Episode 196 | November 26, 2019

Seeking Joy with Shannon Kaiser

A Personal Note From Orion

What fulfills you? What brings you joy? How can you love yourself more? How can you feel more fulfilled? What is fulfillment? Is it the money you make? Because some people live in mansions and are miserable. And there are some poor children on the streets of Calcutta in India who have hardly anything to eat, but are so happy. 

So what is happiness? What is joy? And how can we bring ourselves to love ourselves a little bit more every day? I enjoyed this episode because I’ve interviewed many guests, and sometimes, I find this one person who’s almost like a kindred spirit, who I feel very much in alignment with. This was a refreshing conversation, where we bounced ideas off of each other, and it was very much in sync. I know that you’re going to be very inspired. 

Shannon Kaiser is the best selling author of five books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment, including the number one bestseller, The Self Love Experiment, and Adventures for Your Soul. She helps people trust and believe in themselves so they can live their lives to their highest potential. She’s been named top 100 women to watch in Wellness by Mind Body Green, and your Go-To Happiness Booster by Health Magazine. Happiness booster, who needs more than that? Everybody wants to be happy.

About Today’s Show

The Self Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser

Hey, Shannon, and welcome to Stellar Life Podcast. It’s wonderful having you here.

Hi, it’s so good to be here.

Before we start, can you share a little bit about your passion and maybe a little bit about your background, but how does it link to your passion and how did you become an expert in your field?

I would love to. I feel like I am so passionate about authentic living and being true to who we are, that is the ultimate form of freedom and self-love. That is all of the work that I do today as a coach and as an author. My fifth book just came out, Joy Seeker. The books I write are about the psychology of happiness and getting unstuck. I lead retreats internationally. Today, I feel very fulfilled and I’m purpose-driven. It hasn’t always been this way, though. In fact, October, this is a special month because 10 years ago, I really had a moment that I turned my life around. I was in a completely different career. I was in advertising. I was climbing the corporate ladder and I was super depressed.

Adventures for Your Soul by Shannon Kaiser

My doctor diagnosed me with depression. Interestingly enough, I was secretly suffering from eating disorders and drug addiction. Actually, it was 10 years ago, October 13th, when I came home, I had a prescription for depression medicine in hand, I looked at that and I looked in the mirror through my tears, and I said, “There has to be a better way. I can’t keep doing this.” It was really what I call a bathroom breakdown. I can’t keep living my life in this way. I thought this is all that I wanted but it doesn’t at all feel like what I thought I needed.

At that moment, the air fanned out around me. For the first time, I felt peace in my true self, my inner voice, or my higher self, or God, or the angels. It was a voice of reason and it’ said, “Shannon, follow your heart.” That’s exactly what I did. I said, “You don’t need drugs to feel better. You just need to be true to yourself and find self-love.”

I went on this journey where I left everything that wasn’t working. The advertising, I changed jobs. I followed my passion to be a writer, and it’s turned into a decade long career of doing what I love. I’m so glad that I followed my heart. Today, that is how I lead my life.

Joy Seeker by Shannon Kaiser

So beautiful and it reminds me of my own story, where I was in an abusive relationship. I ended up in the hospital, but the verbal abuse was so much worse because I got brainwashed all day long. I just hated myself. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror and I couldn’t even look at anyone. My eyes were down all the time.

I was offered medications too. I know it helps a lot of people and it’s good at some point, but for me, I could see a glimpse into the little light inside. I knew it was still there and I was like, “Okay.” I endured a lot of stuff in my life. I always see myself like a phoenix rising from the ashes. If there is a little glimpse of light, I’m going to hold on to that light and then I’m not going to let go, ever.

Exactly. I think that light is something that you hold on to. For me, I saw a glimpse. It was so small but it was there. I think if we get to a place where we have that glimpse, that is our true self, our guiding light, our future self. It’s beautiful and I definitely agree with you, everyone has their own path and I think we have to know where we are. That was just where I was.

That’s wonderful. You’re at the moment and you feel that it’s like a moment of bliss or a gift or a transformation. What do you do to climb up, not to the corporate ladder, but your life ladder?

I think that it’s important to recognize the signs. I had a lot of signs. For example, the inner guidance was, “Follow your heart,” and the next day I went to a bookstore and I read a magazine article, this is 10 years ago, that was about adopting pets and dogs and how they can help with depression. I don’t know if there are any animal lovers listening.

I am.

Yes, I know. I went and I adopted a dog and that in itself was transformational for me. His name was Tucker and I adopted him through a rescue center, he was a golden retriever. It was such a beautiful partnership. A week we’re together, I truly believe, I discovered my life purpose and got the clarity and confidence to find self-love with him by my side. I think our animals really are earth angels. He helped me, but interesting enough, two years ago, he was a senior dog and he passed away. He passed away and that is actually what led to my Joy Seeker book.

