Cultivating creativity


Have you ever had a goal in mind and just wished and prayed and hoped that you could attain it?

I have.

Susan Bernstein - Hay House Movers & Shakers Video EntryI remember how shocked an honored I was to have been chosen as a Hay House Mover & Shaker back in May, 2010. Hay House ran a contest, asking participants who had been through the Movers & Shaker’s Program, now called the Speak, Write & Promote program, to submit a video with your important message. I spent a lot of time with my friend, Robert Ellis of Futurosity, getting my video submission just right. Still, I wondered if I had a chance to win with my core message about maximizing your ROLE, your Return On Life Energy, as a way to create work that fits.

Lucky for me, I won! Initially, the prize was a one-month radio show, essentially four episodes. I’m very honored to have had the initial run be three months, with many extensions. All in all, I will have been sharing my wisdom on careers on Hay House for nine magical months.

I hope that you’ll tune in to internet radio’s at 8 am Pacific (11 am Eastern) on Thursday, June 30, when I broadcast the Work from Within show for the final time on Hay House Radio. Of course, I would love to take your calls with questions about any career related issues. You can get free guidance from me by calling 866-254-1579 in the US and Canada, and 760-918-4300 internationally.

It’s been very meaningful to host the Work from Within show, and to have guests like Pamela Slim, Shakti Gawain, Marc Allen, and Joan Borysenko to share their wisdom. I feel both sad and proud for the show to be ending. Sigh…

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Category : Cultivating creativity | Expressing yourself | ROLE - Return On Life Energy | Sharing my personal journey | Blog

How do you get out of your head? One of my favorite ways to “take the elevator down” from my cerebral cortex to my toes is to DANCE! I especially love freeform movement. In contrast to the systems and processes required to run my own business, I crave outlets that let me get out of my head and into my body.

So, in August, I boogied down to the Esalen Institute, a personal development retreat center on the rugged Big Sur coast for a workshop of Soul Motion with my gracious and graceful teachers, Zuza Engler and Scott Engler. I moved and grooved, sweated profusely, and got in touch with my heart in a big, juicy way. (By the way, I’m teaching a workshop there December 5-10! Check it out on their calendar )

And, as I always seem to do at Esalen, I connected with great people. One of them is Mary Pinozotto, who is a total original. One day, Mary asked our group to help her film a video. I was feeling emotionally tender that day, so I hid from the camera. But I was intrigued over dinner, as she edited the video to post the next day. I asked her what she was doing.

“Oh, I’m recording one dance video every day.”

What!?! That’s pretty amazing. Where does she get inspired? What keeps her going? I was intrigued. She told me about dancing at Wal-Mart. And with Hells’ Angels. And in nature. And in so many different ways. Short dance. Long dances. And then the artistry of editing all of these.

Well, of course I asked to interview her for this blog. Here’s a woman who’s following her heart and her art. As she says in the audio interview I had with her, she’s becoming the person she’s dreamed herself to be.

To me, when we move, we change. Mary is in the flow of change, and I hope you’ll listen to her wisdom if you are in a place of transition, and craving a more authentic, creative life.

Listen to my interview with Mary

I hope you’ll enjoy the interview, with some key highlights about:
- moving emotions out and through the body; the metaphors in movement (I know about that from the Get A Move On! cards)
- dealing with money, and cherishing what you have
- increasing your ability to learn notice new things
- dedication and staying with something with discipline; sinking your teeth in
- listening for the creative inspiration

I’ve also posted a few of Mary’s amazing dance videos. Do they make you want to get up and move your body? C’mon! It’s OK. Go ahead! Join the dance!

Video 1: About the Freebox Blog

Video 2: To Sheryl Crow’s I Shall Believe

Video 3: From a Hafiz poem

I hope this inspires you!  If you want to view Mary’s blog, The Freebox, visit

Wishing you delicious rhythmic journeys,


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Category : Activities to get you moving & changing | Building connections & community | Clarifying & manifesting what you want | Cultivating creativity | Expressing yourself | Get A Move On! | Inspire yourself | Money | Navigating changes | Sharing my personal journey | Uncategorized | Blog

I feel like a Yiddishe momma — I just kvell.  I’m filled with pride to the point of tears.  I give myself a pat on the back!  And I do the happy dance!

