About

Breathwork Experience Creator and Facilitator. Personal Growth Coach. Creative. Biotechnology Leader. Adventure Seeker.

Susan Giddens is a Breathwork Facilitator, Personal Growth Coach, Podcast Host, Author, Speaker, Adventure Seeker, and Aunt to an amazing niece and two incredible nephews. Many years ago, as a leader in biotechnology, Susan found her passion in coaching. Today, she melds coaching and breathwork together to help people expand and grow; to help them dig deep within to live fulfilling passionate purpose-driven lives.

Hi, I’m Susan Giddens

I’m a breathwork experience creator, personal growth coach, and a former leader in biotechnology, now working as a consultant. I was the life and soul of the party…. until I wasn’t. 

In July of 2002, my world came crashing down. My best friend died. I gave the go-ahead to turn off the life-saving machines.  For years, most people didn’t see that I was suffering. I went back to college, developed a career in biotechnology, and climbed the corporate ladder, ultimately leading Quality Management, Process, and Learning and Development teams. Despite my life looking great on paper, I was slowly dying inside. I had a fantastic career, traveled, earned great money yet I was suffering. I was listening to the stories in my head. I wasn’t moving through the grief and pain, I was sitting in it.  

A lot has happened since then. I’ve learned to be in my body. I’ve learned to feel my pain and move through it. I’ve learned to feel into and celebrate the joyful moments. I’ve learned to see beauty all around me.  I still work in Biotechnology and love it. On the side, I started OPI Coaching to pay forward my growth and learning to help others walk their path of growth and take steps forward to loving life and feeling fulfilled.  In my spare time, I ride horses, play the saxophone (very badly!) and lead an active and adventurous life. Most importantly, I finally understand what it means to love myself, be happy and joyful even in the midst of life’s difficult moments. 

My Story

OPI Coaching

The Cliff Notes Version!

Where does my journey to fulfillment begin? 

My mom might think it started when I got my Bachelor’s degree or when I got my Masters Degree. She was always worried that I’d never go to college. Perhaps it started later than that, when I started meditating, changed my attitude, and began learning to feel my feelings, to face them in a healthy productive way. 

The truth I’ve come to embrace is that my story started much earlier than that. The journey that has led me to this moment,  probably started when I was a teenager. It’s then that I learned to disassociate from my body, from my feelings. I learned ways to numb out. I taught myself how to stay safe and staying safe was not feeling all my intense emotions. As a kid and teen, I was told to calm down, stop living in the clouds, stop dreaming, stop being so eccentric, get some reality, be evidence-based. 

Twenty years ago, as my story continues, a pivotal moment was being written when I lost my friend. The grief that would weigh me down for years to come.

My story was written in grief, mistakes, resilience, and invisible suffering. But it was also written in the days I got out of bed when I didn’t want to and the days I found joy when I thought there was none. 

It was written in the determination and perseverance to cultivate a career in biotechnology that I am so passionate about. I love knowing that every day I show up, I help a patient with cancer or another debilitating disease. I got through the hard times, knowing I was helping others that had it even harder than I did. 

It was written with the help of mentors and teachers that came into my life at the right time, and of course, in my own journey of rediscovery and ultimately celebration, joy, and fulfillment.

The Zombie Years

I learned to keep my head down, do excellent work, and thrive in my career.  On the surface, I had it all together but in reality, I was suffering. I was in pain. I know this describes so many people. I was not the only zombie walking around. I was conducting life, going through the motions. 

I felt lost, numb, detached, and unengaged in my personal life. No one around me could see what I was going through. I kept a beautiful, happy, “all is well” mask on. 

My guess is you know a little something about what I’m talking about, don’t you?

The Realization

Six years ago, my boss suggested I take a vacation and I burst into tears. I didn’t know what it meant to relax and take time for myself, to honor myself.  Around the same time, I was going out to dinner and I realized I had nothing to talk about. 

I used to be the life of the party and super-adventurous, you couldn’t get me to stop talking, but at that moment, I felt so boring. I was a shell of a human, a zombie, going through the motions. 

That’s when I finally took my vacation and began a quest to find myself again, the new improved me. 

The Celebrating & Rediscovering

Since then, I’ve been on a tremendous journey of celebration and rediscovery. I’ve found new passions, picked up new hobbies, reconnected with old friends, and fallen back in love with life.

