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Ours is a breadcrumb journey

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Ours is a breadcrumb journey
One green Granny Smith in a box of Red Delicious apples

©iStockphoto.com/Ekspansio

Two different worlds we live in. That’s the 1950s tune my head and heart have been singing to each other in a growing rift that’s been tearing me apart. So I’ve made the hard decision to start letting the heady world go and see where my heart might lead. It’s scaring the shit out of me.

 

Am I avoiding something I should stick with to “succeed,” my head keeps wondering? Or am I veering back into territory where I really belong? I’m still not sure if it’s a siren or wake-up call I’m heeding here and I have no idea yet where I’m headed next. But every attentive step I take in the new direction—or away from the old one anyway—will likely help me find out, and may just be of use to you, too. Phew!

 

As Maurie wrote in a recent comment, ours is a breadcrumb journey. For us spiritual seekers, one crummy (or succulent) clue leads to another, and we must pay super close attention if we’re not to miss our way. Because I’ve spent so much time on-line hoping for virtual miracles, I haven’t done enough of that real world attention-paying lately. But better late than never, I’m freeing myself up to look down for those telltale—tell me where I’m going!—crumbs.

 

I’m not going to the Greek island I wrote about (though on this cold February day, Greece is looking good). No, the first move I’m making—the one I need to make far more than changing up my geography—is this: specific steps to tear myself away from the all-too-promising (and none-too-delivering) virtual world, which has caught me up and made me lose my way.

 

Letting the virtual world go is a twofold plan: first, to reduce a source of ongoing psychic pain; and second, to free up time and space in myself and my life to sink into the less familiar and, therefore, often terrifying inner world, also known as the fertile void. It seems absurdly obvious, so please don’t laugh. But how can I find out what’s truly right for me in this next—and next-to-last—stage of my life, when I am unhappily preoccupied with what is not?

 

So first things first—to disentangle from all that doesn’t serve me. After another “big talk” with Trond, who is tired of watching me spend so much time to so little effect, I decided to unsubscribe from nearly every last blog, newsletter and virtual group I’d signed up for since my book came out. And Facebook might just be next. (I won’t even tell you the challenge I faced in alerting “influential” people that I don’t want to stay on their lists; but face it I did, and it’s done.) Here’s how I came to this (for me) radical disengagement.

 

On a coaching call the day before my talk with Trond, I’d owned up to something I’d been pretending and hoping wasn’t so. (Coaching is good that way!) I had to admit that being on those e-lists I’d signed up for—hoping they’d help me sell books—was making me sick. My coach pressed me to drop into my body and remember how it felt to check morning email. And there was no question about the “sinking feeling” I instantly named. (While part of this was jealousy about other bloggers’ success, which I may explore next time, the issue goes deeper than that.)

 

I hated seeing those emails I’d signed up for, let alone reading them. Some were from exemplary “spiritual” bloggers who play by (and in some cases create) blogging rules. They offer tips, write in short, simple paragraphs and do what it takes to build big subscriber lists. Even after I realized their rules weren’t right for me (and that took a while), I strung them along. Maybe I’d write a “guest post” for them, or they would finally read and promote my book to their followers.

 

But as time passed and very little happened, there was no reason to hang on but vain hope. After all, I’ve been around the block several times, as a seeker and a writer. I didn’t need the spiritual guidance of those bloggers, or to emulate their writing. And I was deeply disheartened that hardly any of them returned the favor of subscribing to my blog or checking out my work, which I’d done for many of them. As Trond put it, dogged as I was, I was barking up the wrong tree.

 

In addition to those blogger lists, I’ve also put the kibosh on the “experts” who offer endless and redundant book marketing, social media, and related advice. Much of it is so intuitive I was already doing it (like build relationships and give—duh!). Other of their ideas (like frequent email or cell phone “blasts”) seem pushy. This crowd sends out newsletters, offers teleseminars and online courses, and/or sells ebooks, some of that for free. Most mean well and all agree that to do marketing right and make a dent, you need to be at it practically 24/7 for as long as it takes.