After months of effort — planning, writing, getting guidance from a media consulant, a branding expert, and a graphic designer, and so on, and so on — the new Work from Within website is finally here! I’m thrilled to show you around!

hearthandsOverall, the new website has more of an emphasis on what I call “embodied intelligence.” You see, with our world changing so much, it can feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. That’s unsettling. I help you to find your source of calm, clarity, and confidence that is within you. That way, you can get unstuck and get moving and accomplishing.

Sometimes, raw intellect isn’t enough to guide you in the ever-changing world. You need to be able to trust your gut or listen to your heart. But how? When you develop your embodied intelligence, it’s like finding your inner compass, so you know how to navigate the world. My expertise in as a PhD in Somatic (mind/body) Psychology, combined with nearly two decades of corporate experience at companies including Intel and Accenture, allows me to bring you perspective and the practices that will help you navigate changes more easily.

I hope that you’ll explore the new Work from Within website so you can find all the resources I’ve created to help you breathe easier about the future, step into greater clarity about your next moves, and embody self-confidence from head to toe.

So, let’s take a visit together!

New Work from Within Website Home pageLet’s start by looking at the Home Page. You’ll see a great Flash animation that helps you get an overview of what Work from Within is all about…Life is more chaotic and uncertain than ever. How do you find your way in the world? Get free. Get clear. Get moving. It all comes together when you Work from Within.  You can read a description, too, and can explore new products (like the Get A Move On! cards) and catch up on News about Work from Within, like the October 10 & 11 workshop, Create Work That Truly Fits for You.

You’ll be able to find out about what Work from Within means, and the Work from Within Philosophy, more about me, Dr. Susan Bernstein.

The new website also features great new workshops and speaking engagements I have created. I’d love to host one for your organization, so just get in touch!

I’m reaching out to help more and more people and organizations with services to navigate work and life changes.  That means I’m offering individual coaching, corporate coaching, coaching for entrepreneurs, and even training coaches on the Work from Within practices and perspectives!  Check out these new services, and let me know if I can help you, too!

I’ve been mentioned in the media more and more, like the San Jose Mercury News, and love sharing my expertise widely, so if you are writing a story for the media, contact me on topics including:

  • The psychological and physiological impact of work and life transitions (like layoffs, starting a new jobs)
  • Tools for breathing easier about the future
  • Ways to find greater clarity in the midst of chaos and uncertainty
  • Practices for embodying self-confidence

I know that not everyone has the chance to work with me personally, so I’ve created tools so that you can get the best of my expertise, and you can listen and learn with me at your convenience. So the new website has a store, and you’ll find there:

Of course, the new Work from Within website has this great blog (OK, I’m biased!) and that’s full of great information. Additionally, I’ve created a wealth of resources for you to read articles on how to work from within, listen to interviews with me on issues about transitions, get recommendations on resources for learning more about the mind-body connection and transitions, and sign up to receive the Work from Within eNewsletter via email.

It’s a full body of work, this new website.  I hope you’ll jump in, explore. Let me know what you think of the new Work from Within website! Please do leave a comment, below!

Just like your body, the Work from Within website is ever-evolving!



Susan Bernstein, MBA PhD

Life/Work Transition Expert

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Category : Cultivating creativity | Expressing yourself | Get A Move On! | Products & services I suggest | Sharing my personal journey | Blog

I just bought a new Flip Mino HD video and with the help of my friend (and great financial planner), Celeste Mirassou, we shot a quick holiday video for you.

You see, I don't want you to get caught in the doom and gloom of things like foreclosures, financial losses, and layoffs.

It's time for a message of

I believe what's essential right now, to keep on the positive side of life, are three things: Connections, celebration, and seeing creative possibilities.

I hope you enjoy this very simple message, home-spun, low-tech, and authentically from my heart.

How this message makes you feel?  What does it inspire you to do or express in 2009?  Go ahead, express yourself!  Post a comment with your thoughts and impressions.

Celebrating your divine spark,


Dr. Susan Bernstein
Coach, Speaker & Author
Work From Within, LLC

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Category : Building connections & community | Changing your mind | Cultivating creativity | Expressing yourself | Inspire yourself | Navigating changes | Blog

In our current financial climate, you might be feeling nervous about your jo
b.  That's natural.  The uncertainty about what could happen scares you.  You start to wonder "what's going to happen next?"  Then, you're likely to spin catastrophic fantasies about the possibilities.  "What if…" (you fill in the blank…"I lose my job," "I can't make the rent payments," "I have to stop eating out" — you get the picture)

With the Dow dropping and the car companies crashing and financial services firms fizzling, you're not likely to imagine a future of lavish wealth, flying on Lear jets, sipping champagne.

