healing, love, suicide survivor, Uncategorized


I am not ashamed of suicide, it took the life of my greatest support and example, my father. It is because of shame, people who struggle with suicide don’t get the support they need or the family members experiencing suicide don’t either. It is a veil of blackness we must remove around suicide.

I am not ashamed of mental illness, it has had ravaging affects on my family members, it is no different than having a physical disease, it’s in the mind. Shame stops people from seeking help or even having an open conversation about the mind not working properly.

I am not ashamed to speak of rape in a culture that stopped punishing men for their crimes because their lives would be ruined and the women? She has to live in shame. No, we are going to talk about it, we are going to take shame out of it for females. Shame stops women from talking about rape, 1 out of 3 females this will happen too in their lives, shame stops them from reporting it and is ruining lives.

I am not ashamed to fight for equal rights. I am not ashamed to stand up for those who need protection when they can’t help themselves.

I am not ashamed of my openly gay son. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him. He is a glorious human with a heart of gold in his service toward others who are also gay and the homeless and the people in need from other places around the world.

I am not ashamed to have any of these conversations. It is the only way we can change how we are dealing with these issues by removing shame and secrecy. Shameless is an attitude of caring more about the person who is suffering than opinions of others or culture.

Join with me in having these conversations to remove shame. Shame is not a sustainable value, no matter where you apply that principle there is mass destruction.

Namaste 💕

healing, love, suicide survivor


So strange the sensation I feel, responding  to a instinctual urge,  the connectedness to it, it is a cord unbroken, a path that never ends. Nothing can block it. It felt that way today about writing. I felt that want and longing for my thoughts to appear on the screen in front of me.

I have been locked out of my WordPress account for a while. It was okay though because I didn’t have this burning feeling inside to write this summer. So I followed my desire to write this morning and went to log in and it remembered my password somehow. So here we are😊

So this burning going on in me is about living in Awareness. What does that mean, anyway? It’s a Viewpoint you allow yourself  to see how you are  reacting or responding to situations. Are we personalizing every negative person’s behavior we interact with? Maybe we do live like that, but don’t want to, It causes too much drama. So we are willing to look at or we are open to not living in a defensive state or wanting to see or be open to a different perspective about how to handle things differently.

Awareness does not mean perfection. Rome was not built in a day! Sometimes in my experience, it’s all in retrospect that I see things, not necessarily in that moment. If I am hormonal and going through pms,  I will be more loud, angry and vocal about things that are wrong in the world and all the injustices. But I do have awareness that shows me that, so if I don’t want to be psycho. I can do something about it. I am middle aged and starting through major hormone changes. Being middle aged is confusing because my mind is the same and operating better cognitively but my body is having more restrictions. Injuries from the past are now not so simple. It requires a lot more physical working out and yoga for me to maintain what I once took for granted physically . The bod is changing!

Awareness is a friend to your self. It’s the only way to change because we are aware we need too. It protects you because it allows a free viewpoint if you don’t judge your awareness. Intuition and awareness are connected. Typically no matter what situation we are in, we know we are safe or not, right away. Sketchy things are happening around us and our awareness is taking it all in and gives a shout out to our  intuition in the fight or flight response. We are so connected. The blockage is defending our positions instead of having awareness about how we really feel inside.

Being a Gemini is difficult, to say the least. I struggle with my own duality and who is in charge that day. I see every view point and both sides so making decisions is agonizing. I am aware though that this goes on and I have a say because I am aware of what part of myself I need to express. In my path I am learning not judge myself a lot from my mistakes. I try to learn and know that I am going to be human. I am done feeding the perfection. Perfection is ego based. That is a debilitating state to live that has no happiness. I can’t compare myself to anyone. I am me. I have my story you have yours.

We all have gifts that are unique and personal to who we are. So many people are living in their gifts , not aware that is what they are doing. Maybe not for a living but the passion that drives within you that you pursue. It’s the causes we have to help people. It’s the empathy for someone going through the same heartache you went through. It’s our humanity.

Awareness is changing my life and I am grateful for the connectedness I feel to my intuition. I get to spend time doing what my soul is longing for and  it feels exhilarating and hopeful, no matter the current personal battles or circumstances going on. We can only change what we are open to seeing and not defending the person you were in the past. Change is what is happening all the time, we can grow and change because that is natural. It is part of the life cycle.




love, suicide survivor, Uncategorized

The art of being creative

I write this in rainy, grey, cold weather. The weather that seems to want us to curl into a ball and stay in bed, drink warm tea, read books that take us somewhere else or watch a movie to escape into another place, where magic and happy endings live. However life demands that we go to work and carry on regardless of the weather. My point is just that, when we don’t feel creative we must keep creating. I  am a stylist as my career choice. I cannot express in words the emotional roller coaster of creative lulls in a 24 year time with that creative outlet.