 

I gave it my best shot, kids, reading much of what arrived for the better part of last year. I tried on some of the best advice. I even signed up for a few seminars (both spiritual and book-promotional in nature) hoping for sparks to ignite. My ego really wanted to play by the rules and fit in. But I just can’t, or, to put it more honestly, I won’t. It got too damned hard trying to force my deep square peg into that shallow round hole. Little that I read resonated and almost none of it was me. No wonder I’ve been feeling sick! Little surprise either that the strategy didn’t work.

 

How did I let a year slip by? And why do I—and perhaps you, too, sometimes—get so convinced we should be listening to people out there that we fail to listen to the singular, often wiser person inside—the one who knows us and our heart’s desires best? Anybody else here not listening to yourself enough? And has the onslaught of other voices—whether via the Internet, out in the real world or in your own head—been part of your problem, too? We’d all benefit from hearing.

 

With some luck and pluck, and your invaluable comments, let’s continue this conversation next time. Many thanks as always for being here. And, please, if you’re touched by what you read, I’d be hugely grateful if you’d share this blog link, via email and, yes, even Facebook, with friends real and virtual. (And, hey, you marketing experts, this is about as pushy as I am going to get!)

 

Categories: A Writer's Life, Self-Care, Surrender
  • Jody

    love your honesty Suzanne!
    love Jody

    • Suzanne Grenager

      Thank you, Jody! Hearing that from you means a lot to me. Love to you, too.

  • MaurieA

    Another juicy read! I felt moved and inspired as I read your words. This choice to follow your inner guidance, in my experience, is not always a flashy one. There are times when I don’t know what’s next, or where my guidance is taking me, as the path is not fully laid out for me to know for certain that yes, that is the destination I desire. It’s about the journey more than the destination. And knowing you, Suzanne, I sense the journey is what it’s about. Yum to cancelling subscriptions for blogs that aren’t feeding you!! I take a big breath and toast your decision. I have found that the clarity of what is mine to follow is one choice at a time, that leads to great momentum.

    For me, as I embarked on following my wisdom, it started with, get my house ready to sell. I now have my house on the market, I ended a relationship with clarity, and I am currently in CA looking to “see” if this is where I want to live. I would not have thought all this possible 2 months ago.

    I feel happy having you on this rich journey with me!
    Love,
    Maurie

    • Suzanne Grenager

      Love, love your words again, our Breadcrumb Journey girl. This time it’s your words about how the choices we’re guided to make are not always “flashy.” Perfect, especially in this case involving my small steps away from useless blogs! It is indeed about the journey for me, and it always was, though that seems to be what I’d not so conveniently forgotten this past year. And yes, yes, YES to “one choice at a time leading to great momentum.” I can feel how that is happening already, just days after my virtual disengagement decision.

      And *you* - WOW! You!! I am beyond thrilled for you about the move to California. I can’t wait to hear where you are looking and more about what drove the decision. Incredible it’s all happened in two months, too. What a true testament to the power of one heartfelt choice at a time. You continue to inspire me mightily, Maurie, and I  am just as happy as you are that we are on this rich journey together. Quite literally, as it now appears California is where I, too, will soon land to live. Wahoo!  

  • http://twitter.com/aegiscoach Sheila M. Kelly

    The head so often wins out over the heart that all I can say is “amen, sister, amen.” I would say you’ve articulated very eloquently the struggle that many of us, if not all of us, must acknowledge sooner or later. I, too, am in the process of making a very conscious and heartfelt commitment (really a recommitment) to the path with heart. I can pretty much feel layers of past programming falling off my psyche. Perhaps this is what the new millenium is about … being honest and true with ourselves so that we honour the best, no, The Highest of Who We Be. “A journey without distance” as Course in Miracles so beautifully states.  

    • Suzanne Grenager

      “A journey without distance!” I never heard that phrase. I love how it gives a realistic but unusually positive sense of forward motion with *no end in sight* which can feel scary. But rather than overwhelmed by the endless way of the heart, or what I call the “pathless path,” you describe a feeling of emerging freedom. My turn to say Amen to you, sister! I, too, am feeling new freedom today, after receiving an email that brought up old shame, which I did my best to meet and greet with compassion. 

