I’m back & kicking Grumpy Gus to the curb.

“Life’s challenges don’t always make sense but it’s how we come through them & who we allow ourselves to become that are the real positive goals.” … Susanne

 
Sorry that I’ve been MIA for a few weeks.  It turns out that as well as missing Springtime this year I also broke 4 vertebrae in my back.  Well … as you can imagine the resulting pain, surgery to fix them and the weeks of physiotherapy to get me up & safely moving again kind of took their toll.  Some days it seemed like Grumpy Gus & Crappy Chris were in a non-stop battle with Miss Perky, Ms. Sunshine & I to see whose attitude was going to prevail.  Fortunately The Girls & I won out … leaving the hospital staff & other patients more uplifted & smiling more frequently than when we arrived.  

It’s not always easy to handle life’s challenges … even with Miss Perky as a BFF … but I’ve noticed that if I want to come out the other side of those aforementioned challenges with happiness and good feelings in place it behooves me to show Messrs. Grumpy & Crappy the door.  

So … having hired the Celestial Bouncer Boys to move the depressed & depressing duo on their way I am feeling MUCH better.  Each day the pain is less … my mobility is improved & bit-by-bit things are getting better.  I’m still not sure what the reasons were for this latest time-out or where it’s all leading but I’m pretty sure that with Capital “L” Life guiding The Girls & I we’ll be onto our new path … & maybe even dancing … sooner than Miss Perky can say “Cowabunga”.

Godspeed and Joyful Journeying Everyone

Susanne

  

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If the world is merely a distraction where does happiness come from?

“Your happiness is ultimately dependent on what you choose to do with your inner landscape. The outer world is merely a distraction.” … Susanne

The world is chock-a-block full of distractions. They come in an infinite variety of shapes and sizes and range from really, really great stuff to mind-numbingly horrendous. Ultimately though it doesn’t matter where on the great-awful spectrum you find yourself because a distraction is still simply that … a distraction.

It’s sometimes hard to remember that we’re living in a world-sized theme park … everything seems so darn convincing! Of course that’s because the physical nature of our world is such that we can’t escape the highs and lows of Mother Earth … nor the emotional punches of the people who are sharing this space with us.

Even though it’s hard it behooves us all to remember that letting the physical nature of life be our predominant drivers is like treating the symptoms of a disease while never addressing the underlying causes. I find it’s a chicken-egg kind of thing. I hear so many people say: “You don’t understand how hard/hurtful/awful my life has been”. And they’re right … I don’t. I only know the challenging circumstances of my own life.

I also know what my inner world looked like before I learned to employ the services of the Celestial Clean-up Crew … and how much my outer life and world changed once I consistently chose to put my focus on happiness instead of “who-done-me-wrong”. The world is never going to stop being distracting. I ‘m still in the middle of a battle with Cancer. The hurtful things that happened in the past still happened. But these days I know that it’s how I choose to get through and let go of the tough stuff that is going to give me the biggest bang-for-my-buck. So … I am choosing to avidly pursue happiness no matter how tiny or how buried its spark may be.

Godspeed & Joyful Journeying Everyone

Susanne

Dear past

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It’s not about “Why Me”. It’s about “What can I learn?”

“When tough times come along the big question isn’t “Why?” but rather “How” and “What”. … Susanne

When difficult and challenging times come to visit the fall-back question that the majority of people tend to ask is “Why?”“Why me?” … and/or “Why is this happening?”  I’m not sure that there is ever a good answer to those questions … other than “If not me then who?” What I’ve come to discover is that a better line of questioning is “How … How can I get through this the best way possible?” and/or “What …. What can I learn from everything that’s going on?”. These are the questions that drive us to either rise above our circumstances or to cling to the same-old, same-old like a life raft.

These last 5 weeks … spent in the hospital … have certainly provided me with ample opportunities to explore all kinds of variations of these questions. Fortunately Capital “L” Life has been marching along with me and has been providing great input to our Q & A sessions. I’m still not entirely clear about all of the “Why’s” of this latest bump-in-the-road … but that’s O.K.  If nothing else I’m learning a lot about perseverance, determination and faith.  Miss Perky & I are spreading sunshine all over the Active Rehab ward … both to patents and to staff … and as long as I keep my eyes open, my heart sharing and my attitude “perky” I know that there will be minimal internal-whining and maximum learning.  So … maybe in the long run all of that is enough.  Well that’s my story anyway … and I’m sticking to it.

Godspeed & Joyful Journeying Everyone

Susanne

today I will look for something positive

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When times are tough hunker down, say a prayer and wait for Happiness.

“Sometimes you just have to bow your head, say a prayer and weather the storm.” Unknown

I woke up today feeling the best that I have for weeks. Hooray! Am I still in pain? Yup. Am I positive inside today. You betcha! MORE Hoorays!! I think that today’s quote sort of sums up my journey of late … sometimes things are just darn challenging. At those times you need to tuck your head in … say a prayer to whatever gods you believe in … have faith … and wait it out.

