76 Transcript: Living Fully Alive (Mary Hyatt)

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J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 76.

M: I said to my mom, I said, “I feel like I have been drowning for years trying to catch my breath, and I've just been pushed under water, pushed under water. And finally, it's like I can breathe again.”

Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, stories of vibrant women living happy lives. And now, your host, Jen Riday.

J: Hi there, welcome to Vibrant Happy Women. Happy Monday, I hope you're having a fantastic week so far. Last week, I talked with Anne Bogel and she shared her ideas about how small and steady steps are where the magic happens. So often we think we need to engage in this grand gesture or do this big thing or not even try it all, but the small steps are where it's at if we want to make that forward progress. So that is a great episode, listen to that. If you haven't already, that's at jenriday.com/75. And today, I'll be talking with Mary Hyatt, all about living fully alive. Mary shares her story of marrying young and waking up one day to realize she was not happy; that she was living as a shell of her former happy self. And she began a journey to find herself again, and now she lives a life of authenticity and gratitude and true vibrant living; fully alive, as Mary would say. This episode is fantastic; so inspiring. And if you've ever struggled in your marriage or with feeling like you've lost yourself, this episode is for you. Let's go ahead and dive in.

I'm talking with Mary Hyatt today and she's on a quest to feel alive and to live a life full of gratitude, joy, authenticity, and abundance in body, mind, and soul. Mary believes that every person has the ability to create the life that they love. She lives in the heart of Nashville and her days are spent juggling the roles of holistic lifestyle advocate, as Presidential Diamond wellness advocate with dōTERRA essential oils, and personal life and business coach. She helps her clients wake up, find their voice and become fully alive. You can join mayor every Wednesday at 1:00 PM Central Time on her Facebook live show, where she dives into raw topics and helps her audience fall back in love with themselves and believe in their potential. Welcome to Vibrant Happy Women, Mary.

M: Thank you so much, Jen! I have so been looking forward to our time together.

J: Yes, me too. And let's dive right in and hear your favorite quote that you want to share with us today.

M: Okay, so this is kind of funny. I actually found this quote this morning as I was passing through my Instagram feed and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I loved it so much that I was excited to share this with you. So it says, “Listen to your life, see it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and the pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness, touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it. Because in the last analysts, all moments are key moments and life itself is grace.” And that is from Frederick Buechner.

J: Wow, I haven't heard that one before; no wonder that hit you like a ton of bricks. (Laughs)

M: I was like, “This is exactly what my whole life is all about!” I love that; that the emphasis on the senses and touching and smelling and really getting to the holy and hidden heart of it, I just was like, “Oh my gosh, that… that is… that is it.” (Laughs)

J: Yeah. Well, you must have a story to go behind that since it resonates so much for you. What was your low point and how have you gotten to the place where you can see it that way?

M: Yeah, so rewind about 6 years ago and my life was very different than it is now. I found myself… the moment, for me, my low point moment was when I found myself in front of a mirror and I was about, I don’t know, 60, 70 pounds heavier than I currently am, and have that weird out-of-body experience (I don't know if you've ever experienced that or know anybody who has) where you look in the mirror and you think to yourself, “This isn't me. Like, what happened? Where… where did I lose myself? This is… this is not my body. This is not my life.” And I just sort of had this existential moment where I didn't even recognize the I was seeing in the mirror. And I can remember thinking to myself, “Oh my god, there has to be more to life than this.” Like, surely being completely asleep for life, being numb, just almost sleepwalking through life, surely there has to be something else that would make life worth living. It was really, honestly a dark moment for me. I had a lot of depression, a lot of anxiety, I was physically very sick and in a lot of pain. And I think this is true for everybody that there is a part of ourselves that is just the core of who we are that always is there. It's like a light that never goes out. And so that… that little light, even though it was incredibly dim, even though I had buried it under all kinds of different things, it was like in that moment that little light had enough courage to speak up and to say, “Hey, something's got to give or else what's… what the heck is the point?” And so that was, for me… I don't even know if that was so much of a low moment as maybe the awakening moment for me where I started to see that I had been living that low for way, way too long.

