You.

You’re different than other women.

 

You act out of kindness every day, not randomly.

You’re not motivated by the drive to hustle and make millions some day. But your enormous ideas for life and your work are fired by the desire to make the world better for other people. 

Sometimes — maybe too often — you veer into nice. That’s when you give too much of yourself away and end up exhausted. 

Still, you insist on seeing the best in people.  

 

You change your mind, often.

You’re dedicated to exploring your own mind, to understanding why you do the things you do. You’re an agile thinker — you remind yourself to stay curious, not right.

Sometimes you doubt yourself when you pivot away from a passion or job. Again. But that’s you. Once you’ve learned everything you can from a situation, you have to move on. 

In a culture dedicated to instant opinions and shouting answers, you’re brave enough to decide what matters to you.

 

And without a doubt, you’re singular.

You’ve never fit into any category, neatly. You’re a weirdo, a goofball, someone who sings her own song. You love fiercely. You make mistakes and you’re starting to learn from them, instead of hiding in shame. That’s new to you, this forgiveness thing. 

Some people think you’re a bit of a mess. Some people have called you crazy.

And in the past, you let that get to you, and you tamped yourself down, tried to stay quiet and worked too hard to try to fit in.

But after too many decades of masking and pretending, you’ve realized that the constant work of pleasing others only made you smaller. And exhausted. You’re ready to let those responses go. 

 

But you’re still not quite brave enough

to be kind to yourself

to be fully yourself. 

 

You need someone to help you get curious about your story.  

Ladies, get curious about your story.
We need to hear it.

HIRE ME AS YOUR STORYTELLING DOULA. 

I’ve written and published 5 critically acclaimed books — a food memoir; 3 cookbooks filled with narrative essays; and a memoir thousands of women have loved. 

I’ve had a successful, productive life. 

But what is the heartbeat below that skin? 

Writing is one of the only ways I understand the world. 

I’ve always been a weirdo, not like other women around me.

I grew up in a traumatic household. I didn’t live on my own until I was 27. 

I was diagnosed with celiac at 35 after a lifetime of feeling sick and my first impulse was to start writing about it to help other people feel not alone in it.

I fell in love for the first time at 39, had my first child at nearly 42, then endured months of worrying she wouldn’t live, and then I became a mom again at 47, when our newborn son joined our family through adoption. 

I had a mini stroke at 49, a radical mastectomy without reconstruction at 52, was diagnosed with complex PTSD at 53, and was recently diagnosed with ADHD at 55. 

Nothing in my story is typical. That used to scare me and make me want to hide. For a long time. 

But now, when I look at my life, I can see how strong and resilient I am.  I never take for granted the joy of being alive. I thrive when I help other people discover and write their stories.  

I’m pretty fucking proud of myself. 

 

I call myself a storytelling doula, because the word doula, in the ancient Greek language, meant “someone who serves.” And through this process, I’m going to help you “birth” your story. 

This is why I only work with people one-on-one in this process. You need someone who is solely focused on you.

I can help you cut down on the intense labor of bringing your story to life, reduce your anxiety of writing and revising your story, and share your story with the world. 

Here’s what I offer.

Reinvent your story.
I can support you.

Are you trying to run a small business — maybe selling your art — without knowing what your story is? If you want loyal customers, you’ll need to share your story. 

Are you in a transition time — no longer enjoying your job but feeling overwhelmed by the unknown — and you’re not sure what your story has become? 

Are you overwhelmed by a recent revelation in your life — such as a midlife ADHD diagnosis or discovering that you have celiac and you have to change the way you live —that’s requiring you to look at your life anew? 

I can help you discover your story.

Write Your Story.
I can support you.

Are you struggling to write your story?

You have a story.

Do you know how to write compelling copy for your website, newsletter, and social media captions to convert casual observers into loyal customers? 

Maybe you want to write a personal essay. Short stories. A speech you need to give for your work. 

You want to write — after all, you have always loved stories and words — but you doubt yourself too much to get started. 

Work with me. I will lead you through the 6-step process of starting and finishing a piece of writing that satisfies you.   

Share your story.
I can support you.

You want to share your story with the world. It’s time. 

But you’re overwhelmed by the daunting task of doing this. 

Work with me.

I can help you craft a social media strategy that feels like you.

I can be your developmental editor, working to ensure the structure, narrative arc, particular details, and emotional heart of your book are clear and powerful. 

I can help you craft and complete the proposal for that book to send to agents, moving you forward toward publishing. 

TESTIMONIALS FOR MY WORK

“ENOUGH isn’t just the incredibly well-written story of Shauna Ahern’s life, it’s also one of the best accounts of human growth I’ve ever read. Through abuse, rejection, illness, romance, motherhood, and finally, authentic truth-telling, Ahern leans into the uncomfortable realities of being a person in the world. Reader, do not be afraid. These uncomfortable truths are told so compassionately, so beautifully, you won’t be tempted to look away. This book reveals the big heart of one woman, and in return, shows us so much of what we can hope to become.”

Ashley C. Ford, author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, Somebody’s Daughter

“Ahern shares her relatable journey from a painful childhood growing up with a difficult mother and an adolescence filled with shame for both her body and how different she felt from her peers. Her candid voice, which is at times both funny and poignant, guides readers through her life, always with a reflective eye...A courageous memoir by a gifted writer, this is the authentic and honest journey of someone who has sought out a life lived with purpose, and a brave testimony of one woman’s empowerment.”

review from BOOKLIST

“Shauna Ahern’s beautifully crafted collection of essays ferries us through her courageous journey from decades of shame and uncertainty toward a life of agency, freedom, and dignity. Raw and vulnerable, Enough is a testament to the healing power of a purpose-filled life.”

—Lisa Congdon, artist and author of A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives

“This rich and candid collection will be a balm for anyone who has inhabited the tricky space between daughter and mother, wife and woman, woman and human being. Enough feels like a long exhalation.”

MOLLY WIZENBERG, author of the powerful memoir, The Fixed Stars

“Frank and engaging...[A] beautiful new memoir...Some of my favorite memoirs break down the divide between story and reader, creating a sense that, for a while, readers are living alongside the author. Such is the case with Enough. Ahern’s insights are a gift to readers as she outlines the steps that brought her closer to things that matter: writing, creativity, time with family and community, the cultivation of gratitude and spirituality—as well as all the ways these things are bound up in and amplified by great food.”

Diana Abu-Jaber, from a Washington Post book review

Sure, you could muddle through and keep living a story that has never really worked that well for you. You could go it alone.

Or, you could work with me to get curious about your own story. And by asking those questions, you could see your life anew.

You could create a life filled with curiosity and joy. 

LET’S WORK TOGETHER. 

If you’re interested in working with me, email me at shauna@youcanhavemorejoy.com. Tell me about your project and how you’d like to work together.

If we seem to be a good fit, I’ll send you a calendar link for a free, 30-minute consultation. We’ll also discuss rates and talk about the details and deadlines.

Also, if you’d like to hire me to write what you need for your business, email me at shauna@youcanhavemorejoy.com.

I wish you joy.

Shauna

Become
KINDER
BRAVER
and
MORE FULLY
YOU.