I started thinking about that process on the saddest day of my life when he passed away because what I didn’t realize is, I was still looking outside of myself. When Tucker passed away, there was a huge part of me that disappeared that day. I fell back into a depression after all of the work that I had done. All of the self-love that I have found, I found myself questioning everything. I sat there in my depression again saying, “How did I get here? What’s going on?” and I had to ask myself. I have to find joy within myself and stop relying on anything outside of myself. That can be the only true sustainable way for us to truly feel what it is we’re looking for.

That’s what led to me asking, “What is something you’ve always wanted to do?” If you have enough time, money, energy, resources and it didn’t matter at all what other people thought, what would you do? I think we should all be asking ourselves that because we get caught up in fear. I asked myself and I said, “I want to travel.” I want to travel the world full time. I wanted to do this for over two decades so why am I not doing that as a coach, as a writer, as a speaker? I absolutely can do that. I set out to travel the world. For almost a full year I visited 18 different countries.

Life is too short to live in fear. What if instead of falling into despair, we lean into love? Click To Tweet

Nice, girl.

It was awesome.

That’s amazing.

I was fully location independent and that’s when I wrote the book Joy Seeker.

Which country did you write it?

Every single one.

Where did you go?

I went to Europe. I actually started in Central America. I started over in Cuba and then I went to Mexico, Costa Rica and then I hopped over to Portugal. Spain is amazing, I love Barcelona. London, I spent a lot of time there. I’ve actually visited about a total of 15 countries within Europe because it’s like a train ride over to the next country. Then I ended the year in Southeast Asia, Vietnam, and Thailand. 

I love Thailand.

Isn’t it amazing? Thailand’s probably one of my favorite places. They call it, “The land of smiles,” everyone’s happy there from the inside out.

Unless you’re in Bangkok and then it’s a tourist trap.

It’s crazy, it’s so busy. It’s a busy city, but I think everyone is…

No, Thai people are one of my favorite people, they are. They smile so much and are so sweet.

They are and you feel it, it’s genuine.


I think that’s really the process. I went on this, what I call the joy journey and that’s how I truly learned, through this process that’s what the book’s about of learning joy is within us, so we can bring it with us. It’s something we go seek. It’s something we allow.

And I also want to recognize the fact that you lost your beautiful dog and I’m very sorry about that. I lost my cat about three months ago and it was heart-wrenching and it was so sad. I had to do a lot of work on myself because she taught me so much, animals are beautiful. It’s almost like they come into our lives and teach us something. Then, they’re like, “Okay, now you can go from here.” 

So true. I’m sorry, I know they’re part of us. They’re always with us in our hearts.

If somebody never had a pet or lost a pet, which I never had a pet or lost a pet before that, I didn’t know the depth of it. It’s really like losing a family member, like seriously.

100%. It’s real grief.

You said, “Recognized the signs.” How do you tune in and recognize the signs?

I think it’s a combination. I believe that we’re in an energetic universe and everything is always communicating with us. There are philosophies and understanding that everything can be a teacher. When it comes to signs, when you really start to clear away the clutter, the fear, the ideas of how your life should look, how you think it should be, we start to get more in tune with the present moment. In the present moment, we often receive signs, signs from the universe. Signs from our higher self, if you will or universal support, angel guides, anything like that.

A lot of times the signs are always guiding you to what is going to be for your highest good. Signs can be as simple as going to a bookstore and a book calls to you, whether it’s the cover or falls off the shelf. Signs can also be you getting an intuitive hit like, “I really need to call that person I haven’t talked to in years. Why? I don’t know.” What happens is we often second guess ourselves. It’s almost about really getting in tune with your true self, your intuition, whether you feel it in your gut or you hear a little voice in your head that said, “I should call this person,” or “Go do that. I should enroll in this course.” These are all signs. They’re basically universal helpers and guidance giving us messages.

We tend to ignore it. We either ignore signs or we ignore red flags. We tend to ignore the good and bad signs because we are so set in our ways.

It’s so true. I love that you brought up red flags. I was just talking to a friend earlier today and she’s really regretting a choice she made in her business and she’s like, “Man, I had a red flag. The very first phone call I had with this person and she brought in a new business venture.” I recognize that we are always doing that and we want something so bad that we often ignore the red flags and the signs. I talk about that in Joy Seeker, too. I call them energy suckers. Energy suckers are things that take us away from our truth. Things that we put our attention on that really keep us from connecting to joy, which is our true self.

