Tag: omaha

Underestimating Surrender

Contemplating in Hawaii

Me 7 years ago in Hawaii, surrounded by beauty and not carrying it with me


You know how tweens and teens know EVERYTHING?
When asked or reminded about something, mine respond with “I KNOW!”
To which my response is, “knowing isn’t the problem, doing is.”
Well, as we sometimes do as parents, I found myself choking on my own words…

I was a business owner, yoga teacher, personal growth coach, and a mom.  It was literally my JOB to lead people out of suffering and into serenity, ease, and good humaning.
(Yes, humaning can be a verb!)
I was good at it.  I had helpful perspective, loads of knowledge, and countless effective skills & techniques.  I was helping people, and it felt really good!

Yet quietly and gradually my life became unmanageable.
My energy was tanked.  I was avoiding people and responsibilities.  My finances and relationships were suffering.  I hadn’t realized how much of myself I had lost.

How in the actual heck did I get here?!
I had the skills.  I KNEW they worked, because I watched them create better lives for others.  I practiced them myself… so what the @!#&% was going on?!

No problem is isolated.  A problem in one area bleeds into all aspects of our life.
And at some point,  you lose so much blood you end up in critical condition.

I was there.  I was at the point where I could no longer carry on as is.  I could admit the momming needed work.  Ok, so did the business owner.  I’m continuously learning and developing my yoga and coaching skills.  I sought help WHEN I needed it because I could see WHERE I needed it.
Or could I?

Here’s the deal y’all… it doesn’t matter how much knowledge or skill you have or even whether or not you’re applying it in your life!  It is easier to see what’s happening from the outside than from the inside.

A wise friend and physical therapist said to me, “We cannot effectively treat ourselves.  Just because I provide the treatment doesn’t make me exempt from needing the treatment, and that needs to come from an objective source.”

We all need objective outside help.  Ideally, we’re willing to lean into it BEFORE we hit critical status.
The trippy thing was that I WAS leaning into outside help, and in more than one way.  And I KNEW change only comes from the inside out – ultimately, I had to be the source of the change.  So, again, what the f***?!

I’ll kill the suspense and just give you the answer… 

Two things created my situation:

  1. I wasn’t leaning into the PROPER support ENOUGH.
    I was still trying to manage (some would say control) the process and outcome too much myself.
  2. I was not focused ENOUGH on MY part, MY contributions to my situation.
    My attention drifted too often to others’ contributions (or lack thereof).

I had to surrender and trust.
I had to lean on an intangible power greater than myself.
I had to admit I didn’t have answers, and ask for them to be revealed.
And then I had to wait.

Again, this wasn’t shocking news.  I knew it was true (remember choking on my own words).  I even had prayer and meditation practices to live this truth.  Yet I was holding back in them.  Ironically, trying to protect myself from disappointment, failure, fear (etc) and ultimately success.
It really is true that what annoys us about others exists in ourselves, because I can easily recognize obstinance!!

“Though we travel the world to find beauty, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Replace “beauty” in Ralph’s statement with anything – anger, contentment, fear, courage, love – and it holds true.
We are a source of what surrounds us.  We are with ourselves wherever we go, even in our escapes – ESPECIALLY in our escapes.  There is no “destination cure” – no effective hiding place!

So here I am, refocused, leaning fully into the proper support and feeling relief.  Balancing knowing with faith, and action with surrender – admittedly in some moments better than others.
Waiting time is not wasted time . . .
Chapter 2 to be revealed!

Much love, Suzanne


May we courageously change what we can, and graciously accept what we can’t.
May we keep what’s ours, and leave what’s not.
And may we have the wisdom to know the difference.

May we trust in something greater than ourselves.
May we seek to understand over being understood.
And may we prioritize peace over happiness.

If you need one-on-one support, schedule some coaching.

Find more articles and videos from OPY here.

Together We Go Further

Jen and Suzanne

Jen brings the energies of mercy, grace and acceptance to all her classes.


As I begin my 3rd year teaching at OPY, I take a moment to reflect.  As you’ll hear me say in class, take a moment to “practice the pause, feel the feels.”

I have learned so much and evolved as a teacher in my relatively short time at Omaha Power Yoga.  And I have our community, YOU, to thank.  YOU are MY teacher.

You keep showing up, whether you are near or far.

You brighten my day with our chats before and after class.

You feel comfortable asking questions, which keeps me on my toes.

And I thank you, for your energy and efforts, and allowing me to hold space for you here at OPY.

I share this short snippet of a Power & Release class to show your efforts and energy.  To show how we move and make shapes together, but also to show that we all do what feels right in our own bodies.
This is your practice.  Your self study.  Your yoga.

Namaste, Jen

Watch Power & Release snippet here.
Join us for a class in studio, via stream or a replay at your convenience.
Find more helpful articles and videos from OPY here.