A large part of the credit for today’s shift goes to an awesome friend whose kind words helped me to remember that I’m not only a body … I’m also the being-of-light who resides inside … a being known to Capital “L” Life as friend. And as no friend voluntarily leaves another friend to suffer, so too … I believe … is it with Life. I just needed to remember Me … and I needed to remember Its commitment to Us.

I think that all-too-often we tend to get caught up in the world around us thinking that if we can see it, feel it, hear it and taste it then it’s the only thing that’s real. But it’s in the challenging times when The Natural is overwhelming that it’s most important to remember The Invisible.  No-one sees Miss Perky, Ms. Sunshine or even Life but me … and that is only with my inner eyes. But, when I pay attention there they are shining brightly … and loving me through it all .. and what a difference that makes!  I absolutely understand that it’s my inner life and my inner focus that dictates how my day will feel and so … once again … I make the choice for happiness … despite and through life’s challenges.

Godspeed and Joyful Journeying Everyone

Susanne

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I choose to be happy. What are you choosing today?

“Challenging times tend to put things in perspective and drive us into a fuller appreciation of life.” … Susanne

Like most people on good old Planet Earth I’ve had my share of challenging times. Like everyone I wish that I could have learned whatever lesson was inherent in those times through gentler means. However, it would seem that all of us learn the most deeply when the circumstances have the sharpest edge. Why is that do you suppose?

There’s so much negative junk in the news that if we were to believe the newscasters we’d have to conclude that nothing good ever happens … but I know that that’s just not true. LOTS of good things happen … both on a small, individual basis right up to larger scale group initiatives. So why don’t the people who could make a difference report the positive stuff?

I don’t pretend to understand their reasons for being a collective of Grumpy Gus’ and Gertrudes. That notwithstanding The Girls and I have come to some decisions. We’ve decided to: 1) appreciate every good thing that happens … no matter how small … every day, 2) Spend less time listening to The News and more time bogeying to our Heart’s Song and 3) Walk with Life, Talk with Life and Allow Life’s voice to be our primary motivator. So far … so good!

Godspeed and Joyful Journeying Everyone

Susanne

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Don’t look back – you’re not going that way.

“Much has passed. That’s yesterday. Much is happening. That’s today. But I have dreams yet unfulfilled and together Life & I are co-creating them.” … Susanne

As with all things in life everything isn’t perfect. I wish that Cancer hadn’t decided that it missed me so much that it should stop by for another visit. I really wish that one of my vertebra hadn’t collapsed and I wish that all of my dreams had already come home to roost. A-h-h-h well … while everything may not be perfect … things could be a lot worse.

I don’t live in a war-torn part of the world. I don’t have to worry that some radical craziness is going to sweep through my neighborhood stealing away women and children to be used, abused and discarded. Capital “L” Life is good … I don’t even really have any huge financial worries … so what then would be the point in carrying-on cranky about my current circumstances?

I must confess that battling … and surviving … Cancer once already does indeed give me a different perspective and appreciation for not only my own life, but life in general. I tend to sweat the small things a lot less and appreciate other small things a lot more. The Girls and I wish that we could find a way to share this increased appreciation with others so that they could focus less on the daily irritations and let in more of the good things in life .. without having to go through a big chunk of personal trauma themselves.

Much has passed but that stuff is a part of my yesterday. Much is happening … and that’s a transitory part of my today. But I have dreams yet unfulfilled and every intention of making as many of them as possible shine. So … together Life & I are looking forward to a brighter tomorrow and we’re co-creating that future together.

Godspeed and Joyful Journeying Everyone

Susanne

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It’s not always Karma

“Really strong souls are like diamonds-in-the-rough. They ‘re often found tumbling around inside one of Life’s giant gemstone tumblers knowing that when they emerge they’ll be ready to shine.” … Susanne

It’s not always karma. Every time that someone gets sick, tragedy strikes and/or death occurs today’s fast and easy answer of “karma” isn’t always the right one. Yes, I do indeed believe that “what goes around comes around ” and that what we consistently focus on INSIDE of ourselves ends up showing up in our OUTSIDE world. But I think of that phenomena as more of a teaching tool in the School of Life rather than corporal punishment that’s handed out in the same aforementioned school. I think that too many people have misunderstood this karma-thing.

I know that we’re all just trying to understand the often overwhelming challenges that we encounter in this world and consequently we often flail about looking for an answer. However, it’s been my experience that when The Biggies strike it’s best if I examine my interior landscape first to see if I’m harbouring secret mine fields with which to booby-trap my outside world. I have found that I usually have more than enough boo-boos and messes to clean up from THIS lifetime … there’s no need to go drowning myself … nor pulling anyone else under … in an ocean of past bad decisions and present day finger-pointing.

