Season 2
44 Minutes

E86 | Suzanne Jewell | When I Began To Lean Into My Heart

Suzanne Jewell is a global expert on strategic marketing whose life has increasingly fused her zest for business development with her passion for mindfulness. Her high-flying global career includes a stint as SVP with Cisneros where she helped launch DirectTV in Latin America and multiple years of supporting the efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Suzanne was the host of Mindful Mornings Miami, a weekly radio program where she interviewed inspirational luminaries such as Elizabeth Gilbert, Marianne Williamson, Sharon Salzberg, Don Miguel Ruiz Jr., and Les Brown, among many others. She is the Founder of her own firm, The Mindful Entrepreneur, and currently serves as Chief Experience Officer for South Florida’s glorious Patch of Heaven Sanctuary.


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Suzanne Jewell  00:00

She said to me, Suzanne, she said You always add some level of heart to what you do. She said, You’re a spiritual business lady. And it’s stopped me in my tracks. And I looked at her, I said, there’s something to that, but I can’t put that on a business card. I said, there is something to that. And I sat with it, and I sat with it. And what arose was, I may be a spiritual business lady who can’t put that on a business card, but I can call myself a mindful entrepreneur and that I can put on a business card.

Achim Nowak  00:37

Hey, this is Achim Nowak, executive coach and host of the MY FOURTH ACT podcast. If life is a FIVE ACT play, how will you spend your FOURTH ACT? I have conversations with exceptional humans who have created bold and unexpected fourth acts, listen, and to be inspired. And please rate us and subscribe on whatever platform you are listening on. Let’s get started. I am so delighted to welcome Susan jewel to the MY FOURTH ACT podcast. Suzanne is a global expert on strategic marketing whose career and life have increasingly fused her passion for business development with our passion from mindfulness, when working as a senior VP with Cisneros, Suzanne was part of the core team that launched Direct TV and Latin America. Suzanne is the former host of mindful mornings Miami a weekly radio program where she interviewed luminaries such as an linen namedrop. Now, Elizabeth Gilbert Marianne Williamson, Sharon Salzberg, Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr, Les Brown, and so so many more. Suzanne is the founder of her own firm, the mindful entrepreneur, and she serves as chief experience officer for South Florida’s glorious patch of heaven. Sanctuary. Hello, Suzanne.

Suzanne Jewell  02:12

Hello there, Aki, what a delight to be with you here today.

Achim Nowak  02:16

Indeed. Because of life circumstances, this is our third attempt at getting together. And I just know it’s been so worth the wait. I will I’m always curious. And I like to ask every guest I’m going to ask you as well, because you’ve kind of an are having a pretty extraordinary life. When you were a young girl, woman teenager, and you are thinking about who you wanted to be when you grew up. Suzanne, what? What were you thinking about?

Suzanne Jewell  02:50

You know, it’s a curious question you would ask because two things always appealed to me. And one of them as an 11 year old girl was nature because I went to a nature school in Grand Rapids, Michigan for a whole year. And imagine Michigan in January, and February and March and all those cold months, we spent time outdoors every day. And I always was called to that no matter what was happening in my life. The other thing I also felt very called to when I entered college, as I felt called to originally be in the Foreign Service. And I took classes like world in crisis and world religions. And I was always very drawn to what my family said to me, you have such a big life in mind, in what’s true now that I look back at my not quite six decade, but verging on the edge of that is that I have had that big life. And so it’s what I had in mind. And it’s what unfolded.

Achim Nowak  03:52

Very cool a when you mentioned Foreign Service, it’s funny, I just got back from a week in Germany, I was groomed as a child to go into the Foreign Service, everybody I knew was in it. I hang out with people last week in the Foreign Service. And however, from my lens right now. And maybe we enter the it combines two things, there is the interest in travel and grow cultures, learning about the world. And it’s also a to meet not inherently interesting job, you know, working for embassies, it’s an administrative job. That’s not inherently creative. That doesn’t mean we can’t make it. So I celebrate the fact that you and I have all both discovered our own way of doing foreign service without formally being a Foreign Service. Now I I want to spend most of our conversation talking about the amazing things you’re doing right now and what’s emerging in your life. But with somebody like you who has a I’m going to call it a corporate branding marketing background. How’d you get into that? How did that happen?

