Dear Dad Appreciator,
For Mother’s Day/month, I sent out an email called Moms in Tutus.
So here’s my friend Clark, dad to Jonah, wearing my rainbow tutu.
When I asked him if I could share this photo, he texted back,
“Absolutely. I am proud to wear your tutu.” He’s good like that.
Then I remembered what my dad said after I published my poster called Just For Mom.
“Honey, what about the dads?”
And I explained that I hadn’t yet written a poem for dads.
For years, almost every time I called or visited, he asked me where that poem was, and I replied that it didn’t exist and that I wasn’t even sure I could write it.
He and I had experienced a lot of personality challenges as I got older, and he was a traveling salesman, so wasn’t home very often.
Then one day he called me, and said,
“Honey, I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, so I guess I’ll die now before I see that dad poem.”
No pressure there. I went right to my juicy pen and created something called “How To Forgive Your Father.” After I finished, I felt scared to show it to him, because it wasn’t just all “nice.”
When I finally shared it with him, he loved it. And he paid it his highest compliment, saying to me,
“This is fantastic honey. I’m going to get this laminated. “
(Because according to him, that’s what you did with art you planned to save.)
He was a procrastinator, so he never did laminate that art.
The day of his funeral, my younger brother Andrew and I stood at the copy shop, laminating that poster.
I read it at the service and tucked a paper copy into his suit pocket.
Maybe someday I’ll make that poem into a poster.
Meanwhile, I published it in my book Succulent Wild Woman (page 63)
Here’s to all the dads, dadding around in tutus and loving all the moms and the children.
Here’s to all the dads that have died or left or didn’t know how important they were.
Here’s to all of the dads.
SARK (aka Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy)
My Very Dear Creative Spirit,
It sometimes seems that life gets in the way of our creativity, when actually we’re the ones deciding to live our lives in distinctly less than creative ways.
I was reminded of this while creating 175 pieces of original art for our new book- on a schedule, with all sorts of “real life” subjects entering in.
These subjects included some health issues, business challenges, and periodically feeling really discouraged about the amount of work and the feelings of pressure about the timing in which to do it all.
And it’s really challenging when you TEACH what you are then experiencing the opposite of 😉
I’m so glad that I’ve always chosen to be transparent about what I’ve learned and what I’m still learning.
As my friend Val says, “Some things are just plain hard.”
And some things are.
How we experience that level of hardness and what we creatively do and think about during those times is entirely up to us.
And the creativity and creative ways of thinking are always there!
We just need to open to new ways of seeing and acting.
Which is the LAST thing I’m drawn to when I feel stressed or pressured.
And of course I also know that there are joyfull solutions that I can create. And I frequently am able to create them- even during stressfull times.
Here are a few other ways to allow new kinds of solutions to emerge during times of stress, overwhelm or pressure:
- Locating whatEVER will take the pressure off- even briefly- and doing less, or doing whatever it is just “good enough.”
- Quitting. Just stopping & quitting.
- Exploring what kind of feelings you DO want to have, and then finding a way to provide those feelings for yourself- in even tiny ways.
When I practice shifting my energy and attention in these kinds of ways, all kinds of new solutions pop up in all kinds of unexpected creative ways- people appear to help, someone makes me laugh at just the right moment, the world presents little signs that remind me that all is well.
We can create all kinds of new things when we practice responding differently to circumstances of life and of living- they will appear like beauti~full flowers.
What are you creating in your life? How do you navigate both living and creating?
SARK (aka Susan)
p.s. if you are creating new things and would like support and inspiration to do so, we’re offering a brand new virtual weekend reTREAT called SARK’s Pop Up Writing & Creating Retreat and you can see more about it here
The abbreviated version: Life Happens & what you can do about it & our new book is almost DONE & you are delightfully invited to our free Love BEAMS community mentoring call on Thu/4 June 5:30pm PST
Dear Miracle Finder,
This glorious flower face was one of my healing views as I recovered from dental surgery over the past few weeks.
Life (and dental work) definitely happens, and it often feels messy and inconvenient! It certainly didn’t fit in with our book completion schedule.
I’m glad to say that I’ve healed well and upgraded my health in general. And our wonderfull publisher and team at Planet SARK accommodated our book schedule changes- and the book is beautiFULL (you’ll see it this fall!)
I’m offering you 3 grace notes for any healing times you might be experiencing or when “Life Happening” might be feeling messy or inconvenient;
1. It’s really not personal (whatever it is)
This one is always challenging for me, since I tend to take most things personally. I remind myself that it isn’t personal, being done TO ME. It may be happening to me, and I can choose to see it as an assault- or some kind or a happening- and that I can give that happening a positive meaning just as well as a negative one.
