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"Only as we come to know and love ourselves can we powerfully, radiantly express our knowledge and love in a world that’s starving for it."
Suzanne Selby Grenager (SGrenager@aol.com) writes "The Art of Living," a monthly column for SpiritSite.com.
Suzanne is a writer, teacher, and life coach who helps people achieve their dreams. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Yoga Journal, and she has contributed to Healing Journeys: The Power of Rubenfeld Synergy.
Suzanne Selby Grenager, "Relax?
Trust? Love? Right!"
I once wrote a moving proposal for a book I grandly planned to call Relax, Trust, Love: How to be Powerfully Human and Like it at Least Sometimes. Tellingly perhaps, I didn’t get far with that book. I suspect that’s largely because I want my spiritual teachers to practice what they preach. And in the end, I couldn’t bring myself to suggest for others what my tumultuous exposure to the publishing world ironically revealed I couldn’t do for myself.
Even after years of down-and-dirty personal work, I’m not among those blessed few who err on the side of surrender, easily letting go, and letting life be. As my beloved husband will be the first to tell you, I regularly "move mountains" with my prodigious will. It’s about control, baby, and I for one can crave it!
The good news, though, is that I am far better at trusting than I used to be. I love the idea that if I get crystal clear, put my wishes out to the universe, and do just what I’m called to do, all good things––or those I thought to ask for, at least––will come to me. As a Life Coach, I promote that idea for my clients. I watch it work for them in ways I find astonishing.
In general, however, I still don’t expect trust to work quite that well for me. Magically, over the last few weeks, it has anyway, and I’m both delighted and grateful. An excellent example is that you are now reading these words of mine. Let me explain.
I am a born-and-bred writer and teacher, with lots of living and learning to share. Yet I hadn’t been writing much lately. Unless you count reams of email, a heartfelt letter to my high school classmates about our reunion, and a small story for a Coaching e-newsletter. Let’s just say I wasn’t living up to my full potential, as a good Life Coach should.
Before I’d warmed to, then soured on the book idea, I had published a few magazine articles. But the monumental delay-time and effort involved in getting one short piece out of my head and onto the printed page was what had made me consider a book in the first place.
Although I’m damned good at it, I was sick of having to sell myself, to publishers, editors, agents. So the techie’s I knew were urging me to build a website to write for. But the way I most enjoy working is with others; having my own site seemed…well, lonely.
Meanwhile, words—and the love behind them—were building up inside me. I was ready to burst with the need to put them somewhere useful, to communicate widely. So, I wrote and sent out an e-brochure about my coaching service, one thing I did feel moved to do.
I’ve received some great responses. But the most notable was from a man named Dan, a friend who co-directs SpiritSite.com. A few days after my mailing, he phoned with an offer.
Dan said SpiritSite.com was adding columnists and asked if I’d like to write for the site. My heart leapt. "Yes! About what?" I wondered aloud.
"Write about what matters to you, " he answered. " Write about what you know, what inspires you––your family, your work, your life as spiritual practice," Dan added. "We want SpiritSite to provide support for people on a spiritual path. So we’ll tell them about your coaching service too."
I cannot tell you, dear reader, how tailor-made his offer seems to me. I’m an inspired writer in search of an inspiring audience. I’m a newly established Life Coach looking to build a soul-satisfying practice. And now I am asked to write from my heart, and to offer my spiritually oriented coaching to people visiting a virtual spiritual center. Is that a confirmation that a little trust goes a long way, or what!
So here we go. This story marks the first in what I plan to be a string of columns about nothing more or less than The Art of Living—consciously, compassionately, happily. Which takes us right back to the title of that book I may yet write someday: Relax, Trust, Love. For, the Art of Living, I’m learning, begins and ends with these basic skills: the ability to relax, out of our minds and into our bodies; the willingness to trust our tender hearts; and especially, this most elusive ability: to love and embrace ourselves in all our gory glory.
"Love thy neighbor as thyself" is a nice idea. But charity begins at home. Only as we come to know and love ourselves can we powerfully, radiantly express our knowledge and love in a world that’s starving for it. You’ve gotten this far. So I imagine you may agree. Learning to live in love, day-by-day, by and with our selves, and in concert with others, is the most essential task of our lives. "How?" is the ongoing question, which "The Art of Living" intends to address. Please be in touch and add your voice to this critical human conversation.