the word that drew me in

The other day I wrote an email about listening to a call. I spoke about an email I had received and I couldn’t remember what drew me in. 

And then I realized what it was.  It was the word, SISTERHOOD. 

When I saw the word “sisterhood” and the phrase “the key to having a successful business is sisterhood” I was certainly intrigued because I couldn’t understand how sisterhood could be the key to having a successful business.

So signed up for the Holiday Challenge to find out.

It was the most eye-opening experience. 

I had never experienced a group of women so excited about growth and in support of one another wholeheartedly.

I realized I was coming from a belief that…

  • Women are competitive and envious of one another

  • I have to do things alone

  • I don’t have support from the women around me

  • I have to be alone in my business

  • I don’t have anyone to communicate my ideas with

  • Women around me don’t understand me

  • No one can reflect back to me the gifts they see in me

All of these beliefs are limiting and all of these beliefs were important for me to recognize and then to change. They were vital to the growth of my business and to the growth of myself.

Sisterhood was the key to changing all of them. I no longer believe any of them. 

Here are some other things I have learned from being in sisterhood:

  • You must have a coach to be a great coach.

  • You must have a team of woman always supporting you or you will feel alone.

  • You must have woman in your life that can reflect to you the gifts they see inside of you.

  • You must have other woman who are holding your vision with you for it to happen faster.

  • You must be witnessed in your messiness without judgement in order to move through it.

  • You must have woman who will tell you the truth with love and compassion so you stay truthful with yourself.

  • AND you must learn to do all of these for other women.

This is Sisterhood…true heartfelt, real sisterhood.

sometimes you hear the call

Sometimes you hear a call to do something and you don’t understand it. In fact, you don’t even think it is possible. So you ignore it.  And you keep trying to do something else and it keeps failing. And then you decide to listen and magic happens.

This is the exact thing that happened to me in 2015. My husband had been telling me for years to become a life coach. I knew he was right but I just couldn’t imagine how I could make that happen.

I had already invested thousands of hours and so much money into my yoga business. I wasn’t getting the ROI that I had wanted or expected. I couldn’t imagine spending more time and money in my business. Part of me just wanted to quit.

One day, I found myself calling my best friend, crying.  She asked me a really good question. She said, what do you want?  What do you really want?

After allowing myself to cry, I answered her. I knew what I wanted. I wanted to create a mind, body, and soul program for women. One that encompassed all of my work and all of who I am.  I wanted it to be a program where I could teach yoga and so much more.

And I knew my vision would require me to enter into the world of Life Coaching.

A couple months later, Nisha Moodley, a coach I had been following for a while sent an email (like I am sending now) about a colleague who was leading a Holiday Challenge, Jeannine Yoder.

I don’t remember what drew me in.  I don’t remember the words she used.

Later, I realized I was joining the Mentor Masterclass holiday Challenge. The MM Holiday Challenge is a 30 day challenge and everyday you receive a challenge presented to you by an amazing coach. It’s a rich experience filled with learning and growing.

It was those challenges that lead me to joining Mentor Masterclass, a program designed to teach women how to design a successful coaching business. Essentially it is an all-in-one training for Life Coaching.

And so, like that, I became a certified Life Coach.

Saying yes to the Holiday Challenge and to Mentor Masterclass was one of the best decisions I have made in my business and in my life.

I am forever grateful to my husband for planting the seed, to Nisha for presenting the stem, and to Jeanine for the water and the sun.

My flower bloomed beyond what I thought possible.

my unraveling journey

I’m so grateful for my own unraveling journey.

It’s rare that we deeply change in a moment.

Mostly it takes many moments.
Mostly it takes many moments to deeply know ourselves.
Mostly it takes many moments to deeply embrace ourselves. Mostly it takes many moments to share ourselves.

I use to hide behind a closed door. I felt alone and unwilling to embrace my beliefs, my desires, my magic and my knowing because it felt “unpopular”.

When I first began practicing yoga, my family thought was in a cult because it was not of the norm.

