Adversity follows a common trajectory.  In one way or another, we all have to get past the immediate trauma and devastation of the enormity of loss in our lives in order to go on living.  Ultimately, we get through the deep dive that accompanies great loss, and survive.  We move on and begin to stabilize our lives.  For me, this is when the most important recovery work of all begins because it involves learning to access the power to thrive.  It is also key to living a fulfilled life.  You will find value in the power to thrive long after disasters are far behind you.

Developing the power to thrive requires both inner and outer work that we begin while we are in the survival stage.  Often, we need help to stop seeing ourselves as victims of a monumental tragedy.  We need help to see our way forward to something wonderful.  We start looking for that help while we are learning how to cope with the enormity of our crisis.

Fortunately for me, I had returned to the faith of my childhood several years before the landslide.  I was actively involved in the life of the church, and when catastrophe struck, they were there for me.  Being connected to others in meaningful, reciprocal relationships yields a great deal throughout the recovery process.

Additionally, Peter and I shared a long term vision to have a large ranch, each for our own reasons.  We had no idea how we would obtain it, but we held the vision.   Immediately after the landslide, our purpose focused on finding a new home for us and our animals.

As I packed to leave the mud-filled house, I grabbed a couple books for spiritual support.  One of them was Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem.”  Each morning before heading out to deal with the house or finding a new one, I would read a page from that book.  Grace was with me and the perfect house was found the very day it was listed for rent.   I was grateful.

Once settled in the rental house, injuries surfaced from all the pushing, pulling and lifting involved in moving.  We went to a chiropractor who did emotional release work with me through kinesiology.  Somehow I knew that I needed to heal both outer injuries and inner issues as a necessary part of the healing process.  In conjunction with this emotional release work, I was able to evaluate what was working in my life and what was not.  I uncovered parts of my life that needed healing and began to forgive and let go of the past through 12 Step work and Centered Prayer.

From the rental house, we began to focus on finding a permanent home that would bring us closer to our vision of the ranch.  We spent a year driving out to the country each week to see what was available.  When we found it, we worked with the owner to allow us time to work through the financial and legal issues.  They were kind enough to give us the time we needed.  For that, we were grateful.  Once we moved into our new home, we were bathed in feelings of gratitude.  We felt profoundly blessed.

Not long after arriving, Peter developed a most fortuitous relationship that lasts to this day.  It offered new opportunities for his business and for that we are extremely grateful.  I felt the first urges to contribute in a new way – as a coach writing, speaking, teaching and producing in order to help others discover and pursue their dreams.  I wanted to share my experience in order to help other people face similar circumstances, reconnect to their purpose and get past the obstacles that appeared to stop them.   I began to take classes to become a coach, write a book, produce a podcast, and create a course – all to help other people bounce back from adversity and go on to thrive.

We continue to pursue those activities.  We are both enjoying the best positions in our lives to date and continue to nurture new visions and take action to make them happen.  We feel as if we are thriving in a world of infinite possibilities.

The outer actions we took are important in the process of getting here, however, the inner work involved is what sustains me to this day.   It is what enables me to continue to dream of even greater accomplishments.  Let’s take a look at that inner work as it may benefit you:

  • Faith in something greater than yourself through prayer and meditation
  • Community – meaningful, reciprocal relationships that are mutually supportive
  • Purpose combined with possibility thinking
  • Inspired Routine –
    • Begin your day with a journal entry expressing thanks and gratitude for at least 10 things in your life, blessings and opportunities to take action toward new accomplishments.
    • Affirm and Afform positive statements and positive why questions.
    • Use Centered Prayer to develop and maintain your connection to your Higher Self
    • Practice forgiveness for any perceived slight from others or yourself.
    • Allow yourself to dream, to play with an idea and imagine how it could benefit your life and others. Express your vision of what you want and how that relates to your purpose and God’s will.  These things contribute to your resilience and prepare you to take action the rest of the day.
  • Healing work – such as emotional release, kinesiology, 12 Step, Centered Prayer
  • Action steps to build belief that what you want is possible –
    • Figure out what would be required to pursue your biggest idea.
    • Take an inventory of your skills and abilities.
    • See what training might be required and sign up for it.
    • Make a plan of action steps you can take to achieve your goals.
    • Get organized and do one thing every day that helps you move toward your new dream.
    • Watch the results you get and adjust to stay on course in spite of obstacles or conflicts that may develop around you. As you take these actions, you will be developing some traction.  Call it momentum and momentum helps you persist.
  • Let go and allow possibilities to unfold –
    • Start to live as if you already had possession of your vision.
    • As it becomes second nature to keep doing what you are doing on a daily basis, you will see the results you desire unfold before you.

These were the things we did while stabilizing our lives and then moving into a thriving state.  When you begin to feel those first urges to take up something new or contribute in a new way, you are well on your way, not just bouncing back but bouncing forward into new and uncharted possibilities.  Act on those impulses.

Remember, regardless of the circumstances – both inner and outer – in which you find yourself, you can develop the power to thrive.  Choose your life.  Create your universe.  You can do it.

I believe in you,


About the Author:  Susan Sherayko is a 3 time Emmy nominated executive in charge of production for a daily morning television show.  She is also a life, success, power habits and media coach and author, “Rainbows Over Ruins” in which she shares her journey after a landslide destroyed her home.  Susan helps people release the obstacles in their lives so they can share their message and mission, impact the world and gain the freedom to live the life of their dreams.   For more information on how to survive and thrive, check out her website, and pick up her “Survivor’s Guide: 12 Tips to Gain Inner Peace” as a FREE GIFT (

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