While it now looks like Susan has it, all figured out, it hasn’t always been this way … As she explains,
My story isn’t one of rags-to-riches, deplorable childhood to master of the art of inspiration. My story is just like many of my clients’ stories – middle-class upbringing, Middle America baby boomer, average student. There was just one problem – I didn’t like me. At the age of 7, I wanted to be Dale Evans – she had the horse, the cowboy and the boots. By the age of 12, I wanted to be my cousin Bette – a tall, blonde, college cheerleader, living in a sorority house and so talented because she could draw – all very glamorous in my eyes and everything I wasn’t. By the time I was in college, I wanted to be anyone but me – whatever I was, it wasn’t enough.
Are you getting the drift? I wanted to be everyone else. For decades I ran from the question, “Who is Susan?” It was so much easier wanting to be who you were rather than trying discover who I was because, if I looked really deep within, I might not find much. That was my attitude into my 40s.
What was wrong with me? I had everything I wanted!
Or maybe not…
I had a stellar corporate career that was just what I wanted – the corner office, company car, club memberships, six-figure salary and huge bonuses. My husband was kind, loving, and there for me. From the outside, my life looked great – even enviable!
And then it all came crashing down. Suddenly, the initials after my name, the plaques on the wall, the impressive title didn’t matter. All of those things became irrelevant because I was clueless about who I was. I had an identity crisis in every sense of the word: I experienced a mid-life crisis and went into the black hole of depression. Because I’m an overachiever, I experienced all of it at the same time. I would not recommend that for anyone – nor would I encourage you to go even partway down that path before reaching out. Losing the desire to live is not an experience I wish to repeat.
Thankfully, I found a path out of darkness, a path that I had spent decades running from. The path that led me out of the darkness took me on the marvelous journey inward where I was able to meet the real me, create a connection and develop powerful relationships that would keep me on this path of self-discovery. This is the path that gives me warm sunlight on my face, a nice, cool ocean breeze and a clear view of the horizon.
Here’s that lesson:
It was time for me to stop buying into the latest, greatest, trendsetting dream of an ideal life; to discover who I really was, how I wanted to live, what I wanted to stand for; to learn how to create my own dream and begin the adventure of converting that dream to my reality. Time for me to discover and embrace the uniqueness of me, my gifts, talents and dreams.
That was 17 years ago. My life is so different today from what it was … and yet, it’s the same. I live in the same house and have the same husband, and I’m more in love with him each day. What is different is that I know who I am and what I need to do to nurture my body, mind and soul. Does that sound selfish, self-centered, self-consumed? In reality, it’s just the opposite. I now have more time, energy and am emotionally available and truly present with my family, friends and colleagues.
When I recognized that the old, outdated beliefs supported who I was and kept me stuck in the past, it was easy to let them go and create new beliefs and values that would support the new me, my new life, and my new dreams.
Was the transition uncomfortable? Of course.
Was the price worth the prize to live the life I have today? Absolutely!
I became acquainted with the real, authentic, soulful Susan. Walking through the dark and emerging on the other side in the light taught me the lesson of a lifetime and that was to believe in myself.
Some of the discoveries my adventure inward revealed to me:
I had no idea who I was other than the letters after my name and plaques on the wall.
- I was fearful of leaving (losing) the identity I had, because I had no idea what I might discover.
- I was choosing to stay in an environment that was not healthy for me physically, spiritually or mentally. While it was terrific for the retirement account, it was killing my soul.
- I had little self-confidence and no sense of personal integrity. I lost sight of values and decency, living only for the moment.
- I was choosing to put work first. Everything else, including relationships and self-care, was a very distant second. The money, prestige and recognition corrupted my sense of personal responsibility.
My life today:
- I start each morning with two minutes of self-appreciation, gratitude and commitment.
- I demonstrate love and kindness to my husband and make him either laugh with me or at me each day – some days it’s both!
- Fear is no longer my constant companion. It has been replaced with a strong spiritual connection and conviction that I am authentic.
- I have a smile on my face, joy in my heart and faith that I am not alone on the journey.
- I live in peace and comfort knowing that I am giving the best of me to the world.
My invitation to you:
- Take the time to become acquainted with you – the real you.
- Expand your comfort zone and experience life on an entirely different plane.
- Reclaim your life and grasp your future with energy, excitement and enthusiasm.
- Embrace the conviction and belief that yes, you can!
The intention of telling my story isn’t to impress you; it’s to demonstrate that if I can do it, you can do it. When we look deep within ourselves, we discover tremendous courage, strength and confidence that can assist us in facing everything that comes our way on this incredible adventure called life. When we replace unconscious patterns with conscious, deliberate behaviors, we create a whole new world!
I am committed to igniting the torch in the soul of women who are serious about becoming their very best friend. My clients refer to me as their “life-changer,” who asks the right questions to help them explore ways to powerfully access their gifts, their beliefs, and their purpose.
In addition to being an award-winning master coach, I love entertaining audiences with motivational and keynote presentations nationally and conducting workshops on the topic of reigniting curiosity to uncover the best in ourselves. Remember me mentioning the plaques on the wall and initials after my name? Here’s a few: a B.S. in merchandising with a minor in performing arts from Colorado State University, a master’s in organizational management from the University of Phoenix and a life experience Ph.D. from Bedford University.
On the personal side, my passions include …
Gardening … honesty … Italian food … humor … soft jazz … flowers on my desk … a colorful, bright home … appreciation … self-expression in clothes and assessories … hearing the excitement in my clients’ voices when they make a breakthrough … time with my husband … time by myself … replacing stumbling blocks with stepping stones … and my No. 1 passion: continuing my quest of self-discovery.