When I first began eating gluten free, dairy free, meat free, GMO free, etc I was considered “boring” because it wasn’t part of mainstream. (FYI I am not free of all these at current time)

When I first began burning incense and plant materials, using tarot cards, meditating, talking to my spirit guides, visiting psychics and energy healers I was considered “weird” because it wasn’t of the norm.

Thank goodness for social media. For connecting me to the other humans in the world that have a similar life experience as me because I feel more normal.

AND…thank goodness…

I don’t hide anymore. I allow “all of me” to be seen. All of my beliefs, my desires, my magic and my knowing. It doesn’t matter if it is popular or unpopular, it only matters that it’s me. It only matters that I embody my perspective, how I relate and see the world around me.

The picture above is taken by a dear friend and client of mine who sees all of me. She captured “me” in a moment in time. One in which I would have never shared before.

I’m so grateful for my choice to come out of my room and stop hiding. I’m so grateful for my own unraveling journey.

And I am deeply honored to witness you in yours. And it doesn’t matter if it is similar to mine or totally opposite of mine. 

The world needs more honor of one another so that we aren’t afraid to be seen and heard.

what you really want is...

Instead of asking you…what do you want? I ask you who do you want to become, who do you long to be?

Or even better, How do you desire to show up in the world?

We often look outside ourselves. We ask for things like a bigger house, a great body, or more money. We think these things are going to make us happy and while these things are wonderful they only provide happiness for a short time.

They provide short-term happiness because they are a tangible things that we can see or touch and we can say, “I have reached my goal.”

Many people I talk to say, I have all of these things but I am not really happy.

And when I ask them what makes them happy, they either say, I don’t know or they begin to list several other “things” that they think will make them happy.

It is always something outside of themselves.

This is because we aren’t looking inward. We aren’t asking ourselves, How do I desire to show up in the world?

When I ask others that question, the answer comes from deep within.

I get answers such as peaceful, loving, compassionate, joyful, giving, powerful, etc.

These are ways of being. And BEING is the way.

What I know from working with so many people and from doing the inner work myself is that we are ultimately asking for contentment.

We want to show up in the world as CONTENT.  Content means a state of peaceful happiness or satisfaction.

Do you live in a state of peaceful happiness?  Are you satisfied with your life?

Really think about this.

Living in a state of peaceful happiness all of the time is impossible (in my opinion). We aren’t meant to be peaceful happy humans all of the time. We struggle, we have pain, we get hurt, we have disease, we face death.  These are real human issues that cause suffering and are not peaceful and happy moments.

But we can have an overall contentment even amidst the struggles.

Once you learn how to be content within the struggles of your life, your life becomes easier.  The struggles are real and you are able to move through them.

It is like a bubble that you are in.  The outer edge of the bubble is content and inside, things happening and you are watching them and moving through them and feeling them.

This makes it easier to do the inner work without getting burnt-out. Without feeling like you failed and without feeling like you have a destination to get to.

Learning the art of contentment takes courage and bravery because it means you have to trust that everything that is happening is happening for your benefit. No matter what it is. And that is really really hard. It takes a willingness to surrender and accept yourself just as you are, messy and beautiful all at the same time. And it take a willingness to feel all of your emotions, all of the time, whenever they come up.  It requires a lot of letting go and an openness to change.

two things we need more of

I need two things…slowing down and real connection. I believe we all do.

I believe we are living our lives way to fast and we are disconnected. I believe fast living and disconnection are the biggest problems in our world today.

Change cannot happen at a world-wide level unless we begin to change within ourselves.

We are speeding from one thing to the next. We are not paying attention. We are doing things to give our lives meaning but meaning cannot be found in doing.

We cannot hear the messages meant for us if we are moving too fast. We cannot hear the information the body is telling us if we are moving too fast. We cannot tap into the universal connection between all of us if we are doing too much.  We cannot find meaning without listening within. Meaning lies within us.

Meaning is in the moment your child tells you he loves you, in the air that sweeps past your face, in the plant that grows in your backyard, in the conversation with your best friend.

And the conversation with your best friend only has meaning if you are listening.

Because most of the time we aren’t listening to one another.  We are blaming, attacking, and comparing. We believe…I have it better than them or they have it better than me. We believe…something is wrong with me or something is wrong with them. We aren’t listening to how people are feeling. We immediately make it about us.  This creates dis-connection.

