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Mari L. McCarthy October 19, 2020

West Malick of the Lifelong Wellness Podcast interviewed Mari L. McCarthy about the Issues in Your Tissues and Getting all the Garbage Out.

HubSpot Video

Here is the podcast transcript:

Intro (00:06):

The lifelong wellness podcast, living your best life.

West Malick (00:12):

Welcome to the lifelong wellness podcast, where we talk to wellness professionals from so many walks of life from around the world and get their insight to living healthier. I am your host West Malick today. Our guest is Mary Ellen McCarthy, who is the founder and chief empowerment officer of create right now, home of journaling for the health of it. She shows health conscious people how to use therapeutic journaling, to heal the issues in their tissues and experience and power and express their true self. She's also the multi award winning author of journaling power. How to create the happy, healthy life you want to live and heal yourself with journaling power. And she's also the creator of 20 plus journaling power E workbooks, including declutter your life, love your body and take control of your health. Mary, welcome to the lifelong wellness podcast. How are you today?

Mari L. McCarthy (01:04):

I'm doing very well, Wes. Thank you so much. How are you?

West Malick (01:07):

Excellent. I am in very good spirits and I'm looking to learn quite a bit from you regarding health and wellbeing. And I wanted to ask you about, um, you know, what you do and what you teach, and that is journaling. And I like to just jump in right away and ask you what is journaling?

Mari L. McCarthy (01:27):

Journaling is the ultimate self therapeutic tool that helps people do their inner work to understand who truly lives in their body. Get to deal with the, what I call the issues in their tissues that we've been carrying around since childhood get all that garbage out of the way and reconnect with our true self and live the life that we want to live.

West Malick (01:54):

When you say tissues, I mean, you mean to say as in like the Kleenex and the runny noses that were thrown away, right?

Mari L. McCarthy (02:02):

No, no issues in our bodily somatic tissues, like, you know, the, the muscles, the, the bones, the cells of our beings,

West Malick (02:12):

The literal tissue, I mean the tissue and the muscle mass in the matter that makes us

Mari L. McCarthy (02:17):

Exactly. Yes, because what has happened in West is that as a, when we come into this world, we have everything we need to live the most fantastic life possible. And then we get socialized and parent ties and teacher eyes and influenced by all the people that have not done their inner work. They've just, you know, perpetuated what their, how they parented from their parents and on and on and on. And, um, what we've done is we've just really lost who we are and journaling helps us, uh, reconnect with who we truly are. So it's a very part of self

West Malick (03:00):


Mari L. McCarthy (03:02):

Self-discovery, self-development self healing, self care. Any words that you want to associate with the word self is, is, uh, equals journaling. Yes.

West Malick (03:13):

I find it so hard working on myself. I wish somebody could work on me for me. I can maybe late

Mari L. McCarthy (03:20):

Indeed. Well, and that's the, that is the, the scary part. You know, it just, it truly is scary because we are so much living in our head. We'd come in with, you know, full body, mind, body, soul, and then we get taught how to live out of a teeny tiny part of our brain. And that's how we we've lived there our life. But so going further and further into us is an extremely scary proposition. And it's like you say it, I know it would be really nice to be able to find someone who could do with,

West Malick (03:55):

I find myself working on myself every single day. I wake up and I'm like, you know what, today I got to do this. And when, I mean, what I have to do is work on myself, you know, I got to eat, right. I got to do this. I gotta think, right. I also, uh, um, you know, notice, uh, my own behaviors and say, you know what, maybe I should stop saying this. Or, you know, maybe I shouldn't be so negative and stuff, but then I forget. And then that thought just, you know, evaporates. And I don't know if I've worked on myself or not.

Mari L. McCarthy (04:30):

Indeed. And that's, that's one of the wonderful things about journaling is, is that, that's your, your documentation of, of your process and your self development in your, did I do that? And this, one of the things that, uh, is fantastic about journaling, it's your journal loves it when you ask questions and it's just like, you know, there would be a perfect a thing for you to sit down with your journal and say, Hmm, I, I was wondering, did I get enough done on myself today or whatever. It's like, it's a really open-ended opportunity for, for us to stay connected to ourself. As you know, it's just like, is rarely difficult for us to, to stay connected with our, uh, mind, body and true self. It just like a mature your wife. But so your journal is a fantastic tool there just to, you know, even if it's just to sit down and data dump in and help you process your, your self development, yourself, growth, your, you know, yourself, your self management.

