Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My #1 Idea for America and the world is . . .


No surprise there, right?

Then I got the email you see below, and I got to take action on my desire.

Vote for Peace at and Help Spread the Word

The website
is holding an online event through Jan 15, 2009 calling for the "Top 10 Ideas for America," which they will present to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day. says, "We will then build a national campaign to advance each idea in Congress, marshaling the resources of, MySpace, and our dozens of partner organizations and millions of combined members." Imagine our campaign with expanded support like that!

The idea to "Appoint Secretary of Peace in Department of Peace and Nonviolence" is currently in FIRST PLACE in the category "Other" and second place overall. We need your help to keep it there all the way through January 15.
Visit the site today and vote for peace, then use their "Email a Friend" link to spread the word.

Peace is the only umbrella I’ve ever found that encompasses the desires of all beings in all the world. Really.

Won’t you join me in the vote for peace?

Happy, peaceful 2009.
P. S. This is my last post on Blogger: I thank the team and I wish you all well. Starting 1/1/09, Seeds for Sanctuary will be posted only on Wordpress with the same URL. Thanks, Blogger!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Approaching the Season of Reproach

Here they come, dear one, just as we expected, just as they do every year, just as many of us dread every year. You must know I’m talking about New Year’s Resolutions.

Let’s create a new page in the book of New Year’s Resolutions this year. Let’s work at what I call “the umbrella level.” Here’s what I mean: give up reproach this new year, give up goals or resolutions that measure you or your accomplishments, and instead switch to resolutions that, as you make choices which support them, will change your WHOLE LIFE not just one aspect of it.

Let me give you some examples:

Instead of deciding to lose twenty pounds, choose the umbrella of healthy living.
Instead of deciding to get a new job, choose the umbrella of world service.
Instead of deciding to quit smoking, choose the umbrella of free breathing.

These are not “positive thinking” ideas, dear one. Instead they’re the biggest concepts I can wrap my mind around which will make the farthest-reaching changes in a life.

Let me make this very personal. Since you follow this blog, you know I’ve decided to be a bestselling author. My first novel came out as an audiobook this fall; it should be on Amazon, iTunes and Audible this very week.

I got some very strange guidance about this bestselling author business this week. It was LET GO. Let go into asking simply that my books serve humanity. In fact, I need just to give thanks that my books serve humankind every time I think of it, and take the actions I’m guided to take, that’s all.

The thing about working at the umbrella level is that it transforms everything. How do I know what path my writing will take toward serving humanity? I haven’t a clue, so instead of stressing about my cluelessness, I can let the Universe, which is never clueless, help me serve on a worldwide level.

So when I pick up my umbrella, and you pick up yours, we will all be working toward transformation at the highest levels we can conceive, and the changes that we all want can come to be.

One of my favorite fictional characters is a lady who made all sorts of umbrella level visions come true; it just so happens that she carried a parrot-headed umbrella. Any guesses?

Mary Poppins, that magical nanny, who knew just how to transform anything for the best. So no more reproach at the New Year, beloved. Pick up your umbrella, transform everything, and fly!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hiding Out in the Present

Seeds X, 52

Seed: Hiding Out in the Present

This phrase came tripping of my beloved’s tongue two days ago and stopped me in my tracks. I’d just read Mike Dooley’s More Notes from the Universe. (If you’re not on his subscription list, click and give yourself that gift.)

One of Mike’s Notes really touched me:

Always, the best remedy for dealing with a troubling past is living in the present.

Yeah, I know. You know this, but . . . did you know that you can HIDE OUT in the present? I’d never thought of it that way. We’re approaching the “reproach season” of the year when we review who we think we are. If you don’t like everything you’ve been, done or had in the past, consider hiding out in the present.

Soon enough you’ll discover that there was indeed a present hiding in your past and that now it’s safe to take it out, show it off and enjoy it in front of everyone.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Be content,

Susan Corso

Dr. Susan Corso

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

Check out the Seeds Archive for past messages of inspiration.

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

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Couldn't Resist!

An electronic Christmas gift from my sweetie! I had to post it.

Happy, merry, joyous, peaceful . . . Susan

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I hear the word of my title in Wally Shawn’s famous delivery from The Princess Bride.

Of all the files. I mean it. Of all the files. Yesterday ONE FILE turned up corrupted in my computer, and none of the Help suggestions helped.

It was a big file that I’d been working on for months—a little book of all my blog posts on Peace from Ode Magazine for the past year and half. I’d searched and found wonderful illustrations in Google Images to make just the words on peace more interesting. It was almost done, too. Just two more weeks of posts.

