Medicinal Herbs and Plants Tea Workshop

When I was about three years old, I saw my grandmother taking care of her tiny garden (Japanese saying that the size of a cat’s forehead )by the cliff of stream in front of her house.
Her loving and naturing energy to her garden’s vegetables and flowers helped them so cheerful to serve us.
It was fascinating to see them grow a little bit each morning with blight sunshine, cloudy sky, or even a rainy day with a smile because humans tend to get depressed on a cloudy day and feel sad on a rainy day.

My ground mother was a local healer to help babies who cried at night excessively and women who had Postpartum depression and hormone imbalance. She took me to Forrest to forage to find medicinal herbs/plants and mushrooms.

I always wanted to have my own garden someday and forage wild plants.
When I was seven years old, I created my tinier plant container flowers garden with a wood apple box from a fruit market in front of the five unite rental complex my parents were renting. Many people who passed by gave compliments on how beautiful my flowers were.
Since then, I have continued my garden wherever I lived, whether just a few planting pots by the window in my school dormitory or 50 plastic pots by the entrance of a guest house in Los Angeles.
I finally moved to the Santa Monica house where I have now since 1985, and when I started macrobiotic first stripped the lawn and created my rustic garden with bamboo and herbs.

I planted native California plants in the sidewalk area and built a rooftop container garden to grow medicinal herbs.
Many birds, butterflies, bees, caterpillars, ladybugs, and squirrels come to my garden and enjoy themselves—hummingbirds and doves nests on the tree branches.

I started to study herbology in 1995 with David Crow (founder of Floracopeia) at California Healing Art College in West Los Angeles.
I learned so much about native California plants and medicinal herbs.
I enjoyed recognizing those herbs when I go hiking and start foraging.
I have been learning about medicinal herbs and plants for a long time with macrobiotics.

I especially enjoy growing native California plants and medicinal herbs to make my healing tea and infused oil for my skin, health, and pain relief. I have been hoping to share what I do for a while.
Recently, Merrihew’s Sunset Garden’s new owners, Frank and Ati, were interested in what I do.
We started to talk about something we could do together.
I started going to Marrihew’s Sunset Garden since 1985 (they have been in business since 1947), and I never thought I would teach there, but my wish comes true, and I will be teaching there.

Medicinal Tea from Your Garden
Saturday, June 18th
11 am ~ 12 pm
Merrihew’s Sunset Garden
1526 Ocean Park Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
– outside classroom next to the chicken coop
$40/person

LEARN:
-medicinal benefits of 5 different herbs or more
-how to make infusions of fresh and dried herbs (i.e., hot tea, sun tea, sprays, etc.)
-tips for growing the herbs in your garden/pots (you can even grow a lot in a small space!)
-how/when to properly harvest the herbs
-how to dry the herbs
-fresh vs. dried
* Three kinds of organic medicinal tea tasting and handout included!*

To register and pay for the class, please go to this link 

I hope some of you can come to learn plant healing power and taste them and enjoy the outdoor class ambiance.

Love, Sanae❤️

BENEFITS OF HERBS: 

Disclaimer: The information offered is for educational purposes only!

Here are the benefits of the medicinal herbs/plants I use for the class.

1) Hibiscus 🌺 (hibiscus sabdariffa) Family – malvaceae-mallow family Calyx

  • Rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and anthocyanin.
  • Fights inflammation, Lowers blood pressure. Lowers cholesterol, Promotes weight loss. 
  • Fights bacteria, Supports liver health and more

Taste: sour, naturally sweet, spicy, and fruity

Action: Anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, astringent, cardiotonic, demulcent, diuretic, hepatic, hypocholesterolemic, immune stimulant, refrigerant, reproductive tonic 

Energetics: cooling and drying, uplifting, strengthening, refreshing

Use: Traditionally, hibiscus calyces have been used throughout the world as “refrigerants” to cool the body (Engels, 2007). In Egypt, hibiscus has been used as a diuretic and for cardiac and nerve diseases; in North Africa for coughs and sore throats; in Europe for colds and upper respiratory tract congestion, sleeplessness, and as a laxative and diuretic; and in Iran for hypertension (Engels, 2007).

