Moving Forward!

To the best readers ever (yes, we may be a bit biased!):

We have loved having this blog over the last 3 1/2 years.

We love it because…

We KNOW it’s possible for people to heal, to change, and to truly be happy.

We believe that with the right tools, people can EMPOWER themselves and take control of their happiness!

We love being a mentor for people through this process. We love teaching all the tools that we’ve learned and use everyday. They are effective and life changing! There is no greater joy than seeing someone realize that they no longer need to be a victim to others or to their circumstances…that they can be FREE by tapping into their truest identity and acting with wisdom, love, and self worth in their own lives, marriages, relationships, divorces, infertility, jobs, families, and challenges of every kind. This kind of freedom is what leads to the ability to love in the best way and ultimately changes the world! 

We are currently planning ways to further this message and serve this dear community in greater ways. 

But, we wanted to ask for your help.

If you have been touched or inspired by our blog or are just grateful for the work that we do here, would you consider sending us a one-time donation? 

There. I said it. 🙂 You could think of it as a partnership towards changing more lives, or as a token of appreciation, a thank you for all the posts you have enjoyed in the past, a kickstarter to help us complete some projects on the business end that will help this effort to be sustainable (without sponsored material!). You could also think of it as a way for you to give back to the world by supporting the message of LOVE & EMPOWERMENT & HOPE – I mean, it really is the greatest message in the world! We’d love to partner with you in this effort.

If you aren’t able to donate at this time, I do understand completely and want you to still feel welcome here at the blog always (of course)!! Though if you are able to donate something – $1, $5, $20, $60, $100 any amount at all – we would be incredibly grateful for your generosity, kindness, and token of support!

You can send in your one-time donation right here

(There is also an option to set up a monthly subscription if you’d like.)

Know that every dollar donated will go towards bringing more joy, more inspiration, more convenience, and more value to our beloved audience. Our goals are to create a website design here that will be more useful to this community; we want to offer an online retreat experience so that more people can access the classes and empowerment being shared there; we’d like to launch books/guides/videos on various subjects that will be written specifically for the needs of our audience; we want to offer mentoring packages for more one-on-one support; and we want to launch more LIVE events across the world. This will all take time, but with your help – more will be possible. As things unfold, we hope that you will feel a part of something meaningful.

THANK YOU a million times over from the bottom of my heart. It has been an amazing, amazing three+ years and we look forward to more.

With much love and gratitude,

Mara & Danny

We’re also conversing away over on Facebook, Twitter,Pinterest. Come join us!

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  1. Maria Berkbigler March 5, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    How do I set up a monthly subscription? I love that idea!

    • mara March 5, 2015 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      Oh, Maria – that is so kind!!! When you click in the donation link, there is an check box option that will make your desired amount a monthly subscription. Thank you SO much for your support over the years! Much love to you!

  2. Anonymous March 5, 2015 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    I would love to hear about your religious path. Have you all left Mormonism/Christianity entirely? It seems you focus much more on eastern religions now.

    • danny March 5, 2015 at 5:41 pm - Reply

      I view any and every attempt to deepen one's spirituality and the meaning behind their chosen religious path as valuable. For me, it isn't about what is Mormon/Christian, what is Eastern/Buddhist, or what is scientific/scholarly. It's about truth.

      There is a quote from Joseph Smith that I've loved and returned to many times: "the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, is truth. … The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same."

      I seek to embrace every aspect of truth, wherever it comes from.

      Have I left Mormonism/Christianity all together? Not at all. Mara and I work with young adults in the LDS community here in Cuenca. I teach a Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class every week, currently focusing on the New Testament. Last night I was asked to address a group of 10 or so LDS Bishops, and the Stake Presidency, to talk to them about social media and how to help our youth. I spoke to them primarily about the concept of identity, much like Mara posted here – – only I used scriptures as support for why the well-being of our youth needs to start with understanding inherent worth, and how social media is largely destructive of that healthiest foundation because it invites people to seek validation from the outside-in (how many likes and comments you get, a constant focus on appearance, worrying about what others think of you, etc)

      Perhaps what you perceive as a change in focus, is instead a desire to frame things in the most universal light, something that anyone can apply and relate to, whether they are LDS, Protestant, Baptist, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, etc. People familiar with their own religion will be able to read between the lines and realize that this is what their own faith tradition teaches, though it might use different words, definitions, etc….the underlying message is always the same.