I’ve finally dealt with the grief and the emotions that were weighing me down. I feel emotionally and physically lighter and I finally understand the value of the elusive “self-care”.

I understand what it means to truly be open to new lessons and new ways of happiness. I’d set out to get myself a life and I got one – tenfold!

Now, I am dedicated to helping other people live an authentic life and understand their amazing value and potential. I’m dedicated to helping people that have so generously focused a large part of their life on others (children, family, career, elderly parents, etc), take the journey to explore and discover who they are now and who they will be going forward into their future.  

Breathwork - The Transformation

In September of 2019, I signed up for a yoga class. I was in my saying “Yes!” phase and I met someone that was a breathwork facilitator. I booked a private session having no idea what I was getting into or the door that it would open. This is where I found my passion. I discovered a way that truly transformed how I move through the world and I am passionate and thrilled to offer it to my clients. It’s truly magical work!

OPI Coaching

Why I want to help YOU

If my story resonates with you or if you answered yes to any of the questions on the home page, I want to help you. 

I know how it feels to be going through the motions hoping there is more to life but having no idea what happiness actually looks like.

I help people come back to themselves just like I did. And if you are seeking something more for the next chapter of your life, let’s have a chat.

Education | Certifications

I’ve explained why I believe I can help others, but here’s the official stuff.

  • Master of Arts in Education | Instructional Technologies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
  • Minor in Speech Communication
  • Pause Breathwork
  • CTI Co-Active Coaching
  • Prosci Change Management
  • People Fuel – The Energy Project
  • Crucial Conversations
  • Odyssey (An award-winning Leadership Development Program)

Speaking on Podcasts and Summits

You can catch me on other podcasts.

Susan delivered her keynote “Breathwork for Transformation” at the Success Conference in October 2020. 

Susan is speaking at the HeartAct Summit as part of Mental Health Day on October 10, 2020.

Author

I am the proud co-author of “Training Activities That Work

Strong people ask for help.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from my journey, it’s that strong people ask for help. For a long time, I thought being independent meant facing your problems alone. I later discovered that everybody has a coach, especially strong leaders. It wasn’t until I reached out for help that I truly began to learn the depths of my strength.

Questions & Answers

A little more about me…

Still have more questions, contact me directly.

  • I’m a daughter, sister, friend, aunt, and colleague.
  • I’ve been a caregiver.
  • I’ve co-authored a book.
  • I lost 120 lbs.
  • I ride horses.
  • I have a passion for helping others on their journey.
  • I’ve had many coaches, teachers and mentors.
  • I can’t stand bananas.
  • I hate the word moist. No really, I can’t even type it without being creeped out.
  • My spelling is horrendous (is this spelled correctly?) – haha.
  • Being vulnerable has been my kryptonite my whole life. I’m in practice.
  • I have had my running shoes on (running from feelings, emotions, hurt) my whole life. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve taken them off.

I am a firm believer that if you go into something 100%, play full out, you will get something out of it.

I’ve learned that doing, trying, exploring, testing, experimenting is what gets me to success. Thinking about things doesn’t get me anywhere. 

I’ve learned that if I’m resisting something or someone, I need to lean in. It has something to teach me.

I’ve learned to try everything once and in many cases find amazing gifts in the things I thought were too “woo woo” or weird (like Breathwork and meditation).

I’ve learned to ask for help.

I’ve learned to let go of perfection and embrace doing things the messy way.

I’ve learned that when I am aligned and authentic, opportunities land on my doorstep.

I’ve learned that waiting until I’m ready, prepared, skilled enough to do something will only mean I’ll never actually do it. Doing the thing is taking action; not thinking about it.

I’ve gone hang-gliding. I’ve been in a glider plane (plane with no engine – once was enough). I’ve been white-water rafting. I’ve hula-hooped with fire. I was an every weekend snowboarder. I’ve gone to San Francisco gay pride topless. I have done yoga at 25feet in the air on a telephone pole (harnessed, so it sounds scarier than it is).  I took my first surfing lesson at 40+. I’ve traveled for weeks by myself in Europe. 

Travel is my number one hobby. I”ve been to Cuba, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Thailand, UK, Italy, Costa Rica, Denmark to name a few. I’ve been so fortunate and am grateful to have seen so many beautiful parts of our world. There is so much more to explore.

I was a teenage activist during the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the 1990s.