Suzanne Jewell  05:04

You know, that comes from my core growing up to in Grand Rapids, I have to share that as a young girl. I had a father who was both an entrepreneur and the mayor of our small town, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a sister who was an entrepreneur. And so my first job was pressing bridal dresses in my sister’s bridal store at 13, to make 10 bucks an hour. And I learned everything from you don’t close the door and go home or turn off the lights until everything is in particular order. In in my teen years, I watched my sister grow her business from one store to five cities. I watched her expand from her bridal business to the tuxedo business and she eventually created this chain called brides world tuxedo world, lingerie world before Victoria’s Secret was ever open. And I was in the theater world. And she hired me at 15. For a little business, I had called Suzanne Jewell productions to produce one show that she could take to those five cities, sat me down and gave me a budget and said, Here’s $5,000 This is what you need to pay for talent, rehearsal space, the staging, the lights, the sound of above, and what’s below this line will actually be what your profit is. And I would share with you that what it offered me and that place that I began to where it got me to. I’ve never taken a marketing class in my life. But my sister had instincts, she supported my instincts. I moved from that job to work with United Artists when they were first launching pay per view and your video on demand, which became video on demand, ended up working for the movie studios because I had good instincts, and there were results that came from it, which offered me the opportunity for the Cisneros to notice me, at the National Association of television producers and executives conference invited me to move to Miami and my life catapulted onto this global stage. And it felt for me, because I will mention in there I did spend two years in Spain going to school at the University that there severe so I should mention, there was also that international schooling that happened in the midst of that. And it felt for me natural getting on that plane and landing in BA and then being in Ba for three days and jumping on a plane flying to Paris and then going from Paris to Tel Aviv, and the bopping back to Miami somehow felt at that time rhythmically, like me. And so that’s how I got there. I got there very fast, high performer, perfectionist type A all of those things, a Virgo on top of it. And then I ended up which is where the pivot began to happen for me. health challenges have been my missive of stop, wake up and pay attention at every turn in my life. And that’s when the pivot began to happen for me was in that instance,

Achim Nowak  08:04

before we do a deep dive into the pivot, love the word. I had a partner for a while in New York, and he was a senior VP at Ogilvy big novella. And he said, The reason they pay me the big money is because of my instincts. And I know however, as a former theatre director, if I hire an act, or I want her I have to have great instincts, coupled with sustainable skill. Would you play a little bit for us from bass or use Matisse about the relationship between instinct and skill? As you see it, Susie,

Suzanne Jewell  08:47

brilliant, because I will share this with you. I am for some reason, very left brained, which is considered to be mathematically very calculus statistics like that was a part of me that was also in my sister to teaching me those basics of business, I’m investing this much what’s my return on my investment? So for most of my journey, I had this very intuitive capacity to drive the brand or the project in terms of my hands on the wheel. But what my foot on the gas was, was always Am I able to look at this in a way that if I roll this out in 10 places and this is what it is that the revenue return might be? Is there a corollary to create balance between those two because what I also noted is that if I got a little too heavy on the creative side, just driving by the wheel, but not with my foot engaged, I noticed that it was very airy, and my foot on the gas or on the ground, whichever way you want to call that which was the numbers what are we actually doing to root this or ground this now in the world? I’m in, it’s called grounding. But it was the same thing. It was the balance of the heart and the head, it was the balance of the numbers in the vision. And so for some reason that in my way of showing up, tended to be my capacity. And I always walked in and made the argument. Kudos to my dad, when I was president, the debate team who wanted me to be a lawyer, he would go to the library. Yes, folks, this was before the internet. And he would take out books on a topic that I was having to present as a president of a debate team, and get me to speak up for my opinion, and he had me do it rationally, not emotionally. So I think there’s even a big core in the skill and the intuition, that has to do with understanding of capacity to make a logical rational discussion, or position that is also emotionally intelligently, intuitively driven.

