Another one of our guides was recently featured on CanvasRebel

We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Shannon Dias, CPC a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.

Shannon, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Was there a defining moment in your professional career? A moment that changed the trajectory of your career?

Life is a series of experiences and your career is just one of them. I think it is easy to get caught up in all of the things that we need to do in order to just live in this world. It’s also easy to just continue on the train down the same track everyday and do the things we know. For me, the defining moment was realizing that I needed to get off that track and make my career more than just a job. As much as I enjoyed the work that I did, it wasn’t what I call soul work. Soul work is when you align what you love with what you “feel” you should be doing on this planet. People can go a lifetime and never figure that out and the journey of discovery is what makes it all so magical. It redefines as we learn, experience, and open up more. I think it was that choice to step outside everything I thought I knew and just allow. The decision to explore the energy and power inside me while also discovering the different ways people connect to source energy or spirit, changed everything. It brought back all the things that I was walking towards in my youth and reconnecting to it just felt like home. I began practicing magic daily and redefining what self care meant. It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that I learned about our energy body, chakra system, and the effect it has on everything in our lives. I remember just thinking “I knew I was a Jedi”. I “felt” it as a child but I did not have access to anyone who understood it. So I got on a different train. I rode that same train just going through life and following where my heart led or doing the things necessary to live. From a practical standpoint, our human existence can weigh heavy on us. There is a lot that we carry and often when we find something like our job, we just move on to the next thing. Stepping off the train to slow down and ask better questions became the switch in the railroad track for me. I am still on the journey but now I have more tools and my eyes are wide open.

Shannon, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?

On a personal level, I am a woman in my 50’s who is starting over again, and enjoying living on my own for the first time in my life. My family and friends are the most important things to me. I love to travel, play Tabletop Role Play Games (really all games), escape rooms, and spend time outdoors. I am a major fantasy/scifi geek, witch, and artist who works in many disciplines. I let my inner child out so much that it lies in wait for a new opportunity to pounce. One of my favorite descriptions of me is “lighting in a bottle” because that’s how I feel most of the time when the grief is quiet. Through my company, Imaginif Media, I provided specialized coaching for 30 years as a business leader in the areas of media, marketing, and creative problem solving. Using the train analogy again, I wanted the next trip to be more about helping people in ways that make a real difference in their life and I wanted to do it collaboratively as well as fun for me. That led me to using my skill set as a creative services professional in a way that supports other leaders and allows us all to reach more people. Recently, I launched Bring Joy Forward, a professionally guided community to explore, heal, and grow. We focus on areas that provide active wellness in your everyday life like energy balancing, stress management, trauma and grief support, spiritual guidance, empowerment, and inspiration. We believe in a whole self approach to life that provides balance to leave you fulfilled and energized. I also feel that most people struggle to bring more joy into their lives, they expect it to just happen TO them and it doesn’t really work that way in the long term. I also believe that the thing we need most right now is a strong community that is open, accepting, and will also challenge you to take an active part in your journey. We have an active facebook group and offer membership and coaching on our website and app. We will be launching a special offering in January that provides the perfect foundation for staying active in your journey. The Bring Joy Forward community is all about providing ways for people to actively walk towards joy every day using tools like yoga, meditation, art, divination, sound healing, journaling, and dance. We love what we do and who we do it with and that makes such a difference. The train now has me on the soul aligned path that, even when it’s a logistically struggle at times, the work you’re doing doesn’t feel like work.
As a Master Certified Coach and artist, I specialize in Creative Expression, using simple yet powerful artistic play to harness your inner magic, and Spirit Speak, where I intuitively ask pointed questions to support you on your journey through the human experience. I use many different tools like crystals, tarot, writing, watercolor, and empowerment and combine that with the organic flow of energy in and around us.
Within these energy infused transformative sessions my signature style of coaching, heART magic, guides you through creative visualizations and intuitive discussion, towards your own path of self awareness, healing, and personal power, in order to Imaginif and bring joy forward.
Think of it like a combination of talking to your best friend, therapy, and getting a tarot reading all in one. My unique approach to moving alongside grief, and living in the moment fully, make for meaningful conversations that lead to awareness, mindset changes and actionable plans to help you with your goals and challenges. It’s “real talk” with a side of silliness that really helps you do this thing called life.

Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?

My train stopped completely in 2018 while everyone else’s kept going. My son Zach died of an overdose and the world will never be the same again. I have spent the last 5 years walking with grief and providing awareness and comfort to those around me. Grief is an interesting beast that you can’t fully comprehend even when you are drowning in it. I have been writing about this, as a coping strategy and to comfort others, and have a book currently in the review phase. My life is now defined by before and after, and every day I wake up and make an active choice to keep going. In my before, I was the eternal optimist and thought you could just solve any challenge if you looked at it differently and worked at it hard enough. I was that person who instead of listening and holding space for you, I provided a possible solution. My brain still does that naturally every time something is in front of me. But not all things have solutions, and not all people want them even if they are right there waiting. My son’s departure from this existence was and will always be the most important thing I can’t fix. My spiritual journey and connection to all the unexplainable things that happen on this planet blew wide open that day. I shattered into a million pieces and broke wide open. As a grieving parent the struggle is real in every emotion. The way we LIVE in this life is decided by every decision we make to control our choices. I chose to have gratitude to my son, for the gifts he gave me in my before, and in my after. I became a different person that day. I actively work on my own self care, spending much of it walking in the shadows and processing, but also actively walking towards opportunities for joy. Those choices, that lifestyle, are in every part of my life. I see the glimmers and look differently at the world. I stop and pay more attention. I celebrate the small joys. I talk openly about death and grief and addiction. I offer spaces for others to share and also hope to inspire them to make their own choices that support their healing. Nobody talks about all of the things that come in the after. The debilitating anxiety, the overwhelming noise that happens in “normal” spaces, the need to be alone but also the need for someone to be there, the literal heart breaking and all the health challenges, and the decision to get up out of bed every day and embrace life…without them. If you met me today on the street you may not ever know that I walk with this shadow inside me, because I choose to live and take every moment and be in it as purely as possible. Inspire was inscribed on the last gift that my son gave me. I remember receiving it and feeling such a sense of contentment that he saw me for me. He understood that I wanted that but also he thought I could. Somehow even drawing in grief I chose to keep going and inspire. I honor my son with that decision every day and I know he’s got me while I do.

Have you ever had to pivot?

Pivoting is probably the most important tool you can have in your life. The ability to change, to adapt, to allow for your own intuition and heart to guide you, these actions are powerful. I feel like that has been my entire existence in life and it’s not changing. Now isn’t that ironic. I have moved based on a feeling, changed direction in my company, and picked myself up and restarted my life more times than I can count. And in each of these mini lives I have gained as much as I’ve learned lessons. We choose how we do things. Mindset is everything. I once heard the phrase that holding hatred or pain is like drinking poison and blaming someone else, and it stuck with me. I let go as a general part of my life. I cast spells and burn paper. I understand the energy behind thoughts and words. This is why I share it with others. I should be bitter and sad and an absolute mess if you just go by the list of things that have caused me pain. And sure I have moments of that just like everyone but I actively walk from those. I honor the pain, the sadness, the grief, and then I actively walk towards joy. And then I actively do it again. Keep going. You can too.

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