My Blog

I am an avid blogger.  This is my way of effervescing whatever is on my mind or whatever I'm doing so that you can read it.  It also introduces me.  As much as I've tried to adopt a public diary approach to blogging, my posts invariably will have some life lesson learned or some pondering about what I'm going through or what topic I feel compelled to explore.  I love, love, love comments and interaction so have at it!

Capacity for Grace

posted Nov 15, 2016, 3:32 PM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Nov 15, 2016, 3:56 PM ]

I've begun to put together a rest and renewal circle.  That circle is comprised of wellness professionals, like my chiropractor and my relationship coach.  It's also includes those deep bonds of friendship that were formed in those early days when I wasn't an author, a coach or a business woman.  These folks are the guardians of my Suzetteness.  They keep me connected to the heart that beats inside of me.  

You see, when I was young.  I didn't feel heard.  What has happened, that I am so awed by, is that what was pain for me as a child has become a way of being with people.  I am their safe place.  Sure, they said it differently, but that sums it up.  I'm that place where they can come and feel okay.  No judgement.  No shame.  

What I learned today is that I can see it one of two ways:  as a burden or as a gift.  It becomes burdensome when you feel that you are giving at the expense of your needs getting met.  On the opposite end of this, however, is the gift.  The profound honor of being able to give people something of such value--YOU.  

My relationship coach encouraged me to take care of my reserves.  I've discovered in the last couple of days that I must.  When I give of myself, I'm all in, 100%.  Me as a friend or as a coach or as a businessowner is no different.  Hence, it is imperative that I have my power down period already factored in.  Some use meditation, prayer, yoga, or sitting in nature as their daily practice. Others, like me, like to lay back on my lounger and watch the Hallmark Channel, take myself out for breakfast, go to an inspiring seminar or read a book that engages the being part of me.  It's not that I don't do these things.  It's that I have not been as deliberate as I need to.  

I had been through some pretty intense stuff and had not paid attention to my body.  It tried to tell me.     

Another thing I learned is that our family and friends may not speak the language of our profession or purpose-driven work.  So I have to stay up on our way of communicating.  Every relationship has a unique language.  A unique way of being together.  I use coaching-speak with my clients but when I'm kicking back with friends, they don't want to hear none of that.  It becomes a challenge to turn off my coaching brain and talk family or talk friend.  

If we don't understand this, we feel like we are in an either-or situation.  Either my family has to change or I have to change.  It's that either-or thinking that blinds us to another alternative.  Is there a way that you can be true to you and be true to those close to you?  Certainly.  What became crystal clear to me was the need to be mindful of my reserves. And mindful of what makes my friendships with others so enriching and wonderful for us both.    

Create the magic, Suzette, is what I heard.  

I have to get creative about participating in those savory moments.  I also have to be honest.  If I am brain dead from an intense week, then I must reschedule or invite the friend to spend time with me in some other less-intense way.  Maybe a movie or window shopping.  

To push ourselves beyond what feels safe is not healthy.  It's that perception of one-sidedness in relationships that makes you feel resentful. There is an alternative.  It is finding our place of grace.  It's that capacity to be there, not at the expense of ourselves, but with a willing spirit. It ushers us into a both-and.  We can be both there for those meaningful relationships and be there for ourselves.  There is grace to strike that happy medium if we're open to it.  Maybe instead of meeting for lunch we can take in a movie.  The capacity we cannot afford to lose is the capacity for grace.  

Ushered Into A New Grace

posted Apr 7, 2016, 5:13 PM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Apr 7, 2016, 5:13 PM ]

You might wonder, what does graying hair have to do with deserving love or deserving life? Everything.  What started out as simply a desire to grow out my dyed hair and embrace my graying roots has walked me into an ageless discovery.  

I feel like I opened a door and am following the yellow bricked road to living well.  Along the way, I am coming upon websites, images of agelessness that resonate, talk show interviews where women talk about advances in self-care, books written by women for women like Cameron Diaz's The Longevity Book and Ageless Goddess herself, Dr. Christiane Northup's Goddesses Never Age.

