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Life Lessons From The NICU with Sue Ludwig

Meet Sue Ludwig

Sue Ludwig is a sought-after speaker, consultant, and writer. A licensed occupational therapist and certified neonatal therapist, she is president and founder of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT), where she uses a blend of clinical expertise, innovation, and leadership to support the advancement of this specialized field on a global level.  Sue is the media expert in neonatal therapy for the American Occupational Therapy Association, a member of the steering committee for the National Coalition for Infant Health, and a medical advisory board member for Hope for HIE.  She has received the Laura Edmunds Lectureship Award from UMass Memorial Medical Center, the Individual Contribution to Maternal and Child Health Award from the National Perinatal Association, the Entreleadership Momentum Award from Ramsey Solutions, and the Alumni Professional Achievement Award from Eastern Kentucky University. She has also been named a Graham’s Foundation Resilience Honoree.  Sue’s book Tiny Humans, Big Lessons was published in March of 2022. Today, Sue lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and a few dogs and has two grown children.

Lessons From The NICU

You will be touched, moved, and empowered by this conversation with Sue. She shares how her years spent caring carefully for tiny humans led to some of her biggest breakthroughs and lessons. Here’s the thing, we are all made of energy. In the NICU, it was clear that helping the infants to preserve and manage their energy meant life or death. Sue realized that this is true for adults as well and shared how she applied these lessons to her own life.

Managing Your Energy

After the devastating experience of her husband losing his job, losing their dream home and money, working two jobs, and finding out her young son was a victim of a crime, she found herself exhausted, overwhelmed, numb, and in fear mode. Let alone falling asleep in the chair getting her haircut; Sue felt like she was barely surviving. She found herself caught on a hamster wheel that she was dying to get off. The lessons she learned in the NICU helped her heal slowly, come home to herself, and shift her energy. Here are the steps that Sue and I discussed that I know can help you if you’re finding yourself in survival mode rather than thriving.

Become aware and observe where your energy is being wasted versus invested.

Realize that you have a choice about where your energy is going.

Ask yourself, ‘What am I doing that gives me energy versus takes away my energy?’ Be honest with yourself.

Check your calendar to see where there are energy leaks, in other words, where you are doing things that are not aligned with your energy or priorities. Start to prune anything that is not giving you energy.

Like our dear mutual friend, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor says, please take responsibility for the energy you bring into the room.

Watch Your Words

The words you are saying are more powerful than you might realize. Your words are important and can change the energy in the room and within your relationships. Pay attention to the words you’re using, observe what you’re saying, and notice how you feel when you say certain things. Sue shared how she often used to say, ‘I don’t care,’ when asked about a preference, be it eating out or doing something. She realized that saying she didn’t care didn’t powerfully align with how she felt. She started to switch her words and said things like, ‘I don’t have a preference,’ which felt very different to her husband, family, and herself.

The Power of Intentions

Intentions direct your energy. Sue realized the difference it made to setting an intention before entering the NICU and in her life. We talked about her 5-second powerful process that changed her life. I wanted to share it with you here because it’s easy to do and can make all the difference in how you feel and show up daily.



Check your baggage (Sue likes to imagine literally checking your luggage at the door)

Set your intention

The World Needs Your You-est You

I truly hope this conversation gave you more permission to pause, rest, stop pushing, and watch and manage your own energy and inner state. Everyone is unique in their own way, and you certainly are here for a reason. Sue reminds us that we would never compare babies in the NICU, and we should take from this lesson and remember to stop comparing ourselves to others. You’re unlike anyone else on the planet, and it’s time to honor that. Be willing to believe in your own light, gifts, and talents. It’s time to be your ‘You-est You’!

A Free Toolset To Design Your Best Life

This stunning free toolset is a 7-day workbook (25 pages full) of powerful mindset practices, grounding meditations (and audio), a new beautiful time management system and template to set your personalized schedule for your best productivity, a personalized energy assessment, and so much more. It was designed to specifically help you uplevel your routine and self-care habits for success so you can radiate and become your ‘You-est You’. These tools are some of Julie’s best practices used with hundreds of her clients to help you feel more confident, clear, and connected to your best self so that you feel inspired to take on the world.

Get it at:

Looking To Help Others Get Unstuck and Design Their Best Life?

If you are feeling a strong urge to help other big-hearted empaths get unstuck and design their best life, you’ve got to check out my Life Designer Coach Academy. This world-class four-month virtual live coach certification program will give you proven tools, techniques, practices, and methodology to be a powerful coach. This coaching program is for aspiring and current coaches looking to fill in the missing pieces and gain confidence and mastery both in the coaching core competencies and the integrative health modalities from a mind-body science, positive psychology, and healing arts perspective. To learn more, go to


You-est You Intention Cards

Want your own powerful deck of 33 You-est You Intention Cards? These cards were channeled by Julie. Each card has an empowering intention and deeper questions to ask your ‘You-est You’ for greater self-awareness, higher consciousness, and spiritual growth. You can get them now at


Sacred Connection

This community is a sacred, safe place built on love and acceptance. It was created to help you evolve and expand into your highest self. Please share your wisdom, comments, and thoughts. I love hearing from you and learning how you are being your truest, you-est you. Please join us in our Facebook group: The You-est You® Podcast Community.


Join host Julie Reisler, author and multi-time TEDx speaker, each week to learn how you can tap into your best self and become your You-est You® to achieve inner peace, happiness, and success at a deeper level! Tune in to hear powerful, inspirational stories and expert insights from entrepreneurs, industry thought leaders, and extraordinary human beings that will help to transform your life. Julie also shares a-ha moments that have shaped her life and career and discusses key concepts from her book Get a PhD in YOU.


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Here’s to your being your ‘You-est You!’



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