Multi-ethnic Raised Hands at Sunset


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?

The sun really has come out and I am slowly regaining my Nova Scotia sea legs. But I’m sure there’s more to my gladdening heart than that. As often, I trust that writing about what’s up may help with the unraveling and understanding of it, for all our sakes. Anything I can learn about bringing more joy into my life helps me bring more joy into yours, so let’s see what we find out.

Are you surprised you’ve had something to do with the turning of my spirits? Well, you have. By you, I mean, first of all, you much-appreciated blog readers. Your comments and presence in my life mean the world to me and, I realize as I write, you are helping me see my world differently.

My last post elicited two dissimilar but similarly provocative comments, which started turning my emotional tide. Rather than the usual words of appreciation and wisdom, which I am always glad for, Karen gently challenged me with these unexpected words:

    “As I was reading this post I thought, it’s good Suzanne is authentic, humble, and ‘Bare Naked,’ and yet I’d like to see her talking about the bright side of herself too. So I guess I was looking for the light that I know is there…”

I thought about that and responded on the site, and then I thought about it some more.

Bless you, dear Karen, for helping me see that I had been rather in the dumps lately. And yes, it may be time to start looking with more vigilance for the light, which I, too, always know is there but can sometimes—especially recently, in the frenzy of trying to make things happen with the book—lose sight of. So here I am, looking for and starting to see the light, with thanks to you.

Another reader of the “To give love is to live love” post offered a challenge of a different sort:

    “I’ve been reading and writing on this blog for a couple of months and I’ve noticed many of the comments tend to focus on Suzanne. Maybe I’ve got this all wrong, but I view Suzanne’s posts as a catalyst to encourage our own self reflection and to share our own feelings and struggles.”

Amen! That comment of Dagmar’s followed right after one where she had gotten bare naked with me—and all of us—by movingly sharing her difficulty dealing with the aging appearance of her own, as she first saw it, no-longer-lovely face. (If you go to the comments for that post, you can see the rich exchange that followed.) Dagmar had bravely modeled exactly what she went on to encourage the rest of us to do: reveal ourselves so we can release our insecurities and doubts!

Dagmar’s willingness to take the lead in opening up the conversation, as Karen also did with her challenge, inspires me and makes me glad. It reminds me, along with all the other comments you make—of appreciation, affirmation, and wisdom—that I am far from alone, and that this work we are doing is becoming a shared, mutually supportive effort, just as I prayed it would.

By stepping up and speaking up, you wonderful people I’ve been connecting with through the blog have eloquently reminded me that my efforts around writing, publishing and promoting my book arose from that same sacred co-creative place we are establishing here. Many, many women, along with my husband, all of us guided by the vibrant spirit of Swami Kripalu, pitched in full-tilt to craft the book. No question it was a huge undertaking; for about a year, it was hard labor. But I assure you it was a labor of love and it was a joint venture. I didn’t birth it alone.

That brings me to this: Can’t I assume—now that the blog is coming alive in the same collaborative way—that the universe will also conspire with me to get the book I fret about promoting the attention it deserves? I bet I can! Thanks to your support, I’m back in touch with the trust and joie de vivre that’s both the source of the book and the experience I want readers to come away with. May we all continue working together to keep this co-creative, communal feminine essence alive, right here and in the larger world. All blessings and thanks on our Way!

About the Author: Suzanne Grenager

A seasoned writer and mentor with a gift for helping people see and be their most authentic, empowered Self.


  1. Shalom Ormsby July 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Your post helps me appreciate the play of light and shadow that happens in all of our lives – cycles of brilliancy and darkness, awareness and murkiness, love and fear. I’m reminded that the point isn’t to cling to the pleasant and desirable parts of the cycle, but rather to open to and be truly present with whatever life brings. And this is a team effort. We’re able to offer each other support and share wisdom in novel ways (such as on this blog, on Facebook, via text and email, however our creative spirits choose to express themselves). Power to the creative collective, empowered by presence, opening to, exploring, and savoring the bright and dark mysteries of life…

    • Suzanne Grenager July 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm - Reply

      Beautiful, Shalom! If my post helps you appreciate the play of shadow and light, your comment helps affirm for me that it is the act of being present that matters — more, far more than the content of our experience, which for most of us is bound to those *cycles* you clearly describe. I love your affirmation that we can benefit from being as present to the murkiness and the fear as we are to the brilliance and the love. I may prefer one experience over the other, but it’s all grist for the awareness mill, all fodder to fuel our waking up. And it is indeed a team effort, at least for those of us willing to share our vulnerabilities and reach out for support when we need it. Thank you for offering yours and “Power to the creative collective” indeed! 

