Picture yourself on the cover of a magazine. Dream big!
It’s Tuesday, February 17, 2015 and I’m out and about celebrating my 45 birthday! I notice the magazines at Chapters as I pass through. Oh! I forgot that my article comes out today to celebrate my big day! ;P
I pretend that I forgot, even though I’ve been anticipating it’s release since last month when I did the interview for “O” Magazine. I pick up a copy… “Simple Gal Creates Big Change in Complex World” – I smile as I read the headline; remembering all those bumps along the road and how much I’ve longed to create massive change. I’m excited about how many people I’ve been able to help take baby steps and how that’s snowballed into something really big and really fun!
I laugh when I remember Oprah’s people trying to do my makeup. I wasn’t very cooperative – I would only wear the most basic, simple colors. I insisted on still being me on the cover of the magazine. They’d tried to get me to wear a dress! LOL! Too funny! Nope, there I was in my most comfy jeans and a pretty purple top, curled up on the couch. I loved it! Not glamorous, just me.
Turning the pages to the article, I read about how the interviewer saw me that day:
“Shawna is most at home with her laptop, a latte and comfy clothes. She has spent the time to get herself in pretty good shape, enjoying her varied workout routines and loving her mostly vegetarian meals. She says, ‘I still like the occasional homemade hamburger my hubby makes, but most of the time, I love the simple raw foods I get to eat every day’. You can’t tell that she turns 45 – she looks a lot younger. She moves with the grace of an athlete. A fact she attributes to her yoga practice. ‘I used to be sore all the time until I changed what I was eating and got my body moving – that is one of the things I encourage others to do in the Divine Goddess Circle: Just get your body moving in whatever way makes you feel good!'”
I flip through and see the pictures they’d taken of my house:
“The Cevraini’s don’t have a lot of ‘stuff’ in their house. Nothing fancy – just simple, comforting furnishings. It’s apparent that they are movie lovers when you see the rows of DVD’s arranged by genre and alphabetically! Shawna laughs when she relays how she sometimes forgets which movies she already has and gets duplicates. She always donates those to the local library for their collection. A stack of books are next to everyone’s bedside – an indication of how avidly the family reads. It’s a home set up to welcome anyone who comes by. We felt like we were going to our friend’s house the moment we stepped in. Warm blankets and colors met us with open arms. You could smell the fresh flowers there on the coffee table, newly clipped from Shawna’s own garden.”
“Bruce is Shawna’s husband and “My Rock”, she tells us. They’ve been through some hard times, but they’ve only grown closer in their marriage. She blushes when we ask if being able to work from home has changed their relationship; ‘Yeah, we spend a lot of coffee breaks in our bedroom…’ She giggles. Shawna’s kids love that their mom is usually home for them at the end of the day. They take regular family vacations; their favorite location: Florida! There are office hours posted on her home office door – this was an important tool for everyone, including herself, to keep work & family time separate. ‘It really helps me let go of helping the world, and focus on my family. It all begins at home, doesn’t it?’ ”
“Shawna loves hanging out with her best friends. She tells us of her regular lunch dates with them. They even go on picnics in the park or country drives to favorite spots nearby. As part of her “Goddess” lifestyle she teaches in the Divine Goddess Circle, Shawna hosts monthly creative days with her friends where everyone comes over, has a glass of their favorite beverage, laughs, talks and creates! It’s become a ‘must-do’ on everyone’s to-do list. ‘It’s so important for women to come together as a group. Our ancestors gathered around tanning hides and quilt frames and church lunches. It’s about time modern women realized how important real connection with other women is.'”
I get a little teary as I read the next paragraph. That part of the conversation brought up a lot of emotions for me:
“We noticed how Shawna’s confidence fills the room. Her smile shines so brightly, you can’t help but smile too! We asked her if she’d always been this way. She pauses for a moment. ‘No, no I certainly have not always been happy and excited for the future. There were some very dark days, where I’d even considered letting it all just disappear. I truly felt that I was worthless, a terrible mother and wife. I hated myself, my job and felt so alone. I lived in my husband’s sweat pants and shirt on weekends and secretly cried all the time. I was always yelling at my kids and having to escape before I did them (or myself) serious harm. My relationship was a complete mess. I was a mess.’
‘The turning point for me was that I just couldn’t keep going like that. It was either End This Now or Get Up and Start Again. I couldn’t take my own life or even run away. I just couldn’t do it. So…I had to choose the second option. I started with looking after me. I learned that if I couldn’t love myself, I’d never be able to truly love anyone else. Including my kids! I used my birthday money and paid for 10 personal training sessions. It was the best thing I did. I learned to have fun with my workouts. To try new things. To fuel my body properly. I signed up for events that raised money for causes that meant something to me. It got me outside and spending time with friends. There was no turning back after that.’
‘Being able to learn to love myself was my proudest achievement. Sure, there are still days where I beat myself up, but they are much fewer than they used to be. I’ve become a crusader for helping other women do the same. Women can be so hurtful to themselves. Comparing ourselves to another woman’s highlight reel is the worst thing we could do, yet we do it every day. It’s time we stopped the madness! It’s time we supported each other in meaningful ways. We need to set the tone for our children to believe in themselves and follow their hearts. The only way we can do that is by loving the woman we see in the mirror every day. When we love her, we can’t help but love the others we see each day. And it just grows from there! The love of a woman is truly a powerful thing, don’t you think?’
There is a tear in her eye as she says this. ‘I can see the world changing, becoming more loving all the time. Stories have become less about climbing the ladder and the next best thing and more about getting back to nature and dreams. That is what I wish for; and I think it’s happening! I will teach this until my dying breath. I will teach it not just by talking about it, but by living it myself. The only way to make a change in the world is to start with me. And that’s what I do, each and every day. Who’s with me?’ She gives us all a huge grin and you just can’t help but feel this infectious love from this open, passionate woman. You know in your heart that she’s right, times are changing…and for the better. ”
I close the magazine as another tear runs down my cheek. It’s so amazing to be here, right now. This is where I want to be. This moment. Filled with love for the people closest to me, including the strangers nearby. This is what life really is about. I am so blessed to be able to be a part of this Earth. I bow my head in thanks for a minute and continue on with my day. It’s my birthday after all! Time to celebrate!