“This is the first time I’ve decided to leave a job without having something else lined up,” my friend Tonya* confessed to our small women’s support group. We applauded her daring, self-affirming choice and offered words of encouragement to bolster her confidence in stepping into the unknown. She knew she was doing the right thing, but wasn’t at all comfortable with the prospect of not knowing what was next.

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Read more: Lost and Found

I was a senior at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing (BBSH), panting my way through the final year of this arduous education I had insistently and irrationally pursued. The school was like no other that I - or anyone else I knew before enrolling in it - had ever known. Which was precisely the point, of course: I had intended for that education to change my life.

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Read more: Getting It All Done

My client sat before me, shoulders slumped and eyes downcast. She sighed heavily with an air of somber resignation. Just moments before she had been brimming with enthusiasm, her posture erect and her voice alive with possibility. Together we had brainstormed different ways she could explore an idea she had about work – not a practical idea about ways she could improve her current job, but a sparkly idea for an entirely new form of work. Work that might fulfill her sense of purpose and nourish her soul. Work that could nudge her lovingly out of bed in the morning. Work that would allow her to develop her innate talents and creativity. Work that that might even be fun.

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Read more: It All Counts

At the risk of being seen as hopelessly clichéd, I decided to write about love for my February column. With the inevitable onslaught of media attention on the commercial ways our culture defines and celebrates love, I felt a certain responsibility to offer a different view, one that doesn’t romanticize romance (lovely as it can be).

I think, for the most part, we’re terribly confused about love. We often equate it with a certain kind of feeling that is reflected through attraction, affection and acts of caring, bravery or even wild abandon. Love has been described as a force that sweeps reason to the side and calls us to do things we might never consider in our seemingly saner moments. And that’s the particular aspect of our cultural beliefs about love that I want to challenge: the belief that love is somehow separate from reason.

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Read more: True Love

christmas starI turned the music up. Maybe the extra volume would supply me with the Christmas spirit I seemed to be lacking and jumpstart my enthusiasm for putting up decorations. Pausing in a roomful of opened boxes and tattered bags stuffed to the brim with memories, I waited for the music to work its magic. Nothing. I sat down and closed my eyes, giving myself full permission to halt the decorating process and, instead, simply invite my favorite Christmas music to infuse me with its exuberant energy.

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Read more: Christmas in an Empty Space

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Writing Award

Suzanne was awarded first place in the Communications Contest sponsored by the Delaware Press Association in 2009 and 2010. In awarding Suzanne first place, the judges shared their views on her writing:

2009 – “Very revealing and descriptive. The writer takes us on a journey deep within ourselves. The Christmas story is a masterpiece of feeling and emotion, brilliantly written. First place, hands down.” Click here to read the article.

2010 – “I deeply admire Ms. Eder’s writing, whose seasoned wisdom is reflected in her essays. Her use of metaphor and her lyrical voice beautifully resonate. Thought-provoking, inspiring and spiritual in tone, these columns challenge readers toward boldness, risk-taking and inner exploration to put themselves on a path to a more fulfilling life. I would follow her anywhere. Eder justly deserves First Place.” Click here to read the article.

Suzanne is honored to be a regular contributor to Living.Well Magazine, which originally published her award-winning articles.

Living Well

Testimonials

"I really want to thank you for helping me take myself and my creativity seriously. As a result of my work with you, I can see how creativity is a broader thing than I thought, that it undergirds whatever I do and that I can have chapters of various sorts of creative expression in my life. Since making my first film, and to my own surprise, I seem to have manifested a very human and warm group practice. I seem to be attracting more clients without much strain, and they are really different kinds of folks. I feel like I am psychically "reading" folks without working as hard, or giving core energy away. So interesting.

I think the key is that you helped me develop another relationship with creativity. Our work together had me making friends with, and making peace with, the various and changing aspects of creativity in me. These days the river is just flowing at a higher level in general. I don't feel like my approval of myself is somehow on the line. That's a big shift right there.

Phew! Thanks!" - R.W.