Sunday, October 16, 2011

Growing and Healing Everyday

I was at a retreat this weekend with my Codependent support group.

Two good sessions Saturday morning. One on meditation. The other o
n family of origin.

I was walking at the beach Saturday afternoon, and took this picture ... I was hoping to figure out how to post a blog article on the fly, but it did not work the way I thought it would ... Good thing I was able to save it, then edit and  transfer it when I got home!  I think this method needs some further research and practice!

At the beach, and at the entire retreat, I was taking it all in. Waiting for my "Ah! Ha!" moment. Listening to the waves against the rocks, the wind, a plane overhead. Feeling the autumn sun on my skin as the breeze lifted my hair.  I did have a couple of self-revelations ... one is regarding my fierce need to be strong, and not seen as weak.  The other is in regard to looking forward in my life ... My recovery lies in my future, not in my past!

The ocean (or in this case the salt water of Puget Sound) is a hypnotic and meditative place for me.  A gull glides on the unseen current of the moving air so effortlessly. Unconstrained by any other schedule than the seasons. Unaffected by human emotions. Free from the anxieties of acceptance. Living and welcoming every moment and experience that God grants.

Saturday night, I built a fire, and we wrote on paper, things that we want and need to release from our lives.  We read them out loud,a nd crumpled them up and threw them in the fire! GONE ... Burned up ... Carried away in the smoke, to the heavens!

And this piece of metal in the picture I took at the beach... It drew me. It appeals to me. It is more than it appears ... With its batina rubbed away in some areas, there is a hint of hidden beauty ... Which in and of itself us beautiful to me, and reminds me what a subjective thing it is to ...

Live Well!

Love as always,

Share your thoughts and comments below if you please!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Down the Road a Piece

Small Steps Strung Together Make the Journey.  The journey of growing as a woman and human, is a lifetime process, it is a constant lifestyle change, it is explored and discovered one step at a time.  Some steps are small baby steps; some are stepping back; some a steady stride forward; and some are huge leaps, of faith perhaps, or epiphany.

My life time of baby steps, in regard to my health and fitness and weight issues, were dramatically propelled forward in 2005 when I made a major life decision that severely reduced the level of controllable stress in my life.  It was with that decision that I discovered how stress causes me to gain weight, no matter how well I am eating or how much I am moving!  Since that initial 30 pounds dropped off, I have never looked back, and have been on a lovely path of learning and discovering how my body responds to various situations and foods and activities. Six years later, and I can share that I have lost almost 60 pounds, and kept it off.  It has been a slow and constant process of changing my life style; so much so that I have difficulty recalling specific turning points, and specific key elements.  Because I have chosen this slow methodical lifestyle change process, I know that I will be able to keep the weight off, and will continue to improve my health, weight and fitness.

Similarly goes my process of healing heart and mind.  It seems the more I heal and grow, the more I understand about what I need to focus on to continue to heal and grow.  Much like the layers of an onion, the removal of one layer reveals the next, and often prompts the shedding of tears.  With the guidance and comfort of God above, and a support system of friends, family, counselor and support group, I move forward a little more each day.  They are there for me, but only when I pursue and enlist their connection.

I find that my logical side is much more on board with this process, and that my heart/emotional side still holds some scared and hesitant postures.  Baby steps again.  My logical side reassures that timid side of my self, that painful as it maybe, it is necessary to face some things, and that once through the pain, we will be more whole, and more actualized.  I have discovered in my self that the more uncomfortable something is to face, the more important it usually is.

Everyday I try to make choices and decisions that best help me to move forward with my life and healing.  Healing my heart.  Healing my body.  Being WHOLE and being authentic.  Some days it just happens easily and naturally, and other days it is a very methodical and conscience behavior that I have to monitor, other days it is a train wreck, to learn from.  It is a lifestyle choice to be whole, to be in tune with one self, there for it is a journey, not a destination.

It is the process itself that helps us to be whole and ...

Live Well!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Waiting for Time to Go By

I am waiting.

I am waiting for other people to do what they are supposed to do, so I can do what I want to do with the next season of my life.

I am waiting for my plans to start to fall into place.

I am waiting for time to go by.

I am not liking these feelings of having to wait at the leisure of some one who is certainly not making his own decisions future mindfully.  I do not like this feeling that my life is put on hold because of the actions (or lack of action) of another, and am finding that I am feeling trapped and that decisions about what I want to do with my life are not being respected by a certain person in my world.