West Malick (05:35):

So break it down for us, Mary, uh, what is the process or the items that we, uh, in journaling? Is it like writing a diary?

Mari L. McCarthy (05:46):

Uh, no, it, it is basically, uh, connecting to, uh, the, how should I say it gets you out of your head and it gets you into your body, your soul, your emotions, all those things that we were supposed to, uh, deny stop down and things like that. So it is truly a process. It's a huge behavior change process. It is getting us into ourselves and getting us to the point of that. We're living our life from the inside out, dealing with our thoughts, our emotions, creating the life that we want to live, as opposed to running around, out there with our, to do list of how we have to save the world.

West Malick (06:33):

So this must have a structure to it.

Mari L. McCarthy (06:37):

No, there was, uh, as I tell my clients, there was only one right way to journal, and it is your way. So if it is, and it needs to be pen to page every day, that's, those are the only two, if you will structure, but if you want to do it, first thing, when you wake up, you want to do it. Last thing before you go to bed, if you want to do it in the middle of the night, you want to do it on the beach, in the coffee shop. You want to do it with a fountain pen pens. You want to do it with, uh, you know, unlined journals, whatever floats your boat is, is, uh, open, uh, to, uh, for a successful journalists.

West Malick (07:23):

Now, uh, how did you get into journaling? How did you start?

Mari L. McCarthy (07:28):

Um, it was for purely physical therapy purposes. I had an ms exacerbation where I lost a feeling, uh, function on the right side of my body. And I was at that point, a high powered, uh, management consultant. And I had my own management consulting firm. And so I needed to have a procedure right away to teach myself how to write, uh, left hand, the time I needed to be protected. I mean, good grief. You couldn't be, I couldn't be nonproductive. So I, um, was introduced to a book by the name of the artist way by Julia Cameron. And in it, she has, um, a thing called morning pages. And what do you do? First thing in the morning is you open your journal and you just write three pages of stream of consciousness, whatever I thought, Oh, that'd be an interesting, uh, um, why did it, I mean, just as Nike says, just do it, so, okay.

Mari L. McCarthy (08:31):

Got into it. And then the process opened up, it became a spiritual, a, an emotional, sorry. I remember remembering things from my childhood. It's just like, Oh my goodness. I was just completely blown away. It was just again, being so focused on the procedure and doing it right. And all that kind of stuff. It's just like, it opened me up to all of me. My spirituality might, um, my brain, my body, my everything. So, um, so that's how I got it. So it turned out that it was way much more than just a physical therapy exercise. And I just thought, Oh, this is awesome. And I, uh, decided that I was going to keep, uh, keep doing it. And then, uh, as I, then things started showing up in my journal and phrases and words, and I came up with the idea for my company create right now, journaling for the health of it, because it really was a holistic, uh, ex uh, experience just like yoga or meditation or things like that.

Mari L. McCarthy (09:42):

So that's a, so, like I said, it was a very synchronistic experience of getting into it, purely for physical therapy, uh, reasons. And it became spiritual therapy, emotional therapy, mental therapy right away. It must've been very cathartic. Oh my gosh. It was unbelievable. It's just like, and things that I know, cause I had blocked off a lot of things from childhood my age. Certainly I knew I had a childhood just really being able to get into the whole process and interesting enough, one of the reasons why I became lefthanded very legibly left-handed very quickly because one of the things I remembered while doing the morning pages was that I always was lefthanded and the nuns changed me.

West Malick (10:33):

Oh, okay. So you started out left-handed while you, when you were a child and the, the teachers, uh, I'm assuming a Catholic school convent ask you to write with your right hand?

Mari L. McCarthy (10:47):

Absolutely. Because we certainly good little Catholic girls couldn't be dealing with the devil. You know, it was like all that kind of stuff. It's always just like, and it was interesting because at that point, my mother was still with us and I, I asked her, I asked her and she verified that yes, that, that wasn't back what happened.

West Malick (11:08):

So are you ambidextrous now? Can you write with both right and left? That is, that's so unique. That's not a lot of people have that skill and it's fantastic. How does a journal connect or how does keeping a journal connect with my health and better health?

