Eternal Gold

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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.

Self-Limiting Beliefs

As I looked at my past, I began to see places where I limited myself. My parents taught me what they thought I needed to learn. I went to church with my parents all my life. Thank goodness it was a very loving church and taught nothing that made me fear God. My God has always been a “God of pure love.” Jesus followed God’s suit as he loved unconditionally and stepped across self-limiting boundaries. I studied what Jesus did! The “Holy Spirit” fascinated me, because I did not quite understand it.

As I moved through that difficult marriage and began working on changing my own internal belief about me divorcing my husband, I began to question my beliefs. Wanting to understand more about what I believed rather than what others taught me to believe,” I looked within as well as without for answers. I spent time studying situations in my past, and I finally saw how I limited myself twice when making decisions. Both times involved money. Later, I learned that different decisions could have greatly helped me rather than hurt me in any way. But I said, “No” when I should have said, “Yes.”

My first “no” happened when I was putting myself through college and worked while going to school. I decided to go through a rush at the University of Oklahoma to see if, by joining a sorority, I could find a place to live that was nice but not as costly as the dorms were to be during my Freshman year. Not many go through a rush to join a sorority of choice asking monthly costs. I learned of a sorority that I not only loved but would be able to live in after my Freshman year in school. Luckily, they liked me and invited me to join. I was thrilled. While living in the Delta Gamma house during my sophomore year, I learned that cheerleading tryouts were coming up soon. Due to encouragement, I signed up to try out for “OU Cheerleader” and attended many practices.

I did not tell my parents, who were struggling with money issues due to my mother’s health problems, what I was doing.  I also knew how much it cost to be a cheerleader in my high school for the uniform, travel to and from games, eating along the way, and other cheerleading events. On the day those wanting to audition for cheerleader were to try out, I decided that I better work instead of being a cheerleader. I knew I would not be able to pay for everything plus take off time from work for travel to games, etc. Trying not to be sad about my decision, I went to work rather than an audition. Later that same day, I received a telephone call from someone that was a part of the decision-making group asking, “Why, Susie, did you not come?” 

My response was truthful. “I decided that I could not do this due to the cost of school, my expense every month for room and board, and clothes.” I heard silence on the other end and then, “Susie, every person choosing had been watching you during practices, and you were going to have the honor of being a cheerleader for the University of Oklahoma. Did you not know that you would have been getting help through your Junior and Senior years while you were a cheerleader?”I was almost sick. So that was the first big mistake I made. I would not have to leave school to earn money so that I could return to school. I thought that I could remain in school if I worked. As it turned out, I had to stop anyway. I hoped to return after earning enough money, but I did not get to do that for another sixteen years.

Another situation happened several months after I entered that second marriage. We returned to my home state of Oklahoma, and I decided to begin a business on my own. I was going to sell nutrition products and hopefully help others not have cancer! Only about two months into this new endeavor, I answered the phone hoping for an order. It was the owner of a bank that I had known for many years. He was wanting to visit with me about the possibility of sitting on the board of his bank. I listened as he said that he planned to bring up my name at the upcoming board meeting. He continued by saying that with my MBA and knowing I was on many boards in New Mexico and that the Governor appointed me to several state committees, he thought I would be a good addition. I graciously thanked him and asked him not to present my name because I was just beginning my own business and had no time to be on anyone’s board. I explained that I wanted to focus on my goals at work.

Once again I did not ask questions. I simply knew that I was the only breadwinner at the time and that I had to make money, but I did not say that. My husband was not working at all. We had purchased a home, and there was a big house payment. I had no idea that a person serving on a profit-making business’ board received some money. On the boards of non-profits and for the government, I sometimes received a trip for training and always received payments for mileage to and from board meetings.

Where else was I saying “no” to a situation that might be a “yes” for me if I understood something more about it? This thought kept bugging me. Thus, when Cathy came by one Saturday morning and asked if I wanted to go to a Wellness Fair with her, I wondered, “What is a wellness fair?” Asking Cathy this question, she responded with, “I am not sure.” This suggestion reminded me of her vision quest! I quickly agreed to go. It seemed to fit. After all, I was selling nutritional products at the time.

Entering the hotel where the fair was to be, Cathy and I both wondered about what we were going to see. We paid an entrance fee and stepped inside a large room filled with people and multiple booths. One had great books, another had rocks, and still, another one had terrific jewelry. Those three were our favorites.  There was a person doing massage on people fully clothed across the room. I jumped into that, and it was good. And, interestingly, there were psychics doing readings also. We agreed that we had never been to this type of fair. I checked myself as I looked at each person and kept in mind that God is everywhere, and God is also in this room. I began to look at each person with a knowing that we all have a spark of God within us, and that means every person doing a psychic doing readings also has that spark within. Cathy and I each sat down in front of several psychics for a reading. We noticed that everybody there looked very nice. Not one person looked a little kooky to us!

I kept remembering that intuition is a Spiritual faculty above the intellect. We carefully listened to what was said to each one of us. Both of us realized that some had higher intuition than others, but all were intuitively acute and kind. There was no way to doubt the gift of some of the ones doing readings. They were encouraging those that shared their difficult times with them, and they also were inspiring people to go forward on their path in life. We also went into another room to listen to one of the speakers that offering solutions surrounding everyday life problems. The one we attended was an excellent explanation of why it is good to walk a labyrinth. It turned into a perfect and different day for the two of us.

Months went by. When I went to the beauty shop, I overheard a conversation several other women were having. I guess I was eavesdropping when I heard them talking about someone that read their chart and gave them a year-long report or something that showed each day. What were they talking about? Well, about that time I started getting my own hair washed and could no longer listen. About six weeks later when I returned for a haircut, I again heard people talking about the same subject. I interrupted this time and asked where they got this daily report. I learned the name of the woman was “Gloria Star.” She lived right in Norman. They gave me her telephone number and suggested that I go for my own appointment, saying that she was an astrologer.

