Hi! I'm Mariah MacCarthy.
(Pronouns: She/her or they/them.)
I'm a joyful nonbinary queer who's passionate AF about helping open-hearted creatives and social justice warriors live glorious, authentic lives. I’m here to hold space for you - all of you, in your gorgeous, messy, imperfectly perfect wholeness. And I'm here to help you make changes that honor that wholeness, whether it's in your career, your relationships, your habits, or something else entirely.
I'm a Beautiful You Life Coach, Licensed Desire Map Facilitator and Fire Starter Sessions Facilitator, and a graduate of Brené Brown's Daring Greatly and Rising Strong courses, as well as Andréa Ranae's Coaching As Activism, Gretchen Rubin's Four Tendencies course, and Marie Forleo's B-School. I'm also a YA novelist (keep your eyes out for Squad hitting bookshelves in March 2019!), playwright, and memoirist; a birth mother; and a performer. You can find out more about my artistic endeavors here.
It's a delight to meet you!
In 2012, I got pregnant with a kid I knew I couldn't raise.
I wasn't just broke; I had defaulted on two student loans and three credit cards. My wages were being garnished. I was a poor playwright who lived with roommates. Nothing about this situation said, "Hey, maybe you should start raising a kid." I could barely feed myself, let alone two people.
Despite being fervently pro-choice, I didn't want an abortion for myself, and decided to place the kiddo for adoption with a gay couple. I've written a lot about that journey, even done a whole solo show about it, but for brevity's sake, I will summarize by saying it was both the best and worst thing to ever happen to me. I see my son all the time and he is the light of my life; AND (my favorite word is "and"), losing him was more pain than any human should ever have to feel.
After placing my son with his new daddies, I decided I'd never be at the mercy of my finances again. I hustled my way into a new job that eventually paid twice my previous salary. My credit score went up 200 points. I also doubled down on my writing career, finally getting into a prestigious playwrights' group that I'd applied to six times, and winning a fancy award. My work was produced by a well-regarded Off-Broadway theatre, I was reviewed by the New York Times three times in one year - favorably, even! - and my theatre company produced its biggest show ever.
And...I was miserable. I was stretched thin, working every minute, too burnt out to even able to enjoy my artistic success. I was crying in my therapist's office and not even saving any money because I was spending it all on indulgences to make myself feel better.
So I stopped. I quit the day job so I could write full-time. I started teaching playwriting classes and writing articles for various publications. I applied to theatre opportunities that would allow me to travel - something I'd never been able to do with a mere two weeks' vacation at my old job. And I received an offer for my first YA novel, Squad (coming out in March 2019!).
Amidst all this, I took an online business course, not really knowing which business idea I'd concentrate on in the course because I am multipassionate AF. But almost immediately, I realized: oh shit. I've wanted to be a life coach for like three years and never admitted it. I think this is what I have to do. How do I do this?
I started as a Desire Map Facilitator (more on my relationship to that here and here), working with friends and colleagues to help them set goals based on how they wanted to feel. From there, I slowly expanded my practice. Over time, I've refined my compassionate approach to coaching, which honors the messy, nonlinear nature of human growth. As a coach, I draw on my experience recovering from heartbreak, living with anxiety, being a big ol' slutty queer, working tons of different jobs, pulling myself up from below the poverty line, using my art as activism, and deliberately crafting a life where I could be authentically myself at pretty much all times. I continue to write and make occasional theatre, and I will be an artist until the day I die. Being a coach is magical because it allows me to be proud of people for a living while also writing things!
I also have been on a path of constant inquiry since the 2016 presidential election, an event which made me realize just how little I knew. In addition to protesting and calling my reps, I started learning more about America's history, actively seeking out the voices of people outside my demographic, and blowing up all my old notions of how the world works. I was a feminist before that, but since November 2016 I've become borderline-anarchist. But, like, the nourishing kind of anarchy. The kind of anarchy where we embody our alternative to the kyriarchy through interdependence and joy and depth. The kind of anarchy where we sing songs together and reclaim our connections to our bodies and take care of each other. The kind of anarchy where we start creating the world we want to live in, right now, today. And coaching is part of that anarchy for me. I believe that reclaiming our agency is a revolutionary act.
