Everyone has a story to tell. However, Awesomism stories are different. They are parables that dare you to flirt with magic and possibility.
As each story unfolds, you will see how these children can be as wise as Yoda, and at the same time as uncompromising in their unique mission as R2D2. And I am fortunate enough to be “the scribe” who takes the words of the parent, the teacher, the practitioner, and paints the picture on a sometimes, very, vast canvas. As you sense my gratitude and love for these children let it empower you, inspire you, and catapult you----to know and be who you really are.
Awesomism Stories From Our Community
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"I AM NOT LAZY, I AM JUST ENERGY EFFICIENT"
“I am not lazy, I am just energy efficient.”,
The first thing you notice about Duvi Albano is her contagious laughter. Standing in another room you can hear her endearing giggle, and it makes one smile spontaneously.
She grew up in Spain in the Pyrenees in a small town near Barcelona with a sufficient amount of wanderlust. Her romantic view of life probably originated with her Catalan origin. Her favorite national holiday, Sant Jordan, or Day of the Book and the Rose, finds men, women and children in Barcelona on La Rambla Street strolling happily as each man lovingly hands a woman a rose. As the women graciously accept this warm act of affection, they individually bestow a book they treasure into the hands of the man. In that way a heart to heart exchange occurs. Its not surprising then that upon meeting Duvi, you can feel her joyful heart.
When Duvi was born, like many Spanish fathers, her dad was secretly hoping for a boy. Well, OOPS….instead he had a bubbling baby girl. What on earth was he to do with a baby girl? Probably to please her father’s earnest desire for a son, Duvi became the best tomboy imaginable in order to please him. In addition to being a tom boy, Duvi was a natural adventurist. Her little Spanish town quickly became too small for her imagination, curiosity and sense of discovery. Learning English became an open door. At fourteen years old she travelled to England for a month to become more proficient in English as a second language and her spirit soared. A year later she went to Germany for three months as an au paire. This time it was not the experience she had hoped for so for awhile her traveling spirit settled into studying for a business degree at the University of Barcelona.
And yet Duvi continued seeking outside herself for an exceptional life. She got lost in trying this and that and although she landed a job in business, the life of business felt far too restrictive. She saw her friends having the “good life” through the teaching profession. The good life to Duvi was “work as little as possible and make money to fund an insatiable desire to travel”. She equated money with travel and freedom. Her friends took long vacations, they made what Duvi thought was great money, and they worked far less hours than she did. Since Duvi had a natural liking for children she could see that teaching English as a second language in a grade school might really work for her. At this time Duvi was 25 years old. She didn’t waste any time getting her teaching credentials from Barcelona University. With that program she was guaranteed placement in a teaching position overseas. She first thought of the Canary Islands where she would only work until 2 pm. Or her second choice could be Andorra where the pay was nice and the time off was generous. This was the type of life she was looking for. Based on her philosophy of “work less, play more”, she felt a little guilty about being perceived as lazy. Then one day she saw someone wearing a T shirt that said “I am not lazy I am just energy efficient.” From then on that line became her guiltless motto!
She had to go to Madrid to pass all the tests to finalize her placement in an overseas position. The tests flowed and she passed them easily which came as a surprise to her. Typically, she didn’t do well at standardized tests that she found boring, uninteresting and unmotivating. Somehow she felt like the “stars” were contributing their part to her new life of adventure. When she was approached by university staff giving her the United States as her only option, she let them know the state of California would be her desired destination in America. She figured at least she would have the sun, the heat and the ocean. Now what she wasn’t aware of was that Spanish teachers from abroad were sent to all the places American citizens didn’t want to teach. The choices offered to her were LA Compton or Ontario Montclair. A friend said, “Oh you do NOT want to be in LA Compton. So Duvi chose Ontario Montclair not knowing at the time that the two were quite similar. Both of them comprised low income areas of 70-80% Latino populations many of whom were immigrants from Mexico. Duvi was to find out later these parents were infinitely grateful for the opportunity for their children to learn.
When Duvi arrived in California the “adventure” was both challenging and fun. She lived in a boarding house with several other teachers. It was a roller coaster adapting to the American way of life. Culturally there were stark differences from her Spanish nature. The Americans had a different concept of “personal space”. To Duvi, it was as if Americans walk around with an invisible boundary around their bodies. No one treads over that imaginary line unless invited. She found it strange there were laws needed for protecting the personal space of children. Whereas she was coming from a culture where everyone kisses one cheek and then the other in a burst of warmth in everyday greeting. It was funny because Duvi had a principal, a big tall guy, and whenever she would return from a visit to Spain she would see him and rush toward him brushing each cheek with a kiss and an expressive greeting. He got to the point he would see her coming and gracefully strong arm her to keep her at bay. The kisses would land on his neck instead of his cheek. Finally the awareness of this major difference caused her to change those customary habits. Now after living in the states so many years she too naturally has a more guarded approach about personal space.
In the States and in Ontario-Montclair specifically, it was also a whole different education system. She had all these Hispanic children and the parents who were so grateful and kind to her. But the school program was lousy. It was unorganized, unstable, and boring. Duvi was so bored she thought, “Wow if I am bored these little kiddos must be dying on the vine.” She saw that she needed to get help for them so she appealed to the IEP Program (Individualized Education Plans). These plans were supposedly tailored to the child ’s needs. Through this sub-program at least she could get resources. At that point in time Duvi had a little girl that was really struggling. She could not grasp basic concepts easily. Possibly her brain had too much info coming in at once and she couldn’t focus on the concepts that were being presented. What unfolded happened so fast and all of the recommendations suggested were so unfamiliar and foreign to Duvi. They evaluated her student and then put her on drugs. Duvi didn’t know what had occurred and how her input led to the outcome of drugs. So she vowed never to go through IEP for assistance again. It was tough however because principals would come into the classroom everyday and “observe”. She felt like she had to keep the kids and everything else under control. This environment became stifling. She began calculating a budget to see what income she needed to live on, and if job sharing would work for her. At this same time she began getting sick with sinus infections, weird viruses, and was on lots of antibiotics. It got to the point where she felt she must go back to Spain. However, she was so sick she couldn’t physically travel. One day she went to the ER with another weird infection and they gave her medicine—-and she asked herself “What if I don’t take this?” In her mind she thought “There has to be another way.” Someone said to her, “Maybe you have candida.” So she started looking at food sensitivities etc. She had been eating all the American fast food, and now she became interested in Chinese herbs, holistic approaches, and she started reading a spiritual book called Course in Miracles from cover to cover. She started seeing her life was really about something bigger. It was at this time she met her soon-to-be husband. She was worn out from the required Visa routine of needing to constantly renew it and she was ready to go back to Spain. But her future husband pursued her. She was now 36 years old, and it came down to leaving the U.S. or getting a green card. This contributed to a decision to get married and then to have a child. As a young married couple they both had a strong feeling they wanted a child. In hindsight, Duvi felt once conception took place she had a knowing she was finished with her husband as a mate, and yet she tried to make things work. The father of her son was from the Philippines, with a very religious background. His career included positions as a military deputy sheriff which encouraged a regimental lifestyle. As soon as Nicolas was born Duvi knew she wanted to stay home with him. Thankfully her husband supported her choice to quit her job.
After Nicolas’s birth, Duvi had a lot of anxiety. She had been a very good sleeper and now was severely sleep deprived. Her husband demanded that Nicolas sleep in his own crib and she wanted the baby beside her.