The sour, astringent, cooling nature of hibiscus helps to cool and regulate the body’s temperature, as well as tone and cool irritated tissue and mucous membranes throughout the digestive tract and genitourinary system. This is particularly indicated in the case of overheated states and inflammation in the body, such as irritation in the liver, stomach, bladder, urinary tract, uterus, or colon. Hibiscus is also clearing, helping to move stuck mucus

in the lungs and energy in the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and reproductive systems.

Sauce from Herb Academy

2) Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)

  • Relieves gas and bloating while relaxing the digestive muscles and breaks up flatulence.
  • Stimulates digestive juices and can ease nausea and motion sickness.
  • Aids in colds, fevers, and flu.

Taste: sweetish odor and a warm, pungent taste with a cooling aftertaste

Action: carminative, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, aromatic, diaphoretic, antiemetic, nervine, anti-microbial, analgesic

3) Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

  • Help alleviate muscle pain and improve memory.
  • Boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth.

Taste: acrid & aromatic 

Action: anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, anti-tumorigenic, anti-nociceptive, and neuroprotectiv

4) Holy Basil, Tulsi (rama – ocimum tenuiflorum)

  • Calms the nervous system, moves stagnation, colds and flu, upper respiratory illness.
  • Protects against toxicity from chemicals, heavy metals, and radiations.

Taste: robust, slightly sweet flavor and crisp taste

Actions: adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety,

carminative

5) Calendula (calendula officinalis)

  • Prevents muscle spasms, starts menstrual periods, and reduces fever. 
  • It is also used for treating sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, cancer, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.

 Taste: Acrid, bitter, cool

 Action: Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, cholagogue, hemostatic, lymphatic, vulnerary

6) Lemon Balm (melissa Officinalis) Family: Lamiaceae

  • Calming and uplifting the nervous system
  • Relieves spasms and gas, hot water extracts have anti-viral properties

Taste: Acrid, bitter, cool

Actions: carminative, nervine, antispasmodic, antidepressant, diaphoretic, antimicrobial, antiviral, hepatic

Contraindication: hypothyroidism

7) Chamomile (matricaria recutita) Family: Asteraceae

  • Calming to the nervous system, anti-inflammatory 
  • Calming to digestive cramping and gas upset, mild

Taste: flowery, earthy and apple-like sweetness

Actions: nervine, antispasmodic, carminative, anti-inflammatory(抗炎剤), antimicrobial, bitter, vulnerary 

4. TIPS for GROWING MEDICINAL HERBS

(your garden or pots – you can even grow a lot in a small space!)

1) If you love/like gardening or are curious about gardening, you can grow medicinal herbs even in a small container if you do not have a garden and live in an apartment. I once grew them when I was living in the school dormitory.

2) If you have a small space, choose the one easy to grow and you want to make fresh herbal tea. 

3) A connection you make with plants/herbs/nature is essential.

4) As you observe the cycle of season/nature/life by little, seeds sprout and grow to produce flowers and maybe seeds again.

5) Recognizing the cycle of life is natural healing.

6) Most medicinal herbs grow like weeds in the wild. They are pretty hardy, so they usually thrive when you give decent soil, light, and water.

5. HOW/WHEN to HARVEST 

1) Always harvest in the morning, after the dew has evaporated, and before the sun and heat hit the plant. 

2) Make sure to use clean shears. This is beneficial both to you and the plant. 

3) Buds and Flowers are best harvested just as they are opening. 

4) Don’t wait for them to open fully: they will lose their medicinal potency.

5) Leaves are usually best harvested before a plant is in full bloom.

6. HOW TO PROPERLY DRY

1) Once you’ve harvested medicinal herbs for future use, I recommend drying them to preserve them.

2) Brush off and remove any organic material, such as bugs and dirt. 

