Mari L. McCarthy – Singer

Trust the Process

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and had to make a clear change. At the time, I had a business management consulting firm. I was living out of a suitcase traveling to Fortune 1000 companies.

Living with MS, I experienced all kinds of different episodes. In one episode, I lost the feeling on the right side of my body. It wasn’t going away fast enough. I needed to teach myself how to write with my left hand.

Introduced to Morning Pages with Julia Cameron, I started remembering all kinds of things about my past and emotions. I’ve always been a goal setter and one of the things that came up was that I always wanted to be a singer.

What made you decide to finally realize your lifelong dream?

The majority of my adult life had been in business. I was uber left brain. I needed to teach myself how to write left-handed. There had to be structure and procedure to that. I met a lady at a party who had a sister who lived in Europe. She recommended The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which talks about recovering the artist in all of us. With me being goal-oriented, I trusted the world…and all of a sudden this lady shows up and introduces me to Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages.

It was the perfect opportunity now that I am not flying all over the world. Journaling helped me realize that I wanted to be a singer. At 46, I was becoming the singer I knew I was deep, deep down inside.

There is something scientifically mysterious and magical about the routine tactile process of putting the pen to page. There is something that was amazing. I was so much in my head that I needed to look at things logically. There’s the spiritual, emotional, and metaphysical of the process. All I know is that I trusted the process. I want to get everyone in the world journaling so that they can uncover, discover and recover their true self. Journaling helps get rid of all the garbage that we’ve literally been carrying around. All the crazy thoughts that we as kids interpreted the world in the best way we could. There is something about the pen to page process that connects us with who we are before we came into the world – before life got in the way.

I set the goal I keep ongoing goals. Less than six months later, I read an article in the paper about a music school that had students of all ages. In 2000, I started taking lessons. After a year I participated in the school recital. It took me someplace. I was in a zone. There was something about being on stage. I can’t tell you how fantastic that was. I will do anything to get on stage.

What were the specific obstacles that you faced?

I realized through the singing lessons that I was still thinking and feeling like a scared little girl. Can I hit the high notes? It wasn’t anything external. I was the real challenge. By going through the physical singing process, it helped me get into my body and stuff would come up. Where did this come from?

I am the epitome of being my own worst enemy. Now I feel happy and healthy inside. There is no more mental and emotional self-sabotage.

What helped you get through them?

Journaling…journaling…journaling. I fill up tons of notebooks. It stirs things up. Sometimes I am in the shower and I’ll think, ‘That’s what that means. That’s where that comes from.’

Journaling is like brushing my teeth. There’s something about the process that works for me physically, emotionally and spiritually. I was eating myself alive with negative thoughts and feelings.

Were there people that tried to discourage you?

No. It’s one of these things that I never listen to anybody else. Out of the womb, I have always been a focused, goal-oriented business woman. I set my goals and did what I wanted to do.

How did you feel when you finally accomplished your lifelong dream?

Oh my goodness! I got a hint of what heaven must be like.

What advice would you give to others who are contemplating finally living their dream?

Get out a journal and write. It will help you get there quicker and faster. The ‘I can’ts’ are learned behavior. Once you stick to it and go for it, you start clearing out the clutter and realize ‘I’ve always wanted to do this.’

Just do it and pursue it.

I now have 15 books about journaling. It’s something we all have – a pen and a notebook. We can do our own self therapy. I uncovered what my dream was. I always wanted to be a singer, and now I am.
To learn more about how journaling can help you “just do your dream” click here.  Listen to and purchase Mari’s music here.


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