Emily Sause is a New York-born and California bred creative with a penchant for play and a warm curiosity toward life. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Political Science, Emily put her focus on peace and conflict studies on the back burner while exploring different post-grad opportunities. While delving into varied experiences ranging from experiential design and art installations, to small business management and private equity, Emily gathered information that was integral in helping form her multidisciplinary approach to life. After fabricating custom window displays for Tory Burch and Club Monaco out of all non-toxic materials, teaching free reproductive health classes on a roadtrip across the country with The Fifth Vital Sign non-profit initiative, and co-founding Shine On in Schools; a project that brings dance and movement workshops to elementary schools in low-income districts throughout the NY boroughs, Emily is now committing her energies to the development of community and culture at The Assemblage. She works to facilitate active crowd-sourcing while infusing the space with moments of shared ritual and encouraged vulnerability.
When Emily Sause first started experiencing symptoms of narcolepsy in college, she wasn’t even sure what was happening. She felt like she might be dozing off in class and noticed ink spots on her papers where her pen had rested. But it wasn’t until she asked students and professors, who confirmed that she had been sleeping in class, that she realized something wasn’t right. She was officially diagnosed with narcolepsy, and since then, has sought both self-awareness and acceptance of her condition. On today’s episode, we talk about what a narcoleptic episode looks and feels like, and why you shouldn’t take her to the movies (but a cross-country road trip is no big deal, as long as she can get a 10-minute nap when she needs it). And we discuss why, more than anything else, she has embraced her curiosity about her condition, mysterious qualities and all.
Here are some of the things Emily and I chatted about:
Why it was heart-wrenching when a professor told her she had been nodding off all semester
The experience of going to a sleep lab and discovering the truth behind her sleep patterns
Why she thinks of her narcolepsy as a condition, rather than an illness or a disease
Her reluctance to treat her episodes with a medicine she would have to be on for life
The impact of her meditation practice, and the mysterious nature of what is occurring
How she feels when a narcoleptic episode is coming on, and what the episode is like
Why she doesn’t want to fear her condition, but has to also bring self-awareness to it
The importance of listening to her body, and why she feels it’s an empowering skill
The roles alcohol, marijuana, and psychedelics currently play (or don’t play) in her life
Misinformation about narcolepsy, and how it usually doesn’t look like what people imagine
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