Welcome to Mary Anne Radmacher's blog.

One way to get to know a person you've just met is to ask them to tell you about their favorite friends. It's said that a person essentially becomes an aggregate of the five people with whom they spend the most time.

There's another telling question to ask a stranger. It's all about a book.

1) Is there one book that you have re-read and will read again (and again)?
2) What is the most recent book that you've read and what stands out to you most?
3) What is the title of a book you recommend most often to friends?
4) What was the last book you read that made you so sad when it came to the end? (Because you wanted to keep on reading, not because the ending was sad!).

If the person you are just getting to know has never re-read a book, can't remember what stood out from the last book they read, doesn't recommend books to friends and has never felt sad to stop reading an excellent book...

I suggest that you stop conversing with them. And, perhaps, run. Kidding (not kidding). Perhaps you might consider striking up a conversation with someone else that you might want to get to know. AND start THAT conversation off by recommending a book you've recently read...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Appearing Soon in Seattle

Please share with folks who live in or near Seattle!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Gfit for You From Mary Anne Radmacher

Please, if you like this, download it and use it for any non-commercial application that might inspire you. Thank you for your loyalty to my work, for visiting with my words and for supporting my craft in all the ways that you do. This is from a larger piece I'm working on called THIS IS WHAT YOU SHALL DO. I'm going to make it available, soon, in a time limited edition. I'll announce the details soon.

Please thrive in these remaining days of 2010 and find ways to celebrate the sweetness in your every day! THANK YOU thirteen times.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Introducing one of Three Phraseologists

Here's Caren ALBER's announcement about her January Focus Phrase™ - enjoy and pass along!

Begin 2011 by taking small steps that lead to leaps and bounds in your understanding of your true self and what makes you happy. A Focus Phrase™ writing experience will connect you with your inner wisdom. Clarity will come out to play and possibly take up residence. Imagine what you could learn about yourself and then imagine a year filled with that knowledge.

You can do it in less time than it takes to watch a TV sitcom and what you get in return is so much more.

Each day a thought-provoking phrase is provided to inspire your thinking. Each evening before retiring, you write three short paragraphs about how the phrase worked in your day or in some cases how it didn’t. As your guide, I’m with you every step of the way and offer encouragement and feedback on your writing and discovery.

Creating happiness for yourself benefits everyone in your life and the world. Come write with me in January and see for yourself the power of this amazing process.

Make January the beginning of your HAPPY “YOU” YEAR!

Three week (Mon.-Fri.) online session $129
January 10th – 28th
Email to enroll
Learn more about Focus Phrase™ writing at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Author, Jane Kirkpatrick

interviewed me and asked all sorts of interesting questions. At least, I found them interesting! Perhaps you will, as well. You can find the interview here:

Words of Encouragement -

Friday, December 10, 2010


TO assist in the exciting launch into the world of my newest book, LIVE WITH INTENTION. I poured my finest work into this book and I hope you'll enjoy it - every drop.

LIVE WITH INTENTION is available in all places where books and eBooks are sold...and today is the day that all the book "powers that be" hope that my friends and supporters will give my book its very first boost as it enters the big, wide world.* Will you welcome the work by ordering a copy? Or! ask your Library to bring a copy into the system: a very "green" action.

* I know it's at and available on google Ebooks.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Writing with Mary Anne Radmacher

Beginning January 3 Mary Anne guides Focus Phrase™. The theme emphasizes: health, promises to yourself, service with compassion and gratitude. Enrollment’s until 12/27 for $229, which includes a signed copy of LIVE WITH INTENTION

This writing process, created out of mary anne’s lifelong practice of personal writing, is a great way to begin 2011. Even appropriate for people who think they are “non writers.” for more information or to register.

The actual theme for the month is a Guatemalan Native Blessing:

Long life, Honey in the Heart, No evil, Thirteen Thank yous.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I'm two days away from a month of word collecting.


I'm collecting words reflecting celebration and gratitude to include in my next book. The working title is CELEBRATIONS: Discoverying the YAY in EverYdAY.

What are the things in your ordinary "everyday" that make you give a little yelp of YAY? Will you share those words with me? Will you be a word collector, too? I'd love some company on my month long journey of word collecting.

Apparently unable to wait for December, my word today was HEART. As Jonathan and I discuss in our book SIMPLY AN INSPIRED LIFE, we often see what we EXPECT to see. Look what I noticed on the way to my studio....

Friday, November 26, 2010

Three days left for early registration benefits...


Mary Anne Radmacher invites you to begin 2011 with a sweet Focus Phrase™ writing process* HONEY IN THE HEART .

Beginning January 3 mary anne will guide you through a gentle, but dramatically impacting process. The overall theme is a native Guatemalan farewell blessing, “Long life, honey in the heart, no evil, thirteen thanks you’s.” Translated in to practical terms it emphasizes: health, promises to yourself, service with compassion and gratitude.

The HONEY IN THE HEART Focus Phrase is 20 days (weekends “off”) of on– line guided and partnered writing, personal, written exchanges with mary anne and your special participant’s gift package*: $229.00 Early registration thanks-giving price! $198.00 Register before November 29 (Thanksgiving week end) for the reduced rate. Early registrants will receive their registration package the week after Thanksgiving. Regular registration packages will be mailed December 27.

This is a great way to begin 2011. The registration gift* will include a personalized copy of mary anne’s newest book, LIVE WITH INTENTION, support cards for the process, local Whidbey Island honey and a favorite pen of mary anne’s. And at least one surprise. Perhaps two. (“you can never tell with bees.” A.A.Milne and Winnie-the-Pooh). Early registrants can anticipate many surprises.

