Grief & Freedom: 3 Steps to More Courage

Grief & Freedom: 3 Steps to More Courage

 Grief & Freedom…hum, they don’t seem to go together at first glance do they? Freedom is such a lovely concept and feeling. It is something we generally agree upon as a good thing. The dance and art engages freedom on many levels – freedom of thought, freedom from patterns that limit us, freedom of emotional expression, freedom in the body’s range of motion and expression…and so much more.
So how does grief fit in? I will get us there…
For freedom to flourish we also need structure. The structure of things like: the body, the trajectory of the musical journey, safe trustworthy facilitation, the group ground rules and expectations for safety. Structure in support of freedom…this is the ideal, or ‘right’ relationship.
As we danced we were faced with undercurrent emotions in this life dance with structure and freedom…anger, resentment, fear and ultimately grief. Grief was with us. The grief of things we can’t control, the grief of losses we weren’t ready to face, the grief of being too ridged or controlling with our own heart-full self.
Grief showed up in some potent and very real ways…the unexpected death of a co-workers child, the death of a dancers father, the news of needing a hip replacement – all within the past couple of weeks. Participants danced, cried, laughed, played, supported each other, and learned through felt experience. Dancers grew tired and began to lean into an awareness of space in grief…felt in the body and thoughts.
We began putting a new narrative together: it revealed itself naturally… as women shared their weariness, their tears, their giggles and their ‘against the rules’ behavior, we seemed to grow our capacity or tolerance for the range of what was alive in the room. Building our embodied capacity to be with ALL OF IT…to be with what was arising in our body, our emotions, our thoughts and our life.
When we really pay attention and BE WITH JUST WHAT IS…we find space, freedom. Instead of wishing for something different, beating ourself up, or bracing against what is coming…the practice of being with what is, being present and accounted for rather than checked out, numbed out or spaced out. No matter how difficult or hard the experience is, when we practice being in awareness, embodied and keep moving, we are able to find the breathing room, the ebb and flow, the freedom in the moment.
Why bother? You might ask? Why not just set the hard stuff aside and keep going as usual? Great question. The answer that arose through the day is this: life is hard…heart breaking and exhausting sometimes, and…life can shift on a dime, what you have always done doesn’t work or feel right anymore. When you practice being present with what is…someone can pass you with a loving smile and what used to be a calcified, indifferent heart unexpectedly cracks opens and feels love, even in the pain. You grow. You deepen. You find the resting place in the eye of the storm and know you will find your way. With this, the collateral damage from the hard times is not so extreme.

How to practice:
When the feeling of grief arises place your hand on your heart and say to yourself
1. “I am grieving”
2. “It is courageous to grieve with awareness”
3. “I am making my way through this”
Letting yourself be with what is, is courageous. Notice how it is moving through your body, emotions and thoughts. Express your awareness in what ever way you are pulled to. Then notice…hunt for the space and be with this. Becoming a devoted student of the ebb and flow of your own rhythms. They do not stay static, you will not be consumed by your heartbreak. You will be growing your capacity to be with life, death, and rebirth…over and over we go, traveling this terrain of being awake, embodied humans. Growing our ease and fluidness with the unexpected that life will inevitably throw at us and finding the spacious giggle when we least expect it.
Hawaiian Wisdom & What Matters Most

Hawaiian Wisdom & What Matters Most

What a potent time we are in: the Solar Eclipse, Moon energies and astrological influences…all pulling us into the ‘heart of the matter’. The heart of the life we long for – both personally and collectively. We are being asked to wake up and pay attention, to listen to the call of our Soul…to hear her above the roar of the world and our own self-doubt. We are being asked to let go, forgive, burn through our grief. We are being nudged to drop into the center and power of our own hearts…for the good of our lives, for the good of our communities and our world.

What is ‘at the heart of the matter’ for you? What do you long for in your life, in your community, or world? What do you desire or feel passionate about? I am speaking to your vastness…to the Heart of your Soul…to your Spiritual Heart…Bring this into your awareness and into form, in some way now.

Even as I say this, you are likely also bumping up against the old voices in your head. The one who reminds you it “never changes”, no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try. This part of you is the old guard…desperately trying to maintain the ‘status quo’…even when the status quo does not serve you. It is time, now to let these out dated limits fall away…to quiet the chatter that holds you small…this is the voice of your past. You are growing beyond this now.

