Gissele: [00:00:00] Hello everyone and welcome to the “Love and Compassion Podcast with Gissele”. Please don’t forget to subscribe or like our videos, or if you listen to audio, please write a review. Our guest today is an intuitive counselor, holistic nutritionist and herbalist intern.
She created Liberated Living, which is about embracing the totality of ourselves and coming home to who we truly are in every moment. She talks about okayness and not okayness as the quintessential road to living an inspired, yummy and amazing life.
Her 90 day, year long programs, breakdown to breakthrough and breakthrough to bad-ass help men and women overcome emotional pain, burnout and manifest anything they dare to desire. Susan and her team of fabulous practitioners have helped thousands to radically change their health and to discover how to continuously connect and surrender to the divinity within.
By giving the body the right mix of support food medicine, and love, the body is a genius and is able to heal itself.
Please join me in welcoming Susan Stephens. Hi, Susan.
Susan: [00:01:07] Hi, how are you?
Gissele: [00:01:08] Good. How about yourself? Thank you so much for being here.
Susan: [00:01:11] Oh my gosh. You’re most welcome. Thank you. I I’m super grateful.
Gissele: [00:01:15] I’m really excited to talk today about nutrition and self love, and radical self-acceptance. Can you share a little bit about how you got into this work?
Susan: [00:01:25] Yeah, so I was like many of the people in the holistic field where I actually didn’t honor my intuitive sense and I, and I went into business and the exact opposite , , fields that I probably should have got in. I remember working for a printing company in Toronto, and I remember how I got the job. I like told them, I’m like, I’m passionate about, printing. Like black and white copies laminated. So when I was doing that job, it was just one of those jobs that was very like survival of the fittest.
You know, I think my boss had a sign on his door that said success is measured by results, not by effort and. Yeah. And I just remember crying in the bathroom every day after, you know, getting reamed out or just dealing with that, that kind of environment that really felt soul sucking, I would say. And just.
Gissele: [00:02:38] Yeah.
Susan: [00:02:38] You know, my boss used to come in and be, be like Susan, Susan, Susan.
What am I not understanding here? What do you not, how much am I paying you an hour? And I just remember that probably the first time in my life. It was one of those times I was super depressed and I just remember, I couldn’t even crack a smile and I don’t think that was like that. Wasn’t my nature, because I tend to be very exuberant, just naturally. So I just remember, I think on the day of my resignation, I went in and I got a promotion. And so I ended up staying, staying with the company for your team two more years, but I, I ended it finally after, you know, it basically got to the place where, it was, it was killing me that job.
And I was also at the height of an alcohol addiction, a 14 year old alcohol addiction.
Gissele: [00:03:31] Wow.
Susan: [00:03:32] And it kind of had reached a, a climax of catastrophe, I would say, where it was like going to destroy everything in my life, you know, my self-worth and my family. And, you know, just the amount of chaos that really came from that.
And I was, I think I had missed. A month end where you’re supposed to. I was the running a branch, a printing branch, and I was supposed to submit , forms whatever for a month end that you have to do it’s very, you don’t, you don’t miss a month end when you’re like basically the CEO of the branch. So, so I didn’t show up because I went out all night long.
This is when I was probably 28 years old and I was, you know. I had no idea to why addiction had such a hold on me when I was 28. I was very unaware of myself and I didn’t have the skills that I have now to like go deep and figure it out. I just thought it was an awful horrible person for having that. It was the one thing in my life I just could not control at all and, the shame I had from it, like I remember when I miss that month end, I couldn’t pick up the phone. Everybody was calling and wondering where I was and I just couldn’t, I couldn’t get out of bed. I ended up missing the next day.
Cause I from guilt, like I just couldn’t believe I had let my low, like. Get to that point. And so I think the next day the police showed up at my house because everybody was looking for me.
Gissele: [00:05:20] Wow. That must’ve been pretty scary.
Susan: [00:05:23] Oh, it was, yeah, it was, it was definitely scary. And it was like, I could no longer hide anymore. Like I couldn’t fake it and say, Oh no, it’s just, it’s just fun. It’s just no problem.
Gissele: [00:05:41] What problem? Yeah.
Susan: [00:05:43] You know, like it’s no big deal. Just a couple of drinks, with friends on the weekend.
Gissele: [00:05:49] Yeah, for sure.
Susan: [00:05:50] so, so really, my world crashed and it was the best thing that happened. And I think I was given the option actually to stay with the company I chose to leave. and then my mom gave me a big ultimatum that said. Drinking or your family choose and,
Gissele: [00:06:07] wow.
Susan: [00:06:08] It was, it was a gift for me. I wish, I wish she would have like said that 10 years earlier because, because I think she was trying to be kind with my addiction and compassionate, but for me, I needed to have like the pain of the present moment become greater than the pain of confronting my past.
Gissele: [00:06:32] Yeah, that’s very powerful.
Susan: [00:06:34] Yeah.
Gissele: [00:06:34] It’s very insightful.
Susan: [00:06:36] Yeah.
Gissele: [00:06:36] A lot of the times people confuse compassion for allowing or enabling, and it’s not. Compassion requires boundaries, compassion requires honest conversations. So, yeah. And you had to hit a wall and you have to get to the point where you were not, you weren’t willing to live that life anymore, right?
Susan: [00:06:55] Yeah. I was stubborn, you know, I was 300 blackouts, you know, I, it was, it was unbelievable. The amount of pain that I had to endure to before I was willing to make a change. It was unbelievable. And so, yeah. So after that, that’s how I got into nutrition. That was a long answer for getting into nutrition, but.
Gissele: [00:07:16] No no it was great.
Susan: [00:07:17] It was really, it, it forced me to look at my life and I ended up, I think I became a bike courier after that. And I would just ha I loved it. I would hop on my bike every morning and in Toronto and I felt so free and I feel like, I felt like I started coming back home to myself and I started to dive deep into my addiction, quit addiction, but it was a long road.
I always knew I love nutrition and nutrition and me were like, We were like buddies, you know, always. And I just, I was like, gonna do what I love and I think I got, I enrolled for school right away in nutrition. And then I actually got this job. Um, Oh, I tried these greens. And new chapter.
