Truly learning about yourself is the key to creating a life you love. Learning your story. Understanding your experiences. Then shifting the energetic exchanges that took place that left remnants in your body and mind allows you to create space for new experiences to emerge. We are all just energy: positive and negative electrical atoms dancing around so quickly that they appear solid. When you were a child, you couldn’t choose what energy you grew up in. As an adult, you have choices. Repeat more of the same or reset into new experiences.
I had the pleasure to interview Sue Sexton, a Licensed Psychologist and the CEO of Sue Sexton Psychotherapy LLC, operating since 2010. Prior to this entrepreneurial adventure, Sue worked for 8 years in community mental health organizations serving children, adolescents, & adults. Sue underwent a deep personal transformation in 2015. Over the next few years, she healed repressed childhood trauma (physical, emotional, & sexual abuse). Sue has since become a Top Mental Health Speaker, Wellness Writer for Major Publications, Meditation Junkie, & Mind-Body-Spirit expert who is a firsthand believer that “Woo Woo Works!” Sue lives in St. Paul, MN with her two sons & her mini golden-doodle Clover.
Thank you so much for joining us! Let’s Get Intimate! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.
In 2015, my life fell apart overnight. I came home from work to discover that my husband of 15 years had moved out. At 9-months pregnant I became a single mom of an autistic 4-year old, began an 3-month unpaid maternity leave on an empty bank account and wavering will to live. My life changed like a tsunami washed over me. I was led on my own deep personal healing and transformation journey. I was guided to learn about Past Life Regression Therapy, Energy Medicine, and a variety of intuitive/metaphysical healing modalities. I used this new science knowledge to heal my life. I began a daily meditation practice, learned about plant medicine, and slowly pealed away the layers of energetic exchanges that led to my life falling apart. In this 1–2-year timeline, I healed tremendous amounts of shame, belief systems, trauma (sexual, emotional, and physical abuse from childhood), and began to understand a deep connection with my inner self. I learned to love myself unconditionally. I learned how to live in the present moment. I learned how to shift triggers and thought patterns. I stepped out of co-dependency in my relationships. I lost 80 pounds I was holding as a protective layer. I stopped taking my anti-depressants overnight (I was no longer depressed). I learned I am fully supported on my journey.
I realized that I needed to share this wisdom with others. We are ALL deeply capable of healing. Not just coping and surviving, remaining fated to some diagnosis. Honestly, “woo woo works”, and keeping an open mind to new science is important. I am ready to share how we can move from a therapist’s couch repeating the same old life dramas to transforming our lives in months. It is time to have authentic, courageous, and real conversations about a piece of mental health that isn’t being discussed: mind-body-spirit. It’s the key to true healing, once and for all.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?
I am currently working on a variety of projects. The first is called BE THE CHANGE MEMBERSHIP, where I am offering an incredibly affordable yet powerful monthly access to tools to empower people to create a life they love! I know we’ve all heard “be the change you wish to see in the world”, and that is the underlying premise to my membership. In this one of a kind community, we will be connecting for a cause greater than ourselves, while also improving our individual lives so we can be the change. All change truly begins within. So, I am offering a text message reminder to THINK PEACE at 11:11 AM CDT for 2–3 minutes (part of the 11:11 Peace on Earth Movement I created), a monthly calendar of action steps to create simple, fun and powerful changes in others’ lives, a monthly challenge to grow in our individual emotional well-being through healing techniques I am trained to offer (and they work), guided meditation videos that tie to the personal growth theme of the month, access to an expert on the theme, discounts on courses I offer, and a members only FB Group where the community will be filled with like-minded individuals across the globe who also aspire to make a difference in the world, and their own lives.
I created the 11:11 Peace on Earth Movement, where I am uniting 1 Billion people across humanity/world to THINK PEACE daily at the same time: 11:11 AM CDT, for 2–3 minutes. When we consistently unite for a common outcome it is the method to catalyze powerful and ongoing change. I believe we will have PEACE ON EARTH when enough of us THINK it into reality. We are creators of our reality, after all. On the individual and collective levels. So, let’s THINK PEACE into reality!
I am a Top Mental Health Speaker and am speaking at a variety of venues (colleges, corporations, conferences, retreats, communities, schools, etc). If anyone is interested, please contact me to discuss details: www.peaceonearth1111.com.
Lastly, I am writing a Children’s Book series that will aid in destigmatizing mental health and unite children to create change in the world. It is a fun book series that will include a program, where children can learn and grow together. This will be published and launch in late 2019-early 2020. More details will be announced in the near future — stay tuned.
Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self acceptance?
