Okay, folks, I'm slowly phasing out this blog.
I took Liv Lane's Build a Blog You Truly Love e-course and it was fantastic. (See www.livlane.com for more info.) It helped me to refine what I want for a blog, and this blog was started when I had to do readings, classes and the like from home before I opened my shop.
I learned that, like Facebook, Blogger.com owns the rights to anything I post and I didn't like that one bit. My blogs and my photos are MINE. They can also take down blogs at will and sometimes they crash and lose material (which happened to me once already). So I got a domain name, www.inlilithsgrove.com, and I switched over to WordPress - NOT the free version. Why that upgrade? Because I want readers to be able to post comments without having to sign in via whatever social media they use (Google, Twitter, G-mail, Gravatar, yadda yadda) and not be blocked.
I'm forever grateful to Blogger.com because this is where I tentatively learned how to blog and how to make a blog. I hired a webmistress to set up the website for my shop, www.theowlslantern.com, and I learned the ins and outs of WordPress, so by the time Michele Morton Bergh set up In Lilith's Grove via WP, I had a decent idea of how it works. (Check her out at www.beinspireddesign.com here. Great rates, awesome service.)
So in the next few weeks I will (with help!) move a few blogs from here to there, into archives, and I hope you will visit my new blog!
Love ya! Sue
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
This blog post is for Liv Lane's e-course, "How to Build a Blog You Truly Love" - an utterly fabulous course. Learn more about it at http://www.livlane.com/. The exercise is to write about something from the heart, how to really bring it up and share it with others for today's bloghop.
For so long, my life has been partitioned. Here are the partitions I've had to live with: Sue the Mother Version 1.5 (in a fishbowl during the 15 years of court with the ex before his passing in October 2009). Sue the Mother Version 2.0 (sole custody, with a very very dead ex). Sue the Daughter. Sue the Ex-Wife #3. Sue the Worker. Sue the Teacher. Sue the Sister. Sue the Friend. Sue the Lonely. Sue the Psychic. Sue the Artist. Sue the Writer. (Uhhh, this kind of sounds like Litigation 101, doesn't it? But I don't need no stinkin' comma.)
Notice how these priorities are arranged? Notice very many overlaps there?
When the ex died of cancer two and a half years ago, I was able to drop the alias I used for doing readings...but it took me six months. He tried to get out of child support payments by claiming I was earning buckets and buckets of money doing occult work. Hello? I'm not Kenny, Psychic to the Stars, so I'm not living off readings alone. But I couldn't trust that he was really and truly d-e-a-d for a while at first. So that was one partition that fell over.
I was fired two days before Christmas 2010. I knew I could never work for anyone else again and I knew that the Universe had yanked me out of that job (but it still hurt, ya know?). Thanks to an angel on earth who believed in my dreams, I was able to open my own business in October 2011. The Owl's Lantern (http://www.theowlslantern.com/) combines California art and crafts with classes, workshops, etc. in New Age topics and I'm still able to do readings whenever time permits. Another partition down.
Look again. Sue the Daughter comes in third, right after Sue the Mother. My mother died on January 5th and I miss her terribly, more than words can speak; I wish I could go over and chat with her at her kitchen table. But...I'M FREE. So much of my spare time was devoted to assisting her (she had COPD for nearly 16 years and pneumonia got her at the very end) that I neglected myself, in a way that was eerily similar to losing my sense of self in my short-lived marriage. It was more insidious because...well, because she was my mother. But I have to admit here that she was a black hole at times, sucking up energies. Heresy to some but very keenly recognized between me and my two sisters. I gave up art for the most part or stabbed at it or dabbled in it (just how many rubber stamps do I have?) I had to juggle my business and her final illness for three months, and then helping to settle her estate for another two months. (If I had to do it all over again, I would, out of love for her, but maybe with a few differences.) So her passing sent THE BIGGEST PARTITION down, shattering it and pieces flying every damn where. Just like when my younger sister flung Mom's yellow Pyrex bowl at the freeway wall and most of the pieces didn't land on the sheet laid down to catch them.
I knew there would be a void. I knew I had to fill it in the right way, not succumbing to old habits or temptations (it's a wonder I regained only 8 lbs out of the 35 I lost). I had some money. Don't think I didn't feel it burning a hole in my pocket.
But I took a basic drawing class (it sucked, truth be told), and allowed myself to sign up for Liv Lane's e-course (see first paragraph). In the first week, we had to write down why we blog, what the purpose of our blogs are, what our core readers are - and over several days I made some Very Interesting Discoveries about myself.