2. It will change or end (whatever it is)
Of course you know this, and you might forget, so I’m reminding you;-) and me.
3. Whatever is happening can be shifted by you (whatever it is)
The shifting is in your mind. It really is an inside job. If you look at “what is happening” and react with fear or resistance, it will feel worse. When you can positively shift, even a little bit, how you experience what is happening, there is room for love and grace and miracles to pour in.
Let the pouring begin!
We’ll be sharing our wisdom and insights in Love BEAMING and mentoring with you in our free Love BEAMS call on Thu/4 June, and you are most delightfully invited. Bring your “Life is Happening” questions and we’ll provide answers and perspectives.
SARK (aka Susan) and Dr. John Waddell (aka John:-)
p.s. Join John and me in our free Love BEAMS call on Thu/4 June at a new earlier time of 5:30PST to 7pm. Go here to sign up (you’ll then receive the recording to listen to later too.)
You might know that I wrote a whole book about napping called Change Your Life Without Getting Out Of Bed.
I created this book because I was so often feeling crabby and overworked. I still sometimes feel this way.
I’ve learned that when I feel good, I do good. And that when I feel rested, I feel better.
Of course it isn’t always or often possible to just stay in bed, but it IS possible to do what I call “change your moods like clothes” and take what I describe as “micro naps.”
It IS possible to change your thinking to better support what you’re doing, rather than what you say you don’t want.
The photograph is of one of my “virtual mentors.”
Her name is Irene, and she’s 81 years old. She runs races and wins most of them.
This photo of her reminds me to “rest in the middle.”
So, I’m reminding you.
How’s your resting and napping ability? What deeply or briefly relaxes you?
Let me know below, and I’ll include your suggestions in another post about napping and resting.
Nap on! (or rest in the middle)
SARK (aka Susan)
p.s. you are GLORIOUSLY invited to rest + play + learn with us in our free Love BEAMS mentoring call on Thu/4 June 5:30-7Pm PST sign up here and you’ll also receive the inspiring recording.
Dear Wildly Liberated Everybody,
This is especially for everyone who isn’t a mother of physical children. For everyone who wanted to be, but didn’t or couldn’t. Or wanted to want to, but just didn’t.
For everyone who never wanted to be, but sometimes wishes there was a holiday for them too. For everyone OTHER than and in addition to, the wonderfull mothers.
For everyone who helps mothers mother, and everyone who is behind the scenes for all the mothers and the children, and those that love them. For all the godmothers, aunts and uncles and all the mothering with animals too.
So here’s to a new holiday I’m calling Other’s Day, and of course it fits for Mothers too, because they are not only mothers mothering.
And here’s to the never mothers who relish the idea of being an other
and the others of EVERY description who didn’t fit in, or didn’t play a role that everyone could see or understand.
Here’s to all of us unique, illuminated, astounding human BEANS, bouncing along and BEAMING our love, no matter what day it is, or what it’s called.
Happy Other’s Day makes me smile, so of course I wanted to share it with you.
SARK (aka Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy)
p.s. We have SARK poem blankets on sale right now here for Other’s Day:-) Happy Othering!
Dearest Fun Appreciator,
I am celebrating ALL THE MOMS doing fun and funny things with themselves, their kids and partners, for Mothers Day and every day.
In honor of all the moms and those that love them, we are having a great SARK blanket sale here with Just for Mom, How To Really Love a Child, Loving is the Whole Point & well, we couldn’t resist – the whole collection.
I love turning my art & words into blankets, and these blankets are the best ever. Bright colors, machine washable, 100% cotton & the perfect napping weight.
This is me and one of my favorite Moms wearing tutus in Las Vegas! I can’t say more about it, because of course it was Las Vegas;-)
Her name is Kathryn, and she’s the mom of my sister in law, Jennifer.
Jennifer actually made us these tutus and gave them to us for Christmas, in a giant box.
We had NO idea what could be in a such a giant box, and tore open the wrapping paper and screamed with absolute delight to find 2 multicolored tutus inside.
We immediately wore them out to dinner, and of course can’t say more about that either, because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas- except of course our tutus!
My mom Marjorie (aka Marvelous Marge) was known as the “fun mom” in our neighborhood and church. In fact she let me wear pajamas to church! She was an early Succulent Wild Woman.
What fun mom memories do you have of your mom or a mom? I’d love to know.
And of course it’s all a mixture – a marvelous messy middle of every feeling.
