Search and Rescue

By Suzanne Wiggins

Nearly four years ago I undertook a mission to dramatically change my life. I have changed in so many ways, but the mission is far from complete.

As I was driving home last night I reflected on the last few years; the lessons I’ve learned, the areas I’ve stumbled, the tough decisions I’ve made, the joy I’ve found and I began to re-evaluate the actual objective of my mission.

I’ve discovered that a mission often seems clear and specific at the onset, but in actuality it is extremely ambiguous with only the smallest amount of direction or instruction available. As we make progress, additional information is provided on a “need to know” basis. I find this to be particularly true since an answer, a realization, or a lesson can be presented to me in various ways on several occasions, but until I’m ready or need to know in order to move forward, it will likely remain invisible or incomprehensible to me.

During my reflection on life and purpose, I realized that I often attempt to control that which I have no control over. I do this by strategizing, anticipating, worrying or planning my response to potential situations. In one of those moments of, “I knew this, but just wasn’t ready to fully comprehend it,” I realized I don’t have to behave as I think I should, or in a way I believe would affect a particular outcome, or in any way that is influenced by an external expectation. Suddenly I began to play out a familiar scenario in my mind and as I imagined myself just sitting in the moment without a plan or expectation, I felt very calm and peaceful inside. What a relief it was to think I could just be “authentically me” in every situation without having to worry if it’s how I should be, or how I’m expected to be, or the right way to be, or, or, or.

So what does it mean to be “authentically me?” What if we were to objectively look at who we are as people and accept that our teachers may not have been particularly skilled in the subjects they taught? With this realization could we step back and accept responsibility for finding a way to relearn the skills or characteristics we believe we fall short with – patience, positivity, work ethic, tolerance, love, acceptance, listening, expressing, procrastination, fitness, whatever it may be?

Those questions led me to the realization that my mission is truly about searching for my authentic self. I’m searching for Suzanne and intend to rescue her from the confines of old beliefs, inaccurate information, lack of knowledge, and unrealized potential, and then release her back into the wild. Honestly, 2015 looks to be a very interesting year. I would love to hear about your mission.

We often become what we believe ourselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. When I believe I can, I acquire the ability to do it, even if I didn’t have it in the beginning.           ~ Ghandi



Failure and the Process of Change

Just because you fail once, it doesn’t mean you’re going to fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself because if you don’t, then who will? So keep your head high, keep your chin up and most importantly, keep smiling because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”  ~ Marilyn Monroe

A little more than three years ago, I endeavored to change my life in a significant way. The process continues, but since I made that fateful decision I lost my job, my cat and my heart. I can honestly say, however, that it’s been the best three years of my life.

Each of those not so positive experiences offered opportunities for self-discovery, allowed me to practice new skills I had acquired, and ultimately pointed me in directions I had not considered or would not have known about otherwise. Interestingly, I have realized that many of us set out to make changes in our lives, and yet are unprepared or caught off guard when change actually happens.

Prior to the start of my journey, those who knew me would have described me as a happy person. I was happy, but I was also a severely overweight workaholic whose social circle consisted solely of co-workers who kept the same insane schedule. I loved my work and never felt bothered by the 10 or 12 hour days and weekends I worked. It was familiar and comfortable and I excelled, but it was also an avoidance technique; an acceptable excuse for hiding from life, love and other deep personal connections.

In February 2011 I finally resolved to change my ways and become healthier, create balance in my life and maximize my happiness. I started by figuring out how to eat healthy at the office. A year later I had developed a circle of friends that had no association with my job. Having a social circle motivated me to work less and make time for fun. And most importantly, I finally realized that in order to increase my happiness I had to be willing to make myself my top priority which would ultimately improve all the other areas of my life. The process hasn’t been smooth or easy, but I feel more alive and happier than I have in twenty years. I’m excited by the unlimited possibilities the future holds.

My journey continues and with all things in life I have my ongoing successes and my setbacks. I look forward to moving along in the process and sharing some of my experiences and listening to what you have to share. In concluding this inaugural post, I have noted a few of the nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned so far. I hope there may be something here that resonates with you and I invite you to let me know what you think and to share some nuggets of your own. I’m listening.

  • Putting yourself first without guilt is the most important step, but also the hardest.
  • No one will love you more than you love yourself
  • Allow yourself to be surprised by life
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable
  • Learn to feel beautiful
  • Don’t let age define you
  • Address your fears
  • Try something new every day
  • Make time for fun
  • Find beauty in the everyday
  • Live an active life
  • Bless and Release
  • Start by putting your thought/idea out to the Universe while keeping your mind open to the possibilities
  • To be happy is a great decision