Achim Nowak  10:59

So I’m quietly chuckling to myself, as you’re explaining this so beautifully, where my mind is going. I really get how Alpha Suzanne was, in terms of executing an essay, this was great respect in with being impressed by that energy that some people don’t have and you clearly had it in oodles and oodles of it. What I heard you say before, when you talked about the pivot is that your body started talking to you. It happens to many people, and some people listen faster, and some people take longer to listen. How did your body talk to you? And how did you know like, excuse my English like shit, I better pay attention.

Suzanne Jewell  11:46

fascinating questions. So I had pivoted from the TV business, and as you said, opened up my own agency, living in Miami, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alive and thrive Ethiopia with my clients. So think Addis Ababa, Africa, Ethiopia, and my best friend who happened to be my mom living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, passing away of cancer. So my commute, which was not unusual for me, but came a time where I was living in Miami, working in Africa, herring for 1500 Miles way, if it was from Miami, 1500 miles away, my best friend passing. And that dance of that cute occurred for 15 months. And when I escorted her, which I also went and got trained in hospice as a hospice volunteer, so I took that role very seriously. And I’d also been in the prayer chaplaincy program for some time at the at the spiritual institution that I was a part of. And as that call toward the end of her life was arising, my health began to pay the price. And what occurred for me is that I started to get panic attacks, I started to actually have what would be the equivalent now of what many people are realizing in the trauma world is PTSD that has nothing to do with being in Afghanistan or Iraq. It’s the trauma of life. And once she passed, all of that nervous system, stuff in my body, showed up as a circadian rhythm disruption, so I started sleeping during the day, and I was awake at night, also, because my body had been living across time zones and the pond, and hours and the continent. And it got completely disrupted at the level of cortisol. So my head of that type A, started to try to understand what is cortisol? Why am I having these problems? Why is my heart racing, my spiritual side started to call me to walk in parks to actually sit in green spaces. And what started to occur intuitively, where the instinct started to arise is the more time I spent outside, the more I started to get rhythmically in alignment. And then I started to make the decision to take this practice of meditation very seriously. And I knocked on a few doors from the ancient Hindu practices to more modern new age practices with Eckhart Tolle, and I landed in the Buddhist realm and the mindfulness space. And it was all because it was a health wake up call, that pivoted turned my heart inclined my eyes and focused my attention. Oh, this is the path and I heard it. Not is anything loud. This is really important to mention. The listening for me was the equivalent of hearing to Legos click together. It’s a subtle sound. It’s not loud, but when you hear it, you know it.

Achim Nowak  14:52

As I listen to you, it sounds like any two beautiful, almost organic awakening You explored and you paid attention to what was coming up. I recognize a lot of menus for as you’re describing the the triangular travel lands. I’ve been there done that. I know it’s not sustainable. Yeah, I’m sure we have many listeners who recognize themselves in it. And I don’t want to impose any answer on you. But part of mindfulness, I believe, is the ability to slow down and have a slower life. And also know, that sounds really good. It’s not always easy to execute when when we want to commit to stuff. People want to hire us. I think we’re cool. If we want to please people, all those things like that. How did you learn to juggle the dance between making commitments that you want to honor and slowing at the same time?

