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Gainesville, FL

1 (855) EMPATHY

Life and communication coaching for women.

A Love Letter To My Community


A Love Letter To My Community

Marina Smerling

Dear ones,

As Valentine's Day approaches, a day that can provoke so much angst in us whether we are single or partnered, I wish to join that revolutionary current which every year helps re-write the script of what's possible on a day curated and seemingly owned by Hallmark.  

Let us declare Valentine's Day an invitation to that energy of love which beckons all of us to lean just a little deeper, a little more surrendered, into its wildly open and unconditionally tender arms.  

That we may melt, ever and ever more, into a felt trust of our inherent beauty, an inherent enoughness that always was, and always will be.


As I myself let go of just a sliver of self-sufficiency, and lean just a little more into the arms of that wildly unconditional love, what arises is tremendous gratitude.  

For all your tender notes and messages over the years since Shameless Heart Coaching was born, cheering me on and reminding me that blogs sent out into the vast and dark void of the Internet in fact touch real minds, beating hearts.  For all who have shown up -- in person at workshops, in my women's NVC groups -- or in electron-land on teleclasses -- offering, in ways large and small, your companionship to this great movement to unravel and reveal our true nature as love.  

Your willingness to play with me -- and I mean "play" in the deepest, truest sense of the word, as a form of reverent co-creation with the great mystery of Life -- has met tremendous needs for companionship, for purpose, for meaning, and for hope.  And for this, I bow.  On my knees, I thank you.  


It's been 5 years since I embarked upon this journey called Shameless Heart Coaching, and still, on a personal level I am learning to come out of the closet ever more fully, to embrace my own humanity as a part of -- and not separate from -- my business.  As words spreads, more clients and students and other "playmates" come, I feel in myself that omnipresent inclination to hide, to close doors, to render my own humanity irrelevant and/or shameful, even as I call others to open and to reveal themselves.  

As this Valentine's Day approaches, in the spirit of taking a stand for shameless self-love, I recommit to letting my own humanity be seen and known as the *foundation* from which to encourage others to reveal to me and to the world their own.

As I lean more fully into love, my foibles and wobbles peer out from the shadows.  As they do, so follows my heart.  It shines just a little more brightly, a little more shamelessly, and new, life-filled offerings are born. With the shadows come the light. In this vein, I'm cooking up my next women's 3-day self-love retreat, and am eyeing dates in May or June of this year.  If you'd like to be kept in the loop about that, let me know.  :)


My Valentine's Day wish for you, dear friends, is that you will not wait for love.

That you will not wait for the romance, or husband, or wife, or the white picket fence and house with 2.5 dogs.

That you will not wait for the perfect job, the perfect career, the pie-in-the-sky, floating-on-clouds employment opportunity.

That you will not wait for your own inner perfection.  For all those triggers to vanish, all the childhood wounds to heal, all the core beliefs in your not-enoughness to finally disappear.

Rather, that you'll choose love now.  Without waiting.  As you are.  Human, flawed, imperfect.  Granting yourself the rights of someone who deserves to breathe and to relax and be hugged and to rest and ever be treated with kindness, just as you are.  

Relaxing in the midst of chaos.  Dancing and singing in the midst of people not liking you, having feelings about you, spouses and lovers turning the corners of their mouths down in momentary disappointment.  

For it's in this relaxing itself that we discover the truth: that we are already loved, cherished, exquisitely beautiful.  In the experience of choosing love, we actually come to know, to feel in our flesh and taste in our mouths the truth of our already-lovedness.

And so this year, may you not wait to fall deeply and hopelessly in love with yourself, without waiting for rhyme or reason. 

Happy Valentine's Day, beloveds.

Your servant of the shameless heart, :)