I kept her number awhile and wondered if I dared talk to her and find out for myself what she was doing? Remember, I was checking my own beliefs. Here I was now again. One day I decided to call for an appointment. I could always cancel. And I did not have to tell anyone. I only told one person, my Al-Anon sponsor. I decided to share with her as she had just gone to a Shirley McLaine retreat. I hesitantly drove to my appointment. I noticed that it was a very nice house. It did not look scary at all. Gloria met me at the door and invited me inside. Rather than bolt and run because I was not certain about doing this, I decided to sit down in the chair in front of her desk. Her kindness and smile caused me to relax, enjoy our visit, and listen with surprise at what she learned from my chart! It is a science!

All she knew about me was my name, address, phone number plus my date and time of birth. She had a chart in front of her which I later learned showed the location of stars when I was born and the present location of stars. Our visit gave me some interesting information. She told me what she could see when I was four. I learned that she had written several books which were already published on astrology. I asked more questions and listened carefully to her answers. Without asking me questions, she smiled and said, “Are you ready?” I responded, “Yes.” Goria began telling me what happened, how some of my patterns developed, and more. While talking, she recorded what she said so that I could listen to it later. As she talked, I began to think “Maybe the wise men following the stars were astrologers.” She shared more about my past and then she eventually came to the present and what she saw in my future according to the transition of stars.

As a gift to myself, I have her look at my chart and tell me what she sees every birthday. Why? I delight in the confirmation of what I am also seeing When something upsets me, I can see what she had to say about that time of the year. It nudges my intuition to a higher level. It helps me relax about a tough situation and also helps me sometimes have a different perspective. Gloria has gone on to write many more published books on astrology and is extremely respected in her field. She is not only a great person and an excellent astrologer, but today she is happily married, has a wonderful husband and family. They are moving to the Seattle area and Seattle is lucky to have all of them.

LESSON: By setting aside my ego and my past judgment as I entered the Wellness Fair and the astrologer’s home that I have talked about, I learned. I kept listening to my heart. What I did was between myself and God. My friends in life come in all shapes and colors and each one is unique. God is truly in every situation and in every room we enter. As we expand and learn more about Self, we have the opportunity to carry our own peace, love, and God’s joy into every room we enter.

GIFT: I knew what I had been taught, but I set all judgment caused by past teachings aside when I met each person and visited with others at the wellness fair. I did the same when meeting with Gloria. These people were using their intuition, learned skills, and gifts to try to help people that were hoping to improve their lives. Some were excellent and some were beginners.

I met one person that was reading at one wellness fair and later discovered this person that did my reading at the fair was a professor at OU. I attended his seminar and recognized him. We visited. Most were not aware of his gift. I met people attending that fair that were out of work and others that were professionals. Some had gone through death in their family while others were having relationship issues,and the list went on. I visited with a lawyer that I knew and another doctor I knew. As I said before, no one looked like I would have expected. Perhaps I was expecting costumes after I entered like at the Medieval Fair in Norman. Everyone was dressed nicely, some casually and some looked like they just came from work meetings.

This was the best gift. When I was asked to be a speaker at a Wellness Fair later on in my life, I knew what it was and said “yes” immediately. I knew it was a place people went to when they were hoping for help in life or perhaps had sometimes been hurt so much that they had lost faith. I had no doubt that if Jesus were asked to speak, he would. I know I am not Jesus. I am Susanne.

A TRANSFORMATION ACCELERATED BY AFFIRMATIONS

From the time we are born, every word spoken to us goes into our subconscious. We then draw to us what we hold within and feel! I learned that affirmations help us change the subconscious. Why not? So I decided to do daily affirmations as I attempted to change everything from bad money situations to reducing my stress level. If they could improve my self-esteem or help me change my negative patterns to the positive patterns, then I was ready!

Think about this. We begin as a thought of God. Then a seed is planted and growth begins. Our soul is close by and can hear everything going on in this baby’s surroundings even while being formed. Finally, it’s time to leave the mother’s womb. The baby travels through something like a tunnel, comes out head first, and then is held upright. Its soul enters with that very first breath as we hopefully move into loving hands upon entrance into this world. By six weeks, we add even more to our subconscious. Every word and situation is entering us. From that time until now, we have developed beliefs, patterns, and an amazing amount of information that is stored in our subconscious mind.

After I set goals, I wrote affirmations to hopefully improve me and my life; ones that would help me become more aware and able to recognize what patterns I needed to change so that chaos in my life could leave. I wanted to make positive changes as I discovered what created the negative patterns. I looked up ideas for affirmations on the internet and then set down to write my own. I penned one affirmation on each 3 x 5 card. It was suggested in an article I found on the internet that I put my written affirmations next to my bed and read all of them first thing in the morning and again at night. Later on, I was to say them as I looked at myself in the mirror. If I flinched, I did not believe what I was saying was true about myself. If I did not flinch, I was doing better in my belief about what could happen in my life.

I liked affirmations beginning with “I am” and ones that I put my name in. Several articles suggested that by adding my name, the affirmation would go into the universe stronger. I began writing them like this: “I, Susanne, am happy with myself as I am.” I sometimes added something to enhance it. For instance, “I, Susanne, am happy just as I am.  I love being single and am gaining healthy, happy friends in my life.” For money issues, I said, “I, Susanne, am loving this feeling of being affluent. It is so great to be able to pay all of my bills and have money left over. I even have enough to be able to help others.” When I was ready to draw a person to me, a great person to date or go to a movie with or slowly enter into a more serious relationship with later, I truthfully wrote: “I am Susanne, and, with God’s help, I want to find out what I want in a man and what it is like to have a happy, healthy relationship. It will be fun to be something like Cinderella discovering a good person.” I began these as soon as I wrote them.  That was in October, 1988. You will learn in a few blogs what happened on New Year’s Eve weekend and during that magical year. 

I also wrote one about changing my life from drawing only men separated, but not yet divorced, from their wives. Not one single man was ever attracted to me after my divorce, and it had been almost three years since I filed. Rarely was anyone attracted to me? Was I unapproachable? .So what could be causing this? In my subconscious, did I still feel married even though it had been almost three years since I filed for divorce? First I wrote, “I, Susanne, love being single. I am having a great life and my life is getting better daily. Every day offers new possibilities in life. I am looking forward to all that is coming.” I felt like there were no single men out there.