Suzanne Jewell  15:59

No, I started. It’s nothing that occurred for me overnight, as I now especially look back, my mom passed in 2014. So we’re eking up on almost 10 years. And the work I did with the Gates Foundation, which was almost four years of my journey, was one of my realizing I wanted to and this is a mindfulness term incline My heart is so it means that the eye of the heart, what direction are you turning in, I wanted to incline my heart toward work that had more meaning. And so that was one of the first steps was let me take work that isn’t just tied to the capacity that I have for launching global brands, which I was extremely skilled at doing. And I was very capable of navigating whether it was the Ethiopian Herald or the BBC World, or, you know, something at the global level of communications, how did I start to turn my heart and incline my heart toward things that I believed mattered. And that was one of the first steps I took was, let me do work in that direction. And then it’s my own inner journey. And the voice inside me and my writing, especially my writing for me, is as contemplative a practice as meditation is, because something between my heart and my hand in the paper, births, something that needs to come to the light in Spanish. When you give birth to something, you got a loose, you give to the light in English, you don’t you give birth, and they’re two very different actions. And so my journaling practice became a big part of that. And as I then realized, I was starting to curate who I wanted to work with. And in that curation process, people knocked on my door, like the first World Happiness Summit. And they were a client, and they were trying to launch this project. And they wanted me to be the chief mindfulness officer. And so I stepped into that space for about nine months, launched it built a very successful experience. And that was right when the mindful morning’s Miami radio show opportunity came in, right in the vector. Do I want to do a radio show that I’ve never done before, but something is calling me? Or do I want to do this because it was a moment of I can’t really do both. And I continued to make brave decisions to follow the road less traveled. Because my heart went, I want to have these conversations. I want to have these discussions with people like Sharon Salzberg. Two days after the Parkland shooting in Florida, I had her on the air. I want to have these conversations with Deepak Chopra, about the nature of consciousness. So my own journey guided me. And I took truthfully brave choices that anyone else in the room might have been. But wait a minute, they offered you a piece of the business. And this is uncharted territory, but my heart said, go the uncharted way, go where no one else has gone in terms of what it is that’s calling in you. So I would share with you that the direction of my heart kept calling me and I had to have the courage to keep listening. And then I will also share that what I did is I changed the way I lived. I changed the necessity for when I was in the global television business of owning a four bedroom, four bath house with a pool on Palm Island just off of South Beach, which required that I make a certain amount of money. And that required I drive a certain kind of car and that required and required and all of that stuff. And as I moved through these lenses of doing things for more meaning some of the stuff that I used to value or merit started to not mean much to me, including the kind of car I drove which was stunning, considering I’m a Michigan girl who literally had for convertibles growing up in high school. So those things shed their attachment and their meaning and their value in that inquiry of what matters most till it started to shift and I kept having the courage to turn in that direction and trusted and surrendered and it doesn’t really matter to me whether or not you call it God or, or the divine or love or intelligence or the Great Spirit kind of didn’t matter to me, you know, it goes by 1000 names or it might remain nameless, but what it was I listened to, and it lived inside my heart, and things showed up when I listened.

Achim Nowak  20:30

You do such a beautiful job of describing of how you have been guided your current formal business name before we get to Pacha heaven is the mindful entrepreneur. Did you ever think like, shoot, will people hire somebody who says she’s a mindful entrepreneur or she wants me to be a mindful entrepreneur? Easy to just say entrepreneur success coach, but you put in the word mindful, I’m sure you contemplate it as a marketing branding person, the implication of calling your business mindful entrepreneur, can we play with that language and how you’re right that a little bit?

