A shining light in this beautiful world, Shawn Fink came into my life a handful of years ago. I learned about her through the trifecta – an article in a regional newspaper, a mutual friend and former colleague of Shawn’s (I’m convinced that EVERYONE in York worked at the newspaper at some point), and a panelist at a women’s focused event I attended. Immediately, I knew she was someone I wanted to get to know. Shawn spoke to my soul when she shared her journey of self-care - which starts with gratitude. It’s something I continue to do as part of my morning routine, and I first learned it from her. She gave me hope as a brand new mama.
Shawn is THE Abundant Mama; and if you get to know her, you better grab your favorite warm beverage and a comfy chair, because she asks BIG questions. An example… ‘what is your motherhood legacy going to be?’ If you haven’t paused to think about that (like me, up until I heard her ask it), please grab a journal and do so now.
Thank you, Shawn, for sharing your wisdom...
“Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.”
― Mary Oliver
Q: Why does this quote speak to you?
A: Somewhere along my journey in becoming a mother, I realized that paying attention and being astonished was my only life goal.
In every program I create, every product I make and every blog post I write, I hope that I’m opening other people’s eyes to see everything with new eyes.
Being present, being playful, being peaceful is not just a mission but a way of life and I feel like this quote sums up what it takes to get there.
Plus, I love the tell about it part.
So often we’re sharing bad news or sad stories. I encourage my clients and readers to share stories beyond the surface and go deeper.
Q: When did you first realize you were highly sensitive? What does that mean to you?
A: Immediately upon becoming a mother every single noise in the world became amplified by 1000. We lived in the city and noise was just a part of life. But I was irritated by every sound because I had learned to value quiet in a new, profound way.
I had, of course, always been sensitive but motherhood woke me up to this idea.
But I had no idea it was a thing until about 2010. Once I had a name for it, I felt such relief and was able to establish a clear toolbox for coping with the crazy and chaos of motherhood and the world.
Q: In this season of motherhood (mama to 13yo twin girls), what lesson is the universe most trying to teach you?
A: Ah, what lesson is the universe NOT trying to teach me right now with twin teenage girls?
Perhaps the biggest lesson is to not fall asleep. Again, stay awake.
As our children get older, it’s easy to think they are so independent but I know that when I was a teenager I would have liked more connection and guidance -- not less. I can see when my girls need me to stop everything and just focus on them. But I need to pay very close attention because it’s not like the old days when they’d just climb into your lap or ask for a hug. They are much more like hugging porcupines now and so I have to know when to lean in. That takes a gentle awareness.
Additionally, the Universe is testing my patience and reminding me to let go. Let go. Let go. Let go. I do not like letting go but thankfully it’s work that we do in my programs so I’ve been practicing for years! And yet … and yet it’s always my stumbling block.
Q: What are you most passionate about right now?
A: Oh so many things. So. many. things. Right now I’m passionate about nature, poetry and writing. I have been taking myself on these little nature retreats with my journal and a book of poetry. This is self-care and a connection to the divine for me. It’s what I need to recharge from my largely desk job and my mom of teenagers life as well.
Q: You started your entrepreneurial journey when your girls started Kindergarten. What would you like to share with stay-at-home-moms that are experiencing a similar transition?
A: I was actually working full-time when I started my blog. And, I had NO idea I was starting a business. I was clueless. I was a freelance writer over the years so I knew how to handle money. In hindsight, I wish I had been more intentional about actually starting a business. What I started was a movement … the business grew out of that. So my advice is to start a movement … with intention. Find your people but have a plan. Now, I can help anyone start, run and sustain a business. I love talking business. But goodness, I should have had a plan. :)
A Brief Bio...
Shawn Fink is a life and mindfulness coach and founder of The Abundant Mama Project. She believes strongly in helping people do the inner work they need to stay emotionally regulated and deeply connected to themselves and each other. She runs online and in-real-life workshops, classes and retreats. Currently, she is taking registrations for a Midlife Magic Nature Escape Retreat for Women on May 18 in York, PA. Learn more here.