      Discover worth from the inside-out as you come to understand who you are and connect with what you believe to be a Divine source, and then with that wholeness that you grow in, step by step, you share it out with the broader world and truly love your neighbor (and even your enemy).

    • Anonymous March 5, 2015 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      Wow, great comments and insight, Danny!!

  3. Christina March 5, 2015 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Anon. I'll speak for myself, but I see Mara and Danny filling a deeply important spiritual element that is so often overlooked in traditional religious teaching. Without it, I think many people find it very difficult to have a deeply personal understanding and connection to the divine. If only Sunday sermons could inspire us like this toward love, compassion, and inner spiritual understanding in order to more closely follow our divine path on Earth!

    • mara March 6, 2015 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      Christina, I love your thoughts here. I have found that religions can offer so much-and they have certainly helped many to transform their lives! Though they can also leave a lot of people a little empty – or confused – or wanting more – or unconfident in themselves. I was one of those people who wasn't deeply, spiritually affected by my religion. And as soon as I began to learn things outside of those manuals and typical sermons, it seriously blew my mind! That awe factor is still going strong and it's a great power behind what I do here. I guess I love helping other people turn on lightbulbs – and helping them see spirituality in a new and different light…in a way that can empower them instead of confuse them.

  4. christina March 5, 2015 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Just made a modest donation (wish I could give more!).

    I would *love* for this website to offer an "online retreat experience"!!! I've been turning to this website more and more for encouragement and hope, and have often wished there was more of an interactive component. I actually thought about you guys the other day. I am very much craving a spiritual community, but have no desire to join a traditional church. Basically, organized religion is not for me, but organized *spirituality* sounds fantastic. I was wondering why it's not more common for spiritually/religiously open-minded people to meet up on a regular basis to offer encouragement to each other, using the church format. That's when you guys came to mind—you guys would be the perfect leaders for such a thing 🙂

    By the way, I've been meaning to write you guys about this, and I suppose now's good time as any. My husband and and I have been trying to have a baby for about 8 months now, with no success. It's looking like it might be a long journey for us, and it might not end the way we want it to. Needless to say, I have been feeling a lot o sadness and fear. However, as a direct result of your blog:

    (1) I AM KEEPING MY LARGER IDENTITY IN MIND. I want to be a mother very, very badly. But like Mara posted about a few weeks back, even more than that I want to be a happy, healthy person in general. I want to feel whole for ME. I want to be connected to God for ME. I am intentionally trying to put twice as much energy and effort into cultivating general meaning and well-being in my life than I am on trying to get pregnant (I admit, some days are more successful than others).

    (2) MY HUSBAND AND I ARE GOING TO SAVE SOME STAMINA FOR ADOPTION. I have only been trying to have a baby for 8 months, but I am already feeling weary and drained. I can only imagine what it feels like to be 10 years in. A while back, in regards to adoption, you posted about not having enough pursuit in you "to make one more phone call, let alone 1,000". That really stood out to me, and after I read that blog post, my husband and I drew some hard lines for ourselves in terms of how far we are willing to go to pursue a biological baby. (P.S. I am not at all implying that doing IVF etc, is ever the wrong choice for somebody (or that adoption is always a suitable alternative!). I'm just speaking for myself and no one else : )

    Anyhoo, thanks for everything you do. I support the donation-gathering, and can't wait to see how the website unfolds in the coming months.

    • danny March 5, 2015 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      Great comment Christina! And yes, it would be really exciting to turn this into even more of a community of support than it already is. We've had ideas surrounding this concept since the early days of the blog, but always had so much of our time consumed with creating content, which made it difficult to really flesh out turning these dreams into reality.

      That's why we finally realized we needed help (not just in the form of donations, but that we actually needed to hire some help). This week Mara and I have been interviewing some people in Cuenca. The goal is to hire one or more person to help us with some tasks that we never find the time for, but are important in making these ideas happen.

      We hope that over the next year, there will be a couple of different ways to really improve the community aspect of healing, and offering a few products that bring the Body+Soul Camp to your laptop (or at least the soul portion).

      We definitely can't do this alone! So any contribution, even the modest ones, in fact especially the small ones, are so appreciated. Thank you and all the others who have kindly expressed support.

