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The Bite I Chose Not to Take

The moment was familiar to me. The quickening of my heart as the plate was placed in front of me, the quiver of sweat appearing on my palms.

I was at one of my favorite restaurants, with some of my favorite people.

But in that moment, when a little plate was put in front of me with a complimentary taste from the kitchen, I was quickly pulled outside of myself – into fear, into the murky territory of holding space for myself while operating within the swirling matrix of living in a world with others.

For me, food is heavy. It is complicated. It is a daily practice for me to coexist with food peacefully.

For years, I have used food to keep myself from being threatening, used food to connect with my tribe. Used food to keep me soft and relatable.

For years, I have told myself the story: You are flexible, so it’s ok if you don’t keep your promises to yourself. It’s Ok. It won’t kill you. Just say yes.

But, of course, it isn’t about the food.

It is about earning my worth – being good, likable, palatable, small.

In that moment, I cowered in my adult outfit and my adult intentions, finding myself young again, swimming in the fear of what it might mean if I chose not to take the bite.

It looked perfect. Delicious even.

But it was something that wouldn’t sit well with me, something that if I were to get really honest (with myself and with you) was out of alignment with how I want to be feeding myself.

Then the whisper, my heartbeat – the good mother that lives within, holding the framework for me when I’m overwhelmed:

You have permission to say no. You do not have to take that bite. You can choose yourself. You can choose to prioritize your needs over social niceties and polite behavior.


You do not have to make yourself small to make someone else feel better.

You can stand here, fully and in your innate beauty and power, and be loved for exactly who you are.

Anyone who resents you for this does not have your best interest in mind.

Anyone who responds negatively to your attempts to care for yourself to the best of your abilities is keeping you small – because your standing in your truth and shining in your life is threatening to them. And that is about them, not you.

Your people want what is best for you.

Your people are ready to welcome you with loving, open arms when you allow them to see you.

Your job is to simply show up in the world, as you are, and transmit clearly, unfettered by fear and worry. Your job is to simply be the radiant, whole, highest vibration of yourself possible.

When you stand in your truth – you are rewarded by the sweet whisper in your own heart: you are mine and you belong here.


Say no. Choose wisely. Dig deep to your heart center – choosing out of the place where radical self-responsibility, self-love, and self-trust live.

Allow yourself to believe that you deserve to carve out space for your needs.

Stand in your power, feeling the heady vibration of choice and “no thank you” as you refuse to abandon yourself.

Give yourself permission to belong to yourself, first.




Permission-granting is about to get a whole heck of a lot easier.

Join me and a burgeoning community of permission-seekers for a month long exploration into giving ourselves permission to be ourselves, every day. This course is a brilliant way to reclaim space for yourself – staking out your own personal territory and declaring to the world: I am here and I am ready to inhabit my life fully.

Class starts May 12th.

Say yes here.

Pleasure Reading 04.20.14

Required reading: When the time comes to be alone.

I’m madly in love with the Pacific Northwest so I was delighted to share this travel guide with you for your next trip.

A brilliant friend of mine has created this group excursion around activating your personal power. It is all kinds of gorgeous and she is hosting a free call tomorrow! Check it out here.

How to make a homemade rope light.

Considering a dramatic change of course? Check this out: So long, PhD. Hello, Writing Career.

So happy to share an interview that I did this week with the lovely Kyle Willets about doing health differently.

What if you didn’t make your body wrong?

Loving this gorgeous post from Kylie Bellard - My recipe for dream fulfillment.

Put down your goddamn phone: The perils of phoneland.

Feel Me, by the brilliant Hannah Marcotti, broke my heart open in a million ways this week.

Hello, Wonderful is BACK! Join me and a troupe of 600 amazing women (and counting) for two weeks of love notes, rampant permission granting, and email shenanigans. It’s utterly free and I would love it if you wanted to come along for the ride.

This week I’ve been seeking pleasure by: meeting up with three gorgeous and powerful ladies for a weekend of connection and celebration, drinking luxe cocktails with rosemary and lemon, paying my taxes – with as much grace and ease as I could muster, and cooking meatballs and spaghetti squash for my sweetheart. 