J: Okay. So take us back. You finished college and then, you know, what's the progression of events that led to the weight gain and, you know…?

M: Yeah.

J: Did kids, anything like, you know, stress?

M: Yeah. So I… when I was in college, I ended up dropping out of college 2 years into it. I was… a high school girl, I was very smart, I was a straight-a student, all of that, never had any issues with weight, was, you know, pretty happy, but was experiencing still a lot of anxiety. And I had a lot of issues surrounding my self-worth, my… my value. And I ended up meeting a guy at the church that I was going to at the time and we started to date. He was 10 years older than I was and my family was not at all in support of this. And it was… I was a freshman in college I think at the time when I met him. And so, you know… you know, how you are when you when you get out on your own, you're 18 and you think, “Well, I'm an adult and I know what's going on and I can judge for myself.”

J: Uh-huh.

M: And… and so, anyways, long story short, I ended up marrying this person against the will and very strong opinions of my family. And…

J: Uh-huh.

M: … that moment where I felt like, “He chose me of course I have to marry him, you know? Didn't… didn't they know that that I had been wanting somebody to choose me and… and had been in the cycle of trying to find male attention and all of those kind of stuff that…?”

J: Uh-huh.

M: He was the first guy to choose me so I had to do that. So in our marriage, it was one of those situations where, even though we loved each other, it was just not a healthy relationship. And…

J: Uh-huh.

M: … his nephew got diagnosed with cancer and we ended up becoming the caretakers of my nephew…

J: Wow! Stress. (Laughs)

M: … who ended up passing 2 years later. So much stress, total survival mode, just getting from one point to the next just not even thinking, and I didn't know what to do. I was newly married, my father-in-law at the time had come to live with us, and caretaking this little boy, had never been a mother, didn't know what that was like, and ended up just completely shutting down; and I ended up using food absolutely to cope to handle the stress of the emotions in the situation. And that really was a huge part of what began a very unhealthy relationship with food with me.

J: Yeah, stress. Isn't that always the way? I think we all can relate, even though you had way more stress than most of us. Well, so how did you get out?

M: Well, I think, fast forward several years, I had been going to therapy and I was really trying to work on myself, but I wasn't clear on how to relate to my emotions. I didn't know how to process them, I didn't know how to actually get honest with myself. And I can remember I read a book by Brené Brown and it changed the course of my entire life. I remember reading and hearing the phrases ‘authenticity’ and ‘vulnerability’ for the first time in my life; and it's funny now because I used those so… so easily and effortlessly that it's funny that that was such a ‘aha’ moment for me. But the idea of authenticity hit me so hard that I had been living a life where I was wearing all these different masks, one after another, after another, trying to create a pleasing image, to earn love, to be enough, to be worthy of somebody's attention and desire, and I had never gave… given myself permission to find who I truly was, who the core of who I was. So I was just basically a chameleon; I was changing myself depending on who I was with and not living in the integrity of my soul, not living in the integrity of who I was. And authenticity was about as far away as anything. I didn't even know that that was something that you could practice, that it was something that you could embody. So that was something that began to happen for me as I really thought, “Man, my life is not congruent with who I truly am, and there is a huge deep discord there that's causing a lot of this unhappiness,” and obviously a lot of grief that was going on as well. And I had a friend who invited me to a yoga class. Now, you have to understand, I was, you know, very plus-sized. The thought of going to yoga was so hilarious because I was not flexible; I didn't have that ballerina body. I thought, “Oh my gosh, if I bend over, I'm going to, you know, suffocate myself with my boobs.” (Laughs). And so…

J: (Laughs)

M: … it was like, “Are you kidding me? Like look at my body, this is not going to happen.” But I trusted my friend and she said, “Okay, Mary, we're going to close our eyes the entire time in this yoga class. You got to come with me, I think you'd really like it.” And…

J: Uh-huh.

