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164: Sha Sparks | You Have a Choice
Episode 16421st February 2023 • Purpose Through Pain • Joseph James
00:00:00 00:50:05

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Growing up with a father who was unwillfully drafted in the Army to serve time in Korea, Shā Sparks inherited her father’s “I don’t have a choice” mindset. Later she realized she did have a choice and overcame abuse, addiction, depression, anger, low self-worth, being a bully and being bullied. Today, she has proactively changed that fear-based phrase “I don’t have a choice” into determination inspiring others to make fearless choices. She guides leaders to re-ignite their passion into a more aligned purpose and transform it into increased profit. She knows that if she can take her own traumatic experiences and transform them into a treasure, then so can you!

She is the CEO (Chief Excitement Officer) of Sparks of Fire International, a Certified Fearless Living Coach and Trainer, host of The Power of Investing in People Podcast, host of “Hey Shā, What Do I Say?” Facebook Live Show, author of “How to Get Your Voice Back”, and Co-Founder of #FIRESTARTERS Book Project.

Connect with Sha Here:

In This Episode:

  • Sha explains how she made choices involving her pain and the feeling of hopelessness.
  • Sha explains her biggest pain point.
  • Learn how acupuncture helped Sha.
  • Discover where fear comes from and how you can take it on.
  • Hear how parents impact our development.
  • Learn how to identify healthy love versus unhealthy love.
  • Discover the difference between responding and reacting.

Key Takeaways:

  1. You have a choice of how you respond to pain.
  2. Fear’s job is to protect you, but it can also stop you when it shouldn’t.
  3. Familiar isn’t always what’s healthy.

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “Trauma is what happened, fear is the reaction.”
  • “We can’t rely on someone else to heal us.”

Connect with Joseph James:


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Joseph: Welcome everyone to another episode of Purpose Through Pain. We have an amazing guest on tonight that has just been through everything. She adopted or inherited a saying from her father of, I don't have a choice, It's a mindset. And this lady has overcome abuse, addiction, depression, anger, low self,being a bully, being bullied. But today she's proactively changed her fear-based phrase of I don't have a choice into the determination of inspiring others to make fearless choices. She is the CEO of Sparks of Fire International, a certified fearless living coach and trainer, host of the power of investing in People Podcast, host of Hey Shā, What Do I Say, Facebook Live, author of How to Get Your Voice Back, and co-founder of hashtag Fire Starters book Project. I wanna welcome you guys, Shā Sparks. Shā, I just wanna start off with this question because this is just intriguing to me is, and our listeners out there, when you had that mindset of, I don't have a choice, how does that relate to pain?

Shā: Well, that's such a great question and first of all, I just wanna say thank you so much for having me. I am honored to be on your show today. And I love what you're doing, so I'm so excited to see where this goes for you. And I love the premise pain and purpose. It's perfect, it's right up my alley. So to answer your question, what does, I don't have a choice, how does it relate to pain? Well, how, have you ever been in a situation where you knew that it wasn't, it didn't feel right, it didn't feel good, you weren't thriving, but you didn't know what to do. And you didn't know how to move forward, and you didn't know how to even see yourself in a different position. That's what it means to me to, I don't have a choice means to pain. It's a physical pain, can be a physical pain as well as an emotional pain. My own story, like you shared was really the all the things I overcame, but I was also being in an abusive relationship and feeling physical pain during that relationship where I was diagnosed with (inaudible), and which is chronic pain, chronic fatigue, chronic pain. And I just kept thinking like, I don't have a choice but to feel this pain until one day I was like, no, I can do something extra, I can do something about this, and I was able to get acupuncture and that helped me with the pain immediately. So sometimes when we're going through something, a struggle, a challenge, whatever you wanna call it, an issue where we're just feeling so beat down and hopeless, we think I don't have a choice, I have to go through this, I have to just be hopeless, this is all I have, and the truth is we do have a choice, we do, there is more out there, we just don't see it. So I love that you're bringing this topic to talk about.

Joseph: Absolutely. So when it comes to, you know, ‘cause we've all been in situations where we felt that hopeless feeling, you know, not having that choice, what was it for you that you said, I gotta take this, I don't have a choice because I grew up with that mentality too, you don't have a choice, you can't cry, you can't do this, you dad says it, you do it, two, I do have a choice. What was it for you that just the light bulb went off, or even the acupuncture? What was it for you that says, you know what, I don't have to live this way, where was that pain point that that ultimate pain point for you?

