THE ONE YOU SEEK
The one you seek
is already here.
The one you seek
The one you seek
is within you-
Susan Korsnick 2016
THE ONE YOU SEEK
The one you seek
is already here.
The one you seek
The one you seek
is within you-
Susan Korsnick 2016
“Overnight success stories” rarely are. For what appears to be overnight to an onlooker, took years of patience, frustration, hope, doubt, sweat, and tears for the person actually living it.
For me, major changes that I’ve purposefully made in my life are a lot like “overnight success stories”, they took years to bring about. And while it looks like I did it all myself (no, I’m not Wonder Woman), I am actually co-creating with something much larger than myself that speaks to me through my Intuition.
On July 10th of this year, I published a blog post titled “What is Your Tipping Point?” https://awakenpureyou.com/ It explores my journey from knowing that life needed to change to bravely taking that first step. Take time to read that before reading this post for a clearer picture of where I am coming from and why I’m taking time to share this personal story.
To successfully experience life’s constant changes, I must heed the still, small voice within so I can wisely decide what must be done for my greatest and highest good. In other words, I must trust my Self.
Around 2010, my Intuition was sending me quiet, gentle, loving signals hinting that change was in the air. It was as subtle as the first scent of autumn wafting into my nostrils on a cool September breeze. I ignored it. While I was beginning to feel “growing pains”, an uneasiness with how things were, I justified my situation by saying that other people had it far worse. “At least I wasn’t working in a coal mine like my grandfather and his father before him.” I could handle this. It wasn’t that bad…yet.
Impatient, my Intuition got louder and more aggressive. The “cool September breeze carrying change”, that I mentioned earlier, became a hurricane of drama, stress, and ill health. I knew most definitely that there would be even more significant consequences if I didn’t listen… NOW!
Why did I take so long to act on my Intuition? I didn’t trust my Self. That’s a powerful, humbling thing to admit..I DIDN’T TRUST MY SELF. And that’s the worst thing we can do when making decisions about our future.
I know early on when a situation isn’t right for me– a job, a relationship, etc… What I haven’t always known is that I have everything I need within me to make a positive change– strength, courage, wisdom, and my Intuition (guardian angel, gut instinct).
I hesitated to act on the information because I confused my Inner Critic with my Intuition. I paid more attention to the negative voice that played on my fears. The voice that weakens, stagnates, and ultimately paralyzes. The voice that poisons the system with self-doubt and anxiety. At first, it seemed to be protecting me from doing something impetuous. But that’s at all what it was doing; it was keeping me from living an authentic life, from being my best self. I was afraid of being jobless, homeless, and penniless. I was afraid I would never find the level of security and comfort that I had in my present situation. A friend asked, “Are you REALLY secure and comfortable?” That sounds a bit sarcastic but it touched right on the heart of the matter. No!!! I was not secure and comfortable. I was afraid… afraid to trust my Intuition.
Once I was clearly able to feel the difference in my body between Intuition and the Inner Critic, I was able to discern the messages and heed the one meant for my highest good.
How do you know what to do when you aren’t sure whether it’s your Intuition or fear? In my work with women and girls, I explore a variety of ways to sense the differences using body wisdom based on a lifetime of my own experience. Every message from both Intuition and the Inner Critic can be felt in different parts of the body.
One technique that has worked for me is to sit quietly and relax. First, think back on a time when you listened to your intuition. Imagine the situation in as much detail as possible. Where were you? Who else was there? What was happening? Play it in your mind and feel it in your body. Sense what it feels like to listen to your Intuition and have a positive outcome.
Open your eyes, stretch, record the sensations in a journal if that is something you like to do. Then, repeat. Only this time, recall a time when fear got in the way. You sensed your Intuition but ignored it. Where were you? Who else was there? What was happening? Play it in your mind and watch this scene play out, too. Feel it in your body. What does it feel like in your body when you ignore your own inner wisdom? What emotions and thoughts accompany this feeling?