I feel like this could happen to many people. I was married for seventeen years before Don died. I was single only nine months before meeting the second man I married a year later. He tore me down after marriage, and I kept trying to put him up. I finally figured out what was happening. He was dating outside the marriage and believe that is the way all marriage is. But we were in that marriage for five years before I accepted that reality. As I looked back, I realized that I had never been comfortable being single. I married Don fast, and then I married Virgil too soon. I began doing a second affirmation about my negative pattern of drawing married men to me. It read something like, “I, Susanne, am loving being single. I am having fun, and great things are happening in my life. Being single feels so good. I have two beautiful, grown children, healthy and happy new friends, and lots of love from the visible and the invisible world. I am single, but I am not ever alone.” That did it. I began to love my single life, all that I was learning, and my chosen new goals that I hoped to reach.

These are just a few of the affirmations. Have fun when you do this. Put your stack of cards by the bed. I diligently did them, feeling what is being said. Write all affirmations in present tense. Use words in affirmations that bring excitement and inspiration. Someone wrote that if your name is inserted, it increases the energy into the universe about 50%. Then later another article said if one adds , with God’s help, it increases it more. Do what is comfortable for you. Keep it simple and happy. Watch what you start drawing to you.

LESSON: Affirmations help one feel better. Negative patterns began to be eliminated, and new healthier patterns began to emerge. When these requests go into the universe daily, someone is listening.

GIFTS: My self-esteem improved. I gained more hope. Doing affirmations to go along with goals I set physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually improved the likelihood of what was good for me to come towards me and become a part of my life.

Miracles?

Do you remember that to develop a personal relationship, I would listen for the name of a book? I told God that I did not know how to hear yet, so he would have to show me some books that might help me. If I heard the name of a book three times, I would buy it and read it. And I did just that as I looked for the answer within each book. I marked down every time someone talked about “A Course in Miracles.” Hearing people mention this book sixteen times, I still just kept trying to ignore it. I glanced at it once in Barnes and Noble, decided it was too thick. I also had other books that I was invested in at that moment, so I laid it down without even thumbing through it.

Then one weekend, Susan telephoned and asked me if I could help her move out of her house. She and her husband had finalized their divorce. Susan was moving into an apartment. The next day I went to work with her, and the move from her large home began. While I was putting books in a box, one fell off the shelf and hit my foot. It hurt.

Susan, hearing me wince loudly, asked, “What happened?” I responded, “Your ‘Course in Miracles’ just jumped out of the top shelf and landed on my foot!” Susan said, “That is a sign. I have wanted to read that. What does the sign say to you?” “Well, I have had it mentioned to me sixteen times so far and have tried to ignore it. I think my sign is, “It is time I purchase it and read it. I think I must be procrastinating on this one sign.” Susan laughed as she agreed that I was a little slow and said, “Let’s do it!”

We neither one had any idea what this book was about, but the cover said that this book was produced by the Foundation For Inner Peace. We knew that we both needed peace in our lives. Someone had handed it to her saying that she needed to read it. I just kept hearing different people mentioning it. We began meeting Sunday afternoons through Sunday evenings. We would climb onto her bed in her apartment, pop a big bowl of popcorn, open this book, as well as our Bibles, and our adventure in life continued. We assigned ourselves pages to read during the week, agreeing to mark what we wanted to go back to discuss in our next meeting. Sometimes we came to sections we questioned. That is when we would go to the Bible to see if we agreed with the Course or not.

The way Susan and I studied this together, we understood the Course and loved it! It is a self-study about our oneness with God and Love. There are many topics about removing fear, expanding love, letting go of ego, forgiving, and healing. It provides a way to release pain, transform thought, and bring peace within. Since this book is 622 pages and has so many lines that I underlined to discuss, I certainly cannot do it justice here. The Course in Miracles is the book that caused Marianne Williamson to write “A Return to Love,” which sold millions of copies. Upon finishing this fantastic study, we could not believe that we neither one had waited so long to read “A Course In Miracles.” However, we remembered that life happens in divine order.

If you ever decide to study the course, find a partner to share this study with or attend a group. We each agreed that the two of us doing this together helped when we came to a part that we did not understand or a place where we questioned what we each thought the Course said. We encouraged each other to keep going, and neither one gave up before the end. Plus, this study together brings back great memories to this day that we will never forget.

What did I get from “A Course In Miracles?” This Course helped me forgive past mistakes and brought more love and joy within. So many days, I felt like there was love in every cell in my body. I had completed the twelve steps in Al-Anon before I began this, and the Course confirmed many of my new truths and understandings while also bringing additional answers! The Course made me think about my ego, how to set it aside or get rid of it, or at least make it a much healthier ego if there is such a thing. I became more conscious of my responses. Was the response I gave one of love or my ego? The course says, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”

While writing this, I called Susan and asked her to send me a statement about what she received from “A Course In Miracles.” Susan is now a Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist and has helped many people through the years. Here is exactly what she said: “What comes to mind for me is atonement (atonement) and the freedom from shame over anything in the past and forgiveness.”

Always loving people and interested in another person, I gained the joy of meeting a person in a new way. All of my life, I had been pretty nonjudgmental. (My parents had lots to do with this development of my character.) Still, this Course opened me up and helped me feel even more comfortable when meeting a person and dealing with him or her while releasing all judgment—and listening in a new way made a difference in relationships. This energy helped people feel safe when sharing with me as it brought forth the truth with them having no fear. The course says when someone attacks, it is usually a call for help. As Susan and I moved through this study, I gained more and more peace, and I lost some fears that limited me. Sometimes I slip back, but I remember!!! There is no place where God is absent even when someone attacks and thinks they are doing right by doing so. There is nothing to be feared. I do believe this study brought me to a place where I could check my beliefs and learn more truths about myself.

LESSON: With love and peace in every step we take, we help bring both peace and more loving-kindness to this earth as we all move upon the earth!

GIFT: This was a major stepping stone to the next miracles that happened in my life. I am forever grateful for this study and for all Susan and I did together as it became a college course on love for both of us.

