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Naked Mind

Updated: 2018-03-06T14:00:40.212-08:00




The journey continues...
I was having a conversation with my son Jay, who is a Business Coach, and we were discussing what it is that makes him distinct from other coaches. Specifically it is his ability to "listen for what's missing."
The interesting thing is I was right in the middle of a struggle with my own dream, Bohemian Romance, the venue. So I asked my son, "What's missing?" and to my surprise he nailed it!
I was struggling with how to articulate the purpose of this venue and very simply he said "It's a place for ideas to arise. An artistic backdrop where one's own self expression can show up. A conduit for possibility."
Thanks Jay!

So as I continue in my quest to bring this vision about, I just want to remind you of the sale on my prints, buy one get one free, and the drawing for a free painting which will be held on April 30th.


Be Inspired!


It has been almost 2 years since my last post and obviously this is not good communication on my part. Yet here I am ready to serve! Truly, I am up to something that will really make a difference in the lives of women who have struggled with hardship.Briefly, I'm in the early phase of putting together an exquisitely beautiful venue designed to serve and inspire.Please read about it here: Bohemian RomanceIn order to bring this about there is much required. I'm making a huge request of you; after looking at the website, please return here and give me your thoughts and suggestions. I'm open to hearing the creative ideas you may want to contribute to this extraordinary vision I'm inventing.I've challenged myself to generate $30k in 30 days in order to build momentum with this project. How will I do this? My goal is to sell 1000 art prints in 30 days.As an incentive I'm offering a "buy one get one free" sale on my 11x17 art prints from now until the end of April. Additionally, anyone making a purchase during this period will automatically be entered in a drawing where the winner will receive a free original painting* from my Etsy StoreThe drawing will be held on April 30th, 2014.If I succeed in selling 1/2 of the goal amount, $15k, there will be 2 names drawn.If I make my goal of $30k there will be 3 names drawn. That is 3 original paintings* to give away!For more chances to win, please post this on your blog or your facebook page and your name will be entered 2 times!Be inspired :) Thank you for your continued support!SusanPlease accept this free download of my 2014 Calendar....(if it's too small to print, let me know and I'll email you a bigger file)[...]



I will be at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art gift store 1130 State Street  Santa Barbara, CA 93101(805) 963-4364 on Saturday October 13th from 12-5pmThe items I will be presenting include:soapspillowsscarves/serapesfurniturecardsI will also be featuring painted screens, as well as some prints of my original paintings....hope you can drop by!Peace and Love,Susan[...]

Eydie Gorme - Send in the clowns.wmv


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I have always LOVED this song, though I had never heard this rendition by Eydie Gorme. Also, I had no idea (until today) that this song was from a Broadway musical "A Little Night Music" by Stephen Sondheim. The music and lyrics are brilliant!
I have been working on a musical of my own for...oh, for a LONG time. Oh how I would love to have a number in my musical as poignant and memorable as this piece...
Isn't it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.

Isn't it bliss?
Don't you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can't move.
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.

Just when I'd stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours,
Making my entrance again with my usual flair,
Sure of my lines,
No one is there.

Don't you love farce?
My fault I fear.
I thought that you'd want what I want.
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don't bother, they're here.

Isn't it rich?
Isn't it queer,
Losing my timing this late
In my career?
And where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns.
Well, maybe next year.

Love can be messy



coming soon...



