In another life, Mary Mason may well have been one of those favorite, super-cozy sweaters you inherited from a loved one. Hip and a bit hippy-like; softened with comfort; quirkily colorful yet somewhat low-key. She’s also a statement for metamorphosis, which her new budding consultancy, The Mpath, embraces.
Mary finds that when most people are introduced to holistic health, its power and possibility defy a singular sentence. The realm is so involved—and involving—for her. Here’s her a-ha moment:
“I always seemed to be in touch in a particular way, with a different kind of sensitivity to others and situations and emotions. I wasn’t like everybody else. I remember when I was a very young girl, growing up in northwest Pennsylvania near Lake Erie. My sister, our two best friends and I would do crazy things while hiking. They liked to stand in one of those huge storm drains that spills down a cliff into the stream way below, and they’d take pictures,” remembers Mary. “But I was too afraid to pose with them, and they thought that was funny.”
Years later, she witnessed a young boy refusing to have his picture taken in that same storm drain, fearful of the rushing waterfall behind him . “I could just feel what he was feeling. Not just relate to it. I had the actual feeling—that he was supposed to not feel. He was expected to do like everybody else who was with him. It was then that I realized, ‘That’s my calling. I’ll be darned.’ I wanted to somehow make it easier for people to be exactly who they are.”
Mary believes in fighting for tolerance, acceptance and an appreciation for diversity. Life is a process, she thinks. Everything is as it should be, even though solving the universal mysteries we face is the drive and purpose in our lives. Mary defines this pursuit of a Greater Being as getting to “The Source.”
Here’s more about this empath’s ebb and flow.
You became a member at Vibe shortly before the Grand Opening celebration in October, and dove right in as a volunteer. How did you introduce yourself to other guests that night?
Mary: It came out naturally. I kept saying over the course of the night. “Hi, I’m Mary Mason, I’m one of the life coaches you might actually have fun talking with.” That was my ice breaker. And then, in the course of conversation, I shared my philosophy.
What I believe is that life is a gift to be celebrated. Expressed, cherished, honored. Whether you’re sweeping the floor of a high school or giving a presidential address to the nation, honor the opportunity you’ve been given.
It’s not about being on autopilot. Life happens, and we get caught up in the noise, judgment, expectations, intimidation or oppression. We start to shrink inward. But if you learn how, and this is my practice with The Mpath, to connect in a real way with your Source, whatever you believe that to be, you can learn to hear, listen and begin to feel and plug in. You start to seek and you evolve and you become authentic.
What sort of response did you get to the unique services that you offer?
Mary: Many people said, “I have so many friends who would love to hear about this.” (Now that’s what I want to hear!)
What was your favorite part of the Vibe Grand Opening celebration?
Mary: What I found really, really heartwarming was when [Vibe cofounder] Marcel wanted everyone to yell “Happy grand opening!” Seeing such a look of joy and exuberance on his face. And everyone joined in to congratulate Vibe on all the coming together, support and energy that the collective celebration recognized. I mean, this place is for all of us.
Who would be your ideal client?
Mary: Anybody who “gets” that the meaning of life, your purpose, is the most important thing. No amount of money and no make of car and no sprawl of constructed square footage, no fill in the blank will ever bring lasting joy like living authentically. And when you tell your truth, you pave the way for others to do the same.
What’s your favorite tattoo?
Mary: Gee, I have so many! I think the first one. It’s Japanese peacock [primarily green, purple and aqua; traces her upper right hand and spills along the wrist line to her forearm]. This one, in particular, tells a story, because her feet are chained to a tree, and all she wants is to be free, but the key [here] unlocks that chain. And she’s free to be. My life was really restricted for a really long time. It was tough, but I feel freedom close to me now.
How did your becoming “The MPath” come about?
Mary: I started out in counseling for a private practice for eight years, and I really loved it. But working in mental health, if you’re a deep-feeling person, you absorb a lot of it, taking that home with you. I wanted to get someplace where I wasn’t always diagnosing people. Instead, I wanted to work with people who are really intrigued with living a life of higher awareness. Of enlightenment. It’s changed my whole life in the past 18 months.
