Hello friends, I’m Shannon.
I was born and raised in a military family, so from day one I got to travel…a ton! I have loved traveling ever since and find myself getting restless after a few years of being in the same place. The lifestyle of moving all the time enforced the importance of family early on, and is a value I still hold close.
In 2012, I lost my younger brother in a tragic accident that left me heart-broken and full of regret. The trauma of losing my brother launched me into a season of questioning and ultimately led to a healthy paradigm shift and life change. It set me on a track of intentional living and learning to embrace myself and my life in a wholehearted way.
I absolutely love all things nature-related (Except bugs. Bugs are gross.) and feel the most alive with the warm sun on my face, or digging my toes into the dirt. I am the proud mama of the most amazing little boy. Being that I’m a stay-at-home mom the extent of my creativity is finding new ways to hide healthy things in my toddler’s food and curling up with a good coloring book and some “mommy juice” (a.k.a wine) at the end of the day.
Have you ever experienced the pressures of society squeezing you into a box so small it feels as though you can’t breathe? Maybe your friends or your church group or your career place demands in return for their acceptance.
You belong only because you conform. And it. Is. Suffocating.
That is exactly where I found myself a few years ago. As far back as I can remember, my Empath-self drove me to appease the people around me even if it meant chipping away at pieces of my soul. I allowed that drive to chip away for so long that eventually there wasn’t anything left of me. It wasn’t that I was doing bad things, the problem was that I allowed my life to be hi-jacked by things that others told me I had to be or do if I wanted to be accepted by God. And I took that lie – hook, line and sinker – for the majority of my life.
About 4 years ago tragedy struck my family and it caused a lot of these falsities to be exposed. After several years of really digging in and doing some painful soul-searching, I have come to realize that true acceptance and belonging can only be found when I am vulnerable and allow the truth of who I am to be shown. Only then can people actually chose to accept me.
That my friends, is authenticity and it’s my word for 2016!
Authenticity started with being honest with myself. And it will continue as I open up and allow the world around me to know the truth of who I am. I will be vulnerable enough to admit that chronic illness is kicking my butt and I barely have the strength I need to get through my days right now. I will be honest that I need help. I won’t cover up the fact that my greatness in this season of life is in simplifying and taking care of myself and my family first. I will let go of unrealistic expectations and embrace my weird, hippy, introverted, highly-sensitive, nature-loving, boring-mom self without apology.
Connecting with others pursuing authenticity this year is what I am most looking forward to.
Here’s to shining brightly in 2016!
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SHANNON? SHE WAS FEATURED IN THESE POSTS OR FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM.
A letter from Kylie:
Thank you all so much for joining me this month in hearing the stories of each of these beautiful ladies! It has been so incredibly inspiring to me to get to know their hearts a bit deeper, and to see the intentionality they have in their lives. What did you think of this series? How are you choosing to live your life this year? I am always interested in hearing your stories! Feel free to send them my way, or just say hello by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or swinging by my instagram page!