If you are new to this guided experience, you can write and ask for more details. If you are a returning participant, reserve your space early…you know how powerful this process can be! Focus Phrase has created marked change in the lives of many of its participants – will you let it work for you in 2011?

Read more about Focus Phrase™ at and learn about the other Phraseologists guiding the Focus Phrase™ process. There’s bound to be a good fit for you.

Contact mary anne to register at:

* HOW does the Focus Phrase™ writing process work?

Mary Anne submits a phrase to you, via email, late in the afternoon and

asks you to let it be one of the last things you think about

before you commit to sleep.

First thing in the morning you renew your memory of the phrase. Write it down in your own hand or on your keyboard.

Make it is easy for it to travel with you throughout the day.

Consider the phrase a pair of glasses through which you look when considering the events, experiences and feelings of your day. Look THROUGH the phrase and allow the words to become transparent perspective through which you view your day.

The process itself heightens your observation and deepens your perspective. You finish the day by summarizing your experience in three short paragraphs and sending them to mary anne, via email.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A "By Invitation Only" Party

POETRY - By Invitation Only.

I am reminded of how much I love writing poetry. I observe on this slow-er than usual day, of how little road I give up to the passage of poetry. I really do have to move over (stand aside a little) to allow poetry the room to move forward and be written.

In all its incarnations, may poetry find its way into your thanks-full day.

I am grateful for you. This African Proverb winds its way around the world thanks,
in large part, to the folks at Quotable Cards...


Happy Thanksgiving Day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The January Focus Phrase Process - Advance Reg benefits


Mary Anne Radmacher invites you to begin 2011 with a sweet Focus Phrase™ writing process* HONEY IN THE HEART .

Beginning January 3 mary anne will guide you through a gentle, but dramatically impacting process. The overall theme is a native Guatemalan farewell blessing, “Long life, honey in the heart, no evil, thirteen thanks you’s.” Translated in to practical terms it emphasizes: health, promises to yourself, service with compassion and gratitude.

The HONEY IN THE HEART Focus Phrase is 20 days (weekends “off”) of on– line guided and partnered writing, personal, written exchanges with mary anne and your special participant’s gift package*: $229.00 Early registration thanks-giving price! $198.00 Register before November 29 (Thanksgiving week end) for the reduced rate. Early registrants will receive their registration package the week after Thanksgiving. Regular registration packages will be mailed December 27.

This is a great way to begin 2011. The registration gift* will include a personalized copy of mary anne’s newest book, LIVE WITH INTENTION, support cards for the process, local Whidbey Island honey and a favorite pen of mary anne’s. And at least one surprise. Perhaps two. (“you can never tell with bees.” A.A.Milne and Winnie-the-Pooh). Early registrants can anticipate many surprises.

If you are new to this guided experience, you can write and ask for more details. If you are a returning participant, reserve your space early…you know how powerful this process can be! Focus Phrase has created marked change in the lives of many of its participants – will you let it work for you in 2011?

Read more about Focus Phrase™ at and learn about the other Phraseologists guiding the Focus Phrase™ process. There’s bound to be a good fit for you.

Contact mary anne to register at:

* HOW does the Focus Phrase™ writing process work?

Mary Anne submits a phrase to you, via email, late in the afternoon and

asks you to let it be one of the last things you think about

before you commit to sleep.

First thing in the morning you renew your memory of the phrase. Write it down in your own hand or on your keyboard.

Make it is easy for it to travel with you throughout the day.

Consider the phrase a pair of glasses through which you look when considering the events, experiences and feelings of your day. Look THROUGH the phrase and allow the words to become transparent perspective through which you view your day.

The process itself heightens your observation and deepens your perspective. You finish the day by summarizing your experience in three short paragraphs and sending them to mary anne, via email.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I SEE You...

I remember from an entry level psychology class, decades ago, that one of the essential elements of helping build young people’s self-esteem is allowing them to feel and be SEEN. “I see you,” and “I hear you,” are important validations to offer a growing child to support and validate their person.

It’s interesting that this is particularly effective as a method in dealing with bullies. Recently at a public forum in my community an individual suggested a process for appropriate response to bullying called “Ring the Bell.” It means create a natural and safe distraction that allows for one or more OTHER people to communicate to the bully, “I see you.” You are visible. What you are doing right now is being observed by more than just the one being bullied.

It breaks the momentum. It creates a natural, non confrontation distraction. In this way the pace is stopped, the bully has moments to evaluate the consequence of being seen and the observer provides a safe mechanism to intervene. One of the difficulty with a person who bullies is that when faced with confrontation or embarrassment, they can escalate the harm they bring. With “ring the bell,” the intervention, while immediately effective, seems almost accidental. And there’s no blame or justice being levied...just an escape route. And at certain moments: that is the most essential element. I wish oh I wish that somebody had been able to “ring the bell” for Bobby Tillman.

STAND - Start Today A New Direction. Bullying must stop being considered “an acceptable” part of growing up. It is NOT acceptable.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My friend, mollyshannon, a teacher, suggested this awesome resource.
I continue in my S.T.A.N.D. experience (Start Today A New Direction). I am learning so much.

I've created a gift I want to share with you. It's my screen saver right now. You are welcome to download it and use it for any non-commercial, not-for-profit application as a gift from me.

I'm increasingly convinced that the opposite of love is not hate, but rather...indifference.

Friday, October 29, 2010

change: here, now, beginning with YOU

A friend inquired after the sustainability of my shaved head and effort against bullying. “It’s a really long time – are you getting tired of it?”

Well, of course. And that was the whole point of choosing such an extended experience. Kids who are bullied in every corridor every day are tired of it too, but that doesn’t mean it stops. Adults who are bullied in their work place feel as if it just goes on and on…and that’s the point. It DOES.

