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Susan Hough on Staying Connected with Spirit

Susan HoughBeing Called Back to Center

Even professional personal coaches need guidance themselves now and then. That's how Susan Hough, co-founder of Living Your Gifts and a facilitator for SOIL's upcoming Transform, Connect, and Heal Ritual Weekend, was feeling in the midst of her hectic schedule.

"I was preparing for an event, in the middle of a website redesign, and helping to put the finishing touches on another piece of work. My fire was running fast," Susan recalls. "I took a moment to calm myself, to center myself, and asked my ancestors for help. Actually, I asked them, 'I just need to know you are here, and that I am on the right path.'"

Below, Susan shares the response she got from that request and talks about the importance of always listening for spiritual advice. Together with Jennifer Halls of You know®, she'll be exploring that connection to spirit at Earthaven Ecovillage in May. Visit SOIL's program page to learn more about the Transform, Connect, and Heal Ritual Weekend and reserve your space.


Things in my own life have been topsy-turvy lately. I am truly so grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities and projects that I have going on, but let’s be honest — sometimes in the midst of busyness and change, we can begin to speed through life with a fiery passion, forgetting to calm ourselves, to re-center, and to go within.

And sometimes in the work that I do, it’s hard to remember to take my own advice. I was reminded last week of a vital message that we all must hold onto if we’re truly invested in aligning and connecting to our deepest selves. When we’re running a little wild or beginning to feel things going out of our control, maybe feeling a little upside down or sideways, we can always call on our trusted spirit advisors to bring us back to center.

Ritual eyes

And the most magical part is that, if we’ve taken the time and care to develop relationships with our spirit guides and ancestors, then we can trust that sometimes they will sense that we need them and show up to guide us back to ourselves.

An example of this very phenomenon came just last week, as I was full of energy and busier than ever. I was preparing for an event, in the middle of a website redesign, and helping to put the finishing touches on another piece of work. My fire was running fast. I took a moment to calm myself, to center myself, and asked my ancestors for help. Actually, I asked them, “I just need to know you are here, and that I am on the right path.”

All of a sudden, the clearest message came from the spirit world, specifically from my mom, Wanda. It was the piercing sound of a car horn, loud as can be.

When my mother was passing, and I was in the process of saying goodbye, I told her, "Mom, you need to let me know when you are going to be with me, I need to know that you will still be here, helping me."

She said, "Susan… You will know. I will blow a horn so loud, you will have no doubt that it’s me."

At her funeral, when I got up to give the eulogy, my friend’s car horn went off. And it didn’t stop — and we couldn’t shut it off. Wanda was speaking to me.

Spirit can work in that way. It can call us back to center, sending us messages through symbols and sounds and songs. Through dreams, through people speaking or using sayings from our ancestors that might be out of character for them, and through animals or signs.

But the important part is that we’re listening. That we’re listening and watching and aware all the time so that when our guides or ancestors are calling us back to center, back to ourselves, we are open to receive the message.

The Element of Fire teaches us to nurture our relationships with our guides and ancestors. It teaches us to have an open dialogue with those who protect and guide us. For me, cardinals remind me that my father’s spirit is nearby, and horns remind me of my mother’s guiding presence. (And if you knew my mother, you would understand!)

Take this opportunity to call in your own guides and ask them to show you how they will communicate with you on this earth. And then be open to receiving their loving (or loud) messages as you navigate the ups, the downs, the topsy, and the turvy.

Susan Hough is the co-founder of Living Your Gifts, an integrated personal coaching practice in Long Beach, California. Susan is a CTI-certified Life Coach with a BSW and over thirty years of experience in the traditional therapeutic healing fields, specializing in working with women, families, and teens. She has completed healing and ritual trainings with Mietek Wierkus, Mary Branch Grove, Jennifer Halls, and internationally renowned African spiritualist Sobonfu Somé. Susan is a graduate of Sobonfu's Ritual Healing Village and was mentored by her for 16 years. Susan combines traditional training with a connection to spirit and indigenous wisdom in her transformational coaching.

Learn more about the Transform, Connect, and Heal Ritual Weekend, taking place May 4–6, at this program page. Remember to subscribe to SOIL’s newsletter for the latest program announcements, sustainability tips, and radical inspiration.

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