And it was corrupted. Irreparably. I closed my computer down to see if it would restore itself. Got back on it after dinner, and no dice. Then I put it aside. Nothing to do till morning. I told myself I had offsite back-up. It would be no big deal to reclaim the next day.

I got in prayer that somehow I’d get it back. I let go. Good thing.

Morning appointments kept me busy till 2. A dear friend suggested I look in the Trash. I don’t use a Mac but there is a Recycle Bin on a PC. I found it! Not whole, or not as it had been, but closer than starting at zero.

Then I got on the phone with the back-up peeps. Oh, yes, it would be a piece of cake to retrieve it. No problem. I was sailing—for a moment. Then we discovered that the guy who had set up my back-up on this new computer had not included that particular set of files! Dashed to the rocks! HOWEVER, and here is looking on the bright side, we got everything backed up now that needs to be!! And that’s quite a Christmas gift.

Then, I decided to brave Microsoft for Windows Vista. They were no help at all. My software was installed by my computer’s manufacturer so Microsoft wasn’t responsible.

I called Dell. Their people told me to reinstall Microsoft Office. No can do. It came on my computer. And besides, they only dealt with hardware not software! Wait, I said, wait just a cotton pickin’ minute, that’s not what Microsoft says!

Eventually (25 minutes later) they transferred me to their software department, which, after asking me another 25 minutes of interminable (and often repetitive) questions tell me that they can offer me a one-time attempt for $69 plus taxes, etc., or a $269 one-year software service contract.

I let go again, thanked the lady, and hung up.

One file, dear one. One file, and tomorrow’s Christmas Eve.

I’ll reconstruct it over the holidays.

And if this hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have known that all the rest of the “missed” files weren’t being backed up.

Cloud. Silver lining. It’s all in the view we take.

Happy, merry to you and yours.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Light Returns

Ah yes. We can’t see it, but yesterday, in the Northern Hemisphere, the light returned to Earth. At 7:04 AM, we passed the point of the darkest dark. Starting today, the day is minutes longer than the night. Day by day those minutes grow till we meet the longest day at Midsummer once more.

What does it mean to face this darkness? What does it mean to face darkness no matter the time of year?

Darkness, dear one, is. There are all sorts of things that cause darkness in a human being. Confusion, unwillingness, fear, worry, thwarting of our wills. The issue isn’t whether there will be darkness. The issue is when there is darkness, how do you respond to it?

Some people respond in anger.
Others get sad, or depressed.
Some lash out.
Others turn inward.
Some act.
Others are paralyzed.

Over many years of working with my own darkness and that of others, I have learned to let darkness in myself be, and to be with it. Still, calm (mostly), unafraid. Let the darkness happen. (It will anyway.) Know that Annie was right, the sun’ll come up tomorrow. It does every day.

And wait, trusting the darkness, knowing that something is happening within it, something that could be good for us if we’ll just wait instead of reacting in an unconscious way.

Making friends with darkness means not resisting it or denying its existence. Darkness will come and darkness will go. Trust in the light within you for it is that light which even allows you to perceive the darkness. Make friends with darkness trusting that it is for your highest good, and watch the miracles come as the light dawns once again.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Little Pleasures

Seeds X, 51

Seed: Little Pleasures

I know, I know, spiritual teachers since the beginning of time have recommended that we appreciate the small things in life. It’s a good idea. Really.

I’d like to put a slightly different spin on it. From today until Christmas is seven days. Consider your six senses—one day at a time—as a path for appreciating the little pleasures. Friday: sight. Look for things that please your eyes. Saturday: sound. Listen for things that please your ears. Sunday: taste. Let your tongue be your guide. Monday: touch. Let your skin speak to you. Tuesday: scent. Follow your nose. Wednesday: intuition. You can view it one of two ways—either as a combination of the preceding five or ignoring the five and raising your awareness to your inner knowing.

Even though I’m writing this over July 4th weekend, I can tell you some of the little pleasures I’m anticipating . . . red, carols played by baroque trumpets, cinnamon buns, chenille sweaters, vanilla, and a revelation of a greater sense of who I am meant to be in the world.

Merry Christmas—what a pleasure.

Be content,

Susan Corso

Dr. Susan Corso

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

Check out the Seeds Archive for past messages of inspiration.

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ode's Intelligent Optimists' Issue

Ode Magazine’s January/February 2009 Intelligent Optimists issue is fascinating, especially so for me since I was nominated to be one of them!

The assignment was:

This year Ode launches its first annual Intelligent Optimists Issue where we will feature people who are not famous yet but should be because of the work they are doing to bring positive change to their communities, their countries, and the world. As part of this special issue, we would like to hear your nominations, too: tales of ordinary people who do extraordinary things.