This is just one exercise that can awaken your Intuition and heighten your awareness so you can act on it more quickly in the future. But please be gentle with yourself as you do this. As I remind myself regularly, this is a spiritual practice with the emphasis on the word “practice”. No one is perfect and faced with a new situation, it’s easy to be afraid. But with strategies in place, we can get to this intuitive knowing more quickly each time and avoid unnecessary pain.
Imagine how different life would be if we trusted our Intuition more fully! Imagine how wonderful it would be for girls to learn this at an earlier age than we did!
What’s next? Once you sense the message your Intuition is sending you, how can you manifest a positive outcome? This is where Imagination joins in, saying “I’m here to help!” More on that next time….
“What is your tipping point?”
Years ago, a friend posed this question to me when I was going through a particularly challenging time. In other words, he was asking me, “How much are you willing to put up with before you make a change?
I’ve always seen life as a hero’s journey, an adventure filled with great challenges and great joys. It’s not the challenges that defines us, but how we act when facing them. Do we run? Tackle them head on? Or wait to be rescued? In the end, we all want to live happily ever after, with meaning, joy, health, and security. Right? I know I do!
When the negative outweighs the positive in our relationships, careers, or other aspects of life, it’s time to ask “What is my tipping point? How much will I tolerate before I say ‘enough’?”
The particularly challenging time I faced all those years ago was an unhealthy relationship. I had spent months trying to “fix it” alone. He wasn’t going to be what I needed and I couldn’t make him. The tipping point was the realization that the only thing I could change was me. Was I willing to put up with his behavior or was I going to walk? With clarity I saw that failure wasn’t in leaving the bad relationship; failure would be staying where I was crying more than I was smiling. Ending it took immense courage and strength but proved I loved myself enough to rescue my Self, be the heroine in my own story.
Fast forward several years and the next big obstacle on my life’s journey was a career that was in conflict with everything I value and hold sacred. It started out small, as many problems do, easy to dismiss as just a bad day or an isolated incident. Then, the problem grew. It was harder to ignore but the positive still outweighed the negative so I stayed. It started to impact my life mentally and emotionally through worry, stress, and dread. It affected me spiritually, compromising my principals and integrity but still I held on, thinking “It could be worse.” And finally, because I ignored all of the warning signs, the Universe said, “Ok, Susan, I’ll get your attention with this!!” and I suffered physically- chest pains, insomnia, nausea, lowered immune system… That was my tipping point. I felt something powerful awaken in my Soul and I knew I had enough. My health and well-being had to be the priority.
I resigned from public education in June of this year for reasons that could fill a book, not a blog post. Suffice it to say that it took everything I have inside of me to make this leap of faith. I was terrified to leave but more terrified of what would happen if I stayed. Every aspect of my life has improved since making this decision- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Calling it a “leap of faith” is an oversimplification. It was a leap of faith based on intuition, intellect, and imagination. And if I can do it, you can, too!!
So why am I sharing something so deeply personal on such a public platform?
For years, I’ve been leading women’s spirit circles, workshops, and Red Tents with the intention to celebrate, honor, empower, support, and awaken the authentic Self in each woman and girl who attends my events. How can I continue this purposeful work if I’m not willing to celebrate, honor, empower, support, and awaken my own authentic Self? In other words, I need to walk my talk and come from a place of knowing. Otherwise, I’m a fraud and a hypocrite, and that’s not an option for me.
Reaching the tipping point and choosing to change is empowering and scary at the same time. I know. But I also know this… people don’t regret leaving bad situations. They regret staying. So when intuition says “You’ve reached your tipping point”, honor that still, small voice inside and take the leap of faith… faith in your Self.
Last summer, I had a reading from a very gifted Tarot reader named Marcy at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. She explained that if one wants positive change in one’s life, one must break the old patterns and do something new. Anything new. To paraphrase– If you always eat a ham sandwich for lunch, eat something different. It doesn’t matter if it’s tuna fish or pastrami on rye. Just try something different.
