Our Book Is Getting Real – So Am I

Susan Clarke reflects on being a “congruent expert,” as the second book she has written with CrisMarie Campbell – The Beauty of Conflict for Couples – rolls off the press.

By Susan Clarke. Susan and CrisMarie Campbell’s new book The Beauty of Conflict for Couples is now available on Amazon for pre-order.


There are so many exciting things happening in my world.
This past week we got the author copies of our book, The Beauty of Conflict for Couples.
Loved opening the boxes. 
Pretty cool experience.

I noticed a big exhale when there were no spelling errors on the cover. Of course there weren’t – we had editors and people watching our back.
However, I noticed until the book was in my hand I was anxious.

The book looks great and feels great.

Our days have been filled with podcast interviews. Only a couple have aired at this point. I am enjoying the process and I notice as the launch week approaches, I am feeling a touch exposed.

It’s funny I didn’t feel quite like this with our first book. Not sure why. Maybe because this one is about relationships, including our relationship! The last did tell some parts of my story and our story but it focused on our work with leaders and teams.

This one is closer to home – to me – to us.
Plus we are reaching further. We have a publisher. We have PR and marketing team.

Next week we’ll be on TV show in Houston! 
We’re getting media training. 
I’m saying I’m an expert in the area of relationships.

Here’s the deal. 
I totally believe in what we have put out into the world.
I know this relational work has transformed my health, my relating, my world.
I know and have witnessed that same transformation happen in our programs and with couples and individuals I have worked with and I don’t doubt the work.
Still I am very uncomfortable calling myself an expert. My friend, Sherrie, tells me to redefine expert.

She asks me, “Are you confident in the work?”
“Well – own it.”

She reminds me I am confident and clear that what I am saying is grounded in experience, knowledge and years of both living it and work and training.
What I am noticing is that I am standing forward. AND, on the inside I am aware of the tremble, the doubts, the dyslexic in me looking for the mis-spelled words.
Maybe I am not supposed to expose the insides as an expert.
However, for me without sharing the inside this feels incongruent.

Relating isn’t about being right or an expert. It’s about being real, sometimes raw, and stepping forward.
Yes I hope people will buy our book, read it and try things out for themselves. 
I want people to discover the beauty I have found in conflict.
Facing and wrestling with my own inner conflict.
Learning and growing through relating with CrisMarie. 
Finding the beauty in our conflict.
The mess, the cleaning up and the transforming of ourselves – as individuals and as a couple.
Taking that same vulnerability and curiosity into the world around me.

I wish I could say it gets easier and maybe it does.
I don’t think I can sell that – because I am not sure it does get easier.
Fuller and more alive.
But not easier.

Living and loving takes courage and isn’t a pill, a formula or a sure thing.
That much I do know for sure!
However – I won’t take the pill of certainty even if it was offered!
I hope you don’t either.


Order The Beauty of Conflict for Couples on Amazon now.

This article was first published on Susan Clarke’s website An Opportunity to Celebrate Life.


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