3) Dried quickly, protected from direct sunlight, packaged, and stored correctly

4) Minimal humidity and good airflow

5) If you use a dehydrator: a temperature should be around 90º to 110º 

6) The traditional method for drying herbs is to hang them in small bundles from rafters.

7. FRESH VS. DRIED

1) Fresh-picked herbs taste good, but high-quality dried herbs can be as effective as fresh herbs.

2) The best reason to use dried herbs is that fresh herbs are unavailable year-round, and some medicinal herbs are not grown locally.

3) When making salves and oils, it is better to use dried herbs because the water content in fresh plants can spoil the oil.

If you have a question, send me email sanaehealing@gmail.com or post here.

Thank you!

Bucket List #2 AFSP Out of Darkness Community Walk 2021

I have lost my best friend from high school, first husband, two aunts, one uncle, neighborhood good friend from suicide. When I was 14 years old, I attempted suicide so I have been facing my own mental health for a long time.

I made my bucket lists after I was diagnosed with “Only Weeks to Live” stage IV Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver in 2017.


Here are my previous blog about Only Weeks to Live:

https://sanaesuzuki.com/2017/06/08/only-weeks-to-live/

And my first bucket lists’ blog:

https://sanaesuzuki.com/2019/03/19/bucket-list/

Since I love to travel and do many things I had many material things in my bucketloads lists in the beginning. I could add spectacular places to visit and many amazing things to do on my bucket lists, but as I was getting well from lymphoma cancer I want to add in my bucket lists that something my inner child wanted to be nurtured.     

I put a joining AFSP (American Foundation of Suicide Prevention) to my bucket lists.
I found out that AFSP held the annual “Out of Darkness Community Walk” (about 2~3 miles) in Santa Monica where I live, so I wanted to participate in it in October 2019.
But I broke my knee while hiking in May 2019.
I already had disabled legs from my near-death car accident in 2001 (blog Twenty Years Later from Near-Death)  so I was unsure if I would ever join AFSP’s Walk. I could not tell anyone what I wanted to do. 
Because of the Pandemic, there was no annual walk in 2020.
I was hoping to walk AFSP’s Walk in 2021.
I went to physical therapy and made time to heal, my knee got more strength than before, I decided to train myself to walk 1~2 miles almost every day with my dogs.

This year, Santa Monica’s “Out of Darkness Community Walk” was last Saturday, October 23rd, 2021. I get a little anxious whenever I go to the first time in any event. I am so glad that Eric and Kai came with me.

 

It was a cloudy, not warm day, so I ensured I was warm enough but not too hot since I would walk.


Eric and I registered to pick up T-shirts (when you donate $150, you get their T-shirt) and the beads.



There were different colors of beads to wear:
White: Loss of a Child
Red: Loss of a Spouse or Partner
Gold: Loss of a Parent
Orange: Loss of a Sibling
Purple: Loss of a Relatives or Friend
Silver: Loss of a First Responder/Military
Green: Personal Struggle or Attempt
Teal: Supporting Someone who Struggles or has Attempted
Blue: Supporting Suicide Prevention

I got Red, Purple, Green, and Blue, Eric got Purple, Teal, Blue, and Kai got Teal.

I was inspired that many (I think about 500) people were there to support preventing suicide. They raised over $180,000.
Out of the Darkness Community Walk brings people together while raising funds to help fight suicide and support those touched by suicide in the community. Participants in the Out of the Darkness Walk join in the effort with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. AFSP has set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate by 20% by 2025. There is no charge to participate, but donations are welcome.

 

The event includes speakers, entertainment, remembrance activities, a community resource fair and lottery.

This year, the mountain bike was the first prize in the lottery. The woman with the dog won the mountain bike.

Eric and I donated money this time, but I had no idea what it was about. I hope I spread my words next year, and I want to raise money too.

 

We stretched out our bodies before the walk. Kai got so excited and jumped up, and many people came to talk to him and took photos with him.

 

 

As I started to walk, I did not know how fast I could walk so I thought I should be at the last group, but I felt that I wanted to walk with the front group.
Eric said, “Are you already going?” so I said, “Well, I just go now,”  and I did. I did not slow down much and walked all the way.

