Today, I get to share parts of the world from a person who was one of my very first connections in the entrepreneurial world. Shai Bearden invited me to be part of her Wild Sisterhood Summit back in 2015 and she was part of my Rebel Shine Summit that I hosted in 2018. Shai and my world intersect quite a bit but that doesn’t stop us from supporting one another.
Please give this post a read 🙂 In just a few short weeks, Shai and I will have a chat about mental health and creativity in Wild Creative Journey.
Tell us about yourself and what you do!
My name is Shai and I’m an artist, herbalist, and the CEO of Wild Sister Magazine. I used to have an awesomely copy-written little elevator pitch explaining what I do but, to be honest…I just hold space. I hold space for women to be heard, seen, and felt as they are, in all of their whole or broken pieces, in each moment. Everything I do always seems to come back to that.
How does your work create an impact in the world?
I feel like my work is a part of a greater movement that’s going on right now, which is reintroducing the world to simple humanity and our innate humanness. We are all connected. We are all also different. Many of us are ‘broken’ in some way, according to society, but we’re all actually whole beings deserving of love and respect. I feel like when we learn to meet each other where we are, as we are, the world will start to heal and I get to watch that in action a lot in our sisterhood.
Was there a turning point in your life that made you seek out inspiration and
self growth learning opportunities?
Yes! I was 21self-growth was put in an uncomfortable situation where I had to be around my childhood abuser pretty often. I knew I was safe, but it also instigated a lot of PTSD issues. I realized, as a wife and new mom, that I had a lot of trauma and inner shit to deal with. I sought out group therapy for abuse survivors. It was life-changing. I’ve been on a healing and self-growth journey ever since and I hope it never ends.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I gain a lot of inspiration from the women in the Wild Sisterhood. Whether they’re cheering me on, inspiring me with their stories, or just flat out telling me what they need or want to see, they’ve been a never-ending source of support and inspiration for the last 8 years. I’m not sure where I’d be without them.
What was or is the biggest struggle you’ve faced embracing who you are?
The biggest struggle so far has been accepting my faults and limitations. Being someone who is both on the spectrum and has a chronic illness, I’m not always the most reliable – I have executive function issues, memory issues, and sometimes I just can’t get to everything because my brain or body gives out. It’s frustrating, to no end, and at times very self-defeating feeling. But instead of avoiding it, I’m learning to accept it and learn to work around it instead.
How do you stay inspired to keep going in your journey?
I actually get asked this a lot and the truth is that I don’t see it as an option, really. This is something that I have to do, so I have to keep taking the steps to keep going. Even if I wanted to quit and lead a normal, 9-5, suburban mom life, my chronic illness combined with the needs of my children would make that really hard at this point. It would be so much harder, at this point, to be a stereotypical family than it is to be this rockstar alternative work-from-home hippie family we’ve become. I’m kind of ‘trapped’ on my journey, but it’s one that I love and I wouldn’t change a thing! But when you see it as the only option – as something you have to do – keeping going is your only option.
What emotional challenges have you faced?
A couple of years into my entrepreneurial journey, I found myself rapidly leaving what turned out to be an extremely abusive relationship. It was devastating, on an emotional level. I struggle a lot with anxiety and depression to begin with, along with PTSD from childhood trauma, but going through that sort of ripped the wound off of everything. Learning to live with depression and anxiety instead of just sort of existing through it has been hard but also extremely rewarding. It’s a part of me I’ve learned to hug and accept rather than avoid and shove under the bed.
Where can people connect with you?
I’m all over the place, really!