Don’t Look at Me – I’m Not “Pretty” Right Now

We all want to be happy, right? Of course. I have created my life and my work around the idea of happiness.

And happiness is “pretty”, it looks good, a smile “increases your face value”…

In a personality assessment I took as part of a job years ago, I was told that one of my highest values was “aesthetics”. In other words, it is very important to me for things—and for me—to be “pretty”.

A friend once told me that I like for everything to be “pretty”. That is literally the word she used. She said, “You want everything to be pretty. And you don’t like XYZ, because that’s not pretty.”

More recently, my therapist has helped me to understand that, because of my upbringing, I regard negative feelings as “ugly” and therefore unacceptable. Positive feelings are, conversely, “pretty”.

And I do love pretty things, which is part of why I am always dressed cute, with my hair and nails and makeup just so, and why I love clothes and interior design and movies with lush cinematography.

My husband is very intuitive about people, their personalities and their emotions. And he can peg me in my anger or sorrow or feelings of inadequacy every time.

Well, dang. Ya caught me.

And you know what?

I hate that.

I hate being transparent.

I hate not being able to control what you see about me.

I hate my own fear that, if there is something in my mind or heart that isn’t “pretty”, you might know it. And then you won’t like me.

Brilliant sociologist and thought-leader Brené Brown says that shame comes from the fear that, if someone knew or even suspected a “not-pretty” thing about you, you would not be allowed to belong. You would be rejected.

And community and connection are what we humans are all about. It is a biological fact that we need one another. Early humans rarely survived for long by themselves. Like wolves and apes, we instinctively crave communion with others of our kind.

And now I get to my own Ugly Truth, and if you reject me, I’m gonna have to figure out how to live with that:

I am not perfect. I am not always happy. I am not always pretty. My feelings are not always something I feel proud of. There are aspects of my life—what I do and have, or don’t do or have—that I feel shame about.

But here’s my big problem: it’s not only important to me personally that my life be pretty. My being happy—or “pretty”—is vital to my work, my mission in life, and what I believe and understand to be my destiny.

Specifically, how can I inspire you if I am not happy most of the time?

How can I serve you if I don’t have it all figured out?

How can I guide you to be happier if I am not utterly, perfectly, and “prettily” happy all the time?

Those are hard questions for me. Oh, sure, I know you’ll “forgive” me for having a negative thought. You’ll understand that I am not perfect—nobody is, right?

But it is so important to me to be such a shining, brilliant example of joy and beauty and how great life can be that I am loathe to let you know that there’s anything about me that isn’t “pretty”.

And honey, I gotta admit, there’s plenty.

  • I struggle with my closest relationships and communication within them.
  • I am still learning how to feel like I am acceptable (and how to function without loads of anxiety) as an ADHDer in a neurotypical world—the revelation of which I came to very late in life. And that is a whole other “not-pretty” thing in itself, which I will spare you right now.
  • I worry about money. No, I don’t worry about how I’m going to eat, but I do worry about paying for things I want, and how I am going to take care of myself and others I love if I don’t make enough money. And there are many things and experiences that I want very dearly that I don’t have the money for today.
  • I often feel like a failure in one or more areas of my life, sometimes in all of them.
  • And, although I have worked hard to banish shame (because it tried to kill me!, but I will save that for another time), it still rears its ugly head from time to time. Like right now. I don’t know if I will ever be able to show this essay to anyone. At least not without enormous trepidation.
  • Worst of all, I’m afraid that, if I don’t show up for you all rich and doing all the Richie Rich things, you won’t be inspired to make your life “pretty” too.

Go figure–even MoJo gets the blues.

P.S. Here’s a little disclaimer to wrap this up, lest you think I am on the verge of tears or worse:

  • Much of my life experience has been and continues to be beyond pretty.
  • I really do consciously manifest what I want, love, and enjoy.
  • There are many aspects of my Self that I love and adore and feel confident about.
  • I love and am loved by many beautiful people.
  • I have had tons of experiences that have enriched my life and given me pleasure and happiness.
  • I know, at least on a conscious level, that I do belong.
  • I am very confident in Destiny and my place in the world, even though I can sometimes be shy about “letting my light shine”.
  • I know in my heart that I am here to help a few or several or thousands of people to be and do and have “pretty” in their lives too.
  • And, finally, I love that I have the privilege to do the work I do, even when I feel like I’m “not pretty right now”.

