My name is Hillary McFarland and I am a writer, artist & licensed massage therapist in Dallas, Texas.
Words are my life. In September I published a book for women about body image and healing body shame called The Secret Life of a Curvy Girl: Making Peace With the Body You Have—A Creative and Compassionate Guide to Loving Your Body As-Is. I’ve also created a DIY home-study course called Dear Artist for those who long for a meaningful, creative life. And I am currently working on a series of writing workshops (I hoped to release them this autumn but life had other plans, so they are coming….eventually!) and other ways for creative writers & artists to deepen, expand, and grow. Finally, I blog when inspired and send words to inboxes everywhere.
Coming in 2019: Making Home: A Wise Woman Builds Her House. This is a guided, through-the-year journey and I can’t wait to share more.
I am a licensed massage therapist serving Dallas, Texas. My gentle approach provides stress relief and sleep support for those needing a healing, nurturing touch. As a 2002 graduate of Hands on Therapy School of Massage, I've developed a holistic approach to well-being and wellness you'll love. Learn more and book a session at Massage for Healing.
I can't not create. Whether I'm hand-blending essential oils, baking a carrot cake or inhaling garam masala & cumin as I stir the curry on my stove, creation is my blood. As an artist, this shows up as visual storytelling in my photography. I’m dreaming of clay and can’t wait to develop my skills as a clay artist. One of my favorite things to make is sacred space…as a highly-sensitive everything, I’m hyper-aware of light and fragrance and tones, moods, and textures. Weaving together a holistic, calming, life-giving room, soulful gathering, or experience fills me with peace and joy.
My life is my art. My faith is my art. My work is my art.
I sometimes call myself a bohemian theologian because of the profound love I have for the Lord, salvation & scripture, and my simple, salt-of-the-earth ways of living it.
I've been a believer for over thirty years, but it's only been the last few where the true gospel of grace, which Jesus gave to the Apostle Paul, has deeply gotten hold of me. I do not have formal spiritual training, but remain grounded in prayer and Scripture and trust the one who dwells within me. (1 John 2:20-27) I am not affiliated with any particular denomination or religious movement. My faith is simple: I hold to the authority of Scripture and salvation by grace through faith in the death, burial & resurrection of Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah.
I believe we are in the “last days” according to biblical prophecy and am a passionate student of eschatology, filled with what the late John O'Donohue calls “the urgency of the eternal.” I pray daily to walk in the Spirit and that all I do brings glory to God.
Learn more about the gospel here.
27 things about me
I am a highly-sensitive, introverted everything. I am made to be seen, INFP, 4w5, empathic, and I'm awkward with my spoken words. I am private and quiet, with strong boundaries. So I listen, I write, I pray, I feel. I talk when necessary.
I make my own almond milk. It's delicious and so easy! Place 1 cup of almonds in a bowl, cover with water, and let sit for 4-6 hours or more to soften. Strain & rinse, add to a blender with 3 cups of pure water, and blend well. Strain through a nut milk bag and chill. Best when cold & fresh...and note: it will turn a little grainy if you pour it into steaming hot coffee. I usually add a small piece of ice to temper my coffee just slightly before adding my almond milk. (Store-bought almond milk does not do this because of added manipulators.)
I was born in the 1900s. According to Wikipedia, I’m ‘Generation X.’ I am thankful to my mom & dad for getting me into the ‘70s and teaching me about Jesus.
I can't abide: videos or music on websites that start automatically (looking at you, Instagram stories at 3 AM!), scratchy tags inside my clothes, and the smell of apple cider vinegar.
To me, luxury means waking naturally without an alarm, luscious sheets, gratefulness, living debt-free, loving generously, having clean water, all of my senses, all of my limbs, and most of my teeth.
My creative side refuses to be put into a niche. I'm a writer. I'm a photographer. Also, I love creating soft and tender spaces that nourish highly-sensitive souls. I bake & prepare nurturing and delicious food. I'm a mentor for creative women and am working on a series of cozy writing workshops.
East or west coast? Definitely west. One of my dearest treasured experiences is traveling with my husband along Highway 1, top down, sun and wind in our hair, stopping to listen to the seals where the mountains meet the sea. And then standing among the redwoods and biting into sweet figs and luscious strawberries purchased from a California road stand.
