PP 568: Listening to the Whispers with Susi Hately

“Innately we know when there is something up and we need to believe and trust that intuitive sense”

Susi explains that her job is not to advise her clients but to help them feel. This is where it all comes from for this Yoga teacher for 25 years. Bridging the medical and yoga world, Susi’s mission has been to help people not just to be relieved of pain but to recognize the patterns of the body that led them to that pain and help them make that conscious choice of changing these patterns for the betterment of their life.

Susi has a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and is a selling author of 7 yoga books to date. Her study of the human body movement led her to better understand the indicators of pain and the ways to relieve them sustainably.

In this podcast, Susi explains to Kim the concept of the yellow and red light, what  listening to the whispers mean, and how making a conscious decision to change patterns in your life can put you into your ultimate flow.


01:57  The chord was struck
12:46  The yellow light
17:30  Being aware of how things make you feel
19:20  Whispers and screams
25:45  Quiet enough to filter what is right for us
30:46  Place of flow

Susi Hately @yogawithsusi helps @thekimsutton better understand the concept of finding flow by listening to the whispers. https://thekimsutton.com/pp568 #positiveproductivity #flow #listentoyourbody #listentothewhispers #susihately #functionalsynergy Click To Tweet

Resources Mentioned


Inspirational Quotes:

“Innately we know when there is something up and we need to believe and trust that intuitive sense”

“The body is very objective… it’s either doing it or not doing it…the body is a great measurement tool and it can elicit such great information for people to utilize”

“That is the thing about pain, we will try to fix the thing that’s expressing itself…but it, in fact, is not the thing that’s the thing”

“My job is not to advise my clients…my job is to help people feel, my job is to help people be aware”

“When you listen to the whispers you don’t have to hear the screams”

“If you understand what’s leading to fatigue and burnout, then you make a conscious choice about what your doing…then you take care of yourself after”

“There is so much information out there about what to do and how to do it right, in every aspect of our life, and we need to be quiet enough to filter what it is that is right for us”

“We all tolerate things…but we continue to tolerate and maybe resigned to the way things are because we don’t know there’s another way”

Episode Transcription

Innately, we know when there’s something up and we need to believe and trust that intuitive sense. And if you tried a lot of things and they just haven’t worked, but you just know your body’s trying to get your attention, then your body’s trying to get your attention and there’s a wisdom there that needs to be tapped into. And when you do, as far as you’re an executive and entrepreneur, your output and your results will just skyrocket because when your battery is full and you’ve got the ability to produce, how you produce is just going to be so much more efficient and so much more effective. And then the gain, you’ll really like them.


KIM: Welcome back to another episode of positive productivity, this is your host Kim Sutton. And today, I am thrilled to introduce you to Susi Hately. She is a yoga teacher from Functional Synergy, and oh my gosh listeners! We’ve just been talking because Susi unlike me is a morning person. She’s been up since 4:30. And if you can’t tell from my voice today I’ve still got the fog because well, positive productivity isn’t about perfection. I overslept and I’d been awake for a whole 10 minutes. [laughs] But anyway, I am so looking forward to our conversation Susi, because I have a feeling you have a lot that you can teach me, as well as my listeners. So I would love if you would jump in and introduce yourself and let our listeners know how you got to where you are today.

SUSI: Sure. Thank you very much for having me on your show. I started off with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. And I started working in a Pain Clinic when I graduated and found yoga at the same time, because interestingly enough, I also had chronic pain. And I started to apply the yoga with the traditional exercise therapy that I was doing. And I was working with OT’s and PT’s, like occupational therapists and physical therapists as well in the clinic and start to combine it all and then the results were better, a lot faster. So it really sort of struck a chord for me. I was young. I was inspired. I was excited. And I thought: “Okay, there’s something cool here, but I didn’t know a single yoga teacher out there who is making a living, so it might not going to work.”