  2. Jim July 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    I realize now the deeper meaning of the ‘bare naked’ phrase in your title, Suzanne… you really are telling the bare-naked truth of your experience, even when it’s not especially pretty!


    • Suzanne Grenager July 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      Yes, yes, Jim. I am so glad you now understand what I am doing: Radical self-exposure for what I hope is the good of all. We have got to strip down and be willing to be fully seen — exposed even — before we can be free to fully step up to be of greatest service, to our soul’s purpose and to our sisters and brothers on Planet Earth. I am doing my small part to pave that way. Thank you for your acknowledgement!

  3. Karen July 18, 2012 at 2:35 am - Reply

    Ah, Suzanne, I’m basking in the light and joy coming through this posting!  And of course, appreciating you for being authentic about that fluctuation we all go through from dark to light and back again.  May we see less of that polarity as we continue to evolve, and thank YOU for being here.

    • Suzanne Grenager July 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm - Reply

      Thank *you* for being here, too, Karen. Like you, I imagine the highs will continue to become less high and the lows less low as we continue our trek to the light. And again I say, God bless us all on our Way. 

  4. Jody July 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Hey Suzanne

    It was a wonderful surprise to meet you again, my Kripalu sister, after a 30 year
    hiatus…it felt as if we had never parted and in fact it felt as if we had grown
    closer.  AHHH the gift of a spiritual path and grace of our teacher.  I LOVE, LOVE
    your book as it documents the real life experiences of the unfoldment of your purpose.  I will recommend it to all the graduates of Atlantic Yoga Teacher Training

    • Suzanne Grenager July 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      Jody! It’s so wonderful to see you showing up here — and with a comment that’s knocked my socks off. I am thrilled you love my book and honored you’ll be recommending it to the graduates of your yoga teacher training training program here in Atlantic Canada. Not least, I am glad to hear that you, too, feel the greater closeness  I also experienced. The gift and grace of a shared spiritual path indeed! But no matter what path we walk, when it’s a spiritual one, love reigns, and we can bask in the knowledge that we are all in its sweet soup together. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support!

  5. Maurie July 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    It sounds like the book, as has been your life, is part of the journey, not the end goal. Loving you and your journey, and I appreciate your willingness to learn in public. 
    With gratitude,

    • Suzanne Grenager July 21, 2012 at 11:46 am - Reply

      Maurie: How very much I appreciate your ongoing, authentic support of me and my journey. My “willingness to learn in public,” as you so aptly put it, is indeed the point — not the book and not this blog. Those are simply the current means to model the importance of showing up real and raw and in process — just as we are — offering what we are passionate about offering right from there. I see you doing that, too, and am honored to walk with you on the Way.

  6. Bex vanKoot July 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Yesterday at the wonderful reading you did, I had a brief encounter during meditation with Sekhmet, a goddess with whom I have only tangentially connected in the past. The crone goddess was alive and well in the room! Sekhmet is a solar goddess, representing both the creative and destructive forces of the sun, the frenzy of dance and sexuality, and the burning flame of retribution and cleansing fire.

    Reading about her today, this passage from the White Moon Goddess School where I am currently a student struck me in particular… the idea of ‘thwarted energy’ reminding me of our discussion about ‘shelved dreams’:

    “Sekhmet, as the Crone goddess, rules menopause, “a powerful time of self-creation and self-government that could produce visions and create magic” (Ellis). For a woman to use her will and creativity for her own benefit is frightening for some men. The Greeks called her Medusa, and Sekhmet, the Powerful One, now became the Gorgon, or Feared One (Ellis).

    …the rage of Sekhmet is a manifestation of “thwarted energy.” Because women are taught to repress anger and turn it inwards, it builds up – and eventually, that energy has to be released. Sekhmet is transformative power, and we can use her energy in a positive way by learning how to release and express it appropriately.”

