Mary Ann (Wallace) Iyer, M.D. is a licensed physician, whose awakening led her to understand that the way to health involves waking up to our True Purpose. Full wellbeing includes attending to both our outer and inner selves.

Dr. Mary leads workshops which invite individuals into deeper awareness of their path in life. Her gentle, astute Presence leads participants into the safety of their own precious Hearts, where answers to perplexing problems lie.

Under the name, Mary Ann Wallace, MD, she has published several books and CDS. Visit http://www.maryanniyer.com/ for more details.

To bring Dr. Mary to your area, email: DrMA@maryanniyer.com

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Aging Gracefully

I’ve been reflecting lately on decline. As in, of the body. This life on this planet, as it goes through its various transitions.

The inevitable contracting that must happen after we’ve done our full bloom. Noticing the resistance to this.

The other morning, I sank into a very sweet spot of surrender into the inevitability of this return to the Source. I had the sense of relaxing – so deeply. Just letting it come. Letting myself start to feel the ebb of this tide that I have known myself to be. Letting myself realize that it just may be that I have accomplished my greatest works. That I am on the decline.

And – it is O.K.

It’s also OK if more comes up for me to do. To accomplish. To share. It is likely whatever that is will be from a calmer, less frenetic pace these days. More likely that my sharing comes from the deep Inner Stillness that nourishes me in ever greater capacity as this beloved form that my body has been begins its decomposing process.

Eckhart Tolle speaks of the inevitability of the contraction after expansion in his book The New Earth. This is not exactly new news, but how many of us actually think it applies to us? I mean – our very own, one, single self? Declining. Coming back to roost – with less energy, less vitality, less vim. Our urges may still be there, but as so many old-timers are heard to say, “My get-up-and-go got up and went.”

NOW I know what they’re talking about! I get it.

And, amazingly – it is O.K.

I know I said that twice. That’s the other thing I’m noticing. I savor things more. Repetition is realized to not necessarily represent forgetfulness so much as letting things come around again. We don’t mind repeating and savoring and slowing down what we’re enjoying.

Steeping in the broth. Enjoying it all a little bit more a little bit longer.

It seems things are speeding up all around us; and although I’m pretty sure this is factually true, it is also true that we are slowing down.

That’s the joy of aging. I really do mean that.

It really is quite delicious – this savoring of this moment. No matter how long it has taken us to notice it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Freedom of Mind

I’ve been reflecting on the number of people I’ve held hostage in my life. Mind you, most of them don’t know this. These are people who are busy living their own lives, completely unaware that the images of their selves are serving a dual function on the planet.

But they’re here, all right. Right here in my mind. In service to one or another mental complex in which they play key roles.

I came to this discovery the other day when I realized that when I feel good about myself, I almost always have somebody in my mind that I’m helping. Well, now. That means that there always has to be somebody who NEEDs something from me.

This, oddly enough, is also something I complain about a fair amount. “All these people who only want to relate to me if they know they can get something from me.”

Every mental gyration I get caught in has somebody else involved – in the fabric of my mind. When I am angry? There is always somebody in my mind who is on the receiving end. Fearful? It is of a person or situation. Always.

I’ve begun a practice which is enormously freeing.

Every time I catch myself in one of these mind traps – in which I am royally helping this that or the other person “because they need it”, I stop. I say to them, (which is really to myself) –– “You are free. You are free to live your own life, not in service to my mind or ideas.” I’ve been doing this practice with every single sort of emotional complex I can find. When my mind is stuck in an angry voice toward someone – “You’re free.” The fear in the belly when I’m thinking about such and such? “Go live your life. You don’t need to dwell in the cave of my mind any more.” Gone.

This is incredibly powerful. And I find I am getting lighter and lighter.

Who am I, really, to hold these people hostage to the maladaptive thought processes in which they play such a pivotal role? Who am I to make them objects – pawns – in such an insane bit of internal warfare? I notice that I’ve been buying acceptance on the backs of people needing me for an awfully long time. And that I need someone to be angry at – if I am to be angry. Someone or something to be afraid of – if I am to feel fear.

We all suffer in that mix.

If I want anybody to accept me for who I really am – I have to show up. As me. Pure and simple. Not as “just” the person carrying the basket with the goodies to make others feel good. Yes, I may have a basket. And I may gladly share. But at not at my own expense. I am here, too.

If I am to be free of the anger that poisons mainly me – I have to give permission to each and every person to be living their lives free of the role I’m trying to put them in. (This is not to be confused with becoming a Pollyanna, BTW. It, paradoxically, also frees ME up to choose wisely in regards to others’ habits. To be kind to me, too.)

It is really nice. Freeing. For me.

And I notice, amazingly, that when/as I do this, I ENJOY showing up for and with others – exactly where they are! Sometimes words are said that ARE helpful. But there is a bigger energy matrix feeding it all and us all. No need for a vertical axis between humans in this mix, because we are ALL nourished by the same stream. And words shared, advice given, the listening ear – all of it shares equally in the dharma of life.

I find that, in giving others permission to be in their lives as they see fit, I also have the freedom to be wise about what I need and with whom I feel the best. The most comfortable; the most supported; the most real, giving and genuine.