Being a creative person I have gone through the lulls of not being able to be creative. If I think about it, fear is one reason that happens. Negative emotions  are another reason. As I processed  through this thought, I realized something huge. Sometimes we are focusing only on one type of creative outlet. We can hit a lull in that outlet and feel obsessed almost trying to get back to that place of creativity where we felt free to create endlessly.

The thing about being a creative person, which I personally feel we are all creative as humans, is that we have many outlets to being creative. What I have thought about lately is that we don’t give as much power or vilidity to some of the outlets we have. Recently I was going through a creative lull and I decided to start coloring at night because it was so therapeutic for my brain to not ruminate on my creative lull and fixing it. Coloring is said to be as beneficial as meditation for your brain. Studies have shown that coloring helps addictions, for the brain to be able to focus on coloring. Finding colors that are soothing to look at and create dimension.


I have written in this blog off and on for 2 years. Sometimes everyday and not for months. I have experienced the lulls of creativity and writing too. Again I think it was that thought that my creative focus had to be there and not feeling free to let it flow from somewhere else. It’s also emotions and to me when I feel free I can create.  It is again the thinking that we must create from that one place we are focusing on. Writing has always been a focus when I am struggling emotionally. It is the most therapeutic outlet I have found when I can’t cope emotionally. I also think as a human it is good to be vulnerable to people who are suffering similarly to help them know they are not alone. When my father took his life and I wrote my heart out. It helped people who also went through suicide. There is shame around suicide and I would like to help remove that label. It also helped me to cope and move on,I am very grateful for the gift of writing!

The point that I want to hold on and share is that when we experience creative lulls, we have other ways within us to create. We just have to recognize that the other outlets have just as much value. Creativity is done with our hands. Painting, photography, cooking, sewing, writing etc…. it is endless the outlets we have to create. I am obsessed with flowers and the colors that burst forth from them. They inspire me. I have spent time growing them and photographing them throughout my life. The sunrises are one of the things I look forward too more than anything in this life. I have photographed so many.  I have cooked a million meals for my 3 kids and fell in love with cooking! Again sometimes with great vigor and sometimes barely able to boil noodles. All of these outlets matter. Don’t let fear rule you in the creative lull, let it out somewhere else.




grief, healing, love, suicide survivor

1 year 7 months and 1 day




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It’s been that long since my dad passed, It feels like an eternity. Suicide is sudden, there are no goobyes,hugs, kisses or apologies, reconciliation to be had. It’s just over.  It is his birthday today which is why I am writing this blog. He would have been 72 years old today. I know many people reading this have experienced the pain of their parents dying. It is not easy and the pain still feels very heavy for me. People tell me it will get easier as time goes on, I don’t think about my dad as much as I used too, but the pain is still there.

I sat this morning sobbing while my boyfriend held me, just missing my dad. The pangs in my heart feel like a sharp knife. The memories flood in of his loud but charming laughter and ability to be silly and take over a room full of people. As I spend time with my gbaby, I sometimes shock myself as it comes into awareness  that I am mimicking my dad as I play with her. He would with all his grand babies play on the floor with them and do gymnastics moves  and let them climb all over him. He loved them and would teach and interact with whatever activity was going on.

20150411_073124-1I hold on the good memories of my dad. The suicide has become less of a focus for me as time passes. I feel terrible I couldn’t do more for my dad or enough but I am relieved that he doesn’t have to suffer with depression anymore. He doesn’t have to battle through memories of Vietnam or night terrors that he would have to sedate himself with medication to sleep through the night. He is free. I hold on to the things he taught me which was being passionate, bold and having integrity about the things I believed in life. He made me strong and gave me life skills that are innumerous. He never treated me like a princess, I was taught as a girl to carry our own weight in life,literally when we would backpack we had to be able to carry our body weight. I would cry and throw a fit like a girl but my dad would not hear it. We did Ride The Rockies as a family and if you don’t think riding up a mountain pass on a bicycle  I wasn’t freaking out, I was. My dad would just ride beside me and tell me to keep going and that I was wasting my energy crying. I also played on the baseball team my dad coached. He was a semi professional baseball player. I laugh, as I remember him yelling at me from the sideline , “SHAUNA, slide into base.” I would yell back, “not in these jeans,DAD!” He never did understand my want to be fashionable. I fought him but I  realize now it was all for my benefit. Hind sight in always 20/20.

Today I honor my dad on his birthday for the amazing memories of the life we shared and all the traits he left behind in myself, my children and my grandchildren.



love, parenting

A mother’s story of love

Do you have fear about how your child will turn out? As a strong willed person myself, I gave birth to a child, that is strong willed with wings. She was my first child so I had no comparison of personalities until my other two children arrived. I really wasn’t that freaked out when she was little, I bought and own every ‘ your strong willed child ‘book available to help me and she was developmentally ahead and ready for school at 4 years old, I didn’t think that was odd, considering my disposition and her bad behavior thankfully stayed at home, most of the problems were with me. There were years I seriously didn’t think she would live through, in her late teens. So many sleepless nights.  I give her credit for my grey hair and the bags that seem to get darker under my eyes from lack of sleep and worry over the years.