As I mentioned above, my life fell apart in 2015. After being in a partnership for 15 years with the same man, I felt so alone and scared to begin the next chapter. After spending two years alone, healing, and learning how to love myself, I decided to begin dating. As I explored the dating world, it had changed significantly since 2002, when I met my husband. I had to learn how the platforms worked, but also, I quickly learned that I needed to address my co-dependency patterns. I had learned a lot about myself, but I hadn’t yet explored how to implement this new knowing into a partnership. I still had a pattern of “losing myself” or being somewhat of a chameleon to my potential partner, in order to feel loved and accepted. This was a pattern I learned as a very young child with my caregivers. So, I signed up for a course to learn about non-attachment or intimacy without responsibility. I also read books and watched youtube videos (no shame in my game). I wanted to learn how to take radical self-responsibility for MY SELF LOVE. To get to a space in my life that no matter how someone reacted to me, I’d still value and love myself. So, I decided I was done feeling afraid of rejection, abandonment, and being seen for my full authentic self. I spent months being very honest with myself, analyzing and reflecting on EVERY reaction or response I had to not only my partner at the time, but in as many areas of my life as I could. I really wanted to learn about my inner belief systems, expectations, and areas that were still unconscious — so I could make them conscious in order to both accept and shift them. I journaled. I meditated. I processed with my therapist. I released old emotional wounds (like spent a few days in my bed crying, type of release). I engaged in metaphysical healing sessions to shift contracts, energetic imprints, and heal soul aspects. Over these few months, my level of self-love and acceptance grew exponentially. I finally knew and loved myself in a whole new way. I could see the dark and light in me, and embrace both, knowing that I was still loveable. I also stopped taking on other people’s reactions like it had sh*t to do with me, understanding instead that it was their responsibility to lean into that or not. Other people’s story and struggles were not for me to fix or change something about myself in order to make them feel okay (unless I wanted to, of course, for my own growth). I felt a lot of freedom as I explored my own inner story and world. Learning self love can feel daunting and exciting at the same time. It’s a journey only you can take.
According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?
We are bombarded from the time we are born with layer upon layer of social conditioning. From subtle comments your caregivers make about their own or other appearances, to overt conditioning through billboards, advertisements, television shows, magazines, and online messages of what “beautiful” means. If you look around, you automatically compare yourself: better than or worse than. It’s part of our human condition to compare. However, comparisons are the killer of all joy. We are all meant to be who we came in to be. Yet the conditioning makes up feel inadequate and ashamed of who we are, or we forget/never learn who we are because we chose to hide behind masks or facades instead, to avoid pain.
Most of us have this layer of social conditioning, but really, we also have experiences that have made us feel ashamed of being who we are. The shame is the real problem, in my opinion. Shame is when you feel bad about who you are (core of who you are), where guilt is where you feel bad about what you did (behavior). When we are stuck in shame-based belief systems, it’s easy to focus on the physical or outward explanation of why we feel “bad for being me”. We form a story in our heads for why people don’t accept us. As if their lack of acceptance is about US to begin with. Their unloving/shameful response is about THEM, not us. This is where “hurt people, hurt people” comes into play. And why self-responsibility is critical to SELF LOVE and acceptance of who are both inside and outside (appearance). Can you imagine a world where everyone would step back, lean in, and become curious about their actions, words, thoughts, and choices? If each of us took responsibility for ourselves? Nobody would hurt others and if they did, they’d reflect on it, take accountability, and apologize/repair the fracture. We’d all understand that the way that person treated us was about them, not me. Then our deficit of self-love would resolve. We’d be able to create a new story of why people act the way they do. Then we’d accept ourselves and stop focusing so much on outward explanations of our self-love deficit or shame, like appearances.
We’ve all heard the statement “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover”, because looks are just an external shell to what’s truly on the inside: self-love or lacking self-love. Plain and simple.
As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?
On my journey as a Psychologist, I have studied human behavior in others and within myself. I would hear and honor people’s experiences while helping them navigate how to shift their life. I’ve witnessed deep pain and horrors that hurt people do to others, one generation after another. As I’ve practiced now 15 years, the bottom line has been a deficit in self-love. When a person doesn’t spend time learning about their story, reflecting on their life, and attempting to improve their situation, the next generation will experience the repercussions. This also impacts every relationship you end up in, as you navigate the rest of your life. The repetition compulsion of pain becomes our doomed fate.
