Hi! I’m Susan, the founder of Sacred Nautilus Wellness. My journey into yoga and energy medicine began when I was a teenager in the late-1980s and read a yoga book that my mom had (I wish I could remember that title) from which I first learned to meditate by focusing on a candle flame. In my early 20s I started practicing an amalgam of vinyasa and kundalini yoga and have had a sporadic home practice for the past 25 years. Also in my early 20s I was introduced to the practice of energy clearing working with smoke, herbs, and intention setting.
Struggling with anxiety and depression from adolescence as well as multiple childhood and adult Traumas, I considered taking my life on a few occasions. Finding a regular yoga (meditation, movement, mantra) practice, incorporating numerous breath technologies/pranayama, practicing energy medicine and sound healing, eating properly for my body, working with plant allies/diving into the plant spirit world, connecting with nature, and working on accepting and integrating my shadow self has helped me overcome and lessen the impact of these various mental health issues on my daily life.
I've had a love of music from birth. My mom would always say that I could sing before I could talk. As a child, I fondly remember listening to albums (like the Beatles, Smokey Robinson, and Pink Floyd) with my parents, listening to my grandmother play the organ, and hearing stories about my grandfather being a band leader in the 40s and 50s. Sound/music is such an incredible way to relax and help to heal ourselves. When I play the gong or chant mantra or sing or play the crystal harp or Tibetan singing bowls or various rhythm instruments, I channel reiki energy, the life force of the universe always for the highest good of all beings and to bring more love into our world.
My passion for cooking, especially wholesome, healthy, and plant-based foods began at a very young age. As a child, some of my favorite shows to watch were Julia Child, Jacque Pepin, and Martin Yan on PBS and I could often be found reading cookbooks cover to cover. The first meal I ever prepared by myself was a garden salad for my mom for lunch when I was six. It was my first time using a sharp knife on my own and a defining moment of how incredibly heart-warming serving delicious food to others is. I began dabbling with vegetarianism when I was 13 and have run the gamut of being a committed vegan for 8 years to a full-on paleo carnivore for a couple months. I personally prefer and feel my best when consuming a predominantly plant based diet and so those are the main recipes I create; periodically I cook and eat meat/fish/poultry depending on what my body requires and how I am feeling. I rely on my inner wisdom when I'm in the kitchen.
My deep love of art and photography are all inherent abilities that I've nurtured since childhood. My mom was an incredible artist and I have always had a deep love of art and design. In fact, my first area of focus in college, before I switched to environmental science, was art history. I connect most with abstract art, optical illusions, and impressionism. As a kid, my parents would often hand me the camera (for the longest time it was a little rectangular 110 camera) when we'd take day trips or on the very few family vacations. One of my favorite things to do now is create beautiful cherished photographs for others. I prefer playing with the natural light instead of being in a studio, collaborating with those being photographed, and keep sessions creative, organic, and relaxed.
Growing up in rural central Maryland certainly informed how I interact with the natural world and the deep respect and love I have for our planet; she is a living entity who we can connect with and she must revered. In college, I studied our planet and her processes and afterwards worked for a watershed organization working to restore an incredibly polluted river and surrounding communities in Washington, DC. I carry the teachings I've received with me at all times and try my best to live my life with as little impact to mama Gaea as I possibly can with consideration given to means and time. I have been practicing this way of living for the vast majority of my life. Sadly, our planet is being depleted at a rate that makes it virtually impossible to fully regenerate without help.
I am a registered (RYT-500) yoga teacher, Level IIIa Usuii reiki master, sound healer, loving mother, home chef/kitchen witch, photographer, artist, and advocate for regenerative living. In November 2019, I completed a 300-hour advanced yoga psychology/yoga for mental health training with Ashley Turner in Venice, CA. In November 2020, I completed an herbal medicine apprenticeship in the Wise Woman Tradition with Jacqui Lalita; this is something I had been informally dabbling in for more than 20 years. In 2022 I embarked on a deep journey of self and magic with Sianna Sherman through her RITUAL 13 Moon Mystery School. I also have a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Maryland. And, I have direct experience working in grant writing, customer service, document/manual creation, and operations.
Through practice and a deepening understanding and acceptance of self, a combination of these different modalities have helped me to restore to my truest self, given me a newfound vitality, helped me to communicate more effectively with my loved ones, and brought me close to being the very best version of myself.
I cannot wait to help you on your journey of discovering your truest most authentic beautiful self using meditation, yoga, energy medicine, mindful eating, and conscious living as tools for your transformation. My goal is to work with you to discover where you are on your journey and then guide you in creating a personal wellness plan to cultivate healing and vitality. I know this can seem daunting at first but let me assure you, it does not have to be. We can work in partnership to determine what it is that you need to thrive.
The healthier we are in our body, mind, and soul, the more goodness we can bring to our families, communities, and the planet.
May your light shine brightly into the shadows.
Contact me to set up a free consultation to determine how I can best serve you.
photo by Cat Davis