The Ripple Effect

Every Decision Causes a Ripple Effect

It’s been quite a journey getting here, embarking on a new life that inspires, motivates, and lights me up inside.  Don’t get me wrong, life wasn’t horrible.  In fact, it was good.  But “good” turned out to be “not good enough”.  I had a wake-up call, reminding me that life is very short.  “Hey Suz, is this really the life you want?”  The answer came quickly and truthfully.  No.

I made bold decisions to end a 10-year relationship and walk away from a 20-year career in teaching.  What seemed to take a year and a half from the first thought of these changes to the present, actually took a lifetime of learning and growing.

This morning, I realized with crystal clarity that both decisions had a ripple effect that impacted a lot of people.  Because I just left my job as a teacher (yesterday was the last day of school), I thoughtfully considered each person who was directly affected by this- each student, each family member, and each colleague floated one by one in my awareness.  Wow, that realization carries a lot of responsibility and weight!  (More on that later.)  Because of my choice, many of them had to make choices, too.  And the ripples continue to expand outward.

Decide How I Want to Decide

When it is time to make a decision, I have to decide how I wanted to decide.  Do I…

1. Make a choice based on fear, anxiety, and doubt?

2.  Or… spoiler alert- this is the better option…Make a choice from a place of love, courage, and authenticity?

A Team of Advisors

There are a great many candidates who want to be on my trusted Team of Advisors for decision-making.  Let me introduce you to them.  Perhaps you know some of them, too.

In one group are the naysayers– external and internal.  They think they are helping by keeping you small and “safe”.  They say things like, “You need to find a secure job”, “You can’t make money doing that”, “No one will ever love you like I do”, “You’ll never find anyone else”, “Who are you kidding?”, “You are too old/young/inexperienced/overqualified.”  The external naysayers could be friends, family, or colleagues.  The internal naysayers could be the inner critic, the perfectionist, the good girl/boy, the people-pleaser, or the martyr.  They mean well but guide from a place of fear.

In the other group are the encouragers– external and internal.  They have your best interest at heart, saying things like, “You won’t know until you try”, “You’ve always wanted this, go for it”, “There’s no time like the present”, “You deserve to be happy (loved, appreciated, valued)”, “Follow your heart”, “Trust yourself”, “You have my support”, and “I believe in you”.  The external encouragers could be friends, family, or colleagues.  The internal encouragers are your heart, feelings, intuition (gut instinct), dreams, and your awareness of synchronicities.  They don’t just mean well; they DO well, guiding from a place of love, support, empowerment, and authenticity.

You may have felt two very different sensations in your chest or abdomen as you read those last two paragraphs.  Read them again and heighten your awareness.  Which feels kinder, gentler, and more positive?  The second one, right?

With Choice Comes Responsibility

So back to “the ripple effect”.  With every decision comes the weight and responsibility of impacting others.  As I considered the weight of my most recent decision, I realized that almost everything I do can impact others and, likewise, what others do can impact me.  That’s just part of being interconnected.  It can paralyze us, detering us from ever deciding anything.  But then I asked myself a question that made all the difference.

The Big Question

Am I living my best life from a place of love, courage, and authenticity?

If something is going to ripple out from me energetically, I want it to be positive!  The teacher in me imagines how great it would be if each child grew up feeling encouraged to be themselves and follow their hearts.  We are examples for one another.  I’m constantly inspired by those who have the courage to pursue their dreams, leave unhealthy relationships, take chances, and SOAR!

An acquaintance asked me what would happen if I failed at my business venture.  My response, “I can’t fail.  By having the courage to try, I’ve already succeeded.”

The Universe Will Respond… I Promise

As soon as I released what no longer served and made space for new possibilities, the Universe responded in surprising and magical ways.  There were synchronisitic events, support came from the most unexpected places, clarity came through dreams, and expansive opportunities appeared almost immediately.

Remember when I asked you to reread those two paragraphs?  The feeling you got from the second one is the feeling I get when I listen to my intuition, knowing it is my most trusted advisor and encourager.

What I say to my Self is what I say to you-  Trust your Self.  You already know.  There are encouragers, seen and unseen, just waiting to support you.  You are loved.  Namaste!

 

Come Home to Your Self

The Message I Needed to Hear

Late last spring, I received a one-word message from my intuition, “Home”.   After a busy year of teaching, two consecutive summers of work-related traveling, and the end of a significant relationship, this was a welcome word that I took literally.  I stayed home to create art, take care of my house and pets, and tend my garden.  To keep this story short, what I got for my effort was bare skin covered with ant bites and a bee sting on my lip that caused significant swelling.  “I stayed home for this?!”, I complained out loud.  And just as clear as that one word message I received in the spring, I heard, “Come home to your Self.”  Actually, I think I heard, “Duh, Suz!  Home means come home to your Self.”  The Universe has a sense of humor!