Truly learning about yourself is the key to creating a life you love. Learning your story. Understanding your experiences. Then shifting the energetic exchanges that took place that left remnants in your body and mind allows you to create space for new experiences to emerge. We are all just energy: positive and negative electrical atoms dancing around so quickly that they appear solid. When you were a child, you couldn’t choose what energy you grew up in. As an adult, you have choices. Repeat more of the same or reset into new experiences. Using powerful metaphysical and New Science Energy Medicine can transform old energy in months, not years or decades of talk therapy. We are deeply capable of transforming old energetic imprints from experiences in our past. It’s each of our choice to take responsibility for our life. When you choose to change, you choose to build new experiences, opportunities, perspective, stories, and relationships that you may have once thought were just dreams. Self-love is the path to freedom. Self-love is not selfish, like many of us have been taught.
Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?
Since I stayed in a mediocre relationship despite knowing my partner and I had grown apart, I can speak to the fear I felt. I was afraid of failing my marriage. I was afraid of facing judgment from others. I was afraid to admit we were struggling. I was afraid to impact my children negatively. I was afraid to raise my autistic son alone. I was afraid to admit I was done. I was afraid to admit to myself that my husband was not the partner I longed for, and then take some action steps to change my life. Instead, I had a belief system that all marriages and relationships were strained when children were young. I had a belief if I stayed, it would improve. I had a belief that I wouldn’t find someone better and scared I’d find someone worse (it’s easier to stay with the devil you know than the devil you don’t know — meaning facing your own inner demons). I had a belief that it was my husband who needed to change, step up, and be a better partner to me. It was his fault and he needed to change.
The fear was immobilizing. While I was growing up, my role models failed to take self-responsibility and blaming/shaming were the name of the game. I was also taught a belief system about what to expect from a husband (FYI: it wasn’t positive). As a result, my relationship was a direct reflection of my inner work that still needed to be faced. My husband was a mirror reflection of MY story, experiences, and expectations of life.
I would suggest that all readers who relate to what I just wrote, please begin to lean in and ask for help. Begin to understand the belief systems that are so deeply engrained into our subconscious and unconscious, that we repeat them without knowing. Understand you are worth facing your fears head on. That fear is just an emotion. It will pass. You can grow. You can change anything in your life, if you decide to. I waited until my husband left me when I was 9-months pregnant to begin taking responsibility and accountability for my life. I am grateful that he left. He did both of us a favor. I have launched into the BEST version of me that three years ago would have felt like a fantasy. But now its my reality. I love myself and I love my life. You can have this too! Trust me. Face your fears. Feel. Heal. Become the best version of yourself — you’re worth it!
When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?
1. What is a pattern you notice across your relationships? You are the common denominator — so what are you creating in your physical reality that is a direct reflection of something in your unconscious or subconscious memory and body energy?
2. Do you engage in victim mindset or the blame-game? Nobody is a victim in life. Everything happens FOR YOU, not to you. Can you begin to shift this mindset?
3. Do you find faults in and judge others? This is a direct reflection of an area you don’t accept about yourself, so you are projecting it onto others. Can you begin to step back and reflect on why something bothers you about ____ (so and so)? It’s about YOU. Lean in and understand the deeper meaning. What are you avoiding around your own acceptance of yourself?
4. Do you complain a lot? Or even a little? We have a choice every morning to wake up upset or grateful. We can set the stage for an entire day with this mindset. Will you shift your mindset to one of gratitude? Guess what: the world reflects to you what you put out. It’s a law of our universe called Law of Attraction. When you are kind, you find others are kind in return. This simple example applies to everything in our lives. You choose what your day looks like — so what are you choosing?
5. Can you sit with yourself? No, like really sit quietly with your own company. What happens if you are alone? Do you feel lonely? Do you enjoy your own company? Does your mind wander to inadequacy, doubts, or insecurities? Are you willing to learn about who you are by sitting with yourself? Will you meditate daily for 15–60 minutes? Are you willing to remember who you truly are? Shed the story and truly remember?
I am in a constant state of reflection at this point in my life. I understand that EVERYTHING has meaning from the symptom I feel in my body, to an emotion, to an animal that crosses my path. Everything has a deeper meaning if you’ll attempt to understand and reflect on it. Most recently, my toddler son is in a developmental shift (3.5–4 years old). I have felt new internal reactions to this shift. For example, he has been more anxious at bedtime. Like most parents, I appreciate my adult time when my children go to bed. We have a routine of reading books and singing songs, then it’s been lights out and quiet time. This isn’t happening right now. Instead there is a lot of asking for water, a snack, clearly stating his fears, and even waking in the middle of the night. So, I am spending time with myself reflecting on how his needs are impacting my internal process. I am being nurturing to myself as I have feelings arise. I am challenging some of my preferences for the old routine to unfold and the internal battle I feel about having less time for me at night. I am talking to him about his needs. I am leaning in to both his and my needs. Allowing space to let it all be okay vs. trying to control the outcome. Remaining in flow and honoring when I’m not (or he’s not). The one constant in life is CHANGE. We just get to choose how to respond when it unfolds. We can choose to control and resist or allow and flow.
