Happiness

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 ...
when
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
ME.

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.

Ongoing Life...Ongoing Therapy, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe, MEd

Ongoing Life...Ongoing Therapy, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe, MEd

I have been in therapy for over 20 years, most have been here at the Estuary. I’m still coming and I now get to write for this place. It is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that I get to write, something my soul has been longing to do since I was a young child. The curse is that I have to write and now I’m being held accountable. 

Sharing My Vision, by Lynn Bartrum

Sharing My Vision, by Lynn Bartrum

I’ve been holding onto a secret these past nine years, and feel it is time to come clean.  

In the fall of 2009, my husband Thomas and I were staying overnight in Louisville, as we were moving our daughter back to Nashville the next day.  She had recently graduated from college and was moving back home. As we settled down to sleep that night, I had been reading A Course in Miracles, and was lying awake, staring out into the dark room, thinking.  Suddenly I experienced a vision - I was so confused!  

Love Letter, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Love Letter, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

This is a love letter.

A love letter to my husband, to my family, to The Estuary Staff and to our clients.
 
Every moment I spend thinking of you, talking with you, helping you, laughing with you is a lovely relational act where you become present to me and I am present with you. I gaze at the space between us as I look into the eternal You. Every breath of US is an eternal breath of You and Me.

A Deeper Practice, by Stephanie Shockley, MA

A Deeper Practice, by Stephanie Shockley, MA

In January, as many of us do, I began a new exercise regime. I made a plan to meet my middle daughter at a 7:30am yoga class. Unaware of the time it would take to travel across the city on the first day of school after the holiday break, I was surprised I arrived to find the class door still open and time to spare. 

Thanksgiving, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Thanksgiving, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I watched my husband play the Incredible Hulk in a psycho-drama workshop we did together many years ago.  He startled me with his “acting” talent and ability, transforming from the kindhearted, tender man I knew him to be, when he appeared on set painted green and angry.  Freedom and power exuded from every cell of his being.  I felt joyful. 

I wanted to feel THAT! 

Truth Tellers, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Truth Tellers, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I have been watching a special “comedy” routine by Hannah Gadsby. She is a wonderfully strong person who is intelligent, funny, well educated, and successful. She taught me lots about feeling connected in a way we all long for, beyond gender and power.
 

My Stories, Myself, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

My Stories, Myself, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Driving into Arches National Park in Utah, I have this joyous feeling: I have never been so happy in my life! I am with my beloved husband and two glorious grandsons. It is a precious time.