Suzi the person

I have had many roles in my life at this stage of my journey, some of which have labels (like wife/partner, friend, sister, daughter, project administrator, dance teacher, counsellor, family therapist, mediator, Reiki Healer) and some that don't. I hope there are many others that are positive and help those I come into contact with.

Being born a twin in 1971 created some real growth opportunities - some to do with independence, some to do with an unconscious yearning for connection. Suffice to say, Shaz and I were pretty inseparable until our teens, when we explored our individuality for a few years. The photo to the right is Shaz and I at 18 months old.

When I was 7 or 8, kids would come up to me on the playground and ask "is that boy/girl interested in me?" I guess that was a sign that I was a people watcher from an early age! I found school quite limiting and claustrophobic (all those rules!), so I left at the end of Sixth Form (Year 12 as you'd say now) and went to work in the secretarial support field. In my mid 20s, I began to wonder if this was what I wanted to do with my life. After some discussions with my brother, who had begun a Masters in Psychology (and knowing that Psychology didn't quite 'ring my bells' - I wanted something more experiential), I started my training at Human Development & Training Institute (who are no longer in existence unfortunately - they sold their programme to another tertiary institute). In 1999, when I began my training, tertiary institutes didn't provide counselling degrees - only psychology degrees. Consequently, I chose an experiential programme at HD&T, which I am very grateful for as it required the students to be self-responsible, self-observant and accountable. 

During this time, I had changed to a career as a software trainer and was struggling through my first marriage. What an amazing learning experience that was! Because I was working fulltime, I trained part time - relaxing weekends were not an option for seven years. Training at that (slower) speed had some advantages - I got to grow up a bit (ok, a lot!), assimilate the knowledge and learn about myself. In 2000, I managed to escape from a very dysfunctional marriage and start to rebuild my life. My co-trainees at HD&T were an incredible support during my grief process.

Lunch plans were made with Mark, a former business contact, purely to fill up my address book (as you do when you're newly single). It turned out that Mark was also newly single and the fireworks were too powerful to ignore. Mark came with a daughter, Chelsea, (aged 9 when we met), who has taught me a lot about acceptance, love and patience amongst other things. Mark and I married in 2004.

In December 2005, I graduated from HD&T with a Diploma in Counselling & Family Therapy and an Applied Grief Studies Certificate. It felt (and still feels) like an incredible achievement - so much happened during the training process, on a personal and professional level. Alongside my professional training, I began to become aware of my own influence on how my life turned out - from a physical, emotional and spiritual perspective. In 2004, I began to research toxins and their effect on health and wellbeing. I had always been interested in proactive health and was delighted to find a lot of information around to support a move towards safe alternatives. In that year, we transformed our household into a toxin-free place in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry. We also began to take supplements as the many minerals and vitamins we need to be truly well (and resilient) are no longer in the soils, hence no longer in our foods. I'm aiming to live to 120, so I have to be clear about a plan to get there!

In 2000, Shaz introduced me to Ceroc dancing (www.ceroc.co.nz), which she had discovered in London on her big OE. I have been dancing ever since (no need to take a partner - there are plenty there) and love it. Who knew exercise could be fun? In September 2010, I completed in my first ever competition (East and South Champs) and my team came 2nd (only to our teachers' other team, so we consider we were 1st). It was an awesome experience and has created some lasting friendships.

In 2007, Shaz sent me a little book called "The Secret" for my/our birthday. The ideas of Law of Attraction really appeal to me and I went on to buy the audio CD set, so I could listen to the messages more frequently. I have since discovered Michael Losier's work, which I find to be more specific with clear ideas about activities and actions you can take to work towards manifesting the life you want. I  have also listened to Esther Hicks (Abraham Hicks), which is very inspiring and has more of a spiritual sense than some of the early Law of Attraction material I discovered. Mike Dooley (www.tut.com) is another resource that is awesome - a really fun way to look at manifesting change and creating our own lives consciously. A Course in Miracles is also a reference book - challenging me with some of the words that I have had negative associations with (like "God") - and still being a fantastic opportunity for growth and learning. The Universe is constantly sending me people who are helping me on my journey towards a more conscious, authentic way of being.

My mission at present is to aim towards an authentic life in as many ways as possible. This involves waking up to myself and my patterns and beliefs, and exploring alternatives for those that aren't working for me. I know this is challenging to the people close to me sometimes, and I hope they bear with me. If they're not in a space where they can make sense of my new, ever-changing self, I send them love and light and wish them well on their life journey, even if they choose to remove themselves from my orbit right now.

I am very passionate about ageing well and took up yoga in December 2000. I love the teaching style at Yoga in Daily Life. I attend a very good class once a week, and practised the khatu pranam exercises several morning a week for years. I have also practised the Tibetan Rites, which are an ancient anti-ageing exercise routine. I encourage everyone to practice this gentle, strengthening form of exercise if you want to feel more resilient and strong. 

Currently, I am focussing on resistance training at home - using bodyweight and a few kettle bells. This is to ensure that I am strong as I head towards my senior years (I'm only a third of the way!) through strong bones and plentiful muscle mass. I am now less prone to injury, recover quickly when I "tweak" something, and feel more resilient overall.

Thank you for taking the time to read about me. I look forward to contact with you in whatever form that takes.