About

About - a photo of Mariya Graestone

Mariya Graestone

Love Coach

The truth is: it’s not about me.

It’s more about you – but it’s even bigger than that…

It’s really about Love, the lifeforce that flows through you and me and the entire Universe.

My work as a coach has three aims:

#3 – For me to be able to contribute to the world in a personally sustainable way that’s aligned with my values.

#2 – To empower your compassion. To unlock the love you feel cut off from, and to nurture your interdependence in relationship.

But the #1 aim is to serve Love. To remove as many blocks as I can to Its bountiful flow in this world, and to create as many connections to It, in as many willing souls as I can reach.


Dappled sunlight in a room with a chair and a blanket

My Love Story

As a lifelong student of personal development, coaching became a natural expression of my passion. And when I discovered Relationship to be the most fertile ground for my deepest inner work, my specialty began to take shape.

The Spark

It all started with a challenging relationship that I decided to lean into instead of write off as yet another mismatch.

I came to find that everything my intuition was telling me, was counter to everything my friends and “conventional wisdom” were saying. It was a lonely road to forge on my own, but that has only fueled my intent to give others the support I didn’t have.

About that…

I was with this guy who I knew wasn’t going to meet my needs, but I recognized that this was becoming a pattern for me. So I began to question the validity of those supposed “needs”. Not to dismiss them, but to explore their roots. What I uncovered beneath each one, was a quest for reassurance and validation.

Then I began to ponder whether those were needs that required external fulfillment. Did I really want to spend my life reliant on others for this? Or could I validate myself?? I looked into it, and – sure enough – we CAN! And it’s actually the only way that works.

If we are not self-validated, no amount of external reassurance is going to soothe our fears of abandonment and unworthiness. So I set out to learn how to become secure from within, and I’ve gotten really good at it.

I also learned that I’d been abandoning myself in my efforts to prevent abandonment from my partner! Funny thing is, most people would say that the solution was to abandon him.

Now how was THAT going to help me feel unconditionally worthy, if the person my heart had chosen was decidedly not? So, I committed to dig into every trigger and let them all reveal to me the ways in which I needed to be loving MYSELF better.

In so doing, I developed a practice of acceptance that goes both ways – as do all of our mental operating systems – and the more I accepted myself in all of my humanness, the more I was able to accept my partner’s human limitations.

With truly honest acceptance, comes an end to fantasies of alternative realities, resentments about their nonexistence, and endless efforts to make things what they’re not. From here, we become able to work WITH what *is*, rather than against it.

Evolution

I made a promise to myself (and to my partner, who agreed to do the same) to not end things in a destructive explosion of bitterness or reactivity – especially with the vast trigger minefield between us – mainly because I was certain that doing so would only land me right in the same spot with the next partner, anyway.

I knew I had plenty of work to do on my relationship with myself (still do; and anyone who claims to be done, btw, is no teacher for me), and my goal has always been to graduate myself out of any misalignment.

A transition whose time has come is effortless. If it has to be forced, the lesson is only temporarily bypassed, and it is sure to resume its work in short order. (Of course, even after any lesson is learned, there’s always another!)

When any individual of a partnership evolves, it alters the dynamic, so as long as I was growing (haven’t figured out how to stop), things continued to shift and reshape. For nearly 7 years.

As I deepened the roots of my Security within myself, my relationship with myself bloomed and I learned how to recognize and honor my limits, how to care for and nurture my inner child, and how to balance the paradox of unconditional love and the healthy conditions of loving boundaries.

And the need for boundaries increased as our relationship intensified.

In the end…

We had embarked on a bold experiment in exploring Romance together, and we took it as far as it could go. When I felt the clear call within me, maintaining my commitment to not bolt in reactivity, I lovingly initiated a gradual, grounded, and compassionate transition, that took just over a year to bring about, and resulted in the stable transformation of our Romantic dynamic into a Platonic partnership, with a handful of other joint-ventures ongoing, and no bridges burned.

There really is no end, though. My story continues to unfold. All life is perpetual evolution; I’m just surfing the waves.

Next up:

Now that I’ve found out my pattern of catching a thrill from those who fulfill my story of needing to earn love, I’m detoxing from the “chemistry buzz” that elicits my self-abandonment for external approval, so that I can stay connected to my self-approval and discover the subtler experiences that accompany a sense of safety in the presence of another, and explore what might be gently arousing where it was once uninteresting.