Trust your inner guidance. Let your true self and intuition guide you to what is best for you.

A big one is ignoring our intuition. A lot of times we don’t trust ourselves. If we trust ourselves, the more we do that, the more we practice, the more we can build that up. It’s an interface muscle, if you will, pump it up.

In order to get connected to our intuition, we can be in a place of fear and in a place of love at the same time. I think fear clearing is if one wants to be more connected, they need to deal with that demon. Deal with that thing they shove under the rug and clear that fear and face that fear. When you clear the fear and face the fear, you’re more open to allow guidance, universal energy guides, whatever you call it, to come through and you’re in a place of listening.

If you’re just listening to the small voice, you’re just listening to the fear. It’s going to be challenging because the voice of intuition sometimes is very quiet. Even listening to your body, you can’t listen to your body if your body is in a state of stress and everything is so tight. The moment you let go and let God, like Dr. Wayne Dyer used to say, then you open. Then you can receive the messages.

How do we clear the fears?

Well, one thing we can recognize about fear is, we spend a lot of time, especially in the wellness community and spiritual community, thinking that fear is bad. We’ve been taught to believe this. If we feel it, we actually put more shame and guilt on ourselves, which actually just perpetuates the cycle. It just keeps going.

I actually have a philosophy called the good fear because once we get in touch with our fear, we can recognize that fear ultimately is just trying to help us. It’s trying to steer us into a direction. Fear exists on different levels. There’s the fear of, “Oh, my life is really in danger,” like, “I’m going to be eaten by a wild animal, hiking,” or something. Then, there’s the fear in our mind that says, “This is a really bad choice. Don’t do this. You’re horrible. You’re not worthy.”

Fear doesn’t distinguish itself. You still feel like you’re going to die even if it’s all in your head. The good part of it is, a lot of times fear comes up to show us where we’re playing safe and not pushing throughout our comfort zone. Fear also shows up to protect us, so we can actually thank our fear and say, “Thank you so much for trying to protect me,” because ultimately when you get to the next level of your life and push through the fear, as soon as you take that step that scares you the most, quitting the job that’s suffocating your soul, going out after whatever it is you’re trying to work through and push through, the fear disappears completely. That’s really what it is.

The fear is getting extra loud, the closer you are to moving through because it’s scared that you won’t need it anymore. It’s kind of like a little child who has a temper tantrum. It gets extra loud when it needs attention. If we actually give our fear attention, it’s a radical new way, but that means we actually be present in our life with the fear. Instead of trying to overeat over it, or overspend, or pick fights with people, we can say, “Okay fear, I see you’re here today, what message do you have? Why are you here?” As soon as we do that it goes away. That’s how we remove it, by addressing it.

I always teach my clients to embrace all their emotions and if somebody comes and says, “You’re so emotional,” you just say, “Thank you. That’s awesome. I am, I’m proud, and this is great,” because your emotions are like the contrast. Without those emotions, the negative ones, you won’t have the contrast. I love what you said about the only way to handle those emotions is to be present with those emotions. When you’re present with those emotions, then you can get the message behind. Then you can move forward.

You take the lesson and you move forward rather than dwelling into fear, dwelling in anger, depression, pain, which is very easy to do. The courageous thing to do is to face that monster and not fight it, accept it, and give it a hug.

Exactly, hug it. How often have we hugged the things we dislike? When you do, you realize, “Wow, it’s not quite as scary as I thought it was.” It’s kind of like the childhood story of the monster under the bed. You turn the light and you realize it’s a pillowcase or something. It’s kind of like that.

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Is there a process that you do to handle this, to deal with fear or painful emotions?

I think there’s a lot of different processes, but one of the most profound ones that I share even in the Joy Seeker book is eradicating limiting beliefs. A lot of times we have beliefs that are running the show and they’re limiting. Our beliefs are what create reality, so if you believe that you’re unworthy or unlovable or you’re not good enough, then you’ll constantly attract situations that keep proving that, to sustain that belief.

What we can do is first, to recognize what is the pattern in our life? It’s as simple as starting with a pattern. We all have something in our life that maybe a self-sabotaging pattern or situation that we just wish wasn’t there. If it wasn’t there, we think we’d be happier. Maybe it’s overeating, or maybe it’s overspending, or it’s drinking, or something that you just wish you could finally fix. Then you ask what is your belief around that and not the belief about the situation, but what’s causing that belief.

For example, in my last book, The Self-Love Experiment, I talked about accepting my body and finding self-love. I used to suffer from eating disorders. I’d go through phases where I didn’t eat at all. I was anorexic, then I’d go through bulimia, and then binge eating.