Suzanne Jewell  21:15

Oh, Haim, you’re gonna just you could see the grin on my face, you could just crack up when I tell you the backstory on the title. And also, the logo has half a brain attached to it. So there’s the brainiac side of it. That’s the left brain that’s the elephant, there’s the brain. But what I would share with you is the client that I had from Ethiopia who had become dear friends, so part of it was the gates office in Seattle, and then the gates office in DC, and then the folks and in Addis they all became very dear friends. And one of them sat me down because she saw me through this four years unfolding through this journey. I was working with people from UC Davis and the National Institutes of Health and creating these best practice conferences, even though that’s not my background, that’s how I was doing world, you know, the question of world and crisis or world relations, Foreign Service, that’s how I was showing up. She said to me, Suzanne, she said, You always add some level of heart to what you do. She said, You’re a spiritual business lady. And it’s stopped me in my tracks. And I looked at her, I said, there’s something to that, but I can’t put that on a business card. I said, there is something to that. And I sat with it, and I sat with it. And what arose was, I may be a spiritual business lady who can’t put that on a business card, but I can call myself a mindful entrepreneur, and that I can put on a business card, because it meant I was present. And it wasn’t quite calling myself the heartful entrepreneur, an entrepreneur, it at its root in the French klepto new means somebody who is going to take a great risk with a pretty great assurance, they’re going to fail and decides to take the risk anyway, jump off the cliff expecting that your wings are going to appear. And I realized, that’s me. And so it was one of those moments when I decided to lean into that. And then I also made the commitment to go to Berkeley and get a two year mindfulness meditation certification and training at the Greater Good Science Center, took it very seriously, even lived for 18 months at a Buddhist center. So I made a very committed path to this just short of becoming a Buddhist nun. And I realized, you know, what, if I’m going to be asking people to do the radical act of paying attention on purpose in the moment, non judgmentally, and with curiosity, which is what it means to be mindful, then I need to have a radical way to position what it is that I do and who I am. And I decided to take that risk. So it really means AKA, spiritual business lady, even though spiteful entrepreneur

Achim Nowak  23:58

a word from your sponsor. That’s me. I invite you to go to the website associated with this podcast Fourth You will find other equally inspiring conversation with great humans. And you will also learn more about the my fourth act mastermind groups where cool people figure out how to chart their own fourth acts. Please check it out. And now back to the conversation. Let’s talk about I’m beginning to see how lots of pieces fit together. Just this year, you started to work with a place in southern Florida called patch of Heaven sanctuary. I would imagine anybody was doesn’t know what it is just by hearing the name atch of Heaven sanctuary. You just go get it Can I go with it please? In the spirit of being guided, or if we want to be metaphysical by putting out one thing, the universe and something else back and things happen. I also adore your title chief experience officer. So the lots of wonderful dots connected with patch of heaven. Could you kindly tell us how you got your patch of Heaven or how patch of Heaven found you is what it means it looks like Experience Officer.