M: … because I trusted her, I went ahead and went. Well, 2 weeks later they advertised that they're going to be doing a yoga teacher training to become a yoga teacher. And I was talking with my friend about it and she said, “You've got to do this.” And I was like, “Caroline, I have literally been taking yoga for 2 weeks,” I probably had taken a class maybe 5 times. And when she said that though like, “You've got to do this,” I knew somewhere deep inside of myself that this was going to be what was going to save me.

J: Ooh.

M: That connecting to my body, that that doing something that was challenging and hard and really, from the outside looking in, impossible, that was my ticket to freedom. And I didn't understand truly why, but I just intuitively knew that. And then of course, after that knowing, I immediately tried to make all the excuses why that wasn't going to work. And so I messaged the teachers and I said, “Listen, I'm very plus-sized, I haven't been doing yoga very long, but I want to see if this is something that… that I would be able to do.” And I was fully expecting them to say like, “Okay, we'll come back in, you know, maybe a year after you've established a really strong practice and maybe your body is more flexible or whatever and then you can become a teacher,” and they said the exact opposite.

J: (Laughs)

M: They welcomed me with open arms, they're like, “Come on, girl, you've got this. We're going to fully support you.” And so I embarked on this journey of becoming a yoga teacher, which truly did save me. It helped me reconnect to my body in a completely different way. It was very hard, it was very painful, it was very frustrating. And at the end of that, I ended up becoming a plus-sized yoga teacher and had this really deep passion for making yoga acceptable… or accessible to all body types and breaking down those barriers where people think that if they don't have a specific body type that can't walk into the doors. So it was really beautiful. I mean, it was just an incredible journey. And I think, for me, that was my moment where I really got outside of myself, connected back with my body, and truly became more alive than I had ever been.

J: Did you lose any weight in the process or is that not the moral of the story? Because, you know, we're all wondering; that's what we want to know. (Laughs)

M: Yeah, totally.

J: You know?

M: I didn't through the process; it wasn't until later that I lost weight. And one of the amazing things about my weight loss journey is that it had nothing to do with food and it had nothing to do with exercise. It wasn't about finding the right diet or getting in the gym more days. In fact, now I coach people on this and I'm creating an online course all about making peace with the mirror and loving your body, and I deal with a lot of people who are looking to lose weight, and I tell them, “The food and the exercise isn't the issue, it's using either food or exercise to cope with an emotion that you're trying to look at and your numbing.” And there's so many behaviors that numb; alcohol, overworking, shopping, sex, a million different things. And, for me, it was a way that to cope from grief, to cope from the fact that I didn't want to get married or be married and stay married. And ultimately, when I was able to deal with that root cause, the emotional root cause that was driving my actions, I was able to lose… I lost about 70 pounds. And, like I said, I never touched a diet; I… I really intuitively listened to my body, I was intuitively eating the entire way and ultimately addressing the root cause of what was out of balanced emotionally and out of integrity with who I truly was.

J: Okay, so part of it was self-love, what else is there at the base of that that change?

M: I think, for me, the biggest piece was honesty. I had learned how to lie to myself so well and lied to other people about who I was and what made me come alive. And I felt like for my whole life I was playing small, I was playing safe; I was dimming my light. And that created, like I said, this big discord within my soul. And so when I was able to basically admit the hell out of what was going on inside of myself and to say, “I'm not happy. I am not happy. This is not the life that I want to live. This is not fulfilling. I'm actually miserable,” when I was able to get honest with really where I was and my emotions and how I felt and the range of them, that brought me back online. It was like, “Okay, now if I can finally be honest, then I can deal with what's going on, then I can process and I can work through, then I can heal.” So, for me, it was a lot about honesty, it was a lot about self-forgiveness, a lot about forgiving the way that I had treated my body, forgiving the way that I had beaten her up verbally and berated her verbally and bashed her verbally and looked at her in the mirror and thought she was disgusting and ugly and all of that; not good enough and not worthy of love. And so it was a lot of self-forgiveness, so going like, “I'm so sorry,” like, “My sweet body, oh my gosh, I'm so sorry and I love you, and please forgive the way that I've spoken to you and… and thought about you.” So a lot of that, and then, yeah, self-love, absolutely; learning how to love my body and all of its imperfections. And I will tell you now, I just did this amazing photo shoot for this online course that I'm creating that's coming up about body love. And in the shoot we had women, we had 12 women, sizes 0 to size 26; all different shapes, all different sizes, colors, ethnicities, races. And we were in bra and underwear. And it was the most incredibly powerful experience to see women in all of their imperfections and all of the ways that society would define ‘not good enough’, and being brave enough to accept our bodies as they were, to show up and to be seen and to be brave enough to love ourselves in a society that hates themselves. So a huge piece of this transformation for me was learning how to accept the body that I had and believe that it wasn't a mistake that I had it, and that it wasn't a mistake that I got the body that I'm currently in, and work on healing those wounds.

