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Author Archive for Susan McNeal Velasquez

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Wisdom Workout: Paradox

Wisdom Workout: Paradox

Have you noticed that if you attempt to care deeply about everyone and everything, you end up stretched so thin that you become brittle, numb and uncaring? On the other hand, if you decide to live with a protective attitude, limiting your caring to only a few people, places and things, your wellspring of curiosity, […]

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Wisdom Workout: Celebrating Club’s Woman of the Year

Wisdom Workout: Celebrating Club’s Woman of the Year

Last Friday, the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club held its annual Woman of the Year luncheon. This year, Peggie Thomas was the deserving recipient. Gayle Waite chaired the event and it was beautifully executed from start to finish. University of Michigan’s colors, blue and yellow, were chosen in honor of Peggie’s alma mater. By the time […]

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Wisdom Workout: Running on Empty?

Wisdom Workout: Running on Empty?

My first full time job as a young adult was as a bank teller. Periodically, the bank auditors would arrive and the atmosphere would become tense. What will they find? Will we be in compliance? Will our manager enforce stricter checks and balances on our procedures? In other words, will we be forced to change? […]

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Wisdom Workout: A Season for Change

Wisdom Workout: A Season for Change

My daughter, Sara, and my newest granddaughter, Aroha, are reunited with “Papa” in Bangkok and this new little family is on their way back to Pakistan where they do humanitarian work. The luxury that I’ve had for the last six weeks of spending time on Skype with them will be negatively impacted by the 12-hour […]

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Wisdom Workout: Magic of Motherhood

Wisdom Workout: Magic of Motherhood

It is gloomy this morning but I can still conjure up the feelings generated by the sunshine we’ve recently enjoyed. The main reason for my sunny outlook is the safe arrival of my newest granddaughter, Aroha, and the pleasure of watching the bonding grow between my daughter, Sara, and her newborn. Yes, watching is the […]

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Wisdom Workout - APB: Norman is Still Missing

Wisdom Workout – APB: Norman is Still Missing

  Norman, the mascot for the Penguin Café, was abducted. There is a $500 reward posted for his return. No questions asked. Norman has been standing guard in front of the Penguin Cafe for as long as I can remember. Visitors to our city have photographed him almost as much as The Greeter, another Laguna icon. […]

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Wisdom Workout: Magic Moments

Wisdom Workout: Magic Moments

My new granddaughter arrived Thursday, March 14, in New Zealand, but a day earlier in Laguna. Bless Skype one more time. I was able to see my daughter, Sara, looking beautiful and happy, her partner Stephan smiling ear to ear, and my new granddaughter, Aroha, with eyes wide open and all 8 lbs. 11 oz. […]

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Wisdom Workout: My Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Wisdom Workout: My Irish Eyes Are Smiling

A few weeks ago, I discovered a book entitled, “The Power Behind Your Eyes.” It talks of the need to rest our eyes, taking periodic time outs from the task of looking, so that we can see more fully those things we may be missing through the unconscious habit of hyper-vigilance. The corrective suggestions run […]

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Wisdom Workout: Skype to the Rescue

Wisdom Workout: Skype to the Rescue

  It seems that just a few years ago, my daughter Sara was a senior at the high school and was riding in the convertible marked Junior Citizens of the Year in the Patriot’s Day parade. That was back in 1998. She is currently in New Zealand, her adopted country since graduating from college, and […]

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Wisdom Workout: The Art of Loving Well

Wisdom Workout: The Art of Loving Well

There are more legends about Valentine’s Day than cupid has arrows. In ancient Rome, February witnessed a fertility festival where, legend has it, the young single women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would take a lucky pick and be paired with the woman he chose. After […]

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Wisdom Workout: Tools to Fly Above the Chaos

Wisdom Workout: Tools to Fly Above the Chaos

 How is it possible to keep our equilibrium when our world seems to be moving so fast? A typical day is filled with more interactions with inanimate objects than living, breathing people. We wade through e-mails, retrieve voice mail, and send and receive cryptic text messages without any face-to-face contact. This constant bombardment falls on […]

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Wisdom Workout: New Discoveries

Wisdom Workout: New Discoveries

We commonly confuse closeness with sameness and view intimacy as the merging of two separate “I’s” into one worldview. Harriet Lerner, “Dance of Intimacy” (1989)    I wonder what would happen if shoes didn’t come in pairs? Imagine that you were free to allow each foot to express itself by choosing its own style. If […]

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Wisdom Workout: Create a Compelling 2013

Wisdom Workout: Create a Compelling 2013

The difference between transformation by accident and transformation by a system is like the difference between lightning and a lamp. Both give illumination, but one is dangerous and unreliable while the other is relatively safe and available. Marilyn Ferguson –“The Aquarian Conspiracy”   It is time to say goodbye to the tumultuous ride marked 2012. […]

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Wisdom Workout: The Christmas Dreads

Wisdom Workout: The Christmas Dreads

   Who is to blame for turning a religious holiday into the most devious plot to give 99% of the children in our nation the yearly experience of extraordinarily inflated expectations? You don’t know what I am talking about? Christmas was a magical time when you were showered with gifts that were exactly what you […]

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Wisdom Workout: A Chapterʼs End

Wisdom Workout: A Chapterʼs End

My mother loved cameos. Womenʼs profiles carved in ivory on a sepia, blue, or black background and made into a brooch or pendant. We sat at the dining room table, my three sisters, my sister-in-law, and two of my nieces, rummaging through jewelry boxes of Momʼs favorite things. Religious medals, costume jewelry, and then varied […]