 

I talked to one woman walking alone and found out that the woman was a friend of my dog trainer friend who I used to hike with dogs. Well, wearing a mask and hat and not seeing each other for a long time, we could not tell right away we knew each other.
She said she was there for her nephew, who suicide in May this year. In all 500 people, I talked to one person and it was her. I hope to see her and go hiking together again.


After we finished the walk, advocators who were singer-songwriters on the stage. They had all emotionally touched songs from their hearts.

 

I am happily satisfied that I joined and completed the Community Walk and achieved another bucket list.

Love,

Sanae 💖

Twenty Years Later from Near-Death Part 1

Things I used enjoyed when I was in the ’30s to ’40s were driving, traveling, adventure, yoga, scooter, sobriety (AA volunteer), events/concerts, macrobiotic teaching, meeting people, animal family, going to beaches, hiking, gardening, photography, writing, and a little meditation and art.

These are some of the things I did:

I loved driving so much that sometimes when I could not sleep, I drove to San Deigo at 3 am, saw the beautiful sunrise there, had a great breakfast, and came back home to Santa Monica.

34th birthday, first sky diving.

I did many scuba diving in Caribean (Cayman Island, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos, and the Dominican Republic) and 40th birthday, travel to Tahiti for shark scuba diving. 

Went to Alaska, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, Bali, and, of course many different places in my country, Japan. 

I usually liked to travel solo.

The last extensive traveling I did on my own was six weeks in Europe (seven different countries; France, Italy, Swiss, Netherland,  Germany, Belgium, and the UK), cooking, assists cooking classes, and massaging people at macrobiotic communities. 

Two different cross-country drives with my dogs and cat in America. 

My plan for the future was to go to many countries, including the Maldives, for scuba diving and do movie “Roman Holidays” like Audrey Hepburn.

Visit South America,  Rio, Pelu, and practice meditation and yoga in India and many more.

But God had a different plan for me.

I lost mobility to walk on September 8th, 2001, because of a near-death car accident in a small village, Hope, Arizona, when I was cross-country drive with my three dogs and one cat, and I was supposed to come home Santa Monica that day. 

It is still very emotional to remember. 

I could not write much about it, but it is twenty years today.

I want to write a little by little as a tribute to my recovery.

As you see this photo, I am walking and grateful for my healing path.

.

I was airlifted by a helicopter to The Trauma Center hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.

I was in a coma for three days.

I did not even know the September 11 attacks (the 9/11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance, honoring the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks).

I had an out-of-body experience.

I saw my father, who died in 1989 and my first dog in America Sakura in 1998. My father wanted to have tea with me, but I said to him I am in a hurry so next time. Sakura was happy to see me, but I had to tell her that I love her and am glad to see her, but I have to go. I was trying to come back from the heaven’s gate to this world.

My heart stopped many times and one time was 12 minutes. 

Regular cardio electric resuscitation did not work and there were two pastors at my ICU room and told Eric to pray when he arrived.

One of the doctors, Dr. Toby Hamilton, used (an adrenaline) needle into my heart to restart my heart.

Miraculously I came back to live again.

An American movie “Pope Fiction” scene of Uma Thurman came back to revive after she overdosed was used the same  resuscitation.

I want to say that out of the body and revive to come back again experiences were spiritual for me, but it was not. 

I felt that it was an energy boost into the body I left, and I came back into the body as an almost extreme shock.  

When I watched the computer animation movie, “Iced Age,” squirrel of Scrat every time he looked like he died, but he came back, that energy was the similar feelings that I felt, and I cried.

In reality, when I came back, I could not speak since I was connected with a tube from my lungs to my throat.

My lungs and heart were crushed by the car accident. 

But I was demanded to move my bed closer to a window in ICU so I get to see and feel the sunlight to get better as soon as I could write.

I also wrote Eric to go to a natural food store to buy Bach Rescue Remedy/Cream and Laver essential oil and what to do in writing as soon as I was able to write.