She gave birth in August and became this stellar mom. It was jaw dropping to watch her transform into this responsible, loving mom. Her natural protection for her daughter and this instinctual ability to calm and nurture her little one was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  I was fortunate to be a big part of copeland’s first six months of life when they lived with me. I am so attached as a Gma, I literally feel withdrawal if I don’t see her at least once a week. She is a single mom supporting copeland on her own and refuses to use the welfare system, for her own desire to provide for Copeland, I find that admirable, it is incredibly challenging at times for her to do this.  She and I talk daily and the wisdom at such a young age comes pouring out of her mouth, I definitely was not that self aware at 22. All the hard work, fights, counseling, prayers and unconditional love payed off. My dad once told me, “never give up on your kid.” He can say that with experience,  I was a total nightmare myself growing up. It is the best gift I have ever received ,to watch this process and growth in her,she has choosen to use the tools she learned in counseling and applies them to her daily life. She also is a voracious reader where she also finds and applies knowledge from.

We went grocery shopping together recently,  I am used to seeing my daughter buy and live on processed and fast food, normal for a young person, but left me reeling inside because I am such a health nut. Whenever I would juice she would reject it and she would eat at home as least as possible so she would not have to eat chicken, she hated chicken, or vegetables. So you can imagine my internal jumping for joy when she started filling the cart with fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, meats and things that actually benefits your body. She had made a menu for the week and was actually meal planning. I recently made one of her creations with turkey sausage and peppers.  Mother’s day she made steak street tacos, seriously amazing! Through osmosis this happened! I guess the moral of the story is our kids learn from us even when it looks and acts like they are not.

So if you are parenting a strong willed child right now in the midst of a lot of despair and turmoil, hold on! That strong will turned into purpose is worth every thing you are going through and have gone through. I have no doubt that life will be amazing for these two! Love is always where it’s at.

Namaste ♡


grief, love, suicide survivor



My dad took his life, a year ago ,yesterday. I can tell you now ,that I was in complete shock for some time, to function after he died. As I mourned and remembered him yesterday, I experienced this dull pain all day and it felt when I awoke, that someone had sat on my chest.

I had decided to take the day off from work, because I didn’t know exactly how I would feel. I went through photo albums in the morning from my childhood and happier times for my father. Suicide is difficult to process because it happens immediately,  there is no  time to prepare for them leaving this earth and having rational thoughts about why and time to process that they will be moving on. It happens and you are left to put the pieces together. I feel as though I have lived on the grief ladder all year, climbing through shock, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.  That is the big one, accepting the loss.

I definitely wanted the day to hold meaning, but this isn’t a birthday celebration, it’s a deathday and to my knowledge there is no form of celebration for that. I decided to drive to see my oldest daughter and granddaughter. There is something magical about babies, their smell, smile and innocence that envelopes them. Copeland let me hold her for hours, she just seemed to melt in my lap and let me absorb her love. I am so grateful for her! This past year when I have had to go through dark times, Copeland’s energy and love has seen me through, almost like a direct link to healing. While I held my granddaughter tight and wished my dad could have met her, my daughter and I reflected on the person my dad was, while listening to Abba. My dad was goofy and would dance around the living room, shaking his hips to the sounds of Abba growing up. My daughter glowed as she recounted my dad calling her,” Hotshot”. I was a single mom to my oldest daughter until she was five, and my father was very close to her. In a way she lost a lot more than her grandpa, she lost her daddy too, or the only one she felt that way about.  It is so strange how when someone you love dies, it is really only the positive things, you really remember, at least in my experience.

I had made plans after school ,to go with my younger two children to visit the site, he was layed to rest. We stopped to get him a beer before we arrived.  My dad loved to sit outside in the gazebo he built and have a beer. We arrived feeling pretty sad and the weather was a perfect gray with a few drops of rain to let us know we weren’t alone in our grief.  We slowly walked back to the car, remembering his red, white and blue ballon release at his memorial  the year before as we looked at the sky in longing.

We left the church that held my dad’s remains and at this point I had decided we are going to celebrate my dad. So we went to his favorite restaurant and ordered steaks and lobster tail.  As I sat across from my kids we talked about memories of my dad, and all the time we got to spend with him. A older man approached our table and talked to my kids with the same silly ,demeanor my dad would have used. It really felt like my dad visited us in this man, he gave us a hug and returned to his table where his wife scolded him. He winked at us and said loudly ,”thanks for the conversation. ”

I am so happy I acknowledged this day. There was no better way to spend it, then remembering my dad for all the amazing qualities we have because of him. My children’s love for him is heart melting and I really wish he knew how much he meant to everyone. I decided I will celebrate his birthday and the day he left this earth every year. I miss him so much! I am grateful for all the lessons he taught me. Rest in peace pappa.

Namaste ♡