Suzanne Jewell  25:38

Yes, I will share this with you. So I mentioned a little tiny droplet in there about I took residence at a Buddhist center during COVID. And that was an 18 month experience. My teacher was a female Lama, which is highly unusual in the Buddhist tradition. I took my vows of renunciation, except for shaving my hair with two female llamas. And in the midst of that experience, I had the most incredibly privileged, immensely blessed opportunity to live in a boathouse on the grounds of a sacred center, next to a river, and paddled every day on the little river with manatees. This is literally like, how magical can it be in the backyard was a stupid garden. And stupas are these huge statuary pieces that look like what would have been the shawl or the robe of the Buddha with his arms bowl on top, and then his walking cane in it, and they mark out the 10 directions north, south, east, west, north, east, southeast, southeast, southwest, and then the earth in the sky, there is a path that as part of your practice, you daily walk around it. And I would get up every day at about 430, or quarter to five, and I would do what’s called My circum ambulation practice, I also grew a garden there. And when I had friends come to visit, because it doesn’t mean you don’t engage in the world, but it means you engage in the world differently. I would take them around the walk, and I would grab a piece of broccoli from my garden, or cherry tomato and some of my lettuce and I’d hand them a mini salad. And then I’d bring them by part of the stupid that had incense. And what started to unfold for me is I’m getting people to pay attention by using their senses. In my head, I went, What if these little 6000 square feet kind of spaces, could be in parks so that we’re not going to nature to recreate? We’re not going to nature to sweat, we’re not going to nature to play basketball or tennis, we’re actually going to nature to wake up and experience nature’s nature. So what unfolded and arose in these paddling on the path of the kayak was this idea of what if I actually created a mindful meditation Park? And what if it had a way to use your sight, your smell your scent, your sound, touch and taste. And before you knew it, I had this thing in my mind called mindful Park, mindful pocket park. And I started searching around to see if I could get the county or a city or a village to help me create this because I also knew people were getting more anxiety. They were more disconnected from themselves and from others. And we were sitting at a time where Mother Earth and Gaia and nature are all screaming at us to wake up and pay attention to the crisis that’s occurring. So I bravely pitch to the village Vale portal because they were looking to actually activate a small space and I thought, you know nothing better than to try to proof of concept see if they say yes. I then also tried to apply for a grant, I was up against the World Wildlife Federation and some large babies and we didn’t win. But it opened a conversation for me with the county parks department and they gave me land, but they said the following. You need to find someone who is horticulturally capable of planting and maintaining this land. And a friend of mine who was a psychologist had gone to patch Femen sanctuary, knew of this idea, sent me the image and said, Suzanne, I think these people are perfect for what you’re doing. I never heard of them before I lived in Miami 26 years, didn’t know how to find them, reached out to a friend and said Do you know anybody there and before you know it 10 minutes later, the founder was on the phone with my friend introducing himself to me. This was July of last year showed up and pitch them on the mindful pocket park and they said we don’t want to build anything in Miami. We have 20 acres down here come to homestead. I was like I live at the Buddhist center. I paddle on the kayak every day. Why would I come to homestead? Why would I ever leave and move to an agricultural area? We danced for six months and they kept saying come to homestead and I kept saying I don’t know if that’s what I want to do. And the seventh month they said to me if you find it partners to help us co fund the project. Why not come to patch of heaven and build the mindful pocket park here. So they dangled my dream in front of my face. I said, Yes, I became the chief experience officer because my role is to activate reconnecting humans to nature, one mindful walk, one tree, one butterfly in one breath at a time. And in that process, my left brain type, a very Alpha person went to the world I know in the business realm, and the greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, offers a program with leadership, Miami, where they adopt for nonprofits to help them execute a project, I entered into that program we got supported, and the mindful pocket park and 1235 to 40 year old young people for 100 days helped us raise money we did a plan to fund was 77 people, and there now is instead of 6000 to 10,000, it’s almost a half an acre now, five sensory station, mindful pocket park being completed in the next six months at patch of Heaven sanctuary. So that’s how it all came together. And we’re now on the verge of launching because part of what I now do is teach mindful leadership, Mindfulness Based resilience training. And it’s all in the context of using nature as the teacher and as the living learning laboratory on campus. And it’s based on a 20 minute piece of research that came out of University of Michigan during COVID, that 20 minutes in nature will reduce your levels of cortisol. So it’s still that same dance of a little bit of science, and a lot of spirituality. And mostly a lot of practicality of why should you take the nature pill every day.

Achim Nowak  31:52

I just want to deconstruct for a moment, the Marvel the story you told us through my lens. Yes, I’m also a serial entrepreneur like you. But what really struck me and I’m deconstructing it for our listeners, which is what I’ve found to remarkable you instincts are taking you in a certain direction. You don’t necessarily know how it’s going to unfold. But Gosh, darn it, you’re willing to explore and, and go in there. And and I’m a firm believer, the universe tells us whether it’s supposed to happen or not. And so clear that patch of Heaven was supposed to happen to me as I’m listening to your story. I happen to know. And would you elaborate on this as well, you already told us about when you lived on Palm Island. I believe you live down the street from patch of heaven now. Could you just describe that to us? In the spirit of things coming full circle?