These are a few ways I slow down. They all lead to a simpler life so that I can listen within and create more meaning.

I keep less things around. More space, less things, less to do.

I don’t make a lot of appointments and I don’t spend a lot of time doing my hair, putting makeup on, etc.

I don’t pack my calendar. I say no to a lot. This means I don’t get invited to everything and I am okay with that.

I spend equal time with my kids, my love, myself and my family as a whole.

I go to the grocery store the same day and time each week. I exercise the same day and time each week. I do my laundry every Sunday. Of course if I am on vacation this shifts but I am flexible because I have time.

I spend money on things that make my life easier and more spacious. Things like a house cleaner, systems to make my business run more smoothly, and my very own life coach.

I spend a lot of time sitting in presence, listening.

Some of these are luxuries but all of them are choices.

Think of ways in which you can slow down and begin to implement them into your life.

Slowing down leaves space for real connection.  Real connection is conscious conversation. Conscious Conversation is listening and witnessing each other in the experience, honoring each other, asking questions to learn more about one another, and truly being present together.

It begins with the practice of truly listening to another person without speaking about yourself or offering a story about you that compares to them. You simply listen and then you ask questions to learn more. You only speak about yourself if they ask or they are completely done.

When you practice this you will learn more about yourself and others than you imagined possible and it will open you up to what real connection feels like.  You will become more and more aware of yourself and others and you will be part of ending separation. It will be something you crave deeply the more you practice. And you will slow your life down so that you can have more of it.

Change starts within.

Do you trust yourself?

My husband doesn’t say much but when he does it can be so valuable. Especially when I asked his advice.

The other morning my oldest son, who is 10, was having a hard time. He worries and stresses about…what I consider…unimportant. Of course for him it’s quite important because it’s his life. It is difficult for me to console him because I get frustrated when he worries.  My emotions get intertwined with his because I used to be a worrier too so he reminds me of myself. After dropping him off at school, I had this thought to call my husband and ask if there was something he felt I needed to do differently to help the situation. It felt like a vulnerable ask because it is difficult to hear that I may be doing something wrong as a mom. But I knew it was necessary. So I called him. I asked him what he thought I needed to do to help him. His advice was to put boundaries in place (which is something I share with my clients all of the time when they are having a hard time in relationship).

Then he said something that struck me deep in my heart. It was one of those moments where he shared some very valuable words.

I shared with him what I had told our son that morning, that I wished he would trust us because we know what is best for him and our job is to guide him.

My husband’s response was…he needs to learn to trust himself.

It was a moment of yes, of course. Don’t we all.

I tell my clients all the time to trust themselves. I tell myself to trust myself.

Trust the process is one of my mantras.

Trusting in our own knowing is one of the most important things we can work on in the growth and development of our being. It is something that most of us don’t do well. Including my son.

I share the same practice with him. And when I get frustrated around his frustrations it’s because I am not trusting myself. I am not trusting what I know what is best for him. If I did, my boundaries would be in place and I would not waver from them.

And he is not trusting that he knows when he is right.

Relationships teach us so much, especially our closest ones. They are a mirror for our own growth. If we look at our relationships as an opportunity for growth we will see that we can heal faster together.

Learn to listen to the people around you. Trust them. Trust yourself.

I value real-time communication

I value real-time communication.

What I mean by that, is speaking to the truth of how we feel in the moment. 

What I mostly see in my clients and experience in my own relationships is a way of deflection or by-passing how we truly feel.

I especially see it when things get hard. We tend to disregard what we are feeling or we disregard what the other might be feeling.  We deflect or by-pass, assuming it isn’t important to speak to.

When we feel something that is uncomfortable inside, we do two things, we shut down or we get angry. But we don’t speak to it.

Shutting down looks like not speaking up, changing direction, going past it or around it, or laughing it off as no big deal.

Anger looks like, yelling and screaming, talking in words that don’t make sense, or bad-mouthing to another person.

Why don’t we speak directly to it? Because it is REALLY hard to express. We aren’t used to telling someone we feel disappointed in them and we aren’t used to hearing someone say they are disappointed in us. We immediately feel bad or take offense.

