Fascinating Women

Shannon Miller - Positive woman - Empathy - Grief Guide - mom - empowerment

August 05, 2020 Shannon Miller Season 1 Episode 19
Fascinating Women
Shannon Miller - Positive woman - Empathy - Grief Guide - mom - empowerment
Chapters
Fascinating Women
Shannon Miller - Positive woman - Empathy - Grief Guide - mom - empowerment
Aug 05, 2020 Season 1 Episode 19
Shannon Miller

Shannon Miller is a rare woman. She is deeply empathic that matches well with her connection to helping people. While it was not dormant it blossomed with the tragic loss of her young daughter.

She made the choice not to stay in darkness but to step into the light, to share insights and a path with others. She explains, "I honored my grief and allowed myself to feel all the feelings that come with pain and sorrow, and then began taking steps towards healing."

Through her choice of this light, she has become a Grief Guide, Empowerment Coach, Inspirational Speaker, and Author.

She shares what shaped her to this path, how it can be replicated for other people.

She explains how people can support someone in grief.

Shannon talks about how being authentic solves so many things, opens so many doors.

In spite of the heavy arching topic, she brings a lightness to her conversations.

About Shannon Miller
"There will be times, that the outside world will never see when you must be braver than brave and stronger than strong in order to survive." Shannon Miller

"Shannon Miller is a speaker, author, and grief guide. She began her work after the devastating death of her daughter, Kaiti. Shannon’s children are her heart and soul and Kaiti’s death shattered her world as she knew it.  Determined not to drown in her tsunami of grief, Shannon made the choice to not only live her life with strength and purpose but to also help others who were navigating the complexities of grief."

Email: shannon@conversationswithshannon.com

Website: https://conversationswithshannon.com/

Instagram: conversations_with_shannon

Facebook: Conversations with Shannon

About Mark Laurie - Host.
Mark has been transforming how women see themselves, enlarging their sense of sexy, expanding their confidence in an exciting adventure that is transformational photography.
http://innerspiritphotography.com

Sound Production by:
Lee Ellis  - myofficemedia@gmail.com
Reach out to Lee for your Sound Production.

Show Notes Transcript

Shannon Miller is a rare woman. She is deeply empathic that matches well with her connection to helping people. While it was not dormant it blossomed with the tragic loss of her young daughter.

She made the choice not to stay in darkness but to step into the light, to share insights and a path with others. She explains, "I honored my grief and allowed myself to feel all the feelings that come with pain and sorrow, and then began taking steps towards healing."

Through her choice of this light, she has become a Grief Guide, Empowerment Coach, Inspirational Speaker, and Author.

She shares what shaped her to this path, how it can be replicated for other people.

She explains how people can support someone in grief.

Shannon talks about how being authentic solves so many things, opens so many doors.

In spite of the heavy arching topic, she brings a lightness to her conversations.

About Shannon Miller
"There will be times, that the outside world will never see when you must be braver than brave and stronger than strong in order to survive." Shannon Miller

"Shannon Miller is a speaker, author, and grief guide. She began her work after the devastating death of her daughter, Kaiti. Shannon’s children are her heart and soul and Kaiti’s death shattered her world as she knew it.  Determined not to drown in her tsunami of grief, Shannon made the choice to not only live her life with strength and purpose but to also help others who were navigating the complexities of grief."

Email: shannon@conversationswithshannon.com

Website: https://conversationswithshannon.com/

Instagram: conversations_with_shannon

Facebook: Conversations with Shannon

About Mark Laurie - Host.
Mark has been transforming how women see themselves, enlarging their sense of sexy, expanding their confidence in an exciting adventure that is transformational photography.
http://innerspiritphotography.com

Sound Production by:
Lee Ellis  - myofficemedia@gmail.com
Reach out to Lee for your Sound Production.

introduction :

You're listening to fascinating women with Mark Laurie. And now, Mark Laurie.

Mark Laurie :

Hello everyone and welcome. I'm Mark Laurie from inner spirit photography. Now of course I'm on the fascinating women podcast. My guest today is Sharon Miller. Shannon Miller, is Shama good again Hello everyone and welcome. I'm Mark Laurie from the fascinating women podcast normally on behind a camera with inner spirit photography. But today I'm talking to Shannon Miller through our fascinating women podcast. And it is really cool. She's a really has been on an unusual journey. We'll start with that kind of thing there. And that's, she's nodding, you can't see this but she's nodding. So she has gone through an arc that wound up at one point with her daughter 21 was it 23 passing away, and that brought a whole well of grief to it She's one of the few people that took that path of grief and actually turned it into something to teach people how to also walk through it. And so what will be talking about, we will be touching that today. But we're going to start off looking at what kind of backgrounds shaped her to be able to take that step because that's like a good place to start Shannon:

Shannon Miller :

It sounds like a good place to start. Hi.

