How To Turn F*** You Into Thank You

Yes, I just went there! And now that I have your attention it’s time to get real.  But before we have this conversation I want you to stop and think about that one person in your life that knows how to trigger you like no other; the one that is the source of all your pain.  The one that you envision falling off the face of the earth because if they did your life would be utterly BLISSFULL.

It didn’t take long for you to envision that person…am I right?

We all have someone in our life that we wish would F off.  Whether it is a family member, an ex, in-laws, a coworker… There are some people that we can’t avoid and we can’t get away from.  For whatever reason they are in our lives and avoiding them isn’t always an option.

Ever wonder why they are in our lives? Is it just to cause suffering? Or, is there something cosmically greater at work here? Think about it.  If we are all here to grow and evolve as compassionate beings, then how would we do that if we didn’t have people like this in our lives.  If life just handed you perfection on a gold platter, would you really appreciate the life you had? We can’t know bliss if we don’t also know anguish.

Pain is an emotion that every single one of us will experience.  We can’t avoid it! And it’s an emotion that many of us want to find a target for.  It’s easier for us to say that someone else is the source of our pain or that this person did me wrong because pointing our finger towards ourselves is too painful.  The reality is that we are triggered by a deep insecurity that we already have brewing inside ourselves.  We are reactive because they are triggering parts of us that are unresolved, parts of us that feel that we are unworthy, and parts of us that feel that we are not good enough.


Thank you for showing me what unresolved parts of myself still need attention. Thank you for allowing yourself to be a mirror for what I need to work on so that I can grow.  Thank you for pushing hot buttons that I didn’t know I still had.  These people that trigger us are our greatest teachers.  I know you may not see it that way right now, but trust me they are.

The truth is nobody can make you feel a certain way unless you allow them to.  Nobody should have that power over you:  the power to control your emotions.   So put that finger down and know that you are worthy and you are enough, and believe it!



How Setting Boundaries Can Help You On Your Journey Towards Forgiveness

Forgiveness is such an emotionally charged and powerful word. For many of us just hearing that word makes us cringe.  There is so much meaning attached to it, and we might not be in a place of wanting to let go of the stories we are holding onto, of the wrongdoings that were done to us.  We want to hold on for dear life, to that pain, because frankly, we are so accustomed to having it as a companion, that we might not know who we are without it.  We might be thinking if we put the pain down, if we let our guard down, we may open ourselves up to being hurt again, and that’s just not an option.


What does it mean to forgive? For me, it meant that I needed to stop drinking the poison.  I needed to stop allowing the other person to have an emotional grip on me.  It meant severing the energy source that was paralyzing me so that I could stop giving my power away.


Forgiveness was about me.  It was the greatest act of self-care.  To be in a place of total freedom, and not allow anyone control over my emotions, my thoughts, or my self-worth.


Not being able to forgive carried consequences of still being attached in a negative energy space, and the only way to release that negative attachment was to be in a place of neutrality, a place where the wrongdoer was neither good nor bad.  A place of understanding that their actions are only a result of what’s going on in their reality, and it had nothing to do with me.


If you’ve read my blog post , you know how difficult my divorce was. Dismantling a long-term marriage with children was no easy task, especially in the Italian community.  A community where your suffering becomes the topic of conversation in every household, and not in a way that is supportive and loving, but in a way that is meant to hold your head under water.


I felt as if I had the world against me.


Lets just say that forgiveness wasn’t on the top of my list of priorities.


The anger raged inside of me for the things that were being said about who I was, what sort of mother I am, and about things that were said that were meant to damage my character.  This sort of sabotage not only landed on my ears, but they also landed on the ears of my children.


This was the moment where I knew that I needed to establish a relationship with my new best friend…BOUNDARIES!


Now, some of you may have grown up like me, in a family where boundaries are nonexistent.  A place where lines are crossed and your life isn’t your own.  So, you can see how establishing boundaries may require you to get a little ugly.  It may seem out of left field if all of a sudden you speak your mind and let someone know that they are crossing the line with you, but nothing good comes out of not speaking your truth and allowing others to hurt you.


