The spiritual drive every person is born with – and that subconsciously motivates people to reach their full potential – is what McKinney Licensed Professional Counselor Suzanne Hales calls “inner gold.”

Finding that inner gold can be a difficult, introspective process but it is exceptionally worthwhile, Hales said. So, Hales gave attendees at the sold-out Women’s Alliance of McKinney (WAM) luncheon on March 22 a quick exercise to help them get started and reap the rewards.

Attendees were curious to see where the exercise was headed, and quickly realized its importance. The result was an awareness of their unconscious mind, and they soon learned the importance of validating it.

Hales, founder of Counseling and Consulting Associates (CCA) of North Texas, was the first therapist in McKinney. She first spent 12 years teaching psychology and serving as a girls’ coach at McKinney High School before she earned a doctor of education degree in counseling and opened CCA.

Hales told luncheon attendees that the unconscious mind drives 93 percent of human behavior. And, within that “unconscious stuff” are beliefs each person developed as a child, beliefs passed on from their parents’ childhoods, and negative thoughts fueled by media and popular culture.

All of this can lead the unconscious self to think “I’m not OK. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough,” Hales said. “That belief that ‘I’m not OK’ – if I don’t know it’s a lie, then it’s always working in the background and it unconsciously drives me,” she said.

To reveal their inner gold, people must look inward, become introspective and listen to what’s already there – the true self – residing in each person’s soul. That is our task in life – to seek out our true self and bring life to it, she said. Pay attention to dreams, intuitive thoughts and journal about them. That’s how the unconscious mind speaks to us, she said.

Hales said that often, people don’t look inward until they are hurting from an event that rattles them, such as job loss, divorce or the death of a loved one. She encouraged attendees to use that as an opportunity to look within themselves to find what is already there, who they were truly meant to be.

“Life, death, new life – that process of loss, of letting go, it always brings to us new life,” Hales explained.

Attendees Rosio Garcia of American National Bank and Tracey Fox of Ericka’s Hair on the Square were among those who enjoyed the presentation. “She was very inspiring,” Fox said. Garcia agreed, saying: “To me, searching for yourself is faith-based, and I like that she’s saying it’s one in the same thing.”

For more information on Hales and CCA of North Texas, call 972-542-8144 or go online to