      Thank you, dear Sheila, for walking the path with me. I’d appreciate hearing more (here, if you like) about how those layers of “past programming” are falling away. What are you doing or not doing to help that happen, or is it simply grace? I’m also curious how this freedom shows up in your life? (Only, of course, if you’re inclined.)  

      • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.kelly.790 Sheila Kelly

         Hi, coach sister and apologies for the delay in responding. What a month! Two deaths (transitions) in my family AND the birth of our beautiful first grandchild, Ava Katherine Kelly. She must be a healer to have arrived at the perfect moment to remind us of the perfect love that lives within. To respond to your query, the falling away of the old programming began with a remembering of how I turned away from hearing my own inner wisdom and tuned into the programming of my tribe (family and community). I was about 6 years old. It was the cause of much confusion and unhappiness. I now understand that it was somewhat necessary:  As children, we rely heavily on our parents to keep us safe; i.e., keep our tummies full. Thus it is that we feel compelled … or at least I felt compelled … to align with their beliefs. It is now time to listen to our own wisdom, our own intuition, our own guts. To question without ceasing. That is a short answer. Read more in my book, “Listen Up” when I get it written!

        • Suzanne Grenager

          No need for apologies! Always great to hear your voice here, whether sooner or later. And no need to comment, of course, except when you’re moved. It sounds like quite the month all right and I’m sorry about the losses of loved ones. But how exciting for you to welcome Baby Ava into your family. Speaking of which, your point about how dependent we are as children on our parents is one I too have thought about in connection with my own childhood. It hardly felt like a choice to keep trying to line up with the family values. And in my case anyway, the logical assumption was there must be something wrong with me for having feelings that were pulling me in a different direction. “To question without ceasing” is a useful phrase, since I assume you mean to question what doesn’t feel right to us! Amen to that, and I very much look forward to reading “Listen Up” when it’s written. Thanks for showing up so consistently!

          • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.kelly.790 Sheila Kelly

            Hah! I arrived at exactly the same conclusion as you, Suzanne; that is, “There is something terribly wrong with ME.” Seems to be a very common conclusion, it seems. Oh my. I have deep respect for my tribe, my elders, because they did their best and were caught in the same tribal web. Little Ava will also be exposed to the tenets of her tribe, influenced greatly by her parents and their mores, just as we influenced our children. I can’t wait to see “who” she turns out to be! So far, I see her as a healer, bringing so much joy in a month with 2 deaths in the family.

  • Angelpricer

    It’s hard to listen to our own inner wisdom when placing it upon the backdrop of those seemingly successful “others.” Around November last year I was prompted to pull back from the sometimes vacuous nature of all things social media and self promotional and, it was one of the most liberating actions I’ve taken. Those things are all well and good as long as they are well and good for the person partaking in the activities. When they no longer are, a pause to regain ground is the wisest move. Whatever is next for you – for me – for anyone reading here, now, it’s probably not going to be found “out there” because you haven’t created it yet.

    Peace in Being,
    Angel

    • Suzanne Grenager

      Brilliant, Angel! Thank you for leading the way AWAY, for all of us who find our energies sapped by what we let ourselves get sucked into online. As Sarah points out in her comment below, social media *can* be a source of magic moments — connections and reconnections that are life-changing. But there is so much chaff in the way of those nutritious wheat kernels that, to me at least, it can feel like searching – if I may mix my metaphors , as I’m wont to do - for the proverbial needle in the haystack. If you’re inclined, I’d love you to write a longer riff about your own disengagement from social media – what exactly prompted it, how you worked up courage to quit and just what your post-s.m. experience has been. You say it is “one of the most liberating actions” you have taken. Knowing you a little, I am sure we’d benefit from hearing why! Meanwhile, I especially love your (implied) kernel of wisdom about our own yet-to-be creations being what we’re looking for. Did I get that right? Peace in being to you, too, Angel.

