Today’s guest post is an amazing journey and one that should not be missed. Suzanne Campbell is a gifted artist, photographer, meditation teacher, and all around amazing human being. She’s also written a beautiful book about her friend’s dog who had been abused and ending up finding love and hope. All proceeds from the book go to helping abused animals. Please check out “Brandy’s First Swim” on Amazon and tell me you don’t shed a tear or two.
On Discovering Who You Are.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind a faithful servant; we have created a society that honors the servant and forgotten the gift. ~ Albert Einstein
When Jen, my awe inspiring yoga teacher, asked me to contribute a guest post on her blog, my heart (intuitive mind) said yes! and my rational mind said no. You can see from my words that I politely ignored the latter.
I have spent the last few years working the muscles of my intuitive mind despite the cries and screams of my rational mind who has run the show most of my life.
Only in retrospection, selection, we say, that was the day.~ T.S. Elliot
Looking back at the unraveling of my parent’s forty-year marriage, I see my shift clearly, when my ego and my rational mind could no longer steer me anywhere helpful.
I could not think my way through this. I had to experience it and to do this I needed to find my precious, inner voice.
And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk to bloom. – Anais Nin
My journey to consciously seek a greater connection with my intuitive mind began by reading countless “self-help” books, books on dreams, quantum physics, and anything that talked about the function of the brain. (And, yes, I will tell you my favorites if your rational brain needs some suggestions) Looking back this was my way of preparing my rational mind to let go a little by keeping it busy and giving it new information and tasks. My next step was signing up for a meditation retreat. I thought if I could sit quietly and learn to meditate, I could hear what my heart was saying and then learn to speak my truth. Silly, rational-minded me thought three days would provide the answers. I drove away from the retreat renewed and energized but soon that feeling faded and I was wandering aimlessly again through a stress-filled world. Rather than leaving to meditate on a retreat again, I decided to take a weekly class in mindfulness and meditation to help me continue a practice in my everyday life. I loved that this type of class was available and the range of people seeking it was wonderful. There were doctors and nurses, surfers and actors, college students and grandmothers. What we all had in common was our desire to handle life’s stresses differently, better somehow, by adding a new tool to our toolbox.
“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” – Bernice Johnson Reagan
Then something happened that I was not expecting. I got inspired! The kind of inspired that takes hold and I just had to go with it. After months of feeling emotionally drained and depressed, I was excited. I was taking a Horticulture class and stumbled upon a photograph of a wall hanging of succulents. My first thought was, with a small shift in placement of the plants, they could have collaged a landscape so it would be like a living painting. (Bare with me if you have no idea what I am talking about) And so a new journey began. With my intuitive mind at the helm, and my rational mind dutifully figuring out how many 2” succulents I could buy with my next paycheck, I cheerfully drew sketches and drove around California buying plants.
“An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” –Niels Bohr
Fear was no longer running the show.
It was an innocent bystander who occasionally yelled from the sidelines really unhelpful commentary. My intuition was growing to the point that it was even louder than the cautionary comments and confused looks of people around me. What a gift to trust in oneself, knowing that mistakes can be made and from them knowledge gained. I am proud to say I am well on my way to being an expert in the field of Pointillist Plant Art with all the mistakes I have made.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”-Andre Gide
While it is impossible to know what twists and turns would have been different in my life had my parents stayed married. I believe they followed their hearts and in doing so inspired me to seek and to follow my own intuitive mind. As you read these words, know that I am sending you my courage, love, and hope for whatever life brings your way.
To connect with Suzanne about her artwork with plants or to set up a photo shoot, please email: email@example.com. Or, if you simply want to let her know that she touched you in some way, as she has done for me, time and time again.
wow, I really needed read that today. I am going through a bunch of “shoulds” and “who do you think you ares” right about now.
Glad this resonates with you. Lots of luck and love on your journey:)
Your heart & your imagination fill everything with life and love and love of life. Brilliant, Suzanne~!
So very cool! I love succulents and think the art you’re creating is beautiful and inspiring.
So sweet of you to say:) I think there is an artist in all of us just trying to find the right medium for each project. Super happy I live in S. Cal
Suzanne, you beautiful soul, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing! Indeed, fear does and will hush up when our intuitive voice gets stronger, and I love that you kept at your journey to unveil this truth!
P.S. Also lovin’ what that intuitive voice revealed – your “wall art” is so creative!
Thank you Sabrina! It was a long journey but well worth the trek;)
Wow Suzanne…This is so beautifully articulated and illustrated adorned perfectly with just the right supportive quotes.
I especially love the following”
“Fear was no longer running the show.
It was an innocent bystander who occasionally yelled from the sidelines really unhelpful commentary.”
The “unhelpful commentary” really made me laugh.
Thank you so much for listening and following your heart, allowing it to lead the way…and letting your mind join your journey, supporting you on your sacred path.
Thank you Frank! Happy to get a laugh out of you;)
Thanks for the inspiration. Love the HOPE picture.
Hi Annie, The story behind this photo is that on a particularly difficult day I was driving with a friend and asked- out loud- for a “sign of hope”- not knowing what that would even be- later that same day we drove right through Hope, Arizona. I cried. There were so many “Hope signs”.
It is interesting that when we encounter shocking and painful twists in our lives we often grow the most (or we crash and burn and stay “stuck” in our pain). It’s hard to recover from some of the surprises life sends our way, but like a Phoenix Rising, you most definitely emerged stronger and more creative than ever, Suzanne! Your eloquent writing is proof positive of that…proud of you. Very proud of you and happy for you! Sincerely, Rebecca
Hi Rebecca! Thank you for your comment and for being a wonderful friend through it all:)