Mark Laurie :

Good to have you here.

Shannon Miller :

Thank you. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Mark Laurie :

Anytime we can get really cool people to talk to I'm always happy camper.

Shannon Miller :

Thank you.

Mark Laurie :

So you've got you've got two grown children right now. Still. Yes. And when when did you get married when that'll start?

Shannon Miller :

Oh, that all started? Actually. We were highschool sweethearts. Really? So yes. So we got married when we were 23 and he is a geologist so of course we moved to Calgary. I'm from originally from Saskatchewan. Yeah, miss missing the wide open spaces every once in a while. Yes. So we moved here and start a family right away. And yeah, ended up having three beautiful children. And the marriage didn't work out. But we still raised the kids together. But that was never never an issue there. And yeah, and so the kids spent the majority of their time with me just close to school. And it's just easier for them to have a consistent place to stay. I think more than anything, especially through the teenage years when it gets kind of crazy.

Mark Laurie :

Yeah, we really back in our teenage years, the same ways when you're trying to teach kids something to the teenagers. So you come up with a very particular viewpoint to help people through this book, going back even before you're married. What kind of critical things do you think happened in your childhood that sort of shaped some of your viewpoints or values to?

Shannon Miller :

Well, I didn't know it at the time I had no words for as a child, of course, you don't know what you don't know. It's just naturally I would have been quick. So I would pick on people's feelings I've picked up on them if they were sad, or if they were upset, or it could be strangers. And as a child, I didn't know that everybody didn't feel that, you know, I did. So I would go up to people and say, you know, why are you so sad? Or, you know, and eventually my mom said, you got to stop doing that makes people uncomfortable. But in hindsight, I see that that I think was a starting point to just be able to pick up pick up on people's feelings and their pain, and being able to be one of those people that can just sit with somebody, when they're feeling whatever it is that feeling and not kind of take it on as my own. Just to let things heal.

Mark Laurie :

Just having knowledge. So that was, how old were you when you realized you had that ablity?

Shannon Miller :

At the very first time, I realized that I was doing it and not not everybody was doing it was when I was five. And that's when my mom said don't don't do that stuff. You know, you, you could say to somebody and they might get maps, so safety wise, stop doing that. But really just, just even with my friends, as I got a little bit older, you know, the high school ages and even just early 20s I quite often would have people confide in me quite deeply, even though we weren't necessarily friends. And so I'm not sure if it's the energy I gave off or just I didn't run away when they would say something that was touching on a pain point maybe and because I think as, as humans, we kind of make sure that the person is okay to talk to make sure that they're a safe person to talk to. We just kind of give hints and when that person picks up on the hands and I think you feel safe to start sharing.

Mark Laurie :

That's, I think that's pretty accurate because we're, we want to be open. That's the whole, you know, open transparency, you know, feel my pain, my energy field, whatever kind of stuff is, but I think behind all that still part of the brain that sits back there and goes, you know, is this is this a wise person to talk to share these things with

Shannon Miller :

right right

Mark Laurie :

then and then or what you feel good.

Shannon Miller :

I think, too, that we fear judgment from others, you know, they might just say, you know, it's not that big of a deal. You shouldn't have to worry about that or whatever you should, you should be over it. Whatever your pain point is.

Mark Laurie :

That's That's true. A lot of people aren't comfortable or believe you should get move on now. pick yourself up. here's, here's 10 minutes. Good stuff. Yeah. Stuff that hear your arm healed by that. So now your mind should have healed.

Shannon Miller :

Right. Exactly. And I think I experienced that, even Just from moving from Saskatchewan, Alberta, because I grew up in the same house, and then I lived in apartment, and then we moved here. So I was constantly I had come from a very large family. So I was constantly surrounded by support system and friends and love. And then I moved somewhere where I knew no one but my husband, but he knew lots of people because he went to school with all the people. So I didn't realize it, but I was grieving, leaving what I knew. So even then it was like, Oh, it's not a big deal. Just don't enjoy yourself and you know, those kind of comments. They are trying to be supportive. But when I just really wanted somebody to acknowledge that I was going through a hard time,

Mark Laurie :

sometimes all through like that's often just what it takes is just, you know, sort of see me here, let me

Shannon Miller :

Right

Mark Laurie :

let me kind of be into it. I don't think through all the different ages, we sorta assign the obvious grief when someone passes away or if somebody When is dying from something or there's extreme kind of pain, but the subtle things that sort of prepares us for it, from the passing of a pet, but also like you're saying, you know, for young kids grew up the loss of a relationship, boyfriend home kind of thing. Changing schools, you really like what was there? And often, it's sometimes what you're leaving behind is painful, but it's familiar. And I think, I think it kind of kicks in there. Have you had any quotes? I love quotes, again, in quotes I've kind of gotten you through over the years are kind of like your go to quotes.