      • http://suzannegrenager.com/ Suzanne Grenager

        Hello Suzanne,

        Thank you for the invitation to expand upon my choice to disengage and reassess my participation with social media. Though you probably didn’t realize it when you extended the offer, you were implicate in a universal conspiracy designed to get me to READ my journal and pluck out the points that yearn to be added to my latest word soup. So, thank you for listening!

        About a week before I took the action to step away from Facebook, there was a growing sense of burgeoning freedom within that seemed at odds with the expressions I found in this particular social media spectrum. Facebook was, for all intents and purposes, the primary way in which I engaged with the world-at-large, as I’m not really active on any other platforms. Mostly, I was observing, inserting a few words here, sharing a song or post there. It certainly wasn’t providing the deep connection of being-to-being I long for … and it probably never will.

        I’ll share here some of the quasi-poetic musings from 11/20/12 to provide a glimpse into what preceded my withdrawal:

        Something amazing awaits

        One whose will

        Travels through the gates

        Who walks amidst

        The trembling leaves

        Past perceptions float

        Upon the breeze

        Into the fires of

        Loves fair furnace

        Willingly sacrificed

        Stripped naked, alone

        Whole, fearless

        And wise

        Something amazing awaits

        One whose will

        Is to die

        And rise

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Born to write

        Yet first, perceive

        All the ways which we deceive

        Self limitations tested

        Barriers shattered

        All to reveal

        To remember

        Eternally there

        Yet hidden behind

        A million masks

        Of deception

        Perception

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        They are Free Women

        Existing in realms

        Beyond, yet

        Walking

        Amongst men

        Reviving your soul

        Rekindling

        Remembrance

        Of your own

        Freedom

        What I realized is that this essence – this freedom – that I Am, can never be portrayed, packaged, sold, bought, consumed or dissected, yet this is what I was trying to do somehow, some way, within the realm of social media in a small sense, and in a broader outreach to the world-at-large.

        I now see this as part and parcel in the unfolding life of one whose urge to relate lies in the written word. There’s a lot of muck and mire to wade through as a spiritually-inspired writer…and many who know this and are skilled in turning a profit from this angst. Not that there’s really anything wrong with that – it’s just something I’ve come to be aware of in a more empowered way.

        One thing I consistently realize (as is evidenced by your unknowingly having sparked me to read my work and push through my resistance in sharing my writing), is that what we need to do and know in any given moment is freely given and perceived by us when our inner awareness is unfettered by the noise of the outer world….and vice versa ;-0).

        At the time, from the big-picture perspective, I was feeling so full of spirit, on the cusp of a great erasure of the day-to-day me and a merging of the eternally present observer me.

        From the plant-my-feet in the ground perspective, I was realizing there was so much more to life than ‘being spiritual,’ recycling sage words because they resonate but neglecting to take them any deeper, as if the resonance with a grain of truth were equal to BEING that grain.

        I saw myself strolling alone at the only real playground I knew where I could meet other seemingly like minded individuals, yet still feeling hopelessly lacking.

        It was around this time I felt my entire world collapsing. There was cyclical strife in my marriage, combined with selfish demands in my work relationships and an inability to connect with any of my friends over this turmoil without them wanting to take my ‘side.’ I didn’t want sides. I wanted what was. No matter how painful, spiritually incorrect, or wrong it may seem.

        I was also observing the crazy-making holiday season in all its material glory. Christmas consumerism has troubled me even since I was a small child, unable to reconcile the delight of being given a Sears catalog and crayon for circling toys with the somber realization that a man I never knew died for my sins.

        This sense of being at odds with the season was punctuated by an apparent increase in people on Facebook announcing their spiritual do-good-ery combined with feigned humble acceptance of the praise those admissions were designed to illicit in the first place. It was the final push I needed to pull the plug. Unable to marry the glorious communion of spirit to words backed wholly by action for the silent sake of love, I did the one thing I can always depend upon at such times: I withdrew.

        Within the hibernation walls I was busting my spiritual seams, and felt as though I was abandoned by – and abandoning – my spirituality. An entry on 11/22/12 put it this way:

        “Though it seems on the surface you are leaving the ‘spiritual’ behind, what actually is happening is the embodiment of spirit – in – matter. The infusion of life – the absorption. Do not rush or force this process. Just relax and allow.”