Here’s to having Tutu Much Fun,
SARK (aka Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy)
p.s. The blankets are here for you at a very special price for moms day & moms month! (why just have a day?) So you can’t be late if you’d like to get one!
Dear Luxurious Soul,
April is my birth~day month. And here I am starting out at 1.
And here’s a birthday candle that my goddaughter Vanessa gave me, to delight me, and it does.
I started celebrating for the whole month a number of years ago.
I did it at first to have more opportunities to celebrate, AND also now to allow for all of the marvelous messy middleness of life. (The auto correct just changed that word to middlemess:-) which is also accurate.)
It is so very MESSY being a human bean.
There are so many moods and feelings, and that’s just inside ourselves!
Not to mention the other people…..
John and I are deep into the final edits and art creation for our new book, Succulent Wild Love, which you’ll be hearing all about later.
Meanwhile, we’re in our “Creative Cove,” which sometimes has choppy waters!
I have also had wonderfull experiences and birthday celebrations all month and intend to continue.
During this time, (and every time) I am reminded of that poster that says Stay Calm and Carry On- it always calms me, and I love all the iterations of it that are out there.
One of my favorites is;
Stay Calm and Carry On Writing.
And so, I shall.
What soothes you and reminds you to keep going? Let me know in the comments and we’ll celebrate together. Or, if you have birthday wishes for me, feel free to let me know! I created a new Inspiration Line message too, and you can call me at 415 546 3742.
Your very own SARK bean,
p.s. for those of you who might have planned to see John & me in June in Chicago, our plans have changed. Stay tuned in for other opportunities to see us in person- we’ll be letting you know what those will be!
Dear Self Aware Soul,
Most of us are hard on ourselves in many ways. We often treat ourselves much more harshly than anyone else ever could, and it really is an “inside job.”
When I first began to be aware of my inner talk decades ago, I had no idea that I had parts of me inside that were speaking unkindly all the time to me, or that I could have any effect over what they were saying. I thought I was just “naturally” a perfectionist or an over-achiever or a worrier. I didn’t know then about Inner Critics and how they behave.
I found out that I could create new loving self-talk, be much less hard on myself and feel better much more often. This awareness and shift has profoundly changed my life and experiences, and I want to share this information so you can have this opportunity also.
I’m so glad to introduce to you (if you don’t know them already!) my fabulous dear friends and co-authors Amy Ahlers and Christine Arylo, and their brand-new book, Reform Your Inner Mean Girl: 7 Steps to Stop Bullying Yourself & Start Loving Yourself. I heartily endorse this book and contributed a Transformational Tale to it about my own Inner Mean Girls. We sat down together and talked (and laughed) all about this subject on video too.
[youtube width=”440″ height=”280″]https://youtu.be/M0ItGqtWnoo[/youtube]
I also asked them to write an article about Inner Mean Girls, that I could share with you.
Do You Have an INNER Mean Girl Bullying You?
by Amy Ahlers and Christine Arylo
You hear about Mean Girls all the time. Mean Girls in the hallways of junior high. Mean Girls in the conference room or at the PTA meeting.
But there is one Mean Girl that no woman can escape.
Meet your INNER Mean Girl.
She’s the force that lives inside of you that fills your head with negative thoughts, bullies you into making self-sabotaging choices, and can make even the most successful woman feel like crap in two seconds flat. She bullies you into working more, doing more, and saying yes when you should say no. She’s a pro at making you feel inferior by comparing you to others, pointing out what you haven’t yet accomplished, and judging you by totally unrealistic standards. She’s the one behind your obsessive thinking, worrying, and perfectionism, and the one who makes you eat/spend/drink too much and ask too little for what you need and what you are worth.
At the deepest level your Inner Mean Girl is a reflection of the things within yourself that you can’t be with – fear, shame, anger, disappointment, sadness, rejection, not feeling loved – that subconsciously you are trying to avoid feeling, but are in fact running you and ultimately sabotaging the happiness and success you work so hard for.
The person we women bully the most is ourselves. Our girls are doing it too, starting at the age of 6! We are in the midst of a self-bullying epidemic. And the culprit behind it is your Inner Mean Girl.
The good news is there is a cure. Much like outer mean girls, Inner Mean Girls can be reformed.
Step number one is to get to know your particular type of Inner Mean Girl and how she operates within you. Over the past 5 years, after working with over 30,000 women and girls around the world, we have discovered 13 distinct types of Inner Mean Girls that specifically torment and sabotage those of us of the female gender.
We’ve listed four of the most common Inner Mean Girl Archetypes here along with their toxic habits – see if any of these ring true for you (and notice that while all Inner Mean Girls are pushy, not all Inner Mean Girls are mean – some are sneaky, they appear helpful and good but it’s self-sabotage city all the way!)