Mari L. McCarthy (11:31):

Um, I have to say that, uh, I couldn't tell you scientifically how that, uh, occurs all I can give you some anecdotal, uh, evidence. I just, uh, I think that, again, it's just the way we were brought up that we're so focused and limited in what we, we are just so much, we are souls and having a human existence. So there's just, you know, there's all kinds of, uh, vibration. We are, we are holistic beings. We are, uh, again, socialized, you know, the word, Oh, we've got a, uh, a headache we're going to die. And we, everything is looked at compartmentalize, but no, we have to journaling helps us look as, as spirits, souls, bodies, minds, all of the above. That's what makes up the human existence.

West Malick (12:25):

Right. Okay. And, um, how do you, um, you know, teach your clients how to journal and, um, you know, empower and express their true self. How do you teach that to people?

Mari L. McCarthy (12:41):

Uh, well, one of the ways I have is I have, uh, about 26, what I call journaling powered guidebooks that deal with, uh, issues and challenges that people face in their, their life. Uh, one book is called, who am I? Now? The book is called heal your life. Uh, another one is called, uh, deal with money matters in seven days, set better goals. So I offer all kinds of opportunities for them to whatever their issue is like. Uh, you know, like I said, maybe they're having money issues. Maybe they're having, I really like to know who does live in my body so that I offer those types of, of guidebooks. And then I offer, uh, sessions with, with people that, you know, want to get started, wanting to get back on the, uh, on the wagon to always say that, you know, it's very customized process. And one of the things I have had them do before a session with me is do a, what I call a five minute missive that just this do some free writing about what the goals, the sessions are and help people crystallize what they want to get out of the session. That's something that, uh, this new and, uh, issue cause a lot of people are. So as you know, busy running around that, there's the whole thing of, of structure and self discipline and, and goals as something completely foreign to a lot of people.

West Malick (14:21):

I, uh, love this concept. I, I agree with a lot of things that you say, but before I ask you more questions, where, where can our listeners and myself find your books and your E workbooks? Is there a website or

Mari L. McCarthy (14:37):

Yes, my website is create, write w R I T E now.com. Uh, and, uh, there are any type of resources you need. Like I said, there's only one way to journal and that's your way and go in and you see that there's a free ebook called change your life in 15 days, that will give you the opportunity to explore journaling and get into journaling and see what it's all about. Uh, and there's a store with all my, my books. There are videos and podcasts that I have done. There are probably about, um, 380 some journaling prompts that are unique and soul searching that will help if you need something. Cause that's another, uh, often a comment I hear is like, Oh, what am I going to write about? And it's like, wow, I can go in there and I'd pick out a prompt that resonates with you and just do it.

West Malick (15:39):

I see. So there are, you know, there, there are things there that will help you start writing.

Mari L. McCarthy (15:46):

Absolutely. And like I said, and there's, there's not a, a procedure. That procedure is, it's all very, excuse me, individualistic. And so you just go through and it's like, okay, something will speak to you. Well sing to your heart. And it's like, Oh yeah, that's what I want to do. Or, Oh, isn't that interesting a book about who am I, or, you know, revitalize your, your life in seven days or, you know, whatever, some things. So it's a very, it really ties into a person's emotions and soul and heart and it's like, Oh yeah, that's for me. So

West Malick (16:27):

That's at create right now.com that's create right with a w and now.com. Correct. Absolutely. Now I have gone through one, a similar exercise that you have done. Uh, I attended a training program many, many years ago, and one of the facilitators played some very, um, uplifting or, you know, very inspiring kind of music and turned the lights down and said, right, for the next five minutes, whatever comes to your mind and there's no rules. And I went through that process once and it was quite interesting. Um, another training program, a corporate training program, I, um, attended the facilitator or the trainer asked us to, uh, I believe it was, um, a Stephen Covey, uh, training program. And they asked us to write about, you know, what would be on your epitaph. So writing can, uh, you know, bring out a lot of things that you might not be aware of.

West Malick (17:31):

I've experienced it. Uh, and I've seen the effects it's had. In fact, those are those two, um, exercises that I did, Oh, I don't know, decades ago, I still have them lying around in a letter bound journal somewhere. And, you know, I have many things written down from my life and my life changed after I had written things down that were inside of me. It does work. It's not all, um, hokey pokey or, you know, it's just not like stuff in the air. It really, really does make an impact. I've seen the impact, but maybe some people might be skeptical of that. What would you, what would you say to them?

