Creating Space

Space is a precious commodity on our planet. Building a home, planting and harvesting our food, protecting our natural resources—these all require a certain amount of physical space. There are times when it could look and feel as though there is not enough space, or no space left. And yet as humans we all have the capacity and capability to create space!

Creating space requires intention, it requires focus and dedication. It also requires trust—trust that creating the space for something or someone to come into our lives increases the possibility and probability of its entrance exponentially. Without the space to be, it will not and cannot be. This goes for the things that we want in our lives and unfortunately, it also works for those things which we would rather not have. If we create a space for something, the likelihood of it waltzing in and setting up camp is immediately heightened. We are the gardeners of our lives: when we till the earth, nourish the soil, and set up the picket fence we have created a new space for either fruits and flowers, or weeds and poison ivy, to take root.

Bringing attention and setting boundaries is what creates space. Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt saw this when they founded the U.S. National Parks. The physical and legislative structure of the boundaries they implemented 100 years ago is what allowed the life and vibrancy of what is inside the parks to flourish and grow. Many of these boundaries are still in place today and their maintenance and negotiation are where much of the energy is expended for their protection. Recall that boundaries are living things. Their strength and geometry are meant to change, move, ebb and flow, which is what keeps that which they protect alive and thriving.

 Photo credit: Christine Waljeski

Photo credit: Christine Waljeski

Recall also that space is not only the physical realm. I’m not talking about the Theory of Relativity and the Space Time Continuum, although if Albert Einstein were alive today I am confident he would make a great guest writer for the Lightyear Blog. What I mean is that sometimes we actually need to create the space for a new thought, a new idea. The space for a new relationship to a thought or idea or even the space that there is a new idea to be had!

As humans we are the gardeners of our lives, always managing the space, the boundaries and the contents. Space is a precious commodity and it can be managed responsibly and powerfully—with love, intention, fun and a playful sense of geometry.

  • What new boundaries will you set, creating the space for something to grow?
  • What boundaries have you set that are ready for an update, upgrade, move or change?
  • What area(s) of your life need(s) a little more space?
  • Where are you taking up too much space, or not enough?
 Photo Credit: Larry Lindahl

Photo Credit: Larry Lindahl

From Susanne: Immerse Yourself

I knew, even before it started, that the 2016 Houston-based igolu certification cohort would be both the best, and the last one of its kind.  As we were launching that winter, I was already deep into my own transformation pattern, swimming in the ocean, not being able to touch the bottom, knowing that I knew something yet not knowing what I knew.

People expect continuity, yet I am here to deliver rapid global transformation achieving a world of generosity and sustainability within my lifetime. I turn 57 this month. Continuity makes no promises.

We get a lot of requests from people asking when the next certification program is starting. For five years, I threw everything within me against the wall like a giant pot of spaghetti, seeing what would stick, and what fell off.

 Photo credit: Curtiss Conrad

Photo credit: Curtiss Conrad

I learned I was “emptying the ocean with a spoon” as Coldplay says. I was working too hard on the wrong things with a small tool.

Moving forward there is no certification. Forgive the transformation if this is upsetting.



It's not about having people deliver the content, it's about the content delivering people.

Think of Lightyear Leadership as a transportation company.  Our job it to get people where they are already supposed to be.  I looked at what is the fastest, most reliable, scalable way to liberate the unknown leader within.  It is the four month long Lightyear Immersion.  This program is the future foundation of all the work we will do moving forward.  All the essential items in one rapid experience, creating a rich community of fellow self-leaders to work with over time.

Want to elevate women leaders with me in Ethiopia?

Immerse yourself first and start raising $8,900.

Think that is too hard? Stop thinking. Can’t stop thinking? Immerse yourself.  Get over it. Get through it. Get out of line.

Want to shareback with me at Mt Namuli in Mozambique?Immerse yourself first and start raising $8,900.

Want to go both places? Raise $17,800? Renew your passport and get a yellow fever vaccination!

Wish you would have signed up for igolu certification back in 2013?

Forgive yourself and immerse yourself—now.

Know on some level you need help “moving” to where you are meant to be? Immerse yourself now!

This is not marketing.  This is truth. Take it and run with it.


Love, Susanne

Having a Lightmoment

Having a moment, in this context, means being cognizant of a specific moment in time that is particularly gratifying or moving. A lightmoment is all of this...and more. It is a moment when you realize, "Wow! I am actually IN my vision." Living right inside those pages you jotted down not so long ago. You saw it. You wrote it. Now you are actually experiencing it. 

