Jones does not experience mad-dash mornings. But she’s just as busy as anyone else is, if not more, traveling across the globe to give talks and consult with people from all walks of life on how to achieve a more balanced, radiantly healthy life. She truly practices what she preaches. Living by a regimen that some may consider too rigid or too great of a sacrifice, Jones swears by it. And she’s quick to add that she rarely gets upset or is haunted by stress to the degree that so many experience in the fast-paced environment of Los Angeles — her main home base. Several days a week, she rises early to begin her day with prayer and meditation. She prays and meditates everyday, but on these few days, she couples this ritual with a sunrise hike. And because she has the privilege of living in sunny Los Angeles (she’s an L.A. native), this is something she can do year-round. For Jones, who constantly pushes herself to step out of her “comfort zone,” these hikes are not leisurely strolls, but rather are often 1-3 hours adventures of arduous trails. This is her time where only the sounds of nature lift her spirit and nurture her soul.
And for that, she will not compromise this gift of peace and joy for herself. She loves to laugh (she’s known to be a practical joker) and empathizes the importance of laughter, what she calls the “body’s elixir” or natural rejuvenator. Laughter is an essential ingredient to daily living and something Jones uses to fuel her spirituality, and in essence, her mental and physical well-being. “I pray every day, mediate, laugh, and give thanks for life’s beauty and rich blessings.”
Her positive, easygoing, “lighten up” approach to life is no surprise when learning she’s a double Sagittarian. She has acquired the nickname “Sunny” because she laughs often and exudes inner strength and joy. Her advice to others: “Laugh and play more at this game of life, and don’t take your life so seriously.”
This advice is something Jones has had to heed as well, especially during one of the darkest periods of her life. A terrible automobile accident many years ago fractured her back so badly that doctors told her she would never again be physically active and would live a life of chronic pain. Devastation overwhelmed Jones, who had always been physically active and once dreamed of being the first female L.A. Dodgers baseball player. Her world was crashing and she had no control over her own body, or so she thought.
It was at this time that Jones really began to listen to her body and pay attention to its needs. Of course, her body would need physical attention, but something was telling her that it was crying out for more. Soon after the accident, she had a heart-to-heart talk with herself as she sat in silence on a bench, gazing out at the ocean near her home in Brentwood, as the sun began to set. Point blank — she had an “epiphany.”
“I felt God’s loving presence,” recalls Jones. “I decided to live more from inner guidance.” And although the next few months were ones of pain, Jones endured. Instead of wallowing in the aftermath of the accident, she attended lectures and read numerous books on the power of commitment and the mind in physical healing. She now describes the accident as the “impetus that changed my life for the better.” After six months, the same doctors who had told her she would live in chronic pain were proved wrong. Jones had no trace of pain; her doctors told her it was a miracle. “My recovery proved to me that we have within ourselves everything we need to live life to the fullest. I now choose to live in the embrace of each precious moment.”
She continued her journey to radiant health by learning from others and applying the knowledge she gained from books and lectures to her daily life. It was then that she learned about healing and the benefits of plant-based, natural foods, visualization and silence. Admitting that it all sounded “weird” at first, Jones plodded ahead. And then she read a book about living a peaceful, balanced life and everything seemed to click. “The book changed my life and helped nurture the spiritual side of my being,” says Jones, who lives by the dictates of her heart.
Now, years later, Jones is on the other side of the spectrum, as her teaching, books, and life principles are helping others to live joyful, soul-satisfying lives. Her inspiring message, which brings together present-day research and ageless wisdom, and her innovative techniques for achieving radiant health in body, mind and spirit have won her a grateful and enthusiastic following and put her in constant demand internationally as a health, fitness, leadership consultant, retreat leader, motivational speaker (lectures, workshops, seminars, keynote presentations) to corporate, community, church and women’s groups.
