2015: The Obstacle is the Way


I sat on the last day of the year and felt immense gratitude for it all.

The year wasn’t perfect. It never is, of course. But I love the imperfection, too. The obstacle is the way. (Quote by Ryan Holiday). So all of it is sacred in my book and worthy of celebration.

A few glorious things we’ll never forget:

-We sat in a Japanese hot tub in the Andes, hours before our first retreat of the year. We were freaked out. We wanted the retreat to be THE BEST THING EVER. And the fear was choking us. So we did one of our gratitude meditations and the fear took a hike very, very far away and never came back. We reclaimed our POWER. We reclaimed our LIGHT. That retreat set the course for the rest of the year. 10 retreats later, we know again and again that this is exactly what we should be doing.

-We were crushed when we didn’t have as many people sign up for our U.S. Tour as we had hoped. We had moments of doubt. Moments of regret. Moments of failure. BUT WE SHOWED UP. WE GAVE IT EVERYTHING WE HAD. WE PURSUED LOVE. And those retreats are remembered as some of the best moments of our entire lives!!! I wish I could even describe to you the vibration and love and healing that takes place there. We are still being fueled by the power and the success of those events and by the stories and friendship of every person we met. I could die a fulfilled woman.

-We drove through the desert in Bolivia. I had a wretched cold while sitting in between two guys in the Land Cruiser. Danny was in the back. Through coughing and head pressure at 16,000 feet, I was not in the best of moods. Being in a bad mood in such a beautiful place only fueled my bad mood more. But then…as we drove through dunes towards the sunrise, at 5:00 am, the Mumford and Son’s song, Awake My Soul, came on the car playlist (thanks to Danny playing DJ from the back seat.) I could barely hold back the emotion and gratitude and beauty in that moment as I reached for my husband’s hand. This world is stunning. Our pain is sacred. Our joy is glorious. 

-We started mentoring via Skype or phone– and we’ve received all the feedback from the universe that we could ever desire that this is our calling. It’s making a difference in people’s lives, and there is no greater reward to us. We look at each other with astonishment after every session. And we hope that if you need a mentor or coach this year, that you’ll feel comfortable reaching out.

-We scooped up two puppies in the woods after finding them abandoned. And now they’re part of our family. And we feed them, bathe them, nurture them, teach them. They have brought us immense joy. And also we get less sleep. 🙂 And I think about you moms a lot.

-We traveled to: The Galapagos, Peru, Bolivia, the 4th of July in NYC, Jackson Hole, Chicago, Vermont, San Francisco (for the first time!), Phoenix, Salt Lake City. This life. It’s extraordinary and we’re so grateful.

-We met two couples here in Ecuador that we look to as mentors. (We try to find mentors wherever we live and it always feels like a huge blessing when we find them.) One is Diane Lenz and her husband (of Ecuador Cares). The other are some holistic/spiritual practitioners who are teaching us so much and helping us to increase our vibration. There are amazing people all over this earth! May we all connect.

What are some things you won’t forget from 2015? Were there any obstacles that were a part of those amazing moments?

(Photo from my friend’s Facebook. Thanks Sara Stratford for posting and for Amy Palmer for creating. I will copy you one day. 🙂 

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  1. Anonymous January 2, 2016 at 3:49 am - Reply

    definitely going to your SLC retreat was a highlight for my 2015! This year has been a year of growth. I have found more peace and love and gratitude than I thought possible! Thank you for sharing your light and love, it is so far reaching and yet so personal! I will be forever grateful to both of you for putting yourselves out there and loving so boldly! Thank you for shaping many years to come!
    -Jana Chambers-