By the time Nick was 4 everything in her marriage had really gone downhill. Luckily, a friend said to Duvi, “Don’t let your teaching credentials expire”. And yet Duvi couldn’t see herself going back into the system. A friend happened to suggest that Duvi try going into the homeschool program where she could work with families that choose to homeschool. California has provisions where teachers are staffed to interact and guide families in order to match government funding and resources to those parents who choose to teach at home. Duvi could meet with families and find out what they wanted to do and then arrange the resources to meet their needs. The concept was refreshing from Duvi’s point of view because almost anything could be pursued and the resources could be juggled. In California this concept continued to grow by the thousands. Some parents started coops and worked at schooling together. Duvi felt like a magician coordinating the resources to match the desired plan.
In regards to her own child, Nick didn’t homeschool for long because Nick needed structure. Duvi tried to homeschool Nick when he was five, but by nature Duvi found she was more free-flowing. At age 5 Nick was also becoming very anxious. He cried a lot and had trouble sleeping. His dad told him he was too emotional. In first grade she decided to put Nick in a public school since he seemed to be doing well socially with the kids in the neighborhood. Yet school was a different story. He didn’t do well and would come home crying and his dad would get mad at him. He thought Nick had problems and Duvi’s anxiety went through the roof with all the increased tension. About a year later, a book about Asbergers literally fell into Duvi’s lap. Duvi spoke to a psychologist who agreed that possibly Nick had Asperger tendencies. After reading up on children with these tendencies she told her husband there was nothing “wrong” with Nick, and that he had unique gifts.
About this time Duvi started hearing about Suzy Miller and her Awesomism program and started listening to her radio shows. When she read Suzy’s book titled, “Awesomism” she started having all these reflections from her life with Nick. He had always wanted her to sleep with him, because sometimes he had difficulty breathing. As she crawled into his tiny bed with him she would ask him, “Where does it hurt?” and he would point to his solar plexus which was the same place Duvi felt anxiety. Mirroring continued to be transformational in understanding herself and Nick. When Nick started to physically kick Duvi a couple of times she found herself asking within, “Where am I kicking myself?” Duvi was a people pleaser and would beat herself up mentally. Once she became aware of this pattern in herself, the kicking stopped. One day when she and Nick planned on going to beach, inland it was a beautiful day. She figured with the beach 30 minutes away it would be the same wonderful conditions so she looked forward to decompressing. When they arrived at Bel Mar it was gloomy and overcast. She started having negative thoughts of frustration and disappointment. In the backseat Nick started kicking the car seat and yelling on the freeway. Although it was cloudy and bad outside, Nick was reading her thoughts and picking up on Duvi’s energy. When she pulled off at the nearest exit and talked honestly with Nick about her feelings, his behavior subsided and they ended up having a spectacular day.
When Nick was eight, although she was filled with fear at the prospect of leaving her husband, she knew it was time. She worked a lot with a tool Suzy gave her that required visualizing a triad of “ease, joy and grace”, and her departure occurred with a relative amount of ease. She told herself not to let it be about the money and her husband’s fear of getting ripped off. The divorce financially and legally was transparent and clear. Although the first week was rough, after that it became peaceful. She and Nick would go to their old house in the old neighborhood where Nick’s dad stayed. They would walk the big dog Rocky whom Nick loved. Her ex-husband needed someone to let the dog out during the day while he worked and the dog had become like a brother to Nick. After walking the dog they would return to their new home. Nick and Duvi had needed a space that they could share together and now they had it.
With Suzy’s radio show “All About the Kids” and energy sessions everything got better. Duvi had started to do lots of spiritual work on her own. Instead of looking for the change in Nick she always saw the change in herself. Nick mirrored her greatest insecurities. The biggest change in herself was taking back her power in her relationship with NIck’s dad. She had always been afraid of him and his temper. She and Nick were always walking on eggshells fearing he might explode any minute. Finally she had enough. She put her foot down and said “Enough”. She told Nick’s dad how afraid Nick was of him. And once Duvi faced her fear head on, NIck’s dad lost the plastic gun he was holding over their heads.
Now that Nick is 12 years old he is among the brightest in school. Nick reads at the senior high level and remembers everything. He goes so fast, he doesn’t know what else to read. He likes history, mythology, literature and novels. In his earlier years he devoured science and remembered every fact from top to bottom. In biology he knew all the species and habitats of all the animals on the planet. Yet he was never interested in math, and truly despised math for several years. He had a fear of “failing” in math. He is now in a public high school and doing great in math. His math scores have surpassed his reading. Socially, the first 2-3 months in the high school were tough. He didn’t know how to deal with bullying. But he didn’t want Duvi to intervene by talking to the teachers or staff. He wanted to take care of things himself. He managed to meet one boy and they became good friends. Now he has a group, and he is a member of the “nerdy” ones. He somehow manages on his own. He goes on sleepovers but when he wants time alone he is not afraid to let his friends know.
Duvi admits Nicolas has been her master teacher. She is in awe of him and she continues to be amazed at the world he is creating.
"TRAINS, CAR WASHES AND LEGOS"
As I walked into the Ferrer’s home in a sprawling Houston suburb the first thing I noticed was the house was large and quiet. It was not quiet as “without sound”, it FELT quiet. No screaming, hyper children to calm down; no frantic background noise to subdue; and coherency rather than “busy-ness” appeared to be the back drop. The house was impeccable. Noticeably, the play room was not strewn with toys. Rather toy cars were lined up strategically on the shelf. The legos were in labeled boxes and several completed lego projects were on the table as if on “exhibit”.
The Ferrers, Enely and Herberto, are a charming Venezuelan couple, who moved to the United States 15 years ago. With their Latin good looks, one might mistake Herberto for Antonio Banderas, and Enely for a softer, prettier Jennifer Lopez. However, they are both educated and trained engineers rather than celebrities.
A key to Enely’s life of ease with her children is the observation early on that “systems” help us create ease.
When she arrived from Venezuela the U. S. public schools didn’t require uniforms so she devised her own for her 5 year old son Gabriel. She bought 5 pairs of black pants and 5 colored polo shirts, and this set up a system for the week for his mind to be prepared to go school. By fourth grade Gabriel let her know he was done with “that” system, so she expanded his “systematic wardrobe” to accommodate style changes in his life. However, she discovered when she gave birth to her second child Andrew (highly energetically sensitive and borderline on the autism spectrum) that this tendency toward systems helped immensely. Andrew, like other children on the spectrum, has so much information coming in without anything to filter it, that it is difficult for him to focus on any one thing. As Enely explained it, “Systems give Andrew cues which allow him to focus.” For example, having black pants as a school uniform lets him know when he wakes up and sees them on the chair that today is a school day. It lets him know what is coming in the day. Enely says, “Some people cope better with chaos, but with Andrew (and kids like him) it throws their central nervous system into fight or flight, and when a system is in place it keeps Andrew calm”. Enely has become even more creative with what she calls a system of 3——whereby 3 activities are packaged together…..i.e. bath, read books, play. Andrew remembers the 3 steps are coming in order and can focus on the triad without stress. Enely is convinced we all need systems and that may be why the fitness clothing industry is booming. She says we buy an outfit to work out in and at a subtle level our mind/body kicks into an adrenaline mode for exercise.
