*let it shine* interview: mara glatzel

mara-glatzel-interview

In today's installment of my *Let it Shine* interview series, I'm talking with intuitive guide and energy healer, Mara Glatzel.

I've been quietly following Mara's blog on and off for several years, and I finally sheepishly reached out to her last week about doing this interview. It's silly that it took me so long to connect with her given my long-time admiration of Mara and her work, but I'm so glad that I did so I can share her story with you!

Here are a few reasons why I love Mara:

  • She is seriously the best of both worlds. While some blog posts about topics like abundance or self-love or authenticity often feel flimsy and superficial to me, Mara gets into these concepts at a REAL and soul-deep level. She weaves words together like a beautiful silver-flecked tapestry, and has the substance to back it up.
  • She talks about the hard shit we often want to avoid but NEED to talk about: such as grieving the loss of your body fantasy.
  • We have some freaky-cool similarities. We're both pisces, combo INFJ/ENFJ, love Outlander, graduated with our masters in clinical social work the same year... uhhh. I'm pretty sure the universe wants us to be friends.

So without further adieu, let's get into the interview! {And a few comments from the peanut gallery (me) in brackets}

Tell us a little about your background: What brought you where you are now in your work, and what's your primary focus?

I started my business as a personal blog in 2008. Over the years, I found that running it and tending to the community gathering in my little corner of the internet was something that brought me so much joy - and also that delicious feeling of showing up in the world as I am. In 2010, I went back to school for social work, thinking that it would be a beautiful fit for me to work towards becoming a therapist. However, at some point during my two year program, it started to not feel like a perfect fit for me. The work that I was doing was compelling and I loved it, but I was also exhausted verging on being completely burnt out.

In early 2012, I made the decision to combine my love for my website, which had grown quite a bit at that point, and my skills as a therapist to create a coaching business where I could also teach classes and run in person retreats for women. This shift filled me with fear, but there was also the resonance of truth. I could feel myself getting closer and closer to what I was put on this planet to do.

Now, as an intuitive guide for women, I facilitate daily conversations about intention, truth, and celebration. At the core of this work is the deep desire help others live well-intentioned lives, which means… more joy, grit, and vibrant imperfection to spare. 

When you think of your "inner light," what does that mean to you, and what role does it play in your life and work?


I think of my inner light as the brilliant and uniquely powerful expression of my spirit. My inner light is at the truth of who I am - and what I have to offer the world around me. So often, this truth is clouded by who we think we "should" be or what we think that we "should" do and we seek to hide our inner light out of fear that we will be seen as different or that people wouldn't accept us if they truly knew us.

I believe that my inner light is the best part of who I am, and that living and sharing from that place of light allows me to best serve the world around me. When I am able to immerse myself in the vulnerability of showing up in the world exactly as I am, that inner light becomes a beacon that allows my right people, my tribe, to find me. When I allow myself to be witnessed in this way, I provide myself with an opportunity to be loved as I am, to belong as I am. {I am in love with your definition of this!} 

What are a few of your rituals or practices that help you stay inspired and connected to yourself and your purpose?

There are moments when I notice myself getting disconnected from myself. I notice that I am scrolling through my social media pages, again and again, wanting to feel like I am a part of something, but feeling more disconnected each time I log on. Or, I might be scattered and anxious, unable to answer the question: "What would I like to do right now?" Whenever I notice myself starting to feel a bit frayed around the edges, I realize that it is a good time for me to unplug completely. I like to do this for a weekend a month, because it allows me an opportunity to be a human first, to recalibrate to my own inner wisdom instead of trying to tune into the noise of the crowd around me.

{A thousand times yes! You describe this feeling so well that I often get when scrolling on my phone or on the computer, and you're right — JUST UNPLUGGING in that moment is the best possible thing I can do.}

I also incorporate the lunar phases into my life as a touching stone and way to organize my relationship with myself. Each New Moon, I set an intention for the moon cycle ahead. This intention is typically the answer to the question: "What do I need right now?" Then, over the course of the moon cycle, I hold that intention in the forefront of my mind by checking in with it each morning. I find that this helps me focus and align my inner compass with my own truth. (It also helps me keep my eyes on my own paper, which I find is something that keeps distractions at bay and helps me remain illuminated by my own inner light.

So often these days, we only get the "highlight reel" of others' lives via Facebook, Instagram, etc. If we could see you at some of your "real life" less-than-perfect or mundane moments, what might we see?


You might see me wallowing in moments of freak out. There might be tears. Or the gurgle of fear-fueled words spilling out faster than I can stop them. You would see the human moments of exhaustion. The nerves that always seem to accompany the vulnerability of allowing yourself to be seen again and again.