Don’t “Practical” It, “Energy” It

My favorite deck of oracle cards is “Magical Mermaids & Dolphins”, created by Doreen Virtue, PhD. One of the cards bears these words: “YES! Your intuition is correct. Take action accordingly.”

This goes along with the current “conventional wisdom” of using practical action when you are trying to manifest a goal or, as I prefer to call it, your “Dire Desire”. The “YES!” card mentions your intuition as the thing that can point you toward the right actions to take, but it does not tell you that your “actions” should be energetic actions, rather than practical ones.

Can manifestation work without practical action? As the card says, YES! But ideally, you should focus on both your energetic efforts and your practical actions.

That being said, the energetic part is actually more important.

  • If you don’t feel worthy,
  • if you don’t believe in yourself or your manifestation,
  • if you are not connected to the divine,
  • if you don’t “git yer mind right”,

no amount of action will bring you what you want. Or a lot of striving and trying might get you to your goal, but most likely in a way that you don’t like, e.g., being “forced” into starting your own business by getting fired, instead of choosing to start the business and quitting your job on your own terms.

You’ve probably learned “goal-setting” at some point in your life, maybe in high school athletics or in a corporate job, maybe from a motivational speaker.

The process goes something like this: What is your goal? Write that at the top of the page/whiteboard/foggy mirror. Then, write down the steps that you need to take in order to reach that goal.

For example, let’s pretend you want a better-paying job. Your list of “action steps” or “objectives” might read like this:

  • Enroll in program for certification in my field.
  • Successfully complete the program.
  • Update my resume.
  • Distribute my resume.
  • Follow up with employers with whom I have applied.
  • Repeat until desired position is achieved.

Notice that none of the action steps are “energetic” or spiritual. They are all tangible and/or practical, like making phone calls to follow up.

The way manifestation works is that you line up your energy first. And you use energetic tools that work toward your Dire Desire. Thus, if you wanted to use the “goal and action-item list” method, your new list of action steps to land a better-paying job might look more like this:

  • Meditate daily.
  • Create fresh affirmations to use during meditation.
  • Journal about my worthiness for the new job.
  • Follow the guidance I receive from the divine (or higher self or subconscious).

Now, following the guidance may induce you to “take action” like the first list. But you can see the huge difference between “practical-ing” it and “energy-ing” it.

There are many energetic/spiritual tools you can use for manifestation. My favorites, of course, are the ones I share with my clients. Learn more about that here.

Birth of a Witch

What’s next? Goddess?

Oooh, big-ass woo-woo revelation! I’m a witch! A real, house-haunting, broom-riding, cauldron-stirring witch.1

I have always known, but I didn’t know, you know?

As a child, I was deeply interested in magic, witches, fairies, genies, anything mystical and magical. My favorite TV shows were “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie,” both about secretly-magical women. It bothered me that they had to keep their abilities a secret, particularly because it was at the behest of their men. But I didn’t know I was a feminist back then either.

A favorite book was No Flying in the House, about a little girl who didn’t know she was half-fairy and had to live apart from her parents until she chose to be human. That sucked. I mean, I wouldn’t want to live away from my parents either, but who wouldn’t want to be a fairy? Cheese and rice.

At slumber parties, I would hold an object and “read the energy” from it, playing  “fortune-teller” for my friends. I was eight years old—how the hell did I even know how to do that?

But back to that keeping-it-secret thing. History provides endless examples of persecution/execution of women who were suspected of practicing witchcraft. And we all know that’s just more patriarchy bullshit, but bullshit can get you killed, as it has millions of women over the centuries. It goes on to this day in some places in the world.

I recently read a novel about witches around the turn of the 19th century in England. I won’t share the title, because it wasn’t a very good book, but it revealed to me information I had not thought about before—or at least, in a very long time. The “Craft” or practice of witchcraft is not a thing in the world except the Divine Feminine at work.  And these days, we often call it Law of Attraction, manifestation, or simply prayer.

Really. Very broadly, men work in the concrete, women in the abstract. Men are about building and destroying material things, women are about connecting with and nurturing people. Women are by nature highly spiritual and connected to the natural and the divine.

As I said, that is a broad assertion, with many exceptions. There are certainly men who are also spiritual and connection-oriented, just as there are many women who are solidly-founded in the material world.

