Description: In this episode, Kelli interviews author Mary Marantz who discusses how she used her past to make peace and move forward. She learned from the experiences she’s had and shared with Kelli’s listeners her most impactful practices to lead a more peaceful life. This is truly an inspiring way to “get rid of the dirt” and an episode that you will not be able to stop listening to!
In this episode you’ll learn:
Mary Marantz describes her newest book, “Dirt: Growing Strong Roots In What Makes The Broken Beautiful” as something that will give you a sense of comfort and nostalgia. She initially wanted to share her story with people and express that you can make peace with your past, no matter what has happened, and embrace failure and the tougher times to come through even stronger. The aspect of “dirt” in the title comes from both literal and figurative dirt in Mary’s life. Growing up, her father worked outside and would drag mud into the house every night. Since her mother wasn’t around, Mary took care of the house and felt as though she could never get rid of the dirt from her father’s work boots. He kept bringing more in when she would finally get the carpet clean, which made her feel like she had no control over the situation. She grew to realize that this lesson is relevant not only literally, but figuratively, too. Everyone has “dirt” in their stories, things that they’re somewhat ashamed to share with others. These elements are things that you can’t get away from, just like the dirt on Mary’s father’s work boots. Instead of running from the things that dim your days, embrace them and work through them.
Mary also took this time to explain that she connects the elements of dirt to the creation of all beings, as she believes in the story of God and his creations. She says “ And so for any of us who feel like we’re too muddy, for any good to come from our lives, I think some of the best creations we know have come from the dirt in the mud”. She encompasses this idea throughout her book.
Mary noticed as she was moving through life that she had this looming sense that everything she had was on the brink of slipping through her fingers. From the time she was young, she was faced with instability and uncertainty in many aspects of her life, forcing her to be able to take advantage of whatever was in front of her at the time. She added that this made her extra cautious, too, because she didn’t know what she could trust. Mary shares that for her to make peace with her past, she had to escape this scarcity mindset. Instead of using the things that happened to you in the past as an explanation for things that will happen in the future, you have to shift your mindset to see these experiences as separate instances. Each time you discredit your future by using the past as “proof”, you’re limiting yourself and your growth to those past experiences. You have to make sure that you’re allowing yourself to see your full potential beyond the experiences you’ve had before.
Along with overcoming a scarcity mindset and seeing your full potential, you have to figure out what it is you’re trying to prove and why. Mary relates to this feeling of needing to prove herself because growing up with a scarcity mindset made her feel that everything she had would eventually be gone. The need to prove that you’re enough and that your worth comes from the idea that if you can accomplish this, you might not lose what you have. Even though Mary later learned that this isn’t how things are in reality, she went through a lot of her life without knowing that she just needed to prove it to herself. Instead of looking for reasons that she had failed at something in the past to discredit her future, she began pointing out all of her successes and the things that had gone right before. Finding the positive evidence in your life makes it much easier to make peace with the negative aspects of your past.
Mary shares that she struggles with depression and that keeping herself in check does get challenging sometimes. She encourages Kelli’s listeners to remember that you can’t accomplish everything on your own. If you keep pushing too hard, you’ll burn out, so she strongly believes in having a network of support in whatever way suits you. Everyone has come to a point where they feel like they’ve reached a dead end to realize they want to change. As you start to recognize yourself feeling “sick and tired of being sick and tired”, Mary encourages you to understand that as you listen to yourself and what you need, you’ll feel these moments less and less over time, or they’ll become much easier to deal with.
While trying to recognize your own patterns, Mary suggests that you focus on the bigger picture of life. She uses COVID-19 as an example and says that though the last year or two haven’t been great in terms of the specifics of the pandemic, the fact that collectively society was able to slow down and realize what we all wanted as individuals was a beautiful thing. The bigger picture of the pandemic is that everyone has a greater idea now of what something means to each of us and what we see as empty junk in our busy lives. Sure, a lot of things were changed throughout the pandemic, and people were forced to adapt, but they were also given the opportunity to weigh the different aspects of their life to find what is most important for their happiness and success. Taking this idea into consideration during your daily life makes it easier to make peace with negative things and move to a calmer mind.
Mary describes a story in which she and her family went to Hawaii and her father had never been on a plane before. He was sitting in Hawaii on vacation and became emotional because he had never imagined that he would have the opportunity to have a dream like that come true in his lifetime. Mary said her father often made it seem impossible to grow out of the way things were. Not having hope that things can change and get better in the future limits yourself and your potential. It’s so powerful if you can always believe that you can do better. Realizing that her father had limited his life to what he thought was “reality” instead of allowing himself the possibilities of any of his dreams made Mary want to change her way of life to avoid regrets. Being the voice in your family or group of loved ones that can portray these endless possibilities can be a huge positive influence to break the patterns of generational hardships and limitations.
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