Ashley Mason Equestrian Riders

The Secret To Change

Ashley Mason Equestrian Riders

My daughter, Zoa, and the Ashley Mason Equestrian riders getting ready for the Oakland, IA Independence Day parade


This weekend someone shared with me they weren’t feeling very celebratory or even independent this Independence Day.  As we spoke, I could feel the frustration and overwhelm – in both of us.

There is no stopping the waterfall of circumstances  and feelings from happening.
Life is a continuation of them, and they come for us whether we’re ready or not!

So what do we do when they’re disappointing, intense or feel overwhelming?
How do we cope?  How do we affect change?

We can start by allowing grief and choosing acceptance

Accepting something is NOT the same as liking or agreeing with it.
It’s just acknowledging it for what it is so we can see our options clearly (through the fog of intense emotions) and choose a path forward. 

Grief is a response to loss, and may express differently depending on what is lost.
For instance, if we can’t see well enough to safely drive ourselves as we age, there can be a loss of independence.  When we experience a loss of something dear to us – like safety, privacy, autonomy, etc – we need to allow ourselves (or our loved ones) to grieve the loss so we can eventually move forward.  

It’s also key to remember that we co-exist with other people!  Yep, read that again.
There is no way all the people will agree on all the things all the time.  So, we’ll inevitably find ourselves in situations we don’t like, agree with or want.  

When our reality is not what we want it to be, we have choices…  

  1.  We can complain and commiserate with those who agree with us.
  2.  We can passively resign, convincing ourselves we are helpless and powerless.
  3.  We can belittle, name-call, use threatening or forceful tactics to try to change the minds of those who disagree.
  4.  We can respectfully ask questions and listen, and let people disagree. 
  5.  We can ACCEPT it, regulate our strong emotions, sort out and TAKE ACTION on our options. 

Likely, we’ll alternate between a few of these 😉
The point is, we can consciously choose how we deal with things. 

In case they didn’t jump out at you, 4 & 5 are the most productive.  We get defensive when we hear things we don’t like, which shuts down listening.
Dialogue creates change and requires BOTH listening and speaking.

There’s also no way around the universal truth that we all collectively contribute to our reality.

So, we are naturally the exact opposite of helpless or powerless – without even trying.

When taking action seems too overwhelming, just start with yourself.  The ripple of change outward is a given. 

The natural order of change is:

  1. the individual
  2. the family
  3. the community and beyond

I believe it was Socrates who said, “The secret to change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”  So when we find ourselves not getting anywhere, we usually just need to change what we’re spending our energy on.

     Below are links to two supportive and grounding recordings for you.  Here’s to conscious choices and spending our energy wisely!
     Much love, Suzanne


Here is a 6 minute relaxation and reflective practice with a focus on independence.
Here is a 5 minute metta meditation to help foster understanding, trust, and unconditional love.

If you need one-on-one support, schedule some coaching.

Find more helpful articles and videos from OPY here.

Grief and Acceptance

Headstone rubbing

Little Suzanne, gramma & cousin, 1982, a cemetery in Illinois

Every Memorial Day I think back to family traditions.  My mom was a teacher and a genealogy buff, so we spent many summer days in tiny remote cemeteries looking for ancestors and making headstone rubbings (the older I got, the less fun I found this to be).  

On Memorial Day we remembered family members who had passed with fresh peonies on their headstones.  People from nearby towns gathered for a big ceremony at our hometown cemetery to honor loved ones who served in the military.

While these traditions have faded, Memorial Day finds me taking pause… to appreciate the presence fallen family members graced me with, to cherish memories that remain with me since they passed, and to allow feelings of grief.  The more I recognize and allow grief, the more I notice its prevalence in life in general.

Grief is a response to loss, so it comes in many forms – physical loss through death, the end of a relationship or job, ceasing of old habits, change in our way of life, realization that an expectation won’t be met – the list goes on.  Even when it’s clear the loss is the best thing in some circumstances, it doesn’t always make it easier to move through.  Relief can come with sadness.  Change that is good for us may still need a proper grieving period. 

A coaching client asked me recently, “What’s the first thing you do when you realize you aren’t handling something well?”  The answer is I accept how I feel and give myself permission to handle it how I’m handling it.  See, there’s a little conundrum we can fall into…

Sometimes our feelings may not be logically warranted. 

Logical or not, they are valid because we are having them.

Here’s what giving myself permission might sound like… “Of course I feel this way.  It’s completely understandable.”  I’ve found that by not making myself wrong for having my feelings, they don’t cause such a ruckus or backslide.  By accepting & validating myself, I can more quickly and easily see my way through them. 

Love on yourself a little more.  Grant yourself more grace and acceptance.  You may find it can make the heavy and sad stuff less debilitating.  And it for sure magnetizes more love and acceptance your way!

Have a memory and grace filled Memorial Day,


Need a mindset shift?  Coaching can help.  Start Here
Find more helpful articles and videos from OPY here.