Shannon Miller :

Well, there's one. It's by Najwa Zebian. She's a writer. And it let me just try to remember these mountains you're carrying you were only meant to climb and brilliant, isn't it brilliant? And I actually messaged her and thanked her for sharing that specific research I did online and that's what I saw. And so I got a little bit of history from Her about it we started thinking a bit. And it wasn't it has nothing to do with grief it has something to do with just you know carrying a lot of struggles and you're not supposed to keep them with you. You're supposed to, you know work through like climb through them or whatever. It was significant for me it was probably three years into my journey my grief journey that I came across it it just it was just one of those that really hit me and was like it was almost mission not have to carry this huge grief that mean that it was okay. I like I really interpreted interpretated it for myself and it was like I was saying so pay to put it down it's okay to move through it. You know, you don't love your daughter any less if, if you want to work through this grief, you don't have to stay in the darkness. Right and that was huge for me because again, society is wanting to get over it or I think just society in general just doesn't understand grief and how it's a forever thing doesn't mean you're going to be sad and in the darkness and forever not living, but you carry it with you because it's just love is just a different form of love. So this gave me permission to me branch out, open up..

Mark Laurie :

That's anything with a powerful quote is, is it any three people will take it three different ways. And they'll take it to different depths when people kind of live like that. It's kind of cool. I have to put up on the wall for five days. Oh my gosh, that resonates in my soul. That's gonna be part of my wall for 500 days. You know, and they just I've got a couple over the years that have driven me that they just really really stick. And that's impressive. Remember, it's a complicated name. Usually I'm left remembering the quality and I struggle to recall it to come Google is so cool. Yes. jump into it, which is really funny. So who inspires you?Is that changed?

Shannon Miller :

You know, it has changed definitely. Before my daughter is Katie Her name is Katie that died. Before Katie died. She had struggles of her own. And so we found her help. And she went openly and willingly and she just was wanting help for so long. And so I'm so so amazed by her the courage strength to be willing to go and sit in the muck in her pain just so that she could, you know, have a happier life. And I just thought, wow, I was so amazed by her strength. And I can say I'm saying it's my children that have really inspired me because also my oldest daughter who just described as like, the world's sunshine, right? It's the happiest person and she cares deeply. And, you know, if you're she's, she hasn't same experiences as I've actually all my kids, when I come to learn our empaths we're all empaths. So she also recognizes that so she's a beautiful listener. And it's just, it really touches my heart to see her sit with someone and just let them share their truth with her with no judgment. And I think in today's society with social media and everything, like it's so there's so much judgment, and she doesn't, yeah, so, you know, very, that's very inspirational, but, you know, also the basics like even Oprah, I mean, I know that might seem like a crazy one to choose, but she came from struggle and and lived together. Truth and you know, now she's helping others. So besides the fact that she's probably very close to a billionaire, I have no idea she has massive amounts of money. And that's great for her because she does something with it. I really admire that. And I'm like, all the power to you know, I don't begrudge her living a beautiful lifestyle because of all the help that she does. And she comes struggle and that to me is very admirable. So anybody in my life that has experienced struggle, everybody in the world you know, and as long as Yeah, and I when I see that their time, thanks to me, that's inspirational. So it could be pretty much anything.

Mark Laurie :

I see a lot as I become a good news person I there's enough bad news. You can bump into so many ways and so many different times. And so I love coming across like there's a I think Instagram, this is good news the day they you know, There's 500 more turtles coming off this beach there ever was before and there's a glacier that is getting bigger and it he finds these these cute cartoons that go with it and it's just I just love that kind of stuff that positive kind of thing I figure yes I'll live the world through rose colored glasses and stand up for something I will do so right I appreciate the world does have a dark corners you have to be wary at times. But I really do get concerned by how quickly people choose to take offense or to twist something like they'll they'll say, especially on like the social media because it's so limited like when we're talking I have a whole bunch of information I can choose from to decide being sarcastic is just throw a comment off because a lot of times people will say something and and it's just making noise and it really don't have a depth to it then on Twitter or social media that somebody takes it and they say they branch off on it becomes massively all of a sudden come really from that you end up there. kind of come up. So yeah, absolutely. see people that choose to just accept? Yeah. And see a phrase I'm starting to hear is not my dog not my fight and they just move on. Ah, that's a good one, I haven't heard that one. I remember there was a there was a must been 1015 it was a guy that used that quite a bit because I don't have a dog I don't have a fight dog in this fight. So like, relevant to me. I'm not gonna get into it. And that was weird thing is because he's not my dog, not my fight. Don't care.

Shannon Miller :

Yeah. And some people are just looking for that, right? They just want you to join in their drama or their pain. And it's up to you to choose one day.

Mark Laurie :

So besides your grief, or that kind of stuff. Are you curious about right now? What kind of things?