A second underpinning to the ease in Enely’s life is asking open ended questions i.e. How can I change this? What can I contribute to change this without attachment of what’s required?, or What is possible in regard to a change? She said from the beginning with her son Andrew she approached his uniqueness with a sense of curiosity, and delighted in what she discovered. She confided in me that when he was a baby he didn’t talk until he was five, and people didn’t know how to communicate with him. It was helpful to her at that time to observe how we all interact with babies. A newborn baby doesn't talk, a baby does not have the skills to converse. And yet a mother (and others) meets all the needs of the child. She noticed that we look for cues if the baby is hungry, if he is uncomfortable, does he need changing, is he bored? The baby lets you know (not with words), but with subtle communication (and sometimes NOT so subtle!). If you really look at a baby and see him and sense him without your own agenda, you will know exactly what he needs in the moment, Enely says. Yet by age 3 it was really hard for people to know and look at Andrew and interact with him. They had expectations that blinded their knowing and sensing. Instead Enely stayed open to another way. She just kept looking for cues, physical cues that would tell her what he needed, when he was hungry, when he was overstimulated. She realizes now that during the time she spent with Suzy Miller and Awesomism she became aware that her communication with him was telepathic and quite natural.
And from the energy work with Suzy, Enely started paying even closer attention to Andrew’s behavior and realized the truth of the underlying behavior rather than misinterpreting it.
It was obvious that Andrew and all children behave differently when they need to go to the bathroom, or when they are hungry, or when they are bored sitting in the living room. Enely became an investigator. Crucial to the role of investigator was being present. Not simply being physically present, but emotionally, mentally and energetically present. It was only then that she could pick up on the cues for what he required. She found that “being” instead of doing or trying to fix things makes it easier. It creates a process that eliminates resistance which prevents you from picking up on the cues. At this point I asked Enely if it was really that easy. Was she ever worried about how he wasn’t meeting everyone else’s expectations or point of view as to what is “normal” ? “Well,” she said, “believe me, I have my moments. I have always had those moments when I am not perfectly present. I would worry and say to myself, “Oh he is not talking (should he be), or he is behaving this way and others cannot understand him.” But I have practiced letting go of all that and its a process, a journey.
In those moments I would asked myself, “What are you going to do about it and how can you change that? What else is possible?” “It’s up to Andrew and can I assist him? What can I do to assist him, to contribute to him?” Enely saw that Andrew had certain areas of interest, things that fascinated him or caught his attention. As he began to talk, he had preferred certain topics of conversation. When he was little he loved trains, he was all about trains! So she used trains to interact and communicate with him. She talked about trains and used the alphabet and numbers with trains. Everything in their world was about trains. He learned all of his numbers and all of his letters because he was interested in trains. It was fun for him.
As he got older the topics changed and have included…. legos, car washes, Chuck e Cheeses. The cue you follow is what is interesting for them. I interjected that it seemed to me that every child, even neuro-typical children, would learn and discover more joyfully and less stressfully, if all parents used her “cue” system. Enely replied, “I agree. Thats why for me it is common sense and I don’t know why people have so much trouble with it. No adult would want to spend time reading history and talking about it if they didn’t enjoy it, and if it didn’t interest them.” She went on to explain, “The difference is these children will NOT comply or change under pressure of authority and/or other people’s expectations. They will simply and unconditionally refuse.
Looking at it from the outside one could interpret the child as ignoring you or being disrespectful. However, being energetically sensitive the reason they won’t comply is because in a way they really can’t. There is so much information coming in that it all gets lost unless they have “cues” of what they find interesting. This gives them the impetus or tools to focus.”
Enely explained these children live by “awareness” rather than authority. “We all became programmed, so to speak, and they did not. They will not.” She laughs and says, “They are like teflon, ….nothing sticks. You tell them they need to do it this way, and they turn around and do it their way. That is why teachers have a difficult time with them. They are in coherence with their inner authority rather than an adult’s external authority. Authority means nothing to them. Awareness is everything.”
One day on our way to lunch Enely and I were talking about this inner authority in relation to neuro-typical children like her son Gabriel now 13 years old. “Gabriel is so laid back and doesn’t like to do homework” she said. She told me he just got straight A’s (finished his 8th grade year) with the incentive he could visit his cousin in Costa Rica if he pulled off his final year before high school with a 4.0. Now that made sense to Gabriel. Studying needlessly, wasting his precious time on regurgitating useless information on a sheet of paper nightly was ludicrous. However, unlike kids on the spectrum he could be persuaded with the external Costa Rican “lure”.
When I actually met Gabriel I noticed a quiet playfulness beneath his thick mop of black hair, and behind his wire rim glasses. I was eager to find out how he would describe his younger brother Andrew. We talked a bit about school, but again not that much had to be said as Gabriel was authentic, sincere with no pretense. So we ventured into his “take” on his younger brother Andrew. He said he could describe Andrew in four words: small, intelligent, persistent, and single-minded. And I got to see first hand how each of Andrew’s characteristics played out.
The “small” was mainly that in size Andrew being 4 years younger was much shorter than Gabriel. The other three qualities stood out in the following interaction I had with Andrew.
Andrew now nine years old was working at the computer. Enely and Andrew showed me how his teacher had created a point system at school whereby the kids who were out of line were attributed “demerits” taking points off to diminish their scores. She used an app called Class Mojo. Andrew researched, tapped in and created his own Class Mojo version where he was in charge of all the demerits. All the real kids in his classroom were represented and he made himself the teacher and there was one kid who represented him and brilliantly always had the highest score. Without me requesting it Andrew set up the Class Mojo app on my phone at lightening speed as he was showing me how it worked. He became so immersed in the process and we could hardly pull him away from my phone. I had to laugh when I returned home he had done such a comprehensive job I was receiving all kinds of emails and updates on Class Mojo!
After seeing the Class Mojo model I asked Enely how Andrew likes school. She divulged that at Andrew’s previous school he had the same teacher for 3 years. He was used to one on one support the whole day and now he doesn’t have that so he feels lost. In his old school he would look for the teacher and by her presence it helped him to know where he was in space.
His current teacher gets upset with him if she doesn’t receive eye contact with him. Eye contact is big with these kids because they are oftentimes over stimulated with downloads of information through the eyes. And with the teacher trying to “force” Andrew to look at her, he doesn’t comply. However, learning comes easily to Andrew especially in math and observing “how things work”. He is showing signs of being a natural engineer. Enely realized after watching the movie Temple Gradin that Andrew sees visually in 3D like Temple Grandin did. And when it comes to reading, Andrew’s current teacher complains he is distracted and uninterested when in fact Andrew sees information on a page and snaps it like a picture. If he sees it, he knows it. Reading in the traditional way becomes useless and unnecessary which leads to his frustration and boredom with the process.
The third contribution to the ease in the Ferrer household is non-judgment. If Enely is tired and complaining of having a bad day Gabriel will remind her the very thing she has expressed to her children continually, “Mom this is a judgement free zone. You get to be YOU on the good days and the bad days.” He finishes by suggesting to her this could be the perfect time to just take a nap. Enely most readily complies. Regarding judgement Enely comments that, “The Awesomism program and the work that I have done with Suzy Miller has allowed me to get rid of the judgment and guilt associated with the different way I interact with my kids. The program has been a journey of self discovery and acknowledgement of my capacities with energy, and how those capacities contribute to ease within and without. It’s really all about what works for us as a family”.