        So I did, and after meditation on 11/25 I heard the words Facebook Fast – which prompted this 30-days without Facebook blog post .

        For the first few days, I felt like an addict in withdrawal, recognizing the compulsion to check my feed about 4-5 times per hour. It subsided though, and then I began to feel more space within my being. I where those troubling thoughts that were so prevalent on Facebook were operating in my own life in real-time…AND I had the energy and wherewithal to acknowledge them and move on. THAT was really transformative!

        It was also around this time that I began to take the sharpening of my craft (writing) more seriously and even entertain the idea of writing that is not overtly spiritual or self-help related. My horizons continued to expand and internally I was coming face to face with many of my own limiting perceptions (instead of just picking up on everyone else’s). This was not a pretty time. I was alone (as much as a wife and mama of 3 kids during the holidays can be), and had to face my SELF instead of the distractions offered on Facebook.

        By the time my 30 days were up, I was in no hurry to re engage on Facebook and had found myself deep in exploration of a fictional character and book series that demonstrates the marriage of spirit and matter in a real life down to earth manner that appeals to those who are less spiritually focused but seeking nonetheless. See here for added info on this and other endeavors that have blossomed since my social media sabbatical.

        Facebook, and other social media platforms, undoubtedly provide a service and opportunity for human connection, growth and development. It is up to the one using it to discern how, when and if that is occurring, to notice when it is time for a change, and to pull back and reassess the situation.

        It’s not the seeking that’s the problem, it’s our relationship to the seeking that trips us up and keeps us forever bound to being less than what we are. As we strengthen the relationship within, we create the condition that we seek outwardly yet will never know as long as we are in seeking mode. Though the word create seems suggestive of a tangible ‘thing,’ in this case I use it in reference to the very creative essence that we each are. And that essence cannot be portrayed, packaged, sold, bought, consumed or dissected. It simply *is*.

        Suzanne, I am so grateful for the opportunity to explore this topic with you. I knew when I saw your message over the weekend I was in for a doozy of an exploration if I chose to accept the mission…I’m glad I did!

        While I could guess based on your well constructed, vulnerable blog post that you are on the cusp of an erasure of your own, I’d love to hear more about how that’s unraveling for you if you feel so inclined. It’s challenging for us all – this dismantling & resurfacing process, but I find it particularly so for us writer types – who long to share our written words but also fear the levels of exposure that sharing continues to reveal.

        Thanks again – Suzanne – for being You J

        Love,

        Angel Pricer

        “The knowledge of the heart is in no book and is not to be found in the mouth of any teacher, but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth.” ~ C. G. Jung

  • Sarah

    I love this question “how can I find out what’s truly right for me in this next—and next-to-last—stage of my life, when I am unhappily preoccupied with what is not?” Simple yet profound, and something that resonates for me. I recognize in myself the dance, and at times the tension, between intentionally creating what I want and loving what is. Disliking what is not, though possibly motivating for a nanosecond, is like trying to dance to music that doesn’t move me. Sometimes you just need to change the channel.

    I also want to add something about the virtual world. It so often can be misued. Years ago I read a quote by someone who recognized the danger of humans riding horses – the essence of it was that it would enable people to more detached from one another, and therefore easier to be unkind and even abusive. Pretty insightful when you consider how much that has come true when you put humans in automobiles and they started interacting on the road. I try not to let the isolating protection of my car keep me from being kind and thoughtful on the road, and yet it happens all the time. At 60 miles an hour it’s hard to say thank you in a way that it’s heard…and so easy to say wtf?????

    So on to the internet. It’s the same thing, only amplified by about a million. We humans have gotten so good at blasting our energy out without the same attention to listening to and receiving each other – let alone listening to ourselves. I can understand your desire to pull the plug. And yet I know the internet has allowed us to keep a thread of a connection alive for 12 years, which made it possible for us to “bump into each other” again when the timing was right. Yes, we’ve moved from the virtual world to actually talking on the phone, which for me makes a world a difference. That movement required paying attention, taking action, reaching out, kistening…and the virtual world played a helpful role for a nanosecond. So yeah for that, and yeah for throwing out what’s not working.

