The Big Apple and Oregon

ON PURPOSE

Where to begin?

Well, let me start off by saying that 4s4w and I are one in the same; attached at the hip and heart; in utero together growing and transforming into our evolving new stages at all times.  I was thinking about this the other day when someone was asking me about personal and business expenses. I was trying to explain that there is very little that I do that is not related to 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks (4s4w), which also happens to be my job.

To some people that sounds exhausting and not fun. But for me it’s the opposite: It’s exhilarating, energizing, and satisfying. More correctly, my job is my work—my purpose. I’ve discovered that being on purpose means I make few decisions that are not driven by this purpose. Being on purpose supports everything that is meaningful to me (my kids and other loved ones, and global community and conditions) and somehow releases me to “go for it”; to make decisions that others would see as risks (but somehow I don’t); to feel aligned with my personal expression without fear. I feel free.

Which doesn’t mean I’m without concern or other myriad of emotion at times. What kind of journey would it be without these things? There would be no contrast to show us what we really value, want, or aspire to be.

And what I really want is for more people to receive the benefits of 4s4w.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

So…I’m going to New York. Tomorrow to be exact. I’ll be there pitching to television and radio program producers and major magazines. You can read more about that HERE.

I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.

Coming Up:

Workshop in Corvallis, Oregon. Read about it HERE and join us!!

 

New York, New York

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

My pal, Lou, at RoCo (Roasting Company) told me a few mornings ago that I needed to be documenting the life of an author who is trying to make it. Or more accurately, make a living at it. He was already here at the coffeehouse when I got here about 7:15 this morning. I grabbed the table next to him, which was a score because it has an electrical outlet should I need to plug in.

The reason that I was here at 7:15 instead of about 11 am was because I had a noon eastern time deadline, which meant 9 am pacific time for me. Lou asked me what I was up to and I showed him my list of media program producers for television, radio, and magazines that I would be pitching to in New York next week. I had a 78 page pdf with their profiles. My assignment was to choose 40-60 who I’d like to meet and put them in the order of importance.

There will be anywhere from 80-100 of us from what I understand, who are pitching our stuff to over 100 media outlets, including freelance writers.

The View is my first choice, and The Today Show is my second. Somewhere in my top 10 is a freelancer who writes for Rolling Stone and Cosmopolitan.

Since I’m new, I may only make connections at this point. Or I may get some gigs. I’ll spend 4 days doing 30-second pitches to these major league players.

Wish me luck. Or better than that, precise pitching. Thanks in advance.

2014 Recap in Pics Thus Far ~ Inlakesh Festival, Grandma Aggie, and Salmon Ceremony

Inlakesh is a new festival to Ashland this year and I was invited to do a workshop. In addition, I had the honor of doing the opening ceremony with Grandma Agnes Baker Pilgrim of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers at the same event. She loves my stone medicine bowl and used it last year for her annual Salmon Ceremony. She used it again this year for her Salmon Ceremony as well. I’ll combine pictures of both events.

I’m in the process of deciding whether I can leave to go to South Dakota for the 13 Indigenous Grandmother gathering in early September (and take the bowl with me of course).

Here’s Opening Ceremony at Inlakesh Festival, Ashland, June 27, 2014

Grandma Agnes Baker Pilgrim of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers and Suz's stone medicine bowl.

Grandma Agnes Baker Pilgrim of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers and Suz’s stone medicine bowl.

Me and Grandma Aggie at opening ceremony for Inlakesh Festival.

Me and Grandma Aggie at opening ceremony for Inlakesh Festival. She’s a cutie-pie. And 91 I think she said.

A real honor to be able to do the water ceremony with her.

A real honor to be able to do the water ceremony with her.

My workshop at Inlakesh Festival on June 29, 2014 called The Path to Nirvana: Her Rhythmic Sex Drive

The Path to Nirvana: Her Rhythmic Sex Drive workshop at Inlakesh Festival, Ashland 2014

The Path to Nirvana: Her Rhythmic Sex Drive workshop at Inlakesh Festival, Ashland 2014

Inlakesh workshop

Full Moon Goddess pose

Some people attend as a couple, others I partner up in class. I asked that guy if he would be my demo partner. It wasn't as scary as he thought it would be.

Some people attend as a couple, others I partner up in class. I asked that guy if he would be my demo partner. It wasn’t as scary as he thought it would be.

One of the movements in the series of postures I take everyone through.