In conversation with Gina, who is a human rights activist, I made a case that global tolerance for bullying begins in childhood
(it’s just part of childhood,” “It toughens kids up for the REAL world.”) and is the basis for tolerance for atrocities in adulthood.
It’s tribal. Everywhere. It’s tribal everywhere. That reflects the inclination to “look out for my own kind.” If the victims were people “just like me,” individuals would immediately stand up for the one being bullied. It’d be more natural to be fired up about that.
“They” are us.

Kids are not a different species. They are not miniature humans, they are humans. They are people. Homosexual individuals are not a different species. Women are not a different species. People who wear glasses, dress differently, people with tattoos, people who shave their head (list here the dozens of things that you allow as identifers as “different from me”) are HUMAN. That’s why my activist friend works in a field called HUMAN RIGHTS. And the curriculum for HUMAN RIGHTS begins before we go to kindergarten. It starts with how we watch our family treat the neighbors, the stranger in the grocery store, the players on television and in movies.

Opponents to these views can cite the tendency in nature for animals to be drawn to “their own kind.” When you cite that as the basis for discrimination, want to start walking on all fours, defecating in the bushes and eating carrion cuisine, THEN you can talk to me about animal behavior being the justification for poor Human behavior. In the meantime – let’s manner up.

THEM is US, dear souls, and the smaller the globalization of our planet gets, the more important this fundamental civility becomes. Standing shoulder to shoulder there are human beings who are different…but there are not different human beings. We’re all humans engaged in the process of being.

Getting bullied and having the process dismissed is unacceptable. Making hateful, damaging statements and then simply apologizing with, “I misspoke” essentially means, “I should have framed my bigotry in a more acceptable manner.” Hate and prejudice and bigotry run deep in the veins of culture and they dress up so well: nice suits, pretty jewelry, polished pews. But regardless of how you suit it up: it’s still hateful and insidious and it’s time for a global, “NOT okay. Choose another way.”

Today. Everything begins with YOU, the human who is reading these words. What can you do for the sake of global human rights, beginning in your own experience? What can you do is someone tells you they feel like ending it all? Or, if YOU do?

If you wonder, “What can I do?” which is the very place where the change begins…
…here are places for your answers to begin:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Conversation Starter

I found this excellent list of character qualities - qualities that a person who does NOT BULLY would possess. I think they are excellent as a basis for conversation among adults and children. Ask questions about what qualities should be added? Any that are here that should be eliminated?

The site this material is from is:

Trustworthiness Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat, or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends, and country
Respect Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant and accepting of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements
Responsibility Do what you are supposed to do • Plan ahead • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes • Set a good example for others
Fairness Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly • Treat all people fairly
Caring Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need
Citizenship Do your share to make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment • Volunteer

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 is today's resource.

The conversation is going global. Bullying, of any child (of any person) must stop.
There is a more civil manner in which to communicate yourself and your feelings:
find it.

A new friend "skyped" me from London. She had just seen the youtube video of CouncilPerson,
Joel Burns, from Ft. Worth, TX giving his heart felt call to stop bullying in schools. In London! Please please do not suggest that one person cannot make a difference..."Leadership BEGINS in a room with ONE person and a vision." (yep, I said that a long time ago.) I've been treated to some bits of bullying myself about my S.T.A.N.D. And in writing I responded this way,

Artists have been known, for centuries, to draw attention to difficult, important, sensitive and controversial issues. My STAND in regard to bullying is to draw attention that each person, regardless of their age, opinion, inclination or whatever category they "fall in" is responsible for their actions, choices and exchanges. "Start Today A New Direction" has drawn attention to the issue of bullying. Bullying, period. Of children. Of adults. Of readers of a newspaper. Of clerks behind a counter. Putting an end to bullying as an acceptable practice begins by deepened conversation, greater awareness and by each person being a little kinder than they might be inclined. Every body makes statements in different ways, every day. How we dress. What kind of car we choose. If we walk, ride a bike, take a bus or drive a car...are statements representing our values. I've made a statement...and I am grateful that it is generating conversation. Civil conversation is a great place for greater understanding to begin. CIVIL conversation.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

President Obama Gives Inspired "it gets better" message

I have taken President Obama's words to heart. Perhaps you will, too.

I am reminded of the many different ways that former President Bill Clinton found to
deliver the message that, "Our differences strengthen us and what divides us isn't as
important as what unites us."

Yes, indeed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Personal update on my S.T.A.N.D.

S.T.A.N.D. Start Today A New Direction

I’m going to answer the many personal questions all at once – here, today.

I am very satisfied with the results of my effort so far. People are re-posting, tweeting and starting conversations with the educational prompts I have provided. Knowledge spread is a good thing. People are making contribution to I’m lettering gift original posters and mailing them out every day.

It’s impacted my behavior everywhere I go. Dawn to Dusk. I am swinging the pendulum very far the other side of bullying: I am a kinder driver, more gracious in the grocery store and a better patron at every establishment. It’s upped my consciousness about how little things make such a big difference.

I’ve seen bullying and have been bullied. My response is far more thoughtful, thorough and intentional than it ever would have been prior to S.T.A.N.D. (Start Today A New Direction). I offered comfort to the person I saw bullied. And I responded with 110% love when I was bullied and diffused an otherwise volatile situation.

I get cold and I haven’t had a single hot flash since I shaved my head.
Hats don’t fit as well as they did. And yesterday, in a wind storm I impulsively reached to keep my bangs out of my eyes and laughed right out loud when I realized I had no hair to get in my eyes.

