Thanksgiving Reflections

Thanks to zoom and cell phones, we could text, see family, and visit with family. We also received many texts from friends. I thought about the difficulties and positive experiences in my past. The fact that John and I get along so well still makes me appreciate everything my past has taught me. We had a good Thanksgiving even despite Covid-19. Friends dropped by with special treats during this past week or called with a surprise! We did sit about twelve feet apart and share one meal with a few local family members. It was a time of sharing and remembering thankfulness for all of us. Perhaps next year we can all be more grateful than ever for being “in person” with both family and/or friends. I won’t mind wearing a mask if we can be closer to visit!

During this entire Thanksgiving, I also thought of you, each reading this blog. I wanted to thank you for reading and sharing with me one or all of my blog postings. The life of this blog has already brought me so much joy. Of course, I am grateful for Boston, my stepson, for getting me started. He showed up to isolate with us at the perfect time for me to begin the blog. He set me up with my web page and encouraged me to begin. John, Boston, and I brainstormed all sorts of stories that I could share with you. I have not even gotten started on those. The best is yet to come. There are some hilarious ones. I finally began the blog I wanted to do for over five years. When I did begin, I became so grateful for each person who left me a comment. By reading and commenting, you encouraged me to keep going.

As I continued blogging, I began to notice changes within me. It was like my brain cells were waking up. I was pulling up names faster and able to remember situations that I had long forgotten. My ability to focus even improved. I was putting my life in order from memory, hoping that someday my grandchildren could read this blog and catch a glimpse of my life. While organizing and typing, it was so much fun because as I wrote, I could actually step into that scene in my past and see all involved faces. Before writing this blog, I was unsure that I could even recognize some of those mentioned if I passed them on the street.

Even if you do not want to do a public blog, consider doing a memoir or writing something where you put your life for someone else to read at a later date. You, too, will have brain cells open and you will feel years younger. I am serious! Think about this. Writing a daily journal might be another answer. That will help you write present-day information. Writing about your past to the present does something different. Even though it might be done very simply, I believe this exercise will open up brain cells you have not used in a long, long time. You will see your own difference.

As I looked back and wrote about the hard times that I thought I could not bear, I could see that those times did pass. As hard as those times were, what followed was more healing and gratifying than anything I could have imagined. Oh, it definitely took time, but I could see how miracles unfolded, and life became quite bearable again.

Always remember that favorite saying of mine. “Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.” My blog showed me that faith was the strength of all of those struggles that I went through in my past. When I could not find my faith in the past, this blog helped me look back and see how faith existed. The healing and change I went through lead me to where I am now.

Today I believe that I have a strong foundation of faith that will guide me through my future in a good way. It does not mean that there won’t be difficult times. It does mean I will maintain “joy and gratitude within” during those times.

As I write this now, It is no longer “Faith is the bird that sings when the Dawn is still dark.” Instead, “Faith is the meadowlark that sings in the morning, signaling hope for bright and sunny days in my future.” Faith is something I used to call upon in the past when in despair. Now faith is something I call upon in my time of joy.

I have spoken and I am grateful for all of you! Please know it!

LESSON: Writing improves “thinking abilities.” This helps one focus, pull up words faster and remember names more easily.

GIFTS: I am writing again and have received so much joy. I see my past more clearly and am ready for all the gifts that will be coming in my future.

I see even more clearly how every loss brought gifts in my future. Thus, writing about both the positive and negative in a blog or a journal will help me remember to be grateful, have faith, hope, and always know God, my divine source, is so good.

Returning to Normal Life

So many thoughts kept coming to me about this experience of a vision quest. I could not, by any means, share everything with someone or you. To this day, I am still having “aha’s” about something that happened on that quest, as well as the other three that I did.

As that last sweat where we told stories ended, Gary suggested I make prayer ties for each of the animals I saw and all of the signs I received on the hill. After the feast, John helped me gather what I was to keep, and my part of we took for camping before the quest. He must have known how tired I was and realized that I did not understand how tired I was. After helping me into my apartment and getting me something to eat, he immediately said that he would head down the road. He left. I took a long shower and walked into the bed, and laid down. When I did so, I heard an Indian singing the four-direction song. I opened my eyes and still heard it. I closed my eyes and listened and fell sound asleep. When I woke up, it was 7 o’clock. I called Sally.

Sally came to get me, and we went to get a malt. She wanted to talk more about the Deva Kingdom lights that I saw. Did they represent “illumination” about life? Perhaps the three fingers lighting up had something to do with healing or writing and helping others. When I returned home, I again went straight to bed. It was now at 9 o’clock. I slept well and dreamed. John and I were standing on a big piece of land. I was handing John things, items that I could not identify. I was helping him prepare for the Sun Dance, helping him be ready!

It dawned on me how much Mother Earth helped me. At the beginning of the quest, when the people left me, not a single person looked back. I spread my blanket on the ground, sat on it, laid down, and dozed. I heard a rumbling in the earth. Was that noise in the earth? Yes, and it returned. I opened my eyes and saw that the clouds were beginning to move across the moon. But my warning came from within the earth. Then the lights came. I had lights coming from Heaven during the day and lights coming up from Earth during the night. Was these light attempting to tell me that what happens in Heaven also happens on earth or that my affirmation about creating Heaven on Earth can come about? If this happens for me, perhaps I can help others bring Heaven to Earth.

(I typed this statement about lights yesterday and went to bed thinking about all the blessings I have received since that first quest. Today my devotional quoted a verse I must have previously read several times in the Bible but did not truly see and relate to my lights. Today this verse opened up for me. It is from James 1:17. Both James from Heaven and the lights are important to me. I had a major dream about James of Heaven that brought a gift I will share with you later in a later blog. But look at this synchronicity. I wrote about lights in this blog yesterday and today opened my devotional to Friday, November 12, 2020, to read: “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”)

The banana spider that caused me to pick my spot was the sign I needed to pick my spot. A banana spider is that black spider with yellow on it. It made its home and beautiful spider web on one side of my house’s porch. I spoke to it every day and would not let anyone touch its spider web. I knew it did not bite and that it ate mosquitos and helped in other ways. Then it was where I could watch it on my vision quest. The spider in the Native American way is called Iktomi. It is a trickster. When it appears, it can warn us about something that can be a mistake for us to do, something that we might say “yes” to when we should say “no.” Making the wrong choice, though, might end up showing us something about ourselves that we need to change, or it might create a lesson that we find ourselves repeating over and over again. So it might bring the negative that can lead to the positive; thus, it might be a trickster coming into our life when we are willing to learn from a mistake or be a healer when we see it in a new light. This spider worked its way onto every prayer flag and ended up in the South, where healing takes place. It entertained me during the light of day. I felt like there was healing during this time of fasting and prayer for mistakes I made during the fifteen years since Don’s death.

By Tuesday, I felt better. Gary came by. He told me not to worship my pipe. Use it to focus. He brought me a small medicine bag and said it included everything I received on the vision quest. He asked if I was still receiving answers from the signs shown to me during my quest. Yes, I definitely was. I shared with him about the eagles and what they possibly meant and about the butterflies, wondering what was in each prayer tie they landed on. We talked about the many yellow-breasted birds that came into my tree closest to me. Yellow represented the East and new beginnings, like when the sun comes up. Gary and Elizabeth were going to go with Janet to Texas. His last words to me before he left were, “Always watch for signs, Susanne.”

Finally, I began to do a few things on Wednesday to catch up on my work and prepare for John’s birthday party that Boston and Savannah helped me plan. It was to be in my back yard in Norman with a few of his friends from Pauls Valley and some of my friends he knew. Also invited were some of the people that we normally participated in sweats with. That evening John and I had a fantastic discussion. It was evident that he knew nothing about this party.

Sunday afternoon, everyone invited showed up for John’s party. It had only been one week since my hanbleceya, but I had to have the party before I moved. Phil and Susan Henderson came from Pauls Valley. Phil brought Ebony, an eagle that Phil had nurtured to health, to the party. Ebony was a total hit and a gift for everyone. John was truly surprised. when everyone began showing up. It was a fun time.

Monday was the beginning of my move to my apartment. The couple that purchased my house luckily walked through my home and purchased many furniture pieces that I could not take to my small apartment. I moved all week and had something like an estate sale to rid myself of so many other items that the new owners did not want. I was truly downsizing, and it surprisingly felt good. I would have no storage shed, just an apartment. I also let go of everything in the garage that had been boxed up since I moved from New Mexico, plus tools. Luckily, John was gone the next weekend. By the time he returned, I had my apartment half done. Both Cathy and Kathy helped me move, plus people that purchased my home. Then, the remainder of my move was done by five other women friends. We were all named Sue, Susan, Susie, or Susanne. The six of us were single and helped each other move whenever one of us needed to move. They were now helping me. This move was super easy with the six of us working together.

Each of their moves had also been this easy. We all noticed how interesting it was to do this with only women. We all automatically knew how to set up a kitchen, where this or that would go. It was good. However, we did have two heavy items that we needed help with, my desk and my bed. Two men did help with that.

Dawn and Johnny both came to see my apartment. They looked at how small it was, and Johnny said, “Okay, Mom, we get the idea. No more moving back in with you.” Dawn laughed and said, “Right.” We were all having fun. Each of them did move back in with me during their lifetimes, staying with me or later, John and me, for different reasons. I loved each time.