That person is trying to manipulate me, and is trying to tell me that he is the one being manipulated.  I realize this is not unusual behavior for a teenage boy, but it is causing me some serious triggering!  Then I find myself feeling very tense, and either withdrawing in flight mode, or going into fight mode!  Neither are healthy options.  I find myself questioning my options and my general abilities to parent this particular human being.

I am working through the process of this season of change.  It is not happening to my liking, or in my time frame, and I am excited to get along to the next part of things for all of us!  But again in my life, someone else's poor and selfish decisions are ending up costing me.

They are costing me my time, my life energy, my emotional security, my freedom.

It is just another season in my life.  I am shifting gears, and working on using this time to work on some of my other areas of growth, like asking for help, seeking counsel from certain responsible and loving people, while trying not to feel foolish for not just knowing what I am supposed to do with this parenting situation (especially since my logical side knows that is not true!).

I am trying not to live in the feelings of abandonment that have been a part of my for so long I am not exactly sure of their origin at this time.  I am trying to not let my false feelings of anxiety and inadequacy have any foot hold, I just recognize their presence, and ask them to go sit quietly in the corner since they seem to have no intention of leaving at this time, or providing reasonable assistance.

I am trying to keep going about the business of my life.  Doing my household chores, and going to the gym, and taking photographs, and going to work, and eating healthy food, and planning my next season.  Organizing my space so it feels safe and comfortable for me.

And I wait.  I wait for options to become clear to me.  I wait for the stars to align in a syzygy.  I wait for other people to take the necessary actions ...  I know that all of this season of lesson learning, waiting and growing ... as long as I do not allow anger and bitterness and resentment to take up lodging, will all propel me forward in the next season of my life and provide additional foundations for me to deeply and openly ...

Live well!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In My Space

I made a map today. A map of my apartment, according to the most basic Feng Shui grid principals as shared in this article.

I am happy to report that without even knowing it, I feel certain energies I am already utilizing many of my spaces somewhat correctly. Please keep in mind that I previously knew nothing about what energies belong in what quadrants.  I only understood that the living space is divided into 9 equal spaces, and each one represents a different element.

First, my bedroom occupies the relationship/romance quadrant of the grid!

Second, the room I am intending to turn into a little photography studio/office is in the wealth quadrant!

Third, there is a nice area in the living room that is the knowledge quadrant. I already have a William Shakespeare print on that wall!  I have always envisioned that space as my "library", and while I have not used it that way for a couple of years, I was thinking of moving my bookshelves back over there.  Now I know for sure that I will!

Fourth: I don't use the space off my kitchen as a dining room, but I really like to be in that space!  It where I go when I am writing my blog, or working with my photos, or planning things.  As it turns out, this space (fittingly) is the helpful people/travel quadrant. No wonder I feel so comfortable there!  Travel is SUCH a desire for my life!

There are many quadrants that will really need some focus.

I think most glaringly, my career quadrant needs some major attention!! This space also happens to be where my front door is (but we never use the front door because the building lists and the door sticks and is a major pain to open) hm ... telling isn't it???  And that space is where the cat box currently is, because I don't use that entry way, so the box is out of the way, and I don't have to interact with the mess constantly.

But now I know what directions I want and need to go with those spaces and activities =)  Now I need to start rolling up my sleeves, and getting busy, and just focusing on one space at a time.

I am interested in how these changes will help to me continue to grow and ...

Live Well!!
Love as Always,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Taste of My Childhood Summers

Sunday afternoon I picked almost four cups of the huckleberries and tiny strawberries that grow wild around my better-half's home on five wooded acres. Monday I made a big bowl of oatmeal and put some of those fresh berries on it for my breakfast! The rest got nibbled away! One of my favorite tastes of summer. JQ's youngest son helps me pick the wild berries that grow everywhere, salmon berries, huckle berries, strawberries, blackberries, and pie cherries. We have a lot of fun putting together yummy things to eat. Pies, jam, on ice cream, just to eat, with cream cheese on a bagle. Life tastes good in the summer! Reminds me that I an every season ... LIVING WELL! Love, SuziQ

Saturday, July 16, 2011

It's All Value Added

Things like artistic talents can be rather "use it or loose it" in nature.

I have to share that I am recently struggling to feel good and useful and productive with my "not at my job" time.  In the work world, it is called non-value added time ... LOL

I do all kinds of busy and good things, but at the end of the day, do I REALLY feel like I have been productive in the direction of the goals that I say I have set for myself?  Lately, no.

