Getting Unstuck: Moving Out of the Depths of Pain. A Transformation Story with Shelley Brown

Our lives are rarely linear. Most of start out "here" and then make a series of twists and turns. Sometimes we’re the driver. Sometimes fate and opportunity take the wheel. And sometimes someone else says “I’ll drive.”

In this series we’re calling “Transformation Stories,” we depart from our traditional format where we talk to an expert about some aspect of change. Instead, here we interview one individual about how they came to be where they are today. We’ll focus on a turning point, or catalyst that propelled them from a less than desirable situation to one that’s more aligned with who they really are and where they want to be.

Your identity is not what you do; it’s who you are. – Shelley Brown

In this "Transformation Story," we talk with Shelley Brown. Shelley’s life took a dramatic turn due to a physical ailment, but that physical challenge soon had her in the emotional grip of deep anxiety and fear. She tried numerous ways to get back on a level emotional plain, but nothing seemed to work — until she made a major discovery.

One of Shelley’s engaging collages. For more images, check out her  Instagram  site.

One of Shelley’s engaging collages. For more images, check out her Instagram site.

Listen for:

• The causes of Shelley’s spiral down with deep anxiety.

• How this deep anxiety showed up in her life.

• The catalyst that began to shift her forward; her awakening.

• How becoming more mindful changed Shelley’s life.

• What “acceptance” of herself gave Shelley.

• What Shelley’s life looks like today; what it is that she wants to bring to others.

• The advice that Shelley gives to those who are still struggling.

This is the story about the horse that Shelley referenced in the discussion:

A man riding a horse approaches a man standing by the side of the road.  The bystander asks where the rider is going, and the rider responds, “I don’t know. Ask the horse.”  Chade-Meng Tan tells this story to illustrate the notion of emotional regulation, affirming that the rider “can tame and guide the horse,” just as we can learn to “skillfully” work with our emotions.

After Listening to the Episode:

  1. What are the benefits of putting distance between your thoughts and responses?

  2. What did Shelley mean by “You are not your thoughts; you are not your emotions”?

For more on Shelley:


Instagram re Shelley’s art:

Instagram re Shelley’s mindfulness training:

Jeff Ikler