When I ask questions like I do every morning, “What can I contribute to today…to the Earth…to the universe…to everyone around me…to everyone I come in contact with? Where will my being take me today? What will show up in my life?”…repeatedly…I have been led to expand how I played with animal fiber…then creating images with it…then showing occasional pieces in galleries around where I live…then being asked to do a solo show. And that, for me, was amazing. It (quite literally) brought all that I had ever done before now, up close and personal at the opening of the show.
What a gift to be able to see and be with all who had encouraged me over the course of my life. Who would have thought that fiber, the threads from animals, would bring me full circle. Truly, for me, the fibers of animals are a gift…a true “coming together” of all the parts of myself! And to see all parts of my life together in one room was amazing!
So to all of you who came, whether on that day or another (the show remains up until July 3), and to all who weren’t able to come yet have supported me over the years, Thank YOU, each and every one of you, from the entirety of my being.
Do I listen…to myself?
Marrying him is not a good idea. Did…and I have 2 wonderful children because I made that choice.
Don’t eat that (2nd…3rd…) piece of cake…that would be last weekend…but what the heck…it was my birthday after all. Did…took a few days for my digestion to catch up.
Learn how to make paper! Did…time will tell but I’m thinking it was a very good thing.
Slow down! Stop pressing! Oh yes…and then there was that speeding ticket.
Take the path (not an easy one from the looks of it). Or be VERY careful climbing the boulders.
That was this morning…at the beach. OK…so I went over the boulders…and, clearly, not carefully enough! Result? Face plant into a rock…a very hard rock.
Well, ok. I see. There are lessons to be learned (experiences to be had) here…even at my age. And the most important (how many reminders have I had) is to LISTEN to MYSELF! Listen to my body. Listen to my being.
Truth is…I even asked: “Hmmm, which way?”
It’s just that I forgot to listen fully…you know…the CAREFULLY part!
That being said, I DO have to say…that applying Access body processes that I’ve learned resulted in a miracle. There has been little if any swelling, and I’m well on the mend. I did receive a little help along the way. The miracles of modern medicine have their contribution too. Glue! That’s right…a doctor actually GLUED my skin in place so there won’t be scars from stitches (check with me in 10 days)!
I’m so grateful for all of it…all the experiences, all the reminders, and all the miracles. And I choose more…more of life…more experiences…and best of all…more awareness.
How about you?
When we are born we are free…joyous in spirit…filled with wonder and eagerness. With no preconceived notions of thoughts about how we should be or what we should or should not do, we explore everything around us, seeing, looking, watching, tasting, smelling. Then something happens. In one way or another we are told “No.” We are told, “Don’t do that. Stop that. That’s not a good idea….” And we pull back. We become more reserved. We are taught to “think” before we step out. We take less risks. We explore less. We get comfortable in our daily routines.
What if it could be different? What would it take? How would it be if we just said “Yes,” for 10 seconds, and then ten seconds later chose again…the same or something different?
For many years I worked tirelessly to “change the world” or “make the world a better place.” You know…helping people get along with themselves and each other in families or at work.
Today I find I am ”.coming home”…to myself…here…now…as I was as a child. I’ve given myself permission not to “fix” me or others. In choosing to live “ten seconds at a time,” I find myself more curious about everything around me. I am fascinated by the animals inhabiting this Earth, including people and all their creative capacities, I relish the exploration of what animals and the rest of the natural environment (the trees, flowers, birds and bees…) contribute to us. and how our physical surroundings, including the spaces we live in, nurture our lives, imagination, growth, and expression.
My "home" is the Earth. It is the essence of what is creative in life. In my fiber work I go to the source of how the Earth continuously fills me with wonder, joy, and possibility…especially the animals and the fiber they provide. The actual process of working with fiber is my way of going home and embracing my journey from beginning to end.
For as long as I can remember I’ve watched other people live their lives in what seemed to me to be a logical sequence…you know…growing up…doing what’s expected and “next”…going to college…maybe graduate school…getting married…having a family…working or not working…maybe having several jobs…always that observation of what I decided was growing and progressing…ah yes…progressing.
Today I get the giggles about what “progress” is.
