A Journey To Awareness With Shauna Hoffman

Shauna Hoffman

ARE YOU READY FOR AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY? A voyage to the uncharted places within you! Travel this podcast and you will find yourself on a journey of self awareness. Here you will be guided to ways to heal your wounds, look at your life choices, release your fears and take control of your future. The time is now for self-awareness, self love, SELF! read less
Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

69 Unlock The Golden Handcuffs To Your Dreams
Jun 19 2022
69 Unlock The Golden Handcuffs To Your Dreams
But the golden handcuffs are truly handcuffs that are tying you down and keeping you from your happiness! Ok, I won’t sugarcoat that sometimes the fear of living a different lifestyle…less than what we are living now, can be really frightening. But the unhappiness that goes along with that really great pool, or driving that sports car, or wearing those designer clothes cannot heal a lonely heart. It can’t quiet that haunting feeling, or guilt when you are pushing aside the messages from your soul that there is something else and it is waiting for you! Something that feels more right than the current not-so-right.  Something that represents you to the deepest part of your being. So in the end it comes down to deciding… what’s important in life!On the other side of the coin, when we’re secure in our finances, The Golden handcuffs also come into play in the way we spend our money. Or our fears around spending our money.  What can we afford? What money are we willing to part with in order to go after our dreams? Can we unlock the handcuffs to stretch our finances to fulfill a dream?  Can we change jobs in order to fulfill our souls versus our bank accounts? Can we take that one very special trip we’ve always dreamed of?My husband and I recently kicked out a Galapagos cruise website, cruisingtotheglapgos.com …because we have a dream of sailing to these magical islands filled with the most extraordinary wildlife.  Have you ever heard of a place where the wildlife have no fear of humans? It happens on The Galapagos. They come right up to you, or casually walk right by you!  You can swim with the penguins or surf with the seals.  It’s like no experience anywhere in the world.  But on the other hand, it is really expensive.  I have taken over 200 cruises all around the world and nothing has called to me more than this cruise. And there it was. The bank account Golden handcuffs.  Do we dig into our savings and splurge on our biggest dream vacation ever? Or do we let it sit in the bank and collect interest until someday when we may need it?Maybe it’s the golden handcuffs. Or is it fear around lack? Fear around the unknown what ifs? What if we have a house emergency or a medical emergency? We talked it all through and then we had a change in perception! It didn’t take us long to realize that life is too short, the world is changing, and we don’t know what our futures will bring us, especially after the Covid hell we have all just gone through. But if I let go of fear, and look at what my true passions and dreams are then why the hell would I not book this trip? And What if the what-ifs are actually a huge financial windfall or success? What if can go both ways!And there ya have it. The golden handcuffs are really just the word fear wrapped up in shiny gold. And it most often keeps us from choosing our own happiness.  I love to have my clients really think about how money affects their lives. Obviously, we need it to survive. So many people have struggled in the last year and so many are still struggling. So how does that affect the way they look at money? Have you ever thought about what money is? I have! It’s really just another form of energy exchange!Think about it… someone creates a handmade chair. They use their creative energy and physical energy to design and build it.  Then they sell it and get paid for it.  Money is the exchange for their energy!Then the chair maker takes that money and goes to the farmers market and buys fruit. Fruit that was grown with the energy of the farmer. So the chair maker exchanges the energy he received in the form of money and gives it to the farmer… Then the farmer buys a dress for his little girl… he exchanges that energy he received in the form of money and he gives it to the dressmaker.  And it goes on and on from there! All that energy has just been shared around the world. All that money is is the energy of thousands and thousands of people around our planet.Now the big stuff….I like to ask my clients to look at the Golden Handcuffs in a different way.  What if the golden handcuffs are not about how much money we have or make… but what if it is about the way we perceive money.  And what if the way we perceive money is wrapped around what we believe we deserve in life?There are so many books on this topic.  When I did some of my own internal work around money and what I believe I deserve I was fascinated by what I learned.  There is a great book, written years ago called The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder. She talks about the concept of the Vacuum Law of Prosperity. She says that if you want greater good in your life, greater prosperity, and greater happiness then you have to form a vacuum to receive it. You have to get rid of what you don’t want to make room for what you do want. It is the same concept in Feng Shui. In other words, you have to empty a space for the universe to fill it.  Or better yet, for you to fill it!Let me say this. I am not suggesting that you spend your money without thinking about how much you can spend without putting yourself in debt. Or irrationally making decisions. I am asking you to make sure that you give your dreams and happiness as much weight as you give your bank account. Let me say that again…I am asking you to make sure that give your dreams and happiness as much weight as you give your bank account. When I did that for myself I thought about every vacation or trip I have taken and the experience that I have had. Traveling I have lived and learned so much more than I ever could have at home. I have been challenged to let go of my pre-conceived ideas about people, cultures, and the world. When I think of the things in life that have had lasting impacts on me, memories that touch me deeply, they are invariably from an adventure I’ve been on. And so it is! That’s all it took for me to realize I am booking my Galapagos cruise.I have talked about many of my adventures on my podcasts… walking the streets of Budapest with my Hungarian mom, finally visiting and meeting the Cuban people, my 50th birthday hiking the trails the Incas did to Machu Picchu, and seeing the Southern cross along the way! Riding a camel in Egypt as I stare at the pyramids! Wineries in Italy, the ruins in Greece, horseback riding in Mexico. How they taught me to love and respect other cultures. How I learned so much about myself on every one of them. How can I ever put a dollar amount on how those trips touched my soul? I can’t. I know that they cost me money. Do I remember how much? No! But do I absolutely know how each of them changed my life? Yes!So I am going for it. The golden handcuffs will not stop me from walking with giant tortoises on The Galapagos and seeing the dance of the blue-footed booby!. After all, I truly believe that the vacuum I create will be filled with more joy than I can possibly imagine! And the energy I receive back from the energy I put out will be shared all around the world.So what are your golden handcuffs? What have you wanted in life that money has kept you from? What changes have you avoided because you have not wanted to unlock the golden handcuffs?And most importantly what do you deserve in your life?I am excited to share that I have a women’s retreat with an amazing therapist and life Coach, Molly Lyda this October. And what is the name of it? “It’s my turn”. A three-night Journey to awareness lovefest to honor all that you deserve and love about yourself! It is all about claiming your right to happiness!  Check it out on my blueoceanretreats.com website.So now it's your turn. Take some long walks and think about this episode and what it means to you! Journal! Look up at the stars and let your own dreams come to life.  You don’t need a shooting star to wish on.  You can do it for yourself! Unlock the golden handcuffs, stretch your arms out to the universe and live life to your absolute fullest!!To all of the amazing souls listening today, thank you for letting me into your lives this week and I look forward to popping back in again next time.
68-Kick it Up, Or Take a Break, What's Your Me Time?
May 1 2022
68-Kick it Up, Or Take a Break, What's Your Me Time?
Hello and Welcome, I’m Shauna Hoffman.As many of you know, cruises, sailing, or being anywhere near or on the water is my happy place…my home away from home. I swear I was a mermaid in a past life. Or who knows! Maybe I was the Captain of a tall ship or a brilliant female pirate, like Anne Bonny. Whatever got me addicted to the water I am grateful.This got me thinking about what draws us to places to just getaway.  And what kind of getaway do people crave?I ask you… Kick it up or take a break? What’s your ME time?So first let’s break down ME TIME! because I know so many of my listeners struggle to honor themselves and take the breaks that they need to recoup, replenish, revive themselves, and breathe.And for some of them, it’s not the “quiet time” they need. Its playtime! Remember what it means to play? That’s having fun! Being Creative! Letting loose! Kicking up your heels! Laughing! Socializing! Dancing! Believe me, playtime is just as reviving to your soul as sleeping on a beach or gazing into the waves on the ocean, or reading a book in bed.In my two businesses, therapy and my travel biz I love to explore what my clients need to be at peace and happy. I have women who spend their days taking so much care of others that they have not even realized how exhausted or on empty they are. And yet, those same women have not had any time for fun in their lives other than playing with their kids.  I have couples whose fun revolves around their kids and have not been on a vacation of their own in years. They have lost touch with all the fun they used to have before their kids were born. I have businesswomen who take their work with them on every vacation they take! They swear they couldn’t get away without their laptop or tablet. God knows what would happen if they missed an email or a call.How is that downtime?“DOWNTIME”…. time when you have no responsibility to anyone or anything except yourself. Let me repeat that.DOWNTIME…. is when you have no responsibility to anyone or anything except yourself.I love that when I looked up this phrase the Oxford dictionary says “it's a time during which a machine, especially a computer, is out of action or unavailable for use.”So what does this mean for you? When are you out of action or unavailable for use by others? And how much guilt would you have if you decided that you deserve that ME time?My goal for all of you is that you answer “None! I would have no guilt!”During what my hubby calls “The Cove Times…during the height of covid lockdown….. people experienced what they thought was downtime. Some were forced into less activity. Yet, so many others had their responsibilities doubled! Taking care of a family, home, and animals and doing this working from home! Not to mention all the stress and fear that surrounded us about staying safe and healthy. What for some was a break… for others was their own tiny hell! Downtime during “the cove times” was not downtime.So I ask you when was the last time you made a point to have ME time? Time for just ME? When was the last time you chose yourself over everyone else?I can almost hear the rumblings through the airwaves. “I can’t take time for myself. No one can cover for me.”Or… “I can take the time but I won’t because people will think I’m selfish.” Really what people? If they love you they would want you to recoup.  Besides, you know my saying… just tell them, “What you think of me is none of my business.” Usually, when my clients tell me this I remind them that no one else can make them feel anything. YOU are the one who is not standing up for yourself and choosing to feel guilty. You are the one choosing to not put yourself first.ME TIME! Making a moment about just me!Now back to my first question…  Kick it up or take a break? What’s your ME time? And do you even know?  When I help my clients both in travel and in therapy plan their ME time I help them look for balance.  If they are going going going, physically active, then I help them see if they need time for their body and mind to relax. And what would that look like for them? A beach? A Cabin in the woods? A balcony on a cruise looking out over the ocean?Or if they are in a world that keeps them sedentary, behind a desk, or these days on zoom calls all day do they need action, to move, to have fun, high energy to recoup the life in their life? Do they need to dance, or run, or go skiing or sailing!I have told this story before. But when I was in the last month of getting my Master's Degree I truly was on empty! A year and a half of school with no breaks, homework late into the night, and writing my thesis paper. Studying for my finals had taken its toll on me. It’s funny, here I was studying to be a psychotherapist and I had lost myself.  Then one day I decided to practice what I was learning.  Check-in… self-awareness… being aware of SELF!It hit me. I needed to be outside! I had been indoors glued to computers for almost 2 years and I didn’t feel human anymore. So, I asked my friend to take me for a hike in the California mountains. I knew I had so much studying to do. But I also knew that if I didn’t I would not have the bandwidth to do everything I needed to do to graduate.Se we packed up our water bottles and sandwiches and headed to the mountains. I can’t even tell you what that day was like for me.  The memory of it is like a dream. I think I floated down every path, touched every leaf of every tree, listened for birds singing and stared at the blue blue sky.  When we got to a trickling river I just sat there in silence. The power of mother earth to heal. The sound of water calming my soul.I reflect on that day so often in my life when I feel out of balance. I ask myself what I need right now to feel balanced. And more than that, what I need right now to feel happy!There’s a concept! Doing things that make us happy! Make US happy! Not others! What makes YOU happy?So let’s do a little check-in…. every listener will answer these questions differently.When was the last time you spent time in nature?When was the last time you put down your phone or computer and got off all electronics?When was the last time you talked for an hour face to face with a good friend or your sister, or mom or your partner?That question is so important. Human contact is what so many of us lost during The Cove Times. Do you crave to be around people right now? To laugh with someone, share your spirit with someone willing to share theirs with you?Now the opposite!When was the last time you were by yourself? Sitting in silence with your own thoughts?If you have been alone…when was the last time you actually listened to your SELF, checked in with your SELF instead of filling your alone time with stuff…. social media, Wordle, and Candy crush?Now do a body check!When was the last time you took a nice long walk, or got on a bike, or did yoga or danced?  Or hiked and touched every leaf as you walked by it? Is your body craving action?Now your mind! When was the last time you actually gave your racing mind a break? Meditated? Put down your to do list. Or just stopped adding to it? Breathed? Silence?Or on another note…for those who have not had time to stimulate their minds, when was the last time you learned something new? Or began to write that book you have been dreaming of writing? When was the last time you touched your creativity?All of this is the answer to balance!  All of this is the question I ask my clients when we are trying to find their next ME time vacation! Are they going to Italy and learning Italian along the way? Are they going on a sail to the Caribbean and lying in the sun with a book in hand? Are they going on a writer’s retreat and kicking up their dreams? Are they off on a cruise that has it all? Food, balconies to watch the water, dancing all night, ports of calls to meet new people?  Ok, truly this is why I love cruising! It has it all for whatever mood I’m in. I recently counted up how many days I have been at sea…and I realized I have now spent three years of my life onboard cruise ships. It’s my home away from home. Put this mermaid on the water and I am happy. I am at peace.Where do you feel at home when you are not at home? What place in the world feels like you just belong?Here is a quote I love from Oprah…“Alone Time is when I distance myself from the voices of the world so I can hear my own”.Everyone’s ME time is going to be different.  And each of your me time needs will change moment by moment, day by day, year by year.  The answer to all of the knowingness around your needs is back to the point of this podcast. Self-awareness. Checking in with self, taking your SELF off of remote control. Listening to your heart, your mind, your soul….even your own breath.I am excited to share that I will be doing a retreat with another amazing woman, Molly Lyda on the Navigator of the Seas for three nights of ME TIME! When we came up with our dream around what this weekend would look like it all came back to the idea that sometimes we just need to say… It’s My Turn!”   So that is what this weekend cruise will all be about. We will be helping each of the mermaids sailing with us to choose to look within. Choose ME.As Molly says, “Nurturing ourselves with a get-away like this brings SO much possibility into our life! When we take the time to reflect, relax and explore on the inside, we gain clarity around our true desires and we invite more abundance in on the outside.”I love that. We all know that when we recoup, bring balance back into our lives, and honor ourselves, then we make space for our own dreams to come true.If you want to join us it is October 7-10, 2022 out of Los Angeles. You can read about it on my website blueoceanretreats.com.  I do hope you join us.I do hope this episode has brought you the desire to ask yourself… ‘What is it that I NEED RIGHT NOW TO make me happy? “Kick it up or take a break? What’s your ME time?I hope that between now and the next time we meet on the airwaves or on the high seas you honor your SELF. You nurture your SELF! You listen to your SELF!  You CHOOSE “ME!”Thank you for letting me into your lives this week and I look forward to popping back in again next time! LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED:• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: https://www.workingonme.com/podcast• Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.comWHEN DOES IT AIR:April 30, 2022
67-A Worldly Adventure Called Choice
Feb 19 2022
67-A Worldly Adventure Called Choice
