Lessons from Whitney Houston A few days after Whitney Houston’s death, I received a phone message from someone who wanted to express her sadness and concern about the probability that prescription drugs played a part in her death. She believes many women who use antidepressants are less aware of the dangers they face if […]
Author Archive for Susan McNeal Velasquez
The Verb of Love Valentines Day is all about love. In our aggressive society, it is easy to ignore this opportunity to let down and enjoy the small pause points that come when we participate in the art of celebration. If we turn love into a verb, it has the power to transform the quality […]
The Fulfillment Factor 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 overwhelmed? On the other hand, if you decide to live within a closed, overly protective attitude, your wellspring of curiosity, positive anticipation, and willingness to engage, […]
The Importance of Doing Nothing As this new year comes out of the gate, my personal consulting work is bringing me aspects of life that can’t be fixed or figured out with a quick solution or a fast answer. Often, all that is appropriate is to just show up. Be there. Listen. First, hearing […]
Transformation Remember when the transformer action figures were the current got-to-have toys for boys? I would watch my grandson twist and turn limbs, torsos and heads with a surety and speed that was mind-boggling. “How did you do that?” “Easy!” he would say. When I tried, I would randomly bend and twist different parts […]
Reading is a pleasure that I’ve enjoyed since I was a child.
My mother was unable to say no to door-to-door salespeople and as a result we had an entire series of encyclopedia’s that came with a bonus set of fairy tales from many different lands.
I devoured them. I would close the door to my room; lay out 25 cents worth of candy that I bought from the local candy store with part of my allowance, and dive into the stories.
Hours were spent with characters that faced dangerous challenges that required tapping into their instinctual wisdom and finding the courage to make the right choices.
There were gross punishments for greed, hatred, meanness, stupidity and laziness. True love and happily-ever-after came in surprising and gratifying ways for the heroes and terrible consequences for the wicked, the cruel, the selfish and those that lacked kindness and compassion for the downtrodden.
Rekindling Holiday Magic The holiday card that I found the other day at the Laguna Colony Company on Forest Avenue said: “Christmas Therapy Group.” It pictured a caricature of a psychiatrist sitting in front of a semi-circle that included Santa, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Reindeer, and an Elf. The dialogue bubble over Santa’s […]
Signs of Halloween are cropping up all over Laguna. I live in the Oak and Brook Street area of town, which becomes “Halloween Central” when the decorations are all in place.
I have to admit that for the past few years, I’ve only participated half-heartedly. I could blame it on the economy or too many surprises of the not-so-thrilling kind, but frankly, I just wasn’t willing to put out the effort.
The Problem Express The topic of how to care without becoming overwhelmed by problems that aren’t yours has surfaced more than a few times in my consulting work lately. Let’s take a look at this common dilemma. Check and see if you are being held hostage by your capacity to care. Caring about others is […]
These past four weeks have been a whirlwind. My youngest daughter came back from a seven-month volunteer assignment in Indonesia and just returned to New Zealand via a week in Hawaii where her new Facebook picture let me in on her newest skydiving adventure. There were many comments about her bravery and one that said: “Don’t tell mom!”
Quieting Down The moon has been vying for center stage lately. The official full moon for September is Monday, the 12th. It has been my new best friend, waking me up in the middle of the night just because it can. Moonlight both ignites my sense of awe and quiets my spirit. If I’ve been […]
Ways of Seeing I moved to Laguna Beach back in 1986 because this is a small town with big opportunities for involvement in a community lifestyle. This week, I stopped by the Wyland Gallery and met someone new to me. Krissie Marriner is a beautiful woman with a sparkling smile. She wore a bright purple […]
Stepping Courageously into the Future The Laguna Beach Woman’s Club, located on St. Ann’s Drive, is in a creative mode. They’ve added a free monthly speaker series. The events are both free and easy. No long night meetings or early morning appointments. No expensive lunch dates. The intent of this noon meet-up that happens on […]
Savoring Laguna My experiences lately have brought home how privileged I feel to be a part of life in Laguna. It started with an invitation from a special friend to watch the woman’s soccer finals. Some of my favorite women in town showed up and besides the excitement generated from the game, we […]