2015: The year in review

2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com

 

First, the year in stats:

Number of websites created: 1
Number of first dates: 10
Number of second dates: 2
Number of surgeries endured: 1
Number of fibroids removed: 14
Number of weeks spent recuperating: 6+
Number of new courses created: 1
Number of trips abroad: 2
Number of years on the planet: 42
Number of personal realisations: ALL OF THEM

2015 has been a year in three acts: first came the surgery in January and the subsequent months of recovery. Next came my summertime flurry of yoga, dating and website building. And finally the licking of wounds before holing up in the Creation Cave for these final three months. While it’s been far from a fallow year, I feel I’ve been preparing the way for more to come in 2016 and beyond. The new website holds the space for more courses and books, the surgery and yoga cleared out a LOT of stuck energy, and the dating got me back on the horse, a wildly uncontrollable horse I may never tame but at least I’m trying.

I’ve barely blogged this year, preferring to share my heart in my monthly Love Letters, a space that’s felt so much more intimate. I’ll be celebrating ten years of blogging in April and in that time I’ve seen the social media landscape change so much. There are so many more places to stay connected to my peeps — I love Facebook and Instagram particularly — but the honest truth is I’ve missed my blogging mojo. I miss writing and I want to do more of it in 2016. I have an idea for my next book I plan to start fleshing out, and I have things on my heart that I feel ready to share.

I usually pen a more thorough assessment of the year but I’m not feeling the need to do it this year — I want to focus on what’s coming. I honour 2015 for all the lessons it brought me. It’s been a good year, all things considered, a year of preparation.

I am so ready for you, 2016.

 

2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com

 

Favourite books of the year: The Rivers of London | Big Magic | Yes Please

Favourite music of the year: Flor | Lucy Rose | Dustin Tebbutt | Rae Morris | Fickle Friends | Vaults | Kina Grannis

Favourite tech (re)discoveries of the year: Spotify | Audible | Basecamp

Fave moment of the year: finding a certain unicorn card on my doorstep

Fave posts of the year: The myth of perfection | My house of belonging | The real inner circle | How I learned to live in my body | Lessons learned from nine years of blogging | The power of kindness | On opening to love (again) | One hundred words of now

Other years in review: 2014 :: 2013 :: 2012 :: 2011 :: 2010 :: 2009

Comments (8)

Welcome to the new site!

SusannahConway.com

Last December I mused in my journal that maybe it was time to revamp my website. It had always felt like such a mammoth task I’d been putting it off for years but for some reason, as the year drew to a close and I looked forward into 2015, I knew it was time. So I reached out to a designer I admired and asked if she’d work with me. To my delight she said yes, igniting what’s turned into a seven-month mission. Along the way I had a photo shoot with a photographer I adore and we found a developer who’s been utterly charming and a delight to work with. Ideas were collated, pages were rewritten and a new vision for the site was birthed. It’s been fun and challenging in equal measure!

My intention for the new site was to create a space that feels deeper and softer and more delicious than ever. A place that’s elegant and stylish, user-friendly and thoughtfully put together. A place that’s an expansion of who I am in this online world, while still feeling unequivocally like me.

I think we’ve achieved this :)

Rather than create loads of unnecessary new stuff we’ve simply reimagined every page and added one significant new page: the Shop. There you’ll find teasers of the four courses I’ll be rolling out over the rest of the year — in feedback from a recent survey you guys overwhelmingly asked for some shorter courses so now the site’s done I can’t wait to get started on those!

We’ve also given two of my most read blog posts — The Art of the Polaroid and How I shoot with my iPhone — their own pages, and I’m deeply in love with the new e-courses page. And the media page. And the about page. Hell, I love all of it :)

So do have a look around and please know that we’re still ironing out any kinks!

I hope you like my new digs xo

{With big smoochy love to Chelsy, Michael and Kristin — and to Rachel for connecting me with Chelsy in the first place xo)

Lessons learned from nine years of blogging

Lessons learned from nine years of blogging | SusannahConway.com

My blog turned nine on Sunday. Nine years of sharing my heart online — can you believe it?

Back then blogging felt like a friendly chat around a kitchen table. There was no concern about tweets and likes and shares, although we were still pretty keen on comments. In April 2006 Facebook was a two-year-old toddler and Twitter only a month old. While I’m sure there were plenty of business-driven blogs, our corner of the blogosphere consisted of personal bloggers sharing their stories and interests. We loved words and poetry, photography and craft. We commented on each others’ sites and our blog rolls spilled off our sidebars. The online world really did feel like a smaller place back then.

I remember when everyone was up in arms about adverts popping up on blogs — now no one bats an eyelid at blog monetisation. When I first offered my Unravelling course in January 2009 (and over 100 women signed up!) it never even occurred to me that it could be a sustainable business — you know, doing stuff online. Each time I offered the course I’d think “maybe this is the session that will bomb” and would quietly freak out whenever I saw someone else offering a course, fearing the marketplace would become saturated. The irony is the marketplace is now most definitely saturated, but that also means doing stuff online has become so normal.

I often wonder what my online life would be like if I’d have had access to the bells and whistles we have now. I imagine it must feel rather intimidating starting a blog, website or online biz with all the razzmatazz out there. Nine years ago I didn’t know I was stepping on to an entrepreneurial path… I just wanted to connect with others and exercise my writerly muscles again. I wonder if my 33-year-old self would have signed up for B-School and jumped in feet first? (Answer: highly unlikely.)

