Donna Quesada: What has been your greatest challenge, on your own path?
Mary O’Malley: Oh, my goodness. The first thing that came was my health. I was born not well, and had many, many challenges in my life, health-wise. And yet, I feel so grateful for this sensitive body because it has really kept me on the path. The second thing is that, since 2005, both of my children have been very ill. And they are now doing very well. This is 15 years later. But having both of your children deeply challenged at moments would throw me into… There is nothing like your children not doing well that will take the lid off of everything that you have not yet had the courage to be with. And the gratitude for that, and also the gratitude that they are doing very well right now. And hopefully, we don’t ever have to go through that again. But because it was very challenging… again, What’s in The Way is the Way. And I wrote that book during that time. And so, those were, I think, the two greatest challenges. The greatest gifts I’ve ever had.
DONNA: How about your greatest achievement?
MARY: Serving life. I am just so grateful. How did I get to be so blessed? Most people wouldn’t have been able to survive what I’ve been through. The first 26 years of my life… So, I survived, but then life began asking me to serve. In the beginning, I didn’t want to do it. It was 10 years before I began to share what was making sense to me. And so, by far, that is my greatest joy. I get to help people from all over the world. I get to make a difference in people’s lives. Not in fixing them, but in showing them how to meet themselves and to be present and open for their life. Yes.
DONNA: You talked about something a few minutes ago, that I’d like to just touch on. You were talking about the Yin and the Yang and how they come together, and that has been a theme in our conversation about really coming back to wholeness. Oneness. And it’s so important individually, but also collectively, globally… Especially now, with all the global struggles. Do you think that part of the problems we face now are due to an imbalance of energy, where there is an emphasis on masculine energy?
MARY: Yes, by far. And you look at evolution. I mean, life began with atoms and they evolved into molecules. And then it evolved into one cell beings. And then, it crawled out of the sea and onto the land. Life is a constantly changing process. And for most of the time, I think the story of Adam and Eve is a very good template for what we got into. Adam and Eve ate off the tree of good and evil. Yin and Yang. The good, bad, right, wrong. The conditioned mind. And then they knew suffering and then they knew shame. But two of the most important parts of that story is… Number one: Woman was to blame. We could say a lot about that, but I won’t. And the second thing is that we were supposed to eat the damn apple! We were supposed to forget! It’s too long to get into right now, but I’ll just say one really core thing. We live in a dualistic world. So evident, male and female. Winter, Summer. Darkness, Light.
DONNA: This is the 10,000 things.
MARY: Exactly. And if there was no such thing as night, we wouldn’t recognize day. We have lived in what we are not. Look at human history. Now there is this upsurge. I mean, Covid-19 cracked us open. And now George Floyd and recognition of all this discounting of people with a different skin color that is not white. We judge people by the color of their skin? That is so weird. But I feel we have been around for a million years and I feel now there is this shifting. This shifting out of this dualistic, I am right and you are wrong. I have the power and you don’t. We are shifting out of that and as with all births, it’s messy. There is something very wonderful that is happening during this time. It will be very interesting to see what happens in November.
DONNA: Finally, how do you balance individual practice with correcting this injustice, globally? How do you bring our personal awakening to the global sphere? What is the right thing to do? We’ve seen marches. I’m not convinced that this is going to be effective without a personal level of awakening, first.
MARY: I agree. But I think something is happening. All those people can’t be out there marching if there isn’t a shift inside of people. So, what I say is, “yes, go march if that calls to you… Go vote. Please!” But by far, the most important thing that you can do is to work with the addiction to struggle inside of you. As you shift, you open. You become a healing presence in the world.
So, you may not be out marching, but you are different with that grocery store clerk. Or that person that cuts you off on the freeway. Or a politician on the news that just drives you crazy. Rather than just staying in reaction, your heart can open to that individual as a soul on a journey, playing their role, also. It’s an inside-out job and each one of us is needed.
DONNA: You bring up something so interesting to me. The Bubble of Struggle starts there at those moments when we are triggered. Someone says the wrong thing and you’ve got a story. It just wakes up something. What are the most important things to do in those moments?