That being said, I assure you I DO get a sense of accomplishment when I complete something…could be serving a meal I’ve made…teaching a class…completing a package of sessions with a client,…reading a book…completing a fiber painting….writing a proposal…putting together a plan and then accomplishing it…. In the past, upon completion, I would’ve thought, “Ok, what’s next?” And sometimes…even before completion…I would’ve said, “OK, this isn’t working,” or “I’ve had ENOUGH of this!”
Today I seem to have less and less a sense of finishing anything. And I have less and less judgment about changing my mind about doing something.even if I made a commitment to do it…for business or pleasure. For me, I see what I call the “feeder thread” as it moves beyond the previous choice I made into the next whatever…seamlessly. It’s not like I know what’s next is next. And it’s not like only one thing is next! Life just is…that thread or energy that seeks and expands my horizons…like a worm moving along…wherever it goes…always reaching and choosing and reaching for something else…taking me in whatever direction I choose for today. It’s become less about “do…do…do” and more about being…being me… in wherever and what ever’s happening…more easily.
That’s not to say I don’t have ideas of things I would like to do…would like to experience…accomplish. I’ve always been a dreamer. It’s just that being IN whatever I choose…moment by moment…deep in the chaos…with the capacity to shift, change, and do different…has brought me to a more conscious and aware life and, for me, it’s ever more delicious.
Bottom line? I’ve never been one to move along the straight and narrow. Whimsy and curiosity have been far more interesting. Even in my darkest moments where there were no financial supports and society’s judgments flew in my face to the contrary of what I was choosing, they’ve lead me to choose, and in ways I never would’ve imagined would bring me to where I am today.
Such is progress!
It’s been going on for days…missing appointments because I logged them in on my calendar for a date a month ago (no problem…my colleague thought it was funny and “happens to everyone”)…misplacing my tax preparation documents (and then remembering the file I gave to the new President who took over my responsibilities)…aha!…that’s indeed where they were;… And now…I’m wondering where my credit card is…(I’m not irresponsible…I DID check online to at least see that no one else is using my card.)…I used it Tuesday night to pay for dinner with a friend (I know that because I have the receipt)…and the next morning when I went to pay for something installed at my home, the card wasn’t in my wallet!
I called the restaurant and asked if they had it. No…was the response. The only card in the drawer where they keep forgotten credit cards didn’t have my name on it.
“What is this?” I ask.
What I get is that the universe is embracing me in chaos…showing me it’s not bad… as we all have been brainwashed to think it is…and…maybe it’s a good thing…in many ways. Ahhh…agility!
Ok…so I wrote those words in the afternoon.
And then I said to the universe: “OK…I’ve had enough! This credit card thing is over the top. “How can I move beyond this…NOW!,” I wondered.
Then about 5 PM I headed out because I thought an art exhibit was opening last night…duh…no…that would be next week (at least I assume so because NO ONE was there!) Just one last little tweak on the chaos spree.
And on my way home I was driving past the restaurant where I had dinner on Tuesday. “I’ll just stop in and check in with my friend Hugh,” I thought as I turned my care into the parking lot. “He’ll help me see if it really isn’t at the restaurant as I have been told.”
And…of course you guessed what happened…didn’t you? Hugh came rushing out when he heard I was there saying, “Oh my goodness, Suzy, you left your credit card here. Let me get your server for you.” Turns out the server put it carefully in an envelope and had been saving it for me. And so it goes…my life.
The best part is I DID check in to my knowing…and I DID listen…there was no urgency…nothing was telling me to report my card missing and go through all that! Checking in is good…and particularly important given the Carnival we live in!
What do I get out of Wednesday nights?
Every week is so very different and so full of contribution…to me and everyone else. it’s really difficult to use words to match the gratitude I have for our “Gifting and Receiving” nights together.
When things are not working or seem stuck in my life…I get to get rid of whatever is holding me back! It just disappears…like wiping the slate clean.
When things are amazing in my life…I get to ask for more of it! And it comes!
I’m surrounded by unique beautiful people every week with whom I can totally be myself…laugh…cry…share ideas…and nurture myself and others in so many ways!
So when people ask me if I'm available on Wednesday night to do something else…there’s NO hesitation. I always say No - That’s my time..my time to Nourish my Body, my Being, and who ever else shows up!