Hello and Welcome, I’m Shauna Hoffman.Thanks for joining me today on this deep dive into why I hate the word, “Habits”.  And most importantly that I have learned that travel is the best way to rethink the way we live our lives, the choices we make and the “HABITS” we have created. It all started because I downloaded this cool app that was supposed to help me set up goals to change my habits. I started it a month before I took a trip to Canada. I had been dedicated to this app trying to get me to change my habits. Then all of a sudden here I was on my trip, waking up in a different bed, looking at a different view and it didn't’ take me long to realize I felt like I was being nagged to death by an app! Oh, it’s a really pretty app with really great audio content and opportunities for changes in your thinking. Lots of it… but when I didn’t do what they wanted me to do it made me feel bad. And here I was on vacation and guilt was the last thing I wanted traveling with me. Fair enough, I was the only one putting guilt on myself! But it was time to dump the app.I realized that there was one thing better than an app to change my habits. Travel. I realized that travel and change in your environment force you to relinquish certain habits just long enough for you to rethink their worth in your life! Whether it’s the food that you eat every morning that is not right there in your hotel room, or cruise ship cabin, or whether it is that morning ritual of reading your emails before you get out of bed yet here you are out to sea and you have no internet! When you travel habits have no choice but to be challenged!And when we challenge a thought process or lifestyle choice we give ourselves the opportunity to morph! To grow! To expand! To live, and to breathe in ways we have never breathed before. It’s funny because at first, it is a bit uncomfortable. “Wait! Canada doesn’t have my favorite coffee? Can I really start my day without it?”Uh… yeah! And how glorious it is to experience something new if we open our consciousness to change and choice! Ahhhhh the word “choice”!All habits, negative habits or positive habits are truly just choices! Today I choose to do the app. Today I choose to drink water. Today I choose to do my yoga. Today I choose to binge-watch TV and do nothing. Today I choose to try a new coffee and sit on a balcony in Canada and read a book and not look at my emails or texts or social media and just breath!And with that statement, my life changed!  I realized that I hated the word Habits and I loved the word choices!Let’s break down first what habits are. They are those behaviors that we repeat so much that they no longer involve conscious thought. In other words, they are behaviors that we engage in by HABIT!   But the truth is it started with Choice! I had to choose to take part in that behavior first! There was a conscious THOUGHT that spurred my behavior.Now, think about these two statements and see which will empower you more. I will get into the habit of drinking water today. Or  “I choose to drink water all day today.” Bam! That is so empowering! No guilt! Choice!OK- I do think there is something to the idea that once our choices become a lifestyle for us then they become a subconscious choice versus a conscious one.  We no longer have to think about something we want to do. We no longer have to consciously choose to do it or not. Our subconscious takes over the motivation and then the behavior. But it all started with conscious choice.And then one day you find yourself in a new place, a houseboat, or a cruise ship cabin, or a friend’s fold-out couch, and all of a sudden your subconscious choices are blaring right in front of you because you can’t participate in them, and you can’t count on them. And at THAT moment you either adapt or you have an anxiety attack! HA!It’s the moment that you choose to adapt and look at this situation differently that your whole world has the opportunity to change!Lifestyle is exactly what travel challenges you to go beyond.But what happens when you are back home? Your old habits are screaming to take over again. And there it is. You can choose to go back to the same rituals or you can bring all the new behaviors and thought processes and experiences you learned while away back home with you. And this is when my favorite words come in. Self-awareness!In order to make positive choices in our lives, we have to be self-aware. We have to be able to check in with our minds, bodies, and souls to see what we need. We need to ask ourselves if I felt better, or happier, or healthier when I was away than when I’m home?  And if so what new CHOICES do I want to embrace and claim for my new lifestyle now that I am back?  When you open your eyes in the morning and reach for your phone you need to ask yourself am I about to lose the joy and self-awareness that I gained on my last adventure? Or am I going to go back to the lifestyle I had before I learned what truly makes me happy? Because the answer is…..yep, I’m going to say it…you have a Choice!Change, whether it's travel or a new coffee in the morning gives us the opportunities to turn off remote control in our lives and live in the moment. And at that moment I promise you that life will feel more genuine, more creative, happier, and more fulfilling.We can make the choices that either empower our lives, help us stay healthy, surround us with positive relationships, release our creativity and most importantly bring us happiness, or we can go back to remote control.Take a nice easy breath and think about this. What choices can you make to honor your true self just today? What choices can you make to show yourself that you are worthy of self-love? What pieces of your past do you want to leave outside the door the next time you walk back in? And then ask yourself, what new coffee do you want to try tomorrow?Here is a lovely quote by John Maxwell. Life is a matter of choices. And every choice you make makes YOU.Oh, my adventurers on the journey to you, thank you for letting me into your lives this week and I look forward to popping back in again next time. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED:• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: https://www.workingonme.com/podcast• Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.comWHEN DOES IT AIR:February 19, 2022
66-The Healing Power of Blue Water
Nov 20 2021
66-The Healing Power of Blue Water
Often my episode ideas are sparked by something going on in my life. Or a conversation I have had with a client. Well as I am heading off on a cruise this week I keep getting pulled back to one topic. The power of water to heal our souls. The ocean! A lake! A river! Rain! Waterfalls! Oh let’s not forget hot springs! Even a calming shower or a meditative soak in a bathtub!There are so many parts of being by, in or around water that have been scientifically proven to calm our spirits, or heal our souls. Some say that it is the sound of the waves that is so therapeutic. There’s a psychology professor at Southeastern University, William Dorfman, who says that the white noise of waves breaking on the rocks relaxes our brains and stimulates the production of feel-good chemicals in our body, like serotonin and dopamine.Think about it. Have you ever noticed that so many calming or meditation apps use the sounds of waves to lull you into a calm state? Or the sound of rain! They say that the sound of rain can create the soundest sleep you can have. It’s not white noise.  They call it pink noise. It is a natural sedative. A settling sound that blocks out other sounds that keep your mind from quieting down. Listening to the predictable and rhythmic pattern of rain actually lulls you into an alpha state that’s the same state we strive for in meditation. The alpha state is that early early stage of calm and drifting off that we all crave in order to gently fall asleep.I don’t think there is one human sense that doesn’t react to water.  For me it’s looking at it that heals my soul. Some say it is the color blue. Oh and the vast blue green colors of the ocean are like looking at a giant mood ring that is changing constantly. If a cloud goes overhead, or the wind is whipping up the currents, or if a dolphin jumps and glides along changing the hue of blue to green you are also suddenly changed!I gave my little niece a mood ring for her birthday this week.  Remember those? Well on a mood ring chart the color blue represents relaxed, at ease, calm, even lovable. I liked that! Blue green represents your inner emotions, and a more charged but easy state of your mind.Oh, I loved this interpretation of the color blue from a website called supercolor.com. “The color blue represents both the sky and the sea and is associated with open spaces, freedom, intuition, imagination, inspiration, and sensitivity. Blue also represents meanings of depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, stability, faith, and intelligence.”There is a cool website called Bubblewall.com. I love what they say about the aquatic hues.“We're naturally drawn to aquatic hues and people associate this color with qualities like calm, openness, depth and wisdom. We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what's broken.”Ah….the science! Other than just the sound of the ocean, staring at the ocean is another thing that can actually change your brain waves' frequency. It also puts you into that same alpha, mild meditative state as hearing a wave does.So it’s no wonder that for thousands of years when people searched for escapes from their everyday lives, vacations or a space to heal… they have been called to spend their time on or near the water.For me it has been a part of my life since childhood. But everywhere I go and all of the bodies of water I have experienced have affected me differently. I grew up in Chicago 4 blocks from Lake Michigan. Now Lake Michigan never seemed to me a particularly peaceful body of water. It never seemed blue to me. It was more of a grey. It actually seemed like it was so powerful that it always charged my energy. Couple it with the Chicago winds and I found myself contemplating my own power or strength every time I was near it. As a teenager I would walk along the rocks that line the lake and wonder what my life would be like. I think the vastness of it is what brought to me this feeling of mystery. The vastness of the lake and the power of the water hitting the rocks and the wind blowing, always made me contemplate what my own power was and where it came from.They say that about the ocean, too, that it is a powerful symbol.  When I am out on the ocean on a cruise ship or on my sailboat it certainly feels like the water that surrounds me is filled with mystery. When you think of all of the life that lives below the water that we can’t see you can’t help but feel a part of something so much bigger than ourselves. So much bigger than everything we know. You can see that the endless feeling of the sea is captivating. I love the metaphor that what lies below the water has so much beauty, life, power and sometimes darkness just like our own lives. There is so much that lies deep inside our psyche and our souls. So much mystery. So much beauty. Our journey is to find it.There is something undeniable about the ocean. It is something that we humans can’t control. It opens us to reflection of our lives and our place on the planet. It offers us peace or shakes us for growth. If we allow ourselves to walk along the sandy beaches it is there for us in our moment of need for whatever our spirit craves.Another body of water that touches me deeply and in a totally different way is a stream or a gently flowing river. Have you ever hiked on a trail and all of a sudden you hear the sounds of a stream? There are all of these great words that describe it… ripples, trickles, babbles. All of a sudden you are called to it! It is almost like there is something familiar about it. Like you know it intimately and now you must stand by its banks and watch it flow. You are called to wonder at its beauty.I could watch a river flow for days! The way it makes its way around a rock or a piece of wood floating along with it.  I love the analogy… that a flowing river feels no lack. If you dig a whole on the river bank the flowing river will fill it up. I say that all of the time when people talk to me about lack. I say if a river finds a spot along its path that is empty it fills it. If you feel something that is lacking in your life. Know that you are a river. If you believe in your power, you too will fill the void and it will be magnificent.After my beloved Soul Dog Ransom passed away I found myself with a broken heart for months. I wasn’t even aware that was why I had this deep heaviness in me. It was just there. A heavy heart as they say. Ten months after he passed I went on a yoga retreat to Esalen in Big Sur. It is situated on the most magnificent property. On one side you are on a cliff looking out over the pacific ocean. And inland there are paths and flowers and a beauty that leaves me speechless. On one of those paths is a most beautiful river. I went to Esalen with the full intention of doing yoga with like minded souls for three days. And just as a retreat like this is supposed to do, and the magic of Esalen brings…my tears and my sadness finally came to light. I never made it to the rest of the yoga classes. I spent this time reflecting on the vast ocean. Reflecting on life and loss. I could feel my dog by my side as I walked the trails by myself. And then I knew what I needed to do. I needed to say goodbye to him again. I needed to do a ritual to have the closure I never had after he passed so quickly.So I searched and searched the grounds to see where I would do it. The ocean seemed logical. But then again it seemed too huge, too far away. Too powerful.  It was when I came upon the most beautiful flowing river that I knew this was it.  It was stronger than a stream, but not rushing or chaotic feeling.  It was peace.  And so I made my way out onto this beautiful rock that sat in the middle of the river. And I built a tiny memorial of stones to sit on top of it. And then I cried. And I cried some more. And more! Until the sounds of the river babbling and the beauty of the water making its way around rocks and tree trunks and my sitting rock finally brought me peace. And then I smiled! And I picked up the top stone from the little memorial and with so much love I tossed it into the river and imagined it floating away. I said good bye to my precious soul dog knowing we will meet again.For me being near water is my sanity. When we are not on our sailboat or walking the sandy Santa Barbara beaches, or in the middle of the ocean on a cruise ship my PLACE is my bathtub! And even there I am listening to the calm app with rainwater trickling over the meditation. Water water and more water. When I told my husband I wanted to speak about water he reached into his vast collection of thought provoking books and brought me out this wonderful book called “Blue Mind”. It is written by Wallace Nichols with a foreword by Jacque Cousteau’s granddaughter Celine Cousteau. The cover says “BLUE MIND, The surprising science that shows how being near, in, on or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected and better at what you do.”Seriously, who wouldn’t want that?My bathroom is filled with mermaids. Sometimes I feel like I am one stranded here on land. So I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Anais Nin. These words truly represent my own journey to awareness.“I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”!!!!To all my wonderful listeners. May you find yourself by a body of water contemplating life, love and your own happiness.  May you honor your dreams, but most of all may you drink lots of WATER!  I am excited to let you know that I will be bringing a small group of women out on the ocean on a beautiful cruise ship on Valentine’s weekend 2022 with another amazing Therapist and Coach, Molly Lyda. We will celebrate life, self love and the healing power of the sea. If you would like to join us, swim on over to workingonme.com and take a look under events for more information.In the meantime, Thank you for letting me into your lives this week and I look forward to popping back in again next time.LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED:• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: https://www.workingonme.com/podcastShauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.comWHEN DOES IT AIR:OCTOBER 20, 2021
65-A Writer's Seafaring Journey To Awareness
Oct 9 2021
65-A Writer's Seafaring Journey To Awareness
I also saw something that I know to be true. Sometimes with the disconnecting from the people who are normally in our day-to-day lives that makes the space for us to reach out to someone new. A void that allows us to fill it with the unknown.For many of the students, it was truly an expansion of their comfort zone. They weren’t traveling with anyone they actually knew. Solo travelers on a joint quest to unlock their most hidden talents and dreams… writing. It took an even stronger will and commitment for these writers to show up on a trip where they didn’t have a friend or family member to lean on. For these individuals, their journey to self started the minute they made the decision to come on this trip alone/solo. It was their belief that their dreams deserved to be honored that empowered them to book this event.This particular trip was quite the adventure for all of us. It was the first travel for many of the group since BC- before Covid. The ship had protocols in place to make everyone stay safe. Our entire group was vaccinated and Covid tested before we could board. Actually, the whole ship was except the children aboard. There wasn’t a question that it took time to shed the fear to stand next to someone, or talk to them without a mask on, to sit in a classroom and just breathe. As the days progressed the obvious care that the ship took to keep everyone safe caused this beautiful thing I call a peeling of the onion. I watched everyone slowly find comfort in their surroundings. I watched them start to enjoy the ship. And with that came the connections to each other. I watched the nerves fade away and the creativity start bursting out from all of them. I watched the seasoned travelers who had taken previous Writing Excuses cruises gently lead their fellow newbies to find comfort in everything from the classes to the ship. They too did it with no egos, just a desire to be there for their fellow writers.I believe this all could happen because the Group Leaders, the Instructors had given them a safe haven to ask questions, not be perfect, expand their capabilities with no judgment, and more importantly they welcomed them with the most genuine warm smiles every time they met. I witnessed how the instructors left their egos aside to share the wisdom and the passion they had for and about writing. And the beauty was they made it clear that just because they are saying something doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true. I watched as the instructor's own perceptions about writing grew from their interactions with the students. There is something freeing that comes from remembering that even those teachers around us that we think are bigger or better or more accomplished than we are, are also on their own journey. And it may be that today you teach them something about themselves.On this cruise, the Writing Excuses Instructors, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Erin Roberts, and DongWong Song made space for each student's own creativity to be sparked. And they let them all know that they too, were once newbies. And even though this group was made up of students… they were more than that…they were WRITERS!It’s funny when you are given permission from others to be exactly where you are in life. Permission to not judge yourself but still open your consciousness for growth. In a perfect world, we should all be like this every day without permission from someone else. But we fight these voices in our heads. The ones that tell us we are not good enough. The ones that compare ourselves to others. The ones that squash our own dreams because that critical voice in our heads is louder than the nurturing one. When I talk in my other podcast episodes about being