J: Wow. And what's the name of the course? And is it out yet?

M: It is coming out in the next couple months. The course is called ‘Babe Redefined: Make Peace with the Mirror, Quiet the Inner Bully, and Love Your Body’.

J: Woo-hoo! (Laughs). So…

M: Yeah, I'm super excited about it! (Laughs)

J: That'll be on the show notes page at jenriday.com/76. What's happening in the course? What can people expect from your course?

M: Yeah. So in the course, I help people identify the myths that exist within this diet culture that we live in, the myths that there is an ideal form of beauty, and really dispel that really explain why that isn't true, even though the media has made us believe that there is one certain body type that we should all try to attain to be, and all of that. I talked about how diets don't work. I explain how they actually caused way more harm than they do good. And I explained that there is a myth around obesity in this country and a science that… that proves that we have an obesity epidemic is actually not accurate at all and falsified to help sell us products so that we aren't (unclear) [18:03]… and really get into some of that; the politics of that. And then I go into what it looks like to create a new relationship to your body. So we go through a lot of thought work, a lot of belief work around, “What are the misbeliefs that we've been believing about what is required to be loved and how our body has to show up in this world in order to earn that love? And what would it look like if we took all those parameters off? What would it look like if we truly loved ourselves in this moment?” And I go into the practical stuff. We talked about creating affirmations for your body. We talked about intuitive eating. We talked about really getting into a place where you can move your body from a place of love, versus trying to earn love; so getting back to a healthy relationship, to moving your body, versus a lot of disordered beliefs around exercise. And kind of wrap it up in a bow with really creating a new definition of what it looks like to be your own version of beauty. And it's a powerful course. It’s 6 modules at 6 weeks long and it's deep work. I… I went back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to make it kind of a shallow version of this topic and I thought, “No, people need to be able to have a resource where they can dive deep into it.” So I have a lot of exercises for people to go through, a lot of exercises and journal prompts that people can work through so they actually internalize and integrate the content.

J: Awesome; that sounds awesome. I just feel so excited hearing you talk about it.

M: I love it. (Laughs)

J: What's it called again, Mary?

M: So it's called ‘Babe Redefined’.

J: So how can the get on your email list so they can follow and no one that's coming out?

M: Yeah, absolutely. So if you guys go to maryhyatt.com/vibrant, then you are able to sign up for my email list, you can connect with me on my Facebook Live show that I do every single Wednesday, 1 o'clock Central; and that's going to be the best place to find me, obviously. Find me on social media too. I love Instagram, y'all. It is my favorite social media platform because I love beauty, I love aesthetics; I have beautiful photos. But I am real, I am honest, I am authentic, I get down and dirty on… over on Instagram; I love Instastories. So if you want to feel like a personal connection with me, that would be a fun place to connect; on Instagram.

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(Interview resumes) [22:16]

J: So, Mary, you talked about waking up to the fact that you weren't happy and things had to change. So you working on body image, but my mind keeps going back to that divorce and… and, you know, you had this pressure, you married this person kind of against your parents wish… wishes, and obviously, it sounds like you're no longer with… with him, is that right?

