The GetRealLive Retreat 2019

What a journey.

It seems strange that only a few weeks ago we were deep in preparation mode – and now, we are on the other side. The 2019 GetRealLive Retreat welcomed a group of amazing women to Noonaweena, a beautiful secluded property in Kulnura.  Noonaweena is off the beaten track of the highway that runs down Australia’s east coast – between Sydney and Newcastle. The time away was absolutely stunning – to say the least. 

This retreat, like others we have hosted, was tailored to the people attending and the experience was personal for each person – including those who had returned from previous retreats. On that note, we were super grateful to have women that believed in us enough to invest again and return. It was special for us as we hold trust very close. 

People have asked why I run these retreats, a question that comes up every time we start the journey, and my simple answer is because they matter and people matter. We don’t often take time for ourselves to invest in self-care. Sometimes, we are more interested in our next Netflix series than we are with our own state of being. Over the years and through my own journey I have learned that there is incredible value in retreating and taking care of self. With that understanding I have done my best to create and hold space for others to dig deep and learn to embrace and live their True You.

In the immediate aftermath of the retreat, I received messages and appreciation posts from the women who attended. 

This was particularly humbling to see the response from those who were changed over the weekend. Some of them are below. This is truly a clear indication that in this busy, blindingly fast-paced world, there certainly is beauty in retreating. 

Thank you so much for a truly phenomenal weekend Susan! You took care of every detail so stunningly well. It will take some time to process all the wisdom that has been shared. Sleep well in the knowledge that you created a beautiful and safe space for so many women to start on – or continue – their journeys of transformational change. The impact of this weekend will be deep and enduring.

This weekend marked the beginning of a vulnerable and gentle journey of accepting this woman in the portrait as perfectly imperfect. For me, it marks a moment in time where I’m settling into my truest and most free self. One who knows she is unconditionally loved and can walk more confidently into the things that sit well with my soul instead of other people’s expectations or ideas of who I should be.

and a text from a husband of one of the women who attended…

“Sooooo I have a different wife now.”

By definition, a retreat (as a noun) is to move to a quiet or secluded place. 

So, we did exactly that. Leaving families behind even for a few days can be hard, but the purpose of our retreats is to see the importance and value on giving ourselves the space to recalibrate and be open and vulnerable in a safe haven surrounded by like-minded women.

Because of the very nature of retreating, we won’t go into details about our sessions and seminars, but it was a beautiful time away to rest and stop. Each woman that attends our retreat comes expectantly. They are here purposefully and are ready for the transformative processes that take place over just a few days.

As well as the powerful group sessions, we had a tight but very carefully planned schedule that included meditation and yoga, an art lesson to take time to participate in something entirely new and rewarding, as well as alone time to reflect on the day’s activities. We were cared for with beautiful meal plans and a space to gather at the table and share in the experience of just simply being with each other.

As we wrap up this retreat,  it is very exciting to let you know that we have booked another; May 15-17 2020. Some have already contacted me regarding interest in this and just, WOW. I am excited already. Please see the link below to read further and apply now!

A few thank yous are in order. Retreats are certainly a team effort.

To the retreat team. Philip, Rowena, Jane, Jess and Caitlin. None of this would have happened without you. Thank you for each individual effort and role you played on the weekend. Forever grateful to have a kind and supportive group of people around me in this.

To Julie, and the team behind the scenes at Dinner on the Table. Your handiwork and food creations were absolutely stunning and mouth-watering, and we were so well-nourished all weekend. We look forward to working with you in the future. The menu was so thoughtfully planned out. These guys are definitively highly recommended if you need a caterer! GetRealLive loves to support any social enterprise that we can, and these guys do a fantastic job giving back to their Sydney local community.

To Rod and Simone and those at Noonaweena.We loved the time in this beautiful place, thank you for lending us this sanctuary and to look out across the mountains made our weekend all the more beautiful. The spa was well-loved, we were able to use the bushland for both peaceful contemplation and exploration as well as firepit storytelling. We have already started to plan our next retreat around the same location. We can’t wait to return.

Until next retreat, I hope you will join us. If you are here because you’re interested in our next retreat, please click below to see the retreat page for all the important information. 

Susan.


YouVersion – The Bible App Reading Plan

We are very excited to announce that True You: Finding Beauty in Authenticity is now available as a YouVersion Bible App Reading Plan.