I would overeat or not eat because I didn’t feel good enough. What we have to ask ourselves is, “Why are we doing this?” Because ultimately we are getting a gain. We would not have habits that are hurting us if it wasn’t somehow protecting us. As you know, a lot in psychology and a lot of the space, we talk about you have to understand what you’re gaining. You’re gaining comfort. You’re gaining satisfaction. You’re gaining control.

Then once we understand that we actually think it’s benefiting us, we can move into a space of finding a better way to self-serve. The ultimate thing is to get to the core of it and ask yourself, “When was the first time I felt unworthy or unlovable?” or whatever that believe that’s hindering you. Usually, it goes back to age 3-5. I did this. I went to Rythmia, which is a shamanic experience in Costa Rica.

That is so good. I got married in Costa Rica.

Did you? If you’ve been there, we’ve done a shamanic journey, but we were able to go back. I wanted to eradicate my limiting beliefs, so I was able to journey back to the first time that belief was created. What I recognized as a little kid is a situation happens in our lives and we feel not good enough, so we separate ourselves and we carry through. Once you get to the core of when that belief was created, you take your adult self, you hug your little self, and you merge back. You basically connect your soul. You’re no longer split. This is how we can move through the fear and eradicate our limiting beliefs.

I did something similar. I did Dave Asprey’s program, 40 Years of Zen. It’s pretty powerful, you’re in this amazing place. It looks like Doctor X’s School for the Gifted. It’s inside the countryside in Seattle. It’s really beautiful and you go there and they give you brain enhancing drugs, the good ones. The ones that will help your brain going through almost like a marathon. It’s almost like you arrive with no training and then they give you this because they say, “Well, your brain is going to go through a marathon and we’re going to do neurofeedback. While we’re doing in our feedback, you’re going to process all kinds of things.” 

We did have some sessions with a coach and so many things from my subconscious mind and memories that I haven’t even thought about for 20 years showed up. What they said, it’s like a domino effect, like something happened right now, it links to a sequence of many traumas that you experience throughout your life. But that sequence is linked to that core trauma like you said, when you were a little girl. When you go back into that core trauma, you reframe it, you look at it, and you change it, it’s almost like a domino effect. It gives you freedom to move forward


Another thing that you said, “What do we gain from those emotions?” Tony Robbins speak about the six core human needs. He talks about certainty, uncertainty, significance, love and connection, growth and contribution. Like for significance, for example, a person can get significance by being an extraordinary leader and change the world, but also a teenager can feel very significant, holding a gun to someone’s head like how significant he is at that moment.

We find ways to fulfill our basic human needs. We want to look at it and say, “Why am I feeling this? Why am I doing this? Why am I playing the victim in this situation? What type of need am I getting here?” Even when you fight with your partner, that can be something. You do it because you need love and connection. You can get love and connection the right way or the wrong way. It’s up to us to look into that and see the motivation.

I see that’s so important to recognize and I also look at it is we always have only two choices, that’s it, really. Actually, Abraham and Esther Hicks talked about this.

I just saw her. I went to a seminar of hers two or three weeks ago.

Me too.

Maybe we went to the same one.

That would’ve been great, but that’s what she says a lot in the videos and in person. She reminded me, it was so interesting because she’s, “We always have only two choices, we can be influenced and inspired by love or by fear.” Fear is more ego, negativity, and the harshness of the world. To your example, someone has a gun, they’re being inspired by the fear, whereas someone who’s stepping into their power and leading, that’s being connected to source energy. That’s being connected to love.

But they both come from significance. They both have the same need for significance. They just serve this need for significance in two completely polarizing ways.

That’s exactly it. What it comes down to is, do we want to be influenced by love or fear? We get to choose. 

Find joy within yourself and stop relying on external, material, and temporary happiness.

We always have a choice. You said that you found self-love, tell me a little bit about the journey to finding self-love and how did you do that?

I think self-love is a very personal thing for everyone because a lot of times we hear the word and we think, “Okay yeah, I love myself,” or we often hear the word and say, “That sounds hippie-dippie,” like the word self-love is kind of a trend word in itself. But ultimately what self-love is, it’s about self-acceptance and knowing that you exist in a world that often is going to try to tell you that you don’t belong. Because we live in a culture and society, no matter where you are, like I’ve traveled the world and part of my joy seeking journey and Joy Seeker, I showed this in the book, I was traveling the world because I wanted to find a place I belong. I never felt like I fit in, but that’s why I was still looking outside of myself.