peacocks and posies



Running Up That Hill (Deal with God) - Kate Bush


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Authentic Thursday week 8


Letting it fall apart….in our culture we try to “keep it together.” Looking good on the outside is overrated. Rather than admit we need help, many of us put on a good front…that is until we can’t fake it anymore. That’s where I was back in 2001. Everything in my life was falling apart and I couldn’t keep it together any more. Please see last weeks post so you will understand what’s going on in this post. I’m in the middle of a conversation with God. So I say to god, “I’m not ready for this” and she says “Yes you are.” “She” you ask? Yes, my new god had a female voice. Actually she had my voice. The voice didn’t come from somewhere outside of me, rather, it came from deep inside of me. This very mature, sensible, complete and perfectly evolved part of me. She wasn’t going to let me go backward into ignorant bliss. Each time I began to panic, she would calm me down with a voice of reason. My thoughts were racing!!!Who are you? “I am who you need me to be.” What about my belief as a Jehovah’s Witness? “That was what you needed at the time.” This means you could also be some malicious punishing god that burns people forever. “Why does fire scare you, is that the worst thing you can think of? You are eternal and fire cannot harm you. You are energy.” Ok, so you think that’s weird? Then, (because I’m completely narcissistic) I say to god “I know things other people don’t know…” and god says “Yes you do know things others don’t. And they know things you don’t, you all need each other.” Why do I have to be an artist, I don’t want to be an artist. Why can’t I be a rich business person? “You chose this path.” No I didn’t, I didn’t ask to be born….long uncomfortable pause on god’s part, leaving me to fill in the blanks. I don’t like what she’s implying! Interpretation is open here. At the time I went through this conversation I understood this to mean that I had a pre-human existence, chose to be born and be on this journey. In fact, I still believe that. As a matter of fact god said “you came here to learn about love and jealousy.” Clearly I have a long way to go in that regard! As I review this very radical experience, as I write this post and see my words, and god’s words, I see possibility. Well, let’s just say I continued to freak out with all of this new information. It took a good while to assimilate and digest this new concept of god. It was so foreign to my previous beliefs, yet so undeniably authentic. I continue to try and maintain an open mind and be tolerant of others beliefs. I realize that whatever concept another may have of god, though it may be completely different from my understanding, it is exactly how they need to understand god. It’s not my job to convert people into thinking like me. Still, I do hope what I’ve shared has resonated with some, and perhaps rattled a few cages. If you’re going through a spiritual crisis, you can survive. You may need help. So get help. It may be terrifying to let it fall apart, but sometimes it’s actually falling together. We all need each other… Peace and Love, Susan[...]



*update* My site has been transferred, so you should be able to type and get my new site (aqua background). If you are still seeing the old site (black background) you will need to refresh your browser and hopefully the new site will appear.Thanks!

Authentic Thursday week 7


I want to conclude the story of my life this week. Of course it’s not the whole story, just an abbreviated version. I’ll be getting into the subject of “god” and that has me a little anxious. In the book, “Living Buddha, Living Christ”, Thich Nhat Hanh writes, “Discussing God is not the best use of our energy.” I agree. With that in mind, all I can do is share my experience regarding the spiritual/emotional side of life. In September 2001, during a time when the US experienced a horrific attack, I was experiencing my own emotional breakdown. Things were ending for me. My dad had died the year before, my relationship was ending. I had left my religion, marriage and friends a few years before that, and ultimately had no God to turn to. I had started therapy but it wasn’t working fast enough. Plus I didn’t have the resources (money, health insurance) to get much of that kind of help. I was in absolute terror about my financial future and the future in general. My sister brought me to a 12 step meeting and when I saw and heard the word “God”, I knew there was no hope for me. If having a god in my life was the solution, I was screwed because I thought I knew all there was to know about such things. I heard people sharing about “a god of your own understanding” and I thought “oh yeah, as if you can just decide for yourself who god is.” I didn’t believe it was possible to let go of my ideas and beliefs regarding this. I thought my god and religion were the only truths, absolute, set in stone. I didn’t want to go back to my religion, but I didn’t know how to move forward. I really, really REALLY didn’t think I could go on living because I was so terrified. At the same time, I was afraid if I killed myself I would be transferred to another realm of eternal torment…not very promising. This is what you might call a spiritual crisis. I wanted desperately to be put in a hospital where I could be pumped full of drugs to shut off the chatter in my head. I stayed up all night after that first 12 step meeting, (Friday September 28, 2001) just spinning in my head. I called my mom the next morning and informed her that I really couldn’t go on in this world, “you know how sad I’ve always been” I said, and she agreed. My sister lived downstairs from me and she came up and talked with me, and listened to me all day. I didn’t realize how much fear I had carried around most of my life. I shared with her a few things that had happened when I was a teenager…just a lot of fear and depression. She could see how my current belief in god was keeping me in fear, and suggested that I find a new god. I wasn’t confident that I would be able to do this, but I did feel better by the end of the day. Not completely recovered, but better. The next day I went to another 12 step meeting and felt really connected to the group. By the end of the day I felt so peaceful. I thought maybe there was hope for me. That was September 30, 2001. The evening was really warm. I stood outside and looked at the stars and the moon and felt such utter and complete serenity, an absolute connection to the universe and all living things. At some point, in my state of new found bliss, I prayed. I asked this new god, whomever that might be, to review my life with me and show me where he (still patriarchal in beliefs) had been present in my journey. Suddenly I was terrified of what I had asked…I had opened a door to something new and “outside the box” of safe parameters that I had been accustomed to. Exactly who was I now praying to? The possibilities were endless. I quickly wanted to shut that door, but it would not be shut. I said I’m not ready for this. This new god said “yes you are.” Ok, so I thought I would conclude th[...]