The apartment looked okay but was not finished. Thursday afternoon, I received an unexpected call from Gary and Elizabeth. They wanted to come to stay with me. I explained that I was no longer in my house and was now in a small apartment. They said that it did not matter. A friend of ours from Texas drove them halfway. I met them and brought this big Indian and petite blonde to visit me in my new apartment. I enjoyed them. Sometimes Gary would be in the teaching mode, and I became his only student at the time. I was blessed with a new understanding each time he shared.

LESSON: We all receive signs that we ignore. Perhaps we do not want to notice, or perhaps something might have to change if we paid attention to the sign/signs that we were being given. Once we wake up, open up, gain courage, practice acceptance, and only focus on improving Self rather than changing family or friends or a partner at home or work, our whole life begins to soar to a higher level.

GIFTS: God and Spirit are in the middle of every situation. To always remember, that brings more peace within, even when it is difficult. I had the opportunity to practice remembering this through all three long nights that brought wet and cold. And I felt so, so good afterward. I believe I saw my life, and the hard times, and lessons I was still learning. I had faith that complete healing was coming in my future with all that I was shown.

Another gift of this quest was the support I had. I asked for support. It was hard to do this, but I needed it for the quest. The fire had to be tended and kept going day and night. I did not know it would rain at the time I asked. Supporters would also eat and drink for me, and pray for me. I had some wonderful supporters that were willing to give up a weekend to support me. They each knew the importance of this quest for me.

Now Cathy and I knew about a “real vision quest.” I knew more answers would continue to come and be revealed during my lifetime.

A Real Vision Quest

In a past blog, I talked about going to Sedona to support a woman named Cathy to do her vision quest. Do you remember? Please note that this is not the same person as the Kathy I recently met at my first sweat. After I committed to this quest, I asked the first Cathy to support me on my quest. She definitely wanted to because she wanted to see what a vision quest conducted by a Lakota Native American looked like. Do you recall that the one in Sedona lasted only a few hours, with us stopping to get cokes and chips before going out to Bell Rock for the vision quest? Well, this one appeared to be quite different. Now, before you begin, know I attempted to shorten this. I am dividing it into two parts for you, but I still did not include all I wanted to share with you. Now, let’s begin.

Gary guided Kathy and me by phone through the preparation process with only a few telephone calls. Even though Kathy and I were both single and working, we each began gathering items for our vision quests that he suggested. One of our assignments was to pick up 400 stones. We spent multiple days together, picking up the four hundred stones that would be used for sweats during purification and the quest. We got to know each other well. Gary also told us to be certain to make a tobacco offering and say a prayer for the rock nation before picking up the stones. We decided to also pray with each stone about our vision quest as we carried it to Kathy’s Blazer, gently placing each stone in the back of her Blazer.We both wanted strong answers on this quest for us and the other two that committed to the quest when we planned to do so. When we were fully loaded, we had to drive more than an hour to the land chosen for our vision quest to unload the rocks just as gently. Multiple trips were required due to the heaviness of the stones and what her automobile held.

Gary also explained that we were to begin purification four days before the quest. I realized that I would be the first person to begin purification and the first one to go on the hill since I chose to go for three days and nights. As the time came closer, I felt like I had everything I needed except for finishing the remainder of my six hundred prayer ties. I remembered that when Gary told Kathy and me what we needed for this adventure, I almost panicked. Both John and Gary saw the look on my face. How could I get all of the things I needed? I also needed money that I did not have at present. I did not even know what some of the items on the list were! Both assured me that I had no need to worry, and I would be surprised by what would come to me and what would happen in my life to help me do this quest.

It all went back to “Have Faith.” Sure enough, everything did happen to bring this about. With guidance and an extra good check from sales for the month, I was okay. John gifted me his pipe, Kathy and I had delivered the 400 stones we prayed with. I also had the clothes I needed and the Pendleton blanket I purchased to use on the hill. Kathy had all the camping gear we might need. We only needed to stop on the way to purchase the food that Gary and Elizabeth could eat during their trip to Oklahoma to help us.

An unexpected phone call from Gary and Elizabeth came the day before purification began. They were already at Mary’s and asked if Kathy and I wanted to come sweat with them the next day. “Yes.” Even though I had just returned from John’s, I telephoned him to share the news that Gary and Elizabeth had arrived. Then I made my sage tea I was to drink during the four days of purification rather than water. Next, I enjoyed a long, hot shower because I could not touch or drink any water after midnight until my quest was over in seven days. After the shower, I had a cup of sage tea, and it was surprisingly good.

I thought about all that had happened in the last three and a half years since I began to work on “me.” I also thought about how things had worked out in the last two weeks. I sold my house for $100 above what I owed (thank goodness) and even rented an apartment. I had no idea what would happen during this quest, but I kept focusing on “trust the process and praying three times a day as Gary said to do. I also kept knowing all will be fine.” My life had been orchestrated perfectly to get me to this point, and I felt that my quest was already being orchestrated.

Kathy picked me up. When we arrived on the land, the fire was already started. The stones were almost ready. We greeted Gary and Elizabeth, set up our small tent, and dressed for the sweat as quickly as possible. During the sweat, Gary explained that the vision quest helps each person look over their lives; past, present, and future. He suggested that Kathy and I might want to remain on this land and camp rather than return home. He went on to share about lessons being presented to us during these four days of purification. It seemed that the lessons would come to us stronger if we remained at home working rather than on the land. He encouraged us to stay and not return home, saying that, at home, those lessons might come from people we care about. It would be better to remain on this land. We would have the same lessons here, but they would be more gentle. Kathy and I both had appointments for work the next day and explained that we probably needed to return home.

However, the next morning, things changed. Kathy showed up at my place, unannounced, and asked if my morning was as difficult as hers. It had been. We agreed we preferred to go camp and finish our prayer ties there. We canceled appointments. I gathered a few more items I needed, and we headed to our destination.

I finished my ties before the evening sweat. In that sweat, Gary told us to rise with the Morning Star and make prayers. He suggested that we might want to make friends with the morning star. On the third day, we chose our spots where we would be for our quest. I placed my big, red heart-shaped stone that Cathy gave me in Sedona in my spot. After the evening meal, there was another sweat. More people kept arriving. Early the fourth day, Gary sent me to John’s house to acquire something for him that he needed. John casually shared with me that he would be going to a reception that night and would not be at the sweat. He did quickly add that he would be there before I went up on the hill. I could not believe my ears, because he had educated me about how one supports a quest. Now he was attending a reception rather than coming to this last, important sweat! He also said some odd things unlike himself.

I realized this was part of my quest and exactly what Gary told us about remaining on the land. I needed to look at my feelings and my reaction. I also knew that I needed to work on something I was being shown during this quest. Was it about “my worth?” My feelings were hurt, and I was not happy as I returned to the land, but I still had lots of work to do before going up on the hill. Gary had told us how important it was to go on the hill balanced. Perhaps work would help me.

It was time to gather my trees, six fruit trees and one cedar tree. It had to be fruit trees to represent growth. Mary said that she would help me acquire my trees. She knew where there were prune trees. She was the perfect person to help since she owned this land. I made a prayer to the tree nation as I gathered the six fruit trees and one small cedar tree. The cedar tree had to be stripped with only about two feet of the top remaining. Four were to be placed in the four directions. The cedar and two fruit trees were to be placed in front of me when standing to pray facing West. I attached prayer flags to each tree. They would be right in front of me for the entire quest.

Finally, it was time for this last sweat before I was to begin the quest. I had all trees and a few items leaning against the sweat lodge that people would carry up the hill when I went. Just as we were about to get in, John pulled in to park his van. Sally was with him, and I was delighted to see both of them. John hugged me. He explained that he wanted to hug me now because after the sweat, I would be wakan (That meant holy in Lakota) and no one could touch me. They were both ready to sweat. Gary told me to get into the lodge and to sit in the East for this sweat. When Gary crawled in, he asked for the pipe John had given me. I passed it to him. Knowing it was a gift from John, he then cleaned it by making a prayer with it. We all watched as he filled my pipe with natural tobacco and gently handed it back to me. Gary then instructed me not to let it touch the ground during the quest, saying I was to keep the stem of the pipe always facing West when I was to be on the hill. He added, “Now that pipe is yours.”

Following the sweat, a few women remained in the lodge to help me change my sweat dress to my clothes for this quest. I held the pipe carefully. When I crawled out of the sweat lodge, A woman carefully draped my blanket over my shoulders, and Gary told me to guide everyone to the place I had chosen. All supporters that had been in the lodge for this sweat, and others that were going to quest for fewer nights and days, followed me to my spot. They carried what I had leaned against the lodge up the hill. No one said a word. Everyone walked in a straight line behind me, stopping four times to make a prayer for each direction: West, North, East, and South. Walking up this hill made me think about Jesus. I knew that I had relatives and friends that did not understand what I was doing. I also knew some of them were mocking me. Jesus had many more that mocked him during his lifetime.

Vision Quest, Part II

I arrived at my spot and stood facing West. My trees were placed in each direction and front of me. Next, my prayer ties were placed around my trees. They defined my area. I was to stay inside this space of about four by six feet until it was time that I return to camp. I had cleared a bigger spot, not knowing how big an area I should clear. Each supporter made prayers for me one at a time. Then they all turned and left. Gary told me that someone might come to check on me. They were not to talk to me, and I was not to look them in the eye. He left, and I was alone. Soon the weather began to change. Clouds covered the moon. The wind was blowing. All I had was a new wool Pendleton blanket wrapped around me, the one to present to Gary when this quest was complete.