Shawn, owner, of THE COLOR BOX salon here in Freeland, is tending the health of my scalp every week, for free. He was bullied as a child and is very much a part of the STAND I am taking. He told me his own story of “It gets better” and it made me cry. My friend, Grady, lends a voice of experience to this whole matter: there will always be bullies. But after high school they aren’t concentrated in one central place and you get your voice. You learn how to recognize that they matter less than they used to. You learn appropriate ways to respond.

Mid week, my husband has been shaving my head. And each time I become quite sick to my stomach. I commented to a friend about this. I wondered aloud if it was as my energy-worker friend, Llynya, informed me that hair holds a lot of body memory and that I should expect some emotional impact from the process. She wrote this morning this:

ps, I'm reading a new reflexology book called, "The New Reflexology"
[redundant] by Inge Dougans. I just read this morning over coffee and blueberry pancakes from the cafĂ© that there are 2 sources of Chi - prenatal jing/essence stored in the kidneys and environmental, which enters the body through the top of the head, skin and eyes. You may be right about the shaving disturbing the energy. I was thinking that maybe that's why in some cultures it's taboo to touch a child on the top of the head. I really don't like to be touched or tapped on the top of the head either, but I always thought it was because of (some abuse she experienced as a child which involved being hauled around by her hair…my summary). I love how life just keeps adding to what we know and are.

I was bullied as a child by peers and by adults. I have the scars on my bare skull that demonstrate the many places where my head was cracked open. I have followed the impulse throughout my life to stand up for others who were being bullied. And now, in this process, I am facing, at a deeper level than I might have anticipated, how bullying has impacted me at a cellular level. At the same time that I am STANDing up and speaking up for others, I recognize that I am learning a new direction for myself. Start Today A New Direction, then, is first
an instruction I deliver to my own soul. And in offering that direction to myself – I hope that I can inspire you toward a more thoughtful journey in being a voice for those who are, in the moment, trying to find theirs.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


A local newspaper has done an excellent job of capturing my answer to that question:

Yesterday I was in a business services shop. The customer ahead of me objected to the price she had been charged for a job. The clerk pointed to the posted rate schedule. The customer objected. The clerk expressed that perhaps the owner had given her a special price but that the amount quoted was the posted rate. The customer objected unkindly, loudly and implied the clerk was obviously pocketing the proceeds. The clerk explained, again, her requirement to charge the posted prices. Yes. You guessed it. The customer upped the accusation, volume and venom.

One of the challenges with bullying is this: if intervention is not done judiciously, it can actually get worse for the person being bullied. Yesterday my choice was to help build up the person behind the counter after the bully left. Funny: she didn't look like a bully. She was a middle aged woman of average build and dress. She might have looked average but her ability to fire off verbal vitriol was well above average. She left.

The clerk was almost in tears and I said, "You'll notice I'm not even ASKING what the price is for my job." Even though I said it with a smile she thought I was getting ready to launch into her. I caught her eyes. "I'm making light of a difficult situation. You did just fine with that other person: it was her issue, not yours. The prices are posted in plain sight." And then she laughed. The tension melted and we had a little chat about the effects of bullying. Interestingly enough, the writing ( on my shaved head never became topical.

As Steve Maraboli says, says, and says again, "One kind gesture, one person at a time, one day at a time." YOU can make a difference. S.T.A.N.D. Start Today A New Direction

Saturday, October 16, 2010


This is an excellent resource for youth who feel as if they are out of alternatives.

Ellen DeGeneres' has answered the question, "What can we do to be supportive?" by directing people to this website. It is positive, helpful, informative. And, if you know a young person who feels conflicted or confused about their personhood/sexuality...this is a confidential resource to help.

TheTrevorProject.Org and resources that I am recommending are great recommendations to make in the event that you, on your own, "don't know what to say."

On that note, I have a suggestion for a sentence that works exceptionally well, particularly when you mean it from your heart,

"I love and accept you just as you are."

Friday, October 15, 2010

answering the questions

Answers to the Questions I’ve received, repeatedly, in the first week of having a bald head with web resources regarding bullying written on it. I’m just listing my answers…you’ll likely recognize the question.

Answer one: I write the tale of my life by the stories I repeat in my days. I am a page upon which I write with the pen of conviction, intention and enthusiasm. One person can make a difference – I am one person and therefore, I make a difference.

Answer two: I do not consider shaving my head a severe action. I consider bullying, abusing and beating and berating others a severe action. My action is calculated and personal. I chose to give up my hair for a short period of time. I am safe. I am surrounded by allies. People who are bullied are not yet safe. People who are bullied are still looking for resources and resolutions and respite. I want to shine a light on some of those.

Answer three: My hair will grow back. The scars I have from my own injuries from the hands of others now show on my bare skull. My hair will grow back and my scars will not show. But I carry them. I am alive to carry them. I want to do what I can to spread the intense message to children who see no alternatives to their pain that there ARE alternatives and IT DOES GET BETTER. It does. Regardless of WHY you are bullied, there are ways to find your voice and stand differently. That’s why I’ve called my personal action S.T.A.N.D. – Start Today A New Direction.

Answer four: It’s a message to the people who bully, too. There are resources for the difficulties that you face, too. You are not alone, either. There is a better way – STAND – Start Today A New Direction.

Answer five: This action is a model for everyone who has ever complained about some dreadful piece of news and then dismissed their concern with, “I’m just one person, what can I do?” Any action toward the good is important. "There are no small compassionate acts - every kind action makes large the world." -mar -

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Acceptance. Agreement. Tolerance. They are different words for a reason. A person does not need to agree with another person to accept another person. It's so very simple: we are stronger together. What divides us is not as important as what unites us.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"What can one person do?"

Learn. Get information. Go to this website and see what is there waiting for you. Discuss with your circle of family and friends. Have conversation that has strength and consequence around the issue of bullying.