It is freeing. For all of us.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Aligning with Purpose

From a Dear Reader:

With regard to getting the job that is perfect for my Heart, I have never felt that I knew what that job would be. I've done many different things, and the only job that came close to my heart was my work at B. A friend says that I don't know who I am, and therefore, cannot acknowledge the skills/talents that I have that would help me to know what it is I want to do.

I am not even sure what field is right for me, even after the education and degree I received. I am very frustrated and sad that I have not been a person who has a passion for something and has been able to make a living doing it.

Thanks for any advice you can offer

~ This is a topic dear to my heart, and is something I’ve reflected on at length for myself. Here’s what I’ve noticed:

When I think in terms of just what response is appropriate for the moment in front of me I drop the confusion on this topic. I do the best possible with this – right in front of me to do. “Purpose” becomes to do the best we can – here – with deep and clarifying honesty. This leads us inevitably into the next thing to do – and often leads to greater things “to be done”. A job description evolves out of that. These jobs are ever so much more aligned with our True Purpose, which is contained deep within us and is not easily described in the world’s traditional terms. By the same token, we are more able to turn down apparent opportunities when they are NOT in alignment with this inner knowing.

The way this plays out for me is I find myself resonating with this person or that group – and interested in their situation – and responsive to their needs; and next thing I know I have a request-for-action. A job. And it is just right. Recently, (for example), I have given talks and workshops at several places to which I was invited. And the interconnections have led to an invitation to talk with administration at a lovely college where I sense I will fit; I am excited about the possibilities.

When I also attend to my inner sense of “Ugh” around a place, I DON’T go there. And it gets weeded out before I make a commitment I will then later need to get out of. An example was a recent plea to join a practice that just didn’t feel right. As I explored further, I realized “left brain reasons”, including a long commute and some history of discord that I would be exposed to.

Even when we feel in a hurry to define our “life purpose” and – for Pete’s sake – get a JOB – this technique works well.

There comes a time when our Purpose can no longer be defined as an external clean job description in the way of the world. We just don’t function that way anymore. We are more attuned to the Inner drives of compassion, service, being true to self and some Inner voice that surpasses the external definitions of things. Job descriptions may happen – but in a different sequence. Our “job descriptions” evolve out of the inner response we have to the situations Life presents to us.

This approach guides us more clearly than the purely left-brained approach. It is, though, really hard to describe to someone who DOESN’T have that guidance. So we get confused for a while. There is often an “in-between” time, when we lack confidence in this deeper urging as the voice that guides us. Eventually, we learn to trust ourselves and the deep inner voice to guide us. Moment by moment by moment -- then, at some point, we can look back and say “this is what I’m doing”. Synchronicity starts showing up in unmistakable ways as we surrender to this way of operating.

There are good ways to harness the power of the left brain in the service of Heart: since you felt aligned with Purpose – happy – at B – see what happens when you sink into the awareness of that feeling. Memorize how that felt. That’s what you’re looking for – not as an external “thing”, but a sense within yourself as you approach one possibility or another. It’s also possible to sink into the memory of that feeling and pull out – distill – discrete elements of the job that contributed to your sense of wellbeing. Write those down. And check for those elements (which matter to you) in any new opportunity that you notice.

You can also, in like fashion, sink into remembering what DIDN’T work – and memorize THAT feeling – for what to avoid, when you sense it in the pit of your stomach. And – see if you can distill discrete elements that contributed to THAT feeling. Avoid those when you see them.
This tactic keeps us from getting confused about making overarching statements about whole fields as “right” or “wrong” for us and keeps us vibrant in the field of possibility – noticing what could work because of the deeper elements that make our heart sing when we’re immersed in them. It actually broadens the field by redefining the parameters.

The trick is to keep the left brain in alignment with the Heart, instead of putting it in charge, as so many of us were taught to do. The only way, really, to know what is true to our Heart is to pay attention to the impact of this moment’s interaction. This is what guides us and keeps us on track. It seems less clean – less secure – until we relax into the trust that we DO have an Inner Guidance designed to help us. Even when our mind has convinced us “it knows” because it memorized some rule book. Written by somebody else --- for somebody else.

It is important to notice, by the way, what is true inside of you in the way of anxiety needing attention, too. So, to the extent that there is fear for survival – go to that place with FEAD: Face, Embrace, Allow Space, invite Divine Grace1. This is not to deny or “make go away” the need you may have. But, rather, to love the space that is feeling the anxiety. You can count on – the anxiety, itself is not helping the situation. By opening more fully into the SPACE that is inviting your attention, you become more sensitive and able to notice what you need to do in response to your need.

Synchronicity will begin to help you in amazing ways, and you will find yourself on the path designed for you – given THIS in your life right now. Every bit of “this”, including your personal situation.

1 http://www.maryanniyer.com/Resources/article_FEAD_It_Differently.pdf  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Envy and reality

An individual recently expressed envy to me about my circumstances in life. I’ve wondered about this, every time it occasionally happens, knowing the incredibly arduous path I’ve taken to achieve what I have. The difficult years and expense of medical school. The rigors of my chosen career. Never mind many personal travails that none of these folks know anything about.