Relationship IS my healing method. It has become my training ground, my mirror, my crucible, and my greatest teacher. And as I continue to deepen my self-love, I do believe that Relationship will also become my sanctuary.

Background

My credentials aren’t the formal kind.

I completed a DIY personal development course when I was 10 or 12, encouraged by my father who was an M.D. with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. (He also tried to fortify me by always placing tasks at me feet, and rarely praise, leaving me with a core belief that love is earned and comes from doing, rather than being.)

My mother participated in an in-depth personal development course around that time as well, and shared much of what she learned with me. (She was always fairly whimsical, with loose boundaries; and thus, I grew to be similar. She also nearly died after some complications from my birth, and later divorced my father when I was one and a half, leaving me with a double-dose of abandonment wounds, even though I saw them both every week).

I went on to devour several books on the subject of personal development, including “The Road Less Traveled”, by M. Scott Peck. As I matured out of adolescence and pursued a variety of interests, I continually took notes on things I’d pick up here and there on the topic. By my mid-twenties, it occurred to me that I could write a book to synthesize all that I’d learned and possibly ease someone else’s journey. And so I did.

Perpetual growth

Because I am always studying this most fascinating subject, once the book was complete, I only self-published to finalize the process, but I didn’t promote it because I had already grown past it. (The same thing happened a few years later with book number 2, and I’m now considering writing a third book.)

Throughout my life, I’ve explored spending my productive energy as a travel agent, a dog trainer, and a hosteller. Then one day, I ended up hiring a life coach to help me overcome a hurdle, and in very short order, I realized that her career would align seamlessly with my passion. I took her coaching course (she is, herself, ICF certified), and incorporated this service into my path.

In the following few years, I consumed several Mindvalley courses and webinars, completed Bob Proctor’s 24-week course, “Thinking Into Results”, studied Nonviolent Communication, practiced Authentic Relating and Circling, did an intensive Authentic Leadership and Facilitation Training, read countless articles and inspiring posts, as well as numerous books.

Some of the most influential books I’ve read include Ken Wilbur’s “Integral Life Practice”, Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth”, Charles Eisenstein’s “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible”, Pema Chodron’s “When Things Fall Apart”, and Michael A. Singer’s “The Untethered Soul”.

Through it all, my own personal development has perpetually evolved and become brilliantly refined. I have worked with a number of guides and a variety of modalities, made all of them my own, incorporated what fit for me, discarded what didn’t, learned to hear my own inner guidance, and released the drive to change myself and others. What I have now, I call my Peaceful Power Practice.

The delight of it all

Along my journey, I’ve discovered that I find the purest joy in connecting with other humans, and that I’m a naturally gifted teacher. I have a deep appreciation for the human experience, and I have found nothing more fulfilling than guiding others to the light within themselves – as I’ve done for dozens of individuals, and sparked in hundreds more.

About - a photo of Mariya Graestone with a peaceful smile

Up to You

I don’t pretend to be an idealized human with all the answers – clearly. I do offer my authentic self, though, and a loving space for you to express your authentic self and to learn to bring it into your relationships and your whole life.

My approach to life and relationships is rather Buddhist. It’s all about being present for the journey. Life is always going to deliver challenges and changes. The trick is learning how to surf them. If you’re looking for a magic-wand, quick-fix, life-hack to “solve” your “problems”, I am not the one for you.

I don’t make promises of achieving your perfect relationship – because I don’t believe in perfection; and I don’t operate in the energetic realm of *achievement* because it disrupts the natural flow of Love. What I provide are the tools to navigate your relationships with grace – including your most intimate relationship with yourself, and encompassing the relationships you’re moving deeper into, those you’re moving out of, and those your heart is dreaming up.

Choosing a love coach is a very personal matter. Find one who resonates with you. Read through some of my blog posts to learn more about my philosophy. If you think I might be the one, let’s have a chat to be sure.

Please note: I won’t do the work for you, I’m not here to save you or fix you, and I won’t work with women who don’t exercise Personal Responsibility. I do respect wherever you’re at on your path, though. When you’re ready, I’ll be here.

Namaste