Shā: Well, there was several actually along the way. One was I kept getting doctors at the time I was trying to get diagnosed, tell me it's all in your head, you know? There's nothing wrong with you, it's just in your head, and you know, that might be the case to be quite honest, I'll get to that in a minute, but it might be the case for me. However, when you've been told by the umpteenth doctor that it's all in your head, there's nothing we can do for you, you walk away just feeling depleted and defeated, right. And I just thought, okay, there's gotta be something out there, there's gotta be an answer, and I just started researching and really talking to people about it, and that's when, one of my friends referred me to acupuncture, and at the time that I was diagnosed, they said, oh, we can put you on a cocktail of medication, painkillers, sleeping pills, antidepressants, and I said, no thank you, and I left and I went into acupuncture immediately and within two weeks I had no more pain. Two weeks, yeah.

Joseph: Wow, that's amazing.

Shā: That was four sessions. The second time was when I got out of an my, that abusive relationship when it was, I had been literally in that relationship for 12 years thinking, I don't have a, this is all there is, I don't have a choice, I can't leave, if I leave, he'll kill me, he'll find a way to track me down and kill me, and when he was actually in a car accident, and when I got out of that was like, I now get to create who I am, you know, people talk about sometimes they get to reinvent themselves, reinvention is really about creating. So now I get to choose who I get to sh how I show up in the world, and then the third thing is when my dad was actually telling me the story about how he was drafted to Korea, I had thought my whole life that he had been enlisted, that he what? I didn't know he was drafted until that and that conversation was six months before he passed away, of course we didn't know that at the time. And as he was saying that, you know, I was talking to him about like what job he did in the Army and I don't even honestly recall what it, oh, I think he said he did a just desk job, and my dad had been, at this point before the Army had been air traffic controller, like on the ground with the cones directing airplanes, he love and he is a pilot, he loves to fly. So to go, well, dad, why didn't you do that? Like, that's your forte, that's your thing and he said that phrase, well, I didn't have a choice, I was just a farm kid, I kept my head down. And when he said that, it like buried into my soul, and I went, oh, how many times have I said that to myself growing up, taking a test, doing a, you know, competing in a track race? Like literally how many times have I said, I don't have a choice, and he passed away, like I said, six months later, and I thought, I don't have a choice but to succeed. So here we go again, I get to create, and then it was really just listening to my coaching clients and literally hearing them saying, what's the point? Well, why would I wanna get better? Why would I want to change? Why would I wanna shift? What's the point of shifting? And it might, that's their phrase of what's the point, it's the same as I don't have a choice, right, it's all fear, it's all negativity, it's all mediocre, whatever you wanna call it, it's all just about living in the five mile radius of your brain, right? Instead of expanding to, you know, the 30,000 mile. That we all have, but we don't utilize.

Joseph: Yeah, that's good. And you said something about fear, you know, and I know that you help people and you coach people and inspire people to get out of that, get outta that fear. But where does fear come from? Where does it ultimately come from? Where you were saying, not only were you saying mentally, I don't have a choice, but you begin to believe it and then there became a pattern of circumstances, the abusive relationship, and then the understanding of your dad and him not having a choice and then living up that way or being raised that way. How does fear come in to our minds that inhibit us to being able to get out of that thinking?