Suzanne Jewell  32:52

I love it. Yeah, oh, this is just a delight. So how funny that I was like, why would I leave? And so it happened literally on the day that I said yes. Again, huge alignment I had been studying with a Vietnamese Buddhist teacher, some people may have heard of him before tick, not Han Thai. He passed away on January 22, which was the day I said yes to patch. On that very day. He also was the one who’s created what’s called engaged Buddhism, which is all about Earth activism, and where you actually create relationship with the earth and with nature and trees and all of the world outside of us. Few people outside the realm know that the Buddha woke up under a tree he taught in the forest and he died under a tree. So it’s a very earth based set of tools of how to be in the world. But so what I do know occurred was I went home, and I just found that a fluke, I said, you know, I wonder what it would be like to live down there. And so I threw in one of those little Zillow, you know, searches. And up pops. Were looking for a particular person, this was the description. We own a private equestrian ranch. And we have a two bedroom, one bath ground keepers cottage, and this person will have to fit in with the lifestyle that we’re creating don’t call after 7pm at night and don’t call before 11am in the morning and I looked at it and I was like, What is this? And I didn’t even know the map very well, but I’m kind of trying to calculate this is on one road and this is on another road. And I could not wait my joy was so curious. I called them outside of the hours the window they asked for spoke to them and they said listen, we sold our home in a very, very elegant part of Miami right next door to Brickell and the roads. They said we have three children. There are 27 horse stalls on this ranch. We have seven horses, and we are recalibrating our kids not to live the fast, flashy Miami lifestyle. And we’re looking for someone who would be part of that. And it’s going to have to be somebody pretty particular. And thanks Explain to them what I was doing. They said, Can you come down tomorrow. So this was all on the very same day 122 22. And I showed up on their doorstep the next day. And by the end of the day after they introduced me to the horses, the kids, the dogs, the pigs, there were two baby pigs at the time. They said, We think we’d like to have you be part of what we’re building. And one of them is a finance expert. And the other one is in real estate. So they’re not at all necessarily in the, in the, shall we say, spiritual realm or anything like that. They’re business people. But they made a conscious choice that they wanted to live a more agricultural lifestyle, and they basically invited me to part to be part of that experience. So I know live four minutes and 30 seconds away from the front door. This morning, I came, I took out five of the horses because I’m now learning to do mindful equine experience. And our Mama Pig. Her name is Gretel. Her husband is Hansel and Gretel is about to give birth in the next two days. So that’s how I live now. And this is not at all pile by Island. And I am so happy and I’m sitting here with my boots on covered in mud.

Achim Nowak  36:11

I hope our listeners take this wonderful journey described as a story of, of how life can evolve in completely unexpected ways. If we let it, and at the same time, you were an active participant in so you’re not passive. That was part of it. I know. We could be listening to you going, Oh, it’s just life is all fun and games for Suzanne jewel. But I know just in the last few weeks. Your last two animals were very dear to you. So part of joy and expansion. It comes with loss and grieving and all of those things. Would you talk to us about what it was like for you to say goodbye to animals you loved and perhaps also what you again discovered or rediscovered about yourself in life in the process.