Speaking of Christiane, I came upon her blog about "You're Never Too Old To Find Love."   She, like many women past a certain age, wrestled with the notion that she was too old. Perhaps she has read or heard the derogatory stats that harangue us women.  The stats that make many a confident, creative, powerful woman shrink into desperation and denial, stuck in an emotional stupor over a man who talks just enough to keep her holding on but continues to underwhelm.  Stats that convince us we have to settle for what we don't want.

Like Christiane, we can't wait for a man to show up to live our lives.  The opposite is also true. We can't stop living our lives because a man shows up.  If the man does not support what brings you joy, there should be no unreasonably high concessions.  You shouldn't downplay what makes you feel alive because he minimizes its value.  

I heard Rachel Ray say of her husband, "Loving him is as easy as breathing."  Prior to hearing that, I had never even conceived of it.  Not when it involved a man, anyway.  Holding that candle of hope in my heart, I had a higher expectation for my life.  And I feel that candle has been lit once again.  This time, it's being ushered into a new grace.  Oh, and by the way, loving my husband is as easy as breathing.

Ageless Beauty Without Dyeing My Hair

posted Apr 6, 2016, 2:16 PM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Apr 6, 2016, 2:16 PM ]

I actually Googled this title in hopes of finding sassy classy women over 50 who were sporting their salt and pepper hair.  What came up instead were celebs ranging from their 40's to 70's but not one showed a shred of graying hair.  I didn't find it deplorable, just curious.  Curious that women who tout that they refuse to botox or have objected to having their wrinkles removed when undergoing cosmetic surgery are wearing wigs or donning a hair color to mask the truth.  

So I wouldn't be hypocritical I decided to close my eyes and imagine my sheroes  Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad, Diahann Carroll and Alfre Woodard donning their graying strands.  As God is my witness, their stature or beauty was not compromised. In fact, I imagined their hair styled the same way.  They were just as compelling models of agelessness as before, if not more.  
I remember the stereotypes I had to overcome when I decided to stop relaxing my hair and cut it all down to a teenie weenie afro. Don Imus' disparaging remarks where he called the Rutgers womans basketball team nappy-headed hoes kept nipping at my decision.  I knew in my head it was not true.  Emotionally though, it tore away at my esteem. 

Overcoming that taught me something vital to my success as a graying women.  It's not what other people see when they look at me that matters; it's what I see.  I had to create a pathway into what was the pull of my authenticity that I could fully embrace.  

I had to lose this image of me:


To fully embrace this one:  


Likewise, I have to surround myself with a new crew.  Salt and pepper sisters that exude the confidence and agelessness of my feminine spirit.  Here are a few:


I would love to share the actual images, but I don't want any copyright infringement folks to come after me...lol.  Click and enjoy!

  


Enough of This

posted Mar 1, 2016, 4:20 PM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Mar 1, 2016, 4:53 PM ]


I remember when I said, "Enough of this!"  I was in a relationship that had run its course and I could no longer tell myself otherwise.  Up until that time, despite my complaints, I was hopeful.  Hopeful that if I prayed enough, explained how much his actions or inaction hurt me one more time, tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, was more grateful for his efforts, assumed my part or assumed some part of responsibility that there was a chance at redemption.  

While hope is a good thing, it is not an excuse for denial.  Denial that your needs are getting met.  And we don't just mean your need for a man who drives a certain kind of car, or a man with ambition, or a man who pays for the date; but something that runs more deeply.  The need to be seen, to be a consideration.  The need to be heard, to feel that he didn't merely stop talking but that he truly heard the depth and vulnerability behind what you said.  No matter how great his gifts are or even the size of the diamond on your finger, they are of little consolation when matters of your heart keep going unanswered.

As we march towards the March 2016 Enough Virtual Workshop, let's put denial where it belongs--outside.  Enough of it.  And let's see it for what it is.   

______________
Remember, Celebrate A Single Sweetheart nominees and participants get to attend for free.  Otherwise, the session is $80, still a pretty sweet price!

There's still time to sign up!  Send an email to contact@suzetterhinton.com.