 Here is the thing about creating a vision for your future. . . sometimes you find yourself right in the middle of it, a lot sooner than you thought.     -Molly Wengler, Moment LC

Here is the thing about creating a vision for your future. . . sometimes you find yourself right in the middle of it, a lot sooner than you thought.   

-Molly Wengler, Moment LC

It can be a big, booming, AHA moment, leaving you jazzed, inspired and empowered to take on your life in a new way—if you made this happen, what else is possible?!

Or it can be a subtle, sweet gratifying moment that reminds you of life's simple joys and pleasures—and to pay attention to these simple moments of glory because isn't this what life is all about?

What lightmoments have you experienced in your life? What was your moment like? Big and explosive? Sweet and simple? Something entirely different? 


Share your lightmoments with us and the Lightyear community. 

Post in the comments below and on social media using #lightmoment. We want to see YOU living into your vision!

 Standing on stage. Looking out at my friends and family. A dream I have had for as long as I can remember. I fulfilled my long time goal to create, produce, and star in a solo show in March of 2017. I felt 100% myself and in the correct place at that moment.   –Matt Hoglund

Standing on stage. Looking out at my friends and family. A dream I have had for as long as I can remember. I fulfilled my long time goal to create, produce, and star in a solo show in March of 2017. I felt 100% myself and in the correct place at that moment. 

–Matt Hoglund

From Susanne: Loving With Intention and Without Agenda

Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The day with the most light to accomplish or illuminate.

This season gives us an opportunity to observe and see into our own self-led journey. I am just recently home from leading some important corporate programs and people often ask me about choice. They often ask, “How do I bridge the gap between my vision and the vision of my partner or the vision of the company I work for?” So let me tell you this story.

When I was a single parent living in Boulder. I had a wonderful housemate. His name is Charlie. While I would go off and work at the bomb plant, Charlie owned and operated a small high end acoustic company in Boulder. I remember one summer day simply making the choice to love him—not romantically, not sexually, not in any kind of a woo-woo way, but as a human being and as someone with whom I was sharing my home. Charlie was part of my physical atmosphere, the atmosphere where I was raising my two boys. This all happened well before I created the Lightyear methodology, yet what I can tell you is that as soon as I made that choice everything got easier. Whether deciding who was going to do the dishes, how we were going to divide the cost of a lawnmower or the cost of a washer and dryer—it all came from this choice of being loving.

I never stopped Charlie and said, “Hey Charlie, I’ve made a choice to love you.” I didn’t need to.  I could feel the difference in how he responded to me and how I was able to assist him in making strategic decisions about his small business. In my self-led journey of love and choice, much of what I learned, experienced, and discovered led me to build the methodology that many of you know as Lightyear Leadership.

 Susanne & Brett in Tanzania 2017

Susanne & Brett in Tanzania 2017

Charlie and his business partner Peter were cyclists and they would go on rides all the time as many people in Boulder do. One morning while I was clearing the back porch and playing with my boys, Peter and Charlie brought over this guy named Brett. I was a single Mom and  at that time I often invited men into my life to do things with the boys and I called them my “Bench.” What I didn’t know was that Charlie and Peter were giving Brett the “Susanne tour,” and I was actually being set up.

In choosing to uplift my own personal and intimate environment by loving Charlie, I was rewarded with many things including an introduction to my husband of 25 years. On this day at the peak of light as you engage in your own self-led journey, where can you love someone without agenda yet with intention?

In September of 2004 Charlie was hit by a motorcycle and became a paraplegic. I am seeing him finding freedom from pain and walking.

Lightyear Ethiopia: Transformation, Education, and a Camel

Thanks to everyone who supported the Lightyear Leadership trainings throughout this past year. We are excited to share a glimpse of what we experienced with you!

In March of 2016, Lightyear Leadership (then igolu) created a vision.
With imagine1day, we partnered to create a vision of 300 community leaders within Ethiopian coming together as participants to experience the foundational Lightyear Leadership programs. We envisioned a team of North American Lightyear Leaders raising the funds to pay for these 300 participants to travel to three locations spanning Ethiopia and partake in a three and a half day training.
This vision became a reality!

18 North American Leaders
$184,000 USD Raised
18 imagine1day Ethiopian staff
344 Ethiopian participants
Countless lives were transformed


"I learned the power of committed speaking and authenticity. I discovered that my happiness is the most valuable resource I have. I experienced sustainable service and transformation."

- Nancy Perry, Lightyear Licensee and Owner of BIG

Below is a brief sampling of what we experienced on the trip. 