Shā: Yeah, I love that you asked this question. So there's a couple of, how do I wanna describe this? So there's a thing called a place in your brain called the amygdala, and it is where fear shows up. Now, fear is showing up in a couple of dis different ways, it shows up a physical fear, some people are afraid of spiders, they're afraid of heights, they're afraid of, maybe they're afraid of, you know, some people have a agoraphobia, they're afraid of leaving their house, right? And then there's the emotional fear of telling someone, I'm sorry, telling someone I love you for the first time, telling someone, this is the story that I've had and made up in my head, that's emotional fear. So what, how, what a fear is, is a reaction to something, okay? So fear's job is to protect you and keep you safe, however, it also stops you. So as a child, most all of us had gone through something that showed up in their brain, and their brain remembered it and held onto it, and it was like, I'm not letting this thing. And so now fear is the reaction to anything that that triggers that memory, and we may not even know that that's a memory. So I'm calling it a memory, but it's also called trauma. So most of us at some point even, you know, I shouldn't say most of us, some of us at some point have gone through some sort of trauma. So for me, I was got so many things. I had been in multiple car accidents as a passenger by the time I was 16, I think there was like, I don't know, 10 or 12 car accidents. I was a passenger, I wasn't driving in any of them and one of them where my mom was, gosh, this is crazy. I hadn't even thought about this. So I'm glad that you're bringing it up, it heals me too. One of them, my mom was driving and she, this was before seat belts was a law and I was in the front seat in asleep, I was a little kid, cleared up on a ball in a ball again, before they had car seats even, I think. And we are hit, hit, hit on, hit, hit on in a car accident and her face went into the wind, steering wheel and I went onto the floor and her going forward since then, going forward, was a trigger was anytime she was in the car, she had to make sure that everyone had their seatbelt on again, that was a great thing, it was a safety thing, but at the time that was her thing. So for me it was then she put her fear onto me, meaning, and that, that's a whole nother thing that we could talk about too, is, our parents put their own fears onto us. And so my mom, would constantly telling me like, don't do that, don't wear that, don't try that, because that was her fear. So then I grow up and I'm trying to do things and I was in dance for 13 years of growing up and multiple things and acting and choir and stuff like that. And her fear was showing up, like, why would you wanna do that, why would you wanna sing? You can't sing very well. And I'm like, that's not what my teachers say. But you can't sing very well. And so if someone has told you something, if someone has hurt you in some way, shape or form as a child, it resurfaces as fear trauma is the thing that happened, fear is the reaction, the brain's interpretation of it. Let me put it that way.

Joseph: Yeah. And this, you know, no doubt that you've seen it, but I mean this can stem in any type of thing from like what you were saying, the car accidents or being in a car to even being in relationships or, you know, getting involved in a relationship because of past hurt or even, not necessarily physical abuse, but even the rejection, you know, being engaged or a divorce, and then now you're scared to death to move into, because of the trauma of a divorce. Now you're scared to death to move into a new relationship that can lead to a marriage because you're afraid, the same thing's gonna, am I right?

Shā: Yes. And let me just talk about, not necessarily divorce, but talk about infidelity, okay. So, ‘cause this literally happened, so my dad left my mom, he moved in with his girlfriend, okay. And my grandmother, so my mom's mom at the time said, as a single, now that you're single, you cannot hang out with married couples, married people, because the women will think you're stealing the man, her husband. What we found out, two years later after my grandmother died is that my grandfather had multiple affairs on my grandmother. So her fear of relationships overflowed onto my mom, my mom tells me this story, it overflowed onto me, you need to be in a relationship or married people or you know, people and couples aren't going to wanna spend time with you ‘cause you're gonna, they're gonna think you're after their man, is a lie.

Joseph: And I see a pattern with what's definitely happened with you is from the medical pain and then even this right here. Now we can't help who we're born to, who our parents are, that that's not our choice, you know? And, but we can definitely help who we hang around, you know? And of course you got the saying of, oh, I can, you know, I can tell you by the five people that you hang around, if you hang around five millionaires, you'll be the six, if you hang around five drug addicts, you'll be the six, you know? And even though we can't choose our parents differently, of course I know that we can leave at a young age, things like that, but ultimately we can't keep from that being part of our upbringing, right. But there's gotta be some sort of importance to the fact of that people that I surround myself, and when you were talking about going from doctor to doctor to doctor, you know, what was it that just kept you driving to say No? I gotta, not only just an answer that you want, ‘cause that was a mentality thing, but also it got to the point of surrounding yourself around people that were going to be like, no, keep searching, keep going after that, you know? So what is, I mean, we all know that it's important, but how important is that to not just get rid of the people that are naysayers or negative talking and when I say get rid of, some people think you gotta like, you know, completely delete them off of Facebook, never talk to them again, and things like that, there's people that are friends of mine that I don't talk to on a regular basis because it's just n negative Nancy, right? They're my friends, I'll still do anything I can for them, but we're not hanging out all the time, it's just, Catty chat, like Chatty Cathy, negative Nancy, you know, I don't know why they're women names, I'm sorry, you know.

Shā: Well, of course, but negative Ned.