Learning to find my voice and my power was the only road to creating boundaries, which ultimately allowed me to let go and forgive.  It was easier to forgive from this place because I was no longer a victim.  I had the power to dictate how others were going to treat me, and if there was something I didn’t like, then I had the power to remove myself from the situation.  


Setting boundaries puts you back in the driver’s seat.  You get to be in a place where you can trust yourself again.  A place where you have choices.  A place of knowing that you are worth more than holding onto the story that is weighing you down.  I am asking you to forgive because you are worth so much more and because freedom is on the other side waiting for you to let go.


Four Tips To Finding Your Flow After a Difficult Divorce

Are you stuck in divorce purgatory? It’s that place where your marriage has died, but you’re not really sure what’s next for you.  The end of a marriage is something that I don’t wish upon anyone, especially when there are children involved, but it is sometimes the necessary option. The unravelling of a family unit brings on so many emotions, and after a divorce, you are left with the question, “What now?” The body is still warm and the mourning process has just begun.  Things may be good for a bit because you are trying to minimize the damage, but when the body turns cold this is the time emotions start running hot.

It’s hard for the ego to not get involved when going through the aftermath of a divorce.  It’s as if you never knew your partner at all, and they act like they didn’t just share a life with you for so many years.  All of a sudden you may not be a reliable and trustworthy parent any longer.  Both parties start feeling like they need to “protect” themselves from the enemy.  This is especially true for anyone dealing with a narcissistic ex.  You can read my previous post about how to handle a narcissistic here  Or, like me you may be in and out of court, having to deal with court counsellors and judges tell you how to handle your own kids, using them as tools to win your battles. In these situations, things can get a little sticky, and finding your FLOW is the only way to give you back the peace you deserve.


F is for FORGIVE

I know this is hard as hell when all you want to do is make the other person suffer as much as you are suffering.  “How do I forgive someone that made my life a living nightmare?” Forgiveness is never about the other person; it’s about setting your soul free and allowing yourself space for love to fill you up, and not anger or spite.  It is very easy to get yourself into a victim mentality; the place where the other person did this to you, but the fact of the matter is you have choices, and it’s time to start making better ones.  Being a victim will only render you powerless.  I’m not asking that you don’t do what you need to do if you are in a volatile divorce that requires you to take the necessary action to defend yourself, but I am asking that you forgive someone that is unconscious.  Forgiveness allows you to elevate yourself to a place where only love remains, and nothing else matters.


L is for LET GO

Let go of expectations.  Expectations always lead to suffering!  We all have expectations after divorce.  Expectations that the other person will do “The right thing,” that the other person will have the best of intentions.  NO, THEY WON’T! I don’t care if you were in a 20-year marriage, after a divorce you are on your own.  Detach from the outcome and there will be no suffering.  Nobody owes you anything.  It’s up to you to create the life you want.  Clearly, the life you had wasn’t working out, so go out and get yours.  Don’t wait around for someone to pick up the pieces.  Pick them up, and move on to the life you are destined for! This is the place you reclaim your voice and your power… remember those things you lost in your marriage?  Letting go is so freeing to your soul.  You will eventually see that you do not need to control and that letting go of the need to pull the strings is liberating.


O is for OBSERVE

Observe your thoughts.  Your thoughts can easily take you down the rabbit hole after a divorce, or grow you to a level that you have never seen before.  The choice is yours!  If you stay stuck in the past on how things should have been, or how you should have handled things differently, you will never be able to get to a place of pure joy, and all you have accomplished is you shoudling all over yourself.  On the other hand, if you can take the lessons (which are abundant after a divorce) and learn to manage your thoughts and get the help you may need, you will be able to find the freedom that you surely deserve.  Consciousness is key; be conscious of the stories that you create and the labels that you give to this experience.  The lessons are neither good nor bad… they just are.  Divorce is just simply that…divorce.  Get rid of the labels and judgements that you attach to that word, and create new meaning to it.  You are no longer married- The End.  Stop telling yourself that divorce is bad, and that you are damaged goods, and that nobody is going to want you.  Trust me, life will move on and you will get through this even stronger on the other side.


