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Finding The Gold In Life's Storms

A Testament To The Healing Power of Yoga and Community

To see the world through a lens of grace and to be able to stand within our own authenticity takes an internal strength of character and bravery. When you think of the word resilient, it often is characterized by toughness or the ability to survive when faced with unthinkable obstacles. Indeed, resilience is a harnessing of toughness, but to know the true meaning of resilience is to understand the ability to remain soft, vulnerable, and kind not despite the obstacles you have had to face, but because of them. Founder and owner of Resilient Soul Yoga Susan Smedley believes that going within to find your own strength and trusting your truth is how you hold space for others to witness and to learn to do the same. To be able to help others find their inner light within whatever storms they may face and to embrace their own resilience. 

To say that Susan is an inspiration of a woman, would not do her story or her mission to help others justice. She is a warrior in the most accurate sense of the word and a steward for others from all walks of life in more ways than one. Throughout her journey, she has faced and conquered mountains of her own and through it all, she has chosen to be a voice, an advocate, and a teacher; to live her life on purpose and without apology. As a lung cancer survivor, Susan considers herself extremely lucky to have been given an extra 26 years on this earth, of which she vowed to take full advantage and focuses on letting herself really live a life full of purpose and intention. 

“I made myself a promise that I would live bigger and that I would tell myself the truth about things and not be afraid to shine brighter and not live a smaller life in order to keep relationships or even jobs. And that key intention has really been a guiding force for me; to remember that time is limited here, and we don’t know what is around the corner and I want to truly LIVE while I am here.”

Finding yoga later in life, and as a result of her healing journey and path to living a life with authenticity, she recalls initially being drawn to the more physical aspects of the practice. As she began to attend class more frequently, she observed she started feeling better, had a more stabilized mood, and even began sleeping better. Experiencing some of the more internal and emotional benefits of yoga because of attending classes, she began developing a curiosity about what made yoga different and why it affected her differently than a gym workout with weights or say a Body Pump class. Building on that, she began to develop an interest in becoming a yoga teacher and further studied those benefits and effects she was noticing firsthand.

Throughout her years teaching yoga, she worked at a handful of studios in addition to her full-time non-profit job, and although she always believed in what yoga could offer to the community, she never saw herself becoming a studio owner. As Susan continued to teach more, she started witnessing a correlation between the work she was doing at the non-profit and the benefits that she knew yoga offered. As both a formerly burnt-out rape crisis worker and a cancer survivor, Susan felt a call to be a wellness resource for front-line workers and those currently facing a cancer diagnosis. Diving further into developing her knowledge and education, she was trained and certified in both yoga for first responders and yoga for cancer. She taught professionals on-site at her local fire and EMT departments and began integrating those practices into her work with patients, survivors, and thrivers alike, allowing them an opportunity to experience the healing benefits of yoga. Instilled with a strong pull to give back and help support those in need, she began weaving her yoga knowledge and breathwork techniques into her advocacy and non-profit work on a greater scale. This path to helping others heal inside and out led her to discover that this is where her heart lies. Susan’s goal is to help people heal, regardless of what happens with their cancer journey, or what individual storms they may face in their own lives, she knows that there are many other parts of us as human beings that get impacted by a cancer diagnosis or any kind of medical or personal trauma. That passion ignited within her, illuminated the road forward and helped her become clear on what it is she wanted to do with the rest of her professional life. 

As she began to search for a space to cultivate and create a haven in, Susan felt a strong pull to be downtown, within that vibrant community in the heart of Loveland. She envisioned a yoga studio to serve the local community, a place of peace and centering. When she first entered the space that would become Resilient Soul, she felt a neutral energy and when she walked upstairs into what now serves as the studio space, she began seeing that vision creating roots. She started focusing attention on how she could turn that neutral space into a place that feels warm, welcoming, grounding, and cozy. Partnering with Sage & Grace Botanicals, they began working on bringing Susan’s vision to life and building a studio that can be a respite for others. They built the space out in a 2.5-month period and really took the time to pour their love and purpose into each aspect of the studio and the space as a whole.

Resilient soul yoga is not only physically a beautiful space but is also reflective in speaking to the soul who Susan is. There is so much intention put into it every detail, and as you enter the space you feel the impact of that. The plants, the elements and medicine of nature, and the calm and grounding energy those offer allow you to feel a sense of ease and immediately exhale.

For Susan, success has a different definition than it used to. Her goal is to meet others where they are, to lead with integrity, and to be able to impact the lives of others from a place of truth and genuine care. Seeing the effect that the space and her studio community are having on people’s lives makes her feel like the luckiest person. To her, this is one of the greatest gifts, because it aligns with her personal goals and offers her the opportunity to be the steward for a space that is changing other’s lives. Susan’s ability to step into her own power and her own true self is giving others around her the permission to do the same. To honor and be our authentic selves is to shine brighter in a world where we are so often told to dim our light. 

“Taking what you are given, working with what you have and finding the gold in that, is something that speaks to the power of yoga, mindfulness, and community.”    

"Continue staying open hearted and look for the light, always look for the joy."

~Susan

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