This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart
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Inspiration from “This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart” AND a Giveaway

I honestly don’t remember how I found Susannah Conway on the Internet.  One link led to another, which led to another, which led to her.  And I’m so thankful that I found her.  There are people you find in the blogosphere, people with parenting tips or technology advice or great recipes.  People that might have information that helps you get through daily life and put dinner on the table.  But Susannah does something on a completely different level, she talks to my soul.  Through her candid and heartfelt writing and expressive images, she’s opened my eyes to a way of not just getting through life, but of living it, embracing it.

I’ve taken a couple of Susannah’s online courses, Unravelling and most recently Blogging from the Heart.  But it wasn’t until I finished her new book This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart that something clicked.  That my head became clearer than it’s been in a long time.

It was in just those first few pages that the lightbulb went off in my head.  Grief.  I’ve grieved and haven’t acknowledged it, haven’t known it, been in denial.  Grieving the loss of a life in America with friends and family, grieving the loss of a career, the loss of what had been my identity.  And I’ve struggled to move forward because I hadn’t yet accepted that who I was didn’t exist anymore.  Maybe this is why I’ve created this space for writing and photographing, a way to make sense of everything and process my feelings.  To start finding me again.

But this book, well, it was the perfect complement to a bright sunny day, to rebuilding good karma and appreciating the abundance in my life.  While dealing with grief is one of the themes in the book, as she says,

“This is not a book about grief, although it informs everything I’ve learned about life.  This book is about unraveling the layers of our lives and exploring what we find in order to better understand ourselves, our relationships, and our path.”

And while the book is full of powerful messages and exercises to help guide you in becoming your most authentic self, it wasn’t until the epilogue that the tears came.  When describing her dear nephew she says,

“He devours new experiences fearlessly.  He inspires me to be brave and take my first wobbly steps toward love, toward more expanded life, even if I might fall down.”

Yes. I am a mother.  And, if I can’t be there for myself how can I be there for him?  How can I raise a man to be full of love, kindness, confidence, self-respect, and a passion for life if I don’t lead by example?

There are so many things that I could tell you here about why this book is inspiring and about the messages that I took away from it.  If you want more, you can even read Jill’s love letter to the book.  But what I think is even better is for you to read it for yourself, straight from the source, and soak in all the awesomeness of This I Know.  So that’s why for the first time ever, I’m doing a giveaway.  This is the kind of book you want to share with your girlfriends.  I want to pay it forward.

What’s the Giveaway?

  • A copy of Susannah Conway’s book, This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart.
  • Enrollment in her new 30-day course Exploring the Senses.  A companion to the book, this starts on June 5th and is all about the “renewal of our senses – becoming more aware of them, how we use them and how we can strengthen them.”
  • A copy of Susannah’s Photo Meditations e-book  ($150 value – 114 pages of lessons on infusing your images with soul).

For a chance to win ALL these, simply leave a comment below before Midnight, Monday, June 4th, GMT.  Please leave only one comment.  Also, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are.  I’ll choose a winner at random using Random.org, and update this post when that person is chosen.

Good luck!

Update:  And the winner of this lovely set of goodies from Susannah Conway is Maya Zaido.  Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch.  Thank you so much to everyone that left comments.  I truly appreciate all of your heartfelt comments.

 

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21 Comments

  • Reply Briana June 1, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I’m in the middle of the book now and loving every word of it. It’s so great that you’re doing this giveaway. Such a great way to share the amazingness that is Susannah. 🙂

  • Reply Jen June 1, 2012 at 1:09 am

    This sounds like the perfect medicine for what ails me right now. Having run into a few professional bumps, my self-worth/esteem is shaken. I’m suddenly fearful where I was once fearless. Doubting where I was confident. Heading over to her blog immediately!

  • Reply HONEY June 1, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Never too old to learn something new, something more…..there are all kinds of grief……from adjusting to age eighty (this year) to loss of my spouse…..and finding new ways to contribute to others’ lives wherever I am………..

  • Reply Jade Sheldon June 1, 2012 at 6:14 am

    Oh wow! How fabulous! I would love to read the books and be part of the class!

