It’s when the unexpected happens that we learn the most about ourselves. That was no different for Suzanne Giesemann, a retired U.S. Navy Commander who served as special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, and as aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 9/11.
And as difficult as 9/11 was for all of us, what proved even more daunting personally was the unexpected death of her stepdaughter Susan, a sergeant in the Marine Corps who was struck and killed by lightning along with her unborn son.
“I could no longer deny that I needed to get some answers to why do bad things happen to good people, that sort of thing, and that’s what started me on the path,” Suzanne said in a telephone interview with The Edge.
“It was after taking my husband to a medium, and not even knowing that he did not know what a medium was at the time because I certainly had no inclination towards that, that we knew that a greater reality existed because that medium brought to us Susan, with undeniable evidence. I was the biggest skeptic there was, but there was no denying she had tapped into our Susan’s consciousness.
“So, I wrote a few books about mediumship and in the process discovered that I could connect with those on the other side, as well. I started meditating the week that Susan died, and I didn’t realize that in the whole time I was writing these books I was also training my mind to be quiet, so everything just kind of fell into place.”
Suzanne, now an author of 11 books, a metaphysical teacher, and an evidential medium, captivates audiences as she brings hope, healing and comfort through her work. Suzanne’s gift of communication with those on the other side is touted as “a breath of fresh air” with “a quality that is so different from others that it is difficult to describe.” She brings messages of hope and love that go straight to the heart.
She will present the two-day “Serving Spirit” class in evidence-based mediumship on March 18-19 at Crowne Plaza Aire in Bloomington, MN. The class is intended to help people improve their abilities and experience new levels of connection across the veil. Register at SuzanneGiesemann.com/mediumship-class-serving-spirit.
The following is our conversation with Suzanne about her intuitive gifts — and much more.
How was a former by-the-book Navy commander transformed into a medium and a messenger of hope? I understand that 9/11 played a big role in that transformation for you.
Suzanne Giesemann: It did. That’s what started me asking the spiritual questions that most of us do when something happens that really gets your attention. I had not been raised with any religious background at all and I started to ask the deeper spiritual questions, but I put them aside after a while. What really started my wake-up call was the unexpected and sudden death of my step-daughter, Susan.
At the time you went to the medium with your husband, I’m guessing that both of you were probably skeptical about the experience. Was that a big leap of faith for you to go to that experience?
SG: It was a huge leap of faith, and I knew that that medium needed to tell me things about Susan that she could not possibly know. If she had just given me generic messages, I would not have been a believer, but the information she brought through absolutely changed my entire worldview. It took me days to process what she shared, because I could no longer deny that life goes on.
That’s what I seek to do now. When I do a sitting with people, I want them to leave there saying, “Oh, my God! This is real!”
Did your husband, Ty, go through a similar experience as you, in terms of processing what the medium told you?
SG: Absolutely, but, again, he did not know what a medium was, so he was really caught off guard. This woman was sitting with us and she didn’t know who we had lost, and she brought through his daughter with amazing accuracy and things that only we would know. He also did not know how to process that, but it was quite a gift.
How did that experience transform him over the years?
SG: Well, I spent 20 years in the Navy. He spent 26, retiring as a captain. He was captain of the destroyer and was equally by-the-book. After every one of my readings over the years, as I share with him the evidence that comes through, he knows me and he knows my integrity and so he has been on board the whole time, because he also cannot deny this connection with the other side, based on the evidence.
Prior to starting meditating and getting calm in your mind, did you have any inkling at all that you had intuitive gifts yourself, even as a child?
SG: None, whatsoever. That’s why it was such a surprise to me, but I also think it is what makes me a good teacher of mediumship now. I take nothing for granted. I have really analyzed what it is that helps to make that connection more and more clear. I’ve used my left brain to my advantage, in that regard — to say this works, that doesn’t work, this is how and why the connection is possible.
What led you to take the big step of doing this work professionally?
SG: Oh, my gosh! It was the healing that came from our reading with the medium who brought Susan through. The thought that I could bring that kind of life-changing healing to even one other person. I couldn’t not do it! That’s exactly what has resulted over and over in people saying, “This changed my life.” And, it’s so rewarding. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I tell people I served my country for 20 years, but now I serve humanity at a whole different level — and it’s awesome!