Joseph: Nagging Ned, there you go, there's a guy's name. But how important is that to start getting to the point of cutting that off? So you can, because at some point we gotta cut the umbilical cord, right? We've gotta cut the survival of you're no longer in the wound feeding off a mom, you gotta start living on your own. How important is that?

Shā: Wow. It's incredibly important. So there's a book that I read that, well, two books that I read when I got out of the Abusive Relationship. One was Boundaries, incredibly Important, and the other one was Women Who Love Too Much. In that book and men can read it too. In fact, I just, one of my very good friends, he, him and I are going back and forth about it ‘cause he, I have him reading it ‘cause he was in a very similar situation. So how do I wanna explain this? So, if all you know is your family of how love is demonstrated, then that's all you know. So if it's not a healthy love versus an unhealthy love, okay, we'll use those terms, that's all you know is unhealthy, right? You don't know what healthy looks like, you don't even know that it's unhealthy, you're just calling it, this is how my family shows. So when I read women who love too much, I was able to see how, you know, statistics will tell you that women who are in a domestic violence, woman too, in a domestic violence situation, they go back to something like that or if it's not the same person, they go to someone that's very similar, it's because it's familiar, so it's like, okay, so how did you grow up? How did you, how was love demonstrated in your. So when I was reading that, I was like, oh my gosh, my family is emotionally unavailable. Now, mind you, he had my ex had taken all of their negative traits in my brothers, my grandma even, and my mom and dad, and took it to the nth degree, but he, it was still familiar, okay? So when it was in my, it was cold, it was non nurturing, it was not loving, I was 16 the first time my mom hugged me and told me she loved me, I was 18 when my dad gave me a hug and told me he loved me, I mean, I'm an adult at this point and I never had that nurturing growing up. So it's important to set the boundary when you realize it and can recognize it. That one you didn't cause it, right. Because I think sometimes we get trapped in that, especially I was the youngest, but I got trapped in the, this is my fault.

Joseph: And we play, they don't love me, and we play the blame game, we blame it ourself.

Shā: Yeah. And then the opposite is blame them always all your fault that I'm messed up on drugs or drinking or whatever. And I went through that too, I was a teenage alcoholic, so there's that. But the reality is they only had the from their parents. So they only knew how to parent by their example of demonstration of love, that's all they know. So when you can look at them through eyes of innocence, and just see, they did the best that they could with the tools that they had.

And, you know, this was pre therapy, you know, no one went to therapy at that generation, no one read books, they didn't have the internet, they didn't have any of that, so there was no way they were going to talk about it. So I had to do the internal work first. I had to forgive them first, I had to let go of expectations of us expecting them to be something they're not capable of being. That is huge. And that is how a perfect example of how fear will show up because you're constantly expecting someone to be different, and then they're not and then you're disappointed and upset and confused and frustrated, that has nothing to do with them, it's the fear is that creating that expectation around that person.

Joseph: Right. And that's where a lot of our triggers come in at, you know, triggers from ou know, the things that trigger the trauma that have led to the fear, and knowing and understanding how to get through those things and not necessarily the action in what we did that caused somebody to trigger because, you can do something to somebody inadvertently and cause a trigger in them but ultimately, and I know we're kind of maybe kind of steering the topic a little bit, you know, I noticed that in relationships, even nowadays, that you're involved with somebody and you trigger them, okay? And it's immediately, it's your fault, you triggered me something, but it's your fault because you did it like, how, I don't even know what you're talking about, I have no idea what I did, it's like if you and I were driving together and you know, I drive fast and it's like, oh my God, I can't, I can't drive with you, you're triggering every bit you got, you're a maniac, you're a maniac driver, and it may not necessarily mean anything about me whatsoever, but yet the person that's being has to get to the point of understanding I have an issue within me, the trauma, the fear, now I'm vocalizing it or I'm putting it out there and putting blame on other people and that's really a big crutch in people's day-to-day livelihood, but also even in relationships today, currently, because it's not a oh my God, I got triggered, why did I get triggered? Number one? Or what triggered me? But why is this particular thing triggering me? You know? And then going through this self-healing, and I say self-healing because at the end of the day, we can't rely on somebody else, to heal us, number one, or even help in assisting the healing, we can't, now there are people out there, if you're in a relationship like, oh, you know what, I didn't know my erratic driving, you know, triggered you, I'll make sure that I'm driving safer, you know, or, or better next time, and that can be a help, but at the same point, it's coming to the understanding of, number one is I have an issue, I have trauma that needs to be dealt with, and the relation that the fear that goes along with it to start tackling those things, and I think we're gonna kind of get into some action steps on how to go about these things, but I think recognizing. It's not, even though somebody else may have caused it, it wasn't your fault, your mom being in the car accident that threw you on the floorboard, that wasn't her fault, that wasn't your fault, okay? But yet it led to trauma and then fear, you know, to now your mom's buckling, the seatbelts probably stemmed into you as well or the grandmother being cheated on now went down to the mother, now went down to you, is understanding that regardless of who, to you, it's understanding that it's now your responsibility of saying, okay, I have, I've gone through trauma, it's led to fear. Now it's a trigger, okay. But I have to go through internal healing myself to, so it doesn't trigger me. So I don't have the fear and be healed to the trauma.