Mari L. McCarthy (18:14):

Absolutely. And, uh, if, if someone, uh, embraces it with open arms, it's definitely the exception to the rule, the rule, uh, and, uh, my response to people that are skeptical, uh, concern or whatever, their issue, whatever their issue in their tissue is about it is, is to follow what my friends at Nike say, just do it. So that's why to me in, uh, when people come to create right now, it's just getting in their dis, get a, get a notebook, a piece of paper, whatever, just do it. Just try the experiences, just tell your, your brain, your inner critic to go out and play in traffic and just, uh, sit down and just give it a shot. That's the best way to do it because I could write pages and pages in a workbook in the morning and how to, but the bottom line is like, it's, you just have to take action and do it.

West Malick (19:18):

I was just going to ask you, how do you start? And you just answered my question right there, take action and do it. It's therapeutic. Um, there are health and wellness benefits of it. Um, some people already have diaries and they write down a daily diary. I do. Um, in fact, I've been lazy about it for the last couple of weeks because I have been in and out vacationing with the children. So for the last about two weeks or so, I haven't written in anything in my diary. Um, but, um, how does having a diary help me? Uh, and how does having a diary? How is it good for me?

Mari L. McCarthy (19:57):

It's um, it helps you I'd say it saves you money. Uh, it, I mean that way, because it helps you physically and emotionally, so that you, since you were able to sort out the, uh, the issues in your tissues and what's going on in, into your inner life and, you know, inner being, you're able to, to work through things that you know, that they tell you may not be connected. They are. It's just like, you know, the, this whole thing around stress, it's like, we are responsible for our stress. And there's a based on our training of how we're supposed to run our lives, how we're supposed to do things. But if you keep a diary and you have that process, it's just like, you're a, uh, uh, a huge dose of dark chocolate to your, your body every day. You're easily, you're, you're doing something for yourself. You're, you're helping your, uh, your growth, your, uh, better mental, whatever. And I think that's what the key is. And that's why, you know, when I talk about the structure of just doing it on a daily basis, even if it's, to me hitting the word count does not make a difference. Just the whole process. It is like you're giving a constant reminder to your heart, soul, mind, body being that you're number one in your life.

West Malick (21:31):

Does it matter where I write on my phone, on my computer, on my laptop, on my iPad, on my, on a book, on a loofah loose leaf paper, doesn't matter where I write. Okay.

Mari L. McCarthy (21:45):

Uh, the only requirement is that his pen to page only get nothing about the computer. I mean, it's just like, it's good if you want to use the computer or, uh, or, uh, whatever to express. And that helps the process, but the real, uh, rubber meets the road, shall we say, is, is the pen to page? There's something magical, mysterious medical, uh, about doing the pen to page?

West Malick (22:15):

Well, we're, all, many of us are influenced by Doogie Howser MD in the, you know, at the beginning, at the end of the show, he would write his diary on his computer on a blue screen or green screen. And, uh, a lot of people write on, um, their devices. I know my kids do. I have, uh, I try very hard to get my kids to write with their hands, like on paper. And it's just a chore for them. It's just a, just a terrible tour for them. So I asked them to watch a TV show and write down what they learned from it. They're young. I get the young ones to do it, but a lot of young people not into the habit of actually writing things on paper, unless it's just homework that they have to do, you know? Right. In

Mari L. McCarthy (23:02):

Definitely. And like I said, it's a whole different behavior change. It is. It's like there, uh, we, uh, uh, the older generation are going through with the change from, uh, the, uh, the writing, the, uh, to the, the technology is what, uh, youngins are explosive because they come out of the wound with the iPads and they have your phone and all that type of thing. So I said, but I think too, it's, it's once a month, is it so important because, uh, uh, the writing the pen, the page is the connection to the universe of possibilities that we all are. And it's just like, we were so out there, technology is great and wonderful. And I mean, and the fact that we're, we're having this conversation and, and, and things like that, and all the wonderful things that we're doing now, it's so blows my mind.