I applied them and also massage whatever area I did not feel too much pain. 

The surgent doctor who proceeded with my legs surgery said to me, “I never walk,”  and did not recommend me to massage my legs or anywhere because I had nerve damage.

I should have been shocked to hear what the doctor said, but I did not feel what he said was correct, although I respected his opinion because I am very polite Japanese, and I did not ask him many questions.

I simply do not believe that I will be a disabled person or not walk forever. I was thinking of something else already to plan my life.

Of course, I did not think how hard my recovery would be, and I did not know how long it would take me to walk that time.

I already thought when I walk what I can do.

I was massaging as much as I could.

Dr. Hamilton from ER came by to see me. 

He said I looked much better every day and encouraged me to do whatever I was doing. 

At this point, he never told me how he saved me.

Now I think of where I was at that time, I do not think I could deal with all the things I had to go through.

I was getting ready to be a start line of my recovery journey. 

I was not even started yet.

I had to go through hard things in my life, but this was one of the hardest things I experienced in my life.

I lost my vision, screamed and cried so hard when I heard my two dogs, Lolo and Gumu died in the car accident. A nurse came to my room to check if something happened to me.

I said, why didn’t I dye with them? 

I killed them!!!!!!

I am sorry!!!!!

I repeated the same things over and over.

I calmed down when I hard, Lolo and Gumu’s mother Kin survived with my cat, Mai and they were at a shelter waiting to be home. I set my mind optimistic and decided to live for them.

I also heard my wallet was stolen when I was airlifted, and someone was using my credit card. All my earrings, necklace, and bracelet that my father gave me were also stolen.

Every day and night at The Trauma Center hospital was chaotic.

They came to dress gaze over my surgery legs in the middle of the night and left me unfinished because of an emergency. One time, they left my leg open-wound for 3 hours.

 I requested to wash my hair after I was there for two weeks. Yes, they came to wash my hair at 3 am. 

They told me I had to leave the hospital because I did not have insurance. To come home to Santa Monica, they said to me that I had to be airlifted. Do you know how much money you have to spend to do something like that? They said it is not safe for me to transfer by car. 

Did I have a choice? NO! 

Eric rented a van to make a bed, put my body with many cushions, and drive carefully and slowly to Santa Monica. Friends were waiting for me and use a door as a tanker to move me into the house.

There was no FaceBook, Instagram and Youtube yet.  If I had then, I probably had a million hits, hahaha!

 

When I came back home to Santa Monica, I smelled my trees, plants and flowers. They all said, “Welcome back! Thank you for coming back home! “

When I saw Kin and Mai, who also survived for the same car accident and came back from Arizona, I was speechless with my emotions. We hug each other.

I did not know yet about Kin, Mai, and my PTSD starting from here.

 

To be continued….

30 Years Ago Today

Once in a while, there is no significant reason, but I feel not up in a lifting mood. I am sure I am not the only one to have these kinds of days.

I have been unable to get up in the morning as usual.
I could hear my husband Eric in the kitchen.
I smelled he was making my morning remedy tea, breakfast, and feeding cats and dogs family.

I was figuring out why I have not been able to get up.
Is it because I am affected by May Gray (darkens the coastal skies of sunny southern California with a marine stratus layer)?
Am I just tired because of aging? – I turned 66 last month.
Am I feeling scared that stage IV lymphoma that I had four years ago might come back?
Am I doing more than my limit, and I did not rest enough?
I think all these reasons are correct.
Eric came to bed and kissed me before he left for his work.

The house was quiet after Eric left, and all my dogs and cats’ family was around me. I talked to them a little bit, and they encouraged me.
I focused on getting up, making my morning routine, drunk remedy drink, body scrubbed with loquat leaves, meditation, and ate breakfast.

I went out my morning walk with my dogs.
I noticed the cool air and smelled jasmines blooming neighbors’ sidewalks.
I could hear a car stopped behind me quietly.
I looked back and saw Eric’s smile.