M: Correct. Yeah, we got divorced about 2 years ago.

J: So can you share a bit of that process? Because I haven't talked a lot about divorce on the show, but sometimes it's a big part of waking up to being unhappy and being authentic. How did that look for you and how did you face, you know, the guilt and the pain and the… have the courage to do that?

M: Oh my gosh, I love this question. I'm excited to talk about this because I think that it is weighted and I think that, given the fact that, you know, 50% of people are getting divorced today, there's… you know, 1 in 2 people are getting divorced.

J: Right.

M: So it's… it's everywhere. And, for me, entering into the marriage that I did, I never expected to get divorced. My parents are happily married, were, you know, I think 38 years they just celebrated, maybe.

J: Wow.

M: And… and so, for me, that wasn't anything that I had grown up with. And, in fact, I'm the only person to this day that has gotten divorced in my family. And I had all these judgments already around divorce that, “Oh, they didn't try hard enough. If only they had gone to more therapy and worked at it,” you know? In the church that I was raised in, God doesn't agree with divorce; all those kinds of things. And truly, I mean, if you think about the sort of self-discovery process, there are a good amount of women who realize they aren't in a healthy marriage, aren't happy, and end up getting divorced. And also, I thought, “Oh my god, I don't want to be one of those statistics. I don't want to be one of those crazy women who goes on this journey to find herself and ends up screwing her whole life up and getting divorced and, you know, burning her bras and moving out to Bali and, you know, whatever.”

J: (Laughs)

M: I just was like, “Oh my God! That’s not me!”

J: I love the moving to Bali; I love it.

M: You know what I mean.

J: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

M: It’s like that’s like what we read in the media. So I thought, “Oh God, like no, that… no, no, no, that's not me.” So I had to do a lot of work around the judgments that I had against women who were divorced…

J: Yeah.

M: … and couples who were divorced. But, for me, it was kind of a slow awakening. I think that if I were to be truly honest, I knew from day 1 that I probably shouldn't have gotten married; and I don't know that I would have been able to verbalize it at the time, but it was a deep knowing. And I can remember on my honeymoon, I was panicking, I was absolutely panicking and I thought to myself, “How am I supposed to be married to this person? How am I supposed to go a life was just one person?” And that scared me. I was 19… I was 20 when I got married, couldn't even legally drink at my wedding.

J: (Laughs)

M: And that's just… gosh, that's so the southern way; that's another topic for another day. But, for me, it was going, “Okay, now, I've made this commitment, I need to follow…” And, like I said, I loved, you know, my ex-husband. It was… there was 0 hate, it wasn't about that, but I didn't know myself; I did not know myself. And so in order to exist within that marriage, the structure that we had created, the codependency patterns that we had lived under, I had to play small; I had to be a fraction of the person that I was. So, for me, as I started to discover who I truly was, I realized, “No, I have to be the biggest version of myself that I can be, and that is why I was brought on this planet.” And I had this knowing that I thought, “Who I truly am, who I really am in my core and where I see myself going, I don't see him going with me.” Like, it was this knowing that he couldn't go there.

J: Ooh, yeah.

M: That… it was just… it was intuition. And so we had gone through a lot of different struggles. And I… my journey’s maybe a little bit different than some people; we never went to therapy together, ever.

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

M: We never worked on it. Our relationship was based on avoiding conflict. We never talked about anything, we didn't have great communication. We were great roommates, we were great friends, but when it came to intimacy, we didn't know what to do.

J: (Laughs). Yeah.

M: We couldn't talk about our desires, our hopes, our… our fears around a relationship, what we wanted, what… what was offensive; we couldn't do that. And so it was almost a very silent marriage when it related to our own personal way of relating to each other and our intimacy. So I was on a trip to Peru (wasn't Bali, but it was Peru)…


M: I… I had a moment where I finally had woken up so much that it was like, “I literally cannot do this one more day; one more day,” it was the sickening feeling. And it was so scary to finally get to a place where I admitted that because I was trying to just keep going, stuff it, stuff it, stuff it for years.

