Wise Women Wednesday: Susan Reinecke

Susan Reinecke in South Africa

It's Wise Women Wednesday, each week I interview a woman that I believe is inspiring, living abundantly and following her passions.  These are all women who live a life of abundance and bring creativity into the world.

Q. Who are you? What is your background?  
A. Susan Reinecke
My background is quite eclectic- in terms of education:
BA Psychology, UNC-Chapel Hill
MEd Theatre Education, UNC-Greensboro
MFA Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College (Vermont)
EdM Human Development and Psychology, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, (Massachusetts)

I have lived, taught, performed and directed in NC, NYC, NJ, VT, OR, CA, and a summer in HI.

For most of my life I worked in theatre, mostly with youth. This included teaching at 2 public schools, 2 private schools, a community college, and several arts organizations where I was a teaching artist.  

Q. What is your work?
A. Currently I work at the Center for Creative Leadership as a faculty member with the newly forming Societal Advancement team. I work in the educational sector helping develop greater leadership capacity.

Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. As part of my job, I was brought into an incredible project in which a private school has been working on systemic change and has implemented leadership development throughout the school. This has included working with all faculty and staff to introduce more facilitative approaches in the classroom and it has given me the opportunity to merge a lot of my pieces together through co-designing content and tools to use in training.

Susan and Chewie

Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. I ran my first marathon. It was in Alaska and while I do not define myself as a “runner,” it was a great way to tick 2 items off of my bucket list.

Q.  What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it?  If not why not what's stopping you?  
A. I have several ideas for creative work I would like to be doing: some performance work, a writing project and a workshop I would like to develop. All of these would be separate and distinct from my current job. I am temporarily on hold because I am just a few months into a new job and am still settling in to the transition and the traveling.  

Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Stay open, you never know where the next road may lead you.

Susan performing at Common Grounds

Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. Trust that everything is as it should be. This is a constant reminder that even when it feels like things are going awry, there is a bigger picture and challenges lead to greater learning and new opportunities.

Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. I’m struggling with this right now. I work most effectively when I have external deadlines and projects I have committed to. I would like to exercise more self-discipline with this. I am trying to get back into regularly playing guitar and writing songs.  After a multiple year hiatus, I have started playing at an open mic again.  

Q.  Anything else you'd like to share?
A. I have been in a crazy transitional phase for the last 2 ½ years in which I have turned my life upside down in many, many ways. I left an incredible job teaching and directing theatre at a Guilford County HS and went back to school for a non-arts degree. This experience was humbling and inspiring and it not only increased my theoretical knowledge, but it also forced me to dig deep and learn some tough lessons about myself. Coming back to Greensboro, I spent over a year without a full time job which was  terrifying and important for my growth. I led workshops, worked as a research assistant, taught community college classes, was a colloquium instructor at UNCG, performed in a short play, toyed with the idea of starting a business, wrote my first blog piece, trained for and ran a marathon, wrote some new songs, worked as an interim curriculum facilitator, started working as an adjunct facilitator and then accepted a job as full-time faculty at the Center.

Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?  
A. Tough question- maybe tree pose and shavasana :)

Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. By continually searching the new and finding new ways to learn and grow.

Susan Reinecke in South Africa