    In the words of one of my favorite poets (David Whyte) “Anything, or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you” 

    • Suzanne Grenager

      Dear Sarah! I too am beyond grateful that Facebook kept us alive for another day, indeed many days of deeply meaningful talks. Very unlikely we’d be doing that sans the benefit of social media. But it’s also true, as you aptly put it, that “sometimes you just need to change the channel,” especially when the conversation has gotten so small it doesn’t bring you alive. (Thanks for those wise words of David Whyte, also a favorite of mine.)

      Of course, not only were many of my online relationships not bringing me alive, they were nearly killing me – largely for the reason you cite: too much blasting of energy *out* and very little listening to and taking each other *in*. As you began by pointing out, there is an increasing disconnect – from our best selves and from each other - once we speed up and spin too far out on our own, whether on horseback, by car or via the Internet. And you are right that separation makes it too easy to be unkind or at least inconsiderate of our and everyone’s most fundamental human need - to be seen and loved. Thank you more than I can say for your graceful, kind presence – here and elsewhere in my life.  

      • Sarahhalley

        Suzanne, I recently received an email from a friend that felt like a blast (seemingly out of nowhere), and I wondered why she didn’t pick up the phone instead and initiate a conversation. I could understand the seed of her discontent AND I had to work really hard to receive her through what felt like a lot of shit that had little to do with me. And I still wonder why she felt she should communicate that way – is it simply because she could and the immediate gratification of expressing herself that way (even if it was an attack on someone she claims she loves) helped her feel less upset and disempowered? If so, I am left asking if this relationship is bringing me alive anymore. Maybe I am naive but I think respect and caring are really simple, and I can’t help but wonder if she considered my feelings at all in the “exchange.” I can see she was hurt by something I did, but does that justify electronic dumping? It seems to me that if we were in the same room, she would not have been so thoughtless in her communication. 

        Electronic mail is just that – electronic. It’s convenient for some things but sorely lacking in other ways. Sometimes I write emails I don’t send because it helps me to process what I am feeling. And it is just too easy to misuse email, blogging etc.My practice these days is to be rigorous about what I do and don’t say electronically. And I am appreciating this blogalogue (did I make that word up?)….and I too am grateful for your presence in my life.

        • Suzanne Grenager

          Thank you, dear Sarah, for your very useful riff on emails, which I hope others see and benefit from. Email does indeed make it too easy for us to be thoughtless sometimes. I am so sorry you got *blasted* by a friend who means to love you but apparently wasn’t aware enough to act in a loving way. What a shame — for her as well as for you!
           
          Interestingly, I too have recently received some email blasts out-of-the-blue from people I know love and respect me. I suspect my blog words triggered something in them that electronic mail made it too easy to *react* — rather than *respond* – to. Like your friend, they shot from the hip rather than the heart.

          I too was hurt at first and wanted to react. Slowly I let myself feel the sting of their words and the pain of the old self-doubt and shame they triggered. It took a while to see clearly what was going in each case, and to move through fear-driven ego’s needs to a place of heart-driven compassion, for them and for my dear self. 
           
          Like me, you put a great deal of yourself out into the wide world. When we do that, as I believe we aware ones must, there is always the risk of becoming a projection screen for others’ shadows and unfinished business. I deeply appreciate that you are here, willing as I am to be fully seen and used in service to a world that needs our brightest light, and I am talking here about, and to, everyone who is reading this! Bless us all in our ignorance and our pain.

  • Dagmar

    Dear Suzanne   Reading this post was exhausting- I was feeling the weight of all that you’re carrying around-your expectations of self- it also made me wonder what your definition of success is? As someone who has always wanted to write a book, but hasn’t found the courage to do, you have accomplished that. I was sorry to hear that you’re not going to Ikaria, as it sounds like the perfect place to unplug from the virtual world- the Washington Post had an article about Ikaria featured on the front page of their travel section last Sunday- I fear it will soon be overrun with tourists. A wonderful and wise teacher of mine believes (also scientifically proven) that when we try to create from our mind-brain we always get mixed results because our brains have 2 halves creating polarization. When we create from our hearts there is no polarization, only unity, hence effortless. I believe that by following your heart you will find inner peace and self love, priceless and the only definition of success that truly matters.   Be Love 

    • Suzanne Grenager

      So sorry I wore you out, dear Dagmar! Thank you for reminding me that, yes, I have “accomplished” writing – and then self-publishing - a book (not to mention trying to promote it, however misguided my attempts on that front :)  No small thing when I take time to appreciate it, as I am learning to do with a little help from my friends - like you.
       