And at the end of the day with all that EASE in this big sprawling house in Houston (with room for each to have his own space), it is not surprising that this family of four will inevitably find themselves stretched out on Herberto and Enely’s king-size bed watching TV……. together.
THE WIZARD OF AWESOMISM: SUE PRUYN AND THE STORY OF HER TWINS
Susan Youshock Pruyn
Q: Sue, I remember when I first joined Awesomism. You were already the mastermind of the operations behind Suzy making sure it all ran smoothly. How had you acquired and honed these skills?
A: I was part of a management team in the hi-tech industry in the 1990’s. My field was computer science and there was a boom exploding with the Internet. It was an exciting time and there was so much innovation, and ground breaking work. We were literally doing things for the first time in ways that had never been done before. I loved that....it was just tons of fun! And it gave me the opportunity to tap into and be a part of the cutting edge of technology. Later I saw how I could contribute to Suzy and her program as it was just getting off the ground.
Q: With this high-powered career at what point did you decide to have children?
A: In ways I thought I might always be a career person and it crossed my mind to skip the whole motherhood thing. But I had grown up in a big Italian/Slovak family and loved all the commotion and the family bond. So when I turned thirty, my husband asked me, “Are we going to have kids?” My response was, “I guess so.” I had waited to jump into it because I knew the commitment it would require. Or at least I thought I did.
Q: As you said you “waited”, yet once you were off the starting block you had three children within sixteen months. What created that tremendous shift from career to kids?
A: Emily was my first child and I was so surprised at the huge heart opening that occurred. I was in love with my baby, a love I had never felt before. This changed the way I thought about my career, and I found myself wanting to be with her more than a full-time job allowed. So I went down to a four-day workweek. Coming from an Italian/Slovak family where everyone looks after each other, I didn’t like having to send Emily to what I perceived as an impersonal daycare. When my company went through a large layoff I opted to be put on the list so I could take some time off. Lo and behold during my time off I got pregnant again and realized this time there were twins on the way. I faced letting go of my career for a longer stretch of time thinking “I’ll go back to work when everything gets settled in.” And it never settled.
Q: What was your journey with the birth of the twins (identical I might add) and did it eventually lead you to Awesomism?
A: Yes you might say that. They were born five weeks premature and since they were boys I wasn’t worried about their development. I knew it would be slower than their sister’s and I didn’t have huge expectations of them talking in the typical developmental timeframe. My real concern became the extent of their digestive problems. Their bowels shut down and they could no longer digest their food.
Q: What age were they and was there any unique circumstance when this started occurring? For example did immunizations seem to have a role in it?
A: It was between the ages of 14 months and 2 years old. And in fact it was after the MMR that their digestion quit working and their bowels shut down. Tommy was more affected and had really bad hives from one of the shots but I didn’t make the connection at the time. I was just busy with babies. Peculiar behavior rather than slow development became more and more of a concern as time went on.
Q: Can you tell us what you mean by peculiar behavior?
A: Sam would have great difficulty with transitions like the bedtime routine. He would throw a horrific tantrum. Then there were a lot of repetitive play behaviors. Tommy would go down the stairs on his bum in a sleeping bag over and over and over again. I found out later he was actually grounding in the electricity of our house because the electrical system was old and not operating properly. In fact it was this kind of information that I started receiving from Suzy that enabled me to see my children in a new light.
Q: Early on at what point did you seek specialized professional assistance?
A: No one knew what to tell me and the pediatrician was perplexed. The twins could no longer digest their food and it was really awful. Adding to that Sam actually was worrying me the most because he would go into what they now call “sensory overload” at a birthday party which was quite frightening. Enough of these situations had occurred that my pediatrician believed in my motherly intuition and sent me to a developmental specialist. It was here that I was first introduced to the notion of the autism spectrum. It was early 1999 and 2000. Autism was not that widespread at the time and I only knew about it because I saw the movie Rainman with Dustin Hoffman. Sam was the first to be diagnosed with a global developmental delay. Technically, this was not considered specifically on the autism spectrum. However in order to “play the game” to get assistance for him, my request for services became the diagnosis known as Pervasive Development Disorder. That label worked within the healthcare system. And as I started reading more about the autism, I became aware Tommy would also be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum, and he was. Over time it was Sam who responded well to everything we tried and Tommy didn’t. This left me pondering some bigger questions in life.
Q: Yes that seems to be a very unique contribution by you and your boys. Here they were identical twins yet very different individuals. Their individuality extended into and included their experience of a diagnosis on the spectrum. Can you tell us the impact on you as their mother?
A: Sam, oddly enough, was very, very verbal. A real yapper! He has often said this is his contribution to the world. Tommy on the other hand was non-verbal or at the least limited verbal. And I found myself longing for a connection with him. Since I wasn’t able to get this through the normal methods of communication, it opened me up to something more. I have always been curious about life. I had done yoga, metaphysics and meditation. So it was natural for me to think, “If I cannot talk to my kid maybe telepathy would work”. It was this possibility that led me to Suzy. Working with Suzy it didn’t take me long to change my relationship with the twins.
Q: And what about the identical twin part?
A: They are very different souls. Sam has been on a trajectory and has hardly needed support at all. He is now going to college and he will be fine. Tom’s been my kid I worried about which has been a huge part of my story. “Why did one kid recover and the other one didn’t ?”
One could say that the biological impact was greater on Tommy than on Sam, and that they responded in different ways to the environment. I have come to believe, however, that everyone has their own soul contract and reason for being here---their unique signature in which to leave their footprint on the world so to speak. Once I got this I saw everything from a deeper perspective. In one sense, who am I to think I even had anything to do with Sam’s recovery? It was his choice to embrace that possibility. Yet Tommy had the capacity to communicate big messages through music and repetitive behaviors. So this distinction or contrast was the gift of having the two of them together.
Q: Have they always been close?
A: Actually their daily lives have been quite separate. Tommy went to school a year later so their friends and activities were unique to them. But they have an unspoken bond or closeness. Like if they are relaxing on a couch, to this day they will have their arms entwined while sitting side by side.
Typical communication has continued to be a barrier until this past year. We have started implementing RPM with Tom. This unique therapy allows Tom to finally express his intellect by pointing to letters to form words. We are all now truly getting to know him. It’s been an absolutely life-changing process.
And in this process we are learning from Tom daily, as a true peace maker…..and in essence my hero, really. He best expressed himself during a recent RPM session when asked the question, “If you had the opportunity to create a civilization, what would it look like?” His answer was:
“ ‘TOMBUCKTU’ is the amazing place where absolutely everyone is welcome. My only rule for us is equality and acceptance.”
He further blew us away in another sesson when he answered the question, “Can you explain a time when wrong turned into right?” He answered, “For the majority of my life so far, I have been wrong. My voice, my body, my education were all wrong. Imagine never feeling right, it can ruin a young person’s life. Then I found RPM. I have friends and not all are autistic, I am finally able to express myself in my own words. THAT IS RIGHT. “
Q: Wow. How moving and inspiring Sue. I can see where this is only the beginning of the unveiling of TOMBUCKTU!
Q: Now the million dollar question….., your boys are grown, you have been a big part of all this. The twins are becoming a force in the world. You could obviously go back to the fast paced hi-tech world. So what is it that keeps you involved as a major player in the Awesomism Movement?