You use the quote “if you just set people in motion, they’ll heal themselves”. What does that mean to you?
Mary: I’ve always believed that people have the answers to their own problems. They have on-board answers. It’s within their power. The secret is tapping into one that are already there. I believe that you do that through creativity and movement. When you put your life in motion that way, things open up. It really did for me when I found Conscious Dance. It was a bit strange at first, but I got into the rhythm of it!
Describe the coziest supper you’ve had lately.
Mary: I do have a memory of one such meal that was of historical importance to me. A really good memory. My son Tommy is autistic; probably about 28 at the time. There was an ice storm raging, so we were shut in the house; couldn’t leave. The electricity was off, too. We used what was left of my computer’s battery life to see a bit. We put on some music, and I cooked some ravioli for him in a pot over the fireplace. He thought it was so funny, “Awesome!” he said. That was his best, most favorite meal ever.
What’s the funniest thing your pet has ever done?
Mary: We have three little chihuahuas. Two live out back in my husband Dana’s Big Man Cave. He calls it “The Garage Mahal.” He’s got everything there—a whole living room set, his big-screen TV, and this pair of dogs. Demon dogs, untrainable. Our third pup, named Jordi, stays up in the big house. Dana calls him “The Plantation Owner.” He won’t hang out in the cave with the riff-raff.
What does feminism look like to you in this day and age?
Mary: This means a lot to me. “I do not wish for women to have power over men but over themselves,” says Mary Wollstonecraft. She was an advocate for women’s rights in England. But I always love that. It’s not about putting men down. It’s about empowering women themselves.
As a “conscious dance practitioner”, walk us briefly through two of the six ‘Ms’ you alliterate in your brochure.
Mary: Meditation: It’s a means to access your creative spirit. You can come and go, it doesn’t matter where you are, who you’re with, what you want, why you’re doing it.
Mastery: When you have learned how to access your creative spirit at will, you have truly reached a level of mastery. No matter the situation, you can then turn to it. Boldly, wisely and with authenticity.
Is there a motto you live by?
Mary: I don’t know it by heart: “You will change when the pain of changing becomes less than staying where you are.”
Reveal the candy you can’t resist.
Mary: Frickin’ malt balls. I hadn’t had them in over 30 years! The last person I worked for brought them to the office one day—and it was game on! I have been hooked on them ever since and sadly, have them on hand at all times now at my desk here at Vibe.
What’s your secret sauce for helping people realize their potential for happiness?
Mary: I refuse to let them squirm out of taking credit for their assets. You can’t sell me that bill of goods.
Do you have a numero uno Pacific Northwest destination?
Mary: I’ve never gone to the San Juan Islands, and whenever I see pictures, I think, why don’t I go?
Give your best one-line advice for a professional who is feeling lost int he shuffle. What should be their very first step?
Mary: Remember, everyone’s the same. They’re just a human being, and there’s nothing they possess that’s inherently better than what’s in your own hands. And lastly, ask yourself this question: “Where do you think the people who ‘have’ all the answers ‘get’ all the answers? Just sayin’…
Meet the author: Vibist Susan O'Meara is a Poulsbo-based freelance writer, editor and journalist with global experience. Back in the day, Susan did event marketing for the electrified Don King, boxing’s bad-boy biz whiz. Then she got roped into writing and producing TV spots for Love Boat: The Next Wave, the ‘90s reboot, and nonfiction programming for Showtime (e.g., Roswell: The Real Story). She's not sure which was more surreal—going with the flow of those Hollywood highs, so to speak, or navigating Nairobi’s magazine scene. Susan has worked in the US and abroad for the likes of Bloomberg Media, Deloitte, Discovery Communications, and the United Nations. She's obsessed with wrangling language and messaging that helps brands, businesses, and individuals to grow and shine. Except when it comes to Don King's hair.