“I just wanted to write and let you know how much I’ve enjoyed this class. I’ve taken all of your courses and this one feels qualitatively different – deeper – an evolution. I liked the lightness and gentleness of the structure, the space for carving-out deep alone time. It perfectly suited and reflected the purpose of the course.” – from Melinda, via email
After five years of teaching online I’ve come to trust that the teacher often ends up teaching what she most needs to learn. All my courses draw on my own experiences, and The Sacred Alone is without a doubt the most soul-excavating work I’ve done since writing the book. The class is illuminating and rich and I really didn’t want those 14 days to end (always a good sign!).
I like to challenge myself to find new ways to present my ideas and I knew meditation would be a key part of this class. I was a little nervous about recording the audios as I hadn’t done it before, but, as always, I trusted my instincts and opened up to the possibility of doing it imperfectly, knowing that would be enough. Because the truth is, I’ve had a patchy relationship with meditation over the years. My reluctance to settle into stillness has dogged me forever, despite spending a lot of time being still, if that even makes sense. I have a shedload of guided meditations, and have tried all sorts of techniques, but nothing really stuck as a daily practice. I live mindfully, yes, and have often said that photography is like meditation for me, but it’s only been this year that something has changed.
As I unravelled my understanding of the Sacred Alone, I opened myself wide to meditation. After a lifetime of inconsistency my body/mind/soul finally let go. It’s like when you’re learning to drive and after months of struggle it suddenly clicks into place and you’re driving without thinking. I’ve had my click and it feels like a miracle.
It’s no coincidence that this has coincided with my decision to be more transparent about my spiritual side. Some of my online peers write very unselfconsciously about this stuff, but I’ve always shied away from revealing this side of myself. Even after 25 years of figuring out what rings true for me, it felt too personal, somehow, too revealing. But when I wrote the “Spirit” week for Journal Your Life, I knew it was time to own this part of me more publicly. I’m not a traditionally religious person, but I am and always have been a spiritual person whose hotchpotch of beliefs informs how she lives.
“I LOVED the meditations! I’ve been trying to find a way to incorporate meditation into my daily life and I had tried several different techniques, etc. but nothing had clicked for me until this course. Between the morning meditations and listening to the mixtape on my morning walks (that mixtape is gold!), I’ve felt so centered and peaceful.” — Kate, via email
As I wrote and recorded each meditation it seemed to be coming from someplace outside of myself. The audios are short — just 5-6 minutes — and simple, and even the act of recording them was incredibly transporting. I was thrilled (and surprised) to discover I have a knack for this. I want to explore this way of connecting with participants further and definitely see a sound studio in my future, so expect longer guided meditations at some point this year.
As Melinda noted in her email to me, my work is evolving. I feel the strands of the last five years coming together into a pattern, and I’m hungry to see where this next stage takes me. I feel more confident in my role as teacher, while still honouring the fact that I’m always learning. As with everything I share, I like to work through the lessons first so I can authoritatively report back from the trenches. Because, you see, I don’t have the answers — no one does, we find them for ourselves — but I’m very happy to share the results of my experiments.
After ‘retiring’ Unravelling last year I’m now looking into how I can develop this core work. Whether it’s Unraveling 2.0 or a multi-media ebook remains to be seen, but I DO know that I’m feeling called to go much deeper in my teaching. Between me and you, now I’ve taken a break from dating I have so much more energy available for creating. No surprises there, I guess!
I’ve also started working on something that makes my heart race every time I think about it: a deck of oracle cards. Think: inner wisdom, journalling and beautiful imagery, all wrapped up in a deck that feels amazing in your hands. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of oracle cards, so creating my own deck feels like the most natural thing in the world. It’s got to the stage where I can’t *not* make them — my overflowing notebook is proof of this. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!
I personally love hearing about your more spiritual side, so I’m glad you’re sharing more of it. I’m not religious either but I’m so drawn to people like Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and even ACIM which I guess are all aspects of mindfulness. It calls to a part of me that I wasn’t even aware of, yet I can’t seem to resist it. Even if I don’t think about it for a few days, it will natural pop up and I’ll stop for a second and enjoy the moment.
Also very exciting about your cards, though I’m not entirely sure what they are (perhaps you could share a post on your thoughts on them? I’d love to read that…) I’m sure they will be beautiful!
Looking forward with great interest to hearing more on the spiritual side. I have so many Oracle cards I’d be unlikely to buy another deck, but who knows?
Hi Susannah, I have just completed your Sacred Alone course and LOVED it! It was so lovely just to have some guilt-free time to explore myself. The meditations were beautiful and accompanies by lots of great journalling goodies. Thans so much and I really do look forward to more meditations and unravelling from you. Love and sunshine x
There’s a voice of deep centered-ness in this piece, and it speaks to me of you stepping up another level as a teacher, stepping into a new and evolving role as a teacher – one that will continue to touch and transform the lives of people who walk along with you but perhaps in new and even deeper ways. I love watching your journey, my friend – and seeing how we’ve both grown and changed over the years. Much love. x
ohhhhh LOVE LOVE LOVE ALL of this ALL of it– every bit!!!!