But what fascinates me more about this whole thing is a recognition about envy, itself. What I see is that by focusing their energy on resenting me for what I have, those who fester in envy are looking away from their own possibilities. It is, in fact, a surefire technique for never getting what we want if we are caught in expressly noticing what we DON’T have.

I think about all the visualization and imagery techniques I’m familiar with. All of them, without exception, suggest the necessity of focusing on what we DO want – not on what we don’t want. I have a new wrinkle on this whole thing. I’ve noticed that if we focus on what we want with an air of dismissal – in whatever form – we set ourselves up for trouble. If there is a background drumbeat going on that accompanies a tune of “yeah, but –“ Yeah but ANYthing at all other than the purity of our intention, it buggers up the works.

It doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily get all and everything we say we want every single time. But, for sure we’ll be headed in the wrong direction if we have so many self-made obstacles to that trek that we’re shanghaied before we even get out the door!

I’ve done this on occasion, about this, that or the other. What I notice, though, is every single time I focus on the joy of whatever has arisen as a pure desire everything else becomes a nonissue. This is true whether the desire is to receive something or to give something and have it received. In fact, it is the latter category that has most often tripped me up.

But, I notice that if my focus is simply expressing myself as fully as possible, with the pure intention of doing so, I do OK. It is truly not for me to decide where or how far that which I offer goes. It is for me to give it. To show up. To offer what I can, in each moment and to each moment. And to open fully to that which is called forth from within me.

I notice that as I surrender to the joy of experiencing that which I say I want – as an act of pure love in its expression there are simply no issues about it! When I open to the purity of my desire to receive or have something, whether it is a “thing” or a state of mind, there is such clarity of path for its fulfillment. And when I open to expressing that which is in me to give, there is sheer joy in the act, itself.

Receiving and giving feel oddly like just breathing in and out when I do this. There is such sublime joy in the whole flow of this dynamic, I feel myself right on track again. More than anything, giving ourselves permission to live in the innocence of ourselves at this level unbuggers the stuck places.

We were meant for this – this breathing in and breathing out. This simple and pure receiving – and giving. Each of us. In the unique expression of Life that we are. Not to be replaced by any other person in HER pure expression of self. Each of us – enough.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fear of Change

My recent squaring off with the possibility of pending death brought the topic front and center. Many people assert that the fear of death is the greatest fear there is. I discovered that just isn’t true for me. The fears that really crimp me up are of a deeper sort. It may seem that it doesn’t get any deeper than death – but that isn’t my experience.

I notice in my own life, it is not physical death I’m most afraid of – but the possibility of some sort of torture just ahead. Something that is completely not of my choosing. What’s up there – around that bend I’m careening toward just might include some sort of pain I really, really don’t want. I glitch up the most when I feel completely out of control of where the boat is headed.

The greatest fear for many seems to be of change. Not just any old change, but specifically any change that really shakes things up in a way of major unknown consequences. Death figures right up there in this context as a major change-agent, of course. In a way, change does imply a death of sorts – to all things as we know them. And for many, the death of the body tops the list for the biggest change possible.

But, for some of us, death implies simply a change in form. And some of us don’t buy into the myth that the body is forever, so that particular facet of change doesn’t bother us so much. In fact, if we’ve hung out with really sick and ailing elders for a while, we may come to realize that death of the body is a deep blessing when it finally comes. There are other “deaths” – not necessarily of the body or physical form that are far more scary. There are forms of annihilation of the self that run deeper than dropping the physical form. For instance, if we feel of absolutely no value anymore, that is deeply painful. We – as living entities – may consider ourselves as surpassing and continuing on beyond the death of the body. But if we no longer find value in our very existence – in any shape – it is a terribly lonely proposition.

When we frame the conversation that way we open it up to realize the source of many sorts of suffering among us. We can understand the misery of those whose voices hold no weight – either because of gender, economics or age. Those who have “proven” themselves to have no worth by somebody’s strict dogmatic standards. Those of any minority in any place when the majority somehow consider themselves superior.

There is also, in today’s culture, some validity to the fear of getting old and dying – in the way it happens here. To enter the medical community as an old, sick person is often to lose any sense of dignity of self-propriety whatsoever. The worst part about my recent colon cancer mirage was the way the gastroenterologist who did the colonoscopy treated me. Like a brainless child who was meant to follow his orders. Not in the least interested in my experience or brainpower.

And that’s in spite of my being a trained physician. Who scored in the top 99.8 percentile in verbal reasoning in the MCATs!

There is a debilitation of self that occurs under these conditions that far surpasses the sloughing off of the carbon-based skin form we’re lugging around. To be treated, and start to think of ourselves as a sort of nonexistent ghost still stuck on the planet – with no worth or substance of worth – is misery.

Death, as I said, becomes a blessing. Get us out of here already.

There is a recent article in the Time magazine which describes the remarkable turnaround in returning soldiers with PTSD when they are placed in community service opportunities. One of the subtitles of the article is “We still need you”.

That says it all. My prayer for us each: As long as we are on the planet, may we know ourselves to be worthy of the space we occupy.