As a companion devotional to Susan Sohn’s debut book, True You, you are invited on a search for your truth. This won’t happen without God, and it won’t happen without being honest about ourselves, our pasts, and our hurts. Not only do we pursue truth in our own lives, but we also pursue the truth of who we are in our connectedness to one another and to God.

As a fourteen day plan, you dive deep into the issues of each chapter. At the same time you are working through carefully coordinated daily scripture chosen by Susan! Click here to start the plan today. The Bible App is completely free to download, with no advertising and no in-app purchases. #notanad

 


Eternity News: Tired of seeing #picture-perfect lives?

Recently. I was super honoured and excited to find out that Eternity News had published an interview I did with them on my birthday! This kind of attention is humbling and very much appreciated. Thanks very much to Rebecca Abbott for the wonderful article,  titled “Tired of seeing #picture-perfect lives?”

Read the full article below. 

 

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Women and the stories we carry

I’ve been thinking recently about what it means to be a woman. As many of you know my book is out. And through this writing process,  I have had the incredible privilege and honour to interview some of the bravest women I have ever met. Women who have shared their stories with me, their truth. They have trusted me with some of the most intimate parts of their life.

Whether it is the young mum who faced a cancer journey before her 30th birthday. Or the woman who in her 40’s realised that the life she had was crashing down in front of her. Maybe even the beautiful woman I chatted to who believes that she, just being herself, will never be enough for anyone to love.

 

 

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5 Things I learnt from writing a book

For years I was told to write a book, but what would I write about?

This seems like a very odd question, considering I have spent the better part of the last 20 years writing, blogging, creating and sharing content every day. So, for those of you who have a book stirring on the inside this is for you.

Before I begin, I remember someone once saying to me that all of us either have a book or a marathon in us. Some days I wished I had a marathon in me but alas my sneakers have remained intact and the written word captured my being. If I was asked for any advice about the writing journey it would be to really consider the marathon. Dig deep, go for a few runs, try it out because from what I have come to know is that having a book in you and sharing it with the world is no easy task and much like what I imagine the physical pains of a marathon would be, writing a book can cause havoc within your very core. Read on, dear one.

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Standing on the shoulders of giants

One of the chapters in ‘True You‘ is about standing on the shoulders of giants, by doing that we begin to live in our truth and allow our children to confidently stand on our shoulders.

The chapter is about being honest about what we’ve walked through and sharing our stories. Brene Brown says, in the Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted, that story is our way home and truth is our song. As challenging as this can be I believe it to be true. We need to tell our truths bravely because it is part of our stories.  We have to let it be our song rather than the thing that holds us captive.

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Vana Belle Hospitality…

For our 20th Anniversary, Philip and I whisked ourselves away to Thailand. To be completely honest, I was a little hesitant at first. I was hesitant because we aren’t those people who need nor do we want to be away from our kids. Actually, travelling with our children has always been something we have loved and enjoyed rather than endured. Neither Philip nor I have ever been ones who have ‘needed to get away from our kids’. I know some parents do who do need the ‘much-needed break’ and that’s okay, it’s just never been us. 

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Inside the Quiet.

Like many people, I have tried over the years to stick to New Year’s resolutions and promises made to myself.

Like most, inevitably I fail a few weeks into the year. Whether it be my bad habits, the desire to shift some unneeded weight, the year I learn a new language or start to paint. The only resolution that I hold onto seems to be the one that promises I won’t do it. Resolutions, for whatever reason, have not worked for me.

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Autism, DownSyndrome, Special Needs. A response to the Ontario Letter

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{Pictures above provide a glimpse into the life of Peter}

In light of the recent and very disturbing letter that was sent to the parents of a boy with Autism (see this Huffington Post Live Story click HERE)I am compelled to share this story with you.

My little brother, Peter, who is not so little now, he is 36 and definitely exceeds my physicality, has DownSyndrome and definitely displays some other characteristics that can be found on the ASD Spectrum. He can be a challenge and throughout his life has most likely upset people, caused them great discomfort and whatever else we {the so called ‘normal’} people have to interpret and manage when our life collides with someone on the spectrum.

Throughout the years, I have written countless stories about my brother and the lessons I have learned from him, the things he has taught me and the way he has lived. Some days, he is our angel and we talk about how he has been sent from God just for us. We talk about how blessed we are to have had the opportunity to walk through life with him and how we wished other people could have a moment of this experience. Then, there are days when we wonder where he came from, why he’s acting a certain way and how do we handle what is happening before our eyes. In these moments, we see the struggle deep within him, his desire to do what we call ‘right’, to act appropriately, to respond how we want him to respond but because of the way he has been created the struggle lies in this this place. These are the times when this gentle giant, this angel who was sent from above needs our care, our love and our acceptance.