I imagine you have received some positive feedback from your former colleagues in the Navy?
SG: Oh, I have! It’s surprising. Most of them are blown away, because they knew me then and they’re surprised at the work I’m doing now. I haven’t kept in touch with a lot of my military folks. We’ve just gone off in our own directions, but those who do hear about it are thrilled. If we’re honest with ourselves, most people want to know that there’s more to this life, there’s more after this life, and so to have somebody that they knew and trusted validate for them is wonderful.
All the world’s religions speak of the eternal soul and yet, in our day-to-day lives, many of us do not really believe it to the point where we accept when a loved one passes that they are still with us.
SG: Yeah, we want to. We have hope, but I’ve gotten to the point after bringing through thousands of souls with such amazing jaw-dropping evidence that, to me, it is a given and I don’t try to change anybody’s life. I just share the evidence and their jaws drop, and so I try to encourage people to make that connection themselves. Nothing can match the personal experience.
There is so much pain that we feel when a loved one passes, I’m wondering about the purpose of that separation and why our reality is such that the truth about death is obscured for most of us?
SG: I think it’s all part of the system that we agreed to, that we’ll forget through our belief system where we came from. It’s that beautiful path of discovery. Being human, at times, is very painful, and that leads us to this reawakening.
I know, personally, that I would not be in the beautiful state of awareness that I find myself in daily now — knowing that love is the essence of all that is — had I not had the most painful of all experiences, the loss of my stepdaughter. So, unfortunately, it does take pain to wake us up sometimes, and that’s why I pray daily that my lessons here on Earth school be as painless as possible, knowing that those lessons lead to the greatest learning.
From your work, what have you learned about the nature of the afterlife?
SG: Truly, that love is the essence of All That Is, that no matter what we do here, we are met with love. We also feel how our choices were in alignment or out of alignment with that love. We all immediately ascend to the level that we achieved here, to the level of vibration of energy, of awareness, of that love. You truly do reap what you sow, so that makes it so important for us to learn to love each other in the here and now.
If we don’t do it now, we do it later, right?
SG: Exactly! I tell people that you don’t automatically sprout angel wings when you get to the other side — you grow them here.
For those who may not wish to visit a medium and, yet, still want to reconnect deeply with a loved one who has passed, is there a way for them to do that?
SG: Absolutely. I talk about meditation, and immediately some people’s eyes glaze over. They say, “I can’t quiet my mind.” I teach a method called Sitting In The Power, where you sit with the intention of making that connection, and I teach specific steps that help you to set the human mindset aside. That’s just one method. There are so many, if somebody’s interested enough. It’s just a practice of seeking to find that part of us that is beyond the human identification.
For those who know the afterlife exists and know that we are immortal souls playing a role as human beings, and yet still they struggle day-to-day in their lives, what can they do to restore the passion and sense of unlimited opportunity that existed when they first came into their bodies?
SG: The greatest answer I can give you is to study your thoughts. Study your thoughts and question them. What am I telling myself that is keeping me stuck or holding me back? What is this pattern of thinking that says I’m less than I am, which is absolute magnificence? It’s our thoughts that hold us back. We don’t have to change our thoughts. We have to get beneath them, to the very essence from which they emerge.
I understand that you channel Sanaya, a collective consciousness of minds with both a feminine and masculine energy. Can you explain how that whole process began for you?
SG: Yes. I had not studied trance mediumship, which is also called channeling. I just sat with a couple of friends one evening hoping to connect with the spirits of loved ones and, suddenly, I became aware of this presence that wanted me to speak. I said mentally, “About what?” And the voice said, “Just speak.”
I opened my mouth and this voice came out, and my friends said later they about fell off their chairs. That was another life-changing moment for me. After we heard what came through, we wanted to hear more. That was about seven years ago. On my birthday in 2010, this group of spirits presented themselves to me and I said, “What do I call you?” And they said, “You will call us Sanaya, and you will write and write as Sanaya.” It turns out I have been speaking and speaking as Sanaya, as well.
I can’t deny that this is wisdom and helpful information for us, coming from a level way beyond my pay grade! They speak to me every morning and I write their messages and post them. I have learned to surrender my human identification, my ego, enough that when I get out of the way and let them speak through me, the love that exists is palpable. People who sit in that presence feel it, and we’ve even had some amazing spontaneous healings just by being in their energy.