A: Sometimes I say “I don’t even know why I’m still in Awesomism”. However, nearly everyone in Awesomism will admit that being in this vortex challenges your self-awareness. And we have a saying, “If you stick around long enough in Awesomism you will eventually get to know yourself.” I am still in Awesomism because I know this was all started by the kids and I have a loyalty to my part in that. I feel their mission and I want to continue to help make it happen. I don’t consciously think about it that often but underneath I know that is why I stay around. I know that all this work is being fueled from that.....being a part of the evolution they have come to be.
Also I see this beautiful intersection between the work I do with Suzy. Suzy brings in the information from the kids in a vertical sense, directly tapping into Source and the connection to nature and earth elements. I have the ability to take volumes of information and move it into programs and concepts to make it available to people horizontally in time where they can tap into it in a very tangible way.
Q: Well you and Suzy have been quite the tag team and together you have launched an amazing movement that (quoting from the book Awesomism) “will just keep growing and getting bigger and transforming consciousness until our whole world is transformed.”
Susan Youshock Pruyn
"YOU JUST CAN'T MAKE THIS SH?T UP!"
From the time January Slater was a toddler she could see beings and hear guides communicating with her. At about the age of 6 she completely closed off seeing beyond the five senses, and by nine years old she cut off her non-physical hearing capabilities as well. She was aware no one believed her and she wanted to be normal and “belong”.
As a young woman January gave birth to a baby boy named Jackson. It was a difficult delivery, a C-section and the baby was removed from her immediately as she was having a reaction to the spinal she had been given. When she was reunited with the baby 20 minutes later and while picking him up, all of the sudden she was engulfed in light. She was no longer in that room and was standing before a man who seemed like he was Jesus or another saintly being. She had a conversation with the man and he told her to pay attention to Jackson’s purpose here on the planet. To look and see what Jackson was here to experience because it was something out of the ordinary. And all of a sudden the experience was over and she was back in the hospital room with Jackson. This was the first experience of this kind for January since her childhood connections other than being in touch with relatives when they died. Although the experience might have been shocking to someone else, January felt like it was kind of interesting and ordinary.
January had always joked around that if she ever had a child he or she would be a weird kid. She was fully aware that she herself had always been different. However, the difference between January and Jackson was that January had picked up language around four years old. And back then they just thought January was strange and weird. They even came up with a bizarre diagnoses that her behavior was due to the fact she was left handed. Her parents were not open to accepting the difference and wanted her to be molded like other children and to just stop acting weird. Jackson in January’s perception has more ability than January and he is more tapped in than she was. He is more conscious of what he is experiencing than his mother. When January was little and used to “hear” people, she didn’t really know if they were talking or thinking because she heard all of it and couldn’t distinguish any of it. She would answer them when they were thinking things, and people would get freaked out. She figured out early on that she had better distinguish the difference between hearing them speak or hearing them think because she could feel their fear. Unlike Jackson, she didn’t have anyone to tell her it was okay when she played with her invisible spirit guides and that it was okay to interact with them all the time. There was no support for this kind of thing. . In a diary she kept when she was 6 years old she wrote how lonely she was and now she realizes it was because she was separating from this connection. They were no longer physically there with her.
January remembers one brother who telepathically communicated with her and she had conversations with him even before she could speak at age four. To this day she can clearly remember those conversations. She never talked because she didn’t need to since he would talk for her and hear what she needed. And in January’s mind she “thought” she was talking with her brother.
When Jackson was 3 weeks old, he would cry hysterically if she left the room or the house. The lack of being consoled by anyone other than January became uncontrollable. The baby would stop crying when she was 2 miles away sensing January was near.
January and her husband heard Suzy Miller on a radio talk show “All About the Kids”. They were so fascinated with the things Suzy was saying that they both acknowledged she had to be authentic because they agreed with one another—“no one could make this shit up” (they still laugh remembering this expletive!). She and her husband knew this was a woman that could be supportive and help them understand their son. Suzy had such insight and so accurately described much of what they had experienced with Jackson.
The biggest contribution Suzy and the Awesomism Program represented for January, was giving her permission to unlock all those capabilities she lost when she was six years old. Just simple validation. She never realized that she had basically “perfected” being normal. It seemed so simple but on the first Level 1 call everything started flooding in and coming back to her and it has continued from that day forward.
Out of all the groups of autism January connected with, she never saw anything like Awesomism. Many parents had lots of anger and didn’t want to believe or hear autism is a gift. January could see the gift because she was a kid like that. At times it was difficult to navigate motherhood with Jackson, but it was not a horrible suffering life and Jackson is a happy soul. No she had found no other support in the autism community and January felt alone in the game. People thought she was crazy, and saw her child as difficult and unable to speak.
Now that Jackson is seven January gets information from Jackson on how to change and work through lineage patterns that show up in their life. One of the biggest ones being “I’m not good enough”. Jackson makes it clear that as January works through these issues the blueprint goes out into the collective and benefits humanity. He shows how by working together they are changing the evolution of consciousness. January says as she has moved into the Level Three program that Jackson has “upped the ante”. At one point January realized as she looked into Jackson’s little boy features that he had in fact been one of her guides. He appeared as a native American boy that would always come in with his grandmother. He finally was birthed by January to awaken her to and steer her back on her path.
"KNOCK, TO ENTER LOUDLY"
Q: Diane what is the journey really about for you in experiencing a relationship with your child diagnosed with autism?
On this journey, I’ve experienced an unfolding and unraveling of stories; a powerful paradigm shift from thinking there is something wrong with my son and children like him to realizing that it is the mind’s stories and meaning making about them that creates suffering and pain. I’ve learned to question my stories, to see, listen and embrace Ian in his wholeness, his “beingness.” This is very different from the perspective that he needs to be fixed that is so common in our culture. He teaches me to see all beings in their wholeness starting with myself. Seeing Ian in his “beingness” opens my awareness to hear what he expresses beyond verbal language and to see what it is like for him to live in our world. At times the journey is scary and confusing and Ian always shows up in his “beingness” to invite me home to love.
Q: Diane you have been trained and educated as an engineer. Most people think that by nature an engineer is all about fixing things and problem solving. What was that like for you when you first glimpsed it may not be about “fixing” him, ie making him verbal?
Because of the many painful stories in our cultures that say these children are broken and need remediation to be fixed, I realize my answer may sound strange to some reading this. My intention is to share what I have personally experienced and to offer an opening to another way of thinking.
I believe this fascinating journey is not all about Ian and more importantly, there has never been anything wrong with him. What I came to understand is that it was my thinking and the way I saw him that created my version of him that created the pain. I projected an image of who I “thought” he was based on believing many of the stories about autism. There have been many challenging times and what I notice is the more I am out of balance and judging myself and the world around me, the greater the suffering. This was great news because this became my inner work. As I did my inner work, the external world shifted. This is opposite of what we are taught and we parents do our best to try to change the external world. Ian kept showing me this was not the path to freedom. And any time the critical judgments run the show, Ian shows me this is not loving and kind and invites me back home again and again. The more I walk this journey embracing wholeness, I experience the most beautiful heart-centered connection. It is a great comfort to experience this over and over. I’m learning to return home.
And if he ever decides to use verbal language to communicate, I will definitely celebrate! The sweetness is in the not needing it to happen to experience joy and gratitude in life. It’s all here now.
Q: Suzy’s program of Awesomism is all about raising your vibration, increasing the coherency of the group, and being present. How does her program relate to what you have learned?