We all have the ability and power to shift and soften into our heart of hearts…to drop into what matters most…into the ‘heart of the matter’.

I realize this is no small order! Yet, I feel passionate about this…it is what I do! Nudge, encourage, and guide you into your own best becoming self…into your Luminous Life. There is work to do here…it is ‘work’. It is ‘hard’, yes…so hard sometimes…we get comfortable with the small boxes we live in…we bring our favorite soft blanket in and some snacks and say…’this isn’t so bad’…and yet a part of us is screaming out for MORE!

There is work to do here and there is a paradox here. With tools, practices and support the shift can happen easily, joyfully and light heartedly. So hard…and so easy. You can be free, and fill your life with inspiration instead.

I have learned that creating change is both a journey and a practice. Ho’o Pono Pono is one of the practices I have gratefully used in my own life and work for 10 years now. An ancient Hawaiian energetic practice and cosmology to cleanse, make right and restore righteous balance. The practice is both simple and profoundly deep. It feels like magic.

Ho’o Pono Pono practice:

Begin with an issue that is pressing on you, perhaps a discord within yourself, at work, in your family, or a physical symptom. Close your eyes and speak with your self out loud or internally. Tell yourself the primary statement and anything that arises in connection with the intention of this statement as indicated in parenthesis:

I Love You (the One in you that is experiencing this discord)

I Am Sorry (for your suffering and all that I have done to hold on to, contribute to, neglect or create this discord)

Please Forgive Me (for my part in your suffering…and join with me to set us free from the memories, pain and holding on to this discord)

Thank You (to your own understanding and relationship with the Divine Source energy – thank you for this life, these lessons, and this cleansing process…for taking this discord and transmuting it now)

I Love You (to Divine Source)

These simple lines, with focus and attention can change your life and open space for what matters most. Happy Healing!

Dr. Shannon Simonelli grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and returned home to live, learn, teach and more deeply connect to her Hawaiian roots for almost 10 healing years. She now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah to be close to her daughter and grand daughter. 

Get Lit Up!

Get Lit Up!

4 Things You Can Do Now:
We ‘sell’ change…the basic, stripped away truth is we sell change. This is a hard sell.  No one wakes up in the morning and says, “I think I will change today!”
No way. We tend to fight change, put it off, resist it, and do everything possible to keep the familiar in place, even if it isn’t working. We don’t wake up and take on change.
We wake in the middle of the night, spider web thoughts linking one worry to the next, creating a big nest of gripping, unfixable upset. We don’t get energized by this and say ‘I will change today’, NO!  Perhaps  we cycle through the 100th round of getting triggered by life and beating our self up for not being good enough or smart enough or for being so stupid to have hoped it would be different and putting our tender heart and hopes on the line one more time to have them tromped on.  Maybe we just can’t let go of what has been, we can’t see what’s around the next bend in the road of life, and we get scared.
We humans are pretty amazing creatures. We get stuck, we hold ourselves small, we endure pain, we grieve, and we find adaptive ways to get through the day – some healthy, others not so sustainable. We are resilient and resourceful, we find our way with the resources available, some days are better than others.
I ‘sell’ change…supportive connections and conscious discovery of new possibilities.
Our nature, as primal, surviving creatures, is to adapt. To learn new things, to make mistakes…to be creative in solving the problems life throws at us. Our survival depends on it, even if our habit has been to trudge through life as it is.
We change.
Change in unconventional ways...that is what I ‘sell’, what I catalyze in others. I have done it all my life; it is my nature, my ‘medicine’. It is my business. Creating experiences that empower people to make positive life-change lights me up. I love engaging people in creating the life that lights them up.
Creating a life that lights you up…I wish I could tell you “3 easy steps”, but honestly, it is a journey. There is terrain to cover, varied landscapes to navigate, tools that make it easier, and it helps to have a trusted guide that has traversed the journey many times before. This is what I ‘sell’. This is the journey of your own Luminous Life Maps:
  • Cover some initial terrain with sample experiences
  • Say YES to support and connections in navigating 5 Landscapes to your own lit up, Luminous Life
  • Gather your tools through unconventional experiential work with dance/movement, art making, guided meditations, and more
  • Lean into the wisdom that awakens in you with Shannon, A Masterful Guide
Sign up for a free 30-minute consult and say YES to your lit up life change today.


