When you are in your logical state of mind, and unwilling to open to possibilities, then you limit the communication you can receive from source. Learning to shut off your streams of thought will help you in going beyond your 5 senses.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shawngela Pierce.
Shawngela Pierce is a spiritual healer, podcaster, and author from Sedona, Arizona. She helps those who seek, embrace their spiritual power to heal and manifest a life they desire. Shawngela’s work includes a qigong dvd, a spiritual guidance workbook, and two published books — Healing and the Law of Attraction and Awakening to the Healing Powers Within. Her company, Seek Within You, offers spiritual healing in the form of retreats, workshops, and her signature Spiritual Power Program.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
I was not always a spiritual healer. I actually started off in the science world and then progressed to spirituality, when my health took a downturn.
My first career was as a Forensic Scientist in Ohio, after graduating with a degree in Biology from Purdue University. I then went on to get my master’s degree in Education so that I could teach college Human Anatomy & Physiology.
I really loved teaching others, however, along my journey — which included serving in the Army Reserves as a Paralegal — my health became compromised. I developed a chronic ailment and extreme chemical sensitivities in my late 20s.
I was basically told by medical specialists that my condition would only get worse over time and the medication they were giving me would only help to stabilize me. In my mind, this was unacceptable, so I pursued answers.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
The most interesting story of my career is actually the end of my career in the “science world.”
My search for answers for my health led me to Naturopathic medical school. I thought that I would not only find help for my ailment but I would also be able to teach others. It was a perfect combination for me.
As my health dramatically improved from working with a Naturopathic doctor, I began to realize that if I had chosen another doctor, they would have given me a totally different treatment protocol.
This caused me to really start asking questions to my source. I could not imagine that any God or source would make it so challenging to find the answers to health. Why was it so complicated?
That question and the answers that came caused me to leave medical school after 3.5 years of a 4 year program. I knew that my calling was not in the old paradigm of doctors knows best but in the new paradigm of teaching people to understand their own natural ability to heal.
It was one of the toughest decisions of my life, but it has also been the most fulfilling. I believe it is never too late to stand up for what you believe in.
Naturopathic medicine is a wonderful help for many, but for me it did not address the spirit and without the spirit, you are missing the full picture.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
My company, Seek Within You, stands out because it is centered on helping people connect to their source so that they get direct guidance from within. Your source knows what is best for you.
When one relies on their source, they become empowered to continue their journey to healing. We do not have a guru type structure. It is about empowering you to make the best decisions for you and your health.
Just to clarify, relying on your source does not mean that you never seek professional assistance. What you are guided to do, however, will be in alignment with your beliefs. As a result, some people will be guided to get help, while others will be guided to do some self-healing work or any combination of the two.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I would say that my father played a critical role in the beginning of my journey. Shortly before he passed, he gave me a book written by a yogi. Admittedly, I never read the book, but after he passed I wanted to honor and explore more deeply this practice.
As a result, I started learning yoga. It was one of the best decisions of my life. It helped me in quieting my mind, and making me feel better.
To this day, yoga has had a profound impact on what I teach and how I teach.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
I would say resilience is the ability to come back “home” to who you really are after a crisis. When I say “home” I mean your true spiritual nature which is peace, love, harmony, gratitude, etc.
Your ability to be resilient rests in the fact that you have a daily spiritual practice. Without a daily spiritual practice, your mind and spirit are not trained to handle whatever comes your way.
Just as you exercise your physical body for physical well-being, exercising spiritually for your spiritual as well as mental/emotional health is important too.
When you practice it daily, you will develop traits of a resilient person — calmness, optimism, open-mindedness, courage, and determination.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
One must be courageous in order to recover from a crisis. Without courage, a person would be prone to giving up. It takes courage to move forward, face your fears, and heal the wounded heart and mind.
