fear you are broken or that you can’t heal; fear of not being loved; fear of being vulnerable; or fear of not being good enough.

...are experiencing a major life challenge or transition such as divorce, infertility, relationship turmoil or uncertainty and you’d like to get on a good path and handle it all with grace.

...would really like to take a more loving approach to deal with your life, but you don’t know how. 

...don’t have a positive support network right now and could benefit from a group effort to heal.

...value life-long learning and personal growth.

With all our hearts, we look forward to meeting you and gathering with you.

We look forward to the amazing things that happen when real life connections happen.

We look forward to helping you feel more happiness in your life. 

-Mara & Danny
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