I could go on and on about the joy he has brought to our lives and his amazing nature and his deep sense of knowing and understanding that doesn’t translate into school grades or through the written or, at times, even the spoken word. His understanding is deep and his expression of that understanding at times throws the ‘EQ’ balance off the charts.

Today, instead of me writing about his impact on our lives, I have chosen to allow the words of another whom he has touched to bring expression to his being. She’s not a family member but she has been brought into the family through Peter and his love for her and his deep knowing that she is a person to love and to trust. Her name is Lori and outside of our family she is perhaps one of the most influencial people in Peter’s life. I am choosing not to respond in words to the ‘One Pissed Off Mother’ but rather by using the life of another and the experience of another who has chosen to see beyond what she doesn’t understand {in terms of how Peter was created} but has chosen to step over her own insecurities and the ‘unknown’ within Peter and she has found a beautiful relationship that has changed her life. I hope you enjoy her story about Peter.

MY FRIEND PETER by Lori Perra
I have a very special person in my life. He has taught me so many things that have helped me to become a better person. He has made me laugh and cry and practise my skills of tolerance and patience.

Peter has Down Syndrome.

I have known Peter for many years, but it has only been during the past two years that I have developed a relationship with him. What started as a job has turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Job coaching is what brought Peter and I together. For a few hours each week, we go to his place of employment and I instruct him on how to do his work. He is such a diligent worker and it does not take long for him to master the tasks assigned to him. Then it is coffee time!

Coffee time is what he looks forward to the most. This is our time to chat about whatever comes to mind. Peter never fails to ask about my husband, my children and my cat. He always asks how my day at work went and never fails to ask how his nephew is, who attends the school where I work.

Peter loves music and will start to dance when he hears it. He doesn’t care where we are or who is watching. His face lights up with the pure joy of it. Peter has taught me to dance like no one is watching. Everyone should try this. It is the most exhilarating feeling!

He has taught me not to be afraid to tell people how I feel about them. Peter is very quick to tell people that he has missed them, that he likes them, that they make him happy, that he loves them. He quite often will tell me that I am beautiful but he will also tell me when he thinks that I need a haircut. He is so open and honest that it is refreshing to have a conversation with him.

He is also very compassionate. When my Mom was ill, he always would inquire about her. When she passed away, he brought me flowers and hugs. Sometimes he will ask me if I think about her and what I am remembering about her.

Occasionally, we have a date night. He will get dressed up and he is the perfect gentleman. He opens doors for me, pulls out my chair, inquires if I am enjoying myself and of course, compliments me on how beautiful I am. For weeks after he will talk about what a good time he had.

Peter has been raised by a very loving and supportive family. I know it is through his family that he has learned his conversation skills, his strong work ethics, his sense of humour and his compassion. I am truly blessed to be able to have Peter and his family in my life. I believe that when we surround ourselves with positive people like Peter and his family, we remain strong, happy and positive ourselves.

Thank you Peter for being my friend!
Lori


Moksha Yoga Hosts ChangetheAge 30 Day Challenge Starting Nov 5th!

Alright People!! It’s time to put into action all that we learned at ChangetheAge on October 11th! Moksha Yoga gave everyone in the audience ONE FREE Month at Moksha Yoga and now it is time for us all to use it!!

Starting Monday November 5th, Moksha Yoga South and West are hosting the ChangetheAge 30 day challenge. This is a great chance for everyone to launch into this as a community and support. GetRealLive wants to follow the stories, experiences the challenges and discover the victories as together we ChangetheAge!!

Not only will your reward be your own personal health, but for all those who complete the challenge you will automatically receive 5 free visits! In addition, to those who cross that finish line you will be entered to win a 3 Month Pass!!

So grab your yoga mat, bring your water bottle and get ready to sweat!! For more on what you need to bring to class click here! Moksha runs several classes so just pick what works for your schedule. It is all about making it work into your daily routine.

Also, when you register please show your ChangetheAge card or let Moksha know that you are part of this movement so you don’t miss out on your chance to win.

Email us at events@getreallive.com to let us know you are participating so we can journey with you!!

Come on Calgary…let’s inspire each other.