And then I went around and about and did some other things within my field, but kept on with the Yoga and then became a teacher. And interestingly enough, people who came to me were ones who were on the cusp of burnout, although I’m not sure we would have called it burnout 20 years ago, but they were on the cusp of burnout. They had a lot of pain. There was a lot of strain. And I just found myself, having more and more people of that characteristic of being attracted to the classes that I was teaching. And it just grew from there. And so now I run two different parts of my business. One is that I train newby teachers and healthcare professionals in yoga applications to help and support people in an integrated manner. And then I also have a private clientele who are either skirting the edge of burnout, the way I like to call it, or they are in it and they’re looking to get back on their game. And a lot of those people are entrepreneurs and executives who know how to give’r, but the givin’er is now got them. But there’s a way out and I help people get that way out.

KIM: Oh, I love that. For listeners who don’t know, including me. Can you explain kinesi, how do you say it properly? Kinesi –

SUSI: Aha! Kinesiology.

KIM: Yeah.

SUSI: Yeah. So the degree that I took was the study of human movement. So that’s exercise physiology, biomechanics, anatomy and the school I was at University of Victoria. We had a lot of Olympic athletes in that program, so there was also a big focus on high performance. And we did a lot of work with the police, with NHL teams, so it was mostly a high performance. So to take it into the pain world is interesting because I worked with a lot of high performers. You have some crazy symptoms or they feel that they have crazy symptoms. So whether it’s that they’ve just keep getting sicker and sicker and sicker and the things that they’ve attempted to do, like trying to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and trying all sorts of different exercise regimens or diet regimens or, I mean you name it, they’ve tried it.

People who tend to see me aren’t the ones who don’t do something, like they will try and solve the problem. But the issue that I see over and over again as a pattern is they’re solving the problem maybe with a different stimulus, like maybe with a different thing, but still with the same character. And it’s not that the character is bad, it’s just that the character isn’t the thing that’s going to help them get out of it. And so a lot of times people need to just shift up a little bit of how they’re doing things and paying attention in a different way. And we use the body as a barometer for that, because what I love and what I’ve loved about my degree at how I’ve applied it is that the body is very objective.

So I can see whether it’s moving or not moving, whether someone’s breathing or not breathing, whether somebody is moving the leg when it should be moving, or maybe they’re trying to do a squat or trying to do some of their movement but the shoulder is getting all involved and it shouldn’t. It’s like either doing it or it’s not doing it. Whereas when you look at other aspects of who we are, they’re a bit harder to measure like really objectively. So I love using the body because it’s a great measurement tool and it can elicit such great information for people to utilize. I find for the clientele that I attract, they really want to have measurable results and clarity and so it provides a great way of of seeing that clarity.

KIM: Oh my goodness! Okay. In our pre-chat, I blamed me waking up late to my husband being chatty, which he was until very late, but I have to get back up because you’re talking to me right now, Susi at 8:45 8:30 last night, I said to my husband, I’m hooked. I need to take a short nap. Listeners, my children have decided to join us today. They’re not in the office, but if you can hear them, please forgive them. And I actually had a call scheduled for 10 o’clock last night. That’s been the routine of my night lately. I’ve just come out of a huge client launch and there’s so much postlaunch work. I never even realize how much postlaunch is involved. It’s not just pre or during, sort of like an Olympic athletes had have to imagine, they’re training, training, training. Then they go and they compete and then they get home and it doesn’t necessarily get any easier, especially if they won all the gold medals because now they have to hit the media circuit. And when do they get a time to breathe?

So anyway I said: “I just need a short nap, but I have to be up at 10 for a call.” And he thought I meant 10:00 AM. So I hear one kid yell at another one last night and I wake up from my supposed to be short nap. And I said to my husband: “What time is it?” And he says: “10:58.” I said: “I have a call at 10.” He said: “Oh, I thought you meant am.” But that’s just been the routine lately. And so when you’re talking about burnout, Susi you’re talking to me. And that’s hard for me to admit on this podcast because I’m all about getting the sleep that you need, listening to your body. I don’t teach it, but I preach it. Oh my gosh! I didn’t mean to rhyme like that, cause I’m all about getting the systems and support that you need set up so that you could make time for the self care you deserve. But that’s the part that I feel like I struggled with the most. And I have a feeling that a lot of your clients had the same issue.