And I was like, Oh my God, I love these greens. And I ended up going to this expo and I basically just confronted the guy. I said, Hey, I’m like, I love your company. I’m like, I totally want to work for you. I’d be like, you’d be ridiculous not to hire me. And that’s what I do, and then I got the job.
Gissele: [00:08:24] I love your enthusiasm that you could just be like, You need me right now. Take me. Let’s go!
Susan: [00:08:32] Yeah, it was, it was crazy. And the, and the company was called new chapter. So that was like, that was literally my, my new life. So that’s how,
Gissele: [00:08:41] Oh, wow. That’s a beautiful story. I mean, I’m sure it was really, really challenging to live. What do you think helped you overcome your addiction?
Susan: [00:08:51] I would say. It definitely, first of all, it wasn’t you know, some people quit and then they, they’re just done.
Gissele: [00:09:00] Yeah,
Susan: [00:09:01] I’m just like, Whoa, that first of all, that doesn’t usually work in most cases, I would say. I mean, sometimes some people you hear that, but, for me it was, there’s like a saying, like, I only did AA for a small, tiny amount, but there’s a saying in AA where you, you walk up and you get a 24 hour chip.
And you, like, if you use sober for 24 hours, you do the walk. And I hate that walk is the most brutal walk in the world. It’s like a walk of shame because for me, at least, cause I had to relapse so many times I had enough chips to play poker with, like it was, and it was actually the worst thing for me because it was like a walk of shame.
Every time I relapsed doing that walk of shame. In front of everyone. I actually totally do not feel like that is good for people’s recovery. I think for me, it was radical. Probably two things. Learning inner child work, inner child work 100% and still to this day, where you go in to the body and you actually.
Because I, because first of all, I was raised with like Taoism and Buddhism and Zen as growing up. Right. But with, with those, it’s like, it’s almost like that’s it’s I consider those like the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh chakra, like it’s like surrender. You’re okay with everything, but it’s, it doesn’t deal with, it’s a bypass.
It’s a spiritual bypass because,
Gissele: [00:10:36] OKay. Yes. I understand that.
Susan: [00:10:38] To some degree. Yeah. Like it doesn’t go deep that place to you. That is attached. That is pissed off. That is angry. That is betrayed all those feelings, the feelings of abused being abused. And so for me, I did a spiritual bypass for a long time, which I tried to.
Gissele: [00:10:58] A lot of people do. Right they Focus on being in the, in the higher realms and so on, but really it’s about the connection of the lower chakras, right?
Susan: [00:11:06] Oh, nailed it. That’s exactly like, I think we kind of come into the spiritual world and we’re, we try to be like
I’m so spiritual. Look at me, riding on my bike, and you’re in your Mercedes and that’s bad and this is good and vegan is good and that’s bad. And there’s like a lot of these. Yeah, just misperception.
Gissele: [00:11:28] It’s so interesting because I don’t think people get that to judge other people. Is equally as bad.
Like if you’re judging someone by that, that’s not a spiritual aspect.
Susan: [00:11:40] Yeah. And it’s like being okay with that dark side of yourself. And I think that’s the thing with addiction. I had a ton of dark sides, like I had, cause I there’s a lot of shame and I was, I had sexual abuse at the age of three, and abandonment.
So I was left somewhere with friends and, and, was abused by my, the family friend. And the funniest thing is like, I had no memory of it. So it’s very hard to heal something that you at first, you don’t even know. Um.
Gissele: [00:12:19] But body knows.
Susan: [00:12:20] The body knows. The body knows her. It’s just, the body never lies. Yeah. It’s always in there. So for me, it was like connecting these feelings I had. First of all, just actually feeling my feelings and going back to childhood and seeing, okay, whatever would trigger me in the moment I would connect it back to childhood.
And then if that little me needed to rage out and stomp her feet and grieve and you know, whatever she needs to do, I would let her do, which was challenging because I had a lot of rules around what was appropriate.
Gissele: [00:13:11] I think sometimes we make anger really bad, but anger is a necessary emotion. Right. And I think as long as you can rage in safe containers, right? I sometimes tell my kids, you know, if you must punch, punch a pillow, your, your frustrations out there, because I mean, there’s a reason why you feel these things. And for women in particular, we haven’t really been reinforced to show anger.
It’s much more acceptable in men. But we have a right to our anger. We have a right to, as long as it’s again in safe containers and we’re not hurting others, but it really is an expression of our love for ourselves. Right. That something doesn’t feel right or isn’t.
Susan: [00:13:49] Right. Yeah. I have 100%. I think it, I think women are terrified. They are terrified.
Like I have people coming into my program that just they’re like, I don’t even know if I felt anger. Or express or like, you know, we’re so worried about speaking our truth. I even had, you know, my son’s dad who is very like my dad more militant and strict.
And I said, do you know when I was a kid? I never, I never could talk to my dad because I was terrified of him. And I said, it took me until I was like 32 years old to actually start expressing how I feel and feel like that was received.
And I said, so we’re going to start young and I’m going to be there for you. . So we need, we need to teach daddy that that’s, that there’s a better way. And, and yeah, I wish I had that, you know?
Gissele: [00:14:51] Yeah.
Susan: [00:14:51] And that it was okay to be angry. I wish I was told as a kid. Oh, sweetheart. You’re angry. Uh, we want to know.
Gissele: [00:14:59] Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s one of the things that as kids, we weren’t taught that all of our emotions were welcomed. Right. You know, even things like, you know, envy and jealousy, these are natural emotions that come up. We make them wrong, but they’re not wrong. They’re just indicating something is out of alignment for us. And then as long as it ends there, and as long as you also understand that, that person’s not taking anything away from you. I think these emotions can be very healthy, but we don’t make them okay.
Susan: [00:15:27] Yeah, we don’t make them. Okay. And sometimes we like, yeah, you’re so you’re so bang on. Cause it’s like jealousy. I think a lot of times people don’t have certain things or they don’t get them as kids. And then they see other and, and because they have trauma, they have to keep repeating their trauma for a lifetime because that’s how trauma works.
And it’s torture like these poor, poor kids that go through trauma and then they have to keep attracting narcissistic partners and abusive people. And then they see these other people’s lives that are easier. And no wonder they’re jealous. Like it’s like, Oh my God.