So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?
I believe its vital to each of our process of truly remembering WHO WE ARE, without the constant flux of information from outside of us telling us who we are. I am saying this at the physical level of who you are: my likes, dislikes, desires, dreams, difficulties, unconscious patterns, etc. As well as saying this at a spiritual level: we are part of something much larger than our individual physical experience here. I understand that this may seem “woo woo” or far out there concept to some, because it was for me just three years ago. However, when you spend enough time with yourself, you begin to see and remember this deeper connection. This connection is the unconditional love we all seek outside of us: the soulmate, perfect job, next vacation, etc. So, if you truly want to love yourself, experiencing that you are ALREADY LOVE in the purest soul level way, can really help the process.
Meditation has been my access point to that unconditional self love. It’s one of those processes that you must see it or feel it to believe it. So, for anyone who is struggling to figure out why they are stuck, overweight, in an unhappy marriage, have drama in their lives, or struggle creating the abundance they deserve, the answers are inside of you. You just need to listen — which means spending time alone.
How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?
We are all on this Earth to learn, grow, and experience the vast array of options available to us. Nobody is better or worse than anyone else. The story, plot twists, and characters differ. But we are all here doing the same task: choosing between love or not love.
When you understand that we are all a part of something larger than ourselves (the universe, cosmos, creator, god, or whatever term you prefer), you also realize that Earth is a great stage and we are all actors creating a great play we call Life. Within this play, we forget that we are acting. We believe we ARE this character and become attached to the story. Entangled in the energetic imprints in our mind and body. But we can change this at any point in time. We are not destined to live a life akin to a washing machine cycle (wash, rinse, repeat). In fact, the spirit within each of us desires us to remember who we truly are: LOVE. When we get curious, we explore who we are, eventually you will stumble upon this inner knowing: I am mind-body-spirit. So, alas, if I am this, then so is everyone else I meet. Then the more I embrace and love myself as I experience the great play of life, I will also act more loving towards those around me. We are all, after all, from the same source. Thus, I am you and you are me. So, how can I possibly cause harm to you, because I am also causing harm to me.
I am aware I am taking this to a deeper place than many venture when they think self-love or self-understanding. However, when enough of us are willing to explore the true depths of who we truly are, I believe all pain and suffering will cease. Love will prevail. We will deepen our connections with others through this deep inner knowing of who we all truly are. If you are ready for deep and loving connections with others, you must begin with YOU. Take off the masks. Transform into your most authentic, unique, and beautiful self. The world is waiting for you!
In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?
When my life fell apart in 2015, I felt a higher guidance take over. Prior to this time, I had lost my faith and considered myself a “recovering Catholic” due to my experience of shame and guilt-based belief systems within my childhood Catholic experience. So, when I was being guided to learn about Reincarnation and Past Lives, I had to remain open-minded. I continued to feel guided to learn about New Science and Energy Medicine, which then opened my mind to Metaphysical healing. I had no personal experience of our society, education system, or those who raised me speaking about the power of mind-body-spirit healing modalities. Yet, here I was being guided to these very concepts and tools.
Within 2 years, my life changed drastically for the better. I was able to heal and shift unconscious trauma from my childhood (physical, emotional, and sexual abuse). I lost 80 pounds I was carrying for protection due to cellular memory of my trauma. I shifted outdated shame-based belief systems from my upbringing and society in general. I have new friends. I am building a new career. I am honestly happier, healthier, and more confident in the universe having my back than I’ve ever been in my life.
Prior to my divorce, I spent over a decade studying, practicing, and sitting on my own therapists (multiple) couches trying to understand my story and change my life. It wasn’t working.
I believe if we want to help humanity heal, we need to help spread awareness about the power in metaphysical, new science, and energy medicine techniques. Let’s face it: “Woo Woo Works”.
When we allow ourselves to share what we know in our hearts to be true — it allows us to take off the masks and become our best selves. When the masses do this — the world WILL change!
What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?
1. Attitude of Gratitude: every morning I start out purposefully. When I wake up, I lay in my bed and think of as many reasons I am grateful this morning. I tell my children how much I love them and am so glad they are in my life. If I get stuck during the day, I immediately shift my mindset to what I’m grateful for. It’s powerful, effective, and creates a foundation to create more to be grateful for.