J: Ugh.

M: And the more that I became awake, the harder it was to keep that voice quiet. And so eventually, it just broke; it burst. And I called him that night and I said, “I need some space. I am going to go to Miami for a while, I don't know when I'm going to be home, and I need some space.” And we… within a few weeks after that, we decided that we were going to get divorced. And he knew it as well; he knew as well.

J: He knew; oh, that's good.

M: And it was amicable, thankfully, it was amicable, but it was the hardest, most gut-wrenching thing that I had ever done. And I remember my family, you know, they were… as much as they didn't support the marriage, I think they were, you know, not supporters of divorce. And they ended up coming around and would say that it was definitely the right decision now. But at the time, there were like, “Well, what about commitment? What about the vows that you made? You know, where does that leave you?” And I… and I really didn't have an answer for that because I hadn't fully reconciled that within my own self at the time, but I just thought to myself, “I just can't do this. If I stay here I will die.” And I said to my mom, I said, “I feel like I have been drowning for years trying to catch my breath and I've just been pushed under water, pushed under water, and finally, it's like I can breathe.” And my mom and my dad, to this day, will say, “We got our Mary back; we got our Mary back.”

J: (Gasps) Aww! That’s so sweet!

M: And just weeping and always had the really powerful conversations together and there's a lot of hurt that had gone on early in our relationship.

J: Oh.

M: And so they’re like, “We got our Mary back. We left, you were gone,” and now I'm just the fullest version of who I am. But it was… divorce is not the easy answer; it is not the easy answer. It was…

J: No, heartbreak.

M: … just agonizing.

J: Yeah.

M: Yeah, it was.

J: So you sound so healthy now; it's amazing. But I was curious, you said, ‘as you awoke’ (as you kind of woke up) what was helping you to become awake? The therapy? The travel?

M: Well…

J: (Laughs)

M: I (unclear) [29:09]… all those things. I took myself to self-discovery school. I had this like moment where… I don't if you've ever done this, but I sort of Amazon book binged.

J: Oh yeah!

M: And, you know, I bought like 25 books on Amazon; they were all about self-help and self-discovery. Because I… there was that moment where I just thought, “Okay, I can't do this any longer. I need to learn whatever there is to learn about actually being happy.” And so I bought all these books, I started reading them, and I started journaling; and I started journaling and journaling and journaling. And as I was writing those words onto the page, it was outpouring of ways and dysfunctions and misbeliefs and limiting beliefs that I had been operating under that I finally was able to become aware of; I was… I didn't even know that any of that existed. And so I was becoming aware of all those subconscious beliefs that were running the show and started to challenge them, started to rewire them, started to rewrite them in a way that was going to help kind of re… redefine and recreate a new life for myself. Like, “If I want to be confident, if I want to be happy, if I want to be in love and be vibrant and alive…

J: Mm-hmm.

M: … what I have to believe in order to feel that way? Where am I going to have to rewrite generational patterns? Where am I going to have to find some extra healing?” So I did a lot, and I a lot of reading, a lot of journaling, the yoga was a big piece of it, I sought out a lot of different healers and therapists and coach. And I sort of… I sort of went all-in because I thought, “This is my life, and either I choose life or I choose death.” And…

J: Ooh, yeah!

M: … I just chose life and I went all the way in.

J: Wow! That's so fantastic. Well, you dealt with the guilt, your parents came around and everything's fine now, but gosh, still, how did you deal with the guilt (Laughs)? You know?

M: Yeah.

J: Because I know… I know people with a Christian upbringing often there's so much pressure in the congregation, in the family, you know?

M: Yeah. And I've been out of the church for a long time, I mean… so I didn't have as much personal guilt on that matter as much it was just being in the family and being raised that way.

J: Ah, gotcha.

M: It was being in the South.

J: Gotcha.

M: So I didn't have as much for that. I think that it was more grief than it was guilt.

J: Mm-hmm.

M: I think it was the grief of a dream….

J: Yeah.

