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Mary Jane tells us more about
A Cure for a Heartache

My story begins with loss and ends with a deeper, richer experience of life in the moment. The techniques that got me there are very simple and can help anyone – whether you’ve experienced loss or are simply seeking to be a bit happier.

In 2013, I was blindsided by the end of my 25-year marriage. Seeking a lifeline – anything - I escaped to London England, where I wandered in oblivion… until a close brush with a fast-moving black cab woke me up. I had to find a way back from this all-consuming sadness and worry.   

I started with what I knew: I’ve taught creative thinking and I’ve studied mindfulness with leading experts. Now, I needed to go one step further. I did research, came up with ideas, and designed experiments with myself as the guinea pig.

First, I embraced the five senses. Feel the cotton sheets. Smell the lavender soap… One day, while inhaling the spicy scent of exotic tea, my forehead damp with steam and the cup feeling smooth in my hand – I realized I was simply alive in the moment. And it felt wonderful.

 
 
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More experiments followed, and I learned more about how:

  • the power of the senses can connect one to the moment

  • walking leads to a more vivid here and now

  • letting go of possessions and commitments sets one free

  • creativity offers the quiet joy of productive flow 

  • in-the-moment gratitude provides an immediate uplift

  • a broken heart deepens one’s capacity for love and connection

Things started to change. The cycle of sadness, fear and negative thinking was broken.

There was an added bonus: These techniques not only brought me into the present in a more mindful way; they folded into daily life in a way that was effortless and enjoyable. They didn’t take extra time. I didn’t have to learn anything new. I just had to pay attention to life as it happened.

And more: Not only did I find my way back from grief - I became more engaged, connected and creative. And, all this happened while I was living in one of the world’s greatest cities. The incredible landscape of London served as an extraordinary backdrop for my journey.

Later, at a creative retreat in France, I dove into my journals, did more research, and started to write the book. The story alternates between time spent in France and England.

 

 

* A Cure for Heartache is based on events from my life. In a few instances, events have been combined or timelines have been compressed. Personal names have been changed and, in some cases, composite characters have been created to protect people’s privacy.