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coach | facilitator | mindful outdoor guide

I’ve won and lost, given and taken, seen and heard. I’ve paid attention often enough, and appreciate the perspective offered by time—by living a life. Is wisdom as simple as being able to say “lesson learned?


It is not my ability to break challenges into manageable pieces that qualifies me as a personal coach. It is not my long history with managing large projects or my strong record of asking questions that evoke solutions. I do these things well; but what really qualifies me is having lived through (I Google “synonyms for shitstorm”) dilemmas, brouhahas, quandaries, entanglements, and heartbreaks. Some I handled better than others.

Susan McDowell is a Whole Person Certified Coach based in Central Vermont.

I’ve been left behind. Deceived. I’ve been a smoker and destructive drinker. I’ve gone through times where I struggled to buy food, have studied for a profession that wasn’t a fit (more than once), strode ill-equipped into blending a family, quit things, ended relationships, gotten fired, and had conflict with other humans. I built a house with my man but not with much money. Both of my parents have died. I’ve been through a pandemic!


I’ve traveled to beautiful places to hike for days on end, planted stunning gardens, delightfully decorated my home, found deep friends, and laughed often with my husband. I’ve celebrated decades of marriage and have enjoyed the company of my grown stepdaughter. I’ve played chamber music and jazz with joy in public, and evolved to find work that moves me—work that is service. I’ve gained know-how and earned respect in business dealings. This side of the storm is intentional and full.

If you are in a pickle, tight corner, soap opera, hassle, or predicament, I’d like to help. Maybe you’re just ready to make a change. Either way, we’ll start where you are, then activate your most resourced spaces by listening to mind, body, heart, and spirit. I would love to see you step into a future in which the richest version of you continues to emerge.


Associate Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation.

Certified Professional Coach and
Whole Person Certified Coach, both through Coach Training World.

Completed certificate program as Mindful Outdoor Guide through Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership.
Discover more about Mindful Outdoor Experiences here.

Certificate of Achievement. This certificate recognizes that Susan McDowell has successfully completed the Training, Facilitation, and Consulting Certificate, a seven-month course that combines face-to-face and online training supported by individual coaching. April 29, 2020. Marlboro College Center for New Leadership. Signed by Stephanie Lahar, Andy Robinson, Dianne russell, and Kim Lier.

Completed certificate program in Training, Facilitation, and Consulting through the Center for New Leadership at Marlboro College.

Find my full resume on LinkedIn.


My journey with Susan as a coach has been so supportive and cultivating. She has a calm, peaceful demeanor that immediately allows me to feel comfortable. Susan has a way of illuminating the questions or roadblocks that hold you back, without any judgement or harshness. Every session with Susan leaves me feeling confident, authentic, and capable. I truly feel like I can be my complete vulnerable self with Susan, I do not feel ashamed or embarrassed when we work together, which gives me the freedom and power to grow and make honest changes. I look forward to every session with Susan and I am so grateful to have her support and wisdom as my coach.
—Karlie C.

Susan is truly a delightful human being. She brings gentleness and compassion to life coaching while at the same time is a wellspring of strength and accountability. She uses her amazing intuition to help you see what is holding you back. I’m scattered at times and I needed someone to help me structure my thoughts to figure out precisely what I wanted to do with my life. She was there for me for the entire journey without judgement. I’m ten pounds lighter, exercising consistently, eating healthy, and happy with work. No complaints here!”
—Misty M.

Working with Susan has been an amazing experience! Her business savvy combined with her emotional intelligence continually make me dig deeper to discover new thoughts and ideas that push me to move forward with my goals. In addition, when I finally achieve my goals, nobody is a more supportive cheerleader to help me celebrate my successes. I encourage anyone who wants to evoke change in their lives work with Susan!
—Suzi S.

“Susan was very much an active listener throughout my coaching sessions. With a combination of insight, patience and humour, Susan guided me through the coaching process. With the work on values, and in finding what’s important for me she helped me lay a foundation for future choices to balance the different aspects of my life. Along the way, there was also fun in my findings in making it a rewarding process! Thank you Susan for your warm and friendly guidance down life’s path.”
—Nerissa M.

Creative Work

I am interested in the human condition, and love to find ways to explore and express that. Here are some of my projects.