M: … the loss of a dream, the death of a dream, the death of building life with somebody. I had… we had bought our forever home, we had 2 dogs.

J: Yeah.

M: We had set up our life because there wasn’t… you know, there wasn't even an option in the back of our minds that we would get divorced. So it was greeting all of that; all the memories, all of the ways that we were planning for the future, and having to leave that behind and start over, and to be alone for the first time in my adult life because I got married so young…

J: Yeah.

M: … and had really found myself in that marriage. And so to be alone and have to start a whole new life with figuring out how to get inside of an apartment and pay bills and get a credit card and hang up curtains and all those little things that I took for granted in having a …

J: Yeah, yeah.

M: … handy husband and he took care a lot of that; I was single for the first time in my adult life. And so it was… it was a big learning curve. And I think the guilt for me lessened because there was that deep knowing that what I was doing was right; that even if I couldn't fully put to words the internal peace that I felt, it was like, “This is the right decision.” And this may… might not line up with religious beliefs or whatever, it was like, “I cannot deny that I am healthier and happier in the best myself outside of that marriage.” And…

J: Yeah, yeah.

M: … releasing the guilt ultimately and forgiving myself.

J: So, so good. Mary, tell us what is a favorite habit that has contributed to your success?

M: Oh my gosh. I think, for me, it would honestly have to be staying teachable; I don't know that that is necessarily a habit, but the way maybe it turns into a habit that I'm always asking for feedback, so I'm constantly learning. So part of my success is that, the minute that I think that I know it all, my career is going to be dead. So I want to see always how I can do it better, I get excited to hear about new perspective… new perspectives; a new way of seeing things. Because ultimately, my lens is really limited; I'm only seeing it through my own eyes. And so I think a habit would be asking for feedback and continuously learning.

J: Awesome. And your favorite easy meal.

M: Okay, Jen ,I have to be honest, I eat out a lot.


M: So that’s just a season of life that I'm in. So everything that… every meal that I have, I feel like it's pretty easy.


M: I… I practice intuitive eating. So every meal, I'm really listening to my body, I'm seeing what it's asking for; what my body needs. So like this morning, my easy meal was a delicious omelet and an Earl Grey milk latte with almond milk from my neighborhood coffee shop that I go to, just about every day of the week. (Laughs)

J: Okay, intuitive eating; oh, so sweet. And your favorite kitchen gadget.

M: So, yes, I have so many gadgets, and I think that, hands down, my favorite is my garlic press because I love garlic in absolutely anything and I hate chopping it. So…

J: Yeah.

M: … that sucker is perfection; I love my garlic press.

J: Yes, me… I have one too. My husband actually cooks most of our food and he likes to grate his garlic; he's such an elitist. (Laughs)

M: Oh my! Wow! That’s the next level!


J: I know, I know.

M: I love it.

J: Okay, your favorite book or books.

M: Favorite book, 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, I would recommend a book called ‘Loveability’ by Robert Holden. It has changed my life, the way that I see myself, the way I… that I understand love and how I am wholly lovable. So ‘Loveability’ by Robert Holden.

J: And the best advice you've ever received.

M: Alright, I’ve got to give a little shout out to… to my ma; to my mom (Laughs). She always said to me growing up (and still to this day says it), when anything is going wrong, when any roadblock comes up, any challenge, any obstacle, she always asks the question, “What does this make possible?”

J: Ooh!

M: And I love that because you're able to look at those challenges as the… as an opportunity for deeper growth, for deeper learning, for deeper healing, for opportunities to release, to surrender. And so she would always ask us, “Okay, if this doesn't go the way you think it should, what does this make possible so that everything in your life is happening for you rather than it happening to you?” so it takes you out of a place of being a victim, and I love that. So, “What does this make possible?

J: Oh, that's great. And I'll remind our listeners they can find links to everything you talked about, Mary, on the show notes page at jenriday.com/76. And now, let's talk about your happiness formula. So this is fun because you get to take everything you've learned in life and put it into some words that equal happiness.

M: Yeah.