If I am NOT taking definitive action toward the goals I have in my head, then that tells me they are not deeply seated in my heart ... So, maybe I need to explore that, and think about what the hang-up really is.  Is it a fear of success?  I know that sounds strange, but really, once you have shown the world what you are really capable of, the bar gets raised, and more is expected of you ... No ... that is not the case for me ...

For me it is fear of rejection and failure.  What if i put myself out there, and no one likes my art?  What if i invest my time and effort, and get rejected, and no one buys it?

My logic knows that is not the case!  I have sold pieces in the past!  And people often tell me how good my work is ... but yet I still struggle with this deep seated voice of tenativeity (ya, I think I'm making up words again), hesitancy, apologetic for my talents and abilities ... WHY?  Really??? What do I have to apologize for?  I have God given talents!  The only thing that I ought to apologize for is not utilizing and developing them over the course of my life!

Now, I recognize that these are temporary and resolvable feelings.  I have recognized them, and can take sensible and definitive steps to change what I am doing, and therefore, bring myself back in alignment with the feelings I desire to have.  It is within my power (and honestly, my responsibility) to control.

If you are familiar with the biblical Parable of the Talents (which, ironically for our time, was a denomination of currency at the time of the story), you will recall that 3 people were given responsibility over some coins by their master in his absence. It is a simple story. A man who is preparing to leave on a journey entrusts his possessions to his servants. He distributes his wealth among three servants, according to their abilities. To the first he entrusted five talents, to the second two talents, and to the third one talent. The first two servants put their master's money to work. The third servant did not invest his master’s money at all; he dug a hole in the ground and buried it. When the master returned, the first two eagerly met their master, apparently delighted in the opportunity to multiply their master’s money. Both were commended as “good and faithful servants”; both were rewarded with increased responsibilities in their master’s service; both were invited to share in their master’s joy.
The master’s dealings with the third servant is a very different matter. This servant came to his master with only the talent his master had originally entrusted to him. He did not increase his master’s money at all. In fact, if this were to take place today, that money would likely be worth less, due to inflation. This servant offered a feeble excuse for his conduct. He told his master that he was a harsh and cruel man, a man who was demanding, and who expected gain where he had not labored. He contended that this is why he was afraid to take a risk with any kind of investment. And so he simply hid the money, and now he returned it, without any gain. The master rebuked this slave for being evil and lazy. He took his talent from him, gave it to the one who earned ten, and cast this fellow out.

So ... What is my story ...?  I was once the third servant, then discovered the error I was making, and became the second ... My current desire is to be more like the first servant ... 

Really, it's not that I am actually wasting time, it's just that I could be more focused at using my time and efforts toward the accomplishment of my goals.  Now I feel (again) like I can (and ought to) make a schedule to help me to get focused, and use my time wisely and productively so that my talents are utilized wisely and productively toward advancing my goals.  I can schedule my entire day ... from the moment that I wake till bedtime.  I think that it is important to make sure that I include scheduling my quiet time as well, otherwise I will take quiet time for me, and it will again, throw off the necessary responsibilities.  My schedule out to include, but not be limited to: time for going to the gym, and my paying job, and housework, and errands, and JQ time, and personal care time (gotta keep the gray covered, right girls!??), reading, crochet, my photography.  As I begin to regain control of the time that has been given to me, I may have to kind of micro manage my time until I get a balance that feels right and natural.  I have had to do a similar program with my budget, as discussed in a previous post!

I have talked about this with you before, that I am a list maker.  Sometimes I get away from it a little bit, not never altogether.  Recently my list making has just not been guiding my routine, which is ok

Using my time and my talents productively help me to really feel and see that I am ... Living Well!

Please share your comments below!  I love hearing from you!  It encourages me to keep sharing, and encourages me to dig a little deeper which helps me everyday to ...

Live Well!
Love to you all!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Two Coins in the Fountain

Just a little update on my financial planning...

I have made some adjustments to my budget again, as I do every 3-4 months.  I am going to try something that I have not done in a long time ... I am giving myself a cash allowance each pay day, to cover my gas and groceries, and anything that is not a bill.  No more shopping with the debit card ... cash only, and when it's gone, it's gone.  Right now, that is a very limited amount ... $50 a week.  This is going to challenge my creative side as far as cooking goes ... out comes the crock pot again.  Good thing I'm a coupon and sale shopper, and eat pretty light for the most part.  This might even encourage me to walk to work at least one day a week, or not come home for lunches (since it is only one mile, I usually don't feel guilty about that!!)

