One thing I know for sure…. Love is the answer!
And Trust, Faith & Surrender

“Nature’s Promise,” Kittery Point Maine, photo by Susan 3/21/2020

Ten years ago our daughter Cada was lying in a hospital bed hooked up to every life support possible. She had the rarest case of anthrax.

One night Cada was surrounded by nurses and doctors who were trying to get her extreme hypotension (crashing blood pressure) under control. We were told that she would not make it through the night. This was the second time that we had been told such a thing. The first was at our local hospital, when her doctor looked at us dejectedly and said that there was nothing they could do and that Cada would not make it through the night. Luckily, it was still early afternoon, and with a quick meeting of specialists and finally an open bed at Mass General, she was out of there!  We got her to MGH with hopes of a miracle. It was all quite surreal.

So there we were at MGH. The plaque as you enter the Medical Intensive Care Unit says that family is welcome here. More than welcomed, we were considered integral to the team of care and we all worked together to save our daughter’s life. Several weeks into Cada’s ICU stay came that night when we were told again, “We are so sorry but …..”

Holy shit! What? We are here at one of the best hospitals in the world and they are telling us again that our daughter would not make it through the night. Could this really be happening?

One nurse told me that there are times when you just have to let go. Yup, but this was no time for letting go!  However, it was a time for surrendering to the present moment. There is a big difference.  We surrendered, accepting, and feeling the crisis we were in. We prayed, asking for a greater force and power of love to be with us, guide us and nourish us. Our family, including me, our son and my husband, stood in the hall holding hands and embracing Cada’s spirit that emanated from her crowded hospital room. We surrendered to what was, to a higher power, universal love and the highest good. Then our son began drawing Cada’s organs clear & healthy. And we all began a list of how we envisioned Cada living in the future. I had posted a picture of her dancing, so that the medical professionals would know this woman as vibrant and alive. We called our loved ones and friends for support, and we hugged and held each other in spirit in her room that night. And with Grace a miracle happened. One of the doctors had gone home and much later called and said, “I’ve got an idea, I’m coming back in”.  She and the pulmonary specialist worked with Cada’s ventilator, figuring out how to get oxygen to her lungs. Through love, dedication, caring, and great skill and action a shift happened!

Days, weeks, months even a year later Cada continued to recover. She is now alive, vibrant, loving and living well. I thank God, our friends, our family and our daughter’s strong will and spirit. I thank the nurses, doctors, technicians and staff for their tremendous dedication. By the way, the nurse who suggested I let go, became one of our strongest allies. We are so appreciative of the medical providers’ vigilant watch, long hours of care, loving kindness, and the respect, dignity and worth given to us as a family.

Now, today, we are ALL in the new reality of Covid -19 together.

May we accept and surrender to the present moments.
May the lives of medical professionals, food workers, government leaders and all others working to help us, be held safely in love.
May their hands be blessed.
May we hold faith.
May we trust in a brighter future.
May we be kind and generous to one another.
May we treat each other with respect.

God bless us all, each and every one of us.
No exceptions!

With light, love and blessings,
Susan

 

5 Attributes of Self Compassion

Self compassion allows you to live a life more connected to yourself and to those you love. And when you have compassion from the inside out, it expands into an ever widening circle.  Research has demonstrated that self compassion helps to decrease anxiety, depression and stress and to increase our coping skills and happiness.

To enhance your self compassion:

  1. acknowledge your difficulties, challenges, pain, & suffering. Notice when life is hard for you.
  2. know that you are not alone! This is “common humanity.” We all have individual and collective sufferings.
  3. treat yourself with kindness, compassion, & tenderness. Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend who is suffering.
  4. connect with community
  5. practice what soothes, nourishes & strenghtens your mind, body & spirit.

 

Maine Summer Salad

Ingredients All Freshly picked

Salad

greens mix (washed)
sprouts
cucumbers
bluberries
crabmeat (mixed with lemon, sea salt & pepper)

Dressing (whisk together)
olive, oil
lemon
white vinegar
mustard
sea salt & pepper

Sit by the sea & Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Summer Salad & Strawberry Vinaigrette

Celebrate the gift of summer greens & strawberries!
It’s a short season here in New England and the time is now.
Try planting some in your own back yard, porch or go to your local farmer’s market.

This salad has mixed lettuce greens, arugula, microgreens & edible flowers (pink rose, nasturtium, pansy & marigold.

 Strawberry Vinaigrette
1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
1 tblsp. raw honey
3 tblsp. olive oil
3 tblsp. flax oil
1 tblsp. balsamic vinegar
1 lemon squeezed
1 tblsp. julienned mint
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste.

Put everything except strawberries in a bowl and whisk.
Add the strawberries and let them macerate for half an hour.
Place all in a processor and blend.

Pour over your salad & Enjoy!

 

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude

It’s not just about being happy. Sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down. Let’s face it. There is suffering in life. We lose our loved ones, relationships end, we are wealthy one day and later we are in dire need. The scenarios are different for all of us.  We all have pain and sorrow in our lives along with the many joys and pleasures. No one’s life is perfect. Feel your sorrows, shed your tears and release the pain.
And know that as Buddha says, there is a path out.

Cultivating a gratitude practice can lead the way out of suffering.
Follow these five steps to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

  1. Be present, stop, find stillness, be aware of yourself and your surroundings.
  2. Make it a habit to see with an open heart and mind. Recognize and enjoy small pleasures.
  3. Feel this pleasure. Notice where it resides in your body. Stay with it and hold the feeling, the awareness, the sensation.  Hold this experience in body, mind & heart. Let it soothe your soul.
  4. Smile back in gratitude. Say thank you. Express your gratitude.
  5. Share the gratefulness, pass on a smile, let others know that you appreciate them.  Thank nature for your life and breath.

Namaste,
Susan