Welcome to this installment of The Wellness Universe’s ‘A Conversation With …’ interview series! Each week, we will feature interviews from some of our amazing WU World Changers so you can learn about who they are as a person, their profession, mission, and their why!’
Welcome to A Conversation with Sue Bryan.
Sue Bryan, is the author of Being Truly Happy, Seven Secrets of Truly Happy People, and founder of Inward Journey; A personal growth organization whose mission is to promote the principles and practices of Self-Realization and Conscious Evolution worldwide.
Hello Sue, will you please tell us about yourself?
Hi Anna, thanks for having me. It’s an honor to speak with you and with the WU community.
I’m a mom and a grandma, and a thinker and a visionary. I’m a writer and a mindset coach, and believe it or not, I’ve been a teacher since I was six years old. (Wait! What?) Yeah. When I was six, I started a school in my basement. My students were the three four-year-old’s in my neighborhood and a couple of stuffed animals. I loved sharing my excitement about learning with them. I taught them their letters and numbers, and sure enough, later, I went on to be a school teacher – Special Education. But that wasn’t the right venue for me.
My passion is learning and teaching all about human beings, how they work, what makes us tick, why we do the things we do and how we can feel better and have more fulfilling lives. It seems that so many of us – doing the best we can – but are walking around feeling scared and unfulfilled. We’re reactive when we don’t want to be – don’t mean to be. We are searching for love and peace and happiness, but all too often we feel lonely and anxious.
But as a visionary, I see so much potential in where we could be going. I agree with the experts who say that humanity is evolving – maybe into an entirely new species. (Barbara Marx Hubbard, Bruce Lipton etc.) And it’s exciting to me to think about what we may be evolving into.
I mention that I am a grandma because, standing here, between generations, I get so blown away by the changes I can witness between the paradigm my grandparents and parents lived within, and the paradigm into which my grandchildren are being born.
I know that for a lot of people, that is not a hopeful thing; many are scared of what we are becoming.
I get that, but the future always looks scary from the perspective of the past. That’s part of my work in the world, to help people step into a more effective and comfortable mindset – to be able to see what I see.
Sue, what is it that inspires you?
I am deeply inspired by witnessing people step into their power, courage, and creativity. I’d much rather go to a school play than a professional ballet, to an open mike night, than a reading from an established author. Don’t get me wrong, I love good work, good art, professional stuff, but I really love being present at the emergence of an art or a skill. It’s such a gift to be allowed to witness the self-commitment and courage of people reaching within themselves and taking risks. If I had a choice to attend a Dodger game or a T-ball game at the local park, I’d probably choose T-ball.
Will you please tell us what you call yourself and explain what it is that you do?
I call myself an author, a teacher and a mindset coach. I lead groups of people through transformative experiences in a variety of settings and I work with individuals as a coach, where my main function is to continuously hold a space for my clients to climb into their Essence perspective.
How exactly does that help someone?
All my work revolves around the idea that, as humans, we each have three different Operating Systems. These are mindset Operating Systems, or have also been described as Levels of Self or levels of consciousness.
One of our OS’s is Reactive. This is the part of us that gets hurt by others, yells and curses, or hides away. The Reactor is full of wounds and unfinished business. It is immature and can’t access our higher thinking skills.
But we also each have an Observer or a Success Operating System. This is the part of us that acts effectively in our work and our relationships. It learns and can connect with others. It finds meaning and purpose in life.
And we each also have an Essence or Fulfillment OS. This is the part of us that is unconditionally loving, generous, peaceful, powerful, forgiving and enlightened. We don’t have to search or work for enlightenment; it is already a part of each of us. Somewhere inside, each of us knows ourselves to be a Spiritual Being having a human experience. We know ourselves to be energetic in nature and connected to each other and to the planetary system.
What I’ve observed is that people slip between OS’s without knowing that it’s happening. Then, we try to do things from an OS that can’t really do what we are trying to do. For example, the Reactor cannot meaningfully connect with other people. It wants to, but it cannot. But we try, all the time, from our Reactive mindset, to forge relationships. Or the Observer, who is very functional in the 3-D world, can’t really understand true forgiveness or unconditional love. And the Essence isn’t all that effective in – say – meeting the performance goals of a job.
