Shauna Ahern throws her head back, laughing, the picture of joy.

Hi there!

My name’s Shauna. Lovely to meet you. 

Are you new around here? Let me introduce myself. 

I’m a storyteller, a facilitator, a writer, and a woman who loves to connect women to themselves and each other. 

I’ve written you a letter. 

Hi there! I’m Shauna

All my life, I’ve been driven by two passions.

Connection and curiosity.

Why connection? That’s human. We’re hard wired to connect with other humans. We are for each other and not just ourselves. The structure and function of the human nervous system developed in early humans, in a time when people lived in small groups. There was no rugged individualism then, only other people working together.

Our deepest impulse is to connect. To feel not alone.

That’s why I write — to connect with readers and help them know that they’re not alone.

You’re not alone.

Like some of you reading, I was raised in a hard place, in a family where fear was always more powerful than connection. I longed for other people who would see me and understand me, since I was so isolated. It took me decades to break away from the controlling demand to put my life on hold to assuage fears.

For decades, my needs and wishes never made it to my own list. It took me another couple of decades to break that cycle fully.

How did I survive that?

My deep, affectionate curiosity for everything in life.

Truly, I’ve always been curious about everything. Being held indoors because the possibilities of the world scared my parents? That made me hunger for more knowledge of other people’s minds and joys.

Humans fascinate me. I’ve always been interested in how the human mind works. And I believe that every person in the world has good inside them. I listen fully in conversations, waiting to see that light.

That’s part of the reason I’ve been a writer all my life. I checked out books on couples therapy from the library when I was 10, trying to understand my parents’ behavior. This is why I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of books on Buddhism, behavioral science, the effects of trauma on the spirit and body, and neuroscience.

Yep. I’m a geek. And I bring this knowledge into every conversation, when it serves the person I’m talking with, as a chance to remind them they’re not alone.

The possibility of learning something new lights me up. Every single day.

I woke up to the need to put myself on the top of my list the day I lost the ability to speak.

Seven years ago, I suffered a mini-stroke. As I lay on a gurney in an ambulance, the entire left side of my body without feeling, I realized I couldn’t form coherent thoughts. That terrified me.

Luckily, I had a TIA (transient ischemic attack), which functions like a full stroke but the symptoms disappear within 24 hours. My doctor told me all my tests had come back healthy.

“But,” he said, “we know that emotional stress can cause physical damage. We know that the body holds all that stress. So I’d like you to make a list of everything that causes you stress. Then, work on letting them all go.”

As I healed, I realized this was my chance to wake up. When I began to understand the volume of neurological stress stored in my body from the first 30 years of my life, I began to heal.

When I realized how much energy I had put into shoving my round shape into a tiny square hole, I started becoming more curious about the story I had been telling myself.

That’s why I wrote my memoir, ENOUGH: Notes from a Woman Who Has Finally Found It. It thrilled me when my book was acclaimed by Publishers’ Weekly, when Brené Brown chose my book to be on her list of books she recommends to her readers, and when thousands of women wrote to me to say it changed their lives.

Writing that book and publishing it for other women to read transformed my life.

It set me free.

I want to help you free yourself.

I’ve been a teacher all my life. For ten years, I taught high school English and creative writing. I ran one of the first gluten-free food blogs in the world, Gluten-Free Girl, and taught baking techniques in stories there, along with hundreds of cooking and baking workshops. I’ve taught writing workshops for years. My writing was a form of teaching for decades. 

But after my mini stroke, and after COVID began, I have switched fully to being a facilitator.

To facilitate means to make easier.

That’s what I offer you as a guide — the knowledge and curious questions to help make life easier for you by encouraging you to find your calm, build a habit of joy, and reimagine your story.

I listen deeply. I ask good questions.

And I have an easy, deep laughter that cuts through the seriousness with which we take our lives.

Let’s play.

Whenever I’m about to enter a virtual room to talk with a group of women, I take a deep breath. Knowing that connections will happen over the next 90 minutes, I feel everything drop from my shoulders.

I’m ready.

Good conversations are coming soon.

 

Want to join my mailing list to receive stories from me regularly? Subscribe today and I’ll send you a gift. 

Or, email me. 

shauna@getcuriousaboutyourstory.com

Finally, remember this.

Your story matters.

We need to hear it.

Your joy matters too.

JOY!

Shauna