Years ago, I created a wonderful spreadsheet, with great formulas!  I enter my hourly wage, hours worked each pay period, and it calculates my approximate pay check!  Then I have a list of each of my bills, and the amount due each month, which then pops a total into the formula with the pay check info, and tells me how much allowance I get to have =)  I am hoping that I will be able to make better headway with my debt reduction in this manner!  We shall see how it goes!

I also want to explore some passive income opportunities, preferably something that includes my photography art!  I have heard of a couple of web sites where one can have photos made into calendars and such ... Yet again, another potential opportunity to explore as I work on financially ...

Living Well!
Love you as ever

Monday, July 4, 2011

Two Tickets to Paradise

I have had several opportunities to travel recently, and I have discovered, again, that it is something that I really enjoy!
I love the airport!
I love flying.
I love the view above the clouds!
I wish I could figure out a way to make traveling a regular part of my life … for business, for pleasure, for exploring, for development! 
I have a friend that travels all over the world doing work with humanitarian organizations, and his stories of meeting the local people and helping communities, and helping local agencies bring services to underserved areas is so inspiring to me!  I can feel in my heart a sort of calling … though I know not what that will look like at this time.
I have also discovered that I have plenty of room to improve as a good traveler!  I am hoping that the next few years bring me many opportunities to improve my packing and planning skills!  And to further research new techniques!
I recently went on vacation to Hawaii with JQ and his brother and sister-in-law.  While there are many other destinations that require longer travels, 6 hours is a long time to sit unable to move around much. 
Things I learned and decided about this flight:
1.      Check to see if the airline provides and food, without charge (usually not)!  Pack a little lunch if necessary!  OK … you can’t take just anything past security these days that is for sure, but you can bring non liquid snacks from home, and even buy things at the shops while you wait for your flight!  That is a long flight with only a 60 calorie snack pack of crackers and a soda! LOL

2.      Bring something to do on the plane! Read a book, or journal, or games to play with my sweetie!  We did buy magazines at one of the shops, and I had my laptop, so I was able to open it and work on some writing projects.  This was good!  Keeping those items accessible under the seat in front of me is very helpful.
3.      Bring a neck pillow, or in my case, I have a ROHO cushion that sure would have been good for me to be able to sit on!  Sitting that long, and unable to do much repositioning, sure was hard on my bad hip!
4.      Pack light, and save room for the souvenirs!
a.       When traveling to the Hawaiian Islands, I mostly wear my swim suits and sarongs with flip-flops, for beach and casual wear.  Shorts or capris w/ light weight cute tops, and sandals or flip-flops for exploring.  One nice outfit for that last night dinner at Duke’s!  Keep it simple and easily mix and match.  I did utilize my yoga pants and top every morning for yoga on the beach! Ahhhh … That was so grounding.
b.      The humidity is brutal on my hair, so I don’t leave it down much, so is my curling iron and hair dryer really necessary?  I think not!  A couple of cute hair clips … Those banana ponytail holders are great!  A solid snood with a pick to secure it in place.

I had to make my first trip to Montana as an emergency when my daughter went into pre-term labor.  I did not pack as well as I would have liked!  The most important thing that I discovered is that I forgot my camera!  Me.  The family photographer, that goes nowhere without my camera!  And I did not show up at one of the most important moments in my daughter’s life with my camera!  I will not beat myself up over this, but I will comment on it a few times so that I retain the huge lesson learned!  I also learned a lot about fling on small planes!
1.      My rolling carry-on is the perfect size for packing light and my laptop and camera fit in it!  It, however, does not fit in the overhead bins.  But, with a little wriggling it does slide nicely under the seat ahead of me, which is fine as long as I am only packing for a short trip, such as the last two.  I have decided that going forward, I will just put my suitcase in the “ala-cart”, and carry-on my laptop and camera in my brief case.

The next trip to Montana was planned for my daughter’s birthday, so it went so much better!
1.     I was able to read, and take pictures out the window, and journal.  I brought a movie to watch, but forgot my head phones since I did not bring my brief case, and was not up for spending the airport shop prices, so that stayed in the bag.  I bought some headphones at Wal-Mart before my return, but my seat mate had me a little crowded, and I did not feel comfortable wriggling the laptop out.  Again, I think that if I had utilized my brief case, it would have been easier to access.
2.       Is it bad to talk to people on the plane?  Funny story about the trip from Seattle … my seatmate got in trouble from his woman for chatting with me!  We were chatting and laughing about the noises small planes make, and wondering if there were a couple of chainsaw motors strapped to the top of the plane!  Or if someone had would the rubber band too tight … Ugly sideways stares were shooting across the isle!  If it weren’t for the fact that she was sitting with her 8 year old daughter, I would have changed seats with her, so she was sitting with him.  As it was, I told him I did not want him to get in any more trouble for having fun, so we did not talk much after that!  But did share a parting smile upon disembarking.  My return trip seat mate had a “do not disturb” vibe emanating loudly from her, so I tried as best as I could to not disrupt that.