Do you have an Inner:
The Achievement Junkie is the pushy, relentless force that drives you hard to get to a goal you will never reach because the finish line just keeps moving. Her job is to keep you addicted to pursuing goals, by fooling you into believing that there is a magical destination that will indicate you have finally arrived, where you can rest, stop working so hard, and be enough. She makes you exhaust yourself and robs you of receiving the success and happiness from all your hard work.
The Comparison Queen is your inner judge who assesses the success of your life by comparing you to other people or to where she thinks you should be, or used to be, which in her eyes is never enough. She makes you feel like an inadequate failure or like you are falling behind and not measuring up.
The Good Girl is an inner people pleaser who is desperately afraid that no one will like her or love her if she doesn’t do what people expect of her or if she doesn’t give to others before she takes care of herself. She makes you give more time, money, and energy than you have to give and she stifles your true feelings and emotions. She sacrifices your happiness and needs to take care of others, and then makes you feel resentful and angry about it later.
The Worrywart is the professional worrier and runner of worst-case scenarios, who loves to fill your mind with all the bad things that could happen. Her job is to keep you living in a heightened state of fear and anxiety. She makes you feel unsafe, unsure, and uncertain, filling your head with crazy thoughts making you anxious, upset, or scared.
Now that we’ve begun outing your Inner Mean Girl, your next step is to start noticing when she shows up and tries to hijack your mind, body and reactions. Instead of being a victim to the negative self-talk or the fear producing feelings or the sabotaging reactions, or thinking that this is just who you are and how you work, stop and realize that you are under Inner Mean Girl Attack. Inner Mean Girls show up most in times of stress, uncertainty and fear, and when you are stretching yourself or feeling vulnerable.
As you become more aware of your Inner Mean Girl and her tricks and triggers you’ll begin to become an observer of, rather than a victim of her. And that’s the beginning of shifting your inner reality from one in which you are a bully to yourself, to one in which you are a best friend.
Christine Arylo and Amy Ahlers are the best-selling co-authors of Reform Your Inner Mean Girl: 7 Steps to Stop Bullying Yourself & Start Loving Yourself. (www.InnerMeanGirlBook.com) To find out what kind of Inner Mean Girl is sabotaging you take the free and fun Inner Mean Girl quiz at www.InnerMeanGirlQuiz.com
The abbreviated version: our book is like a construction project, a root canal that didn’t hurt, and you are invited to our free Love BEAMS mentoring call on Thu/Mar 19th.
Dear Miracle Maker,
This is a photo of a construction project not far from where we live.
We’ve been watching it now for months. The machines move, the people move, the dirt moves and the big hole is still there.
As John and I complete the editing phase of our new book, Succulent Wild Love, it occurs to me that it’s like a construction project.
1. It’s messy
Our house is certainly messy. Neither of us is dusting and the vacuum cleaner has been sitting in the corner for weeks. We both manifested illnesses while creating our book. These have been very messy.
2. It’s over budget
When we started, we thought we’d finish sooner and not have as much to do. HA! It’s a big bouncing book that is requiring more time than originally planned to edit and rewrite. And then there is the planning of the marketing of the book so that people can find it and utilize the ideas in it.
3. It seems unlikely that it will ever be done or look like anything
There are over 90 pieces of original art in our book and 22 photographs.
There are 24 chapters. It’s all in pieces on screens and in my art studio.
How will it ever turn into a book that we can hand to you?
Yet it will.
And one day, the construction project near where we live will have a filled in hole and a building there. And our book will be on shelves in libraries and bookstores and homes.
Everything is under construction.
I had a root canal the other day, and that tooth has been a construction project.
We build and create and change plans, we tear down and begin again. And these construction projects are messy, often over budget and don’t always look or feel pretty in every phase.
Yet we keep on constructing. There is magic in all the construction projects. There is magic knowing that something will come together just as it has been apart.
During my root canal, I was listening to random music on my phone and it turned out to be Hawaiian healing chants- I felt so gratefull to hear these sounds in my ears as the dentist drilled away. I felt that I was being restored as the construction project continued on my tooth. And it helped that there was no pain.
After the procedure, I looked at my phone to see what that fabulous album of Hawaiian healing music had been, yet it wasn’t there! I looked through every song. There was no such album on my phone. That magic had appeared just for the construction project on my tooth.
We are all constructing magic everywhere. We are guided and led.
We are lost and found.
Join John and me on a free mentoring call on Thu/19th of March, 6-7:30 pm pacific time.
