"A Well-Balanced Woman"
Written By Linda Firestone
Each of us has a journey in this life. The choices we make along the way determine the quality of that journey. In 1988, Susie Levan and her 6-year-old daughter were victims of a kidnapping. Susie “believes that everything happens for a reason.” Her self-reflective healing process that followed “helped me find more peace and understanding on many levels and gave me the opportunity to work with others during their personal healing journey.”
In the early 1990’s, Susie became a non-denominational pastoral counselor. She interned at the Hospice of Broward and began a spiritual women’s group “The Women’s Wisdom Circle.” After five years, Susie “knew it was time to take my knowledge and message to another level and get it out to more women interested in personal growth and self-development. From the personal work she did on herself, as well as the healing work she did with others, seven key components emerged and shaped Susie’s concept of a balanced life: family, friends, spirituality, career, community, health, and wealth.
In November of 1999 Susie’s visions of a women’s magazine dedicated to these principles was realized. There was then a natural progression from the work she was doing as a counselor and publisher of “Balance Magazine” (www.BalanceMagazine.com) towards something even larger; and, in 2006, the Work/Life Balance Institute was founded. “We are continuing to expand and grow, always looking for more ways to serve and help women find work and life balance.” Susie explains.
Having been the honored recipient of many public recognition awards for her efforts to help women personally and professionally, including “Women of Style and Substance Award”, “Spirit of Excellence Media Leader of the Year” and “Leadership Broward Award”, Susie unequivocally states, “It is very important to ‘give back’ in any way, to make a difference in my community. I feel I have an obligation to participate in helping those who are in need. I am blessed that I can give my personal time and money to many causes that I choose to support both locally and nationally,” including, but not limited, to United Way Broward County, Shoes for the Soul and Broward County Executive Committee of Women’s Way.
The path to balance and giving back is exhausting; but, Susie explains, “When I wake up drained, tired and wondering how I can keep the institute going during these challenging times, I realize that in helping others I am staying positive myself. I also surround myself with wonderful women confidantes who keep me motivated, optimistic, and grounded. They remind me that I have weathered many economic cycles, personally and professionally, and I think that have come out of each cycle stronger and wiser.” -DUO