The Light and The Dark, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

"Sometimes shadows are the only light we see."
                - Leo Kotke

It was my birthday.

I was at a Leo Kotke concert with my sweet husband and family.  The guitar music poured over me with quiet joy and contentment.  I was happy, the venue was just right, we were sitting almost in front, and it felt intimate and joyful.
Joy and pure contented quiet life filled my being.  Pure light.

Then, a rather large man in front of me lifted his phone in in the air and began videoing the event.  Dark vile thoughts rose up instantly from deep inside me.  “Why does someone have to look at such a lovely moment through the screen of a small phone?!", I thought, "He could see this same song and performer on YouTube any night from his home."
I was startled by my own reactions. The darkness I am capable of in an instant surprised me.  How is it possible that such a serene and loving moment can be interrupted so vehemently by my own thoughts?  Who am I anyway?

Then my years of studying and teaching Kabbalah rose like a swell in the ocean to carry me home to myself.  Kabbalah teaches me that there can be no light without darkness.  To the same extent that light is present, darkness is also there.  Pure presence resides in the space between the two and all creation happens there. Only then does healing and wholeness occur.
The trick is learning myself well enough to be familiar with both the light and dark parts of me.  Then, I have the choice of how to behave and how to take action in my life.   For me, this has taken many years of study and personal work.  And I am so grateful for this self-healing. 

My attention floated back to the music drifting from the guitar and both my darkness and my light were thoroughly delighted with the whole event!

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.