3 Ways to Grow Inspiration

What is Glimmer?! The Glimmer is that image or thought that shimmers into your awareness ‘from out of no where’. When it comes it is captivating…if only for a moment. Almost like a little seduction…so good and tantalizing. It bleeds through from a life not lived. It grabs your attention, sparks your imagination, stirs your emotions.

In the beginning it comes for only a second…and then it is gone…just a shimmering twinkle of desire or inspiration. Often this Glimmer come when ‘least expected’…when we are driving home and spacing out, doing the dishes while staring out the window mindlessly, gardening in the perfect warmth of the sun.

I have come to consider these glimmering visitations as inspired sparks from the Soul… calling us, inviting us to imagine a treasure we have not yet found. Sadly, and all to often, it seems we bring our rational mind to this party and everything shuts down. Our Glimmer is gone. We are left feeling silly or even defeated by our ‘daydream’ and we resignedly step back into the grind of our every day life…and the good feeling is gone.

Get practiced at Going For The Glimmer, hunt for it. Pay attention to it when it shimmers into your consciousness. Play with it, engaging in the fanciful potentials…let your imagination roam wild. With this practice the Glimmer stays a while longer, coming into a little more focus…and then it is gone again. Step by step you practice following this luminous mysterious glimmering desire for something more…and it grows in clarity. 

We begin to be able to summon it and imagine into it. If we want it to grow into form in our life, it needs our attention. These glimmering thought forms and energy bodies want to find their way into form and function. Their calling on you is designed to inspire and to engage all the resources, skills and supports you have and some you may need to acquire.

The Glimmer IS your luminous life calling to you…it is the magic in your every-day inviting you into the life of your dreams. It is the essence of your desire, your Soul calling to you from the wilderness of your own becoming. All you have to do is notice. Notice that shimmer at the edge of your vision, the sparkle in your wandering mind, the fanciful attraction to something unexpected in your every day life. Notice…and keep your rational, doubting mind at bay.

Once you connect with what is glimmering through, you can use your imagination as a power tool to bring it into form in your life. Here are three well founded practices to grow this inspiration:

  • Day dream! Let your creative mind wander with all that is possible with this emerging energy in your life. Have fun with this, check your problem solving mind ‘at the door’ and enjoy the fanciful potential.
  • Collect images that are resonant with what is emerging, what it looks like, feels like, capture some element of it. If it is the new home you would love to live in (even if you can’t figure out how), capture the images and create a collage/vision board or join pinterest and give your Glimmer it’s own board!
  • Make a list of all the discoveries you are making about your Glimmer…what are the qualities, the details, the way you feel when you spend time with your glimmering new reality? Get to know it, spend time with it and make it matter.

All of these practices invite the power of your imagination, calls on everything the research is telling us, and supports us into our own glimmering Luminous Life.

If you like Shannon’s writing please share it, like it, join us on Facebook and write to let us know what Glimmer you have created in your every day Luminous Life!

Whats working you?

Whats working you?

Whats working you in your every day dance with life? This question might be approached on a number of levels. 

I am drawn to the realm of inner work, imagination and the body. I experience ‘what works us’ as the dance between the struggles, triumphs and quiet Soul whispers of our every day life. 

And so I wonder…what is working you?

You know the feeling… something in the corners of your thoughts, or ‘under your skin’…like sand in your bed sheets…it is there and then it isn’t. Maybe it is bleeding through from a quiet moment – driving home, washing the dishes, staring out the window on the train or bus. Perhaps you feel it strongly, the irritation, or the desire for something not quite clear.

Part of ‘what works us’ in this every day dance includes the cycles of nature that we are all influenced by…even when we are unaware of them. Think about that, energies we don’t know about influence our perception and experience. That is amazing to me really. We are effected by seasonal shifts, moon cycles, solar flares,  planetary shifts and changes – wether we “believe” in them or not. 

We are elemental beings. How could we not be worked by these and many other personal rhythms and unfolding stories?! 