W is for WORK

Do the work! Don’t just jump into another relationship and expect the other person to “Complete you.”  You aren’t Jerry Maguire. YOU are the only person that is responsible for YOUR own happiness.  Don’t insert another person into this equation and then dump expectations on their lap.  Remember what I said about expectations? Yes, they lead to suffering, and that will lead you down a path of another failed relationship.  Get the help you need and start looking at how you got here.  Start owning your part.  Divorce is never one-sided.  I don’t care what the situation was. Divorce isn’t overnight.  So many clients say they don’t understand how they got here, but when they take a deeper look they can see all the red flags and warning signs they turned their head to.  Doing the work requires getting raw and vulnerable, and being honest with yourself.  It’s time to get to the core of the problem, and you may not see it when it’s so close to your face.

I know how hard the road to recovery is.  I, too, had to learn the process of letting go after my divorce.  It’s not an easy task, but I was willing to own my part and do the work.  This has led me to living a life I love.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  A life with no regrets, where suffering is no longer a companion of mine, and where freedom is possible.    I can help you, too! Contact me for a complimentary session so that I can help lead you to a place where your life, too, can FLOW.


How Does “The Good Girl” Archetype Put Out The Fire In Your Relationship

Let me first describe to you the characteristics of, “The Good Girl.”  She’s a beautiful soul that learned at a very young age how to please those around her.  She is always very polite, and would never want to hurt a soul, even if it’s at the detriment of her own spirit.  She would rather sacrifice her own happiness in order to go unnoticed.  The word NO is not in her vocabulary, so she learned to always say YES to the world around her.  She worries about what other people think and say, which taught her to suppress her own dreams and desires.  She isn’t always honest about her feelings, because having her own opinion isn’t valued. She carries the expectations of those around her like an anchor on her feet. Her religious and/or cultural upbringing shames her for being a sexual woman, and for having desires of her own.


 Growing up female isn’t easy…is it? Especially when you are “The Good Girl.”


As a young girl, we were taught who we needed to be and how we needed to behave.  We were groomed to be impeccable because anything less than is unacceptable.  “You must dress a certain way or people will think you are a slut, you must cross your legs or someone may get the wrong idea, you must not use foul language because it is not ladylike, you must not talk to boys because they only want one thing, you are not allowed to date because you might get pregnant, and you can’t have sex out of marriage because God will forsake you.”  The list was endless, and the fears were engrained.  There were no conversations about our body and about sex because abstinence was the only option.


At some point in our childhood, we may have believed some of these outrageous beliefs. How does this happen?! It starts off by something so innocent, such as mom walking into her daughter’s room while she is exploring her own body, and mom gives her daughter a horrified look and tells her that it’s not ok to do that.  There you have it! The first scar that her daughter will carry forever. Now the child equates touching herself to shame and disgust.  Or, maybe you went to a school where the dress code was very strict, and you received a message that you needed to cover up your body because it was too distracting for the boys.  You may have been raised in a family where having sex outside of marriage gets you a one-way ticket to hell, so you carry this guilt and shame your entire life, into all your relationships.  Eventually, we learn to build walls around us in order to stay protected from the outside world. The outside world is unsafe, boys are unsafe, and my body is unsafe.  Words like….SHAME, BAD, INAPPROPRIATE, DIRTY, SINFUL…are words you may have associated with your body.


We’ve been taught that it’s not safe to be a female and that we have to protect ourselves from men. That we need to cover our bodies like a shield.  We weren’t taught that the female body is something that should be celebrated, loved, cherished, and explored.  We weren’t taught that our body is sacred and that we should embrace every part of it. We weren’t taught to accept it, and love it for all it was created to be.  We weren’t taught to enjoy the pleasures that the body was created for (and YES it was created for pleasure).


How do carrying these beliefs around wound your romantic relationships?


If you were never taught how to be a sexual or sensual woman, a woman with desires of her own, because that part of you needed to be turned off and disconnected (because it was considered dangerous), then you aren’t experiencing love to the fullest.  You aren’t letting the veil down and exposing your true authentic self and vulnerable self to your partner.  How would you have been able to automatically tune out all those fears that you were conditioned to believe?


