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Apr 232017
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Meet the Authors * Shamans * Alchemists

Maria Mar on living your brilliance

Who: Maria Mar (I’ll talk my walk first, to set the trail)

What: Author, shaman, alchemist, storyteller

Her call to you: Live your brilliance now.


One day I woke up from a long, long sleep and could not believe what I was doing to myself…

I was in my second year of training as a shaman. I was healing my Sexual Chakra and Emotional Energy Body, which have to do with emotions, creativity and sexuality.

“You are sabotaging your success and your creativity,” my healing partner told me at the end of a furious rant.

I was using enactment as the vehicle to explore some issues. Enactment means that I allowed myself to involve my entire body, voice and energy in the rant.

So here I was, flapping my hands in space, kicking and cursing as I ranted about how I did not have enough photos for my new portfolio because for years on end I had forgotten to give myself priority in the photo shoots and press releases and now I had nothing to show in spite of working so hard.

The rant went on, a high drama with me as the victim and the perpetrator, until I finished with:

“Why do I keep doing this to myself?”

That’s when my friend responded with transparency.

Her conclusion was right on target. And now that my friend was in the witness stand, she got up on the bench and kept going.

“I have witnessed this and the title of your play is

“How can I hide in plain sight?”


The truth and nothing but the truth.

I was the director of my own theatre company. I produced my own plays. I performed on the show. I was center stage. And yet…

  • I was sabotaging my visibility by procrastinating promotion, giving others —who did secondary characters— more visibility than I had. (After all, they were younger and prettier.)
  • I kept struggling to get set designers and artists to do the theatre environments. “Why?” my friends asked,You create beautiful environments.” I did not believe them.
  • I kept struggling to work with people who acted out and resisted and whom I carried in my Psychic Shoulders. I felt like Sisyphus up that hill.
  • I doubted my creativity, even though I was the proverbial New Renaissance Woman. I was (and I am) a Creative Genius. But I fought tooth and nail before admitting this, as if it were a defect!

Was I ashamed of my gifts? That would have been so ungrateful to the Creator who blessed me with them; but I was sure acting as if I were!

I was amazingly talented, and yet…

I was often focusing on what I did not do well or did not know how to do or thought I could not do. Here are a few of the things I used to say:

  • “I can’t sing if my life depended on it.”
  • “The only creative thing I can do with my hands is writing. I’m not an artist.”
  • “When will someone publish me? I refuse another rejection slip.”
  • “I need someone to dance for this scene… What? Me dance? I’m not really a dancer. Let me see if I can siphon some of my salary to pay for a dancer.”

Do you see the trend?

But the reason why I was not engaging all my gifts had nothing to do with my talents and everything to do with the hidden stories of limitations I was carrying. Here’s the proof:

  • Today I am a visual artist. I illustrate my books and create digital and installation art.
  • I reclaimed my singing voice and use it on stage and for the healing process.
  • I do my own environments for my performances, which include my illustrations, costume and body art and interactive installations.
  • I do poetry-dance performances and ceremonial dances.
  • I’ve created my own publishing house and have dozens of digital and paperback books and products out on the world.

What happened? If I could do it, why wasn’t I doing it? Why was I complaining?

Here’s a shamanic insight for you:

“If you long to do it, you were born to do it.”

Maria Mar in South Africa with a Sangoma (shaman) in the township of Kailisha, after a ceremonial dance for the people. Photo by Kali Van Der Merwe, South Africa.


My talents were not limited. The limitations were hidden in my Tiny Stories. These limiting stories have two channels: me as a woman and me as a Creative, so stay on the parallel track here.

Talking about old hidden stories as the source of my playing small may sound abstract to you, so here’s a list of reasons that you may relate to. Do your self-evaluation.

I was not engaging and owning my gifts because…

  • I was disowning my creativity.
  • I was placing my attention on lack.
  • I doubted my talents and gifts. How could I really have those talents? What had I done to deserve them? Would others resent me? What if I wasn’t that good?
  • I had my writings hidden in a drawer to protect myself from rejection.
  • I was carrying my family up that hill; my family who shunned me when I insisted on being loyal to my passion for acting and writing. They rejected me, but if I could bring all these other people (who acted like my family) with me, then all would be well.
  • I had made an oath to be loyal to the gifts God gave me. But I had been sent a message early on that said it was bad to have those talents. So a part of me fought my gifts by keeping them hidden in the metaphorical closet.
  • I could do a little. I could go out and play. I could write and read a poem. But I had to stay small so that the big bad wolves of rejection, abandonment, envy and ridicule did not get me.

