With 2020 now behind us, it’s time to move forward into a new realm of our lives, according to our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, who clarifies the importance of resonating with new opportunities ahead.


As I looked at my correspondence from 2020, I realized that spellcheck could not figure out how to spell COVID-19. A year ago, I had no idea what Coronavirus was, let alone COVID-19. Since that time, we have been through so many ups and downs and twists and turns–truly a testament to our resilience as a global community. We are the most adaptable species on the planet, and we have all witnessed the reality of our adaptability in the last year. And adapt, we have. Despite the quixotic lifestyle changes and constant potential for loss of life, we are moving forward…progressing in a herky-jerky, zig-zag trajectory triggering us to stop, look and listen in new ways.

This pandemic compels us to stop and look at our lives–to examine and re-evaluate what is important. Even though it continues to be a huge imposition, the pandemic has enriched us in some interesting ways. Those who are sick or have lost loved ones are probably not having this experience. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you and the heroic healthcare workers taking care of you. 

We who have re-examined our lives are fortunate enough to have stayed safe and healthy are reconsidering what might be loosely considered as the pandemic’s benefits. One of these might be a resurgence of the idea of simplicity. What does this mean, and how does it fit into our lives now? The dictionary defines simplicity as the quality or condition of being plain or natural. Feeling unencumbered comes along with it. The Feng Shui philosophy of spatial organization recommends we keep clutter to a minimum. Simply put, clutter can block the flow of energy in our homes, and therefore, into our lives. 


In the end, simplicity is an art. It is an act of letting go. When we let go, we make room for fresh experiences. We re-examine what we find valuable and release what is not. Simplicity generally precedes some form of healing. Healing is essential now within our global community, on all levels: physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. 

Another value gleaned from the pandemic looks like something akin to unity. For one thing, it has united us around a common adversary. Although split into two main camps, the unity, even in its present form, demonstrates re-evaluation and learning. Unity follows a certain level of unrest. Among other examples, it may be similar to the upheaval occurring in psychotherapy, which can be followed by systemic healing. 

Healing is most definitely on the mind of the collective consciousness. As we ring in this new year, we are anxiously awaiting the manufacture and distribution of viable vaccines. Gratefully contemplating the prospect of gravitating back to our original lifestyle, a watery impression seems to portend, “It’s probably not going to happen the way you think it is.” Yet, part of what is happening looks like the cultivation of a new optimism–tinged with hope.

Pandemics create a great deal of stress on all levels. This, we now know. As we begin to envision a healed world and examine lessons learned, we may find there remains a real possibility for continued transformation–from a personal perspective and a global one. Awareness of this possibility for ourselves and our loved ones could potentially make this transition smoother and perhaps even a source of joy in this brand new year.



The holidays are often filled with both joy and anxiety. Our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, shares ideas to help us enjoy the season and the new year as well.


Around the holiday season, positive family dynamics are even more important than ever. We must be aware that they are influenced by our actions and the world around us.


The combination of lots of food, a bit less sleep, perhaps more alcohol, and particularly, this year’s over-the-top heightened social and political awareness, can cause tension and produce a high-stress quotient. Family members get triggered,  and most of us will have a button or two pushed during this merry season.


One of the benefits of the pandemic is we have gotten better at being together. We have been forced to,  due to the mandated quarantine. Yes, the situation has required us all to grow in one way or another. Almost everyone I know has a story or two about their growth experiences–what can happen without our usual distractions and commitments. Do you suppose there might be a way to channel all this hard-won esprit de corps? Maybe by kickstarting the holidays with a new spark?


What would that look like? One of the first challenges is exploring our relationship to the past and the future; the former is exhausting, and the latter is fantasy. We might commit to letting the weary past go. In truth, it is gone, and we have no way to retrieve it again and create a do-over. Unless, of course, you make a go of it by attempting to resurrect old wounds–then we are off to the races. This behavior frequently occurs, making it difficult to enjoy the holidays, as one is not living in the moment, but immersed in the past.


