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Greta Rybus

Greta Rybus is a photojournalist and photo editor living in Portland. She started her blog, “Who I Met," as a way to begin juicy conversations with interesting people she meets. The blog has migrated with her from Montana, Europe, and, finally, to her new and dearly-loved home in Maine. You can see more of her work at www.gretarybus.com

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Who I Met with Greta Rybus
Posted: April 15, 2014

Maryann B. Russell – Intuitive Soul Reader

Maryann was an emergency room nurse for many years before she began to reconnect with a gift she had from childhood. She’d always been able to understand things about the people in her life and the world around her, and she’s channeled her abilities into working as an intuitive  in Portland and around the country. As I interviewed, she would often stop the interview to read me – to tell me about my past lives, my relatives, and my own livelihood.

Fans and skeptics have probably called Maryann a lot of things: Gifted, wacky, a faker, a prophet, a saving grace. To me, she’s brave. She accepted a path that very few understand, a path that leads her into the inner and outer worlds of our own spiritual consciousness. A place where very few of us will venture.

THE MINUTE I WALKED IN, YOU SURPRISED ME BY READING ME RIGHT AWAY. IS THIS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME?

Yes. People ask me if it’s a burden. If I am out in the city or anywhere, or out having dinner with friends, I will just say, “I’m not available.” Like I’m clocking out. A great joy for me in this work is working with bereaved parents because their little peanuts show up and give messages that only they and the parent know. And the reason it’s joyful is that it facilitates the parent’s grieving process. So I find great joy in that process. When I’m out, those little peanuts will show up and tell me that their parents are in that crowd, and I will say to them, “You obviously know I am here, and you obviously know I am available. However, you have to send your parent to me.” And they find a way, because those parents show up at my door.

 

TELL ME ABOUT THE EARLY DAYS  AND REALIZING YOU HAD THIS GIFT

There’s a spiel that I give on my website and it fills in all those blanks. I felt weird because I was made fun of as a teenager and kept myself guarded to the degree that I didn’t even realize I had a gift. As an emergency nurse, which I was off and on for 15 years, I would see things and feel things. However, I was afraid. I had a message that I was weird. So, in that realm, I was amazing that seeing things or feeling things about particular patients but I kept it guarded.

WHAT DID IT TAKE FOR YOU TO REALIZE YOUR GIFT?

I was sitting across from a therapist one day. He was a beautiful man, he had been a priest that had become a psychotherapist. And he stopped the session all of a sudden and said that he could always sense this thing around me – however, that day his whole office was filled with whatever it was and he didn’t know what it meant. So he sent me to a woman who did energy work and she sent me to a woman who is a teacher of soul reading and intuition therapy. So I took those classes from her and she and I now are associates. She comes and uses my office once a month and I love her dearly. Her name is Rosalie Deer Heart.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE GENESIS OF A READING

It’s always a person, their essence. Everyone’s skeptic shows up first. Even though their arms may not be crossed, their inner skeptic is there. And I’m used to that energy, so I bless it and I’ll start to go into their heart energy, and once I hit that place I’ll hear messages that are connected to their heart and I’ll just start speaking. And eventually, I’ll get into their essence or soul. And once I’m there, I’ll hear details. I see them walking on their life path. I see these different visions of their childhood or whatever in this lifetime. And then I also have a vision of their soul path. I want to see what they plan to do, or the path of the essence. And then I overlay those two paths, and they never match. Never, ever. I’ve never seen them match. I have read Catholic priests, Buddhist monks, all these psych people, all these famous actresses and lovely social workers. And never, I’ve never met anyone who has been connected to their path. So I realized that my work is seeing the distractions and talking about them, and if they resonate, the person will allow their essence or soul path to guide them.

 

WHEN YOU ARE SEEING THINGS, IS IT AN ACTUAL VISUAL?

Sometimes. So folks come to sit with me because they want to talk with their loved one who has passed. So that loved one will come and sit with us, and sometimes in detail. Like with the red suspenders, with the pipe. And sometimes not. Sometimes they are just a vague vision, and I’ll just start feeling their energy and I’ll know that I’m sitting and talking to Grandpa, but I’ll just feel his essence and the next thing I know, I’m speaking his words.

IS THEIR ENERGY ACTUALLY HERE, OR ARE YOU TAPPING INTO THE PRESENT PERSON’S MEMORY?

