I’m Susan Rolfe, Founder of The Spice of Life, Mind-Body Studies. As a professional chef, I discovered a feeling of “ flow” that, when I could find and roll with, made work easy, satisfying…even blissful. I also found, that when I tried to force things, I burned out.  One would think that would have been its own lesson.  But with a life-long habit of working through exhaustion, it can be hard to know when to quit.

After 30 years of cooking in the fast lane, physical injuries literally put a stop to what I was doing. I realized what a luxury it had been to have a creative and satisfying skill that I could trade on, just about any time or anywhere, in the world.

I’d taught cooking classes in Italy and baked apple pies in an Indian Ashram. I’d worked in restaurants and served as the private chef for the CEO of Starbucks.  As a freelance personal chef,  I customized meals for over 60 private clients, cooking in their own homes.  I catered lavish events, where not only the food, but the linens, the tables and dance-floor had to be brought along.  If nothing else, I learned to adapt and create in unfamiliar circumstances!  But the ultimate challenge came when I could physically no longer cook for a living, in fact, I could barely walk.

To be honest, it was tough to let go of the “chef identity” and all the self confidence that came with it. I had no idea what to do or how to support myself. The idea of getting a JOB after so many years of being on my own was so distressing I could barely think of it. But it was this very struggle that forced me to let go of the compulsive drive for “bigger-faster-more”, to find “deeper, easier and more satisfying”.

I turned to The Feldenkrais Method to help in my physical recovery,  not anticipating the effect the work would have on my confidence and creativity.  Not only was I able to get back to African dance, which had fed my soul for years, but personal relationships improved and my spiritual life deepened.  At the age of 58, I began horseback riding lessons, something I had previously only dreamed of.

From the beginning, there was no question of immersing myself in this work.  It was so life-changing and brought together so many other mind-body disciplines I’d studied over the years:  Anthropology, Ayurveda,  Alchemy, spirituality, mythology…and of course, cooking.  I love sharing with others who want to learn to work differently, who want to move with ease and joy…and who long to reconnect with creativity, passion and purpose.

In the 1990’s I began lessons in The Alexander Technique.  Since then, I have trained with masters of Mind-Body Studies and the Feldenkrais Method, including Mia Segal, Leora Gastor, Jeff Haller and Russell Delman.   I’m a certified Mind Body Studies Practitioner, and a member of Feldenkrais Network International, Switzerland.