Just tell us who your nominee is and write a few lines explaining why this person is special and why their work is important.

I thank everyone who took the time to register and comment. It was an honor to be nominated and the comments people left on my nomination made me blush in secret delight! To read them visit,
To be included in this list is thrilling. People really do work to make a difference on this planet. Personally, I think the only ways to be in the world are intelligent and optimistic!

Thanks again, everyone! I start the holy-days with a heart brimming with joy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

To Change!

I have been a big fan of the work and person of Barbara Winter and her Winning Ways newsletter for many years. I even had the joy of dining with her on one of her many visits to New York City.

If you are an entrepreneur or a wannabe entrepreneur or a I-might-want-to-be-an-entrepreneur-when-I-grow-up, Barbara’s work is for you!

Go to to learn about all her marvelous classes, tools and ideas for a joyfully jobless journey!

What appears below is from her e-newsletter. Her wisdom about different kinds of change grabbed my attention big time.

As you read this issue, think about these insightful words from Zora Neale Hurston:

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

Doug is a transplanted Iowan who has kept his Midwest sensibilities and friendliness. He's also my favorite clerk at the post office which I visit every day, but it had been weeks since I'd managed to connect. This morning, however, I won the postal line lottery and had a chance to catch up. I asked him how he'd been and he sighed and said, "This has been our most difficult year ever." Then he added with a smile, "I know 2009 is going to be much better."

Plenty of people will be looking back at 2008 and coming to the same conclusion as Doug. It has been a year full of challenges and change. I happen to believe that many people are going to look back at 2008 and realize it was the year they began laying the foundation for living an amazing and creative life.

Why don't we all know that as it's happening? Changing times are often chaotic times causing many to feel confused and powerless. Those who resist surrender any hope of serenity, while those who understand and embrace change are seeing abundant opportunities. Since change is a constant, whether we approve or not, which position makes the most sense?

If you'd like to change the world or change your life or even change one tiny aspect of it, then you need to understand that change comes in two different packages and it's important to tell them apart.

There's Imposed Change which is the kind we can do nothing about. Taxes get raised, fashion designers insist we stop wearing willow green, or road construction slows down our travel plans. Imposed Change is most difficult to handle if you don't allow yourself to have options or insist on being inflexible or are committed to preserving the status quo.

On the other hand, there's Instigated Change. That's the kind that we think of as improving our lives because we have chosen it. Instigated Change happens after we pass through the preliminary steps that get us ready to take action. It's not necessarily any easier to adjust to Instigated Change than it is to Imposed Change, but it's ultimately more satisfying when we do adjust.

"I was always waiting around for someone to fix the world," confessed singer John Denver. "And then I realized that if the world was going to work, it was up to me." The day that you take responsibility for instigating positive change is the jumping off point for self-liberation. It's the day when a shift for the better happens and you discover that Embraced Change comes bearing gifts.
Imposed Change—we all know about that kind and our own acceptance of or resistance to it.
Instigated Change—still, at its core, change! How we handle it is up to us.
Ah, but Embraced Change! I consider this sort of change an email to the Universe.

I’ve decided.
I’m changing.
That’s it!

That’s when the Universal Conspiracy for Good kicks in. You take one step and the Universe takes five to meet you where and how you want to be met. In my experience, the Universe always, always, always delivers much more and better than my original request.

To change!

Friday, December 12, 2008


Seeds X, 50

Seed: Tradition

I never hear this word without the three notes from the song in Fiddler on the Roof coming to mind. Tevye sings, “Tradition! Tradition! . . . Tradition!” In the song, Tevye argues for traditional family roles for papa, mama, son and daughter. Tevye wasn’t living in the 21st century.

The OED says that tradition comes from Latin roots meaning a saying handed down. It surprised me a little because I’d always associated the word tradition with the word trade. And that’s my real recommendation to us all for this Season of Light.

Are there traditions in your family? Good. Now, get conscious about them. Do you like them? Do you want to keep them? If so, excellent, but if not, trade your old traditions for new ones. Things are going so fast in our world these days that traditions of any kind are of some value, except those that no longer suit who we are.

Consider putting a new tradition in place of an old one that no longer serves, dear one, and enjoy the holy-days.

Be content,

Susan Corso

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark. Check out the Seeds Archive for past messages of inspiration.

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The First Public Reading

To quote Elle Woods, “Omigod, you guys!” I have just been invited to do the first public reading of Oklahoma! Hex—this Friday night!