*update* My site has been transferred, so you should be able to type and get my new site (aqua background). If you are still seeing the old site (black background) you will need to refresh your browser and hopefully the new site will appear.Thanks!

Temporary Detour


I'm in the process of transferring my domain to a new hosting site. In the meanwhile, here is a temporary url link to my new site. Click on the image over on the right sidebar that says "temporary detour" Hope you love it!




Thank you to those of you who have emailed me and acknowledged my little endeavor to be authentic. This is the week I'm supposed to be posting about my big spiritual experience (you know, my conversation with god.) I want to share in a way that moves and inspires, unfortunately I don't think my energy is equal to the task. I have been on this computer all day putting the finishing touches on my new website so I can launch in the next few eyes won't stay open. There are still a few more issues to be resolved before I've completed it. Ugh!

My apologies...hopefully I can conclude my journey soon.

Happiness and Love,




The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever, but is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these the spirit blooms timidly and struggles to the light among thorns. ~ George Santayana

Without Her


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Authentic Thursday week 6


If you've been following this mini series, you'll know I've been sharing (on a somewhat personal level) a sort of memoir. I've been dreading this week...actually, I'm feeling like backing out completely. Why you ask? Ok, maybe you don't ask :) but here's why; lots of yucky stuff!!! Also, I have to tread delicately in this area as the information does involve those of my loved ones.
Some good stuff too though~

Here's something I deliberately left out of my last segment: part of what prompted me to leave my marriage, religion, etc. was an infatuation with another man. More like an obsession. Let's put it this way...listen to my cd. Most of the songs on there were written during that period of my life.
Due to the tenets of my religion of that time, I was cut off from the congregation for being an adulterer. I felt like a murderer. I knew I had hurt my husband...badly. It was a tremendous shock to all those in my life.
I moved out of my home and into the artist loft I was renting in downtown Long Beach. This was in 1997. I spent the next 4 years painting, writing songs, and being in a relationship that was passionately painful.
Since I had left my beliefs and friends behind, my love/romance became my new religion.

In February of 2000 my father died. In September 2001 my romantic relationship ended and I had my conversation with God. I will wrap this up next week.

Much happiness,

Playing with dolls



Why did I ever stop playing with dolls? Oh I remember, I was
anxious to grow up. Typical of me ;)

Life has been coming at me and I'm slightly overwhelmed, but fear not, come hell or high water, I will be posting again this Thursday.

Miss Pettigrew Soundtrack- 14 If I Didn't Care


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Authentic Thursday week 5


I hope everyone is having the holiday season they desire! I for one have been sick with the flu and a broken heart...I won't go into details about the broken heart situation since it may come off as unnecessary whining. Still, it hurts :(

So my friends, in my last episode of sharing I left off with the details of my religion. As stated previously, I began exploring my creative nature and started a little painting business of my own. In addition to painting, I've always loved music and singing. In fact when I was around 8 years old I declared that I wanted to be an artist/ movie star/ musician/hippie. This was in many ways a result of a visit to San Francisco. We went there during the height of the hippie phenomenon in the 60's and my fate was sealed...I guess :) Oh wait! Come to think of it, my desire to be a famous singer was actually ignited a little earlier when watching The Wizard of Oz. Judy Garland singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was my earliest inspiration, I would force people to sit down and listen to me sing that song. Coincidentally, Judy Garland and I share the same birthday. Yep, Judy and I go way back :)

Back on track now. Circa 1996, I started writing songs. It's strange to want something so much when being a young girl, and then do nothing to nurture the desire. I just let it die...until 1996. Then I started writing like crazy. Amidst this creative expression there was something else lingering inside me, though I wasn't aware of it. My spiritual self wasn't being satisfied. My marriage wasn't working. Well, actually we were getting along splendidly as a sort of brother/sister couple. As a "married" couple, however, we really needed help. So I left. The whole thing. The religion, the marriage, all my friends...goodbye.

I had been renting a workspace in an antique store to do my art and there was a loft upstairs. I moved in and took my daughter (10 years old at the time) with me. My son was 19 and stayed with my husband. Drastic huh? In my own defense, I did seek help while in my marriage. It just wasn't enough of the right kind of my opinion. Looking back I can see how selfish I behaved. I just couldn't do any better at the time. I spent 17 years with the same man, FAITHFUL I might add. After trying my best, I couldn't try any more. That was 1997.

