The Strength of Love: Q & A

May 28th, 2018

Greetings, I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying this end of May 2018 time!

Jim and I just returned from a holiday morning hike with a visit from a large blue heron near Malibu Creek and matilija poppies lining one of the trails (see photo above). Mother Nature continues to save me, one more time. She provides reminders that within our daily fragility there is strength and gorgeous beauty that is still growing. As I’ve shared in my book, if you want to be reminded how age can look and feel magnificent, return to the earth. Mother Nature ages well. So can we.

Question: When you look back over all the years you’ve been practicing, what’s the biggest difference about your psychotherapy today from when you began over 32 years ago?

MN response: As I’ve continued my own inner work over several decades, I’ve definitely more comfortable with my own humanness. I’m less critical and less censoring of my self-disclosure with clients. I’m also more direct in how I connect with others. Time and safety are very precious commodities. Within that therapy time, it’s my role and good fortune to embody warmth, honesty and really call upon the strength of love.

Another big difference from several decades ago, I’m a ninja of the here-and-now. In becoming less rattled by the demands and noise of this world, I’m able to channel more calm and peace. More than ever, good therapy and a life well lived is about recognizing these special moments of being alive, feeling connected and appreciative.

Finally, my clients know that I am there for them. I’m game to go into any depths. Bring it on! I often joke reassuringly, “Don’t worry, I know this neighborhood. We’ll go into this darker street together—OK?” My job is not that easy. Yet, I continue to have a front row seat to witness and support so many incredible lives.

a timely Holiday message from Marcia

December 5th, 2017

Winds are blowing…be safe!


As I look back on this topsy-turvy past year, I’m in awe of the incredible light of goodness that has not been snuffed out. Each day I’m on a personal and professional mission to notice what’s working and to feed what’s beautiful and truly humane. Many moments of 2017, I have had to dig deep to find it. And I know that I’m not alone in this mission. Thank you for continuing to share your light and love!

Our collective prayers to those being affected by our California fires and too many others around the world who remain homeless.

Higher Power, your comfort is needed. Help each of us to soothe the fire of suffering with compassion, generosity and hope.

The gift from the mechanic

August 25th, 2017

We all have a gift. My gift is akin to being a mechanic. Instead of working on cars, I work on people and humanity.

We come into life on Earth, fully assembled. If not, hopefully medical science and/or the Divine intervene to give us enough parts to make us road worthy.

Chugging along the way, we all experience road damage, wear and tear, and weather conditions whether we are driving solo or packing a full load of passengers. Parts of us get stolen, places in us start leaking and some parts need replacing. In other words, as my first husband often wisely said; everything is maintenance, my dear.

Over time, the mechanic will eventually need to go deep into the belly of the engine. It’s called an overhaul.

Yet, the expert mechanic doesn’t go in alone. She goes in with proper light and hopefully, the best tools and tracking system possible.

It gets messy working inside the engine. Deconstruction occurs piece by piece. Sections of our car (personality) are lying around awaiting examination. This is the essence our needed inner work for positive change and growth.

When it’s tougher job (the longer you wait and the deeper you go), make sure you get a good mechanic. Why? Number one: You want to make sure your engine is in fact repaired (those broken-unloved aspects of self are revealed and healed). Number two (and most importantly): You make it back safely with a fuller capacity for compassion and joy!

Thought for the day:
God (Divine Master Mechanic) help me to ask and receive the help I need today. Only then, can I truly help others.

A lesson from the trenches

August 8th, 2017

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mahatma Gandhi

Delayed grief. I’ve seen so much of it over the years in working with clients.

It’s now hitting home. My own sorrow is emerging while working in the trenches with our nation’s deadliest drug epidemic ever. A few days a week, I consult at a local outpatient facility that specializes in drug addiction and mental health services. One of my clients in his early 30’s, has lost over 10 friends (and still counting) from fatal overdoses over the past four months. Two of them, I worked with directly. Even the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office can’t keep up.

Opioid and other prescription drug abuse isn’t just taking out our young people by the droves. Nearly 14,000 people age 45+ died from an opioid overdose in 2015–42% of all such deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The actual number is probably much higher. Overdoses in older people are often mislabeled as heart failure, a respiratory issue or linked to a fall.

