finding yourself Archives - Dr. Mary Pritchard

How Are You Holding Yourself Back?

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Young woman exhausted after running on a cold winter day in the track of an urban park.

Two eclipses, a double full moon in Sagittarius, 5 planets in retrograde. I never paid that much attention to planetary alignments before, but 2016 has been a wild ride and I wanted some sort of explanation for everything I and my clients have been experiencing so I started paying attention. Apparently all of that retrograde energy served to highlight for us all the things from our past we need to heal – all those unresolved memories of words left unsaid, actions left undone, things we did but wished we hadn’t.

It’s too easy to get caught up in all that sea of unresolved issues. I think Jo MacDonald said it best when she advised,

“When you find yourself flicking through your own memories, remember that they are all a part of the journey, they are all an opportunity for us to grow and learn, to ask ourselves ‘What am I telling myself about that experience? How can I develop a more empowering mindset around that story?' Instead of getting caught up in nostalgia we can use this experience to move forwards and keep creating a life we love. – Jo MacDonald

That’s similar to the advice I give myself and my clients all the time. I truly believe that everything – the good, the bad, and the ugly – happens for a reason. Life happens for us, not to us. It’s not our job to question why something happened. It’s our job to figure out what lesson we need to learn from it; what remains unresolved. Not so we can judge or criticize ourselves, but so we can learn from it, heal, and move on.

“There's something you believe about yourself that makes you hold back … We have these stories that we tell, these labels we apply… When we're around people, we're not being ourselves because we're being protective. But sometimes in our self-protection, we block out the very thing that we want so much. – Brendan Burchard

I’ve been on retreat mode since the Summer Solstice (Winter Solstice for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere). I’ve been journaling, painting and reflecting on what I want to leave behind and what I want to carry forward as I begin the second half of 2016.

I was listening to a session of Woman Unleashed 4 with Shiloh Sophia McCloud and Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici. In it, Shiloh was talking about a recent revelation she had – that she didn’t have to play by someone else’s rules.

“I am releasing layers of who I'm supposed to be – titles, roles. I'm untying each one of these threads one by one and resetting them. I'm giving myself permission not to do those anymore if they don't feel good for me. I'm retying those threads of my life, those things that are natural and true for me and make me thrive. I choose how I am woven.”

I pondered what she said and was reminded of the ‘aha’ moment I experienced in April in 2013 when I realized I was living someone else’s life. I too went about a long, arduous process of releasing threads that no longer served, yet tied me down. In the 6 months following that awakening experience, I would move, get a divorce, turn 40 and break my heel for the second time in year, but through it all I knew something to the depths of my core: I was making the right choice for me, the only one I could have made in that moment.

If 2016 has been a struggle for you, I give you the following advice: go where your excitement/passion/fire is.

As Shiloh Sophia said in her session, “When you are on your path, following your edge, obstacles are opportunities for growth. When you are not on your path, obstacles are a call to stop, go back, regroup.”

While you’re at it, decide what threads you want to pick up and move forward with for the remainder of 2016. Write your manifesta, your representation of how you want to live your life from this moment forward.

I stand in my truth and walk in my power. My strength lies in my purple curlicue sideways way of looking at things. I let my intuition – the wild passionate fire from the depths of my soul – guide my decisions. I choose my destiny to help women take a stand for themselves, to love honor and respect themselves as the passionate, beautiful Goddesses they are.

Blossoming Out of Myself

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It's been about a decade since my then-husband gave me this bonsai plant as a gift. It lived in my academic office for years; students and colleagues arguing over whether it looked more like an elephant or a woman dancing.

I smiled as they debated, letting them think whatever they saw was ‘right.' But I knew better. I knew that this little ficus tree was me.

A divorce, two broken heels, two business launches, numerous interviews, and a failed relationship later, it wasn't until several months ago that my bonsai plant forgot it was supposed to be a bonsai plant and started to grow beyond itself.

The gardener in me knew I was supposed to clip its wings. After all, it is a bonsai. But, I didn't dare. This plant, this little ficus tree, was me. And I was ready to fly.

I moved it to my bedroom to allow it to have more sun exposure. “Grow, little bonsai, Grow!” I told it. I caressed its ever-expanding foliage. I reassured it,

You see, like my little bonsai, I have blossomed out of myself; the woman I once was holding space for and giving birth to the woman I am now. It was a beautiful unfolding – one not without turbulence, pain and grief, but one that gave me the soil I needed to grow forth from, to expand. For every drop of life experience that went into nourishing that soil, I am grateful, so very grateful.

If you, like me, are ready to spread your wings, expand your reach, and blossom out of yourself, know that the time is ripe. Spring is the perfect time to blossom out of yourself. To plant the seeds that you will harvest in the coming months or years.

