“Praise Your Calendar” to Live With A “Ravenous Thirst For Life”, With Dr. Marina Kostina & Shannon Algeo host of SoulFeed Podcast

Praise Your Calendar. Before you go to sleep, look at your calendar for tomorrow and review each item. Notice your initial feelings about each appointment. If there are any negative feelings around what you have planned for your day, shift it immediately. Say in your mind, “I am excited to see you, {INSERT NAME OF […]

Praise Your Calendar. Before you go to sleep, look at your calendar for tomorrow and review each item. Notice your initial feelings about each appointment. If there are any negative feelings around what you have planned for your day, shift it immediately. Say in your mind, “I am excited to see you, {INSERT NAME OF PERSON YOU ARE MEETING WITH” or “I know that showing up for {INSERT EVENT} is going to help me connect more deeply to my purpose” or “Thank you survival job for paying me now so I can take the next step forward onto my purpose when I quit in X months! Thank you for the money!”

I had the pleasure of interviewing Shannon Algeo, the speaker, coach, and mindfulness teacher who helps hundreds of thousands of people around the globe tune into their life’s purpose and activate transformative personal and career growth. He is the host on SoulFeed Podcast — one of the Top Self-Help Podcasts on iTunes and the creator of the online course ILLUMINATE: Career Manifestation Program which helps a global community of entrepreneurs discover their purpose and build the confidence to bring their dream work into the world.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

From when I was 11 years old to 22 years old, I was performing, taking dance and voice lessons, studying Musical Theater at Syracuse University, and working towards my biggest (and virtually only) life goal: to be on Broadway.

When I moved to New York City in 2009, I completely lost touch with the joy of performing. The intensity of the industry of show business totally swept me off my feet (not in the romantic way). It threw me around and spit me out on the corner of 39th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan. Despite the fact that the only show I ever auditioned for in New York City, I booked, I knew this career wasn’t for me.

I read a book by Echkart Tolle called A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, and I knew in my heart that I was not meant to perform in musicals — this was not the reason that Shannon was put here on the planet.

So before I found clarity, I got really lost and had no idea what I was going to do with my life — it was a dark period of my life. I was broke, I could barely afford to both pay my rent and eat, I experienced heinous homophonic treatment from managers at my restaurant jobs, and I considered if my life was even worth living.

When I found myself on the yoga mat, I began to literally feel my two feet on the ground again after months of feeling dissociated from my body and insecure with my life. Yoga led me to a transformative yoga training. My yoga training led me to a regular teaching gig on the Upper West Side. Teaching led me to a seasonal gig at lululemon athletica.

My seasonal job lasted nearly three years, and in that time, lululemon trained me as a Vision and Goals Coach and that’s when it became my actual job to help people connect to their purpose and set inspiring and motivating goals for their lives.

When I started a one-on-one coaching business and my podcast SoulFeed, my career began to take off and I began to connect with people all over the world seeking to live in alignment with their purpose.

Through helping and coaching hundreds upon hundreds of clients, I started hearing the same questions asked over and over again, and I noticed certain areas where people get stuck when it comes to their life’s purpose.

I also saw my career go from 0 to 60 when I took a big leap of faith and left my comfortable corporate job with health insurance, and jumped into leaning on my business as a full time job. I know firsthand that it’s possible to manifest the career you want.

Now, I have the pleasure of leading 7-module online program every year called the ILLUMINATE: Career Manifestation Course that helps entrepreneurs maximize their potential by going through a 7-week process in which they connect to their purpose from the inside out.

What does it mean for you to live “on purpose”? Can you explain? How can one achieve that?

For me, living “on purpose” is the practice of doing what I am called to do; not what I am told to do. Each of us has a unique purpose — a reason that we specifically are here on the planet, and I believe each of our individual purposes contributes to the greater collective healing and evolution of our communities and our world.

Each of us has a gift that we are here to tap into and become aware of, and when we allow our gift to be fully expressed through us in our work, we bring more service, joy, and functionality forth into the world.

We can achieve being “on purpose” by noticing when we are on the periphery of our purpose. When we are on the periphery of our purpose, we’re kind of close but not totally on the path. One of the most powerful ways to get “on purpose” is to notice, with self-compassion, when you are off purpose.

When we are not doing the work that we are here to do, we usually experience suffering, stagnancy, or intolerable frustration. These feelings are uncomfortable, yes, but they are actually gifts that are helping us move in the right direction.

In my work, I help people discover and articulate their WHY statement. This is a concept I learned from Simon Sinek in his TED talk Start with Why. When you know your WHY, you are able to name not just what you do or how you do it — you are able to tap into WHY you do what you do.

Even when you’re “on purpose,” work isn’t always going to be a fun skip through the park. But when you are connected to your WHY, you don’t get lost in the small stuff and you stay connected to the bigger picture of what motivates and fulfills you.

Do you have an example or story in your own life of how your pain helped to guide you to finding your life’s purpose?

Before moving to Los Angeles, I lived in New York City for 8 years. I had a thriving private yoga business — working one-on-one with clients in fancy New York City apartments. I loved my clients and I loved teaching yoga, but I did not love hustling all over New York City and walking 5–10 miles every day in the winter. I was wiped out and exhausted.

My podcast was beginning to take off with highly downloaded interviews with Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Gabby Bernstein, and more, and my coaching business was starting to build.