    • Suzanne Grenager July 21, 2012 at 11:37 am - Reply

      Thank you SO much for this beautiful offering about Sekhmet, dear Bex. I did not remember about this goddess, who sounds as if she may be an energetic sister to the Indian goddess Kali Durga. Now that you have explained Sekhmet so eloquently for us, I agree she was alive in the room at our reading the other night. I, too, felt, the air electric with the possibilities and power of feminine transformation, of which you were very much a part. Bless you for coming all the way from Liverpool and for the contriubtion of your presence among us! Love the name White Moon Goddess School. Let’s plan to connect further!  

  7. Sheila July 21, 2012 at 10:27 am - Reply

    Dear Suzanne, I honour your willingness to indeed stand bare naked, courageously allowing ALL aspects of yourself to show up and dance in the moment and then to publicly acknowledge that it is OK, too, to let the Light shine. For me, it is not an “either/or” dance but the dance of “and” … acknowledging all aspects of the small “s” self and the Large “S” Self. It has been my journey to learn that loving all aspects of me is important; that is, not to try to disown or fear my ego or any part of it. I feel moved to share the following from Herman Hesse:

    “Harry consists of a hundred or a thousand selves, not of
    two. His life oscillates, as everyone’s does, not merely between two poles,
    such as the body and the spirit, the saint and the sinner, but between
    thousands and thousands.  Every ego, so
    far from being a unity is in the highest degree a manifold world, a
    constellated heaven, a chaos of forms, of states and stages, of inheritances
    and potentialities. As a body everyone is single, as a soul, never.”                         From Steppenwolf 

    • Suzanne Grenager July 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      Dear Sheila: It’s been wonderful reconnecting with you here in the home of my heart. You beautifully express — through Hesse’s words and your own wise ones — the inestimable value of accepting all of who we are and, thereby, all of who everyone is — our universal soul! So, yes, we must own our greatness as well as our shortcomings. Our human dance is indeed a whirl (sometimes blur) of darkness and light, as we move through life to death, and on perhaps to immortality. Bless you for your thoughtful offering and for standing hand in hand with me (and us all) as we go and grow.

  8. Mary July 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Today is dark inside and out.   Outside because of clouds and rain…actually, both are a welcome relief: we need rain and the hot sun is no longer beating down.  Inside, because of the violence, loss and grief of the movie theatre shootings on Colorado.  There is so much suffering and violence in the world. 

    It is refreshing to read your blog, dear Suzanne, and the work must continue to bring light where there is darkness.   Again I feel compelled to take care of myself, to dtraw within and heal.  In this way we can do the work that needs to be done to heal the world at large.  More feminine energy please, more love, compassion and opening to the spirit.

    Thank you for what you do and write.   It helps heal me and the world at large and to keep me on the path.  mary

    • Suzanne Grenager July 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      I am so glad if anything I do helps keep you on your ever-evolving way toward greater self-love and care. You lead such a full and generous life, I know. This drawing inward and healing when we need to (and which you speak of) is the most powerful way I see to lessen the suffering within and, thus, around us and out in the larger world.

      Loving ourselves increases the universal storehouse of love, antidote to the fear that drives people to the edge where violence erupts. I continue to be grateful for your understanding of what I am doing here and, we hope, in my life. That you also practice self-love and invite others to it, as many of our readers do, makes my heart sing.  

  9. Dagmar July 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    I’m reading so much these days about the Ascension to 5th Dimensional Frequency, Unity Conciousness, and Opening the Heart, which all sounds wonderful, but apparently no carry on baggage allowed when making this trip. I feel that most of us are being prompted to face and release all of our fears, insecurities and doubts and that the Universe keeps serving up our own delicious recipes for accomplishing this feat. I personally have been seated at my own Beggars Banquet for some months now, and the purging of my fears has pushed me close to the edge, but every day I feel abit lighter.

    • Suzanne Grenager July 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      Welcome back and thank you, dear Dagmar. I am taken with your language about “serving up our own delicious recipes” for releasing our fear-laden baggage on our way to Unity Consciousness. And calling your recent journey a “Beggar’s Banquet” is inspired! As you must know, I am not far from the edge sometimes either, so I am glad we can hold hands. And I am heartened to hear your load is growing lighter. Working so close to the cliff almost ensures it. Good for you! 

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