It wasn’t until I really learned and recognized that I do matter and that has to come from within. That’s what self-love really is. It’s about knowing that you matter wherever you are, as you are. You don’t have to change yourself to be loved. You don’t have to go get the next dream or check the next thing off your bucket list. Also, we don’t need other people’s validation or other people’s approval in order for us to approve of ourselves. It becomes a process of accepting yourself with self-compassion. For me, I went on an experiment and I did a lot of different activities and journeys and I shared that in my last book, The Self-Love Experiment, but ultimately what it comes down to is knowing that you do matter and you belong.

One of my favorite mentors, Dr. Demartini always says, “Whatever you did or did not do, you are worthy of love.”

Absolutely and ultimately every single person on the planet, no matter what and how they’re trying to get it, we all want love. I feel like we’re here on planet earth as love-seekers because ultimately, we’re here to express love, to be loved, to understand love and self-love. It has to start with self-love. I had asked one of my mentors and gurus, “What do you think the biggest threat to humanity is?” This was a couple of years ago when it felt like things were chaotic, it feels like they’re even more chaotic now, and he was very clear. He said, “Self-love,” because people who love themselves make choices from a divine place. They make choices from compassion. It always has to start with yourself and people who love themselves choose community, choose compassion. They choose connection, not separation, not fear, not manipulation and not control.

You said, “You are looking outside, instead of inside,” it reminds me of a call I had with a friend the other day and I was sending her a manifestation, meditation, and talking to her about, “This is the pattern of your life. It’s coming back, everywhere you go and the common denominator is you.”

That’s exactly it.

It’s about the shift from the inside. She’s like, “Well, I’m going to do some travel, I’m sure it’s going to help,” and I told her, “Yeah, maybe travel is nice and running away is not the solution. Because you’re going to travel and then you come back and then you’re in the same place.” It’s about looking internally, looking inside, facing the demons, and really looking at the childhood traumas. Then I told her, “Go get help. You have so much anxiety. Get acupuncture, get a massage, move your body. Get external help.” 

We think that we can do everything on our own, because we’re so strong. I am the first one to admit, I did for years where, I’m strong, I’m independent, I don’t need anyone, and I have done that. Then like you, I traveled the world and many countries on my own. I was like, “I’m good. I don’t need anyone,” but we do need the support. We need coaching. We need mentoring. We need the physical touch of massage if we can get it. Or even just going in and diving in the ocean, we need that. We don’t have to hold this burden, this pain on our own all the time. I think it’s a big mistake.

And I think a lot of women especially, and I’m sure a lot of listeners, we feel like we have to do it on our own because that’s how we’ve been raised or that’s what society tells us, to be a strong independent person. But I absolutely learned, first-hand just like you, that when I finally did ask for help, when I did surrender and let go and say, “It’s not a weakness to ask for help. It’s actually the most self-loving thing you can do.” 

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That’s the first thing I recognized in my own career is once I hired a mentor and a coach, I got out of my own way. I feel like everybody should have a mentor, everyone should have a coach and find someone. Whether you’re reading them on the books or listening to these podcasts regularly, it’s so important for us to continue to inspire ourselves with information that is uplifting versus some of the information that’s out there that’s draining.

I used to hate the word surrender.

That was your word.

I don’t mind any curse word, but the word surrender was like the most horrible word in the English language or any language for me.

I’m laughing because I can relate 100%. We all have that word that just triggers us.

Surrender, I shall never surrender. I am a warrior. Then finally when I got it, surrendering is not about surrendering from a place of weakness. It’s not that. It’s surrendering to your inner voice, your inner guidance, to the universe, to God to guide you.

You have to balance. It’s like, allowing. Really, it’s what it is. It’s instead of trying so hard to do it on our own, or controlling, or manipulating from our perspective, we relax and allow the universe, our true self, other help to come in. It’s really a process of beauty and peace, instead of giving up. It’s not giving up at all.

What do you see as acts of self-love?

I think the first thing is to recognize how we talk to ourselves about ourselves. I feel like, especially in the wellness community. I have some beautiful amazing friends who were on it with their self-care game. They go to yoga, certain days every week. They have their appointments, the weekly massages, doing their green juice everyday, like check, check, check off the box, their doing their meditation, doing their nature walks. It’s awesome. They’re on it with the self-care.

But when it comes to being able to look in the mirror and say something nice about yourself, or when it comes to not feeling blame, or sabotaging in your mind, feeling horrible if your late or anything that. I just feel like we’re so hard on ourselves and that pressure is just preventing us from really seeing how amazing we are.

