Are you happy at the moment?
Yes! I am very happy. Let’s face it, getting older certainly has its challenges. I don’t love my wrinkles or the fact that I am no longer a size 6! However, inwardly I feel more beautiful than I have ever felt in my life. I know who I am. I genuinely feel connected to myself, others and the world at large. Last week, I was at a Starbucks in Manhattan waiting for my macchiato about to head to my office to meet with a couple for a counseling session. Smiling wide, I was feeling joy and gratitude for no other reason than to be alive. A young woman in her early twenties—also waiting for her beverage—turned to me and said, “You know, you’re beautiful. You’re really beautiful.” She must have felt what I feeling inside.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
To my insecure, searching, thought-she-was-fat (HA!) 16-year-old self who tried so very hard, I would say: Take it easy on yourself! You are more beautiful than you realize now. You got game. You are going to have an amazing life that will have sharp twists, turns, ups and downs. Just follow the innermost promptings of your heart and enjoy the ride.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
That is okay to have more “me” time. I’ve earned it, da**it! When I take care of myself, everything else falls in line—including my family and my work. I use to work, work, work and take care of my family—without having much time for myself. That’s not cool. I am glad that I made the change.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
-Lose the ten pounds that I gained after I lost them in the first place!
-Complete my new website.
-Book more speaking engagements.
-Perhaps begin a third book…
-A television show would be nice.
What’s your secret to happiness?
Love. I love my family and friends with all my heart. I do what I love. I create with love. I cook with love. Shall I go on?
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
I have practiced meditation for 27 years now. It is the single best thing I have learned to do. Attuned to the innermost core of our being, there is clarity and peace. When life pulls me in every direction, it centers me and helps me become more efficient.
What’s your biggest regret?
-Losing my second pregnancy and not being able to have another child. I would have loved to have a daughter.
-I wish I began saving for retirement in my teens!
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
Every moment of our lives we are choosing between love and fear. Anything good, anything positive or worthy has love in it. Choose love.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
Oh, gosh, I wish I was more organized. I secretly envy people who are naturally orderly and organized. How do they do that?! I do my best, but it is a real effort for me. Perhaps it’s my creative mind? Or perhaps that is an excuse…
Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
My courage in taking the road less travelled, in taking risks. I may not have had the most secure life, but it was a very alive life.
When were you happiest?
The happiest time in my life was when I sold my business and became a full-time artist while raising my son and attending interfaith seminary. It was a magical time of creativity and exploration. My son grew up with an artist mom who did all sorts of fun things with him—including painting with our feet and making trains out of pancakes.
What ten words best describe you?
Goofy! Trustworthy, loyal, loving, warm, spritely, saucey, motivated, creative, spiritual.
Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb is the author of two interfaith books, Joining Hands and Hearts, Interfaith, Intercultural Wedding Celebrations and Bless This Child, A Comprehensive Guide to Creating Baby Blessing Ceremonies. She offers interfaith counseling for couples and young families. She and her work have been featured on CNN, MNSBC, ABC NPR and in The Los Angeles Times, New York Times, New York Magazine, Modern Bride, Martha Stewart, Pregnancy Magazine and other media venues.