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Author Archive for Susan McNeal Velasquez

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

Slip-Sliding Away   My mother is in her 90th year and lives in Houston, Tex. Three weeks ago, she had her appendix removed, spent three days in intensive care and seven more in the hospital regaining her ability to breathe without a ventilator. From there, she was moved to a skilled nursing facility where she […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

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.

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

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 […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

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!”

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

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 […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

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 […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

 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 […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

 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 […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

A Window into Limbo Land                 Death was not to be a leap: it was to be a long descent under thickening shadows.                                                                             George Elliot – The Mill on the Floss(1860)   My mother is 88. She has congestive heart failure. She has a pacemaker. She takes medications. Her breathing is labored. She […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

A Sense of Balance Summer officially arrived this week and our festival openings are upon us. As the season shifts, let’s see if we can lighten up and enjoy the summer months. If you feel like you have been walking a tightrope without a safety net, daily living could seem downright treacherous about now. At […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

 The Power of Imagination Susan McNeal Velasquez     The theme of the Pageant of the Masters 2011, “Only Make-Believe,” is a tribute to artistic imagination unleashed. Imagination is an exceptional gift that can also be used to access inner-wisdom.     Today, I want to invite you to use your imagination. Your memories, approached correctly, can […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

Exercising Your Own Voice My friend of 38 years came to stay with me. She needed to get away from home. She is 90 and recently had a mild stroke. Though the damage done is almost imperceptible, she has had to do physical and speech therapies to regain the mental and physical strength lost. All […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

Creditability A letter came from a credit card company, thanking me for my loyalty. Call me shameless, but not only am I disloyal to Master Card, I am triple-timing him. I remember my first credit card. American Express. Unfortunately, the relationship was somewhat disappointing. It wasn’t anything American Express did. I thought he would bring […]

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Wisdom Workouts

Wisdom Workouts

Shopping Doldrums Last week I was invited to lunch at an elegant French restaurant in South Coast Plaza. I was excited because I was finally going to have a face-to-face meeting with a woman who I met years ago by phone, as a result of writing this column. I decided to go early and do […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

Funeral Divas Just Want To Have Fun By Susan McNeal Velasquez On March 27, my Aunt Marie died at age 89. She lived in New York City and had Alzheimer’s disease. Her husband was her sole caregiver. As death approached, many decisions had to be made, and I became his long-distance partner. It has been […]