As you answer this, here are 5 questions to ponder:

  1. Who am I – right now in this moment? List all your roles, obligations, dreams, desires.
  2. One year from now, who do I want to be? Again, list all of your desired roles, dreams, etc. Don't hold back.
  3. How am I holding space for myself to blossom out of who I am?
  4. What steps do I need to take to get there?


If you need a little more help blossoming outside of yourself, today’s video discusses the Art of Manifestation.



Figuring Out Who You Are

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 6 Comments

pensive womanIn Fall of 2013, I got divorced and then (not because of the divorce) spent the next 4 months on crutches nursing a broken heel. And I found myself at a loss. I couldn’t ‘do’ many of the things that made me me. Newly divorced, I was no longer a wife. I was on sabbatical, so I wasn’t technically a college professor either. I couldn’t run, so I wasn’t a runner.

I was single, had just turned 40 and had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up because all of my dreams had been shattered in the previous 6 months.

So I had to start over.

The first step was finding me again because I no longer knew who I was.

So how do you start? Watch the video below to find out!


How to Be a Goddess

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 7 Comments

Mary1Are you ready to fully embrace your Goddess self in 2015? I know I am. 2013 was the Year of the Cosmic 2×4 for me. 2014 was supposed to be the Year of Me, and it was, but not the way I originally envisioned it. You see, I kept giving my power away and kept having to fight to take it back.

2015 is going to be different. Why? I learned a lot about myself in 2014 and spent much of the past few months releasing what no longer served – old beliefs, old patterns, old archetypes that were dragging me down.

I had a conversation with my friend and chiropractor a few weeks ago. She was helping me identify and release the Madonna complex. I had asked her what I was supposed to do after I released the Madonna complex to ensure I didn't fall back into that old trap again. She said, “You have to make up your own Goddess.” I thought what a great, fun idea that sounded like. But, it's more than that. It's not just about making up a new Goddess; it's about Be-ing Her. Be-ing the Goddess within.

Are you ready to Be a Goddess? Here's how.

1) Decide on a name – it might be your own name, or if you want to start anew, or you might choose a different name (Note: I am not saying you have to legally change or name or even tell anyone about your new Goddess name; you're doing this for you, so it's up to you who you decide to tell)

2) Look through books, websites, goddess oracle cards, the Featured Goddess section of this website and write down all the traits you admire in your fellow Goddesses. You can even choose traits from real people, if you'd like. (Check out the Everyday Goddess section for inspiration!)

3) Decide what you want to be Goddess of. Your domain might be Love, Creativity, the Arts, Business Success, etc.

4) Decide which of the traits you listed above are central to your new Goddess identity. Pick at least three traits, but no more than seven. (You can't be Goddess of everything!)

5) Write down your Goddess story – did you rise like a Phoenix out if the ashes, did you ride in on a seashell from the ocean, did you just appear full grow one day? This is your new Goddess story; it doesn't have to look anything like your original story.

6) Make up your own prayer – if people were to pray to you, what would they be praying to you for? (See Featured Goddess section for examples)? Do they value your strength, your wisdom, your cunning, your boldness?

7) Decide how your followers should pay tribute to you? Every Goddess needs a temple, or at the very least an altar. What should your followers bring you or do on your behalf to show their appreciation for you? (Again check out the Featured Goddess section for ideas.)

Go here to see my Goddess self!

Now we get to the really fun part!


8) Get to know your new Goddess self – How does she start and end her day? What does she like to eat for breakfast? How does she spend her time? What does she most enjoy doing? What are her hobbies? Design your ideal Goddess day and life here. Go wild!


9) Decide how your new Goddess self will dress and act – Does she always wear purple? Does she wear a certain piece of jewelry? How does she act when people come to pay tribute to her? What happens if they disrespect her? Remember: this is the new Goddess you. She may behave or dress very differently than the original you.


10) Decide how you are going to invoke your Goddess self – Are you going to hold a ritual? Say a prayer? Will the act of dressing a certain way or wearing certain jewelry serve as your invocation/reminder to be your new Goddess self?


11) Be a Goddess! – Expect people to treat you differently; you are a Goddess after all. People learn how to treat you based on how you treat yourself and what you will and won't put up with. It make take a few times interacting with the new Goddess you before they realize they can't treat you like they used to. That's okay. You don't need to be vindictive about it. Just gently let them know through your words and actions how you'd like to be treated and that they either need to get on board – and start paying tribute to you! – or get out of your life.


12) Be gentle with yourself – Being a Goddess may take some adjustment on your part too. You might fall into old patterns or want to change some of your new Goddess traits. That's perfectly fine. You're a Goddess; you're certainly allowed to make mistakes and change your mind. When you fall off track, just go back to your Goddess invocation ritual (or whatever you do to invoke your new Goddess self) and do it again. Or maybe you need to do your invocation daily or change something about it to make it more powerful for you. Play with it! Have fun! You're a Goddess!


Let's make 2015 the Year of the Goddess, shall we? See your Goddess self on the other side!