ONE person can and does make a difference.

Is that one person you?

STAND - Start Today A New Direction

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


My friend and clerk at my post office said, "Bullycide's been going on too long - but what can we do about it?"

Today's resource provides dozens of answers to that question. This government presented resource provides guidance for adults, kids and educators. Here you will find videos, material to download and suggestions for curriculum. There's even information on how you can start your own campaign to STAND against bullying.

ONE person CAN make a difference. That one person is you...start a meaningful conversation in your community today about what you can do to create alternatives to bullying.

I will keep my head shaved until Thanksgiving and provide resources for you every day. STAND - Start Today A New Direction.

Monday, October 11, 2010

From now until Thanksgiving I am making a personal STAND (Start Today A New Direction) against bullying and for intentional, compassionate choices/actions.

Fifteen minutes after Shawn Nordin of THE COLOR BOX shaved my head and shared his own story of being bullied in high school, I went to the grocery store with my husband.

There a group of three young women found themselves unable to restrain their laughter at my bald head and the address lettered there ( In my face, they laughed, jeeringly. I told myself they were laughing at something else. I told myself, "Not everything is about you, Mary Anne." I told myself they just happened to be laughing and I just happened to be walking by.

Five minutes later, when I encountered them again, I recognized that my assessment was not correct. They were laughing at me. And they laughed at me again. In my face. I'm 53 years old and I'm committed to this process and I have compassion for their insensitivity and insecurity. And in spite of that - I lost my voice. In spite of that, I did not feel good to be laughed at. I looked at them with disbelief and my kind husband guided me out of the store. And THAT is why it is so important to pay attention to the whole process involved in bullying. It is human nature to be drawn to people who are like you. It is possible, at the same time, to show kindness and tolerance toward people who are not like you. And, in fact, it is essential.

What will you STAND for today?

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Today I begin an effort that I will follow through this Thanksgiving.
I'm taking a S.T.A.N.D. against bullying and abuse. STAND is for
Start Today A New Direction. With big issues it is tempting to think that we cannot not do anything. One person DOES indeed make a difference. Lily Tomlin said, "I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that, then I realized I was somebody." I cannot do all things but I can do something.
Find my journey documented daily on my author site:

Friday, October 1, 2010


Laugh wildly like winter thunder. (from PROMISES TO MYSELF, Conari Press)

Suze, my dreamer/friend, returned from her dance convention with a gift from the airport sundries shop. She walked in my studio with a toy: a plush black cat. She mysteriously reached into its fur and then set in on the carpet. The cat began rolling all over the floor while playing a recording of laughter. We were both lost.
I couldn’t have stopped laughing if I’d tried. I finally made her turn the thing off because my sides were starting to hurt. When she left I noted how invigorated I felt. I am always happy to see my friend – but that unrestrained laughter was some kind of medicine. I launched into my next project thunderously.
Winter thunder isn’t just a loud whack. It rolls around in the sky. And when one is done the next one is in line to compete for the award of longest peel. Find the good medicine of laugher in your day and let it roll around in the sky of your soul.
This image is from the brand new release from DEMDACO - beautiful interactive Art Blocks in the BOLD INSPIRATIONS line. Ask your favorite retailer to make them available for you!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Embrace your convictions without apology.

(quote from PROMISES TO MYSELF, Conari Press)

“Well, I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you…”
Conflict is not at the top of many people’s list of favorite things. There are times when a deeply held conviction requires that we take a different path. Choosing a different road than your peers often generates difficulty. This is not a matter requiring an apology but one that is to be celebrated.
“The best place to stand is where everyone else – isn’t.” If you’ve ever been to a Disney property you know the rarity of approaching something that is absent a line. You never apologize for hopping on an entertaining ride absent standing in a line. You celebrate it for sure! So it is for the times in which embracing a conviction of yours leads you away from your peer group. It is an assurance that your vision toward your own goals and purpose is 20/20.
When I traveled to Paris with a group of friends, each traveler had different destinations in mind. Rather than argue over where we would all go together, we each pursued our own way and met up at the end of the day. No apologies. There was fascinating dinner conversation. Every one had fresh experiences to share and the journey was enlarged for everyone because of the diverse roads.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gratitude for Walking Tall

Walk tall into your day. Be filled with gratitude for what you see from the higher viewpoint.
There are some days I am aware of becoming small. As if I would prefer anonymity and the privilege of disappearing into the crowd. Today is not that day.
Today is the day I stand tall into the day. I proudly throw my shoulders back and am ready for the fray, the fracas, the fun. I know I am visible. My actions, attitudes and choices matter. First they matter to me. And the repercussions of what I do are then ripples in a large water. I cannot know the reach of what I choose in this day. But I CAN know there is a reach.
So today I walk tall. Stand tall. Own my actions. And I know that means at the end of the day, when I set it all down, I will sleep my best, knowing I’ve done my best.
(quote from PROMISES TO MYSELF, Conari Press)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One often meets their destiny on their way
to somewhere else.

Where I think I’m headed and where I end up are often different places. The real point is to be on my way. I like to turn the phrase, “When you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there,” to this, “When you KNOW where you are going…every road takes you there.” It’s a subtle difference but important.
My thoughts about where I’m headed are like little feeder streams. They get me, ultimately, to the big river of my inspired vision. To “get there” though, my feet have to be moving. I must be willing to journey, to discover. And…in the process of meeting my destiny on the “way” to somewhere else…I must have open eyes and heart. So often our greatest good taps us right on the shoulder and we do not acknowledge it because it doesn’t look like what we expected. At every point in a journey you have to get your nose out of the map and pay attention to what is on the road. Pay attention!