Shannon Miller :

So that's a funny question. I've never been asked that question before. And it's only funny because I think I drive my family crazy with my questions. I have a very inquisitive mind and it's mostly it's not necessarily that I want An answer. I just want to understand. So that's different to me. Like, why? Why do dogs do this? What like, what goes through their brain, that sort of thing. But today, I mean, you know, there's something in the pandemic, obviously, I mean, just the immediate things that are going on in the world and not taking it lightly. Even the Black Lives Matter movement. I mean, that's significant. And the world needs to change. So in my own way by I've chosen to have those hard conversations, learn myself. Listen to the people that I respect and admire on social media to learn from they tell me to read this book, okay, I do that sort of thing. So that's important to me. But, you know, often little things, spending time with my family. It's slowing down, I find the world is a very very fast paced world prior to the pandemic, honestly like it it's an awful thing and it's heartbreaking that so many people have died all of that stuff but in a way we had to have it happen. So what are the what can we do from that pain? How can I guess that's similar to my grade four

Mark Laurie :

Just circle back

Shannon Miller :

so yeah, look at that

Mark Laurie :

We'll go in a whole new direction but wind up inthe same place.

Shannon Miller :

isn't that funny? I guess that's at my soul level in Oh. So yeah, I mean, my family number one priority no matter what. So that's something that I always work on. I believe that everything needs your attention like that if you care enough about it, that to get attention.

Mark Laurie :

I there's a, an observation I love philosophers and these observers of life but one of the big ones that come out is whatever your attention goes to you will change Hmm So if you if you focus on your defects or your challenges then you'll get more challenges. If you photograph on,if you focus on solutions and you'll get more solutions if you decide to look at your weights or at your skill set whoever it is you want to grow then more happens could go to buy a car and and you've never noticed that there's nothing but you know, Corvettes everywhere then all sudden you buy a Corvette and also comments on the road. It's like you're become hyper aware of it.

Shannon Miller :

Yes, yes.

Mark Laurie :

And I just love the people who who look at things and I think that's why comics interest me sound comics because they they look at the routine the stuff that we only do brushing their teeth or you know, how do you how do you distract your yourself with a girlfriend conversation? And then they look at it like what's what's really going on and wait,

Shannon Miller :

it kind of goes That's so true with so many different things. Even just simple conversations is, you know, like, Are people just wanting those basic conversations? Or do they just want connection? Those are the thoughts that go through my head. These are the questions that I asked myself. And I too love comics that the satirical ones that pick up on the everyday things and just make it front and center because sometimes, again, people are going through life so quickly, they're not even realizing some of those things. And again, back to my grief, it is those little things that I remember that we shared as a family, you know, popping popcorn and having movie night together, you know, those types of things. So it is those little things that people end up appreciating, even if they don't realize it. So I think that's important.

Mark Laurie :

I'm fine. A lot of people are intentionally looking for experience like my photography is experienced based photography. It's People come to us because they want to grow. They want to come to acceptance with some of them. At the end of it, they have some very amazing photographs to kind of back it up. But people are looking for deeper conversations. And those, they're brave to do, like a conversation where someone says, here's a social contract renewed me and we're going to go below the surface, we're not going to slide and it's going to be scary. They're, they're scary because you don't often know where they're going to go.

Shannon Miller :

That's right. And you have to be vulnerable and trusting the other person's not content.But it's so to me, it's a risk worth taking. Yes, it is just to have because some of the relationships that get developed over some of these conversations are incredible.

Mark Laurie :

I'm with a group called DNI Business Network international and on the surface said pretty much as a business organization to get leads and grow. Your business, they have a thing called one to one. And the the power of the one twin is where you it's a structure you sit down, and you want to get to know the person a deeper level. So that because the feelings will you do business you interact with people you trust. And so the more you talk to someone, the more you get to know their values, the more you get to know what's motivated them, the more you're likely to go off, and we should this work should go to Ben, he, he could use this kind of thing. And that's, that's pretty powerful kind of things,

Shannon Miller :

someone to that that almost shows respect, and like we develop a respect for them. Yeah.

Mark Laurie :

Because Yeah, somewhat, you're not going to talk and Sure, I think there's somebody respect just like hey, my time I'm not gonna tell you what, you know what the sad points are.

Shannon Miller :

Yeah.

Mark Laurie :

It's the beliefs that your core beliefs that guide you that you make your decisions based on.

