Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spirited

Spirited Silence
Recognize the grandness of Peace

Awaken opportunities fragmented by time
Delight in the consequences of spiritual stillness

Hour by Hour by Hour

Waiting to finish the meal and re-enter my silent abode
in retreat
Removing my dance shoes and putting away my dance card

I am home

Just Words Connection

Gift, Understanding, Cooperate, Genocide, Baffle, Esteem, Timeless
Existence, Terrify, Truth, Tarry, Not, Gratitude, Abundant, Relinquish, Guest


This is the gift.  To understand and flow with the Giver of all things. It is destructive to be baffled by your worth, for it is timeless.  Do not fear the truth, nor delay in praise and thanks for the abundance therein. The guest arrived and it is You!

Coloring

Within delineation
Without order

Within terms
Without spirit

Within capabilities
Without possibilities

The box is open
Each crayon pointed and poise
for creation

Within Without
There is no distinction

Color with abandon
Leaving a small corner
for more possibilities to arise by surprise!

Year Anew

It is time again

Protection served its purpose
Flaking, it drifts away as dust

Dust to be removed
Items to be seen in fresh light
and reflection

New years and new challenges in life

Break the bread of communion with others
Raise the glass of camaraderie and hope

Dance on the surface of the refrozen lake
Still, silent and anew from the solar rays of the day

You are that light and the fuel within it
Nothing is lost, you are renewed

Bubbling Up

Your surface is porous
Enveloped translucently with grace

Tension arises and spawns
misguided and wayward thoughts

Fear launches its tunnels in dormant
shifting shards

God's love heats and purifies the water
Clearing paths
Evaporating fear
Sealing grace

Tremble not when inner turmoil arises

Recognize
Reconnect
Relax

God's grace bubbles up through your surface

Monday, December 19, 2011

I SAID/ HE SAID





I said "stay sweet"
He said " stay you"

I said " try harder"
He said " you are enough"

I said " when I am stronger"
He said" you hold me up"

I said " I wish"
He said " you are "

I said " thanks"
He said" my gift"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Note from Above

Whisper in the night my name
Delight in the sense of stillness
Rest

Consider opportunities I will provide them
I will divinely move you and them forward

Remember your royalty in me
Remember your courtship with yourself

Conceive and receive the divine righteousness in you
And Be
Be Still- I Am-You Are

It unfolds in an instant
Let it be this instant

Reticent

Requiring no action only thought
It hangs on the cusp of flying and sinking

It reduces the "I am" to creating its truth

It launches the mind to
understand the soul
and the soul to take action

Locking the spiral
within the box, it's lid
loosely tilted
Will I push it off, or lay it
back down?

I choose to lift it and engage in
this life
No more darkness

With My Eyes

With my eyes I see
the textures and shadows of the
hillside

With my body I feel
the heat delving into
my flesh bringing release

With my ears I ear
the muffled words
of people and the rustling of the leaves
on the nearby trees and through the
sifting valleys

With my mouth I taste the dryness and
saltiness of this earth

Without You I experience
none of this
Without You the trapestry
is never woven
Without You I am blind,shriveled,
dark and alone

I am with You now.

Ecstacy

It came in the back door
A stranger in the night
Not to rob but to laden with riches

Grasped by the nape of a loving mother 
Fruitless fears and fantasies  
Rushed out the open side windows
A vortex of calm air followed

Trembling took me into greater excitement of the unknown
The floor of my home started to slant from safety to askewness
I knew where I was yet I did not

The stranger's presence shifted the contents of the dormant cellar
It cleansed the floors
It polished the windows
The fragrance was unimaginably sweet

I was lost
I was richly laden

I woke, not from a dream
but into the wonders of love and joy
and the oneness of strangers in the night

Monday, November 28, 2011

ADVENTure

An exciting or very unusual experience
A new beginning
An outcome without knowledge nor understanding


Life of solitude
   
A start, a new beginning, an unknown outcome without understanding but perhaps not as welcomed as the changing of seasons or the expectation of Christ among us


ADVENTuring with each advent in my life
consumes my days and nights
The flame falters but it continues


ADVENTuring with each advent in my life
greens me with greater understanding
of each moment


ADVENTuring with each advent in my life
graces me with greater opportunities than I ever could have imagined




ADVENTURES  
within me
join me







Monday, November 14, 2011

Tide Pool



I have come ashore once again
Bathing in the warmth of protected walls
Finding common surfaces to hold me within

I am at ease here, knowing that my adventure
continues with the next tide

I always come back, so why distress?
Coming back to you in whatever shape
or form I am

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Waiting

Waiting in despair
and regret

Waiting in joyous expectation
or simply in place

Waiting forces me to reasses
my present or not
so present nature

to lift the veil of fear
                     of defiance
                     of regret

Waiting creates more space for
wonders to appear
both imagined and unimagined

Waiting-being present for all
that is around me this moment-no need
to want
It is here

Can You?