Gissele: [00:16:02] I found was behind those emotions, there’s a sponsoring thought somewhere which might be related to worth or lack.
Right. So I don’t deserve it. I’m not good enough. And soil, if you dig a little bit deeper than you’ll find kind of some of those erroneous beliefs we hold.
Susan: [00:16:18] Yeah. Yeah. It’s awesome. If that’s the thing we’re so we pushed down our emotions a ton. I think that’s the most, the thing I’m most grateful for now after 12 years of healing is like, is making my emotions, my North star. So it’s, I just surrender every day to what is present in my body? And I think I used to use my mind to navigate my life and figure out what do I gotta do?
I gotta do this. I gotta do this. I gotta do wake up. And now it’s like, we’ll see. Huh, we’ll see, what’s in store today. Like, Hmm. Maybe I need to lie down and cry for five hours today.
Gissele: [00:16:59] Yeah. That’s what needs to happen. One of the things I love about your work is that part of the, the work that you do in terms of the whole aspect of nutrition is that it includes the concept of radical self-acceptance. Can you talk a little bit about how you got to maybe radical self acceptance and how you integrate it in your work?
Susan: [00:17:18] Yeah. So a lot of pain, a lot of suffering that’s the thing was suffering. It, it it’s awful and magical altogether. Um, but I think for me, I had a coach, actually. I had a coach that introduced me. I have, I’ve had the same coach for 12 years. I’ve seen a lot of different coaches though, but she actually funny enough she’s actually works for she’s on my team now my program.
Gissele: [00:17:47] Oh wow.
Susan: [00:17:48] Yeah.
Gissele: [00:17:48] What made her different?
Susan: [00:17:50] She asks, it’s funny. She doesn’t do inner child work and that’s some of the deep, the deepest healing I’ve done is inner child. So I learned that through psychotherapy school and I just started, I just started to do that with myself. I, I picked up in her trial work really fast and I just would do it, but she would be so good.
She’s a, a past a psychotherapist just asking the best questions. You know, she, and she’s wise. Like, I, that’s what I feel with like a lot of people may in my, on my team, they’re all 65, you know, they they’ve lived life and they’re wise women and they’ve experienced. And they, they have that, that, you know, I always liked the women that runs with the wolves kind of energy.
But she, I remember the first time she introduced shadow work to me. I was really emotional. I’ve always been emotional. And she just said, And I hated the fact that I was emotional and she said, so how long have you been emotional for?
And that was like my whole life. And she goes, so your emotional. Like, it was just like something the way that she said that, and it was like a starting to get it. And then I, she like made me write a list of basically everything I disliked about myself. And my job was starting to own and be more of that.
So, you know, even one of my first homework with, with her was to, I would always drink and go out and sleep with men. Like I would, I would have a trigger where I was heartbroken and for me, sex and love were intertwined and I would be in a bar so fast and looking for love. That’s I just wanted love. And so her first, but I always had to drink because I had to bypass my mind because my mind said being sexual is wrong.
And so for the first homework assignment she gave me was to go and have sex with men sober.
Gissele: [00:20:01] Was it a different experience?
Susan: [00:20:04] It was, yeah, it was scary. Actually. I felt like I was 16 all over again. Yeah, it was terrifying. And it was hard because the type of men that I would sleep with because I hadn’t met that kind of soulmate.
So I was like, I have to find my soulmate in order to be sexual. And she’s like, so imagine you have this beautiful plate of food in front of you and you want that plate, but right now you can’t have it. So you’re just, are you going to starve yourself until you get that beautiful? Like this most ideal, whatever she’s like, well, you might not.
And my coach met her soulmate too when she was 60 years old and her soulmate was 45. So she’s like, are you going to wait? 20 years till you get that ideal perfect thing. but yeah, she, that was when I got introduced to radical self-acceptance and she would always say to me too, like, you want to find the love of your life, show your worst.
Gissele: [00:21:05] Yeah.
Susan: [00:21:06] It’s like, I used to always, never show my emotional self and I would always attract these emotionally unavailable dudes, you know, and the minute I started being emotional, they’d run for the Hills. So,
so now it’s like on the second date, I just make it up. I’m like, they’re like, how was your day? And I’m like, Oh my God, it was awful.
Gissele: [00:21:29] You start weeping in the middle of dinner. And they’re like, well, look at the time. Right?
You might find a weeper though, too.
Susan: [00:21:40] Yeah, hahaha!
Gissele: [00:21:41] As that as a fellow human being has always been very emotional. I can totally understand that the messaging I’ve received as a child, that was a really.
Susan: [00:21:48] Yeah. What was it like for you?
Gissele: [00:21:50] I was a really sympathetic child, so I wouldn’t be the kind of child that would actually cry when two people were fighting, and I was told basically to stop it like that, it was weak to show emotion. Cause as a kid also, I had the. I guess nasty habit of picking up what people felt, but it weren’t saying. And so I would just say it, and that was not really that because I was revealing their vulnerable sides. And so that was kind of like stop that.
Susan: [00:22:17] So stopping so psychic Stop.
Gissele: [00:22:20] And it was only later in life that I’ve come to say no showing your emotions is a strength. Being able to tune in and to be able to share that it’s definitely a sign of strength, I think.
Susan: [00:22:33] Yeah, I mean, It takes huge lady balls to like..
Gissele: [00:22:39] Haahaahahaa!
Susan: [00:22:40] Right? Hahahaha. It doesn’t take any, any lady balls to be like, Oh yeah, I’m okay. I’m okay. How are you? Oh I’m good, I’m good. Yeah. You know?
Gissele: [00:22:51] Of course, you don’t want to overwhelm people, which is like, how are you? It’s like here, Blaaaah! You know?
Susan: [00:22:55] Yeah. Oh my God!
Gissele: [00:22:57] Verbal Diahrea!
Susan: [00:22:58] I used to have this joke that the, at the grocery store, if someone asks me how my day was, I would go, Oh, Oh my God, it was awful. I’m like, you want to hear about it?
Gissele: [00:23:11] No.
Susan: [00:23:12] I would actually have the best conversations I’m telling you, because I think people are so used to hearing the conditioned response that it’s, it’s refreshing when someone can be Very true. Yeah. It’s very, it’s it’s like,
Gissele: [00:23:27] And it certainly makes for interesting conversation.
