A Transformational Field Guide through Trauma and Loss
When her beloved husband took his life, and with it her life as she knew it, Suzanne Anderson faced a choice: would she be broken down and defeated, or broken open and transformed?
Part memoir, part guidebook, You Make Your Path by Walking accompanies readers on the journey through the barren landscape of trauma and grief, offering comfort, guidance, and inspiration to make meaning out of loss.
Whether you are going through a personal dark night or struggling with these uncertain and disruptive global times, this book offers a proven pathway to allow the breaking down to be the breaking open into a whole new way of living, loving, and leading.
Drawing from her years of exploration into the development of human potential and her shattering lived journey of loss, Suzanne guides you to make your own path through the darkest of times and to become a light in the world that others can look to in their own times of need.
You Make Your Path by Walking offers the blueprint for how to move through the chaos, confusion and uncertainty of trauma and loss – whether personal or collective – with grace and resilience.
It is our time to become living embodiments of a new human story. We must create a womb of becoming for ourselves and others beyond victimhood and being knocked down by the complexity and uncertainty of our times. What Suzanne Anderson offers in You Make Your Path by Walking is a marvelous pathway to become the possible human through the challenging circumstances in our lives. Reading this remarkable book will put you on the path of becoming all that you can and must be in these extraordinary times.”
— Jean Houston, PhD, author of The Possible Human, The Search for the Beloved and A Passion for the Possible
The Path I Walked
In December 2012, after 12 years of research in our university women’s leadership programs guiding women into the next level of their potential, my co-author Dr. Susan Cannon and I completed the first draft of our book – The Way of The Mysterial Woman: Upgrading How You Live, Love and Lead.
We were ready to find a publisher. Life had other plans. On January 3rd, 2013 my husband took his life and with it he took my life as I knew it.
Within 6 months all the outer structures of my life were shattered and gone. And while I had no certainty how I would get through this devastation I had absolute certainty that I would walk the Way of the Mysterial Woman using all of my Feminine and Masculine strengths. In the alchemical heat of this unimaginable circumstance I actually fully embodied the Mysterial woman who I had spent years researching and guiding women toward.
This new book picks up where The Way of the Mysterial Woman leaves off as a memoir about how, over the past nine years, I lived into the 8 Mysterial Meta-Capacities that we identified in the final chapter of our first book as capacities we were just starting to see emerging in women. It is a guide book for anyone going through disruption, trauma, loss and uncertainty. And in these tumultuous times I think that is just about everyone.
Part One of the book begins with a myth that I have written about my experience through trauma and loss that brings my personal experience into an archetypal heroine’s journey. In this section of the book I take the reader through how I met my husband David, my life with him before his death and then the tragic circumstances of his death.
Part Two guides the reader through how I made my path by walking in the Mysterial Way in the first year using the 8 Mysterial Meta-Capacities. Each chapter begins with a definition of a Mysterial Meta-Capacity and an Evolutionary Invitation – a poetic invitation for readers to imagine themselves on the edge of evolution expressing these capacities. Then I tell a personal story that shows the embodiment of each of those capacities.
Part Three is my journey from the second year to the present, as I step by step made my way through the darkness and into a new life. It shows the Mysterial Meta-Capacities arising together in an integrated way of being. This section goes into how I rebuilt my life, the inner work and rituals required to digest my own wounded shadow parts, and the reentry into an intimate relationship. I offer some broader perspectives and tools for transforming through the alchemical fires of trauma, change, and loss. The book ends with the final words of the Myth.
This is a gift for anyone navigating life toward greater sovereignty, purposefulness, and freedom from self-limiting cultural norms. The nuanced, authentic, and hard-earned discoveries this book shares offer pathways to greater joy, fulfillment and liberation, and reveal the inspiring power of a woman’s fierce determination to live life fully—and above all, whole-heartedly.
— Nina Simons, cofounder and chief relationship officer of Bioneers.org and author of Nature, Culture & the Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership.
From the fire of personal trauma, Suzanne Anderson was forced to find a path through the ashes of devastation—unexpectedly testing her own groundbreaking teachings in her acclaimed previous book The Way of the Mysterial Woman. Her storytelling is gripping, her guidance clear. If you have ever experienced a shattering trauma or want to help someone through loss and heartbreak, this is the field guide for you.”
– Gail Hudson, writing coach and New York Times best-selling coauthor, with Jane Goodall, of The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times and Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants
We live in a world rife with endings. Suzanne gives us hard-won, grounded guide stones with which to navigate the territory of loss and grief…A serious, honest, courageous book.”
