More from and about
Sue Patton Thoele
(biographical info at bottom of page)


Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker.
When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging,
intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.


True friends see who we really are, hear our words and the feelings behind them, hold us in the safe harbor of their embrace, and accept us as we are.  Good friends mirror our best back to us, forgive us our worst, and believe we will evolve into wise, wacky, and wonderful old people.  Dear friends give us their undivided attention, encourage us to laugh, and entice us into silliness.  And we do the same for them.  A true friend gives us the courage to be ourselves because he or she is with us always and in all ways.  In the safety of such friendships, our hearts can fully open.

So many people these days have the feeling that an apocalypse of one sort or another is marching up their front steps, about to knock on-or in-their door. It's tempting to belabor the difficulties in our world (personal and collective) and to berate those we think are responsible, including ourselves. However, I am convinced that both of these actions are detrimental to our sense of well-being and inevitably lead to a more profound loss of hope. No, instead of dwelling on the negative, we have to work at accentuating the positive.
You may be wondering if we even have the right to grow hope and choose happiness when there is so much pain in the world. I suggest that it is precisely because there is so much pain in the world that we must grow hope and choose happiness. One of the most powerful ways we can affect the larger whole and help create peace is through generating positive feelings and attitudes and bringing light into the darkness within and without. Peace on earth begins within individual hearts.

Those who sage as they age view aging not as a hardship but, rather, as a precious gift filled with promise and replete with possibilities. We may age graciously into simplicity and love, allowing the power from our sense of well-being to permeate the atmosphere around us, or we may vault into older age revved up and in high gear.


We need to give ourselves permission to find personal and familial oases--those
places and activities that provide refuge and sanctuary from feelings of overwhelm
and allow us to rest and regroup. Our oases not only help revive our energy, they
can also be havens of fun, intimacy, and meaning. Then, rested and restored, we can
give hope roots in the deep soils of inner security rather than in the sandy
and shallow soils of external circumstances.


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At the center of each human heart is goodness, layered over with hurt,
confusion, and mistaken ideas. Our task is to gently peel off layer after
layer until the unfettered heart can shed its love upon the world.


Take a moment now and focus on your heart, allowing yourself to sink
into and absorb the love that naturally emanates from it.


Grace is goodness and respect given freely and unconditionally.
A sense of divine love and protection bestowed on us when
we need strength and renewal. Grace helps us know we are
not alone and believe we are cared for and cherished.
Grace is a drink of clear, clean water in the desert.

Sue Patton Thoele is a psychotherapist, former hospice chaplain and bereavement group leader, and author of ten books. She and her husband, Gene, live in Colorado, close to their adult children and grandchildren. Her passions include friendships, swimming with free dolphins, being a "soccer grammy," arts and crafts, exploring spirituality with her husband, and encouraging herself and others to find balance, peace of mind, and openheartedness through the gentle practice of increased mindfulness.

Her books include: The Courage to Be Yourself, The Woman's Book of Courage, Autumn of the Spring Chicken, Heart Centered Marriage, The Woman's Book of Confidence, The Woman's Book of Spirit, Freedoms After 50, Growing Hope, The Courage to Be a Stepmom, The Woman's Book of Soul, and The Courage to Be Yourself Journal.

from Psychjourney Audio Book Club site



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