Suzanne Schevene interviewed by Jade Shutes, founder of The East-West School for Herbal & Aromatic Studies
What brought you to the study of aromatherapy and natural lifestyles?
Actually I was drawn to them at the Seattle Health and Wellness Expo in 1990. My children were little and I wanted to raise them in the healthiest way possible – oh the stories I could tell of the rock solid birthday cakes I made as I began the journey into whole grains. But I digress.
Aromatherapy caught my attention at such a deep level that it is a bit hard to describe, but similar to finding something that had been a part of your life long, long ago and you are being reunited. Not a conscious remembering, but more of a soul recognition.
That opened to door to the study of wellness in all its forms and I’ve been on that journey ever since.
What inspired you to create your line of products?
So many of us have had the experience of living in survival mode. And many are feeling complete with that and ready to move on into actually thriving and upleveling the quality of life. My piece in this to-date has been offering and teaching personal empowerment through energy work. But that only reaches those who are drawn to energy work.
So the question became how else can I support this process? Aromatherapy was a natural choice. I’ve seen and experienced the benefits over many years and it felt like it was time to let some of my blends go public. It was actually more of a deep impulse than a strategic business plan.
How did you come up with the name and the line of products?
What we are doing now globally is awakening to the essence of who we are. And tapping into that essence has been at the heart of my work for years. That is what my business (Awakening Essence) is about: Supporting women to be fully and deeply connected to Self so they can easily access their own power and wisdom within resulting in full presence and complete participation in their life.
It is also describes the blends – they are essences to help awaken and strengthen your innate qualities such as Insight, Relatedness, Presence … so I kept the same name. Down the road I may need to change the business name from Awakening Essence to Expressing Your Essence, but again I digress.
The line of blends actually grew out of some of the energy work that I offer (EMF Balancing Technique). The focus of the work is moving into your next level of balance with the end result being personal empowerment. The foundational sessions balance your head and heart for better decision making, release past ties that no longer serve you so you can reclaim your energy, teach you to stand in your core power and step out to create those things you want. Creating blends to support that process was a natural step – and turned into the Heart and Soul Kit which includes Harmonious Hum, Purity, Stillness and Inspired Action.
The next set of sessions revolve around stepping into Mastery of those attributes or qualities you want to bring forth in your life, such as Trust, Patience, Joyfulness, Courage…. Again creating blends to support that process was what I was drawn to do. I love being able to strengthen my Confidence when I’m really not feeling it, or heading into a work project with my Focus on.
Would you benefit from being more Compassionate with yourself, which would lead to more compassion with others? What if you were able to have more Patience with yourself – how might that ripple out into the world?
I think we’re at a time when we are opening up to a more authentic lifestyle, and we are learning how to step into our mastery of life beyond survival. These are attributes, or qualities, that I believe we all deeply long for in our lives. I believe these blends will be of great assistance in that realm.
What importance do you place on quality of materials that go into your product line?
Quality materials results in a quality product! The purer, the better – simple as that. My ingredients list is simply essential oils and rice bran oil as a carrier – it soaks in nicely and I’ve never met anyone that had an allergic reaction to it. Everything is made in small batches and kept in the refrigerator. As much as possible I use organic or wild crafted but in any case, they are all medicinal grade essential oils. Nothing synthetic.
We are so inundated with pollutants and toxins it’s astounding. I encourage everyone to learn more about what it is they are putting on and in their body and environment. And then choose wisely. And also realize that your choices teach to and affect future generations.
What is your vision for your business?
My vision is to step out and collaborate with others in upleveling our understanding and lived experience of holistic wellness in all its forms so that we can each live the life we deeply long for and contribute in the greatest way possible.
And by utilizing our holistic intelligence we gain access to deeper levels of connection, care, creativity and wellbeing knowing that as we step into our authenticity even more, we support others to do the same.
Exactly how that will look I don’t know – I am open to the possibilities that are bigger than what I can see in this moment. I am simply taking one step at a time, focused on the broader vision of being in service to our awakening.
Could you share a bit about your book?
Absolutely. Thank you for asking. Generating Joy: Release the Struggle, Embrace the Mystery was a project I took on in 2011 as a way of helping people begin to shift from the belief that life is a struggle to one of inquiry, possibility and opportunity. It’s written in bite size pieces, so you can open it to any page and find thoughts and questions to ponder, meditate with or journal around. And I decided from the beginning that even if it helped only one person increase their awareness and joy in life, I would call it a success. The feedback has been wonderful, so I’m calling it a success, right here, right now! It’s available at your local book seller or on Amazon – and here are Sample Pages – Generating Joy
And anything else you would like to share…….
I want to express my deep appreciation for your work over so many years. Your courses and newsletters have certainly supported me in my learning throughout the years – I still have my 1998 edition of your course, along with all the updates, of course. And your new online format is wonderful! Thank you for what you do and for your commitment to do it so well – it’s so important.