Shannon Miller :

oh, thats like a really good question.Oh, we can have some fun conversation. um, my core beliefs, you know, I've come to realize a huge core belief of mine is to speak your truth. And I mean growing up, you're always taught, be honest, Don't lie. Like I don't mean that kind of truth through it. Just respect yourself, be kind to yourself. And, and if you do always speak your truth, then there's no backtracking. There's no, you know, making up for wrongdoings because if you're doing it authentically, and it's who you are, and you're strong in who you are, then I mean, I'm not saying that you don't miss make mistakes and don't have to apologize, but it's still living your truth. Sorry, I keep saying that. And I know that's not explained very well your listeners. But you can go to sleep night eat at night with a clear conscience with us. Your truth if you're not hiding I mean there's so much disease when you're trying to be someone who you're not or you're trying to pretend things or hide things or again back to grief if you don't express your grief and you're holding it in comes toxic so just in general I guess that's how I like to live my life is truly who I am

Mark Laurie :

speaking your truth is a tricky thing I believe because you have to know yourself first before you can speak your truth a lot of people haven't spent a lot of time with comes back and say well what who is the authentic man? I'm trying so hard to pretend or to help her say yes to other people. What is by try them and often not making a choice reveals a choice. Yes. And so people so here's what I do. I think Well, yeah. What don't you do know what things will you not do or what things you shy away from because that also kind of finds him thing with your truth I've noticed is that people always say like, I gotta I gotta be honest, I gotta tell you the truth. I hope you always with me when they say that, I've noticed that that becomes when they that particular phrase like, I gotta be honest, I gotta tell you the truth. When it's, every time I heard someone say that it's followed with, it's like, I now give myself permission to be mean to you.

Shannon Miller :

oh yes, that's just like, I'm kidding. Yeah, I'll say something just kidding. No, you're not.

Mark Laurie :

I uh my Dad did, that we were at a bar one time I was really young. Just left to go into the bar and we're looking for directions and just happened to be the bar with lots of plays that kind of thing into it. And it's nothing to do this line and and it was kind of like well, if you if you take me up on it, I was serious if you don't want was that funny? This lady that was with my dad. My mom told me this one time, she was just sitting there and she virtually made a pass at my dad right? With my mom right front of her. Oh, and, and then and so you can look at once you can wash your face he can go If dad like lots interesting. Um, we would have gone that way if jack was like that makes no sense because he just over his head, right? Yeah, she knew, but it was but anyway I just I find it interesting when people don't phrase it that way they don't say I'm gonna tell you the truth. They tend to be more gentle more because the truth does not have to be a stick it can be right it can be. That's one what's your second and third?

Shannon Miller :

Not too much thought to be honest with you. I'm a very optimistic person. I believe in gratitude. I know that's an overused phrase right now so I don't quite like to put it that way. But I do I try and be thankful for what even if it's just a lesson learned from something But I feel like for most things, there's, you can find some gratitude. And I'm not saying as soon as it happens, you should be grateful. No, stop forcing people to find gratitude and horrific things or sad things or whatever, over time, like you'll realize. Like when I was going through my divorce, I had a couple good friends that supported me like, my life was in the toilet. But over time, I realized wow, I have some really great support there. So that is a basis core value of mine is to try and always find gratitude in something.

Mark Laurie :

I find gratitude most people think of gratitude in a person to person thing like I'm grateful which is did for me. So I found gratitude exists like I from a course I've been taking emphasize the fact you know, spend like five to 10 minutes or more just being great thinking things can be grateful that changes it. All, like physically sit back in your car so loud, even if no one's listening, because that's not the point of it. And like for myself, I'm really grateful for the studio I've got to play in, I'm grateful for the access I've got, I'm able to afford hardware, able to do these kind of things which expand my horizon, I get to be really fascinating people. And, and it's okay. Also, like, every morning, I'm going through this process I'm grateful for my system for and I'm grateful for life jam, and they all keep on coming back and just reinforce it. Yeah. Not not to take these people or these situations for granted because

Shannon Miller :

that's exactly. And also too, it just sets your tone. I mean, if you're in a space of non gratitude, it's a negative and just your whole self and is walking around in a negative form. So you, like you said earlier, you're going to pick up on all the negativity then if you can find a little bit of gratitude and something at least you're inviting in gratitude. And what is my third one? You asked for three. I am trying to think what the third one is.

Mark Laurie :

I think your, you mentioned actually your optimism, just I believe will save you. Thank you. I mean, they go together quite nicely to me. You can see your your core beliefs aligning very nicely. But optimism and I'm I'm in line with you like optimism is a huge part of life no matter what happened. It's like, Okay, so how can we make this work better? We've discovered as an example, with optimism in the face of a challenge. When this is a simple thing, we'll have a camera that's got only one lens. And so we're gonna go on to a really important shoot only one lens and that forces you out of the box. And when you decide to have an optimistic life, which is a choice because you can, you can't use the phrase go you, you can't control what happens to you. But you can control how you react to it, which again, kind of goes back to what your whole life life drive is now. So how does optimism you see your living options? Like, what does that look like when when you say what sort of springs to mind? I,

