Empowered Woman Spotlight: An inspirational interview series. For women about women.
The Empowered Woman Spotlight is designed to bring attention and awareness to the amazing work that women are doing in the world and inspire you to live your most brilliant life.
Welcome to the Empowered Woman Spotlight! Today, we are hearing from a woman who has personally helped me live a healthier life and I am grateful. I introduce you to the amazing and brilliant Sue Van Raes! Sue is owner of Boulder Nutrition and offers Nutritional Therapy, Food Psychology, Clinical Nutrition and Life Coaching for women. I went to Sue in order to determine what foods are best suited for my metabolic type. After struggling with weight gain and inflammation, I am thrilled that eating foods that are designed for my unique metabolic type helps me bring balance to my physical body. Thank you Sue!
1. When you close your eyes and imagine an empowered woman, what do you see?
I imagine a woman who listens and has full faith in her intuition. She is radiant and beautiful because she glows with her own strength. She is connected deeply to herself, and her unique rhythms. This connection makes her wise, and strong. She knows her fears but she stands strong in her heart. She feels all of her feelings, but she looks to the light for guidance. Her relationship with herself is infused with love and compassion. She lives her purpose fully. She is radiant, she is bright, and she is creative.
2. Tell us a little bit about your own personal path of empowerment—what was significant?
My own personal path to empowerment has had many ups and downs all leading me to a place of deeper connection with myself, and my own inner strength.
A few of those key moments were:
(1) Divorcing at age 30 and single parenting for the past 12 years. This expereince has anchored me in my life and made my own personal why so much more rich and meaningful.
(2) Starting Boulder Nutrition from the ground up with virtually no resources. I did this with the plan that my business would support my family. The time, energy and creativity to cultivate my passion and purpose in the world and to enrich Boulder Nutrition was always my focus. It came with many up’s and down’s. Many life lessons, and many small failures where I had to keep picking myself up and moving forward.
Boulder Nutrition has challenged me on every level over the years—it has been one of my greatest teachers.
(3) Many times in life I was force to learn how to trust myself when things did not go as planned. Digging deep into my own personal faith, spirituality and ritual to find support and trust to keep moving forward.
(4) Publishing my first book Health Wise at age 40! I was nervous to put myself out in the world in such a big vulnerable way, but I just kept trusting myself, and looking fear in the eye. I kept writing and being in my authentic self as much as possible. Now with Health Wise in it’s fruition and practice embracing it’s beauty each and every day. Some days I feel like it is perfect, and other days it triggers me and I wish I could begin again.
3. What advice or suggestions can you give to women walking the path of empowerment?
Have a spiritual practice of some kind. For me it is yoga and meditation, but there are so many ways to deepen your relationship with self. As this happens, it got harder not to listen to myself and be authentic to my purpose. Practice did not make things easier, but it made it possible for me to feel my way through more effectively.
4. What is your service in the world?
I support women everyday healing relationship with food and body—this speaks to me so deeply. I see this as one of the primary illnesses of our time. I see women transform and become more free all of the time through this work. By free I mean alive, and thriving and free to make a choice that involves their best health and vitality.
I believe when healing and freedom happen, we all have more energy to serve the world in our own unique larger ways.
I also am an ambassador with Half the Sky Movement. I passionately align with the work of empowering women globally to have a voice.
Half the Sky is committed to turning oppression into opportunity worldwide—because most of us in North America are so privileged, I find it important to send our health and healing on a global mission.
I also value my path as a mother; I strive to raise my boys with mindfulness and compassion. I see parenting as a service to the world, especially when infused with love and consciousness.
5. What are you most grateful for in your life?
I am most grateful for my health and vitality, and that of my children. Every day we are grateful for a healthy lifestyle, abundant organic food, and loving relationships and the beauty that surrounds us.
6. What inspires you?
I find what inspires me most is seeing people live with passion and fire in their lives. Whether they are an entrepreneur, a health practitioner, a mother or a CEO of a huge corporation does not matter. What inspires me is seeing people with a burning desire to live in alignment with there unique full expression and heart. I love to see others shine via speaking to large groups, writing, performing or finding ways to spread love on huge levels.
Personally, I am inspired by health and vibrant living. I seek to open to more vitality and pleasure every day. I yearn to know myself deeply and share the gems of my personal transformations with others. I love to surround myself with like-minded folks. Community is very important to me.
7. How do you take care of yourself everyday so that you stay balanced and centered?
Every day I make time for myself to set intention and do some kind of movement and spiritual practice. I eat really nutritionally dense food and try to get enough sleep. I am sure to spend time with family and good friends often as my close relationships fuel me up with love and support. I cuddle a lot. I get outside in nature almost every day.
8. What are the most important things women can do for their health and nutrition?
As a health practitioner I often recommend that women start with keeping their blood sugar stable. Once this happens, everything seems to improve from there. Over a short time, their mood improves, their energy improves, their hormones stabilize, and they feel better in their bodies.
I also encourage people to connect with the food they eat, meaning where it is sourced from, if it is organic, and nutritionally dense. When people have a positive relationship with the food they eat, they seem to improve the relationship they have with themselves. I also recommend a lot of healthy pleasures!!
9. We’ve talked a lot about women and the feminine. What role do you see men play in supporting empowered women?
I believe that men are like sacred space holders for women. When women have supportive men in their lives, we seem to find a surplus of confidence and balance. These men could be partners, brothers, sons, or friends. They come in and sit in the seat of the divine masculine to meet the divine feminine in perfect synchronicity.
Thank you for sharing your insights, inspiration and wisdom Sue Van Raes.
Do you have an amazing and empowered woman in your own life that has helped open a door to healthier and happier living? If so, submit your entry here! I’d be happy to connect with both of you for the Empowered Woman Spotlight.
Like elephant journal on Facebook.
Ed: Bryonie Wise