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Author Archive for Susan McNeal Velasquez

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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 […]

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Wisdom Workout: It’s The Little Things

Wisdom Workout: It’s The Little Things

Time away softens the rough edges that sneak into the corners of my mind.  A change in scenery stimulates new ways of seeing. The freedom from responsibilities brings openness and receptivity to the simple pleasures that life provides. Slowing down to experience the moment yields many satisfying interactions that validates that life is working beautifully. […]

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Wisdom Workout: Challenging Times

Wisdom Workout: Challenging Times

There was a lively discussion that was in full swing by the time I got my coffee and sat down with some friends. The topic was the Social Host Ordinance for Laguna Beach that is designed to combat the use of alcohol and drugs by anyone under 21. This would strongly prohibit adults from providing […]

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Wisdom Workout: Challenging Times

Wisdom Workout: Challenging Times

There was a lively discussion that was in full swing by the time I got my coffee and sat down with some friends. The topic was the Social Host Ordinance for Laguna Beach that is designed to combat the use of alcohol and drugs by anyone under 21. This would strongly prohibit adults from providing […]

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Wisdom Workout: Other Ways of Seeing

Wisdom Workout: Other Ways of Seeing

There was a casual gathering of Laguna locals last week. The opportunity to listen and participate in these types of events is enriching and one of the special pleasures of being a part of this community. One conversation that particularly sparked my interest happened after being introduced to a bright, articulate woman who is also […]

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Wisdom Workout: Right Use of Humor

Wisdom Workout: Right Use of Humor

As August ends and September begins, my head is spinning with all that is clamoring for my attention. As a small example, my mother is turning 90 on Sept. 7 and is in a nursing home in Houston. She has a sketchy grasp of where she is or whether I am her daughter, her sister, […]

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Wisdom Workout: Kaleidoscope Eyes

Wisdom Workout: Kaleidoscope Eyes

   When my 27-year-old nephew arrived at the family barbeque last week, he greeted me with a hug and a fond memory. “Hi, Aunt Sue. Remember when we used to play team hide and seek?” I was instantly brought back to a time when we were huddled closely together, mapping out our winning strategy, which […]

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Wisdom Workout: Outliving the Quilt’s Patches

Wisdom Workout: Outliving the Quilt’s Patches

About 20 years ago, a colleague of mine, one of my favorite men in the world, called to say he was in Laguna and wanted to stop for a visit. We hadn’t worked together for years so I was excited about the opportunity to reconnect. I answered the door. Seeing his face, I knew immediately […]