Where is she now.

Well the rumours are true, Phoenix has once again tugged on my heart strings and nudged at my spirit to make the trip South. I had originally booked a flight way in advance for January 8th 2019, thinking I would have my life together at this point and be able to travel freely, fully confident in all aspects of my life.

However, this came to be not true at all. I had my biggest breakdown in a while, right on New Years Eve. Of all the times I could have a breakdown right? It was my rock bottom, it was a low, dark, scary place where my mind was screaming at me from every angle, where I felt numb but also in excruciating pain in my gut from the place I was in. I was unhappy with my relationship to self, I was feely depleted in my relationship, I felt completely alone in what I was going through and felt as though I was a complete burden to my poor family who welcomed in a sobbing, cold energy from the Winnipeg night minutes before the clock struck midnight. This was my story. This was my past. But I choose to release it. I choose to rewrite my story. To create a life where I feel aligned, balanced and healthy so that my spirit doesn’t fall into that self-dug hole anymore.

The next day I took it upon myself to face my confrontations, to face my fears of those confrontations and to do the responsible thing. To talk it out, feel it out and make goals on how to better improve myself for next time. While all of this was happening I was also going through a huge move, emotionally un-attaching from so many material items like my bed, a lot of clothes, plants I’ve grown for the past 2 years, artwork, etc. You name it, I sorted through it, donated most of my things, saw them be gifted to new homes and mentally and emotionally felt so drained from seeing my nest, my comfort zone, slowly break a part, bit by bit, right before my eyes. As the days passed, I tried to readjust to my new living situation in a community home. I found myself sleeping in, my spirit and energy still so low and feeling overwhelmed by the change in my lifestyle and also physically aggravated by my cat allergy. It came to a point where I had to make the decision whether to keep my flight the same, even though I was broke, in a low place, had no connections and was feeling completely fearful and unsure of the length of the trip or to change my flight and get myself sorted first in Winnipeg, get financially stable and then head to the sunny desert.

After, many many hours of deep reflection, I came to my decision. I would board the plane within 24 hours and make it work. I craved the raw energy of the sun, to feel the warmth on my skin once again, to be in a brand new environment where no one knew who I was, to smell the desert air, to be free to make my own choices and live by my own rules. To prioritize, soothe and look after me, myself and I. So I did just that. I packed my things again all into one backpack along with my hoop bag and boarded my 7AM flight.

As the plane took off and I peered out my window, the sun was just rising over tiny Winnipeg and a warm beautiful energy took over my heart and spirit and lit me up from the inside and I knew in that moment that I made the right decision.

So here I am, raw, authentic, just little ol’ me in the heart of Arizona. Planning hikes, meet-ups with inspiring people, training sessions for the hoop contest and spending a lot of time meditating, journaling and reflecting on what ignites my spirit. I am here until the 11th of February and have already been making a great turn around within my inner self. There are times where I feel lonely and I miss my comfort of being back home around my family, my partner and those who I feel safe with but my spirit craves growth. It’s at its peak where it wants to heal from the past, from family lineages, from my stories, from my mind and from societal norms. It wants to break free and break open to bring in more self-compassion, more compassion for others and ultimately more compassion for the globe and all that is intertwined within it.

Through yoga and meditation, I am learning how to distance myself from my thoughts, to observe my mind and to let go of its stories that it creates. And let me tell ya, my mind is one active phenomenon. But slowly, as the days pass, It’s starting to get more and more silent, it’s starting to get the hang of stillness, it’s starting to relax and flow and let go. Which is huge for someone like me, who has only known for as long as she could remember, having an overactive, anxious, unbalanced mind where the smallest thing could set it off.

I haven’t been out exploring too much yet, I’ve just been settling in my peaceful AirBNB, nourishing my body with organic foods form a local farmers market, meditating each day, training each day and working on my business and working on my inner self. It’s been a great process so far and I’m so incredibly grateful to those who have been supporting me on this trip thus far, those who are encouraging me to keep on. How beautiful. When you feel completely alone, you really aren’t. It’s usually just a story your mind is creating and that thought is a scary thought because it can snowball so huge, to the point of no return. It’s extremely important to re-write, re-wire that story as soon as possible and to realize that abundance is all around us, that we are connected to all of it, to our own source, we are our own universe, the universe is all around us and we are truly blessed to be in this moment, just as we are, right now.

I don’t know what the future holds, I can’t predict what the future will bring and I don’t plan on dwelling on it for too long. I’m too busy making this present moment count, I’m listening to my breath, I’m feeling my body, I’m feeling my emotions and I’m listening as closely as I can to my spirit.

I wish you all well in where your journey is at this point in this lifetime. If any of these words have resonated with you and you would like to chat, please do not hesitate to send me a message, I would love to connect with you so that we can learn from each other. Stay tuned for future posts, subscribe so you don’t miss a post and also consider checking out and subscribing to the Youtube channel where I also share my story through visual art.

Love you all,
– Shan

About the Author Shan

Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Indigenous - Nihithaw & Anishinaabe, traveler, storyteller, magical light worker, Indigenous hoop dancer and fancy shawler, dream chaser, entrepreneur, lover of life. www.youtube.com/c/shanleyspence

2 comments

  1. Tanisi Shanley,
    Welcome back to AZ I hope you are doing well, have you ever tried Qi Gong its a great way of relaxing the mind. I am a fan of your writing, photography, videos and especially your hoop dancing. In fact it is hoop dancing which is how I found you. while on youtube I came across “Restoring the Sacred and Sacred Hoop”, that video moved me a lot and from there I searched and found your facebook , youtube channel and this blog.

    I have lived in AZ for 19 years and it is here where I first was introduced to hoop dancing. For me it has been a progression over the years and now when I watch it fills me with so much happiness and healing. It has also led me to the Hoop Championships which then led me to PowWows and then led me to going to the Gathering of Nations and visiting the Navajo Nation on the way. I am going this year to the championships and am very happy that it will be my first time to see you dance in person. I’m also hoping to go to the Intermountain All-Women Hoop Dance Contest in Utah this year as well for the first time.

    I too am also a traveler and have a nomadic spirit, reading your blog and watching your videos are very inspiring to me. You have been to two places on my bucket list, New Zealand and Cuba. Your blog about Cuba made me smile because my #1 place I want to visit is Japan but I do not know the language and I foresee language barriers for me as well.

    I wish you the best during your stay here in AZ and just want to Thank You for all that you share from your feelings, thoughts and dancing.

    Brian

    1. Tansi Brian! Thank you so much for the beautiful comment, it lit up my day 🙂
      I have never tried Qi Gong but I would totally be open to trying it out. I’m happy to hear that you enjoy the words, visuals, etc. Excited to connect with you and meet you at the championships hopefully, please don’t hesitate to come say hi, I’ll be in my red regalia 🙂

      Take care for now!

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