SUSI: Well, I think for the first thing, I think that’s important is that your honesty is brilliant and the vulnerability is amazing. And we all go through phases where there’s a grunt, right? I liken it to going up the side of a mountain and like if you’re hiking, there’s stages of the hike that are – there’s a slog. And then you get to a plateau and it’s beautiful and you can see around and then you keep going and there was a slog. And so I think there’s a distinction between being in a slog phase and being in like slog life. Right? And so when I think about some of my clients, like I think about one fellow right now.

And he’s a CEO of a mid sized oil and gas company here in Calgary and he has board meetings to the public company. He has board meetings every quarter and so there is a certain amount of prep and work and effort and output that needs to happen prior to the board. Then there’s the board, then there’s the announcements that have to happen to shareholders and other stakeholders after that, so there’s a phase. And so when he first started with me, he was really quite unwell. Those phases were really interesting because he was really scraping it together to make it happen. But then what happened is as he got better and as he was able to fill up his fuel tank a little bit more, then those phases became measurable events for us and how he was doing as he was going in, how he was doing while he was in it, how he was doing coming out of it.

So then those became rather than his life being a full on slog that he couldn’t keep up with and his productivity was way down and his clarity of mind was way down. And it was just like: “Why am I like this? I used to be like another way.” So that’s what it started with. Then where we got to is, it’s like: “Okay, so here we’re in a slog phase. So this is what it is.” And so now it’s not even a slog, now he’s in the phase. Like he just knows that the effort output is different than it is the other times. Right? And so then there might be other scenarios that arise that happened with life curve balls, whether it’s with kids or spouses or work. And then you might come back into a slog phase, we might come back into an effort phase and so it’s gaining the 50,000 foot view. And that’s one thing I’m really great at helping people with is as they’re getting better is to help them get the 50,000 foot view of seeing what’s really going on. See the general flow and then what needs to happen through that so that they can listen. So it sounds like you’re in a real push phase right now. And in that push phase you’ll come to an a closed of some point and you’ll be at a new normal and then you’ll carry on, right up to a new level for a bit until you do your next thing.

KIM: Yeah, that’s the key until I do my next thing, cause I’m getting ready for my own launches in the next year, so we’re about to start pushing on my step. But you said a couple things that really, for me, I’m very visual so I could see it. And by the way, I watched this great documentary called Everest in Winter, this past winter. I was like: “Oh my goodness! I can’t believe what these people go through.” But combining that visual of climbing the mountain with the word input, I’d love for you to dig into what input means and how you help your clients with what there -that doesn’t sound right to me, but inputting? Because Susi, what I see is that when we’re really crazy around here, what’s going into my body is number one, not enough sleep. I’m actually staring at a recumbent bicycle desk that was just assembled yesterday.

My alarm was set 6:30 this morning and I already told you I’m not a morning person. I set my alarm and then my phone died, so I did not get up at 6:30. I’m just full of excuses as to why I overslept this morning, but that is another part of the whole truth. And then I also noticed that when I’m really crazy busy, I make excuses for why I eat junk. And that doesn’t help a thing either. What are all the areas of what a person is? And I want to say ingesting meaning their lifestyle. What are you looking at like for the CEO where he was really sluggish when he started working with you, what was the difference between what he was inputting then versus what he inputs now?

