LightFull Lady–Susan Bernstein

Susan Bernstein photoMeet Susan Bernstein, the founder of Work From Withinô. She helps coach people to find more meaning in their work, relationships, and life by teaching them to listen to their hearts and gut. Not only does she run her own successful business, but this juggler is working on a PhD in somatic (mind/body) psychology. Read more about Susan below!

Q. Tell us about how you got to where you are today?

A. In 2001, my life changed in a five-week period. My marriage crumbled, my family had a crisis, I had two surgeries, I moved, and I was laid-off from my job. I had the opportunity to get a fresh start with my life. Iíd been in the corporate world for 17 years and my undergraduate and graduate studies were in business.

Even though I was scared, I went back to school to study somatic (mind/body) psychology. I loved the learning, but was unsure of what I'd do professionally. I didn't want to be a psychologist. I wanted to help people in a more compassionate way than I thought was possible in the corporate world. I started doing career advising at the Haas School of Business, where I had earned my MBA. I began supporting people in career and life transitions. I discovered that when people integrate mind/body awareness with their dreams and visions, they truly embody the changes they desire. And, when we learn to really listen within ourselves, it becomes easier to achieve meaningful changes. I launched Work from Within in 2005 to inspire and support people to create working lives that align with their heartsí desire!

Q. Describe your own perfect balance.

A. I've crafted a life where I get to do what I love. So for me, balance is really about noticing what fills me up with energy and what drains me, and making adjustments to get more of the positive energy. I think part of that was learning to feel proud - not guilty or selfish - to practice good self-care. It's something I allow myself to do at all times. I get a lot of my fuel in groups, especially dance and movement classes, where I can stop talking, pay attention to my body, and find my inner inspiration. Listening to uplifting music is also very renewing for me.

Q. Can you tell us more about your family life?

A. I feel lucky to have a partner who has a high-energy, creative 7 year-old daughter. I have the honor of helping her learn and bring out her best qualities. Together, we love to dance and make artistic creations, especially origami and clay works. Reading at bedtime is also a priority.

Q. What community service are you involved in?

A. Though Iím quite busy with my practice and my dissertation, I share part of my time mentoring women who could not otherwise afford my services. My partnerís also a busy entrepreneur. In the future I want to find a project we can do together to be of greater service in the world.

Q. If you could leave the world with one gift, what would it be?

A. I think we tend to be ruled by our minds -- my gift would be to help people recognize that our world would be a more joyful place if we would simply pay more attention to what our hearts, guts, and spirits are telling us. When it comes to the choosing where and how we work, it's easy to get caught up following societal norms and to burn ourselves out doing work that drains us, rather than following our own hearts. My major goal is to reach out and spread this message:

Instead of struggling and surviving at a job that pays the bills but robs our life of energy, we can find our work from within -- as well as our worth from within. When we invest in and appreciate our inner desires, I believe we are rewarded with inner security and outer rewards.

That's been true for many of my clients who have had the courage to make life changes, and it's definitely true for my life.