We’re so excited to share our interview with Shannon Kaiser today. Shannon is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, writer, teacher, life coach, business and author mentor, and an international speaker. And more than all those things, she shares our mission to help women live to their highest potential.
Her most recent book, “Joy Seeker” inspired us to ask her all about her journey with becoming a joy seeker and how we can all add more joy into our routines.
For those who don’t already know about you, how did you get on the path of self-love and get where you are today?
This year marks the ten-year anniversary I left corporate, depression, drug addiction, eating disorders and anxiety behind to follow my heart and become a mental health advocate and wellness writer. Today I am living my purpose as a speaker, empowerment coach, retreat leader, and book author. A couple of years ago I took my business fully location independent and traveled the world solo for eight months. It led to an extraordinary journey of what it means to truly be alive, which is what my next book, Joy Seeker, is all about: authentic living and how we can let go of what’s holding us back.
What does it mean to you to be a joy seeker? How do you practice this?
A joy seeker is someone who is open and willing to live life from his or her heart and see their life as an unfolding creative adventure. They release expectations and have compassion for self, others and the world.
What would you say to someone who wants more clarity on what they are meant to be doing with their lives?
So often we try to chase our purpose, thinking it is something we need to find, but our purpose is in us already. It is us! We just have to allow it. We can do this by starting to live more on purpose, start by taking each moment and make it more intentional. Start to ask yourself what kind of life do I want to live? What do I want to experience? Does what I’m doing in life currently align with that vision? If not, what can I do to move more towards what feels good? What can I release and let go of?
I find that we get in our own way when it comes to living the lives we want to live – how can we remind ourselves to connect with our inner being?
I used to feel this way and it led to depression, eating disorders and corporate burnout. I got to the point where I realized life is actually pretty short, and we have the power to make it what we want. Choosing to be happy is our birthright; we can be joyful and unapologetic about it. Life is meant to be lived fully and explored, so connect with your true self by reminding yourself how lucky you are to be here. Gratitude is one of the best ways to start to feel better. Instead of focusing on what you don’t like, turn your lack to love by appreciating what is going well.
What still challenges you? Do you set goals and intentions for the year?
Instead of setting goals, now I set intentions. I still have dreams and focuses but I used to define myself by my goals. When I didn’t hit the benchmarks, I would take it personally, often falling into a mini depression because I felt like a failure, or as if my worth was tied to that outcome. But I’ve learned the universe usually has a plan so much greater than our own, as I learned when I went on my own Joy Seeker process, the journey is so much more rewarding than the actual goal manifested.
What challenges me is my commitment to personal growth. I stopped trying to think there was a there to get to — a final place of full happiness, inner peace, a perfect life — and recognized life is a glorious journey. I committed to growth, by investing in myself with yearly wellness retreats, new training and personal development programs. When you grow, you transform and have a new awareness of life, which not only uplifts you but helps to uplift the world.
You have your own coach. Why do you think it’s important to have a coach and what has been the most significant thing you’ve worked through with yours?
Yes, I think having mentors and coaches is one of the most important parts of living a fulfilled life. (And I don’t just say that because I am a coach :).) A coach can help support you in ways friends and family can’t. A good coach can help you see your own light and motivate you to your fullest potential. My coach has been instrumental in my career and life, working with them has helped me get out of my own way. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know because we are blocked with fear, habits and limiting beliefs, my coaches have guided me to remove those and step into my true passion as a writer. My life is unrecognizable in brilliant ways from the time I started working with a coach.
What are the first things you do in the morning to ground you for the day ahead?
Before I even get out of bed, I start with a gratitude practice. I run through the things I am thankful for in my head. Then I go for a nature walk with my dog. Then I do at least 15 minutes of meditation and guided journaling.
Do you have any evening rituals?
In the evening, I like to light a candle and journal a little bit more. I work with oracle and affirmation decks, like my Find Your Happy Daily Mantras Deck. I use them to get grounded and co-create with the Universe. I also love taking hot baths and riding my Peleton bike.
What’s one practice we can do this week to live life to our fullest?
As I share in my book “Joy Seeker”, I don’t think it is about living life to the fullest as much as it is about living it with depth. We can find joy in the moments in between the big peak ones, and often they can be just as fantastic, if not even more so. So instead of focusing on the next big thing, focus on here and now, cultivate joy by allowing it, invite it into everything you do.
And cultivate a friendship with yourself. The sooner you can become your own friend, the easier your life will be. Be kind, compassionate and generous with yourself. When I first started my business, I was always looking outside of myself at others and always feeling competitive and not good enough.
Once I started practicing self-love, I realized how abundant and supportive the world really is. There is no competition, for we are all on our own journey. When you love yourself, everything becomes more rewarding.