So here’s the story. I posted my Monday post on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception as usual. In it, I put out into the Universe that I am a best-selling author including the notion that I am invited to do readings. That same day I had also promised to call my book editor to catch up. I didn’t get him, but I did leave a message.

He called me back today (Tuesday) with an invitation to a gathering place called The Center for New Words in Cambridge, MA on, believe it or not, Temple Street! (How appropriate!) They do a monthly open mic night on the second Friday of each month called Mouthful.

The Center for New Words has a delicious tagline . . .

where women’s words matter

The Center for New Words is dedicated to a simple mission: To use the power and creativity of words and ideas to strengthen the voice of progressive and marginalized women in society.

There’s no question in my mind. Words have power—otherwise, why would I be a writer? Certainly, I believe in the creativity of words—otherwise, why would I write fiction?
And, progressive? Marginalized? Yep, no problem.

So I’m going to meet my editor for dinner, actually catch up, and give the first of many readings from my novels. How cool is that?

Remember what I said on Monday? I have no idea how any of the events will string together to create myself as a best-selling author. Except one. It’s the one I cling to when things seem to be slow, or not happening at all.

Here it is: If I want to be a best-selling author, then God wants the same thing for me. I simply get out of the way, and let Her show me how to get it done!

How’s your new pregnancy coming along?

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in the Catholic calendar. It celebrates the notion that Mary, mother of Jesus, was herself conceived in a state of grace.

I’d like to offer this feast day an upgrade as an example to all of us of how to change old associations connected to our traditions in order to create new associations for old traditions. You can consider this a lesson in how not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.

So let us start with a question.

What are you currently conceiving in your life?

This is, after all, a day celebrating getting pregnant with something wonderful. What might that wonderful thing be for you? What would you like to carry within yourself like the best secret in the whole wide world for nine months all the while nurturing it, helping it grow, refining it, participating in its new life until nine months from now you give birth to it? (The week of Labor Day—no mistakes!—when school starts.)

Here are some of the pregnancies I know are being conceived today . . .

A dear friend with metastatic disease is conceiving her total health today—
A client is conceiving a brand new website today—
Another client is conceiving the beginning of a thrilling acting career—
A writer friend is conceiving the completion and sale of his first novel—
A close friend is conceiving the growth of her real estate empire—
A neighbor is conceiving a proposal and wedding plans—

You get the drift.

The thing is, on this particular feast day, we are reminded that we each, alone, can create what we choose immaculately (it means without stain) if we will take the process inside ourselves and allow it to grow us as we grow it.

I’ll give you the example of my own process, and if you feel moved to pray and hold this with me, go for it.

It’s taken me years to be able to boil down to one sentence what I want in life right now. That is:

I am a bestselling author.

Can’t be clearer than that, can it?

I have no idea what that looks like, even less idea what the path is to get me there, even less what purpose of God’s that might serve, but I am clear that I do want it more than anything else. I have been writing novels for many years and have a cache of them ready to go.

I was guided to record Oklahoma! Hex, the first one, over the summer. It ought to be released on very soon. (Yippee!) I listen for daily guidance in service to my dream and I take the actions I am guided to take. Can’t do more than that, right?

Not exactly. The other thing I’m doing in this pregnancy just like I did in my last one is dreaming it into being. I’m creating the felt sensations that I think a best-selling author experiences. I’m imagining calls from Oprah, Larry King, Terry Gross, Charlie Rose and their teams asking me to be a guest on their shows. I’m imagining book readings and signings, opportunities to give speeches and sermons, conversations with book club folk. Contracts with publishers for printed copies of the books. Answering the Proust Questionnaire in the back of Vanity Fair. A profile in The New Yorker.

And remember, I have no idea HOW this might happen. None. That’s what makes this conception immaculate—without stain. Because I have no idea how, I don’t have to, and therefore don’t consider how, so I am free to imagine it exactly as I’d like it to be—immaculately, perfectly, clearly in my own consciousness womb.

On this Feast of the Immaculate Conception, you too have this same freedom. C’mon, I double dare you. Get pregnant, and see what you bring forth.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Advent Adventures

Seeds X, 49

Seed: Advent Adventures

This weekend marks the second Sunday of Advent in the Christian calendar, and even though we are not all Christians, we can all take on the spirit of Adventure during this Season of Light which includes Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Advent comes from Latin roots meaning coming. On its way. It traditionally anticipates the birth of Jesus. What’s coming your way right now?

One of the manifestations of Advent that I find enchanting is the Advent Calendar. They usually begin on December 1st and have 24 tiny windows to open, one a day. The first known Advent Calendar was handmade in 1851.