Last month, my step-dad passed away and I needed some time away from my life. I needed to retreat and feel my sorrow and grieve fully. We don’t take nearly enough time off of work and away from our life to fully feel the loss that only death can bring up. I knew I needed it.

I reached out to all of my clients and cancelled my sessions for three weeks. I cancelled all of my in-person commitments, I ordered food online to be delivered to my house, and most importantly I stepped away from social media completely. I spent time with my family talking about my step-dad and all he brought to my life and the lives of those closest to him.

At first, everyone understood; however, it wasn’t too long and I could feel the push-back from some of my clients and friends.  It wasn’t intentional. I knew they had my best interest in mind. But they were disappointed. My clients and friends had things going on in their lives and they desired support.

During these three weeks, I had several real-time communication conversations.  When I would feel the push-back or disappointment, I reached out right away and said one thing that brought about big conversations. I said…I can feel your disappointment and I would love for you to speak to it if I am reading that energy correctly.

Each time, I was reading it correctly and the conversations that arose were beautiful and very healing for all involved.

I have been practicing this for a while now and it is creating deeper relationships. If I feel something I speak to it and if I feel something from someone else, I reach out and ask.

There is definitely an art to it. Like everything, it takes practice.

It is really important not to blame or assume you know. Always ask for clarification.

When we blame we are assuming the other person is doing something to us and we aren’t taking full responsibility for our part. We assume their intention is bad. Most of the time this is a mis-perception.

When you communicate, always come from a place of love and compassion.  Ask yourself, am I coming from love and compassion?

For example,

I noticed that ….. Is everything okay with you?

I feel that you are angry with me or disappointed, is that true?

You can feel the energy in these words. They are soft, non-blaming, and non-assuming.

Real-time communication is vitally important to the entire healing of our planet.

We heal best together.

a poem abou retreating

I am slowly entering back into my life.

After having a magical and powerful experience leading retreat this past weekend, I am slowly entering back into my life.

I am reflecting.

Reflecting on the magic that is created when a space is held for women to open their hearts and fully go to the places that feel scary.

She shares her pain and struggle, her dreams and desires, her celebrations and joys, her ahas and wonders without fear of being judged.

It is healing. So very healing.

I am reflecting.

Reflecting on how many women yearn for this kind of experience yet hold themselves back out of fear. Out of uncertainty. Out of not-knowing. Out of wondering, what is a women’s retreat anyway.

I am realizing through the experience of holding women’s retreats that it is a big unknown. I have heard it called a conference, a workshop, a gathering, or a “yoga” retreat.

What is a retreat anyway?  What is a women’s retreat?

It is a gathering of women who come together for the specific purpose of healing and growing. To create experiences that help her remember who she is.

It is a withdrawal from the busy lives we lead, the expectations we put on ourselves, the responsibilities we have chosen, the societal pressures, the television, social media.

It is an opening to re-connection, unity, respect, and a feeling of belonging again. It is a place to let go and simply be as we are.

I won’t call it easy. Retreating is a choice and it isn’t always easy.

We let go of not having enough money. Of feeling like our homes will fall apart as we leave. We work through our fears of feeling like we aren’t deserving of this time away. We let go of certainty and fear of the unknown.  We let go of what is comfortable. We let go of thinking we are less important or not important at all.

Once we have moved through all of that, we must have the courage to open our hearts to the journey. To the journey of truly withdrawing. Of truly connecting with ourselves and other women. Of truly becoming the present being we yearn to be. Of truly remembering who we are.  And we do it together.

We remember how to trust, to honor, to support, and to love.

And that take a tremendous amount of courage.

I applaud you for your courage sisters.

And to the ones who came before me and the ones who will come after me. I applaud you for your courage.

I applaud you.

Today I cried.

Today I cried.

I cried for all the women of the world who have been unsupported, betrayed, judged, shunned, outcasted, and so much more.  And not only by men, but by other women.

So…I cried for ALL of us.

It showed up as a story, many stories in my own life.

Stories of trying to be good, do the right thing, fit in, be unique, be strong, be confident, be me and all the while feeling judged, talked about, outcasted, unsupported, and/or wronged.

