Susan Miner was an international supermodel who graced the covers of Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Self, Bazaar, and represented such powerhouses as Revlon, Maybelline, and L’Oreal. After modeling, she became an adjunct Professor of Psychology and therapist. Susan is also an author, speaker, and the current President of Beauty From the Inside Out, Inc.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Hampden, MA. It had no stoplight and no high school. We went to a regional high school in the neighboring town. In retrospect, I received an amazing education. I saw this very clearly, by comparing my writing ability with others when I became a college student and then a professor.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life? I wish I realized earlier in my life that I have control of my thoughts, emotions, and actions. Further, it is possible to clear up painful emotions and thoughts. We are not doomed to be victims of our painful experiences forever. Energy work such as Pranic Healing, Emotional Freedom Techniques, and others are modalities that can clear trauma from our bodies and energy fields. And just like physical exercise – if you want to have a toned body, you do physical exercise. If you want to have a calm/peace-filled energy field, you do energy exercises. It works. You just have to do it.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
In my opinion, a bad recommendation is to either begin taking antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications and/or take more medications. I serve as a therapist and my area of expertise is anxiety reduction. The energy work I mentioned is my primary way of working. Energy work along with detoxing is spectacularly effective in my experience for reducing (and stopping) anxiety and depression. What I see in my clients and research supports is that these medications produce recurring depression, anxiety, insomnia, and dependence on the medications.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How did you come out of it?
In my early 20’s I struggled with insomnia, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and all-around emotional craziness (my wording). I transferred most of this craziness to hating my body and being super critical of myself. I know, fun, right? The most ironic part was that I was a supermodel and got paid quite a bit for, let’s face it, my body. I did have trouble figuring out how to eat in a way that was best for me. The whole fat-free craze (if you’re as old as I am you’ll remember this) was a nightmare for me. I ended up bloated, several pounds heavier than ideal, and starving for a couple of years.
Having said that, my problem wasn’t my body, as we usually don’t focus on the root cause of our problems at first (or sadly, ever). My problem was the repression of deep-seated sadness and the anxiety of not knowing what to do with it. Unfortunately, once our bodies experience anxiety, it can become a habit. Then all pillars of our emotional stability go to (sorry for swearing) shit.
I’ll try and show a peek into my experience at that time. I’d have a night terror. Be nervous about going back to sleep. Lose some sleep. Be tired during the day. Have a harder time with my emotions. Be fearful about bedtime. Have insomnia. Be reluctant to face my day. Overeat the wrong foods. Feel fat. Feel disgusted with myself. Speak to myself unkindly. Draw in another boyfriend. Over-give. Get more drained. Drink alcohol and do drugs to try and feel happy. Suffer through a hangover. Be even more on edge. Worry about performing at work. Have insomnia. Reach for comfort food. Call myself a pig. Hate myself. Have a night terror. You get the idea: a vicious cycle, which I needed desperately to stop.
What ceased the vicious cycle for me, and now for my clients were energy exercises, lots of self-help reading, support of healers, and detoxing. I really needed to calm my body down first and then continue to work with my body and mind together with a spiritual slant.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
I follow along to teaching, meditation, and healings with Master Co. I’ve purchased some classes, but mostly I follow along from his free YouTube channel.
So the overall theme that emerged in this interview is we have the power within us to create a more peace-filled existence. With what we focus on and what we choose to do, we have it all within us to better our lives.
What book has influenced your life the most? Why?
I arrived at the San Diego airport with 2200 miles (give or take) between myself and my home in Florida. Rains sounded like they had turned torrential since I entered the airport building. “Well, at least it isn’t freezing outside,” I remember thinking. Various memories converged in my mind of staring out a cabin window as blasts of deicing fluid clouded the wings and bodies of the planes in Chicago and New York. I think, “This is California, we’ll be fine.”
You can predict what’s coming right? Delay after delay. Then the dreaded red ‘Cancelled’ flashed on the board. I would like to report that there was an organized and efficient disbursement of hotel and travel vouchers and rebooking of next morning flights. Nope. Poor flight attendants, only two of them, were swamped with angry travelers as they dealt with what appeared to be a buggy, archaic computer system.
Two hours after I emerged from the airport with an Uber summoned. An extended comedy (not so funny at 2:00 am) of errors finally put me in an Uber with two other passengers headed to a hotel in hopes of grabbing a few hours of sleep.
I sure wasn’t aware that San Diego is basically water interspersed with some land. It is intersected by four major rivers, a canal, an aqueduct, a delta, and several dams holding back reservoirs. The Uber driver’s GPS was no help in navigating us to the hotel as roads flooded blocking each route we tried to take. During this adventure, I began calling other hotels. No rooms are available. So I moved to motels. As luck would have it (may we call it lucky at this point), we were able to navigate to a motel that in fact did have two rooms.
Imagine me at the time, a chronically exhausted woman, one who had difficulty sleeping, and with a system prone to anxiety, joyfully making it through the aforementioned travel debacle?
It was Eckhart’s simple teachings I employed that got me through the travel debacle with mental ease. I practiced accepting the present moment as it was, not as I wished it to be. I kept redirecting my mind to the now and noticing how my suffering was diminished each time I did so.
Yes, the flight was canceled. But I didn’t have to ruminate on how awful it was or how I wanted to just be home already. Yes, the hotel voucher was useless because we couldn’t get there because of the floods. But I didn’t have to brood on more money spent or more time lost.
Having the directions to reduce the mental suffering my mind tends to create has raised my overall happiness. So the very long answer to the question of what book has influenced my life the most is The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
Master Co. credits his teacher Grand Master Choa Kok Sui with the quote, “Money in the hands of good people changes the world.”
Another idea that I believe I got from Marianne Williamson (speaking on a Course in Miracles) is something like, “I just show up to give and receive love.” But don’t quote me :). I think of this and actually, tell myself this out loud when I am going to a business meeting or somewhere that I am wanting to make a good impression or have a positive impact. So pretty much everywhere…