Hello! I'm Shannon.

As a soul specialist, radiance amplifier and inspiring guide, I help people bloom bigger into life through 1-on-1 Circle of Light sessions,  inspiring talks, transformative classes & keepsake photography books.
 

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Every threshold in life is a portal to initiation — a flower, unfurling with energy.

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Friday
May232014

Field Notes: Unfurling

Fern frond, unfurling, my garden, last week

I am in Ohio this week, babysitting my sweet niece Nola. She will be seven months old today, and holding her last night, full of smiles and a light that radiates about her, I couldn't help but wonder what she will be like when she grows up — what life journey will unfold for her?...what gifts and seeds is she here to plant?

I have felt reflective on my own unfurling journey of late.

From growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, to college in western Massachusetts for a few years, to a unexpected trip to New York City at 19 (a destiny moment if there ever was one) that led to a summer internship at Ms. Magazine and meeting my husband Michael.

There have been many more twists and turns to my journey — finishing college at Ohio State, dating Michael and breaking it off, working as a public radio producer in Boston, reconnecting with Michael and moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to be together, then back to Ohio to take an editing position at Ohio Magazine, then getting married, then teaching and coaching writers, then leaving Ohio Magazine to teach writing full-time.

Then the blessing of having Grace, then finding myself getting baptized and becoming Catholic at age 31, then moving back to Milwaukee, then writing a book about ice cream, then serving as a freelance spokesperson for Breyers Ice Cream and appearing on the History Channel and the Food Network.

Then embarking on a transformative personal and spiritual journey and choosing to find God outside of the church, and then a string of deaths...of my beloved grandparents, of my mother, of my too-young brother-in-law who died of lung cancer at 38.

Then writing and self-publishing my book of flower photos and seeing life through the lens of flowers. Then training in dying consciously, hospice, biographical facilitation and as a shamanic practioner. 

And there is so much more. So many moments, people, places, experiences that are woven into the rich tapestry of my life, as it is with each one of us.

I couldn't imagine any of this when I was growing up. Oh, I did love books and writing — so that isn't too much of a stretch — but how my love of writing and books would unfold was a mystery and a delight...and a story still being written.

We leave in a week for a 19-day dream trip to Paris and the UK. This is a family trip, but I sense that something new (or expanded? or re-remembered?) is sprouting up within me, something that might quicken or become visible during our trip. I sense and have received some clear intuition about this, and yet much of the details — what, where, when, how — feels veiled.

I am feeling excited — and a bit nervous in the face of uncertainty. 

What next tendril of the unfurling fern of my life wants to turn open? What wants to be experienced, expressed, expanded? Where will my journey take me next?

I have lived enough to know that life can be utterly wonderful and completely challenging. That what we most need to learn might come only through struggle, heart-break and surrender. That the deepest joy is often found in unexpected places — the dailiness of life, in the little things, in the individual steps along the journey, in the moments where we aren't looking for it. And that whatever wonderfulness we can imagine for ourselves is often far less than what might actually be borne.

I love this quote from C.S. Lewis:

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

So while I feel I am standing at yet another threshold of my life — of learning to parent a soon-to-be teenager, of deepening into my practice and work, of exploring what writing wants to flow through me, I am comforted in the knowing that whatever will unfold will be perfect.

Better than perfect, in fact. It will be marvelously mine.

And it will probably make more sense in the long-view of my life, many years down the road.

Spiritual teacher and Tibetan Buddhist Pema Chödön writes in When Things Fall Apart that: "Life is a good teacher and a good friend."

As I stand at this threshold, I lean into this truth. Whatever will come will be here to expand me and support me. 

From this place, I can lean in to life, alive and awake to whatever wants to unfurl next.

Tell me, what is unfurling within you? What do you sense is opening for this next piece of your own journey?

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Reader Comments (2)

Shannon, what a beautiful post and so true. I try to tell young(er) people to live their life and follow their instincts because there's no planning here. Life unfurls. As for me, it's a quiet confidence inside that seems to be unfurling right now.

I'm excited for your trip too and know that you will be paying close attention to your experiences there. Enjoy every minute.

May 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Kim, what a beautiful gift of wisdom to offer younger wisdom and I love the idea of a quiet confidence unfurling for you...Thanks for the good wishes about the trip. I plan to take lots of pictures. Thank you for taking the time to post. Means a lot coming from you — {love and gratitude}

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