I’m honored to introduce you to Shann Vander Leek in this intimate interview. Shann is a delightfully curious transformational coach, author, Yoga playshop teacher, and motivational speaker. She supports powerful women in transition who are ready to reclaim their feminine sovereignty and transform their precious lives. She is a mama, wife, entrepreneur, artist, and mentor to the women who are ready for her transformational programs. Shann’s courageous journey of self-discovery encompasses yoga teacher training, deep shadow work, silent retreats, The Artist’s Way facilitation, wise women circles and healing sweat lodge ceremonies.
Shann, we’ve known each other for a little over three years and you’ve been a passionate role model in my personal journey of self-care and self-discovery. Not only are you a self-care enthusiast, but your own healing and discovery work led you to create the profound and healing Transformation Goddess Sacred Heart Teachings. I’ve experienced this new program and would love to start our conversation there…
What are the Sacred Heart Teachings?
As a transformational coach and self-care enthusiast, I believe we must remove the barriers within that keep us from experiencing joy and compassionate self-care. We subconsciously erect protective walls around our hearts to insulate ourselves from the pain and trauma we once endured.
The Sacred Heart Teachings is a pathway (a guide) to open your heart and heal your past so you can experience more joy. This multimedia experience wraps the reader in an outpouring of empathy and awareness of the female experience. Each of us deserves to understand that beneath our personal stories of pain and discomfort, we can access wholeness, love, and compassion.
This program is for women who are brave enough to dance with their shadows, wipe the mirror clean and bust their precious hearts wide open. My hope is that many women will begin to heal their hearts with this experience.
What inspired you to create the Sacred Heart Teachings?
I created the content based on my own sacred healing process and personal transformation over the past ten years.
For most of my professional life (before becoming an entrepreneur), I was powerful, successful, and living the high life. It wasn’t until after my daughter was born that I realized my inner-wisdom, my true feminine light, was on the low side of a dimmer switch. The mask of folly I chose to wear at the time was that of a hard working and success-driven leader. I was in tune with my masculine warrior energy and way out of touch with my femininity. I thought that if I was powerful, wealthy, insanely private, and veiled, I could be safe from judgment. If I armored my heart, I wouldn’t have to face the shame and guilt of not being perfect. The mask allowed me to excel in business, but didn’t do much for me or my personal life. I had to resurrect the goddess energy buried deep inside. I had to get to the bottom of what I was afraid of. I had my work cut out for me.
It sounds as if you’ve “lived” the teachings….
For years I thought I could be happy and fulfilled because I had a ‘good job’ and was bringing home six-figures. In reality, I could buy anything I wanted, but had no idea how to properly care for myself. With an inner critic on the loose, I had to learn how to put myself and my healing at the front of the line to be a good role model for my daughter.
I didn’t even realize that I’d shut down physically, mentally and spiritually. I had to make friends with what I call ‘the monsters under the bed’ and learn how to honor myself as the beautiful, talented and loving woman (that I now know) I am. Money couldn’t heal old wounds that needed to be explored with loving kindness. I had to sort out the baggage I still carried from being bullied in middle school. I had to stop punishing myself for the unconscious choices I made as young woman. I had to excavate the suppressed feelings from a lifetime of issues around my relationship with my father. Combine all of this with the underlying current of Catholic guilt, and I had to free myself from an unbalanced mind, body and soul. I choose to share this personal story because I’ve had a lot of emotional healing to contend with over the last ten years, and I know that I’m not alone.
You say the time for healing is now? What do you mean?
I think too often we as women put everyone and everything before our own needs.
My goal is to inspire as many women as possible to be willing to put themselves at the front of the line, heal their past, take care of their bodies, nurture their dreams, and make the best use of their divinely feminine talents.
We can give the most when we are living lives we love. Living in the present moment. We can be the best friends, mothers, wives, and business owners when we are feeling nurtured, fulfilled, inspired and self-expressed.
What is the vision that drives Sacred Heart Teachings?
The vision for the Sacred Heart Teachings is to guide women to face their fears, forgive themselves (and others), heal what hurts, and open their hearts. Each one of us deserves to experience life with more levity. More joy. With deeply profound unconditional love.
To be fully present and shine our light, we must explore our darkness. The Sacred Heart Teachings guide you to get to the root of what is weighing you down so you can let go of what no longer serves you and liberate your heart.
I believe that when each one of us heals ourselves, we invite a profound shift in compassion for ourselves and the world. When you experience compassion and trust, you feel loved. You’re at home in your body, and your relationships with yourself and others are at their best.
I believe that at this magical time, compassion for ourselves and others is the direction of the conscious collective.
How is this program different from other inspirational offerings?
What is unique about the Transformation Goddess Sacred Heart Teachings is that it’s a soulful and introspective experience. A multi-dimensional offering – incorporating the mind, body, and soul together with journaling prompts, gentle yoga classes, guided relaxations, poetry and BIG love. This sacred journey provides a safe space for the reader to dig deep and then gently resurface.
I’ve packed this interactive experience with lots of love. I’ve prayed, journaled, and jammed through the creative process. It feels so good to create these teachings to share with the world.
How do we know if we’re ready to dig in and heal our wounded hearts?
You know you’re ready when you can say yes to trading in guilt and shame for grace and self-acceptance. You’re ready if you are tired of not letting loved ones get close. You’re ready when you realize you deserve to trust again. I hope that each person reading this interview will take pause and summon the courage to begin some form of sacred healing.
Sacred healing comes in many forms and offerings. I’ve enjoyed silent yoga retreats, dancing like a dervish and yoga teacher training. I’ve made peace with myself through deep shadow work and healing sweat lodge ceremonies. I’m currently part of a wise women’s healing circle. I write morning pages (most days), pouring my thoughts on the page and making the most of my experience from working with, and facilitating The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
If you are ready to put your energy where your joy is, you are ready to heal your heart.
What can women do right now to start healing their past?
The Sacred Heart Teachings includes powerful coaching exercises to support women who are ready to heal their pasts. The best thing women can do right now is forgive themselves and forgive everyone else who’s ever done them harm. Carrying the weight of a painful past is like committing an act of violence against yourself, every day. Imagine being rid of the burden, anger and grudges you’ve toted along with you over the years. How would it feel to let them all go? I can tell you from experience that it feels incredible.
How else are you helping women transform their lives?
I earned my 200 hour yoga teaching certification to create and facilitate luscious living playshops for women involving yoga, guided meditation and creative expression. I voice and share breathing exercises, relaxing guided meditations and podcasts on iTunes. As a transformational coach, I support women in transition who are ready to reclaim their feminine sovereignty and transform their precious lives. I’m an active blogger and create weekly podcasts for Anxiety Slayer and Transformation Goddess. Women are ready for multi-dimensional self-care. I am here to support them through their transformation.
Do you have anything else to share with our tribe?
- Create time for sacred emotional healing.
- Learn to honor the miracle that is YOU.
- Know that you can reprogram your critical mind, heal your past, and open your heart.
- You are LOVED.
How can people find out more about the Sacred Heart Teachings?
I am excited to be joining you on February 26th for a sacred telecall. During our time together I’ll be sharing a look inside the Sacred Heart Teachings as well as giving listeners a couple transformational tools that they can implement immediately.
CLICK HERE to learn more about this empowering Free call. As a thank you for registering you’ll receive immediate access to my free Body Scan guided relaxation from my Transition to Calm album on iTunes.