What did it mean?  Start doing things differently.  Like what?  (I was full of questions but unaware that I was full of the answers, too, if I would only listen.)

At first, I felt stuck.  I heard that “when one door closes, another opens.”  But, I didn’t see any open doors, sun-filled windows, or light through a keyhole beckoning me.  I was facing the wrong direction.  I was focused on what I didn’t want and what wasn’t working.

The Choice

There were two choices- stand still and stay stuck or take a step.  It sounds a bit flippant and oh-so easy but it’s not.  It takes a lot of courage to take the first step in the direction you want to go.  You don’t have to run or even walk… just take one small step and it will guide the next step.

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. 

Tiptoe if you must, but… take the step!” 

Naeem Calaway

Journey of Love

I realized that coming home to my Self is a Journey of Love.  Whoa, hold on just a minute!  Isn’t it selfish to put my Self first?  Absolutely not!  How can I offer anyone else a drink from an empty cup?  I had to fill my chalice first.  I had to be “Self-Full”.  Keep in mind, I said this is a “journey”, not a destination.  It meant reprioritizing.  Making space.  Saying “No thank you” to things I didn’t want to do.  Taking care of my body, mind, and spirit.  Having fun.  Reconnecting with people I love.  Doing less so I could be more present.  It meant loving, accepting, and respecting myself.  It meant having the courage to be authentic… and visible.

Home Means…

  • I choose Love over fear.
  • I express gratitude for all the treasures in my life.
  • I focus on what I want with greater clarity and intention.
  • I use my creativity as a portal to connect me to my inner wisdom (intuition, highest self…).
  • I allow my inner wisdom to guide my choices.
  • I follow “YES”.  Even if it’s a baby step, I take the step.
  • I release, with loving kindness, what no longer serves.
  • I connect to the Divine energy in all that is seen and unseen- the Divine within me, too.
  • I trust the Mystery- relinquishing the desire to control outcomes so the real magic can happen!
  • I accept myself for being human…a perfectly imperfect human being.

Come Home to Your Self is a Journey of Love… it begins with one brave step!

When we can love ourselves and have the confidence to show up authentically,

our example gives those around us permission to do the same.

My Calendar of Events lists upcoming workshops and retreats where I guide people on the journey back to Self through creativity, intuitive experiences, ceremony, visualizations, and more.

 

 

Shining Light

Are there certain songs, that when you hear them, have the power to bring back memories as clearly as if you were experiencing them again? Are there certain songs, that when you hear them, capture who you are in this moment? “Shining Light” by Annie Lennox is that song for me. As I strike out on a new adventure, redefining who I am, I embrace this uplifting song as my unofficial theme song.

“Shining Light” is positive and empowering. “Sovereign bride of the infinite, Yeah, you are a shining light.” Wow! That fills me with confidence and the belief that anything is possible if I let my light shine. In any given moment, there are infinite possibilities available to us. Some small- “What will I have for breakfast?” Some major- “Is it time to end this relationship or time to leave this job?” How different life could be if we recognized that we are light beings, connected to all that is!

I can choose to crumble under the fear, hatred, and ignorance playing out around the world (especially in politics). Or, I can choose to stand in love with all of the amazing people who make a positive difference because they let their light shine.

I CHOOSE LOVE.

So Annie, if you are reading this, your song captured the spirit of how I want to walk in the world. Thank you for this inspiring anthem!

I’M GOING TO LET MY LIGHT SHINE!

“Shining Light”

Annie Lennox

Roman candles that burn in the night
Yeah, you are a shining light
You lit a torch in the infinite
Yeah, you are a shining light
Yeah, you light up my life

You’ve always been a thorn in their side
But to me you’re a shining light
You arrive and the night is alive
Yeah, you are a shining light
Yeah, you light up my life

We made our connection
A full on chemical reaction
Brought by dark divine intervention
Yeah, you are a shining light
A constellation once seen
Over Royal David’s city
An epiphany you burn so pretty
Yeah, you are a shining light

You are a force, you are a constant source
Yeah you are a shining light
Incandescent in the darkest night
Yeah you are shining light
My mortal blood I would sacrifice
For you are a shining light
Sovereign bride of the infinite
Yeah, you are a shining light
Yeah, you light up my life

