Maribeth Doerr

Shades of Healing ~ Creating a Wholehearted Life

A Pre-op PSA

On July 12, I had tympanoplasty type III surgery on my left ear. The drum ruptured in January with no healing in 6 months and over half of my ear drum was gone. The surgery went well, and I’m still recovering. It will be a few months before we know if the graft has worked. In the meantime, I really can’t hear very well. In an effort to find the positive, I made this PSA video for women (especially the over 50 crowd) who will be having surgery. Enjoy ūüėČ

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Bobcat Sightings and Sighings

As I work on moving and revamping my blog while entertaining some new health issues, I wanted to share a few pictures with you lest you think I’ve totally disappeared. Last June, we moved from our little apartment to a rental house in the farthest west neighborhood of my town. We have a hill directly behind us, and we get to enjoy all kinds of wildlife sightings including birds (especially my husband’s favorite red tailed hawks), bunnies galore, jackrabbits, squirrels and tiny lizards in the summer.

Yesterday, we saw this bobcat on the rock wall at the top of the hill. He (she?) hung out there for at least 30 minutes after we noticed him. I had time to dig out the Canon and telephoto lens, and we’ve decided we need to keep it handy! He sat there and groomed just like any cat and then laid down for awhile. Such a gorgeous face.¬† My newest medication was causing a serious case of the blues and the gift of seeing this amazing animal did so much to lift my spirits.¬† What a gift! Do you find seeing nature like this lifts your spirits?

Enjoy! We certainly did! If you click on each picture, you’ll get a larger view.

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Healing Gratitude – Amy Purdy’s TEDTalk

Check out this incredible TEDTalk by Amy Purdy:

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Healing Gratitude Quotes

Gratitude is a flower that blooms in noble souls. ~ Pope Francis

Gratefulness makes two hearts glad. ~ Else Pannek

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. ¬†‚Äď Maya Angelou

It’s not possible to be upset and worried while feeling appreciative.  ~ Patti Teel

If the only prayer you say in your life is ‚Äėthank you,‚Äô that would suffice.¬†~ Meister Eckhart

Gratitude can occur in the most unlikely of circumstances.  ~ Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. in his book, Thanks!:  How the new science of gratitude can make you happier

Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into your life.  ~Marci Shimoff

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Identity Crisis?

Last fall, we found ourselves in a major upheaval (aren’t all upheavals major?) when we needed to sell our house quickly to avoid bankruptcy. ¬†We did, thankfully, and in the process had less than 30 days to sort through 26 years worth of¬†junk possessions. ¬†What do we toss, sell, donate, store, take with us to an apartment 1/4 of the size of the house we were leaving? ¬†Where can you go when you can’t buy right away and your bad credit score prevents an apartment complex from accepting six months rent in cash? ¬†We did it though even when someone told us they didn’t want to rent to “people like us” (from the place where we offered to give them 6 months rent the day we moved in when we closed escrow). ¬†We did it even though we lost our beloved German shepherd the day we moved. ¬†We did it! ¬†We did it with broken hearts over our Rolf and we did it with glad hearts for a fresh start in new digs. ¬†We did it even though our last remaining child at home moved elsewhere and we became empty nesters (even emptier without our dog). ¬†We did it even though we didn’t like each other very much through the process. ¬†We did it even though it was embarrassing. ¬†And we survived.

Once the fog lifted and it was time to get back to business as usual, I had a shock. ¬†A¬†few days before my blog name (domain name) expired, I tried to transfer it away from WordPress to my usual registar so my whole blog could be on my VPS. ¬†Wordpress blocked it (supposedly for my protection) and through a comedy of errors on both their part and mine (being that I was preoccupied with the above), when the block was removed, I didn’t realize it and a Japanese lingerie site (soft porn!) took over MY NAME. ¬†My domain name was my personal name which I’m not typing here because I don’t want you to go there and give them any traffic. ¬†But people, MY NAME dot com! ¬†I am not a soft porn site and oh the agony and embarrassment. ¬†I’ve spent four months trying to fix this. ¬†I’ve spent those same months trying to get my first name dot com and they never respond. ¬†So this blog has hung in limbo as I’ve tried to sort out what to do. ¬†In short – a bit of an identity crisis. ¬†It’s turned into a long process and the links to my name dot com are everywhere so using my name dot net isn’t going to be helpful – people will usually go to a dot com.

It’s time to move on. ¬†Until I figure out if this blog even needs a name, I’ll be hanging out here at



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Friday Faves – The Most Important Question You Can Ask

‚ÄúThe most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThe most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.‚ÄĚ

Eric Klein has an amazing website and newsletter called Wisdom Heart. In his newsletter on Wednesday, he closes with this incredible thought:

Albert Einstein said that the most important question a person can ask – and answer – is this: “Is the Universe friendly?”
What makes this such a critical question? Because, how you answer determines the degree of openness of your “door of consciousness.‚ÄĚ
“If your mind perceives the Universe as unfriendly – it will contract and defend the borders of identity from all “foreign influences” – including wisdom, health, love, and joy.
But, as you attune to gratitude, the defensive postures of consciousness relax. ¬†The cells of your body and the petals of your mind to receive the ever-present blessings of Life. ¬†You realize – you’re surrounded! ¬†What a blessing.”
Incredible right?  How do you perceive the Universe?
You can learn more about Eric’s work at
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Can You Help Me Bring Yoga to Women Pregnant After Pregnancy/Infant Loss?