  2. Anonymous January 2, 2016 at 4:22 am - Reply

    Great post 🙂 I love reflecting back on the year because you really can see the learning.
    For me I would describe 2015 as the year of the switch. By this I mean it was the year I learned enough to switch from my pursuit of money/ career/ achievement to one of love and fulfillment.
    At the beginning of the year my partner and I had decided through fear that long distance (Sydney to Ireland) was too hard – that there would be too many future obstacles we were yet to encounter so we thought we'd be logical and give up on our love. At the time I was working so hard building a career for myself and I spent 6 months missing him and knowing it wasn't the right choice. I decided to book a trip to Turkey and I asked him if he wanted to meet me for the last week. Within minutes he'd booked his ticket- clearly missing me too. When we met again in Cappadocia it really was coming home and I knew he was more important than anything. When I returned home we had a plan where he would come for Summer in Sydney- staying two months- and I would come to Ireland next year for four months.
    Upon returning to Sydney things just started to work out- my side business signed a huge distribution contract and all the sudden was making more than my job! I also started reading (at Danny's suggestion) Eckart Tolle and rereading your blog posts which all gave me the strength to break conforms and have courage for a year of change next year.
    Having my partner here this Summer has been incredible- we get along perfectly and I couldn't ask for a better person. I've just resigned from my job and will spend the next few months handing over and also ironing out the processes in my side business so I can leave and be in Ireland for the foreseeable future.
    Overall- the break up showed us both that we want to be together, and by staying in Australia longer I was able to say yes to the distribution contract and have a business that can suddenly support me next year while I'm in Europe.
    For me now- 2016 is not for resolutions it's for the bucket list. Thanks so much for living your life differently and for all your posts which have really impacted my ability to kick fear to the curb. Erin xx

  3. Anonymous January 2, 2016 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Happy new year, dearest couple of the world!
    If I may.. I totally understand that you are living out of this,and that you're totally worth your prices and even more, but it's kind of expensive to most average people. I would love to go to a retreat or be mentored, but it's totally out of my budget. It's also expensive for people who are studying, having small jobs, single moms, people searching for jobs, etc. The other thing is that you've spent many, many, many, many posts in 2015 just talking about how awesome the retreats are (or the mentoring) and you've almost stopped sharing your wisdom in the blog. I miss your free wise posts. I miss you sharing about aligning to the divine, love language, loving yourself,etc. Even if you put these things in the posts, people will still want to go to the retreats or be mentored. Actually, it will stimulate them to seek for more. Because no matter how great your posts, nothing will compare to your presence and exchange with you present. And it would help us, the others, who cannot afford either of them (hopefully just for the moment), we can still receive your help. Thank you anyway for all you are and all you have been doing.

    • mara January 9, 2016 at 4:40 am - Reply

      Hello! Some good news: we're in the beginning stages of producing some less expensive options. We'd love to do some online classes and online guides at a price point that would be affordable for a wider audience. We know the retreats are expensive. Though they come with lots of expenses on our end as well as we've created them to be the best ever with delicious/healthy meals, beautiful spaces, amazing staff, etc. We've wanted the events to truly feel like a memorable retreat. We've also thought about creating a more budget friendly event in the future as well- and we need to work on what that would look like and include.

      Truth be told, we normally would have put effort into launching our online classes first. But the retreat opportunity came about sooner and all stars aligned so we jumped on it.

      And thanks for your other feedback. We're doing our best to keep up with posting meaningful posts. Though when we're in our retreat season, naturally we'll share posts about the retreats, too. I do agree, though, that we need MORE of our non-retreat posts! I'll see if I can pull that off around here. 🙂

  4. Jane January 3, 2016 at 10:21 am - Reply

    This was a great post. It gave me goosebumps. I love your honesty and vulnerability about your year. Cheers to 2016 Danny & Mara!

  5. Loraine January 3, 2016 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    You two are so wonderful! I am wishing you all the best this coming year.
    I put myself on a budget last month in hopes of saving for a retreat and I swear the second I did that, one car needed new tires, the other new brakes, my phone bit the dust, and then Christmas was upon us.
    I am going to embrace all the unexpected things life throws at me and hope that the heavens above will smile on me and that I can meet you both in person sometime.

    I hope 2016 is your best year yet!

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