We made our connection
A full on chemical reaction
Brought by dark divine intervention
Yeah, you are a shining light
A constellation once seen
Over Royal David’s city
An epiphany you burn so pretty
Yeah, you are a shining light

And these are days you often say
There’s nothing that we can’t do
Beneath a canopy of stars
I’d shed blood for you
The north star in the firmament
You shine the most bright
I’ve seen you draped in an electric veil
Shrouded in celestial light

We made our connection
A full on chemical reaction
Brought by dark divine intervention
Yeah, you are a shining light
A constellation once seen
Over Royal David’s city
An epiphany you burn so pretty
Yeah, you are a shining light
Yeah, you light up my life
Yeah, you are a shining light
Yeah, you light up my life

Songwriters: Tim Wheeler

Shining Light lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Primal Scream Heard Around the World

Come Together II

 

I woke the other day to the Huffington Post headline that began with the words, “Women Let Out a Primal Scream“.  The urge to scream wells up in me and I know in many women (and some men) all over the world.  Some scream in public; some scream in private; some scream inside without letting out a sound.  If you are one of these women, or a man who screams in support, this post is for you.

What Was Hidden Has Simply Been Revealed

In my previous blog post, Balance, I cited Ken Carey’s book, Return of the Bird Tribes.  I have to see it as synchronistic when each chapter I read speaks to exactly what is going on in our world.

He writes “The Great Day of Purification has begun, a short but essential cycle of division that will gather those who promote fear and violence and separate them from this season of the world as chaff is separated from wheat at threshing….  As the sun rises, the shadows become sharper and more clearly defined.  As the energies of love grow stronger, the shadows of fear become more visible than before.  To some it may even appear that they have grown in number and in strength, but this is not so.  What was hidden has simply been revealed- that it might be healed and brought to peace.

I equate it to turning on the light in the kitchen and seeing hundreds of cockroaches scurrying around the floor and countertops.  They were hidden in the darkness but turning on the light revealed the level of the infestation.  The difference between the cockroaches and what is going on now is that the roaches would retreat back into the darkness.  That isn’t happening here.  They are boldly standing in the light for all of us to see.  As awful as that sounds, we now see the problem and can deal with it.  Yes, the first instinct is to scream.  The second instinct is to act.

Change is Occurring Everywhere

Ken Carey goes on to say, “You do not have to be a scholar to notice the direction and momentum of history.  Even a child can observe these times and know that fundamental changes are being wrought deep in the collective heart of humankind.  Something is changing on the surface as well.  You are here to help it change easily.  You have only to make the choice to shift the center of your motivation from fear to love.  Make the choice.

Make the Choice

Easier said than done, right?  I agree.  But if we each do what we can in our own unique way, we can be the change we want to see in the world.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot.  NEVER in history have oppressors succeeded for long.  In every culture and time that I can think of, eventually positive change comes.  Does it start at the “top” with governments and religious institutions?  Never (that I can think of).  It always starts with the brave person(s) who decides to take a stand.  The hope I carry now is that we are those brave people and we aren’t alone.

I’m a teacher, an artist, and an energy worker.  I will do my part.

What can you do?

What talents, strengths, skills, and gifts can you bring to this?

How can you use your uniqueness to affect positive change?

You may feel called to write, sign petitions, create art (visual arts, poems, songs…), become an activist, support your beliefs financially, educate, or run for office.  Let the knowledge of what is happening inspire, motivate, and guide you.  WE MATTER!

A New Way

What worked at one time no longer serves.  Carey likens it to eating out of a garden that grew in centuries past.  The food of that time has long since rotted.  There is no nourishment there.  We need to plant new seeds, nurture them, harvest them, and share the bounty with others.

We are stewards, caretakers of our world.  It is said that the true leaders, teachers, and healers will recognize what is going on and be the first to act.  You are among them.  We are “them”.

When we feel helpless, frustrated, and paralyzed by fear, Carey writes “You are doubting your own power.  You are not vibrating fast enough to channel the immense energies of creation because your attention is scattered and you are closed to the one moment where the love that would quicken you exists: the moment where you are.”

How Beautiful It Is

I’ll leave you with more from Ken Carey.

“As the new information society bubbles over into global spiritual awakening, we come to join with our human egos on a scale unprecedented throughout all of history.  People turn once again to the Great Spirit who is the source of all information.  Rapidly in some, gradually in others, our egos discover their appropriate roles in the communication of this new awareness.  And there is naturally distortion at first.  But in the explosion of consciousness, it is soon purified.  Our spirits incarnate in ever growing numbers.  Distortion diminishes.  Truth spreads.  And how beautiful it is!”