But by a majority, women are the life-givers, the nurturers, the healers, the teachers, the connectors. Going back through history, women’s work became men’s work as men were able to make money doing women’s work. For example, not too many centuries past, it was the women who almost exclusively brewed the ale, dyed the fabrics, nursed the sick, delivered the babies, and many other tasks. When men determined that they could make money doing these jobs, they took them away from the women and called those women witches.

Midwifery was always the realm of women, until male doctors decided they had to do it. Did you know that the position of lying on your back to deliver a baby is only for the doctor’s convenience? Midwives have always encouraged a laboring mother to assume whatever position feels right to her, allowing her the most comfort and control for her delivery.

Likewise, male doctors in the middle of the 20th century began prescribing enemas for women in labor, ostensibly to keep the delivery zone “sterile”, but it’s not sterile to start with and a little poop on baby’s skin doesn’t hurt anything. So those enemas were for the doctor’s convenience, too. The practice has mostly abated in the United States and other developed countries, but you will still find it here and there.

“Witchcraft” became men’s word for anything women did that men either didn’t understand or wanted to make money from—or both. Many women bought into the idea too, such was and is the power of the patriarchy.

By the time I came along, in the latter half of the 20th century, nobody really believed in witches anymore. Oh, there were still a number of practitioners of the Craft, certainly, but there was nothing really mainstream. Except in fiction. Which I gobbled up like Hallowe’en candy.

I was raised in the Presbyterian Church, and happily so. My parents were both raised Baptist, with my father even planning to become a minister, like his grandfather, who was a Baptist preacher and Daddy’s hero. Daddy changed his mind shortly before college graduation, but I still grew up with four Baptist grandparents. If you were at my dad’s parents’ house on Sunday morning, you were Baptist too! I like to say I was half Presbyterian and half Baptist.

In spite of regular church attendance, I never considered my family to be very religious. Maybe we actually were and I just didn’t know the difference! I was involved in youth group, Sunday school, and church choir until I graduated from high school. I got involved again in my mid-twenties and that lasted until some time in my 30s, when I wandered away from the church and wondered toward, “What are my gifts and how do I use them in service to others?”

The idea of using your God-given talents in service to others definitely comes straight out of the Bible. I learned it in church as well as at home, and I have since analyzed my understanding of it to be sure I want to hold that value as my own. I don’t feel that way about everything I learned in church, trust me.

When I was a psychic child who felt spirits around me, unseen except in my mind’s eye, I gave little thought to such abilities. My mom said I had a wonderful imagination and “What a lovely quality!” I shrugged and assumed that all creative people shared my “woo-woo” experiences.

But there I was in my thirties, wondering if being a property manager was what God or the divine or my own soul intended for me to do. I loved my job and I was good at it, I was a good boss, I was a great project manager (still love project management!), and I made pretty good money for a woman at that time and in that field. But I just had this nagging feeling, the tug of Fate, if you will, that there was something else I was supposed to share with the world.

“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” –Matthew 5:15-16

See? I told you it was in the Bible. And that I can quote the scriptures, being a Presbyaptist.

I no longer believe in the “church God” and I don’t believe that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. In fact, from what I have learned and read about Jesus, I don’t believe he even wanted to be anyone’s Lord and Savior. He was the Great Messenger, in my book, a prophet with some really great, really feminine ideas and ideals! The other night, while trying to sleep, I suddenly thought, maybe Jesus was actually a woman. That would explain all his divine-feminine teachings of love, help, support, nurturing, sharing, etc. And why the men were so very afraid of him!

But I do believe that there is a vast collection of divine entities and energies, which together comprise the force that creates the physical world/universe we live in. Each of us has a chunk of this divine collective, which we commonly call a soul, living within us. (I call my soul Chunky Divine. It just works.)

In my search, I discovered that I was actually quite woo-woo. I began practicing as a psychic and discovered what those unseen spirits were: the late loved ones of my clients. (When I was a kid, they were only people who had passed away, because I didn’t have any clients.) And I was off and running! It was very exciting to be a psychic and a medium! I loved it! I regularly hung up the phone after a reading and sat on the sofa in my office, agape at the power of my abilities and the connection they created between me and my clients and the divine. It truly was a wonder, and I was overwhelmingly grateful.

After almost fifteen years of that practice, I started feeling the tug again. My angels and guides let me know that I needed to expand my services to use ever more of my gifts in service to others.