Susan: [00:23:30] Yeah.
Gissele: [00:23:35] Anyways,
Susan: [00:23:36] I love it.
Gissele: [00:23:36] I just wanted to go back to nutrition a little bit.
Susan: [00:23:39] Let’s do it,
Gissele: [00:23:40] um, nutrition is so important, but there’s just so much information out there, which is confusing for people in terms of what’s good, what’s bad. I don’t think that there’s enough information about the connection between nutrition and the emotional aspect of eating. Right?
Susan: [00:23:56] Yes
Gissele: [00:23:56] So I was just wondering if you could talk about that. Talk about the connection between emotions and eating and how you help your clients kind of, go through the journey of the emotional body.
Susan: [00:24:07] Yeah, so, so yeah, I always remember when I started, it was , um, I was teaching nutrition and I realized how not insignificant nutrition is because nutrition is significant, but you could tell people what to do, but the how to do it is another story.
That’s, what I became curious about was the how, and because everyone knows they shouldn’t drink coffee. It’s not that great. And maybe alcohol, like, but, and sugar, but we love it and we still do it. So , um, for me, I always say like, emotions have triple the impact.
In the body versus nutrition. So if there’s like trauma in the body, it doesn’t matter how much milk thistle or kale you eat. Um,
Gissele: [00:25:00] Yeah.
Susan: [00:25:00] You know, if you’re not owning your anger or you’re not speaking your truth or you feel not enough, like your digestion is going to be off.
So, so getting my clients, first of all, to recognize that. ’cause that is the piece that most people are missing. They don’t realize how important it is because we came from the, suck it up generation and people don’t even know what they’re feeling and they don’t even know why they do what they do. They don’t know why they eat what they eat.
So. I think, first of all, it’s really important to get people to tune into. I always say the emotional state that you’re eating from determines everything. So it’s like, if you’re trying to lose weight, for example, and you, you know this, cause you’re, you’re, you’re a master yourself.
Susan: [00:25:54] It’s like that emotional state is like, say, if someone comes with me, like with weight loss, or even with, say cancer, like I have a lot of cancer clients right now, and there’s a fear, there’s a fear of, I got to eat healthy or I’m going to die.
Gissele: [00:26:08] Yeah.
Susan: [00:26:09] You know, and you know, or I got to, I got to lose weight or I’m not sexy enough or I’m not juicy enough or whatever. Then if those emotions, if you’re eating healthy, but it comes from fear or it comes from pressure or force or not enough, it doesn’t matter what you do. It will, your body will not heal.
Period. And the like, and I see this right. And really with women guys are because they don’t have this emotional tie as strongly as women, when it comes to losing weight, guys will like cut their sandwich down by half in the middle of the day and lose 20 pounds. Like this is, this is how it is. Okay. Like, they’ll just go cold turkey.
If you don’t get rid of a cookie, a then , boom, it’s gone, women will like. Kill themselves. Like diet, after diet, exercise, they’ll do it for a year and they’ll lose nothing.
Gissele: [00:27:08] Do you think that has to do with the standards of beauty that women are subjected to? Like when you look at magazines. A lot of people have had surgery so I think there is this unrealistic standard that women face that perhaps men don’t face.
Susan: [00:27:22] I know, Yeah.
Gissele: [00:27:23] And why not? If men can have potbellies woman can have cellulite.
Susan: [00:27:27] Totally. Yeah. And I do think there is like, there there’s some overweight models that are starting to try to change that view and
Gissele: [00:27:37] Thank God.
Susan: [00:27:38] Thank God. Cause it’s, it’s, it’s tired.
Gissele: [00:27:41] We got the love. Our body just as it is.
Susan: [00:27:43] This is it!
Gissele: [00:27:44] Yeah.
Susan: [00:27:44] This is it and, and when it’s funny, like when you, we go back to the trauma, say of why you’re wanting to lose the weight in the first place.
It usually comes, the desire to do it is because of some kind of, as you said, woundedness, you’ve had around it. Somebody called you fatty when you were three, maybe you had, I had another girl in dance. She was in dance and the coach would be so awful with them, making them starve themselves and like, Oh my gosh, body image issues to the nth degree.
And so we think like, that’s the thing we think losing weight is the answer. And that’s how disconnected we are. Because if we go back to that little girl that felt ashamed and fat and bullied, we have to ask her, what, what did she need to hear? And it was probably like, sweetheart. You know, don’t change a thing.
Gissele: [00:28:41] No, you’re beautiful just as you are.
Susan: [00:28:44] So we become those bullies in our head and we become all those people, giving all those messages and we start to do it with ourselves and we treat ourselves like shit. You know, we treat those with that brutal, that brutality and, and that’s why the weight doesn’t come off because your soul and divinity wants you to be like you know what, no matter what like I’m gorgeous regardless.
Like how I always joke with my clients. And I say like, you know, we got to get to the place where you’re like calling your partner and you’re like, sweetheart, I just ate two cheeseburgers today. Like get on this.
Gissele: [00:29:18] And it was so good!
Susan: [00:29:19] It was so good, like come to mama, you know, and it’s funny. We think people relate to our bodies, but they really relate to our energy and how do you know when you go out that isn’t your body, that’s making people maybe not feel as attracted to you, or is it your feelings about your body?
Gissele: [00:29:45] Wow, that’s very insightful.
Susan: [00:29:47] Right. Like, it’s so sexy when someone owns themselves, even if they’re eating, if they’re bitchy, they’re like, Oh my God, I’m in such a bitchy mood today. Like be whack and here’s something sexy about, or like, Oh my God, I’m so needy want to be friends. Like it’s like super, you know, that confidence is hot.
Gissele: [00:30:09] Yeah. And the authenticity too, and it’s also like, kind of modeling, right? Like, because if you’re willing to accept yourself, then the other person may be willing to accept you as well, just as you are. Right?
Susan: [00:30:20] Hmm. I love that. Yeah. I just love that.
Gissele: [00:30:23] So it makes it, it makes everything hard. Right.
Susan: [00:30:27] It makes everything hard. And, and when it comes to tying it back to what you said about nutrition, it’s almost well when we have these deep holes in ourself, we’re not going to go and crave all the foods that are healthy for us.
