2011- Fall Edition

Embracing Your Individual Path

We all have the opportunity to experience a personal journey to wisdom, beauty and success but it means letting go of expectations or wanting someone else’s seemingly polished life. Chuck all of that, embrace the unexpected surprises that color your path and be witness to your own miraculous transformation More...

10 Responses...

Anonymous says:
October 1, 2011 at 12:33 PM
We are in the process of losing our home. I am so fearful of entering the darkest part of the forest. I am clinging to the path I know, my home embraces me. It is when my children dance and sing and I can't imagine what it will feel like to leave my flowers beds I have tended to with such joy.
Linda C. says:
October 3, 2011 at 5:20 AM
Suzanne, thanks so much for this...
Anonymous says:
October 3, 2011 at 10:10 PM
I want "someone else's seemingly polished life" and am very jealous that I can't be a stay-home Mom to give my children all the extra-curricular activities that this person I envy can. I also am in no way monetarily able to do so. I also suffer from depression which makes me feel that I am not at my best for myself or my children. I know I have to overcome these feelings but it is very difficult.
Anonymous says:
October 4, 2011 at 12:08 PM
who is anonymous that is losing their home..is there a way to help.
Anonymous says:
October 5, 2011 at 8:35 AM
Thank you for sharing this. I am approaching my 36th birthday and just ended a relationship of over two years. It is a difficult place I am in and continue to struggle with comparing my life to all my friends who have husbands, families, happiness. This is a great reminder for me to believe in my own path and journey and that things will happen for me when they're supposed to.
Kathleen G. says:
October 5, 2011 at 10:53 AM
I am struck by the beauty of your stories and heartfelt responses. There is such tremendous power in the love we extend to others when they are hurting. The greatest gift we receive is the ability to discover our potential and unique place in this world. Kathleen
Terri J. says:
October 5, 2011 at 6:24 PM
My heart goes out to the ladies who have wrote in, stay strong. For me, 2010 felt like the worst year ever, in one year everything that could go wrong- did! I felt as though my world had crumbled and I was alone. Going through it all,I realized I can survive anything with the help and love from people in my life,they reminded me how strong I am. I found amazing love, within myself and from others. I know that I have grown from overcoming: job loss, a house fire, loss of possessions, briefly homeless, no money and moved 3 times in 3 months. I survived it all. Security is something we all crave, yet the smallest things worry us. Try making the most of right now, by doing that we lose our fear, there is no room for past or future events in right now. Embrace whatever happens and know that everything within our lives is temporary. So just try it, live the moments as an opportunity to love yourself and the people in your life today. Truly, love is the only thing that lasts forever, no matter what occurs. -Terri
Kathleen G. says:
October 6, 2011 at 12:20 PM
Terri J, I feel your strength coming through your words. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and deep wisdom with us.
Anonymous says:
October 10, 2011 at 2:22 PM
I too lost my home...in a divorce, I also found myself different than my friends, single and on a tight budget. Circumstances can set you apart but that is not always a bad thing...I am stronger and wiser than most and it is my path and I walk it with gratitude :)
Anonymous says:
October 16, 2011 at 6:26 AM
Last year was a sorrowful year for me too. My husband was diagnosed with cancer and the doctors were very optimistic that he could beat it. Needless to say other complications arose and he passed away only 5 months after being diagnosed. After his passing I find myself struggling to pay bills since my income is all I have. He had no life insurance, no retirement plan and I receive no spousal benefits from social security. We were together for quite some time but only married a week before his death because that is what he wanted. I am just now trying to go on with my life as I know he would want me to do. He loved me very much and would not want me sitting around and mourning his death. He would want me to live life again and be happy. He was that way in life and I am sure he is the same in death. At times it is a struggle but I am trying new things and although a part of me has died with him I still have a life to live. I trust God to take care of my needs for He is the only one who knows my inner most desires, wants and needs.

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Moments of Reflection

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. – Soren Kierkegaard

We all have those moments where something in our present triggers a memory of an experience from our past. As the quiet solitude of Autumn begins to unfurl I find myself wondering through past experiences and reflecting on the foundations that were being paved for my current journey More...

2 Responses...

Anonymous says:
October 4, 2011 at 6:41 AM
This is just what I needed this morning! Thank you for sending it!
Anonymous says:
October 4, 2011 at 6:58 PM
I've just begun a memoir writing class. Thoughts like this will add so much to my stories. It brings to mind the saying,"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear". Thank you

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The Journey to My Current Self: Growing Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

In January of the year I turned 40, I found myself voluntarily unemployed and with a significant amount of free time on my hands.  After the first two weeks of house cleaning and organizing, leisurely drinking coffee, watching afternoon television, and spending a considerable amount of money shopping (much more than was prudent for an unemployed mother of 3), I was bored to tears More...

