Come Alive Ignite & Spark Your Heart

Got asked to do a short video about Come Alive. I’m not a natural on camera. So I wrote first. Here’s that version:

For me, Come Alive is an ignition/spark to the heart.

When I arrived at Haven for my first Come Alive 40 years ago, I was stuck in a story that lived as tumors in my body, I was terrified of living.

Those five days woke me up. Started me on an incredible journey through some very dark, scary places. At times I was wondering if I had the heart to keep going.

What kept the spark alive were those Come Alive tools, breathing, being vulnerable, curious, and expressing. I had a strong will to live and to learn to connect. I had seen, felt and experienced the power of real relating.

I became a therapist, coach, trained with various mentors in the field of humanistic psychology, learning a variety breath and energy practices, studying integrative body psychotherapy, other somatic teachings – even became a Master Facilitator in Equus coaching. I love learning and fine tuning my ability to connect and be with people wherever they are. The foundation of that work still brings me back to Come Alive.

I love leading and having a team of supportive people, committed to being real, personal skilled at holding space for others to step in and discover.

I love the program because there are things that are known (a structure and a space) and there is much that is unknown and shows up. It’s beautiful dance.

Cliff notes on Come Alive:

Life is an energy game.

We’ve generally learned much more about managing, surviving, being liked and transacting then we have about thriving, joy, experimenting, loving, mistaking and recovering.

Come Alive is a wonderful program to reconnect with to your energy, aliveness, to develop self-awareness and response – ableness.

Whether you are facing a loss, a challenging relationship, health issue or simply want more connection and aliveness in your life – Come Alive is for you.

There’s theory, practice, tears, laughs and much more.

You’ll learn relational tools that deepen connections both with yourself and others.

Plus:

Haven is on a beautiful island, interesting people from all walks of life, other adventurers, there’s a great staff and an environment set up to support you in becoming and discovering that you not so separate, broken but indeed whole and can more of you to everything you do.

Here’s a Link the final cut to FB: https://fb.watch/r_kUUoj0eS/

I actually like the live video – love to hear your thoughts.

Come Alive with Me

Come Alive program on Gabriola Island May 30 to June 4

Come Alive is an amazing opportunity to test your aliveness.

I’ve taken it a few times as a participant and many, many, many more times as a intern, assistant and leader since the early eighties.

I love Come Alive.

Over the years I have studied and taken various programs and trainings. I read a lot and I love learning.

However, I still believe that the Come Alive program provides the best foundation for healthy living.

There’s so much more known about the brain, trauma and breathwork etc.. since Ben and Jock started Come Alive. So one could assume the foundamentals of Come Alive need to evolve as well.

But that’s what makes Come Alive cool. The structure, the building of community with each new group, and people who are joining, leading and growing together allow the program to continuely expand and include.

Truthfully, I think that is what living is all about. Growing and becoming.

The key lies in the belief that even though we are different we can live, breath, and share this planet if we want to.

We don’t have to stay reactive or in survival mode. We will be at times, but if we don’t get caught up in making someone’s mistake (including our own) right or wrong and instead stay curious and kind. Well, we can get through anything.

I know this personally because I have been through so many things and instead of staying in my story which I did for many years to survive, I have learned to share my current stories, make new ones and learn that death isn’t the biggest thing to fear – staying stuck in any old story is far worse.

Life and living is meant to be mystical, unknown and an adventure. We don’t have to be in it alone.

We humans have to always work at this because we so easily lose our connection to universal energy. We separate and enemy make. We think we can control and right any wrong.

But that really isn’t our job. Sure righting or reseting our own distorted thinking is each of our responsibility – but that isn’t about ‘fixing’ – it’s about shfting from fearing and dying – to living and loving.

That shift brings heart into our thinking and it’s amazing what a concious, coherent brain and heart can do any any situation.

Come Alive helped me figure out how to keep coming back to the present, inside me and between me and others.

Living & Loving Alive is my job now and sometimes I make mistakes. But I have developed much more compassion for myself.

I encourage to consider taking a Come Alive for the first time or just for a reset. There’s always magic and freshness in joining.

My next Come Alive is May 30 to June 4. But just pick a date!

Quick AI & ME Update – More to the Point

I had to get this update out. AI is just too verbose. Was pretty sure you’d never get beyond AI initial response. So I asked for a summary in less than 40 words. Here it is:

AI: Humans’ distinctiveness arises from complex language, cognitive prowess, self-awareness, cultural structures, tool use, emotional depth, creativity, and symbolic thinking, culminating in unparalleled adaptability and innovation, setting them apart in Earth’s tapestry of life.