One of the loveliest parts of being online is the community that’s grown around me. So many of you have been here from the start, witnessing my journey and supporting me all these years — thank you so much for being here! It’s a blessing to have such kind-hearted peeps in my tribe. These days I may blog less but I hang out on social media every day and cherish the connections we share. I still get overwhelmed by all the noise (hello HSP) but as long as I filter mindfully I can usually keep my head ;-)

My online persona is pretty close to my off-line persona, though in the 3D world I’m far more sweary. I don’t share all my dirtiest laundry here but then I never have done. Even in the worst of the grief I was still a year out from the blast when I started blogging, so the white hot pain was kept to myself. I share what I would be happy to tell you to your face, and I really am truly HAPPY to share — it’s an honour to have this space and reach as many people as I do.

There were never any long-term plans when I started blogging because I had no idea what was possible — the possibilities hadn’t been imagined yet. But if I’d had a plan where I am right now is where I would’ve hoped to be…. still connecting with others and exercising my writerly muscles.

A few things I’ve learned through blogging:

1. People are amazing. The kindness of complete strangers has blown me away thousands of times over the last nine years.

2. Everything will change. Social media sites will come and go and domain names will be reimagined, but your voice will always be yours. Hone it, use it, appreciate it.

3. Never underestimate the power of story. Sharing our stories helps others feel less alone and teaches us how to live even better endings.

4. Nine times out of ten a post will be improved if you sleep on it and look again with fresh eyes in the morning. This can be applied to most situations, I find.

5. There will always be someone bigger, brighter, more successful. Someone with whiter teeth and shinier hair. Do your best to tune them out and keep your eyes on your own page.

6. DO YOUR OWN THING. Do your absolute very best to not be a watered-down version of someone else. There are a lot of people online and after a while they all start looking the same. Proudly stand out in your own way. Be YOU in all your messy fabulous glory.

In a completely unplanned turn of events, Blogging from the Heart is currently enrolling — we start Monday May 4th :)

2014: The year in review

Polaroids | SusannahConway.com
First, the year in stats:

Number of teeth removed: 1
Number of teeth straightened: all of them
Number of first dates: 1
Number of second dates: 0
Number of photographs shot: 20,000+
Number of books created: 1
Number of new courses created: 2
Number of hours getting inked: 11
Number of trips abroad: 0
Number of years on the planet: 41
Number of personal realisations: too many to count

2014 was a year in two halves. The first half was all about recovering from my dating escapades in the previous year. I didn’t consciously choose to not date this year but it’s turned out to be what I needed the most: time to get back to centre and ground into what makes me me. And I was doing really well — the Sacred Alone was born out of the delicious mindfulness of the first part of the year and I felt more connected to Source than I have done in a loooong time.

But then the book creation process took over.

The Breakfast Club | SusannahConway.com

Shooting Londontown was creatively challenging in the best possible way, and physically exhausting in the worst way. In order to stay focussed on the project and get everything done I let myself consciously numb out for a while — six months, in fact. Rather than deal with the big emotional stuff of life I did the work I needed to do — photographing the city, running my beloved courses, staying on top of admin and blogging when I could — then let myself watch a LOT of Netflix while resting my bones in the evenings.

Exploring the city with my cameras was an adventure in itself and while I felt stressed about the project more often than I’d have liked, there were many moments of pure joy as I rediscovered this beautiful (and maddening) city. It felt really good to sink into my photography for a while, though I learned it’s not possible to develop two big projects at the same time. My plans for the oracle deck had to be put on hold as there just wasn’t enough space in my head (or hours in the day).

I speak the new stories | SusannahConway.com

I hit my deadline early December and now, as predicted, I’ve been sick for three weeks. It makes me realise how effectively my stress levels suppress any potential illness! I’m used to this pattern of manic creation and then full-body shut down, so I don’t imagine it’ll be changing any time soon.

All in all it’s been one of the fastest years of my life. New friendships were made and others were deepened. My relationship with my nephew got sweeter with every day that passed. My love and appreciation of my family is never-ending and absolute. I adore living in London and don’t have any plans to leave just yet. My teeth are now straight after a year persevering with Invisalign, and my body is miraculously still in shape, thanks to working with Carrie at the gym.

Christmas fair | SusannahConway.com
I faced a few demons this year, and though I numbed out for much of it, as noted above, I’m heading into 2015 with a renewed sense of what I need and what I want. I’m also bursting with creative ideas I can finally start tackling — hallelujah! — but first I must prepare myself for an operation in January. I’m having my fibroids removed and need to get my head around that — both the op itself and the recovery afterwards — but once that’s done it’s GAME ON.

Fave books of the year: The Radiance Sutras | The Book of Love and Creation | The Dance of the Dissident Daughter | Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

Fave music of the year: Bombay Bicycle Club | Asgeir | Bat for Lashes | City and Colour

Fave moment of the year: the day I looked after Noah, just me and him, and he told me he loved me (unprompted) about 150 times

Second fave moment of the year: Noah figuring out how to call me on his mum’s mobile phone

Fave photo of the year:

In the field | SusannahConway.com

Fave posts of the year:  The (delicious) truth about getting older | How to access our inner wisdom | On aching and love | 25 things you don’t know about me (maybe) | Delaying the big reveal | The end of woo woo | Sometimes you need a creativity reboot | The humans of Londontown | Inhabiting the soft animal of my body | Things I want to remember no. 12 | On wholeness & loving ourselves realistically | My beauty essentials

Thank you for coming here and visiting me in this space. Next year I’ll be celebrating NINE years of blogging and it is still such a joy to be here I honestly can’t imagine ever stopping. Thank you for your kindness and your comments, both here and wherever else we connect on social media. The web has woven us all closer together and I’m so grateful for that, aren’t you? xo

Other years in review: 2013 :: 2012 :: 2011 :: 2010 :: 2009

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Ps. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas/December break and are feeling ready for 2015. Choosing my word for next year has been made extra special thanks to all the lovely connecting and sharing happening in the Find Your Word Facebook group — I think we may have supercharged all our words in the process! I’ll share mine here on Thursday next week!