Can you see the stars when you
watching your feet?

Can you hear the waves crash
as your conversation mounts?

Can you taste the sweetness without
the bitterness of longing?

Awaken your singular senses in rhythmic
harmony

Capture their essence, their charm

In The Garden

In the garden
I forget I am different

I rest in the hands of being
My own sweetness arises
from my soul

Yet the tears water all that
I am
The lonliness of my solitude
wells up within me

What am I seeking? Why seek?
I am here in the garden and myself and
nothing else matters

Set Sail

The rooster crows before
dawn as a reminder of
new day, he repeats and repeats

The oyster releases an
imperfection that is smooth,
glossy and softens our vision

The taste of the salty fish
grounds us in the clay soil
of our being

Oh my God, Help me to see
the folly of my own world
and see the completeness
in Yours

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Surrender

Releasing without vision
    without regret

Abiding and riding
    on a higher power within

Questioning its presence
    yet acting on its existence

Surrender

Contrary to the warring within
and releasing the true self outward

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Under Your Canopy

My feet pulse , mending with each second as acorns underscore my steps

Heading to my sitting place I gaze upward
Talk to me in this silence I plead

Wake me to the wonder rather than wonder why I still exist
My soul feels empty, but I feel my soul
It has been longing to be recognized like the trees shedding the seeds

They roll, they nest, they accept their position
I learn from them and cry out, " Help me to be like you! Help me to see my resting spot is
my nesting spot.

Help me to accept my position as I am.  Not restless but resting in the
nature of God and His perfection."

I do not know how my tears and cries are received.  I do know that I long to be reconnected
to whom I really am.  I have strayed, I have prayed.

Embrace me under Your canopy as my
eyes, heart and arms reach upward .

Waiting In the Wings

I have been in the wings
watching life unfold
being the understudy


My lines rehearsed
my voice cracking 
with its new found speech


I dared not to have the
spot light shed on me


I am imperfect
but not in Your eyes


The eyes of Divine Truth
The Cosmic Audience of Life


As I take center stage 
in my life with You
I project who I am and You are 
my lines



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Room For Change: The Council




Conciliatory and consciousness come to the surface

Enlightening the venue of Grace

Encapsulating a formula of change or expectations



When we sit together we gather

When we pray together we ask

When we listen together we counsel



Counsel flows from the silence of asking and receiving

Counsel arises to the surface, separating the oil from the water


Counsel provides choices beyond the expected

Expect the unexpected in council





Sunday, July 24, 2011

Room For Change:Signposts

There are many signposts along our daily journeys and routines.   They shout to us to move here, turn there, stop now.   They whisper to us buy this, stop doing that or choose this over that.   The inner posted signs in our brains stop us short on many occasions or sell us short on our own  novel insights or quests.  We may not even notice these silent signs that linger in our routines.

The latest signpost to hit me is  Slow  Children At Play.  I have been fortunate to be adopted into a family that has a soon to be 4 year old son.  He and his brother call me Aunt Suey, with silly reference to pig calling not intended, or at least I don't think so. Every time it is hollered I laugh a little inside and meander to find out what the request may be.  It might be to ask if my dog can have another cookie or two and see the delight when the dog lathers them with a bit of savory dog spit.  It might me to ask if I can come outside to kick a ball or even watch a bubble float for the 1200th time.  It is a delight and time stands still with them.  Maybe it not so much time standing still, but about being in the present.  Delight in the present and innocence in the present without the mind signposts deflecting the possibilities.

Slow... Children At Play.   This reminder to me is to be cautious, but also to remember the child in me, that truly enjoys play.  This is a reminder to me to take it slow through these simple and playful events in my life and another reminder to simply weave play and work.

Miles, my 4 year old nephew has his birthday party today. His gifts include comic "Ouch" bandaids and a book entitled  Nobody's Diggier Than A Dog.

I remember that celebrations like this are for everyone.  We get another chance to remember how to play like children, think like children and be silly in the company of others.

What signposts turn up in your life?  What ones are you noticing?   Merge, Wrong Way or Fork in the Road or even "Turn Here, Best Darn Chikin South of the Mason Dixon Line! "  Whatever it is, consider a little playful childlike magic in your journey.  You may even get a cool nickname out of it!

Off to play on this beautiful Sunday!  Blessings.  Susan





Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Remembrance: For DG and GG

As the day of remembrance sweeps by
emotions lie dormant then well up in open cupboards 
or in the wafting of a floating scent
We wonder why it all happened so quickly
Our life with our beloved and then their death 
and the beginning of the death of who we thought we were as well as 
the beginning of who we are becoming
The best we can do, is the best that they did
The best we can say, is that we did the best we could
The best we can hear, is that we are loved by God in our partnerships, in our solitude and in communion with Him.
So as these days of remembrance silently guide you from the past to the present
Layer your roads and redirect your paths, 
Remembering Him that places your companions within reach and places Himself continually beside you on your entire journey      Safe travels  and Sweet remembrances

Friday, July 1, 2011

Appetite For Life: Got Solace?

