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.
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.