UPDATE: The winners for this giveaway are:
- Sarah Jane Vallente
- Chandra Milliron
“Just like the characters of a movie, you are a character in the show called ‘Life.’ Are you in a starring role? Or are you a supporting actor?” ~Shannon Kaiser
Do you ever feel like could be doing more with your life? Like you’re holding yourself back in fear and not reaching your true potential? Maybe you don’t even know what you want; you just know what you don’t want, and yet you can’t seem to escape it.
I’ve been there quite a few times myself, and I’ve recognized several unhealthy habits that keep me stuck, such as getting caught up in my head and comparing myself to other people.
It’s not easy to overcome these kinds of habits—especially if we’ve fallen victim to them for years, or even decades.
Bestselling author Shannon Kaiser knows this, and that’s why she wrote Adventures for Your Soul: 21 Ways to Transform Your Habits and Reach Your Full Potential.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Shannon’s work, and not just because she’s insightful, wise beyond her years, and focused on proactive solutions.
I admire Shannon because she’s battled her own demons—overcoming depression, drug addiction, and an eating disorder—and has emerged with an enthusiasm for life, a belief in herself, and a passion for helping others identify and pursue what they truly want.
That’s exactly what she’s done with Adventures for Your Soul. In this powerful guide to a more fulfilling life, Shannon tackles the most common “happiness-hindering habits,” and presents exercises, questions, and action steps to help us overcome them.
I highly recommend Adventures for Your Soul to anyone who feels stuck, scared, lost, or confused. The book will take you on a soul-searching journey of self-discovery, bringing you closer to the “you” you want to be.
I’m grateful that Shannon took the time to answer some questions about her work and her book, and that she’s provided two free copies for Tiny Buddha readers.
To enter to win one of two free copies of Adventures for Your Soul:
- Leave a comment below
- For an extra entry, tweet: Enter the @tinybuddha giveaway to win a free copy of Adventures for Your Soul http://bit.ly/20FEboE
You can enter until midnight PST on Friday, November 13th.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to write this book.
I suppose I didn’t know what I would be when I grew up, but always knew I wanted to be extremely brave and let passion be my compass. I knew I had to express myself creatively in order to be fulfilled.
I could share that I am writer, author, life coach, speaker, travel writer, and teacher who left behind my corporate job in advertising six years ago as well as drug addiction and depression in order to find my happiness, but that is my past.
Today, I am more interested in who I am becoming. My life is about showing up fully and feeling all of what life has to give. I want to be a constant reminder of what courage looks like, what choosing love over fear feels like. And to remind people it is never too late to become what you dream about.
I wrote my new book Adventures for Your Soul as a demonstration of what living a courageous life looks and feels like. It’s a manual to getting out of your own way and embracing your true self.
2. Who would most benefit from reading Adventures for Your Soul, and how might it help them?
People who are on mission to better themselves and who are committed to living an authentic life. People who are looking for answers for their deep, heartfelt questions, such as: How can I get unstuck? How can I learn to love more in the face of fear? How can I remove habits holding me back? How can I be more comfortable with myself and learn to love all of me? This book answers these.
Through my own personal experience and life coaching practice I discovered the top twenty-one habits that hinder our happiness, and I found powerful ways to transform these habits so we can get unstuck and move forward with more grace and ease.
3. The first “happiness hindering habit” you shared is “We settle because we think it’s the best we can get.” How can we begin to change our beliefs about what’s possible for us?
In order to not settle we have to give ourselves permission to dream bigger. We can start by asking ourselves “What do I really want?” and becoming aware of the inner critic that says, “It can’t be done.” Then, instead of listening to that little voice, we can turn to love and inspiration.
We all have a little nudge and inspiration that comes to us, insights, visions, or hopes and dreams. The opportunity is to begin to trust those little nudges, and act on them. This will quiet our fear-based mind so the fear won’t be as strong.
Ask if your current lifestyle is giving you the results you desire. If not, take steps in the direction you want and release what doesn’t serve you.
For example, maybe you’re in a job you no longer enjoy, and you feel as if you were made for more. Instead of staying in that boring job, begin to listen to your inner nudges, the inspiration that comes to you.
Maybe it’s saying go take a yoga class or go to the bookstore, or go join that new community group. Follow these nudges because they are leading you to fulfillment, one small step at a time.