But you could envision these, and create something fantastic for yourself.  I'm not being flippant or insane.  Just a bit outrageous. 


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Category : Activities to get you moving & changing | Becoming more aware | Changing your mind | Cultivating creativity | Meaningful work | Navigating changes | Blog

I'm excited to introduce you to Jenna Mahina, who left work as a community relations program manager at a Silicon Valley high-tech company to become an artist and workshop leader.  This high-energy woman has charm and chutzpah, all rolled up into a fun package.  She's all about igniting and celebrating authenticity. 

But, for a while, Jenna felt really stuck in work that she was good at — but no longer loved.  She looked into her heart and took a leap of faith.  Faith in herself and a positive outcome.  And she's loving her new life, outside the toil of seemingly non-stop meetings and activities that no longer challenged her nor held meaning.  It was time for a change, and Jenna listened to the voice within that told her to move along. 

Here's a bit of Jenna's story:

How did you get into your former career as a community relations program manager?

As early as age 7
when I did the March of Dimes Walk-a-thon, I always loved helping people. 
I was already doing the job as a volunteer for several years and insisting the
company make a formal role for me.  As the saying goes, “the squeaky wheel
get the oil.”


Jenna, what did you dislike about your former career?

A lot of the tasks I was skilled at, enjoyed doing and that kept me
happy at my job were replaced by meetings where I discussed what other people
did.  Also because of the change in responsibilities I lost the one-on-one
interactions with employees, which was a large part of what made my job
meaningful to me.


So what was your impetus for change?

In the year leading up to the change, I had a lot of personal
challenges.  As I reflected on what was important to me, I realized that
my current career didn’t allow for a life that balanced my whole self.  I
wanted more freedom to focus on things that are important to all aspects of who
I am, not just work.


What are you doing now?

I’m exploring many aspects of my creativity!  I started a venture called Intoxicated Soul, and have been selling my artwork there, as well as at my local farmer’s market.  Intoxicated Soul is a vehicle for my photography and my workshops.  It's also an e-commerce site and I write my own blog.  People can also find out about the empowering workshops I lead, including one I'm offering on September 20 at Fort Mason in San Francisco, called Autumn Soulebration: Celebrating Our True Selves.   It's a time to laugh, share, giggle, envision, eat and celebrate the abundance of the autumn season.

And, I'm simply doing more things that I love, like swimming with whales, going ATV quadding for the first time in a year, spending more time at the ocean, and being with my family.

What do you love about what you are doing now?

I love the freedom — of my schedule, my time, and who I spent my time with.  I also love having the ability to express my creativity freely.  And, I'm proud of my courage to step outside my comfort zone.



I love how inspiring Jenna is!  She loves dwelling in what's possible.  I've seen that when she runs into an obstacle, she turns it around…or rolls over it, like in the ATVs (all-terrain vehicles…four-wheelers) she loves to ride. 

Thanks, Jenna, for inspiring all of us! 

YOU can meet Jenna!   She's part of a panel discussion called

Follow a More Authentic Career Path

Date:  Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Time:  6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Location:  San Francisco's Fort Mason.
Registration:  $55.   Ensure your space by registering online.

Hope to meet you there!  You can also meet others who've made big career changes, including Jeff Kennedy (attorney to HR consultant), Todd Kelly (tax manager to marketing consultant) and Ande Scheinker (event planner to culinary explorer).

Celebrating change!


Dr. Susan Bernstein
Coach, Speaker & Author

Work From Within, LLC


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Category : Building connections & community | Cultivating creativity | Expressing yourself | Inspire yourself | Meaningful work | Blog

Some of my dear readers may not know that, in addition to helping people who are at a career crossroads saying "I don't know what's next!" I also help people who DO know what they want to do next, but they're not sure how to find it.

So if you, or someone you know is looking for a job and feeling overwhelmed or lost about the job search process, I've created a pretty jazzy little widget (made it all myself using SproutBuilder) to help explain the way out of job search hell. Well, OK, maybe job search isn't THAT bad, but if
You don't know what to do for your job search each day…or
You're hating looking on the search engines and coming up empty-handed, or
You're seeking a job that's a little out of the ordinary…these are all great reasons to check out the Job Search Gym.