Suzy’s program offers the opportunity when in relationship with these children to shift from thinking about what caused it, why it happened, what’s wrong with them, and what modalities can fix them, to a very different perspective that they are showing up and inviting us to be who we really are and to fully accept all parts of ourselves. It starts within by creating personal coherence that then radiates out to all relationships, which result in the return of harmony, love, ease and joy.
Q: In your experience are the children themselves always aware that they don’t need to be fixed?
The first thing that occurs to me from your question is that “They” implies we are separate. I don’t believe we are separate. So if I think something is wrong with my child then I project the image of him from my own mind. There is nowhere else it can come from. When I think of my child, it all comes from within me. So I teach my child this is the way I see him. And when I tell others, like family members, therapists, teachers, and neighbors the story that something is wrong with him, I am creating the story. It is all my projection. In other words my belief in “wrongness” mirrors that to the child and I teach him what to believe.
We radiate our state of being like wireless communication devices. When I believe a thought that creates a stressful emotion like fear, anger and confusion, Ian will reflect this for me through his expression with movement and sounds. For example, for many years when I believed something was wrong, which is an incredibly stressful thought, he responded by crying and screaming and banging on the windows. It was as if he was showing me he didn’t feel safe and why would he when I was expressing stress and fear! I believe he expressed himself in this way to show me this was not the truth. He is incredibly energetically sensitive and as I shift and embrace his “beingness” he settles down. He starts to see the reflection of that full acceptance and feels safe.
When we believe they are okay they can see that in themselves. The children don’t perceive themselves as separate. As they come together with us and as we are changing and becoming more aware, they keep getting these new pieces of information. They reflect on the new information and see the truer image of themselves reflected back to them.
In 2011, I had an opportunity to interview Byron Katie and ask her questions about autism and I would like to share an excerpt from the interview that has been my touchstone. Her book “Loving What Is” is one of my favorites!
Diane: Katie would you describe how you see a child with autism?
Katie: As my most brilliant self. As I see every human being. Through them I grow, I wake up, they show me the way. I see nothing wrong. I see everything that’s right. Everything as a student, that they teach me and I don’t want to miss a thing. So, I just appreciate those higher states. And every state is higher than my own. That is what it’s like to live with a student. Everything shows me.
(Then she shared this story when she was with a young man who was quite large and autistic.)
Katie: He was in a home. I was with him on one of the days out. Sitting on a bench and he came to sit beside me. We were having the time of our lives, fingers in my mouth, my eyes, my hair.
Here was someone that could play on my level, someone as fearless as I was. Someone that I could relate with that didn’t have to be a certain way to impress me. I could go on and on and on.
Then someone walked up to me from the powers that be of the home and said, “My god what are you doing? He could hurt you, he’s dangerous.” That’s what fear does. This person has dedicated their lives with all the love in their heart to these children and that was their keeper. A totally dedicated, selfless, loving, caring human being was afraid of that child. And yes the child was large.
But if I project fear sitting with this beautiful being then his hands or fingers could go towards my eyes, my mouth then I too could project he was dangerous and end my relationship right there even if I stayed with him the rest of my life. I have ended our relationship when I believe “Oh my god, he was going for my eyes, he was trying to stick his fingers in my mouth…”
Because I would project what isn’t true.
Diane: That is so interesting because I’ve been experiencing communication on an energetic level and that fear has such a different energy to it than love. My son beautifully reflects and mirrors when I’m in that state of love. There’s that curious playfulness. He’s got his fingers in my mouth.
Katie: He’s always that way. You project differently then he is that way. He is a reflection of your own thinking. Mirrored back to you. He shows you your mood, your mental stories.
This was a pivotal conversation asking me to listen and see what is happening here. Ian eats when he is hungry, sleeps when he is tired, and he knows how to take care of himself. He doesn’t take on all the social rules. He lives as his essential self, in his “beingness” and he expresses his truth in every moment. Definitely my most powerful teacher!
Q: Diane how has your work as an Equus Coach contributed to your life with Ian?
My first experience with horses was in April 2009 and I showed up to that weekend workshop feeling trapped by my child with autism. The first night I felt like I would drown in my tears of guilt and shame believing I was a horrible mother. I sobbed for three hours in my hotel room as I felt the pain of what I believed. By the second day I discovered it was my thinking that trapped me and my world opened up to see an entirely new, kinder, loving perspective. The horses reflected everything I thought and felt. They would immediately respond through movement and action to what I was thinking and feeling. When I expressed tension they would act a certain way and when I expressed ease they would respond differently.
All that emotional energy stored up in my body needed to move and then I was able to see the path to freedom was within me. In that 3-day retreat, my mind did a 180-degree shift. I quickly got that when I project my fear, worry and concern on Ian, he reflects this fear back to me. Before working with horses I didn’t have this awareness and it appeared as if he was creating this suffering for me. Through the interactions with horses, they showed how it my own thinking and feeling that created all the responses.
I returned home with a new awareness that Ian is just like a horse and he mirrors everything for me and I have continued unlocking my emotions for years. My emotional body feels more and more at ease and responds more than reacts now.
Q: Considering your 180-degree shift, what does that look like in the change of your response to Ian’s seizures?
The word seizure carries a heaviness for me so I have shifted to calling them shaking, which has a whole different vibration for me.
Also, in 2011 Ian and I both entered into the Awesomism Intention Experiment with Dr. Bill Tiller. This experience greatly influenced my perspective around the shaking and opened up a path of exploration in the quantum field of creation. For years, the shaking had been traumatizing and my reaction was one of fear, worry, concern and sheer panic. Through the experiment, I experienced how I was adding that fear energy to the field and it was being reflected back in his behavior that created a cycle of re-traumatized over and over. So now it looks very different.
Q: Diane can you tell us what a shaking episode looks like, why it happens, and how it affects Ian?
Depending on the intensity, it could be a small shudder for 3 seconds up to full body shaking up to 40 seconds. He remains conscious and will squeeze my hand. If he’s standing, he will try to keep his balance but it doesn’t always work so we put a helmet on him. It helps me feel safe and I am not trying to get ahead of my evolution in my own awareness. It is the best I can do when I still believe he could fall and hurt himself. This just shows me I still have work to do around him hurting himself falling. To me, that is loving.
I don’t know why they happen or how they affect Ian. I have an active mind that can make up all kinds of stories why they occur. When I ask him why, I hear “Mom, I just need to shake now.” I am grateful they happen mostly when he is lying down and whether he is lying down, sitting or standing, my intention is to be present with him and support him through my own personal coherence. So I hold him and love him.
I do this by first checking in with the state of my nervous system and I breathe to create inner coherence. Often when I do this, his shaking lessens. When I hold a steady state, I believe it provides support for his own coherence. I like to give the example of an earthquake. Our center midline is like the fault line where energy comes together. Stuck energy and congestion causes resistance at the fault line and the shaking loosens the energy. It’s like the plates in the earth coming together where tension in the earth needs to be released. We all do it and shaking is a great way to release stored energy.
If I am in resistance and struggling with the reality that the shaking is happening, the experience is very challenging. I see how no matter what the level of intensity of the shaking, when I meet it with full acceptance and trust that it was exactly what needs to happen in the moment, then it makes the whole experience a more gentle one.
Q: What is one of your most beautiful, inspiring moments with Ian?