Setting Goals For A Great Life

Being single, running a business, and reading more spiritual books caused me to think about what I was doing and where I was going in my life. My present life could go better! Ha! I had money problems and could not keep my house much longer. At this same time, I was looking within myself, continuing to attend Al-Anon meetings, and watching for answers. I always appeared to others as a high achiever, but my personal life was not so good. Both husbands made decisions without me, and they both dated outside marriage. The second one was worse than the first. It was horrible. I, however, was learning about why all of this happened. It was me in many ways and what I was drawing to me. I believe we come here to learn lessons while on earth.  I did not catch on to my part of drawing this to me in the first marriage. I believe that I had too much joy with Dawn, Johnny, and even Don, along with the bad.  Don kept forcing me into change by not sharing some significant decisions, and some of the forced changes turned out well. 

I do believe God decided I would have to be hit over the head to “open my eyes, understand, and see myself clearly.” Thus, my second husband became an excellent teacher about lessons I should have learned in the first marriage and paid no attention to!. With the work I was doing, I was finally able to clearly see lessons received in both relationships.  I knew that I had to change me before ever getting into another dysfunctional relationship within my work or in my personal life. Thus, I began to look at my goals and where I was going from here.  

Every year I set goals for my work. That began way back there when I started planning for what would later became a large comprehensive mental health center in New Mexico. Being divorced now for almost two years and wanting some changes in my life, I decided to set new goals in the four ways I am rather than “just about business.”

I picked up a pad, turned it sideways, so there was more space to make four categories. I wanted one for Physical, one for Mental, another section for Emotional, and the last was for Spiritual. Then I thought about what I might want in my line “Physical.” I would first begin with myself, how I could keep my health good, what I might like to improve in my surroundings. Then I wrote what I would like to see improved in my home environment and the area I worked in when I was here at home. Following that, what would I want to see in my broader life in my community. Is there traveling I physically want to do? 

All I kept studying indicated that we are able to create. I really got into this. I adjusted each category to fit me. I began having so much fun that I thought others might enjoy doing goals this way. Under Mental, I put things like new ideas for work, opening my mind to discover what I believed and did not believe, allow new thoughts, and perhaps something new I might want to do this year like write a book or rewrite the one about my marriage to Don. It was sitting on a shelf in my closet. I had idealized him before I was willing to see everything clearly. I added a possible painting class. 

Emotional included my relationships, a more personal relationship with God, improved family relationships, draw healthier and enjoyable women friends to me. A year later, I wrote “a companion to have fun with,” and even “a new relationship for me with money.” I definitely needed a new way to look at money. No matter how hard I worked, I didn’t have enough money to cover expenses!

I knew when I wrote that down; it might mean letting go of an old belief “that owning a home provides security.” I might need to sell it and remove a large house payment. That might help in regards to a new relationship with money. I might also need to cut up my credit cards.  Spiritual included “improved active listening for both answers and feelings about my life.” I also wanted to raise my awareness of all answers,” and “bring more light into my life.” My lists continued to grow in all four categories because new ideas kept coming; I added each image to my list. 

When I thought I was ready for the next step, I purchased two poster boards and cut them in half. Then I gathered up old magazines to go through and randomly cut out pictures to exemplify my desires under each category. I titled one board for Physical, one for Mental, one for Emotional, and one for Spiritual.  

Now all of this may sound ridiculous, but “all” of those that I have shared this goal-setting adventure with that have done it for themselves were amazed with the results! And I did this the entire ten years I was single and a few years after we got married. I do still write down my goals each year, but I leave each goal without specifics. I want goals to be unlimited so that God and Spirit to add or subtract. They still go into four categories. Sometimes a goal goes all the way across.For a while, I even made a fifth category that was strictly about my career and selling my book. So I had the fifth line. Like what I said, do what is comfortable for you. But if you are single and want to see more miracles in your life, “write your goals.” Everything goes into the Universe with more strength and to your Divine Source when you handwrite it. And, if it is at all possible, make those vision boards. Write down what you want to happen, even if it does not seem logical to do so.  And then watch what happens within this year.

This “setting of goals” is excellent to do on a weekend when you have nothing else planned or when you are lonely or when you feel blue, and you think nothing will ever happen “for you.” You will be as amazed.” I was. One office hired me to come in and guide them every year. It was like a fun retreat, even if it was only for a short day of preparing for the growth they wanted to achieve at work, and then their personal goals. They had success every year and were amazed as each one presented the result of their written goals and vision boards before beginning the next year. This goal-setting procedure is fun to do in October because it gives the time as the year closes to start thinking about what’s coming in the future year.

LESSON; Have Fun!!! Allow that feeling of joy within as you create what is wanted for the coming year. I quit setting dates for a goal to occur. If I wanted, I felt free to write the same goal the following year. It will happen when it happens. Watch the chosen words for goals. I committed to writing about “When Spirit Speaks” and wrote “write book” as a goal. A year went by and I did nothing. Then I wrote “Enjoy sitting down at a computer and writing my book.” (I had no computer and could not afford one, but was unexpectedly given a brand new computer by a friend that year.) Amazing! That year I began. It took me five years, but I did it. Then “Improve my book by changing it into something like a script.” Next year was “Listen only to me.” (I had wasted a year by asking other friends to look at it.” I learned it was better for me to read and reread.)I rewrote it. Then “Enjoy redoing after editing.”)

GIFTS: It took me five years, but I did it. You see, Then I was scared it would not be good enough. I wrote, “Improve my book by changing it into something like a script.” The next year was, “Listen only to me and do my best. (I wrote this because I wasted a year by asking other friends to look at it.” I learned it was better for me to read and reread.)I rewrote it. My last goal before “Publishing my book” became a goal was “Enjoy redoing after John’s editing.”Each rewrite about my life and the most sacred experience brought healing. I believe everyone has a story and writing about life heals! One sees answers when writing.”

I put my house up for sale. I finally learned even more about what is important. Security is not a home or stuff outside of ourselves. Security is within.

I opened to new ideas and “began considering” speaking to businesses and individuals that desired positive change in life. All sorts of new ideas kept coming forth. Thoughts are sent many times by God and I paid attention to what I started thinking, since I was rearranging my life.

Visions?