The widget has links to a video I made, audio clips of past participants in the Job Search Gym, and a bunch of free resources. I hope you enjoy this!

Oh, and if the widget's not showing in your browser, check out

Happy job searching!


Dr. Susan Bernstein
Coach, Speaker & Author

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Category : Cultivating creativity | Inspire yourself | Navigating changes | Searching for a job | Sharing my personal journey | Blog

What’s more fun than connecting people to the work they love?

Getting to do it with people who care about something important…like green and sustainable causes.

This weekend, I attended the Washington DC Green Festival.
It was incredible!  Over 300 exhibitors who introduced me to green products, helped me understand green causes, and allowed me to hear amazing speakers, like Medea Benjamin and Francis Moore Lappe,
Riane Eisler, Hunter Lovins, and even Ralph Nader!  Wow!

I was so impressed with the degree of green-friendliness of this mega event.  I bet there were at least 15,000 people who attended, and whether you sampled food or had any waste to dispose, volunteers were stationed everywhere to help you sort your trash so that you could compost or recycle or sigh, send it to a landfill.  I discovered that chewing gum is not compostable.  Sigh.

As a Life, Career & Money Coach, I recognize that people come to me when they want jobs that are filled with meaning.  And, one of the areas of great meaning today is the whole notion of "green" and "sustainable."  So, one of the groups of people I really love to help are those who are considering green careers.  By helping people who are interested in our environment, including the air, water, and land, I am doing my part to preserve the planet.  And, hey, when I help people to find their work from within, I am jazzed to be able to guide them from feeling down, dejected, and bored to feeling joyful.  That feels good!

Anyway…I was thrilled to present to an audience of about 60 on Interviewing Authentically, the title of a 114-page workbook I offer on my website that has 24 activities to help job seekers really prepare for interviews.  What a turned on group, all eager to learn how to connect with their passion and share that with an interviewer.  We talked about the whole idea of beginning with the end in mind, and I shared some activities to help people get clearer about what to say in interviews, without having to "sell" themselves.  In fact, afterwards, a man came up to me and told me that he was so happy to know he could find his authentic truth and share it with an interviewer!  Yes, yes, inspiration makes it circle, and we share it, in our own unique way, authentically.  Love it!

For those of you who could not make it, three key messages of Interviewing Authentically include:

(1) Begin with the end in mind — start seeing yourself already in the job, and use that as inspiration to connect your past work experience to your future at the organization.

(2) Know how you can add value to an organization — share stories using vivid details that help you really make a point about how your past experience allows you to make a meaningful contribution to your (hopefully) future employer. 

(3) Make the interview a conversation, not an interrogation.  In other words, remember that you have power in the interview.  Don’t let it become a ping pong match…make it about assessing fit, and be sure to ask questions to help you ensure you’re getting into a workplace that works for you!

More on the GreenFestival later this week…in the meantime, a question for you…

What keeps you from being authentic in an interview?

Authentically yours,

Susan Bernstein
Life, Career & Money Coach
Work From Within, LLC

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Category : Becoming more aware | Building connections & community | Changing your mind | Cultivating creativity | Expressing yourself | Meaningful work | Navigating changes | Sharing my personal journey | Blog

I love reading the fortunes that come in my fortune cookies.  I love imagining the possibilities that these miniature missives create in my life.  I’m inspired by a fortune cookie story from one of my clients.  I really appreciate that she took the time to share her story with me.  I’ve asked her permission to share it more broadly, because I know how powerful those little slips of paper in fortune cookies can be. 

I’d like to share how a fortune cookie can help you manifest what you want in the world. 

Last week, one of my clients emailed me and said that she had gone to eat Chinese food after one of our coaching sessions.  She opened her fortune cookie and it said, "You have the strength to overcome obstacles on your way to success."  Somehow, that message felt aligned with a coaching conversation we had had about her work/life circumstances.  Later that week, she ate Chinese food again.  This time, her fortune cookie message was "You will conquer obstacles to achieve success." 

I got a great laugh and an uplifting burst of energy when I read this client’s "fortune cookie" email.  Why?  When I go out for Chinese food, I crack open my fortune cookies with an air of mystery and playfulness.  I wonder what will be inside?  What is coming in my future?  I keep Fortune_cookiethe best fortunes and post them on my refrigerator.  These little missives feel like a reminder of the things I want for myself.  I read the words regularly, and they increase my energy.  They include messages like "You have the strength and determination for great accomplishments." 

