St. Louis Park author shares advice for finding peace

The cover of “Peace in the Puzzle: Becoming Your Intended Self” illustrates the book’s theme with a set of jigsaw puzzle pieces. (Submitted art)
St. Louis Park author Susan Myhre Hayes shares her insights to living in “Peace in the Puzzle: Becoming Your Intended Self.” (Submitted photo)

By Rachel Anderson – Contributing Writer

Do you wake up each morning excited to see what the day will bring and how you can contribute? If so, congratulations. You have likely found your “peace in the puzzle.”

If not, Susan Myhre Hayes of St. Louis Park says it’s time to start doing things differently. As she was approaching her 60th birthday, she came to that realization, made changes and decided to write a book about her journey of intentional change.

“Peace in the Puzzle: Becoming Your Intended Self” was released in late 2011. The book shares the author’s story of how she discovered what her true purpose in life is and how she lives out that purpose daily.

“I believe that everybody is intended to do something in this life, and I think figuring out what that is – what your piece in the puzzle is – is vital for each of us,” Hayes said. “Once you find that, or at least you are in hot pursuit of it, that’s when you find peace in the puzzle.”

Right after college, Hayes worked as a high school teacher in Illinois and Ohio. When she returned home to Minnesota and was unable to find a teaching job, she pursued a Master’s Degree.

After graduating, she pursued work in communications, which led to a career in philanthropy. She now serves as the director of community grants for the Lutheran Community Foundation, where she says she has the opportunity to make a difference daily. But Hayes says of all the things she has done it was completing her manuscript that helped her find her “Peace in the Puzzle.”

“My piece in the puzzle – the role I am intended to play – is to help others find theirs,” she explains in the introduction to her book. “I write this book to inspire others to find their own true greatness; to help others find their piece in the puzzle and, thereby, their peace in the puzzle.”

The book is divided into 16 chapters, each of which builds on the previous one. Through stories, reflections and the tools she used, the author explains the steps she took in her journey to lead her to become the person she was intended to be all along.

Among the tools used to reach her goal are using affirmations, positive self-talk; engaging a personal board of directors who helped her make important decisions; reflecting back on the path she had traveled and noting what she had learned along the way and where she was being led; and providing advice to her younger self as hundreds of others did for the book.

“Everything that I did was so helpful for me, I thought that it would be helpful to other people, too,” Hayes said. “The world needs each of us fulfilling our role.”

“Peace in the Puzzle: Becoming Your Intended Self” is available for purchase online through or on the author’s website,