“More of my gifts?” Hm… I had offered life and/or business coaching as an intuitive off and on throughout my practice as a psychic medium. I love teaching, training, supporting, encouraging others and helping them figure out their own path. So I began to pursue coaching in earnest. I opened the doors to my Mighty MoJo Club and enrolled other midlife women who wanted to use their gifts in service to others, make their lives better, and figure out their destinies.

This new endeavor struggled to get off the ground. I absolutely loved it and knew it was right, but I still wasn’t sure that I was doing enough. My ever-patient angels and guides kept nudging me. The Club and my individual coaching clients became a broader part of my work, and my psychic practice dwindled. This also felt right and actually quite good, because I had grown tired of giving readings. What had once left me agape now left me slightly bored and, if you’ll forgive me, disspirited. Talking to spirits, as special as it could be for my clients, had always felt a little bit like a parlor trick. I mean, it’s real, no sleight-of-hand, but it’s the kind of thing that makes people go, “Ooh! Ahh!”, it’s showy and show-offy. Showman though I am, I was just tired of it. Like an actress having played Ophelia on stage for fifteen years—the appeal had worn smooth.

The Club grew so very slowly; I hired a friend from a coaching group I belonged to (as a client, not as the coach) to help me with marketing. She was an “out” witch. And I vaguely knew I was a witch too, but I didn’t have any form of practice, except regular meditation and communing with my guides. I don’t care much for rituals, either, although I had become a true genius with manifestation, which, technically, yeah, that’s kind of ritualistic and, dare I say, magical? My process of manifestation is actually a ritual that could be labelled spellcasting. No question.

Naturally, just as had happened when I first learned I was a psychic, people and information crossed my path, teaching me about witchcraft without me even thinking about it. I read an article about young people (“Gen Z”) in particular who are forging a new interest in the Craft. I understood that everyone designs their own path.

And, as so often happens to me, it hit me squarely between the eyes one day. I was having my daily Spray-n-Pray time in the shower, and I got the message. “Oh! Well, duh! Of course, I am a witch!”

Like my friend, “A”, who is a psychic and possibly a medium, parading as an intuitive life coach, I have been a witch in psychic medium’s clothing. My psychic gift is but one of the many under my umbrella witch identity.

That’s it. It’s a new identity. Hello, paradigm shift and existential crisis. Except I am not afraid. I feel like I have come home. And I know there is far more to come. I used to wonder, after a few years in the psychic biz, if there would come a time when I found other gifts and what they might be. How about that?

Oh, and I have dubbed my practice “MoJo-Craft.” Chunky Divine approves.

1That’s a quote from the first episode of “Bewitched”, a childhood favorite of mine, when Samantha reveals and proves to her husband that she is, in fact, a witch.

What Is Heaven Really Like?

I want to talk about HEAVEN. I always used to prefer the term “the Other Side”, because “Heaven” seemed like such a “churchy” word, and one that evoked equivalent possibilities of hell, purgatory, failure, and other unpleasant ideas.

I also thought that streets paved with gold, as described in the Bible, seemed a bit silly, just because I don’t care about golden streets in this life and presumably won’t in the next. I mean, unless you can pull up the golden cobbles and trade them for food and lodging, what good are they? Also, when the sun is shining, which is presumably at all times in this church Heaven, aren’t gold streets blinding?

(But I digress.)

Now. I have talked to a LOT of people who are on “the Other Side”. I mean, hundreds–nay, thousands of people who have passed from this life. And many of them have given me the thought, “Heaven is exactly what I hoped it would be.” And they’ve shown me what they hoped for and what their “Heaven” is like.

(One gentleman told me he was surprised by Heaven, because it wasn’t churchy, as he expected. He took the “house of many mansions” and “streets paved with gold” stuff literally, and half-expected to be praying and singing hymns for all eternity–imagine his pleasant surprise when it turned out to be more like what he would have enjoyed in life, but better! No feelings of regret, sorrow, anger, or other negatives. And with the opportunity to help his loved ones! But I’m getting ahead of myself. Read on.)

They’ve also shown and told and described for me what they do for their living loved ones from their Heaven. While I have eschewed the concept of a late loved one becoming your guardian angel, those on the Other Side do actually seem to be helping the rest of us here in life. Maybe “guardian angel” isn’t the exact thing they are, but they are helping you. Yes, your late mother or grandmother or uncle really is joining your angels and guides to help you and yes, you really can call on them and/or “pray” to them. And isn’t that the idea of Heaven, even in the church’s sense?