Recently, Ian’s very active 11 yr old brother and my husband were out of town together. This left Ian and me home alone for the weekend. It was quiet and we were just sort of settling into the opportunity of having space without all the additional energy.
We were lying on the couch and our feet were entwined and our heads were propped up on pillows. I closed my eyes and started listening and asking Ian questions silently. I asked to be able to feel what it feels like for him to be in his body. I then noticed the edges where my skin touched his skin dissolved…melted…the edges disappeared. There was a floating, light sensation and it was so beautiful and expansive. What I’m learning is that he and I are teaching each other. He is teaching me to open to this vastness and infinite possibility, and I am inviting him to be safe in his body. The way I do that is to be safe in mine. The more trust I have in my form, the safer he feels and he is able to synchronize with that. It was a really beautiful opportunity to learn from him in a very specific way.
Q: Can you tell us what RPM is and how it has impacted Ian?
We just started RPM or Rapid Prompting Method. Ian’s focus is very open and he receives information from everywhere and he hears simultaneously regardless of the distance. By using stencils with letters that he can point to it teaches his brain the ability to focus his conscious awareness on what is in front of him. When he receives support to focus, he shows that he is an excellent speller, has great aim and can communicate using words. It has given him an additional way to share his brilliance with the world. In our second session with the RPM facilitator, she asked him: “Ian what would you like to share with the world?” He replied letter by letter:
“KNOCK, TO ENTER LOUDLY!”
I hear this as a strong invitation to keep knocking to enter the unified field. We are all here now together.
Q: Now that is amazing! And a great place to conclude this interview with---”May the world and all who listen truly hear Ian’s profound advice!”
Just Sittin' Here Talkin' to Grandma: Jaden's New Normal
Q: Sharon was your son Jaden ever diagnosed with autism?
A: Well, I never had him diagnosed because I wanted him to be normal! (Laughter) So to tell you the truth, I don’t know what he has exactly, or is exactly — but he sees everything differently. No matter how hard I try, I cannot get him to see any situation any other way. I have learned to meet him half way so, when I ask him a question I must be aware of my feelings and where I am emotionally before I ask him anything. Because Jaden sees the whole energetic picture it is the only way to reach and help him understand.
Q: What is unique about Awesomism?
A: Suzy holds a piece or really carries a frequency different from anything else I have seen or experienced as a parent. It is simply….. “You don’t need to fix your child. They are not broken.” I would not have understood this when my boys were toddlers. Expectations had been so engrained in me. But now with all three of them in their teens I see how expectations are the flip side of judgement. We all live with questions like —what should our child’s life look like at this age? According to the norm there is always something they are not doing or not getting right. Maybe your kid didn’t get the perfect grade, or he didn’t make the home run, or he didn’t make it up the hill without walking his bike part of the way. There is always a lingering thought or implication he, you, they……did it wrong. This is where Awesomism swoops in and says, “Ahhhhhh……see what they CAN do? Look, see what they did that’s different! Wow, where are they now? What’s cool that is serving them, and what isn’t resonating? It opens up and expands the possibilities for any child whether they are 2 or 22. Awesomism pulls me out of my fear of what is going to “happen” to my 18 year old and I shift into seeing his potential.
For example, Jaden takes care of his great grandmother because she cannot be left alone. He has a strong nurturing side and has a capacity to connect with children and the elderly in a very compassionate way unlike many young adults his age. He has the patience and curiosity to listen to their stories and engage with them in talking about their lives. With younger children he watches over them and has a protective instinct when he is around them. So I have thought that an assisted living center could be a great place for him to get a job or start a career. He would understand these people …..like when he calls me up and says, “Yeah mom,…. I’m just sitting here talking to grandma.”
Q: What are some of Jaden’s other capacities?
A: I know he can see dead people and he has the ability to see into other dimensions. He can read and see other people’s energy. He also loves history and has a true expertise in it. However, his interest in history lies deeper than you would think. He wants to study it because he says it is important that we do not repeat the way we have done things in the past or recreate the things and events that humanity has miscreated over time.
Q: Has there been anything difficult for Jaden about being in this “biobody suit”–to use a term Dr. Tiller is fond of?
A: Motor skills have not come easily. Jumping especially isn’t easy. He was fifteen before he could jump a rope. Learning has not been easy. Like at fifteen he wanted to know and ask me, “What is a sailboat?”
Q: What about the term “social skills”? What has been your experience with Jaden regarding this commonly used term?
A: Jaden doesn’t really get people, and in social situations people find him odd. He doesn’t understand and has never experienced a true or good friend. He doesn’t know how to engage like in asking a friend, “How was your day?” Jaden will just ramble on and on about himself.
He can say some things that people perceive as really rude. He doesn’t get that he can offend people. I have had a fear at times that even if he can get a job, will he unknowingly get himself fired. For instance, if he puts one toe out of line will someone get rid of him.
Q: This rudeness you are describing: What is it that makes it rude? Is it that he is so demanding he enters other people’s space? Or is it that he always wants things his way? Is there a difference in his rudeness versus someone not on the spectrum who is self-absorbed or just being selfish?
A: Let me give you an example. In a typical family gathering since he has a very loud, deep voice, in a room of 22 people I can always hear his voice over everyone else’s. He picks up on the anxious feelings of a family member or family members in the room and he will say something. One time his cousin who was very insecure about his athletic ability tried to cover it up by bragging about how great a play he made in a football game. Jaden blurted out without any finesse or diplomacy, “You don’t even like football why would you even play the game?” Jaden was really stating the underlying truth of the situation but it made it very uncomfortable for everyone around. So in general family events are tough.
Q: Can you talk about the recent integration which Jaden experienced which changed the dynamic in your household?
A: Some people filtering the events through a certain lens would describe what Jaden went through as a mental breakdown. When I consulted with Suzy, she could see clearly that he had an integration where he was able to bring his soul into physicality.
Here is what happened. Jaden has always been bullied at school, and the administration decided to hold an anti-bullying assembly. Jaden attended it, and he became disgusted with the tone or energy of the presentation. Rather than providing ways to prevent bullying, the program ended up perpetuating bullying and it was so disempowering. They put all their focus on bullying instead of creative ways to reduce or eliminate it. Jaden couldn’t take it anymore and his soul said “that’s enough” and “I’m coming in now to change it”.
Then he started to integrate. His whole body was completely shaking, and he kept saying kill, kill, kill. This was not a big deal to us, because he had been saying it all the time at home for a long time. People that knew him, knew it was just said in passing.
However, the school was worried he was suicidal. I knew that if he had been suicidal he would have attempted something a long time ago. In Jaden’s capacity he could not do suicide. Although we believed he wasn’t suicidal, the fact that he was able to feel all the feelings and tap into the energy around him, his words became dark and he talked about dark things that people could interpret as though he was suicidal.
When he came out of the hospital and returned to school everything fell apart. The school kept trying to fix him instead of giving him space. So one day he just walked out, and when we finally found him and talked to him he said he was going to his grandma’s. There has always been a special bond between them so we weren’t surprised. No one else has been the connection for him like his grandparents. They love him so much and see that he is okay and they don’t judge him. Because they have been through the parenting piece, the expectations and the agenda are no longer significant now that they are grandparents. Jaden’s grandma went through the Awesomism certification process so she really understands, and can sometimes get through to him faster than I can. As much as I try to let go, I still hold onto some of the agendas and expectations.