in the present this is exactly where present-based thinking helps most. It is acknowledging where I am today and that it took a helluva lot of living to get here. And I am grateful for every lesson that taught me along the way. And I love myself for surviving them. And today I am grateful for just being here. And today with gratitude and honoring my self I will learn the lessons that today brings me with no judgment. I will embrace today exactly how I woke up! You know that morning innocence where we open our eyes and see the morning light and then remember that it’s a new day.We are all struggling with that even more in these Covid times. Because there is a weird feeling of Groundhog day. So it is even more important for us to wake up and see that the light is different outside today and my body feels different today and the opportunities I give myself today can be…if I let it… totally different than yesterday!In one of the discussions, I heard a few of the writers say that they had loved the beginning of lockdown because they had written so much. Then as time went by they just stopped. They didn’t know why. It wasn’t writer’s block it was a lack of motivation. And the choice to come on this cruise was their first step to giving themselves a space to jumpstart their writing again. Well, we all can’t jump on a cruise ship with other like-minded souls and incredibly positive inspiring teachers. But we can make a space for ourselves to quiet our judgemental minds, breathe deeply, listen to our hearts and just start. Start whatever it is that is stirring inside you waiting to be born. And for some who have already started quote-unquote “IT” then it just means to start TODAY. Just start today with the passion and the compassion for yourself to touch that part of you, whether tiny or huge, that is calling out to you.The journey to self-awareness, as I always say, starts with going inward. Listening to yourself…becoming self-aware. So if the only thing you START with today is your own moments of self-awareness then you are on the most magnificent journey! It may be to something creative or it may be to a moment of self-care that you need. It may be to reach out to someone to talk to or hold hands with or cry with. But it starts with that moment you wake up and realize that it is a new day. If you choose to… you can make today different than yesterday. Today you can write your own story.After 8 nights the cruise came to an end. The faces that I had seen who were nervous or scared, some of them timid or quiet had changed. I saw smiles! I saw that they felt safe now in the presence of so many like-minded, generous and kind souls. I saw them open up. And I saw them writing! They wrote everywhere on the ship that they could. They had given their dreams life again. Most importantly they had given their strength and hope and creativity more power than their fears. Let me say that again…. they had given their strength and hope and creativity more power than their fears. They were not just inspired. They were home. Not a physical home, after all, they were on a cruise ship. But a most beautiful, peaceful home… within their souls.Now as I reflect on my own journey on this journey it’s a little different. After over 200 cruises, the cruise for me IS a second home. I figured that I have spent over 3 years of my life aboard a ship. So for me, this trip was a way of coming home after 18 months of lockdown. A way for me to nourish my own soul out on the sea as I watch for sealife jumping or the moon glistening over the ocean. It was my opportunity to invite others to be my guest in my second home and experience all that I love about being out to sea. My way to make sure that they are nourished and feel safe. My way of honoring something that I love so much and sharing it with so many people willing to take that leap of faith and sail with me. And the outcome for me? My own jumpstart to creativity as I record another podcast to share with all of you.You see just like Dorothy says in the Wizard of Oz…there’s no place like home.My hope for all of my listeners is that today you just make it today. That you check-in and listen to your mind, body, and soul and you honor all that you hear it say. My hope is that you surround yourself with loving beings who believe in you and your dreams. May you eat nourishing foods and drink lots of water! May you rest if you need to or dance if your soul is dancing! May you be gentle and kind to others, but most importantly to yourself.Thank you for letting me into your lives this episode and I look forward to popping back in again next time. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED:• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: https://www.workingonme.com/podcast• Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.comWHEN DOES IT AIR :   OCTOBER 09, 2021
64-I Saw the Child in My Mom Traveling the Streets of Budapest
Aug 1 2021
64-I Saw the Child in My Mom Traveling the Streets of Budapest
Hello and welcome, I’m Shauna Hoffman.Today I am sharing my journey back to Hungary with my mom and the joys and the lessons I learned. My mom was born in Miskolc Hungary, a large city outside of Budapest. She lived there until the Nazis killed her mom, dad, and baby sisters and took her to Auschwitz during World War Two. She was 13 years old. I have so many lessons that I have learned from my mom, a woman that survived that kind of horror. But one of the most important ones I have learned from her is hope. My mom lived with what she called rose-colored glasses. And she always said, she “put them on”. So let's all don our rose-colored glasses and head off to Budapest! I will take you along on the journey where my mom saw Hungary again for the first time since the war.Our traveling companions were our friends Doc Liza and her beautiful partner Connie. You may remember Doc Liza from my podcast on traveling to Machu Picchu! Let’s just say that I could not have done this trip without them. My brothers weren’t able to come and I sure needed some help with my senior mom! Besides the fact that they are the best traveling playmates ever!  Without a doubt, I can say that some of our biggest lessons come when we travel with other people. _What would you like to do today? No, you? Are you up yet? We need to get going! Eh…I’m sleeping in. Wait what?  And on and on and on!  Thank the traveling Gods Connie and Liza travel as we do! I am a believer in let’s see what happens next. Plans change! We can figure out just about anything when we let go of expectations and choose fun over stress!  Thankfully the four of us got along great. And they were saints helping take care of my mom.So why am I sharing this trip with you today? Why was it such an important part of my own journey to self-awareness? Because this trip taught me… that inside our parents, no matter what age they are, there is still a child that is begging to be touched. And if we are lucky enough… we’ll be able to see it. Often it’s a side of them that they have not seen or experienced or touched in years. For some, it is a child spirit that was wounded. For others, it’s a child spirit filled with a light that we haven’t ever seen in our parents because of the responsibility they carried raising us.My mom always had that light happy spirit even in her darkest hours. It was hard to believe that she lost everyone in her life and lived the horrors of concentration camp. It was on this trip to Hungary when I saw my mom’s  child  truly show up! She hadn’t been back to Hungary since she was a young 13-year-old girl. This trip was magical! It was as if time stood still and she was seeing Hungary now through those same 13-year-old eyes. The first time she walked down the streets of Budapest she stopped to read every Hungarian sign she could see! It had been over 60 years since her native language was on display on every corner of every street! It was so cute and hysterical to hear her translate storefront names, and street signs, and restaurant menus! The little girl in her jumped out and she felt at home for the first time since the war. It then occurred to me that I never understood how much the English language is such a part of my own identity.Now, Where my momfinally felt at home walking these streets, I felt like a visitor seeing this country through her eyes. Though I had always been proud to call myself Hungarian American I really didn’t know my heritage at all! Ok, other than Chicken paprikash and all of the amazing food my mom would cook!On the first day, we toured all of Budapest where much of her family had lived. She was like a child in a candy shop remembering the times she was there with her family. But it was the next moment that I will never forget. We were in Hero’s Square and there was a quartet playing classic Hungarian music.  My mom ran over to them! Next thing I know she was singing every word along with them! The joy on her face was like light beams shining from the sun! She said she hadn’t heard that song since she was young! Watching her at that moment I saw the child in my mom’s heart. She was transported back to the days when her mom and dad and baby sisters were all alive and they would sing that song together. The days when there was peace in Hungary. The days before the war.Over the years I had taken on a different role with my aging mom.  The caretaker role. The one, along with my brothers, making sure she was safe and healthy. It is a reverse role that we all take on as our parents age. But this experience in Budapest was different. She wasn’t the mom who needed my help to be safe. Though we did have to make sure as she scurried through the streets with excitement that she didn’t fall! But, she was the  girl who she had been before the Nazis infiltrated Hungary. It was a joy I had never seen in my mom before. It was something so personal to her I almost felt like a voyeur watching her experience those moments again. A step back in time. A step back before her world fell apart.We talk often in the therapy world about how children become parentified. How they are put in situations when they are young to act like the parent and no longer the child in the family. This happens with alcoholic families and abusive families. It happens when a couple gets divorced and a child takes on a caretaking role in the family. It happens when one parent passes away. For my mom the moment her own mom and sisters were dragged away and she was left alone, she became her own parent. She had no choice at 13 to do anything but grow up. But in Heroes Square the child was alive again!There was another moment I saw parts of my mom I had never seen before. But this one tore at my heart. We went to the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest. It’s in a renovated synagogue from the 1920s that serves as a memorial and museum honoring the Hungarian Jews, Gays, and handicapped that were murdered during the war. Though I have heard stories, seen movies, and read everything about the Holocaust, experiencing any of the Holocaust museums takes you through a world that is hard to comprehend. This day broke my heart. It was one I was not expecting to witness. It was the first time I saw the devastation of the loss of her family in her eyes. We were walking among these huge pictures that were hung in the aisles of the museum. All of a sudden I saw my mom start running from one photo to the next searching in the faces of the men that were being pictured. The Hungarian men who had been taken by the Nazis. She was desperately searching for her father in the images. It was like this little lost child searching for her parent. It was too much for me to bear. I had to leave. I couldn’t see my mom that hurt. She had hidden it for so long. But there it was.  Truly the little girl lost. Thank heavens for Connie and Liza.  They stayed with her through her search. A search that gave her no more answers to what had happened to her dad after the Nazis took him.Here I was, my mom’s little girl who could not witness the pain of the little girl in my mom. It is a memory I will hold forever. I think what I want to share with all of my podcast family is that deep in the hearts of our own parents are wounds and joys and lessons we may never understand. Perhaps if we can find compassion with them, we will be lucky enough to see those childlike moments they are willing to share. I was lucky enough to see them with my mom on this trip. I think if we hadn’t gone to Hungary, I would never have seen them. I was given a glimpse into the soul of the woman who I called my mother.The rest of the trip was wonderful and filled with so many joyous moments for my mom! We all ate the best Hungarian foods! We traveled to Tokaji and savored the very special sweet wines of the region!  We went back to the village where her Grandpa lived and where her Uncle, Adolf Zukor, who founded Paramount Pictures lived. The Mayor welcomed her with open arms and she felt at home there!The little girl in her smiled at every turn. But it was the beautiful older Hungarian woman, my mom, who finally found peace. It was a trip to her homeland that brought both sides of her together finally… after all these years. The little girl that was left behind and the beautiful woman that she finally became.I hope that this journey sparked something in your own consciousness to think about. Whether it is being able to see your parents in a new way, or whether it is a reminder to yourself to always be in touch with that beautiful child within you. Here is a quote from Mary Ritter Beard that put into words perfectly my experience on this trip.Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.To my listeners, May you always be in touch with your own inner child! May you strive to see the child that your parents once were and see if you can heal from their lessons. That’s a heavy ask. Let me repeat it. May you strive to see the child that your parents once were and see if  you can heal from their lessons. May you travel and seek a truth that you can only find when you start on your own journey to self-awareness!To my podcast family, thank you for letting me into your lives this week and I look forward to popping back in again next time!LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED:• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: https://www.workingonme.com/podcast • Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.comWHEN DOES IT AIR :   JULY 31, 2021
63-A Journey to Awareness on the Streets of Havana
Jul 10 2021
63-A Journey to Awareness on the Streets of Havana
Hello and Welcome, I’m Shauna Hoffman,Thank you for joining me again on this podcast as I share my journeys to self on my own journeys around the world! This next adventure was one that took me on a self-awareness experience that I did not know I needed.I always thought of myself as a world traveler, lover of all things cultural and different. I never saw myself as a tourist. I always saw myself as the type of person that soaked up everything different about the culture I visited. But most importantly, I soaked up the faces and lives of the people in the places I went. The locals. I would eat off the vendor's carts on the streets, talk to the children, look into the eyes of the elders as I learn of the love of their homeland. My world of expansion and self-awareness was always drawn to different experiences and in meeting those who live in the countries I visit.Have you ever traveled somewhere and felt this strange feeling like you’ve been there before? This feeling like, oh. I’m home! Or just had an amazing connection to the culture or the people, or the sounds and smells? For me this place is Cuba. The cities, the tiny towns and villages, the culture, the people, and mostly the hope. It was only perfect that my first visit to Cuba was one of the best learning lessons in all of my travels. Let me share with you this article I wrote for the Huffington Post in 2017.It was titled “How I went to Cuba and almost missed it.”There it was. Havana. I was about to step foot on the forbidden island. The hidden gem of the Caribbean. The island of controversy and music, art, and cigars. The land of classic cars that's the dream of every car collector in the US. The day had come. I could finally travel legally to Cuba. Having been in the cruise industry for years, I had dreamed of docking in the port of Havana. Cruise after cruise, we would sail by the island on our way to the typical tourist ports of Jamaica or the Bahamas when the Captain would announce from the loudspeaker "Now on the port side is the island of Cuba." Passengers would flock to the decks to see the only thing we were allowed to see. There on the horizon was the outline of a country caught in the past but begging to be recognized and loved by Americans.People to People Cultural Exchange! President Obama set it into motion. US citizens were allowed to go to Cuba as long as we were engaged in meeting the Cuban people and learning of their culture. So, my husband and I jumped on the first cruise ship allowed to travel from Miami to Cuba. Fathom Adonia. We wanted to see as much as we could in the 7 days we had. Ship was the way to go. And Fathom had planned it right. In accordance with all of the regulations, Fathom had arranged tours for us that met all of the PTP requirements. We read all about it for weeks. We dreamed of what it would be like to walk the streets of Havana. We swore we would not be tourists. After all, we always travel like the locals. We eat on the streets of third-world countries and talk to the natives in our broken attempts at their languages. Cuba would be no different. But I have a confession. After the initial tears of realizing we were about to dock in Havana, I was like every tourist I was not supposed to be. As the Havanese were waving to us from the dock, my camera was locked on the old Chevys whizzing by in bright pink and turquoise, as they cruised along the Malecon. I could hear the music emanating from the dock and all I thought about was dancing in the streets of Cuba. The first-day excursion took us through art galleries and churches, memorials, and grave sights. We saw the streets of Cuba. I was overwhelmed by Old Havana. It was beautiful.Finally, the tour ended, we jumped back on the ship, cleaned up, and were ready for our free time in Havana. Yep, we could go off on our own in this mystical city and explore.Having made a reservation at a Paladar, a privately owned restaurant versus a Government-owned restaurant, we headed back into Old Havana. The sun was setting and the mood was romantic. The Paladar was only 4 blocks from the ship. It was exquisite. When we arrived the gentleman at the front rang a bell to let them know we were coming. As we ascended the stairs, the most beautiful music was playing. My senses were on high alert! All I could dream of was real Cuban food and a real Mojito in the real Cuba.We were seated at a charming table near the wide-open patio doors with wrought iron railings. I felt like I was in Tuscany or Paris. It was enchanting and exciting. The waiter took our order and the anticipation grew. Lobster in a pineapple brandy sauce called out to us. And of course the mojito. I was in Cuba. It was all I had dreamed it would be. Then it happened.After the young waiter brought us our drinks, he stopped for a moment at our table. Then as gentle as a man can speak he asked us in his broken English, "Are you from the US?" We said, "yes" not really thinking much about it. What happened next has changed me forever. He touched his heart and broke into the sweetest smile. Then he slowly said, "We are so glad you are here."I almost burst into tears. How had I missed it, as I walked through their city, looking into the faces of the Cuban people? How did I become the tourist that