3.       I got a huge abscess in my armpit and had to go to the doctor while there … they wanted to  do an incision and drainage, but I work in a wound care center, and I have no interest in having an open wound made in my armpit … while on a trip 900 some odd miles from home.  They put me on antibiotics, and said they would send chart notes to my primary doc back home, and I promised that if it was not clearing up that I would follow up with my PCP when I got home.  I wont go into details, but it did drain on it’s own, and I took all of my antibiotics, and kept a clean dressing on the abscess until it was no longer draining or showing any signs of an opening.  What did I learn from this??  It is very important to have a list of any medications or vitamin supplements you take in your wallet with your health insurance information!  I only have one Rx, so it’s not so bad, but I also take quite a few vitamin supplements, and an out of town doc or pharmacist would not have access to that information … incase of negative interactions.
So much more to learn!  Sure do hope that I have many many more opportunities to work on this!  I think traveling helps me to …

Live Well!
Love Suzi~Q

Saturday, June 4, 2011

STOP and Smell the Roses (or the rhododendrons)

Challenge for the day ... To seek out a bug and watch it do it's job for a while.

This is not a new thing for me to do ... I love bugs, and I remember many hours when my kids were small, studying bugs!  I though one of the boys was going to be an entomologist!  We had many one gallon terrariums with all kids of little critters habitating in them.

It has been a gloriously beautiful spring day in the Pacific Northwest!  A welcome treat after the coldest April on record, and I believe the wettest May!

The plus side to the drizzly weather that we have had is that our native plant life is really LOVING it ... especially when followed with a couple days of sun as a treat!  The rhododendrons and azaleas are blooming like I have not seen them in many many years!  They are just so beautiful!  So I decided to take a walk down the street to a little park.  The hill across from my home is quite steep, and there is a lovely patch of happy butter cups swaying in the breeze.

 Laying in the grass, and photographing up the hill gives a fun texture and perspective.

The air is fresh, and the drone of lawn mowers buzzing in the back ground is quite hypnotic.  I could lay in the grass and nap ... I can't even watch the clouds go by, as there isn't one to be seen for miles!

The sun shines clement on my shin, and I welcome it's penetrating warmth.  May as well revel in it as we may only have it a few days before it leaves us with a parting kiss of rain, again.

I staked my spot near a bright pink rhododendron in the sun, and right away saw and heard the humming of the busy little bees.

The fat and fluffy little bundles collecting pollen, flit in and out of each bright and welcoming challis of the tidy bouquets God has arranged via this genius plant!  It is amazing to me that each blossom is uniform, but just as unique as each human ever created, or each snowflake!  How can someone simply walk past such beauty, without ever stopping to ponder the perfect design?

 I have no idea the name of this beauty of a blossom, and while there were no bees gracing her delicious colors, my camera begged to capture her forever.

Up close with plant life, and getting different perspectives on things is my interest when behind the camera.  While I do like to photograph people, I do struggle with taking up a lot of their time posing and trying different things until I get the shot I like.  I have been the one in front of the camera ... It can be a very tiresome role (though I do have fun with it when I get the chance!).

 It was pretty shaded ... but I did happen to spot this little ant wandering around taking care of his chores!

Love the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper ... One of my favorites!

Photographing the bees is fun, but very challenging, as they do not stay still for long.  Just about the time my camera gets a good focus, they are off to the next sip of nectar!  I guess that is where that saying "busy as a bee" comes from!  So true, so true!!

On my way back home, I happen to spot this tiny little any wandering down the street ... If you can see it in this picture, then I give you kudos!  I am blessed and amazed that my vision is as good as it is at 43 that I can spot an ant on the road out of the corner of my eye while walking!!  Both of my parents, and my brother, all have had heavy optical prescriptions as long as I can remember.

Home again, I breathe deep of the clean country air that I live so near to.  I like my little town.  It feels safe here.  The business community working together with the city and the citizens to build a growing and lasting community.