So how did we get here? Over-prescription. In 2012, 259 million opioid prescriptions were written by their physicians. This translates to one script for every adult in the U.S. Who are the new drug dealers? Older Americans are now selling their painkillers to drug dealers to raise needed cash. As Mahatma Ji would probably say, dark and “dirty feet”, indeed.

Well, if you’re still reading this blog, I give you credit. I’m not trying to depress or scare you, really. I need to vent!

My clients who died were good people. They were gentle and beautiful men who got lost in their dirtiness. Heck, we all hold loads of dirt within us. To uphold what’s right and good, I choose to remember them in their happiest sober days at the clinic. And I shed tears because I can.

Perhaps, you or a loved one, are also shedding another layer of worldly dirt and tears?
Bravo then, courageous ones as you allow yourself to feel, let go and hopefully, hunker down with the Divine.

With much love always,

How should I treat this Guest?

June 16th, 2017

A warm hello to you and a Rumi poem for your consideration…

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
– Rumi

What guest is currently circling or visiting your house?
I’d luv to receive your responses.
Oodles of love,

Aging is another word for Being Alive

April 7th, 2017
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old,
we grow old because we stop playing.”  
            -George Bernard Shaw
Springtime greetings to you!  I’m so glad to be back in touch. I’ve just concluded teaching a 10-week healthy aging graduate course with Antioch University.  Some of you know, I made the weekly hike to their beautiful Santa Barbara campus. It was a joy and a professional stretch to teach what I love–principles of conscious living and healthy aging!  
My awesome students (therapists-in-training) ranged in ages from their 20’s to late 60’s and it was a unique multi-cultural and inter-generational experience. We covered a diverse terrain of aging concepts and controversies including;  What should we call older adults? Why do our bodies grow old?  Should people have the choice to end their lives? Is retirement obsolete?
According to the U.S. Labor Department, with 8,000 Boomers turning 65 each day, careers in successful aging will continue to be a high growth area in the next decade. As we find our places in an aging society, our discussions included three key ideas;  
1)  Aging is a gradual, lifelong process we all experience, starting at birth.  Aging is not a disease. However, our society is infected with an anti-aging mindset that treats it like a disease. 
2)  We’ve been taught that aging is synonymous with decline. We’ve learned to equate aging with heavy losses (which can happen). Yet, with a mature life being well lived, we have the opportunity to strengthen our muscles of appreciation for all we do have and take the action to share our gifts as wise elders.
3)  Children are wonderful teachers.  They help us to remember how to play, open our hearts and learn how to share our toys more.  The dilemma being that children and elders are increasingly becoming isolated from one another.  We must pursue more creative, meaningful and fun ways to connect all generations.  We need each other more than ever.
How are you doing in your process of living and giving?  Are you making gains with performing outrageous acts of silliness and dispensing kilos of kindness? 
I’d luv to receive your responses. 
Join me on my Facebook page; Gifts of Pro-Aging.
Remember, aging is another word for being alive.
May your Spring be celebratory and playful!

Let’s Make Some History!

November 4th, 2016

“Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day.  Give a woman even a micro-credit;      she, her husband, her children and extended family will eat for a lifetime.” —Bono (singer/activist)

As I’ve shared in my book, studies by the United Nations World Bank have shown that women are more likely to contribute to community development than men.  Therefore, women are better candidates for support programs.  Yet, domestically and worldwide, the dignity and respect for human life, especially for women has reached an all-time low.  One out of every six people in the world live on less than one dollar a day; 75% of them are women.

Many ancient cultures have predicted this current time in history.  Kali Yuga–the age of darkness.  “Kali” to Hindus and Buddhists means “strife, discord, quarrel or contention”. 

Hold on tight…we’re about to burn through this Kali!  An image that first emerged for me was that of walking by tons of sleeping bodies.  Today, the image turned into to walking through acres of cemeteries—yes, dead people.  The message? 

“Keep walking…without fear, my fellow humble warriors.” 

Of course, I’m excited for Hillary to win this ball-busting presidential election.  And I’m very clear that she is not my savior. However, she collectively now represents this long overdue feminine that must have this chance, in a world that desperately needs mothering.  

So let’s grow up and make some history.  I’m already celebrating this profound evolutionary event since I see it in the light-filled tunnel–straight ahead. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts & feelings.  You can also share on my Facebook page;  Gifts of Pro-Aging.   Click here to join.