searches for Cuban cigars and takes pictures of old cars? How had I not gazed into the eyes of the Cuban people? That moment changed me. I still cry when I think about it.Next, I scoured the room looking at everyone's faces. I noticed that all the waiters were looking at us with the coyest smiles. The Americans were here! I would gently catch their eyes and smile back. It is not like they have not seen Americans before. But for the first time they were seeing us with hope. And for the first time, I saw them. I saw the faces of the Cuban people. I then realized the opportunity we have all been given. Not to go there and change them. But to go there and see beyond cigars and cars and into their hearts. And maybe, just maybe, they would change us.I wrote that article for the Huff Post right after President Obama opened travel to Cuba for US citizens in what was supposed to be People To People exchanges. Well, it took me a moment to make sure that was what I was there for! A People to people experience!A lot has changed since then. And I have changed. I talk so much about self-awareness and that it starts with becoming inner-focused versus outer-focused. It’s funny, I had been so conscious of the enormous privilege it was to step foot on this gorgeous island. And to be one of the first Americans to do so legally in over 50 years! I knew about the politics that got us there in history and the politics that was true at that moment. My heart and my soul was so passionate about finally being there. I cried as we pulled into the channel in Havana. I cried, even more, when I saw everyone waving the American flag in one hand and a Cuban flag in another.So what happened?How did I turn from this socially conscious world traveler into someone who was a typical tourist the minute I stepped foot on the island? I have thought a lot about this. And all I can think of is that I was caught up in the moment. The stuff! The outward experience. I was not seeing the people because I was not in touch with my genuine self. I was not looking within at my own motivations or the soul experience I wanted to have. I was outside of myself LOOKING for the things that represented Cuba to me. The things I had dreamt of. The only things I knew because I had yet to look into the eyes of the Cubans themselves.I am not mad at myself for this. It was a perfect moment of growth for me. A Course In Miracles says there is the Ego and the Soul. I was definitely living in a moment of ego… self-gratification! “I want a Mojito and to dance to Cuban Music!” There is a book called 2150 AD where they describe two ways of being in the world One is the Macroworld which means you live your life looking at how you are part of the bigger picture… of humanity. And then there is the Microworld. You guessed it. When your thinking and life revolve around the micro or small-minded self. Well, my thinking at that moment was definitely small-minded Micro thinking!But my world and perception changed once that beautiful Cuban Man gently welcomed my husband and me into his country.I am so in love with the Cuban People.I have been back many times now. The restaurant I spoke of in the article is named Los Mercaderes. I have become friends with the amazing owner Yamil. I have learned of the farm-to-table life of the Cubans. How he helps the farmers and they supply him with the most amazing foods for his delectable dishes. I have been in touch through these very difficult times. Food is now a difficult scenario in Cuba. And Covid has not helped. But the Cuban people help each other.I went back for the 500th anniversary of Havana. It was a sight that would never take place in the US. Hundreds upon hundreds of people lining their capital building awaiting any glimpse of the festivities. And not one person pushed or shoved to get in front of anyone else. It was the calmest most cordial event I had ever been at. It was as if the Cubans were living in a Macro world and sharing this unbelievable experience with each other. No one was out for themselves. This time… I joined them in their Macro world. This time I was aware of the people, the humanity, and myself as I stood with them, not as a tourist but as an American friend.I have made beautiful friends there. I am blessed. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to learn from them and share in their world. And I am grateful for my own desire to look within. To acknowledge when I am not coming from my soul. And to learn how to self-correct.This journey to awareness is a lifelong adventure. When we put ourselves in new and unknown worlds we are always challenged to redefine ourselves. If we allow it. If we allow ourselves to NOT be tourists of our own lives living in the micro-world.Now let’s be clear! I love me a yummy mojito listening to amazing Cuban music and eating plantains on the top of a Havana rooftop! But I hope to do it again surrounded by my beautiful Cuban friends. Because there is where I have found true happiness.Ernest Hemingway spent much of his life living in Cuba. So I thought it was perfect to leave you with a Hemingway quote. It’s one that I love to embrace when I think about travel and all that it gives us on our own journey to self-awareness.“_Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual_”.To all of my listeners, May you be surrounded by new experiences that challenge your thinking, awaken your spirit and surround you with new cultures and people to help you on your own travels to becoming amazing humans. Thank you for letting me into your lives this week. And I look forward to popping in again next time.LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED…• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: All Episodes  • Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.comWHEN DOES IT AIR…JULY 10, 2021
62-Lessons On The Inca Trail
Jun 19 2021
62-Lessons On The Inca Trail
Hello and Welcome, I’m Shauna HoffmanDid you ever realize how much you learn about yourself, your values, your dreams, your heart when you venture far away from home? Or have you ever escaped your everyday world just for a day in search of a missing piece of yourself, your sanity, or your soul? When I truly look at my own growth I realize that I have found more of myself in my world travels than I ever thought was possible. I was really thinking about this podcast and where I wanted to go with it in this new season. And it didn't take me long to discover that I had named this podcast a Journey To Awareness for a reason. It’s on so many journeys I have taken that I have found out who I am and what is important in my life. It’s amazing how much you can learn about yourself when you leave behind all that is comfortable and known to you, all the things that define you. Your home, your job, your car. your favorite foods, the clothes you wear, the people that surround you. So I am hoping you will indulge me this season as I take you on some of my journeys around the world to share the awareness that I have been blessed with on these amazing sojourns to magnificent places. In my old age, I have been lucky enough to have traveled to 37 countries, met the people, experienced their cultures. I have learned to leave behind my judgments and expectations in order to indulge in this thing I love about travel called the unknown. Travel pushes our limits of what we know as our reality if we let it. And what we learn about ourselves along the way is astounding… Sometimes whether you want those lessons or not. But hey…ain’t that life anyway?So my very first adventure I want to take you on is the one I took when I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu for my 50th birthday. I had this amazing friend, soul sister named Joni who had been the one to open my eyes to all things spiritual and metaphysical. One by one she handed me books to spark my thinking and open my soul. We used to sit for hours and dream of where we wanted to go in life. The one spiritual place that kept calling our name was the Inca trail hike to Machu Picchu in Peru. If you don’t know the story of this magical place, it was a trail that the Inca Tribe created out of granite to carry all the materials to build their temple city, Machu Picchu. All the way back in the 1400s. But it has been hidden from most of the outside world until it was discovered in 1911.If you do any research into spiritual places around the planet you will read that Machu Picchu is considered one of the most spiritually aligning places to travel to. They say it opens and resonates all of the chakras. They even believe it stimulates the immune system and brings the body into balance. To the Inca’s all of the environment is Sacred. Pachamama, which they call Mother earth, has always cared for them, so it was their responsibility to care for her. It is listed as one of the NEW 7 Wonders of the Modern World. Well, what better place to go on the big 5-0 than Peru to climb the Inca Steps and visit this spectacular place and reach into my soul on an amazing journey?  I wanted a mind, body soul experience… and boy did I get it.  Actually, the idea for this particular trip came from a friend of ours. I call her Doc Liza, She called out of the blue and said wanna go hike the Inca trail?  I had no idea what I wanted to do for the big 50 and just like that it was decided! How she knew that was on my spiritual bucket list…I will never know.  But obviously, the universe knew! And we were off!  Liza, who really is a doctor, brought her 17-year-old nephew along, too. Liza is a big hiker and mountain climber. She was ready for this trek. It was going to be a 4-day hike where we carried all of our own packs. We had hired this great company appropriately called Pachamama to do this as a private tour for us. We didn’t want to be hiking with 20 people and be at the behest of their pace. So birthday splurge it was!  Private guide, private sherpas, and private chefs. 6 of them and the 4 of us. Though Liza was very ready for a high-altitude mountain hike, My hubby, Bert, and me… not so much. In our brilliance… we thought we trained for it here in California. HA! We live at about 1000 feet. The Inca Trail takes you up to about 14,000 feet. Yup, we are talking altitude sickness! And on one day alone you hike from 10,000 ft to 14,000 ft. And these are steps! Not hiking on a trail! And the steps are uneven and made of granite. So let me break that down for you. And you’ll see how unprepared we were! A step is one and a half feet. That means that one day we walked up 2700 stairs.  Now let’s break it down more! 10 steps is a flight of stairs. In that one day, it was as if we had walked up 270 flights of stairs! Seriously! We were soooooooo unprepared! And again…In the altitude that our bodies were sooooo not ready for!Then this happened. On our first night on the trail, Liza’s 17-year-old nephew got pulmonary edema, fluid in the lungs from the altitude. We had thought for sure he was the one who would fly through this hike, young strong. But it was the opposite. In order to make sure he didn’t get worse, Doc Liza and her nephew had to go back down the mountain. Their hike was over. We were all so sad. We had planned this for months. But I gotta tell you, traveling with a Doctor as a friend can surely save a life! And the good news is they met us at the end of the trip at Machu Picchu after their own 3-day journey to awareness.Now it was 6 of the Pachama team and just me and Bert. If I wasn’t so totally exhausted at the end of the day I could have appreciated the spoiling! They even brought a Birthday cake for me all the way up the muntain!OK, I wanted a mind-body, soul experience and I got it.  How the hell was I to keep going when my body was aching and exhausted? The answer was mind over body. There is a great quote that says it all. Your body can stand almost anything. It’s your mind that you have to convince.So it became amind game I played with myself. For those of you who hike mountains you know that you come to these curves ahead of you,switchbacks, where you are sure you are at the top of the mountain! Then you get there, round the bend feeling victorious only to see that the climb actually goes on and on higher and higher! So the next piece of advice I gave myself is what I preach and preach and preach on my podcasts and to my clients… stay in the moment. I realized that I could not look ahead of me with expectations.  I had to stay in the moment, one step at a time. Well, how the hell was I to do that when all I saw were more stairs? Mind over body-mind over body-mind over body.  I had to occupy my mind with thoughts that had nothing to do with the exhaustion I felt. I had to see the beauty all around me. After all, that is why I was there.In therapy, we call that Stop thought! You stop the negative or scary thought and replace it with a better thought!I had an idea. I started to name every step I took for someone I knew, picturing them in my mind.  I started with the people  I loved…ha! Well as we climbed higher and higher and those switchbacks came one after the other, the list turned into every person I had known since childhood! But there was something so spiritual about that. It was like every person I knew was on that trail with me, walking my journey by my side.And my walking stick! I had bought this beautiful blue carved wood walking stick in one of the villages before we started. That walking stick became another limb to me. It was beautiful and strong and I was grateful for it every step of the way. And for every step I took, I looked at all that magnificence surrounding me.  Then I would try to take a deep breath as I thought about all of the Incas who had traveled this path hundreds of years ago. And I thought of each friend or family member that was now on that trail by my side.Breathe Shauna breathe...Well, that wasn’t easy! We know that breath is one way we connect to our bodies.  We breathe through pain, or sadness, or anxiety. We take nice big sighs when we are happy and content. Now here I was trying to breathe when my oxygen was getting less and less in the altitude and my head was swimming. And when you can’t breathe deeply you tend to breathe shallower or hold your breath. Well, none of that was gonna work because I had miles yet to go and breath was the only way to get there. Suddenly my journey to self became about breath… and life. I love this quote by Thich Nhat Hanh. It describes my lesson on the trail perfectlyBreathing in I calm my body. Breathing out I smile, dwelling in the present moment. The only moment.And then all of a sudden this happened. We were at a beautiful valley when our guide said “Look all the way up to that mountain peak. That’s where we are going. It’s called Dead Women’s Pass.” Seriously. Seriously?  I swear I looked at him, with my mouth agape wondering how many people have died trying to get there! But he just laughed!Dead woman’s pass was named because, when seen from the valley below where we were, its crests resemble the form of a woman’s body lying down and facing up to the sky. Ok, well that made me feel a LITTLE better!Then I looked even closer to the peaks and I saw a deer standing there and silhouetted by the sun. Our guide saw it too. He was shocked. He said deer were very rare on these mountains. And all of a sudden I got tears in my eyes. Joni. What I didn’t share earlier is that my friend Joni who was my spiritual partner on my soul searching journey, who had dreamt of hiking this trail one day, had left this earth ten years earlier. She never made it here.Or so I thought. With all of my being, I knew that deer was a sign from Joni. You see, my nickname for her was "Doe Eyes"! She had the biggest brown eyes. She always looked like a baby deer.  And her yard was filled with delicate deer sculptures. Doe Eyes.Mind Body Spirit. Here was the beginning of the soul part of my journey. It was like Joni was standing up on that pass telling me I can do it! Believing in me and more than that…calling me up the mountain to finally share our dream of hiking the Inca Trail together. All of a sudden I felt like I could fly up those steps! Mind-body…. soul. I was going to meet Joni on Dead Woman’s Pass! How appropriate!There are so many parts of this journey to self I could share with you. Waking up on the last morning in time to see the sun rise over Machu Picchu took my breath away. To share it with my husband was a memory that has bonded us forever. To have seen and felt Joni on that trail broke away all the questions of the “here and the after” for me and gave me so much peace. The struggle to overcome so much physical stress from exhaustion to not being able to breathe only helped me to learn that truly my mind can overcome my body if I try. And the unbelievable satisfaction of achieving what at moments felt truly unachievable reminds me that whenever I think I can’t do something…I actually can!Doc Liza and her nephew met us in Machu Picchu. They had gone back to stay in another mystical village, Urubamba, which sits in what is known as the Sacred Valley. And once again we shared this dream. Then we stayed overnight n a town outside of Machu Picchu called Aguas Calientes.  Doc Liza had arranged for me to have a massage before we got there! She knew I would need it. Always a healer that woman! Once again, I had the most spiritual moment as the Inca music was playing and the massage therapist soothed my muscles. I swear for a moment I left my body. Maybe it was the exhaustion finally being healed. Or maybe as the Incas say… my chakras were opened and being aligned! Whatever it was, I will never really know. But I can still feel it in my soul today.My own journey to my journey to awareness.Machu Picchu itself was more than I could imagine. It’s mystical and magical and filled with the stories of a culture now gone. To get there on the same steps that the Incas took gave me a feeling of one with a people I would never have known if I didn’t literally walk in their footsteps.And my beautiful blue carved walking stick is mounted with pride above my window at home. Whenever I wonder if I can achieve something or not I just look up at that beautiful stick and I know the answer. Of course, I can.This quote says it all.The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.If you ever have the chance to see Machu Picchu whether by the Inca Trail or by the new train that now takes visitors there. Do it! And say hi to Doe Eyes for me while you’re there!So to my podcast family, I Thank you for traveling on this journey with me.  I hope you come back and listen to more of my “journeys on my own journey to self-awareness”! And please, share this episode with anyone you feel would enjoy it. Now be good to yourself, drink lotsa water, eat nourishing foods, challenge yourself to do what you think is impossible! Let your mind body and soul be one. And venture out of your known to experience the unknown!Thank you for letting me into your life this week and I look forward to popping back in again next time. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED…• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: All Episodes  • Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.comWHEN DOES IT AIR… JUNE 19, 2021
61-The Eyes Have It
May 29 2021
61-The Eyes Have It