ME (edited) : Story-Telling and Story Making

Now for the main focus of this post – we need to change. Edited the rest as well.

We tend tell our stories as though we are the greatest.  We likely have trained AI to make us sound that way as well.

That we can remember and tell stories over time is awesome.  However, the degree to which we believe our stories as truths can and does cause a great deal of separation, pain, and suffering.

But what if we could dial back our need to be right, win, dominate, compete.  I didn’t say get rid of – just dial back.

Maybe if we simply dial back our certainty. 

It’s not what is known that is going to create sustainability;  it’s actually embracing and stepping into what is unknown.

However, doing that demands letting go of control, safety, and certainty.

We humans, we’re not very good at that.

Maybe we could be.

Wouldn’t that be amazing.

AI – What Do You Think of Us Humans?

I’ve been developing my relationship AI. So I hought I’d ask AI what makes us humans unique.

AI Answer:
Humans possess several characteristics that set them apart from other species:

  1. Complex Language and Communication: Humans have developed intricate systems of communication, including spoken and written language, allowing for the exchange of complex ideas, emotions, and knowledge.
  2. Cognitive Abilities: Humans exhibit high levels of cognitive abilities, including reasoning, problem-solving, critical thinking, and abstract thought. This allows them to innovate, create art, develop technology, and adapt to diverse environments.
  3. Self-awareness and Consciousness: Humans possess self-awareness, the ability to reflect on their own thoughts, feelings, and actions, and to recognize themselves as individuals separate from others. They also have a sense of consciousness, allowing them to perceive and experience the world subjectively.
  4. Culture and Social Structures: Humans create and participate in complex social structures and cultural systems, including institutions, norms, beliefs, customs, rituals, and traditions. These aspects of culture shape human behavior and identity, fostering cooperation, coordination, and collective learning.
  5. Tool Use and Technology: Humans are adept at using tools and developing technology to manipulate their environment and solve problems. This capacity for tool use has enabled humans to adapt to diverse habitats and thrive in various ecosystems.
  6. Emotions and Empathy: Humans experience a wide range of emotions, including joy, sadness, fear, anger, and love. They also demonstrate empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, which fosters social bonds and cooperation.
  7. Capacity for Innovation and Creativity: Humans possess a remarkable capacity for innovation and creativity, enabling them to develop new ideas, inventions, and solutions to challenges. This creativity is expressed in various domains, including art, music, literature, science, and technology.
  8. Symbolic Thinking and Abstract Reasoning: Humans engage in symbolic thinking, using symbols, language, and abstract concepts to represent and manipulate the world around them. This ability underlies many aspects of human culture, communication, and cognition.

Overall, it is the combination of these characteristics—language, cognition, self-awareness, culture, tool use, emotions, creativity, and symbolic thinking—that makes humans unique among Earth’s species.

Okay – we are awesome – right? 

Makes for a great story.

I’m not as robust in my data collection as AI, so my answer to that question about what makes us unique is simpler:  story making and story-telling.

Our imagination and cognitive abilities have made us great.

It has also bought us to a point of possible extinction. 

I do know I personally am not getting out of here alive.  But I’d like to think humans could continue long after I’m gone.

However, I think it is going to take some humility and collaboration for that to happen. Not just with each other but with all living beings.

We tend tell our stories as though we are the greatest.  We likely have trained AI to make us sound that way as well.

That we can remember and tell stories over time is awesome.  However, the degree to which we believe our stories as truths can and does cause a great deal of separation, pain, and suffering.

Isn’t that often the case.  A super strength is also an Achilles heel.

But what if we could dial back our need to be right, win, dominate, compete.  I didn’t say get rid of – just dial back.

Maybe if we simply dial back our certainty. 

It’s not what is known that is going to create sustainability;  it’s actually embracing and stepping into what is unknown.

However, doing that demands letting go of control, safety, and certainty.

We humans, we’re not very good at that.

Maybe we could be.

Wouldn’t that be amazing.

Finding My Power In Presence

I am just back from an awesome Dr Joe Advanced Follow Up in San Diego. I am enjoying my days with Dr Joe and a couple thousand other people – meditating, walking and doing awesome coherent healing sessions.

It’s funny, in my first Dr Joe retreat, people were asking, “When did you start this work.”

My reaction was often: “What do mean by this work?”

“When did you start with Dr Joe?”

“Back in June 2023”.

“Oh so your new to Dr Joe.”