This is a pattern that I have witnessed in my coaching practice.  So many women, in long-term relationships, have never truly and fully let their partner in.  They have never experienced the joy of connecting and touching their own body, of being fully naked with their partner, or of even looking at their body in the mirror.  This causes a sense of detachment to our own body, a sense of powerlessness. We have never owned our own body! It has become an instrument that needs protection.

The good news is that it is not too late to reclaim these parts of you!


The feminine can be healed by nurturing every aspect of her, especially those that were shamed and shut down by the dominant culture.  The first step is recognizing the stories you are telling yourself.  I get it! I, too, was “The Good Girl.” I know how hard it is to unlearn everything you know to be true and to not let fear, shame, and guilt get in the way of a thriving relationship.  Go back to your younger self and see where these thought patterns started. When did the stories of fear and protection around your body start taking shape?

The next step is to start having a relationship with your body.  You can’t expect your partner to be connected to you if you yourself aren’t connected.  Find out what makes you feel sexy…maybe play some loud music when you are alone and dance around the house! Maybe start touching yourself and see what feels good. Baby steps! I realize you aren’t going to go from zero to sixty overnight.

Another extremely effective tool is to unveil your body in front of a mirror and look at it daily. It sounds crazy for some of you, but this is the only body you have, and you should embrace it for all the miracles it has given you!

These are just a few tricks to try out. If you would like to know how to take this even further, send me an email! I would love to hear from you.  I realize there are so many layers to this conversation, and we are just getting started.  So, be sure to get on the email list that way you don’t miss out on more of this conversation.





How To Handle A Narcissist: Three Of My Top Tips For Keeping Your Cool

Each one of us has had to deal with a narcissist at some point or another:  Whether it was an ex, a boss, or a family member.  Dealing with a narcissist can be extremely difficult and exhausting as all hell! The recurring question that I get asked is “How do I deal with someone that has to win at all costs?”

Narcissists have this amazing ability to make you feel like you are the crazy one, like you are wrong for thinking the way you think, and for feeling the way you feel.  It’s as if they have this super power; a gift that plants doubt inside you that makes you second guess your choices. How do they do it?! Let me first paint a picture of who you are dealing with here…

Narcissists are ego driven; meaning everything they do is to feed their ego. If you have encountered someone that has the need to win, that has to be right at all costs, that needs to be superior, that has their worth tied to their achievements, that needs to control others in order to support the outcome they desire, and the need to be seen as “the good guy/girl”…you may be dealing with a narcissist. 



Here are my tips on how to handle a narcissist:

1.  Don’t fight back! You already know that you will never win, and you will never get them to empathize with your point of view.  So why do you keep fighting it? If they say the sky is red, then let it be red.  Narcissists thrive on anyone that supplies them with the drugs they need, and that drug is being right.  You will keep spinning in the hamster wheel of getting nowhere with someone that will never say to you, “You know what Amy, you are right, I didn’t see things your way.” And continuing to fight will only mirror more of what you don’t want, which is a narcissist in your face.

2.  Let go of any expectations.  What do I mean by this? I realize some of you have no choice but to deal with a narcissist, so going radio silent on them may not be a viable option.  If you are forced to deal with this person, then having expectations will be the death of your sanity. Expectations that they will do the right thing, that they care about your best interest (or the interest of anyone other than themselves for that matter), that they are able to carry a conversation that doesn’t have their interest at the top of their mind.  IT’S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!

3.  Remember who you are and what you value.   It’s easy to get sucked into a vicious cycle of crazy when you are dealing with a narcissist. You feel like you are constantly having to defend yourself and prove yourself to everyone.  You may be constantly defending who you are as a mother, as a partner, and a daughter.  Why are you defending yourself? Because a part of you may be feeling that they are right, or that you need to prove your self-worth.  You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone.  You are worthy just as you are, and anyone that doesn’t see it, well they don’t belong in your life.  You need to remember what it is you value.  Do you value peace and harmony? Do you value love and acceptance? Do you value REAL connection? If so, then put the gloves down, and understand that nobody can take your self-worth away.