You know, when we feel ashamed and fearful, our natural inclination is either to be really restrictive and controlling with our food or to be eat whatever makes us feel, gives us the comfort that we’re not giving ourselves, you know?
So it, it starts with the emotions first. And then that’s why, when people come to me, they’re like, this is the, I’ll be like, you need to go out and eat honey cruellers, with joy.
Gissele: [00:31:11] Hmm Hmm, I saw that on your website.
Susan: [00:31:15] Yeah. I’ve seen clients like when I look at people’s blood, sometimes I’ve seen clients where they eat the perfect diet, you would think, but they do it. There’s a lot of rigidity. There’s no room for error and mistakes and eating in perfectly. And I look at their blood and it looks awful. It’s sludgy. And, and it’s like this obsession and they tend to get a lot of overwhelmed because overwhelm cuts can come from a lot of like perfectionism and productivity, addictions, and this kind of thing.
And so it’s when I finally say you need to like go home and not do anything and just enjoy yourself and eat whatever the hell you want. Then even with cancer clients, they they’re really scared of doing the wrong thing. It’s so healing for their body. So it’s not just about like eating, I don’t mean like, like I’m not saying like go off and have like a gazillion chocolate bars, but maybe. Haha.
Gissele: [00:32:10] I think what you’re saying makes total sense. Do you know the story of Anita Moorjani?
Susan: [00:32:16] No, no. Tell me.
Gissele: [00:32:17] So, Anita Moorjani is this woman she’s very popular? She she died of cancer and then, well she technically died, crossed over and came back and has written a book “Dying To Be Me”. And that’s exactly what she said in her book. She was a vegan.
She was eating healthy. She still got cancer. It’s not about the veganism. It’s exactly what you said. It was totally spot on. You can eat the best diet, but if it’s with resistance, if it’s not with love and that surrender and enjoyment in joy, you might as well be eating the cheeseburger. You might as well be eating the fries. Right?
Susan: [00:32:50] Having more fun, doing it.
Gissele: [00:32:52] Exactly. Exactly. I do. I did want to ask you about labels. Like there’s all this confusion about like labeling organic non-organic should we even worry about that?
Susan: [00:33:05] Yeah. I know, I think, I think there is, it’s hard to trust who to, it’s hard to trust who to trust. I do think in general, choosing, you know, either getting to know your farmers. Or like, you know, places or choosing, choosing organic that I do like it, even though there is confusion around it, I think it’s about voting with your dollar.
And I think I think it’s about sending a message. And for me, like I always say organic is my charity. So like instead of giving to the cancer society or whatever, I’m like, this is where I donate it. And it’s, and it’s to use. I mean, my sister says my sister’s an environmentalist, so she, fills me in on things and there’s still some spray and whatever goes on, but I think in general, especially with certain farms, it’s, it’s a lot less.
And for me it’s like not just the food, but it’s what goes into the water. And goes into the air and it’s a, it’s a very, it’s an environmental decision for me because it’s like we have to, the more people that can get on saying that this is important. Then it starts to change. It creates the demand that will change the world.
And, and it, it does make a difference. Like my, my son had seizures or like infant child tremors when he was forming. And every time I breastfed him, he would have a tremor.
Gissele: [00:34:38] Was he allergic to the milk?
Susan: [00:34:40] Yeah, there was, it was heavy metals and chemicals and saturated and the worst case I’ve ever seen in any of my clients, it was coming from me and I thought I was pretty clean and just living, probably drinking, tap water, living and eating non-organic food, my entire life, growing up, living in Hamilton.
Gissele: [00:35:04] Oh, I lived there.
Susan: [00:35:06] Right. Every single person in Hamilton, let me tell you.
Gissele: [00:35:10] Did you. There was that Weird. Like, I don’t know, sulfur smell. Like I remember one time I was living downtown Hamilton, an apartment, and I remember waking up and thought my apartment smells really bad. Like what’s going on? I opened up the door and it was outside. It was like, You could see the factory. And it was just like smog or I would go running. And then by the end of the run, my, my lungs just feltl like so heavy and I’m like, shouldn’t a run make me feel better? It was not good.
Susan: [00:35:36] This is it. And people in Hamilton, they, they are not like, it’s funny. Cause if you go for a run up the escarpment and you look out, it’s pumping out chemicals every single day.
And I see heavy metal testing, chemical testing is very hard to get accurate metal testing because heavy metals and chemicals from everywhere, they stay in the tissues, they stay in the fat cells, they stay in the brain. So if you just take some tests, like some people take hair, hair, mineral test. But if you’re not, if your body’s not pulling those metals, it might say like, when I did it with my son, it said I was fine, that it was clear.
And then, holly, when I started to. I think why my son had that was I was taking garlic. Garlic is a natural puller. When I was pregnant.
Gissele: [00:36:26] Oh God, I love garlic.
Susan: [00:36:27] Yeah. And it was like going right. It’s amazing. And it was going right into my son, all the lead. So then I started pulling, I started doing hair mineral, I mean, blood analysis.
And I started all of the, see all these metals that were saturated. And I started doing heavy metal detox, and I had a ton of symptoms. Like I was major adrenal fatigue, eczema all the time I would get like a psoriasis or eczema. My immune system was really low. I was super anxious and moody all the time.
I was having weird symptoms, like pressure in my ear and insomnia and whatever. And I started pulling the metals and it like, you have to do it very, very carefully because with a practitioner, because metals can be they’re toxic. So you can’t just do it by yourself. and five years later, I’m still pulling heavy metals out of my blood every single time. Like
Gissele: [00:37:25] Oh there’s a lot of heavy metals out here still.
Susan: [00:37:27] Do you know what i mean? Like and the deodorants people use. So I think when you ask the question about organic, it’s really not just about. It’s choosing organic in all areas of your life. It’s like cleaning products hippy sticks, you know, some, some of those make you smell like a dirty hippie, but, um.
Gissele: [00:37:47] That’s the problem. The problem is people want things that work and they want things, but they don’t want to smell. I mean, none of us want to smell it cause there’s a whole social thing to it.
Susan: [00:37:56] it’s very hard for human beings to give up their luxuries. Even I’m a pretty aware person.
