My Secret Weapon for Releasing the ‘Ick’


You know what I mean by “ick,” right? Ick is a totally unpleasant cocktail of heavy, hopeless, empty, angry, guilty, overwhelmed, and sad. The ratios might change, but at the end of the day it all feels awful. Maybe there’s something specific bringing on the ick, like a project you’re avoiding or an area of your life that feels stuck.

It’s easy to look at social media lives and think your fellow humans skate along in a cloud of joy, perfectly processing all their negative feelings and energy. Don’t be fooled.

Before I launch something new, face a fear, or accept a challenge, there are often days or weeks of wading through the muck of resistance. The sneakiest characteristic of resistance is it’s ability to put blinders on you. It tricks you into thinking the only possible outcome is eternal paralysis. Again, so not true.

When I get into that funk of resistance and the ick starts creeping in, I turn to The Golden Ocean. It’s a simple visualization really, but it’s rich and vivid enough to expand in my mind, giving me a bright blast radius of spaciousness and room to breathe.

Here’s how it goes:

Stretch out somewhere comfortable and quiet. (Sunlight helps, but it’s not a requirement.)

Close your eyes. Loosen your hold on reality. It’ll still be here when you’re ready.

Imagine yourself on a beach. Smell the salt and sand. Feel a breeze.

Look at the water sprawling out in front of you. It’s reflecting the sunshine.. but there’s something more.

The sun is catching flakes, sparkles, swirls and swaths of golden light.

Wade, then swim out into the water. Let it carry you.

Now float. Trust the elements around you. Let all that golden light surround and remind you of radiance.

Feel the gold-infused water lap at your collar bone and hips.

Allow the light to move closer, slipping around your bones and snuggling up to your muscles,

coating and mingling with the energy of each of your chakras.

As the gold seeps in, notice how your body feels.

Let the light come between you and anything that feels heavy or harsh.

Let the light carry it away through the water.

You are surrounded and permeated by light.

You are the power of light.

Rest in your radiance.

Rest in your power.

Take your time in the golden ocean. Listen to it. Feel it.

Contain it.

Breathe and return.

Bring it with you when you emerge back into your reality.

Do you have any foolproof tools or visualizations for shaking of the ick when it threatens to take over? I’d love to hear them!

photo by Edmund Garman

How to Use Pinterest to Meditate

Pinterest Meditation | Hilarie Mae


Confession: I am Pinterest obsessed.

However, unlike many typical users that primarily file away recipes and DIY home improvement projects, I like to use it primarily as a tool for meditation. (In the interest of full disclosure, I also pin recipes and DIY home improvement projects because I can’t ignore salted carmel mocha brownies or reclaimed wood tables.)

It started around the time that I created this board of quotes. Words have always enchanted me. I have a masters degree in Interpersonal/Organization Communication and Rhetorical Theory because deconstructing our use of words thrills me.  Written, spoken, and body language are essential to our humanity and our divinity. They’re the many lenses through which we experience and express.

Since that first substantial board, a practice has emerged around pinning. As an air sign (Gemini), a chronic lucid dreamer, an energy worker, and a celestial warrior, many of my experiences happen through my soul in a reality far beyond this world. It’s easy for me to lift out of this life and feel dazed, out of touch, and ungrounded, like I’m trying to run forward while suspended still in mid-air.

I do a lot of grounding practices. I hug trees. I stand on the earth and dig my toes into the ground. I connect my energy to the earth’s core and let it draw my field back into my body. However, that doesn’t always resonate. And it’s not always practical, say during a blizzard or when I’m too ungrounded to even think about sitting quietly in a more traditional meditation. My senses are too heightened to simply reground.

That’s where Pinterest comes in. I have created boards that focus exclusively on forests and animals (and one just for horses). As fantasy-inspired as some of the images may be, they bring me back down into the smell of moss and the feeling of a horse’s velvet nose pressed against my neck. They offer a re-entry into my earth-bound body taking in and conversing with the physical world around me.

And then there are my reminder boards, for moments when I feel lost, despairing, hopeless or confused. I can turn to a board for my most essential self, a board for my yearly theme, or a board for my most profound desire. Each one awakens my truth, drawing me deeper into alignment with and awareness of my foundation.

Despite my best efforts, sometimes my view of this human experience darkens and I crave beauty. You know those times when you just want to stare in wonderment at something? In addition to an actual wonderment board, I also use this sacred geometry board and this crystalline board to steep my sight in beauty.

Sometimes the meditation practice is the action of pinning. Curation is a powerful use of the ability to choose. It’s a way to say a small, holy yes to what brings light to life. Other times the meditation practice is in gazing. Sometimes I’ll look at a single image or a series of images for 10 or 15 minutes, letting the beauty and magic of whatever I’m looking at wash over me again and again. As I look at a picture or drawing, I notice where it shifts my energy. I ask myself what feeling(s) it evokes and why it makes me feel calmer, lighter or stronger.

The best part of this practice? It starts with an app on my phone that goes with me almost everywhere. That means no matter where I am, I always have access to a tool that can call me home to myself when I feel far, far away.

What’s your favorite meditation tool or practice?