MARY: Take a breath! Allow a breath. Much truer than take a breath. And just watch the reaction inside of you and don’t judge it. That’s the pause that refreshes. That’s what I call it. The second thing is to ask the intelligence at the heart of life. What do I need to do or say or be in this situation that is for the highest good? I don’t know what I would have done without that question. Because that question… When I ask it, I’m saying to life that I don’t know what to do here. Because for everybody, the response is different. The situation is different. And so, we ask, “Please show me… How can I respond to this situation rather than react?” And the more you do that, the more you will see that it just flows through you and then you become a healing presence in the world. And I still react. There are politicians that I still react to. But that reaction wakes me up. And then I see that tightening and I know truth never tightens. Never. Conditioning does. And then when I ask, “What do I need to say or do here?” Especially with these politicians. It’s just becoming so easy to open my heart to them. To not meet them at the same level that they are living.
DONNA: Truth never tightens me. And again, that requires going into the body and feeling what is happening. What is happening in my gut?
MARY: Exactly. It’s a wonderful crow-bar. I call it my crow-bar. That there is so much in our conditioned mind that we believe is true. Like… we believe fear is true. We believe that we are right and they are wrong. We have believed that we are not enough. That we should be more than what we are. Do those thoughts tighten you or open you? It’s very powerful when you realize, man, I really believed that thought! But it tightens me, so it can’t be the truth. The thought might say, “Oh yes, I am!” And you say, “Well, I’m just going to have to look at this because you make me tighten, so I don’t think that you are the truth.”
DONNA: That is so interesting… to know what is the real truth inside me. True intuition versus the noise in my head. The spells.
MARY: Spells… and most of us move from our spells. Most of us move towards the noise. The last thing I did in The Gift of Our Compulsions… I begin it with a story called The House of Our Being. And it’s the most beautiful house. Light filled, and windows and doors open, and slowly, as we grow up, we duct tape and box up all these different parts of ourselves. Big girls don’t cry or don’t be a ninny. And then, we close the curtains and we lock the doors and windows and we go up to the attic. And in the attic, all is not lost because there is a big screen TV. We can watch whatever we want.
Well, these parts of ourselves are very good at getting out of dusty boxes. They pad up the door of the attic and they knock, knock, knock. And you turn up the TV. But one day, you watch something on TV about consciousness work and you go Oh, I wonder who it is at the door. And you open the door and there is this whole line and you slam the door and turn up the TV, but then eventually you begin to bring home to your heart all these parts of you that you hated and feared.
You go down. You open up the windows. You unlock the doors. And then you notice a door that has fourteen locks on it. And that is the door to the basement. Slowly but surely, you gather the insight, the wisdom, the ability to pay attention, the ability to open your heart to the worst parts of yourself. And you go down to the basement and you find the youngest, most vulnerable parts of you. And you set them free from their boxes and they run up the stairs to live in the house of your being.
And you notice a circular room. You could never notice it because the basement is all cluttered. And you go over to this room and there is a warmth coming from it. And you walk all the way around it and you can’t find a door. So, you sit down because you just feel so good. And you close your eyes and you bask in the warmth of this room. And when you open your eyes, the walls have dissolved and there is the wellspring of wisdom at the heart of life. It has always been there inside of you. And tears just rush up inside of you because that is what we are homesick for. This connection. That is all. It’s always been with us, but this noise covers it over. So have courage to meet the noise. Have courage to meet the spells.
DONNA: And have trust.
MARY: Yes, in the process. Absolutely. And if your listeners are interested this Yes file that I have taken nine years… They can just email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m sure you’ll have them contact her…
DONNA: What would you like to leave our viewers with?
MARY: We need you. We need you, and even if you never leave your house again, you can make a difference in the unfolding of the life on this planet, right now. By simply having the courage, which comes from a French word that means big heart… To meet yourself as you are. You are an imperfectly perfect expression. You are a totally unique expression of life. You are a mixture of dark and life. And that doesn’t diminish you, in any way. So have the courage to fall in love with yourself, exactly as you are. So you too, can become part of the healing of our planet.
DONNA: Mary, you are a light.
MARY: Thank you. And we have to thank all the shit I went through.
DONNA: I do! And I thank you. It was just wonderful to spend this time with you.
MARY: With you too, Donna. Thank you.
Read and Watch Part II Here: Awaken Interviews Mary O’Malley Pt 2 – Fixing Yourself Versus Accepting Yourself
Read and Watch Part I Here: Awaken Interviews Mary O’Malley Pt I – The Essence of the Ocean of Being Is love