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I eventually met someone that I liked! How? One afternoon a friend of mine telephoned.  She said that her 80-year-old mother had come for a visit. When my friend asked her Mom what she would like to do, her mother said that she wanted her to take her to a place where they had live music and she would like to dance.  This request was not what my friend expected.  She pleaded with me to go with her to take her mother dancing. I had never met her mother, but this sounded like an adventure for her mother, and I agreed.  A gentleman asked me to dance. It was a fun evening. After calling me for several weeks, he asked me out, I went, and we dated for several months. I unexpectedly really liked him. We did not see each other often due to his distance from my home in Norman. Every time we were together was a great time. I thought he said that he was single the very first night we met, but he said, “No, I told you that I was separated. You must have heard what I wanted to hear. Ha! I was certain that I heard him say he was “single” the very first night we met.

After having a few more dates, I had one of my vivid dreams that he needed to go back home and be with his family. After writing a short letter sharing what I thought was going to happen according to my dream, I mailed it. I was right. He telephoned me as soon as he got the letter and asked how I knew he was to do that? I explained the dream and asked why. He said that his son had telephoned that morning. Both sons wanted to meet with him in approximately one hour. I later learned that they asked him to come home due to their mother needing help. She had fallen and hurt herself. That was that!

I was so mad at myself! Still hurting from not understanding the truth of my situation, I returned to being only with my single female friends for great discussions and entertainment. To bring myseelf back to focusing on my own life, I accepted an invitation to go with a friend to a reception hosted by Merrill-Lynch in downtown Oklahoma City. She had her investments with them. I had no finances to speak of at the time. I dressed appropriately and looked forward to meeting many new people.

Soon after arriving, I met Cathy. Have you ever met someone that you immediately clicked with and had so much to share with? That is what happened. I discovered Cathy also lived in Norman and drove back and forth to Oklahoma City every day for work. She was single, not seeing anyone, and was also spending time looking within for answers. It was as if a bubble was around us. She worked for Merrill Lynch and was hoping to meet new clients at this reception. We neither one met anyone else. While we were talking, she all of a sudden said, “Susanne, I think you are the one that is supposed to go with me and help me do a vision quest. Would you consider that?” I said, “Certainly, what is a vision quest?” She shook her head and frowned before saying, “I am not sure, but I know that I am interested in doing one.”

Several days later, Cathy telephoned and said that she had found where she was supposed to do one, Sedona, Arizona. She would pay for the hotel room and meals if I would just be a supporter for her doing this. She knew I was somewhat struggling financially. I would have to take care of my plane flight. We sat the date of our adventure, and she made the plane reservations. We were going to fly into Phoenix and rent a car. She also made reservations for the automobile. A few weeks passed, and the time to leave came. I was packed and ready to go. Cathy picked me up, and we were off. Both of us were excited!

We arrived in Phoenix and went outside after retrieving our luggage. When I asked Cathy the name of the car rental she called, she looked panicky. She could not remember. Oops! Not a good start. After searching her pocketbook for a name, we went outside to watch for rental cars drive by. We thought names on the rental automobiles might jog her memory. It did not. So Cathy suggested I  go to the “pay telephone” booth (that we used to have) and begin telephoning rental agencies to find one that had a car in her name that was to be waiting for us at the airport. I opened up my billfold so that I could more easily get my change for calls I would be making. That billfold held all of my money for the entire trip! After making a few calls with no luck, I heard Cathy yelling for me to join her on a shuttle.  I ran! She had discovered the rental agency, and the shuttle could take us to it. As I sat down, we were laughing at ourselves, and suddenly I realized that I left my billfold at the telephone booth. I quickly told the driver, and he said he would make another loop so that I could see if it was still there. However, the driver felt like someone most likely would already have taken it. Miracle! My billfold and my money were both there!. Thank you, God!

The bus delivered us to pick up our automobile. We headed from Phoenix to Sedona. On the way, I suggested that we stop for a bathroom break and call our hotel to share with them that we were on our way, but our arrival would be late. Surprise! Cathy telephoned and learned that we still had our reservations for the following two nights, but gave our room to someone else for the night! So we began watching for a place to stay, and we saw none. Finally, we came upon a beautifully lit, expensive-looking hotel and stopped. It was unbelievably high. Cathy and I both tried to talk the man into the only suite they had left. It was almost midnight. I convinced him that we would only be sleeping in the bed. We would not even shower in the morning if that helped in cleaning the room. We shared how much we had planned to spend. By this time, he wanted to be rid of us and agreed hesitantly. He slowly handed us the key and pointed us in the right direction. Wow! Beautiful room!

The next day we arrived at our hotel in Sedona. It was not nearly as beautiful as the one we just left this morning but was plenty comfortable for us. That day was for walking around Sedona, seeing a few stores, and later taking a very much needed nap before dinner. We were tired due to our flight, rental car experience, and previous late-night adventure finding a room. 

After a good night’s sleep, we had breakfast and began making plans for Cathy’s vision quest. We surveyed the different vortexes the map of Sedona that the hotel manager gave us when we checked into the hotel. Cathy chose Bell Rock because it’s considered an electrical vortex, which is said to be a perfect place for someone wanting forward movement and setting intentions. The map also said it is an excellent place to chant or make prayers, because the energy of Bell Rock would amplify a prayer, sending it up and out into the Universe.

Okay, that is it. We were off to Bell Rock, but first we needed to stop to get snacks and a coke with lots of ice to take with us. The sun was high in the sky, and it was getting hot. We hiked into Bell Rock. It was a gentle climb up to places to sit on this huge rock. Cathy seated herself. I went a distance from her and situated myself in a place far to her left and behind her so that she could not see me when she looked forward. I said prayers for Cathy to receive every once in a while and then would have another snack. Ha! Little did we know about vision quests! After about two hours went by, with my food and drink gone, I watched Cathy. She was seeming restless. I called to her “Are you finished praying?” Her answer was “Just about.” Then I asked, “Have you had your vision yet or do we need to stay longer?” With no answer, I decided she was praying again. In just a few minutes, she called, “I am ready to go. I was just finishing up.”

When we headed down, she shared, “I don’t know what I received, but I know that I  enjoyed this time to be silent and pray.” As we walked further down, she picked up a large, red heart rock and handed it back to me, saying, “This heart is for you. Once you have a heart rock, you will not ever have a broken heart again.” Since that day, I have collected heart rocks, have received heart rocks from friends, and some of my favorites are from my grandchildren that got so excited when they found a heart rock for me.  I also have given others heart rocks that I knew they might want and need.