(quote from PROMISES TO MYSELF, Conari Press)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Seize The Rest...

Offer the best you are able.
“Best” is a variable assessment. What is my best on Monday morning at 7 is different than my best on Thursday at 3 in the afternoon. In this moment, on this day, I will offer the best I am able to give.
I do not confuse this with the measurement of “good enough.” When I say something is “good enough,” it means I know there is more that could be done. I could go to a level 10 but I’m stopping at 7 because, in my estimation, that is all the circumstance merits. That’s an investment choice.
When I’m in the “best I am able” mode – I know I need to be gentle with myself. I need not compare this day with any other day. This day stands alone. My cousin observed, with irony, how much labor he has to do on Labor Day. This day offers some rest from traditional “labor” and I’m going to seize the opportunity. Rest on one day assures that I will be able to invest a full out “10” on another day.
(quote from PROMISES TO MYSELF, Conari Press)

Friday, September 3, 2010

NOW and...Then...

Extend your hand with the strongest reach.


I’m carrying this letter dated December 26, 1772 around in my journal for the month of September. Did the author of this letter have any idea while penning this letter that 238 years later an artist would carry around their words? Likely not. 238 years – is quite a long reach.

I want to have an expanded awareness that when I extend my hand with my strongest reach…I have no idea of the consequences of that stretch. Thinking forward to the year 2,248 gives me serious pause. What might words and actions might mean to someone…238 years from now? And how does that action look today?

What does your strongest reach look like?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Our lives are simply a succession of nows.

(from PROMISES TO MYSELF, Conari Press)

Cocoa calmly greeted me as I step out from the post office. Busy with errands, I had the next thing drawing me forward. Cocoa invited me into her dog medicine and nothing else seemed as important. Cocoa had nudges and soft kisses and profound reminders for me. There is no “next thing,” she affirmed. There’s just this thing. This now. Followed by the next now. So I visited with her and learned her two-legged companion got her when he only had five grandchildren and now he has eleven grandchildren. That gives Cocoa quite a succession of nows, doesn’t it? And my afternoon just got richer and chocolatier (choc-oh-lot-ee-er).

Lucky me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Books and Friends...

you are the time worn pages of my favorite book

(card# 00229)(poster 01125) at

I love the phrase, “an understatement of grand magnificence.” I quote Beryl Markham from WEST WITH THE NIGHT OFTEN. And I only have to pull the book off the shelf and it opens to page 217. The binding itself is time worn I’ve turn to it so many times.

So it is with my friendships. My dearest friends are like the familiar pages of my favorite books. Not taken for granted, but treasured, turned to repeatedly and often celebrated. Do you have at least one friend who fits that description? Pause long enough to let them know – maybe even share this with them.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

have me stand by my friends in peace then I shall know what it is to be content.

(poster 01129

Stand in peace with my friends. In this time of unrest, standing in peace seems unattainable. I recall the campfire song lyrics, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” This is an attainable goal. Each day it is possible. I know this because I am certain that peace begins within.

In light of the headlines today let me say, rather than burn the symbol of someone else’s beliefs in protest TODAY I will fan the flame of belief in my own heart and live peace outwardly in support of the diversity of our world.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I shall wear your friendship on my head - it will keep the rain from me. (poster 01127 at

Throughout my life my friends have shielded me from the harshest elements of life’s storms. They have “kept the rain from me,” like a metaphysical umbrella. The wall in this photo is above my writing desk. The antique printer’s drawer and the other cubby hold icons, treasures and reminders of so many of the precious friendships that bring joy, ease and delight to my life.

One quick glance at a single object tells me a profound story of that particular person. How blessed I am to name such fine souls, “my friends.” How might you remember your friends today?

Monday, August 23, 2010


Is today the day that you actually hand write a letter
to a friend?


apparently the angels were quite busy so God sent my friend along.

(poster 27022 & 01126 at

“You’re an ANGEL!” It’s often declared about a friend who has done the unexpected, the much needed, the delightfully fun action. Friends often fill the “angel” category in my life experience.

How long has it been since YOU have been the angel to a friend? Something as simple as a meaningful note letting them know you are grateful for them might be a grace.

This vintage letter slot represents the threshold through which much of the goodness of my life passes. While Email is fantastic! - consider how long it’s been since you sent a HAND WRITTEN card/poster and put a stamp on it with a physical address. Is today the day?

Friday, August 20, 2010

around this table we recognize the value of our choices and take our food with joy. ( from poster #01074)

Too busy to eat at a table today? In the midst of the rush, how about thinking, with thanks, of all the hands that brought what you are eating to your hands? Dozens, if not hundreds of hands may have contributed to the effort to deliver that nutrition to sustain you. Enjoy your choices with joy and gratitude today!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


may the Lord bless you and sustain you.

may His light shine upon you.

may you know His grace

as the Lord turns to you and

recognizes you

may He grant you peace.

Numbers six: 24 – 26 ( poster #44020)

I hold a deeply resonate appreciation for Sacred Texts…

particularly this paraphrase from Numbers. This scripture is significant

in many traditions and even those without formal religious structures can

appreciate the spirit of blessing extended here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


In all things and in all ways may there be wings behind you (angels ever by you). taken from poster 27051

I wrote this for my friend, Connie. Our mutual friend, Susan, was dying of cancer and her last gift to us both was to introduce us to each other. She was acting like an angel in that gift of introduction. Unbeknownst to me…Connie’s path and my words had crossed many times. This blessing I wrote for her has turned out to be a blessing to me, repeatedly.