Every significant change in history starts with everyday people doing extraordinary things.

We are those people and our time is now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance

Several months ago, Marcy, my acutely perceptive Tarot Reader, spoke of the struggle we each have balancing our analytical, logical side with our intuitive, LOVE-centered side at different times throughout our lives.  This is especially true when we are in the midst of great change.  The masculine aspect of ourselves, associated with action, wants to DO something.  The feminine aspect of ourselves just wants to BE.

The back of Balance- Animus

Logic

Marcy used the image of a uniformed guard putting great effort into “protecting” a stone building.  He held a flag and took his job very seriously… to the point of exhaustion… not realizing that this much effort wasn’t really needed.  The guard represents my logical side- some call it the masculine, ego, thought, left brain, or animus.

The front of Balance- anima

Intuition

At the same time, in this vision, a sleek female cat-burglar was sneaking past him into the building.  She wasn’t gloating but she was definitely amused that she was able to sneak passed him undetected.  Some call her the female, Intuition, spirit, heart, right brain, or anima.

The Illusion

It’s an illusion to think each, acting alone, will be beneficial.  They both need to stop their “game playing”, truly SEE each other, and know that when they unite, they will be able to fulfill their true purpose- provide balance.

Marcy saw the cat-burglar go outside and make the first gesture toward connection.  He wasn’t able to do it; he was too focused on his duty to guard and protect.  The guard didn’t realize that by joining forces with her, it would free them both.

She embraces him and he literally lets his guard down- weeping and awakening at the same time.  The cat-burglar, too, realizes the need for unity to fulfill their symbiotic roles.

Balance: masculine and feminine supporting one another

 

What is fascinating to me, beyond Marcy’s skill as a Tarot reader, is that this message was already coming to me loud and clear through my creative expression.

Creativity

Creativity is where I’m most comfortable letting go of expectations and outcomes, allowing my Intuition to guide the process and analysis to follow.  Intuition communicates most clearly through imagery, synchronicity, dreams, and most often my art.

Possibilities

The beings in both my sculpture and my colored pencil drawing depict the positive effect the unity of masculine and feminine energies can have when they are in harmony.

Return of the Bird Tribes

Ken Carey, in his book Return of the Bird Tribes, explains, “In a healthy state, the ego is a secondary component of identity…the Great Spirit is experienced as your primary sense of self….When your ego stops trying to do everything all by itself, and invites eternal spirit into your consciousness, your historical illusion evaporates like mist on a sunny morning.  A polarity reversal takes place in the charge of your human envelope.  The field of consciousness around you changes.  Instead of your ego dominating your sense of identity and blocking your awareness of the Great Spirit, an eternal sense of self awakens within you.  You know yourself as a projection of the Creator of all the stars in the sky.  You know yourself as one of a family of god-beings, sharing God’s Being.  You remember.  Everything is seen differently.  The world is perceived anew through the eyes of a universal awareness.  Your ego becomes your working partner, and you commence the conscious creation of a new human reality.”

Our Outer World Mirrors Our Inner World

Marcy went on to explain that our outer world mirrors our inner world. Relationships with others and our experiences inform us of the times we are living in balance and when we are not.  Balance, for me, feels like greater clarity and flow, bring to mind words like Trust, Allowing, and Surrender.  When the masculine and feminine are out of balance, I feel discord between my heart and throat chakras- the centers for love and communication.  To come back to center, I have to form a harmonious partnership between the rigid, analytical aspect that is most comfortable “DOING” and the intuitive, heart-centered aspect that finds comfort in “BEING”.

Seeking Balance

Seeking balance between Doing and Being, I treat myself with greater compassion, gentleness, and kindness.  In my Tarot reading, Marcy saw the cat-burglar make the first move toward the guard.  By holding him in her arms, she represents taking a LOVE-focused approach.

My intuitive art practice, meditation, connecting to nature, and time for dream-filled sleep entwine these two aspects of my Self.  From this place of unity, I can move forward with greater grace, serenity, confidence, and love.  That’s when I know I’m on the right path.

What do you do to bring balance between DOING and BEING?

How can your Intuition be given space to guide you more often?

When you are still and quiet, what is your heart saying to you?