KIM: The distinction is one step removed from that. And the one step removed is there’s a concept that I teach clients called Yellow Lights. If you imagine a traffic signal, red, yellow, and green. When people come to see me they’re in red. And they might not say it that they’re in red because they aren’t completely like, they’re not in the hospital. They’re not completely laid up, but they’re getting darn close to feeling like they’re just not themselves anymore. And so when they come in, they’ve typically have a number of pain areas in their body. They have sleep disturbance. They aren’t getting good rest. Their clarity, their mental clarity, their productivity, all that has shifted compared to what they were. And so what they are listing out as her symptoms are all their red lights and so they’ve gone way past where they should. So then as we start to move and as a teach them about their breathing and how to be still and quiet, then they start to recognize the compensatory patterns in their body.

So let’s say for example, someone’s got back pain. Typically you will see a pattern where there’s something up with how their hips are moving or how their hips function. There can be something with their shoulders, there can be something with the rib cage, but there’s these other components in their body that aren’t working as well as they could. The back pain is merely an expression of the problem. It’s not the actual problem. That’s the thing about pain is that we will try and fix the thing that’s expressing itself that’s screaming at us, it’s the red light. But in fact is not the thing that’s the thing. It’s the weak link in the entire system, which is the thing that’s expressing itself.

So there’s other, what I call Dysfunction or Limitation that’s under our level of awareness. And so then it’s often hips or ribs or shoulders that or some combination of those that’s just start with. You know, I say that to start with because when I work with someone and help them move better, they recognize: “Oh! So as my hips get better, my back pain goes down.” I’m like: “”Yeah.” And they’re like: “Wait a second. So my hips are limited.” “Yup.” “Oh! So if I improved my hips, my back feels better.” “Yup.” Then they start piecing it together and I say: “That’s a yellow light.” So when you start to notice stuff in your hips like, cause their back pain by this point is down, then you can start to noticing what your hips are doing and intervene at your hip level then you won’t feel your back pain as much anymore. So they start to recognize these yellow lights.

Now the piece that’s important is that I deal with this all on a physical level to start with. They realize: “Oh! So maybe these yellow lights when I feel like crap at work. Like, so when I feel like I’m just getting run down at work, maybe there’s some yellow lights to let me know what’s happening to get me to that point.” And I’m like: “Bingo. Bingo. You’ve got it.” So then they start to intervene earlier and help themselves earlier, so they might shift up. I mean, it can be any number of things can, I mean, it can be how they are taking in water. It could be what they’re eating. It could be, but what’s cool is they know like everybody knows what they need to do. They’re just unaware at that point. So when they become aware and they recognize the correlations, then they figure out what they actually need to support themselves.

KIM: You named your company brilliantly, Functional Synergy, because there it is, you just summed it up right there. I mean I found a new primary care physician. I live in Southwestern Ohio and for years I have had my primary care doctor. I would go in, I would get maybe 10 minutes of time. They would diagnose the symptom and I would be gone. And usually it’s with a prescription for something. But last year, I got a new one. And he brought me in and he sat down, that was unusual to me. And he said: “Tell me about yourself.” And if you could see me just now, I did the same thing just now as I did to him. And no you can’t because I don’t have a camera on. But I shook my head and close my eyes and I was like: “Wait, what?” He’s like: “Oh, I like to know about my clients so that we can go down in and see what the root causes are. If you’re having a headache, where’s the stress coming from? Is it stress or is it something else?”

SUSI: Yeah.

KIM: And I was blown away. I got a whole hour and that just was blowing my mind. And I think that’s when functional medicine not, you know, not in the way that you’re talking about starting to take root for me because I started to look at the big picture. That doesn’t mean they still do it. But I love how you talk about awareness because it definitely made me more aware, like this is how I feel when I eat this. Yeah, I might look good passing by on the road and seeing those double arches. But does it really feel good later on? No, no.