I ponder back on the events of my day, and the past week.  I feel enriched through the challenges that I have faced.  I feel empowered by that!  I am more at ease.  I am more focused.  I am more resolved.  I am more alive!

Leaning back in the nest of buttercups, I ponder what is next.  There are welcome changes on my horizon.  I am ready.  I am eager.  I am ...

Living Well!

Love as ever,

When Life Gives You Lemons ....

Not Lemons, but the colors work for me!
To every thing, there is season.

Seasons come.  Seasons go.

And as human beings, we are forever in a fluid state of change.  Our very makeup does not allow us to be stagnant. Even those that say they are the way they are and will never change, actually do change.

Change is not always for our betterment, however.  People change by getting more angry with the world, blaming the people in their lives, more cynical, more withdrawn.  Some choose that path rather deliberately.  Others just find that they have slipped into that place without realizing it ... But they in fact do choose it, simply by NOT choosing another, more positive life path.

I made a choice many years ago.  I refused to let the circumstances others inflicted into my life negatively determine WHO I would be.  I said to myself, "I will be a better person BECAUSE of the things that have happened to me".

This has been a difficult choice to enact in my life, make no mistake.  I am by no means saying that I have not been injured, or scarred by painful events in my life.  I am not saying that anything has been like water off a ducks back.  I am saying that I have chosen, when difficult things have come into my days to make positive use of the experience.

Even that is not easily happened!  My initial reaction is often "un-lovely", and not as I would prefer.  Often, I must take a few steps back, take some time, assess the perceived damage, decide what to do with this new opportunity in my life, and then decide how to use it productively in my life.  For the betterment of myself, and hopefully others.

Sometimes this takes me longer than it ought to.  Longer than I would like it to.  Sometimes it is almost instantaneous, sometimes I can wrestle things into place with in an hour or so.  The more years I do this, the more profoundly things feel for me.  The more I recognize the threads that are woven to make me who I am!  The more I discover who I am, the more I like who I am.

So!  When life gives you lemons ... Make Lemonade!!

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
grated peel of one lemon
1 1/2 cups lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best, but the real stuff out of a bottle works too ... squeeze the lemon you grated ... might as well make use of it!)

Boil the sugar, water and lemon zest for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the lemon juice, and let cool.
Store in a jar in the refrigerator.
To serve, mix 1 part lemonade syrup with 3 parts of something else ... Iced Water, Sparkling Water, Club Soda (be creative, and share what you have tried!). Garnish the edge of the glass with sugar, mint sprigs, and or lemon slices!  So pretty, and so yummy!

Kinda like life ... when it is purposefully ...

Lived Well!!

Love to you all!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Under My Skin - Addressing Hurt Feelings

I got my feelings hurt this morning.

I feel misunderstood, and judged.

I was offended.

I reacted.  Not responded.

Via text message, a friend of mine informed me that a mutual acquaintance thought my profile picture As seen here) was desperate and inappropriate.  I thought it was fun, playful, beautiful, and sexy. Perhaps I am showing too much leg for that person's taste?  Perhaps its the way I am leaning forward with my arm back?

I went through this 2 years ago when I posted pictures from my first trip to Hawaii ... "some people" were all a flutter because I shared pictures of me in a bikini!  For crying out loud people!  I was once a fat and frumpy person.  I am not now!  I am now feeling beautiful and sexy and happy.  I am not chasing any one's man.  I have one of my own that I am quite content with, thank you very much.

Are other women so insecure with them selves that I have to curb my own self image?  One that I have battled with for most of my 43 years!  What would my mystery critic have done, if I had entered the Pin-Up-Girl contest at the local spring car show?

My first instinct was to crawl into a hole, and stop sharing who I am.  To stop sharing my journey if it is going to be offensive to "some one".  BUT!!  I am not going to do that.  I am proud of who I am now.  I am proud of my body and how I look.  While I still have much more to continue, I am currently very pleased with the lifestyle changes that I have made in order to be a healthier more fit me.  I was fat and frumpy for so so so many years of my adult life, and to now be happy with the way I look is totally new for me.  THIS experience is part of my journey of healing!  It is just a fact of life that when we put ourselves out there, we are at times going to be shot at like ducks in the arcade shooting gallery.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's the Small Things That Count Sometimes

As you know, I have been doing the daily challenges emailed to me from

Today's challenge was to list 3 things from childhood or teen years that made me happy.  The web site's rational is "Being an adult has its fun moments, but it can be full of responsibility and stress, too. By reliving the small events that made you truly happy, it can help you remember and appreciate the simple joys that life can offer. From here, you can keep an eye out for other small things or plan activities that can bring fun and cheer to your days."  Which I agree with, and encourage you to also take a look at your youth through your new grown up eyes.