Whether you use a physical calendar or a digital one, grab yours right now. Make a special Advent note to yourself starting last Monday. Decide what you want to be coming into your life and countdown to its advent with children celebrating the Nativity all over the world.

Be content,

Susan Corso

Dr. Susan Corso

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

Check out the Seeds Archive for past messages of inspiration.

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

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


On November 27, 1978, I was a student at the National Theatre Institute in Waterford, Connecticut. It was my semester away from my alma mater where I lived, ate, and breathed theatre 24/7.

That same day, three thousand miles away, in San Francisco, Harvey Milk was assassinated along with then-Mayor George Moscone. I remember hearing about it, but its significance was lost on me in the whirlwind of booking the tour for our NTI roadshow.

Thirty years later, almost to the day, we went to see the new biopic, Milk.

Oh what a difference three decades make. Or, do they?

The film, let it be said, is brilliant. No defensiveness. No edge. No sentimentalism. The story is riveting. Sean Penn’s performance took my breath away. One of the major actions in the movie is the grassroots work on a California referendum known as Proposition Six. It proposed that gay people should not be allowed to be public school teachers.

The elation and the despair of the characters in the film seemed to me quite clearly echoed in the recent California Proposition 8 mess. This proposition was a definition of marriage that precluded LGBTQ folk from claiming that right for ourselves.

The subjects of the two propositions were different but the energy, the care, the hatred, the antipathy were identical. Don’t you think we ought to have learned something in those intervening 30 years besides Excel?

Milk interweaves footage of the time with its current portrayals. The two weld seamlessly. Anita Bryant was just as hateful as politicians I heard talk about Prop 8.

With all the challenges that face our world today—interwoven global fortunes, climate change, nuclear threat, to name just three—I say it’s time we stopped trying to legislate matters of the heart and started working together toward solutions for all of us.

Oh, and go see Milk. It’s extraordinary theatre.

Monday, December 1, 2008

People Living with AIDS

I was gainfully employed in the Broadway theatre when HIV/AIDS hit our community. I knew more than a hundred young men who manifested it and died in the early 80s. It’s almost 30 years later as I write these words to participate in Bloggers Unite’s World AIDS Day. Bloggers all over the world are writing about HIV/AIDS today.

One of the major moments I remember in HIV history was when the then-current acronym switched from PWAs (people with AIDS) to PLWAs. People LIVING with AIDS. It was a big switch. In fact, it transformed the collective consciousness around HIV from dying to living.

The thing is: an HIV diagnosis today isn’t a death sentence, especially in Western nations where health insurance makes the outrageous cost of pharmaceutical cocktails workable. HIV has manifested everywhere on Earth now. A full 33 million people have HIV or AIDS. For most of us, HIV/AIDS has become about statistics.

Unless, or until . . . we get a phone call like the one I got recently. One of my closest friends called in a panic.

“I’m HIV,” he said.

“HIV what?”

“HIV Positive!” He burst into tears.

“Whoa!” I said. “Wait, you’re not HIV. You’ve tested HIV Positive.”

Does it seem a flimsy distinction?

I have lived with a chronic disease for almost twenty years. One of the first things I did for myself in the process of learning to live with it was to refuse to identify myself as the disease. I did the same thing for my friend automatically.

Diseases are diseases, dear one, and persons are persons. The two ought not to be confused. Not in the 80s, not now, not ever.

A person who has HIV, who has seroconverted, HAS HIV. That person isn’t HIV itself.

My friend is very blessed. His body is dealing well with the virus. In fact, through some spiritual work he’s doing, he’s actually reduced his viral load.

I remember AIDS before it had a permanent name. For a while, it was called GRID—Gay-Related Immune Disease. I forget why they changed the name.

The thing is: it’s not a mystical mistake that the acronym AIDS ended up what it is. It’s also a word in English: aids, helps, assists, abets.

Personally, I think that gay men made an agreement to act as avatars to our world to prove to humankind once and for all that we need to aid one another. There is no me or you, only me and you.

So what did my friend need after his diagnosis? Aid. Help. To navigate the medical system around HIV. To find information on the disease. To learn where there was appropriate support for his process.

What did I need after his diagnosis? Aid. Help. To deal with my own helplessness and anger. To stop taking personally what didn’t really touch me personally except through my friend. To bless those scientific minds that ever seek a cure for it.

You see, AIDS reminds us that if one person is affected by it, we all are. Having a diagnosis come close to home takes it out of the realm of statistics and into the realm of the personal. My friend is a person living with AIDS, and so, because I too live on Earth, am I.