Other things I believe in: intersectionality, sexuality from a place of wholeness, the beauty of all bodies, and in always remembering just how much more I have to learn. Also, I'm a Gryffindor, a Rebel (in Gretchen Rubin's Four Tendencies), an ENFP, and a Cancer.
I'm squishy but practical. I know that progress is nonlinear and that you're not a machine (at least I assume you're not), but I'm also action-oriented. I believe in making progress with you in the form of real and gorgeous change, even as we acknowledge together that capitalism has borked our relationship to achievement and you are worth more than your "results." We're going to move the goalposts as you evolve and get new information, and that's all part of the plan. And I happen to think that this should be fun, too. I'll use your time efficiently, but I hope we can also giggle together sometimes.
I'm a little witchy, but you needn't be. If you're open to it, our work might entail visualization, meditation, somatic tools that check in with the wisdom of your body, and even the odd tarot card. If you're not into that, no worries - we'll keep it concrete.
At every session, I'll start by checking in on your progress: How are you feeling about your goal today? How have you been moving forward? And what action do you think you need to take next? You'll leave each session with concrete action steps that you set and decide on, because you are the expert on your own life.
I take a holistic approach, because I know that the different areas of your life don't magically compartmentalize themselves from each other; even if you come to me for a specific issue, I coach you as a whole person. You'll get what you put into our work together, but I'm also going to commit myself wholeheartedly to creating the structure for you to succeed.
WHAT EVEN IS COACHING, ANYWAY?
Great question! Coaching is a journey toward living a life aligned with your core values and desires. We start with the assumption that you already have everything inside you that you need; my job is to provide a framework in which you can connect all the necessary dots to achieve your goals.
You and I will make a plan together to get you what you want. What you really want, not what you're "supposed" to want. We'll create a road map that puts the way you want to feel at the center, and collaborate to come up with specific action steps. Coaching is not therapy, and it's not about me telling you what to do; it's about releasing the awesome sauce that's been there this whole time. I'll be your accountability buddy, your cheerleader, your sounding board, your chief strategist. You got this; I'm just here to help.
We might be a fit if...
You know we need a revolution and that you have a part to play in it, but you're burnt out AF.
You struggle with saying "no" to opportunities, even if you know you don't have time to take them on or it's not a perfect fit.
You've ever found yourself in an online comment battle with your friend's bigoted uncle because, damn it, you can't just let someone say that shit and get away with it!
You're #resisting and #persisting, but you don't feel like that's enough.
Your freelance hustle, or day job + creative career, is overwhelming you constantly.
You struggle to make time for yourself - or, you're good at the surface-level self-care but have been ignoring the deep-soul shit.
You have all these gorgeous sparkly ideas inside you, but feel like your career has plateaued.
The kyriarchy is killing you softly.
You just feel blah lately, and you'd like your life to have more joy in it.
You want more from your relationships - with your partner(s), your friends, your boss - and you're not sure how to ask for it.
You still don't know what you want to be when you grow up.
What I CAN help YOU do
Supercharging your career, or starting a new one
Creating a life that aligns with your purpose, values, and vision for the world you want to live in
Re-establishing connection to your friends and community
Relationship beginnings, endings, and transformations* (all genders, relationship models, and kinks welcome here)
Establishing nourishing practices and rituals - whether that's moving your body, meditation, journaling, or something else entirely
Bringing more delight into your life
- Shifting your relationship with your body*
Just about anything, really. Try me!
*If what you truly want in your soul is to find a romantic partner, or to shed body mass, I will absolutely be your partner in reaching those goals. However, I do NOT start from the assumption that being in a romantic relationship, or thinner than you are, are inherently superior states of being. This is a no-fatphobia, fuck-our-over-emphasis-on-the-nuclear-family-and-monogamy-as-a-substitute-for-communal-intimacy, let's-reject-the-cultural-scripts-that-don't-serve-us ZONE! I believe in looking at the thing under the thing - that is, the reason you want the thing you want. At the end of the day, it's all about feeling wonderful - whatever your path.
Banner photo by Kacey Anisa Stamats