Shann Vander Leek is the founder of True Balance International, co-creator of Anxiety Slayer, author of Life on Your Terms, and the Sacred Heart Teachings. Shann coaches women in transition who are ready to reclaim their feminine sovereignty and transform their precious lives. She guides women through the exploration of self-study, self-care and sacred feminine ritual. She is a mama, author, entrepreneur, artist, and mentor to the goddesses who are attracted to her transformational work.
What does being an Everyday Goddess mean to you?
In my experience, everyday goddesses are full of light, compassion and loving kindness. We are often in the process of creating more joy, peace and grace in our lives. We are confident, courageous and supportive of other women. We are capable of becoming whomever we wish to be, and we're not afraid to do the work that needs to be done to heal our precious hearts. Everyday Goddesses are bold, charming and beautiful inside and out. We are often unconventional, silly, sexy, and fun. We are lovers of beautiful people, places and things.
Everyday Goddesses are ready to claim (or have claimed) personal creativity, grace and feminine sovereignty. We are willing to trust and surrender to the process of our divinely feminine unfolding. We allow and receive moments of compassionate self-care to balance out all of the loving energy we generously gift to others.
At what age did you awaken to the presence of the Divine Feminine and would you describe it as a sudden awakening or a gentle unfolding?
I don't recall a specific age that I opened to the Divine Feminine. Mother Mary has been a prominent Divine Feminine part of my life since I was a youngling. I would describe my relationship with the Goddess as a gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) unfolding. The biggest shift in awareness came after the birth of my young daughter. A sacred knowing or astuteness accompanies the first foray into motherhood. Children have a way of smacking you upside the head with an enormous dose of what is truly critical. The miracle of child birth became the catalyst for my complete lifestyle transformation through the awareness that my strong Divine Masculine was ready to be balanced with my Divinely Feminine unfolding.
What roles in your life had to transform in order for you to live authentically?
Almost 7 years ago, I made one of the most important decisions in my life. I left Corporate America to give my entrepreneurial calling a shot. While home on maternity leave I was watching a morning news program and became drawn to an interview with a professional life coach. The attraction was profound. I contacted the television station for more information, found a local coach to talk with, and began to learn about the business of professional coaching.
When I returned to my career, the coaching process became my revitalized way to lead my sales force. Coaching in the sales environment, gave me tons of practical experience for what would be my true calling.
Eventually the high stress levels of being a corporate creature and doing business in someone else’s boardroom was losing its appeal. Even though my career path resulted in the realization of my goals and dreams, I became completely disinterested in corporate culture and, unwilling to jump through any more flaming circus hoops for money.
It’s amusing, and disheartening, when you realize your dedication, smart work, energy, – all the things you put into your career daily – are ONLY for the sake of performing a duty and receiving a paycheck. This new found awareness helped cement my corporate world exit strategy. It was time to let go of the illusion of control that the “big bucks” created. No longer a company creature; my job was surely destroying my soul.
My priority became taking an inventory of my life and consciously creating a new way of living and being. I was in desperate need of compassionate self-care and wanted to be a healthier role model for my daughter.
A friend recommended yoga as a healthy activity to lower my stress levels and get in touch with my body again. I sampled a class and from the first relaxing breath to the final shavasana, I was hooked. Practicing yoga dramatically began to improve my life. In the years I have been interested in, studying and currently teaching Luscious Living Yoga Playshops; I have reinvented myself and have learned how to rock my Goddess life.
What have been some of the greatest inner gifts you’ve experienced since stepping into your feminine power?
Awareness, mindfulness and gentleness. I am learning to be gentle with myself by honoring my natural rhythms. Nurturing my body, mind and soul with a regular yoga practice helps me get in touch with who I am on a deeper level. I've learned to be gentle with myself through restorative poses. Tuning into my breath and how I feel while moving my body is a gift. Practicing yoga improves my body consciousness and helps me remain flexible and peaceful. I delight in creating yoga class recordings, guided meditations and teaching yoga playshops to women in desperate need of a sacred retreat.
Can you share some of your favorite sacred feminine rituals?
My life is a sacred feminine ritual! My personal recipe to empower the goddess within includes creating a sacred feminine environment, honoring my body with super-foods, practicing yoga, belly dancing, painting, body work, writing, engaging in wise women circles, and spending as much time as possible with my family exploring Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore.
Is there a particular Goddess that you are intimately drawn to and why?
I am drawn to several but at the moment, I am deeply resonating with Goddess Saraswati because she represents wisdom, spirituality, education and the arts. She is unconventional and exudes feminine sovereignty. My favorite quote and another reason why I resonate with Saraswati energy is: “Saraswati women are unconventional, not so much because they break the rules, but because they don't notice the rules are even there.” – Sally Kempton
Saraswati is not a traditional wife, friend or partner. She has a deep respect for inspiration and deep spiritual connection. She invites everyone to identify with the parts of themselves that resonate with an often solitary, deeply connected knowing. She is the ‘Flowing One' and teaches us the importance of of learning to trust and surrender – to go with the flow of life. She is with us in the light of the moon, rising tides and the tumbling rush of waterfalls.
Is there a personal message that you would like to share with women?
You are a woman. You deserve to be lovingly adored. You represent Divinely Feminine energy. You are a Goddess. You deserve a rich and full spiritual awakening.
It's time to let go of rigidity, martyrdom and useless excuses. You must let go of the things that no longer serve you well. You deserve to allow more of your sacred feminine experience to be informed and illustrated by your creativity, spirituality, femininity and your Unique Worldview
When you give yourself permission to liberate your inner Goddess, you will receive Grace, Divine connection and Heavenly abundance. You are enough. You matter. You are loved. Know that you are exactly where you need to be at exactly the right moment. Develop a healthy sense of your Goddess Self and you will transform your precious life.
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