— Barbara Cecil; author Coming Into Your Own: A Woman’s Guide Through Life Transitions
Suzanne Anderson weaves an exquisite tapestry of love, hope, and healing…With courage, grace, and wisdom, she demonstrates how, regardless of our circumstances, individually and collectively, we hold the power to heal, envision, and create a better world.”
— Donna Stoneham, PhD, author of Catch Me When I Fall: Poems of Mother Loss and Healing and The Thriver’s Edge: Seven Keys to Transform the Way You Live, Love, and Lead
It’s impossible to read this book without being profoundly moved and forever changed. Masterful. Magical. Devastatingly honest and irresistibly compelling. As Anderson guides us through her underworld, navigating the trauma of her husband’s suicide, her heroine’s journey becomes our own. I found myself revisiting my own traumas to experience a depth of healing that has eluded my best efforts at reconciliation for decades. This is a book that doesn’t just change our lives, it can renew them.”
— Will Wilkinson, author of Now or Never and co-author of Thriving in Business and Life
“You Make Your Path By Walking offers an absorbing story of how a life changing tragedy experienced by the author sparked a life affirming journey. When her beloved husband of many years suddenly commits suicide, she had a choice. She could succumb to the dark forces unleashed by his death or confront them. She chose the latter, ultimately elevating herself to a higher, stronger level of consciousness. Anderson writes a candid account of her struggle to grapple with the reality of her marriage and the leviathan effort of building a new life. Throughout the process she drew upon her deep spirituality, the love of friends and the Mysterial Woman principles she taught in her professional life. The result is a poignant, instructive, and inspirational read.”
— Julie Benezet. author of The Journey of Not Knowing: How 21st Century Leaders Can Chart a Course Where There Is None
“This book has the means to touch your heart, open your mind and give you access to the journey through the eyes of a wisdom keeper. I have been so touched by Suzanne’s gift of language and her wisdom of navigating the underworld. What a beautiful piece of work! Thank you for sharing your journey, and allowing me to learn from you. Only a Scorpio can take you into the realms of death with such fearlessness!”
— Debra Silverman, astrologer and author of The Missing Element: Inspiring Compassion for the Human Condition
Poetry was a vital component of my own healing, and I am deeply grateful for the guiding voices of the many poets, alive and dead, who held me, reassured me, reminded me, and inspired me along my path. A good poem engages both the seen and the unseen, feelings and thoughts, and speaks to where you are in a way that isn’t as accessible through daily language. A good poem can also hold the vision of the future when your own eyes cannot see very far.
Choose a poem as a healing tincture for a period of time and take it deeply into yourself by printing it out, putting it on your phone, reading it daily, and perhaps even committing it to memory.
Please click below for a list of the poems that held me tight during the darkest nights and were a guiding light on my path back home.
Poetry list coming soon…
The World I Left Behind and the World I Dreamed into Being
The images below will be more meaningful if you have read the book
Our magical Vashon Island sanctuary and the antique Indonesian buildings that David brought over from Java. The ancient stones and urns from China added another layer of substance and beauty to the experience of being in another world.
My cat Emma found sanctuary here with us, as did the feral cat Bodhi who sat vigil with Emma in her final hours. An altar I set up on the beach of Fern Cove where, along with dear friends and family, I released his ashes a year after he died in a ritual process.
The Equinox descent and return ritual before The Way of the Mysterial Woman was published, and the launch celebration when it finally occurred. My Seattle sanctuary, a place for healing. A powerful collage that held the energy and vision for my re-emergence back into the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suzanne Anderson, MA
Suzanne Anderson, MA, is the founder of The Mysterial Woman, a psychologist, author, coach, leadership consultant, and transformational teacher. Her pioneering work in guiding others to awaken their full Feminine and Masculine strengths combines insights and practices from ancient wisdom, depth psychology, and modern neuroscience. She has dedicated the past thirty years to decoding an embodied, integral, and accelerated archetypal pathway to unlock the next level of our innate potential. Combining her graduate studies in women’s developmental psychology together with her decades as a leadership consultant, Suzanne wisely guides women to awaken to the next level of consciousness and leadership capacity, making the changes in themselves they want to shape in the world. She facilitates global online programs, workshops, and retreats, and is the coauthor of the triple award-winning book The Way of the Mysterial Woman: Upgrading How You Live, Love, and Lead. Originally from Canada, Suzanne now lives in Seattle, WA.