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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.

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

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!

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!

Breathe More: It’s Free

Breath is a free, all natural, totally organic resource.

Science endorses breathing as an evidence-based pathway for increased health and vitality.

Meditation and mindfulness are also ‘proven’ to help with anxiety, stress, depression and many more ailments. Of which breathwork is a significant part of these practices.

I am glad to see breathing getting some solid press and marketing.

My current concern though is that breathing will so be trademarked, patented, or crowded with techniques and experts that make a lot of noise interfering with the simple act of just breathing and listening.

It’s not rocket science or complicated.

It’s been around – literally forever.

Your life started with a breath and will end with an exhale. At least the from a biological body perspective.

I’ve studied breathing. Well not through books, articles or research – but through practicing, learning from teachers and firsthand experimenting with what works for me and what doesn’t.

I have been introduced to pathways to breathing. I passed along the lessons and supported people in doing their own experiential learning and studies on the art of breathing.

I think what I most appreciate about breathing is that it is the most powerful path for deep listening.

Listening to my body. Listening to the world around me. And as a result, knowing we are indeed all connected.

Trauma is one of the biggest human pain points. Basically, trauma is separation.

There’s tons of research and helpful work being done to help people deal with trauma and live beyond their points of separation.

I believe the best place to start is simply learning to listen and be with you body, mind and spirit.

Breathing will do that.

If it’s too uncomfortable, find a coach, a therapist or simply a friend and breathe together.

It’s possible the simple gift of breath is just too easy.

I guarantee you though if you take it up as a project to self-discovery, health, and vitality, you will be taking an amazing journey.

I am going to include with this post a very simple 14-minute breathing recording.

Try it.

I’m also going to encourage you to download a playlist of your own making. I encourage pieces that are flowing, angry, sad, fun – a mix, a variety – and just lay down and breath.

It’s free.

Finding My Reason to Meditate

This meditation stuff is having a good effect on me.

I was out on the Flathead River for what was going to be a whitewater rafting trip. However, the water levels are low and when offered the choice to go for whitewater or float – I was all for FLOAT.

You need to know that is not usually my style. I like a little adrenline rush or at least a way to actively participate. I had a wonderful time. No issues just socializing with old friends and new friends; letting our guide, Luke, take us down the river.

This is not a one off experience. I find, be it golfing or biking, I’m much more interested in enjoying the whole exerience and not getting caught up my score or hitting my move goal.

Also I don’t get as tight and cranky about traffic or summer season challenges, no place to sit outside or a long line to get into the park.

These changes may not seem huge but really they are.

As someone who has operated with a lot of hyper-vigilance and tension around time and space, these shifts are very significant.

So is it meditating that’s creating the shift?

When I made my decision to dive into the Dr Joe work so I could be set up well for our Advance Retreat in Cancun, I did commit to daily meditating, anywhere from an hour to three hours a day.

Now back I am still doing Dr Joe work and integrating in breathing and other forms of dealing with stress. Primarily to gain greater conciousness and awareness of my habits and unconcious behaviors.

It’s that last piece that really seems to be helping. The idea that 95% of my life is habitual and unconcious really hit me.

I learned about presence and being real a long time ago. It’s definately a concious muscle I’ve been building day to day ever since I realized how easy it is to creat dis-ease without a concious commitment to breathing, communicating, being curious and connecting.

I, also, think the mediation has helped me appreciate an expanded energetic connection to the world around me and mostly it has helped me notice where I still go to reaction.

Sometimes when I read the paper or hear about another tragic accident, I do falter. It is really hard to understand murder, suicide or drunk driving that takes the life of a mother, a child or anyone. Hate crimes and attitudes towards choices and differences in religion, sexuality or life style – I don’t get.

I also believe that much of the reactivity, pain and hatred in today’s world is due to stress. Our world keeps speeding up and without awareness and undertsanding of trauma, pain of isolation. loneliness and separation, we do crazy things.

I often think fewer drugs, medical interventions & recreatioanl) and more space to pause, breath and be together would help AND it would be very uncomfortable.

It’s not easy to slow down and sit with myself, without expectation, some mutual mission or some outcome as a reward. Yet, that’s what meditation and presence really is all about.

There’s no promise I’ll be healthier, wealthier or live longer – just a moment of fullness and peace.

I do think there’s another bonus. I live more moments in gratitude and awe, even in the uncertainty.

That’s a pretty neat perk.