A Truth of Energetic Boundaries

Energetic Boundaries | Hilarie Mae

During a session, I often close my eyes and slip out of this layer of reality and into another. This happens most often when I’m addressing the spacial aspects of a client’s energy. Their limits, edges, boundaries and pathways come into vivid visibility in my inner sight. The other day, in a session with an Embership participant, I felt into the outermost reaches of her self/field. This is what happened:

My fingertips tingle. It feels like tiny sparks are flying out from beneath my nails.
The pull of her field draws my eyelids closed and my attention deep into another dimension.
I’m standing on a lawn, lush and manicured, surrounded by an 8 foot hedge.
It’s her permeable boundary. It’s the gentle, living edge of her deepest self.
It stands alone. She needs more.
I ask for more on her behalf, feeling into the far reaches of her energy.
Trees materialize beyond the hedges. Massive, ancient oaks and maples.
Their whispers weave an impenetrable web of fortified gossamer threads.
As their whispering grows firmer and more sure, I lift out.
Her field becomes secure and self-contained, its own universe.

Here is a core truth about boundaries: the strength, intensity, elasticity and integrity of your energetic boundaries create and inform your reality. When you take the time to build a safe, sure container for your life, your perception and experience of the world around and within you shifts.

Any situation or experience that makes you feel emotionally unsafe or drained is prompting you to examine your boundaries.

photo by Kosala Bandara

Energetic Boundaries

Almost every client has asked me at one time or another, “Aren’t you exhausted at the end of the day?” or “Do you take on some of my energy when you work?” My answer has always been the same: At the end of the day, I could run a marathon. How am I able to merge with multiple other energy fields in a day, touch some of their deepest darkness and most painful wounds and walk away clear, whole, and energized? Boundaries.

The line between their energy and mine is crisp. And when it’s not, I pause, breathe, and wait for it to come into focus. I imagine the golden edges of our energy fields, separate and distinct. Without that clarity I’m both ineffective and dangerously vulnerable. This applies to all relationships.

My most useful tool for this is a visualization. It’s become a Sunday ritual. I get comfortable and let my body relax while my spirit travels to the outposts, the farthest limits of my boundaries (note: that’s different than the furthest reaches of my energy). That place looks like castle walls. In this realm, I walk the walls. I stalk hooks and intruders, erosion and breakage. I repair and defend. But most importantly, I discern who and what is welcomed in.

During the week I check in with those walls when it feels like someone is closing in on me or siphoning off energy without permission. If I feel watched, tracked, attacked, or off balance, I take to the boundaries and feel into where needs my attention. This is how I find and mend energy leaks.

p.s. here’s a little poem about walking the walls.

A Year In Review

vin warrior (2)


2015 has been a year of transition for me, of dismantling the structure of my life and rebuilding a reality infused with my truth. I have allowed my power to be strengthened by the Divine, which has in turn stretched my capacity for surrender.

In any transition, up-level, or huge leap forward, there’s inevitably some darkness. While this has been a really exciting year, it’s also been really challenging, full of days and weeks cloaked in doubt, fear, and inertia. I think I’ve cried more in these twelve months than I have in the last twelve years combined.

Through that darkness, some serious light has emerged. First, my beautiful business, which surprises and delights me every single day, has grown into a life of its own. That alone leaves me in awe and gratitude. Second, I’ve released unhealthy relationships and invited in new people that love me as I am and make my life so much richer. Third and most important, my inner life has blossomed in the freedom I’ve afforded it.

I’ve reintegrated the practices of prayer, worship, and spiritual warfare that I grew up with and woven in newer practices like mantras to ancient goddesses, deep lucid dreaming, archetypal exploration, and regular work with spirit animals. Combined, it feels like I have the inner life I’ve always dreamed of but could never quite “achieve.” There were always pieces missing. I always resisted pieces of me, thinking that I couldn’t or shouldn’t bring together all the spiritual practices that I found nourishing because they were from different faith traditions. Now I feel whole.

Bringing together all of my spiritual practices was a game-changer. There’s something explosive and magical that happens when you acknowledge and embrace all of you who you are, even if that means being a living contradiction in the eyes of the world. In a single day, I might offer a mantra to the Goddess Parvati, engage a demon in spiritual warfare, say the rosary, worship God with song, go deep into the prayer of yoga, and play in an enchanted forest with my lioness, dragon, falcon, and wolf. In the same day, I may shift between the warrior, queen, and healer archetypes – my holy trinity. I may address God as my inner flame, my lover, my breath, and my friend.

Here’s the truth of this year: When I devote and surrender to a spiritual practice, no matter what it looks like, it carries me forward through the darkness and deep into the profound nature of my life light.

photo by Chelse Thompson

p.s. here’s my theme for 2016.

Action v Surrender in Get Real Magazine










When you wake up every morning, you have no idea how your day is going to play out. You have no idea how many miracles could happen or how many tiny tragedies might grace your life. As the wise J.R.R. Tolkien said, “It’s a dangerous business…going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Amid this uncertainty we have recourse. We have the ability to practice both action and surrender to keep ourselves centered and sane.

Click here to read the full article in Get Real Magazine (for free)!