If what you fight against you get more of, then getting in the rink with a narcissist will only get you more blows to the face. Narcissists need people to inflate their ego, so if you cut the supply they will find another victim to feed on.  Take the path of least resistance, and surround yourself with people that love and support you, with people that know your worth.







Butterfly Magic: The Story of How I Found My Way Back to Me & Emerged into A Whole New Life

There is a butterfly in each and every one of us.

But before she can emerge from her cocoon, she must first go within – she must retreat from the world of noise, chaos, and control to reclaim her ultimate purpose: to fly without limitations, with total release and abandon.  In flying, she is able to see for the first time a world of possibility, freedom, joy, and passion.

She reminds me of my own sacred unfolding.

Sometimes, it seems as though that journey began so long ago.

I yearned for that vibrancy, that freedom embodied by the butterfly who roams as she chooses.  I wanted to fly away from limitations, away from others’ expectations – from needing the approval of everyone around me, from living a life that wasn’t mine.

I wanted out of the cultural chains that held me back: the very same chains that anchored generations of women before me.

What made me think that I could be the first in my family to break these heavy chains? I had no role models to show me the way.  I had nobody encouraging me to follow my dreams, my passions.  Nobody around me recognized the suffering that I had brewing inside of me.  I was led by generations of women who had guilt as their constant companion: “Marisa, you need to be a good mother, and a good wife, and keep your house clean, have dinner ready on the table, and tell your kids what to do, and always stand by your husband’s side.”

Is this it for me?

Where am I in all of this? How did I get here? How did I become so robotic? How is it that I am going through the motions…without any emotion? How did I lose the vibrant, passionate, creative girl that I was, the person that so desperately wanted to help other people?

When did I stop valuing her? When did I lose her? Or…did I give her away in exchange for a cage made up of other people’s expectations?

You can’t contribute if you don’t know you matter.

THAT’S IT!   How could I follow my passion for helping others, for making a difference in the world, for being fully present with my loved ones…if I didn’t value myself?

How could I keep everything the same – not challenge my beliefs, continue living according to everyone else’s expectations, constantly hustle for approval – and expect different results?

I needed to recover the real passion of my life. I needed something that was going to light me up from within.  I needed to get real in my relationships, get clear about what I wanted and needed, and then ask for it.

Most of all, I had to be willing to go inside that cocoon so that I could EMERGE and fly. Only then would I be able to fully contribute from a place of knowing that I matter.

As all of this whirled inside me, my soul cried for help with a roar that burst out of me. It was beautiful and terrifying, all at the same time.

It was the cry of generations of women buried inside my soul, needing to be expressed, to be seen, to be heard for the first time ever.

Letting myself feel that absent presence was an act of courage that I didn’t know I had within me.  It felt like a volcanic eruption that needed to be released.  Once I surrendered to that yearning, only then could I see the suffering that wasn’t just mine, but all of ours.

The space that opened up within me when I let out that gasping roar of pain and lack and loneliness called me. That was when I knew I needed to go within myself in order to heal what had been eclipsed inside of me.  I couldn’t help others if I was in a place of unworthiness, a place where my life wasn’t as important as the lives of those around me. How could I help other women if I was still drowning in my own limiting beliefs? Until I addressed the suffering within me, I knew I couldn’t rise to my calling, when I was suffering deep down inside.

It was time to retreat, to go inside the cocoon, in solitude, to seek my life within.

Journeying within was unfamiliar. But I’ll tell you this: it is where the quiet is – such a difference from the reactive environment that I was deeply accustomed to.  Within, I found a place where nothing on the outside exists; a place I could go to find my truth.

It’s where my voice met my spirit, and their conversation was stillness.

My body disappeared, and my thoughts became distant. This was the true self-care that I desperately needed.  This was where I found the real me.  It was the place where I recovered my purpose.

Before that day, the day when I went within and sat with the stillness, I thought I knew what self-care meant.

It meant going to the spa and getting a massage or getting my nails done; planning a lunch date with my girlfriends; going to the mall and buying a new outfit.