2. Meditation: This has been a game-changer for me. I spent at least 60 minutes meditating each day. Why? Because I create space to be with myself, lose my monkey brain, and remember who I truly am. I feel a deep inner knowing and guidance unfolding. I know I am connected to a source of love greater than myself and that desires for me to live a full and meaningful life. When I know spirit has my back, when I am tapped into this inner knowing: I can do anything. Everything is possible. It’s a powerful space to occupy.
3. Learn & Grow: I work on myself by reading, listening, and obtaining guidance from people who know something I don’t yet. I am always seeking knowledge. I want to learn and grow, and I know it doesn’t have to be the “hard way”. We can learn from other’s experiences and avoid the same pitfalls on our own path.
4. Loving Inner Voice: Most of us know how to talk nicely to others while being our own worst enemy inside of our own heads. Judgment, criticism, name-calling, and berating ourselves over moments of learning. When you switch your inner script, even if it feels like you’re faking it until you make it, it can create a huge shift in your life. Our thoughts create our reality. They are at the foundation of what you will SEE in your life. It is the lens you view from. If you want your outer world to change, begin changing your inner script.
5. Prayer: When I have moments of my monkey brain chattering, I ask for higher help through a prayer. Something as simple as “I realize I’ve fallen into patterns of self-doubt and negative thoughts, I surrender and release this to you”, then pausing and taking a few deep breathes. When you ask for support, it is given. This practice also reminds me that I am part of that bigger universe — the one that IS LOVE. When I remember that, I also remind myself that I AM LOVE. This is just my brain and body doing what brains and body’s do — but I am love too. So, I choose love. I surrender to love.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?
1. Many Lives Many Masters: Brian Weiss — this was the beginning of my transformation. When I read this book, I just knew it was right. It spoke to a part of me that had long been silence. It awoke my heart and connection to the universe.
2. The Universe Has Your Back: Gabrielle Bernstein — this is just such a wonderful reminder and tool book of how to transform fear to faith. Gabby is a wonderful woman with a lot of wisdom to share.
3. Daring Greatly: Brene Brown — if you’ve experienced shame, Brene is the guru of that topic. The pages are filled with words that will speak to your heart and pain, while urging you to have courage to face growth.
4. Power of Now: Eckhart Tolle — it is a reminder that the only true reality is NOW. The past is done. The future isn’t here yet. We live in NOW. So, when you shift into this practice of being present now, you realize how much joy you can cultivate and ultimately transform tomorrow into another joyful day…and the next, and next, and next days too.
5. You Can Heal Your Life: Louise Hay — we are all deeply capable of healing ourselves, when we learn to listen to our messages, cues, and ask for higher help.
6. Youtube: Wayne Dyer
7. Youtube: World Peace Projects with Chloe Hudson
8. Youtube: Teal Swan
9. Youtube: Abraham Hicks
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…
I’ve started the 11:11 Peace on Earth Movement: daily at 11:11 AM CDT we THINK PEACE for 2–3 minutes. This movement uses the laws of our universe to aid in creating World Peace. When 1 Billion of humanity unites for PEACE we activate collective consciousness, which is the energetic connection that binds our thoughts as we co-create the reality we live in. We use this all the time to create new shifts in society and humanity, just most of us don’t think about it. As a society we shift fashion trends, adopt cell phone use, or transition food consumption trends, using this same principle. Our thoughts are powerful. When the masses unite for COMMON OUTCOMES vs. remain separated, we can create powerful lasting changes in our world. The 11:11 Peace on Earth Movement will create World Peace. Feel free to join at:https://www.peaceonearth1111.com/changing-the-world-with-energy.html
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?
“When you change the way you see things, the things you see change” — Wayne Dyer
Our thoughts create our reality. The more you practice a certain thought, it literally transforms into a physical manifestation. We are creators of our reality and thoughts are the seeds we plant in our reality garden. We reap what we sow. If you don’t like what is growing in your garden, you need to decide to plant different seeds. Some of the plants will take longer to emerge from the soil, but you don’t dig in the soil to check, right? You trust the seed will do what seeds do. The same thing happens with our thoughts: we plant a thought over and over again, it will emerge as a plant in your reality garden. So, when you decide to change the way you see things, the things you see will change. I did this with my divorce. As I shared what happened, many of my friends were angry and felt like I was a victim. They encouraged me to be mad and engage in vindictive behavior towards my ex-husband. Instead of listening to them, I chose the mindset of responsibility, accountability, and forgiveness. As I thought this way, my life was paving a path of self-growth, expansion, healing, and transforming into one that I love. I am not the person I was almost 4 years ago now. My mindset is changed and so the things I see in my life are also drastically different. I am grateful. I am just like anyone else — it all comes down to deciding if you want more of the same or something different. Only you can decide.
Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!