I cherish the experience of Cathy’s vision quest. Initially her quest appeared to be a single event. I later saw that it was the beginning of a process that unfolded for me over time. It appeared to be a silly knock-off of a vision quest but, in time, it came to be just a part of the vision that would unfold for me for my life!

Give and Receive

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This is coronavirus time! We have been in this house for about five one-half months now, and I still have more projects to do. Perhaps I am slow. Nope! John and I just visit lots about the news that is continually changing or personal news about family and friends or plans we hope to have in the future. In other words, we discuss. Then there are the movies we watch or Netflix series that bring lots of laughter in the evenings. Maybe someday I will find time to go through our pictures and organize! Ha! At present, major projects include this blog, cooking dishes that I “used” to cook, cleaning up the dishes and kitchen, and sending many masks like the one I love to others. This is the way I spend my time these days. But something funny is happening at our house that I want to share with you.

I attempt to mail or hand out a mask every day. Many have gone to friends I have not seen for a long time while others have gone to ones here in town that I normally see. I learned long ago, as I slowly woke up to how Spirit works, that giving opens a space for Spirit to return to us what we most need just when we need it. It seems that when we give, with no expectation of receiving something in return and also freely give and have no design on what the receiver should do with our gift, amazing events take place. Gifts do return, and they may be on a large scale or a small scale. Think about this. We may be having a down day and then the perfect person calls us and that call lifts us up! That, remember, is a perfect gift. It seems that many people feel as if when they have somebody over multiple times for dinner, the gift must be reciprocated. Not so. When one gives freely and receives freely, all sorts of good things happen in new ways.

Just a few weeks ago, gifts began to come to us that we could use. A neighbor I love brought us a fantastic meal for dinner just as I ruined the one I planned to have.  Several other beautiful friends brought what we could have for dinner at different times. And they each came when I most needed a good meal for dinner. They left them on the front porch or rang the doorbell, and I got to see them in person. On the first day that we began to find surprises, there was a large bag of vases that we could use to take flowers to people when we have some blooming. I walked out the next morning and found a bag of homegrown tomatoes; the next day, cucumbers, and another day, muffins, and on another one, onions, then peaches, a platter of cookies, two pineapples, a gallon of milk, and even a jar of chow-chow. The list just continued with each day, bringing a surprise for the day from a friend that thought of us. How wonderful! Now I go out and check the chairs and table on the porch, making sure that no presents are waiting. When there is none, I grin and think, “Hmmm, I need to get the rest of those masks to others.” I love watching how Spirit works. I do know Spirit works in all lives and loves it when someone notices! 

In my past, I will never forget so many instances that surprised me. The first colossal help happened when Don went to Mayo Clinic before going to M.D.Anderson. A man living there drove our car all the way from Rochester, Minnesota, to Portales, New Mexico, so that we could fly home. He even paid for the gas. During the following six months, I was working, taking care of our teen children, getting Don back and forth to M.D.Anderson, helping with his needs at home (no hospice then), and attempting to spend quality time communicating with him about his feelings and future events. We had no money since he was on leave from his work and also had no sick leave left. Then unsolicited help came.

An elderly couple that had very little and were living only on social security gave me cash at times to help us. Some realized that we had no money and then miracles began. When we were still living in the home I loved and it had not yet burned, Don would have me go check to see what was happening with the building of his dream home he wanted and began before the diagnosis of his cancer. I was shocked the first time I went over there and found people cleaning up after the builders left for the day.  I didn’t know any of them. I drove up to the house once to see young people I did not know cleaning the windows. I could go on and on with my surprises during that time. An amazing cousin loaned the money to help us be able to complete the home before Don died. Why were we getting all of this help?  Perhaps it was because we had attempted to give gifts freely in the past, and the culmination of all we offered was coming back to us?  I always loved to give freely, but I had a much harder time receiving it. I had no choice. I humbly attempted to show my gratitude.  Everything, including the meals brought to us for weeks, blew me away.

I decided to check out what I thought was another example of how God and Spirit works. Two good friends of mine, both women, came to me individually and shared that someone stole their jewelry. The only thing they took was jewelry from their past. Odd! Nothing else was touched. However, robbers returned about a week later and stole everything in each of their homes. I listened carefully. Was I being given a sign? I might be next. If both of them were robbed, the robber may also know me. The three of us were often together. I ran a business out of my house and left my door open many times for people to pick up their products. I kept being nudged to give away my jewelry and share that information with others. Perhaps the robber might decide not to rob me. I listened and made the decision to put all of my real jewelry out on the table and freely give it away.  It felt right. At that point, I only had jewelry with genuine stones and diamonds from my past. I laid it all out and waited for someone to come pick up products. I planned to let the first buyer of the day have the first choice.

The first buyer that came was someone that I did not know. She telephoned and asked if she could come over to talk to me about nutrition. Of course! She purchased a few products and planned to leave.  I asked her to stop and choose a piece of jewelry.  Her initial answer was, “No, I cannot do that. I do not even know you.”  After I explained my reason for giving my jewelry away, she decided to participate.  I continued giving my jewels away until all were gone.  I felt great, and no one ever tried to rob me.  Surprisingly, without anyone knowing, I began to receive gifts of jewelry.  The first came in only a few weeks.  It was colorful, not plain, and I loved it.

Here is another example. I had a friend that was struggling financially and was looking for a position. She was a single mother with three children. She dropped by and we visited. She said that she needed money. I began sharing with her about “give what you want to come back to you.” She left and then returned to see me a few weeks later. She said that she went home and dec died to do what I suggested. She broke a $5.00 bill into five $1.00 bills. She wrote a note on each one blessing the person that might find it and saying that she hoped this money would help them expand financially after finding it. Then she went to the grocery store and hid each dollar amongst cans and other items on the shelves. A week later, she got a new job that would pay her bills.

LESSON: Give what you want to receive in return. If you want friends, be a friend. If you need money, give some. If you want more red velvet, give something you have of red velvet away. You generally will receive at a later date something better or even more than you gave away. Practice “letting go” and have no expectations and no design about how the recipient will use what you give to them.

GIFTS: Life is a great adventure and so much happens to fill those spaces we open as we give. Another gift is that I have many more stories and I get so excited when a God Moment takes place in my life, in John’s life, or our lives when we are together! Obviously, we are together all the time these days, and I still have fun watching how Spirit works!