SUSI: Yeah, and the great thing is that I’m not an advocate for not eating at the Golden Arches, for example. It’s not my favorite food, but I’m not, I don’t tell clients to not do that. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not in that realm. The thing is, as you mentioned, you’re noticing how it makes you feel. And so, I mean I made a decision a long time ago, when I had a whole group of clients come in and they would say to me: “You know what? I have been to everybody and if you can’t help me, nobody can.” And I’m like: “Oh boy. Okay, here we go.” And what I realized is that it wasn’t that the other health professionals weren’t good. They were, I knew many of them. There was something missing though. There was something missing in terms of whether the explanation of what they needed to do was lacking or whether the client interpreted inaccurately or, I mean it can mean many, many, many, many things of what wasn’t working.

It could be the actual intervention, being the practice, whether it was massage, physio, acupuncture, whatever. It could be that was not quite right or the relationship between the people that were not quite right. I mean the list goes on, but I decided at that point that my job was not to advise my clients. And that’s going to sound weird because when I’m about to say might sound like advising, but here’s the nuance. My job is to help people feel. My job is to help people become aware, because over the 25 years I’ve been doing this is that people know what they need. They totally know what they need. My job is to help them get quiet enough to hear it. And so if people are operating at just a red light phase, they’re not going to get it. So they need to get to understand what their whispers are, what their yellow lights are.

And there’s an old saying, which I believe is attributed to Native American, Indian or indigenous. And that is when you listen to the whispers, you don’t have to hear the screams. And so the idea is listen to those whispers, listen to the yellow lights, listen to the indicators and you won’t have to hear the red. So when I work with people with rheumatoid arthritis, or MS, or I mean any of those autoimmune conditions, migraines, or as those types of things. We can shift up a lot of the flares because they’re paying attention to the whispers. They’re paying attention to the yellow lights. And so if they intervene at that level, then they won’t need to experience the thing, like the flare. It doesn’t say the diagnosis goes away, not at all. Because a curve ball might come, stressors might load up, and then they’ll feel their symptoms more clearly because their bandwidth is lower. And so with their bandwidth being lower, we tend to fall into survival strategies.

And in those survival strategies, we then tend to utilize the habits that we’ve utilized for a long time. It don’t necessarily served us, but they’ve kind of served us because they’ve their survival. And so it’s just recognizing when that happens. And so for me, it’s not bad when someone has a flare, it’s a signal. Right? And I had a client the other day who hadn’t seen for a while and she had big MS flare. And I asked her, I said: “So what did you notice with it all? And she said: “Susi, it was so crazy.” And then she filled in all this stuff. And with the conversations I have with clients at this point is that no longer are symptoms bad or wrong, no longer symptoms that your body is breaking down or that your body is working against you like, there’s a whole mind shift of like your symptoms are communication mechanism between your body and maybe your mind and brain and yourself.

And so my job is to help you understand what those symptoms are really saying. And I don’t interpret the symptoms for you. I simply help you understand your body movement. I help you deepen your level of awareness, so you can get quiet enough to just notice them. And it just paying attention in different way, really shifts up everything from people realizing how they have to make a change in work. People realizing they need to leave work. People realizing they need to do different things with their spouse or their kids. Some people have left marriages. Some people have married. Those are biggies. Sometimes it’s just as simple as you know what? I do need to shift my diet and then starting to find the resources to help them do that. So it becomes not a: “Well, Susi said.” It becomes this is what I’m noticing inside and what I need.

So their internal world starts to become a very, very much of a match for their external world. And it’s quite a powerful as a process because then if you understand what’s leading to fatigue and to burnout, then you make a conscious choice about what you’re doing. And if you go that route then you are like: “Okay, I am firing on all cylinders and this is what needs to happen at this moment.” And then when you take care of yourself after, but you do it consciously, which is entirely different than being reactive and just being sort of at the mercy of your schedule.

KIM: You put so much gold into that. Like there are so many topics. I’m just going to go back to the beginning. Okay. I do not tell people that they shouldn’t eat Golden Arches either. There might be healthier options, but if I’m going to be totally transparent right here, I went through the drive through last night. So yes, I can’t tell other people. And I love the thought or I love the concept of listening to the whispers. And that actually, it’s probably been a year just about a year exactly right now where I was actually able to sit still and listen.

