Suzy's Blog

7 Steps to Creating A Life You Love (or Love More)

7 Steps to Creating A Life You Love (or Love More)

I N T E N S E! That’s what the past few weeks have been for me. Not because I’ve been over-busy, I haven’t. It’s been intense because I’m learning new skills and venturing into a new way of doing business. It’s like being an explorer travelling into uncharted territory. Sometimes the scenery is breathtaking and other times it’s downright scary! Joseph Campbell says “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make, with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path”. Many years ago, a therapist told me, “you are the type of person that needs everything mapped out”. That was so true. I needed a plan. I needed to control my plan and to know exactly where I was going and how I was going to get there. I then exerted an immense amount of energy making sure I followed my map. I was the ultimate trekker. I saw the path ahead, I’m not veering off the path – don’t get in my way, I’m pushing forward no matter what! And then the recession hit. The path became very steep. No matter how hard I pushed (I did try for sure) the path, that I thought was mine, wasn’t. One day I blurted out, “that’s it, I’m tossing my map out the window”. Had I kept my map I would still own my nutrition store. I would not have seen a different path because I would have been too busy pushing forwards. Today, when the path I’m on starts heading in a direction that doesn’t feel right, I have my daily practices that keep me moving forward step by step, finding my own path in life. I wanted to share these with you,...

read more
What Anxiety and a Witch’s Cauldron Have in Common

What Anxiety and a Witch’s Cauldron Have in Common

Stress is like a witch’s cauldron. A big vat with snakes, and toads and everything yucky. But here’s the thing, without realizing it, we stir and chant over that cauldron until it bubbles and boils and then, out explodes…anxiety! When your mind is running amok with worries, concerns and a plate piled high with ‘doing’, this triggers stress, which boosts cortisol levels (blood sugar) causing a domino effect of unbalanced hormones which mess with sleep cycles. And there you’ve brewed yourself the perfect cauldron of anxiety. Before we dig into this anxiety causing cycle, I would be remiss if I did not mention that there are medical reasons for anxiety that shouldn’t be ignored. Thyroid imbalances, anxiety disorders, trauma – heart disease and asthma also cause anxiety as well as mental health issues. Early childhood trauma is another trigger and these are just a few of the underlying causes of anxiety. If you are experiencing severe anxiety please see your doctor or mental health professional. But with medical issues ruled out, the self-inflicted anxiety remains. So, I want to take a minute to thread this all together - overwhelm is an emotional state developed from beliefs and habits we unwittingly adopt. Such as guilt, which leads to over-pleasing, which leads to over-whelm. Which we now know, from Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, is because society has ‘trained’ women to feel guilty and over-please. I’d like to invite you to let go of the toads! And gently weave new habits into your life that will replace this anxiety triggering cycle. Are...

read more
The Disease to Please & Five Ways to Stop

The Disease to Please & Five Ways to Stop

  Last week we looked at practical ways to break the cycle of guilt so that it doesn't take over our lives. The more I think about this though, the more I’m troubled by a pattern I see. Why is it that women are more prone to feel unwarranted guilt than men? I’ve been thinking about this tendency and then I found this gem of wisdom that I believe gets to the core of the issue “The answer probably lies in socialization. Women and girls have been socialized for thousands of years to get along with others, not hurt anybody's feelings, and take care of loved ones”. This is Melanie Greenburg, PhD take on this tendency and I think she is spot on. We feel guilty when we perceive we are falling short. It’s impossible to please everyone, but oh how that early childhood belief system, haunts us well into adulthood. For decades, guilt was the driving force behind all my over-extending, over-offering, over-doing…which led to being over-busy, over-whelmed and yes, being driven to over-pleasing at the expense of my own health and peace of mind. When I think back on this, I can see that my need to please began in childhood. I learned early on that pleasing my parents resulted in compliments and positive reinforcement and that made me feel darn proud and loved. So, if the reason for guilt lies in socializing then Elizabeth Svoboda’s, take on this in Psychology Today is correct. She says, for children, “The only way to feel valuable is to comply with others' demands, give others what they need, and "go with the flow." The pattern only solidifies as children...

read more
Do you ever feel guilty?

Do you ever feel guilty?

Guilt manifests itself in our lives in ways we can’t see ourselves. I didn't even know I had a problem until a friend asked me “were you raised Catholic?” and I didn't know what she was talking about until she said, “you are driven by guilt!” That stopped me in my tracks – I was completely gobsmacked!  As hard as it was, I had to admit she was right. I felt guilty about everything. I felt guilty because I was never good enough, was never able to offer enough, and could never ‘do’ enough. There’s a quote that rings so true for me that I want to share with you, “guilt is an emotion that people experience because they’re convinced they’ve caused harm”. It is by Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D and she goes on to talk about the five causes of guilt: Guilt Cause #1: Guilt for something you did. Guilt Cause #2: Guilt for something you didn’t do, but want to. Guilt Cause #3: Guilt for something you think you did. Guilt Cause #4: Guilt that you didn’t do enough to help someone. Guilt Cause #5: Guilt that you’re doing better than someone else. Driving home from my friend’s house that day I felt it in every cell of my body “I am so done with guilt!” From that day on, whenever that feeling of guilt crept back in (which was often), I stopped and looked at the emotion from all sides. It’s almost like holding a ball in your hand that has ‘guilty’ written all over it. But instead of letting the guilt poison you (and suffer the side-effects, which I’ll get to in a moment) looking at the emotion allows you to disconnect from the guilt and see it for what it is. I...

read more
We’ve Been Duped [The Truth about Energy and Your Optimum Level]

We’ve Been Duped [The Truth about Energy and Your Optimum Level]

We’ve been duped! Years ago, I taught a course, along with a Doctor friend of mine, on cancer prevention, which of course included education about eating to live healthy. I didn’t want anyone with cancer to feel bad due to their food choices because the truth is, we have been duped. In the 1940’s the era of industrialized food began. Canned food, frozen dinners, boxed food became the accepted way of living. As a society, we have experienced a metaphorphosis of cultures. Around the turn of the twentieth century, as Susan Cain writes in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, “Americans shifted from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality…in the Culture of Character, the ideal self was serious, disciplined, and honored…The word personality didn’t exist in English until the eighteenth century…but when they embraced the Culture of Personality, Americans started to focus on how other people perceived them” and the age of ‘personality is power’ was born. As far as I’m concerned when the industrialization of America began, everything went to hell in a handbasket – you, me, all of us were duped! We were led to believe that industrialized food was good for us and to be a ‘good’ person, you best be outgoing, powerful and dare I say – busy! Who you were as an individual didn’t matter. What mattered was to emulate those with ‘personality’ – the movers, the shakers, the doers! I would like to believe that a new day is dawning. That we have entered a culture of ‘waking up’. That we no longer need to be a...

read more