                                                                    so  lace  ?





SOL- Soul-Center-Sun

LACE-  White-Open-Airy AND PATIENTLY woven and delightfully displayed

SOLACE

 Centering the soul in patiently woven display, remaining pure, white and open- single threads connecting in sun drenched beauty.


I going to weave myself some today. Got Solace?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Circular Table: Always Room For One More

                                    Have you ever wondered why so many dining tables are rectangular or square?  Why fewer of us choose round tables in which to gather , when redesigning spaces for and with others. The  small round circular table is used when space is the restraint in most family homes.

I suppose cost of material is the biggest reason.  It is easier to cut a slab of material or extrude it when it is square or rectangular than  to create the round .  The round also leaves the manufacturer or designer with waste or left over material that may not be repurposed for something else.

The round table also has another design element of being created into a pedestal table with a single large anchor of support, rather than the multiple legs that I run my long and misused  legs into so very often.


So why my musing of the round table this morning as I sip my java on my sofa, not my round cafe' high top settee?

Last evening around a small round table conversation with friends began before a meditation session.  The sun was in some eyes, so we slid around its circumference crunching in to see each other without bright distraction.  As someone else came we comfortably slid again with the flow of the size of the group.  There was no vying for position at head of the table to repositioning someone's back up against the wall.  The circle , the table, always called for the enlarging of it and the shrinking of it..

Not only in accommodation to the size of the group, but to its activity and its conversation.  Nothing was lost nor shifted as we engaged with other and the group morphed.

So, the next time you buy a dining room table... take a look at how your table works for you?  Take a look at what shapes surround you and then shape the activity and you.Shape the kind of person or persons you allow into your circle of friends or influence.


I have been truly blessed by a circle that morphs, for me and a God that expands incessantly to gather us all together for each other.

My present dining room table is elliptical... Guess I am on my way....

By the way, Karen, sorry for the crumbs left on that circular table of yours!  Will bring a bucket and rag next time!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Night of the Soul

I wonder where I am this dark night


The silence, with the layering of the pendulum clock, moves my heart forward


Yet my mind is still lost and confused


Confused in its longing for more even when these abundant blessings abound within and around me


I cry out, "What more can I give or understand, dear Lord?" and the clock pauses with the click of the gears moving within the momentum of  the pendulum's swing


My soul feels heavy, like the brass weight that releases the pendulum swinging back and forth
I am stuck in this dark night, moving side to side and tossing back and forth again and again


Help me to remember the place I hold in your plan , Lord


Help me to consider the place that I hold in your heart. Lord


Help me to rejoice in the ordinary and mundane, the back and forth of life as with the tides and the moon, remembering You alone control it all and I am with you and You are with me.



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Basted with Love

You push and pull through the initial layers

The illness of your own body

The lightening of your soul soul to the truth of what is today


We expose our sides

our wounds in loss

Our new skin


We climb to overlook the new horizon

we balance on new found limbs

and sometimes we slip again, we fall


The valley appears so close again

but one hand remembers it is higher than it was

the last time this happened


Grief it tears and it is torn

Grief it reaches and falters

Grief it exists because of love in your heart

Friday, June 17, 2011

Room For Change:Appetite For Life

Room For Change is transforming to Appetite For Life.  Why?  Just because it feels right. I am hungry again as my time in grief and loss has dissipated but not been forgotten.
Trust the gut, feed the appetite.

This is a new adventure with new vistas appearing everywhere, like the spirit shape shifters of Indian lore.

Appetite For Life.  What will it hold?  Brainstorming, Jumpstarting with a dash of mental nutrition.

The menu, the book, will be  divided into seasonal delicacies for  you to peruse with an array of selections.  Using regional ingredients and individualized seasoning, a menu will emerge.  Parings will be suggested, but it will be ultimately up to you to create the courses from the selections for the fanfare meal. It will be you who will mindfully partake of the meal and digest it  and observe how it nourishes your body and soul.

These musings, from Appetite For Life ,  will help me to compile those menu selections.  Please  email me your favorite menu selections along the way.  They may be a perfect recipe to nourish the body or may be something you did in a  season of your life of which I am pondering and writing about. I am truly interested in making this next book a collaboration of stories, tastes and selections of all of us. All of us that wish to glean that gusto of life out of each and every day and each and every season of our life.

So with this introduction, let the seed be planted, let the rain fall and may we all be pleasantly surprised and nourished with the growth of this little yet mighty seed.

Okay you foodies and you soul filled or even soil filled friends.  Let it rain!  The seed is planted for Appetite For Life.