I so wanted to react. I monitor myself and say, “Hey, I guess”

Then stop sharing and, yes, have some judgemental thought.

These days that doesn’t cause a stir, nor even any judgement. I know I started the work to change my life forty years ago and Dr Joe is simply the most recent unknown opportunity in my growth and my becoming project.

His message is not all that different than what I learned at my first Come Alive.

Life is all about becoming present and staying present.

That really is the only path to rising conciousness and getting better at living well together.

It’s about wholeness and being able to relate to the world around me. Share my tears, fears, laughter and joy. Listen to the stories, songs and sounds of others.

I found this trip I knew a few regulars and that was cool. I met new folks and that was cool.

I openned my heart and gained some new knowledge. Very cool.

It was awesome and I am looking forward to how the experimenting there comes back into life here.

I am a new self. Because we are always creating. I want to be conscious in that process as much as possible and that takes a lot of willingness to be responsible for the reality and experience I am having.

You know that saying, “With power comes great responsibility.

Power does come in presence. It gives me choice moment to moment. It’s great when I am enjoying the outcomes and I think it matters even more when I am challenged and tossed into the uncomfortable or unknown.

I am growing to like the unknown. The mystical and magical moments. Those just aren’t possible when stay to much in the familar.

Take a step out of your box. You’ll come back and hopefully a little different.

That’s okay.

Becoming Real

In my first Come Alive, 40 years ago, this short passage was read:

The velveteen rabbit asks the Skin Horse, the oldest and wisest of the toys, “What is REAL?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.

“It’s a thing that happens to you. ….

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. …

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”  
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Today I am real, and I am still becoming.

I am so grateful for the skin horses (i.e. Come Alive leaders) that helped me commit to being real.

I am older, wrinkled and loose in the joints and it still hurts sometimes.  I even have some sharp edges and at times think I should be more carefully kept.

Haven, Come Alive, Couples Alive coupled with ongoing breathing and a commitment to intimacy and growth over comfort and looking good, make the effort worth it.

Now I often feel like the Skin Horse.  

Let’s be clear it’s not like this road to being ‘real’ is for everyone.  However, being able to access my loving even when it hurts is the only back home.

I do my best to bring Haven everywhere I go.  It’s not always easy.  I don’t do it perfectly.  But nothing else has been as effective and fulfilling to practice and believe in as the core tools: the communication model, resonance and breathing into sensation instead of trying to get rid of the uncomfortable. 

Out in the world, it is easy to get focused on doing and achieving.

Often this becomes more about control and looking good then being vulnerable and human. (Real)

Underneath all our bells, whistles, dollars and technological advances, we humans are still just an amazing, delicate, living, breathing, vulnerable mess of cells, organs, tissues and energy.

All the armor won’t take away the pain, the uncertainty or reality that we are basically here to become ‘real’. All the ‘power’ in the world does not ever take away the vulnerability.

However, an open heart and an open, awake mind is like a candle in a pitch-black room. It does light a path.

I’ll be at Haven in late May with CrisMarie for Couples Alive, leading a Come Alive just after and Couples Alive II in September.

I encourage to take your next step to becoming ‘real.’

Upcoming Programs with Susan Clarke

Couples Alive: Foundation: May 24-28, 2024
with CrisMarie Campbell
Come Alive : May 30 – June 4, 2024
Couples Alive II: Igniting Passion & Aliveness: September 18-22, 2024


Programs with Susan: https://haven.ca/teachers-page/248/susan-clarke/
All Programs: https://haven.ca/in-person-programs/


Other ways to work with Susan and Crismarie visit: www.thriveinc.com

Inspired By Tracy & I am Not Alone

I am inspired by Tracey Chapman and this isn’t the first time.

Best moment of the Grammy’s was when Tracy Chapman joined Luke Combs to sing Fast Car.

That was a magical moment on so many levels.  White guy, county singer and black woman, musical legend. 

I watched the clip of Luke Combs talking about his reasons for redoing the song.  He loved the song, grew up listening to it and it was one of the first songs he played.  That’s something.

I’m not a music star, country or otherwise.  However, Tracey Chapman sure did influence my life and her song, Promise, was one of the first songs I sought to learn on the guitar. 

Tracy Chapman I believe has inspired many. Her songs speak to the soul and connect, across devides.

Now that this moment has happened, I am sort hoping Tracey may make more musical appearances. 

Sounds like she is a special woman who lives a life out of the public scrutiny.  Maybe not now.  With people just learning she lives in ________ (don’t want to add on so just ___) .  Her solitude might be shaken.  I hope not.