Hello and Welcome, I’m Shauna Hoffman,I have been missing in action for the last few weeks as I needed a little eye-opening surgery! And I mean this in so many ways! Just like my grandmother I have these deep-set eyes. And as we both aged the lids started to get just a little too heavy. My doctor noticed that there was a good chance that my vision was being impaired.  Well, who knew?  It’s so funny because for the longest time I have been sweeping my bangs away from my right eye thinking they were blocking my vision.  And other times I was rubbing my eye feeling like there was a film over it. Well for someone who practices self-awareness I was an idiot! It was my eyelid! More on one side than on the other.  Which of course makes perfect sense in the spiritual world.  I was imbalanced! I was not looking at what was in front of me. And I was not centered on my own self-awareness. Damn!So I thought I would investigate a little deeper… I wanted to look at what the spiritualists say about the right side of the body and what it represents. And what was it that I did not want to see?The left side of the body is often regarded as the feminine side, the receiving side, where you take in. It represents, among other things, the mother. The right side of the body is often regarded as the masculine side, the giving-out side, where you express.So I’m reading this thinking… I am totally in tune with my left side! My feminine side. After all I teach this to all of the people I counsel. Especially women! Receiving is good! Receiving is necessary. There is no selfishness in receiving! Well, obviously my body agreed. But I thought for sure I was absolutely expressing from the right side in my podcast and therapy work, I was giving out! I was sharing not only my insight but that of so many guests on my show. Not to mention the dog rescue work that I do.Hmmmm…. I guess I must look a little deeper!Next, I thought more about the eyes and what they represent. Vision, clarity, InSIGHTfulness. You know the old saying, the eyes are the window to your soul.  And then I started to put the pieces together. We always take that saying to mean that others see us by looking into our eyes.  When we look deeply into someone’s eyes we can see if we trust them, are they seemingly genuine, do they seem angry or are they projecting love. Oh, we see so much when we look into each other’s eyes. But I think we lose the true meaning of this saying. That is… that if we look deep within, we can see, touch and heal our own souls.Ok, now I’m on a deep dive search for more spiritual teachings and wisdom about the eyes. Next, I turned to the American Indians and I found some of the most beautiful quotes. This one, in particular moved me. It brought back the concept that the eyes are the window to the soul.  But again, for ourselves to look within.The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.  We know that sadness and tears of joy reveal so much about our own wisdom. What I love about this quote is it’s not about the ego learning from sadness or joy.  It is about the rainbow of colors and the growth our soul experiences.  And most importantly, the ability to see beauty through all of our tears.I found this beautiful quote by Brother Spirit Lame Deer of the Lakota Tribe.“I wanted to feel, smell, hear and see. But not see with my eyes and my mind only. I wanted to see with CANTE-ISTA, the eye of the heart.”How beautiful is this? It is a way to see the world not through our eyes but through our hearts.  So is there something that my heart is not seeing or expressing?The journaling begins as I look deeper at that.I love the wisdom of so many different spiritual teachings, Buddhist, Hindu, Tao, American Indian, Jesus, Judaism, philosophers, poets and so much more.So that brought me to The esoteric belief in what the third eye represents:The third eye allows for clear thought, spiritual contemplation, and self-reflection. It is the highest chakra in the physical body, allowing it to provide a visionary perspective. The third eye also helps to determine one's reality and beliefs based on what one chooses to see in the world.OK- So the third eye is not only self-reflection, but how we present our own selves to the world based on what we feel inside. Again… it helps us determine our own reality and beliefs based on what we choose to SEE around us, in our worlds.That said it all! It said everything that I try and share with my listeners. We can look at what the world wants from us.  We can look at what family wants from us. But we have a choice. We can choose to SEE ourselves the way they do… or who we know we are in the deepest parts of our souls. It reminds us that when we look at the world around us we can decide what we believe. Not what others want us to believe. And that will determine the way, the values, and the truth of how we SEE ourselves.OK… now back to me and this surgery!Now I had to take all of this, go beyond the biological and see if there was a spiritual reason why my eyes were closing. So I journaled pieces of each of the wisdom I just shared with you to SEEEEEEE which resonated with me.  Hmmmmm….  Left side, feminine, receiving. Right side Masculine giving out…expressing…  Well, there was a clue! it didn’t take long to realize that I just spent a year in lockdown from Covid.  My relationship to how I saw the world was absolutely distorted and confused. My ability to express myself the way that warms my soul with friends, families, animals, the ocean, nature was drastically changed. No not changed… but stifled. And biggest picture between the politics of the last few years and Covid it was less the way I was living in this new world as it was what I SAW in the world around me. I had wanted to close myself in and protect myself and those I loved. My personal world had gotten so small…and so did my eyes.Then I looked at Spirit, soul, third eye. So let me read to you again one of the definitions of the third eye.The third eye allows for clear thought, spiritual contemplation, and self-reflection. It is the highest chakra in the physical body, allowing it to provide a visionary perspective. The third eye also helps to determine one's reality and beliefs based on what one chooses to see in the world.I think the last year I was in survival mode. Spiritual self-reflection was there in the form of trying to look deeply at myself during the marches for black lives matters and how I worked to help my countries politics reflect and align more with my own beliefs. But it’s that last few words in the paragraph that brought me right back.  The third eye also helps to determine one's reality and beliefs based on what one chooses to see in the world.Those are some pretty heavy words… what one chooses to see in the world.  And it became pretty clear to me that what I have chosen to see in the world the last year has been painful, and heartbreaking, uplifting, and controversial. The roller coaster of my thoughts and emotions and what I SAW was so overwhelming at times that I think my eyelids got heavy. It was just so hard to look at our world. It was hard to see pain and sadness and so much death. It was so hard to see violence against people who were only trying to live out their lives or speak their truth. Though my physical world had gotten so small, truly survival mode….my world vision grew exponentially.  And I think I was just plain tired!My own self-reflection…The world is opening up now from the Covid lockdown. But the lessons that I have learned through the last year are huge.  Sitting at home healing for 2 weeks has helped me sit in contemplation and really SEE more clearly how this last year has affected me. I am so tempted to just run through the fields and streets and play and laugh and hug people, jump on a cruise, go sailing, hang with a bunch of people and their dogs. And I will!   But I have realized that I need to BALANCE that with my own self-reflection while I do it.  I need to balance my inner world and outer world, my feminine and masculine,  my outer vision with my third eye!You know what they say… the eyes have it! So I am hoping that this episode may give you the inclination to look back on the last year and SEE how it has affected you, mind, body, and soul. Take your time with this. Journal, meditate.  And make sure to check in with your body and how it has been affected by the last year.  But mostly check in with your heart.  I will leave you with this quote from the famous Sioux chief, Chief Crazy Horse.  “I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am at that place within me, we shall be one.”To all my podcast listeners, please be good to yourselves! Eat nourishing foods, drink so much water, get lots of sleep, and surround yourself with loving beings! Keep your eyes open to all that your heart and soul want you to see!Thank you for letting me into your lives today. and I look forward to popping back in again… next time! LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED…• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: All Episodes  • Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.comWHEN DOES IT AIR… MAY 29, 2021
60-Let Me Be Clear!
Apr 25 2021
60-Let Me Be Clear!
Hello and Welcome, I’m Shauna HoffmanI hope these past few weeks have been filled with ease, peace, and love. Those of you who have followed my podcast for the last year have probably noticed that I have begun to record them every other week instead of every week. With the world opening up again, my businesses have taken off. One of the strange blessings of these Covid times was it freed me up to record a podcast every week. I am now pivoting once again for the next few months to accommodate this new world. The other thing you will notice is that the podcasts are now short and sweet and filled with info that you can digest fast! It’s funny, so many of my listeners have said they love to take in the short ones for inspiration and then try and use the rest of the week to assimilate what they have learned into their day. So, alas! I’m going to keep these next few month's podcasts short and sweet!This week I am going to dig into what I believe is one of the most powerful phrases to live by. The words, “Let me be clear”.  Not only is it a message to the person you are speaking to, but it is a powerful message to yourself. Let’s break this down. When we are in the middle of a conflict with someone, we tend to let our emotions take over.  We often lose sight of our own truth, or more importantly our own logic. When we let our emotions take over in an argument we can pretty much guarantee that the other person will respond with emotion and not logic, too. And the whole communication goes to hell. When you say to yourself, “let me be clear”, you are checking in first with your logical self to try and enter the conversation with clarity over what you are trying to express.  Now let ME be clear….  that doesn’t mean that your emotions are not involved. It means that you are very clear on the MESSAGE that you want to convey, versus the EMOTION you want to convey. By embracing the words… "let me be clear”, you are offering yourself a moment to truly look at what you are feeling and thinking and be able to speak your truth in the most healthy way. “Being clear… having clarity.”When you look up the word clarity it’s defined as being coherent and intelligible. Ok, let’s be serious how often does that happen in an argument? So how do you do this then?  When you are wrapped up in all of the feelings in the midst of a hard conversation you need to take a few nice deep breaths and calm down your anger, fear, anxiety, or sadness to dig deep into your soul. You clear your head, calm yourself down so that you can logically decide exactly what it is you are feeling, thinking, and needing to convey to the other person. It’s not easy to do. We tend to be so caught up in either defending ourselves or just trying to win in an argument that clarity goes by the wayside. Taking a moment to find your clarity is one of the highest forms of self-awareness. Taking a deep breath, checking in with yourself, making conscious decisions about what your needs are in the moment and what you want to convey gives you the opportunity to move forward with total conviction in telling the other person what it is you want them to know. You are combining your emotions with your logic to share your absolute truth. So, imagine yourself in an argument.  Imagine how it can escalate.  Now imagine you stopping. Not answering for a moment..or many moments while you actually check in with yourself to figure out what you want the other person to get LOUD AND CLEAR. Now calmly and with conviction you say…LET ME BE CLEAR… this is what I want you to know.What does that feel like? Great isn’t it? Empowering!Now there is another side to “let me be clear”.  It can be used to ask the other person to clarify to YOU what they mean! “Let me be clear that what you are saying is DOT DOT DOT…..”. So often in the midst of an argument, they don’t hear us and we don’t hear them. We each hear what we want to hear. And mostly what we hear is not facts but drama, or emotion. So asking them “Let me be clear that what you are saying is…..” allows you to engage in healthy conversation based on intention and not assumptions.I’m going to repeat that….mostly what we hear is not facts but drama, or emotion. So asking “Let me be clear that what you are saying is…..” allows you to engage in healthy conversation based on intention and not assumptions.In other words….“Let me be clear so that I can understand exactly what you are trying to say to me.”Now imagine you are the other person and you hear those words calmly being asked of you.  You are actually being validated that your thoughts are important enough to be truly listened to.Once you approach an argument or fight this way it is up to each of you to decide whether to engage in a healthy way or not.So here’s the thing. From this moment on there is no guarantee that the person on the other side of this argument is going to hear you. Or that they are going to even care to engage in a healthy way. There is no guarantee that it will change their minds or help solve the argument.  The only thing it DOES do is empower your voice! Empower you to understand that you have every right to state your feelings. Empowers you to take a stand for all that you believe in and all that you know you deserve because you have CLEARLY thought about it. Most importantly it empowers you to know that you demand respect and have given respect. Even if the other person can’t give it back to you.But what I want you to walk away with from this podcast today is this.“Let me be clear” is a message to yourself. A message that you want to communicate in the most mature way. And much Bigger picture…A message that you deserve to stand up to anyone in your world. A message to yourself that you CAN, SHOULD, and will forevermore claim your truth.“Let me be clear that I have thought about this and here are my feelings and my thoughts and needs around this conversation.”“Let me be clear that if you talk to me like that this conversation is over.”“Let me be clear that I do not communicate with someone who is being aggressive to me in any way.”“Let me be clear that I have needs and desires whether you like it or not.”“Let me be clear to myself that I will never allow anyone to treat me disrespectively again”.In podcast episode  #27   “I don’t do this” I delve deeper into this topic.  Please, if you haven’t listened to it, try to.  You deserve to have the tools to honor your own needs.I hope that you practice and practice the phrase “let me be clear” as often as you can so that you embrace your own clarity and feel empowered enough to share it with the world. I hope you use this phrase as a guiding force, a compass on your amazing journey to self-awareness.I am leaving you once again with my favorite quote of all time by Audrey Lorde.When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.Beautiful beings, be good to yourselves! Drink lots of water, get lots of rest, have so much fun in your life, go after your dreams, surround yourself with loving beings, and most importantly be true to your heart!Thank you for letting me into your life this week and I look forward to popping back in again next time!  LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED…• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: All Episodes  • Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.com WHEN DOES IT AIR… APRIL 24, 2021
59-Lauren Abrams Talks About 52 Weeks of Hope and The Imposter Syndrome
Apr 11 2021
59-Lauren Abrams Talks About 52 Weeks of Hope and The Imposter Syndrome
Shauna (01:05):Welcome, Lauren Abrams.Lauren (01:07):Thank you so much, Shauna. I'm so happy to be here with you today.Shauna (01:10):I'm so excited. First. I would like Lauren to tell us a little bit or a whole lot about her podcast. How did you come up with this? Where was the inspiration for 52 weeks of hope?Lauren (01:23):I would love to, and it didn't start as a podcast. That's for sure. It started from, um, my own dark place. When I was, I was in it. We all have our turn. Everybody goes through it. Um, it wasn't my first, but it was surprising to me because I'm always grateful for my life. And here I was doing, doing the deal as a single mom, two kids. I have a law practice and, and I, I mentor at, I do a lot of service work and I'm doing the deal. And I went through a very tough time financially. It's not that I, I just, the money wasn't coming in. The law practice was thriving, but the way my practice goes, I have to pay my employees and I have to take care of everything. And I have full custody of both kids. And I didn't know how I was going to feed them for a little while.Lauren (02:08):I don't keep secrets. I make sure somebody knows what's going on, but it was bad. And you get through it. We get through these things. We just do. I did the best I could anyway. So it was my turn and I was going through it. And I just was like, are you kidding me here? I am showing up every day doing what I'm supposed to do. And I was just kind of shocked by the whole experience. And I went through a hard time and, and I went to my spinning class with my favorite instructor, her name's Angela. And she now has her own studio that opened right before the pandemic. It's called army H a R M Y. But Angela is like, you close your eyes and I'm always in the back row. It's pitch black and the music's blaring and she's so motivational. It's insane. It's like, can you close your eyes?Lauren (02:52):Big enough. Like you walk out of there knowing you can do anything, even if you don't know what it is. And anyway, I was, I had one of those, a class left in your Keck. I don't know how to S Q U E E. I never know how to pronounce that word, but I, I had some classes left and I was in there spinning, and she's doing her Angela thing and I'm crying in the dark spinning. And all of a sudden she said, I don't know who I'm talking to right now, but somebody needs to hear this. And she did her Angela thing and I'm crying and something in me shifted. And I knew I'd be okay. I didn't know how I'd be. Okay. I didn't know when I'd be okay. But I knew I would. I knew the universe I'd be taken care of somehow.Lauren (03:26):And, but I got through it and wait, once I got through it, as we do, we all get through everything is my experience. No matter what it is when we're in it, we don't think we will, but there's always a sliver of light. As long as we tell somebody and don't sit in it and not tell anyone is what I think is one of the keys. But anyway, I thought, what the hell was that? I really, I look back. I was like, what the hell is that? Is this what life is? We go through these things. We come out of it. We go through it to other, and then we have joy of course and stuff. And then what we get old and we die. Like, what the hell? And so I decided I was going to go and ask a person a week for a year.Lauren (04:02):I would just interview a person a week for a year and say, okay, you've lived a lot longer than I have. What have you learned? Like, tell me, what is the point here? I don't get it. I look, I do graduate list every morning. I do the deal. I read a Tate. And so I started interviewing a person a week for a year, just for me to fill my soul because I didn't get it. I