My brain is constantly, oh, I have what I call chronic idea disorder. So I mean, last night when I was driving, my son had his last track meet of the season, so I’m on my way there. That’s when I went through the Golden Arches, but I’m driving down the highway and all of a sudden bang, bang, bang, more ideas, more ideas. And the crazy thing is that I had been in this stress mode, like the launch mode, as I already shared, and I was trying to come up with an idea for my business rather than my clients. But it was like the vacuum was on and all the extra space for ideas had been sucked out.

But now I’m on the highway and my brain starts firing again and I know that might, am I explaining that in a good way? Like does that make any sense? Like the vacuum had been unplugged and I’m out and all of a sudden it just hooo….So, and then the whole concept of listening though, I used to push right through. My body could be screaming at me: “Kim your exhausted.” I mean, I remembered nights when I fell asleep at my desk. My eyes had been crossing for hours, but it was like: “No, I just need to get this done. No, I just need to get this done.” And everything was taking four times longer, but I wasn’t listening to my body.

And it was amazing what happened, and listeners, you can go back and listen to episode 5. By the way, we are on episode 568 right now. But what happened, not on nights like last night, but when I started sleeping eight hours a night or six to eight, because my body usually wakes me up right after sex. My productivity quadrupled when my sleep quadrupled, which was to me at that time, super crazy. I mean, how am I getting stuff done four times faster when I’ve had four times as much sleep? Like to me that math wasn’t working out in my head and sometimes it still doesn’t, but it really did blow my mind. And then my body started feeling better.

And I want to go back to also what you said about, sometimes it means you’re leaving your relationship. I can tell you that when I was married to my ex, and it was just stress filled and stressful all the time, my body felt it. Like my shoulders are constantly up on my ear lobes. I think that’s the best way I can explain it. But I’ve been remarried now for seven years and I haven’t felt bad since I left my ex and it’s amazing. But it was just knowing. And no, I’m not an advocate either for divorcing because you’re stressed out and your shoulders are touching your ear lobes all the time because your neck is just so stressed. But listen like Susi said, thank you for being so gold filled.

SUSI: Welcome. I think the important thing is there’s so much information out there about what to do and how to do it right in every aspect of our life. And we need to be quiet enough to be able to filter what it is that’s right for us and having the life that’s right for us. And to be able to feel and to notice and to recognize what those communication patterns are within, we’ll provide that information. And I think that piece that goes along with that is we all tolerate things. And when we can all think of three to five things that we’re tolerating, but then they’re not really a big deal. And then there’s a few that are, and we all know that we need to be doing something about them. And then there might be for some people, one or maybe two that are starting to really stink, like they’re starting to really get the attention. But we continue to tolerate and maybe even get resigned to the way things are because we don’t know there’s another way.

And there is another way is number one and number two is that we need to realize that that which is that we’re tolerating, is that actually a problem that we can solve. And so then when we realize it’s a problem that we can solve, then we can start to change the patterns. And then once we start to change the patterns and we can start to gain some new stamina around new pattern, a new bandwidth and new habits. But none of that will shift until we recognize that which we’re tolerating is no longer tolerable. Because we won’t make a change until we make that which is tolerable intolerable. And so that’s really the shift and we can keep going the way we’re going and it’s all okay. And then when you know that it’s time, then it’s time to act rate at that phase. Because there is another way, there is. There’s certainly is another way and there is another way that’s a quieter, more easeful, more productive way that’s available. It just sometimes we can’t see it because we’re in it. We’re in it and we can’t see the forest for the trees.

KIM: Susi, I don’t know if I’ve ever admitted on the podcasts that I feel like I’ve gotten millions of dollars of free coaching and mentoring from my guests and you have now made the list of people I’m learning from. Last year, Perry Marshall was also on the podcast and we were talking about the 80/20 rule. And it never clicked in my head before that time, and I expected him to come on and talk all about his book, but we ended up looking at my life like about how 20% of the people, and I’m just using an example here, I’m not saying that this is what was going on. If 20% of the people could be making up 80% of your stress. This can be personal connections or professional connections or in my business, and I’m taking it away from what we’ve been talking about it a little bit, so pardon me just for a moment, 80% of the clients could only be making up 20% of the income.