The truth is, insecurity and fear don't go away. They show up whenever you find yourself, again, at your upper limit, struggling to soften and surrender into the newness of showing up authentically through transformation or shifts. Though the fear doesn't go away, there is a particular beauty and skill to allowing yourself to be exquisitely human. I don't believe that I have to do anything perfectly. I just want to do it, even if that includes the messiness of sobbing on the bathroom floor or needing a major pep talk to get it done.

{Again, I 100% agree here — there are so many messages out there about being 'fearless' and not having self-doubt, etc. but I just don't see that approach as reality-based.} 

However, I really try to include these moments in my highlight reel. I think there is an amazing amount of permission in showing your flaws and vulnerabilities on social media. There is a power to celebrating the truth that we don't have to be perfect robots in order to make our dreams come true, that it is ok to have your human experience alongside of your achievement. We are human beings and not robots. We can be afraid and ready. For me, it's really important to show up that way as often as possible.

What's one of your favorite breakfasts?

Mmmm. Avocado toast with a sprinkle of sea salt and scrambled eggs. Plus coffee with coconut milk, of course. {Sign me up!} 

And how about lunch/dinner?


I am a huge fan a big salads or veggie stir fry for lunch - and taking a real, live lunch break. My sweetheart is a professional chef, so she usually has dinner covered.{Ummmm, might be just a tad jealous here. ;D} (Although, I have a particular penchant for turkey burgers and roasted sweet potatoes.)

What feeds you spiritually?

Being out in nature. I find that I am nourished by leaving all of my devices behind and getting out in the fresh air. I live in a beautiful seaside community, so I like to find my way to the beach, dive into a pond, or watch the Osprey hunt over the harbor.

What is your favorite way to move your body?


I have a fondness for unstructured movement like a solid walk or an impromptu dance party.

{Love it! I'm just getting interested in the 5Rhythms, and super excited to explore it. I had a solo dance party this morning before work!}

3 items you always have with you (beyond wallet/keys/phone!)


Portland Bee Balm. Harry potter book on tape (on phone). A pen.

What are some of your absolute favorite fictional books, movies, and albums?

I love YA books and fantasy. Also, anything that Madeleine L'Engle. I'm currently reading my way back through the Wrinkle in Time quintet. Each book is just so gorgeously well-written. {Okay, the universe has given me Madeleine L'Engle twice randomly in one day... I think it's time for me to pick them up finally.} 

I adore television shows that feature quippy crime solvers with a romantic potential - Bones, Castle, etc. My favorite movie is Remember the Titans, but I will be won over by just about any football-themed movie. In this moment, I am also pretty into Vance Joy radio on Pandora. {HIS VOICE!!} 

Which podcasts, books, courses, or other resources have had a real impact on your life?

When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams, Women who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
, The Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson, 
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, 
Trauma Stewardship by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky‎ {*adds to Amazon wish list*}

What can you tell us about your offerings and any projects that you're working on? 

Yes! I am getting ready to run my absolute favorite course again this fall, The Deep Exhale. The Deep Exhale is a journey for women who are ready to rest - women who are exhausted physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Women who want to take action and create in their lives without sacrificing their own care. The Deep Exhale teaches women to rewrite what it means to receive their own care and adoration.

This class is for you if you are sitting there thinking: "I don’t have time to rest. I couldn’t possibly (even if I really wanted to). Must be nice to be able to relax. I have too much to do. Everyone is depending on me. I have to hold it all together, all the time. Sounds amazing, but…"

The truth is that you do have time and it is possible to pour more of your own care and more rest into your life in this exact moment. (And I really relish the opportunity to teach you how.)

http://www.maraglatzel.com/exhale/

Mara, thank you so much for taking the time to connect with my amazing readers — I adore you and I know they will, too. Namaste, and I can't wait to see what comes from you next!

***** If you resonated with Mara, I hope you'll check out her upcoming course and read through some of her posts! You also might like my recent post on what to do when you're feeling super overwhelmed — including a free printable that you can keep handy by your desk or on your fridge. 

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Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin, LMSW, is a Primary Therapist at The Ranch residential treatment center, where she works with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, and co-occurring mental health issues. Valerie focuses on a holistic treatment approach of mind + body integration, using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), somatic and bioenergetic therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychodrama, 12-step, and shame resilience. She is also a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate. Valerie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Master of Science degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin. She is an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashville, and emphasizes spiritual exploration in her work with clients.