Meet Intimacy, Our Greatest Teacher.

Coaching and Healing for a Deeply Intimate Life.

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It is my absolute pleasure to be a gifted with the ability to guide others into a more intimate relationship with themselves, understanding how to work together with their emotions and physical body, so that they can walk with trust, even amidst uncertainty.

 

I work in the realms of Sexuality, Relationships, and Spiritual Questing. 

My clients are creatives and professionals seeking to hone deeper connections in life, that can enhance how they relate to themselves and others.

 

You see, I believe that tapping into the ever present nature of intimacy is our source for overcoming all obstacles. And, our greatest capacity for intimacy sparks brightest when we are alone, inside our dark moments, and can say to ourselves, "And I Love You, Anyway." I call this Self Generated Intimacy.

 

If you're ready to access the intimacy that's available to you Right Now, I'd love to have a conversation with you. Read my Manifesto and reach out to me  with the Subject: Coaching/Healing Inquiry.

 

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ABOUT ME

I will offer two stories:

 

To save you scrolling space, I will introduce them here, and provide links to read the full stories further down on this page.

 

1. How I Learned About Intimacy From Two Murderers

There's a sweet spot in the dark places that's ripe with intimacy, just waiting for us to simply turn towards it. That's all it needs. It will then do its work.

 

I've discovered this many times in my life, but one of my most potent experiences was when I was completing my Master's in Forensic Psychology. It was my final semester, and I was doing an internship at Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center: a maximum security facility housing people who'd committed violent crimes, and were either found Not Guilty by reason of Insanity, or who were currently found mentally unfit to stand their own trials. I was 23 years old.

READ THE FULL STORY

 

 

2. I Will Always Chose To Have Had My Cancer, Because It Helped Me Want To Live My Life

When I was 11 years old, I was diagnosed with Leukemia.

I was diagnosed on New Year's Eve, and my family and I watched the ball drop from my hospital room, eating microwaved frozen pizza. I actually remember that evening being fun - my family was there, I was up late, we were eating pizza. I knew I was sick and this was serious to some degree, but it wasn't in my awareness that there was no guarantee I would survive.

 

Yet, the truth was, according to the doctors, there was a 50/50 chance I would die.  ...

 

... My mother told me years later that the doctors informed her, "We're going to bring her to the brink of death, and then we're going to bring her back." ...A scary statement to say the least, but more so because bringing me to the brink of death was certain (I was already getting there on my own anyway). But, bringing me back, well that was utterly uncertain.

READ THE FULL STORY

 

 

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Professional Summary

 

Mara has her Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology and worked for many years with incarcerated and institutionalized populations. The difficult nature of this work moved her to explore the spiritual nature of all human expression, seeking to unravel taboos and remove judgement so that healing can take place.

 

She is now known as an actor and writer and currently uses these skills to teach empathy to medical professionals and the New York City Police Department.

 

She also works as a private coach, teaching the concepts of what she calls Self Generated Intimacy. 

In this vein, she also works with Actors and Artists to get deeper in touch with their authentic sexual expression; either to connect to a specific role, or enhance their overall freedom within performance.

 

She has engaged in her own shamanic and energy healings, as well has completed many plant medicine journeys (both in groups and solo). As well, Mara spent 3 years deeply studying Orgasmic Meditation, and the role our innate orgasmic energy plays in assisting our lives. She began coaching after her own devised self-research project: 30 Days of Granting Wishes.

Mara draws upon her insights gained from this work while helping guide others.

 

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Manifesto For A Deeply Intimate Life

If you're not afraid, I'll take your hand, and lead you into the darkness of yourself, because it's so so beautiful there; and I want to swim in it to show you that it's safe and loveable and shows me myself.

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This is what my soul knows about living a life. Through my life's experiences, and lessons learned, this is the playground I offer to the world.

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How It Works

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We sit down for a deep dive conversation together. I never book clients blindly. I want to sit down with you, and start coaching you, before you've paid for a package. That way, we can begin on already connected terms, and craft the package that will most suit your needs. 

 

I work one-on-one with clients for 6 months to 12 months.

On occasion, I will also work with a client to craft a unique, short term intensive experience.

 

In our time together, we will get to the heart of the intimacy that's waiting to be expressed and experienced by you. 

 

While deep conversation is a large part of the work,

I also explore body memory integration with clients; as well as energetic healings through chant, massage, meditation, and witnessing.

 

It all begins with a conversation. Reach out to me for current availability at Leemagilbert@gmail.com, with the Subject Coaching/Healing Inquiry.