Great question. For me, it’s not just the person sitting in front of me. I know this because of the details. But I’m reading the person in front of me, and because they are open and available to me, their loved one will come in and just start talking to me. Like, if you were sitting here and telling me about your best friend who lives in Australia. I will tap into that best friend and even if they had lost a loved one, that loved one will come and talk to me. Parents come in and talk to me about their children, and they’ll ask if they need to bring them and I’ll say, “No, just come in.” I can tap into them. And if it’s accurate, so be it. If it’s not, perhaps someone else can help you. One day, I went into a meditation and just said, “What’s up with these past lives because they are in every session?” And I was shown, as if it was a hologram, a vision of the double helix. The DNA is married to the RNA, it’s the messaging system. And I saw these little polypeptide strands in the RNA messaging system light up and just come outwards as if they were in a video. And I just knew that was the past lives – that’s where we have them, that’s so cool. And it went back and the whole system disappeared.

WITH THIS GIFT, YOU ARE ABLE TO VISIT THE EMOTIONS OF PEOPLE. ARE THERE EMOTIONS THAT YOU SEE MOST LOUDLY OR MOST OFTEN?

Every single person I’ve ever sat with, I can find a point in their childhood where they were self-abandoned. Every single person I have ever spoken to, by messages they were given by the people who brought them up, are taught to think about how they should and shouldn’t behave. So every single one of us it brought from “centeredness” or true feelings, to “duality” or what we think we should and shouldn’t be feeling.  Good, not bad, and right, not wrong. So my work is bringing the person back to centeredness. Everyone has a child messaging system below their conscious awareness that shoots off messages like crazy.

HOW CAN WE FOSTER THAT IN OTHER PEOPLE?

Love. Tenderness. Compassion. If you are using the “should” word, “should” is the judgment word. If you are using it you are doing it. Judging. It is a very painful experience for a child to hear the should word. It is such a difficult experience for that little precious being to suddenly be judged. It feels so wrong and bad and all they want is love. And at a some point, we hear enough of the “should” messages and we self-abandon in order to be that good child for that parent. Because it’s too painful to be judged.

 

HOW DO THOSE LITTLE TRAUMAS AFFECT OUR ADULT LIFE OR OUR PHYSICAL BODIES?

Little or big, trauma is trauma. And how it affects folks from my view is that we make judgments. We say “I will never do that again.” So let’s say you are five and your mother comes home with this beautiful red dress and red shoes and you put them on and you fall down. There’s a mud puddle and the dress is a mess and you go inside and she says, “Blah blah blah you ruined your dress blah blah blah now we can’t go to the party.” All these horrible messages about shame, shame, shame and bad girl, bad girl. That now is such a painful memory for that child that every day they try to distance themselves from that memory. So now, let’s say you are 21 and your best friend comes home with a beautiful red dress and red shoes. You put them on and you feel beautiful, albeit a bit strange. You go out, and it starts to rain and you get mud on your shoes and on the dress and your brakes go on and you have no idea why. Because that message from the five-year-old-you is just a few inches below your conscious awareness and you are feeling it. Imagine if we all just walked around feeling and paying attention to how we are feeling!

DO YOU HAVE ADVICE FOR PEOPLE OR THINGS YOU WISH PEOPLE WOULD BE DOING?

Yes. Really and truly get in the mirror and say to yourself, “All I know is that I really do love you.” And then speak to each person through that loving, compassionate message. Pain is a one-way track into the heart. And the heart is the digestion center for feelings. So if you will not go in there yourself and feel your feelings, pain will get you there. You make the choice.

YOU OFTEN WORK IN THE SOUTH. HOW DID THAT COME TO BE AND HOW DOES IT FEEL DIFFERENT THAN YOUR WORK IN MAINE?

It came about through a friend that I went to Nashville and met some people who are friends of hers and started doing my thing. And the next thing I knew, in 2004, a practice called Integrative Psychology and Consultation asked me to join them. And so I moved there, and two months later another practice asked us to join them and we opened a center called the Lotus Center. It’s beautiful. I resigned my partnership to the practice in July ’09 and moved back to Maine because my daughter was having babies and I wanted to be around.

 

HOW DOES YOUR FAMILY SEE THIS WORK THAT YOU DO?

At first, it was really strange because they could only see me as an emergency nurse. As an emergency nurse, I took a special course and became a sexual assault examiner and also a flight nurse. So they were used to me in those activities. And suddenly, I began speaking a very different language and so it was very uncomfortable for them for a while. However, now they call me and say, “Ma, I need you to do your thing.” And their friends and their loved ones are my clients, I’m so blessed.

IS THIS IN LINE WITH ANY SPECIFIC SPIRITUALITY FOR YOU?

No. I grew up Catholic. This is just purely spirituality. I have sat with Catholic priests, Buddhist monks, Baptist ministers. Because they come in to test me and they leave with beautiful tears. And by virtue of having an office in Nashville and in Dallas and Knoxville, I see all the different denominations. The fundamentalists, everything.