Q: When Jaden went to live with your mom and dad can you tell us how that was or how that felt for you as his mom?
A: Although we miss him, it has been really good for Jaden; he feels very valued there at his grandparents’ house and that makes me happy. He needs 4 credits to graduate and has chosen to do that by a study program outside of school.
Q: How was it when Jaden responded so well with your mother? How did that make you feel when Jaden started doing okay or better at your mom’s? Did you ever feel like you didn’t do enough, you weren’t good enough as a mom?
A: It sucked, and it still comes up because there is such an expectation on a mom. And I don’t care where you live or what you do, if your child doesn’t fit the mold, you are bad, you are wrong, you just can’t do it right. And we are all blessed with these amazing kids. I don’t have one kid out of my three that fits the mold. Not one of them. And two of them are considered typical. And they still don’t fit the mold.
Q: On the days when you feel inadequate what helps you out of that, “It sucks”, state of mind?
A: My husband reminds me I can only do what I can and we are doing the best that we know how. The daily support from him is very helpful. My two best barometers are my youngest, “typical” teens. One will come to me and say, “You are a good mom, a really good mom.” He is constantly letting me know what he likes about our family. The other son will push my buttons, in order to let me know how different our relationship is compared to his friends and their moms. He reminds me of all that we have learned and experienced with Jaden, and how that makes it possible for he and I to discuss almost anything. And we are able to work things out with more ease which always “brings me back”. Then, I am able to let go of expectations and move forward with ease and grace.
Q: Well to serve Jaden’s best interests by allowing him to live with your mom speaks for itself. What a GREAT mom you are. Thanks for sharing your story.
Carlos' First Written Word: P-O-W-E-R
Marisa, by trade so to speak, began as a speech pathologist.
However, about a year after she graduated and was working in a school as an assistant, she shifted from the traditional approach to “something else”. She said she felt like “they are in there, these kids are in there, they just cannot communicate the way we do”. She intuitively sensed that they were born with a heightened awareness, and that verbal communication was not necessary for them. They exhibited a high level of intelligence, and although she had been taught in her curriculum that autism is a “social disorder”, this did not prove to be Marisa’s experience.
The children wanted to be social with her, they wanted to sit on her lap, and put their head on her shoulder. Marisa succeeded by normal standards in her field, but there was no one in her speech pathology world who understood and permitted her to go beyond anything traditional.
Marisa was finding the whole world she was observing quite mysterious. She reached out to a professor from the past for guidance and clarity. Marisa explained to her that something was going on, because although the children didn’t speak, they communicated very specifically in a variety of ways to express and get what they wanted. They would use intentional eye contact, or eye gazing when they wanted something. This would bring her attention to what they desired without a transduction into words. She also knew something physical was going on because when Marisa would try to teach them to point they couldn’t make the hand gesture. Instead they would push her hand to assist their index finger. It was like they were saying, “I want to do this but don’t stop helping me yet”.
Over time, they would cease “requesting” her help and they could do it on their own.
Unfortunately Marisa’s professor could only respond to her questions with research regarding neurological impairment, genetics, and the environment. There was no understanding by this woman of the sensing world which was becoming so familiar to Marisa.
It was at this point Marisa ceased sharing her insights with others in her field. Then she met Suzy MIller and became involved in Suzy’s program called “Awesomism”. Marisa’s work with the kids and her own spirit soared. “Wow”, she thought, “finally confirmation that this is all real!”
Marisa shifted quickly from ordinary speech pathology and noticed the greatest change occurred in private energy and telepathy sessions. Her first private session was with a 5 year old named Carlos who was still in diapers and considered severely autistic. Five minutes before his arrival she tuned in to ask Carlos what he wanted to work on in today’s session. He “appeared” in her third eye or what one might understand to be “multidimensionally”. They played with their voices together. When Carlos initiated a sound like “Ah” Marisa would copy him. To Marisa’s delight when she arrived and sat down on the floor of his family’s living room he walked in from the back of the house, sat down in front of her on the floor, look at her directly in the eyes and said—- “Ah”. The session then unfolded as an exact replica of what they had done multidimensionally. When an OT professional had been unable to experience any breakthrough with Carlos in writing, Marisa worked with Carlos telepathically first, and when he arrived he was able to write his first word: Starting surprisingly from the right side he wrote…..P-O-W-E-R. No one had ever taught him to read or write but he knew how to instinctively.
Marisa now finds every day with these kids to be magical. From her viewpoint, the only thing standing in their way is a lack of awareness by parents, teachers and professionals regarding their capacities and their brilliance.
Stepping Into My Mastery
Q: Karilyn, how did you first get into this whole new world of Awesomism?
A: Actually I was drawn into the vortex of Awesomism without any real awareness of exactly why I was doing this. Looking back now, I'm sure the Collective Consciousness of the Children was instrumental in calling me to Awesomism. At the time I had no real awareness of exactly why I was doing this, other than it felt totally right.. I had graduated with a degree in Child Development at a time when autism was not even covered in the curriculum. Suzy started a program called the New Human Experience Project, which was the precursor to the practitioner program. I participated in several cycles of that before going through the Practitioners Process.
Q: You are now teaching Level One in the Practitioners Process. How have you changed since you started teaching/facilitating?
A: The act of saying yes to teaching Level One was a significant choice point in stepping up and being seen. I’ve been rather adept at being behind the scenes, even being invisible. That has certainly changed! Even with wobbles along the way, I can more readily say “ Yes” as new doors open. Without having to know the outcome, I am more willing to trust the process….and have fun, too! Certainly through facilitating Level One I have gained greater self-awareness, and have bountiful opportunities to learn as I am ‘teaching’! An integral part of that stepping up has also been to recognize and appreciate my own unique mastery/skill set in facilitating Level One, after all Awesomism was Suzy’s creation. How could I honor both was a question I have often asked myself. Now that I have completed two cycles of teaching and can look back I see the question took care of itself. I am my unique self sharing information, doing energy work and supporting the Awesomism process….all woven together. It comes as a bit of surprise to old perceptions that I can ‘own’ that I am working side by side with Suzy to evolve the Practitioners Process. Surprise and delight….and self- awareness! All in abundance!
Q: You mention there are wobbles along the way. Is that like saying teaching has its ups and downs?
A: Oh yes, I have felt both euphoric with the experience and then at the other extreme doubt and wondering what the heck I am doing? It’s like I’m being stretched and I am feeling it on all levels. The wobbles, too, can be experienced with appreciation even when they are not very comfortable. The overriding feeling is one of curiosity and a kind of excited anticipation of what each moment can offer.
Q: Karilyn just to sum it up, “At the end of the day what is it you love most about teaching?”
A: I love the participants and all that they bring with them. They bring amazing skill sets, awarenesses, and perceptions. And I love all of it. The fact that the vehicle is information about and connection with the children makes the experience all the more enjoyable. Teaching has opened up a whole different way of sharing this information that deepens my self-exploration as well. There is a fluidity with this process that I love. I am excited about our next cycle of Level One as we have revised documents and added other elements to the process that will enhance the whole experience. Awesomism has presented a variety of opportunities for me to know mySelf, live my Beingness….and love it!! It is such a joy to be part of this whole process.
Q: Your comments bring to mind a quote from Maya Angelou when she said, “Love who you are, love what you do, and love how you do it.” Karilyn your enthusiasm for Awesomism truly makes you glow.
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