 

 

Be Love- My Mantra for 2018

Be Love
Be Love by Susan Korsnick- acrylic on canvas

Be Love- A Mantra Not a Resolution

In the past few months, I’ve noticed a lot of hearts appearing in my artwork.  Some resemble the ones we are used to seeing on Valentines and others are human hearts.  A self-admitted over-achiever and perfectionist, I’ve spent years striving to achieve and please.  Even my spiritual practice was based on getting in touch with my higher self.  I confused “higher self” with “best self” and that’s where I made a big mistake.  “Best self” is based on judgment and outcome; it always takes more to be my “best”.  It’s exhausting and unobtainable.  Logically, I know that but I always tried a little harder, did a little more, improved just a little bit.  Be better.  Where’s the love in that?

TAKING THE TIME TO LOVE

Christine Mason Miller wrote in Bella Grace magazine, “Whether about to turn 20 or 80, we all only have so much time, so why not be in a hurry- to reach out to one another, however we can- and love them.”  And before we do that, let’s take time to BE LOVE for ourselves- give ourselves permission to stop “doing” and start being.

detail of Be Love- Susan Korsnick's acrylic piece on canvas
detail of Be Love, by Susan Korsnick.

WAKE UP CALL

A recent health scare awakened me to the truth- it’s not as important for me to be my best self as it is for me to relax and be my authentic self.  Just BE.  It sounds so simple to do, doesn’t it?  Just BE.  I was humbled by the experience, to say the least, but there was a silver lining.  As much as I have practiced a spirituality that connects me to my divine self, I needed a bolt of lightning (of sorts) to reconnect me to my human self.

I don’t want to be that driven multi-tasker any more.  I want to create more art, read more books, spend more time with people I care about, play, laugh, and savor every precious moment.  It’s time to let go of judgments, outcomes, and  anything else that takes me out of the present.  It’s time to BE LOVE, starting with my self.

“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, ‘This is important’ and ‘this is important’ and ‘this is important’, ‘you need to worry about this and this and this’.  And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No! This is what’s important.” I. Thomas

I put my hand on my heart and promise to BE LOVE and allow that flawed, goofy, uniquely wonderful being who lives underneath to-do lists and expectations to come out and play and twirl in the light again.

Grampy and Me

ONCE UPON A TIME

Once upon a time, there was a little girl with straight dark brown hair and big dark brown eyes.  She loved spending her summers with her grandparents, Grampy and Nanny, in a small town in central Pennsylvania.  Every morning, the little girl’s grandfather would quietly tiptoe into her bedroom to tuck her blanket under her chin and softly pat her leg before he left for work in the brickyard.  To be completely honest, the little girl was rarely asleep when he came in but she kept her eyes closed and pretended anyway.  The whiff of freshly percolating coffee and the whispers of her grandparents in the kitchen wafted up through the register in the floor.  These soothing smells and sounds lulled her back to sleep.

When Grampy got home, after long hours in the stifling heat of that factory, he would sit on the porch with the little girl and open his lunch pail.  No matter how hungry he was during the day, he always saved her a bite of the chocolately dessert Nanny packed for him.

In the early evenings, the little girl and her grandfather went for walks to Martha’s Park where Grampy pointed out picnic shelters he helped build or to Webb’s field where they would sit as still as possible and watch the deer feed.  When they got home, Grampy would read on the porch while the little girl chased fireflies or bunnies in the yard with her sister.

Weekends were spent with Grampy- picking veggies out of the garden, playing in the playhouse he made for her and her little sister, shelling peas, and doing other chores that never felt like chores.

Nights were spent in front of the television, watching Lawrence Welk or Hee Haw while they played cards and ate dishes of chocolate ice-cream.  Triple scoops!  Sometimes they would watch the Three Stooges and laugh until tears streamed down their faces.  Nobody else appreciated Larry, Moe, and Curly the way Grampy did.

Fast forward a dozen years or so and the little girl is a married woman.  She’s standing in an airport with her grandparents before she flies back to California to reunite with her Air Force husband.  Her plane begins boarding and she begins hasty farewells because long good-byes lead to too many tears.  She hugs Nanny.  Then, she hugs Grampy.  He gives her an extra tight squeeze and says, “I love you.”  In over twenty years, he never said “I love you” to her.  She began to cry uncontrollably, not because she needed to hear him say that but because she didn’t.

She always knew she was loved… completely and unconditionally loved.  Grampy (Albert Martin Marcinko) instinctively knew how to BE LOVE.  And “being love” is the best kind of love there is.

FAST FORWARD TO THE PRESENT

Here she is.  The brown hair is turning gray and the brown eyes need glasses to read up close but she’s still the same tanned, barefoot little girl inside.  She knows how important it is to be authentic and how important it is to BE LOVE… everything else takes care of itself.