Gissele: [00:38:02] Yeah.
Susan: [00:38:03] And even I can’t do it. And I mean, I do buy a lot of things like I do. Choose secondhand. Whenever I can, like, I’m this is, this is Value Village.
I, you know, I choose those as much as I can, but I still produce a ton of waste and
Gissele: [00:38:21] yeah. And it’s so interesting, like in terms of the clothing and stuff and yeah. Like we produced a tons and
tons of waste
Susan: [00:38:28] We will see,
I feel like the, the world will keep on going and
Our souls will be floating
Gissele: [00:38:36] I’m still hopeful so I do know that your work integrates East and West kind of approaches.
I’m wondering how you incorporate meditation into your work.
Susan: [00:38:48] Yeah, so. And it’s, I would say meditation. So let me go back. So with Eastern, West I do Chinese medicine is really like, what’s changed my practice. I think when I learned nutrition, it was Western holistic nutrition, which is good, but it’s, It has its limitations.
And so when I went to school, they just taught you about like a ton of different diets. Like here’s the paleo diet Here’s the keto diet I here’s. So here’s the raw food diet. So I think I, it was hard to figure out who to use for what people. And sometimes at the time I was doing a raw food diet, but I would eat meat.
So cause I thought more enzymes. That’s better for you, there’s more nutrients in it. And for a while when I was on raw, it felt really good. Like I felt amazing, but two, three years later, the next thing I know I was having six bowel movements a day. I get striations on my fingernails loose. My body temperature was freezing cold and I had a master herbalist look at my tongue and which I feel like now is pretty sexy.
And cause I’ve been working on it. But yeah, that’s how I date now is just like, show me your tongue. But he looked at my tongue and he, he said, no fruit, no raw, no dairy. And it was basically every single thing I had been doing and, and yeah, it, I was floored and that’s how my life changed.
And within two weeks I got in cooked food. My temperature raised my bowel movements started going back to normal everything. And that’s what made me insanely curious about Eastern nutrition and Chinese medicine and people think in the West that they’re on good diets. This is what I’ve noticed. People are like, I eat pretty healthy, but you, if I had to give like a suggestion to anyone, it’s like, you got to figure out your constitution from an, from either an Eastern or aerobatic perspective, because let like, like certain foods like lemon.
Ginger, like sour flavors, sour, spicy bitter. These are medicinal and people take them like a flavoring. They use them for flavoring, but they’re medicinal. So if you’re drinking lemon water every day, it’s not good for your body, you could cause yourself insomnia or whatever. My dad used to drink green tea and every night he would wake up between three and five.
And he thought it was his prostate. And I kept saying to him, dad, it’s your lungs. You have like dryness in the lungs. And he’s like, you know, parents never believed their kids. This is the thing I could be like Deepak Chopra. And my dad would be like, what do you know? But, and it was so funny. He was on six rounds of antibiotics for sinus infections.
And he finally had to come to me. And I gave him three remedies, which all started to create moisture in his sinus cavity and got them off the green tea. And within three weeks, this marble sized ball of mucus, hard as a rock, large marble came out of his sinuses into his throat. Oh my God. And he, he thought he had cancer up there and it was stuck because the green tea was drying out his tissues so much that Yeah.
Gissele: [00:42:33] Yeah. I, yeah, I always had a hard time drinking green tea. I mean, I like it, but I can’t drink it that much. I find the same thing. I find it really drying. Like I find it. Oh, I don’t do it.
Susan: [00:42:44] That’s so interesting. See, that’s it. And it’s like, that’s the intuitive part of it.
Gissele: [00:42:49] But I drank it, because I thought I was supposed to.
Susan: [00:42:52] Interesting see.
Gissele: [00:42:54] Because you hear, and this is the thing, is that because I love what you’re saying.
People think that they have to have this cookie cutter, well, you know, drink green tea and everybody just drinks that green. Right. And so they’re not taking into account their own body, their own genetic makeup, their own culture, like in the Hispanic culture, we eat a lot of garlic and a lot of ginger and a lot of that stuff.
I mean, I couldn’t live without a lot of Basil in coriander, yeah, so that’s, that’s my jam. Right. Because I love it, but then I was trying to do things that were outside that. Didn’t really fit me that didn’t I know I tried them because I thought I was supposed to do it. I was, you know, I thought, well, you know, like this is going to prevent.
And then I thought, nah, well, you know, for now I just do what I love. I just eat what I like. And
Susan: [00:43:42] Yaaah you got smarter girl.
Gissele: [00:43:47] It didn’t help. I there’s too many things. I like too much nowadays. Yeah.
Susan: [00:43:53] I know. Right. It’s that for? Sure.
Gissele: [00:43:55] Tell us a little bit about your breakdown to breakthrough program.
Susan: [00:43:59] Yeah. So this is, this is my baby. This is my baby. So I’ve for 12 years, I’ve just done. Individual one on one-off counseling. And it was great. And I’ve always wanted to work with people over a long term, like, so that the breakdown to breakthrough group is like a 90 day is a 90 day program. And I have a year long program and it’s fun because I was scared before asking people for like a commitment like that, because.
I it’s almost like you don’t want to make people pay too much or whatever. And then I started to get re to, to totally get in touch with realizing I am robbing people of healing and radical transformation and change. So my program is like really, to help people overcome emotional pain and, and mastery it’s to develop emotional mastery.
And I work with a lot of people with burnout, like adrenal fatigue. The, and the people that tend to be my clients are doers, the doers, the go-go goers, the, the type, a movers and shakers, you know, the list makers that that’s my clients. And they get to a point of like burning out or they give, give, give to everyone else and they never give to themselves.
And and people that have had childhood trauma that can never manifest what they want, because they’re constantly repeating the trauma. So it feels like what’s wrong with me. Why isn’t this working? And, and. So like, I’ll, I’ll work with anybody with like sexual abuse with, you know, people don’t even know what’s there, but we uncover it.
So helping people manifest whatever they want. Like if it’s weight loss or this, but even more importantly, it’s like it’s coming home to yourself and connecting to God, I mean the word God may not resonate with anyone. because everyone has different perceptions of it. But
Gissele: [00:46:05] Yeah you say source universe
Susan: [00:46:07] source, universe,
Gissele: [00:46:08] I use God God source universe, all same.