The list could go on… And it does. For the full self-evaluation download the Living your Brilliance Manifesto.

How many of these items did you mark?

You are not alone.


Talking About Coming a Long Way…

Since then, I’ve met and witnessed hundreds of women who have these things in common.

  1. They are hiding their gifts. The manuscript for their novel is in a locked drawer. Their drawings are in a hidden portfolio. Their songs have only been heard in small local gatherings.
  2. They are playing small… at least smaller than they know they are or long to be.
  3. They are holding back big time. They are hungry to embody their purpose, but they keep procrastinating. They want to speak on a topic, but stay silent to avoid conflicts. They want to ask for those funds, that award, that position… but believe they do not qualify.
  4. They doubt their talents, their authority and their expertise. They already have more experience and credentials than most of their peers, but they think they need another certification before they go for what they want.
  5. They resist their leadership and see power as a negative thing. Well, if you are not powerful, then you are powerless. See anything wrong with this picture?
  6. They tell themselves that they do not want success. They see success as something “out there” that BIG players go for.
  7. They feel that they are stealing from others when they shine. It’s as if their triumph somehow negated others’ value. The second someone recognizes them, they actually feel guilty and begin to minimize their achievement.
  8. They do not FEEL their success even though they intellectually recognize their achievements. It’s never enough. If they had B+ they did not get an “A.” If they created an event that was well attended, they will focus on the little things that did not work.
  9. They are not earning what they deserve, not negotiating good entry level contracts, being skipped over for promotions and not asking for the raise they deserve.
  10. They are extremely good at what they do, but they are not up on the big stages where the stars in their field are earning millions. They have all type of reasons for not being there. But the fact is that in almost every field —even those dominated by women— women are almost entirely absent from the big stage, the board and the higher positions.

This alone makes me angry enough to do something about it.



But our troubles as women become a serious plight when we add our issues as Creatives.

The Creatives that I meet tell me things like:

  • “It’s just art, it’s not like I’m saving the world.”
  • “I could never earn a living from my creativity.”
  • “I do it as a hobby. I have too many people to take care of to take it seriously.”
  • “I need a 9 to 5 job to pay the bills.”
  • “My creativity is fun, but it’s not a real service. It’s a playground, not a tool box.”

Here’s the irony:

  • The 21st century is rapidly changing the financial landscape of professionals. Even if you want to work for a corporation, you will need to present yourself as your own brand, like a business or consultant does. There is no more job security. You are on your own.
  • Many of those “9 to 5” regular jobs are disappearing. Maybe they went overseas. If you are betraying your creativity and life purpose for the security of a job, you may find yourself without either.
  • The 21st century professional invents her own job or profession. She creates her job and finds those who need that job. To do this she needs to know her gifts and talents, her passion, purpose and uniqueness.
  • Creativity is the keyword for success in the 21st Innovation is now business as usual. Creatives are the royalty of innovation. In order to have an innovative advantage, you must value creativity. Hiding is no longer safe!

Let me say it again.

Creativity is the keyword for success in the 21st century.


And here you are, thinking it’s “just” for fun, not of “real” value.

The opposite is true.

Creativity is the jewel in the tool box of knowledge and skills.

If I can do it, so can you

Maria Mar dancing an ecological healing dance for the ocean in South Africa. Photo Kali Van Der Merwe.

Fast forward 20 years and I am living my brilliance.

I gathered all my gifts and talents and embodied them into a business that allows me to deliver my life purpose through my stories, performances and my passion for transformation.

I have gone from trusting and living my true nature as a child to hiding in plain sight as an adult —trapped in limiting stories— to coming full circle and living my brilliance.

You can make this journey too. You can change your Tiny Story and step into the story of you fully embodying your purpose and creative genius.

In fact, I invite you to start right now
by downloading my free Living Your Brilliance Manifesto.


Video Resource

For those of you who have not yet discovered their creative gifts, here’s a video showing you four ways to find your creative mojo.



Featured Book

Angelina is at the edge of giving up on her talents to follow an average formula for success. Just then her desperate soul summons a magical being who detours the train. Will Angelina trust this guide and rescue her soul from the clutches of the Evil Queen Witch and her minion Shadows? Will she reclaim her DreamSelf and become the woman she was meant to be? Or will she continue to her planned destination, missing her great destiny?

Available in paperback or digital format.


To get a $5 discount, use the discount code: W9FC655B

Limited time offer.


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About Maria Mar

Maria Mar is a Sacred Storyteller and shaman who champions you to change your old limiting story to create the new story of your brilliance illuminating the world. She helps you awaken your magic, express your creative genius, embody your purpose and live your potential now.

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