had gone through this period and I'm not a depressive type at all. This is not like some kind of depression. I was just like, so I'd go home and I'd write up after interviewing somebody, I'd write it up for my, to my girlfriend and my verbiage. So it'd be kind of funny. And just for me, this is what this one said and this and that after a while, the start being common themes.Lauren (04:44):And I was like, okay, this is good. This is so rich. And it's filling my soul, but I can't, I have to share it. It's just too good. And so I thought I'm going to make it into a book. You know, one of those books where you open it up and there it is, what a miracle, it's just what I needed, or you close it and open it again. And like, that's the chapter I needed. And so I for the chapters are on my web and I thought 52 weeks of hope. That's 52 weeks. Cause I'm interviewing a person a week for 52 weeks for the chapters, from my website, 32 weeks of hope.com and COVID, and all of that. So the book isn't done it will be. And I did a pivot because that's what we do. We pivot. And I started my podcast, which I love people talk about the hardest challenge they've overcome, how they did it, their message of hope and know really like, what would you tell somebody having a hard time getting out of bed today? You know, just a simple thing. And I love it. And sometimes I think, why aren't you doing those things? You're learning in the fog. Yeah. What is going? Yeah, exactly, exactly. And, and I've learned to be really gentle with myself also during this time,Shauna (05:47):You know, it's so interesting because in our last interview with Massimo Noja DeMarco, he spoke about so many of the same things that you're discussing. And he went through a lot of times loss and the word pivot became a really important word. He would say at the end, he learned that he would only allow himself four days to get caught in the Meyer. And then he would pivot that episode's called a constant state of goosebumps. Ooh, good title, which I got when you were talking about your story when you were talking about the fact that you decided that you wanted to talk to other people and what a difference it made for you the minute I, I heard you say that all of a sudden I got a constant state of goosebumps. It was perfect. You said, there's this common theme. Something else that you said that I think is really important is that you reached out to other people. And when you say you don't have to do this alone and that the most important thing that you realized is that keeping it inside and not getting help from others, you weren't going to be able to pivot you. Weren't going to, going to be able to make that change.Lauren (06:56):Absolutely. And, and so, which is a good segue to your question, you just asked the most common theme is community that we need community, which is in the blue zones where people live the longest and have the highest happiness factor in the world. The four areas in the world where that's true community is the reason, the second biggest theme nobody is going to like is putting down our phones and connecting eyes to eyes, no phone. Um, that's the second one. They, you know, we, we need to do that. Even if it's on zoom, like we are right now, we can see each other. Somebody said, do you always do your interviews on video? I said, absolutely. How am I going to connect? If I can't see the person, I don't even know them. And I feel like I'm BFF by the end of an interview. If I'm a guest or if I'm interviewing somebody, like, I'm like, Oh, we can hang out after we don't. I mean, that's, it's a feeling like you're, you're smiling right now. If somebody, cause I figured most people listen because yeah, it's just this feeling. It's the connection that we get from this.Shauna (07:52):That's also something that has been such a challenge for the last year because community and family and having someone that you can look in their eyes and they get you. I mean, I had friends that can look at me while we're hanging out and say, Oh Shauna, I see your nose flaring. Something's going on with you or, Oh yeah, you're tapping your foot. So you're not talking to me about something. And it's so important. And community has become such a challenge in the last year and getting it back. How do we get it back after all of this?Lauren (08:28):I think doing this right now, this is how, this is absolutely how, and it's one of my big questions, especially to like rabbi chase. And I, we talked, I talked about that because he has an entire congregation or I talked to, well, I've talked to a lot of religious leaders. So they have communities. I talked to jihad, Turk, which was a learning experience. Cause I called him [inaudible], which means faith. Anyway, it's one of the two. So I, you know, and I expected him fully garbed in and he looked like a dad, you know, like anybody in LA, like anyway, it's, it's all alerting experience. And uh, yeah, which he is a dad, by the way, he's got a bunch of kids, you know? LikeShauna (09:12):I love that. What the guests, what the listeners can't see right now. And one of the things that I love about equal and Lauren is one of them is that when she smiles, which she has been doing through this whole podcast, her eyes closed. And to me, that's one of them, you get the squint. When you're you smile really big to me, that's one of the most endearing things about someone. So I'll grab a picture of everybody and, and put it up so you guys can all see Lauren,Lauren (09:39):That's so funny. And so one of my first guests was Karen Donaldson and she's a confidence coach and everything else, but she also is a body language expert. And if somebody is on zoom and they go like this on their nose, if they touch their nose now, I mean like this, I don't mean like sniffles. It means they're lying or about to lie, which I found to be the most fascinating thing. So I keep waiting to interview somebody that I don't really, I don't know most people and have them touch their nose. Right. And if you're online dating, you want to know that she gave other clues for online dating about like, you couldn't tell if they're into you or if they're not, she does stuff like for women's magazines, I guess like how you can tell with celebrities with their body positioning, if they're into each other, if they're sleeping together, at least,Shauna (10:23):Okay. That's hysterical. You're going to have to write, you're going to have to let me know which podcast that is. Karen Donaldson.Lauren (10:31):It's on my it's on my Website. Okay.Lauren (10:36):It's so fun. Well, plus it's she does really, really great confidence coaching. It's great, it's a great episode anyway, just for confidence in how to walk in a room. And even if you're not feeling it, but she tells you how to, she tells you how to feel it. She just, she doesn't believe in fake it till you make it, which I believe in.Shauna (10:53):But I, I kind of do, which brings us to this amazing discussion for today. And that is the imposter syndrome. I mean, what a perfect segue that was. Yeah.Lauren (11:03):Yeah. That was, wasn't it. That was good. You did well. You did that one. Yeah.Shauna (11:09):Well, talk to us about the imposter syndrome. I've had a few people bring this up lately and for them, you know, keeping the confidence, presenting yourself with total confidence on the job, or even at a date, or even with your family when you're having an argument, but inside feeling like you are not truly presenting yourself in a genuine way.Lauren (11:33):Okay. So it's, I think the imposter syndrome is the getting found out, Oh my gosh, they're going to find out I'm not all that. Or I would walk around 10 years practicing law. I remember being in a courthouse going, Oh my God, all these people think I'm a lawyer. I am a lawyer. I went to good schools. I put myself through. Yeah. But it's that whole, I'm going to get found out. People, people get a job and they got this great job. And before they start, they're going to, they're going to find out that I was like faking it the whole time. But if you have imposter syndrome, you're in fabulous company, you should be really proud of yourself because Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou, Sheryl Sandberg, all talk about having imposter syndrome of these great people. And it's after they've made it, they still, like my Angela would say, Oh, now that I'm going to get fired, like way after she was famous.Lauren (12:24):I wrote an article on it and I did a bunch of research. And there's to say, you have to take a quiz. Nobody has to take a quiz. We know that feeling in our gut like that's where I get it. And I think most of us get it like that. Oh, and what is it? It's fear. It's fear, fear that I'm not good enough or I'm not gonna make it or any of that stuff. And it's copping to it, owning it and walking through the fear and doing it anyway. That is the only way to get through the imposter syndrome. If you're in a family situation, I think this is your area, but it's saying I'm really uncomfortable right now. I mean, sometimes I don't know how I feel, especially around family because it stirs up all that.Shauna (13:03):And in full disclosure, when I first started this podcast, talk about imposter syndrome. I thankfully at the beginning, I wasn't interviewing other people. But even today I said to my husband, why do I get nervous interviewing someone that I really don't know in person, someone who I really want on the show, someone who I really want to get their insight, but I still have a level of imposter syndrome. Maybe they're going to figure out that I'm not really an interviewer. And it's funny how each of us have to take a look.Lauren (13:44):Yeah. It means you care. It means you care. If you didn't have it, you wouldn't care. I, I really, that that's my opinion, but I take that as a good sign. When I get all that nervousness I've done, I've had to speak before and I just always take that to me and I care. And, and then I do visualization. I picture myself really enjoying myself, really engaged when I'm starting to really end doing deep breathing and, and to try to relax, not fast, like to breathe in God or higher power or whatever, like the universe, just that calming spirit and to breathe out my fear and to do it slowly. So I don't hyperventilate and, and freeze it in. And just to do that a little bit and, and just to try to picture myself here right now, like now in the interview and being fully present and enjoying it and trying to be of service and saying exactly what whoever's listening needs to hear. And if we help one person, then it's absolutely worth our time. And then walking through my fear. And I just think it's because we care. That's why I think we feel the fear. That's my opinion. Do you think thatShauna (14:52):Perhaps, maybe journaling before some important event asking yourself questions? What are the kinds of questions that someone could ask themselves or process that they can go through journaling maybe to get past the imposter syndrome for some important event?Lauren (15:09):I think journaling, it would, you could ask questions or you could just free write, what am I afraid of? And then I do God, please lead my pen and honesty and then write. And I don't type because I was taught it's from the heart, through my pen or pencil or pen, whoever. I mean, I have a pencil is when my kids were in elementary school. But, um, and then just to write, there's no right or wrong way that nobody's going to see it. Don't look at the penmanship or the, this or that. And just write and write and then just breathe. I have a free ebook on my website, but I don't know. It's more about just trying to get in touch with what is it that I really want?Shauna (15:48):Oh, I love that because that's so much of the, I think the fear and the confusion and not being able to commit to something, not being able to commit to your dreams because you're not very clear on them yet, which is okay. Absolutely. Okay. Because we change our focus on our dreams all the time, based on things that happen in our life. You said something, what was the line that you just said about,Lauren (16:13):Please, God, please lead my pen and honesty. Yeah. And that that's. So my free ebook is how to be your best self now. And that's in there, it's on my website. It's and it's, it's more about getting clear on what it is you want at the end.Shauna (16:27):And I want to come back and ask you where people can get a hold of you, how the things that you have on your site, your website, and all of that. That's so great. Thank you so much. So with the imposter syndrome, I talk a lot about genuine self. How does the imposter syndrome and genuine self have anything to do with one another?Lauren (16:48):Again, I'm going to bring it right back to fear and we're trying to be ourselves and it's being afraid of, and, and it's pronate Brown and being vulnerable and walking through all of that, but really the more vulnerable we are, the more people identify it like us. And remember us, I have been more vulnerable to it through 52 weeks of hope. I mean, I've always an open book and everything with people I meet, well, generally not. It's not my law practice. Um, I mean, you know, it's not about me. It's about my right. It's not about me with that, with this, because if I can help people, then I will like the fact that I don't drink anymore, but I haven't for more than half my life. I mean, it's been years it's coming up on 35 years since I drank anything or anything like that. But I've always been very, very quiet about it. Cause I didn't want to be judged by that. Nobody cares only me. This is the thing, the stuff that you're most afraid about anybody knowing or okay. My financial, the thing that got me to do 52 weeks of hope that I had all these financial problems. That was my source of shame. Like you can't even believe it.Shauna (17:59):Shame is such an interesting piece of the whole process. Yeah, I think shame. And uh, self-awareness because when you're saying I have to look at my fear, I have to acknowledge my fear in order to acknowledge that in the first place, you really have to be able to be self-aware. And that is such a first step in any kind of change. It's really looking at yourself, really being able to, I always say, what do you really feel right now? And if people are afraid to look at what they are really feeling, they can not get to the next step.Lauren (18:37):True. But also if you don't know what you're feeling Google feelings list. I have a list because I grew up talking about feelings. I mean, some people, my kids, I interviewed Rabbi Jill Zimmerman. She did. And she's older than we are. And her mom must've been the most amazing person ever because she grew up talking about her feelings. I was so amazed. She said, well, we, we grew up talking about our feelings of like, I still have a feelings list. Cause I mean, half the time, like there are so many of them that I,Shauna (19:07):You know, there's a feelings chart that I use, the feelings chart, everybody go Google feelings chart. I use it a lot for men.Lauren (19:18):I do in my relationship. Are you kidding me? I'm like, I now know that's not a feeling. You can't say that. And um, yeah. Um,Shauna (19:26):There's such a difference between a thought and a feeling and for children, children, don't just like you're saying they don't know what they're feeling. So when I pull out the feeling chart, which has all of these cute little faces on it, I know that one. It's amazing because the kids can point to it and say, I feel like that. And men do. I have men that really are like, I never really realized that I am not in touch with my feelings. I logically try to solve all my problems first without knowing what I'm feelingLauren (20:00):By saying the things that I thought like my financial when I went through the financial stuff or, or anything else that is me being genuine and nobody judged me on it. But for me and when I, and when I clear away all that stuff and I, that part of me is talking to that part of you. That's connection. That's how we get community. And thatShauna (20:25):Real that's being vulnerable. That's being genuine. It's so interesting too because when you are like that, you can immediately feel when the other person has a judgment and you, then you have the ability to see how do you want to move forward with that person? What kind of relationship do you want to have with that person? I am all about if you can't be with someone, what is the point? And it's hard in business. It really is hard in business because you do have to sometimes put on a different mask.Lauren (20:57):Sometimes she's shaking her head. Talk to us. Sometimes I actually I'm me. I am. To me, I might not say nobody wants to hire a lawyer who was, and actually it had no bearing on the way I practiced my profession. It had to do with my home. I am me in my legal profession. I amShauna (21:17):Talking about being vulnerable. COVID has made us also vulnerable. I think there's a lot of people who have come out of this or are coming out of this with a very different perspective on life. A very different perspective in what is important and how they want to proceed with everything in their life. All right. So we're almost out of time already. I can't believe it. What would you like to leave the listeners thinking about?Lauren (21:45):Well, my message of hope is that everything always works out. It just does. It's not on our timetable. It might not be in the way our limited vision would see it, but it just works out. And that is my message of hope.Shauna (21:59):I just want everybody to go listen to her podcast. Last question. What is the one that affected you the most in the biggest way? That is the first one that they should go listen to.Lauren (22:10):Ooh, that's hard because it depends where I'm at any given time. I mean, there are so many. Yeah. Each test each have little nuggets. Like I love the end, uh, jihad, Turk, Reverend Jill Zimmerman has this, but Karen Donaldson. Oh my gosh. And if you're dating, I have, I'm not even dating. I mean, I'm certainly not D I mean, I haven't dated in a year, so don't worry, Scott. Um, I mean, it's just for years, but I was fascinated. Why COVID is the best time for dating? I have every Mark has an Ariel Ford, both talking about it. Like they are amazing, but I mean, it's not like I was using that. And FMR cats got very real at the end of his, nothing about dating about men, single men in particular right now, and what they're going through. And that was kind of pretty deep. So, I mean, it's so hard to say, and then I have two that haven't come out yet. Mike Alden and Paula that are so phenomenal. And I mean, they're unbelievable that are in the next couple of weeks.Shauna (23:11):Oh, I'm so excited. All right. What is the best way for them to find the podcast to find your free ebook?Lauren (23:18):It's on the website, 52 weeks of hope.com that makes it so easy.Shauna (23:22):52. And it's the number five. Yes.Lauren (23:25):Yes. It is 52 weeks of hope.com and um, yeah, there's a new blog post on there that that's, I think my favorite one, there's also one on imposter syndrome. If you want to read about it and there's a bunch of,Shauna (23:37):I could talk to you forever and I want to, so Hey, you guys, I might actually, you know, cut recording and keep her on the video chat. You are such a lovely human being. You bring so much hope to people, truly 52 weeks of hope. I can. I think I'm going to start listening to 52 weeks. I want to do the next year of hope. So I'm going to specifically commit to one a week, pick a day, everybody pick a day that you always need a little pick me up. I was talking to somebody yesterday and they were saying that Sundays were always very hard for them in the evenings because of what Monday might bring. So I think I'm going to do my 52 weeks of hope on Friday morning so that I can have an amazing weekend after a week of work.I cannot thank you enough for being a guest on the show. And I hope all of you go out and listen to the podcast. You know what I always say to you, please be good to yourselves. Please surround yourself with loving beings. Please eat the most amazing healthy foods and drink a ton of water. And in this time, get a lot of sleep. Be genuine to yourself. I thank you for letting us into your lives this week. And I look forward to popping back in again next week. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED…• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: All Episodes  • Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.com WHEN DOES IT AIR… APRIL 10, 2021