And in my case at that moment I had two clients who were making up maybe 5% of the income, but we’re taking 95% of my time. And when he talked about that, it was mind blowing and earth shattering in the best way because sometimes you do just need to break the glass and put it together. Like the stained glass, I felt like I was a stained glass window that had been put together wrong. Not wrong, maybe it’s the wrong word, but it was just a little bit out of order. If I were a stained glass window, by the way, it would be crazy looking, a lot of fun. But I realized right after that call that I had to let those two clients go and the stress that fell off my body having just pushed send.

And I was so scared because I knew for some time that I had to do it, but I had never thought about it and like you were saying before with your clients, they might have been going to other practitioners for years, but they haven’t heard it in the language that they need to, because they haven’t been listening. And sorry, I put words into your mouth. I had good intentions in that. That probably wasn’t how you said it, but I know what I’m trying to say. But he said it, Perry Marshall said it at that moment exactly how I needed to hear it. And I started looking at all areas of my life for the 8/ 20. And I had to say, I’m not perfect. Nobody’s perfect. There’s still some who take up of disper…Do you know what I’m trying to say?

SUSI: Disproportion.

KIM: Thank you. No listeners, it is too early to be drunk, but yet that word, they’d take up too much time and energy and it’s not just people sometimes, it’s activities.

SUSI: Yeah.

KIM: So yeah, I love that. I would love to circle back to something that you said really early. You talked about peak performance. I would love to know actually what peak performance means to you. And I know you were talking about, you know, the Olympic athletes and CEOs and such, but I think peak performance takes on many different meanings. So I’d love to know what it means to you.

SUSI: Well, that all depends because it depends on what a person wants, but ultimately it’s based off of what somebody wants the greatest efficiency to enable that. I think that we are hardwired for ease and the more ease that we can have, then the more efficiency that we have. And when I say ease, I don’t mean lying on a beach chair with the drinks with umbrellas, although that is –

KIM: That sounds amazing.

SUSI: – form. Yeah, that is a form of ease. The ease I’m referring to more so though is a suppleness and a responsiveness. And, you know, there’s not this anticipatory bracing of what’s going to happen in life against you. There’s more of an engaged consistency that there’s a calm, steady and a strength associated with that. There’s a place of flow. And so there’s given and take with all of that. And when you’re in that state with that which you want to do, then that’s really when you’re in flow. And that to me is peak performance. So there’s some people who I work with who’ve been Olympic level type athletes. And what they’re aiming for in terms of efficiency and flow is very different than somebody else who doesn’t have that interest.

And I think about one fellow that I worked with who – he needed to be able to calm himself down at the start line. And so we were doing a number of different techniques to help him calm down at the start line. But I didn’t go to him and say: “All right, I’m going to help you calm down to the start line.” I had to do it through the back door and a bit of a reverse psychology kind of way because being that the type of person he was, slowing down wasn’t in his makeup, it was full speed ahead. And so for me to say you need to slow down, he would look at me like I was crazy. So I had to make it a competition for him to slow down and it was quite fun. But he was able to relax enough so that he was not on edge at the start line, which then gave him a better result at the end.

KIM: Wow. So you just totally blew out of the water what I was going to say, no pun intended. I mean he could have been a swimmer. Did you say he was a swimmer?

SUSI: Nope.