I was not expecting him to be home this morning, so I was surprised, and the dogs were excited to see him.
I decided to ride back home in his car because Kai, one of the dogs, was ready to jump in.
I asked him, “where are you going?” he said, “home.”

When we got home, he asked me,
“Do you know what today is? May 13th? “
I did not know what to say because his birthday is May 15th and May 17th was the day I received a diagnosis, only weeks to live four years ago.
My focus was on these two dates recently.

He told me that his mom called him this morning and remind him what today is for us.
He gave me blight sunflowers and said to me,
“30 years ago today, we met!”
That’s right.
How can I forget about it?

We met two days before Eric’s birthday in 1991 in Mexico, where he worked at a resort hotel as an executive chef, and I was a guest.
I usually remember this date, but this year, I looked at May Gray every morning and forgot about it.
I am very grateful to have Eric’s mother reminded him, and for him to got cheerful sunflowers for me and took time to come home to tell me 30 years ago today, we met!

I am happy to have met Eric 30 years ago today, which changed my whole life.
His existence in my life has been helping me to live and want to live more.

I wrote today as gratitude to Eric’s kindness and Eric’s mother, Louise’s love.

Note: The photo is the day we met on the first day with the sunflowers that Eric brought for me this morning.

Love,
Sanae 💖

 

My New Path…

Writing makes me feel most connected with my soul.
But I was not able to write for over one year.

When I was going through challenging times, I usually write my journals.

After I was diagnosed with only weeks live with Stage IV Lymphoma Non-Hodgkin of the liver in the spring of 2017.
(I wrote about it on https://www.sanaesuzuki.com/2017/06/08/only-weeks-to-live/)

Holistic medicine and macrobiotic healing foods were not helping to shrink cancer as before because the cancer was spreading too fast. Hence, I decided to take chemotherapy to save my life. The pain of the liver got worst, and I was not able to bear. All I could do was closing my eyes, breathing, and lying down every day. The nights I could not sleep, I just laid and wrote often and posted my blogs and sent newsletters to link in with my friends and people who were supporting me. The writing was also a way to protect me from my loneliness and fear.

After completed six cycles of chemotherapy, I was getting better physically slowly, and  I started to do a few things that I could not do while I was in chemo. Then, I did more and more physical work, and I lost the time to write.

I have been posting Instagram and Facebook with short descriptions, but I love writing with detail.
I realized that taking the time to write how I feel and what I do and share my photos carefully is my style, so writing a blog and send newsletter was something I enjoy.
There are many reasons I lost touch with writing my blog and sending newsletters.
Whatever the reason I have had, I just wanted to get it back on again and looking for my new path. I wish I could pick up where I left without any reservation, but in my case, I needed motivation.

I have been taking art classes from Santa Monica College Emeritus off and on for a while.  It took time after all the chemotherapy treatments, but when I got the strength back, I went back to retake Calligraphy class. I just did what I could,  so mostly nothing serious, and just for fun.

At the end of the last year, I found out that I may be able to enter my artwork for the Student Art Exhibition.  The exhibition was for spring 2020, and the due date was February 2020, so I wanted to try it even my artwork was chosen or not.

But I was going through another challenging time of PTSD (PTSD from my childhood and also near-death car crash, etc. ) at the beginning of the year, so I did not think I could put together my artwork. I am a turtle, so I am not a fast pace person to do anything. I need a decent time and focus for me to finish my artwork.

When I get PTSD, I have nightmares, and I am not able to do much nor go out nor talk to people. I also cry and get moody a lot and not able to focus.