On one hand, I was so grateful for my successful business teaching yoga in NYC, and on the other hand, it was eating at me. I knew I was living my purpose-ish. When I started teaching yoga 3 years prior, it was amazing, but now I was being called to help people with not just their bodies, but with the way they were experiencing their lives through life coaching.

I eventually hit a plateau. My podcast and coaching business could not grow anymore with so much of my time being spent running around New York City on foot. New York City began to feel claustrophobic and overwhelming for me. Eventually, it became unbearable.

Now, I want you to know, I LOVE New York City and I go back often. The point is — the pain I was experiencing was pushing me forward on my path. It was giving me the fire in my belly to take action, to make a change, and to move across the country to fully lean into creating my coaching practice.

The United States is currently rated at #18 in the World Happiness Report. Can you share a few reasons why you think the ranking is so low?

The “pursuit of happiness” truly is one of the greatest causes of unhappiness. We have all been so conditioned by our culture of productivity and over-achievement to be in search of happiness, that we do not have the skills and practices to relax and experience happiness.

Part of the work I do with my clients and in my ILLUMINATE program is to support people in developing a practice of integrating the feminine model of operating a business. Instead of always “going after” what we want and “making $hit happen,” what if we create the space to be open and available to attracting and receiving what we want?

If we want to experience joy, then we need to develop a relationship with joy that isn’t always dependent on external factors turning out the way we want them to. Joy is something we cultivate internally because we are happy with who we are and how we are showing up in the world. In other words, it’s an inside job, and we’ve been conditioned in a culture that teaches us to go and seek for it.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I share my success! I truly operate as an example for what’s possible for anyone who’s willing to do the work — both internally and externally. If I can do it, so can you. My success is your success and your success is my success! Instead of me being “more successful” than you or vice versa, what if we all get to be more successful because of each other’s successes? The more we can operate as a true team, the happier we’ll all be with ourselves and our world.

What are your 6 strategies to help you face your day with exuberance, “Joie De Vivre” and a “ravenous thirst for life”? Can you please give a story or example for each?

  1. Develop a Daily Practice of “Going In.” Whether it’s meditation or a gentle yoga practice or Yoga Nidra (the yoga of transformative sleep) or mindfully walking through nature, connect to the simplicity of life. Get super still and feel what’s happening inside YOU. There are billions of cells in your body conspiring for your optimal health and wellbeing right now, at this moment! Tap into that and listen to your body’s wisdom.
  2. Move Your Body. My most exuberant days are the ones where I commit to a movement practice. Go for a run, join a swim team, hop in a yoga class, do 100 push ups 100 jumping jacks 100 squats and 100 sit-ups. Whatever it takes! Get your blood flowing. This gets your lymphatic system activated which supports your immunity, gets your heart pumping, and gets endorphins flowing in your brain.
  3. Practice Gratitude. In the morning or the evening, write down at least 10 things for which you are grateful. Make your gratitude a daily practice and begin to train your mind to see what is working in your life instead of focusing on what is not. If you don’t know what to write, start with small things like “water” or “the pen” in your hand. You can also share your gratitude list in my group 100 Days of Gratitude on Facebook.
  4. Praise Your Calendar. Before you go to sleep, look at your calendar for tomorrow and review each item. Notice your initial feelings about each appointment. If there are any negative feelings around what you have planned for your day, shift it immediately. Say in your mind, “I am excited to see you, {INSERT NAME OF PERSON YOU ARE MEETING WITH” or “I know that showing up for {INSERT EVENT} is going to help me connect more deeply to my purpose” or “Thank you survival job for paying me now so I can take the next step forward onto my purpose when I quit in X months! Thank you for the money!”
  5. Breathe. As you are working through your day or writing in a coffee shop or typing an e-mail to your client or boss, notice your breath. Can you breathe a little more deeply and fully as you go about your daily tasks? It’s amazing what can happen when we are getting more oxygen to our brains and cells. The Latin root of the word inspire means “blow air in to” or “to inflame.” You can imagine blow air over a low flame so it can grow in power. When you breathe more deeply, you can become literally more inspired.
  6. Sing It & Sing It Loud! I work from home and I live alone so I do this all the time (you’re welcome, neighbors!). My life flows more smoothly when I’m singing throughout my day. Dance breaks also count. You can go to a Kirtan chanting class at your local yoga studio or you can go to Karaoke with some friends or you can turn on Whitney Houston on Spotify right now and let loose. Nothing brings more Joie De Vivre than letting your lungs belt out some great sound. Get sound vibration moving through your body — make loud sounds and if it feels like it’s too inappropriate to do this, then maybe do it, anyways! Let everyone around you know you’ve got a ravenous thirst for life!

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that most inspired you to live with a thirst for life?

Daring Greatly by Dr. Brene Brown

SoulFeed Podcast is my show!

Thrive by Arianna Huffington

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

The Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that relates to having a Joie De Vivre? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“I don’t know if I’m going to get tomorrow, but I’ve got today, so I’m going to do everything I possibly can to speak up, show up, listen hard, and love big. Because I’ve got today!”

— Jan Conklin, COO of New York City Relief

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

In February 2019, I am launching the 2019 class of the ILLUMINATE: Career Manifestation Course. It’s a 7-module program the helps leaders and budding entrepreneurs bring their vision into the world through a practical manifestation process.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would bring a power — passion — purpose program into high schools all over the United States to help young adults tap into their purpose and WHY, discover their unique gifts, and make intelligent and informed decisions about how to explore the next phase of their lives.

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