spirituality

Why I Write

I’m taking a Stream of Consciousness writing class. We show up, start with a short silent meditation, then our instructor gives us a writing prompt of a few words and we all sit and write furiously for 10 minutes. Pen to paper. Never stopping. Not worrying about structure or grammar. We just write. And I love it. My brain takes me on such a fun ride. I never know what it’s going to pop out next, but I just write it down and sit amazed at what shows up.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

This got me to pondering, why do I blog? Why do I sit down every week, come up with a topic and spend the time to write it, edit it, and send it out to the world? What is it I’m hoping to accomplish? What it is I want to share? What do I get out of it? Why am I really doing it?

Part of the reason is because I really love to read other’s blogs and newsletters. I’m a lifelong learner and a meaning maker. I so enjoy delving into a good piece of writing that helps me make sense of my own world. Especially if that piece give me a new and fresh look at a topic I either know well or don’t know much about. As much as they say it’s all been said before or all been done before, that doesn’t mean I’ve heard it or seen it. It may be new to me.

Like just the other day someone told me about a website that I didn’t even know existed. How cool that other people have known about something for a few years, or forever, but I had zero clue about it. That’s exciting to me.

I write to learn. To understand. To make meaning of my own life. Often I share it because it’s just fun. It’s important that we connect with each other and share common themes, struggles, problems, and the good stuff in life. It’s that shared meaning where we connect and feel like we are uplifting and inspiring to others as well as being inspired by others. It’s truly a community where we’re there for each other.

Maybe the bottom line to why I write is that I’m drawn to doing it. It gives me something I can’t put into words or even put my finger on. It’s kind of a mystery really. I like that. I like that not everything in life can be figured out. Maybe it’s just me creating something that no one else can create in the exact same way but me. And isn’t that enough reason to do anything?

What do you do just because?

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

All Peace Starts with You

There is so much negativity, tragedy, and death in our world today. Paris is just the most recent example. And so many opinions about the cause of it all and what to do about it. I can tell you, I have no answers for those really hard questions. But I do know what I can do on my end to be a part of a shift in the world. “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” ~ The Dalai Lama

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

The world is a reflection of how peaceful we each are on the inside as individuals. Always. Look at what’s happening in your own life. Is there a lot of chaos? Turmoil? Problems at work? Problems in your relationships? Then you have a lot of chaos happening inside your mind. You are not at peace.

That is my work. Your work. Our work collectively. I honestly believe that anyone who hurts another does so because they are not at peace within themselves. Because if you are truly peaceful within you have no reason in the whole wide world to lash out. None.

Until you recognize that you are already whole and peace at your core, what you see in the world, in your own life, will continue. You are responsible for taking control of and living your life from a place of wholeness. If you realize you are not at peace within yourself, please, please, please, whatever you do, do not beat yourself up and shame yourself for it. Nor blame anyone else. Finding and creating peace is your job. No one can do it for you.

If you need help finding it, please seek that out through a therapist, a coach, a friend, a mentor, whoever you need to help you. But please do it. The health of our planet and every person, animal, and tree deserve you taking responsibility for your own life and living from that place of wholeness. You need it and the world depends on it. I can promise you it’s already there. It’s underneath all of your protective layers that you think are keeping you safe, but are really just smothering you. Peace is who you are when everything else is stripped away. It’s the peace connected to the entire universe. Be the peace you already are and you will see it reflected back to you in your life, and the world, a million fold.

As Ghandi said,” you must be the change you wish to see in the world”.

I honestly have no answer as to how to stop terrorism on this planet other than to find peace within myself, and do anything I can to help someone see their wholeness and find peace within themselves. Then we will be on the true path to a peaceful world.

And I believe, if you choose, you can do this too.

That is what I know to be true right now.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Are you Woo-Woo?

I know that asking you if you’re woo-woo may be a little bit of a strange question. Most people who know me think I’m pretty practical. And I am. But I am also quite woo-woo too. But what is woo-woo really? Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

Well, if you look it up online, most of the dictionaries will give you something like this:

woo-woo   [‘wu:,wu:]: -adjective

derogatory, slang based on or involving irrational superstition

Basically, you believe in something that is crap.

What’s fascinating is that woo-woo is just another term for spirituality. It’s something you can’t touch, taste, see, or hear. It’s irrational to the intellectual mind. It can’t wrap itself around it. Back in the day, you would be burned at the stake for talking about anything in the spiritual realm. It scared the bejeebees out of the powers that be. So they reacted from a place of fear. If you can’t see it, touch it, smell it, or taste it, it might hurt you. You must be very afraid.

But we’ve come a loooooong way since those days. Look at all of the spiritual sages of our time who are sharing amazing ideas as well as scientific evidence of exactly what they are talking about. Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Abraham, Byron Katie, Martha Beck, Mike Dooley, Pema Chodren, and so many more.

We’re talking about God here, the divine, the universe, consciousness, the force, you pick the term that feels right for you.

Good golly I think I’ve been on this spiritual woo-woo path almost my entire life. Being in church and following a specific religion just never felt right to me. I know it feels right to others and that is perfectly fine. You have to follow your own path and know what feels true for you.

So why do I even bring this up?

