Zen Painting

So last night I watched the movie ‘Moving From Emptiness’ a great introduction to Zen Painting by the adorable Alok Hsu Kwang-han.  The messages were very meaningful and deep, and I wanted to CREATE as soon as it was over.  I spent the winter painting Enso’s.  The Japanese form of calligraphy painting of a circle.  It’s form represents the void, the emptiness that the Tao teaches, and it’s also a representation of the artist’s state of spirit.  I first learned how to do Enso’s by watching a youtube video by Bill Buchman .  Here is a sample of one of my Enso’s inspired by my Beta fish named ‘Enso’.

jumping fish enso

After last nights ‘Moving into Emptiness’ I called a customer who I am painting her dog portrait and at a freezing point and explained I am stuck.  I sent her pictures and she loves it.  Then I looked at it with a more empty mind, and I can now see a direction I want to go.

But as a warm up I decided to try the zen painting taught in the ‘Moving From Emptiness’, clearing my energy first, then receiving the creative energy into me.  And then painting what inspired me at that moment.  But first I lit an incense to set the mood and made my ink with a Chinese ink stick – a calming affect in itself. And painted a self portrait of receiving the creative energy, or opening up to emptiness is more like it.

recieving creative energy I added my own little hand drawn red stamp at a point of energy in the painting as Alok taught in the movie. Then I spun circles around and pretended to be a bumper car.  It’s a technique I teach in Laughter Yoga, and was pleasantly surprised to see Alok do it with his class, and then give the meaning of the story behind it.  Afterwards I cleared my head and wondered what I would paint.  I looked around the room and noticed the smoke from my incense and painted it.  And I loved the results.  Again putting my hand drawn stamp at the point of energy in the painting.  Just like with the Ensos I am hooked, and want to paint more and more of them.

incense smoke

But I better get to work on the art that pays.  I’ve put it off long enough, and now the juices are flowing.


By Suzi Shelhamer

How Yoga came into my life

My daughter was 12 on the outside, inside she is an old soul.  She wanted to go to Yoga, and in the little town of Worland, there was only one teacher available.  She used a room that was actually Chelsea’s old preschool room.  So it was a double treat for us to re-visit the past and then learn this new (to us) form of exercise.

We didn’t have yoga mats, and there was no place in town to buy one.  So I made make-shift mats out of non-slip cupboard liner, a beach towel, and duct tape.  When we got there the extreme earthly beauty of a teacher, Erin said she had some mats for us to use, but I figured we were ‘ok’.  And I kept my socks on, because I thought I’d be ‘ok’.  Chelsea at 12 was very flexible and bendy like most little girls that age, and nailing the poses were nothing to her.  My downward facing dogs on the other hand continued to slide apart, and my form …. what was that?

When it was over I couldn’t believe an hour had flashed by.  The last pose, savasana…wow, what an awesome way to finish a class.  We first put our legs up a wall with our butts resting up against the floor and the wall, and relaxed.  Then after a few minutes of that, we stretched out and laid flat on the floor.  It was amazing how comfortable the hard floor felt underneath me.  And how I felt accomplished for going to a class to satisfy my daughters whim, that turned into an incredible fulfilling action for me.  Erin snuck over and placed eye-pillows on all of our eyes, and I melted.  Or did I lift off the floor?  A feeling hard to describe.

When the class rolled over to their right side, we all sat up and put our hands together in prayer position, and Erin thanked us for coming and bowed reverently to us.  Everyone said ‘Namaste’ and I didn’t know what it meant, but boy was it peaceful in there.  Everyone got up and commented on their body and how great it felt, how tough certain poses were for some, but overall the general feeling in the room was a unified relaxation.  A lot of comments were sent Chelsea’s way for being so flexible, and she blushed, but was encouraged to want to come again.

I hadn’t worked out in a group setting in a long time.  I used to love a Step Aerobic class I went to at one time.  But I decided I would work out at home to a video and save myself the drive, and not have to worry about what my body looked like in a classroom of others. Yeah – that didn’t last.  I didn’t have anyone to commit to, not even myself – I was only cheating me.  The people in that class were not judgmental at all.  Only complimentary.  We were a unified group at the end.  We were all different ages, shapes and sizes, but now unified, and in a relaxed and peaceful state, and knowing of honoring our body with movement.  Another hard to describe feeling.