One of the movements in the series of postures I take everyone through.

This is my favorite communication posture.

This is my favorite communication posture.

Grandma Aggie’s Salmon Ceremony, 2014

My tribe at the Salmon Ceremony - LOVELY friends, Jaya, Lisa, Teresa, our little medicine girl, and me. Once again I was honored to have the opportunity to help Grandma with the water ceremony again.

My tribe at the Salmon Ceremony – LOVELY friends, Jaya, Lisa, Teresa, our little medicine girl, and me. Once again I was honored to have the opportunity to help Grandma with the water ceremony again.

 

 

Recap 2014 in pictures ~ Mt Ashland and Mother’s Day Pow Wow

I am the Medicine Carrier of a stone healing bowl, gifted to me in the Lakota Way to do my water blessing ceremonies along with my 4s4w work. Water is he element of the female and represents sacred womb water. The stone represents the sacred womb of creation. That my all sound a little odd at first, but people love going to the bowl and spending a little quiet time to reflect and center themselves. They are asked to think about what needs flow in their lives and also to offer a blessing for the world and Gaia. The bowl feels peaceful and healing to spend time at.

April is the time we bless our Mt Ashland’s snow pack. We always have a great crowd. Music is played by a variety of musicians and prayers offered for the water.

After that, I take the bowl to the Mother’s Day Pow Wow in Grants Pass, Oregon and set up a table for the attendees to go to for their own water blessing time.

Bobcat is the organizer of the annual Mt Ashland Water Blessing event. He always pulls together a rich and heartfelt experience for all.

Bobcat is the organizer of the annual Mt Ashland Water Blessing event. He always pulls together a rich and heartfelt experience for all.

Suz and Amari Gold at the Mt Ashland water blessing. Amari is playing the crystal singing bowl and I've got the stone medicine bowl for people to put their blessings into.

Suz and Amari Gold at the Mt Ashland water blessing. Amari is playing the crystal singing bowl and I’ve got the stone medicine bowl for people to put their blessings into.

 

Stone Medicine bowl used for the Water Blessing at the Mother's Day PowWow in Grants Pass, 2014

Stone Medicine bowl used for the Water Blessing at the Mother’s Day PowWow in Grants Pass, 2014

 

2014 Recap Thus Far

2014 Recap Thus Far

It’s been a busy year for 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks stuff, the stone medicine bowl that I am the Carrier of, and miscellaneous personal interests. First off, 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks has a new website. Go to the HOME page to see how great it looks! It’s an ongoing process of course.

I’ve also been in the process of creating online courses to launch, have been to conferences, have presented workshops at conferences and festivals, and held a live, 4-day retreat at Breitenbush in Oregon. In addition, I am the Wisdom Keeper for the Moon Lodge in Ashland which is the place where I can physically share 4s4w.  I’ve been on a fairly extensive radio tour.

Personally, I am also on staff at the annual Ashland Independent Film Festival, which I love being a part of. Right now I’m taking advantage of a short window between gigs in order to move from the home I’ve been in for over 26 years! THAT gets overwhelming at times. So that’s where I’ve been.

I hope your summer is going well too. I’ve got pics that I have failed to pass on regarding some of these events. I’m having trouble putting them all in one blog post, so I’ll create several.

Here is Suz as a presenter and Kris Steinnes as the organizer of Women of Wisdom Conference, Seattle, February 2014.

Enjoy ~ Suzanne

Suz as presenter and Kris Steinnes as organizer and promoter at the Women of Wisdom Conference, Seattle, Feb. 2014

Suz as presenter and Kris Steinnes as organizer and promoter at the Women of Wisdom Conference, Seattle, Feb. 2014

If Men Could Menstruate

A goodie from Gloria Steinem’s Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, NY: NAL, 1986. ~ (thanks to Occupy Menstruation’s facebook post for this great reminder)

So what would happen if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?

Clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, worthy, masculine event:

Men would brag about how long and how much.

Young boys would talk about it as the envied beginning of manhood. Gifts, religious ceremonies, family dinners, and stag parties would mark the day.

To prevent monthly work loss among the powerful, Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea. Doctors would research little about heart attacks, from which men would be hormonally protected, but everything about cramps.

Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of such commercial brands as Paul Newman Tampons, Muhammad Ali’s Rope-a-Dope Pads, John Wayne Maxi Pads, and Joe Namath Jock Shields- “For Those Light Bachelor Days.”