20 Responses...

Anonymous says:
October 2, 2011 at 7:27 AM
Beautiful story. Made me think of my own life. Thank you.
Allison S. says:
October 2, 2011 at 3:43 PM
This so beautifully sums up where I have BEEN, where I AM, and where I WISH I could be. I will be 43 in about a week and I REMEMBER how I felt when I turned 40. There was a definite “shift” in my personal/spiritual space. I felt STRONG and ready for change. Unfortunately, a personal tragedy about 6 months into my 40th year completely slapped me down to the ground. It took me another year and a half to get my bearings again. I have only recently begun to dream again and begin to feel strength and purpose return into my space. I have a sense of yearning as I read this because SO MUCH of what you experienced I have and still am in process with (shedding old expectations, unfinished educational goals, healing troubled relationships, overcoming bad financial situations . . . the list goes on). I have had MORE than my share of being uncomfortable but I am understanding that it is just part of the journey of life. This mini-memoir is helpful and refreshing because it gives me hope that the mix of yearning and frustration that is currently VEXING me will eventually yield to victory if I just keep focused and continue to just “work it out.” We ALL are, indeed, “a work in progress”.
Anonymous says:
October 2, 2011 at 5:11 PM
Where is she now? This was in 1991, according to the credits. Just curious if this person is still uncomfortable with herself, or rather, her choices in her life. [This is current. Shannon was simply referencing a book that was published in 1991. JoS]
Delia A. says:
October 2, 2011 at 6:43 PM
This was a pleasure to read. It's always nice hearing about people's challenges and they overcome them in order to grow and find their true selves.
Noel W. says:
October 2, 2011 at 7:03 PM
Love this article!
Anonymous says:
October 3, 2011 at 8:24 AM
getting use to being comfortable with being uncomfortable was a mantra i used in restructuring my life...and i am happy to now experience the joy of comfort with my authentic self thanks for sharing...
Shannon B. says:
October 3, 2011 at 9:40 AM
Allison, thanks so much for your supportive feedback. If you're open to it, I highly recommend Bridge's book (which has been updated since his original publication). If nothing else, it might help ground you with where you are and understand that it's a process that is different for each of us, but it is a process that has an ending....
Shannon B. says:
October 3, 2011 at 9:42 AM
Thanks, Delia. I'm glad it resonated with you
Anonymous says:
October 3, 2011 at 9:43 AM
Thanks, Noel. I appreciate your feedback! -Shannon
Anonymous says:
October 3, 2011 at 9:44 AM
To the "Anonymous" posters that I can't answer individually, thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I am glad my story rings true for some of you as well. -Shannon
Anonymous says:
October 3, 2011 at 5:17 PM
Shannon, Your strength to examine yourself; the trust to respond to the results; and the courage to share this with others speaks volumes about you. You are an inspiration to many! Congrats on your first publishing, may you continue to share your gifts! Karen F.
Anonymous says:
October 3, 2011 at 6:36 PM
I feel like this is where I am and have been for the past 3 years. It gives me some hope. Thank you.
Mary B. says:
October 3, 2011 at 10:02 PM
I am curious, Shannon. What was your relationship that ended? Were you married? Thank you for your answer. Mary
Shannon B. says:
October 4, 2011 at 9:47 AM
Thanks again for your heartfelt feedback, I so appreciate it, and it is helpful for me to remember that many of us go through these same challenges and I'm never as alone as I might feel I am. Shannon
Maryann H. says:
October 4, 2011 at 10:24 AM
This struck a chord with me. Wrapped up what I had been feeling lately and made me realize that other people out there have gone through feelings like mine. It's time for me to reflect on myself.
Teresa H. says:
October 4, 2011 at 6:39 PM
Wow! This is a "I could have had a V-8" moment for me. Thank you. Teresa H.
Anonymous says:
October 5, 2011 at 11:10 AM
That was a wonderful posting Shannon, thank you for being brave enough to let us see more of the authentic YOU. Onward and upward !! Rick
Anonymous says:
October 5, 2011 at 12:36 PM
From some of the comments, it feels like some of you are feeling like reflection might be helpful, so stay tuned for a follow-up article in the Spring that will include some suggestions for reflection that may help you reconnect with yourself.-JoS
Anonymous says:
October 11, 2011 at 6:40 AM
Thank you for sharing, I can really relate because I am going through a discovery process myself. Your words have given me the support I needed to press on.
Shannon B. says:
October 12, 2011 at 8:47 PM
So glad my story resonates, and I'm wishing you all the best as you work through your own transition. Shannon

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Embracing Gratitude and Valuing the Things We Have

Calm, peace and tranquility are rare words in my vernacular, or current mother’s tongue.  But that doesn’t deter me from embracing life with immeasurable gratitude and a sense of blessing for those I love and their powerful love for me. 

Every day we make a choice about how we will experience the day More...

6 Responses...

Anonymous says:
October 2, 2011 at 7:04 AM
Thank you sooooooooooo much. This was indeed uplifting and therapeutic.
Anonymous says:
October 3, 2011 at 8:05 AM
I love this article....it grounds me!!!
Anonymous says:
October 4, 2011 at 7:46 AM
I really needed this reminder today. Thanks!
Anonymous says:
October 9, 2011 at 9:28 PM
This is so me. This article lets me know that I'm not alone in my thinking:)
Anonymous says:
October 15, 2011 at 9:21 PM
An excellent reminder to smell those roses!
Anonymous says:
April 15, 2012 at 2:28 AM
A beautiful reminder. Thank you.

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