28 September 2015

Love Wall x 2

So excited to share TWO more Love Walls with you today.

These seriously just make my heart burst. It was this time of year when I first made my own Love Wall (as my first husband had recently left.) So I'm particularly feeling the beauty of these photos and every ounce of evidence that life is beautiful and that we are surrounded by LOVE.

From Nisha, in San Francisco:

"Hi Mara! 
I loved your post about your "love wall." I can relate so much--I've had a "love wall" in some form or another for a long time. At my current place, I have a love "fridge." The postcard of the heart on the beach in the bottom right-hand corner is one of the "Monday Hearts for Madeline". I think you'd really like this story. The woman (Page) who runs the website used to create a heart for her partner every Monday and placed it on her doorstep. Her partner died from cancer almost ten years ago, but Page continued to create hearts out of different materials or humans(!) and a while back, she began emailing a picture of a new heart every Monday to a ton of people. My friend who works in fundraising for a hospital told me about her, and the same friend, who visited this past August, along with some other friends and I participated in Page's 500th heart, which took place in SF. We created a huge human heart in the Presidio. It was so much fun. 
Another item seen in the photo on the top right hand corner is a post card with an image of a drawing of a building, with the phrase "You know exactly what you have to do." I just love that--there was a stack of these postcards at a cafe I went to in SF a while ago. 

From Jennifer, in Germany:
"Here is my 'love wall.' Though it has grown quite a bit since I posted it. It makes me happy and is such a great conversation piece. (It's also a bit more sturdy & flexible than just taping things to the wall.)"


Sending love to you both.


P.S. I welcome any more Love Walls pics! Send them my way. If you'd like, feel free to tell about one or two items. And let us know where you're from! XOXO


  1. I love these! Such a great idea! Mara I hope you are okay with me posting in the comments but I need your help. I was just recently diagnosed with OCD and then shortly after, borderline personality disorder. Both tough pills to swallow. I am at a point were I don't lnow what to do. I want to get better or learn to live with these but I don't know where to start. It seems like too much. I am still in bed at 9am! Haha I don't want to get up! It's hard. I feel very alone and misunderstood. I want to give but feel like my well is empty.

    1. Hello dear- so sorry to hear of your current struggles. Though, I have to also say that it's so great you now have a diagnosis so you can more easily work towards a management plan. It sounds like you have a therapist which is GREAT. I hope she/he is a good one. If not, promise yourself that you'll keep trying to find a good match. Sometimes getting a team to help you and support you is the hardest part. But once you have that, good things can happen. I certainly am not a therapist, but I have been around someone for an extended period who had OCD so I know a little about it. I would say to have HOPE! A lot of it! There are many techniques that can be learned which can help you manage the anxiety related to the OCD. Many people have had great success once they learn some techniques. Your therapist should be skilled at training you on these. Also, if you can, find a support group either in person or online. I think connecting with others who are going through something similar can be very supportive.

      Also, know that even though you feel alone, you are most definitely not alone. There are so many in your shoes who struggle with either the exact thing or something else that debilitates them just the same. If you can, try to see this diagnosis not as a reason to be alienated and alone but as a way to connect with others. Other people are in pain, too, and they will relate to you.

      In addition to your therapist meetings, doing something of a spiritual nature can be SO helpful for you. I would recommend starting meditation! There are even some guided meditations specifically for OCD or anxiety or depression, etc. Check out the site called www.healthjourneys.com. There is an OCD meditation there by Belleruth Naperstak. She also does a fertility one that I LOVE. Anyway, you can just download the meditation to your phone and it's SO EASY to listen to it any time you're feeling blue. Even if you're still in bed at 9 am. :) (which by the way isn't necessarily a bad thing! Ha. I think getting 8-10 hours of sleep is actually amazing and so good for you yet we would tend to be ashamed of it.) Another idea is to start some yoga. This may help you as you work to manage everything. We're loving some free yoga classes on Youtube by Lesley Fightmaster.

      Hang in there. I'm guessing this phase right now is extra difficult due to the newness of the diagnosis. If you can, decide that this week you'll take one baby step forward - whatever that is for you. I'll be rooting for you!! Sending all my love, Mara

  2. Thank you Mara! Still in bed�� but gearing up to get up and get moving. The hardest part about it is the hurt that I have caused others.... I don't want to do that to them! I love the idea that I have to first take care of myself and then the way i treat others will improve. I am hoping for that with all my heart! Thank you for your kind words amd for rooting for me! In the years I have read your blog you have blessed my life and given me hope that I haven't found anywhere else. One last quick question, the person that was close to you that had OCD, what treatment helped them the most if you dont mind sharing. Also, I have been researching therapy methods and was wondering if you have had any experience with energy therapy? Thank you again Mara!

    1. So glad you wrote back. :)

      Yes - you are right - as you take care of yourself you'll be able to improve interactions with others. Make this a time of self care and working to get some management techniques in place that you can begin to practice.