I’ve used the analogy before of sledding down a snow-covered mountain. We are so used to doing things one way, seeing the world one way, and responding in one way. Like a sled going down the same well-worn path, we go down the same path with friends, co-workers, & our significant others. Even though this path no longer suits us, it’s hard to break free. But consider this, by lifting the sled out of the rut, even slightly, a new path will automatically be taken. All it takes is a slight adjustment.
I’m making a real effort to do that in all aspects of my life, including my art. Change, a mixed media piece on canvas, exemplifies that for me. My previous work is known for bold blocks of color or pattern and solid outlines, usually black. With Change, I’m loosening up and allowing greater energy and movement in the piece. Who knows, this energy and movement could translate into something wonderful in my life. It’s worth a try!
I rested. I reflected. I reevaluated what mattered most to me. I released what no longer served me (as much as I could, knowing I’m ready and willing to release even more).
These last several months have been a time of great introspection for me because I feel the familiar pull of a place further down the river of my life and know the best thing to do is to stop, listen, and wait to find out what is beckoning to me. Am I being called to action or am I being called to prepare in other ways first? Do something or just “be”?
I check in with my Self- signals from my body, mind, spirit, and soul. I listen to my intuition– my inner wisdom. What am I supposed to be doing right now? When I’m unsure, the best thing to do is be still. So, I’ve been still for a while. No blog posts. No committee meetings. No activities that I’m not completely passionate about. Doing my best to have inner quiet and stillness while I outwardly continue the hurried pace of living, finding peace amidst the chaos to some extent.
I’ve bobbed in the Dead Sea and know how serene it feels to let go. It’s a profoundly simply yet powerful way to fully experience the concept of “surrender”, feeling completely supported and safe, warmly embraced by the water.
The cliche, “Go with the flow”, springs to mind, bringing a bit of anxiety to this woman who likes to know where she’s going at all times. What flow? To where? With whom? So I coined the phrase, “Go with My Flow”, recognizing that we are at different stages of our journeys and that “one size does not fit all”. Your flow is different from mine. I might choose a chubby inner tube bobbing lazily down the river of life while you strap on your helmet and buckle your lifejacket, ready to brave the whitewater of your life. Or maybe it’s the other way around, I’m plunging down a foaming waterfall while you are wading knee-deep in the safety of the shoreline. It doesn’t matter.
We each have to go with our own flow.
I thought I fully embraced transformation–eagerly desiring positive change and building bridges to what I envision as the next phase of my life. But something has been getting in my way. Me. I’m building my own roadblocks as fast as I’m building bridges.
This is a common pattern for me and many others. We get close to fulfilling a dream and then pull away out of fear, whether it be deepening a new relationship, deciding to move, or changing careers.
I’m grateful for finally recognizing this for it means I am in a position to break the cycle of self-defeating behavior.
What do I mean by “bridges”?
Bridges are any action or decision you make in alignment with your soul’s wish. When I decided to leave Virginia, I focused on finishing my masters’ degree, got certified in other states, sent out resumes, made phone calls, and traveled hundreds of miles for interviews.
As I got closer to my goal, I let fear overpower me and I started building roadblocks instead.
What do I mean by “roadblocks”?
Roadblocks are the barriers to success and the awakening of our authentic Selves. They are any action or behavior that gets in the way of reaching your goal or fulfilling your dream. When I accepted a position and prepared to move, I began to sabotage myself in three significant ways. FIrst, I claimed to be “too busy” to follow up with realtors who were trying to sell my house & help me find a new one. Second, I let perfectionism paralyze me, making the excuse that everything had to be perfectly in place before I’d move forward. And lastly, I shut down. I was so scared about the scale of this life change that I couldn’t make any decision regarding the move for a few days.
There are already plenty of roadblocks between us and the fulfillment of our dreams. Do we honestly need to sabotage our Selves, denying our right to happiness and an authentic life? Naguib Mahfouz wrote, Fear does not prevent death, it prevents LIFE.”