And finally: I’m sending lots of love and Easter and Passover blessings and good wishes to all of you this weekend, no matter where you are or what you’re celebrating.

Owning Your Worth

On any given day there are a million places to transfer our worth, allowing it to slip through our tender hands and attach itself to moments that pass by.

Not enough food in the refrigerator… unworthy.

Yelled at the kids for taking too long… unworthy.

Favorite jeans really tight… unworthy.

Bank account overdrawn… unworthy.

Hysterically cried when I felt triggered by my partner, only to push them further away… unworthy.

No comments or little hearts on my favorite social media platform… unworthy.

As we navigate our way through our day, around the planet, we have opportunities to adhere our worth, our goodness to just about anything that we come into contact with. In the process, we tell ourselves the familiar story: Because I __________, I am not good enough.

We give our best selves away and we tell ourselves that we are inherently flawed. 

We believe the stories that we spin. We tell ourselves that because the project was late or the laundry went undone or we spilled coffee on our shirt – again – that we are undeserving.

We do it as if we don’t have a choice… but we do.

We attach meaning to those actions, damning ourselves and giving a piece of our sparkle away, because we imagine that is what the world is thinking. That if we say it before someone else does, we will be safer. That if we take ourselves down a notch we will be inspired to keep striving, reaching for perfection.

But, you are not the food in the refrigerator or the late project or the overdrawn bank account.

You are not the jeans that don’t fit or the fight with your partner.

You are a person, human and whole. 

You are the sum of your many parts, both light and dark. We all are.

You will not be safer if you try to beat others to the punch, damning yourself and punishing yourself for your many transgressions. 

Hurting and punishing yourself while you give all of your good stuff away is not the path to transcendence.

Instead, it keeps you here. Tethered to the ground and chained to you many negative beliefs about yourself. It keeps you from moving forward with trust and faith. It keeps you from being inspired by the multitude of your many strengths.

You are not the spilled coffee.

You are an ecstatic collection of cells with a radiant spark dwelling deep within, put on this planet for a purpose. 

You will make mistakes. We all will.

You will break your own heart a million times. You will act out. You will yell when you wish you could calmly make your point.

You will make mistakes, but you do not have to make them mean that you are unworthy.

That is the part that you can control. The only part. 

You control what you believe. What you say to yourself as you navigate the world. What you teach others about how to treat you.

You control the part where give your worth away, chipping pieces off and slipping them into the pocket of the jeans that don’t fit or leaving them in the fridge where the half and half was supposed to be.

Until you have nothing left but a slew of evidence to support your belief that you are undeserving.

Like breadcrumbs, collect those chips. Follow them back to yourself, to your source. 

Hold them tight in your hands and refuse to let them go.

Your worth is inherent, immovable, unchangeable – unless you choose to give it away.

Give yourself permission to hold those parts. Permission not to attach meaning to every little thing that goes wrong in your day. Permission to be who you are, flaws and all.

Permission to accept yourself, fully. 



PG1 Permission Granted begins May 12th. 

This is a community class about joyful transformation, about learning how to give yourself permission to truly inhabit your own life.

Join us.

Taking Up Space

Noticing from JetBlue Flight, Seat 18B

It was the first time since we’ve been together that Cookie and I didn’t sit next to one another. Because we bought our tickets late, we were both sitting in the center seats of two different rows.

Just thinking about the center seat makes my skin crawl. 

Since I was a child I have had this overwhelming and largely irrational fear about having people between me and the aisle, door, or exit. This dread is the intersection of two competing needs: the freedom of knowing that I can move at will and my deep dislike of disturbing others with my needs, making myself seen.

Interrupting their nap to get up to use the restroom.

Reaching over them to receive my green tea and terra blue potato chips.

Putting my chair back and impinging on the space of the person sitting behind me.

I was sitting next to an enormous man who fell asleep sprawling into my personal space, head back and mouth open snoring.

He didn’t care that he was in my space, so what was I so afraid of?