I need lots of help on this one!  The tools are ready, just need your hands and hearts.  Blessings. Susan

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Room For Change: Dance in Grief and Loss

What do you hear from others within the loss experience? " Move On!" "Get out in nature." At the same time you hear comments of " Don't change anything during the first year." "Never move or sell your home." Keep your distance from this or that experience.

 Nothing is complete in grief and nothing is static. Loss teaches us the lightness or heaviness of each moment  and even creates pockets of numbness and observation.

The country song, with lyrics of " one step forward, two steps back" echoed as a gift to my ears in grief.
Other lyrics of " Life's a dance , you learn as you go, sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow" inched me along.

Friends and loved ones' intentions  are meant to keep you moving. Your loss is often their loss too maybe of dreams, friendship and the continuity in their lives.

Acknowledge where you wish to be placed and at imagine at what moment you wish to be there.

Grief , the dance, sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow- It's all good.  Move where you wish, forward, backwards, sideways , up or downwards.  Just Move.   Someone will be beside you.

Your partnering may change but keep moving. You are worth it!

Room For Change: THE GUEST

                                                       


Welcoming the Guest
He has been with me
from the beginning


I have served the others
knocking
I have left the doors wide
open for others to come in


Yet I neglected to 
welcome the Guest
The God within me


From which shines
everlasting peace
not only within me
but through me


Welcome Yourself to this, Your Table


Blessings   Susan

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Room For Change: Crossings and Crossfires

Crossing Across
Crossing By
Crossing Under
Caught in the Crossfire?


Life full of Crossings
Full of Catches
Full of Tosses

When I observe, nothing is tossed nor caught... It is like that majestic fly ball that keeps going and going, keeping everyone in blissful awe... because it just is.

No one knows if it will be caught, dropped or in fair play.. It sails and is observed in its precious moments.

Too often I place myself in imagined crossfires, instead of crossings... Tossing myself into unimagined dramas or unimagined ecstasy.

With this thought today, I may just have to pick up a ball and bat and give life a swing again.

Play ball and heads up!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Keyhole





Coming through the keyhole
You look
You remember and your soul sighs.
It is here you belong.


Now you remember the door was never locked.
You peered to where you felt you should be-
You shrunk , you pushed, you ever changed form.


What you had been given, has always been and will always be.  Here, complete and all.


The key to wholeness is within your reach and never more peered through but experienced in full.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Room For Change: In Outlook and In Growth

The Book of Isaiah speaks about the Lord settling international disputes  and about how all wars will stop and military training will come to an end.  It speaks of walking in the light of the Lord.

I often turn to the scriptures in times of weariness, to find the respite  I need or  for the acknowledgement of better times to come.  The above reference in Isaiah 2 was very comforting this morning, yet I also  acknowledge that  God  is within me and that what starts within my own soul or being goes outward.  ( It is quite the opposite of what goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas!)

Further reference in this scripture is "beating swords into plowshares" and " beating spears into pruning hooks" as all warring is dissipated.  Those of you that know how I "see" in pictures , this vision came alive in an instant.

How does this have anything to do with grief, loss and change?   Why talk about assault and growth at the same time or even try to change the outlook of the world.? No, I have not gone mad and I am not claiming world peace to come within the next 6 months!

 In loss and grief, our world and emotions feel like the entire world.  Everything that ever challenged our comfort zone amplifies in loss and grief.  The boxing gloves come on and the gnashing of teeth starts!   After my husband and father's death, I wanted to accuse everything and everybody.

Time can heal, but the site of the wound may be there.  The site can also be viewed as what was excised to bring us closer to whole or closer to being the holistic individual of Divine creation.

The swords are turned into plowshares to cut the furrows to plant the seed.
The spears are bend into pruning hooks to remove what is superfluous and trim for bigger and fuller and healthier growth.  What encouraging words in grief and loss and change.

So whether the Bible is a source of your solace and support or not, the image of the " imagined" cruelty in loss still pierces, still stings.  Yet, with time, with repurposing and reflection, the pain and the infliction does  reinvent its initial purpose.  The scar may be there, but the wounding can be lifted.


In grief, let your burden be shared, let the new seeds sprout in small ways and never underestimate taking away what is superfluous for you today.

Those of us, in grief and experiencing loss and its changes in our lives, can be like the bamboo plant with its resilience, humility and uprightness.  It bends, but is seldom breaks.

Redesign and repurpose what you have for your renewed outlook and growth.   You are resilient!

Blessings. Susan

Room For Change: Ode to Opening Your Heart

              


                               OPENING YOUR HEART


Opening your heart
      arms wide stretched-but do
        not take the "beating" this time




Turn the other cheek-but do
        not be bruised by the strike




Forgive your assaulter- but do
         not assault yourself


Opening, turning, forgiving and loving
         now is forever
         forever is now

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Room For Change: Good Grief or Good "re-Grief"

I had not readied myself for the upwelling of feelings.  I had commanded the appointments, followed through with scheduling and now was returning for a follow-up medical procedure to the initial follow up medical procedure.

