MARY CLISTA DAHL

Author & Founder

After rising above my labels of Bipolar Disorder and MS, I liberated my writer, naturalist, mentor, and lifelong serving-heart self.  

In 2016, after being hospitalized for a second “breakdown” and examining my 18-year entanglement in the web of the mental health system, I asked myself this question, “How is it that I, someone who is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (considered a “serious mental illness”) flourished for thirty-five years in a career guiding thousands of college students (accumulating 1400 sick leave hours in the process), retired at age 55, raised two kids, managed a household while earning my college degree and authored four books?  My answer:  I am not the least bit ill or disordered, I am perfectly well. That belief shift was the beginning of a transformation that began with my creating a customized treatment plan combining the power of words, love, joy, nature and human and spiritual connectedness to restore my mental and emotional wellness.  When I received the diagnosis of MS in 2018, I used the same strategy of creating my own treatment plan, and used those same elements in my approach to assemble a holistic team. 

A self-proclaimed nature nerd, I live in a National Wildlife Federation certified wildlife habitat home in western New York that I am transforming to a retreat and resource center.  “Refiring” after a thriving 35-year career as a higher education student services professional (mostly in career guidance), I am now serving others in a more custoMARY way.  A strong supporter of holistic healing and indigenous wisdom, I am studying for my masters in integrative health and healing at The Graduate Institute.

I am a proud Mom to two amazing biological children and many others “adopted” through love.

Quote that I live by:
“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.”  - Hafiz of Shiraz