It began to rain, and the night turned freezing. I covered myself and lay down to sleep. It was so wet. Not being able to sleep, I sat up and looked around. It was still raining, but there were three lights in the grass. No one was there but me, so I said out loud, “Are you part of the diva kingdom? I am so happy to see you. It is frigid. After visiting with them for a while, I said, “If you are part of the deva kingdom and have any friends that would like to come to join us, invite them.” I told more things to this little light before I laid back down. I was so excited. Could it really be a little light being from the deva kingdom?

I remembered when Sally mentioned the deva kingdom to me a few months ago. We were sitting in her kitchen at the table when she mentioned it. I said, “What, Sally, is a deva kingdom?” I thought she was talking about something mythical or perhaps women. She was not. She admitted that she had never seen one but thought she had discovered a place in New Mexico where they lived. In fact, John and I were going to Taos, and she asked that we deliver offerings to the place she felt they must live.(John knew Sally, my Al-Anon sponsor, and I could not wait to see his face when I shared with him that we were to make her offerings for her. He agreed to it.) I loved her next explanation that she shared with me about the deva kingdom. “They are little light beings that live under the earth. Their only light is within them. They had to learn how to radiate their own light to find their path within the earth.” Now, were these the devas she talked about? Did that offering work?

I had been doing affirmations for a long time about my own light shining brighter. Perhaps this little light came to teach me something. Still super cold, I sat up again. I was so, so cold. This time there were six lights! I thought, “Oh, Sally, you would not believe this!” She was down in camp being a supporter. She would love this possibility!. Those light beings stayed with me until daylight. I prayed lots and talked to those little lights, my new friends. They helped me through the night. The rain ended as morning came.

By mid-morning, the sun was out. Everything looked clean and crisp. I knew I had not been fasting long enough to hallucinate, but directly in front of me, I began seeing white dots in the sky while looking out over the land. They lit up like little stars. I sat straight up with attention! They immediately moved down into the earth and came up to form a symbol directly in front of me. I had to look fast to recognize the shape they were showing me. They went into the earth and came up again. Soon I learned that I could ask them if they could show me the same symbol a second time, and they did do that. They would go down into the earth and return in front of me, making the same shape twice. The process continued. First, show themselves right in front of me against the sky, then go down into the earth, and then come out of the earth showing a different symbol. This was better than a picture show!

Eventually, that stopped. I tried to remember the shapes shown. With it warmer, I was able to sleep some. The lights in the night and the day were phenomenal. I continued to pray and continued to say “thank you” in my prayers. I watched which direction the wind was blowing, what animals came into my view, where a butterfly landed on a prayer tie, everything. I knew I was being shown things about myself through each event. I also knew I would learn more about my vision quest and what I saw as my life unfolded when I returned to my regular life.

Night came and was just as cold again. The second night I thought my deva kingdom lights were not there. The night was again cold. I finally stood up to pray. When I pulled my blanket back to crawl back in, a 2″ space on my blanket lit up. Then when I put my hand down by my side, I noticed my three fingers on my right hand lit up. I looked at my left hand. It had no lights, but my right hand still had lights on the same three fingers.! I pulled my hand out, and all lights went off. When I put it back in, the lights went on. However, on about the fourth time I put my hand in to see it again, I said, “That can’t be!” And guess what, the lights turned off and did not turn on again the rest of the night. The rest of the night was cold and long. However, I did make it through the night with the help of that interesting visit of the deva beings. The day came, and my daytime lights returned. Everything was amazing to me! I napped, and when I woke up, two large eagles flew closely over me and circled above. They seemed to be playing tag with each other. Was that an answer to a prayer about a kind companion to have fun with?

The third night was again cold and wet again! No deva lights showed up to help. I started negative self-talk. Was I just crazy to do this? Gary had said, “When you come to the point of deciding between returning to camp and not continuing any longer, stand up and pray. Face your cedar tree and your fruit trees surrounding your space and look at all of your prayer ties. “When you complete your commitment, know that every prayer will be answered.” Billy came to mind, my young cousin that was 14 and had a drunk hit him on the first day he rode a motorbike to school. He was in intensive care for three months in a body cast. They told him he would not be able to do this or that or anything. I encouraged him not to listen. They even asked me not to encourage him, saying that he would never talk to us again. Billy was in some of my prayer ties. If Billy could be in that situation and come out of it, standing in the cold was worth it! Billy is alive, talks, and is a great young man in his forties today. He is in a wheelchair, but you should just see his smile and how he lives life! Obviously, I stayed!

My life had been a pattern of money problems, no money, money, no money, etc. So I thought about my financial patterns with money issues throughout my entire life, relationship patterns of my past, decisions I made about my children, etc. I prayed about all of this and a closer relationship with God and Spirit, to have a greater understanding of death and life, why some things happen to one and not another, and other questions I hope to be answered! I knew these answers would come.

I kept praying and praying, and finally, it began to be warmer. Mid-morning came, and my little star-like lights came again to show me shapes. I was afraid they would come to get me to return to camp before my show was over, but they did not. Soon afterward, Gary and a few people showed up to collect the trees, my prayer ties, and what was in my spot. They told me to head back to camp, sit inside the lodge, and not speak. All of us that did a quest seemed to be returning about the same time. Those that supported crawled into the lodge with us. No one spoke. When Gary crawled in, and the door closed, he began the sweat. After a prayer song, he asked each one to share what happened. It was amazing to listen to everyone’s story. Afterward, I changed into the new clothes I was told to bring and wear after the quest. Why new? Because we were new. Then there was a feast and water. I ate and drank lightly, presented Gary with my blanket, and gave all supporters a small present. The other persons that completed questing also did this.

LESSON: Open to answers. Allow yourself to receive answers. Ask your divine source for answers about your life. Answers will come. Do not justify a miracle away when an answer comes. Take all limits off for answers will come in many ways.

GIFT: My gifts were huge. We limit God in so many ways. God wants us to “ask, see, and receive.” Too many times, we allow a statement made by someone, belief parents perhaps taught us, or a teacher, or a friend, or a preacher to hold us back. God is so good. All that makes up the Holy Spirit and helps us amazes me!

I did make friends with the Morning Star. It is the first star in the morning. It shines when it is still dark so many times, just like we can. It is the dawn of a new day, a new beginning for each of us. How can I learn to shine in the dark or before the sun comes out in my own life! It teaches, supports, and brings new beginnings.

The rain at night and super cold at night represented the pain I have felt during long, difficult struggles in my life. The deva kingdom beings reminded me of the family and friends’ support during difficult times. They also reminded me that I, too, can shine my own light during dark times, and it is important to do so. Then the warmth that came following each miserably cold night brought the same feeling we have when the clouds in life lift, difficulties pass, and warmth returns to life.

When we go through a difficult time, we can stand up and pray and face the storm. Focus on all of the answers already received in life. Eventually, the warmth and sun will return to our lives, and life becomes better and better!

I learned that every time a supporter in camp ate or drank while we were on our quest, they prayed that those on the hill doing a quest receive nourishment. That is why I did not get hungry or thirsty!

I learned about my own foundation I was strengthening. It was four years ago that I fasted one day a week for four weeks for answers. Apparently, my God thought it might be good for me to fast three days and nights for answers. Then I went with Cathy to do a vision quest in Sedona two-three years ago! God apparently thought I needed a true vision quest with the guidance of a Lakota that truly was a Medicine Man, but never said that about himself. Pay attention to what you do and what God presents to you later. I believe that this gift from God is wonderful!

I knew I wanted to learn more about this Native American path I stepped upon. I had no doubt now. The vision quest was for me. I could not wait to see what the Sun Dance would be like!

Reflections About The Sweat And Coming Vision Quest

John took me back to my apartment. We visited, and then he returned to Pauls Valley to spend time with Boston and Savannah. I slept well and got up in the morning to think about my experience during this sweat lodge (purification ceremony) and what I had done when committing to do a traditional Lakota vision quest. Another lady named Katherine also presented a pipe to Gary after I decided to do so. She wanted to do hers in October also. Gary shared with us following the sweat, giving the two of us more instructions about what we needed to begin gathering to prepare for the vision quest. He then shared with me that this way was not for everybody as he said, “Relax and see what comes to my mind in the next few days. And, yes, you will do your vision quest for you committed to it, and I committed to helping you.”

I pretty much sat and stared at a wall with so many thoughts running through my mind. The salt that came out of my body due to the sweat might represent all that “stuff” within us. Then I thought of the story in the Bible of Lot’s wife. I thought, “I will not be left behind to turn into a pillar of salt.” Salt crystallizes, and then after it crystallizes, one cannot move. It made me think about not looking back, but looking forward to all I could learn. I saw shapes of a leaf, purple surrounding a heart, and many indefinable other images in the sweat.

Sunday afternoon, I laid down to take a nap and had an amazing dream. While I was asleep, someone came to me. She was standing over me on my side of the bed. She had brown hair, a peaceful, gentle smile, and was wearing a white dress. I tried to wake up, but she said, “Go back to sleep.” I kept sleeping, and then there was a beautiful feather at the end of my bed. I was in a queen-size bed, and it covered the entire end of the bed. It was beautiful. I looked at it. Where did it come from? I had never seen a feather that looked like the one on my bed. The feathers on this wing looked like the sun and the rainbow. The lady was no longer there when I looked up. Then I heard a live lady come in and call my name. That awakened me. I attempted to come back to reality. That dream was so vivid. It was one of my most amazing dreams. I had only dreamed a few others that seemed that real. Each one of them meant so much to me and my life!