Mari L. McCarthy (23:56):

It's like, Oh my gosh, how did we get, as far as we did with, you know, how to computers and things like that, but there's just like, there's just something, um, basic true, uh, about the, the pen to page and the connection to who we truly, truly are, uh, uh, down at our, our core and just, and staying connected to our car, because it's just, so we've all just gotten so far away from who we truly are. We're just so into, out there, other people saving the world, uh, technology, computer, all that type of, it's just like we need, uh, we need to put me back into our life.

West Malick (24:44):

That's true. The focus on self is very important when it comes to wellbeing. Mary, I wanted to ask you, how do you, uh, you know, stay healthy and how do you, uh, stay well in your life personally? What are the things that you do? How do you eat? You know, how does your day go? What are your, what are your routines in life?

Mari L. McCarthy (25:06):

Um, well it, a number one includes journaling every day. Uh, and I, I've also incorporated meditation into my life. So is I find that, I mean, journaling is a wonderful experience in of a cell, but adding a meditation to the mix. It's just like, Oh my goodness. So that's, it's a it's I guess what I'm saying is routines are very important to me. It's like I meditate every day. I journal every day and through my experiences of, of journaling, it has truly helped me, uh, with my, uh, physical thing. It's like, um, it has helped me, uh, gain confidence in myself. So I got off of, uh, pharma, big pharma drugs, like almost 17 years ago. Um, and I changed my diet over the, over the years. And I had gotten off of dairy and, uh, gluten, you know, sugars, all that type of thing.

Mari L. McCarthy (26:15):

And, uh, again, it just, I attributed that to the journaling and really helping me deal with the issues in my tissues and just really seeing how, you know, we're just so into, uh, what's, uh, the, the doctor says, do this and does that, and this just like, no, I, I I've found that, you know, wait a minute, it's my body. I know my potty. That's like, I need to make decisions about what my body wants, opposed to what my head tells me I should be wanting. So I, and I've been working for, uh, for the last couple of years, uh, with a, uh, a nurse, but who's also a fantastic cook we've tried and all this ghetto for the past year and a half or so. I've been what works for my body is a paleo diet. It's just like, I am just over the moon with it, with, uh, how fantastic, basic, all American and all natural food foods are. It's just like, you know, and just aiding everything, clean, nothing out of the back cans. And it's like, it's just really,

West Malick (27:22):

What goes into your paleo diet? What are you, what do you focus on?

Mari L. McCarthy (27:28):

Um, I just, what works for me are, um, uh, chicken and Turkey, as far as meats go. Um, and then, uh, just sweet potatoes. I mean, now they've gotten into it. I just am really listening to what my body feels like. It needs, as opposed to what I think I should be eating at 12 o'clock, you know, it's just, I just like, I'm not hungry, so I'm not going to eat at our site. I am hungry. When am I hungry for it? So it's a whole different change of, of things as opposed to, you know, feel, feeling, you know, what does my body want? What do I want? So, so that's, that's, what's really, uh, you know, my lifestyle is, it's just wonderful. And like I said, and it helps me, and I'm a, uh, and I'm routinely sleep seven, eight hours with great dreams and, uh, you know, wake up, refresh.

Mari L. McCarthy (28:28):

So it says like, I, it just that's, uh, I say going back to the journaling process is just a, this is helping me get into all aspects of, of Mary McCarthy. And it's just like, and like, and, uh, I've gotten off of almost 12 years now without I don't take Tylenol or Sudafed or XYZ. And that's the only I've been taking, uh, uh, uh, Carlson's fish oil now for four or five years service having some, some hair loss and things like that. But it's just like, other than that, I get all my minerals, fruit, you know, uh, and, uh, vitamins and things like that from the food that I eat. So I don't need a zillion supplements. And like I said, and big pharma is not making any money off of Mesa. And I haven't been, haven't been to the adopter in, uh, uh, let's see, I had a distress in the lower track, shall I say a couple of years, years ago, which was the, uh, which really got me into this whole process of really looking at the, what I've been eating, how I've been eating and changing that.

