It Was Me All Along, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I was backpacking alone in Utah, carrying a huge pack on my skinny hips that looked like raw meat.  I felt invincible, capable, with every step validating that there is nothing I can’t do. I loved it! That was many years ago.

In June this year I am returning to those trails in Utah with my husband and grandsons and my book and a sunhat. My body won’t climb like it used to. My heart and lungs will not take the altitude and effort like it used to. This year I will wait and read in a beautiful and wild place for the return of those I love from the trails.

I notice the difference. I grieve the loss. My inadequacy and self-doubt rise to the surface of me. I long for my feelings of conquering everything myself instead of asking for help.

Then something wonderful happens. Feeling the invalidation of change brings into focus a sense of wholeness and acceptance.

My grandsons hold car doors for me and hold my purse. My husband unloads the car and always grabs my hand as we cross the street. Being stuck makes me available to listen and to reflect on noticing the kindness of those that care for me. I let in their smiles and the dance of love in their faces.

Change is always a scary thing for me. Then I remember everything has always been changing all along.  I had nothing to prove all along! I was wrong about finding a me inside myself. I was me all along and I still am.  Learning to receive me is teaching me to receive others.

I feel grace and gratitude for all of life. I am me in an older body. I sorta like it.


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.