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 a bachelor's degree and authored four books? My answer: I am not the least bit ill or disordered, I am perfectly well. That belief shift 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, spiritual and emotional wellness. When I received the diagnosis of MS in 2018, I used the same strategy to create my own treatment plan, and used those same elements in my approach to assemble a holistic team to celebrate my wellness.
I live in a National Wildlife Federation certified wildlife habitat home on the Gott Creek nature sanctuary corridor of western New York that I am transforming to a respite and resource center. “Refiring” after my thriving 35-year career, 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 degree in integrative health and healing at The Graduate Institute.
I am narrowing my focus on the new fields of Transformative and Consciousness Medicines, more specifically on how the existing and emerging compassionate therapies combined with psychedelics and journaling can be used to bring others back to alignment.
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