Sue Hitzmann is a nationally recognized somatic-movement educator and manual therapist who has taken her decades of practice, research, and study of anatomical science and alternative therapies to develop her unique training programs. She is the creator of the MELT Method, a groundbreaking self-treatment program that gives people of any age access to their optimal movement potential, improving body structure and posture while reducing joint pain and discomfort. Sue is the author of the New York Times bestselling book The MELT Method, which has been translated into eight languages and helped over 200,000 people lead a healthy, pain-free life.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I was raised in Albany, NY. Middle-class family, very frugal. There are so many stories that shaped my life but the one that was most poignant is the one about my great-grandmother. My dad used to always say I was strange (a deeper story here but, to get to the point) my great grandmother said to me when I was 7, “You aren’t strange. You’re like me, you have a gift. What you think is a curse will become your greatest blessing. You have a very special ability. Don’t lose it.” Then, when I was 11, my very spry, intuitive, full of love great grandmother suddenly was in an old-folks home with a pile of other old people. She didn’t know who I was, had dementia and it utterly rocked my world. I asked my aunt, “what happened to g-ma?” and she said, “she just got old”. My 11-yr-old mind said, “Am I going to get old?” And my aunt’s reply of “You’re aging right now. We’re all going to get old” did not sit well with me. I asked, “Well how do you stop that from happening?” I’d say this was the pinnacle moment that got me into understanding aging, longevity, health, wellness, and what were the assets I’d need to live a long, healthy, active life.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
Don’t take things personally. To not give a shit what other people think of you. Just live your life and be kind and honest, always. It’s that simple.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
When people say, “you know what you should do is…” when really, I shouldn’t be doing those things. I do so much. I need to find others to help me help myself. Doing everything yourself isn’t valuable but finding a team is critical to success.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
Well, my husband died of an ‘accidental overdose’ last year after only 4 years of marriage. It utterly shattered my world to lose the person who was the love of my life and watching his family take everything that was ours was heartbreaking.
I learned to let go of the past, let go of love, let go of things. Be in the present moment and don’t ruminate on the past. I learned how deeply I love it because of how horrible grief feels. You can reflect on your past and learn how it’s imprinting into the present moment. If you ruminate in the past you lose the precious moments of the present. Nothing happens in the past so be present.
Life is lived here.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
I continuously learn, love, and give to others and share what I know without fear.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up at 7 am. I spend 10 minutes feeding my cats, drink some water, I spend about 10 minutes noting what I’m grateful for. I MELT and meditate and set an intention for my day.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Focusing on gratitude and realizing the universe has my back. Doesn’t matter what shit comes my way, I fully believe I’m exactly where I need to be doing exactly what I’m here to do. No matter what, this is my life and I love it.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Setting a calendar and insuring I get all of my important work done every day. I try not to get too distracted by other people’s wants and needs.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
Thich Nhat Hanh: The Art Of Living and The Art of Communicating among other books have been very influential for me and helped me understand meditation and spirituality. It’s helped me remain grounded and practice the art of contentment. It’s kept me living in the present moment where everything happens and simply reflect on the past where nothing happens. You can’t fix the past, so stay present. It’s been one of the messages that’s kept me focused even in times of grief and loss.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
So many. I mean, one of my own is:
What I’ve done I’ve done, I’ve done with gratitude and sincerity to the best of my ability. You can’t fault me for that or expect more from my life.
Water takes flow just as much as it can crash onto the shore. Depends on where you are in the ocean of life and how you ride the wave. – Bruce Lee