Today I need the visual of angels wrapping their wings around me. Ah! I may not be able to see them but there’s comfort and certainty in knowing they are there.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

embrace yourself as you are. celebrate yourself as you long to be. (taken from poster # 01079

All the events of my life have conspired to bring me to this very moment. Here I am. I love and approve of myself just as I am – just as I see myself in the mirror. There’s a little reminder card posted in my sight line that reads, “CONSTANT LEARNER.” Accepting myself just as I am produces contentment. Celebrating the qualities I long to bring into my life more fully – gives me a travel vision. A dream destination of all I long to be helps me to know where next to point my toes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

On The Wings of Possibility

In the quiet of this day may you know the greatness of your spirit and may your hopes fly on the wings of possibility.

(from poster # 01101)

Decades ago I wrote out the longings of my life. On that list was have seventeen books published. Hear that? Decades ago…and today I’ll share a photo in place of the essay. This photograph was sent by a friend who was visiting the country’s largest book store (I know, you New York folks claim the same about The Strand bookstore, but still…)Powell’s in Portland and was excited to find several of my many books. I’m on my way to seventeen…

Friday, August 13, 2010

Leadership, Vision and Change

Leadership and change begin in a room with one person and a vision. (taken from poster 27042 at

People were insisting that leadership required others to lead. And I insisted that leadership begins within. You lead yourself before you lead others. That’s why I wrote this piece.

Our culture tends toward externals. Outside validation (“what do you think of me?”) consensus building, (“what do you think we should do?”) and so forth. Questions are valuable tools.

The most important questions are the ones which we first address to ourselves. What vision are you connected to today – and how will you lead that change or idea into your life?

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Every possibility begins with the courage to imagine. (from poster 02047 at

Many of my most satisfying endeavors, so far, have begun with the people around me telling me why “it won’t work.” Helpful, earnest folks just trying to keep me from “spinning my wheels,” or “getting hurt,” or “not making any money at that,” or other such protective (and dispiriting) sentences.

There are very few people in my life whose opinions I seek out when I’m busy mustering up the courage to imagine the pieces and part of a vision. I go to the most brilliant thinkers I know who are most inclined to give me good ideas on how to make the possibility real. Reasons why a thing WON’T work can be instructive, too. I just don’t go out of my way to look for those.

What courage can you call up today to begin to imagine a previously unnoticed possibility? It’s true, you know…EVERY possibility begins with the courage to imagine…

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Keys And Doors

a key to a vital life is an eagerness to learn and a willingness to change. (from #01026)

The President of Portland State University stood in my studio. We had been discussing my unique educational path as she shopped in my little studio for greeting cards and posters.

She was frustrated at not finding a sentiment that expressed how essential education is throughout a life. So as she chatted my pen was moving over paper. I wrote sentences exploring my own view toward learning and how I kept my enthusiasm alive for new ideas . When she brought her pile of cards to the drawing board, which was also my sales counter in those days, I was able to present her with a card I’d just made…

A KEY to a vital life is an eagerness to learn and a willingness to change. What are YOUR KEYS to a vital life? And what doors are they opening today?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Spreadsheets, Crochet Hooks and Change

Change, of any sort, requires courage. (at on poster 01018)

Last week I didn’t know how to manage an excel spread sheet, let alone create one. Last week I didn’t know how to crochet. Thoughout my life you wouldn’t have been able to count the times I had been heard to say, “I can’t make that information available on an Excel Spreadsheet. I’m not familiar with the program.” OR – “I’d love to crochet, but I don’t know how.”

I’ve bumped myself from confusion to courage with this simple question, “What if we just acted like every thing was easy?”

Last week I had the courage to launch into a program that has intimidated me for years. And one step at a time, I learned what I needed to know. Really? Am I saying that took courage? You bet…courage AND a bunch of focused, dedicated hours. Learning to crochet means abandoning my preference for perfection for awhile. I’m learning on a lumpy, bumpy lap blanket. And when I’m done I will NOT rip it out…but I will keep it as a warm reminder of the courage required to change my vocabulary, patterns, stories, and practices.

mary anne radmacher

Friday, August 6, 2010


BE AVID. LAUGH UNTIL YOU CRY. (taken from poster 01039 at

I could have added…and “wet your pants,” but I’d already written that on a card and, well, it seemed less that poetic. Still. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the kind of laughter that feels like therapy. The sort that, when you are finally calmed, and if you accidentally glance at the friend you are laughing with it starts up – all over again. It’s better than pie. Yes, better than chocolate. It’s better than anything consumable because it not only nourishes the soul but it’s good for you body, as well.

As to the word AVID? I love that word. It embraces so many qualities I admire in my day. To be avid is to all at once be eager, enthusiastic, ardent, passionate, devoted. When I’ve been told, “You’re so intense.” I smile. And I think to myself, “They say that like it’s a bad thing.” And then I edit their comment to AVID. I embrace it: I’m so avid!

How will you live AVIDLY today? Ah – have some avid laughter!

mary anne radmacher

Thursday, August 5, 2010


She changed. She learned. She laughed. (from a woman’s living eulogy, poster 01037 at

I laugh after I change and learn. That’s how it works for me. Before I learn I’m busy trying to learn. Seeking out new knowledge. Opening my eyes to see things from a different view. John Keats said that, “Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced. Even a proverb is not proverb until your life has illustrated it.”

In the midst of change I’m very engaged. Utterly absorbed in expanding my capacity for new information. There’s a reason this is called stretching. Stretching isn’t easy for most material and it’s certainly not “easy” for me. But so worth it. When I compel myself to reach beyond the borders of what is comfortable…I become my own finest student AND teacher. That moment of epiphany? That moment which has the quick sound of, “OOOOH. I see.” That moment is when the whole of it becomes real in my experience. THAT is the moment that I laugh with relief and joy. Because when I understand how the change and learning line up, it really DOES become easy.

msary anne radmacher

Wednesday, August 4, 2010



I began my company on my own. Absent a degree in business, ha! Absent a degree in anything, absent operating capital, absent staff or infrastructure. Yes! “we laugh to survive” was one of the first lessons of business I shared in my poster line.

