Last weekend I was at Omega: a retreat center in Rhinebeck, New York. The retreat was guided by Meggan Watterson author of Mary Magdalene Revealed and a scholar of the Divine Feminine. It was a privilege to listen to Meggan and to be in the room with so many lovely people. While I am still digesting everything I experienced over the weekend, I do have some nuggets ready to pass along. Please take what you need and leave the rest behind.

Five Things I Learned from the Mary Magdalene Revealed Retreat

  1. The Early Christ Movement was a radical group of people who believed in equality. Before Christianity was adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire, the early followers of Jesus practiced power with relationships. Women and enslaved people were considered to have equal value and agency as men who were not enslaved. This notion threatened the hierarchal structure of the Roman Empire which considered women as property and endorsed power over relationships. To live by Jesus’ teachings meant to treat everyone as equals.

  2. Jesus did not believe in sin. In the Gospel of Mary, Peter asks Jesus “What is the sin of the world?” Jesus replies, “There is no such thing as sin.” (Mary 3: 1-3) Whoa! What? That is so not what I was taught in Sunday School. I was taught that everyone was born with “original sin” and we had to get baptized in order to rid ourselves of it. So what did Jesus mean when he said there is no such thing as sin? Jesus meant we are not inherently bad: that we are imperfect humans who sometimes forget we also are divine. We suffer when we lose touch with the love that is inside of us. When we do things for which we feel shame or regret, it is because we listened to our ego rather than to our hearts.
  3. Our work as humans is to identify egoic power and dismantle it. This work is ongoing and lasts our entire lifetime. This work requires reflection and introspection. Asking ourselves: What is motivating my behavior? and Where do I need to give myself more grace or show myself more mercy? is critical to our liberation. We cannot free ourselves from the ego if we are not willing to explore our inner dialogue. In Mary Magdalene Revealed, Meggan Watterson identifies the seven egoic powers which cause us suffering. To know all the ways the ego messes with us is to know how to connect with our soul.
  4. If we are in the moment, then we are held by love. Every time we can let go of the past and stop worrying about the future, we are in the presence of love: a love which is unreasonable and infinite. We do not have to earn it. We all are worthy of it.
  5. Being fully human is daring to testify to the presence of love, even in the absence of it. Okay, this statement feels exciting and scary. Exciting because I can imagine so many wonderful possibilities to come from showing up as love, and scary because not everyone will appreciate or understand this type of testifying. This choice is what makes allyship so challenging. To be the person who identifies hatred and asks for love is stand up to the bullies of the world and to demand justice. The willingness to show up as love in the face of fear is what made Jesus so radical and is why he was murdered: Jesus dared to challenge injustice or the absence of love. 

I hope these five nuggets inspire you to cultivate more love in your life.

If you struggle with Christian theology as I do, then consider substituting the word “God” with the word “love.”

One practice I find helpful is to ask myself: How do I want to show up as love today? And when I struggle to show up as love, which I do on the regular, then to ask myself: What is getting in my way? (Hint: The answer to the latter question always involves my ego.)

Have a wonderful week!

With love and for love,

Kim Bushore-Maki

Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where women could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.

Since 2010, Kim continues to build and to support a healthy, vibrant community and now guides retreats, teaches yoga, and provides one-on-one services for women who want an immersion experience into the life-affirming, Shakti energy.

Kim’s training as a therapist and yoga teacher allows her to safely and compassionately guide women on a heart-centered journey to Self, where women re-connect with their beautiful, authentic spirit.

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