Although all of these things are great and they serve their purpose, in the end, they only afforded me the illusion that I was in charge of my life. In reality, keeping a busy social calendar only made my cage more spacious.  But a cage is still a cage, and our spirits cry, “Freedom!”.

Self-care starts within you.  You can’t keep doing and doing all these things on the outside to fill the deep gaping hole inside of you.

Only by spending time in the cocoon can you find true healing.  Unless and until we do, we’re just putting a Band-Aid on an open wound that won’t close. This is why the same issues arise over and over again and no amount of mani/pedis seems to help.

Again, and again, you know deep down that you’re resisting the lesson, the message, the yearning that goes unanswered until you turn back toward yourself.

It starts with a decision to stop turning your back on yourself, your spirit.

Although my life was incredibly busy – and seemed ‘perfect’ on the outside – I was not healing the core of my being.

I needed deep self-care, the kind that reconnected me to my truth, to my passion, and to my purpose for living.

I armoured myself with courage and focused on what was true: I was created for some purpose. And the truth of who I was at my core must be inseparable from this purpose. I didn’t belong to anyone other than myself.  The battle for my worthiness, this fight, was, at first, internal:  I had to shed the layers of lies that I had to be anything other than who I was created to be.

I owed this to myself.  And it wasn’t about anyone or anything other than reconnecting to my spirit.

But…people do not like change. Human beings are wired to be afraid of the unknown.  We thirst for certainty, predictability, and the comfort of expectations met: “If you leave your marriage what does this mean? How will you support yourself? What will happen to the children? What will people say about you, about our family?”

It’s a funny thing, isn’t it? When the soul tries to break free, it is almost always met externally by a force of opposition, one that is the cumulative result of other people’s unresolved fears about themselves, their worthiness, their ‘reputation’, their need for certainty.

What did other people say about me?

They said I was a drug user, a stripper, and a lesbian.  I must be a lesbian for wanting to leave my husband, right?

And THIS was the small-minded mentality that I had been living my life for? That I was seeking approval from? That I lost myself to?

This was one big kahuna of an aha moment!

Of course, after any devastation or apparent loss…comes a chance for new growth: a rebirth, a transformation, and wings to fly. It was time for me to EMERGE.

Even the tiny caterpillar has the wisdom not to grieve its outgoing form, doesn’t it? For it expects the miracle that’s to come.

YOU are that miracle, just as I am. We all are!

I cannot tell you how my life changed once I did the work: and I continue to grow and evolve.

Once I declared my commitment to return to myself and recover my deepest truth, my most authentic being, and my highest purpose…then and only then was I able to experience real relationships and deep, powerful, growthful connection.

Before, I wasn’t really IN my relationships because I was showing up as persona: the good daughter, good wife, the good mother (according to everyone else).

But when I turned back toward me, my spirit, I was finally able to BE in my relationships…as me. The real me. Not Marisa 2.0…but me, walking with purpose and embodying my spirit.

I am living my life for me, and I model for my children that they must do so also.

And I am able to be more present and to love unconditionally.  I have no time, no space, no more eff’s to give for conditional love.

Human beings who have not recovered their spirit and their purpose demand conditions be put on love…because the idea that we might not have to do anything in order to be worthy of love and respect is a surprisingly radical one – still!

Because having traded chains and a cage for the ecstasy of flying, we’ve had to learn to tell ourselves that we NEED our chains because to fly without restraint or regard for convention is dangerous, reckless, selfish. Especially if you’re a woman.

But the chains that bind our freedom to live with infinite possibility do not make us safer, just as they do not guarantee that we will be able to control life. They do not, as it turns out, create more responsible citizens: just sadder, more isolated ones.

The counterfeit values and shaming, finger-wagging warnings to color inside the lines only delay the moment when we return to embody, fully, the miracle that we are.

Because my life is a gift that was given to me, so is yours, and it is time to open the present.

The freedom that comes with the gift of a life lived fully is priceless.  And you deserve this! We all do!

Being able to help other women recover this same freedom is my passion – first, supporting you to create real connection to yourself; and then in your relationships.

Let me make it easy to help you get started: I’m offering a limited number of complimentary, 45-minute Butterfly Magic Strategy Sessions. Simply send me an email at


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