So what am I doing differently?
Anything. Everything. It only takes one itty bitty baby step to break that negative thought pattern. I am acknowledging my fear and taking the next step anyway. I am choosing to listen to my intuition more than my inner critic.
To learn more about my painting called Transformation (seen above) or to view my other work,
visit me at www.etsy.com/shop/PureSusan .
I’ve been craving space, knowing that life, like the earth, has seasons. Autumn is ending and the last of the crops have been gathered before a period of rest. It’s getting dark earlier. Snow will most likely fall tomorrow and there is little else to do outside. So I eagerly anticipate winter for it symbolizes the winter in the cycle of my life – a time when I can go more deeply within, rest, wait, emerge transformed. I honor these cycles and learn from them.
I was overdoing it. The perfectionist in me loved the committees, obligations, and productivity that I had over the last couple of years. The authentic me, buried beneath the to-do lists, longed to step into the light and just BE. As my commitments came to an end, I refused to “fill the void” with yet more committees and obligations. Instead, I chose to sit in the growing space and settle in. A little space felt good and more space felt even better. I respected what I was feeling and stretched out my arms, embracing the mystery. I don’t need to “be” anything other that me.
I have to warn you. If you are brave enough to try this, some people won’t understand. They have expectations for you. They remember the old you and want you to stay that way, for if you reveal your authentic self and come from a place of inner knowing, they have to take closer looks at themselves, too. Not every one is comfortable with change. Be okay with that. And be okay with the fact that some relationships will fall away to make way for relationships that align with who you are, NOT with who you were.
I also have to warn you that like-minded people will suddenly surround you. Kindred spirits will respond favorably to the change and affirm your decision to be YOU, for they have traveled similar paths. You’ll be amazed at who appears in your life and the new opportunities that come with your growing authenticity.
This has been my experience over the last few months. I love the way it feels yet acknowledge a part of me that is uncomfortable with the growing space… that perfectionist who adamantly says, “I should be doing more.” “I should say yes to all the things people want me to do.” “It’s selfish to self-nurture.” Right? Wrong!! That’s just fear and insecurity calling out in desperation to be recognized. That’s the voice I listened to in the past. But I want something more for myself so I ignore that desire to please and produce and continue to sit in the space I’m creating and nurture myself.
So I’ve stopped saying yes to every request for my time & energy. I’m only saying yes to things that stir my soul and energize me. To get back to my nature analogy, the earth goes through periods of birth, death, and rebirth. So do we. Some call them “chapters” of their lives. Some say they are “entering a new phase”. Whatever you call it, honor it. Surrender and see where it leads.
My period of rest has given me the time to get to know my true self- Pure Susan. I like where I am going and I like who I am traveling the road with.
I’ll be exploring this & other related topics in my next several blogs. How do we create space? How do we say no to energy-suckers? When opportunities to fill the space come along, how do we know which will nourish and which will drain? How profoundly can life change when we say “Yes!” to what stirs our souls?
I can’t shed everything that no longer serves (yet) but by shedding what I can, I create a sacred space for my authentic self to grow and reach for the sunlight of all possibilities.
It started as a dream. No, it started with an escalating restlessness, an adult version of “growing pains”; then came the dream…
I went up to the counter to buy a snake. The salesperson grabbed a large one, as wide around as my forearm & shoved it into a white plastic shopping bag. This took considerable effort as the snake coiled tightly around her arm, struggling against its confinement. I reluctantly took it & held the bag against my body as I walked to the car, the entire time thinking, “I just wanted a cute little garden variety snake, why am I bringing home this 6-8 foot long powerhouse that could strangle me or even eat my dogs?! They scare the hell out of me. Why am I doing this?” I felt both the weight of that snake as I walked & it’s restless movement inside.
I set the bag on the passenger car seat and stood there staring at it in amazement; the bag wasn’t even tied shut! I could see the snake’s head, the size of my open palm only narrower. Again, the doubts banged around in my brain like a ball in an old-fashioned pinball game. “I don’t have a tank and I wouldn’t want to give it a life trapped in a tank anyway. Snakes should be free to slither & roam. I don’t want to confine it. What am I thinking?”