In 2014, I had a successful GoFundMe campaign to complete Baby Loss Doula Training.  Thank you all so much for helping me achieve that dream.  In 2015, I completed the requirements and am a certified baby loss doula.  I help women and families in my community as well as across the country (and even one in Australia!).  I do this work as a volunteer, and as a woman who went through labor knowing my baby would be born dead (and knowing after delivery that my second son would die as well), I understand the need for women to have someone help them make plans for their birth when they know their baby will not survive.  This work is truly a labor of love.  These babies are wanted and cherished and these few moments (or days) after birth is the only chance their parents have to parent them.  I help them decide how they want to do exactly that.  You helped me achieve a dream come true!  Thank you thank you thank you!

On that first GoFundMe campaign, I had a wish list that included Prenatal Yoga Teacher training. ¬†I am a registered yoga teacher (RYT) and now it’s time for me to take the next step in helping women who experience pregnancy/infant loss and to full fill that first campaign. ¬†Pregnancy after loss is an incredibly emotional roller coaster. ¬†Yoga helps with anxiety and stress; yoga for women who are pregnant again after pregnancy loss not only helps with grief but also with the fear that goes with another pregnancy. ¬†It also helps with bonding with the new little one while holding space for the love for the baby that died.

I want to bring yoga to these women and I pray and hope you’ll help me. ¬†My goals are to teach locally, to offer private lessons both locally and via skype which includes grief coaching and to make yoga videos for women who are not local or wish to learn over the internet. ¬†I have yet to find anyone who is serving families in this way. ¬†It’s needed – and badly!

I need your help to fund my training. ¬†And good news! ¬†Since my first GoFundMe where I thought I’d have to travel to San Francisco, there is now a prenatal yoga teacher training in my area (where I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training)¬†beginning in January 2017, provided there are enough signups at the training studio. ¬†I need $1370¬†by January 1, 2017. ¬†The additional amount to $1500 is for the fees that GoFundMe and WePay charge for this fundraiser (7.9% plus .30 per donation). ¬†Can you help?

My wish list items include:  hoping to be certified in chair yoga and gentle yoga so that I can teach seniors at my church.  I am a Registered and Certified Yoga Teacher.  It would be helpful to be certified in chair yoga ($695) and gentle yoga for seniors ($495).  I can teach these now; however I am not certified and in teaching seniors, certification is extremely helpful and valuable.

I am in the process of creating my own brand of Yoga for Grief and I hope to debut that in Summer 2017.  In the meantime, I humbly ask you to help me help women grieving a pregnancy loss and/or trying to conceive/are pregnant again after a loss(es).  Getting back in touch with your body after such a loss is so important and vital.  Yoga can do this; someone trained in pregnancy loss support AND yoga can help these women move forward with less anxiety which always is better for baby!  Help me be that person.

To donate, click here.  And thank you for sharing this information with your friends and family.

From my heart to yours,



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Friday Faves – Helping, Fixing or Serving?

mary and mariFor those of you who like to serve others, here’s a wonderful article by Rachel Naomi Remen, MD. ¬† I think it’s important to think about the why behind our efforts to work with others and this article helps us do that by asking if we’re there to help, fix or serve . . .

Helping, fixing and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.

Doesn’t that make you pause and rethink what you’re doing and what’s your motivation? ¬†I love to “help” but I don’t think I see life as weak. ¬†Have I been conveying that to people? ¬†Perhaps I’ve been serving all along (because it does feel like soul work) and it’s a matter of semantics. ¬†Whatever it is, it’s good to think about it and reassess my big WHY. ¬†Here’s another juicy quote:

Those who serve have traded a sense of mastery for an experience of mystery, and in doing so have transformed their work and their lives into practice.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article!

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Friday Faves – What’s your miracle?

I admit I’m a sap about a lot of things, but this Youtube video probably makes even the toughest of the tough cry. ¬†Meet Charlotte Bottger who has cerebral palsy. ¬†Like most little girls, she has dreams of being a ballerina. ¬†Her father raised enough money to bring Charlotte¬†to the USA for surgery that would help her walk. ¬†This video is Charlotte dancing with¬†David Pickering and Sander Blommaert of The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House in London. ¬†It is precious and delightful and full of inspiration, and you’ll need kleenex at the end when she says, “I’m a ballerina.” ¬†Yes Charlotte, you are!