  • Reply Megan June 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Loved the Unravelling course, and loving the book. Would love to share this book with a friend!

  • Reply The Flying Drunken Monkey June 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I think I found Susannah the same way you did! Actually, I think someone I followed on Instagram liked one of her photos. I’ve been wanting to buy her book but can’t afford any “unnecessary” purchases at the moment. 🙁

  • Reply Karen June 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I think I could use a book like that. My adult son has been grieving over mine and my ex’s divorce for five years. He can’t seem to get over it and move on or even function very well. Hope your generator picks me.

  • Reply Katharine June 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Hi Katherine, my copy of the book arrived yesterday, and I agree there is a deepening that happens on reading her story in that much more personal detail – was up at 3 in the morning, falling more in love with Susannah…. 🙂

  • Reply Carrie June 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I am not sure how I have made it here in this moment but the universe seems to be pushing me toward this book. Thank you!

  • Reply Maya Zaido June 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I would absolutely LOVE to win a copy of Susannah’s beautiful book, never mind the other AWESOME prizes! A mourning dove just started cooing outside my window as I began typing this comment. Peace. In the moment. Breathe. Believe.
    Sidenote: I’ve been having a love affair with the book while sitting in Barnes and Noble, drinking in her beautiful words and moving photographs, all while copying my favorite parts/quotes into my journal. I don’t have $ in my budget to buy it just yet. It would be magical to win this!
    Thank you so much for this generous offer! ~<3~

  • Reply Janine June 1, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Like you, I don’t remember how I found Susannah, though it must have been quite a while ago. I’ve been following her for years, though, ever since she was Photo Bird, and am so proud that she’s published this book.

    I’m in the middle of grieving, myself. There’s an entire life behind me that I need to let go of, if I’m to move forward. This book would probably help a bit.

    Thank you very much for this giveaway.

  • Reply michelle gd June 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    oh, katherine, i love how you thought to do this…
    xo

  • Reply Jet Harrington June 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Lovely post, Katherine. There is something so special about the way Susannah shares her engagement with the world, so tender and heart-felt, and also very real. The way your blog is evolving is lovely, also – things feel very personal and grounded here. I know that came from some great work, and now you get to play.

  • Reply Nancy June 2, 2012 at 4:24 am

    I’ve survived my own grief and now I seem to be the person who helps shoulder the grief of others. Not sure how I got this assignment, but I care about my friends and family, and I’ve observed that every family has something going on that could use a serving of love.

  • Reply Nicole Giove June 2, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Being strongly interested in photography and writing Susannah’s work is just what I needed. She is what I would like to become one day. I first came across her blog, when writing a journalism piece for my class, on visual imagery in the online world, and could not have been more thankful for the discovery. Thank you Susannah!

  • Reply Andrea June 3, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Sussanah’s is one of my favorite blogs. She’s a brave, courageous soul and we could all learn something from her.

  • Reply Lisa Humphries June 4, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Lovely lady, this is such a beautiful post and giveaway.
    I just wrote my own little review of the book on my blog yesterday, it moved me in much the way that it seems to have done you too.
    Just wanted to say that whoever wins the book will be changed, for the better.
    x Lisa.

  • Reply Deborah Testafredda June 4, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I haven’t read a book for years as with three kids under 5 my preference has been sleep. I’ve been looking to get back into reading and wanted something that inspires me and Lisa from joy and me recommended this

  • Reply Jillian June 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Wow, sounds like a beautiful & brilliant book! Thanks for sharing! I hope I win 🙂

  • Reply Mom June 4, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Amazing! You are full of surprises and fill my heart with wonder!

  • Reply mimi September 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    This I “hope” . . . will give me courage beyond myself. You see, I am planning my suicide. My hole is so deep, I can see no way out of myself. Not a single person knows but my “list of TOO DO” is growing and I am debating many things both important and non-. So many things I could have accomplished in my life but I am a horrible failure and I can think of no one who will be . . . Never mind. Thank you for this wonderful, hopeful book.

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