I have attended to many of these similar procedures when my late husband's diagnosis lingered and continued until his analogous stem cell replacement failed.

I had complained about the wait in the waiting rooms.  Mumbled under my breath about "cool" receptionists and old magazines and people waiting for your name to be called like a number in line at the deli.  This time I was alone for my testing, without my late husband, without being the security for myself, like the security I felt I had lent to him.

There was no need to feel scared or concerned.  The procedure was known, the terminology understood and protocol made sense.  Rationally I was doing just fine... good grief, there was not a terminal diagnosis, but "RE-grief"came up big time.   I viewed the sterile surface in the testing room and my hands got weak.  The smell of the alcohol and betadine, made my stomach squizzy.  All I wanted to do was crawl up into a warm blanket until it was all over.

It was not my procedure but my body remembering the pain, the languishing waits and the protocols that my late husband had endured.  It was followed by my father's hospitalization and death the following year.

How could I remove these memories from welling up again, when I did not even know they were dormant barely under my skin?  Make new ones... for myself and for others.

1.  Be kind and extra kind to the receptionists.. Think of anxious people that await them each day ..

2.  Thank staff about "service" that reassured you or other ways they tried to be clear and less clinical.

3. Bring in a few new magazines and leave them for others to view.

4. Smile at others and acknowledge their presence.

5. Take yourself out for lunch, an ice cream or to a bookstore after your appointment.  Reward yourself in small ways.


Re grief is simply Re Thinking.  Remember how you care for your loved ones and be kind to yourself on your solo protocol days.

Someone told me to go get a drink after my test, but I went and got a huge chocolate cupcake with tons of frosting.  Think that will do for today:)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Room For Change: Changing Walls within Loss



Walls are dividers.  Walls are providers.  Walls are low. Walls are high.  Walls are protectors. Walls are prisons. Walls with cracks fall down and can be rebuilt or one can analyze what they should be replaced with.

My moving through many changes in loss, the major being the death of my spouse, I have moved my walls. In fact I have moved three times within the last 6 years.  I have constructed walls from blue prints; I have adorned and painted them as how it suited that time and me.  I have purchased a new home only to sell it 2 years later and rent after 3o years of owning my own home. The walls of my rental remain the color they were upon my moving in.  I am not investing time and money and effort this time around to make them “mine” in the same way I have in the past. 

My not “owning” these walls has caused a sense of uneasiness and yet it frees me from frantic activity to get things done and in order.  Renting places the repairs, the attendance to grounds and property taxes to someone else these days.  I still feel a bit of a nomad within these walls.

Part of my release of tending to walls also goes to the personal level. I have dated some fine and “not so” fine men since becoming widowed.  The walls that defined me have been cracked.  Walls that I used to protect me, no longer protect and the walls of opening to others come tumbling down and then get constructed back up again.   


I could lament as I sometimes do and ask, “ When will I feel that protection I once had or when will I see the bright sun through the windows again?”  Telling my story to others, especially men, gets tiresome and yet it is a part of me.  Each time another relationship begins or ends, I am building the foundation for what supports me now.  My gut is getting stronger in trusting my instincts even though my heart still jumps at being a partner again with a framework of walls.  So even with cracked walls the light shines though and even with shifting walls, the foundation can be firm.

Today I will look at my walls as a resting place for growth, ideas and healing.  I don’t have to adorn them, shore them up or paint them. (Well, knowing me I might have to hang a tapestry or a piece of favorite artwork.)

Whatever walls appear to be in your loss, they can be temporary.  Placing the items, ideas and purpose within them is important.  Remembering you are the carpenter these days. Measure twice, cut once and all will be aligned.  Trust your gut, trust your level headed judgment and your walls be straight, tall, elegant and adorned like you. 

Blessings, Susan   

April 15th 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Room For Change:Try, Try Again or TRI TRi Again.

As time "slips" by in my healing from loss of spouse and I find my way to enter again into life, there seems to be more and more sliding from slide to side.  Trying to find my footing on a path unexplored.

It was easy being a mother, wife and co creator of a family life.  Two daughters, two cats, one dog and two parents under one roof.  Consensus was not always the order of the day but we worked as a team, dreamed as a team and lived together for 23 years.   When my husband died, the girls and I felt unstable and ill suited to carry on, but the four sided box of stability, the four of us was now down to 3.

Stepping outside the collapsed box did not appear to be any advantage at all. I knew the corners and lengths of the sides even though sometimes the lid blew off of it.

From a 4 sided structure to a 3 sided structure.  3 Women.   All in grief.  All in different ways.  All apart from each other , no longer under the same roof.    We were each expecting more of the other one, but in our own grief, finding support for the other was a mysterious path.