 

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For Actors and Artists

Read the How It Works section above. 

 

The difference here, is that we can focus on connecting you to your authentic sexual expression for more power and freedom in your performances, and/or, more creative flow in your artistic work.

 

Additionally, for actors, we can explore a specific role together that requires a visible portrayal of sexuality and/or sexual and intimate scenes. If this is an area that scares you, or that you want more power and freedom with, I can help you connect the role to your authentic expression. When you know how to work in communication with your body, rather than feeling shut down, or trying to force something, you can grow your intimate connection with your character. Once intimate with the character, you can craft powerful and moving intimate scenes.

 

Again, it all begins with a conversation.

Reach out to me for current availability at Leemagilbert@gmail.com, with the Subject Coaching/Healing Inquiry.

 

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Videos, Writings, and More

Here I chat with fellow healer, Stephanie Snow, about our professional journeys and how we've learned from each other.

Playwright, Lillian Isabella, interviews me for her play, How We Love/F*ck.

Here I share a healing chant, or a sound healing. This can be an effective tool when working with clients to help release stuck energy. It has been an innate gift I've turned to all my life.

Testimonial:

"Mara, Thank you for sharing your beautiful spirit. This Chant brought me unexpectedly to my inner guide for a healing process with my inner sun; allowing me to cleanse and connect with my true self while flowing with the energy of the all. Thank you for opening that connection up with your powerful self." - Bryan K., Long Island, New York

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Mara is published in Waif Magazine, an out-of-the-box, online magazine, flipping clichés on their head.

[The magazine is created by music group, Subtle Pride's Misha Brooks, Zach Donovan, Mina Walker, and Brigette Lundy-Paine (of Bill and Ted Face The Music and Netflix's Atypical)]

Read Issue 13 article, The Monster's Monster,  examining sexual turn-on and disgust within a larger picture for humanity.

Read Issue 19 article, I Love You So Much I Will Cause You Pain, discussing deeper lessons of love we most often want to fight against.

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Testimonials

 

There was no sex in my life, and that's a lonely way to be. I was working on ways to deal with that when coincidences led me to Mara. In our honest, intimate and always-professional sessions, I learned that I can, in fact, have mutually-rewarding sexual experiences with women; and, perhaps most important, I gained the confidence to "go for it". Thanks in large part to Mara, I have an active and wonderful sex life now.

- Alex, NYC
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You hear the core of what I'm saying, and pin-point what I need to see. You operate with such discernment.
- Ian, NYC
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You are so free with your voice! I see you listening and following and allowing a process to happen. I found watching and listening very powerful!
You are so present, and grounded,
embodied and aware.
I feel like you are tapping into something we all share as humans, but often close off too, and won't access. I admire your trust and courage!
I think you are connected deeply to healing power. In the workshops I facilitate, I am inviting people to open to this source inside themselves, wherever they may be, whatever that may feel, look or sound like. Thank you again for sharing!!
- Leah, Philadelphia, PA
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When I first met Mara, I didnt have any idea what I was getting into. I dont like talking about my feelings or being vulnerable. I always viewed it as a sign of weakness. I viewed therapists as weak and I used to enjoy messing with them before letting them help me.
Mara... I don't know how to describe her methods. All I know is that when she talks to me I feel a little safer. Hell, she never even pries.
She's like that strange friend in high school who always made it their mission to befriend the scary anti-socials types like me. Eventually, I started letting her in. She helped me think about things in a different way. Things about myself, whether it be sexual, or favoring unpopular opinions.
In the past, when I would vent about things like that, I'd get asked, why do you feel that way? I hated hearing that.
Mara never said those things to me. She would tell me it was normal to feel certain ways. It's normal to have strange thoughts. Because of her I don't feel bad alot of the time anymore. I'm also starting to learn how to process my bad times better. I can go on and on about my personal journey with her so far. Give this wonderful young lady a try.
- Gabe, Raleigh, NC

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Stories Continued

How I Learned About Intimacy From Two Murderers

 

There's a sweet spot in the dark places that's ripe with intimacy, just waiting for us to simply turn towards it. That's all it needs. It will then do its work.

 

I've discovered this many times in my life, but one of my most potent experiences was when I was completing my Master's in Forensic Psychology. It was my final semester, and I was doing an internship at Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center: a maximum security facility housing people who'd committed violent crimes, and were either found Not Guilty by reason of Insanity, or who were currently found mentally unfit to stand their own trials. I was 23 years old.