Shannon Miller :

on the very simplest terms, I always seem to see the positive, as opposed to the negative. Right. And that is just a natural part of who I am. Where I mean, I know a lot of people who are the opposite, and it's not that they can't be optimistic they have to work at. So you have to prove to me that you're not a nice person, for example, I just assume you're a nice person. But I also feel that it opens up other doors, doors, I'm not sure if doors is what I mean, but opportunities for other people to come in and be often it's like you're giving permission. Yes, for people to be happy, because there's not a lot of fat around. You know how maybe when you're at work People tend to get together and they just complain a lot and that's how the basis of friendships almost write the negativity and they use that and they commiserating together. But I don't, I don't I've learnt and through whatever self help self growth and all that is I don't have to allow that in my world. Yeah. So I choose to live positively or be optimistic because I think for the most part, the world is a pretty beautiful place, sometimes you have to dig around and find it

Mark Laurie :

You do, but I think you're right there's there's so much beauty there's a lot of darkness but there's a guy that was tracking things he is he's actually showing how safer The world is compared to 2030 4050 years ago. And he went through all sorts of things to the estimate haven't more drastic weather condition but we're able to handle it better. So we lose here people. We have a just went down the list of things where there's there's fewer actual wars going on than the media and the hype makes it sound like there's more and they're more dangerous. But he explained to show the numbers there are actually fewer things going on. And so we tend to get lost in that in that fog of bad news because that's, you know, the newspapers have found that the tabloid hype sells. Yes, exactly. And I slapped with the weather condition because every Monday the first thing I heard was how horrible the weekend is gonna be it's gonna be rainstorm it's it's coming but you stay here and and they talk as if they're they somehow the ability to change to fix it Yeah. I get enough listeners here we will change the rain. Monday Tuesday's it's just it's horrible, horrible. Horrible. Then by Thursday, we're getting a break. We haven't done anything like you've actually lied about the front part of the week. The weekend. Yeah. And then we can come look at that. We brought you know, rain but you knew on Monday there's been no Yeah, totally. No, it's just there's not much money in For let's talk a bit about your, your mission your bid on I guess you call it So how long have you been been doing as a grief counselor is wrong? That's not what it is.

Shannon Miller :

Yea no, I tend to call a grief guidance,

Mark Laurie :

Grief guidance. That's a very good term.

Shannon Miller :

Yeah, it's mostly just sitting with people, not just as we were just grief is very difficult, as most people know. And society in general, don't fake it. It's very difficult. It's uncomfortable it's it makes you realize that it could be you one day, you know, all those things, all those hard things. And we're not often given the opportunity just to really feel our grief and and have that be okay. Because people don't want you to be sad. Even if it's not about them. They just don't like you being sad because it hurts them. Yeah, right. And I found for me, again, around About the three year mark. And I've had numerous conversations with my oldest daughter about my where, where's this like, where I went to five different counselors at the beginning after Katie was killed. And it's not that they weren't good. I mean, they were good. They just didn't have what I needed. And so, again, back to my daughter, I would have numerous conversations with her and saying they were somebody that I can just tell us the truth about it. I don't want textbook answers. I want someone that has experienced it, and realize that, you know, grief is a cycle, the five stages of grief there's more than five seconds. And, you know, it comes and goes and there was a point at one time that I thought I was grieving wrong because I wasn't following these pages and you know, the textbook grief thing and Anyway, so after about three years, I, I just felt stronger, and thought, you know, maybe I'm only two or three steps ahead of somebody else. But if I could help them, and just even just show them that it's possible to get up each day, or, you know, to breathe, or, you know, to share your story. So then I started working with someone to help me to teach me how to be a speaker, better express myself on stages or introduce this or whatever. And that really began my journey because the response from my first talk was, mmm, I won't say crazy, but it was significant, right? You know, for me, I was just sharing my story and the little bit of healing that I thought has done, but for someone that's been living with it for like, 20 years, and they feel Somebody speaking that it's been, you know, three, four years, and they're standing up, right? Like it really gives them a lot of hope. But how did you do it? Right? And so that's kind of what started it is because I just found a little piece that I felt was missing for what I needed. And mostly it's just giving people permission to to feel their grief and kind of hold their hand because if you feel like you're spiraling out of control and down to the I would often call it like a tsunami that's how I felt in the really depths of my grief is just like, comes out of nowhere slams around, pulled you under into the darkness you can breathe throws you up, you know, like it's unbelievable sometimes. And then just having you know, if you can have someone that can understand what you're saying but not judge you with it because Definitely, everybody grieves differently. Because every even within a family, like my daughter is grieving differently than my son. And I'm dealing grieving differently than them. But we all have different relationships withu Katie.

Mark Laurie :

That's right.

Shannon Miller :

And none of them is wrong. It's just not the way I did. But I can, I can listen to you and I can support you.