I love to give, and I learned to receive it.  I see that it is as blessed to give as to receive. When one gives, it increases the strength of the giver while supplying power to the receiver. It brings joy to both!

The Samoan

Being single felt strange. I was working hard all year selling my nutritional products and finding others that wanted their own business. My entire group was doing great! Upon notification that I would be going on an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii, I was excited! I could take my husband or a child under 18. Well, with no husband and both children over 18, I responded, “Yes, and I will be traveling alone.”

When I arrived in Honolulu, the day was beautiful.  The 5-star hotel was on the beach, and it was gorgeous.  I found myself to be one of the only single persons at this gathering for the week.  One day there were no tours or meetings to attend.  I went exploring by myself.  

I saw a large group in chairs where entertainment was taking place.  I walked to the spot, found a seat, and became enthralled with a presentation and dance being performed by a good-looking young man that appeared to be in his mid to late twenties.  He had the most amazing tattoos of beautiful colors!  I am not a fan of tattoos, but they were so different.

Following the performance, I walked up to him to say, “thank you for being a part of this fantastic afternoon, and I loved your performance.” I also told him that I was impressed with his tattoos and asked him if he was Hawaiian.  He replied, “I am Samoan. Then he began explaining to me about his tattoos.  It took a long time to complete them.”  He shared that he was from a “traditional” family and that his Uncle did his tattoos.  I learned about the table it was done on, how it was done, everything.

It was a rite of passage for a young man to acquire his traditional tattoos.  Each one had its importance.  His uncle did his.  The young man is allowed to take nothing, and it is a painful procedure. One can only handle it for a while and then must stop.  It is also a bloody procedure.   At this point, he asked me where I was from and turned the conversation to me and my life.  I shared.  Next, I complimented the crown he was wearing while performing, and said I wondered if he knew a store where I might buy one to wear for tonight’s evening event I was to attend.  I shared that it matched my dress, and I was hoping to find one like it.  

He smiled and kindly told me that it was sacred, or he would let me have his.  I said that was not my intent. He also explained that he might have to get permission for me to wear it. We visited a little more, and I began heading towards the Hotel. I have no idea what happened or what I said that caused him to yell, “Stop.” I looked back, and he said, “Wait! I want you to wear this tonight!”  Now I was confused, but we walked towards each other.  The Samoan removed it from his head and put it on mine.  

We made arrangements for me to meet him in the morning to return it.  Due to his conversation with me, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and handled it carefully, very carefully.  The following morning, we met.  He had a woman with him.  I introduced myself to her and told her how much I appreciated wearing this sacred handmade crown.  I handed it to him, and he held it out to me again.  He said that he wanted me to have it. I knew something out of the normal was happening, but why would he let me have it?

I did bring it back to Oklahoma with me and kept it in a glass case where everyone could see it as they entered my house in Norman.  Then one day, a friend and her three-year-old daughter came over.  When Sally and I were talking, her daughter was quiet.  As she left, I walked her to the door.  The handmade crown was all over the floor.  Her daughter opened the door herself and reached it.  Little did the mother or daughter know that it was something I cherished. I kept remembering that stuff, no matter how valuable, is not as important as a relationship.  Don dying and the fire in our house taught me that. And perhaps it was time for it to go.  

LESSON:  Honor, respect, and kindness bring blessings.  Stay aware of God’s gifts of special moments, and be grateful. It is good to talk to people when there is something positive you want to tell them.  

GIFT:  I learned about another culture, a tiny bit about his traditional ways, and the kindness of a young man I just met.  He represented to me other Samoans I might have the opportunity to meet in the future.  Remembering him, I attempt to be kind and respectful to those from another country even if they seem irritated with us in the United States.  Perhaps they might think we are all, or at least some of us, are like that!  And life gets a little better!  

GREAT GIFT THAT JUST CAME TO ME! For years, I wondered why I asked a Native American man that you will learn about later in my blog, “Do you practice your traditional ways?” I could not figure out where that statement came from. Now I understand. The Samoan said more than I could put in this blog. He explained how important “traditional ways” passed from generation to the next generation, ancient ways, are! The Native American reminded me of the Samoan and the Samoan reminded me of the Native Americans I met on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico and many of the Native Americans we met while on the ski patrol. They worked at the ski area.

A Personal Relationship

My difficult marriage was over, but I continued working on me. Now I was no longer a widow. I was a single divorcee. I had finished my commitment to my sponsor of not speaking to a man for six months. I learned during that time to have a new respect for women. I was so happy not talking to a man that I think she became worried and told me I had to find a date. But no man was asking me out. I knew the time would eventually come.

I began each day with a prayer and reading a “three times named” inspirational book. The initial ten minutes I allowed for prayer and reading expanded longer and longer into the mornings. My attitude was better, and I was happier every day. I sometimes journaled about my first marriage. That helped me grieve what I did not grieve following Don’s death since I went right back to work.

Even though I was spending more time with prayer, reading books, and listening to my answers within the books, my business kept growing. It felt like I was getting more done in a shorter amount of time. As I was learning, I shared with friends about healing my past, present situations, and what I hoped for in my future. I surprisingly began receiving invitations to speak on life subjects for some churches and organizations. I accepted those invitations.

While presenting to a singles group at a Methodist Church in Oklahoma City one evening, I began talking about how we prioritize life. I said, “When asked how I prioritize my life activities, I always say that I put God first and then Family followed by Work, Friends, Committee meetings, business club, and finally Self. In truth, though, my actions show that I put work first, then meetings, business club responsibilities, church, followed by family, friends, me, and finally, when I fall into bed at night, I say a quick prayer to God. Next, I wrote a new list and made it different, very different.

Writing on a whiteboard, I began to change my life. I moved God from the bottom to the top of the list and drew an arrow to me, Susanne, which I put directly under God. Following me, I wrote with intent “family.” I was living by myself at the time, but I wanted a closer relationship with my children and relatives. Next came work/nutrition business for monetary returns. I had to make money since I was supporting myself. Following that, I listed friends, since I wanted an opportunity to spend quality time with healthier friends. My small changes in the list gave me a feeling of freedom.