The March to ENOUGH

posted Feb 29, 2016, 5:59 AM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Feb 29, 2016, 5:59 AM ]


The march to my 4-week ENOUGH Virtual Workshop begins tomorrow.  Each day I will reflect on one word, ENOUGH.  It evokes so much emotion and means something different for each of us.  Join me daily as I share my feelings, my thoughts, my commentary of what that word means to me, to us worthy women, as we march towards March 5, 2016.  Remember, Celebrate A Single Sweetheart nominees and participants get to attend for free.  Otherwise, the session is $80, still a pretty sweet price!

There's still time to sign up!  Send an email to contact@suzetterhinton.com.




Celebrate A Single Sweetheart This Valentine Day

posted Feb 7, 2016, 9:30 AM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Feb 7, 2016, 9:30 AM ]

As I stare outside my window watching rain mixed with snow flakes and an occasional sleet pellet hitting my windowsill, I am feeling overwhelming joy.   Apprehended by the thought of single women sitting alone or pretending to be happy with their girlfriends on Valentine Day, I started talking with my single friends about what would make them smile.  They talked of being remembered, of not feeling excluded, of being celebrated and yes, that wonderful element of surprise when there is a knock on the door or you go to the lobby and find an insanely beautiful bouquet of flowers.  You see, folks think Valentine Day is for lovers.  Not so. It is to make someone else feel like they matter.  

I have been married or "boo'ed up" as my friends say.  But when your significant other doesn't notice the sadness in your eyes from their thrown together efforts, it makes your stomach knot and a lump come in your throat that makes it hard to feel gratitude.  For many wives who know or sense their husband is gay or their boyfriend is distracted by his incessant texting, Valentine Day is not a day of joy.  

But you know what? We can do something about that.  

We women don't have to wait for someone else to celebrate us.  That's why I created Celebrate A Single Sweetheart.  Though now happily married, I remember trying not to burst into tears or trying not to be envious of the women who gushed with joy as they passed my desk with an insanely beautiful bouquet of flowers.  I tried to tell myself that it didn't matter, that I was a wonderful woman.  I tried to soothe my hurt feelings by telling myself that my husband was good to me all year long.  But it all was false.  It mattered.  Valentine Day mattered.  

And so we take matters into our own hands.  After all, we teach others how to love us!  Sisters of every hue and every marital status can decide to remember and to celebrate one another.  We can initiate deliveries to the doors or to the office.  We can send cards that let our sister friends know that we see them and they matter.  

Wanna join in?  Nominate a single woman over 30 today.  For details go to https://www.facebook.com/events/670816839722451.

Whew...I thought it was just me!

posted Feb 1, 2016, 4:00 PM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Feb 1, 2016, 4:01 PM ]

While I don't rejoice in another's shortcomings, I am relieved that I'm not the only person who has made an Email Marketing mistake (or two...okay 10).  Despite my sincerest efforts to make sure every T is crossed and I is dotted, without fail, after I press publish I see a mistake.  Either the auto-correct feature has spun my words into something unrecognizable or a link doesn't work or, like in the case of my last online workshop, I said "Create You Own" instead of "Create Your Own."  How embarrassing!

Sage Lavine and Geoffrey Laughton both owned their embarrassing moments today! Neither of them know me, but they have become my shero and hero!  

Sage's embarrassing moment was throwing up while launching her new program for workshop leaders.  Geoffrey's was having a registration link for a summit that took folks to the wrong page.  These are folks who have been in the game a lot longer than me. Yet, they made mistakes and owned it.  

Sure, they could have made someone or something else the scapegoat but they didn't. They squared their shoulders (metaphorically speaking) and stood in their humanity. Brene Brown, whose Ted Talk about vulnerability made her a rock star, would be proud of their courage.  They had a face-down-in-the-arena moment but wiped the dirt off their faces and stood tall. They have earned brownie points with me! 

Where am I?

posted Jan 30, 2016, 1:06 PM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Jan 30, 2016, 1:06 PM ]

Sorry Friends that I have not written in a while.  I might have lost my way a bit.  I don't recognize where I am, actually.  It reminds me of the roads where there is a fork.  You think that you are continuing down the same route only to find that you are on a completely different road.  Well, I feel like that right now.  I am looking around me for something familiar and I don't recognize where I am.  Sometimes that's wonderful!  It means you've gone to another level and though it might seem foreign to you right now, you will get a lay of the land and be back to doing your thing.  Other times, you actually took the wrong road.  