Sanae with Leo IMG_0916

Photo: with my dog son, Leo

 

I was feeling disappointed at myself, and I was just about giving up on my artwork; I got lots of love support from my animal family, especially from Leo, who was one of my dog sons.
He had health conditions of nasal cancer for more than one year and also vestibular disease condition, which caused him not able to get up his own. Still, when I worked on my artwork, he wanted to be with me in my art room and stayed until I was satisfied to finish my artwork each time. That is how I was able to complete my artwork and submit it on time. I was not sure it was good enough for the Student Art Exhibition, but it did not matter because, in the end, I had fun creating and spend time with Leo. When I sent my artwork with an original frame I have asked to make. Leo smiled at me and he said, “Mommy, good job!”.

thumbnail-1

Photo: with Keith of GRAYHORSE PICTURE FRAMING http://www.grayhorsepictureframing.com

Three weeks later, I found out that they chose my artwork. I was very thrilled and told Leo that because of him, my artwork would be at the Exhibition.

He said that he already knew it and he was delighted.

I got a big idea of making a plan to invite everyone who supported me for my recovery if they could come to the Student Art Exhibition opening reception in April.

I was so excited, but the pandemic happened, and the exhibition got cancel.

My big idea of seeing some of you in person and able to say “Thank you!” directly did not work.
I understand that so many people died and got sick.  Coronavirus pandemic has not solved yet, and still many people are going through so many challenges, and many other issues are coming to must change the last few months.
Many people are standing up valuable to move the country and the world toward a new normal a future better than the old dysfunctional “normal.”
I wish I could do more to help others, but my focus is to do my best to take care of myself to stay healthy and safe right now, and this is my contribution to others, and this is my new normal.

Leo departed on May 24th peacefully in his sleep.
I miss him a lot.
He taught me so much how to fulfill life, and he told me that “Mammy, just be,” which sometimes means being irritable, exciting, tired, sad, and worry.
It is all good because they are all of you, and deep down inside, you are happy and content no matter what.
He is continuously teaching me.

Soon after his departure, I received a letter about Santa Monica College Emeritus Student Art Exhibition will be Online.
Online means not only people who can come to the exhibition but anybody from all over the world can see my artwork and see my new path.

Wow!

I think Leo did it.

Emeritus art exhibition online. 150+ artworks on view by Emeritus students.

A live Zoom Launch Event — hosted by Emeritus Associate Dean Dr. Scott Silverman and Emeritus Gallery Curator Jesse Benson — was recorded when it was held on June 25.

Here are a link and info on how to see my artwork.

View the recorded Zoom event: Launch Event for Emeritus Student Art Exhibition 2020 Online

View Artwork and Artists: Emeritus Student Art Exhibition 2020 Online

 

In case you are not able to see this Online Exhibition, here is a photo of my artwork close up and detail.

My New Path only Lotus

Photo: Watercolor Hanga with lotus root

Title: My New Path

Medium: Watercolor and Sumi Ink

Size: 14″h x 11″w x 3/4″d
The frame is white birch and linen material (you see the bottom photo).

It is a simple watercolor of Hanga print with lotus root and Sumi ink calligraphy with my haiku poem. My aiming was “Zen modest state to find a new path to move forward”

 

My New Path only calligraphy

Photo: my haiku poem with Skim letters

The letter of calligraphy style is Akim.
(Akim is created by German calligrapher, sculptor, and musician, Hans-Joachim Burgert. This lovely, gentle hand that is said to replicate the rhythm of the human heart) I did not know how Akim was created at first when I started to use it for my calligraphy, but I felt so familiar and it is my favorite calligraphy letter. So I have been using it for my website cover and business card, etc.

I wrote this Haiku Poem for me and everyone to thrive and live a new path (new normal).

I hope you enjoy it and find your new path.

I am grateful to Leo, who gave me the motivation to start writing again.

Wait,
as I was just finishing writing this blog, I received an email from Santa Monica College Emeritus Student Art Exhibition organizer, Jesse Benson.

I can’t believe it.
I had to read a few times to understand the detail: he was asking me to speak at the Online Art Exhibition Opening Reception about my artwork on Thursday, June 25th.

There are over 90 artists and 161 artworks (students can submit up to 2 artworks) in the show.
I heard they only asked a few people to speak.

Is it true they choose me to speak about my artwork?
Amazingly, they want to hear what I did.

Leo must help me again.