Mark Laurie :

One of the things I've noticed with grief because the reason I believe someone grieves deeply is because they love deeply as well. So the more you care about something or someone and you will lose that, the deeper the hurt is, and so once you've had a couple of those, and it could just simply be a childhood relationship that collapsed or a loss of a job that you really treasured. There's the possibility and often the occurrence. Where is the brain goes I want to protect myself and so let's not get too close. Yes. I think that's a huge like, that's one of the things I think your teachings help people is if you understand how to grieve, then you still may break windows, I have a tool so I can now love somebody something very deeply. And if I lose them, I now know how I can navigate that. Does that make sense?

Shannon Miller :

Absolutely. 100%. In fact, I realized that early on with the triggers that would happen. So Katie was killed. So there was a trial and all that. So the course that was two and a half years trying different things. So there's constant triggers, whether it was from you know, having to take place again or go to court for different things, all of that constant triggers. And then I realized over time, that after certain major event that would happen that would pull me back under into my darkness. I agree. I could then reach into what I had used the last time, right? Like how did I take that first step out? The darkness or, you know, how can I prevent going 10 steps backwards, maybe I This time, I can only go eight. And then each time you know, be able to learn so same thing with multiple, you know, over a lifetime of grief or tragic situations that you had to learn how to be strong, but not wanting to put up that armor. Right like that's, that's what you don't want to do because then that armor keeps everything else whether it's it's the hurt and the pain it also keeps the happiness and sunshine out.

Mark Laurie :

I also believe the armor because I think can get in. I believe the armor stops the emotions from getting out. And so it gets it all up. The relief can't come in. We know more pain can't come in, but you can't let it flow through you. I guess. It is I think about this as you described it as is if there's no barriers I let them go and let the pain flow through and let the love and let the optimism let it flow through as well into it. I'm balanced, not holding on to anything. Want to hang on to it, I guess that goes, you know, the strongest love is when you give the person you love for the creature you love freedom. Mm hmm. Then there's a security in that I get to kind of work with,

Shannon Miller :

Yeah, no it's something that needs to be done. Because if it's staying within you, like I had mentioned before it becomes toxic. Now, whether it's physically toxic, or just mentally or emotionally spiritually toxic. And I think a lot of people can relate to knowing someone that has been hurt, whether it was through relationship or loss of a loved one or whatever, that they just know. They stay in an angry state. They, they don't want any connection with people like they're choosing that text themselves. And again, it's not wrong. It's just how they've chosen to deal with their pain, whatever it was. That armor You're right, check it out. No,

Mark Laurie :

nothing good. Nothing can go into to replace the grief because remember, we've we've lost centers we're very close to over the years and family members, but you've got to let your heart stay open and whence it's opening, it doesn't diminish the being that you are grieving for I don't think because I'm just you've got this huge capacity so you can still let something have warps in and still cherish the memory what you've lost is that sound right?

Shannon Miller :

Yes. 100% so that's so true. I've said a few times. how did I word it? Staying in your grief and darkness doesn't prove your love for whoever you lost or relationship ending, whatever. You know, moving forward, doing that being the best person that you can maybe read, you know them, helping others to like find your own path. But that doesn't prove anything to for me personally, if I would have stayed in in the darkness of my grief it would have almost been my disrespectful to me because you know she didn't have a choice she she didn't want to die and it happens. So like how dare I spend not, you know honor her spirit and my own and carry on and live life the best that I can because she didn't have that choice and well she if you knew her, she would have been really mad. But so that's part of it. I don't I don't want her coming down to me and saying "Ma, come on!"

Mark Laurie :

Yeah, no, do you just come in close which has been a fascinating kind of conversation. How can people reach you like is it I could you just speak on tour Do you is there workshops that you give is there . . .?

Shannon Miller :

Ah, I just speak, like people just hire me to speak, or quite often I'll speak at events, if I just feel connection to them. I'm more than happy to do that. I wrote a bit of a chapter in a book so they could check that out too if they wanted to. And but all that's on my website, just conversations with Shannon

Mark Laurie :

talked about that in our earlier conversation. So people who are listening, if you go to the notes section of the podcast will have listed all the ways you can reach her or you can get paths to to find your way through grief, all those kind of things, they'll be listed down there. So you do have a resource with this. But we talked about the conversation as a better phrase than or dialogue or something. So how did you come across conversation as being the word you settled on?

