A Writer’s Life

Her Voice Shines Through

By |2024-06-04T20:14:50-07:00Jun. 3, 2024|

It is with heavy hearts that we share with you that Suzanne passed away Thursday, May 30, 2024 near her home in Marin County, California. Suzanne died peacefully, with grace, and on her terms. She requested a posthumous post, for which we selected some of her poetry, written over the last couple decades, to share with you. Her voice shines through, strong as ever, and may it stay with you even as her presence is gone.

Down and Out

By |2024-03-19T14:27:17-07:00Mar. 19, 2024|

Just as nobody warned me how my easy life would turn upside down with the birth of a child, I apparently didn’t get the memo that it could be almost unbearable to grow old. The big difference is that with a child things got better, much better—lovely really...

Fighting The River is No Way to Live, Suzanne!

By |2024-02-09T10:59:52-08:00Jul. 24, 2017|

“Stop swimming, stop fighting.” These words rang loud and clear in the ears of my beloved teacher, Swami Kripalvanand, as he was swept away by the monsoon-swollen river Yamuna in India more than a half century ago. These same words, which came to him in the voice of his beloved teacher Dadaji, have lately come to me, if only from the old, familiar voice in my head.

“Stop swimming, stop fighting.” This simple admonition, which may have saved Bapuji’s life because he listened and let the water carry him safely to shore, might also save mine.…

Start Where You Are and Follow Your Heartbreak

By |2024-02-09T11:23:08-08:00Jan. 19, 2016|

A fresh year. A clean slate. Two rousing reminders—Start where you are and, still more arrestingly, Follow your Heartbreak. With that, I may have emerged from the fertile, if often disquieting void and set one foot on an encouraging new path of service. We shall see.

Start where you are? Follow your heartbreak? Why did those particular calls to action, one simple, one pretty darned strange, get my full attention the other day, resonating deep into my soul like nothing else lately has. And why should they perhaps resonate deep into yours? To answer, I will back up.

“Start where you are” and “Follow your heartbreak” were phrases given to me during a recent group phone conversation called The Gathering, offered by The True Purpose Institute. Start where you are is the title of a book by the Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron, with whom I am familiar. The plea to follow your heartbreak originated, I think, with Andrew Harvey, a spiritual teacher whose long ago book Hidden Journey had a transformative effect on my spiritual growth. But I heeded the call of those resonant phrases only last Wednesday, from a man I’d never heard of…

Please come on my elephant ride!

By |2024-02-09T11:59:55-08:00May. 28, 2013|

I am doing my little happy dance and eager to share the good news. I just submitted my first blog post to the wonderful, wildly popular elephantjournal.com. It’s a reader-created open forum bringing together people like us who work & play to create an enlightened society.

Elephant has more than 100,000 likes on Facebook and presents the possibility of a whole new league for my work.…

Ours is a breadcrumb journey

By |2024-02-09T13:26:57-08:00Feb. 5, 2013|

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.…

Ikaria: Siren call, wakeup call, or what?

By |2024-02-09T13:30:23-08:00Jan. 14, 2013|

Is Ikaria merely my latest sun, tempting the Leo/Icarus I am to fly too close and burn? Ouch! That was the radical conclusion of my friend Ron Blouch after reading I was smitten with a Greek island in my last post. I felt I’d been punched in the stomach or caught with my pants down. (To understand why, you may want to read that post.)

Maybe Ron’s right, I thought, maybe I’ve simply leapt into “the grass is greener territory” big-time, to avoid staying stuck where I am. How disturbing, and how silly of me!

I sat with Ron’s words and the complex feelings they evoked until more clarity emerged.…

Breaking up is hard to do, Part II: What would Bapuji do?

By |2024-02-09T13:46:37-08:00Nov. 6, 2012|

What would Bapuji do indeed? That question is the chorus for this “Breaking up” blog saga of mine. Last time, I shared how a virtual cold shoulder by my once beloved spiritual home left me saddened and confused, about my relationship with Kripalu and my life purpose as a whole.

My dilemma seems small now, even to me, in light of the suffering unleashed by the Super Storm, not to mention the exigencies of the election. And before that, your comments were balm for my wounds. Still, I am moved to continue my strange saga, eager as I am to get to the bottom of it…

Breaking up is hard to do, Part I: My Kripalu Conundrum

By |2024-02-09T14:29:01-08:00Oct. 22, 2012|

“What would Bapuji do?” That zinger of a question popped right out the other day, not of my mouth, but of my beloved husband Trond’s. It was exactly the right question to help us cut to the chase in the peskiest conundrum I may have faced since becoming a published author. The problem has been building for years and is coming to a gut-wrenching head.…

Am I awake and making my difference? Maybe.