We could probably say the same for the future. We humans frequently throw ourselves out there,  imagining events and their outcomes in which we are mysteriously participating. We consider it much safer in this activity because at least we can tell ourselves we have every conceivable eventuality covered. What happens instead is that we are simply not present, as we have unwittingly thrown ourselves into a place that does not yet exist. And when immersed in this fantasy world, how can we be present to enjoy the holidays?


People are often the least present during the holiday season because it is difficult to find any downtime. Gatherings, however small, begin after Thanksgiving and can run until after New Year’s. It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed, making it a challenge to stay present. And there are instances when we have to push through. If this happens, here are a few quick tools to support us through the season:


  1. Meditation. This is the most beneficial, but it may be difficult to find the time, so try to fit in at least five minutes once or twice a day.
  2. Earthiness. Get your feet on the ground, literally. Go outside, take your shoes and socks off, and stand on the ground or sit against a tree, if you prefer.
  3. Essential Oils. Neroli and/or any type of Fir tree oil can heighten your senses to the present.
  4. Dietary. Eat more root vegetables, to again connect with the earth.


Charles Dickens had it right when he wrote A Christmas Carol. Not only was he helping Scrooge evaluate his greediness, but also he was giving him the gift of presence. If we want to kickstart the holidays, we might commit to staying out of the past and the future and being present this season. It might just help us set the tone for the exciting 2021 ahead.



The greater the hope, the greater the outcome, a wise philosopher once said. Our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, shares ideas that can help us thrive and move forward.

What do you think it will be like post-COVID-19? Of course, everyone will initially give a huge sigh of relief, assuming the virus will disappear and go back where it came from. It may not. There are tons of possibilities and the only common thread among them is we just do not know. The scientists do not know yet, and the clergy, academicians, and politicians do not know yet. A large segment of the population still questions the very existence of the virus. It is a classic case of we do not know what we do not know.

For many of us, the presence of the virus has caused terror, grief and pain. Our hearts go out to all of those who have suffered in this situation. It is necessary, now more, than ever to have compassion for everyone.  The world at large has been touched by it in some way. And, yet, as in all difficult times, we human beings still have hope. Hope in a cure, hope in a vaccine, and hope for better days ahead. What is this strangely human state of mind that appears in the worst of times? It is a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen. Barbara Fredrickson, professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says, “Hope is not your typical form of positivity. Most positive emotions arise when we feel safe and satiated. Hope is the exception. It comes into play when our circumstances are dire.”

Despite prevailing pessimism, there are signs we could be cautiously optimistic. Having had time to evaluate what is important in life, people are making different choices. They are spending more quality time with their families and pets (it is reported that dogs are having the best time ever). Over the years in my practice, I have seen many families who lack real intimacy. Lives are filled with activities that appear to portray happy family systems. Busy-ness isn’t intimacy. Studies show when people experience more intimacy they become happier. Happy people are kinder people. This might just lead to a kinder world for us all.

Businesses are making different choices, too. It has become relatively easy to work at home over the past decade or so. Many people already do. But the necessity of having most employees work from home has made companies take a good look at how much money they are spending on expensive office space. A widely held myth claimed employees are not as productive working from the home as in the office. Recent research shows just the opposite. Now, management has proof  they can downsize. So, the work environment, as we know it, will be different in the future.

In addition, the concept of intimacy comes up again. Connections that are made working in teams and with colleagues in the office may become more appreciated and valued. There is no way to predict what this unique and untried work arrangement will do for a company’s culture. It will likely be extremely beneficial to families, especially children. In my experience, what most children want more than anything is to spend quality time with their parents. Again, what this can do for the world at large could be transformative.

What is even more hopeful is seeing young Americans involved and engaged in what is currently happening in this country. This movement is spread so much wider than any other. It goes far beyond just those who have been affected by any type of discrimination. These transformations are the benefit of having hope. Barbara Fredrickson says that, “Hope comes into its own when crisis looms, opening us to new creative possibilities.” I hope this is what is happening now. How will you progress in your life moving forward?