Next week I will tell you about my conversation with God (or someone doing a good impersonation) This took place in September 2001. It's cool, I promise! I'm hoping to post a photo of a new creation this weekend so check back :}

Peace and Love,

Lest you wonder...


I have not forgotten about my commitment to blog every Thursday. I've been sick and will be back here next week to pick up where I left off on my "Authentic Thursday" post. I love sharing with you!

2011 Calendar drawing


And the winner is....Alison Fairchild! Please contact me and let me know which of the paintings you want.
Thank you all who entered the drawing, and I hope you've received your calendars already. I still have some to mail out so if you haven't received yours, you will have it by next week :)


Authentic Thursday week 4


All I can say is it's a darn good thing I don't blog for a living. I can barely write one post a week, forget trying to write every day!

This week I'm going to blast through 17 years of my life (1980-1997) and hopefully by next week I can bring this "story of my life" up to the present.

As I was saying last week, I began discussing the Bible with a friend (who later became my husband) which lead to my studying the Bible with Jehovah's Witnesses (the religion he was raised in.) I spent the next 17 years as a devout JW, actively participating in all of the aspects which are associated with it, including going door to door and preaching about the Kingdom of God. It feels really strange to be writing about this topic. Having since left that religion, I have typically maintained a certain amount of privacy or anonymity when it comes to actually naming my previous religion. My beliefs now are quite different from when I was a Jehovah's Witness, though I have no regrets for having once been one.

In hindsight I can see how I desperately needed something very absolute during that part of my life. I was completely lost and the structure provided by this religion gave me something safe to believe in. It's interesting to me now when I realize how often times, when we have a profound awakening associated with religion or God, we can assume this is the ONLY way to God. This is the ONLY truth. I no longer believe this, but I understand this is how it occurs to many believers.

In my 2nd marriage I gave birth to another child and my husband also had 2 daughters from a previous marriage. Counting my son, his 2 daughters, and the daughter we had together, we raised 4 children. I can honestly say we did our best to provide a loving home to our children. At the same time we were in so many ways completely dysfunctional!

During those years I started tapping into my creativity. I did alot of sewing for my daughters, and also began painting furniture for our home. I would find old junk furniture and paint it an antique green or pink (of course!) and eventually I attempted to paint roses on them. This eventually lead me to selling my painted furniture to stores throughout the Los Angeles area. I started doing this as a business in 1994.

Ok, I think that will be it for now. Next week brings a rather drastic turn of events, so please come back :)

Much Love,



Just a little reminder to purchase your calendar before December 15th to be entered in the drawing to win a painting! For details, click on the link that says "2011 Calendar" at the top of the page
If you prefer, you can order a poster without the calendar and still be entered in the drawing...let me know and I will be happy to accommodate you !

Peace and Love,

Authentic Thursday week 3


I got swept up in the holiday and missed posting last week. Here I am back on track.
I am finding this to be a trippy and cool experience, reviewing my past in a public fashion. I still have trouble typing, it hurts my wrists. I hope to eventually get a device for voice recording and avoid typing altogether!

Last week I left off with the divorce from my first husband. There is something I didn't mention about that period of my life. Husband #1 introduced me to certain Christian beliefs. He was particularly interested in the book of Revelation and "the time of the end." I was amazed to discover people actually read the Bible. I'm sure it was my first time to pick one up. It felt so special in my hands. We visited a few churches, though never became members of any of them. We just sat around drinking mad dog 20/20 and interpreting things like the Antichrist, 666, and anything else that was particularly frightening. I remember telling my Mother that the world would be ending soon. She responded by saying, "oh I guess I shouldn't bother replacing the light bulb in the kitchen, what with the world ending and all." Gotta love that woman :)

Christianity would have to wait. I still had some partying to do. After leaving my husband, I did just that. I became a young single mother with definite alcoholic tendencies. I'm not fond of reviewing this season of my journey. I was completely selfish when it came to doing what I wanted. My desire to drink and "be loved" outweighed my maternal responsibilities. Who wants to get up in the morning and fix your child breakfast when you've got a massive hangover? Not this 19 year old Mommy.
I continued on this course for a few years until I had a conversation with a friend who would eventually become Husband #2. One night in 1980, after watching the Lakers win the championship, and throwing back some beers, we started discussing the Bible. Here we go again!

More about that next week...