Stepping back and looking at the new written list added to my excitement about opening to new possibilities for my future. By eliminating only a few lines of responsibilities, I began making a plan to make a conscious effort to create space for additional time on some evenings. I planned extra time to study books, write, journal, gain ideas, and discover my answers for a positive change in my new life as a single person. My desire to make these changes in priorities, putting God first, and my name right under God, brought the interest of others in the room. I saw a few get excited, and then others began to sit up straighter, and eyes widened as I wrote the list on the whiteboard. Some were leaning forward. I passed out paper, and they made their list. God was at the top, and his or her name was right below God’s. This plan to make space for new doors to open, with God’s help, captivated the discussion for the remainder of the evening. We scheduled a follow-up.

The change in my list brought the initial gifts. I made a conscious effort to increase my awareness and intuition. I began developing a more personal relationship with God, and my eyes opened as I began to understand how the Holy Spirit helps us so much, and we many times do not take notice.

This change and Al-Anon also gave me the faith and courage to release some of my codependency tendencies and have healthier responses for my life, my children’s lives, and the lives of others. All relationships were improving. I was not trying to control others. I learned how to serve others without the traits of a codependent. I learned how to say “no” when I needed to say no. So many times, I said yes even when I needed to say no, and then I would resent doing what I said that I would do. With this change and learning how to listen to God before speaking, I ended feeling responsible for the reactions of the others whenever I did say no. I quit feeling like I was the only one that could do something well! Ha! By saying no, I was allowing the space for someone new to step up and help, and I knew they would receive a blessing for doing so.

LESSON: Learning to listen to a divine source is of utmost importance. Things in life go smoother. Increasing intuition and awareness helps one decipher what decision is right or is not so good.

GIFTS: I began having all sorts of gifts. I could see what was meant “just for me” in each book I heard the name of three times, bought, and read.

New thoughts came forward to help me heal. When I heard a romantic song that reminded me of a past love in some way, I learned to change the words of the song, replacing certain words with God. On other songs, I imagined God was singing to me. It was much better to replace the thought of a person with a feeling of God. My sadness would leave. I did that for years. I still do sometimes. Try this with your divine source.

What is Al-Anon?

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

The serenity prayer

What is Al-Anon? I knew it was a program that was opposite Alcoholics Anonymous, but that was all. When the counselor I was seeing suggested that I might want to try it, I was offended and left his office very frustrated. He also suggested a codependency meeting, which I did try first. It did not seem to fit me. I next found an Al-Anon meeting and attended. It was a noon meeting. A kind woman began guiding the meeting. A person already seated handed me a book to read from and then each person applied the passage read to his/her life. I liked what I heard. They were talking about all sorts of life’s problems. This meeting was calming to me.

When it came to my turn, they asked me to first tell them about why I was there. I explained my bad marriage brought me and my life jut was not working. Next, I was asked, “Do you have an alcoholic in your life?” I said, “Possibly, but I am not certain.” One woman responded, “You have to have an alcoholic in your life to attend this meeting.”  I then said, “Are any of you, alcoholics?”  Another said, “Why do you want to know that?”  I said, “Because if there is an alcoholic in here and if I have to be involved with one to be able to be here again, then I am going to become involved with you very quickly.  I will be sitting in this chair next week.    

No one seemed to want to get involved with me as everyone in the meeting said nothing, so I went the following week, and all was good. Each session brought something I needed to hear for my own life. When a person replaces the word alcoholic or alcoholism with the problem they are having in this life, big messages that help sometimes come.” I discovered answers within about how to handle a personal challenge. When one listens carefully, the words that come from another person about a problem they had brings your answer to you. I felt like this next statement took place every meeting; God had a surprising understanding ready for me. I continued to go.

Acquiring a sponsor and working the steps brought brand new perspectives to my life. I felt like I gained new eyesight and finally began healing through this program. It was exactly what I needed. And that statement I heard at the beginning from a speaker about my children would begin having their lives improve also in about six months as true! Those meetings rebuilt the joy within. No one tells anyone else what to believe. Yes, they do talk about a higher power. Every person that I have ever suggested Al-Anon to and has gone finds relief and new beginnings in his/her own life.

I cannot adequately share the gifts this program brought to my life. I feel like if everyone in the United States and beyond took the opportunity to work the twelve steps with a sponsor, we would have more honesty, respect, and compassion when interacting with others. If this happened, the United States might be living in a world of Utopia. Actions I took while working the steps helped me look within “me” and gain more wisdom about my life. Those meetings and “experience of the steps” brought understanding about how I responded to others and how I kept drawing chaos to me rather than a more balanced and whole person for a partner in both my personal life and, at times, in my work life. As I moved through the steps, I discovered where the hurts within began that left broken areas in me that needed healing. Al-Anon brought suggestions about how those holes within me might heal. I stayed “in the present” every moment of the meetings and was able to see how Spirit worked as I moved through the steps and as others talked about what happened to them as they worked the steps.

Each of the twelve steps brought a new action for me to take before moving forward to the next level. My sponsor guided me through every step.  I spent about a month, sometimes a little more,  on Step One through Twelve.  Sally, my sponsor that I chose, was excellent.

LESSON: If it is difficult to move through a self-induced boundary, keep going. Some believe that when difficulties arise, we are not supposed to do something. It might be that when something happens, Spirit is looking to see how committed we are to a goal we set for ourselves. This happens when we make a commitment. If one keeps moving through the blocks determined to go forward towards the commitment, it feels like “all of a sudden the Force moves in with you” to help your life.

LESSON: When sitting in a 12-step meeting, do not judge others. Soon one learns they are sitting in meetings with a lawyer, a counselor, a nurse, a teacher, a homeless person, a professor, a stay-at-home mother, and others. All that return to each meeting gain wisdom and acquire a positive change in life that is amazing to watch!

GIFTS: Serenity, relief, and joy came to me. I lost my “need to control others.” So many times if my life was out of control, I would find myself focusing on what one of my children needed to be doing in theirs or what a friend needed to do. I quit giving advice in all instances unless I was asked for my advice. I always considered myself to be someone that had good relationships, but “all” relationships improved. I forgave myself for some things in my past, and I forgave others. Forgiveness became easy. I could go on and on. I noted that I began drawing to me fun, energy-free, healthier, supportive friendships.