KIM: Okay. Because for the first three or four years of my business, I thought peak performance meant maximum output. So that’s why I was pushing myself to stay up so late and to work till the eyes crossing. And then I had my own burnout, which is complete meltdown and woke up quite literally and realize, oh my gosh, it’s not all about output. It’s about input too. And that includes sleep and just having time come in for relax. And while I would love – my husband and I joke, oh my gosh, can we just go to Fiji for a month and sit on the beach? I would go stir crazy because that’s not where my makeup is. Like I need to be doing something but I can be maximizing my input in other ways and not be pushing out all the time. So I just love hearing what different people here or what different people interpret peak performance to mean and your definition was beautiful. So thank you. I would love if you would just share for a moment how you work with your clients and I know it’s different for different clients, but would you mind sharing a little bit about that and where listeners can go to learn more?

SUSI: So I work with majority of my clients online and there’s two ways of doing that. So I’m based in Calgary, which is north of the border here in Canada, right near Banff National Park, which is a beautiful area of the world if that kind of thing geographically. We’re on the other side of the mountains from Denver and up a little bit. So I see most of my clients online and we have an initial visit where I’m looking at how they’re moving and we are talking about the yellow lights and the whispers and helping them just become aware and attentive. And we work in three month contracts and they go away for a week. They do the work that I suggest to them and then they come back with more. And so with their awarenesses and what they gain, then we have a conversation and then build from there because it’s a very collaborative process.

I’m not a power over authority over the person is bringing in as much of their information to me, as I bring my expertise to them. So it’s a very collaborative process that we spend seven sessions over a course of the three months plus there’s all sorts of back and forth between sessions as they’ve got questions and as they become aware and as they’re kind of connecting in. Then the other way that I work with people is the same thing, but we amp it up a little bit where people can come to Calgary for a day or two and work with a number of people on my team based off of what they need. So it could be a physio, it could be an acupuncturist, it can be any number of healthcare professionals if they need extra support with. And then we’ll do a day or day and a half here and then carry on with the rest of that time online.

So it becomes a really effective way for someone who needs to recognize and connect with some of the patterns that are getting in the way and then helping them move into a place that’s a lot more sustainable. And I find that I can point things out to people in terms of helping them gain awareness very, very quickly. Like we can do that in a visit. Like we can help, I can help someone reduce their pain and eradicate their pain in an hour. But in order to have those new patterns become a little stronger and more sustainable, that’s what takes the next several sessions. And so huge gains can be made in three months. And oftentimes people get to the end of the three months and say: “You know what? I feel really great. This is now what I want.” And so then we do another round, after they’re now getting really amped up to go to the next thing. Because that’s the thing, when you start to feel good, when your fuel tank improves and you start to learn how to manage your energy better and to use it in a way that it really serves you, opportunities open up. And the better you get, the better you need to get. So there’s a lot of gain of your own internal integrity to meet your next opportunity in the next chance. So people can reach me and they can find me functionalsynergy.com and they can put a contact request in there and we can get on a phone call and have a chat to see how I can help.

KIM: Thank you so much for sharing. And I love the better you get, the better you have to get. I had never thought about it like that before. I can’t wait to see the show notes for this episode by the way. My team is going to have a blast and I know they’re going to learn a lot as well. Susi, this has been an absolute pleasure. I’ve loved every moment of it. Is there anywhere else besides your website functionalsynergy.com where you would love for listeners to connect with you online?

SUSI: People can find me on Instagram at Susie.Hateley and they can also find me on Facebook as well. And I’ve got my personal page there as well as my business page, so they can easily find me by going to Susi Hately and then go ahead and click on the business page there and they can find more there. But I’m happy to work with anyone who feels like they’re struggling and, but, you know, innately like that’s the thing. Innately, we know when there’s something up and we need to believe and trust that intuitive sense. And if you tried a lot of things and they just haven’t worked, but you just know your body’s trying to get your attention and your body’s trying to get your attention and there’s a wisdom there that needs to be tapped into. And when you do, as far as you’re an executive and entrepreneur, your output and your results will just skyrocket because when your battery is full and you’ve got the ability to produce, how you produce is just going to be so much more efficient and so much more effective. And then the gain, you’ll really like them.