So, here’s a thought.  What about making your own Manifestation Cookies? I encourage you to gather a group of friends and write your own words of wisdom and motivation on colorful slips of paper.  What is it you want to manifest?  Ease?  Prosperity?  Connection?  Fun?  Whatever you want, write it in the form of a brief message, with fortune cookie sensibilities, like "You will soon be united with the life partner you deeply desire" or "You are about to go on a fun and meaningful adventure."

You might each of you write own batch of motivational messages and then bake them and take them home.  Or, you might randomly put the messages into the cookies you bake.  Then, you can mix up the final batch of fortune cookies and exchange them with others, so you each receive a whole set of doses of inspiration from the group. 

You don’t have to wait until you eat Chinese food to enjoy these positive affirmations.  Let them nourish you in a moment when you need them.  Give yourself the time to taste and digest the cookie, and time to sense and imagine the reality you are creating from the affirmation you’re taking in. 

When you’re ready to bake your batch of manifestation cookies, here’s a fun fortune cookie recipe from Cooks Magazine.  Enjoy!

Happy, yummy manifesting!

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Category : Activities to get you moving & changing | Changing your mind | Clarifying & manifesting what you want | Cultivating creativity | Blog


Yesterday, I was feeling particularly stuck, mind revolving around the same set of thoughts again and again, going nowhere.  Hamster wheels, turning, churning.  And, oy, the sensations of stuckness, like being a 1000 pound sack of flour, one I could barely drag around.  Do you know that feeling?

Fortunately, every Saturday morning, I take part in a moving meditation practice, 5Rhythms.  In an old Masonic Center Hall in Larkspur, California, I let my body simply take in a wide range of music and move for two solid hours.  And that movement creates change.  Whew! I got out of my head for while.  Felt so much relief.  Felt present again.  Felt like I belonged somewhere.

I was with my people!  Aha!  It’s community that such a great support in the midst of change.  When we’re going through changes, it’s so healthy to be supported by others. 

Bdaydance_3I feel blessed to dance with a group of people where most everyone involved cares deeply about authenticity.  They let themselves be themselves.  It’s like in the movie, The Family Stone, where the stoner brother tells his potential sister-in-law, "You have the freak flag, you just don’t fly it."  Here, at the dance, people fly their freak flags!  They shimmy.  Rock.  Jump.  Skip.  Roll.  Play.  Shake.  Their bodies tell the stories of what’s happening on the inside.  And it’s OK to share that on the outside, because everyone’s doing exactly that.  Each in their own way.

By being with people who love to move their bodies and listen within, I feel like I am with "my people." My tribe understands me, because we are similar.  And, after dance, when I talk about the ideas I have, for bringing movement in the world of business and careers, they don’t think I’m crazy.  They encourage me.  Many of them have done similar things with their lives.  Like the software executive turned massage therapist.  Or the writer whose best-selling books parallel elements of her life.  Or the guy who loves introducing people to inner and outer nature and became a wilderness guide and therapist. 

Where is your tribe?  Maybe you can find it on or MySpace or even LinkedIn, which I recommend.  That’s great!  I certainly have my virtual community all over the world, and staying in touch by phone and email feels good.  But there’s something about the resonance of being with your peeps in person, you know? 

When you are considering a change, or are new to a career, new to a way of life, or just in exploration mode, it’s so important to reach out and find the people who "get" you.  When I was contemplating divorce, for example, I talked to people who were divorced.  I had to seek them out, because as a married person, I tended to hang out with other married people.  From those divorced folks, I wanted to hear their stories of surviving a breakup.  Their journeys ultimately gave me the courage to make a much-needed but sad change. 

The phrase "no man is an island" (no woman, either!) really makes sense when it comes to change.  It feels good to be understood.  It feels good to be heard.  It feels good to move and groove with people who like to do the same things you do. 

Go forth and find your community!  And I invite you to be part of the Work from Within community.  If these blog postings resonate with you, I invite you to add yourself to the growing community of readers of the monthly Work from Within eNewsletter.

Keep moving with your people!

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Category : Cultivating creativity | Expressing yourself | Mind/body/spirit | Navigating changes | Sharing my personal journey | Blog