My name is Carolyn Shannon and my favourite song is “Faith of the Heart” by Rod Stewart. It is from the Patch Adams movie and little did I know that I would be playing a role similar to the main character and loving it as much as he did.

This faith (spiritual rather than religious) has kept me alive, safe and transformed my life on more occasions than I can tell you about here. It has led to me working my mission to empower others in 5 different areas of life via my main website: www.EmpowermentStartsHere.com

My journey of awakening and personal expansion

My journey began very early in my life. I was a child who tried to leave this Earth twice when I was under the age of 7, and once again at the age of 19. At first it was because the man I loved most (my father) couldn’t love me without physically hurting me, or his other loved ones and I wanted out. I was actually envious of a man I saw get hit with a train at that time. How lucky could one be? The death of my father soon after, first proved to be a relief, until my child mind didn’t think it was him in the coffin. Then for years I suffered from the terror and nightmares that he could rise again like Jesus did.

Later, it was because I felt I couldn’t let myself love anyone without hurting them (emotionally) before they had the chance to hurt me. And having witnessed how destructive my anger could be once unleashed, I felt it was only a matter of time before I became my father and physically harmed someone.

During this last effort what stopped me was the vision of my roommates finding me. I stepped out of my self-absorbed state just long enough to realize I would be hurting the person who had to find me and live with that memory for the rest of their lives. What right did I have to do that? My sense of fairness clicked in. Life wasn’t ALL about ME! That was when I truly first stepped onto the path of consciousness change. It was a longer path than first expected with the universe sending me a number of opportunities, some might call obstacles, to move through to get to where I am today.

Close calls where anger ignited a violent nature on my part, was during my first and second marriages. These scared me more than they did either husband, mainly because they didn’t feel the volcano erupting within, that would have been unstoppable had I actually physically connected with them at that time.

One of those opportunities led to me becoming a Hairstylist, then High School Teacher who taught Hairstyling to young adults and adults. Most of the students I had to work with had or still lived in turbulent home lives much like mine once was. This began to bring back both memories and old feelings I had to either deal with, or escape from with one of the various addictions some of the other staff members had chosen instead. Alcohol was out of the question (didn’t want to be my father), smoking hadn’t lasted past the age of 18 due to allergies, and drugs weren’t my thing so my main escape choice was food, mainly chocolate. This addiction became so strong it even led to financial problems. After all, I couldn’t use my credit card to buy one chocolate bar for my moment by moment fix. I had to buy things I didn’t need so others wouldn’t know it was the chocolate I needed most. Amazing now to think that the cashiers would even notice or care.

When I started counseling, it soon became clear why chocolate was my “drug” of choice. Once a month my mother went shopping and brought home a huge chunk of chocolate. She would guard this very well and only when she felt we deserved a piece, or she felt like sharing did she give us a small square of her stash. Chocolate equaled love to me from that moment on. The realization of this along with a coloring technique I felt guided to create gave me back my power over chocolate. That began my journey to self-love. Then unconditional love was learned through the love of an angel in the form of a cat.

This journey to “love” was mirrored back to me in my job as a Hairstyling Teacher. Having to deal with ALL kinds of negativity on a daily basis both from students, staff and clients, I quickly learned that when working in the service and educational industries it was not okay to “Lose It”. In fact doing so, could mean job loss. To prevent this, I often had to rely on my sense of humor, clearing processes and creativity to make it through the day. Later, I taught my techniques and new ones I picked up along the way to my students, with positive results. (No more hair pulling in class.)

Whenever things went wrong I would tell my student(s), “What is done is done. Now, how can we make sure this doesn’t happen again?” That, and “this too shall pass” have become my life mottos. No matter how dark a moment can seem if one can see patience as an action instead of a chore, the light WILL turn on and a gift of insight will be gained from this time out.

My Positive Life Changes

I have since retired and turned many of these coping skills into workshops (books, ebooks & audios) called, Art from the Heart Adventures, What Really, REALLY Bugs Me…sometimes, Removing YOUR Walls of Lack & Delay, DRAWING The Law of Attraction Into YOUR Life, The LIGHTer Side of Venting Your Anger & Frustrations Away and DE-Stress to MANIFEST, a woman’s retreat I offer once a year.

I also offer business building empowerment as the Niagara (Ontario) Chapter Leader for People In Connection – an online and local networking group where I am the co-host of the Niagara PICTALK TV shows.

In my spare time, I create to empower women through inspirational, healing WOW Gal Stories on a monthly basis, via Women of Worth (online) Magazine.

My next steps as an Evolving Being

My next steps include my newest LOVE, which sums up what I meant by feeling like Patch Adams. I needed an exercise class I could truly enjoy so I became a Laughter Yoga Leader. Now, being the facilitator of Laugh YOURSELF Healthy Niagara—_running 2 classes per week and monthly _Laugh Classes at local seniors residences—not only gives me a workout, it fills my heart with unconditional love for all and more joy than I have ever known. I am amazed by how much the truly happy, spontaneous part of me I lost when I was a child, has been brought back to me!

My Advice to Others

Tune into the frequency of YOUR own laughter. ALLOW YOUR “God” given inner voice (intuition) to guide YOU, and ACTIVATE YOUR “God” given logic to make it happen.

These are not religious statements. They are universal statements. EVERYONE needs a safe place to release their fear, sadness, anger and frustrations. I use fun, creative ways to release mine. It is one of the ways I LOVE myself and *anything* created out of LOVE, WILL be LOVED by others.

Oh…and don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes! (taken from Carolyn’s workshop, The LIGHTer Side of Venting Your Anger & Frustrations Away)