Friday, September 28, 2007

To Be List

Seeds IX, 39

Seed: To Be List

Overheard in a public conveyance recently: a pissing contest (there are no other words so apt) between two women over their To Do Lists. Escalating voices. Animated faces. Super-sized gestures. “Well, I have to do this!” “Really? I have to do that!” Are we suffering from To Do List hubris? I think we are. I was glad to get off the bus.

Yes, dear one, too much to do is a part of everyone’s life at different times. Too many things scheduled too close together. Deadlines at work and at home. Promises made and promises we want to keep. Emergencies. Exigencies. Life has a certain amount of stress, I’ll give you that.

My question today is: do you have a To Be List? I read about this idea on beliefnet and the two bus pugilists reminded me of it. A To Be List is very different from a To Do List. What a To Be List does is give you opportunities to practice how you choose to live your life.

My To Be List includes: Peaceful, Loving, Patient, Kind, Joyous, Gentle, Sweet. I almost never cross things off my To Be List. Why? Because each thing on it is about me learning to be a better, wiser, more open person, and I only ever want more of that.

Be serene,

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my blog Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I have been in the advice-giving business for more than a quarter of a century, although I never set out to give advice. Not when I started, and not now.

In my experience, ninety percent of giving advice is listening. Deep listening. That’s what I do when people tell me their stories. I listen—to them, and within myself. More often than not, clients solve their own troubles just because someone is listening to them.

When they don’t, it’s usually because they’ve gotten too far away from what they truly want. Finding this quote from Harry S. Truman made me smile. It’s as true for clients as for children.

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

This is why I listen within during a session. To reach the inner truth that someone is perhaps dancing around (or kicking around) or resisting. Sometimes I’m blessed to be able to say: “Do you want me to cut to the chase?” No one has ever refused.

If I’m quiet enough within, I can come up with the bottom line. The solution, the action to take so that change occurs. This is what everyone wants when they seek advice. They want to know what to do in order to change what’s so.

What this means is that my practice is eclectic. People reach out to me, we work intensely for however long it takes­—sometimes one session, sometimes twelve, it all depends—and then that client goes her or his merry way until the next time they want advice.

Try it for yourself sometime when you’re stuck. Tell the story of what’s going on. Then listen within and see what sort of advice comes up. You could get to the bottom line on your own. If you’re still stuck, be in touch by all means. I love nothing more than deep listening.

(Can't resist.) The Doctor is in. Five cents, please.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Lesson in Intention

Marcel Marceau died this week. He was a world-renowned mime who created a melancholy mime-clown named Bip.

Many years ago, when I was a student at National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut, I was privileged to take a class with this master of gesture.

Marcel Marceau’s artistry is where I first encountered the idea of intention.

His class was full of silence. Without ever speaking, he set us each a task, an exercise, to establish the fact of a wall in front of us. He put his expressive hands in the air and felt a wall, and then, through gesture, encouraged us fledglings, wannabes, to do the same.

We felt for the wall in front of us for about an hour. An hour!

Occasionally, the master would come to discover the wall we had created, and we would have a wall dialogue. Eventually, he visited every wall in the room. When he would work with a student, the wall became much more real, more solid, more . . . well, wall. He had been establishing walls in the air for decades by then.

After the silent work, he spoke in his rich French accent.

“There is only a wall if you intend a wall.”

I walked around for a full week with that sentence echoing in my head. I suppose it was a roundabout introduction to the philosophy that would eventually guide my life, metaphysics.

There is only a wall if you intend a wall.

There is only a connection if you intend a connection.

Intention is everything.

Merci beaucoup, M. Marceau. God-speed.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happiness Heard Your Name

Seeds IX, 38

Seed: Happiness Heard Your Name

Listen to these words from Sufi poet Hafiz:

Ever since happiness heard your name,
it has been running through the streets trying to find you.

Imagine that! Hearing your name, no matter what street you’re on, anywhere in the world. It’s Happiness, calling to you, you personally.

What is your answer? Yes? No? Maybe? I’m too busy? Not now? Later? Some day? Perhaps? For real? C’mon? What?

Listen for a moment, deeply, interiorly, as quietly as you can. Happiness is calling your name. Please hold still and answer Yes.

Be serene,

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my blog Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Which Model Did You Choose?

We got to laughing at the breakfast table this morning over bodies. My sweetie teased me that I’d chosen The Reading Model this lifetime. She chose The Playing Model.

Which model did you choose?

Here are some options; dream up your own! I’d love to hear from you.

The Foreign Language Model
The Finance Model
The Art Model
The Athletic Model
The Healthy Model
The Serious Model
The Anxious Model
The Fun Model
The Peaceful Model
The Daredevil Model
The Intellectual Model
The Soul Model
The Spirit Model
The Kinesthetic Model
The Whatever Kind of Model You Need in Any Given Moment Model.

Did you know that you actually can choose to have the kind of body you need in any given moment? You can. Bodies are meant to be pushed, explored, heard, gentled, honored. They’re infallible—in the sense that your body can never lie to you.

Check out which model or models you’ve chosen so far. Do you like them? Cool. If not, choose again.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Chants for Peace

The words of urban shaman Donna Henes inspire this post. She staged a 911 Emergency Call for Peace vigil on 9/11/07. It was raining. The dedicated souls were few. She called it “optimism in action.” Her report included these words:


I’ll let Donna tell you the rest:

“Though we had gathered to mourn the tragic death of nearly 3000 people, it is important for us to celebrate the 57,000 miracles that occurred on September 11. 60,000 people worked in those buildings. 57,000 of them were saved.