Please comment below with your ideas about Heaven.

The Secret Truth About Heaven That Will Shock You

This “Revelation” may not make me very popular with some people. But I feel it’s important to share. So here goes.

I talk to lots of dead people.

Lots and lots.

Into the thousands now, after well over ten years in the business of being a psychic medium.

My clients want to know: Is my loved one all right? Is he mad at me? Is she sorry for what she did? Is he happy? What does she do in Heaven? What is Heaven really like? (Click here for a little info on that last question.)

First of all, I assure you, your RIP (loved one who has passed away) is definitely all right, okay, happy, fine and dandy, carefree, out of pain, and all around copacetic.

Some of the answers I get from RIPs are similar to the answers from others. For example, many heavenly folks tell me some variation of “Heaven was everything I hoped it would be.” Many answers vary widely, such as the former police officer, whose answer to his wife’s question about what he did in Heaven was, “You’re not going to like this–I ride motorcycles.” (I assured my client that, in spite of her not wanting him to do that in life, he was perfectly safe in doing so.)

One lady announced joyfully, “I get to teach like I always wanted to!” Some have indicated that they take classes. One of my best friends in Heaven went to “special ops” training (he was in the military in life), and usually appears to be helping other souls in Heaven do whatever they need to do, along with guiding some living people, myself included. One woman, whose son died young, showed me her son beside her in Heaven, and asked me, “Have you met my little boy?”

Many people seem to “hang out” with others who have passed, often just one person with whom they had a connection of some kind in life. I see many mother/daughter duos, as well as husband/wife, brother/sister, etc. Sometimes, they are in groups of three, but I seldom see large groups of souls hanging out. Still, I’m often told they “play bridge” or “play golf” or other activities that would seem to involve others, so I can’t tell you for sure about the size of groups.

One man told me that he was surprised that Heaven wasn’t “more churchy”. He apparently expected streets paved with gold and constant worship of God, which is not what he discovered. He wasn’t disappointed–on the contrary, he was delighted by Heaven–but he was surprised, because he had been a devout Christian all his life.

Which brings me to this shocking revelation. Are you ready for it?

No one in Heaven, not one RIP, has ever said one word to me about God, Jesus, Mother Mary, the Holy Spirit, Buddha, Muhammad, Moses, Abraham, saints, prophets, Roman gods, pagan gods, or any other entity associated with a religion. Ever.*

Now. You might argue that because I, Susan, am not religious, the RIPs wouldn’t mention it to me. But what if their living loved ones are religious? Many of my clients are. In fact, I would say a majority at least believe in God. Wouldn’t their RIPs use me as a medium to give them religious information? That’s what a medium does–passes on information. I don’t have anything to do with what the Heavenly Ones say to their living loved ones. And for those clients who are religious, don’t you think they would be comforted and awed by learning that their RIP was holding hands with Jesus or meeting with God every day?

Also, I was raised Christian (half Presbyterian, half Baptist, if you’re counting), and am very well-versed in Christianity and the Bible. Why not tell me about it?

As of this writing, a friend’s wife is dying of cancer. For weeks now, her Facebook page has been flooded with prayers and mentions of God, Jesus, “Our Lord and Heavenly Father”, etc. Of course. I would never discourage any of that. I know the people who posted these things are giving love to the dying woman in their very best and most loving words. And I know she appreciated it tremendously while she was still conscious, and probably now that she isn’t. Prayer is very powerful, whether there is a Jesus or not.

I also feel that religion has its place and that believers are perfectly right to believe. I have my own beliefs and hope that they are respected.

I have offered up prayers myself, as is my wont, although I don’t feel that I am praying to the “church God”, rather to the love and source energy of the universe. It’s an energy, not a being.

So what does this mean? Is there no God? No Jesus? No Moses?

I’ll refer you to this message I channeled some time ago, when a client asked who her angels and guides were. There was a mention of an archangel or saint, and this is germane:

“You mentioned that you think of the archangel because of being born on that celebration day. He is a human creation, although there is nothing wrong with the idea of him. His energy, as believed by human beings, exists, just not quite as people make him to be. He is not a person with wings! For example.”

And that is the answer I can offer as explanation – the energy of each entity exists, but that energy is not human. It is energetic in nature, and maybe it’s something we cannot yet fully understand.

Now. Comment away. What do you think? How do you feel?


*(There do seem to be helper spirits, that I call angels, but that is another topic for another day.)