I have a story that she is still writing songs and music.  Maybe even playing for non-advertised audiences.

Her song writing and music remind me of my own writing – yes there are books and articles for press, public and broad consumption, but that’s not why I write and I am guessing never why she wrote, sang and shared.

I write because it’s sooths an ache or fills a deep need/desire to connect and not be so alone.

I don’t know for sure but that’s what I saw on that stage the other night.  Two amazing singers, worlds a part in many ways – bridging through a song.  All of us getting to share in that special moment.

I wish could invite her to the stage here in Whitefish, MT.  Wouldn’t that be cool.

Maybe that’s a LONG shot but in the meantime, I have gotten back out my guitar and I’m practicing my favorite Tracy tune: Promise. 

No worries I won’t share my version with you but here’s a Tracy version:

Wanting Your Feedback

I am designing my Lead Alive program and I want your feedback. Of course I am excited about my write up and this offer. But more importantly would you be!

It’s designed to become an in-person program but will get it’s legs and wings online starting this February.

What I want to know from you:

  • Is it too much to start with embracing cracking? Would that scare you off?
  • Do the pain points speak to you?
  • There’s a long list of potential ideal clients – what’s missing or is that too much?

This is all part of my Experimenting project. Thought I would ask for your help. Also this online program will wrap in our new Beauty of Conflict Journey – so running over 2 or 3 months.

Here’s the write up:

Leading Alive Through Embracing Wholeness

Have you ever considered that embracing the seemingly crazy or cracked parts of yourself might be the key to unlocking immense benefits in your leadership journey?

In the face of life’s battles, some more severe than others, it’s essential to recognize that the pain you experience is not meant to break you; instead, it’s an opportunity to break you open.

Imagine opening up to fully experience the cracking, acknowledging that it is through those very cracks that light can penetrate, illuminating aspects of yourself that may have been hidden.

Challenge the common beliefs that may be holding you back:

  • “I have to conform or hold back to succeed.”
  • “I have to sacrifice myself to please everyone else.”
  • “I have to do everything myself for it to be perfect.”

What if these beliefs were simply lies? What if conforming, fitting in, and people-pleasing were the sources of your pain, burnout, and suffering?

The path to transformation lies in opening up to your whole self. By doing so, you unlock the following qualities:

  • Increased confidence
  • Heightened compassion
  • Better ability to set boundaries
  • Improved openness to listening
  • Enhanced ability to connect deeply

Have you observed that those who shine and are enjoyable to be around are often the ones most comfortable with who they truly are?

Join this workshop to walk away with a transformed sense of yourself. Experience the freedom of finally being your authentic self. Develop the courage and desire to speak up and ask for what you truly want.

Target audience

  1. Leaders and Executives:
  • Those in leadership positions seeking to enhance their leadership skills and authenticity.
  • Executives looking to create a more inclusive and compassionate workplace.
  1. Professionals Facing Burnout:
  • Individuals experiencing burnout and seeking a transformative experience to break free from limiting beliefs.
  1. Entrepreneurs
  • Business owners and entrepreneurs aiming to lead with authenticity and connect more deeply with their teams.
  1. Individuals in High-Stress Environments:
  • People working in high-stress environments who want to cultivate resilience and improve their well-being.
  1. Those Seeking Personal Growth:
  • Individuals on a personal growth journey looking to explore and embrace different facets of themselves.
  1. Team Leaders and Managers:
  • Leaders responsible for managing teams who want to create a positive and open work culture.
  1. Anyone Interested in Authentic Living:
  • Individuals who value authenticity and want to live more aligned with their true selves.

This workshop is designed to cater to a diverse audience seeking personal and professional development through an exploration of authentic leadership principles.

I’d love to hear from you!

In The Spirt of Experimenting

Every year I like to come up with a word or phrase as a theme for the year. This year’s theme or word is EXPERIMENTING.

This word came out of a strategic session CrisMarie and I had for our launch of the Beauty of Conflict Journey. This has been a project started over a year ago and now moving out into the world

What I like about this word is that it implies a level of curiosity that I believe is critical for joy and aliveness.

Experimenting also has a touch rigor and practice implied as well. When I am experimenting, I do start with some assumption and then try things that may or may not improve or provide insight into where to go next.

We knew what was most important for thrive! and the new Journey was going to be successfully marketing and getting the message out.

However, sometimes marketing feels overwhelming. I don’t know how to cut through the noise. There are so many people saying to this, do that, be sure you don’t do this or that.