      But it’s also a process that got more exhausting the further into it I went. You are right, though, that nothing was wearing me down and out so much as my own expectations and attachments to the results of my considerable efforts. And that’s what I mean to be letting go of now, as I review and revise what “success” truly means to me. I may have more to say about that (for me) hot topic in the next post.
       
      An illuminating point about the right and left “poles” of our brain creating a *pole*arization arising from their innate differences. And while the heart has many chambers, surely they work in harmony to create one chamber of love deep within. *I* love and deeply value your encouragement to look there and learn to love me. That accomplishment will, as you suggest, be the “success” of a lifetime!

      Thanks for the tip about Ikaria. I have not given up on going btw. I meant to say that I am probably not going any time soon and that the journay that’s most needed now – to reclaim the kind of values Ikaria reminded me of – is the one within. Huge thanks for walking it with me.

      • Dagmar

        Suzanne   When I said exhausted, I meant metaphorically, not literally-just wanted to clarify that. I appreciate your openheartedness to all of our comments and reactions. I also love to read all the posts, which are so thoughtful and insightful- Women are so Amazing!! (and Ron!) Learning to love ourselves is the journey of many lifetimes-why do we resist it so much?!!!! On another note wanted to mention for those interested in the Mayan Calender, from Feb 17-21 the Mayans add 5 days to their calender expressly to explore the Underworld and our Shadow Selves-releasing what no longer serves and commiting to a new path.

        • Suzanne Grenager

          I, too, love and am very moved by the comments here, Dagmar. And I hugely appreciate your acknowledgment of my replies. *We* are indeed amazing, making it all the more curious that we so often refuse to see it. Your question about “why” we resist self-love is a whole other conversation - maybe a blog post + comments from the likes of wonderful readers like you. Something to look forward to! 

          Meanwhile, it was very thoughtful of you to alert us to the upcoming Mayan days of exploring the old and commiting to the new. I for one plan to honor that in some as-yet-undetermined way and would love to hear what you and others do. Blessings to you, and us all, on this St. Valentine’s Day!

  • Heatherehughes

    I know you’ll be kind to yourself… eventually. 

    • Suzanne Grenager

      I appreciate the vote of confidence, Heather, and am also here to say that kindness to myself is proceeding surely if perhaps still slowly. Indeed it feels to me as if my decision to disentangle from unsatisfying virtual connections — and the trust in Self and Universe unleashed by that step — is a significant act of self-love. I am happier! But please let me know if you’re seeing something I’m not. Meanwhile, much love to you and all our dear selves on this Saint Valentine’s Day!

  • Karen L.

    Congratulations, Suzanne, on coming to this conclusion about letting so much of that “stuff” go!  No more letting the rushing tide of stuff we “should” do bludgeon us.  When did we forget about BEING instead of just DOING?  Maybe the year you just “let slip by” was a really important year of new awareness that YOU have the answers (just as you taught me eons ago when you were my first coach!).  Time to ease up and relax–and maybe that Greek island (or a trip to Florida) isn’t a bad idea after all:).
    Love,
    Karen

    • Suzanne Grenager

      Oh, Karen, what an incredibly supportive post! Your persepctive about the year I said I had wasted being instead a year of “new awarness” is helpful beyond words. It has occurred to me, too, that I may have needed to get lost in the woods again in order to find and trust myself and my ”answers” with renewed vigor. But being reminded of the grace that is self-trust by a beloved early coaching client — you! – has helped that message sink in. You are a good friend whose powerful truth-telling inspires my own. Thank you!

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