I was glad I was awakened because I had to present a seminar that evening at a church in Oklahoma City on relationships. Before I left, however, I telephoned John and shared my dream. He suggested that I study a little bit about the Phoenix. As soon as I got home following my presentation, I began my study. I had never known about this mythical bird? I learned there was only one such bird that existed at any time. It had gold brilliant mixed with other colors, reddish, blue, green, and purple feathers. It was larger than an Eagle and had a life of 500-97,200 years. At the end of each life cycle, the phoenix burned itself on a funeral pyre. Another phoenix then rose from ashes with renewed youth and beauty. After rising from the ashes, the young phoenix carried its father’s remains to the altar of the sun god. The long life of the phoenix and its dramatic rebirth made it a symbol of immortality and spirituality. Real or Not Real? I did not care. Perhaps I was in the process of losing my life to create a new one. Perhaps this was about Sun Dance. I needed to listen carefully to my thoughts!

A telephone call pulled me away from those thoughts. Someone was interested in my house. I knew I had to sell 95% of my good furniture if I sold the house and moved into a small apartment. How would I do that? I decided that I would not worry. It had not been sold yet.

Monday, Kathy and I shared what led up to the sweat we both attended and all that had been happening with us since we committed to this vision quest. I shared with her first about our trip to Hawaii and how we met a Native American before getting to Kauai. On the first lap between Oklahoma City and Dallas, we saw an interesting, tall man that looked to be multi-race. I began concentrating on him and thinking about meeting him. John had a chance on the first plane to speak to him. When we got on the lap that took us to Hawaii, he was on there with us. (Try the concentration when you want to meet someone on an airplane.) Then we got on the plane to Kauai, and he sat down with us. It turned out that we were going to the same place. He lived in Kauai. His name was Stretch Howard Johnson. I mentioned Al-Anon, and he told us about a meeting we might like to attend with him. Talking a little more, we learned that Stretch actually used to dance at the Cotton Club with Lena Horne years ago and that he was now the Native American newspaper’s editor on the island. I shared with Kathy that this was yet another sign that I kept getting about a path I was not looking for! This Native American path was not what I intended. But I kept being guided to it.

I returned to my story about Stretch. We made arrangements to meet him one day to go to the meeting while in Kauai. We met, and afterward, he took us to his home to meet his grown daughter. They both put on their tap shoes and performed for John and me. What a gift. After their performance, Stretch took us on a tour of Kauai. Luckily both John and I knew what a diabetic reaction looked like, thanks to my mother and Pearce. We each grew up helping a family member with diabetes, and we knew what to do. So I guess that we shared gifts that great day! He went home, and we returned to the Westin Hotel to discover more swan feathers in front of our door wrapped so no one else could see them. There was a man taking care of the swans in the fountain in front of the Westin Hotel. He surprisingly gifted us after I told him how much I loved the swans. When the first feathers were left at our door, we made a decision. We passed champagne presented to us by the stewardesses as we left our flight to the person taking care of the swans. Every evening we discovered some more feathers at our door.

I had already learned that they completely let it go when they give a gift in the Native American way. It does not matter what they do with the gift that was given to them. Of course, that is the way one should always be when giving a gift. However, many also judge this. They resent that they gave a child or a friend a gift, and then they pass it to someone else or let it go. When we truly give, we completely let go. So we felt free to give this to Manny rather than open it.

On the way to look for stones, I just kept talking about all of this. She finally looked at me, saying, “I think we are going to have a great vision quest, and I do believe you just might have found the path that will bring you surprising answers.” Kathy had been doing this longer than me! With that, we began picking up the first of 400 stones we were to bring with us to our vision quest. We were both quiet while we did this. We were told to carry them to the car one at a time, making a prayer with every stone. We knew we this day would be only one of several days picking up stones.

LESSON: When we commit to what is good for Self, a miracle in life can be the result. Obstacles often come about with a commitment like this because our ego does not want us to change. I knew there might be frustrations and obstacles that might come with this commitment. There is a difference between a commitment and a promise. A commitment is made with Self, the Awakened Self that is connected to an Eternal Source. A promise is made between two people. A promise is easier to break between two people than a commitment to Self and my Eternal Source. It is important to commit to Self before committing to another.

GIFTS: Within each of us is a Unique Self. I felt like I was moving through the first part of another journey to help me reach within. Al-Anon was my first way. I knew there was more work to do as I connect to my Eternal Source and my destination. When I reach that, I can have peace within, and my life will be less chaotic. Knowing obstacles might come with my commitment to do a vision quest, I knew I had gone around many other obstacles in my life, and I could do that again.

When I presented that pipe to Gary, I committed to my Self. I just needed to surrender and trust the process as I participated in other sweats, followed directions, and walked toward the quest.

The dream with the woman and the phoenix feather came, I met some fascinating people, and completed my commitments in my work and Al-Anon that I already made! I also felt positive and supported.

Autumn, A Time to Let Go

It is beautiful outside! I stepped out and felt a slight chill in the air. Standing on my front porch, I observe the tall old sugar plum tree next door as it stands so erect, strong, and perfectly balanced. Every year it turns the most spectacular orange. I sat down on our front porch to enjoy this chilly morning. As I studied the tree, I saw a few leaves falling to the ground. This is a time to let go! At that moment, I knew I wanted to write a present-day blog, taking a break from my past life and write about this time of the year, sharing thoughts that traveled through my mind as I watched this tree that was turning and letting go!

It was during the first week in October that the doctor told my first husband that he would not live until Christmas, and we need not return to M.D. Anderson. One minute later, my aunt telephoned from New Mexico, sharing the news with us that our house burned. That phone call brought me a great and immediate understanding of what is important in life. It is not “a house or stuff.” What is important is “relationship.” He died at midnight on the last day of November. For myself and my children, this was a “forced” letting go. He stepped beyond the veil that keeps us from seeing what is happening in Heaven. It is also the time of year when I filed for divorce after living through a five-year bad marriage. This was “a letting go by choice.” We all have those big lettings go as well as the small letting go’s in life! Following the second husband exiting when I filed for divorce, I worked hard in my business. No matter how hard I worked, I could not make ends meet. The house payment was big. Logically, that should not have made any difference. He brought in no money anyway.

Time went by, and I had to sell furniture, let go of the house by luckily selling it for $100 more than I owed on it, and moving into an apartment. The “letting go” lightened me, and I felt better and better. My awareness was heightened about my thoughts and words. I was still looking at what beliefs were given to me by others and what ones were mine? I also found myself wanting to go in new directions regarding where I wanted to spend my time. I read different books than I read in my past and wanted to experience different ways to understand myself. Again, I had a beautiful tree outside my apartment that I watched change with the seasons. It helped me know I was going to continue to improve. I loved my apartment. In fact, after I married John, I kept my apartment for another year. On our first anniversary, he asked if I thought I could release it. I agreed. We had a great day giving to others living in the complex the final good furniture I retained from my home when moving into the apartment. We said goodbye to my tree. While living there for six years, it kept reminding me how I had to lose my life to regain it. That is in the Bible. Also, when we do lose our life to regain it, we will become known. Isn’t that interesting?

A tree must lose its leaves to return to us “like new” in the future. It is resilient! I watch trees remind me about our own regenerations, which also takes place within myself and others. The oak trees drop acorns that the deer and pigs love to eat. Maple trees produce wonderful maple syrup. One is not to tap maple trees while they drop their leaves, for it is during the winter that the maple tree’s sap is the sweetest. I watch the trees regenerate. We can take this time of “leaves falling” to begin our own regeneration. For many years during October and November, I presented a favorite seminar! It had multiple results. When one walked out the door, they knew their priorities and what they valued in life. A new life was designed. All of this happened in six hours plus lunch.

I presented it to multiple other places. However, when I began doing seminars at my home, I enjoyed it the most. I watched as miracles came out of that seminar. People telephoned me from Texas, Kansas, Ohio, and even some of those attending in my home wanted me to do it again the following year. It brings about major changes that we, too, can do during this covid-19 time. It is a perfect time to “look within” and decide “what do we need to let go?” Begin with a closet or drawers and be aware of all it might be good to release. What thoughts or behavior might it be good to change? Are you doing negative thinking about yourself? Think. It is also time to set new goals for next year, so they have time to regenerate. Maybe I will do this seminar again in the future here at my house!

LESSON: Faith is the bird that sings while the dawn is still dark. So when we see the clouds come rolling into our lives, as they will, try to look beyond the clouds with hope for the good things on the other side. Keep your faith! Balance by praying and/or meditating for at least ten minutes in the morning. Take steps to listen within and learn about YOU, how you are connected to your divine source, and what your soul wants. Open and Receive.

GIFTS: Peace Within even with so much discord among people on the outside.

When unbalanced, I had two crashes with car totaled and many, many tickets when traveling. I began balancing every am. I have had no more wrecks and no tickets. When we are balanced, we do not draw those to us. Sit down and balance for at least ten minutes every morning before you get to work.

Life is full of possibilities that one does not see until one awakens!

First Sweat

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John telephoned and asked, “Susanne, would you like to go to a sweat with me?” I said, “Yes, I would love to.” He then explained what I would need to take with me for the sweat. I listened as he shared that the women wore something modest, like a moo-moo with sleeves type dress. He said that he would pick me up Saturday at about noon. He also talked about a Native American medicine man coming from South Dakota for the sweat.