Susan: [00:46:11] Yeah. Love. Exactly. And so it’s kind of, it’s a fusion of emotional work and nutrition and it’s so fun. I have, I have four coaches on my team and we do deep inner child work. We do breath work. Which is super cathartic. If any, if you’ve ever done it, it’s, if you can’t feel energy, you will feel energy after breath work because it’s like a deep cathartic breath and people will go back to past lives.
They’ll go back to them to when they were in the womb. And they’ll be like, Oh my God, that’s why I feel this way. That’s what my mom was thinking. So, and we do journey work. We do. What else is, what else is in that program? I do. I have a doctor of Chinese medicine in the program. Cause I’m taking a role where I kind of sit back and I still do coaching, but, um, Uh, in the group sessions.
So it’s like a fusion of like one-on-one sessions in group sessions, you get almost 18 sessions in the program and people it’s so fun. Like, it’s just so awesome to see change in these people because it’s things they’ve never thought about. Like I had a client just. Remembering her sexual abuse for the first time I had and starting to heal that.
Ando I had clients start to stand up to their partners and speak their truth and not be scared about it and find, yeah, like it’s, it’s such transforming people like being okay with their anxiety. Like everybody sees anxiety as a, as a problem. And it’s, it’s the messenger. It’s like, don’t shoot the messenger.
You know, it’s like, it’s, it’s the actual doorway to your freedom, but no one, like when I have anxiety now I’m like, woo. Like, I’m always like, Ooh, what’s coming up today. Oh, you know, I always say like, I have a theory even with making money, the more I lie on the couch, the more money I make that that is like an, I truly believe it in my, head
Gissele: [00:48:21] How does that work. Because I need that. What’s that what’s that now?
Susan: [00:48:24] You want that well, yeah. It’s I think, you know, what we, when we talked about before of like going into the emotions, like, you know, manifestation is 80% mindset. So it’s almost like you, you know, when you’re like with people, they’re like, when I wasn’t looking for a partner and I just started loving my life and living it, boom, you showed up and that’s the same thing with money is when money, people think they have to do, we have this theory of like working harder.
to make money Yeah. Hustle
Gissele: [00:48:59] climb your way up the ladder
Susan: [00:49:02] climb. Yeah. In a way, like putting your hours, but it’s, it’s, it’s a problem to have because you have to be it to attract it. So if you want money, if the reason you want money is for greater ease. And abundance and fun. And you, you have a vision of what your life would be like.
Oh, like for me, if I want to make money, my, I want it because I want to be really supported. Like I would have people cooking for me. I would, I would be able to take time off in the middle of the day and go do a run. My life would be flow My life would be calm and the money would be there and I would feel a sense of ease and it would be fun.
And so in order to get that, you have to be it in the moment. So if you’re always forcing, you’re contradicting, you’re coming from a place of lack. So when I do Reiki or when I lay down with myself, I just, I’m always going, creating the abundance in the moment. So it’s like, I’m saying no to my work. And I’m trusting and I’m saying, you know abundance is, is being there for yourself, you know, above all.
So it’s so funny. And I find that the lazier I am, the more money comes into my life. It’s it’s Oh
Gissele: [00:50:21] I’m going to take a chapter
out of that book?
Susan: [00:50:25] Like it’s like, I think my business went from like 5,000 a month to 20,000 a month. And. It wasn’t from force and now, and because I believe it now, because I’ve seen the magic show up.
Yeah. It’s like, it’s almost like the more I shift stuff. If I shift my sexual abuse, abuse, boom. A client shows up. If I shift my abandonment or an I be there for myself. Boom. Like money comes into my life. So yeah
Gissele: [00:50:55] Can we just expand a little bit? I know we’re getting kind of close to the end, I think part of the, part of what you’re talking about is how we sometimes get in our way.
I’ve heard that there is kind of this natural flow in life that the universe is always trying to help you achieve what you want to achieve. Part of it has to do with the faith. Like, you know, I struggle with a times just releasing because for so long, I’ve had to make things happen. Right. And so there’s an element of like, well, what if I let go? Right? What if I let go? And then it doesn’t work.
There’s always that piece. And I think it takes a great deal of faith. So how can we help people have a little bit, even a one degree, more, 1% faith,
Susan: [00:51:41] one degree, more faith. So I would say let me just ponder this for one minute.
Gissele: [00:51:47] Sure.
Susan: [00:51:49] I think it’s, first of all, recognizing that the most important moment is the, now that the money is the future goals are actually not that important. Like we talk a lot about manifesting. It’s funny. Cause when I talk with my old coaches, my older coaches, they always say. You know, manifestation is passe.
Like it’s great. It’s like it’s way more important to be connected to God and divinity and, and yourself in the moment. Like that is really like the true freedom because the happiness isn’t in it. Isn’t in the, the money or the having a kid or, you know, weight loss. It’s like, cause that’s conditional happiness.
It’s like, Oh, I’m happy if I have all those things. Yeah. And so it’s like, I think the surrender is yeah. When you actually start to recognize that. And the, it it’s like when I, the fact that I make more money now, it’s so funny because. The truth is, it’s just the bonus, you know, it’s like, because the most important, I reckon I realized that if I’m sad, like I’ve, I’ve, I’ve actually made 20,000 a month.
And there’s days when I still feel sad and there’s days when I still feel scarcity even at making that much money. And so I’ve recognized that in order to be happy, the most important thing is to be able to be there for my emotional landscape. No matter what. And so if I’m sacrificing or abandoning myself for chasing the carrot, you know, then what I’m practicing in the moment and it’s self-abandonment, and that’s what I’m going to be good at.
Whether I make 20,000 or 5,000 or a hundred thousand, you know? So it’s like you gotta practice presence, self, self, Being there for yourself, every single moment that that is quintessential, that it’s like, if I get a pain in my body, like last night I had a pain, I do not ignore. I could have forced myself to do work, which I used to do all the time.
And I still can. The on-time struggle. Like sometimes, you know, when you’re sitting at your computer and you’re trying to work. But you, it’s hard to come out and you keep maybe flipping over to Netflix every once in a while. And it’s like, it takes a long time to get it done. It’s because there’s this resistance in your body.