 

I'd earned the internship because my GPA was high, and I already had experience working therapeutically with violent juveniles. I also had experience helping to run Drama Therapy workshops inside of a women's prison. I assisted one of my professors two summers in a row. And Kirby had yet to implement Drama Therapy on their roster of arts therapies. So would I be willing to run a group? Bright eyed, and ready to impress, and absolutely NOT wanting to have to write a research paper in lieu of securing an internship: I said absolutely.

 

Now, I felt like hot shit. I was in charge of running the group. The only Master's level intern to Run a group, rather than assist. My assistant was the Doctoral level intern and at least 10 years older than me. I sat proudly in front of the group of about 12 patients, also all at least 10 years older than me, if not much more. All with violent histories due to psychosis, including assault and murder.

 

I was bubbling on about my vision for the group and how I was expecting them to participate, etc etc. I had my notes written out. I was dressed in a crisp professional outfit. I brightly asked if anyone had any questions. That's when the largest member of our group - a hulking, brooding, big shouldered, too big for the chair he sat in, man - raised his hand and spoke slowly, and with authority, in a thick Russian accent: "Yes, I have a question. Why should we be listening to you?" He looked directly into my eyes.

 

It suddenly sunk deeply into my awareness that there were no guards in the room. If someone got violent, we were to push a phone receiver off a phone on the wall and try to hold our own until help arrived. I remembered, suddenly, how one of the doctors had been killed recently from a patient stabbing him in the neck with a pen he had pulled out of the doctor's own pocket. I realized that my assistant was no match in size for the man burning a hole in my head with his stare; and if we managed to make it to the phone on the wall, this man could kill me before help arrived. And yes, he was in the facility on murder charges.

 

In a split second I had to assess my next move: which my gut was gently telling me, despite the rest of my bodily turmoil, connect to him. Why SHOULD he be listening to you? This is just a man with an actually very legitimate question sitting politely before you. He's been listening. He's interested enough to ask more of you.

 

And so I looked back, directly into his eyes, and talked about my previous experience... but then I simply got real. I said: But listen everyone - you all know I'm a student here doing an internship. They've asked me to run this group because I do have real experience doing it - but, I'm actually here to learn. So, I want to learn as much from all of you as I hope that you'll learn from me. And I'll be honored to guide all of you through the program I've put together, but I'm actually really looking forward to what you'll have to teach me. ...And I realized as I said these things - they were true. They came from the dark center of my gut, who's voice comes through so clearly when our whole body is activated in survival moments such as these. And they made so much more sense than to have me be another authority figure setting out rules and protocols for all of them (although yes, rules were laid down).

 

The hulking man who had murdered people sat back, more relaxed, and nodding. He now trusted me enough to listen to what I had to say. And the rest of the group was leaning more fully in as well. I loved that group, and we ended up really getting to play full out together and explore the art of truth in performance.

 

Now, the story has a nice ending there - BUT, there is more. Also in the group was a female murderer from Russia. And the two fell in love working together in my group. She wrote poetry (beautiful, intriguing words of deep longing); and he played the piano for her as accompaniment while she recited her words aloud. There was passion and torment in their performance. There was respect and admiration between the two of them.

 

Having the narcissistic traits that this man did, he pulled me aside one day to tell me that I should know that he felt my group was stupid and beneath him as a pianist (it became clear early on that he could not read music, and had beginner skills... but that's another story). The only reason he is continuing to attend is for Her. And it was so touching, and so beautiful to witness his heart emerging, his heart leading him, that I simply told him so: That's beautiful. Thank you for offering your support to Her. I can tell how happy she is to have you with her. And those words were true.

 

Now, come performance time: when we were doing a showcase for the whole hospital, including patient family members - he was nowhere to be seen. And his love came running up to me with tears in her eyes: He's not coming! He said he's not coming! I cannot read my poetry without him and my parents are here!

 

Thankfully for all of us, Love was running the show. It had been for awhile. I was no longer in charge - so I said, Oh he's coming. Don't you worry. And I marched up to his sleeping quarters, where he was sitting angrily on his bed, and sighed in frustration when he saw me storming in through the door. I told all the staff to Leave Us Alone. I Need To Speak To Him. (Again, not me. That intimacy doing its work). And the staff left. And I went and sat right next to him, beside him on the bed. No alert phones anywhere in immediate reach.

 

What are you doing? I asked softly. He looked down at his feet. He couldn't look me in the eye now. He was afraid, but instead of admitting that, he said: It's all stupid. It's beneath me. I don't want anyone knowing I'm involved in your stupid group.