My New Path by Sanae Suzuki

Photo: Complete my artwork of “My New Path” with the frame

Now I honestly want everyone to see my artwork; art is one of healing therapy that has been helping me to recover.
Please watch the Online Art Exhibition reception.

I want to finish writing my blog that I was able to finally write after over one year with gratitude for “My New Path!”

I am grateful, thank you from my heart!

Love,

Sanae ❤️

Bucket List

It has been almost two years since I was diagnosed with “only weeks to live” https://www.sanaesuzuki.com/2017/06/08/only-weeks-to-live/
by my oncologist, Dr. Mead, because of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver Stage IV.
It was a terribly hard (actually, “hard” is not a strong enough word for what I went through) time of darkness, fear, pain, suffering, and sadness. Even now, everyday, I face dying—and this is not exaggerated.
But I am still living with the feeling of my life more than ever.

There is the phrase “bucket list” in English.
(There is no Japanese phrase like that so I did not know until I came to America.)

I wrote my bucket list for the first time after I was told I had only weeks to live.
My first item was to recover from lymphoma of liver.
Since I love to do many things and enjoy my life, so I wrote many other items on the list.
The fifth item was “Going to a live concert of Yuming,” a Japanese singer/songwriter who has been my favorite since I was in high school.
Her song helped me a lot when I was going through late teenager challenging time.

As you see on the top photo I took Yuming’s newest 45th- anniversary special CD “Love songs from Yuming” with my stainless steel bucket (I use this bucket every morning for my body scrub) and one of my favorite flowers, freesia from my garden which was planted when I was taking chemotherapy and blooming now.

I still listen to Yuming’s songs very often and I am listening right now as I write this.

I found out that Yuming has started her 45th-anniversary tour, and she’d added an extra show in my hometown of Nagoya on December 30 last year.
The only way to purchase a ticket was by lottery, so I said to myself: If I win, I am supposed to go just like I wrote on my bucket list.
So, I entered the lottery.
I could not believe it, but I won.
I really wanted to go, but my health was not good enough yet.
I was very sad, but I gave the tickets away.

 

The new year came, and I was able to go see the new year sunrise, as I used to do until two years ago.

2019 New Year Sunrise

New Year Sunrise in 2019 with Eric, Kai and Nalu with other frineds.

 

At the sunrise, I made a wish that I would win the lottery again and be able to go to Yuming’s concert in the spring.
Can you believe it?
I won again!
I felt heaven and even God supporting me, and I was so moved!

My birthday is April 4, and the concert is on April 7.
Going to Japan and Yuming’s concert are gifts for my birthday and my survival.

I’d prayed that my most recent CT scan results would be good, and when I received the news from my oncologist, I was so happy. The mass of lymphoma in my liver is now only 2.8 cm x 2.5 cm (it was 13.8 cm x 8.2 cm two years ago), and I have no new lesions.
I have not taken any medication since chemotherapy.
I make remedy drinks, cook macrobiotic foods, do my body scrub, exercise (walking with my dog family, yoga, qigong, do-in, etc.), and do moxibustion, reiki, and other holistic modalities.
I also started helping other people who need my healing work.
I am so grateful to be able to share my experience with others once again.

There were times I was depressed and impatient because I was not able to go places I wanted to go and do the things I wanted to do. Blamed myself for getting another cancer even it was after 24 years and I was doing macrobiotics with my best ability. Suffering from what other macrobiotic teachers/people/students said. Started to doubt what I was doing was not good enough to get well.
Got lonely that I can’t see my friends as I used to, also was jealous of seeing everyone going to many places on FaceBook and Instagram, but I could not.
But I knew the deep down inside of me that it was important for me to focus on getting better and acknowledge all these feelings even they were not comfortable feelings.
I am truly happy to see that the seed of recovery that has been sprouting and growing.

Now my top bucket list item is “To know when to let myself take a rest, not do too much, and fulfill my bucket list slowly but surely”.

Bucket lists are not only for people who are sick and/or older,
so how about writing what your heart desires and making your dream come true?

With all my love,
Sanae 💖