I think self-love, some of the simple things of course are, to ask yourself, “What brings me joy?” Like for me, I have a new dog now and just hanging out on the couch. He’s so sweet. In fact, while I was traveling doing my Joy Seeker Journey, I started to feel that this is all there is. It sounds like, you got there with your travel, too. I was like, “Wait a second, this feels a little bit, I don’t know? Superficial.” I realized what I really wanted was connection and purpose, so that leads me to Asia. I started to work with a rescue organization to bring dogs back from the meat trade in China to Oregon, and to the States. I fostered one of the animals and I fell in love with him. He’s a golden retriever.

Oh, my God. Another one, that’s cute. They’re so cute.

They’re like the best family dogs. His name is Chance, for a second chance at life. I don’t know if you first saw in the movie, there is was a 90s movie called Homeward Bound. Did you ever see that movie?


It’s from the perspective of animals. I watch it when I was 10 or 11 years old and I remember, there was a dog named Chance. Michael J. Fox played the character and they went on this epic journey to get back home because somehow they misplaced their home. I was like, Chance, we just went on an epic journey from China back to the USA, so that’s his name. My point of all that is, the whole entire thing is, I recognized that joy can be in the moment. Self-love is truly allowing yourself to be who you are, as you are, and I can be just as happy sitting on the couch with my dog when I thought I needed to travel the world.

For me, it was a little different. I really enjoy traveling the world. I found a lot of breakthroughs actually to it, in traveling the world, and I still do. I’m fascinated with the world. It’s insatiable. It’s beautiful. It’s intoxicating. People, cultures, colors, smells, and flavors. It’s the most incredible thing. Yeah, I just wanted to talk about that for a second.

No, I agree with you. I’m so glad you said that. I feel like, one of the reasons we love to travel so much is because it’s this constant state of new.


We’re always out of our comfort zone but you get to grow. One of my friends had said, “I think you love to travel so much Shannon because it’s basically self-development on warp speed.” You grow so fast as a traveler because like you said, you have so many constant AHAs about yourself and about the world. Helps you be more accepting. I think everyone should travel. I wish everyone in the world had a passport and they just did that for their learning.

Pay attention to the signs the universe is sending you. Inspiration is everywhere, you just need to focus to realize what they are.

I’m from Israel. I know that Americans don’t tend to travel that much. But in Israel, you go through high school and then, at 18 you go to the army, you serve in the army, two years for girls and three, or four for boys.

For everyone? I didn’t realize that.

Everyone does that. But as soon as you finish it, people just are like, “I need to travel.” Anywhere in the world, you’ll see Israeli travelers. My friend told me that in India, they see so many Israelis they’re like, “How many billions are you in Israel?” Israel is about 10 million, something like that altogether. It’s good because you go, you travel, then you bring knowledge and different technologies. That’s why Israelis are so good in the development of intelligence, technology and all that. They travel, they bring the knowledge, they develop it, and that’s it.

That’s amazing. I think it would be great for Americans to adopt a mindset of more travel.

A lot of people are like, “Oh, you’re American,” as the first thing, especially when I meet people from New Zealand or Australia because they travel a lot.

If you go somewhere, you’re going to make it worth your time because they’re in the middle of the ocean. They’re always like, “Wow, a lot of Americans.” I mean, of course, there’s a lot that travel, but it’s this notion with the travel community that a lot of them don’t get out of the country. I think it is beneficial for all of us. It helps you get out of your own way and helps expand your mind.

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

That’s about travel. I want to circle back a little bit about self-love. You were talking about looking at yourself in the mirror. I had the great privilege of being in a seminar and seeing Louise Hay on her 90th birthday, and just a few months later she passed away. Her book, You Can Heal Your Life, was a book that I received from my mom when I was a teenager, and I loved it.

She talks about Mirror Work. She says, when something good happens, go to the mirror and say, “I love you.” When something bad happens, run to the mirror, look at yourself and say, “I love you. I love you, no matter what.” Mirror Work was actually a crucial part of my  healing, where I hated myself. I couldn’t say, “I love you,” to myself. Every time I said it, I started crying. If you do it again and again, it’s almost like telling yourself good lie over and over again, you start to believe in it.

I think that that’s the key, the Mirror Work. It’s so hard a lot of times because we haven’t acknowledged ourselves. Like you said, you used to walk around with your head down. So many of us are like, “I hated myself. I blamed myself for everything. I hated my body. I would not be able to look in the mirror. I didn’t like pictures taken of me.” So, it’s the same thing. Once you start to look in the mirror and see yourself, it’s very painful at first and it can be very uncomfortable. That’s why we just don’t do it, but like you said, “Commit to it.” The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Just like working out. The first time you’re going, you’re going to be really sore, and never go back to the gym. Or you could say, “You know what? I know how I feel after and it makes me feel better, and I’m going to commit to it.” Then soon enough you’re feeling better and it’s part of your lifestyle.