Trusting the Quiet

Hilarie Mae | Trust Quiet
Full disclosure: As I sit here and witness these words appearing, I realize they’re just as much for me as they are for you.

Trust is a tiny, fierce creature, always begging for your attention, then settling delicately in your belly once acknowledged. It’s the breath in every decision you make. That’s why some choices feel full and expansive, while others feel tight and constricted. That’s trust breathing or suffocating.

As we slow and turn inward for the cozy winter months, despite holidays and to-do lists, our energy longs to shift from a boil to a simmer. Our inner lives grow quiet. God grows quiet. The earth grows quiet. It’s easy to trust the desires and guidance that arrive loud and clear. Their boldness reassures us. But what about when our own sacred voice whispers or doesn’t speak at all?

The spiritual path has always been punctuated by times of quiet. Sue Monk Kidd likened it to the rich silence of a cocoon. Saint John of the Cross called it a dark night of the soul. No matter what metaphor resonates, they have one thing in common: trust. Trust that the cocoon will dissolve and life will emerge. Trust that the sun will rise. Trust that newness germinates under the surface of silence.

Trust requires you to settle into your life as pilgrimage, not a race.
It’s a practice of pouring love into the quiet instead of fear,
of choosing to smooth desire into the silence,
of tenderly sheltering the embers of your inner life so they can blaze into flame,
of surrendering to the cycle of gestation, birth, life and death,
of asking for what you need and accepting the gifts that follow,
of remembering that every molecule of your being belongs to the Light,
of unmooring your expectations and sending them out to sea,
because wherever love brings you, it sustains you.

Greater is the Divine in you than any other force. Trust the quiet.

photo by Chelse Thompson.

Desire and the Divine – Part One

Desire and Divinity | Hilarie Mae









The first time I read The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte, it resonated but remained separate from my spiritual practice. Prayer existed in one layer of me and desires in another. As I began practicing core desired feelings (CDFs) and making choices through the lens of my CDFs, my spiritual practice and my desires began to merge. My CDFs became both the prayer and the answer, they were a language through which the Universe could speak to me and offer guidance.

“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Here’s what I’ve come to understand: You are a divine being. Therefore, your desires are divine. They are the ardent fingerprint of God in you. Your divinity comes to life in desire. Dwelling in desire, listening to desire, articulating desire is praying. It’s the same for meditation. The practice of listening and self-mastery gives desire a divine voice. Desire anchors you in awakening. Desire carries the voice of God guiding you into truth. Desire provides a place for your divinity and humanity to converge and be expressed in everyday life.

If you haven’t read Danielle LaPorte’s work yet, I highly recommend it. Core Desired Feelings ground you in desire, which lights the way with truth as you adventure through the terrain of your inner life.

This is part one of Desire and the Divine. Check back next week for part two. I’ll reveal the practices and rituals that sustain Divine Desire.

photo by Frontierofficial

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear


Five years ago I drove from Albany, NY to Hansville, WA. Alone. Those five days in the car broke and rebuilt me. As I white-knuckled it through horrific thunder storms in Wisconsin, ascended impossible inclines on the way into Yellowstone, and drove down miles of completely empty highway in Montana, fear hovered on the edge of every thought. Each time I felt it close in, I said “perfect love casts out fear.” It’s part of the bible verse 1 John 4:18. Dwell in love and fear can’t get a foothold. Dwell in love and you arm yourself against doubt. Dwell in love and you fortify yourself against destruction by your own hands.

I shared these words with a friend a few years ago and she asked what “perfect love” meant, because it sounded impossible. Perfect love is the dance between you and God. Perfect love is the moment you surrender to the desire of the Divine. Stepping into the profundity of your natural light is perfect love. Laying your head upon the blazing heart of the Universe is perfect love. Devotion, however humanly imperfect, is perfect love. You, here, breathing and reading is perfect love. The sacred being that you are at your core and your fingertips is perfect love. The soul life, with it’s honey-like sweetness, is perfect love. Your soul is perfect love. Your bones and blood are permeated by soul. Your mind is wrapped in soul. Your skin whispers of soul. Your whole being is a constellation of perfect love.

When it feels like life is testing my mettle, “perfect love casts out fear” rises in me. It slips into my consciousness with the effortlessness of a muscle memory. It rebuilds my strength. It turns the lights back on. And it often accompanies an image of a beautiful artist selecting a star from the sky, cracking it open ever so delicately, and pouring all that twinkling light right into me. Then I get to walk around all day pretending to be a mere mortal. In reality I’m starlight and fire breathing in a body.
beautiful photo by Alexey Kljatov

Dark Side of the Mask


Each morning I rise with a new understanding of the golden battlefield before me. This mask came into my life about eight years ago after a very intense guided meditation. I’m just now stepping into the rich, dense darkness of its lower half. Slowly sinking into the realization that the darkness of her isn’t something to suffer through, avoid, dread or fear. She is the depth and ferocity of the Warrior Priestess. She is the vanquisher, not the vanquished. She is the conquerer, not the conquered. She is the fire bearer bent on burning down the untruths that keep us bound and blind. She is the liberator.

How are you befriending your darkness?