Mari L. McCarthy (29:40):

So it's just, again, it goes back to, I just attribute that to the fact that I have been spending quality time doing the journaling, doing the meditation, doing this spending quality time with the real true Mary McCarthy. And I just find it, I mean, well, I haven't been able to do, uh, creatively. It's like, you know, I've, I've published my second book in the journaling power, uh, trilogy. I have been taking voice lessons because that was one of the things I learned to, uh, uh, in the journaling is how I always went to, I learned how to be a singer. I now have a five octave range though. It's just, and I, and my voice teachers would attribute a lot of that to the, the change in diet, since I'm off of the dairy and the mucus, all this, those types of things. So I think that, yes. So it's just, uh, uh, so I, through journaling, I have found my voice.

West Malick (30:48):

So through writing a diary through journaling, uh, do we continue a conversation with ourselves? Is that what it is?

Mari L. McCarthy (30:57):

Absolutely. It is a conversation. It is creating a compassionate relationship with ourselves. I mean, whoever heard of, I mean, re a relationship, loving yourself, I mean, good grief. That was not what

West Malick (31:14):


Mari L. McCarthy (31:17):

Though it says. Yeah. Yeah. So it's, it's that it gives us, uh, during LinkedIn the opportunity to stay connected to our true self to con be, to be able to continue to explore with it. Like I say, I call, I consider us universes of infinite possibility. So it's just helps us to, uh, and someone says, I guess you were really, you could hardly wait to get to your journal. I said, I can hardly wait to get the, my journal cause I can hardly wait to find out what I, what about myself? I didn't know yesterday, or I, something new or a phrase will show up or something will happen. There's psych. And, and, and just knowing that you you've stirred up the, the processor or whatever, and then, you know, you'll be in the shower. It's like, Oh, that's the answer. Or like I said, it will be, you'll be looking for something and boom, uh, something on Facebook will show up at an ad for, uh, the, the right pair of socks that you need. So I always, it's just, it really improves synchronicity, you know, your energy level. I mean, like I said, I can't think of anything that journaling has not helped me do discover and even do better.

West Malick (32:38):

I wholeheartedly agree because when we face issues and we seek out help, um, some of them some, sometimes that help comes in advice. For example, therapists, uh, will ask you to, um, write down what your feelings are during the day and what caused those feelings. And you can discuss them with your therapist. Um, some doctors, if you are, you know, going through an ailment will ask you to write down what kind of pain or the threshold that you've experienced, uh, physically, uh, what do you think caused it? Uh, nutritionists also ask you to journal or write down a diary of what you've eaten in the day. I've, I'm actually going through a process of, of that. I don't write it down on a piece of paper. I have an app for it where I write down, you know, what I've had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

West Malick (33:31):

How many glasses of water, just as just to see, you know, uh, how many, just to evaluate later on in the day or at the end of the week, how I've done. So if these three categories and many other different types of practitioners will ask you to write down maybe things, because they know it helps. And if we start ourselves right now, um, I love the way you put it. I mean, uh, just put down, you know, your issues and tissues and there's, I love that there's no set, uh, performa or template that you have to follow. It's just, you can write naturally. I love that, uh, advice that you've given.

Mari L. McCarthy (34:13):

Well, thank you. I was just like that's and I think that's the, uh, there's a huge side when I tell people that it's like, Oh, Oh, okay. Because it's something that's scary because we've never done that before. We're, we're giving ourselves permission. And so it's like, and like, and as you said, we're, we're building a relationship with myself. We're finding out what makes us up. And now that type of thing is like, and spending quality time with us and ourselves. So sista. Yeah. So it's just like, it's very freeing and it's just like, and the places you go or just phenomenal as I'm sure you can attest to based on your experience. So it's really exciting West to talk with you. Cause it's like, Oh my goodness. I found a choir member.

West Malick (35:05):

I am with you when it comes to, uh, journaling and writing. Um, we can find all your journals. Your website is fantastic. It has a lot of great stuff. Your blog is, uh, has a lot of information as well. It's at create right now. And the right is with a w so it's created w R I T E now.com and there's contact information where we can get in touch with you as well. Mary, thank you so much for being on the lifelong wellness podcast today.

Mari L. McCarthy (35:36):

Well, thank you so much having me. And I

Speaker 3 (35:38):

Certainly enjoyed talking with her. Thank you so much, Wes.

West Malick (35:43):

That's our show for this week. Thank you very much for tuning in to listen to previous episodes and for other helpful health and wellness content, visit us online at www.lifelongwellness.org, wishing you and your family. Peace, prosperity, health and wellness. Thank you for listening.