That’s saying this is not the way. This is not what I need in the, in the moment. You know, so it’s the quicker you’re at getting, figuring out what you need in the moment, what your soul needs, not what your mind needs, because your mind has these attachments like, Oh, I need this dollars to bring me happiness.
And the heart says, I need to relax. And so the more you just give in to that and then recognize your world. Isn’t falling apart and maybe like I know with money in me money and I, it would do that for a year cause I had abandonment issues. So when you have abandonment issues of kid, you’re going to abandonment of money because, and when you have lack of safety as a child, cause money is safe and it creates safety.
So it would do that for a year with me, where I would try to be forcing work. And then boom, no clients would show up and then I would surrender. And I would, I would be forced to surrender, I go for a walk on my trail. I cry. Boom. Clients would start calling next week, feeling nervous again and gotta make money.
You gotta make money. No clients show up. Oh, for walking my trail, chill out. Boom. All of a sudden. So that’s where the faith comes from. It’s when you start surrendering and the magic starts to you start to see, Hey, I’m supported. Hey. And it happens again and again in the universe is.
You can’t go the wrong way in life universe. If you had to choose the right way or you go away that creates more suffering and the suffering is going to wake you up. So you’re good.
Gissele: [00:56:28] Yeah. You know what, like thank you for sharing that that was so impactful. I was just remembering a story where if I had felt that had over spent because I was treating myself.
I was taking care of myself. And so, and it was like, mom and I was like $300. Right. But I remember asking the universe saying, okay, you know, this month we had all this things to pay for. I’m like, can you just, I need the $300. And like the next day somebody sent me an email saying, Hey, can you help me with this?
I’ll pay you $300, but here’s the pickle, but here’s the pickle. Then I forgot that I could trust on the universe and then kept emailing the person saying, well, if you need me to do anything else in the future, blah, blah, blah. So fast forward, maybe a few months into it. I get a parking ticket for on somewhere.
I don’t even remember, like it was supposed to be, I think I creeped into the handicap zone, but I, I don’t even remember. Cause I wasn’t, I didn’t even have a ticket when I got back on my dash from school. For $300. I’m like Universe, come on from like the Lord given and the Lord take it away.
Susan: [00:57:37] That’s so funny.
Gissele: [00:57:39] It is. And what I learned from that experience, was that. I lost trust in the universe. I thought like the same as you, the universe demonstrated to me that all I needed to do was ask in that it is trying to help me. But then when I lost, when I said to the universe, well, I need to make this happen.
This is where we think our manifestation has to be a specific way, or the person has to look a specific way or it has to come through this way, or I have to earn it, whereas it can come in any form. Cause we make it harder for ourselves. At least has been my experience. So.
Susan: [00:58:13] We, we do. We do. I think it’s funny with what comes up for me when you tell that story of it comes and then it goes, it’s such a trip because you know how sometimes if it comes, we get happy and it makes our life better. We’re like, yeah, but there’s still like an attachment to it.
You know what I mean? And then it’s like, let’s see how really unattached you are. Cause, you know, it takes it away. Let’s see if you can be happy, even when it goes, you know? Um, and yeah, it’s I lost my train of thought there, but,
I was going to say something, but I’ll let you continue.
Gissele: [00:58:51] No, that’s okay. I was gonna ask what’s next for you? What are you doing right now? What are you working on that you want to share with the audience?
Susan: [00:58:58] Yes. So really just I’m, I’m really just focusing on my program right now. I’m, I’m starting to incorporate retreats into my 90 day and year long program where it’s a fusion.
It’s not just like, it’s a fusion, it’s a yin yang kind of retreat where. You know, it’s not just spiritual, you’re just drinking green juice the whole time. It’s like, yeah. It’s like, it’s great. That’s great too. It’s like a mixture of celebration and drinks as well as deep breath work as well as movement.
And you know, art and nature and all of the above, but it’s this? Yeah. The program has been really, really my focus to start spreading it out to the world and, and call in call in the people that are ready to come home and ready to have a little less suffering, or at least just have the tools in their toolbox to know how to deal with it.
I think that’s my most favorite thing in my life at forties in my forties, is. When stuff comes up, I feel like I have all the tools and it doesn’t scare me at all. It’s like, Oh yeah, this is the thing that I was going to say to you. And I was like, I have to tell, I have to say this to Gissele. You know how sometimes we get it, forget it, forget it, forget it thing with money, we get attached.
And it’s like a constantly, like, how could I forget that? I totally got it. And I think we don’t have a choice. To forget it, it, it becomes forgot because this, this idea like this trust in the universe, because there’s another piece of trauma that needs to come up and it’s not even your fault, you couldn’t control it.
If you tried. You, you it’s, you’re going to go down to the depths. You, because it’s going down to the depths is going to be what frees you and eventually brings in that abundance. That’s why going the wrong way is the right direction. No wrong way. Even if somebody pisses you off and you know, this is the whole thing in life about we have to be. Loving, you know, sometimes it’s good for people to be assh**** because it’s going to be part of our healing and.
Gissele: [01:01:11] Yeah. They’re helping us to, heal those parts of ourselves. Yeah. Cause we’re the vibrational match we’re there. Right. So they’re helping us step up into our own love and compassion.
Susan: [01:01:19] Yeah.
This is that. So it’s some, get it, forget it all the way. Yeah,
Gissele: [01:01:24] for sure. How do people get a hold of you.
Susan: [01:01:26] Okay. Yeah. So there’s a link I’ll drop or you will drop a link to that. I guess that’s my Facebook group is my. Favorite place to connect because I, I sent you a lot of live videos and it’s a great support group for people and yeah, it’s so awesome.
And whereas on my website, you can, you can post the link to the website. It’s just that it’s old school. It’s my old, it doesn’t even talk about my programming. It’s in the middle of a renovation.
Gissele: [01:01:56] Thank you much for being with us, like it’s just such a pleasure, such an such an amazing conversation, and I hope people go and check you out your facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/561484324447592. Thank you everyone for being here with us and, you know, don’t forget to subscribe and check out another episode of the loving compassion podcast, with Gissele. Thank you.
Susan: [01:02:12] Oh, thank you so much. I’m so grateful for you.