Always Do Your Best, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Always Do Your Best, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I was in the fifth grade watching other classmates at the board and in their seats all seemingly knowing what the teacher was saying. I was confused and lost.

Then I knew the answer!! I threw my hand up waving it excitedly. I couldn’t believe I got one! I knew an answer.

I could do my best.

A painful karate like chop-chop hit into my bicep. I was frightened and confused.

The Heart of The Estuary, by Lynn Bartrum

The Heart of The Estuary, by Lynn Bartrum

I was sitting in The Estuary classroom earlier today preparing for a class I was offering.  I must say, it’s one of my favorite places to be.  I could hear several voices in the hallway and in the office closest to the classroom, but I was alone in the classroom itself and it was quiet.  The sunlight was streaming through the blinds on the windows, gently illuminating the room.  I love this place.  It is a welcoming, healing place.  

(Not) Earning God's Love, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

(Not) Earning God's Love, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

I imagine the people I grew up around down here in the Buckle of the Bible belt worry about their child calling to say they are gay or that they got a tattoo of Satan on the right side of their neck where there is no way to cover it, even for the best of job interview opportunities. I worry about those things too, but not because I think my children will end up burning in hell, but because I think they will experience a judgment hell here on earth by those who think they know what is good and wholesome and what is bad and worthy of an eternity in the pits of fire.

Sometimes I Pray, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

“Prayer is meant to be a direct line of communication
With the depth of our heart
And the height of our soul”
-- Jason Shulman

Sometimes I pray.
There I said it.

I was taught as a child to pray.
I learned to pray when I was afraid or in trouble
or couldn’t find my purse.

Usually, I don’t know who I’m praying to.
Often I don’t believe anyone or anything is listening.
I have doubts about a god
high up in the air
dispensing or withholding favors or stuff.

More often I meditate
for short moments of time.
Sometimes I wish I could sit for an hour
like I did in energy school.
So fabulous to do that with hundreds of people.
I could really feel ME.

Now I meditate almost every day
in short do-able
moments of time.
Closing my eyes,
feeling the stillness,
opening my head at crown chakra
and waiting, waiting
to fill with something so holy
I can only stumble at describing.

It fills me with peace and trust
It centers me
it feeds me.

I am so looking forward to classes
starting again in September.
My students and I
find that quiet
“praying” space

Susan Austin-Crumpton
Executive Director & Founder
The Estuary, Inc.

Freedom, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Don’t cry, Susan
My mother said as many of yesterdays’ horrific events
fade back into the recesses of my being …
my tears dried.

Don’t feel, Susan
the world told me as a diverse and risking life continued to teach me
well into the depths of my adult life. . .
Numb became normal.

Stop! my body tries to tell me
as I cry and risk and go on
well into the best part of my life and my work.
I go on working. . .

Don’t be a woman of possibility,
a woman who says the f___ word,
obey the message
“ be nice”
the world says of my ability to say no
because I am a female.

Smile, don’t cry, be nice, talk nice
holds me in a self-made prison of my messaging ...
I want to roar, shout, cry, be hated and
most of all not be nice!

I hurl myself through the wall of messaging
Plunging into the
Wild wonderful world
Of freedom and excitement and possibility
Of creative identity named

Susan Austin-Crumpton
Executive Director & Founder
The Estuary, Inc.

Love as Presence, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

He walks along beside me, towering over me holding my hand.
When I speak, he listens, interested, present.
He couldn’t offer me a higher compliment or kindness.

To be treated as if I matter, as if my words had value and weight brings meaning and presence.
Sharing his ideas and creativity, listening, hearing, feeling the change within my being his presence offers,
reminds me it is truly no accident he is here.

My Life works as a result of so many factors coming together.
Every person every friendship, romance, even illness and seemingly tragic events,
formed as a conspiracy or accidental occupancy of a million things
coming together each as they should be, were intended to be.

Only to be learned from and honored in retrospect.

Then the aloof one arrives, throwing his arms around my neck.
“Come on” he says, “Come with me”.
My heart opens into a permanent prism of love and iridescent light.

Life stretches behind me as well as way in front of me in gratitude
for the many accidental elements creating my lovely past.

And, life is stretching out before me into my endless exciting future.

Susan Austin-Crumpton
Executive Director & Founder
The Estuary, Inc.

Oneness of Belonging, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Oneness of Belonging, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

My mother died in 1995.

Yet her voice sounds in my mind over and over again with the same message from my childhood, adulthood and even after her death I still hear her saying, “Susan, don’t forget who you are!”

A Seemingly Insignificant Lesson in Loving Fully, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

A Seemingly Insignificant Lesson in Loving Fully, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

It is not enough for me to believe in love. I want to love fully. I don’t know how to do this, but I am learning. I am learning in small, seemingly insignificant ways.