Charlotte’s story was featured on a TV show called¬†‘What would be your Miracle?‚Äô on ¬†This makes me ask,¬†what would be your miracle? ¬†It doesn’t have to be some big medical cure. ¬†Miracles come in all sizes. ¬†So I ask, what would be yours?

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Shades of Healing – Holding Space for Myself

My Mom, Marie Wilder May 14, 1928 - July 30, 2011

My Mom, Marie Wilder
May 14, 1928 – July 30, 2011

This is my mom, Marie. Last Saturday, May 14,¬†would have been her 88th birthday. May 14 is also my birthday. ¬†Fifty-seven years ago, I got to be someone’s birthday present. After two boys who were 11 1/2 and 7 1/2, my mom didn’t think a baby girl was in the picture. Then I came along, on her birthday, a week late, and she hadn’t spoken to her husband, my dad, in two weeks. He went on a bowling tournament out of town when she was 39 weeks pregnant. I probably wouldn’t have spoken to him either! On the morning of her 31st birthday, my dad dropped mom off at the hospital and went to work. He stopped by the hospital on his way home from work to see if anything had happened. That’s when he found out from his sister, the head OB nurse, that he had a daughter (he was still getting the silent treatment).

Two days later, he walked into my mom’s hospital room on his way home from work and asked my mother if I’d been circumcised yet. Reportedly, my aunt said, “Brother dear, you do know babies come in different styles, don’t you?” That’s when my mother took pity on him and started talking to him again, probably by first laughing her head off. ¬†Such was my beginning into the world ūüėÄ

Because I had these two older wilder (yes that’s a pun on my maiden name) brothers, my mom was afraid I would turn out terribly spoiled. She asked my pediatrician about it and he told her, “Mrs. Wilder, she’s not spoiled; she’s just well loved.” And that was what my mother did best – she loved well. She was critical and judgmental but she loved well. It took someone who didn’t have her mother’s love to point this out to me. Life is amazing like that. ¬†Six weeks before she died, my mother¬†threw her arms around me and said, “you are the love of my life!” ¬†She’d never said anything like that to me before. ¬†Looking back, I’m sure she knew she was dying. ¬†A lot of old hurts healed in that one spectacular moment, and I can still feel that hug and her breath on my neck as she said those words, as if it happened a second ago.

I miss her everyday, but especially every May 14. Out of the 52 years we had, we spent 50 birthdays together. My parents worked hard to make that happen! I tend to not quite know to do with myself on my birthday these days but it’s not a sad day either; it’s just very different. I’ll figure it out eventually! ¬†In the meantime, I hold space for my own healing (see previous post¬†on holding space – yes, we can hold space for ourselves too!).

bartoloThis year, I’d planned to visit my hospice patient who was just two weeks older than my mom. ¬†I actually first met this woman at my mother’s funeral, and it just felt right to spend a few hours with her on my birthday. ¬†She died five days before so I really felt lost which seems to bring out some ADHD in me. ¬†Do you fellow grievers ever feel like grief gives you squirrel brain? ¬†From the time I woke up on my birthday, I cried, I tried to read, I did some shopping – nothing was settling me down. ¬†I tried quilting and my sewing machine was acting up so I wanted to google some help. ¬†As I walked into my office, the picture to the right¬†was sitting in front of my monitor. ¬†It’s a picture of Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon. ¬†I started to laugh immediately and I knew this was my birthday gift from one of my sons. ¬†Bartolo pitched for the Oakland Athletics (my fave team) when I was terribly sick in 2012 & 13. ¬†He’s a character, and watching him pitch when I was so sick was one of the few bright spots of that summer and fall. ¬†He was traded to the Mets in 2014 and is still with them (BOOOOOOOOOO!). ¬†A few weeks ago, Bartolo¬†hit his first major league home run playing against the Padres in San Diego. ¬†It was a hoot¬†watching this 285+ lb¬†42-year-old pitcher lumbering¬†around the bases; it’s just not something you see everyday and he may have set the record for slowest run around the bases. ¬†We probably watched the clip 5 times! ¬†(I know, we’re a bunch of boring baseball nerds.) ¬†As goofy as this whole story sounds, it was a moodshifter for my birthday. ¬†I laughed and laughed and will chuckle every time I see this picture. ¬†My son got me a goofy gift that he knew I’d get a kick out of and I with that one simple thing, I let go of all the angst that was making my shoulders rise up over my ears. ¬†I could breathe again. ¬†And what do you know, when I got back to my sewing machine, it stopped acting up!

If there are any takeaways to this story, it’s healing is always available, even in the most unlikely of ways and even when we think we don’t need any more healing. ¬†Being open to it and being willing to be surprised by it is one way of holding space for ourselves. ¬† It’s hard to quiet down the¬†squirrel chatter of a grieving mind to listen and hold that space, but when we can open our hearts enough to let in a little light (like laughing at a silly picture), healing happens. ¬†It just does!

If you want to see that 285 lb, 42-year-old first major league home run by Bartolo Colon, check it out here:



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