He picked me up in Norman, and we drove East to the country. John asked, “Would you like something to drink?” I responded, “Yes, a coke.” He stopped at a convenience store/gasoline station where he could fill up with gas. He went inside to pay and returned with snacks and drinks for each of us. We were visiting and enjoying snacks when I suddenly spilled my diet coke on the floor in front of me. John said, “Do not worry. I will get it.” He hurried inside the store and came back with a rag to sop up my mess. I noticed that he was as calm as could be! My spill did not irritate him at all. He wrung the liquid out of the rag and returned it to the store. When he came outside again, he had another coke for me. I loved it! He got a huge star for this. My first two husbands would not have been kind about the spill, and I may not have been given another coke. Do you remember that I wanted kindness and put it in one of my affirmations?

When we pulled up in front of a beautiful home, others saw John and happily came to greet him. John introduced me to each one and then took me inside and introduced me to the owner. Afterward, John asked if I would like to see the sweat lodge. We began the trek to the lodge, passing a swimming pool surrounded by a wide concrete sidewalk and sitting areas. Next came a circular yurt. John wanted us to see that as it was new. Down the hill from the pool and the yurt, we turned to the left, I saw a dome-shaped frame made of bent willow branches. In front of it was a dirt mound which John explained was like an alter. About ten feet in front of the mound was the fire pit. People were working on covering the dome of willow branches with cloth tarps while another man was tending the fire to be used to heat rocks for the sweat.

We headed back to John’s van, got our towels, and what we were to wear for the sweat. John took food and a small picnic-type basket from the back seat. He handed me the small basket to carry. I had no idea what was in it and did not ask. We then returned to the house to leave the food and the clothes that I brought to wear for the sweat. He explained, “Everyone brings food to share with others. There is always a meal following a purification ceremony, which is the proper name for a sweat. The women will be changing clothes for the ceremony in the house or the yurt while the men will change down by the lodge.”

As we stepped out of the house to go back down to the lodge area, a petite blonde was entering the home. She introduced herself. Her name was Elizabeth. She explained that she was Gary’s wife. Gary was the Lakota Sioux that was to lead the sweat. Elizabeth had a southern accent, and I learned that she was from New Orleans. I liked her, but she was not what I expected. I thought she would be Native Amerian. We walked back down the hill to the lodge, sat down on the ground, and John opened the small basket holder I earlier carried. It was full of different colors of material, yarn, a pouch of tobacco, and scissors. He smiled and said, “Okay, are you ready to make prayer ties?” Me: “I am ready.”

Others at the sweat for the first time joined us as John explained prayer ties. I listened, and I understood. First, we take a piece of cloth and cut it into a two-inch square. Next, say a prayer as you place a pinch of tobacco in the middle of the square cloth. Then carefully fold the material in half. Then fold it again, and it looks like a tiny pouch. Now you tie this small pouch onto this string of cotton yarn I will give you. Add more prayer ties a few inches after the previous one. This reminded me of my God Box I used at home, the God box I encouraged others to try. A prayer is released into each pouch. Prayer ties allow people to have something tangible they can touch and see. This form of prayer is experiential. A person’s energy changes as the prayers go into the small cloth with the offering of “natural” tobacco because the body releases the problem. The problem literally moves from the inside to the outside. He told us to take the prayer ties into the lodge for four and leave them there. They would be good for four days.

John also explained there were six colors of material with each color representing a direction: Black represents the West; Red is for North; Yellow for East; White for South; Blue for all that is above; and Green for the earth and all that is within the earth. He then told us how many prayer ties of each color we needed to make for this sweat and explained that the number of prayer ties to make for a different sweat might change. I later learned that when everyone makes prayers before getting into the sweat lodge, the energy is better. When we make a prayer, a path opens for the prayer to be answered. As each person releases problems before entering the sweat, their vibrational level improves. With prayers, each person becomes more balanced. Thus, it will be more balanced within the lodge rather than chaotic. This making of prayer ties felt unbelievably good to me.

After completing my ties, I went to the house to change into my loose cotton dress. I returned to the lodge to wait for more instructions, but none came. We visited, and then it was time to get in line. I did what the other women did. Holding my bright colored prayer ties in one hand, I moved towards the man holding a wand of sage that was smoking. A woman behind me explained that the sage smudge was to remove negativity. Now while I was waiting in line, I thought…”Okay, I have been trying to find a fit for me and looking at what I believe, but maybe, just maybe… I have gone too far. What am I doing here? Perhaps I should not get in.” But then I thought, “Wait. Give this a chance. You have gone to different churches along your path and have received from each of them. Go in and see what you might receive here.” So I remained in line. About that time, another woman turned to me and said, “Once you get in here, you will never be the same again.” I wondered what she meant.

Then I remembered my prayer. I said that I would turn my life over to God and Jesus and allow them to guide me. I said that I would stop trying to do this by myself and would watch for signs. Their signs had brought me to this very moment. The result of this sweat was amazing. Listening to this Lakota from South Dakota as he intermittently poured the water on hot stones while communicating his wisdom and understanding touched my soul. He shared Lakota prayer songs, prayers, teachings, and understanding. Seeing what happened when the lodge was pitch dark, feeling the gentle energy within, seeing images and shapes above the stones was most amazing. I learned the first round invited Spirit in, the second round was a prayer round where every participant prayed out loud, the third was for healing, and the fourth round was thanking Spirit for coming. The door was raised between every round. It felt like we were in the lodge for a short time, but I learned we were inside for a little over two hours.

When I stepped out of the lodge, I was wet from head to toe. Something gritty covered my arms. It was like salt. I was so glad that I was open enough to come to this purification ceremony with John and spend this time inside the sweat lodge. Afterward, I visited with Gary. During our conversation, I asked if he did vision quests? He replied, “Yes.” I said nothing about the vision quest adventure that I had with Cathy. I thought about a vision quest all night, and by the following day, I knew I would like to commit to one and have him guide me through it even though I did not know what it would be like to do a real one. I continued my discussion with Gary. “I would like to do one, so what do I need to do?” Gary replied, “You present me a pipe.” John and Gary were both surprised by what I was saying. John showed me what to do when requesting Gary to do my vision quest, and John loaned me his pipe to request Gary’s guidance in doing the entire vision quest. Gary accepted the borrowed pipe I presented to him when I committed to a real vision quest. After accepting the pipe I presented, Gary asked, “How many days and nights?” I said, “Three.” Gary: “Are you sure?” Me: “Yes.” So his teaching and sharing began. Most of my teaching came to me through my own experiences as I performed suggested activities Gary told me to do to prepare, dreams while sleeping, and more signs from God. In the Native American path, I was not told how to believe. I was guided to my own beliefs and understanding.

LESSON: Do not judge. I never dreamed that I would be sitting in a sweat lodge. As I shared my experience with my father, he was stunned! As I went to more ceremonies, some friends could not understand. I had gone to church my whole life. I read the Bible. Sometimes we do not understand what others are doing. My faith was increasing with each event and was lasting! Let go of trying to control and allow them to either learn from a mistake or soar! Know God is in the middle of every situation. The ceremonies brought the Bible alive for me. Rather than just doing a short prayer, I was praying with prayer ties for hours at a time. I knew God and Jesus guided me to this.

GIFTS: My faith was increasing with each event. The ceremonies brought the Bible alive for me. Rather than just doing a short prayer, I was praying with prayer ties for hours at a time and throughout whole weekends. I knew God and Jesus guided me to this. I believe we limit God and Spirit due to our own beliefs. In taking the limit off, God and Spirit seem to expand and bring more experiences and more answers in new ways if we allow ourselves to open to them.

I was praying out loud at home as well as in the lodge. When we pray out loud, it goes into the universe stronger.

I learned to set ego aside when making decisions or when communicating with others. We learned to set our ego aside for every ceremony we attended, for however long we would be there. What if I learned to look at everything that happens in life is happening “for me” rather than “to me.” Looking at what happens this way helps us learn more about this school we are in on earth, the lessons we are to learn on earth, plus our reactions.

This way is certainly not for everybody, and I did not even try to convince anybody else to go in this direction. If someone asked if they could attend a ceremony with John or me, they were always welcome.

Best First Date Ever

It was Sunday, July 2nd, when I walked up and knocked on John’s door, returned to Norman, saw the movie “Field of Dreams,” and talked until four in the morning. We moved from one restaurant to a second one when we became embarrassed about being in the first restaurant for so long. We both knew that it was not a date. It was a time of learning about each other and my answer about Sun Dance and many other answers about his life and my life.

Wednesday evening, John telephoned, asking if I would like to meet him at Purcell’s Braum’s for ice cream and a “short” visit. That destination was about halfway between Norman and Pauls Valley. My answer was, “yes, I would love to do that.” My favorite treat is a chocolate sundae. We laughed and had more fun.

Friday came along. I received a phone call from Shaklee Corporation confirming my reservation for a major free trip to Hawaii. I knew the person calling, and she said, “Susanne, it is a shame that you are not married and do not have children under 18. You earned enough to take six people on this trip.” We both knew the rules about their trips. Deciding to step forward with a request, I thought for a minute before asking one big question. I knew that this trip might confirm my thinking about John Blake and me! The first time I met him three years earlier, we discussed God while dancing. We did not get to finish our discussion.

I noted there was something extraordinary about our discussion! I also knew that nothing could come of our meeting because I had recently filed for divorce, but was waiting for a date to go before a Judge. He was married! I thought, “Now we are both single. I felt a nudge inside to go ahead and ask my question. They could only say no. It does not hurt to request this and see what the result is.”