Having said this, I do not think that courage and resilience are the same. While being courageous is important to recovery, a courageous person may still avoid the mental/emotional/spiritual aspects of trauma and only place their attention on returning to the day-to-day grind of life such as work
Just because you are courageous in some aspects of your life does not mean that you are courageous in all. When you are courageous in all aspects, you can truly become resilient.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
When I think of resilience, I think of soldiers I have known, who have struggled with PTSD. Despite their trauma, they were determined to heal so that they could move forward in their lives. The day to day struggles were challenging but through their courage they came out on the other side even more capable of dealing with a crisis.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
Yes, as I mentioned before, I was basically told by the medical community that I could not heal from what they consider a chronic condition, yet here I am 10-years later, healed. It is empowering to know that the body can heal itself, despite conventional wisdom.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
My greatest setback was my decision to leave medical school and truly start on my spiritual path. It was a challenging time because I knew I had to leave but I did not know what I was going to do.
I did know, however, that I was going to get answers from my source. I knew that was going to help guide me to my true purpose in life.
As I worked to discover my true purpose, I did not always know why I was doing something but I learned to trust in the process.
Now, after many years of my own spiritual growth, I teach others how to do the same for their health and well-being.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
I have built resilience through my daily spiritual practice. It has helped me through the darkest of times, including a childhood trauma that resulted in the death of a friend and the imprisonment of a family member.
For years I ran away from it, thinking that it would go away. I was surely mistaken because it only got worse and kept resurfacing in other areas of my life.
I finally tried talk therapy but the pain never truly went away. I was just able to look at it from a more logical perspective.
After many more years, I realized that I could not heal from the pain by talking about it. I needed another way. When that realization occurred I knew I had to surrender to my source.
To me, that is when the true healing began. It still required work on my part to let go but over time I was able to heal my soul and how I viewed the situation..
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
The 5 steps that I recommend to develop resilience all center around a daily spiritual practice. In this practice, you would meditate, practice gratitude, communicate with your source, spend time in nature, and be of service to others. All of the steps are interrelated and help you to become resilient.
- Meditation is one key practice to strengthen your spiritual health. Meditation helps you to quiet your mind. When you do this, you can start to feel the peace of source and hear your source communicate to you. You cannot know the truth, if you think you already know it. You cannot hear the truth, if you think you have already heard it. When you are in your logical state of mind, and unwilling to open to possibilities, then you limit the communication you can receive from source. Learning to shut off your streams of thought will help you in going beyond your 5 senses. Before you start your meditation, communicate with your source. You could ask for guidance, ask for help, ask for clarity or whatever comes to you. Be open to the response, which may happen during meditation or may not.
- After your meditation or even throughout the day, practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude opens your heart, and places your focus on all the good you already have in your life. This in itself helps to relieve stress.
- It also opens you to receive more from your source — messages, peace, hope, healing, etc.
- For the remainder of your day, make a point to spend some time in nature. Spending time in nature disconnects you from the negative chaos of our modern society. Most people are living in an overly reactive, disconnected, and unconscious manner. As such, when you are in this environment, you cannot help but “pick up” this type of energy. When you spend time in nature, you spend time in an environment that is calming, quiet, soothing, nurturing, etc. It is much easier to connect to your source in a place that supports just being and not doing. Spending time in nature can be as simple as sitting by a tree during lunch, taking off your shoes and sitting outside in a park, or tending to your vegetable garden. Whatever time you can commit to just being in nature, the more resilient you will feel.
- The last part of a daily spiritual practice involves being of service to others, which is one of the greatest gifts a person can give to another person. It does not have to be a grand gesture to make a difference in another person’s life. It can be as simple as opening the door for someone, or cooking dinner for someone, helping someone solve a problem, etc. When you can let go of what is happening to you in this moment and give of yourself to others, you open the door to your spiritual healing.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would inspire people to connect to their source and allow their source to guide them. This would mean letting go of what you think you know and being open to hearing the truth. While the name of your source may be different from mine, ultimately, if we all did this, we would realize that we are all one.
This in itself would shift the dynamics of this planet. There would be no need to fight because we would realize our connection. We could then work together as a world community, helping each other to heal, including healing our planet.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
If I had to choose one person to have a private lunch with, it would be Marianne Williamson. I truly admire how she is bringing a spiritual component to politics. It takes an inspired and resilient person to do this because our political system is very polarized.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
If you would like to learn more about my work, please visit my website at https://www.seekwithinyou.com. I would love the opportunity to meet you and discuss how I may be of service to you.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!