In this class there wasn’t any “Oh let’s not talk about that,” or “I’m uncomfortable talking about that,” or “I’m too ashamed to talk about that,” or “That’s private. Good girls don’t talk about that.” This class for me was an invitation…to appreciate and honor a different part of me.
For a while now I have beenso grateful for my body…how after so many years on the planet, it seems to function better than ever. And I do tell it so. I thank my feet and legs for having carried me so far on my journey. I thank my arms and my hands for all the things they do for me, not the least of which are the touches and hugs I give and receive. I thank my heart for beating and pulsing blood throughout my body…m lungs for breathing, my eyes for seeing, my ears for hearing…I could go on and on.
But did I ever thank my Vagina?
“Well why not?”! I wondered.. Just looking back on all the pleasures…yes making love…and yes birthing 2 of my favorite people. “Now THAT is a portal worth honoring,” I thought.
And so it is. Come see my “Planet Portal” at the Southern Shore Art Association show “Through the Gate” that opens Friday February 3 from 5 - 8 in at 724 North Franklin in Michigan City, Indiana.
Hope to see you there!
Have you ever found something you like to do…for all kinds of reasons? Spinning hooked me like that!
As a kid, I loved to “spin” or twirl fast in a circle like a whirling dervish. I’d spin and spin and spin… until I fell down in the grass.
As a fiber fanatic, I learned and love to spin fibers and make yarn for my projects. While my husband watches football games, I spin and spin and spin…often nodding off almost asleep…like a deep meditation.
Now I was learning yet another way to spin…on a Spin Bike. It mesmerized me in its own way. I could work through problems or concerns that were personal…or how to strategize an approach for a problem facing one of my a clients. And the side benefits were amazing. I returned to the weight of my 30s…AND…I was energized! What would it take for YOU to be Younger in 2017?
And so my routine blossomed…until the day they cut out our Tuesday Spin Class. “What?! How can this be?” I thought. And so I asked…and was told, “We don’t have enough Spin Instructors.”
“Well what does it take to be a Spin Instructor?” I asked…and learned it only took a day to go to an instructors’ class in either Chicago or Kalamazoo. Off I went…and the rest is herstory, so to speak.
I was getting better in all kinds of ways…
- Physically I had more energy, was less tired. The shingles I had grown used to erupted less often and less dramatically. I didn’t get as sick as often (flu, colds, pleurisy…that I had experienced first in my 30s faded)
- Mentally I was sharper…more aware and observant…could think faster
- Emotionally I was more at ease with myself…worrying about stuff became less of a habit
“How could it get any better than that?!” a I wondered. I’m always curious about new things…and it gets even better!
How many people do you know who you would say are “younger than their age”? Would you like to be one of them? I say take this permission slip and run with it!
What if you had the capacity to make it happen…just by choosing?
It wasn’t the only time I decided to take care of me and my body. It was just that a friend gave me the book Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge for my (I’m not tellin’…at least not right now) birthday. I was sitting with my husband and another couple for dinner in a restaurant in Chicago when I unwrapped my present. “Hmmmm,” I thought. “I wonder what this is?” It was as if my body was reaching/yearning to absorb what was in the book.
I took it home and began to read. The sense of humor, the facts presented so simply, and the stories and perspective of the “patient” (one of the authors) who was 70 years old and barely able to walk on the beach when he decided to be younger next year, drew me in. Now mind you, I could walk on the beach. In my 30s, to humor my husband, I had been something of a runner…although never as dedicated and driven as he was with his 12 marathons (me? not one! 5ks were my max.).
After beginning the book, we committed to joining a gym. Never had I ever considered paying anyone so I could exercise!
Then…what to do at the gym.
The equipment intimidated me…and remember…I was not about to get stuck having to pay for my exercise if I changed my mind. So…”How about riding a bike in a Spin Class?” I thought. That was 10 years ago. And all I had been doing since I had been hit by a car while running in Chicago on Lakeshore Drive 20 years before that, was walking my dog who by now had become much slower in her pace.
I survived the first Spin class. My goal had been to stay on the bike for 45 minutes doing what I was willing to do…not necessarily what everyone else did (it looked so intimidating). After the second day I was sore, but I kept it up. By the end of the second week, I was hooked. Mostly I like the music that contributed to my willingness to do this. I liked the instructors (widely varied in instruction and music). And I began to feel good…energized about life.
To be continued…