Earlier in our conversation, you mentioned following your heart. Can you expand a little bit about that? What does it mean to follow your heart?

Follow your heart is really what the whole message of Joy Seeker is. To be a joy seeker is to be true to yourself, and live from your heart. What it means is, we become so connected to who we are by knowing who we are and being unapologetic about what we mean. Then all of a sudden, we’re so aligned. It’s like, you’re so connected to love, and source energy, that you’re true self, your higher self, your so connected that everything else just eliminates itself. It falls away.

If there’s ever a point where you’re wondering, should I do this? Should I do that? You’re so crystal clear because you’ll know what is in your heart. Whether it’s moving to a new location, whether it’s staying in a relationship, changing jobs, quitting our limiting beliefs and our negative habits. All of it becomes much easier because what it is, it’s about authentic living. We’re true to ourselves at the core.

When it translates to real-life situations, how are you true to yourself when you have to communicate with others?

I think it depends on the situation. I dedicated my next book to Summer Bacon & Dr. Peebles. They’re my mentors. They say there are three principles of life. The number one is to have a loving allowance for yourself and others and increase communication with people. What it is, is we have to love ourselves and love people where they are.

Abraham and Esther Hicks talked about this too in a lot of their teachings, that if every single person just does what they know is best for them, it actually will work out. The right people will stay in your life. The right people will support you, love you, and actually want to be part of it because it fulfills a need of theirs, too.

The Top Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware

Actually, everything can coexist so beautifully in harmony. But so many of us are so terrified to do what we want because we don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. We’re living for other people. In fact, the whole thing that started my book, Joy Seeker was, I read a study. I bet you’ve heard of this study. It was done in the UK. It turned into a book, The Top Regrets of the Dying.

The number one regret is, “I wished I would have lived a life true to myself, not when others expected of me.” When I first read that, I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s happening for me, and it’s happening with my coaching clients.” Everyone is living half versions of themselves. So ultimately, I think what we really need to do, and just trust yourself, go for what you really want.

I did that last year. As I traveled full time, it was the most fulfilling, most successful, financially the best year I’ve ever had in my business. It was the most rewarding internally because I was living full out and trusting the universe on such an extreme level. That’s ultimately the gift of living. We can all live like that.

When I look back at my journey for the last 20 years, it’s almost like I was more authentic when I was younger. Then, I moved here, I tried to fit in, and life happens, stuff happens, and trauma happens. A lot of things happen. Then  I dimmed my lights so I can fit in even more, and I dimmed my light so much that I almost forgot who I was. Then, it was like this other journey that went deeper and higher into finding who I am. Especially, in the last year, I’m vocalizing what I want like never before.

There was this guy who was supposed to come here to fix the blinds. He was supposed to come at [9:00] and they say, “Well, I’m sorry. I’m going to be there at [10:20],” and I was like, “What? Excuse me? I have a life. I can’t have that.” My husband heard that and his jaws dropped. I’m like, “I’m saying it as it is. I’m tired of BSing and sugar coating. This is how I feel. This is not cool and you just lost doing business with me. So, goodbye.” I didn’t say it exactly like that, but I felt it.

I think that’s exactly it. I think all of us need to speak our truth a little bit more. Of course, we do it with compassion. You said it best, we lose ourselves. I’ve opened the whole book with Joy Seeker. Joy sat me down and said, “It’s time to talk, I’ve missed you.”

What it really means is that’s what you went through and what so many of us go through. We lose ourselves in an effort to try to fit in and we almost forget who we are. It’s time we return to ourselves. One of the easiest ways you can do that is starting by speaking your truth. I love that you’re taking a stand on that. I think we can all meet that.

I speak my truth with everyone, with doctors. I used to put people on pedestals. If they were a well-known expert, if they wore a white coat, if they have a degree in something that I don’t. I was like, “Oh, they must be better than me so I’m going to give my power away and just listen to whatever they say.” and I’m like, “Uhm, Uhm. I appreciate your opinion. Thank you for sharing and I’m going to check in with my heart, and my intuition, and make a decision for myself, my body, my life.”

Course In Miracles

I think everyone should do that. That’s another energy sucker. We put people on pedestals and we specialize them. Course In Miracles talks about this when we specialize other people. It just takes us out of ourselves, but really we’re all equal no matter what.

I’ve been to a million seminars, and I hung out with the best in the world, and all that. We’re all humans. We’re all flawed. Whatever you learn from a guru, or a speaker, or whoever it is, you want to take what you need and leave the rest behind, and never glorify anyone. Never put anyone on a pedestal because you two are made from the same source and same light.