This was actually a problem for me in my Education career. All I wanted to do was to hold a space for my students to enter into that Essence level of consciousness with me and play and create with them. What the schools wanted was for me to engage with the students in the Observer/Success OS and help them get great test scores. To me, that wasn’t the point.
Anyway, there are a couple of ways this information – this Operating System Model – helps people. One is that it helps them make sense of confusing aspects of their lives. Why do I keep having the same fight with my spouse? If I love my mom, why am I so unable to forgive her? What’s going on when I’m having these repetitive thoughts and why can’t I get them to stop? Why am I so anxious? Things like that.
Second. It helps people make sense of what they are seeing in the world. Why are people around me so prejudiced or angry or frightened? How is it that people commit crimes, tell lies, get addicted to substances, start wars, betray each other? When we understand things we are less anxious about them, less reactive.
Third, and this is the big one for me. As I mentioned I agree with the experts who postulate that humanity is evolving. And I think – based on what I witness through the generations in my place here as grandma – that we are being called to evolve into our Essence mindset. We are being called forward to understand ourselves very differently than our history describes us. We are being called forward to tell new stories and create a new reality. The Essence sees the world from the perspective of a Spiritual Being having a human experience. A whole different mindset, and one that, currently, it is a bit of a challenge to hold onto.
Why are you so passionate about helping people understand this Operating System perspective?
Well, to me, it makes all the difference, both to an individual’s level of satisfaction and engagement in life and to the evolution of the species as a whole.
The model works to help people rise up out of anxiety and overwhelm and fear. And it helps those of us who are on our way to deal with the challenges we confront as we grow.
And, maybe most importantly, it gives us an idea of what to envision for ourselves and the world. What we imagine and envision is what we become. I really see a world without war, a world where everyone’s needs are met, a world that works.
Did any specific life experience prompt you to follow this path?
There are a few worth mentioning. One was when I was about 7 or 8 and I felt what I then thought of as God, talking to me, reassuring me in what was a very distressing time. And many years later, I felt that same Presence again telling me that my job was to “wake people up.”
I was a childbirth and parenting educator for a long time as a younger adult, and I had the privilege of witnessing the intergenerational and universal power that is present at birth. That influenced me – had a huge impact on my thinking and perspective.
And I got a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology, with an emphasis in Consciousness, Health, and Healing. That program was hugely influential on my ability to understand myself, my children and what I was seeing in the world in terms of how people act and react.
How long have you been doing this?
Well, like I said, I started my first school when I was six… so almost 60 years.
Will you share a story of how you have made a difference in someone’s life?
I kind of see this as being honored to be around others as they make differences in their own lives. I have supported clients as they found and began to love aspects of themselves that have been unconsciously directing their lives in immature and ineffective ways: a business owner who was able to befriend her inner slave-driver, a woman with a broken heart who embraced her needy little inner child who was always seeking out dysfunctional relationships.
I have worked with women finding their power in male-dominated industries – and enact lasting changes in the way those industries operate: a negotiator who ultimately had the men coming to her and asking how she got the concessions she was able to get, a financial planner who was able to turn her office more toward collaboration to assist the clients instead of competition for promotions.
I have supported people in making life changes despite those changes being unacceptable in their family culture: a man who broke out of the expectation that he would carry on the family business to start his own heartfelt business dream, a woman whose culture forbade divorce, getting out of an abusive marriage.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
The sky’s the limit. I am eager to go deeper within my own Spiritual Self, and continue to create experiences for anyone who wants to jump on this evolutionary ride with me.
Thank you so much for sharing today! Do you have any final thoughts?
If I could leave everyone with one thought, it would be: You are more than you imagine yourself to be. The world is very different from the stories we tell about it. Be an explorer, a dreamer. Bring your uniqueness to us so we can celebrate it with you. Love yourself.
If you would like to connect with Sue Bryan please visit: https://www.thewellnessuniverse.com/world-changers/sue-bryan/
– The Wellness Universe