It’s called Love BEAMS- because it does you know.
We will beam you all our love and you can sign up here. (You’ll receive a recording after if you can’t be there with us.)
You can count on magic and serendipity, fresh perspectives, wisdom you can use, and good surprises.
SARK (aka Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy)
Dr. John Waddell (aka fiancé of SARK)
The abbreviated version: We’ve changed our wedding date & here’s what I learned and experienced about it. Also how you might apply these learnings to your own life.
Dear Love Beaming Brightly,
When we planned our wedding for April 4, we consulted with our hearts and calendars, and because I’m me, our astrologer.
I wrote a blog post here, inviting you to save the date and attend our wedding by livestream in your pajamas.
We still like this idea.
All was well.
It was to be a lunar eclipse, which felt perfectly suited.
When our friend Val, who is going to officiate said to me, “I just think that date is going to move,” I practically shouted into the phone, “How can you even SAY that! It’s all set!” That is the worst thing you could say to me now.”
She apologized and said she’d tried not to say it, but she felt it…
On a hike that day, I brought up the subject with John, and we discussed the possibility of changing the wedding date and why we might want to do so.
After turning in the first draft of our new book in the beginning of the new year, Succulent Wild Love: Six Powerful Habits For Feeling More Love More Often, we had both manifested some health challenges- minor ones, but a bit consuming.
As we started editing our great big beautifull book, I began to feel pressured by the fast approaching date but didn’t even consider changing it. (I’m a recovering overachiever who sometimes unknowingly assigns myself WAY too many things.) I’m also excited by life, fun opportunities and wanting to do EVERYthing, and often all at once.
I had a huge inner critic attack that told me it would be a failure to change our wedding date. It would be a “bad sign.” It would show that I was “scatterbrained,” a person incapable of commitment. “People will think we’re just making excuses and secretly don’t want to get married” (Inner critics are ruthless when they see an opening or weakness. And believe me, there were even more accusations.)
I first began to realize that something might be amiss when friends would simply ask, “How is the wedding planning going?” and I felt like screaming in response that there was no time, no time at all.
It began to feel that our wedding was being impossibly wedged in between everything else, but I just kept surging forward, unwilling to even consider the possibility that it might feel good to just move it.
On the hike with John that day, we briefly considered it, and came up with some solidly practical reasons why it wouldn’t be good or easy to do so- family traveling, bookings made, etc.
And we decided it was just easier to keep the same date.
The next day, I recounted these reasons to Val, and she calmly refuted every one of them. (She’s good like that.) I just sat and cried on the phone with her as I finally gave myself permission to: just. change. the. date.
After my conversation with Val, I talked with John about it, and kind of shyly brought up the subject (various inner critics were still active), and he just simply said, “Sure- let’s change the date.”
When I replied that I didn’t want to set the new date until it organically emerged, he said,
“That sounds perfect.” (He’s good like that.)
And we wrote an email together letting close family and friends know about the change.
Of course everyone was supportive,
enthusiastic and understanding in response.
All the ways I wasn’t being to myself.
It felt like SUCH a relief.
About a week later, I briefly tried to set a new date that was also not quite right.
I realized pretty quickly that I was doing the same thing again- choosing the date from the place of the problem (pressure) instead of the place of the new solution (joy).
I want a wedding date and wedding that feels easy, joyfull and serendipitous– the way I live my life most of the time.
And since I live my life in the “marvelous messy middle” I know that life isn’t always convenient, or perfectly timed, or without difficulties or annoyances. It’s often surprising, sweetly nourishing, deliciously unknown, and wildly rewarding.
I also know that when I select the best kind of timing and conditions for me and my particular idiosyncrasies, it always works out so much better.
I’m claiming “so much better” now with our wedding date selection too. I’m allowing my inner wise self to be in charge and not the inner critics.
I’m taking a stand and a lie down:-) for my choices being made from a place of loving, intuitive knowing and trust, instead of PUS (Pressure, Urgency, Scarcity) or FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt.)
And as John and I solve and resolve any health challenges, complete our book, and teach what we live and practice, we will welcome reminding ourselves that we are exquisitely guided at all times- as we ALL are- by our inner wise selves and knowings, and divine timing.
And when my beloved sister-in-law Jennifer replied to our changed date email, she said the best thing ever to us,
“I’m saving the future for your wedding.”
And so, we shall.
And we shall advise when the organic timing emerges from a place that is LIT (Loving, Intuitive, Trusting) from within.
SARK (aka Simply Allowing Radiant Kindnesses)
Dr. John Waddell (aka fiancé of SARK)