Wisdom Workout


All the Great Blessings


By Susan McNeal Velasquez.

Spring has arrived and the tiny chirps of newborn birds permeate the air while the hummingbirds dart in an out of the yard. They bring such a simple pleasure to my days.

I am blessed. There are special times, exquisite moments when events conspire to bring me that message in a clear and unmistakable way. I am so grateful that I have the privilege of being the mother of four bright, beautiful daughters who continue to gift me with the fulfilling experience of satisfaction and pride in who they are and who they are becoming.

I am blessed with a myriad of brothers, brothers-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, sons-in-law, nieces and nephews that creates a basis of belonging to a tribe. I am blessed with friendships that span the years and miles so that my history is held in the deep recognition and love that remains unbroken between my New York roots and me.

I am blessed with 11 grandchildren who light up my heart. It gives me such pleasure to be able to share in the truly impressive, loving and competent mothering that my daughters have contributed to their children. I am blessed that I am now a great-grandmother four times over which gives me the satisfying gift of watching my granddaughters delight in the pride and pleasure of nurturing their babies and seeing them grow into their own unique personalities. I am blessed with strong, solid, honest and easy relationships that are seeded in trust rather than the amount of time I have known them.

I am blessed because there was a time when I felt that my life was fractured beyond repair, when everywhere I looked there seemed to be a problem with my name on it and no resources available to me to ever be able to solve them.

The life I had dreamed, conjured up, grappled with and sometimes sleepwalked through, blew up in the momentous, for me, decision to end a 25-year marriage and shoulder the responsibility for the rest of the rearing of my children on my own. Choosing divorce and following through with it shook my foundation to the core.

I remember moving into my first place in Laguna, a house on stilts. In the late night quiet, after the kids were asleep, I would sit in the dark on the balcony of my bedroom that faced Bluebird Canyon. I would give myself a stern ‘pep talk’ about staying positive and strong while simultaneously thinking that maybe the big earthquake would happen, hopefully right then, as my best shot at positive thinking. Maybe I would miraculously be spared feeling the pain of building a new life from scratch.

I am blessed because my life has blossomed to the place where our town is deeply seated in my mind as my hometown. Sometimes, in the midst of life’s tumultuous twists and turns, it is helpful to stop for a moment and intentionally look for the simple blessings that surround us today. If we can activate enough sanity to realize that no matter how bad the situations we face seem, there is always a seed of the new that can begin to sprout just as spring follows winter in the cycles of our lives.


Susan facilitates small group personal awareness seminars locally. Her book, “Beyond Intellect: Journey Into The Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind,” is available at Laguna Beach Books. For more information, visit beyondintellect.com.

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