The triangle is a strong base of support .  Think about the three legged stool or even the Holy Trinity.  Three is never four, but three can support itself and more in grief.

I was so attracted to the number three. One the first Easter without him,I went away without family, but with old friends to the ski country.  They skied, I read and had my own Easter vigil.   I did purchase three porcelain eggs with tiny black metal feet coming out of them.  Each of the feet going a different direction.  Each egg aligned in a different way.   The eggs were "birthing" themselves and there was pleasure in their playfulness.

One spring day, the dog's tail wacked one egg to the floor.  It shattered.  Feet still intact.   I was upset and frustrated.   Okay, what can I do.?  Throw it away or reassemble it.   Life after loss is like that.  It is time to reassemble, taking with you what works and throwing away what does not serve you anymore.   I did not want to be angry so I glued what I could and put "Her" back with the two other chicks on the ledge.

What was the lesson?   Guess the best I could come up for myself was this..... You have no cracks nor scars if you have chosen to go no where, chosen to love no one or chosen to be loved inside and out.

So in your loss, in your grief... whatever shape your life has been, there is a shape that will support you.  The wonderful thing about shapes is that we can morph with them.   May each step your take, each fall you make and each thought you think bring you closer and closer to what is perfect for you today.

Blessings.  Susan

Friday, March 4, 2011

Room For Change: Exploring Your Own Legacy

Daunting change, confusing change with deep underlying love,  Lori Hedderman's new book, Preparing Your Children For Goodbye: A Guidebook for Dying Parents, is released.

At first one would wonder," Why a guide book for my acknowledged and pending death? It is total loss of my family structure, semblance of order and just let memories be what they may! " The attitude of  "let's not talk about it" may prevail or simply "I do not know what to talk about."

What Hedderman's book does however is not forced, not prescribed but rather showcases opening ways to leave meaning and messages behind for your children.  Ways to guide and support them in your absence and creative ideas to supply them with your personal history and thoughts.

The format is open, fresh and non threatening.  This journey is not a solo one and the book engages others in this process as well. Not only are activities suggested but great resources from other organizations are referenced to gain further information on legal, ethical and emotional resources on end of life issues.

Lori's ideas resonate for any parent, whether terminally ill or not.  What do you wish your children knew about you?  What are your dreams for them and how does that compare with dreams for yourself at their age? What have you done with no regrets?  What have you not completed in your bucket list?

My mother, in her mid seventies, picked the book up and though not terminally ill( and with a children in their 50's) found questions she wanted to answer and share with us and her grandchildren.  Life review, your legacy, is never too late or too early to contemplate.  It can open greater avenues for discussion, communication and exchange, in times when words may carry a heaviness.

This book is an inspiring resource for counselors, parents and caretakers of children and adolescence.  You will gain insight into children and their response to coping with death and may even open your eyes to your own perceptions.    Preparing Your Children For Goodbye is available on Amazon. This book advances the ability to address your own amazing legacy and help others to the same.

http://www.amazon.com/Preparing-Your-Children-Goodbye-Guidebook/dp/1460933486?&camp=212361&linkCode=wey&tag=growthhouseinc&creative=391825a

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Room For Change: Your Footing Back Home


Like the prodigal son, grief sends us to unknown places. We may splurge on time alone or be insistent to be with others continuously.  We may splurge on items we never owned before or be insistent on keeping every item from the past.  We may splurge on thoughts of the past and be insistent on keeping things the way they were to hold onto the footing and balance we again insist , was perfect.
I am returning home.  After almost 7 years of widowhood, moving 3 times and challenging myself to meet new opportunities and others, I have moved again to Atlanta.  No, Atlanta is not a place I ever laid my head, but it is one that resonates for me at this point in time.  In this move, I am not anxious to find all the stores and facilities right away.  I am not anxious to be in traffic finding my way around the new town and fresh opportunities. 
This time, I am listening to the birds in the morning, watching the sunset at night and slipping into bed early.  I have returned “home” to a sweet rhythm and received love unconditionally again.   It is that I have accepted myself as I am: a single, maturing woman with flaws and gifts.  
Death, loss and change of environment can send us spinning. Like the child game” Pin the Tail on the Donkey”, there are guides to call us back home during grief. Though your eyes may be covered your footing back home is on the horizon. Accepting what is today can broaden your path to your “new” redesigned home with its door wide open.
Giving thanks for what was and now giving thanks for what is, is a solid footing for growth through grief. I think will sprinkle some recycled glass along my new sidewalk and light a candle for you on your journey.
Blessings.  Susan

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Room For Change:Accepting Your Loss, Accepting Your ABUNDANCE


I am coming up on the anniversary of my two daughters leaving home and onto their own careers and the death of my husband. I turned fifty that year as well.  Welcome to an upturned world.