Look at that list again. The artist and psychic parts are dead last. We are all interconnected, from the cosmos to the cellular levels. No man is an island. I had made myself into an island because I was strong, self-sufficient, I had my duties, yadda yadda yadda. This is leading to either revamping this blog or creating a new one, and it led me to realizing there are some things that bore me, but there are other things I want to do. I upgraded my point-and-shoot camera - loving it! - and the next thing I knew, I'd signed up for an autumn photography workshop at Mono Lake. Well, next thing I knew, I realized it was for DSLR cameras. I balked at that. Then I said to myself, "Who the hell am I kidding? I want a Canon Rebel camera, I've wanted one for six years, and I can afford the damn thing. Why do I feel I have to settle for less?" Another partition went kablooey and I trekked over to Sam's Club and got a great deal on a Canon Rebel T3i 600D with everything, just about. And I arranged for private photography lessons. I know my limitations. I'm deaf and classroom settings are dicey - I can't look through the camera while listening to a teacher. So private lessons it is.
There are some more partitions waiting to come down. After my last boyfriend of ten years ago broke up with me, my father died ten days later and let me tell you, that was a horrible one-two punch (along with a cancer scare). I had allowed myself to entertain the thought of remarriage...and...no, it wouldn't have worked but, like being fired, it still hurt like hell. I decided I could no longer be in the corporate world, it was literally sickening me, and I had to forget about men for a while so I could get my life where I wanted it to be, for my sake and for my daughter's sake. Little did I know it would take a decade and if I'd known, would I have gone through with it all? Gooooood question. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
Now? I'm ready to open up my heart. I'm willing to entertain the possibility of sharing my life with someone else - especially now that I'm building my business and rebuilding my art and my daughter is nearly 20. Yeah, it's a scary prospect. I'm 55 now, will be 56 at the end of September. A lot of men out there think I can fix their problems as a reader. No. That's what I do for a living. Others are scared that I can see right through them. No. I'm not a psychic 7-Eleven. And still others don't like strong,self-sufficient women. Well, slim pickin's, right? No, that's not positive thinking! So that's another partition being worked on.
And I've had to be circumspect over the years, dividing my life between "normal" and "woo-woo" - there are those in my life who do not accept my psychic work. There are those who know it's part of the package deal but we don't talk about it. And there are those who truly do accept that part of me. So I'm kicking that partition away, too.
There are other partitions being torn down as well. But I'll save that for later.
I have to be authentic. I have to be true to myself, not to anyone else's notions of who I should be.
Down with the partitions!!
Sunday, January 15, 2012
It is heart-wrenching and soul-searing to watch your mother draw and exhale her very last breath at three in the morning, even though you know she is now forever free from her illness...this is the eulogy I delivered at her memorial service on January 14th. (I have to say here that I don't particularly like the word "eulogy" or the way it sounds.)
In celebrating her life, I think we can all agree that my mother, Janis Shobert, was a very complex woman, but she had a deeply caring and sensitive soul. I don’t know if she was familiar with this Gandhi quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” but she certainly exemplified it. Her life’s events and circumstances instilled within her abundant doses of love, courage, compassion, wisdom, grace and generosity. (Not to mention a great sense of humor and famous one-liners!)
Each and every one of you are here because she touched and impacted your lives directly or indirectly. She truly cared about you. Some of you are alive because she diagnosed your symptoms and urged you to go to the doctor. Some of you have changed or expanded your careers with her encouragement, for example.
Jan couldn’t bear to see suffering, injustice, bullying or other wrongs. I’ve seen her face down people twice and thrice her size and stand up for others. She traded jumper cables for a very neglected grey cat a few houses away and that cat rewarded her with his devotion and an endless supply of mice. She took children under her wing and gave them a safe haven.
Mercy and compassion followed her everywhere she went. She rolled up her sleeves and cared for ill and dying friends and family - she welcomed an unexpected half-sister with open arms and love a few years ago - she slipped money to the newly homeless - gave to the holiday toy drives at the fire department - helped people on their paths of recovery - and as a cancer survivor, she called her former son-in-law when he was dying of cancer and helped to ease his emotional pain. She called friends from the hospital two days before she passed to make sure they were okay.
From I Corinthians 13:13 (RSV)...“So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” That love was the bedrock of her very being and character and helped her to summon her greatest courage in facing the long, dark nights of the soul throughout her life and seeing, appreciating and enjoying the dawns that followed.
And that was her greatest strength, that deep and abiding love.
The countless people she helped throughout her life responded to her wisdom and counsel because they knew this without a doubt: She talked the talk because she had walked the walk many a long, weary mile. She was the real deal and it came through abundantly.
Physically, she was a tiny woman, but spiritually and emotionally, Jan Shobert towered heads and shoulders over most of us. She would disagree with me, saying “But how could I not be there for them?” Well, exactly. She was there for all of us when we needed her and she gave so freely of herself.
Her legacy lives on in each and every one of us in this room. In memory of Jan, be the change you wish to see in the world - by reaching out a helping hand or heart to those who are in need, one person at a time. That’s how Jan made the world a better place in her own way.
You’ve more than earned your rest, Mother, and I’m truly honored to have been one of your daughters and to have had you as my mother and my first and greatest advocate and teacher.