That’s exactly it. We’re all magnificent. I think if there’s one thing that we can do to start getting closer to our true self, it’s exactly that. It’s to look at anybody, or specializing, and return to you. Recognize that you have that same greatness within you.

There are some people that do extraordinary things. I love and appreciate them, they’re an inspiration, and that’s wonderful, but that’s a separate thing than looking up at them, like I’m a little girl looking at the parent.

I think a lot of the time, too. I see it in the industry. Sometimes it’s important for us to, like you said, take what works for you, but recognize our best teachers are our own selves and our heart. I love that you’re going and returning within yourself. But a lot of times, I see the specialization, but also it’s ego. The ego really comes into some of the teachers. Then, they’re leading from a place of, “Look at me.”

A lot of them. Even the ones that are like, “I’m not your guru. I’m not doing it out of ego.” Whatever. You all have egos, you’re all humans, you all want to make money. Yes, you have a great purpose in the world, and you change lives, and it’s both. It’s never one or the other.

Hold on to your light even if it's just a tiny glimpse. That is where your true self and guidance lies. Click To Tweet

That’s exactly the point, right? It’s never one or the other. I think ultimately what we want to do is check-in with ourselves and say what feels good with me, what’s in integrity, what is my truth.

Correct. I love that. What are your three top tips to living a Stellar Life?

I love it. Stellar is one of my favorite words lately, so I love that you used it.

It’s a sign.

There you go, right? Pay attention to signs. Actually, let’s just say that. I think the top three is, why not share that, I think to pay attention. Get in touch with your true self and your intuition. Start to trust yourself more. That’s it, I think that’s a key part. I think ultimately, we have to really get in touch with what we want, why we want it, and give ourselves permission to live that life. That’s really what it is. I truly believe it would be magnificent if all of us could choose to be inspired by love instead of fear. So back to that, if you align yourself with love, source energy, your higher self. Oh man, what kind of world could this be.

So what’s the third one?

Yes, I felt like, I kind of wrapped three in there. I feel like I’ve already said three.

That’s okay, that’s all right. That’s all good. Whatever you said, you said a lot of amazing things throughout the episode.

I kind of put them all in together. But, if we’re going for step by step, I think the final one is to, and I’ll share, just do you. I think, so often we look outside of ourselves and think we need to be over there, this person had it figured out, and we’re getting in our head. So really, it comes back to self-love. Love yourself. Just take care of yourself. Do you.

Fear isn't always a bad thing. Once you get in touch with your core feelings, you will recognize that fear ultimately is trying to help you. Click To Tweet

I love that. That’s beautiful. Where can people purchase your book? Get in contact with you? Go to your retreats? Get coaching from you, and all the good stuff?

The book Joy Seeker is out on October 29th. How exciting is this? It’s out in any bookstore, Joy Seeker by Shannon Kaiser, or you can get it online. If you go to my website, playwiththeworld.com, I have free meditations that you can get, lots of journal prompts, lots of goodies. Of course on social media, I’m always posting positive messages and inspiration on Facebook and Instagram.

Perfect. Thank you so much for being here. This was a real joy.

It’s been a joy to be here with you. Thank you.

Thank you, listeners. Remember to trust yourself more. Be inspired by love and not fear, and just do you, and have a Stellar Life. This is Orion, till next time.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

{✓} Trust your inner guidance. Let your true self and intuition guide you to what is best for you. 
{✓} Find joy within yourself and stop relying on external events or material things for your happiness. 
{✓} Pay attention to the signs the universe is sending you. Inspiration is everywhere, you just need to focus and it will be revealed.
{✓} Rethink your relationship with fear. It’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes fear is your body trying to help you become more aware and concerned about yourself and your loved ones.
{✓} Eradicate limiting beliefs and replace them with kind, encouraging affirmations.
{✓} Get unstuck and discover what matters most by writing down all your thoughts in a journal. 
{✓} Regain hope and faith in yourself, others, and the world. Let positivity rule your life and those around you. 
{✓} Discover the “poetry within”—that special thing that makes you unique. Share it with the world.
{✓} Live your life with purpose, passion, and freedom. Make it your mission to continuously seek joy.
{✓} Grab a copy of Shannon Kaiser’s book, Joy Seeker: Let Go of What’s Holding You Back So You Can Live the Life You Were Made For.

Links and Resources

About Shannon Kaiser

Shannon Kaiser is the bestselling author of five books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment, including the #1 bestseller, The Self-Love Experiment and Adventures for Your Soul. she helps people trust and believe in themselves so they can live their highest potential. She’s been named a top 100 Women to Watch in wellness by mindbodygreen and your-go-to happiness booster by Health magazine.

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