Suzanne Jewell  37:11

I am thank you for bringing that level of groundedness to this conversation. I’m appreciative of that, because it’s actually one of the reasons I turned toward poured Buddhism in a world that’s often filled with toxic positivity. And one of the lessons that framed my journey, and then I’ll share with you what I learned. Something that attracted me about Buddhism is that it talks about the fact that there are 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows in every life. There’s pain and pleasure. And there is fame and ill repute. And all of that is is part of this journey. And part of what my practice has offered me inner courage to do is to let my heart be broken open. To not try to run from it to not try to numb most of our world is built on run and numb. We don’t sit and stay. And in this case, staying present with a dying pet one happened from one day to the next with feline leukemia, we didn’t even know he was ill. And there was no choice because his blood was like water. And that was the pet that passed on the first of November a beautiful tuxedo cat named Tom. And my second Kitty was Sweet Pea, a blue Russian who went from a period of days from what we thought was a respiratory infection to a bladder tumor. And the vet saying I would put her to sleep now and I made again an instinctual conscious choice right before Thanksgiving. And I said, I’m spending the last day of her life with her on Thanksgiving outdoors in front of the paddocks on the grass. And I watched her teach me something. And it was as if she was reminding me why I needed to do the mindful pocket park. She put her nose in the air and smelled the smells. She put her face in her fur in the breeze and felt the wind her little body she just left that little body that was going to be passing and it was already in the process of that because she was barely eating stretch all across the grass and just oozed right into the earth. And she just looked up at me. And all we did and I brushed her and brushed her for hours. And what she taught me was Stop. Just stop. None of the rest even as gorgeous is what I do at patch is none of the rest of this in the moment. of the few breaths that she had left. You know we breathe 22,000 times a day. She had until Friday afternoon at three and this was Thanksgiving Day. So you could count the breaths. How often whether it’s something that’s passing because we’re all in the process of passing like we’re all dying right now as much as we’re living too often do we stop and savor that breath and When we do, one of the most stunning things she taught me was, she’s alive right now. This is the moment to cherish. Oh, this is what it’s like to cherish. And then soft tears would come, which was my heart being aware that this moment also was impermanent. And just like her, my life is impermanent. And so in this tradition, one of the most gorgeous things is use the nearness of death to wake your ass up, forgive my French, I hope you don’t have to bleep me to what’s important in life. And there were three things that came from sitting with her because I was journaling while I was with her one point, she just fell asleep, but one of her little paws in my hand. And I literally let that happen while I was writing, and it was to what am I paying attention? To whom am I giving the precious gift of my attention? Because it’s like love. Attention is like love. And the third question was, do either of these enhance why I am still here on Earth. And when I asked myself a few things I had going on. And I saw the third clarifying question. I was like, no, this doesn’t enhance why I’m still here on Earth. And all of a sudden, it’s a sort of clarity, we’ll then put it down and get to what matters. Because each one of us never has a guarantee that we’re going to take those 22,000 breaths that day. We don’t know, you know, and one of the health challenges I didn’t mention in the midst of this turns out that I have a two millimeter unruptured aneurysm in the back of my brain. That was part of the wake up call of the circadian disruption disruption that I found out about in a rare underlying disease, a pair of them, one’s called fibromuscular dysplasia. The other one is Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. And it basically means the collagen in my body doesn’t create proper connective tissue. And so I’m hyper flexible, but I’m not very strong. And what I have to do now is pace myself. And it’s also forced me to choose wisely. Where am I going to place that energy, my attention? And then that third question with her alive was? does it enhance why I’m still here on Earth?

Achim Nowak  42:25

That that’s such a beautiful way to for now and our conversation. I can’t imagine that our listeners don’t on curious about everything that you’re engaged in. Where would you like to direct them if they want to learn about mindful entrepreneur, if you want to learn about patch of Heaven working there, find uses in

Suzanne Jewell  42:46

the best spot, probably, I’m most active on LinkedIn. So just my name Suzanne, jewel on LinkedIn. And I’m really diligent about responding there that’s kind of tends to be the one place I do engage, I find those conversations to be energizing. And then the other spot would be go to the patch of Heaven website. And under a link that says retreats, you’ll actually find a little more background about me, you’ll find my contact information. And you know, we’re open and available for doing individual kinds of experiences. And in 2023, mindful pocket park is actually going to take a conversion into a program called the mindful Training Institute, mindful nature Institute. And what we’d love to do is have anyone join us on that journey, because we’re going to create something that doesn’t exist, which is literally helping humans not only heal, but we’re going to do it at the speed of nature.

Achim Nowak  43:43

Beautiful Suzanne, thank you so much for the gift of this conversation, and bye for now.

Suzanne Jewell  43:50

Thank you so much.

Achim Nowak  43:51

I like what you heard, please go to my fourth And subscribe to receive my updates on upcoming episodes. Please also subscribe to us on the platform of your choice. Rate us give us a review and let us all create some magical fourth acts together. Ciao


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