Our team of 18 North American leaders arrived in Addis Ababa. We spent the day touring the capital and visiting the National Museum of Ethiopia where we saw the “Lucy” remains. We visited the bustling and life-filled Merkato and attended an art opening of acclaimed Ethiopian artist Desta Hagos, who is also the mother of one of our trip participants and members of the US Board of imagine1day, Feben Johannes.

Day Two.png

We spent the day connecting and aligning as a team and with our Ethiopian Lightyear counterparts: Seid, Halefom, and Muktar at the Yaya Athletic Village on Mount Entoto. To get to know each other in a quick yet meaningful way, we created "paper Pecha Kuchas" of our ten top transformational leadership moments.

The three teams split up to travel to the different locations for each of the trainings.

Matt Hoglund and his team went by plane to Mek’ele in the Northern region of Tigray.

Mek'ele Team
front row: Mary Grace Rogers, Christine Waljeski, Rebecca Bligh, Crystal Beshears
back row: Matt Hoglund, Halefom Gezaei, Julien Dubois

Goba team.JPG

Nancy Perry and her team traveled 8 hours by car to Goba to the Southern part of the Oromia region.

Goba Team
Meghan Radde, Christina Polzin, Megan Vigus, Hunter Conrad, Nancy Perry, Molly Wengler

And Susanne Conrad and her team traveled a few hours by car to Adama in the north of the Oromia region.

Adama Team
Susanne Conrad, Sophie Allen, Mallory Littell, Marc Littell, Brett Conrad, Dr. Velinda Paranal

Each team led the same three and half day training covering the Lightyear Leadership foundational programs: Personal Legacy and Integrated Leadership.
In attendance were medium to top level government officials and other professionals including heads of all key bureaus in Tigray and Oromia. Directors from the Ministry of Education, directors from Public Service and Human Resource Development Ministry, CEOs of business organizations and charities, professors from universities and teacher colleges, district administrators and education bureau heads and Project Advisory Committee (PAC) members. Most of the bureau heads and district administrators lead organizations with over 100k people. For Instance, participant Dr. Bikila who is head of the Oromia Public Service and Human Resource Development Bureau, leads over 450,000 civil servants. 

Day Eight.png

The three teams travelled and met at the Goba Wabeshabale hotel where Nancy and her team completed their trainings. We pit stopped there for the evening and came together to celebrate our accomplishments.


"I experienced Ethiopian leaders who are inspired and committed to the future of their country. They see what is possible for their people and are ready to be a stand for the greatness of Ethiopia!"

- Molly Wengler, Lightyear Licensee and Leadership Coach

We then moved into the second part of the trip. Meeting up with Mary Anna Noveck and her team that raised $150,000 US to build a school with imagine1day in honor of her dear friend, Irma Lyons. We travelled from the early morning to the late afternoon to arrive in time for the inauguration and celebration of the school. We were met with hundreds of members of the local community to celebrate the new school. We danced, listened to speeches and gave speeches. WE were gifted A CAMEL and graciously donated it back to the local community.
For the next two nights we camped in tents near the beautiful new school that was built. We played games with the children of the village, danced at a bonfire each night with the villagers, and held a community meeting with the elders of the community where we shared about committed speaking and listening as a leader and the power of making clear requests and giving clear committed responses. 


"I learned that deep listening and self-discovery go beyond language and translation. I learned about new cultures and traditions. I learned a bigger definition of family and community in the small village of Filangur and I also learned how to milk a goat."

- Christine Waljeski, Lightyear Licensee and NIA Teacher

We travelled most of the day in our caravan of SUV’s to the Hara Langano Lodge. The lodge was situated on the bank of the breathtaking Lake Langano. 

We began the morning with a meeting about all the ways we can continue the momentum and partnership of Lightyear Leadership and imagine1day.
Once this was complete we began our trek back to Addis for our flights home.

"I experienced a new level of leadership. As I got bigger I saw how that allowed everyone around me to get bigger. And fun, lots and lots of fun!"

- Matt Hoglund, Lightyear Licensee and Lightyear Leadership Program Coordinator

Some of the exciting impacts that have already taken place since the trainings:

  • Trainees from Mek’ele were interviewed on the national news on how the trainings would support their leadership
  • The Ethiopian Ministry of Education decided to provide the trainings for all 40 directors at the ministry
  • The Tigray Head of the Regional Education Bureau requested Lightyear Leadership trainings for all 150 employees working for him 
  • The Ethiopian Air Force requested the trainings be delivered to their middle level leadership