MARIANA MAE: Exhales of Contentment

I have sat long with what to share about this dear sister, but everything that comes through fails to encapsulate her radiance in any way better than naturally engaging with her own transcendent words and creative offerings directly. So simply, my whole heart loves Mariana Mae. She has been a guide, a friend, a teacher, an artistic imprint in my life and home. As I drink from her vessels many times daily, I give thanks for her presence in these web spheres, and also her presence for our Mother Earth and collective family. Read on for a wonderful interview with dearest Mae.

Mariana Mae interview moon + rock easy to breathe 

What lands / environment do you come from? 

I was raised in between the volcanic mountains of the Anahuac Valley of Mexico City, where the fuchsia bougainvillea vines overgrow from walls of adobe.

What was once the island of Tenochititlan, Mexico City was developed after colonization causing the lake to dry and the beginning of a busy, cultural hub of a city was constructed. Narrow, hillside cobblestone streets in the old neighborhood of Coyoacan were the grounds I learned to walk upon. Aromas of freshly roasted corn, mercados with indigenous folk art and ancient walls distressed in every vibrant color evoked awe to my eye. Years later, the warm Atlantic ocean became home along the coast of Florida, where swimming in a sea of salt initiated a life long communion with the shores of where I stand. 

How has that place (or places) impacted where you are today? 

The culture of place carries an immense impact in my life in the ways I am in relationship to people and perspective, expression and environment. I feel the spirit of folk art from my motherland at the root of my ideas and visions for creating beauty and the telling of stories. The mythological and indigenous ways of the Mexica continue to lead me truer to the core of my service in the world and the legacy of my ancestors. Learning how to be in communion with the elements began in my witnessing of the rising tides at sunset, the forces of wind and rain in the humid, tropical storms, and the curiosity of the natural world my inner girl played with deep in the heart of the coral reefs. Returning to live in a Valley, where I now reside, affirms my sense of belonging cradled amongst mountains where fresh water flows into the river streams and the simple, slow village ways of living with the land are preserved. 

What is your work? What in your personal life has influenced that the most? 

What feels like work to me is a growing commitment and collaboration with Clay, Nature and Spirit.
I work with Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Ether to craft pottery vessels as offerings to the ancient, the functionality of form and the healing art of creating with my own bare hands. My hope is that my clay work represents a sustainable process of crafting a sacred, tangible object, which reminds oneself to return to simplicity, return to stillness and to the silence of breath. My work encompasses Community Building, Womxn’s Health, Art Therapy, Curanderismo (traditional folk medicine and self-healing), Ancestral reclamation and Indigenous Culture documentation. 
The truth is, the yearning and necessity to find my authentic voice as a Woman and sensitive, creative individual led me down a road of inquiry and healing thus influencing me to commit more intimately to the Clay and various modalities of self-expression and traditional healing. Prayer is the arrow pointing North as my work continues to evolve.

What ignites your spirit to soar? 

Diving head first into the crystalline, cold ocean waves and feeling the glory of being alive. Sowing a seed in the dark soil and witnessing the seedling sprout day after day. Being in ceremony and witnessing the smoke of Copal rise. Drinking a glass of fresh spring water. Being in the presence and service to elders. Receiving an opportunity that dares me to meet an inner fear and edge of bravery. Laughing with my loved ones and family. All ignite my Spirit to Soar. Picking up the guitar to feel an emotion deeper and melodically releasing it with my voice ignites peace to my soul. Being with an intergenerational lineage of women working together in the field or in the kitchen overjoys my whole being.

What creative endeavors do you feel drawn to at this time?

Recently, I’ve been spending more time with my hands in the garden. I’ve dreamt of living in a permaculture farm community, devoting time to regenerating the land around me and being taught by the Mother Earth herself, and I’m so grateful to be here. Preparing healthy soil, planting seed, harvesting food and medicine, and returning to the rhythms of our plant kin, is my newly found love language. A language of resourcefulness, reciprocity and revitalization, as well as the language of trusting in the cycles of Sun and Moon. Integrating and implementing these teachings feel like creative endeavors to me during these times of the Great Unknown. The creativity that blossoms from the farm into the kitchen is a gift to behold and to share with community in meals and medicine around the table is a life way I strive to keep alive.
 
Now that Winter is approaching, I look forward to hibernating and brewing a new platform of online programs where many of my offerings and I can be communed with accessibly, whether we are physically near or far.

How have you learned to tap into your inner guidance? What are some of your rituals today for doing so? 

While there are many bridges to get here, I praise the simple practice of placing my hands on my chest, feeling my heart beating and breath in flow. When it comes to daily rituals, I feel to say, keep it simple and accessible, so that you can come to it with ease time and time again. In a world where we are sold to believe that our inner guidance is accessed through an external guide, the truest way to tap into the anchor of our authentic knowing is right here in your stillness with Spirit. Many moments spent in silence has led me here. 
 
A morning, evening and every moment ritual I lean upon is creating an altar. Remembering that it can be simple. An altar can look like a candle, a leaf or seed mandala, an ocean view or tree canopy above. When we visually represent a safe space for our external environment, we can easier relax into our internal breath. I bow my head downward so the mind meets my heart, and speak within or aloud any weights holding me heavy and any requests needing to be heard. I then listen and learn how to be led to my inner guidance more and more.
 
Something else that continuously keeps me grounded is praying with water. Every morning, before I take my first sip of water, I give thanks to Life and if accessible, I pour a few drops of the water on the Earth or in a potted plant before drinking from the fountain of Life myself.

What does “Beauty” mean to you? 

Beauty is an exhale of contentment.

Beauty is creating something from nothing.

Beauty is the mycelium whose network stretches out to nourish the roots of the tree and the flower.

Beauty is the commitment of oneself to care for the health of our own body, mind and Spirit.

Beauty is found in a helping hand for a beloved friend or stranger in need.

Beauty is speaking up on behalf of the voices suppressed.

Beauty is recognizing our blessings while integrating a challenging time. 

Beauty is softly gazing into the mirror, finding a new grey hair and in awe naming it beautiful, giving thanks for one’s growth.

Beauty is a calendula flower re-seeding itself to the soil and multiplying it’s bounty.

Beauty is feeling safe to be seen in our own vulnerability and truth.

Beauty means forgiveness and sovereignty.

Beauty is perspective. 

⊹  ❖  ⊹ 

Connect further with Mariana Mae on her webshop, Easy to Breathe

Her personal Instagram

Her documentary project Ser Mujer

Her community gatherings