It came as no surprise when catalog companies that supported educators and health professionals ordered this poster by the hundreds.

The more serious our endeavors are – the more significant is laughter to our surviving AND our thriving. In fact, laugher is the bridge that takes me from just “survive” into thrive. I laugh myself into a larger perspective. Having a tough day? Laugh it up.

(text of poster 01006, with permission of

Tuesday, August 3, 2010



This was THE first poster I made. It’s the poster that “started it all.” It was a hot July day in the second summer of my company’s life and the surf was calling my name. Having my boogie board and all my gear stored in my production studio made it even more difficult not to answer the call. I caved. I grabbed a greeting card graphic that I wasn’t going to use and scrawled SOME DAYS ARE SIMPLY MEANT FOR PLAYING. When I came in for work the following day I had several “orders” pushed under my door for “that poster in the window.” A product that’s all over the globe was born…all because I followed my impulse to play. How about you – Got Play?

Interested in play as a viable corporate concept? Look from Kevin Carroll's WHAT'S YOUR RED RUBBER BALL? to the Brain Gym concept to MOVING FROM STRATEGIC PLANNING TO STORYTELLING by Roger Martin, to find studied professionals telling us how important play is to our successful day.

mary anne radmacher

Sunday, August 1, 2010



Laughter is the element that holds my day together. And, more specifically, it is the very thing that holds ME together, regardless of the circumstances of my day. Here is a list I have compiled of 62 things. Doing any one of them likely results in laughter of some sort. And done one after another is just like an artist building color upon color. Vivid. Pick one. Let me know how it goes.

See a friend. Walk in a garden. Take a deep breath. Try something

new. Go a new way. Find out the name of a tree in your neighborhood.

Plant a tree if there isn’t one. Greet a stranger. Plant seeds. Watch the

weather. Wait. Believe. Make a gift. Post a card. Give a smile. Offer to

help. Appreciate a soldier. Play with a puppy. Stand in the wind. Walk

up a hill. Stretch. Wonder. Imagine. Clean your closet. Use a differ-

ent color pen. Use crayons. Dance. Sing a little song. Do the unex-

pected. Be extraordinary. Say yes to most things. Pretend it’s easy. Say

you’re sorry. Use a new spice. Laugh loudest. Be extraordinary. Try

it. Write something. Be original. Be well. Practice. Hop. Skip. Jump.

Kiss somebody. Be special. Imagine something. Tell a story. Listen.

Inspire. Be inspired. Swell with pride. Brag. Rearrange. Drive some-

where. Walk somewhere. Send a card. Visit a friend. Eat an apple. Be

grateful. Go ahead and weep for this never-to-be-seen-again moment.

Love as deeply as you can.

Friday, July 30, 2010


“In all things and in all ways, choice impacts virtually every element of our life. It bears repeating that even those things which seem out of reach of our choice are governed by how we choose to perceive them.” Page 147 from SIMPLY AN INSPIRED LIFE

The drug store clerk scowled at me as I handed her cash for my purchase. My look must have inquired, “What?” because she defended, dramatically, “It’s just that it’s practically the last day of July and I can’t believe that I have to wear a sweater. It’s so cold!” I remain silent. Apparently my face was still asking, “What?” as she continued.

“I mean, Summer. What kind of a summer IS this? It’s flippin’ foggy outside. Geez.” I had given her exact change. I was ready to leave but she held my look. She wanted answers and apparently I looked as if I knew something about sweaters and summer.

No. I knew that I saw it was cold and I was wearing a sweater myself. In that instant I thought of my human-rights-advocate friend, Gina, and all the observations she has made about the cheerful countenance and attitude of the many people she greets in refuge camps in Africa. Sweater or not, those folks are just grateful to be alive in the context of what they face in their days. So I told her all I know about summer, She would have been happier with commiseration, but instead I say, “All I know is this: It IS cold and I HAVE a sweater to wear. And on some days that enough to be grateful for.”

So it seems the month of July feels no obligation to meet anyone’s expectations for a certain temperature. As I drove away today I thought about all the things I have in my day today that I could rail against. But I decided to take action on things that I can actually impact…and, the weather is not one of them. But I can impact by choosing which sweater to wear!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Seek The Heroic In Yourself

"Modeling my qualities on heroic beings is a life-long practice.

Recognize the heroic in others and bring it in to your own daily experience."


It is too easy to look at someone I admire and say, "I could never be like them." And, really, why would I want to? I'm doing well being like myself. Bringing certain QUALITIES that admire in them in to my own experience is what I want. I may not have a daily newspaper column as Eleanor Roosevelt did...but, like her, I can choose my words carefully and communicate with the goal to motivate and provoke thought. Just like Eleanor. What heroic quality can you draw into your life today? And from whom?

mary anne radmacher

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


“It is easy to allow questions to confuse your process – if you believe all questions must have answers. In the process of choice and perception, asking questions for their own sake becomes a clarifying tool.” P. 131 SIMPLY AN INSPIRED LIFE coauthored by mary anne radmacher/Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Asking questions is a great tool. Questions become contrasts and ways to weigh and measure. Consider. Observe. I do not allow the questions to distract me from my quest – and become involved in trying to find answers to them all. Questions do their best work when they lead to me perspective, not specific answers. And in that, I find inspiration in this, from George Carlin, “Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.” With laughter this reminds me to stay with my focus in the day and avoid the distraction of petting the sweaty things.

mary anne radmacher