By |2024-02-09T14:39:24-08:00Jul. 31, 2012|

It’s time to wake up, fall in love with ourselves and make the difference we’re born and dying to make. If my book Bare Naked at the Reality Dance had a subtitle, that would be it. I also often say this: If I can do it, so by God can you. The implication is that I’m awake and self-loving enough to be doing what I’m here to do, and that if we hang together, you might gain ground in those departments too. Maybe so and maybe it’s time to take a look at what’s behind what I say.…

Seeing the light again, thanks to you

By |2024-02-09T14:42:52-08:00Jul. 16, 2012|

Time flies when we’re having fun, and sometimes when we aren’t. So here goes another post. And hey, after my share of dark days (inside and out), you might be glad to hear that sun and fun are coming around again, and—if I may stay with the clichés—a spot of light beckons from the end of the tunnel. What’s changed? Why do I wake up recent mornings with a budding sense of joy instead of the dread that’s been my wont of late? Do such sudden turnabouts happen to you?…

Onward and downward to surrender and trust!

By |2024-02-09T15:07:42-08:00May. 22, 2012|

Oh, dear God! The roller coaster rides on, and this girl hangs on for dear life. Okay, not quite. But there was a moment several weeks ago when, sitting stressed at my desk, I came as close to fainting as I ever have. My book took a significant toll on my body. It scared me and rightly so.…

Awakener and Scribe (not Bookseller!) am I

By |2024-02-09T15:01:44-08:00May. 9, 2012|

I’ve been at another crossroads in the life of the newly published author and, for a long moment,  it was a very yucky, sucky place to be. I stood, unsettled and uncertain, somewhere between a too-pregnant Mama’s urge to push like hell—to deliver success—and an opposing urge to give my baby up to God, to let life have me, the pursuit of success be damned.…

Shame on us! Not if we listen to our guts

By |2024-02-09T15:04:10-08:00Apr. 24, 2012|

Is it just me? Or is it painful for you, too, when you think you should be doing some supposedly critical thing you don’t feel you want to do? Isn’t it still worse when you don’t know why you don’t want to do what you think you should? Am I being a coward? Or am I onto something and need to find another way to proceed? Since writing helps me work out these kinks, here we go.…

My first guest blog post drew lovely comments

By |2024-02-09T15:15:46-08:00Feb. 9, 2012|

Years ago I wrote and, with great trepidation, mailed a much-labored-over book proposal to a renowned New York book editor. I had met her quite unexpectedly over the coffee urn at a wedding brunch, where she’d expressed interest in my work. I was sure that what seemed like a wildly serendipitous cup of Joe momentspelled imminent publication of the book I’d long felt destined to write.…

Over the moon and under the porch—it’s B Day

By |2024-02-09T16:23:51-08:00Dec. 11, 2011|

Holy Moly, me-oh-my-oh! I am doing my little happy dance all by myself. My long-awaited B Day is here. (No, I don’t mean my birthday, though it feels like it and then some.) This B is for my bare-naked book. Bare Naked at the Reality Dance, the book I’ve dreamed of and labored over for seven years is now in my hot little hands and up for order on Amazon. And last night, this website, so gorgeously designed by Shannon Bodie who also designed the book, went live for all the world to see. I can hardly stand it I’m so excited and, also, friggin’ frightened to death.…

You’d have thought I was going on Oprah

By |2024-02-09T15:57:43-08:00Oct. 18, 2011|

The second I finished the first draft of this post, the fearsome pictures arrived. Thank God—and Goddess (a photographer who, like my book/web designer, is improbably named Shannon)—they are great! But if you’d watched the lead-up to our shoot, you’d have thought I was going to be shot—or on Oprah, a prospect now relegated permanently to daydream land. Far short of a trembling-in-my-boots Oprah turn, I worked myself into a royal swivet over having my picture taken, frivolous as that sounds…

Giving the universe space, part two

By |2024-02-09T16:03:12-08:00Sep. 15, 2011|

Note: In my last post, “Giving the universe space, part one,” I described the miracles that can only happen when we get out of the way by letting go of pesky people and/or activities we have outgrown and thus no longer serve us. I gave a dramatic example from my yoga teaching days. Then I cut to the recent past, where I’d just fired the second person I’d hired to help me develop an online presence in advance of my book publication. Difficult as they’d both been for me to work with, one right after the other and for different reasons, I was feeling helpless and scared without them. But not for long.…

Is the social media marketing big tent folding?

By |2024-02-09T16:34:06-08:00Jun. 28, 2011|

In my last post I said I was behind the times (as well as behind time) for not riding the gargantuan wave of social media marketing to promote my book. Mea culpa for lacking a virtual fan horde. But guess what? I’ve spent another few weeks at the social media marketing circus (if I may mix metaphors). And after yet more exposure to the many rings where I might share my wares with an audience of virtual strangers-cum-friends, I’m having second thoughts.…

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