Stories of judging, talking about, outcasting, not supporting, and wronging other women while they were simply working on being good, doing the right thing, fitting in, being unique, being strong, being confident, being there unique selves.

Yes I have been a part of it too.

We are and have been part of a societal norm which has looked like envy, comparison, judgement, and betrayal between women.

It manifests differently in each one of us. We take on different traits and roles.

It isn’t our fault, it’s what we were taught by our mothers, who were taught by their mothers and their mothers. It is how they learned to survive.

And now we have a unique opportunity to change it. To heal.

It begins by witnessing each other. Sharing what feels true and listening without judgment, comparison, envy, or wronging.  I am deeply learning this art. It has been taught to me by my mentor Jeannine Yoder and currently by my beautiful mentor Becca Piastrelli.

Women have been coming together and healing for hundreds of years but it hasn’t been accepted. Thankfully, that is changing rapidly.

It may not be easy but it’s worth it.

Let’s Heal Together!

My favorite products 2017

It’s December and I am deeply inward. It is a beautiful time right now. I feel the power of the holidays and the entering of Wintertime. It always feels so good to me.

I have been doing so much yoga and breathing and contemplation and quiet meditation.  These practices help me develop a deeper awareness of my own being.

I have also been sitting by the fire, enjoying time with my boys (we had an impromptu date last night), looking at the tree lights, and saying hello to the sun as it enters the kitchen every morning. The simplest of things bring me so much joy.

Products also make me happy. I simply LOVE feel good, self-care products.

This morning while taking a shower it occurred to me that it would be fun to record a video of my 8 favorite products. I did this a few years back and it was so much fun that I decided to do it again. This time with all new products except for one because I love it so much.

Most of the products I use are all-natural and all of them support my well-being and I hope they will support yours too!

Watch the video now.


#1 Olive Oil – This can be purchased anywhere.  It is best to get a good grade of oil. If you live in California it is easy to get it locally which makes it more rich and powerful.  You can also infuse it with herbs.  Cut a bunch of herb and peel the leaves from the stems using your fingers. Drop it in a cup of olive oil and place it in your window for 2 weeks. Strain the oil from the herbs and place it into a clean jar. Enjoy!

#2 Pacifica Nail Polish – https://www.pacificabeauty.com/collections/nail-polish/

#3 Rosewater – Get it here at thrive market.

#4 Soul Power Nutrient Boost – https://www.enlighteningsouls.com/buy/

#5 Davines Oi Oil – I wasn’t sure how natural this brand is and I checked it out and it is way more natural than I thought, hooray. And it is an eco-driven company. http://us.davines.com/oi-absolute-beautifying-potion/d/1196

#6 Frankincense Oil – Buy this oil from any DoTERRA consultant or any other oil company you love. Here is an article I found that states many of the benefits of using this oil. WOW. I am excited to learn more about plant medicines in the near future.  I have been dabbling in plant medicines for the last decade and I can’t wait to expand my knowledge even more.

#7 My very own Chapstick – you have to make this one. This recipe was originally derived from my friend Becca Piastrelli.  I adjusted her recipe a bit to make the consistency I desire.

Recipe:

2 tbsp coconut oil (plus a little more), 2 tbsp shea butter (plus a little more), 4 tsp beeswax pellets, 40 drops of essential oil of your choice. Make sure the oil is safe to put on your skin. I use lavender. You will need about 10 lip balm tubes.

Combine coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax pellets in a double boiler and heat until fully melted. Remove from heat and add essential oil. Swirl around to combine and pour into lip balm containers. Let sit to cool and harden for about 1 hour.  Enjoy!

#8 (DUPLICATE alert) Bare Minerals Warmth – I love this stuff so much that I had to include it again.  It is that good. Get it here.

#9 (Because #8 is a duplicate) Therapy Balls – Get these on Amazon.

Bonus:

#1 Yoga Pretzels –  Get these on Amazon.

#2 Feather Earrings  from Dragonfly Diva Jewelry – Check out her Facebook Page to learn more.

With Love + SO much Appreciation,

Shauna