J: So what would you put there?

M: This is such a fun exercise. I thought to myself, “I need to throw this out to my social media people because, wow, what a powerful practice!” And it was hard distilling it down honestly, but I had to ask myself, “Okay, what is happiness for me?” And so I said, “I am happiest when I am being authentic, telling my truth, and staying in the present.”

J: Aha, staying in the present! So define that a little more.

M: Yeah. So, for me, part of living fully alive, experiencing life in 3D means that you're willing to be present for whatever is showing up in this exact moment; having that ability to say, “Oh my gosh, I have a surge of anger. I'm giving myself permission to feel this anger.”

J: Yeah.

M: “Oh my gosh, I'm having a surge of just excitement!” I give myself permission to celebrate and be in that excitement and really stay in it, and asking ourselves always, “What is asking for my highest attention right now?” Because what is this saying? You know, “Anxiety is the fear of things happening in the future that haven't happened yet. Depression is making the past feel like it's happening today.”

J: Yes.

M: “And both of those are escaping the present.” And so, for me, where we can find our true happiness, when we can find just the ability to connect with life is in this present moment. And that truly is all we have. I mean, right now in this podcast, this is all that I'm guaranteed in this moment. And so I better show up for it, I better be here, I better be all here because this may be my last breath.

J: Yeah.

M: And so part of happiness is being willing to show up for what's happening right now. First, it’s escaping through TV, social media, alcohol, food, sex, shopping, overworking and numbing. Being present really contributes to our ability to… to find happiness and fulfillment.

J: Nice. And you're rocking it; way to be present for the podcast! This is a great episode.

M: Thank you!

J: Okay, we will have… let's have a challenge from you to the listeners and then remind us again where we can find you and we'll say goodbye.

M: Okay, great. So my challenge is that… it's sort of an ongoing challenge, but practicing it today, I want to challenge everyone listening to slow down in this moment, take a couple deep breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth, in through the nose, out through the mouth) and ask yourself, “What is asking for my highest attention right now? What needs some loving today?” Because I think that it really is so important to pause and anchor back into our bodies and into our emotions. And so often, we’re… you know, we're jumping from one thing to with all of these of feelings, all of these emotions sort of bubbling up right below the surface, and we keep stuffing them back down. And slowing down and asking this question, allows us to see, “What is really needing some loving attention right now?” You know, “Are you feeling anxious? Maybe you need to take a couple of deep breaths. Maybe you've been sitting for 4 hours and you need to get up and move your legs and walk around a little bit.” You know, “What is asking for my highest attention right now so we can really come back into what's happening right now in the present moment? What needs a little tenderness? What needs a little loving?” and starting to… to ease into a gentle way relating to ourselves. So the challenge is to slow down, ask ourselves, “What is asking for my highest attention right now?”

J: Well, this has been a fantastic episode. I appreciate how authentic you really are; you practice what you preach. And, yeah, thanks so much for being on the show, Mary.

M: Thank you so much for having me, Jen. I've loved it, I love the opportunity to get raw and real and hopefully get permission for other people to do the same; so thank you.

J: Yes, thank you. Take care.

M: Fantastic interview, right? I love how deep and authentic and vulnerable Mary was; so, so touching. I want to remind you to go to our show notes page at jenriday.com/76. You can find that link for RXBARS (the 25% discount code) and you can find links to Mary Hyatt and everything about her and what she's doing. Next week, I'll be talking with Niyc Pidgeon who begins her interview sharing her favorite quote which is that, “Beautiful flowers blossom in adversity.” Niyc then goes on to be very vulnerable and to share her story of being raped and how she decided, “Hey, I'm not going to let this define me,” and she developed some strategies to help her to heal and to let that negativity go. She is now truly living a vibrant and happy life despite that horrible thing that happened to her in the past, and she doesn't let it pull her down anymore. So if you've ever had something difficult happened to you or someone you need to forgive or a trauma you might have, I think you're really going to love that episode. So I will see you next week, and until then, take care.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast at www.jenriday.com.