Shannon Miller :

Ah, I realized that I that was part of my healing. Being able to speak about what happened speak about how I was feeling again, with the truth. And I just thought, you know, that is so true with so many things like sometimes people just speak, I find that I, a lot of times will have aha moments, just when I'm telling somebody something. And it's like, wow, I did that here with you. And full circle that one. So I made a conversation has always been very important to me. And just with, you know, helping people with their grief, that's what worked for me. So I thought that's beautiful thing, and to call in for calling my business conversation. So Shannon, it just showed people that is open to have conversations, and I don't think there's a wrong or right conversation to have. And it's always up to the individual person to say, No, I don't want to go there because you know, in numerous interviews that I've had some of them really wanted to focus on who hurt Katie. And I, NO, and I'm very clear with my boundaries and so to have a beautiful conversation means a lot I think like I said before there's trust there's your own ability there healing, there is connection and respect. So yeah, I did that and I thought it was a pretty easy thing to remember. It is quite honest.

Mark Laurie :

It's got that ring to it.

Shannon Miller :

Yeah. And anybody that knows me knows I like to have a conversation. Yeah.

Mark Laurie :

That's really how people connected it's, you know that you can demonstrate things and do things but the conversations out of conversation, comms promises to do things. comms promises to connect in the future as as you kind of get deeper. There's aha moments that come out of it. It's there's a lot that happens in a conversation. That's a real conversation.

Shannon Miller :

Yes, well, there's and there's a lot of that not feeling alone in what you're going through, like even just knowing that someone's willing to listen, they might not have had the same experience or anything, but you don't feel so alone when you have someone to share. Because it's almost like they're, they're carrying some of your your grief, your burden, whatever it is, when you're having that conversation. So it's very intimate sometimes to know it is and really get to know that person's soul.

Mark Laurie :

If you if you're both prepared to again, be vulnerable, be expressive, that the conversations can get really fascinating. One guy was talking about the ablity we have the ability to hold two opposing thoughts in our mind at the same time. Is powerful because you can talk with someone who you actually disagree with. You think and you get down to the core of why something drives them and then because I understand now, but if nothing else is the is the quest to understand. Like, that's what this conversation has been about. It's like Well, okay, cool. Tell me more and The key phrase, I found a really powerful like, Well, tell me more like how does that work? How do you feel when you do that? You know what, what to expect of people when you do that these, and they just trigger things as people respond to them?

Shannon Miller :

Yes. And allowing them then the time to respond to them is hugely important because then if you don't give people time to respond to your questions, and they already know that you're not really wanting the answer, yeah. Already assume the answer and you're thinking about what to ask. And it's hard for some people to be patient and wait for that person to collect their thoughts, which when you're working with somebody in grief, if the mind is the mind is very affected by trauma, yes, not just grief, but any kind of trauma. So it's sometimes after give them a couple seconds, to collect their thoughts, and that's very uncomfortable for a lot of people.

Mark Laurie :

It's the thing in sales, we've encountered that a lot and I've seen most people have heard this, that whoever The last person when a question is asked the next person to talk blinks or loses or something like that. But it's, it's in it's sort of a sales technique. It's I think it's a bit old fashioned. But the core, what you're talking about is that you ease you need to, like ask your question, and then shut up. And however long it takes for the person to, and I've found that the longer that takes a person, because they ask a question, there's a glib answer comes, like a person's got 25, glib answers, a kind of thing. And the last question, and there's a pause, and part of the pauses as I'm deciding internally, am I going to share something that's deep? And how am I going to phrase it and and, and what's really what's what's my reading into it? So I found that there is a pause on a tough question usually means I'm gonna get an honest a really good answer. Yeah. And that's what I was gonna say usually means you're getting better at truth. Yeah. When they have come halftime and when you've given them times I think that's Can you ask a question and then give some chance to respond to it? And then listeners are responding to it they as you said, they get an A, they get a feeling that I am being listened to. This is now an important conversation.

Shannon Miller :

And sometimes you don't get the answer that you think you can get. And then that just like heightens, to me heightens the conversation, because then I want to know more, right? Yeah, even if it's not something like you said something that I agree with? No, what's your perspective? How did you come up with that perspective? What am I What am I maybe missing? My perspective is wrong, and I need to learn from you.

Mark Laurie :

That's, that's where the fascinating thing is, and when you sit back and go, Well, how did you get there? I've also found that that if you're in a very tense situation, a couple of open ended questions, defuse it. Go on. Okay, so you do want to know how I feel what's happening. Let me know let me tell you now and so it's kind of huge listening permission. It's right it's right. This is a conversation that could go for a long while my very fascinating women it's been just adorable. So I'm Mark Laurie again from their spirit photography doing the fascinating women podcast and this is Shannon Miller. You'll find her on on the website called conversation with Shannon and her I guess travel life these days is is grief helping people understand that it's okay understand what the process to go through with that there is no set formula and it's been a delight having you on Shannon, it has bee greast.

Shannon Miller :

Thank you so much. It was a great conversation.

Exit speaker :

It was good I'm this has been fascinating women with Mark Laurie. Join us on our website and subscribe at fascinating women dossier. Fascinating women has been sponsored by inner spirit photography of Calgary, Alberta and is produced in Calgary by Lee Ellis at . My office Media