  5. Miggy March 5, 2015 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    Good luck you crazy kids.

  6. Laura March 6, 2015 at 5:05 am - Reply

    Donated. I would love to see how many other college students read this blog. I graduate in two months and I have drawn so much inspiration and encouragement from your writing and pictures.

    • mara March 6, 2015 at 5:47 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Laura! CONGRATS on graduating! That's huge! And I'm so glad that what I say here is helpful to you. How I wish I knew a lot of this stuff when I was in college (or in the years following.) That actually motivates me to write. I think of all the girls (& guys) that age and I want to just teach them about what real love looks like, and about self worth, and how to heal, and how to CHOOSE a path that will bring a lot of joy.

  7. smiee March 6, 2015 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Your blog has helped me through a crazy marital crisis and down to the other side of the rainbow. Am happy to give a donation, hopefully more in the future! Thank you so much, much love from Malaysia.

    • mara March 6, 2015 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      Wow. Thank you SO much. I am so happy to hear this blog was helpful to you during a difficult time. I'm just so grateful that it could all connect with you in a powerful way. Much love to you. And thanks for sharing this wonderful note.

  8. Heather March 6, 2015 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Done! Happy to help you to continue!

    • mara March 6, 2015 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      Thank you!!!! We have so appreciated all your support and love.

  9. Anonymous March 6, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Just love you guys! Can't donate right now but will very soon! Keep up the good work.

    • mara March 6, 2015 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      Ah, thank you ! Your thoughtfulness in writing this note just made me melt. Thank you for the support. We feel it. And we're ever so grateful for it.

  10. Anonymous March 6, 2015 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Just a suggestion~ I think it would be great if ya'll did a "webinar series" on finding self worth and living a life of love that you live. A lot of people are offering per say 12 videos for $97 as a little mini course. When someone pays they get the full 12 videos. I think that would be a great way to have a product for people and offer them something so that they feel as if they're getting something tangible for the money they're paying. I have seen a lot of people recently doing this sort of thing and it actually brings in a lot of revenue. I know one of your readers Hilary Rushford does this and it brings in a lo tot revenue for her. It would be great if ya'll could do some videos like that. Just a suggestion, especially since you are looking to make a revenue doing this!

  11. Anonymous March 6, 2015 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    I enjoy reading your blog, and am curious about the financial need, given your status as a couple unemployed, living in another country, traveling as much as you do. Just asking for clarification so I know what my donation is going towards. Thanks!!

    • danny March 7, 2015 at 1:41 am - Reply

      Thanks Anon, happy to try to help you understand. I think you ask a valid question that we tried to address in the original post, but I understand why there could be some clarification.

      Mara and I have always wanted this space on the internet to be dedicated to empowering people to make the small changes that literally transform a life. The same way that someone helped Mara at a pivotal moment in her life journey, and helped her do something as small as changing her perspective about herself and infertility, we hope this space helps people make those same realizations that change the way they interact with spouses, family, children, jobs, circumstances, challenges, etc. If you've read the blog for a while, then you know what I mean.

      So far, we've done that primarily through content generation (blog posts). Unfortunately, that can be a terribly inefficient way of helping new and returning guests to this site. Some of our best blog posts, that are just as relevant today as they were 3 years ago, remain hidden by virtue of being one of nearly 800 posts. The number of people that write us that can pinpoint that "one post" they found that changed everything for them lets us know we need to do a better job of presenting information that is already here. (this is especially hard when, for example, we cease infertility treatments and no longer write much about infertility…someone going through that may realize important content that was offered in the past simply because we don’t write about it much anymore)

      We've had a number of ideas over the years of how to carry that out, and make this the most helpful and healing space that we are able to. We've long dreamed of doing a major redesign of the website, but our limited revenue from the blog ads didn’t justify the expense required. After a great deal of thought about what we’d like to offer with this site, we’ve decided to move forward with that dream anyways.

      So you ask what the money will go towards? Mara tried to explain that in the paragraph that begins "Know that every dollar donated…" Creating a redesigned website that offers improved access to the most helpful content, that one day incorporates community support (we'd like to create a forum of some kind that helps people support and mentor each other if they’re going through the same kind of thing), that is capable of hosting more meaningful interaction (through "online retreats" or other kinds of offers), is going to take a lot of effort and resources. People that would like to donate can know that their contribution is going to that effort. Our hope is the changes we make will be useful and meaningful to everyone who ever comes to this site.

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