Hold on tight and stay centered.



How do you start your day?

July 19th, 2016

“How you start your day is often how your live your life”– Louise Hay

I’ve never been a big fan of the alarm clock.  I’ve got enough adrenaline racing through my bloodstream, thank you.  My preference is try to go to bed early enough to awaken with ease.  Sometimes, I awaken before the sunlight crests our nearby golden hills.  It’s my favorite time of the day.

For several decades now, I’ve been fortunate to have this early morning “me time”.   When I skip it, the world is not right because I’m not connected with the real me.  For years, I’ve worked with clients on creating a morning ritual, the importance of having a daily discipline that positively feeds your heart, cells and de-clutters your mind.  It does set the tone for the rest of your day.

Here are some of my morning favorites that I incorporate when I can…

I try for at least one hour of daily meditation, time for prayers,  journaling feelings, doing affirmations with mirror work, reading 12-Step literature,  listening to inspirational people like Prem Rawat, light yoga stretching or moving my body to music and drinking yummy Tulsi tea.

I’d love to hear what you do to start your day.  Is it a reflection of how you live your life?

Please post your comment here and/or share with us on my Facebook page Gifts of Pro-Aging.

Ageism & the Antidote

June 10th, 2016
It was a normal day.  Let me back up and ask you something. Have you noticed there are less and less of normal days happening? These are what you call “everything is up for grabs” kinds of days.  The important question is how do we take advantage of these rapidly moving energies of change?
We find the antidote.
Defined as 1.  a medicine or other remedy for counteracting the effects of poison, disease, etc. or 2.  something that prevents or counteracts injurious or unwanted effects.
Well, back to my story involving that un-normal day.  Earlier at my mailbox, I retrieve some junk mail and a wrapped magazine.  I notice from the cover that it’s Better Homes and Gardens.  Thinking it must belong to one of my neighbors, I check the address label.  It has my name on it, along with this attached note.
Dear Reader.
Welcome!  I’m sorry to say the MORE Magazine will no longer be published…
But there is good news!  To thank you for your loyal readership, we’d like to treat you to Better Homes and Garden Magazine to round out the remainder of your current subscription term.  And I think you’re going to feel right at home…
I don’t think so.  Not even close.
MORE magazine wasn’t bringing in enough of the pricey advertising money that the anti-aging (turn-back-the-clock) magazines excel at.   Just because magazine moguls aren’t making enough money on the aging population, doesn’t mean we’re irrelevant and  invisible.  In fact, au contraire. The demise of MORE magazine is sending a clear message to the 78 million of us in mid-life and millions of more readership for those 70+.  The disease of Ageism strikes again!
So we continue to roll up our sleeves and re-invent things like our own magazines (it’s called AARP) and others to come.
We become the antidote.
I invite you to join myself & Dr. Elizabeth Plummer, as we slash & burn more age phobia and invite healing laughter through our Aging with Passion workshop on Sat-6/25/16 in Santa Barbara, California.
Here’s my promise:  No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Call me, if you want to attend with scholarship assistance.
If you can’t make the workshop, then sign up for my June Consultation special package offer.
Your True Self will thank you.
Sending you much love, as always.

How much time do we have?

April 30th, 2016

Sitting in a recent memorial service for a friend, I was deeply moved by the gift that was extended to those of us who gathered to pay our respects. In fact, R-E-S-P-E-C-T was given in full Aretha-style, as her niece beautifully belted out the tune for her Aunt Sharon amidst hand-clapping and back-up vocals from our chairs.

We never know how much time we still have here on Earth. Decades? A few years? Days? Hours? Moments? That’s the great mystery, isn’t it. As I looked around the memorial room, I felt such a deep preciousness of this human journey. My heart opened wider and tears started pouring out my eyes and down my face, leaving precious droplets on my lap. More mascara-tears poured out of me while my understanding grew. There was no familiar public-masking or needing to provide an apology for my emotions. Exposure of my grief and my joy was happening without having to check out what other people’s comfort-levels were set at.  I felt free and so alive.

Thank you, Sharon for your heart-felt driven life and all that you have given over the years. I trust that you’re flying free as well.

Be well and give tender-care to yourself and others.