58-A Constant State Of Goosebumps with Massimo DeMarco
Mar 21 2021
58-A Constant State Of Goosebumps with Massimo DeMarco
ShaunaWelcome, Massimo.Massimo (01:20):Thank you, Shauna. That was a big introduction there. You know, me, you’ve known me for a long time. You know, I'm the biggest goofball that you'll ever meet. I am, uh, I am your soul brother. I remember meeting you many years ago and just seeing a total light. You have been a guiding light through my life. Just like, uh, all the influences that came across my life. But, you know, you mentioned my family, my family, you're a bringing is really so incredibly important on who you are. You, you got to meet my mom, you get to meet my dad. You know, these incredible people that always were with me at any moment of big decisions that I made. Whether they were there in person or not, they were always in my mind. And I always thought, how would my mom and dad feel about this?Massimo (02:11):How would they judge me? How would they cheer me? And so that's always been in the back of my mind every time I made a decision, whether it was about career or, or relationships and everything else. So I'm so thrilled to be here. Shauna, you know, I love being in presence of greatness. I am in presence of greatness today. And then, and I hope that there is a lot of great, amazing people on this podcast, which I know there's going to be. Cause I've heard some of your previous ones and I was blown away at the last one. I listened to it twice in a row because it was so amazing.Shauna (02:47):Thank you so much. Well, I'm very blessed to have people like you in my life who not only believe in me, but Massimo you and I have talked about so many deep conversations and theprofound relationship that we have as a friend. That is what gives me so much strength. There's always somebody for me to throw around my pain, with my confusion, with, to talk to you about business relationships. God knows. We kind of grew up together here as we got old. Well, so I go, what do we talk about? We've delved into so many conversations from work, from pain relationships, heartache. Talk to me, brother, what are we talking about today?Massimo (03:37):I think that a constant in life, you and I have had is a thing that happens in life, right? But things happen for everybody. I think that as you grow up, you don't realize that. And when I say things might be not so pleasant, things that could happen to you don't want to call them bad things. Cause there's no such thing as bad. It's, it's all a learning experience. But I think that the earlier in life that you realize that things are going to happen to you. And the more you're going to be prepared when these things happen to you, therefore you're going to learn quicker, how to react to all these bad things. And you've watched me going through many, many years of successes and failures and, and losses and all kinds of things. And those are all part of life.Massimo (04:34):Nobody can escape them. And so when they happen, you, you have a decision to make, you really have to choose how you're going to go forward. The human reaction is you're going to sit, eat a lot of ice cream cry, scream, bargain, pray to God, pray and, and, and pray again because that's what I've done. Growing up Catholic. I was bargaining. I was praying. I was, I was hoping I was crying. I was getting angry. And, and that happened throughout the course of my life. Every time that something bad happened. However, I learned that every time that these things happened, the best thing for me was to accept them, and accepting what happened was incredibly, um, revealing because it helped me move forward. You can have resentment, you can have hate, you can have anger and, and especially towards someone that does you wrong, if you, you know, that people have done me wrong, maybe I deserved it.Massimo (05:47):Maybe I didn't, I don't want to go to, to that point. But the fact is that people have done me wrong. And I realized after many of these incidents that I needed to be able to forgive those people for what they had done to me, not forget. I'm not saying forget, because if you forget, then you don't learn the lesson. But, but understanding that if you do not forgive someone that has done you wrong, you're always going to replay that movie over and over and over into your head. And every time that you replay that movie, you are experiencing the same pain that, that you have experienced the moment that this has happened, this doesn't do you any good? Doesn't do you any good physically? Because you get sick, you get nauseous, you get you, and then you get upset. And then, and then mentally it doesn't give you that peace.Massimo (06:51):I have learned that if I was able to forgive, I will get to peace a lot faster. You know, something happened a year ago. To me, that was devastating, absolutely devastating. And this was something that I never saw coming. However, this time I bargain and prayed and cried for only four days on the fifth day, I went on a hike and you remember, cause I called you, I went on a hike and I said, I'm going to let go. I'm going to forgive. I'm not going to forget, but I'm not going to play this over and over and over and get upset over and over and over every single time because it wouldn't do me any good. And guess what amazing things started happening from that day on, right after that day, amazing things started to manifest into my life that, uh, that made me who I am right now, both in life and in business. So that's one of the lessons that I've learned. I think there's a lot, a lot more that I need to learn, but you know, that's, that's something that I am really happy that I learned about a year ago.Shauna (08:06):I think that's really so profound. I always talk about the fact that when we hold onto a hurt, it's like, it's a thorn in our hand and we hold it tighter and tighter and tighter and tighter because we don't want to let it go. And what is it doing to our hand? The thorn is in our hand and we're the ones holding on so tight. And when we can finally open up our hand, take the thorn out. It can actually start healing. You don't forget because you actually, you know, some scars are good. Some scars are there to remind us of the lessons that we have learned. And we don't want to we're, we're going up this journey to awareness. We don't want to let go of our lessons. We don't want to pretend we never had them. We don't want to forgive to the point where we go, Oh, it's okay. And put it so far out of our minds that we don't learn from the experience even ourselves and what we did in this situation to get to that point. So let's talk about forgiveness of ourselves.Massimo (09:10):That's probably the hardest one because we always tend to regret some of the bad choices that we have made. And those are harder to let go of because you're always going to go back and say, why did I do that back then? Right. Sometimes I think, and I don't know if this is true or not, but sometimes I think that I got maybe a little bit too cocky. ShaunaCould it be you?MassimoMaybe I got a little bit Italian.Maybe I don't want to say arrogant because I've never been arrogant. I was taught better than that, but maybe it just got a little bit too comfortable with something and maybe thought that I was, uh, in a place where I couldn't be any better that I could achieve any better because I've achieved so much. And I got to that point where I was like, wow, how, how am I going to top this? And, uh, and so I think the universe listens to you and it goes, Oh yeah, let me show you and knocks you right down. Knocks you right down from your pedestal. Knocks you write down from your cushy job. Knocks you right out of your amazing friendship. That turns, turns out to be something, uh, painful. And so every time you're knocked down, something happens to you. And as you were saying, you can look at the scar and admire the scar, but you can keep putting your finger on that scar and relieving that pain because that's, that's just not good.Massimo (10:51):And so for me, rebounding, after each of these experiences has become easier and easier because it happens so many times, right? So in a way I became, I'm not going to say I became a pro at rebounded, but you know, I've heard, I've heard people, my friends and, you know, they call me a number of names. You know, they say, Oh, you're resilient. Uh, you know, you're relentless, you bounce back. Uh, you're like a cork. If they try to put you on their water, you chump right out. Um, and, and, and it's so true. It's really true. The more they pushed me down and the more I tend to react and say, you know what? I am here and I'm not going away. Try to put me down. I'm going to Excel so I can show you that I can Excel. I can show you that by doing the right thing, I can still Excel. And Shauna, I think I shared this with you the other day. I read a post somewhere from someone. I, I don't even know who it is, but it hit me so hard. I think it's one, it's one of the most beautiful things I read in a long time. And it was a very, very short sentence. And it said they try to bury me, but they did not realize that I am a seed.Shauna (12:10):I love that so much. Massimo. There's something else about you though. You are resilient. You do bounce back. I've always loved about you your hope. You always kept a level of hope and dreams. You know, we used to joke around when we were young, Oh, there's my Massimo dreaming again. And yet I watch you make your dreams come true. How for you hope is a part of who Massimo is. And that's what I've always known about who you are.Massimo (12:43):But hope is not, it's not enough, right? Dream is not enough. Dream is beautiful because dreaming, you can, you can come up with something, something new, something beautiful, something interesting, something helpful, something that, that fills a void and a necessity in this world. But unless you act nothing is going to happen and you can act in many different ways. And a lot of people act upon their dreams and their ideas, but they're not successful. In order for you to act on something that you want to manifest or something that you want to make happen, whether it's a business, or generally for me, has been mostly for business, uh, having these great ideas, but then put it into practice became very, very, very hard. And I, and I boil it down to just one word for me, discipline. If you don't have that discipline to go through and analyze every part of your business, what can go, right?Massimo (13:44):What can go wrong? How am I going to go, right? How am I going to go wrong? And, and habit clear plan. And then clearly the plans many times get thrown. You know, they blow up, they blow up, but then you need to learn how to pivot. How do you pivot again? You have to have that discipline to stay put because if you know that if you have to get up every morning at five o'clock to start working on your business before you get older, the meetings lined up, you have to do that. It's like working out. I mean, I'm not going to go and throw out too many sports, um, you know, stories, but, but look at Tiger Woods. Come on. One of the most talented people and his whole entire life is still hitting balls, uh, at a driving range all day long. It is discipline. It is so important. You go back to basic every single time, train retrain yourself, retrain your mind, rewire those bad thoughts that you have as you're going through and thinking, Oh, this is, this is bad. This is bad. No, no, no, no. Just forget about what's bad focus on what's good. And if you have to go to point A and point B, and there is something in between, well, go around it, you know, rewire your brain in that way.Shauna (15:02):And what I want our listeners, our listeners to think about is to take everything that you've just said and apply it to their own growth, their own. You're talking about business, but I also know that this is who you are. This is exactly how you take on any challenge. You figure it out, you look at it, you go around it. There's another really great story I try to remember. It was a really simple Buddhist story. And it was a man and he's walking down the road and there's a giant boulder in the center of the road. And he says, you know, Buddha Buddha help me. I can't, I don't know what to do. I need to get to the other side. I don't know how to get there. And Buddha says we'll just walk around it. We do that. We see a Boulder. We see something that stops us.And we don't realize how many different paths we have to get to the other side. So whether it's a relationship, whether it's a loss of a job, whether it's a loss of a love, whether it's just trying to find out who we redefine ourselves, there are so many ways to get around. Sometimes we have to look for help. Sometimes we have to look for another way. You once said something to me. Then I'm gonna throw out here that when you were younger, you really would wake up every morning and tell yourself a list of things. What were those things? Do you remember?Massimo (16:46):No. Um, it, it depends. It depends on what, at what age, but I just remember that. Well, first of all, let me just go back a little further. So when I was a child and experiencing the world through the eyes of my grandfather, who was an amazing human being and, you know, I grew up telling my father that I wanted to be like, Lorenzo. I wanted to be like his father because this, this man just, you know, look, I have goosebumps just as soon as I say his name, right. Uh, you know that my story is called “a constant state of goosebumps” because that's when great things happen, right. When you get goosebumps is because great things happen. And so I'm going back to the experience of how my grandfather will start a day. When I spent the night at my grandparents, I would hear my grandfather when he got up in the morning, because there's an old Italian man.Massimo (17:38):He smoked a pipe. So every morning when he got out of the house, he would clear his throat, you know, making that not so not so cute sound. But I woke up and I ran and I watched him and he was already standing out there with this cafe latte, with the little coffee cup that he held with both hands, because he always held it with both hands and, and brought it to his mouth with the two hands because he said that the warm of the cup warmed his soul, warmed his heart and all of that. Right. But the most beautiful part he would walk. And I would walk right behind him with my little cup of coffee latte, because, you know, couldn't have a big one like him, but I would follow him. And I would watch him go over into his garden and go over to a plant or a tree and, and talk to the plant and talk to the tree and, and saying grace and thanking the universe and thanking God for giving him such a beautiful garden.Massimo (18:34):He would go to the tomato plants as soon as they started popping out. And I don't know if you know, but in Italy, uh, Pomo D'oro, which is tomato is, is, is the golden Apple. It translates to golden Apple. So these golden apples that were coming out in his garden and all these fruits, he would go over and, and, and caress the leaves and, and saying grace and being so incredibly grateful for what you had right in front of him. And I think that that's a lesson that I carried around. I was always very grateful for the small things. Uh, you know, I like to grow my produce as well. I think it's because of grandfather, but, but just watching the produce, growing in your garden gives me that, that kind of kind of thing. And if you think about it, it's not just, you know, you applied into everything, you can apply to your business because you are going out every single day and you're going to interact with your teams and the people that you've hired.Massimo (19:31):And if you've hired some people you've, you saw something good in them, right? So these are my little Pomo d’oro my little golden apples that I want to go out and thank every single day. And I want to say grace, and I want to be grateful for having these talented people in my life, making this day, being a beautiful experience and making my company be a great success, whether it's making money or, or, or, or other purposes in life is just having someone in your team that understands what you're looking for in them. And you can appreciate them so that when they come to work, they know that they are appreciated. They know that you're grateful for them. Therefore, when they understand that you have their best interest at heart, they're going to be more loyal employees. They're going to be more loyal friends.Massimo (20:23):And my hope has always been that they would take that message home with them. And as a result, become not just better employees, but become better fathers, better mothers, better husbands, better, better, better friends, better everything. Cause, you know, as you care for someone, you want to show them. So if you can show someone that you are grateful when you're coming from work and in your, your wife just goes and opens a bottle of wine, it doesn't matter. It brings it to you, right? It's not that the woman needs to do that. Or the men needs to do that because it's just a sign of caring and appreciation. Look, I don't think I've ever had a date in my life that came over. You know, I love to cook. Right. And, and I love wine and all that, but I don't think I've ever had a date that came over to my house.Massimo (21:14):And, and I didn't say let's go in the kitchen and make something beautiful, food-wise, um, to be precise that I didn't want to get too inappropriate, but let's, let's go, let's go and do something. Let's go and, and get to know each other through a very creative way. You know, how we, not just how we cook it, but how we present it and how appreciative we can be when we finally bought into, uh, this beautiful dish, you know, and not just the flavors, but the look and so on. And so it's all about putting in the work and putting that discipline into that as well. Right? It's always about discipline doing a thing, half hat, right? I think you guys say this in America half that But if you do things half hat, you always have, you know, half hat relationships. If you start at half at business, you always have a hat, half hat business.Massimo (22:06):So put in what you got to put in 110%. I know that doesn't exist, but, but, but put all in, when I used to go out and play, uh, soccer or, or, or any sports I used to put, give everything I got onto the field, I would leave everything I had on the field. Cause otherwise I would come out of the, and if we lost, if we won, I would have come out and started going, why didn't I do that? Why don't I do that? And guess what? We're back to the beginning of our conversation. Why didn't I do that? Why am I going back and replaying that bad experience and replaying that bad feeling that I had? No, let go of that. But in order for you to