So, I’m a believer, and my destroyer captain husband who knows me sits in their presence. I just keep doing it as long as it’s helpful, but I do admit that it’s one of the more unusual things that I’ve had to grow into my comfort zone with.
How these sessions have assisted you personally?
SG: Well, listening to their teachings has taught me how to become a more loving human being. As I run my energy with theirs, I have just had so much more peace in my life. I’m very even-keeled these days, and I truly do love everybody. I might be in dissonance with people’s thoughts and beliefs at times, but I can release that now, thanks to Sanaya and their teachings. Truly, I could never go back to the way I was before, getting so much more identified with the human drama.
Today I just see things from a different level, and it’s a gift beyond my imaginings — all because of Susan’s passing. That’s why I say that what to us may seem like a tragedy when it happens eventually can form itself into a gift.
When you knew her in life you had no clue that she was going to be such a gift to you, did you?
SG: No, and the beauty is that she is now one of my helpers. It’s fun being an evidence-based medium, because every time she shows up I ask her, “Give me something I don’t know that’s going on with somebody here so I can prove to them it’s really you.”
I could say to her dad, “Hey, Susan showed up this morning.” And he might say, “Yeah, that’s nice, Suzanne.” But Susan will tell me things like, “Well, dad has a toothache.” And, I’ll say, “Ty, you have a toothache?” And, he says, “Yeah, I didn’t tell you about that.” And I can say, “Well, Susan knows.”
People don’t realize that you can communicate with these guides and these loved ones who show up and ask them for evidence. Ask them for signs. They love to give us those things, because they want us to know, “This is real. We are here.”
How has your husband’s relationship with his daughter grown over the years since her passing?
SG: It’s such a blessing for him to know that she’s here. Like I said, it’s that personal experience that changes everything. He’s heard the evidence from Susan over and over, but last year he was hiking on a trail where they used to hike together. He was thinking about her when he felt two fingers press on his arm so hard that he turned to the side to see who was there with him. Of course, there was no one, and it stunned him so much he had to sit down and wipe away the tears. Finally, he had that personal experience of her presence — and now he really knows. Yeah.
This month, you will be presenting a two-day “Serving Spirit” class on evidence-based mediumship. For whom is your class presented?
SG: It’s for anybody who wants to learn how to make the connection across the veil. I offer it as a class in mediumship, but I would say that not everybody who comes plans to be a working medium. I have mediums who have been working for years who say they have learned more in my two-day class than they did in years of studying as a medium, because of those nuts-and-bolts tools that I share. We also have people who just want to connect with their loved ones, and they get to practice with other students and apply what they learn.
It’s really well suited for anybody at any level, from someone who does not have a clue to those who have been connecting for years. I just let my team of spirit guides guide the syllabus, and it’s been a very rewarding class for everybody.
What do you want to leave with participants by the end of the class?
SG: First of all with the sense of the awe for the spirit world, that it is here, that those on the other side are with them, and it’s a cooperative engagement with them. I also want them to leave with a sense of reverence for this work and to truly raise the bar of mediumship, to never settle for less than the most awesome, jaw-dropping evidence we can get. That is what will change minds and show the world that this connection is real, that mediumship is real. It’s all about raising the bar and asking more of ourselves, because we can get that when we push ourselves.
You’ve written a number of books. Do you have anything in progress?
SG: I do! It’s a book about four couples who just experience a voyage together. All four of us have lost a child, and yet, we’re all in this place of knowing that our kids are with us — and they were even with us on that trip. The messages in the book are that you do not have to remain stuck in your grief forever when you realize that your loved ones who have passed continue on with you, side-by-side with you, in your lives, even though they have their own life going on across the veil.
Hopefully it will be out in about a year. I’m just putting it together right now.
Why do you do what you do?
SG: I do what I do because the spirit world wants us to know there’s more to this life. We are here with you. Don’t cry for us. You’re here to learn your lessons. We love you so much. That’s why. I am so honored to be a voice for those who no longer have a physical voice. I couldn’t not do this work.
Do you have any final thoughts you would like to leave with our readers that we haven’t talked about?
SG: Just to trust what they’re sensing and get out of the head, because the spirit world speaks to us through the heart. The more we open our hearts and raise our own vibrations, the easier the connection.