That seemed like a perfect opportunity to do a little writing this morning!!

Not all of us had totally blissful childhoods.  Some of us may have to think long and hard, and search our memories for the small  pieces of happiness that we have experienced.  I believe that looking for those nuggets from our pasts can help us in our life long healing process, much the way a prospector pans the river for that one gold nugget that will bring him his riches.

My childhood was decent.  No major calamities.  No major victories. Even keel pleasant. Solid.

I was a happy baby, and had lots of family around as a little one.  Some of my most fond memories are centered around various family activities; camping, BBQs, visiting out of state.

I have many happy memories of outdoor activities.  Camping, hiking, fishing, river rafting, chopping fire wood, working, some with friends, some with family.

I got to play a role in our elementary school Cinderella play in the 6th grade.

I learned so much about business and money with my dad.

I learned to love literature and books.

What pleasant things are in your memories past?  Don't discount them, no matter how small they are, they help you

Live Well!

Friday, May 20, 2011

What's in Your Attitude?

We have all heard these statements before:

Attitude is everything.
Attitude makes all the difference.
It’s not the situation, it’s how you react to it.

There are many, many, different ways of saying it, but it all boils down to the same principal, again, and again … Attitude is everything!  We attract from the people in our lives, from the people we come in contact with, from God, and from the Universe, the same energy that we store in our bodies.  having a positive attitude, and positive energy, even in the face of less than happy experiences helps to attract to us the support that we need to move our lives forward, and grow, and mature!

We have all met someone that was doing a job that by all common understanding, was an unpleasant job, but the person doing it had a smile on their face, and made the task go quickly.  I met such a person the summer of 2010.  His name is Chris.  He is the deck hand on a fishing charter off the south west coast of Washington.  He has been doing this job seven days a week May through September for 13 years.  He loves his job, and that is evident!  Because of his attitude, my first-ever-2-day ocean fishing trip was EXCELLENT!  Even though I was sea sick all the first day! Having my own positive attitude was also of great benefit to the excursion.  Green around the gills, and “throwing chum” over the side of the boat all that first day on the water was not a lot of fun for me, or my family! But, I just laughed, and said I was helping out the fish catching on my side of the boat by chumming the water! I kept a smile on my face, and made it through the day, and even made some people smile by cracking jokes about my own condition!  And at the end of the trip, even the captain of the boat was patting me on the back for being such a good sport, and one of the best "sea-sick" passengers he's ever carried!

Even when I was almost in panic mode as I was trying desperately to get from my home town 65 miles north of the airport, to my daughter's new home town 835 miles away ... I was distraught, I was crying, I was distracted, but I still carried the Comforting Spirit of God with me.  I knew in my deep grief, that in the end, all would be well.  This really played out nicely for me.  It helped me to dig deeper into my core, and I was able to write from my heart, in my journal as well as here.  It even brought human connection into my day!  The woman sitting next to me waiting for my out bound flight reached out to me, and held me in my grief, and cried with me, and prayed with me.  The staff at the hospital were so genuine and open and caring.  On my way home, the flight attendant reached out to me, and I was able to share with her, and even pointed her to this blog (which I hope she really did come and read!).

Some people just seem to be set on being discontent.  Some people just seem to feel the need to fight for everything.  Perhaps it is because they have had to fight for everything, and they don't realize they don't really need to fight any more.  Perhaps they are so used to getting their way, that they have a difficult time "rolling" with whatever it is that God and the Universe bring to their day.

I have been that person at different points in my life, and can attest to having most of those attitudes mentioned above at different points and to differing degrees.

Within the last half a dozen years, I have been slowly learning to stop trying to impress my intentions, my preferences, my ideas, my values, on to the world around me.  This topic can be huge for me, and these are just my thoughts on it this morning.  There is much more in my heart on this subject.

For today ... 

I want to encourage you today, to challenge you ... 


just for this morning, or this afternoon ... the next 4-6 hour block of time that you are entering ... Focus your mind and energy on what is positive and good in your life.  Focus your thoughts and energy on what you would like to create and have in your life.

Push out thoughts of what is not as you would desire.
Push out thoughts of what you do not have.