I'm passionately married to the human I love most. As of this writing, we've been married for 16 years.
I have a tender and profound love for Jesus the Messiah. I spent most of my life working for the assurance of eternal life. Really and truly understanding the gospel, that I am saved by grace and not by works, radically changed everything.
I believe we are living in the last days as prophesied in Scripture. This provides an endless stream of urgency which compels me to live & love generously, be mindful of my Yes, my energy, time, words, and service, do the work I'm here to do, and to live in truth and tenderness.
My favorite Psalms are 23, 27, and 91. My favorite verse is Gen. 1:2.
I am not a huge fan of social media (especially FB) but I've got a new Instagram to share on.
My favorite flowers are ranunculus, peonies, daffodils in the woods, & I think there is nothing sweeter than lavender stems in old vintage bottles on windowsills in the sunshine.
My favorite things are windchimes that sound like church bells, rich coffee, Japanese incense, books, rain, interesting old doors, and falling asleep with my husband stroking my hair.
In general I would rather share what I am for than what I am against. I used to allow shame to condemn me for not being a stronger vocal activist for important causes, and I’ve raised my voice and held up my virtual signs in the past. But it takes all kinds, and as I grow older I am holding fast to quieter, gentler ways of being. Of speaking truth and upholding what I believe. Of experimenting with words and fragments and syllables, adjusting and backspacing as needed. It’s kinda awkward sometimes, but it feels so grounded and true. On Instagram, a beloved friend shared these words and my heart said yes, this. God bless those who hold space for the heart to speak. God bless those who advocate for Truth and justice and mercy using the unique qualities He gave us.
I am very sensitive to smells...apple cider vinegar makes me crazy; also synthetic fragrances, cigarette smoke, cheap incense, musty old coffee (you know...the thermos that rolled under the seat in your car and you forgot about until...). On the other hand, aromatherapy is my favorite and I swoon daily over my favorite essential oils, perfume, Japanese incense, fresh coffee brewing, earthy root veggies roasting, soft yeasty bread baking, the earth after rain...
My desk stays cluttered but I try to keep within easy reach: my Vanilla Chai lip balm, my phone, pens and notebooks, the holy scriptures, hand cream, essential oils, scissors & something to burn (candle or incense).
I do not enjoy shoe shopping.
I really do not enjoy prying conversations, lots of personal questions or questions with hidden agendas, prolonged extroversion, feeling obligated, emotional or psychological manipulation, feeling overwhelmed, cramped spaces, and coffee you can see through.
My body loves movement through dance, stretching, and being in water.
I like to write down my favorite words. Meridian. Indigo. Whispery. Liminal. Interesting that they all have at least three syllables.
I have a giddy love affair with fonts. I'm also very picky—um, selective. I change fonts like some people change their hair color.
My favorite smoothie is this: peel & pit an avocado. Place it in a strong blender (I use a Vitamix, but anything that holds a large volume and can crush ice will work). Add a whole tomato, a peeled orange, a banana, and 2 or 3 handfuls of chopped kale (I buy it from the salad bar at Whole Foods—it's already washed, chopped, and ready to go). If you have it, add a leaf or two of fresh Basil or Mint. Then pile in whatever frozen fruit you have—this is your alternative to ice—maybe a berry blend, last summer's strawberries, or something with Mangos. Top with a splash of 100% juice, any kind, and whirl until smooth. Pour into pretty glasses & share with your loved ones. Optional add-ins: plain yogurt, a little honey or agave nectar, some protein powder, or all-natural creamer for extra creaminess.
Let's autumn all the things! I love when October tempers the searing southern heat. Sweater weather is my favorite. And as it gets colder, I love to bake squash in the oven because it adds a heartwarming & decadent earthy-sweet aroma that must be experienced at least ten times throughout fall and winter. PS. I do not like pumpkin spice lattes. And I also really love springtime.
One of my most favorite things is to give really good, generous and unexpected gifts. It's like art to me. When my resources are limited I get frustrated, but it also makes me think outside the box.
I want to hygge my whole life.
I usually kill my houseplants, but am delighted to learn that the proper amount of water and sunshine does wonders for ivy and souls.
For you—the sound of longing
This is what transcendence feels like.
Put your earbuds in, press play, and close your eyes.