So I said to the scheduler telephoning me, “Diana, I have met someone significant to me. I have won fantastic trips to Austria, Sweden, Belgium, and more. I have always had to go by myself even though my production has been enough to take others. Do you think they might allow me to take someone I care a great deal about on this trip?” There was silence on the other end of the phone because the rule was that no one could go but a spouse and children under 18, but then she said, “Let me check with others above me. I will be getting back to you quickly because we have to make all reservations by 5 o’clock today. Please do not get your hopes up, but I am going to check. We both know that they have never allowed this to happen before.” I replied, “Thank you, I will be waiting for your call. I truly appreciate your help.”

About 3:30, Diana telephoned. She sounded so excited as she said, “Susanne, guess what! They looked at your records and said, “yes, you can take him.” Now you have to hurry because I have to telephone with all of the results for plane reservations by 5 o’clock today.” After telling her that I would call her back as quickly as possible, I telephoned John.

Jean, his secretary, answered, and I asked for John. Thank goodness he was available to talk! The conversation went like this: John answered: Good afternoon. I was not expecting this call. What can I do for you?” Me: “Well, you might be surprised by what I am going to ask. Can you talk for a few minutes?” John: “Certainly, what is it?” Me: “I have earned an all-expense, paid trip to Hawaii with my nutrition business. I asked permission today to take you. They broke their own rule when they said that you would be welcome to come with me. So how would you like to go to Hawaii with me for ten days in August with every single thing paid for?” John: “This is a surprise. I will think about this and see what I can do.” Me: “Okay, I will be quiet while you think about this.” John: “You mean that you are not hanging up?” Me: “No, you see, I have to telephone them back as soon as I hang up so that they can add your name to all reservations, including the acquisition of airline tickets. It is now after four. They have to complete their list and add you to my reservation before 5 o’clock today. So I will be right here waiting for your answer while you can think.” Only a short time went by before John said, “Yes, I’d love to do this.” To this day, John loves to tell the story about how I asked him for a date to Hawaii before we ever had a real date here.

The trip in August to Hawaii brought more answers! We had a grand time. Beautiful hotel, wonderful food, multiple tours, some educational meetings about nutritional products, and time for the beach and fun. Being around each other twenty-four hours a day for ten days gave us more insight into each other.

LESSON: Stay aware of your feelings and listen for the answer. When Spirit Speaks, Listen! I listened to that nudge to ask to break a rule that had been followed for years by Shaklee Corporation. The door opened. Listening and following intuition does lead to a magical path!

GIFTS: John did telephone the next day. He said, “Susanne, don’t you think we should go on a real date before we go to spend ten days with each other in Hawaii?” Without waiting for a reply, he asked, “Would you like to go to Legend’s for dinner and possibly a movie afterward?” Of course, I was delighted and agreed to do so.

Multiple gifts came during the trip. The first one took place on the airplane. With his reservations being made at the last minute, we did not get to sit together. Once in a while, we stood and visited on the plane. As we exited the plane when it landed, two stewardesses presented us with a champagne bottle to take with us. They said that they had been watching us and just knew we were together and would have a great time. They wanted us to have this as a gift to enjoy.

When I went to one of those educational meetings, he went to the beach and looked for special shells. Once, he had a dove fly down to him and actually sit in his hand. He felt that it was delivering a message about me.

John suggested that we take care of three children of a young couple and on this trip for one afternoon. We overheard them say that they wanted to go someplace, but it would be too difficult for their children to go along. For a man to suggest this with one still in diapers, he deserved a gold star. He said yes and we had fun at the beach, purchased them lunch, and played.

Another gift came through swan feathers. Swans were swimming around a beautiful fountain in front of the hotel. Every time we came back to our room, there were swan feathers wrapped and placed in front of our door.

We also loved the music and dancing following some of our most special dinners. That was our first opportunity to dance in this chapter of life. I was not counting one dance three years ago. Like I said, lots of gifts! Three years ago, to go back and learn about that one dance, look back to the blog entitled “Dancing with Destiny.”

Spirit Speaks

My good friend, Gloria, came to Oklahoma City. We met for lunch and a quick visit. During the meal, she looked up and said, “Susanne, have you ever considered looking into Native American ceremonies? My response was, “No, but I did stop by the Mescalero Apache Reservation on my way home from Ruidoso to Portales one time, and they were having a pow-wow that I saw for only a few minutes. Why do you ask?” Gloria sat back as she said that she just had a hunch that it might be good for me. We changed the subject, and I dismissed the statement.

A few weeks later, I was awakened in the early morning by a telephone call from a friend from New Mexico. We worked together in New Mexico. She was our Public Relations Director, and we were close friends. Now she was working for Eastern New Mexico University in public relations. Surprised to learn that Carolyn was in Oklahoma City at a meeting and wanting us to have dinner, I felt fun and excitement soar through my body. We always laughed lots, and she could catch me up on friends I left behind years ago. We made arrangements to meet that very evening. I pictured the evening with just Carolyn and myself visiting over a great dinner. I pulled up to the Sheraton Hotel entrance in downtown Oklahoma City and ran in to find Carolyn. She planned to meet me in the lobby. I was right on time, and there she was. However, many people were also in the lobby.

After a hug, we began to discuss. I asked, “Carolyn, did all of you just get out of a meeting?” Carolyn: “No, I invited all of these people to go to dinner with us?” I looked at her, shocked, and said, “My car only holds five, six when scrunched. She encouraged me by saying, “Some others own cars.” I then asked, “Where are we going?” Carolyn began a long explanation that I am going to shorten. She said, They all wanted to eat at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. I got a reservation for fifty for us.”. (I knew it was in the stockyards and its location, but I was still concerned.)

With Carolyn assuring me that some might even take a taxi, seven women piled into my car with two sitting on laps of the three-person backseat in and two in the passenger’s seat. Then it happened. A good-looking young Native American man that looked to be in his late 30’s opened the back door of my car, saying, “I would like to have a ride with you in this car. Is that okay?” All of the women were delighted and assured him that they could make room. I was not delighted! I said, “no.” Others were calling him and begging him to ride with them. I emphasized my position, saying, “You do not need to go with me. In fact, you cannot go with me. I already have way too many.” The women vehemently disagreed, and he slid into the car, sitting on a person’s lap. I thought, “Ugh! This is not good.” He yelled to the others that he was “supposed to go in this car.”

Well, this definitely was not what I had planned and visioned with Carolyn. Thank goodness. We made it to the restaurant. Sitting with my seat pulled as far forward as possible, and with nine people in my Thunderbird for five, we arrived with no police officer following us and all safe. I pulled up in front, telling everyone, “Here we are. You go on in, and we will join you.” The Native American told the others to go on and said, “I am going with her to park the car.” as he got into the front seat with me. I assured him that I did not need him to do that, and he needed to go on with the others. I hoped to have a few minutes to take some deep breaths before dinner with fifty people! He refused to leave me even though I explained that all I have to do is go around the corner, park, and walk back.

There was silence for a few minutes. I broke the silence by saying to him, “Obviously, these women are enamored with you. You must have been the main speaker today. Do you speak for a living?” His answer was, “Yes, what do you do?” “Well, I sell nutritional products today, but I am also a speaker. I have been thinking about taking seminars that I used to do for years in New Mexico and sharing them with businesses needing help and helping individuals with life skills. I asked one more question, “Do you like doing what you are doing?” His answer was, “Yes.” We talked as we walked. When we got to the door, he was a gentleman and opened the door for me. As he did, I looked at him and asked, “Do you practice your own traditional ceremonies?” He looked at me, surprised, and said, “As a matter of fact, I do.” I thought to myself, “Where did that come from?”

The two of us went on in. When we were shown the long table where everyone else was already sitting, we looked at the two seats left open. He looked at me and said, “Well, it looks like you are stuck with me for the evening.” We sat down. Everyone wanted to visit with him. Carolyn had people visiting with her on both sides of her. As I sat there, I pondered about how odd this evening seemed to be when my Native American rider leaned over and said, “Do you know any Native American in Oklahoma that can adopt you?” My answer was, “No, I do not.” He turned back to another person asking him a question. Carolyn and I were able to get in two minutes of visiting when he leaned over and again said, “Have you thought of anyone that can adopt you?” I replied, “No, I have not been thinking about it, but I still do not know anyone.” He looked like I really needed someone to help me and said, “You mean to tell me that you live in Oklahoma, and you do not know any full-blood Indians?” I responded, “Why do I need someone to adopt me?” He quickly said, “You have healed much, but you need more healing, and you need to go to a ceremony. To get into the ceremony, you need to be adopted.” I said, “If you knew what God has been doing with me these last three years, you would know that I do not need to be adopted. If I am to be at a ceremony, God will put me there.”

He then returned to the conversation to his right. I was on his left side, and I pulled on his left arm to regain his attention. He excused himself from the others to ask, “What is it?” Me: “Can you tell me what ceremony I need to attend to complete my healing?” He said, “The Sun Dance,” and returned to his conversation. I wondered, “Okay, is that anything like the ones we have where a person dances all night for a certain amount of money to contribute?  Ha!  I knew it must not be.”  So in a few minutes, I tugged on his arm again.  He turned to me.  I said, “What is a Sun Dance?”  He replied, “If your God wants you to know, you will find out.”  From that time on, he did not talk to me.  I listened to conversations going on around me, ate, and we all left.  

