Awareness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Before my mother died she said to me; “I wish you could stop trying to fix yourself!  Why can’t you just be more like me?!”

I have a dining room cupboard filled with dishes and china from relatives who have long since died.  I never fully thought about whose they were because my younger sister remembered it all.
She died six years ago.

So there are stories and lives and traumas all witnessed by those dishes that will never be told.  How much gets passed down to us in those stories even without words?  How much shame, even joy do we learn as our families live out their DNA and traumas?

There are good stories in my family.  My nephew recently had a health scare and there we all were!  Texting and phoning, traveling and emailing from all across the US.  A delicious family in a crisis.  So much love.

Yet I also hear my mother’s critical negative voice in my own.  I see my anxiety in my daughters and my grandsons.  I have a deep dread that something is about to go wrong at any moment.  I have a very typical chaotic mind of an adult child of an alcoholic!

I remember a story about my father’s childhood when he was left at an orphanage with his siblings because his mother couldn’t afford to take care of them after her husband died.  "There is an incident of something going wrong," my father might say!

Am I still living this out this story?  Has it been handed to my children and my grandchildren?  The answer is probably yes, along with a set of brain chemicals and DNA that won’t leave me alone.

Brene’ Brown says in A Daring Way that a therapist needs to “stay aware of our own darkness in order to bring light to those we are trying to serve.”  From this perspective, I am grateful for the dark stories in my family…it helps me bring light into their darkness.

After my mother died, we all agreed she was grumpy.  Yet, there was consensus among her daughters that she loved us.  I don’t remember her ever saying that she loved us…it was just something we KNEW and never doubted.  Now THAT'S some great DNA!

So I go forward with my lovingness and my grumpiness bringing both into my awareness when I am able and shedding light whenever I remember to those around me.  The new ingredient being added is awareness that gives me choice about how I behave and feel most of the time.

Maybe my mother had a point.  Now I am finally more like her!  I just threw in extra awareness and happiness, that’s all.

Susan Austin-Crumpton
Executive Director & Founder
The Estuary, Inc.


Susan Austin-Crumpton

Susan Austin-Crumpton, Executive Director and Founder of The Estuary and The School of Healing Arts. Susan’s intention to be fully present and alive with passion and joy requires an authenticity that is her hallmark. Dedication to study and commitment to her clients and students provides The Estuary and the community involved with purpose and meaning not often found in traditional leadership. Susan Austin-Crumpton speaks of The Estuary as being like a wheel, with the staff being each of the spokes, the programs and services as the rim and she is the hub of energy and identity at the center. As the founder of The Estuary and The School of Healing Arts, she has developed the healing techniques and skills taught by the school and integrated into the individual practices of the staff. Susan’s leadership, innovative practice methods and classes have created the foundation of The Estuary and The School. Her varied career history as business owner, a teacher, and a psychotherapist, make her uniquely qualified to bring grounding to healing practices that originate outside the medical and psychological mainstream. Her techniques are truly complimentary to allopathic medicine and traditional psychotherapy, not in conflict with them, as is evidenced by the community support and acceptance over the past twenty years. As the primary teacher at The School of Healing Arts she combines the techniques of energy healing and psychology with Kabbalistic principles into her psychotherapy techniques that bring lasting change into the lives of those who work with her. She works with individuals and groups specializing in depression, anxiety, couples, health issues, addiction, and spiritual connection to life’s meaning and purpose. Susan has completed four years of study in healing science with The Barbara Brennan School of Healing Science and three years of study in Integrative Kabbalistic Healing with Jason Shulman's A Society of Souls. She also holds a degree in counseling psychology from the University of Louisville. She is a pastoral counselor ordained by The Estuary. Susan specializes in integrating transpersonal psychology with energy therapies effectively embodying the mind, body and spirit connection. She has been in private practice for 18 years serving individual processes, coupleship work, group experiences, and health related issues. She is the primary teacher at The School of Self Healing Arts and teaches transpersonal psychology, energy anatomy and therapies, world religion, and experiential therapy techniques. Susan is married and has two daughters and two grandchildren. She loves to study, to learn and grow personally and professionally, and is committed to the well being of her family, students and clients.