HOW DO YOU VISUALIZE THE AFTERLIFE?

What I’ve seen is when someone passes, the very beginning of the passing, they are confused. For me, visually, they show up pixilated. And until they really get it that they’ve passed, they stay that pixilated view until they really get it together. Folks have asked me to read their loved one who has just passed, and when that happens, I try to wait until that time has passed and I can really have a good visual of them, together. Then I just see them in a state of however they show up; it is the essence that I’m reading. And eventually I see them going into their own… it looks to me like a cocoon so I refer to it as the “cocoon state,” where we review our life. And in that cocoon state, I can see the soul in there and sometimes they communicate, but mostly they are focused. And once they come out of the cocoon, that’s when I see them decide on either coming back or waiting. Coming back as a birth or waiting, available to talk to. There is no such thing as timing. It means that in that cocoon state, that’s where we learn how to do things in a different way and make decisions to come back into a birth experience that will teach us the lessons we need to learn. So, positive karma rather than negative. No one is allowed to take their life. Ever. It means, they pass, they go into the cocoon and they come right back. Children that come in and do not come into an actual birth or pass away soon after are shown to me as these little cherubs that chose to come into experience only that much and they were either too afraid to stay any longer or left to experience something different, karmically, with their loved ones.  Those are very painful experiences for me, to sit with someone who has lost a child.

HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO PROTECT YOURSELF IN THIS WORK?

There are certain sources who have shown up over the years and they just let me know what they are there for. Whenever I sit with someone who is really unkind or had a certain dark energy, there’s a certain source I can just feel around me and that’s how I’ll know I’m about to hear something awful.

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TELL STRANGERS ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?

I have a lot of offices and I travel on a lot on airplanes. So I sit next to a lot of people and they always ask, “What do you do?” First of all, I pay attention to their energy. And then I say, “I’m an intuitive soul reader. I teach people how to listen to their voice of wisdom and make choices on that wisdom.” I have clients who are CEOs of businesses who consult with me before they hire, fire, merge, dissolve. I have clients who own huge, apparently, ranches and want to know where and when to dig for oil. So I just tune in and give them whatever comes. And when someone says, “Oh my gosh you were so right on!” I just say, “Thank you” and “That’s great.” But I don’t need to be validated for this work. It feels very pure to me, so I don’t look for validations in this work. I look to be pure and loving and responsible.

DO YOU EVER FEEL LIKE THE GUIDANCE YOU GIVE IS OFTEN SIMPLY THE ADVICE THAT HELPS THEM EARN THE GREATEST LESSON?

I give folks whatever I feel and see, via phone or face. You’ll hear the information as accurate or not and they’ll follow up with questions. And I’ll always follow up by saying, “Free will has the last say.” No matter how accurate and gifted the person is you are sitting across from, your free will dictates your actions.

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Compassion. Loving compassion. Because you can be as angry as you want, but if you send that message with loving compassion, I don’t know anything more sacred than that.

WHAT IS A LESSON YOU ARE LEARNING IN YOUR LIFE OR HAVE LEARNED RECENTLY?

Not to run away when things are difficult, to stand present and really digest the pain. For me, it’s very hard. I’m a runner, and I’ve run away from relationships and I’ve been single for a very long time now. I’ve learned an enormous amount about my heart and the sadness of loneliness. However, I’ve also learned how to fall back in love with me. And lucky the guy who falls back in love with this light! I’m just finally feeling receptive of that.

 

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST GIFT OR BLESSING?

My greatest gift is my compassion and sincerity. I have unconditional love. And doing this work, I’m not here to judge anyone. My biggest gift is speaking truth and showing other people how to speak truth. It’s heart-centeredness, it’s all those messages. So I guess my greatest gift is this feeling of grace I feel when I get to sit with someone, because there’s not a more beautiful place to sit than in someone’s essence.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST STRUGGLE?

I just had this huge epiphany a few days ago, so my greatest struggle is actually behind me now. I had a huge epiphany of how free I am because of this work I am doing. What is my greatest struggle? It used to be deprivation. Financial deprivation. And I just nicked it. And it’s just the coolest thing ever to sit here and talk to you with this awareness, because it’s been a whole life struggle for me and I’ve worked really hard.

WHAT IS THE BEST MOMENT OF AN AVERAGE DAY?

Hugging and kissing the clients when they come in. Hugging them when they first come in and hugging them when they go. Every single person that comes in wants to hug me goodbye. And I work with some very big guys who come in with their arms crossed. The philosophers are a beautiful struggle because they try to philosophize me, which I love. And they end up with these beautiful messages and tears.

 

To find out more about Maryann: maryannbrussell.com

 

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