As it writhed & heaved inside the bag, I decided the only thing to do was take it back to the store. Quickly, I snatched the open top of the bag, holding it at arm’s length away as I ran. As I handed the bag back to the salesperson, the snake lunged out of the bag with all its power. It stayed stiff the way my arm would if I pushed it out straight from my body, parallel to the ground. Here was the snake, half out of the bag– straight & strong– and half coiled in the bag, ready to push out at any moment.
I pushed the bag forward, in a way trying to contain the snake & trap it inside. It didn’t work. I knew then that this was not something to play with. Holding this snake humbled me. I should not have this if I don’t know how to take care of it & dare I say, “control” it. I felt remorseful because I know I take very good care of animals. I just didn’t think I could manage this.
I’ve been studying the work of Robert Moss, founder of Active Dreaming, and he suggests giving a dream a title upon waking, for the title is often a clue as to its meaning. I woke with the words “Kundalini Rising” in my head. I know what kundalini energy is (Shakti energy, the divine source of all energy, the Holy Spirit within) and I know the snake is a symbol of it. But what is “kundalini rising”? The term was vaguely familiar but I had to do a little research.
When interpreting a dream,various meanings may come to mind but you’ll know when it’s the true meaning by the way it stirs your soul. Honestly, it will just feel right. The description on kundalinicare.com resonated deeply within me. “… some form of sensitivity and yearning and a talent or quality that stands out to some degree. Such an individual is more aware of the subtle aspects of life and is unsatisfied enough to seek more from life. This may develop into an intense longing that urges the individual to find purpose, meaning, and spiritual life, if they are not unduly distracted into less satisfying temporary substitutes in the mean time.”
At this stage in my life, I recognize what’s happening. I am going through growing pains of a sort. I can either rebel against it, fighting change every step of the way (a technique I’ve tried with immense failure over the years) or I can honor it & go with the flow. Change is inevitable. In fact, I desire change right now so I need to embrace it. And more importantly, not get distracted by trivial concerns. Be still. Listen. And worst of all… BE PATIENT.
These feelings and the accompanying messages in my dreams & awake life signal a time of important growth. The snake represents my energy and as my boyfriend pointed out, even though I tried to contain it, the snake got out. Kundalini energy was released. This is a true calling. When dreams like this occur or when you experience coincidences (which are, by the way, NOT an accident but synchronicity at work), you must honor them and work with what’s happening as its for your highest good anyway. Notice I say “you” but actually mean “me”, too. I’m learning all of this by trial and error.
I’ve finally learned that an important aspect of profound change is saying “Yes” to new opportunities as they arise. We may know we are on a path but none of us can predict exactly where that path may lead. It’s our job to stay open to possibilities and accept whatever happens as necessary for our individual evolution.
Back in November, I screened Things We Don’t Talk About: Women’s Stories from the Red Tent, a phenomenal documentary about the Red Tent movement sweeping the country… & indeed, the world. According to Dr. Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, producer of this movie, “The Red Tent movement is changing the way that women interact & support each other by providing a place that honors & celebrates women, & by enabling open conversations about the things that women don’t want to talk about in other venues.” As the credits appearing across the screen at the end of the movie, the very first comment a viewer said was “When are we going to have a Red Tent here?” Everyone nodded their heads or spoke out in agreement, “We need a Red Tent in our community.”
I was very bold (on the surface) & said, “I hadn’t thought that far ahead but let me see what I can do.” Now, keep in mind that I’ve never organized an event like this before. Sure, I lead workshops, hold a monthly spirit circle, & teach classes on the Divine Feminine & other topics for women & preteen girls but this is something completely out of my comfort zone. When I want something badly while fear whispers “Don’t do it!” in my ear, I have to ignore that shadow aspect of myself & do it anyway. Close my eyes & leap.