Skip ahead 4 years and now I am a teacher of yoga.  I think back to that sweet moment I had in the little preschool room with my daughter.  Last weekend Chelsea and I took a climbing and restorative yoga workshop together in Lander.   I don’t get to be the student much in class anymore, even though I am constantly learning and trying to perfect my form.  It was nourishing to do yoga with her again, both of us as students.

I encourage you to either try yoga, or think back to your first yoga practice, and honor yourself.


ccr climbFearless Chelsea trying something new…again

suzi climbHere I am at 46, trying ‘bouldering’ gym mountain climbing.  Thanks to my daughter for wanting to try something new, and I love to follow her lead.

Great historic health quotes

If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred. –Walt Whitman

Know thy self- Plato

A wish to be well is a part of becoming well. – Seneca

There are no riches above a sound body. –Ecclesiastes 30:16

To keep a body in good health is a duty…otherwise we will not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. – Buddha

Too many people, too many demands, too much to do; competent, busy, hurrying people- it just isn’t living at all. – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The other side of anger, if we experience it’s emptiness and go through it, is compassion. –Charlotte Joko Beck

By Suzi Shelhamer

Living with Regrets

What do you regret the most doing in your life? What do you regret the most not doing in your life? Should you have taken that job somewhere in a distant town that seemed scary? Did you miss out on true love and settle for something ‘safe’? Did money hold you back from buying something that really could have helped your health? But somehow you end up affording that surgery or two down the road. (I see this all the time with people who need the laser and they buy a new four wheeler instead).
Here’s a big regret of mine. I wish I spent more time with my grandparents when they were alive. Especially when my grandma lived with us!!
Here’s something I know my ex’s regret – I wish I would have treated her better, especially when she asked straight out for it. (I swear it was a pattern I lived out in each relationship).
Here’s an easy one how about regretting eating that big greasy meal last night AND having dessert afterwards? We all know better. And we feel more proud of ourselves when we eat smaller, cleaner, healthier meals earlier in the evening followed by a walk. Oh that regret when we stand on that dreaded scale the next morning.
I laugh inside when I hear people tell me ‘hey, I only live once. I want my food to taste good.’ Healthy food tastes wonderful. And another goody that even I used to say as I downed another beer – ‘it’s a preservative – and my body, I do what I want’. Oh but years later you pay such a price with your health – if you even make it.

So another question- is it too late to turn your habits around? Can we forgive ourself of our regrets and learn from them? The answer is yes! And you will feel as if you saved your own life when you look back at your self destructive past and realize ‘oh I feel so much better. I have so much more energy. I never go to the doctor any more and haven’t taken prescription medication in months!’ These are real quotes I have said and the people who have tried the changes in lifestyle I have suggested for them.

In this blog I hope to help you realize health is attainable. Regrets of things you’ve done in the past are now lessons, and regrets of the things you haven’t done are now goals you will soon be checking off your list.

Until next time.


By Suzi Shelhamer

Welcome to Suzi’s Health Blog

I’ve decided to spend my time doing my creative writing and sharing to the world through my blog, rather than Facebook. I love the great quotes I read on Facebook, the funny animal movies, and mostly I love to see pictures of my kids on Facebook. That’s the reason I joined in the first place. My son went to college and his girl friend would have all these great pictures of him doing things I had no idea he was doing, like CAMPING!!! He’s a good boy.


In the midst of another election I choose to take a fast from Facebook and work on my writing skills. I am a person of positive thoughts, happy pictures, and health tips. I used to be very politically active and gave up on them 4 years ago. I’m not ANTI anything, I choose pro-peace, pro-love, pro-health, pro-growth, and a loving, never fearful God.

In this blog I will hit on many different subjects. Share pictures of my art and photography. I will show my recipes of delicious nutritious meals, and health remedies.

Thank you for checking in, and please push the FOLLOW button to get updates.

By Suzi Shelhamer