Rise & Shine Interview: Susa Bernard
Ever wondered how writing can help heal your relationship with your body? I'm excited that today, Susa Bernard, is “Speaking From the Heart” and sharing her experiences with all of us.
Susa reached out to me earlier this year and then we connected through Skype. Susa writes a fashion blog Susu Paris Chic . Her passion for fashion goes deeper than the surface, though. Fashion is a game for her, but she also longs to dig profoundly, to talk about issues that really matter. Susa struggled with anorexia and is still dealing with depression. She seeks to find happiness in the midst of these trials. Susa has lived in Finland, USA, France and now Canada. Her travels have molded her into an open-minded girl who has a heart for small things that can render life more beautiful. She is just as sweet in person as she is on her blog. Read her interview below.
Why do you believe self-expression (speaking from the heart) is important?
For me, self-expression is a way to connect to my very being. I find that conversation gets really interesting at the point when people dare to open up. I long to go into the core of things. Why babble superficially when the stuff that really matters is under there somewhere anyway, just waiting to get out? Writing my blog has a been a tremendous way to realize what I really am about. It's sort of like having a conversation with your inner being, as well as with others. Once you express yourself in a readable manner, your own ideas get clarified as well.
How has writing empowered you in other areas of your life?
I've become more aware of the strength and talents I have. My readers have told me that my posts put a smile on their face, boost them into seeing life from a more positive angle. I didn't really think I could bring about things like these. Through writing I have also found a way to express myself, get moving, instead of dwelling in inactivity. I struggle with bluesy moods, and hitting the keyboard is a splendid way to kick myself in the butt when the sad side of me would just want to curl up in bed. Once I get into creating, I find my spirits improving as well, along with the feeling of doing something meaningful.
How did you find your authentic voice through writing?
I found my voice through writing once and writing yet some more. As I kept typing one post after another, I realized that I had developed a way to put down words, my personal style to phrase as well. I had always thought of myself as more of an artist and not a writer, so this all came as a surprise to me.
How did you develop the courage to stand tall (i.e., get the courage to share your writing)?
I started blogging in 2007. I was living in Paris and needed an outlet for my creativity, especially a place and a project where to document my love for the city. In 2009 I got sick with anorexia, and at that point I also changed my blog into a fashion one. I got some angry messages about my thinning figure. When I mustered up the courage to try and get better, I also decided to share about my combat on the blog. I felt like I could be of help to other women.
When you have a hard time writing, what do you do to work through it?
I read other blogs. I stock up in inspiration. I look around and enjoy others' energy flow when mine is down. I look at my past posts and all the views they've gotten and say to myself, "Yes, you can. Yes, you are interesting." I remind myself that I matter and my voice matters. I also allow myself a break, as long as I need it. I wait until the hunger to create is there again. I jog and let my brain come up with new exciting ideas to try.
How did you find your support group?
Blogging is all about interactivity. If I find a blog I like, I return regularly, as well as check out people that have commented on that blog. I write encouraging comments, never bad stuff. This said, I used to leave a lot of comments, and made some friends, but maybe not as much as I would have wanted to. So lately, I've given myself the right to concentrate more on what I wish to do. But blogland works like real life; if you show interest in others, they'll do the same for you. Some people will fall in love with your style, and others won't care. This is life. I'm still learning this, too. Being confident in what I'm doing.
Any advice for new writers/authors?
Find your own blog personality. Even just the beginning of it. Express yourself without having to be perfect or ground-breaking. What you do matters; first of all to you, and pretty soon to many others, too. Read and lift up others. Realize the value in being together in a community.
Thanks for standing tall, speaking from your heart, and empowering others around the world, Susa! Keep up the fantastic work! If you have any specific questions for Susa, please feel free to ask :)
One question that came to my mind after reflecting on what Susa said was, “How has writing helped you in your healing process?" Many people struggle with this, so I’m reaching out to you all and asking for your input. Looking forward to hearing your suggestions!
Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.
See you at the beach!