Measure, measure likes, new leads, thumbs, thumbs down, and if you are not getting results, (i.e. likes, sales or leads) do something different.

I am sure there is some nugget of truth in all the suggestions. Although I know I don’t live openhearted and inspired by tracking likes, leads, thumbs up or sales.

So, when one of us came up with the theme: Experiment marketing thrive’s Beauty of Conflict Journey, my heart relaxed, and my brain woke up with possibilities.

It seemed only natural then to use Experimenting as my personal word for 2024.

This word inspires me beyond our business. I am experimenting with a bunch of new community activities: contra dancing, Uke jam sessions, a book club and these all showed up as invitations just after I picked my word, and I said yes!

I also watched my niece Carolina, do this amazing Instagram Live when she found herself unable to run a cooking class because of blizzard like weather. In a short 20-minute Instagram Live she taught us how to make Savory Oatmeal. OMG – it was awesome. I was inspired.

Now I am going to give Instagram live a try. Once a week I am going to come online and share, show, practice some type of breathing, movement, or personal development tip.

I am sharing a short video here to kick off for friends, family and followers hoping some of you might join at: https://www.instagram.com/thriveinc/ when I go LIVE next week.

Join Me Next week live follow us on Instagram for notification: https://www.instagram.com/thriveinc/

I am still deciding on the day. I likely will be experimenting starting with Monday or Tuesday and I’ll send a post as a reminder on our site. Be sure to follow us.

Remember experimenting is a great way to be curious and vulnerable. Let’s have some fun together.

Closing out 2023

My 2023 Holiday letter

What a year we have had here in Whitefish.

Let’s be clear the home address is Whitefish but in 2023 we were back on road. Kicking it off in January on a road trip to Calgary to be a part The Cowgirl’s Code: From People Pleaser to Cowgirl Confident. That was just the start. We visited Los Angeles, Arizona, Atlanta, Denver, Ohio and that all before April! From there it was Gabriola, Toronto ( a couple times), San Fran, Austin, and Denver again. Those were our work travel.

For fun we were in Cancun twice, Indiana, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Olympia, and Quinn’s Hot Springs.

I know I thought we’d travel less. However, we loved our work and our experiences.

Our Big Launch

What we’re most excited about from 2023 is the completion and launch of our Beauty of Conflict Journey – available now on GetRali.com. Here’s a link and you request a demo session with us. https://www.thriveinc.com/boc-journey

More Personal

On a more personal note, I loved both Come Alive programs I led this year. One was at the Haven and the other up North and was a cool mix of Come Alive and our thrive work. These were special because I didn’t try to control everything. I loved the team leadership and having a plan but being ok going off road.

Come Alive Teams

Some of the challenges:

• My mom’s dementia is worse, and it is much harder to connect. She’s happy and in a great location. But not always great for Facetime or Zoom. The good side of this part of my life is that I am more connected to my sisters. We have weekly sister calls and sometimes those are hard, but we listen and work it through.
• Lost some good people this year. Chris Reid, Scott Reid (a brother and cousin of my brother-in-law Rob Reid), David Raithby, a true Haven friend and facilitator. So many lives taken in Israel/Gaza/Ukraine. Plus, Tina Turner, Jimmy Buffet, and Tony Bennett.
• ZuZu got attacked in our woods. She did recover faster than me and yet, it was hard.

Lessons and Learning

The biggest investment we made in our development this year was engaging fully in the Dr Joe Dispenza world. We were at two Advances in Cancun and a Follow-Up in Dallas. I loved discovering this work and the experience of doing coherent healing sessions with thousands of people. AMAZING!! Also, the work was so aligned with my journey and transformation at The Haven. Never thought I could meditate for 5hours straight – yep – that’s two 5-hour sessions are in the books.

Walking Meditations & Ocean Swims!

A Few Best in Categories I like:

Best Read: Lessons in Chemistry
Best Movie: Barbie (but will say Boats in The Boy was a close second)
Best Podcast: Loved talking to Oscar on listening and most recently Dr Romie
Best Peloton Ride: Body Appreciation – 30 minutes with Christine!
Best TV: Unstable – a delightful surprise!
Best Music: No way could I just have one song – here’s a link to my top ten and it was hard to stop at 10:

My 2023 Top 10

I keep thinking of things to share or add. But I want to get this out. Because I encourage to do your reflecting and sharing.

Next year – 2024 – is almost here. Not only that, but it is gong to be happening fast.

My intention for this year is to embrace the unknown and enjoy the moments when opportunity knocks.

I am all in and believe it is going to be awesome!