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Mary Friedel-Hunt


Mary Friedel-Hunt, MA LCSW, is a freelance writer and psychotherapist
in the Madison area.She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or P.O. Box 1036, Spring Green, WI 53588.

Thank you
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

It was Dag Hammarskjold who said, “For all that has been, thanks. For all that shall be, yes.” Author Brené Brown said, “We’re a nation hungry for more joy, because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.” And then there is Saint Paul who advised that we “give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Buddha: “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us be thankful.”

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 12:32 PM
Winter silence
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

The darkness has arrived. Days are shorter and often gray. Winter is approaching, knocking on our doors, so to speak. We had our first snow of the season on Nov. 11. It did not amount to much more than a reminder that more is coming. We are entering the season I associate with cocoon time  — time to go within, be still, seek solitude as we also enjoy some silent winter sports like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, quiet conversations with friends around a fire, cooking up some stews and chili and breads, and enjoying the beauty of the snow as it graces the Earth.

Winter is, in my opinion, a reminder that in our rushed and way too busy society,

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:14 PM
Holiday grief triggers
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

By now many who are grieving begin to dread the holidays. While the rest of the world celebrates, those who grieve begin a countdown to January. The parent(s) whose child has died or the woman who has lost her spouse and others who grieve often experience an increase in what is already almost daily grief triggers.

A grief trigger is anything that causes the wound of loss to be opened allowing a tsunami or even a ripple of pain to stir up one or more memories even as those around them are laughing and sharing. In my own experience grief triggers can be something as simple as driving home from the grocery store

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 11:02 AM
Pets teach love
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

Last week Bentley was running a fever of 104.7°, equivalent to about 102° in a human being. On medication for about a week for an infection caused by what we think was a tick-related hot spot, he refused to eat or interact. So off to the vet we went for the third time in 10 days. Blood tests and an examination proved negative and the vet thought he might be having a reaction to the antibiotic. So he gave him an injection of antihistamine and steroid to bring the fever down and by the evening Bentley was eating rice and beef though still lethargic. By Friday he was himself again with no fever.

Bentley is a 10-year-old golden retriever.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 12:03 PM
Life’s lessons
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

The weather has changed with highs now in the mid-40s. It seems early to have these cold temperatures but winter is knocking at the door here in Spring Green. I imagine it started knocking a while back up in your territory. I lost the summer, having made eight trips to Chicago focused on my eye surgeries, which were successful. The summer months slipped away as I drove back and forth, spent time at my brother’s monastery in the south suburbs, saw the ophthalmologist, and listened to audio books as I completed 4,400 miles of driving — many under conditions that were not the best but I always made sure I was safe, i.e. that I could see clearly to drive.

The thing that made my drives so

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 3:13 PM
Attend to the now
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

Last weekend I attended an evening and an all-day mindfulness retreat led by Jon Kabat-Zinn, sponsored by the UW-Program for Mindfulness on its 20th anniversary. Richie Davidson, founder and director of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds was also present. Kabat-Zinn is a key player, if not the player responsible for bringing mindfulness meditation to the scientific western world. Kabat-Zinn does not do many public appearances anymore as he ages. The event was sold out almost immediately upon publication.

On Saturday 200 people vitally interested in meditation,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 2:56 PM
Creating calm
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

I went into Madison yesterday to do a lot of shopping that has been on a back burner for a long time. In all, I visited seven different stores that were spread all over town. That meant I was driving through traffic all day long.

I am a Chicagoan, having spent the first 46 years of my life there. I am quite used to traffic, rush hours, bad drivers and congestion. When I lived in Chicago and the suburbs, I thought nothing of delays and the frustrations of traffic. But I have lived in small town USA for the past 27 years and have lost touch with what it is like to fight traffic for an entire day.

I usually buzz into Madison to a movie or dinner or to Costco or a grocery

Tuesday, October 08, 2013 2:21 PM
The creative process
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

October is truly my favorite month of the year. I love the weather, the colors and our Fall Art Tour where visitors can see the artists at work in their studios and take some art home if they wish.

I don’t think I really appreciated what goes into a watercolor painting until I started painting. I did not realize how much there was (and is) to learn about brushes, strokes, mixing paints, layers, light, and a long list of other skills one needs to acquire in order to create a painting. Hours of practice and learning are involved, but more than that is the matter of translating feelings and insights into colors and shapes.

Our valley is rich in artists, most of whom are not rich in money,

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 5:12 PM
We are one
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

Butterflies (and other insects) get their needed sodium in part from turtle tears as well as from muddy river banks, puddles, animal urine and sweating people, says Geoff Gallice, a graduate student of entomology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, who has witnessed butterflies flocking to turtle tears in the western Amazon rain forest.

When I read this, the first thought I had was how all of life is so interconnected. We depend on the bees and butterflies for fruit and honey, among other things, as I said earlier. We also depend on animals (for those of you who are meat eaters) for protein. We depend on farmers to raise our food,

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 5:27 PM
The gift of friendship
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

I had some friends in for dinner last night. With rare exception (a farewell party for those who helped me publish my magazine when I sold it and other times for pizza) this is the first time I have entertained in years. The entire time Bill was sick (2005-2010) I did not entertain. After a day and frequently a night of caregiving, seeing clients, publishing our magazine, taking care of Bentley, our golden, and much more — I had no energy left to entertain anyone. I was grateful to those who almost daily dropped meals off at my door. And since he died, to be honest, I have not cared to entertain and my energy has been low. Grief does that. Last night I broke through that wall and had some friends in and except for learning how little endurance

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 3:26 PM

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