The Girls and I have never found Capital “L” Life to be a eye-for-an-eye/retribution kind of Being . It’s more of a patient, let-me-show-you-why-that-might-not-have-been-the-best-strategy/educate you kind of dude. So on that note we’re going to go have an exploration session with Life so we can maximize our Understanding of this latest “Biggie”, minimize the karmic bullpoop and make sure that all of this tumbling produces a really nice “shine”.

Godspeed and Joyful Journeying.

Susanne

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Dream big. Act Now.

“Now is truly the only moment we have. Yesterday has been and gone and tomorrow isn’t here yet. Dream big dreams & start acting on them today.” … Susanne

There’s nothing like a health crisis to really bring home the fact that Now … this Now … is the most important moment of our lives. No matter what yesterday was like … no matter how good or bad it may have been … no matter how many successes or failures we experienced … it is right here in THIS now that everything can change. My mom used to say: “What if today were the day when everything turned around for you. What would you do?” Good question mom!

These days I’m learning REALLY good time management skills! My energy may be at bargain basement levels but my dreams are as big as ever! So I’m learning to a) prioritize a whole lot better and b) appreciate every accomplishment no matter how small or large it may be. I refuse to allow a little thing like cancer to put a permanent kink in my plans. The Girls and I feel that, that would just be s-o-o-o wrong.

So … this week Capital “L” Life has invited Miss Perky, Ms. Sunshine and I to come on over for a little Weekend R & R under one of Its jumbo sized trees. It says that It already has some comfy lounge chairs set up … balloons and ice cream for The Girls … and lots of quality contemplation and healing time for us to share. Sounds like a great way to spend a few Nows. I can hardly wait to get started!

Godspeed and Joyful Journeying Everyone

Susanne

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I choose to see the positive

“You can either choose to cling to misery and the past with a death-grip or you can search for things to celebrate. As with all things in life the choice is yours.” … Susanne

I’ve decided to approach each day … each challenge … and each new development with a turn-around attitude. “A what?” you ask. An approach that recognizes not only what’s actually going on and how it feels but also how I am going to Choose to perceive it. I figure that there’s two ways to look at all of the stuff that’s going on in my life right now … 1) with an “Oh poor me.” approach or 2) looking for the kernel of positive that’s hiding somewhere inside of it.

Miss Perky is doing her best to play the “How is this a good thing?” game with me and I’ve got to tell you that she comes up with some of the most upbeat ideas ev-er. I like that! Ms Sunshine has graced us all with snazzy “Good Stuff Magnifiers” and Life has donated an unlimited supply of coloured pencils & notepads for our musings.

So far these are some of our “Turn-Arounds”:

    Challenge Yucky Feeling Polly’s Turn-Arounds
Chemo makes me sick. Chemo Sucks *I’m losing weight
*We’re going to look great this summer!
I’m exhausted I can’t get anything done. I’m becoming a fantastic delegator.
*People actually seem
to like helping me.
My food doesn’t taste good. Boo-hoo. Poor me. *Look at all the new recipes we’re finding.
* Wow. Who knew that eating healthy could taste so good!??!

And so it goes … Feel free to share some of your own Turn-Around stories with The Girls and I. Before you know it maybe we’ll all end up finding and sharing nuggets and nuggets of positive possibilities until they’re piling up everywhere and everything is Turning Around.

Godspeed and Joyful Journeying Everyone

Susanne

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Compassion or Judgment -Which will you choose?

“In every interaction with another let your first, your second & your last action be one of compassion.” … Susanne

Everyone is so quick to judge. Scientific studies show that we make up our minds about what kind of person is talking to us in the first 30 seconds after we meet them. 30 seconds … wow that’s barely enough time to say: “Hi. How are you?” Apparently our brains pick up all kinds of facial cues and body language and boom … just like that our minds are made up … often irreversibly.

As a whole we tend to rationalize away our instant likes and dislikes with the sad result that the world is becoming divided into rigid “Us” vs “Them” encampments. The challenge that I see with that approach is that there’s little to no room for compassionate understanding. And without that we tend to lose sight of each individual … losing them to the bigger “forest” of impersonal distance.

Whether it’s because of someone’s illness, religion, sexual orientation, country of origin … or whatever … the moment we allow our inner fears and wounds to be of more importance than the heart of the person who is standing before us we have lost something both beautiful & fragile. We have lost the possibility of healing and connection.

I know that Perky Polly can often be overwhelmingly … well … perky. But you know what? I like her. She’s convinced that there’s a nugget of good in pretty much everyone … even if she does sometimes need a backhoe to reach it. She smiles at everybody. She has a good heart and she keeps me out of judgment and on a straight and heartfelt path. I think that the world could use a little Polly in more of their interactions. Maybe then we’d remember to be compassionate first and ask questions later.

Godspeed and Joyful Journeying Everyone

Susanne

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