So I did. I booked the perfect space for the event to be held March 15th & started promoting it. I’m giving my first tent event the theme of “Embracing Change”. I don’t know if any other Red Tent organizer does that but the women in my community expressed a need to talk about major changes that they were going through so I thought setting that intention would attract the people who need that support & sharing the most. I envision our tent having a large space for a Wisdom Circle to meet. That’s my term for the gathering of any & every woman who wants to share her truth for we each are the keepers of our own wisdom. I’ll also separate the space into a couple of smaller areas for rest, intimate conversations, writing, & creating art work. A woman even offered to share her massage skills with the others who attend. The space is circular, which is ideal for this gathering. Circles are symbolic of nature, allow us to face one another without one being any greater or any less than the others, & allow us to go within at the same time. For me, they symbolize creation as well as the void that manifests creation.
Since the November screening of the movie, women who hadn’t seen it asked me to show it again, which I did in January. The room was full of women from various backgrounds & ages ranging from the 30s to the 70s. Once more, I was asked, “When are we having a Red Tent?” It validated what I was doing for the community & gave me the courage to continue moving forward with the idea of hosting the very first Red Tent in my city, despite the little voice of fear that still whispers, “Why you? You’ve never done this before.” There has to be a first time. And since this speaks so strongly to my heart, I have to be the one.
I’m a strong believer in synchronicity so when a friend in CA shared an invitation from Deanna Lam to join the Red Tent in Every Neighbourhood World Summit, I jumped at the chance. You can join it, too. It’s an online summit where women leaders share brief video clips answering three questions.
1) How would your life have been different if you had a Red Tent in Your Neighborhood when you were growing up?
2) What nourishes your soul when you are in your blood or, if you are past that stage, when you were in your blood?
3) What would feed your soul if there was a Red Tent in your neighborhood now?
The online summit started February 1 & continues to the end of the month with one video clip per day. So far, Brooke Medicine Eagle, Susun Weed, Jane Hardwicke Collings, & Rachel Hertog have spoken. One of the nice things about how Deanna organized this summit is that you can go back & listen to any messages you missed. Registration is super-easy & free!!!!
Please join us! It’s an amazing experience & reminds me daily that I’m not alone in my desire to help women & girls see the Divine within themselves & have the courage to live their authentic lives.
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
Last weekend, I debuted my new business venture Pure You: Awaken Your Authentic Self at the New Visions Celebration of Life Expo in York PA. This popular holistic health expo attracts everyone from reflexologists to Reiki masters as well as vendors selling products including crystals, jewelry, essential oils, & books. It was the perfect place to share the philosophy of Pure You & the services I offer.
I’ve often described the idea of birthing a new idea to birthing a baby. A mother doesn’t give birth expecting a child to come out fully formed as a veterinarian or fashion designer; she knows it’s a baby who will develop as it grows. Ideas are exactly the same. They, too, evolve over time. I kept that in my mind as I set up my booth, arranging the banner, business cards, & flyers promoting my upcoming workshop “Light in the Darkness: How Dreams Illuminate Your Soul”.
I’m not going to mislead you. Putting myself out there in a new way was scary. There were feelings of vulnerability, a fear of acceptance, & moments of self-doubt. All I could do was reject the negativity & stand in the knowledge that no matter how Pure You was received, at least I had the guts to try. I had the courage to make my dream a reality. I know myself well enough to know that if I didn’t put my heart & soul into this venture, I’d have a lifetime of wondering “What if…” in addition to the understandable feeling of failure that results when I don’t even try. That’s not my style. I’ll always be a dreamer & I’ll always do my best to make my own dreams come true- being the hero in my own life story.
My best advice to any dreamer longing to make the dream a reality…Don’t let fear paralyze you. So what if something you try doesn’t turn out the way you want? By trying, you are opening the door of possibilities that remains forever closed to those who “settle” for what is. Stand in your own power. Be the co-creator of your life. Success comes with trying.