Because I’ve been meeting quite a few people recently who have been interested in woo-woo and spirituality. They are curious and asking questions. From my end, it is SO fun. With both friends and clients I can talk about how we are all connected and all one. That there is no separation from me and the bird at my birdfeeder, or the neighbor across the street, or the fisherman who lives in a village in Asia, or from God. We are all part of the vastness called life, connected to it, and intertwined. When you live your life from that place and space versus your thinking mind, your entire life opens up in the most amazing way.

Sometimes I’ll be sitting on my deck taking in the trees and just know I need to call someone. And in calling them I find out they needed my help with something, just at that moment. There is no way my brain can honestly come up with just knowing that. There has to be another force that inspires that thought. This is not a coincidence. It’s often not rational. It won’t make sense to your intellectual mind. You can’t really explain it to anyone else either. But it’s okay because in your heart it feels right.

How do you know if you’re on the spiritual path or woo-woo? Even a little? Because you recognize that certain belief systems you’ve had in place don’t feel right to you anymore, maybe even stifling. You might be more interested in exploring and experiencing divine consciousness without all the rules.

So I’m definitely about as practical as they come. And I’m woo-woo too. Do I believe in unforeseen forces? Absolutely. Honestly, those forces are so full of love and peace and feel so true, I’ve got all the proof I need that woo-woo isn’t crap or superstitious, for my life, my friend’s lives, as well as for my clients.

When I let the woo-woo part of me lead the practical, things in my life sail pretty darn smoothly. It’s magic really.

There’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of. I can promise you, if you’re on the woo-woo spiritual path, and are open to what can be revealed for your life, you will be so amazed, blown away, and grateful. Your heart will be so very full. And what more can you ask for in life?

Do you consider yourself woo-woo? Let's chat. Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

susan small sig 05:14

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

The Nurturing of your Spiritual Side

I’m not going to delve into the definition of Spiritual or Spirituality here. That’s totally up to you to decide what that means for you. What I will say is that it needs to be nurtured on a regular basis too.

I do often hear people worry that they aren’t spiritual enough or aren’t doing it “right”. Like they must spend X number of hours per week in church or a certain amount of time sitting daily on the floor meditating, and making darn sure their mind is clear of all thoughts or they’re doing it wrong.

Here’s one thing I’ve learned and have decided is true. You can’t do it wrong. Spirituality is personal just like everything else. There’s a balance and a rhythm to it. Just because you don’t eat all the healthiest foods every day, or exercise every time you think you should, or aren’t getting all the sleep you need at night, your spiritual practice will be the same.

Some days you get it in. Some days you won’t. Some days you’ll feel like spending time out in nature, others you spend in yoga, some you spend creating amazing paintings, some you pray, or (insert your favorite spiritual practice). And it can change. What works for you now might not work for you in 5 years. Or it might not even work for you a week from now. That’s how we humans are, we shift and change. Our spiritual practices need to shift and change with us.

One of the simplest spiritual practices I know, that has been passed down for centuries, is to give gratitude. Just the simple act of giving gratitude for what you have in your life can be more than enough. Some days, that’s all I do.

If whatever you do makes you feel more connected to yourself, others, the earth, or the Divine, then I’d say you’ve got a spiritual practice. Nurture it whenever and however you’d like.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to  hear from you.

susan small sig 05:14

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Trying to figure it all out

I am a ponderer by nature, quite philosophical. I can sit for hours, sitting, being, thinking, and contemplating. If I could make money at that, I would have retired at the age of 20. Fun surprises in life!

I’ve been on my own spiritual journey for a while. I look up to people like Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle, as well as people who aren’t famous, but seem to have “it all figured out”. Oh my gosh do I wish I were one of them. It seems like they have all the answers and just sail through life on a sailboat, buoyed by the breeze.

I have tried to figure it all out for most of my life. It’s like if I could just find that magic bullet, everything would go so smoothly. I’d be successful at whatever I want to be successful at, enjoy every moment of my life, and deal with hardship like a pro.

Maybe that magic bullet would look something like what others seem to have found, or be unique to me. But it would be my own. I kept wanting it to show up one day like a big ‘aha’ that would come swooshing past me like a thunderous breeze during a storm. Or I’d wake up in the middle of the night with someone whispering I my ear, “this is what you must do.” Oh how I’ve wished that would happen.

It hasn’t. It still might. But I’m not going to put any money down.

While listening to an NPR radio music show called The Mountain Stage not too long ago, the announcer said something that struck me. He said. “can’t we just let the mysteries of life remain mysteries?”

I realized in that moment, I was trying to solve all the mysteries in my life. I was trying to just figure it all out in hopes that my life would somehow be elevated to an ethereal level of experience.

Oh ha ha ha!

If we could figure it all out, there is so much we’d miss out on. All those unexpected surprises that make life so fun and meaningful. Like when you turn around and find two of your dogs lying on opposite ends of the couch but in the exact same position. You just have to laugh and be lost in the wonder of it all. Then there’s the phone call you never expected that led you to working with another person on a project which was just so much fun.

I decided that not trying to figure it all out might be the more relaxed and enjoyable way to go.

How about you? Have you figured it all out? Are you trying to? Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…