Today, through no single act, but the compilation of encouraging moments and defeats and the victories and struggles, I felt release.   Release in that I no longer needed to carry those past roles around with me, release that I am not what I thought I was and release knowing today I am who I am today.

Accepting my loss now also means accepting my changing body and my deepening facial furrows.  I would love to say it is from all the smiling in my past loss, but mostly from frowning and resisting the place I was in, or perceived to be.

Today it hit me, as I was lingering in the shower, that accepting my abundance was the key to my accepting my perceived losses.  It really hit me.  For years I tried to give so much away because I felt unworthy of the abundance I had.  I  described myself as above average in height, intelligence and looks.  Blessed with a fantastic family and friends I hid my abundance with others.  I down played the beauty of it all.

It's like that light under the bushel.  There is release in me experiencing this feeling right now, in the present, in this instant, maybe not forever,  but in this instant.
 
I promise to get dressed before I leap outside and shout, thank you to the universe for all that you present ed to me in my changes and through grief( the terry cloth towel with the pulled threads is not abundant enough to cover my derriere as I sprint outside) but shorts might do!

Sending you abundance in thought and love in your loss.
Susan

Monday, February 7, 2011

Room For Change: BOLD. EXPERIENCE.

Having just returned from a Hay House conference at sea, called " I can do it!",  I took one of the scattered ideas afloat this past week and put it into practice today.   I simply moved.  I put my yoga pants on, with a jacket and gloves loaned by another, with colors of disharmony and took my first run-walk of this year.

Any motion is good motion and so I completed my one new practice.

 Keep Moving
Experiencing grief, whether the loss of dreams, loss of physical abilities, loss of health or loss of a relationship places creates a void , an empty space in your puzzle of life.  What now?  Where can I find that piece that will fit in exactly to make it whole again?


It is almost like the square puzzle with the numbers which you shift around , bombarding one next to another, shoving one up , another sideways, another into the corner.  With patience, order or balance is received and perceived.

Finishing my run-walk I cooled down on a side street.  There was debris from a remodeling being done in the neighborhood.  Cracked and dusty sheet rock wedged along an old toilet and sink.  On top, resting in perfect balance at the pinnacle of rubble was a bathtub box, with the words... BOLD. EXPERIENCE.


Hmmmmm.   I looked around for more clues to this morning message.  Next on the same side of the street was a red fire hydrant, followed by a reflecting stake, driveway, then mailbox, then reflecting stake.
( there is no quiz of order to follow,,, just breathe... grin)

Okay, my visual mind recouped the pattern, the journey, the order of all things even in the experience of loss.

The message received was in the rubble of experience, in the remodeling of your life, be bold, experience it all, there are others to help you put out fires and guide posts along the way reflecting the goodness and light back to you and you must simply open that box to receive.   Just like that mailbox, sometimes we have something to send out, but in loss and grief you may not be able to send very much.  Be open to receiving from others and be bold in this experience.  There are invisible guides along the way.

May your light, even if a spark, be reflected in grand ways today.  Be bold and receive.  Sending you love,

Susan

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Room For Change: PBO



I should really be PBO ing right now.   Instead I am in procrastination mode as I scour my desk for scattered "to do" lists and things to stuff in the trash.   My magazines have been sent to  recycle bin I have and I have acknowledged my plants are outside on the terrace, telling them I will find a great home for them but they cannot travel with me on my move.

PBO.....

Packed by Owner
Purged by Owner
Protected by Owner
Picked by Owner
Placed by Owner
Pondered by Owner

Well the official winner is " Packed by Owner" in the moving company world, but all the others could be merged right into the concept.   Packed by Owner means the move will be less costly.  Packed by Owner means if it's broke on the other end , you are responsible and Packed by Owner can mean hours of agonizing decisions or freeing of the mind and spirit.

I will gather my boxes and decide what to start with.  Deciding what you can do without for a while may give you an idea of what you have too much of or even what you have neglected.  It may also give you a time to reflect on the items presence in your life now compared to later.   Isn't this what I should be doing in little steps each day? How often have I really got on that ball for my abs or brought the desk lamp out to use this year.  When was the last time those speakers were used? and where did all the mix mash of wires come from?

Okay.  My first box will be books set into categories.  ( Just reads, Interior Design, Spiritual and Religious and Grief.)   Next my art supplies from the garage and closet and grouping of all non-attacked canvases in the same general area will be stacked.  Third will be my bellydancing garb that is dispersed in several areas of the house along with its accompanying music.   I can do without these items for a few weeks or months.

Photo to follow. Oh yes, forgot the cookbooks that I seldom use above and the teapot collection that usually lays adjacent in the cupboard above the refrigerator. This was purged on the last move so no agonizing decisions this time around, although I may give one of the teapots to a friend at work with some flowers in it.

