Become a Scientist, Live the Best Life You Can
Disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only and are not to be considered a substitute for professional legal advice or a consultation with a lawyer.
1. Family Law Tip of the Week
If a battle over the personal property is stalling your divorce, get to the real reasons why you are wanting to hold onto certain things. When you look it at, by letting go, you could quite possibly gain some unexpected freedom (which would be a great way to start this new chapter in your life)!
2. Become a Scientist, Live the Best Life You Can
Scientist, self-care coach, and author of the book, “From Sex Appeal To Self Appeal: One Woman’s Journey To Recover Her Body, Her Sexuality, Her Self,” Susan Bremer O’Neill joins us for today’s episode of the Family Law Insider. She has an amazing story to share about her life and how it lead her to the work that she does in helping others.
We’re All Shaped By Our Childhood
Susan was raised in a military family; her father was in the Army for 20 years. Having to move around a lot, she wanted to fit in with people as quickly as she could. She eventually gravitated towards boys (and then men) to feel grounded. To escape some of the feelings of having to make friends and re-make new friends, Susan eventually turned to drugs and alcohol.
“But I looked really good from the outside.”
Susan grew up as a smart woman. She graduated with high honors from high school (at the age of 16), then graduated with high honors when she studied lasers and electronics (back in the 80’s). She looked really good on paper. But inside, Susan felt disconnected, chaotic, angry, and confused; these feelings caused her to abuse substances for a long time. “I’d like to say that my brain was disconnected from my body. I survived that way for a long time.”
It Does Not Matter What Someone Looks Like
“I did not have awareness.”
Oftentimes, we don’t know (especially for people who have used substances) that our maturity has halted. Getting sober at the age of 33, Susan felt she had the emotional maturity of a 15-year old. Through a suggestion from her hairdresser, she discovered a new profession: To perform at a gentleman’s club.
“I started realizing that I was a victim, and I was empowering myself in certain ways.”
As many women know, it does not (nor should it) matter what someone looks like on the outside. What pulled Susan to so many directions is that she never felt beautiful or smart. However, because of the things she was experiencing in her new job, she started to connect her brain and her body.
“It was freeing. It was beautiful. I got to dress up.”
Susan felt she never fit in as a scientist. Suddenly, there she was: Beautiful, dancing, and making money.
“I kept the job that I was having fun at.”
Susan was used to working a regular job. For about a year of keeping her old job while working on the new profession, she couldn’t keep up, juggling the two. She got physically exhausted, and she found her health failing. Susan chose her new profession and continued to dance for 8 years.
There is nothing more precious than your body
“It would seem like a no-brainer, right? But it’s not.”
Susan thinks we’re living in a society where there’s an epidemic of disconnect between the brain and body. Through her experiences, she had to question how she was living. She realized she was putting herself in unsafe situations… most of it for money. She had to ask herself where her thoughts were on financial security and on value.
Learning from this, Susan now wants to help women see that they don’t have to do anything different to be beautiful.
“Confidence does come from the inside.”
To think that these women in the club are completely comfortable with their bodies or with their sexuality is a huge misperception. They’re not. Susan learned from her profession that to be safe and have self-appeal is where your confidence and where your happiest life will come from.
Becoming Scientist Of Self
“My journey is nowhere finished, by any means.”
Susan has learned that healing and growth comes when she sits on that feeling of discomfort. If it’s a feeling of rejection, she looks a little closer inside herself: “How did I help spur that on?” “What is true today vs. what is past?” “Can I let go of all of that?” Asking these questions makes her better and helps her re-define her self-image. To her, the changing in that is a transformation. It is becoming a scientist of self.
“Life is amazing.”
When we’re caught up in the struggles and challenges of life, sometimes it’s hard to see how amazing it is.
Susan used to struggle to be a people-pleaser, until she stopped and asked herself, “Where are my best qualities?” “How do I feel?” She discovered that our body and senses will tell us when something feels good or not. She learned to listen to her body when something didn’t feel right.
“There’s so much about speaking up.”
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to please a partner. But is that pleasing or harming you? Discounting you? Are you stuffing feelings? You start to be a scientist when you start becoming aware of this.
Step back and look (without judgment) at yourself. The people in your life are going to be that much more in-relationship and close intimacy with you if you learn to speak, and you learn to speak with compassion. “But first and foremost,” Susan says, “What is causing you distress? Emotional and physical abuse cannot be tolerated at all.”
It’s Not Only You
“We are role-models.”
If we get this one life, and we only get this body, and we get to do whatever we want and can with it, then it’s not only in your best interest but also everyone around you to be your best self. We are role-models for the young children…even for our partners and our family. It will always be a challenge, but being the best you can liberates and empowers not only you, but also the people around you… to be their honest selves.
“Someone with a victim mentality will always feel something is done to them.”
Susan gives an example of her recent encounter with a friend. When her friend didn’t answer Susan’s calls, then Susan saw her at a place she’d never expect her to be, Susan was immediately hurt. She felt a disconnect. It took Susan to sit on that for a while, until she got to a place where she said, “It’s probably not about me. Maybe she’s going through something; I need to reach out to her.”
“Anger and resentment come when we don’t see the gifts we have.”
We have gifts in the very fact that we have bodies, that we’re breathing and alive, and that we can always find something positive to focus on. The whole essence of building self-appeal is building the positive, nurturing relationship with our bodies and minds. Always try to look at the positive things, and then try to realize it’s not about you personally.
Everything Is Valid
“We can’t tell other people.”
If you voice your concern to someone you’re close to, you might just get negative feedback or a backlash directed at you. The really beautiful thing is, if we work on ourselves, the people around us will shift (because they’re exposed to us). Susan believes the compassion that we build with ourselves will extend. We can tell someone they’re victims all day long, but if they don’t see it, they’re not going to feel it.
Our thoughts and feelings are valid. Having the ability, space, and time to express them is important. Susan recommends that we take the time to be with our own feelings, as well as the time to be with the young people (and then allowing them to see their own beauty, by feeling).
“As adults, we think of sensuality only with sexuality. I think this is wrong.”
Small children, all the way through adolescence, are connected to the world through their senses. Sensuality is one way to come back to our bodies and really see how we’re feeling vs how we’re looking. Susan reminds us: People’s opinions of you will change, but how do you feel? What makes you feel good?
Susan’s book: “From Sex Appeal to Self-Appeal,” is available online (Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and Nook iPad) and on paperback. Remember to visit her website at selfappeal.com for information about her, her blogs and her offerings.
A special offer for Family Law Insider listeners:
Susan has created a DVD called, “Art Of Sensual Dance Series DVD: Strip Tease For Real Women,” with body-awareness and appreciation exercises in it. If you go to here, she’ll happily send them to you.
3. Family Law News
This week, Matt Storrs gives us some scoop on Beyonce and Jay-Z.