Even without this new chapter in her life, Jones was never shy of adventure or stimulus. She has a PhD in Health Sciences and she taught students, staff, and faculty how to be health and fit at UCLA for 30 years. The President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports selected her as one of 10 “Healthy American Fitness Leaders.” Jones is the founder and president of Health Unlimited, a Los Angeles-based consulting firm dedicated to the advancement of human potential, wellness education and peaceful, balanced living. She has written over 25 books, 1,500 articles for magazines around the world, and has been a guest on more than 2,000 radio and television talk shows.
On a universal level, Jones says that the thing that people wrestle with most in their own lives is low self-esteem. So her talks center on boosting self-esteem and creating an empowered presence. “Live fully one day at a time,” offers Jones, noting that small, attainable goals should be set. “After these goals are met, revel in the glory and enjoy that success. But the most important thing is to honor your word. Once goals are championed, self-esteem starts to build,” maintains Jones. “And then you make bigger goals, and always honor your feelings and follow your heart.”
Currently, Jones is working on two new books. She carries writing tablets everywhere she goes and is always taking down notes—and prefers the feeling of the perfect writing implement in her hand for jotting down ideas and words on paper that come to and through her over using a computer for the initial stages of her books. One of these books highlights the secrets of some of the most successful people in the world and reveals their tips on how to create a happy, successful life. The other book is on all of her favorite natural remedies that keep her healthy and forever young.
Meditation has played a vital role in Jones’s youthful vitality. Not only has meditation been proven to quell stress and boost immunity, but it also reduces the signs of aging. “Those who meditate regularly look 10 to 15 years younger than non-meditators of the same age,” she says, documented by scientific studies. And Jones is clearly no exception.
The power of taking time for you, even if it’s simply taking a walk in nature, is something Jones cannot stress enough. “We can all carve out a few minutes each day,” she opines, “whether it is the morning or in the evening.” But what about the times when you don’t have a minute to spare? Jones has an answer: “Get up early and begin the day in a relaxed, peaceful manner because the first 40 minutes sets the tone for the entire day.”
As far as her greatest inspirations, Jones says it is love. “Love is always the answer. We need to love ourselves, love our lives, and live with gratitude.” And, as luck would have it, her close friends who live around the country and world enrich Jones with their loving support. She cites her mother, June, and her grandmother, Fritzie, as her strongest influences. “They taught me, by example, the power of thinking positively and being passionate about life. Ennui,” they would remind me, “is impossible when you are fully engaged in life’s adventures day-to-day, and you invite joy and miracles to be your quotidian companions. Along with hiking, in-line skating cycling, and spending lots of time in nature, Jones also has a passion for words and writing, art, movies, horses, sports, reading, gardening, creating colorful, tasty, healthy meals, and celebrating life.
In spite of her demanding work and traveling schedule, Jones always finds a way to nurture and cultivate close relationships with family and friends. And even though she enjoys her solitude and will go for periods of quietude and aloneness when her heart requests it of her, she is quick to note that we all need special people in our lives.
Among the most special are many of her clients. “My work brings me into contact with wonderful people all over the world. When I travel to give talks or work with individuals or groups of people, I always meet amazing, inspiring folks who uplift me. I am inspired when I can spend time with like-minded people and those who need my support in their desire to live peaceful, happy lives and who aspire to be in touch with their empowered, sacred-loving presence.”
So if you feel stuck in your life or like you’re in a “spin-cycle” lifestyle; or if you feel you’ve lost some of your joy in living and would like to experience a lasting happiness; or perhaps you just need some gentle, loving, efficacious guidance to live in a more meaningful way . . . then you may want to do the following: Check out Jones’s books and peruse the following pages on under this heading, as well as all of the pages on her website, and discover way you can receive blessings from her work. Her wish for you is to live with gratitude, champion high self-esteem, and celebrate yourself and your life every day.
Susan Smith Jones wrote the feature article in the July/August 2010 Daily Word. The Daily Word is an inspirational magazine read by almost one million people around the world since 1924.
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A room without books is a body without soul.
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.