Next are the vases that lay dormant in my pantry.  I packed them yesterday, then as quickly as they were packed I bought myself some fresh flowers at the grocery store to liven my dissembled living environment. Now one vase sits on my dusty round table adjacent to my small sofa which no longer has its accents pillows due to their new function as padding for the pictures taken down in haste from the walls!

Practicing what I preach is arduous, but making little sanctuaries in an unfolding home is important to me and can make the "have-to's" less burdensome.

I have also given some of my once gazed upon books to others to gaze upon and send on their merry way. I have snuck into both adjacent neighbors' yards and put lawn ornaments ( tasteful ones) for them to discover.  It is easier to pass things on with the hope that your beloved items will find a way to someone else with the same  passion you once had for them.

PBO also represents Participation by Others , in the items you enjoy.   Creating room for change is creating space in all areas of your life.  My focus this week is items, so keep that front door light on, as there are more items I need to be "PBO"ing!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Room For Change: Open Your Home, Open Your Heart

OPEN YOUR HEART
Within a few months of my husband's death I was sitting in counseling, reviewing my life, rethinking my future and rebelling in the future prospects.

My counselor suggested that my social circle would no longer be "corporate" entertaining nor logistics with teenage daughters and their networking.  What then?   She commented that my circle would be women.   I cried, I cursed, I cringed.   Hadn't the rug already been pulled out from under me and now another own shoved underneath without the welcome mat?

She was right.  I was willing to try.

A friend  of mine was turning 50 years old.  She , like myself, had friends that had never met each other.   Friends that were gardeners.  Friends that were dog people and animal recusers. Friends that shared in her jewerly making  and church friends.   

I invited them all for a "sleep over" as I lived deep in the woods at that time.   My friend, Judy, was the common bond.  We had heard about each other but seldom crossed each other paths except by Judy's stories.   We shared a meal, shared stories, shared some dancing and laughing.  We shared our lives and slept under the same roof that night.  The next morning another woman joined us for breakfast and the circle widened.

A tradition was started that evening as well.  I had a fireplace surfaced with river rocks.  I had written in chalk on the rocks, " Happy Birthday, Judy!"  Others suggested what else could be written up there and the  
tradition bloomed.   Whenever someone spent the night , they were honored with a piece of chalk to write what they wanted on the river rocks and it stayed for others to enjoy and ponder.   

The quotes spread on the wall and everyone who spent the night, left a bit of themselves behind with me.

So my counselor was right.  My social networking started with a birthday party for a good friend and ended by making more great friends.   

In loss there is always a gain.   In darkness light filters through.  In your opening your home to others your heart gets a chance to open again, even if in a small way.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you willing to open your heart and home again and again.

Blessings.  Susan


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Room For Change: Revamping Your Location In Thought

Here I go again.  I have been living in Austin for over a year with the inner thought of looking for another place after two years in Austin.  That thought spoken aloud to a friend spawned  him to mention that he might have someone interested in buying my home if it was for sale.   I was not really thinking of selling it now, but told him to let the couple take a look at it.  They loved it.  They are purchasing it.

My thought changed to reality within 3 days.  On my birthday a contract came in and now my head is swimming in change again, so soon?  The feelings of regret surfaced.  The feelings of sorrow of leaving new friends and connections surfaced.  The feelings of loss floated the surface and yet had I not initiated the tiny thought?   Here we go again but this time I will document in black and white my emotional thoughts and then look at what this change truly brings to the surface this time around for me.

If you have read my book, Room For Change: Practical Ideas for Reviving After Loss,  you may already know that I have moved at least 12 times, built about 10 homes in other phases of my life.  This phase, I guess I could call... Changing and Aging with Haste and Grace and  as I preach, there is always Room For Change.


Step One:  Panic

Step Two:  List Making ( of repairs, of sorting, or telling others of your departure and paperwork)

Step Three: Checking off the List.   ( Ahhhh! so sweet)

Step Four: Opening the Door for Opportunities on the Other Side

 If the list is tweaked a bit, isn't this what we do when we know our time is at hand? Don't we try to clear the clutter, tie the knots and look to the other side of what will be?

So over the next few weeks I will blog about my process in packing , purging and plundering this process.   It has been 6 years since my husband's death and the third time I am moving.  What I have moved from and what have I moved towards is difficult to delineate.  I do know that fewer items accompany me this time around and the yards are getting smaller and smaller.  The kitchen pantry holds fewer items but the tools and clothes seem to swell in the closets and storage.

I am working on Step Two this week and repairs have started. I am down to a  repair needed on a faulty lock of a window and then the sorting of items blog will evolve.  I don't know how I will feel this time around, but I do know that I feel so very much more than I did when my husband died.  My lows might be low but I recover sooner and my highs are definitely higher.  The most grace comes my meeting new, interesting and very different people within the last few years to add to my collection of friends.

Stay tuned for the Sorting Saga.  May your New Year be Full with Thoughts come True.  

Blessings.. Susan