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Woman of the Month

Woman Of The Month - Susanne Batstone

Susanne was born in Ipswich, Suffolk in the UK and although she is often told she is very British she is really not at all as her father was Ukrainian and her mother German. She found herself in France 25 years ago. She came on holiday and decided to move out here with the intention to stay for only a couple of years, leaving family and friends in England as well as her career.

At school, she decided she wanted to do something ‘to help people’ and that is effectively exactly what she does now and thrives on. At 18 she joined a Management Training programme with Lloyds Bank and did lots of work in Human Resources principally people-oriented training and personal development. This is where she learned the importance of teamwork, motivation and bringing out the best in people.

In 1991 Susanne moved to Roquebrune Cap Martin to join her husband at the time, who was based on the coast working as a Yacht Captain. She has spent many years juggling a demanding job with bringing up her two lovely children alone. They are now 21 and 19 and abroad studying and having their own amazing adventures.

When her father died in 1991 her journey of self-discovery really began. Susanne admits she was probably the greatest sceptic she has ever met of most of what she has now come to believe in. She has spent many years studying and deepening her understanding of anything to do with holistic health and personal development. Her knowledge and beliefs are experiential – her motto is ‘be open to learning new things and if it works for you keep it, if not then don’t’.

She is passionate about this and also loves organising and bringing people together ‘to make a difference’. As she started her spiritual journey she also missed the constant training and professional courses she attended in the UK and was drawn by curiosity and a series of coincidences to go to an ‘Open Your Heart’ day in London while she was visiting friends. There she met the ‘love coach’ Cate Mackenzie! Susanne had no idea really why she was even there but it led to Cate coming to France in 2010 and running a workshop and conference on helping people to open up to being the best version of themselves.

This was also the start of one of Susanne’s hobbies – she helps facilitators organise meditation, yoga and other related conferences and workshops in around Menton. Her guests have included Stephen Russell – The Barefoot Doctor from the UK, Rod Briggs – The Mindlink Foundation from South Africa, Martin Brofman, Founder of the Brofman Foundation and The Body Mirror system of healing, who is sadly no longer with us, Christine Brydon – an amazing astrologer from the UK and Alison Prideaux who is the Mindfulness expert in the South of France.

She is currently running regular ‘Open your Heart’ – ‘Ouverture du Coeur’ days in French in Menton with some wonderful facilitators, bringing together lots of knowledge and providing a space for people to take time out of their daily routines and learn more about themselves in a totally fun and non-judgemental environment.

Susanne is also a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner and works with Energy Healing. As a small child she was intrigued by the little Bach bottles in Boots the Chemist and wondered what they were for. Another set of coincidences led her to meet an expert Bach trainer who lives just down the road with whom she worked before finalising her training at the Bach Centre near Oxford. She firmly believes in the link between mind, body and soul and is fascinated by the workings of the mind and the effect that our thoughts and emotions have on our pysche.

Bach Flower remedies treat the person as a whole and work on our negative emotions helping bring us back to a state of inner harmony and balance. It is a great tool for self-awareness and healing and helps people live to their full potential. Her role as a Practitioner is helping people become more self-aware and autonomous and responsible for their own healing. She happily gives talks and mini-workshops on the subject when invited. Susanne believes we have the potential to be and do everything we desire and are only limited by our own thoughts. With knowledge and awareness, anything can be changed and the power to do this lies with each of us. Life can be challenging and inner resources and self-love are essential.

Susanne also enjoys contributing to the community. When she lost her mother in 2006 to cancer, she organised a mountain hike and coastal walk to raise money for British Cancer Research. She is the treasurer of the British Association in Menton and is also involved in the Charity Mothers of Africa for which she organised a fund-raising dinner last year and was helped by many friends offering raffle prizes, the disco and singing entertainment. (Facebook Mother of Africa Monaco South of France or website: www.mothersofafrica.care)

Join her Facebook Page: sbangelconnections to keep up to date with news of events and lots of inspiration.

We asked Susanne our famous 5 questions and this is how she replied?

1) What makes you smile?

Goodness where to start! My children make me smile – I love that they and all their friends are spreading their wings now and having their own wonderful experiences.

I love watching people have moments of enlightenment and being able to share in their excitement.

Singing makes me smile and also seeing my friends get up on stage and have fun.

Simple things – Life is gift, that is why they call it the present! Sunshine, rain, snow, a nice view.

Mindless romantic comedy.

Right now I am on my way to be a birthday surprise for one of my close childhood friends and the look on her face will make me smile.

Having a full house of friends for dinner or my children’s friends all turning up and making themselves at home.

2) What or who inspires you?

People who are open minded and willing to question themselves. I have met some great teachers who have learned from their own experiences and are now using this to help others. My father adored Lady Diana and I love her quotation about doing random acts of kindness without expectation. Things have a way of always working out.

3) Do you believe in gut instincts?

Yesss! I have had many experiences where I look back and realise that I just knew. I listen to my inner wisdom and have learned to trust it over the years. When I do this everything just flows which is just how life is meant to be. However, sometimes my very rational and logical mind gets in the way and needs to be tamed.

4) Your three essential things if you were stuck on a desert island would be what?

Sunscreen

My phone with internet connection so I don’t lose Facebook, can carry on with my online Italian course and take photos. If I can’t have any worldly connections I would just enjoy the view and meditate on the beauty of it all.

A kindle with lots of good books – I am recently converted!

5) If you are planning a day/night out, what do you enjoy doing the most?

If I could fit it all in, which I often try to do…..and this would be a very long day!

Wake up early to meditate and exercise

Visit a local market and have a coffee, preferably in Italy.

Brunch, lunch or picnic with friends.

Walk in the mountains or along the coast, cycling in San Remo, a spa afternoon, racquetting when there is snow, swimming and lounging at the beach, cultural visit or an art gallery. I love travelling so a road trip anywhere new to explore.

Aperitif / tapas.

Dinner with close friends or a party with dancing. I love any excuse to celebrate.

Finally curling up on the sofa with a glass of wine, fire and either a good book or film.

~~~

Monday, 1 February 2016    Section: Woman of the Month
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