Suzie Cheel The Long bio
I was born and raised in Canberra, the National Capital of Australia, in those days with a population of only about 9,500, an inland city carved out of the bush. We lived in a suburban house with all the usual city comforts, but truly it was a common enough sight to watch the kangaroos grazing on our front lawn in the morning.
I had very loving parents and a wonderful childhood, and loved going to school, although I have to admit that getting hit by a car when I was 16 and being in a coma for a week was not what you would call a high point. My mother often reminded me I was lucky to still be alive.
I didn’t think much about it at the time, but I suspect that that early near-death experience helped to give me my unquenchable zest for life, a passion for creativity and a love of change.
Not just change for its own sake, but change for the better, both in my own life and in ways that I can make the world a better place and the people I interact with more fulfilled and happy.
My first career was as an early childhood (kindergarten) teacher and I taught in Australia, England and even in Lagos, Nigeria, where I was the governess for the children of the Australian Ambassador.
Later I became a college lecturer, teaching future early childcare workers.
At that time I also completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Communication.
Then I made my first big career change, leaving the security of my safe, tenured, government-funded college position, and pursuing my dream of being a full-time artist. Becoming an artist was all the more surprising for someone who had been told by a teacher at the age of twelve that I couldn’t draw!
I set up my own textile design and production business, Suzie Cheel Handpainted Originals, and over the next 14 years built that into a successful business, winning various arts awards in the process. For ten of those years I also wrote a regular column in Textile Magazine: Making a Living in the Textile Arts.
Ever keen to continue learning and growing, I completed a Masters degree in Applied Science at the University of Western Sydney, with a specialisation in Social Ecology. My thesis for that degree was about the creation of online communities (in the days right before the Web burst on the scene!).
In 2004, with my life partner and soulmate Des Walsh, I left the city and moved to the Gold Coast, a long day’s drive north of Sydney, Australia. We live near the beach, in a complex with many trees and morning and evening bird choruses. Most days we walk on the beach and for most of the year we swim in the ocean.
Each day I can feed my soul through being in touch with nature and especially the ever-evolving sea.
A year or so before we left Sydney, Des discovered blogging for business and although I at first I resisted, eventually I began blogging in 2006 and then, after attending the first two BlogWorld Expos in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2007 and 2008 and meeting amazing people in the process, I got more and more “into” blogging, which expanded into Twitter, Facebook and the rest. I love my online communities and have made many wonderful friendships through engaging with various forms of social media.
While life was seemingly swimming along just fine, suddenly, without any prior warning, in mid 2011 I was rushed to the emergency ward and hospitalised with a total kidney failure! Talk about a transformative life event!
My life was completely altered (for the better) from that moment forward and continues today! I learned to be patient, listen to my heart whispers and be truly grateful. And most of all I have learned about self-love and compassion. You see, my body was now my ultimate Professor and whenever I decided to speed my recovery along, or be less than kind to myself, my body showed me clearly that was NOT the path to pleasure.
While doing my very best to honor my recovery, I was presented with a few extra challenges including sustaining a broken humerus in my right arm, followed by crush fractures in my back and some other side effects from the heavy duty steroids for my kidney recovery. All of which were the Universe’s way of encouraging me to be even kinder, even more compassionate and even more patient! NOT things I used to be particularly good at!
Fortunately, as I write I am so blessed and very grateful for my 100% kidney recovery.
Two near-death experiences in my life and still going strong!
I am now working on my book about that experience and the healing processes that are creating this healthy life in body, mind and spirit. The working title for the book is “Lucky to be Alive: How I used the power of self-love to save my life.
As part of my healing I am living an alkaline lifestyle, so that has meant a lot of experimentation with different dishes and recipes to maintain my alkaline levels. Since one of my favorite hobbies is cooking, more in the Jamie Oliver style of “tossing in a bit of this or that” rather than following a recipe rigorously and following precise measurements. I now have a whole new repertoire of high-alkaline recipes, some of which will be shared in the new book.
Join me in The Heart Whisper Movement