I can’t wait to see your oracle cards! Currently I only have the Vision Quest Tarot card deck and I love it, but I am looking for something additional and haven’t found anything that speaks to my heart and soul. Maybe you are creating the perfect deck for me, who knows?!!!
I too loved the Sacred Alone Meditations. I started meditating a few months ago (I am using Headspace) and can sit for 20 minutes (and do it almost daily), but sometimes I need something shorter. Now I have a small, beautiful collection from which I can choose whatever my soul needs at that moment! I am travelling this weekend and it will be hard to squeeze in 20 minutes quiet time (I don’t travel alone), but now I don’t have to worry because I have your short meditations, and I can always find the time to do one of them! Thanks so much for creating those meditations (and all that other great stuff) for me, Susannah!
Yes, Oracle Cards! Oh man, I cannot wait to see what you come up with! x
It has been our privilege to witness your evolving, and your generosity in turn helping us to excavate and evolve ourselves. Can’t wait to see what is ahead for you – and me, and all of us! :)
Oh – on a lighter note (although I’m sure it could be a deep and enriching experience itself) – still love the idea of a ‘Selfie’ class.
The sacred alone was such a gift. I loved waking up each day to the emails, which were lovingly packaged with gentle ideas and gorgeous meditations.
I started using guided meditations 2 years ago as a part of self care tools for my anxiety disorder.
Just coming off of your journaling class and into the sacred alone was a fun, grounding way to begin my year.
Love you, friend. xoxoxox
I read your post on my lunch hour at work & I look forward to your “Next Chapter” — Oracle Cards (Oooh, I look forward to seeing these!) & another course of sorts — All good news — I am excited for you …
Hi lovely Suzannah, yes! I could feel the change in you. I took your Blogging from the heart last year, and the Journal your life in Jan/Fev courses. Now taking the Sacred Alone I felt that you are a different person, much more spiritual then few months back. During the meditations I could feel your energy close to me. Thanks for the 14 days journey into myself!
Dear Susannah – yes, please! Make the oracle cards! Your site is so beautiful and heartfelt, I know the cards will reflect the same loveliness. Can’t wait to see them!
I *deeply* enjoyed The Sacred Alone, and I’m going to take more of your courses. You are a sacred being, Susannah and you know it. Thank you for helping me feel more connected to my centre, and lift the guilt away from me.
And I can’t wait to see your oracle cards and the new Unravelling!
love all of this, it feels both strong and gentle. can’t wait for those oracle cards! keep evolving, baby! xo
You are a shining star and guiding light Susannah, following your own, helping us to follow ours.
Dating breaks are fabulous for that surge in creativity, enjoy and be well hon. Can’t wait to see what emerges next, oxox m
Thank you for sharing this side of yourself Susannah. I’ve taken several of our courses and The Sacred Alone was the most soulful (and I say that will great care because I LOVE your other courses as well). Like you, my meditation practice really took off a year ago, and that, paired with daily journaling and oracle cards, has drawn me closer to the thin veil between me and Other. I am excited to see where you go in this next year, as I have also started teaching guided meditation at a local studio and have surprised myself with how naturally the meditations flow from me. Thank you for all your work and reports from the trenches – it’s helpful in my own trench-work :) Hugs. xo
This touches my heart so deeply. Thank you for sharing. I just ordered your book and patiently awaiting it’s arrival, can’t wait.
You’ve encouraged me to begin something I’ve known for sometime that I’ve needed to do. Thank you. Beginning with being imperfect, knowing that it will be enough.
Thank you for sharing your experience with this class. Sounds amazing! I have just started journaling this year, and it has been so good in giving me personal insights on my thoughts. I also just finished reading a wonderful book about body-spirit-mind health and wholeness by Lynne Goldberg entitled, Get Balanced, Get Blissed: Nourishment for Body, Mind, and Soul. The author has really helped me make more conscious choices from a place of self-awareness. You can find her book here: http://liveblissnow.com/
Oh yes I thought – oracle cards – but even better would be a course that lead us to create our own!
maybe a meditation app is in your future?? :)
As far as the dating is concerned, you will meet someone when you are not looking for him. That’s how the miracle happened for me.
I’m so excited to hear about the longer guided meditations. The ones in The Sacred Alone were so beautiful, I can’t wait to see where this new path leads.
an app of any kind would be a dream come true!!
Thank you Susannah for allowing yourself to be vulnerable to the outside world that I too feel like holding back from most days. You are an inspiration to me and so very obviously many others!
Thanks for this beautiful post Susannah. It’s so wonderful to hear your own story. Over the last couple of months I’ve dipped my toe into the world of meditation and I’ve found it to be a wonderful practice. Lovely to hear that you’ve been creating your own guides.
I’m excited that you’re making oracle cards. It seems like a natural part of your progression. I’ll be watching for them!
Previous courses and your book have all resonated with me, but this one was so impactful that I’m actually doing it again — and finding new areas of focus the second time around. My personal history with mediation mirrors your own, and the ones you created for this course are helping me to move past whatever resistance I’ve built up over the years (the Lake Meditation is amazing!) Thank you for
the gift of sharing so much of your Self, Susannah, and keep the magic coming!
Journaling has been such an eye-opener for me, Robyn. I am glad you have taken this up because a year from now you will look back and be amazed at your progress :}. All the best to you, and thanks for the great book recommend!