If we dwell on the loss, it perpetuates an atmosphere of fear, anger and revenge. An eye for an eye until the whole world is blind. An exercise in futility.

If we concentrate on miracles, we see that anything can happen. Anything at all. Even peace.”

I’m with Mama Donna. Anything can happen. Her report closed with:

"There IS a chance for peace. And we are that chance!”

We are that chance, and I’m so grateful that Donna stands with me for peace.

For your further enlightenment, please read Donna’s magical book, The Queen of Myself, available from or through her website,

Friday, September 14, 2007

Goin' Courtin'

Seeds IX, 37

Seed: Goin’ Courtin’

Courtin’—that’s a really old-fashioned concept, isn’t it? I wonder if anyone goes courting any more. I was thinking of this song from the movie of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers because of a headline in Science of Mind magazine. It read:

I’m being courted by God, and so are you.

How cool is that? Did you ever think of a relationship with the Divine that way? The OED says that courting means the paying of courteous attention. Certainly the attentions of the Divine to us are courteous, at the very least. Probably more like fascinated, entranced, delighted, wondrous. Bask in that kind of attention for a sec.

Now, just for fun, consider turning that courteous attention around.*

Court the Divine!

Be serene,

Dr. Susan Corso

*P. S. Some of us call this meditation.

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my blog at Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ambassadors Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary

As a child I told my mother that I was going to be an actress, a doctor or an ambassador. Actress, I’ve done. Doctor, well yeah. Just not M.D., D.D. (My Jewish grandmother is the proudest of that! Go figure.)

I’m still waiting to be appointed an Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary. It means a representative of a sovereign nation with all the powers the pertain thereto.

Then I read these words by Celeste Frazier, “Smiles are peace ambassadors.”

I thought, I can do that! I decided there was only one thing for it: to appoint myself an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. Especially if smiling is a contribution toward peace.

Mother Teresa said something similar to Celeste Frazier. “Peace, my friends, begins with a smile. Just as simple as that. A smile. So greet one another with a smile.”

Can you smile? Could you make your smiles a peace offering? Come be an Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary with me.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Story of Your Life

My sweetie and I have been playing with an image lately about the stories we tell ourselves. It started because of something we joked about feeling like we each had a newsroom in our head.

Remember those wonderful old Rosalind Russell/Cary Grant movies where they play reporters? You hear the typewriters and tickertapes clicking and clacking in the background. The dialogue is staccato, rapid-fire. The picture is filmy.

What if you do have a newsroom in your head?

In the newsroom sit as many different typewriters as you tell yourself different stories about any given thing. Let’s try an example. You get a scary health diagnosis.

Which typewriter do you choose?

Do you sit down at the one which tells you that a diagnosis is not a prognosis?
Do you sit at the one which tells you your parent died of the same thing?
Do you sit down at the one which tells you friends are praying for you?
Do you sit at the one which tells you a nightmare story about another person’s
medical challenges?

You get my drift. Here’s the bottom line:

You are the proud owner of two major kinds of typewriter.

The better one touts love.

The lesser one touts fear.

Which tells the story of your life?

P. S. Remember that it’s your personal newsroom. Think carefully, and choose before you sit down to type!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Too Big or Too Small?

Seeds IX, 36

Seed: Too Big or Too Small?

Life is really all about perspective. I mean it, really. Brian Judd writing in Beyond the Bookstore says, “Some people looked at Goliath and thought he was too big to hit. David looked at him and thought he was too big to miss.”

Perspective is dear to my heart because I spent many years seeing physically without it. I’ve had four eye surgeries, and usually, depth perception was the last thing to return to my experience after surgery, hence my inordinate fondness for depth.

Depth is often what I bring to my clients. I am able to pull away from the emotional closeness that someone is experiencing and bring perspective to the situation. It’s often all that’s required for an end-of-the-earth situation to become a blessing-in-disguise situation.

Next time you face off Goliath, give yourself the gift of perspective, and if you can’t (if he’s too big to hit), get some help (turn him into too big to miss.)

Be serene,

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my other blog Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Details, Details

In the past week, I’ve read two quotes about the details.

The first one is credited to various sources: architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and author Gustave Flaubert, amongst others

God is in the details.

The second is credited mostly to that noted author Anonymous, but also German pop star Blixa Bargeld.

The devil is in the details.

Which is it?

I have to answer yes to both.

This is one of those luscious paradoxes which arises in a world of constant polarity. Of course God is in the details. Someone planned orangutans! Duck-billed platypi! Octopi! Not to mention babies, the human genome and Rodgers & Hammerstein.

What about the devil and the details? Well, the maxim actually means that if there is going to be a problem with a project, it will be the details that are problematic. Could be.

Here’s the message of these two statements:

Sometimes it’s best to take the larger view of things. Other times it’s best to take the detailed view of things. The quest is to determine which time requires what attention. That’s known as the gift of discernment, and we’re all learning this skill all the time.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Spiritual Pith

I use much of my time for prayer, and I look for short pithy statements that remind me of who I am and who others are. This one came to me as I woke up one morning.

Remember those licorice candies called Good & Plenty? There was a jingle that went with a television and/or radio ad for them. Something about Choo-choo Charlie. The words ‘good and plenty’ were used to underscore the ad in a train wheel rhythm.

What an affirmation.

How’s your life?

Good & Plenty.

See what I mean? Pith.