let go of that, it's a lot easier to go. And you know, full-steam, don't leave anything on the field. I mean, leave everything on the field. Don't bring anything back. You'll get your energy back. You'll get your strength back.Shauna (22:55):I always say, it's okay to go back and look at a situation and figure out what you could have done differently, but not stay in it. Like you're talking about not staying in that moment, using that moment to take you into the next, to propel you, to move you forward to jumpstart the next scenarios. Yeah.Massimo (23:13):I agree with you a hundred percent, that that moment becomes so special. And I'm going to tell you that the moment that, that you cross over from that state of anger and this belief, and you know, my fourth to the fifth day, right? Remember my story. But last year, my fourth to the fifth day, the moment that you have crossed over, you have a rush of emotions that come over you, those goosebumps are present constantly. You get teary-eyed eyes, but you get teary. You've crying maybe for four days before now, your, your tears are a different kind of tears. They're tears of joy. They're tears of energy. They are tears of motivation. They tear of let's go out and take the bull by the horn and just, you know, let's say, okay, it's time to move on. Forget about what happened in the last four days, the last week, the last month.Massimo (24:08):Now that moment living in that moment, being in that moment in those days is the most important part because that's when you're going to rebuild, right? And it might not take a day or two or three or five to rebuild. It might take a lot longer, but you want to stay in that moment where you are just feeling those emotions. If you're going on a hike like me, those moments are the moments that are changing moments. And I always say the changing moment never comes without a good cry. And, and so I've gone on hikes where I was so excited about something, every realization that I just had to put something behind me and looking at something that I was going towards that were going not to walk towards, but run towards and having this, this incredible amount of emotions come into you and have a good cry and say, you know what?Massimo (25:03):I'm going to climb that, that Hill a lot faster while I'm crying, I might even be singing or screaming, whatever it might be. But I know that I am present in that moment. That is a creative moment where you are going to come up with something in your head. There's going to be your next business is going to be your next idea. It's not going to, it's going to be the next, I don't know, the desire of doing something for the world that makes this world a better place, right? I'm gonna, I'm gonna say one more thing very quickly. This I learned a few years ago, I was at a party and I ran into a very famous person that asked me, um, what are you happy about? What you do? What do you think when I, when you go to bed at night and I, and I said, well, the two phone numbers that I collected this afternoon from these two hot girls, I swear, I swear.Massimo (25:51):That's what I said to him. And, and he goes, no, no, let's be serious. And I say, listen, I don't know. I think about a million different things, right? You asked me the question. That means that you have an answer for me. And now so curious, I want to know. And this man says to me, you know, I go to bed every night. And when I put my head down on my pillow, I think what have I done today to make my world a better place? And he says, my little world, it doesn't have to be the entire world. I can't impact the entire world. Even though people know me, but that's not important. If I can make my world, my little world, my, my, my friends, my, my, my, my relatives, and everyone that revolves around me. If I can make a better world for them, I go to bed with a smile.Shauna (26:36):Massimo. That is why I have had such a profound connection to you because you such a pure spirit for everyone that's in your life. Whether it's somebody who's working for you, whether it's somebody who's working with you, whether it's a friend, whether it's an ex-wife, whatever it is, you have, you come with so much love and non-judgment that it gives them a place to truly be themselves. And when we have an opportunity to truly be ourselves, then what was the line that you said, about the goosebumps? Because that's what we're going to call this episode.Massimo (27:17):A Constant State of Goosebumps.Shauna (27:19):When we can have that kind of relationship with ourselves, someone else, and the world we live in, we are in a constant state of goosebumps. Massimo, thank you so much for being on this episode. I am so blessed to have you in my life. And I thank you so much for coming on the podcast.Massimo (27:41):Thank you for having me, Shauna. You know that our conversations are always filled with those goosebumps, right? They're all, they always feel with some tears as well. But, but again, and they're tears of joy. They're tears of happiness, a tear of sadness, but it all comes down to something that we are both, uh, very familiar with… being grateful for, for where we are, the people that are around us. So thank you, my sister.Shauna (28:06):Thank you, my soul brother. Oh, everyone. I hope that you walk away from this podcast with a constant state of goosebumps. I hope you take very, very, very good care of yourself. Surround yourself with loving kind beings. Go out there, share that, share those goosebumps. Thank you for letting me into your lives this week. And I look forward to popping back in again next week. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED…• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: All Episodes  • Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.com WHEN DOES IT AIR… MARCH 20, 2021
57-Change It Up
Mar 6 2021
57-Change It Up
Hello and Welcome, I’m Shauna Hoffman.By changing it up, making simple changes in our lives, we were smiling and laughing. Noticing so many different things around us.  It was so much fun. And I realized that we all need to do this more often.  In so many ways!For example.  When my husband was importing art from the Caribbean.  He would always talk to his collectors about moving the paintings on the wall around once a year.  He made the point that sometimes the art on our walls becomes part of the background, they almost become like the furniture.  Your artwork starts to blend into the walls.  You don’t see them anymore. But when you switch out a piece of art on your walls, or in your space all of a sudden your eyes see it again.  Your room looks different And your brain actually sparks in a new way.  The moment that you are in… changes. Your appreciation of your space changes.  You see things differently!Listen to this…According to The Telegraph, looking at a beautiful painting, sculpture, or another piece of art increases blood flow to the brain by as much as 10% -- the equivalent of looking at someone you love.What an easy way to get a jump start to your heart and brain! Move around your art!I think that what happened this morning when we walked to a different park was it gave us an opportunity to see so much beauty we hadn’t seen before. It made us smile. Made us laugh more!There is a Wayne Dwyer quote that you may have heard.  I always thought about it in terms of the way we think about things. Our perception of a situation. But now when I think about the artwork in my home it even makes sense there!“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!”.“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!”.There are so many times I ask a couple what have they done out of the ordinary lately? Any new and fun activity together? A bike ride? A hike? When have they gone anyplace different? Or if you are quarantining, what can you switch up at home? Move furniture around. Make something for dinner you have never had and wanted to try? We are so past the days of Friday is fish night! Can you put down the remote or phone and play a new game together? My brother sent our whole family this game called Finders keepers.  A total brain mystery game.  And it gave us this great weekend adventure in our living room. Again, we changed up our routine and had so much fun.I have couples come in to see me that say, “we have so much fun on vacations. Our marriage gets a reboot. But we can’t keep the feelings when we get home”. So the homework I give them is to change it up! Have breakfast for dinner. Go out for a walk after dinner instead of watching TV. Put on MUSIC while you are cooking!  Hello, last week’s Beatle’s Music Therapy episode!  Music!! Music changes the entire energy in a room, in your evening! Maybe your morning?  Maybe instead of watching the morning news, you start your day with music?Anything to change the chemistry in your brain and body. Anything to change it up! I have even started to listen to different music while I do my yoga. I had a playlist that has stayed the same for years. I thought it brought me peace.  But once I changed it up I found myself feeling totally different during my practice. I was more engaged instead of going through the poses as I usually do.We all get into routines. They make us feel safe.  They may keep us on track and healthy. We get up, do our yoga or workout, shower, have our coffee, start to work.Or maybe you haven’t found a routine that makes you feel safe and keeps you healthy. Yet, your routine is just that. You get up, start working, and don’t have a moment of spontaneity to excite you.Change it up.  The weird thing is that the tiniest change in your daily life or your environment is enough to make you feel totally different. Remember that 10% blood flow? That it’s like looking at someone you love?Take a moment to think about one thing that you are willing to try and change today to see how it may affect you. One thing. A painting in the house. A plant that you want to put in a new place. A new kind of music you want to try? Jazz versus soul, or classical versus rock? Do you always wear the same colors?  It’s funny. I never wore pink.  Then one day I pulled out the only pink top I own and put it on. My husband noticed it right away!  HAHA  Seeing me in a new color gave his brain a new way to see me. Though I choose not to think I was becoming like the furniture or blending into the walls.Maybe it is much bigger than that. Is there a relationship that you want to change up?  Are you the one who always calls your friend so they never have a chance to call you first? And how special will it be when you give them the space to do that? Do you think you are bored in a relationship because you haven’t tried to give it some kind of new life? Whether trying something tiny or big, see what is different if you CHANGE IT UP a bit!I guess what I want you to think about is that there is a difference between keeping things comfortable versus static. A static home, static routine, static relationship will eventually suck the energy out of you. We are growing, changing evolving humans! We have an opportunity in life to embrace all the unknown around us to help us on our journey to self-awareness.So think about it today. Think about what you can “change-up” to inspire you, bring you joy, and jumpstart a part of your life again!Imagine if one tiny change could change your world!I am so glad you joined me on this podcast today. Now go out there and change it up! Change up everything and anything you can to bring you happiness. Remember to be so kind to yourself! Honor your heart. Honor your creativity. Expand your soul!Thank you for letting me into your life this week! And I look forward to popping back in again…next week. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED…• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: All Episodes  • Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.com WHEN DOES IT AIR… MARCH 06, 2021
56-Song Therapy From The Beatles
Feb 27 2021
56-Song Therapy From The Beatles
Hello and Welcome, I’m Shauna HoffmanSo there is this thing happening to so many people right now from going on a year of Covid lock downs, and fear and confusion and total twilight zone living. They are calling it Motivation Paralysis. And boy have I felt it. I am usually so motivated for everything I do. And the last few weeks, BAM. Motivation Paralysis. Down to the smallest thing that I love to do which is make the meme’s for the podcast. I was like…eh.  So the one thing that always makes me move is music. Move physically and it wakes up my heart and my soul! I get excited. I want to dance.  When I was a kid and I had a bad day I would turn off the lights and dance my heart out! Now sadly because of music rights I can’t play any of the clips of the songs today. But with the Beatles I won’t have to. I know when I start the lyric the music will take over your mind! There are some real obvious ones to start with. And since all I talk about over and over again is Loving yourself, staying in the moment and dealing with where you are at this instant I have the perfect song to kick this off. It was originally released as a single. Written by John, and eventually was added to the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. It also appeared in their movie The Yellow Submarine and on that soundtrack.All You Need Is LoveMy favorite claim and truth lines in this song are …Nothing you can make that can't be madeNo one you can save that can't be savedNothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in timeIt's easyAll you need is loveAll you need is loveAll you need is love, loveLove is all you needNothing you can know that isn’t known. Nothing you can see that isn’t shown. Nothing you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…. It’s easyAll you need is loveAll you need is loveLove is all you need Truly!!!  That kinda says it all!When I decided to start putting together this podcast I did an internet deep dive into the Beatles most uplifting or meaningful songs. And there isn’t a question that this next one was on every list or even at the top of every list.  "Hey Jude". It was interesting to find out it was originally written as "Hey Jules" by Paul for John’s son Julian when his parents were getting divorced. Though Julian was only 5, the lyrics have touched the soul of so many of us and given us hope for years.  The lyrics that get me every time are these.And when the broken-hearted people Living in the world agree There will be an answer: Let it be...Here are all the lyrics.  Let your mind sing them!Hey Jude, don't make it bad.Take a sad song and make it better.Remember to let her into your heart,Then you can start to make it better.Hey Jude, don't be afraid.You were made to go out and get her.The minute you let her under your skin,Then you begin to make it better.These next lyrics are for all of you who are suffering through these times…And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain,Don't carry the world upon your shoulders.For well you know that it's a fool who plays it coolBy making his world a little colder.Hey Jude, don't let me down.You have found her, now go and get her.Remember to let her into your heart,Then you can start to make it better. Now wait!  Listen to these next lyrics. If this doesn’t scream self love and YOU are all you need then nothing does! So let it out and let it in, hey Jude, begin,You're waiting for someone to perform with.And don't you know that it's just you, hey Jude, you'll do,The movement you need is on your shoulder.Hey Jude, don't make it bad.Take a sad song and make it better.Remember to let her under your skin,Then you'll begin to make itBetter better better better better better, oh.Ok now I know you are all going…naaaa naa naa nanananaaaaa!   Next wisdom song.. I think the hardest part for so many of us during this last year is not being able to be with our friends. The healing of seeing your besties, hanging with them, laughing with them has started to take a toll on so many people.  Zoom can only do so much when you’re craving a hug from your best friend. But you know… we need to take the moments we can get!  Here are just some of the lyrics to one that was written by John and Paul and sung by Ringo! WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS What would you think if I sang out of tune?Would you stand up and walk out on me?Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a songAnd I'll try not to sing out of keyOh, I get by with a little help from my friendsMm, I get high with a little help from my friendsMm, gonna try with a little help from my friendsWhat do I do when my love is away?Does it worry you to be alone?How do I feel by the end of the day?Are you sad because you're on your own?No, I get by with a little help from my friendsMm, get high with a little help from my friendsMm, gonna try with a little help from my friends OK I just love this song so much.  It really says it all.  And for me.. Singing out of tune is my life story. But my friends don’t walk out on me!  Now that is true friendship!There is one line from Blackbird that just resonates so much with me and for all of us during these times. Blackbird singing in the dead of nightTake these broken wings and learn to flyAll your lifeYou were only waiting for this moment to arise It was written by Paul originally to address the racial strife in the South in the 1960s. Paul said later, “This was really a song from me to a black woman, experiencing these problems in the States: 'Let me encourage you to keep trying, to keep your faith; there is hope."This year has been a time for people of color to truly arise. To be heard, to be truly seen. This song resonates for so many of us on a different level. So many people around the world who feel that their wings have been broken through this last year. We all need to learn how to fly again!This year has been the most trying one in a long time for our world! I started to list them but just stopped the recording and deleted all of them. Suffice it to say that we all have made it through! You are here listening to this podcast and I am here sharing it with you. Hallelujah! ,So I am going to end the Beatles' wisdom song therapy with this one by George! Beautiful, soulful George Harrison. Here Comes The SunHere comes the sun do, do, doHere comes the sunAnd I say it's all rightLittle darling, it's been a long cold lonely winterLittle darling, it seems like years since it's been hereHere comes the sun do, do, doHere comes the sunAnd I say it's all rightLittle darling, the smiles returning to the facesLittle darling, it feels like years since it's been hereHere comes the sun do, do, doHere comes the sunAnd I say it's all rightLittle darling, I feel that ice is slowly meltingLittle darling, it seems like years since it's been clearHere comes the sun do, do, doHere comes the sunAnd I say it's all rightHere comes the sun do, do, doHere comes the sunAnd I say it's all right To all of you my amazing listeners I say… Here comes the sun.  We will get through this. We will take our broken wings and learn to fly! We will take a sad song and make it better. All with a little help from our friends! Because you know…All you need is love!  Share this episode with any of your friends that need a little music therapy!Now take such good care of yourselves! Drink lots of water, eat nourishing foods and surround yourself with loving beings!  And maybe make a song list that you can play for yourself as you close your door, turn off your lights and dance your heart out!Thank you for letting me into your life this week! And I look forward to popping back in again, next week.  LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT DISCUSSED…• A Journey to Awareness Podcast: All Episodes  • Shauna’s website: https://www.workingonme.com WHEN DOES IT AIR… February 20, 2021