Acknowledging the New Moon and Full Moon cycle is one way to pause and invite conscious curiosity in this question…what is working me? The rhythmic energy shifts of the moon has a big draw on our body and our psyche. Of course it does, we are 60-75% water! Our cellular structure and physical body is like our own mini ocean…we feel the pull of nature in our very cells. We are elemental beings…and our psyche is akin to the myths and stories of the moon.

So as I imagine the ebb and flow of my own fluid nature and I get curious about the moon cycle at this time, New Moon Super Moon in Gemini – here is what the Mystic Mamma experts say:

First off – a Super Moon is a moon closest to the earth, the experience associated with this Super Moon New Moon energy is one of feeling little ability to impact our life or the circumstances we see in the world. We may feel our longing and desire but feel unable to do anything about it. Nice. Until, that is, we get into alignment with the deeper pull and purpose of our life…our own right rhythm. “We can anticipate ongoing intensity and struggle and the emergence and disintegration of whatever keeps us out of our empowerment and connection to our rightful path.” Pat Liles 

Again, the question…what is working you and how might you encourage your own empowered action?

“Medusa was destroyed from looking at her own reflection. We too must be brave enough to gaze upon our fears…and then open a dialogue with them…” Leah Whitehorse 

“To make the best of this moon we must commit to an inner journey that may be scary. We may have to face the fact that what we thought we wanted is but a pale reflection of who we truly are.” Sarah Varcas

Inner work, inner journeys and unlocking our vastness instead of living in our scarcity…this is the essence of The Treasure Map To Your Luminous Life work. May you capitalize on this New Moon with reflection and trusting your inner knowing as a primary source of wisdom and guidance and may you release anything that holds you small so that you can unlock your own luminous life. 




YES and NO…such powerful words, simple really…straight forward…right?


How often do you say ‘YES’ when you really mean ‘NO’? Or perhaps you say ‘NO’ but wish you were saying ‘YES’. It can all be so complicated!

This is precisely why I love exploring yes and no through the body…through movement and through the powerful bioenergetics of each of these words. Try it yourself…say ‘YES’ and see what your body wants to do. Some times it helps to close your eyes and feel into it…then say ‘NO’ and see what your body does.

In our group this week we got curious about ‘YES’ and found a natural opening in the body, arms open and sometimes raised up was the corresponding body posture…a feeling of openness. We then explored ‘NO’ and found more of an edge, a punctuation, and feeling of tightness was reported by some. We tried adding a hip thrust while saying ‘NO’ and this brought more power and possession of the energy of no…a great discovery.

As the group moved through the evening with various experiments for movement there were giggles, shrieks and powerful exclamations. Things were heating up! Women were moving into the energy of YES and NO with more ownership, experimenting and building their capacity for fluency with embodied boundaries.

As this continued, I began to witness a shift in the room…as if something got unlocked. It was palpable, the range of expression and movement expanded. The YES became fuller and the NO more clear and defined. Timidness melted away and the essential energy of these words were being owned. Both power and joy entered these dancers. I could see and feel the magic we were creating.

As the music and expression began to settle and move towards quiet, as bodies began to rest and find their own stillness, I could feel more space in the room. So interesting. More space…when we practice boundaries, where we start and stop, what we will and will not allow, do or engage with, you might imagine it would be limiting. I experienced the opposite.

With clear boundaries there came new permission to fill out the YES space with more expansion and energetic possession of self in space, as if it became more ok to ‘take up space’ or to ‘exist’. I witnessed the safety that comes with trusting we have our own back, that we can count on our self to set a boundary, to stand for what matters. There is a relaxing into this holding, container or boundary that is invited and observable. Bodies were more at ease as they moved between expressing yes and no, movements freeer and expanded. Emotions seemed to be more available as well, smiles, tears, and powerful boundaried moves were all dancing together.

I get it: when we give ourselves permission to have clear, empowered, embodied boundaries we create more space for what really matters. We clear space for us…for our desires, our most important expressions. We invoke safety for our self so we can relax in knowing we will champion our most precious truth. We soften into this and simultaneously find the clarity that creates the container. What a powerful teaching from two ‘simple’ words moving in, through and with the body.

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