I kept waking up during the night, realizing the night was so unusual that it must have been a sign. I thought about Gloria’s statement and the few words between the Native American man and me. I dressed and knew that I had to return to The Sheraton Hotel, where the meeting was being held. I intended to find him. Who was he? How did he know I had been working on healing all within my Self, and I needed this ceremony? I got there and looked for several hours, only to learn that he was already gone. Then I tried to discover his name. This was so strange because no one knew it. They were all so enamored with him the night before, but no one knew his name? Then I went around asking for a program for their three-day meeting. I felt certain that his name would be on the program. No one had a program. Because I had a meeting of my own, I had to leave. I did find Carolyn and told her what I was doing, why I came back. She said that she would find out and call me. That did not ever happen. That evening had not been about visiting with Carolyn. It was about something entirely different, and I now knew it. Apparently, I was not supposed to know that speaker’s name.

Every day I kept thinking that I needed to go to the library and research “Sun Dance,” but I worked instead. Then one day, I went to a meeting in Oklahoma City. Afterward, I went shopping and ran into Susan, John’s Susan that was with another man. We greeted, and I asked, “Where is John?” She said, “Oh, we got a divorce six months ago. I guess he is in Pauls Valley. By the way, you never did come to see our house. It is now up for sale. If you want to see our home and see if we put some of your grandmother’s home into our home when we redid it, you need to come by fast.” I replied, “Well, I am coming to Pauls Valley next weekend for a family reunion. I will come by then.” She responded, “Good, see you then.” So I left. My cousin, Judy, asked me to ride with her to the reunion. I said that I would, but explained that we had to go by John and Susan’s home afterward. She agreed.

When we drove up to the home following the reunion, Judy looked at me and said, “Surely not.” I looked at her and said, “Surely not. I cannot believe this.” Their house looked just like my grandmother’s home that had been torn down twenty years before. It was a Victorian home with a wrap-around porch. When I knocked on the door, I thought Susan would be answering, but John answered. He was surprised, and I was surprised. He gave us a tour of the house. It was the same floor plan, but we only thought the back door might have come from my grandparents’ home.

When we were about to depart, John asked me to stay. I said, “No. You have been single six months and have not telephoned. If you want a date, call.” Then he handed me a 2×3 card. On one side, he wrote, “Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.” I loved it. Then I said to him, “When you ask me out, I will say yes because I have wanted to talk to you for a long time. I wanted to finish the conversation that we began when we danced, but I knew you were married. Since you are single now, we can talk.” Then I headed out the door and down the steps to the car. When we got to the car, I put my purse inside. John asked again, “Please stay. I want to share with you a very experience. I just returned home.” Now he appealed to my curiosity. I asked, “What did you just return from?” He replied, “Sun Dance.” I reached into the car and retrieved my purse.  I said, “Will you take me home before the sun goes down?” John said, “Yes.” Judy was shocked that I was going to stay, but she headed off to see friends. 

So he told me all about Sun Dance over a bowl of popcorn. Then we headed to Norman. When we got there, we decided to go to “Field of Dreams.” Perfect for us to see. Then we headed to a Denny’s Restaurant and visited until right about 1 a.m. We got embarrassed for sitting there so long and decided to go across Norman to the other Denny’s on Lindsay Street and remained there talking until about 4 a.m.! We had to leave because John had to get ready for work, and so did I. That was the beginning of our relationship. That was thirty-one years ago. Excellent answers for relationships, healing of the past, and spiritual gifts continue to come right along during this time spent together.

LESSON: Pay attention to what appears and is not what is normal, to synchronicities, to signs. I might add this: What you think about, you bring about. What you talk about, you bring about. And what you think about and talk about, you become.

GIFTS: John and I finally got to talk, and we had lots to discuss. Both of us had moved through difficult times. We had each been guided to Native American ceremonies, the Vision Quest and Sun Dance, plus many more. John’s path opened up about six months ahead of me. I had a choice. I could go forward to see what this path might mean to me, or I could choose not to do so. I decided to go forward. I trusted John and knew he was definitely worth my wait for a fair and kind man.

Power of Spoken Words

Did you know that one person with perfect peace and perfect poise, filled with love and goodwill, can dissolve all negative vibrations as he/she steps into a room. It is important that we understand this. It is also important to know we can only change Self, no one else. When we change one thing in our lives, everything around us begins to change. How do we change a tumultuous, negative situation that we are in? How can we quit obsessing over a situation that we do not like in our lives?

We can learn to harness and direct thought! That is one reason affirmations help so much. If you begin to think negative thoughts about yourself at night or actually any time, immediately put in four positive thoughts about yourself. Words and thoughts must be handled with wisdom and understanding. An imagination running wild and building fear pictures draws to you something like riding a bucking bronco. You can change that. Rhythm, harmony, and balance within are the keys to success and happiness. You can have that in every part of your life.

We begin to change by changing our thoughts and words. It is sometimes difficult to change our thoughts, but we can start by changing what comes out of our mouths. We can overcome whatever is causing us continual anxiety. That means conquer doubts and fears. That is why the “I am affirmations spoken out loud repeatedly help.” We draw to us what is in our subconscious. We have years of input into the subconscious that cause repeated patterns or unwanted situations in our life to come to us repeatedly. Chaos from our past is drawn to us because that is what we are used to in this lifetime. 

To change it, a person can become aware of every word coming out of the mouth. Say an affirmation repeatedly for what you want. State it in the “present tense” as if it is already happening, using words that bring a smile on your face. I used to choose one affirmation a week to do multiple times every day. Listen to your intuition more than the rational mind. They say that intuition is a spiritual faculty we each have that is above intellect. How many times have I not listened to my intuition when I received a glimpse of it and even felt it in my gut? I ignored it so many times and plunged right into what I thought I “SHOULD DO.” When I began to listen and allow Self to follow my instinct, life became so different for me. I did affirmations about “bringing Heaven to Earth” and what I thought it would feel like. Happiness increased greatly as I looked in the mirror and began to believe,” this could really happen!

I did an affirmation about liking my new apartment. Then a person finally offered to purchase my house two weeks before the next house payment was due. I did not get what I put into this house, but I received $100 above what I owed on it, and I would not have bad credit! I accepted the offer and began selling everything that I could not put into a 700 square foot apartment. As I began to downsize from a 2000 square foot home in Norman, I kept thinking about how I personally felt lighter! Much was still in the garage from what I did not release when leaving our 4000 square foot home in New Mexico. Sales helped me make it for the next few months.

I had been doing an affirmation about having someone to take with me to dinner parties or go to a dinner or movie with once in a while that might eventually become a steady companion. I did affirmations about “liking being single” so that I could like myself more and enjoy being alone plus live a happy, delightful life as a single person. Since I had difficulties in both marriages that I did not want to repeat, I worded my affirmation carefully and began saying it daily. I was beginning to think there were no single men anywhere, not even one to take with me to a dinner party. I was not certain what I wanted in a companion other than kindness. So I did an affirmation about “being like Cinderella at the ball and wanting to draw to me nice men to show me what I wanted since I did not know.” I also read the book “2150 A.D.” before Spring that I had been instructed to read about relationships. It was the book I received in my New Years’ Eve sack with the gold piece I was now wearing every day. (That story is in a past blog on Eternal Gold). I was watching how my vibrations were changing and drawing to me different successes.

Spring arrived, and I could not believe what happened. It began when I spoke at a singles’ group for a Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. A very nice gentleman asked me out. Then a nice-looking man began visiting with me as we purchased groceries asked me out, and suddenly there were single men everywhere. One walked over to the table when I was eating out with friends, said that he had been watching me, and loved my smile. He then gave me his card and said that he would love to have me call if I were interested. I did not call, but I had fourteen different men ask me out in six weeks. None of them held my interest, but they were all nice! I did not even kiss them. I did go with multiple ones on two dates before sharing that I thought I wanted to date but had a large amount of wor backing up, and I needed to stop going places for awhile.

Then I shared with God my gratitude for this exciting time in my life and told God that I could not keep this up. I told God this was tiring. I said that I needed to focus on work, seeing my children when they could see me, and writing a book. It was easy to see that something different was happening to me. It was so evident that my subconscious was drawing something new and different into my life! Change! We create our lives and with repeated words out loud, there is a change in our own vibration that begins drawing to us what is ours to have. We can release what is negative within and draw to us all that is ours to have!

I had affirmations that were changing me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I was waking up and becoming more aware of each word I was saying. Words can hurt and even destroy, or comments can inspire and motivate. Both of my children were already stepping forward in their own lives. I made every attempt to watch my words with them. I allowed them to make their own decisions, and I did not advise unless they requested it. We were all three happier.  Each one moved out, but the time we lived together was healing and appreciated.

I listened to my intuition when asked to go somewhere or when an invitation came to me. I learned how to say “no” and not be responsible for the reactions received. I kept my focus on a blessing someone else that could receive for saying “yes.” Following my intuition more seemed to open a magical path for me. It was very much like flowing down a river rather than fighting upstream.

We are destructive to Self when we use words that are destructive even when we joke and do not mean it. We say bad things about ourselves and people do not realize when they say something derogatory to us and it hurts, it comes back to them. When I was around a group of men and they began to tease negatively about women, I attempted to explain that they were hurting their own feminine side. The same happens when talking about men in a negative way. It hurts our own masculine side. We are all both masculine and feminine. What comes out of our mouth eventually comes back to us.