      Also! If you have close loved ones right now - like a spouse or bf or family members who interact with you regularly, it's a very good idea to have them meet with a therapist as well so they can learn the best way to respond to you when you're having a bad day or an OCD "spike" is what they call it. Perhaps this could even be done by phone. In my case, I was able to meet with the person's therapist directly and he gave me some tips on how to respond to someone having an OCD spike. It helped a TON!!!! I can't recommend it enough.

      The treatment type that was really helpful was cognitive behavioral psychology. In case you're in NYC, by chance, the Dr. was Steven Phillipson and he's a specialist for OCD (years ago he was on 36th St.) That's another thing...try to find a specialist in OCD if you can.

      Also, psychology has been changing a lot over the last 10-20 years. Get a book by the founder of Positive Psychology called Learned Optimism. He's got some amazing techniques in there for how to be healthy mentally. The book is not OCD specific, but the principles would still be helpful.

      K, you've got this. Just one baby step!! :) And that will lead to another. XOXO

    2. Oops - forgot to mention the energy therapy. I am super interested in stuff like this, though I don't have a lot of experience. If it resonates with you I would totally try it. I do believe that so many of our health issues are related to the energy that we create - I mean, stress alone leads to physical changes in the body and disease. So I definitely think this is worth checking into for anyone facing healthy challenge. I'm actually currently trying to learn more about it and I'm starting up a program with a naturopath here in Cuenca (as a patient). It's fascinating so far! And I'll be doing some treatments over the coming months.

  3. Okay thanks so much! My therapist specializes in OCD which is a HuGE blessing but I've got tje borderline personality piece that needs some attention. I will look into the things you mentioned for sure. Honestly can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking time to write me back. You're such a blessing. I am hoping to be able to skype or talk to you on the phone soon. It would be great to have someone help me set up a specific recovery plan and help me with dating, school ext. Interested to hear about what you are learning with your naturopathic doctor! You should do a blog post on it!

    1. Hi Anonymous, If you can get hold of it I would recommend a book called "The Buddha and the Borderline". Its about one woman's recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder using Online Dating, Buddhism and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy as tools! Good luck :)

    2. Hello Anon,
      You are not alone. I too was diagnosed with BPD. I received my diagnosis last February and that was a weird experience--my feelings were so polarized. One part of me was rejoicing that the reason for many of my problems was because of a disorder that could be treated! I felt like I was given a golden ticket to overcome my weaknesses if I sought help and did the work. However, the other part of me felt broken and inferior. And I, too, felt immense guilt realizing that most the relationship problems with my husband were created by me. I had hurt him so much and I felt terrible.

      Things have gotten much brighter for me since then. After the initial shock that I had a mental disorder, I have felt so much hope! I see a psychologist once weekly and she does some dialectical behavior therapy as well as some spiritual work with me. We have similar spiritual beliefs so that works well. Google Marsha Linehan (who is the founder of dialectical behavior therapy) and read her short online bio--it is incredibly inspiring.

      I have also been practicing meditation for almost three years (I started this two years before I got my diagnosis). That is hands-down the best thing I have done for myself EVER. Shortly after I began practicing, I began to feel God in my life and I felt His power and love guiding me. With the introduction of meditation, I began to heal (even though I didn't yet know about my BPD). And I felt God was preparing me for my diagnosis. As you know, being diagnosed with BPD is a hard pill to swallow and I probably would have denied it had I not been prepared spiritually.

      I am still on my journey to healing. My marriage is a mess, but we're working on it. I have three daughters and they motivate me greatly--I don't want to pass this on to them. Although there is a genetic component, my therapist says BPD is learned and that it can be unlearned too.

      You can do this. It's the journey of a lifetime, but you are so lucky to know what your weaknesses are because now you can heal them! I'm not over my BPD yet, but I feel extreme gratitude and happiness despite my current challenges. And if I can feel love, gratitude, and happiness, so can you.

      You may already know this, but the core of BPD is fear of abandonment. You need to learn to love and accept yourself, warts and all. When you love yourself, you can learn to care for yourself and support yourself and stop "self-abandoning" as my therapist calls it. God be with you. I don't even know you, but I feel so much love for you.

    3. Any way I could get the name of your therapist?

  4. Thank you so much to all of you! Thanks for being ipen and sharing with me. I so appreciate it and am excited for the changes that I am going to be making! You are all inspirations to me!

  5. I am simply in awe of you amazing people here. All of you. THANK YOU to Anon for her willingness to share and reach out. And THANK YOU to all of the loving people who so generously offered ideas. To sit and watch this happened is incredible. Love to all of you. XOXO

  6. What about this love wall?


    1. THIS IS AMAZING. Somehow I missed this comment until now. I'm so glad I found it. I can't wait to share this on the blog. thank you so, so much. XOXO


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