 

I asked: Is she beneath you? He didn't answer.

I said: She's down there right now crying because you made a promise to her, and you've left her. She wants to share her hard work with her parents, and you're a part of that. Are you going to let all this "it's stupid" keep you from keeping your word to her? (or I said something along those lines...)

He remained looking at his shoes and sighed a deep sigh. Then he looked back up. He looked me in the eye again. He said: Ok. I will do it. I will do it for her.

 

We exited the room together. I stood near him, close to him the whole way down to the cafeteria where we were performing. He needed support but would never ask for it. I would have held his hand or put my arm around him in a different setting, but standing close, almost touching, was enough.

 

When she saw him, her face lit up and she smiled and wiped away her tears and thanked him for deciding to be with her. They gave a powerful performance. I'm not sure what others felt or thought about it. But for me, witnessing the great courage it took for both of them to be so pure and intimate with each other - it was a performance I will never forget.

 

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I Will Always Choose To Have Had My Cancer, Because It Helped Me Want To Live My Life.

 

When I was 11 years old, I was diagnosed with Leukemia.

I was diagnosed on New Year's Eve, and my family and I watched the ball drop from my hospital room, eating microwaved frozen pizza. I actually remember that evening being fun - my family was there, I was up late, we were eating pizza. I knew I was sick and this was serious to some degree, but it wasn't in my awareness that there was no guarantee I would survive.

 

Yet, the truth was, according to the doctors, there was a 50/50 chance I would die. I was diagnosed at a time when new treatments were being developed specifically for childhood leukemia, after it became clear that relapses were common. In fact, relapsed cases of the type of leukemia I had, acute lymphoblastic (or ALL), showed up as the fourth most common diagnosed malignancy in children. And so, new aggressive treatments were being explored. My name was put into a database, and I was randomly assigned a track of treatment, with only hopes it would work.

 

My mother told me years later that the doctors informed her, "We're going to bring her to the brink of death, and then we're going to bring her back." ...A scary statement to say the least, but more so because bringing me to the brink of death was certain (I was already getting there on my own anyway). But, bringing me back, well that was utterly uncertain.

 

I won't go through the MANY stories of what that uncertain part means (I did say I would only tell two stories here). Well, maybe some highlights: like having period cramps so horrible my mother took me in to see my doctors and it was discovered I had a hemoglobin level of 3.5, while actively losing blood. A normal hemoglobin level (red blood cell level) is somewhere between 11-15. I was immediately admitted and put on a blood transfusion. I was practically dead.

 

Or, when a nurse took my blood pressure during some other hospital visit, and continued to retake it several times while frowning. I think I had to say my arm hurt before she stopped. She kind of laughed oddly and said nervously, I'm sorry, it's just... your blood pressure is so low that... if you weren't alive... you'd be dead

 

So, I was basically an actual version of the walking dead for 2.5 years while receiving my track of treatment. But I certainly didn't feel dead, or even almost dead. Pain has a way of reminding us we're alive. 

 

One day, during a month of treatments where I had to sit in the office for hours on end letting different medicines drip slowly into my body, one of my doctors asked if I wanted to see my leukemia cells under the microscope. Hell Yeah! I thought. I was super curious, but also, anything was better than continuing to watch the pretty bad movie selection they had available. So he took me to a microscope, put a slide of my cancer under it, and I looked at it. 

 

This is what my illness looks like, I thought to myself. So, this is what's killing me.

 

It may have been the first time a recognition of something actively killing me came to my head. But that thought didn't stay long. Instead, I found my cancer cells quite beautiful: purply-blue orbs all swirled together in this kind of dance. 

It was an incredibly intimate moment. This was MY cancer. This was my body. It wasn't some outside entity, or some monster, or something happening To me... it was... Me.

I felt an incredibly deep love for it. I didn't know why. I just did. It was mine. It was me. 

 

In the end, what seemed to be killing me, was actually healing me in many ways. I learned so much, I grew so much, and I was now connected to life in a way that is like having my own tree roots, for lack of a better way to articulate it. 

 

My mother asked me, a little while after I finished treatment, if I had had the choice to go through cancer, being on the other side of it now, would I choose to go through it? I thought for awhile, and I said yes, I would. Because it helped me want to live my life.

 

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To work with Mara, please reach out to schedule your first deep dive conversation with her. 

Leemagilbert@gmail.com

with the Subject: Coaching/Healing Inquiry