Now let us talk about prayer. It is good to be aware of the words used in prayer. Pray with belief and with trust. After all, we are told by God to “ask and receive.” It is essential not to limit God when we do pray. Prayer is telephoning God. Intuition is God telephoning me. I guess that is why I love it when there is “synchronicity” taking place in my life and in the lives of those that share stories with me. When we pray, believe you already have it. Thank God for it. I am not specific in any prayer. Instead, I pray for what will be for my highest good or my _____’s highest good. I might say, “if possible, I would like_______, but if that is not to be, I am asking for what is for my highest good.” I leave the result up to God and take limits off God that way.

There is a cell of God within each of us. I believe it connects to our soul that enters with the first breath of life. God’s cell within connects every person on earth to God. For me, it is God, Jesus, and Spirit. Others may have a different divine source. I believe we can stop destroying ourselves as well as others with the destructive words we use when we joke around and when we discuss with each other. I know that we can elevate our vibrations, increasing the energy field that surrounds each of us. We do this as we become more conscious of our words and begin making more statements that encourage others rather than deplete others. I do slip, but I do my best to be aware of what I am saying. To change your world, change your words. Try a diet of the right words.

Eternal Gold


I continued doing affirmations and writing new ones to add to my internal changes so that I might draw new patterns to me during this lifetime. Several were about a closer relationship with God and understanding how Spirit helps. Some odd things began to happen.

A local friend that was a nurse came to spend the evening. After eating, we were sitting in my living room when a blue light shot through the window and across the living room. I said nothing and thought to myself, “What was that?” Mary, my friend, turned to me and said, “Do you always have lights show up in your living room when friends come to visit? I responded, “You saw that? My eyes were not playing tricks on me?” We both had no idea what that was, but knew it came in for a reason.

A few weeks later, my son returned from the Navy. Dawn had already moved back home with me while she was going to school. Our house was peaceful with no ex-husband living in it. Then Johnny returned and moved in with us. He asked one evening, “Mom, can I see that necklace I gave you when I was in the Navy? I paid for it every month until it was paid off, but I never saw it in person.” I said, “Certainly.” I left the room and could find it nowhere. I had not worn it in a long time and had no idea where it was, but assumed it to be with my jewelry. After searching for over an hour after everyone else went to bed, I gave up and joined them.

Upon rising in the morning, I dressed and sat down in front of my mirror to fix my face. The necklace was right in front of me. I could not believe my eyes. I immediately woke Johnny up and asked if he found it in the night? “No, how could I ever find it? I never saw it.” I woke Dawn up, thinking that she might have been up in the night and looked for it in her room. Her response was, “No. Mom, I slept all night, and I would have no idea where to look if I wanted to do so.” I went to our living room and sat down in a chair, contemplating in awe about this necklace with a four-leaf clover and a small diamond right in the center of it showing up! How did it get there? A similar situation happened a few weeks earlier when my friend telephoned and wanting her resume back that she gave me to look at about two years prior. I had no idea where it was or if I even had it. Confessing this, she said, “I hope you find it. That was my only copy, and there was information on it that I need.” I looked but found nothing. Then as I walked through the dining room, I saw it on the top of a stack on the table!!! I knew it was never there before.  First, the blue light, then Sally’s resume, and now the locket.

Thoughts kept returning about these events. It dawned on me that several weeks before Mary showed up, I began trying to hear answers from God through “automatic writing.” A woman that I met told me that she was trying to do it. She said, “You might want to try this also, since you are trying to have a more personal relationship with God and are trying to gain insights about your beliefs.” I was already meditating and knew that if I did that at the same time every day it seemed to work much better. Another meditator told me that happened because the information could come easier if the sender knew what time I hoped to meditate. O.K., so it is like an appointment. Thus, I began sitting down with a blank piece of paper and made circles across line after line until a thought came into me. I then transcribed the thought or thoughts! I did this every morning about the same time, at 8 o’clock.

So I had been doing automatic writing for awhile even though I knew little about it. It did relax me and prepare me for the day ahead. Perhaps I did have help from the other side! Maybe, just maybe I was connecting with God or Spirit or my Angels? One affirmation that I wrote and said was about a partnership between God and my Self in order to create a life with a smooth path rather than one with so many road blocks.

Three times I heard the name of a book called “Eternal Gold.” I knew I was supposed to get this one. In a hurry one day, I purchased the book not knowing what it was about. It said on the front that it was written by Jean Foster, author of “The God-Mind Connection” and “The Truth That Goes Unclaimed.” It was the third book in a trilogy of truth she wrote. In reading it, I discovered that it was a book about finding God’s Truth especially for you. I had imagined it was about streets of gold in Heaven or something like that. It was about our temple within and much more. Then, to my surprise, the last chapter was about automatic writing.

The week I finished reading it, I received a phone call from a friend asking if I wanted to go hear an author speak about a book she wrote.  I asked, “Who is the author?” She responded, “Jean Foster. The book she is going to talk about is her latest one.  The title of her book is Eternal Gold.” She continued, “The author is going to be right here in Norman two weeks from now.” I was excited and could not wait to go with her to hear her speak. This was synchronicity! When synchronicity shows up, I pay attention! I knew it must be Spirit working. My response was, “I would love to go with you. Thank you for letting me know.” Obviously, I went and asked questions plus visited with Jean Foster and her husband afterward.

Then came the weekend of New Years, 1988/l989. I had no plans, but to meet four female friends on the morning of NewYears’ Day for brunch. All of us wanted to begin New Year”s Day, 1989, together. That weekend we had a terrible snow storm. Snow and then ice began to fall over the weekend. I-35 was treacherous. Many wrecks and people were slipping and sliding everywhere. I learned the Mayor of Pauls Valley, husband of Terri Begley at that time, asked restaurants to open for people coming off the highway into Pauls Valley. No one in Pauls Valley had power. It was all over the news.

My own son wanted me to drive him to the airport. He had purchased an airline ticket to meet a friend in Austin. I said that I could not get him there on New Years’ Day. He said that I could, because I was on the ski patrol in New Mexico and drove in this weather to and from the ski area many days with no problem. Finally I agreed to try. When we stepped onto the front porch, there was a small brown paper bag sitting there. The sack looked to be about the right size for a book to fit into. I figured someone that had borrowed a book from my many on self-help had returned it. The sack was not even wet, but it was right by the door. I picked up the sack and set it inside the house before leaving.

When I returned, it was not yet time to go meet my friends. To pass the time, I decided to check out my sack. It held a book that I had not ever seen, “2150 AD.” There was also a note with a poem and a request that I read this book before the first day of Spring. No signature. Then there was a something that looked like a piece of gold that I had not ever seen before. I returned everything to the sack and set out for the restaurant on Campus Corner where we were meeting. When we all got settled in our chairs, one of them asked what I had in the sack. I shared and showed them the piece of gold. One said it was a gold kruggerand. None of us had money and not one of us knew how much this was worth. But we wall wanted to know who left this book, poem with a note and no name, and gold piece. So we borrowed a piece of paper and pen from the waitress so that we could brainstorm a list of friends that might do such a thing. One suggested I drive straight to the jewelry store after we finished and have a hole drilled through the gold piece so that I might be able to wear it until I found out who this was from. I told them I felt like the jewelry store would not be open in this weather. But it was and only the owner was inside of “Goodno’s Jewelry.”

Upon entering, the man behind the counter asked if he could help me. I told him the story of the sack and the gifts within. I explained that I wanted him to drill a hole through this gold piece, because I wanted to wear it until I found out who gave it to me. He looked carefully and explained that it was a “gold krugerrand” and it was 99.9% pure gold. Since I read both “Eternal Gold” and “The Alchemist,” I felt like I was receiving an amazing gift. But who did this? I asked how much it was worth and he explained I needed to talk with someone at a bank or a security house. He suggested that I acquire a frame to go on it and then I could wear it around my neck. And I explained that I had very little money. In fact, if I did not sell my home fast, I might lose it. He helped me look. He chose one I could have for $85 and said that I could pay it out if that would help. I decided to do that. It was the least expensive that he could find.

I left the kruggerrand with him. He said that I could retrieve it the following day. I thanked him for his help and headed to a friend’s house that had a date that night with the President of our bank. When I asked him what a krugerrand might cost, he said that in the market at that time, over $400. Well, I went home, left them to their date, sat down and looked at my list. No one on my list would give me something worth that much! I reported the result to all that were at the brunch. I picked up the krugerrand the following day and began wearing it daily.

LESSON: My lesson seemed to be “keep an open mind and watch for God Moments. Stay positive in spite of how things look. Keep going forward. Know you have help from the Invisible world. Continue to spend time with God and Spirit, continue with prayer and affirmations. Meditate and do Automatic Writing.” Then watch for signs that guide the way. Pay attention when synchronicity takes place. It is a clue that God and Spirit are helping! And WHEN SPIRIT SPEAKS, LISTEN.

GIFTS: The book “Eternal Gold” held amazing information. Listening to the author, Jean Foster, in person, and visiting with her afterward was not only synchronicity but was also definite confirmation of both my affirmations and the time spent in the mornings developing a more personal relationship with my divine source, God. I loved that the last chapter was on automatic writing which I had been trying to do.

Then all that was in the sack was a “hard to believe” gift. In addition to the gold kougarrand, I followed dirrections turned out, the sack held a gift that brought more gifts in the year of 1989 and beyond. I had to keep reminding myself “Do not justify of scoff this miracle away.” We all often do that. Trust that, by reading the book “2l50 A.D.” before the first day of Spring, something else good will come to you.