Hey there! I’m Suzanne
A NYC based Classical yoga instructor, artist & writer who’s passionate about helping you uncover the true you so you can live a life that you can proudly call your own.
My outer world is a direct reflection of my inner world
I’ve been obsessed with self-improvement ever since I can remember. It’s probably because I struggled to express myself as a kid. I was highly sensitive and would often hide my real emotions from fear of judgement. 5 years ago, a series of events shattered my sense of self and I could no longer hide. I was confused as to who I was, heartbroken, deeply ashamed, depressed and often wondered what the point of life was. Luckily, I found Yoga & Buddhism which became my therapy. It was the beginning of my path toward self-love. It has been a beautifully messy journey that has brought me to a place of deep fulfillment. I always knew that inner strength & confidence was the foundation I needed to live a joyful life, but it was a whole other beast to actually do the work. Continue reading for my full story…
As you can see, I was a pretty happy kid
I have always had a calling to express myself through the arts: drawing, painting, writing and physical movement. Even though I was an optimistic kid, I lacked the communication skills to express my emotions and it would often turn into frustration and aggression. I channeled a lot of my anger through exercise. Starting out with Tae Kwon Do, I moved on to cross-country running and JROTC (an army affiliated program). Over time, the physical exercise became an unhealthy tool for weight loss. I developed eating disorders and negative body image issues that often consumed my thoughts. This continued into my early 20’s.
In 2012, a series of events made me painfully aware of how much I was depending on my external world for happiness. I had a great job, a beautiful apartment in a wonderful neighborhood and a boyfriend. Things seemed pretty great and I thought I had it all figured out. However, when the relationship ended, I was left with a shattered identity, cystic acne and deep shame. I often locked myself in my room, too ashamed to see anyone. I judged myself so harshly but had a deep inner-knowing that my acne wasn’t really the main issue. I used it as an opportunity to work on my self-esteem.
I found immense comfort and acceptance from a yogic and Buddhist practice. It was hard to live with so much self-hatred. Yoga and Buddhism became my bedrock for how to approach myself with kindness and compassion. I allowed myself to feel exactly how I felt without labeling or judging it as good or bad. I practiced neither grasping nor pushing away, I realized it just was and the more I faced it, the faster it would dissolve. I worked on letting go of the story that was constantly on repeat in my head, keeping me stuck in a victim mentality and a pity fest.
After 2 years of frantically trying to figure out what was going on with my body, I finally figured it out. I realized that it had been getting worse because of the antibiotics that had been repeatedly prescribed to me. I switched to naturopathic methods of healing and started to reshape my whole lifestyle. I completely changed my diet, immersed myself in the world of gut health & probiotics, decreased inflammation and released toxins from my body. I became fascinated with emotional freedom technique & the healing effects of a spiritual practice. I dove into the healing world and I fell in love, I felt at-home. It was tough as sh*t to make all the changes but the results were crystal clear and encouraging.
Clarity & intuition
After a year, I not only saw a physical difference, I felt a dramatic change in mental clarity & overall vitality. I was more aware of what was keeping me stuck & draining my energy. I needed to let go of the main things that were preventing me from living the life I wanted to live. I started to mend my closest relationships and realized that it was time to forgive and take ownership of my life rather than continuing to blame. I started to detach from my story of who I thought I was and reevaluate whether my 6 year career as a designer was still the right path for me.
I finally chose myself
I realized that I was worth taking a risk on. I realized that my life was a precious gift and my one and only chance to fully express myself. I decided to travel to Southeast Asia indefinitely, much to my mom’s dismay. I had kept myself locked up for too long and I no longer wanted to live this way. It made me question what a meaningful life was to me. I decided that I wanted to live without regrets. I wanted to know that I didn’t let fear prevent me from doing what my heart most desired.
Self-discovery & spiritual journey
During my travels I studied Classical Yoga at Wise Living Yoga Academy in Thailand (affiliated with the worlds oldest organized Yoga Institution in Santacruz, Mumbai) and it catapulted my healing process. It had solidified and concisely encompassed everything I had learned thus far. It was truly a pivotal moment in my life where I felt my stars align. After learning that Raja Yoga (a meditative path) was the highest path to self-realization, I felt compelled to immerse myself into meditation and decided to study at the International Meditation Center in Doi Suthep. I received personal guidance from the head monk and got a taste of what it could be like to live a monastic life. I felt as if I had gotten closer to who I actually am, not who my parents expected me to be, or what society deemed to be a ‘successful’ person. Afterwards, I was able to rediscover my child-like passion for art and I drew and painted almost everyday with a new found joy and fervor. View my art here.
After 7 months of travel, I came back home and re-assimilated into my old life. It proved to be the toughest part of my journey. Not only was my future uncertain but now I had other’s weighing in on what I should and should not do. It was a painful struggle as I dealt with my new found internal strength & the far too familiar external pressure. Ultimately, I knew I had to stay focused on my own path and give it a shot. Integrating everything I had learned helped me consistently come back to this moment, live my truth and release any expectations. I was breaking free from the safe, secure path that had crushed my soul in the first place. My need to respect & honor myself was proving to out-weigh my desire to take the easy, accepted route.
Coming full circle
I cherish everything my parents have given me and understand that they too are wonderfully flawed human beings. I am immensely privileged and grateful to have them in my life. It’s my turn to take full responsibility for my life and ensure that I befriend that critic within me that tells me that I’m not good enough. It’s a voice that’s crying out for attention and love. It has been starved of it for far too long. This voice will forever be my biggest teacher. I have learned a great deal from it. Most importantly, I have healed because of it and as a result, I’m living a life beyond my wildest dreams.
I believe that the true me, the highest me, is my creative, laugh-out-loud, giving, tender-hearted soul. When I allow my highest self to take charge, I know I can do just about anything. I realize that tough times always turn out to be a blessing in disguise. It’s a time in which I get to practice courage & gratitude. On the other side of it, I feel stronger and have more confidence in myself. I choose to live and love fully, regardless of my circumstances.
Which brings me to you
I absolutely know what it’s like. I know what it feel like to go against the grain in order to stay true to yourself. It’s a bold & noble act. What we need most in the world is for more people to come alive. When we are living deeply meaningful lives, we can’t help but spread joy and love. My life has taken a complete 180. I was once the most indecisive person I knew and life was painful. Now I have so much clarity & know exactly what I need when it starts to slip away. The key is to enjoy the process, and view life as an experiment. It’s a beautiful journey of self-discovery and it’s never too late to start.
Just know that if one person can do it, then you can do it too.
It means so much to me that you have read this far and I hope that we will stay in touch. I’m not that active on social media so the best way is to subscribe for first dibs on insider updates.
With so much love,