Shannon Kaiser is the bestselling author of Adventures for Your Soul, Find Your Happy and Find Your Happy Daily Mantras and her newest book The Self Love Experiment will be released in August 2017. She’s been named “Top 100 Women to Watch in Wellness,” by MindBodyGreen and “One of the freshest voices in mental health and wellness,” by Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul.
Shannon's the founder of Playwiththeworld.com, named “Top 75 Personal Development Websites,” and “Top 100 Self Help Blogs” by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Shannon Kaiser’s work as an international life coach, retreat leader, inspirational author and public speaker has reached hundreds of thousands and changed countless lives, inspiring and empowering people to believe and trust in themselves so they can live their highest potential.
Her work has been recognized in media outlets across the globe such as HuffPost Live, Health Magazine, Australian Vogue, Women’s Health, Spirituality & Health and Entrepreneur magazine.
A Conversation with Shannon Kaiser, Bestselling Author of The Self-Love Experiment
Everything Shannon does is to help people connect to their true self and unapologetically live their authentic purpose.
SK: For more than three decades of strong dislike and self-sabotaging, you made a conscious choice to stop listening to your inner critic. How did you find the strength to remove fear and create love for yourself?
Shannon Kaiser: I got to a point where I was exhausted from trying so hard. Trying to be better, thinner, smarter, prettier—all of the things we are told we should be. My inner critic was raging war inside my head, and my turning point was when I realized I was wasting my life by critiquing myself so much. I set out to find a more compassionate way to be.
SK: What are some common reasons we sabotage our own happiness and progress?
Shannon Kaiser: Overgiving, overanalyzing, overworking, overeating, overspending—a lot of “over” anything we do in an effort to feel better. But this keeps us from feeling the feelings emotions we need to feel to heal. We also sabotage when we overgive our time and avoid listening to our bodies. When we put others first we sacrifice our own needs, which causes exhaustion and doubt.
SK: What is the Self-Love Experiment and its essence?
Shannon Kaiser: The Self-Love Experiment is a challenge and opportunity I gave to myself born out of a desperate need to become my own best friend. I wanted to know what it would be like to live a life where I wasn’t so mean to myself. The experiment turned into a manual to help anyone be more kind, compassionate, and loving to themselves.
SK: What is self-love?
Shannon Kaiser: Self-love is freedom. Self-love is allowing, accepting, and being yourself in a world that tries to tell you to be something else. It is an awareness that you as you are is enough.
SK: You write, “You don’t need an insane amount of courage to follow your heart. You just need to believe in yourself, and that comes when you take actions. Your heart is intimately connected to your intuition, whereas your head is connected to your fear.” Can you explain?
Shannon Kaiser: Many of us make choices from our head, that rational, analyzing part of us that is also in fear and where our ego lives. The goal is to drop into your heart because this is where love, kindness, and compassion live. When we make choices from our heart we feel expansive, connected, and more aligned to our highest potential.
SK: What is the “sweet surrender” approach? Many people misunderstand the concept of surrendering and letting go of worries.
Shannon Kaiser: The surrender is the most important aspect in moving forward in our life. Many of us hold on to an ideal version of what we want. The perfect body. The abundant bank account, the soul mate. We look to things to complete us, but these are all things outside of ourselves. And when we attach to the specific outcome, the universe can’t bring us other things that might be just as good for us. The sweet surrender means you let go of thinking you are off track. You let go of thinking you have to do it all. You let go of what no longer serves you and accept what is. From this place, miracles can happen.
SK: What you are grateful for? What role does gratitude play in the Self-Love Experiment?
Shannon Kaiser: Gratitude is one of the essential ingredients to self-love. I turned to appreciation and everything changed for me. Instead of spending time hating pieces of myself or focusing on my flaws, I turned my attention to appreciation. From this place, we feel more balanced and love.
SK: What’s your final words of wisdom for the Global Lead’s readers?
Shannon Kaiser: Self-love is something we all have within us, it starts in the mind and how you talk to yourself about yourself. Start by being kind to yourself.