After the Storm

By Susan McNeal Velasquez
By Susan McNeal Velasquez

A wave of disappointment enveloped our city due to the necessary cancellation of our 48th Patriot’s Day Parade, scheduled for March 1. Meticulous planning and countless hours of volunteer efforts plus money spent without the satisfaction of successful completion brings a flurry of unintended outcomes of the mostly negative kind.

I say mostly for a reason. When, through no fault of our own, future plans are disrupted, it provides an opportunity to stop-action and, if we care to, we can get a snapshot of where we stand with ourselves.

One of the miraculous aspects of being human is our ability to project our minds into the future via positive imagination.

Visualizing a future outcome, an ideal, while staying connected to who and where we are in the present is the process of how we get from here to there. One foot in the present tense and one foot projected into the future allows us to develop our creative capabilities.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” is credited to Napoleon Hill, the author of “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Laws of Success.” Every time we use our energies to create, it requires a leap of faith that what we envision will materialize in some reasonable facsimile of what we intended.

Successful execution borders on the miraculous when a group comes together in service of an agreed upon goal. It requires individual self-serving agendas to be set aside to successfully achieve the desired outcome.

Another benefit of Laguna Beach living is that it is unusual for us to have our activities thwarted due to weather. Since our weather usually entices us into outdoor activities, we generally monitor our own activity based on how engaged we want to be.

One of the subtle benefits about being stopped due to weather is that it can give us a guilt-free time-out. “Sorry. There is no way I can get to school, work, the meeting, etc. due to the current weather.”

If you only participate in life on your own predetermined terms then when you are stopped from completing an activity that you have agreed to, you will probably be disappointed and suffer from your expectations being unfulfilled.  Living successfully has its cost also.

There is no such thing as all benefits and no cost. It is a mark of emotional immaturity to think that there is some way that we can assure all positives and no negatives or conversely, that our life is all negatives without positives.

This is good news. When we realize that taking responsibility for fully participating in our lives yields many benefits and also brings the possibility of unintended outcomes, we can become more philosophical about the disappointments we encounter along the way.

The gifts of an active and well-functioning positive imagination is that we can re-think those upsetting situations and by stepping out of the fray for a moment, we can recalibrate our creative energies before we climb back on the horse and once again, go galloping towards the sunset.


Susan McNeal Velasquez is the author of BEYOND INTELLECT: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind. Contact her at: or (949) 494-7773.

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