When I had to get up, the very nice girl sitting next to me barely moved, swinging her legs to the side to let me out.

She didn’t care, so why did I?



Meeting My Need for Nourishment

I have the kind of body that is particular. Particularly sensitive. It is constantly switching around it’s needs and desires – having me running back and forth from caffeine to no caffeine and back again.

This makes it difficult for the people in my life to prepare food for me, or so I perceive.

And so I shrink when it comes to feeding myself, making my needs as small and manageable as I can.

Oh no it’s OK, I’ll eat that thing that will totally make me sick for days. 

Because the physical discomfort of my body has been preferable to the inconvenience of my hungers – preferable to the emotional turmoil of constantly renegotiating and reinforcing my boundaries.

Preferable to being thought of as the difficult one. 

But, in some capacities, food is love. Preparing, choosing, and being served food that is in tune with your body is a supreme act of love. Asking for and acquiring the food that makes you feel your best is self-love at it’s finest. It is the way that you tend to your home on this planet, your sacred vessel.

Am I worth that? 

Am I worth the inconvenience, the conversation? Is it selfish to want to feel radiant?



Cultivating a Schedule That Prioritizes My Own Joy

Prospective client: I am only available after 8 pm and on the weekends. 

Me: I’m sorry, I will not be able to work with you, but I will send you a list of really killer referrals. 

Resisting the impulse to bend, acquiesce, shrink. To fit myself into the spaces in between. The few quiet moments. The breath between back to back clients. Working my way late into the night until I’m bleary eyed and stumbling to find my words – in the name of service, of being useful, of giving.

Because I am nothing, if I am not of service. Right? Right?!

Wrong. Instead: The steady structure of a pre-established schedule. A divine contract. A promise with myself that has my needs in mind. That it is enough simply to need – to want.

That it is enough to know yourself and to want a beautiful life for yourself.

But the coach down the virtual hall has a case load of 20 and works late into the night, every night. 

But, but, but… 

But I will not make myself small. I will take up my own space in the world. I will hold my the flexible structure with both hands and allow myself the opportunity to be here – to really be here – and to be seen. 



Women, myself included, have this phenomenal tendency to shrink. This phenomenal tendency to make themselves small in the presence of others, curling into the fetal position as the feel themselves brimming with inconvenient needs and hungers.

Today I implore you to join me in stretching your arms out wide and spinning around, carving out your sacred space in this world. Then, hold that space about you as you move around your day, in your mind and in your heart.

Know this: You are deserving of your needs, no matter how large or small. You are deserving of taking up your own corner of this world. You are deserving of your own love and affection.

Make room for yourself. Stand in your truths.

Take up all the space that you need. 



Stout Grove Redwoods

Pleasure Reading 03.30.14

This cleanse is how I will be spending this next week – taking sweet care of myself and conjuring a much-needed spring reboot. Join me! It starts tomorrow! 

How to write a book.

Is life hard? Keep everything else simple.

Two of my favorite business brains, Jac McNeil + Jen Louden, in one brilliant interview.

One woman’s trash is another woman’s pleasure.

5 ways that the impostor complex might be hurting your business.

This week I’m seeking pleasure by :: eating biscuits + lavender honey butter, becoming a member of the Secret Message Society, setting up my energy fields daily, wearing Gap leggings - the best and softest leggings ever, and spraying Lush cosmetics Breath of Fresh Air toner on my face every chance I get.



selfstudy Body Loving Homework Live is a group coaching excursion for women who are yearning to cultivate lives brimming with daily celebration + self-expression.

This online community is about mapping out a new way of relating to yourself that is firmly grounded in self-love, self-trust + radical self-responsibility.There is one spot left. Squee!

Join us. We start tomorrow.

Welcome! I’m Mara.

I’m Mara Glatzel. I’m an intuitive coach and writer. I guide women home to themselves and teach them to create lives brimming with supreme self-care. read more
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Mara creates a safe and encouraging space to explore these answers and truly believes in her client’s strength to create any life that they imagine.


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