Mother's Day
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I didn’t grow you in my body for nine months. I wasn’t there the day you were born. I didn’t even know if you’d stay. But this was ten minutes after meeting you, after having my heart expanded and obliterated all at once, loving you more than words could ever say and being born into a Mother.

I was racked with uncertainty about having children. I couldn’t picture myself pregnant. I didn’t feel particularly connected to motherhood. I had a lot of doubt and mistrust.

But then the wild, uncertain path of foster adoption was revealed and there was no doubt in my mind, just piles of paperwork and anticipation.

A year and a half later, our story is still being written. I thank God over and over again each day. You are my greatest teacher and and my greatest adventure. I am so honored to mother you.

Hard Work and Endless Gifts
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“The peace that we are looking for is not peace that crumbles as soon as there is difficulty or chaos. Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth, it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.” – Pema Chödrön

Oh, foster care. I’d like to think I picked this path but I have no doubt it chose me. Some days I’m seriously exhausted by staying in relationship with the unknown. Some days I have (mostly inner) temper tantrums and just wanna run away. I’m a human and this shit is beyond hard and I honor that.

But I’m being taught again and again that the only peace to be found is in the present moment. Not in wondering what got me here or obsessively imagining the future. Not in placing all my happiness on external factors. Just staying here. Right here. Minute to minute.

Foster care is my way of receiving life’s medicine, life’s lessons. Our paths and our storylines may look different but the lesson is the same: the way to experience peace is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. None of us are guaranteed a thing. None of us are exempt from uncertainty.

Hardest, most important work we will ever do. And the work is never done but the gifts are endless.

Mary Beth LaRueComment
Less Screen Time
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You determine the course of your day. Not someone else’s requests, not your email inbox, not your text messages or voicemails. I don’t know why I need to be reminded of this so often but I do.

I recently read that in one single day Facebook users were spending a collective 39,757 years worth of attention on the site, in one single day. This is from a study done in 2014 by the @nytimes. I’d imagine by now it’s even crazier.

My question for myself this week is: what am I paying attention to?

And I don’t want it to be a screen. I’m going to spend time working at the park. Watching our rambunctious little guy run barefoot in the grass. Drinking a matcha and doing nothing else. Dreaming about a future of fresh air and close friends and adventures and seeing the stars every night. That’s what I’m going to pay attention to. Otherwise I’m going to be paying attention to someone else’s life highlights and someone else else’s needs and miss the whole damn thing.

Mary Beth LaRueComment
I Believe in Magic
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My intention on this retreat was to not only hold space but wholeheartedly receive whatever I was supposed to.

And receive I have: through this group of vulnerable women, through my Reiki sessions in this beautiful space, through Maca smoothies at Esperanza, through afternoon conversations with my best friend, through sunshine and laughter and surf and tears and tacos.

I’m leaving with this commitment, knowing that it’s true right now: I am worthy, abundant and I trust the timing of my life. I believe in magic and I believe in miracles.

Mary Beth LaRueComment
You Are Not Alone
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I had my first ever reiki session yesterday afternoon and finally began to peel off some of the tension I’ve been wearing for the past year and a half. I felt a sense of peace I haven’t in years, despite the amount of praying, meditating and chataranga-ing I try to do.

If you are going through a period of darkness, of fear, of anxiety, of loss, know that you are not alone. Life is full of experiences that break our hearts open. Damn, it can be painful. Sometimes I want to lock away these big, scary feelings and throw away the key. Sometimes I do. But I know this: it’s part of the deal of being human. And keeping a broken heart open is how we stay in relationship with life. Impermanence colors everything a more vibrant hue.

I’m trying to reminding myself of this every two minutes and maybe you are too. Sending big love and deep ocean breaths.

Mary Beth LaRueComment
Your Peace
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My teacher asked me a big question a few days ago, when I was experiencing the deep grip of fear and panic. She said, “How much of your peace is reliant on external circumstances? And how is that working out for you?“.

I am here this week to listen, I’m here to receive the sacred in every deep belly breath of ocean air. I’m ready to carry spaces like this one within me and to cultivate soft places for my heart to land, day in and day out. I’m calling on spaciousness and peace and ease, please. I’ll do the work, I promise, so I’m available to be guided.

This retreat. Right on time, as always.

Mary Beth LaRueComment
Practice Notes
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For years, I’ve battled against a lot of my shadow side. Being defensive, judgmental, self righteous. Things that felt ugly would seem to bubble up out of nowhere. Mostly, I’d keep them inside but every once in awhile there’d be some lucky recipient of my wrath and it was usually someone I love dearly. Ugh.

It’s taken a lot of time and work and life humbling the shit out of me to realize that under that defense was just a scared little girl. That all my unloving thoughts, words and actions came from one place. Fear. “I’ll hurt you before you hurt me.” “I’ll leave before you do.” “I’ll judge you to mask my own fear that I’m inferior.”

But now that I’ve recognized this for what it is, I feel so much more compassionate when it comes up. I coax it out of myself, “Okay you’re scared. Why?” .

And now I see it everywhere. Where there isn’t love it’s just fear. And, for some people, so much of it.

These words by Eckart Tolle keep my heart wide open. (Try reading this again and again, especially when you’ve got that person who really challenges you or is coming for your jugular.)

“If her past were your past, her pain your pain, her level of consciousness your level of consciousness, you would think and act exactly as she does. With this realization comes forgiveness, compassion and peace.

The ego does not like to hear this, because if it cannot be reactive and righteous anymore, it will lose strength.

Whenever you receive whoever comes into the space of Now as a noble guest, when you allow each person to be as they are, they begin to change.”

Mary Beth LaRueComment
You Didn't Waste Your Love Ever
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The most important thing I can do, with all of life’s ebbing and flowing, is stay open. My teacher often asks “What would love do?” Love would make eye contact and messy cry and show up no matter what. Because if we are really in this world and paying any attention our hearts break a hundred times a day. I’m working to stay in this space. The broken open space, the not always pretty space, because it seems to me that’s where the living is happening. Not in comparison, anger or judgement but in love. Use up my heart, Life. Every last inch. That’s what I’m here for.