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  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.

I am reminded of the CEO who seemingly has it all yet walks into her swanky office every day fearing that she will be ‘caught out’ someday. That day when people will discover her fear that she is a fraud. A fraud because she’s in the deep end and she’s treading water.

My mind wanders to the woman who is riddled with pain because her husband is addicted to pornography. She cries herself to sleep each night, feeling lonely, disconnected and insecure. I can’t forget the young mum who is desperate for friendship. She resents her kids because of what she feels she’s had to give up to be stuck at home, all day, every day, with them.

So, what is womanhood?

Who is woman? Woman is a collection of stories and each one of us hold more than one story. Our stories that weave together are like a stream that flows into a river that eventually connects with a large body of water. Our stories are varied and rich, they are textured with pain, with joy, sorrow, grief, happiness, adventure and disappointment.

For example I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and so much more. Even in the four titles to my life that I have mentioned, there are stories. I am a mother but before I was a mother I was a wife. Before I was a wife, I was a daughter. In being a daughter, I became a sister. I have a story about being a daughter, the story of my childhood, which for me was a beautiful experience. I believe I had a wonderful childhood and my memories are ones that I like to relive at times. Yes, there was some pain in my childhood, there are some dark and sad moments but for the most part, that story is one that evokes feelings of joy and peace.

That story weaves its way into the sisterhood story.

For me, coming from a very close knit family this story carries much weight, even to this day. My siblings are some of my closest friends. There have been times when we disagree, when we fight or challenge one another but we are forever in each other’s corners. We have each other’s backs and that old saying of ‘blood is thicker than water’ rings true. So, as you can see, this story holds a lot of emotion for me.  It will until the day I take my last breath or one of my siblings do.

We all carry a number of stories.

My book True You tells my story – sure,  but something even bigger than me. It tells a whole number of stories, and more importantly the voices who have told those stories have been silent for a long time. Take some time out of your day this week or on the weekend, to actually ask someone you know well to tell something special about them. We all have moments of brilliance, and most of us too some brilliant failures (but let’s not focus on them).

True You is available online now – at Amazon, Koorong, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, and we are slowly but surely cracking into some bricks and mortar bookstores. Exciting times ahead!

Amazon Reviews;

Phillipa Lowe

Move over self-help books, there’s a new book in town! Susan Sohn takes a weight off the reader’s shoulders by reminding them that it’s not all about SELF. In a world where we’re told to be better, kinder, smarter, faster, better looking, thinner, fatter, whatever… this book is a breath of fresh air. Susan makes it about something bigger and more purposeful than self. Where your authenticity, your true you, is not reflected back from everyone else’s expectations… but from your sense of self when you are spiritually connected to the God that has your back. If you’re tired of the struggle of self improvement, True You is the best read you can give yourself. More wisdom, longevity and kindness than advocated by ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F^*K’ and less pressure than ‘You Can Change Your Life’, ‘True You’ models a way in the world of human, connected authenticity.

Rowan Armstrong
True care and empathy comes from knowing the truth behind the mask, forced smile or Facebook profile and stepping in anyway. My friend just released her first book #trueyou. I didn’t realise how much I would get out of it. I am father to my daughter, husband and friend and this has helped me understand the hard truths the females in my life deal with. Thanks Susan Sohn, your book has blessed me and helped me be a blessing to others. 

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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My book has arrived and it’s not face cream!

The last 24  hours have been a whirlwind, and many of you have watched the video of me seeing my books for the first time. I’m still pinching myself. I actually can’t believe they are here. I can’t believe I’m a published author. And I can’t believe that I mistook a package that I thought were my books for face cream!

After that video was shot, I did my first radio interview about the book. I’m not even really sure what I said in that interview. I sincerely hope it was sensical. I guess I’ll have to wait until it airs and listen to it to determine my state of mind.

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How fear robs us of living free

For those of you who know me, I have spent a good portion of my life terrified of cats. I would go so far as to say I had a cat phobia. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it. Who is afraid of a cat? Me. Well, I was. I’m working on it!  But to be completely honest there is a bit inside of me that is still a little ‘unsure’ when I’m around certain cats. However, for the most part, I would suggest that my family and close friends have seen a transformation in me when it comes to cats and fear.

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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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Chapter One: If the truth sets you free, why am I caught in lies?

Chapter One is a big one for me because like many of you (I’m sure) it’s something I’ve lived. There were times when I’ve been so caught up in lies, for the most part not really even knowing it, rather than braving it and living in my truth.

During the initial stages of the writing process I spent hours being reminded by David, my editor… to just start. His job was to get the bulk of my words out of me so we could start to formulate the book. David was masterful at doing this. He pushed and pulled my thinking in ways that challenged me. He listened to my words with intent and helped me formulate ideas. It was these thoughts which eventually became the chapters of the book.

Additionally, I’ve spent time with some of the most incredible women in my life and have helped them walk through. the narrow hallway that living caught in lies creates.

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My book is here in ONE MONTH, cue the roller coaster feelings.

So, here’s some exciting news. My book ‘True You’ (available on Amazon) is on its way to my house. My publisher (Broadstreet Publishing) has let me know that my author copies are on the way. Reading these emails, to be honest,  made my stomach flip a little.

You know that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster and you feel like you’re tummy just drops out? That coupled with a sick feeling like your about to throw up. That pretty much sums up how I feel. When I was writing the book and wading through self-doubt and angst about why I was doing this, a great friend gave me some advice.

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The Beauty of Broken Women

WomenAre broken women the new black? Have the tables finally turned on the demands of perfectionism for women? After all, isn’t perfectionism the thin veil we hide behind that keeps us safe from people seeing the real us? Is perfectionism actually the wet blanket that keeps us safe because we fear that the world or people won’t really like us or like what they see? Because, in all honesty, the perfectionist doesn’t like herself?

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