Statistical surveys would show that men did better in sports and won more Olympic medals during their periods.

Generals, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation (“men-struation”) as proof that only men could serve God and country in combat (“You have to give blood to take blood”), occupy high political office (“Can women be properly fierce without a monthly cycle governed by the planet Mars?”), be priests, ministers, God Himself (“He gave this blood for our sins”), or rabbis (“Without a monthly purge of impurities, women are unclean”).

Male liberals and radicals, however, would insist that women are equal, just different; and that any woman could join their ranks if only she were willing to recognize the primacy of menstrual rights (“Everything else is a single issue”) or self-inflict a major wound every month (“You must give blood for the revolution”).

Street guys would invent slang (“He’s a three-pad man”) and “give fives” on the corner with some exchange like, “Man you lookin’ good!” “Yeah, man, I’m on the rag!”

TV shows would treat the subject openly. (Happy Days: Richie and Potsie try to convince Fonzie that he is still “The Fonz,” though he has missed two periods in a row. Hill Street Blues: The whole precinct hits the same cycle.) So would newspapers. (Summer Shark Scare Threatens Menstruating Men. Judge Cites Monthlies In Pardoning Rapist.) And so would movies. (Newman and Redford in Blood Brothers!)

Men would convince women that sex was more pleasurable at “that time of the month.” Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore life itself, though all they needed was a good menstruating man.

Medical schools would limit women’s entry (“they might faint at the sight of blood”).

Of course, intellectuals would offer the most moral and logical arguements. Without the biological gift for measuring the cycles of the moon and planets, how could a woman master any discipline that demanded a sense of time, space, mathematics– or the ability to measure anything at all? In philosophy and religion, how could women compensate for being disconnected from the rhythm of the universe? Or for their lack of symbolic death and resurrection every month?

Menopause would be celebrated as a positive event, the symbol that men had accumulated enough years of cyclical wisdom to need no more.

Liberal males in every field would try to be kind. The fact that “these people” have no gift for measuring life, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.

And how would women be trained to react? One can imagine right-wing women agreeing to all these arguements with a staunch and smiling masochism. (“The ERA would force housewives to wound themselves every month”: Phyllis Schlafly)

In short, we would discover, as we should already, that logic is in the eye of the logician. (For instance, here’s an idea for theorists and logicians: if women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn’t it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? I leave further improvisation up to you.)

The truth is that, if men could menstruate, the power justifications would go on and on.
If we let them.

(c) Gloria Steinem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. NY: NAL, 1986.

The Perfect Time for Attracting What You Desire

Now that we are one week into 2013, I hope this new beginning finds your various energy systems rested, rebooted, and ready to put into action your many visions for balanced success in the coming year.

New Year’s Eve and Day is always an auspicious time of the year and one of many phases in our cyclical calendar—the rhythmic time clock of our lives. The New Year, like the New Moon phase, is an end and a beginning, finishing the year with reflection and ideas—shedding the old to make room for fresh anticipation of what is to come with the growing winter light. New Year’s Day is one of rest and enjoyment. A ceremony and celebration of life with parades, footballs games, or perhaps organizing like crazy. Maybe it’s one of silence and relaxation or a hike in the woods.  It’s the day we reboot.

Today is January 7th and it feels different. We’ve moved on. We’ve transitioned, and we’re ready for action.

This is a perfect example of the beginning of what I call Week 2, Winter, of the female monthly rhythm. This logical and predictable pattern has ended its resting and rebooting week and has transitioned into the action week. Like Fall, the first week of a woman’s monthly rhythm finishes the former cycle by shedding the uterine lining in order to begin building a new one, just as a tree sheds its leaves, getting rid of one cycle of growth before beginning a new one.

Week 2, Winter, of the female monthly rhythm is the week of Love and Connection—home, hearth, and romance, as well as building projects and attracting those we wish to do business with. Hormonally, our estrogen goes from it’s lowest to it’s highest all in one week in order to build a uterine nest, making us as beautifully brilliant as a snowy mountain peak, growing more stunning by the minute. Mother Nature is primping and coaxing us to attract a mate as we approach ovulation (Week 3, Spring fever).  Just as Week 1, Fall, was compared to the New Moon, I compare Week 2, Winter, to the waxing, growing moon, heading toward our fullest phase. We are eager to take action on the seedlings of vision we had during our resting phase, and excited about communicating with our loved ones, building more connected relationships. “In the same way that the Moon is filling with light, you are filling with energy” (page 142).