I'm not sure which it is yet; but I'm slowing down a bit and checking in with my Internal Compass to get my bearings.  My friends are great too.  I went to breakfast with my friend, Lisa, and we talked about it.  She gave me some great observations and insights to consider.  I felt something rise to attention.  And while I don't know whether it was just how much better I feel when I'm around her or that my compass was recalibrating, I felt movement.  That's always good! 

Ask Me To Provide

posted Oct 18, 2015, 9:16 AM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Oct 18, 2015, 9:16 AM ]

While it was drilled into me that faith without works is dead, there comes a day when you know that no matter how hard you work, your efforts alone are insufficient. It's just not humanly possible. 

You don't have enough savvy, enough followers, enough pull, enough money, enough influence, enough of anything to advance further.  Doesn't matter who you know, how creative your business cards, how slick your marketing materials, how well posed your selfies, it will never be enough for the magnitude of the vision that you hold.

In the almost-awake state where my mind is most free to hear Higher than at any other time, my heart pondered this.  For days, weeks, months, years, I have worked tirelessly to advance my dream.  I have a strong work ethic, this is true.  Besides, I love what I do and how I do it.  So this is not the lament of fatigue or overwhelm.  It's just an acknowledgment.   

While, with the assistance of social media, service and delivery is as easy as a click, inspiring people to want what you are offering is something altogether different.  What would make people in another country subscribe to you, listen to what you say, buy what you sell when their inboxes and news feeds are being flooded with similar offerings boasting of being better? How can your message break through social, cultural, geographic and language barriers and resonate with the people who have been waiting for you to show up?  
   
Perhaps that pondering created a space for Wisdom to answer me.  With the gentleness of a trusted friend, I heard, "Ask Me to provide."  


Rising Strong

posted Oct 11, 2015, 7:13 AM by Suzette Vearnon   [ updated Oct 11, 2015, 7:13 AM ]

‪#‎risingstrong‬ What I love about Sunday is it's a time for me to renew. I've been reading Brené Brown's new book, Rising Strong. It talks about the difficult Act 2 of your story. It's the no-fun part where you're too far down the road to turn around and go back yet you can't see anything familiar. You're in the dark and you hate it. 

Marci Shimoff might argue that in the life trilogy of going from Intention to Attention to No Tension that it's the No Tension part of our journey from here to there. That's what Act 2 is all about. It's that part where you've gotten clear about your intention and have applied everything that you are and know into giving attention to it. Yet, there comes a point where there is nothing more you can do. Nothing you try works. Doors you knock on don't open. Folks who said they'd help are nowhere to be found. It's that place where the hustle and bustle of doing goes away and you find yourself in an eerily quiet space. Marci says that's where you have to release it to the Universe to do the magic. 

What makes it the hardest part however is it's as if someone turned the lights out. Life has shut you down and no longer supports anything more. In the Grander Scheme, nothing else is required of you; yet you see nothing that even looks like God/Universe is on board. It's as if He's closed up shop and gone home too. Though, I'm not experiencing that now, Life experience has taught me to expect those Winter seasons where there is no more harvesting to be done. You just have to allow nature to sleep in a cold, hard cocoon until the kiss of Spring awakens it again. I haven't fared well emotionally during those times, if I were to be honest with you. God knows it and I know it. But I hear something Wise inside perking its ears to a rustle as the Bigness of God rides on the winds of awareness. 

He's showing me what's behind the curtain so that I can embrace the Act 2 of life, the No Tension of life, the Winter of life when it comes around again. What's behind the curtain? It's the struggle where the caterpillar instinctively fights. He doesn't know what he's struggling for. All he knows is that he must. It is not until he breaks himself open that he sees the Light that has been there all the time. And in that Light, he is a Higher Form of himself. Totally unrecognizable to those who were not privy to the cocoon experience; yet more powerful than He ever imagined. To me, that's what Rising Strong is all about.

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