Shoshana is an international coach, speaker, author, leadership specialist, yoga teacher and dance facilitator. What connects all of these is her focus on the wisdom of the body as the foundation for how we show up in the world.
Shoshana has worked with social entrepreneurs, youth, executives, teachers and holistic professionals to connect with and embody their personal leadership. She has designed and delivered leadership programs; facilitated embodied movement; coached, mentored, and advised leaders at all levels of organizations. She has learned that leadership is inseparable from the body.
Shoshana is an ICF Certified Coach, with a Masters Degree in Human Systems Intervention and certifications in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Somatic Yoga and Dance. www.shoshanaallice.com
What events led up to you deciding to take back your life?
I’ve taken back my life a few times. In this crazy fast-paced world, we are constantly changing and growing and faced with new opportunities and changing circumstances. I believe it’s a continuous process of claiming and reclaiming our story, our power, and our life. So I’m going to share two significant events – because they are reflective of how truly ‘taking a leap’ on ourselves can look so powerfully different at different times in our lives.
Was there a significant event or moment that made you realize you needed to make a change? What was it?
There have been many significant moments and events. Seven years ago I left my federal government job to move to a small, slow, island, with the intention to build a coaching & consulting practice, while nestling into community. It was a much different journey than I expected, but led to a series of other powerful experiences and leaps: An incredible year of healing from nervous system overload, a 5 month trip to Guatemala, a 6 month coaching contract in India, including speaking to hundreds of HR leaders in Delhi, an intense change management project in Vancouver, along with somatic dance and yoga teacher training.
My most recent reclaiming happened this past year. Last summer I took a contract working with a small team to design and deliver an intensive one-month leadership experience for youth. After 6 years of on-and-off consulting, mostly working as a solopreneur, I rediscovered what it was to be ‘part of something’ and to have a team; to know when I woke up that there were people waiting for me to show up and contribute, and who would be there to collaborate and co-create with me.
I realized how lonely I had been in my work and that I wanted something different for myself. At the end of that contract I knew I would find an organization to be part of again. I joined a not-for-profit this January that I am in love with. I have a team, I am part of something bigger than me that makes a difference in the world, and my contribution to it is highly valued.
Was there a first step of action when you decided to take back your life? What was it?
The first step for me was recognizing that ‘going back inside’ an organization wasn’t a failure or a step backward. It was a step toward what I most wanted for myself at this moment in my life.
Since you took back your life, how have things changed for you?
I am happier than I have been in a long time. I am excited to get up in the morning and to go to the office where I know I will work hard, play hard, and laugh A LOT. I am settling, with a new level of confidence, into my competence as a coach, a leadership expert, and even a speaker/facilitator.
Ironically, now that I am no longer working so hard to generate leads to fill my private practice, the opportunities are coming to me, and I can choose what I want to give my time to. I maintain a small coaching practice and take speaking & teaching opportunities that excite me. I feel really, really, good.
What would you say to anyone who finds themselves in the situation you were in?
Don’t let anyone else decide for you what will make you happy, or what success looks like. Please, please, stop comparing your insides to other people’s outsides … or your whole life to other people’s highlight reels (Facebook, anyone?).
Failures are a good thing – they provide rich learning opportunities and they are evidence that you took a risk and tried something new.
Ask for help – we aren’t ever in this all alone … whatever you are struggling with, there are others who have been there before you. Surround yourself with supporters, and don’t give the doubters your power. And hire a coach. We all need one, especially us coaches!
What does ‘Fully Alive’ mean to you?
Fully alive is living in alignment with my values and feeling the fullest expression of all of my feelings – both the bright, delicious, ones and the uncomfortable, painful, ones. For me, to feel is to know I am alive.
Being ‘Fully Alive’ is that state of full embodied presence –an experience of connection and sensation – and purpose. Knowing that I am offering my gifts in the world in a way that makes a difference – whether that is to family, my community, or to the person I passed this morning whose day was altered because we shared a kind smile.
Favourite Inspirational Quote
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
Connect with Shoshana
Take Back Your Life Month
Last year, I declared May 16th ‘Take Back Your Life’ Day, because that’s the day that I took back my life from that evil beast, Cancer. It’s so important to me that this year I’m declaring the whole month of May ‘Take Back Your Life’. Every Tuesday and Friday this month, be inspired by stories of everyday people who have transformed their lives. These are people who converted a moment of struggle into a moment of strength and revolution! (Read more here.) Check back here to read their stories & share your own on social media! #TakeBackYourLife