Just as women can follow this January 7th advice during the 2nd week of their rhythm every single month, this time of year gives everyone the opportunity to set into motion all that one desires. Organize, connect, and take action to make things happen! Put on the music you love, dress well, and get out there to network, meet friends for coffee, or snuggle by the fire with your sweetheart. Have heart-to-hearts talks with your loved ones NOW to create a year-long environment based on love and good will. For women, these Week 2, Winter connections establish a solid foundation for a mindfully heartfelt month.

May you have fun carrying out your intentions and attracting good people into your life. I wish you health, good fortune, and the courage to continue making positive change in 2013.

The Duality: Grief and Gift

Many of you have been following my recent, challenging journey. The book that took me 7 years to write, 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks, showed up at my doorstep the day before Thanksgiving. My mother fell ill that same week. What my siblings and I thought would result in routine medical care turned into a major thing-gone-wrong and to our shock, she was sent home on hospice care. Two days later I was to have my book launch celebration which was in full activation with many volunteers helping out and ready to roll. I lost my focus and mojo and began to take action to cancel, but a family decision was made for me to stick with it and then travel to Southern California the day after. The launch seemed “meant to be” as they say. It was far more successful than I had anticipated and felt right. I made it home to my mom and she passed away 5 days later on Dec. 17th.

Less than a week after that, we pulled together a funeral service with her 8 grandkids and which many of our high school friends came to—very beautiful and heartwarming—then had Christmas, and then flew her body to Nashville to be buried in a little town outside of there, next to my dad in the most gorgeous little cemetery with many ancestors.  We’re now back to my mom’s home to continue organizing and settling affairs—I’ve yet to make it back to Ashland, Oregon, where I live. I have no car here since I flew down, but my brother has been gracious in loaning me his enormous and luxurious truck to use when I need to get away (parking is a challenge but so far, so good). I’m grateful to my daughter’s boyfriend who is house-sitting and taking care of my cat.

Book-wise, my son, Ian, and I were able to ship out many books since they arrived, but if I needed to sign them, those readers have patiently waited. Luckily the book is also available on Amazon and in Ashland bookstores: Bloomsbury Books, Soundpeace, and Treehouse Books. It is also on eBook in all the various formats. Plans to sell through other stores had to be put on hold.

But here’s the thing: Grieving is a strange thing. I’m feeling strangely unplugged, disconnected, checked-out; yet continue to be motivated by the book, perhaps because it feels so solid. The things that nurture me the most right now are organizing the many ideas and plans for my book touring (rather than taking major action on it), being alone, and being present for the gifts that surface after losing my mother (and actually feeling closer than ever). Perhaps this the place where the duality of grief, the suffering of what is now gone, and gift, the recognition of what is present, come together in passionate forward motion and alignment.

I also can’t help but notice how I’m being supported and gifted with fantastic connections without me really doing anything. Even my brother and sister marveled, while on our trip to Nashville, at the ease in which doors continue to open for this book. It’s been that way from the beginning. On the trip and under the most unusual circumstances, one individual after another seemed to get plopped into my lap for a short exchange that produced the possibility of a long-term association. Since the book has come out, I’ve been invited to speak or do a book reading in Salt Lake City, Santa Fe, Nashville (surrounding area), and up and down the entire west coast. On one of the short air hops, I sat next to a collegiate coach for women’s soccer and he was all over it. He wants me to come and speak at their university, which also motivates me to get my act together to continue with plans to do a college speaking tour. He gave me focus and encouragement. He must be a very good coach. 🙂 Anyhow, it’s wonderful to make connections with new, cool people, and be supported by friends and family I’ve known forever, especially at times when I’m not that strong on my own.

If you’ve tried to reach me or something went whacky with your order during this time and it was not somehow resolved in a timely manner, please forgive me. I continue to check the emails for your communication and want to serve you well. I am finding my center, gathering my wits, and feeling stronger than ever with this work. Every time I lose someone close to me due to old age or illness, I become clearer and clearer that it is important that we all do and give what we love without fear of failure or criticism. The message of this book seems to be mine. I look forward to knowing what yours is too.

 

Countdown to Book Launch Party on 12.12.12!

5 days to go. Well, really 5.5 days.

Snacks, check. Sales table, check. Sound system, check. Hawaiian book blessing ceremony, check. Working on the details of the performance art: costumes, displays, etc., in order for you to visually see what the book is about. Exciting!