Just take it in; see what God and the Universe has for you today.
Say yes to it, especially if it is outside of your normal comfort zone.  See what happens.  Be open to the energy that is sent to you!  Receive it!  Embrace it!  Practice synergy with it!

Then get out there in your world and 

Live Well!!
Love Suzi~Q

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Serenity & Solitude

Bright and early this morning, JQ picked me up.  Off to Lake Armstrong for opening day of trout fishing.  His daughter and youngest son joined us.  It was over cast, and a bit chilly, but a really pleasant and serene morning out on the lake.

Two hours of quietly gliding around the little lake; saying nothing; listening to the sound of the breeze in the trees and the very few birds chirping away.  We saw only one eagle gliding over to land in one of the trees along the east shore.  I was listening to the thoughts in my head.  Trying to listen to the feelings in my heart.

God:  Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things that I can; and the wisdom to know the difference!

What is this sadness that seems to be filling me these recent days?  What is this veil that separates my heart and mind from each other?  It has always been there really.  Many many times I have made the comment that my heart and mind were arguing with each other.  The two rarely seem to be on the same page for most of the last fifteen years or so.  Do I need more quiet alone time to discover my true authentic self?  Or less?  Would I know my true authentic self if I met her?  Perhaps she will introduce herself?  Is she more of the quiet side of me?  Or the loud busy side of me?  Is she both?  Is that possible?  Perhaps this is a part of the process as the veil thins, and my heart and mind become reacquainted with each other.

There came a point when it was far less painful to blossom than to stay tight in the bud.  Perhaps patience with who I am right now is more important to letting my true authentic self emerge, much like the slow opening of a blossom ... it cannot be rushed!  The flower's true beauty will be revealed at it's own pace, and at each stage of progression, not just at full bloom.  Enjoying each unfolding of the petals.

We don't have to go through things alone.  Like the man in the boat across from us fishing with his dog.  really, what use is the dog here?  He cannot handle the net to scoop up the fish at the end of his master's line.  he cannot row the boat, or direct and steer the boat with the motor.  He cannot refill his owner's coffee cup, or pass him a sandwich.  They will not engage in bantering conversation, or even decide who is driving home.  The dog is simply a companion.  They communicate; they understand each other; they love each other unconditionally.

I have begun anew this week, with a counselor that I have seen before.  There is much room to grow; much room to blossom; much to mend; much to discover; much to heal.  I hope that this time, I have the resources to continue with her care and guidance for an extended period of time, so that the blossom can turn to sweet juicy fruit!

Wishing you Peace and Serenity today, as you blossom into Living Well!

Friday, April 29, 2011

I might as well LAUGH!!

How can something so cute, be such a mischievously destructive pain in the butt??  These are my son's cats, Oly and Skittles.  I am taking care of them while he is away at school.  They bring me so much extra work, they shed huge piles of fluffy white fur on my navy blue carpet .... BTW ... who in their right mind puts navy blue carpet in an apartment???  But really, I do love that I can do this for my son, so he can get a good education so he can do what he needs to do to support his future!

So the challenge I was given for today was to laugh.  Which I need to do.  April 2011 has been very challenging for me in so many ways.  It  has been the month for heart challenging relationship issues, both good and not so good, with family, and friends, and even co-workers.  Things have been breaking and in need of repair, and I have even had some health issues that have required antibiotics!  Crazy, emotionally taxing, financially draining, relationship straining month!  Glad tomorrow is the last day ... I have very high hopes for MAY 2011!!

This is Oly (the Himalayan looking one) and Skittles, the orange one, we are trying to watch a movie ... can you tell??

One day I tossed their toys in the bathtub while I was vacuuming, and they sure thought that was a fun game!  They could bat those little jingle balls around, and they came right back!

Oly gets right comfy on the back of the couch in the sunshine!

They have figured out how to open kitchen cupboards, and have spread noodles all over the place ... as well as a bag of dried navy beans one day!

They have figured out how to open the pantry cupboard and several times now they have spread all of the plastic bags all over the kitchen ... this time they knocked the doors off the tracks.
Just this week they have knocked over and broke my antique floor lamp and cleared off a window sill, breaking some little glass objects that were a gift from my aunt.

What else am I going to do, but laugh??  They have at times been locked in the bathroom for "kitty time out", but it rarely has the learning impact on them that I have intended.

So I laugh ... well, today I laugh .... Other days I cry.. Still other days I sigh .... 
But always i am thankful that I can help my son, and support him in what he needs to do ... which would be finish school and take his cat's home to his house =) (laughing out loud!!!)

Love you all to pieces!