When I first left corporate I didn’t know I wanted to become a writer. I just knew what I was doing wasn’t fulfilling me anymore. So I took one small step at a time, such as getting a journal, investing in travel writing books, and reaching out to life coaches to learn more about the industry.
Each small step opened up new possibilities. All we have to do is take one step at a time and the path will reveal itself. But we must move forward and take the steps.
4. In chapter three, you talk about the importance of trusting our heart, not our head. How can we recognize the difference between the two?
We can get in touch with the feelings associated with each, which can help us make the right choice.
When we listen to our heart it feels expansive, inspirational, joy-filled, and loving. When we listen to our fear, which is in our head, the rational over-thinker part of us, it often feels scary, overwhelming, critical, and heavy.
5. In the “Lean into Love” chapter, you share Jim Rohn’s belief that we make choices from one of two places: inspiration or desperation. I suspect we’re more apt to make choices out of desperation when we feel constrained by responsibilities, financial or otherwise. What advice would you offer to someone who feels unable to access inspiration due to overwhelming obligations?
I believe the focus on overwhelming obligations is what makes us feel like we can’t entertain any inspiration. But inspiration is with us all the time; we overshadow it with our focus on fear.
If we are focused on how we can’t make ends meet, that becomes our reality, whereas a better way would be to focus on how we want to feel: creative, safe, free, for example. Then we can let our truth pull us forward. We get what we focus on, so focus on what you want.
6. Your “Fear Detox” chapter was the most powerful for me, as it’s incredibly comprehensive! In your experience, which of the top ten fears is the most common, and how can we begin to overcome this?
I believe fear of the unknown is one of the most common. We want a guarantee that things will work out, that our ventures will yield results. We need proof of concept and stability.
Many of us don’t act on inspiration because we are unsure of the outcome.
One way to overcome this fear is to first take a life inventory and ask where you are holding yourself back in life. Ask, what do I really want? Then take action on that desire.
For example maybe you worry a lot and have fear-based thoughts about your future. First, address these by listing out the thoughts that worry you. Ask if believing these fear-based thoughts is holding you back, and if so, what action steps can you take to work through them?
Maybe you want to leave your corporate job to become a wellness coach but you worry about making a living doing what you love. Maybe you also fear the unknown outcome. What if no one pays you for your services? How will you get clients?
These are examples of fear-based thoughts. Address them, and then ask, what action step can I take in the face of these fears? When we take action we build confidence, which gives us clarity.
Maybe you list out blogs you want to visit and wellness coaches you want to follow or meet, maybe you look into certification programs or attend yoga classes. Follow the inspiration that comes to you, and this will help you move forward with more ease.
7. I love the HOPE acronym you shared in the chapter on finding your purpose and passion. Can you tell us a little about that?
Many of us want to find our life purpose, but we struggle to find it. The struggle is the problem.
Instead of trying so hard to find our purpose, we have to trust it will reveal itself to us when the time is right. You can’t find your life purpose by thinking your way into it; it can only be felt in the heart.
I created this acronym to help you discover your passion, which will help you lead a more purpose-filled life.
H – Habitual Happiness
O – Open up to Optimism
P – Purpose-filled Passion
E – Embrace the Journey
8. In the chapter on letting go, you wrote, “Most of us walk around feeling wounded, damaged, and guilty, when the bottom line is we just want to enjoy the things we resist.” Can you elaborate a little on this?
I think society, culture, the world puts pressure on us to be a certain way, and when we don’t match up we feel less than. But the truth is, you are enough as you are, and just because it doesn’t fit with society’s expectations doesn’t mean it’s wrong or right.
We walk around feeling guilty for things we actually like: eating an extra helping of ice cream, or binge-watching Netflix. We feel bad, but it makes us feel good. So we should switch to focus on how our life feels instead of how it looks.
9. In the last chapter, you touch upon our instinct to avoid uncomfortable feelings instead of embracing them. How does it benefit us to embrace anger, resentment, jealousy, shame, and guilt?
Once we embrace them, they can be released from us. When we avoid them or hold onto them, that is what causes the damage. But all feelings deserve to be felt.
10. What’s the main message you hope readers take from your book?
You matter just as you are. Don’t be afraid to show the real you because the world needs what you have.
You can learn more about Adventures for Your Soul on Amazon here.
FTC Disclosure: I receive complimentary books for reviews and interviews on tinybuddha.com, but I am not compensated for writing or obligated to write anything specific. I am an Amazon affiliate, meaning I earn a percentage of all books purchased through the links I provide on this site.