Wisdom Workout: A Season for Change

By Susan McNeal Velasquez.

By Susan McNeal Velasquez.

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 time change.

Since change is inevitable, I’ve decided to seek out new experiences of the delightful kind so that I can more fully embrace the idea that “change is good.”

The truth is that I like the comfort of routine sameness to balance out my highly people-populated life. I learned early in my career that if my work was going to be centered on people, then counting on a routinized, predictable life wasn’t in the cards.

Therefore, with a little help and coaxing from friends, I have been out and about town lately.

My first new adventure was to the Marine Room on a Thursday night to listen to a local popular band and visit with some friends for a bit. I also intend to make it back on a Tuesday night to catch a Songwriter’s Showcase, that Jim Rue says is one of the best kept secrets in town, where local musicians try out their new material.

The Laguna Community Concert Band held their spring concert a few Sundays ago at the Laguna Playhouse. Compliments of an invitation by my friend Carol Reynolds, it was the first time I attended and it was spectacular. Sixty local musicians donate their time and talents to this not-for-profit effort. It is inspiring to realize how fortunate we are to live in a community with so much generosity of spirit from people whose passion is music and art.

I am also going to look towards the next Laguna Tunes Community Chorus performance that provides local residents with the opportunity to perform music together. I wish I could sing but since that isn’t a talent of mine, I am more than willing to be a listener.

These organizations fall under the umbrella of The Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts in partnership with city of Laguna Beach and The Laguna Beach Visitors and Conference Bureau.

It’s a good bet that I am late to the party, but just in case you are, too, here is the website address: lagunabeacharts.org that lists the 22 organizations that comprise what is happening on the art scene in Laguna.

Soroptimist International of Laguna Beach created the first Healthy Girl Festival, held at the Festival of Arts grounds last Saturday. It was a day devoted to assisting our girls to learn more about healthy mind, spirit and body choices. One of the many highlights of the event was the screening of the movie “Miss Representation.” This comprehensive and well-researched expose shed light on the influence media has on the self-esteem of our girls and how our boys are also conditioned. It provided shocking statistics about how disproportionately few woman hold prime leadership positions currently.

The event was well attended and there were activities galore. The Woman’s Club table was busy helping girls construct dream catchers with the slogan: “Catch Your Dreams and Make Them a Reality.” There were surfing and Zumba demonstrations. The Boys and Girls club volunteers were overseeing a popular bracelet-making station and many other local businesses offered opportunities to learn about skin care, healthy eating, yoga, meditation and dance instruction, all in the pursuit of contributing to the well-being of girls.

It is enjoyable to be in a discovery and learning mode as a way to spark my enthusiasm and stimulate knowledge about all that our city offers.

I want to make sure to set aside time to get involved and fully appreciate the amazing opportunities that are routinely created by so many dedicated and talented people that make up our friends and neighbors in this unique city that is our home.


Susan is the author of “Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind” and a local personal development consultant.  She can be reached at: susanvelasquez.com or [email protected]

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