Shā: Absolutely, absolutely. So go ahead.

Joseph: So when you're at that point, so I guess number one we can say is that self realization. How do people start taking action steps and what kind of, to our listeners, what action steps would you recommend or what has worked for you? To go from, okay, I recognize there's something going on I've got to move from point A to point B because I'm tired of it, I just, I don't even know what to do, I'm just tired of it, what do you recommend that either whether you've gone through or you've read or other people recommend for people to go from? I don't have a choice to, I do have a choice, I don't have to live in pain anymore, I can live in freedom.

Shā: Yeah. So I love that you asked. I think what the question I'm hearing is, what do you tell people when they are triggered and the person, or what do you tell people when the other person is triggered and they're blaming them? Okay. And this was actually a topic that I spoke about on my Facebook live show, Hey, Shā, what do you say? Because I get asked that all the time, what do I say to this other person? So first of all, let's pretend like the scenario you use. So I'm, we're in the car together and I am triggered and I'm yelling at you. Whenever someone is yelling at you, they are trying to get their needs met.

Joseph: Oh, that's good.

Shā: Everyone in the world is trying to get their needs met. Some go about it differently than others, right? So if someone is yelling at you, their needs are trying, they're trying to get their needs met loudly, and they probably have no clue that that's probably what, that that's what's happening. And you said it, you said, I'm sorry, I will drive slower, and because you want safety, you have no idea that that's what my needs are back to me, my needs are, but you said it, okay. So you're guessing, you're assuming, what you could do differently is ask, what is scaring you about this car ride? What is making you nervous? What is making you anxious? What is triggering you, and you might not even use that word trigger, people who are in the, the personal development space like we are can use the word trigger and it doesn't trigger them, people who aren't use the word trigger and just by the word they're triggered, right? So you might say what is making you anxious? What is making you nervous? What is putting a little bit of fear into or scared or anything other than trigger, and they can say, oh, this reminds me of when my brother was driving, or whatever the case is, they will, at least when you ask a question, it softens the other person immediately because then they get a chance to choose how to respond, and you don't even realize that you put the choice in their hands, okay. So from going from I don't have a choice is by being told you, you, you, and that's what I was told my whole life, you, you, you.

Joseph: So it's like me pointing the fingers at this is your fault, not mine?

Shā: Yeah. So like my family, you're not good enough, you're not smart enough, you're not pretty enough, you're not skinny enough, you're not whatever, right. And then the ex-boyfriend, same thing, you, you, you, this is all your fault, this is all your fault. So you is that I don't have a choice mindset that puts that in there. So then someone now gets, someone asks you a question. Well, what would it look like if you did have a choice? I have no idea. What would it look like if you weren't nervous right now? So what does, what is happening in this moment that is making you nervous? That is making you on edge? So we're driving down and you're driving fast, Joseph, like you said, and I am clenching on and I am about to blow, and I start yelling at you, that is your position, anyone who's listening when they're someone is yelling at you instead of natural reaction of yelling back and saying you, because the person who's yelling at you is saying, you, you say, what is it that you need right now? How can I calm you? What is happening? What is happening with you? What are you feeling? We are not taught this because we're not taught to talk about our feelings, right? So as someone who is you mentioned before the dating world and people are triggered and you don't even, they don't even know it, and they wanna blame the other person. Well, that's an opportunity for one, for the other person to ask a question because they're just trying to get their needs met, but two, that gives the person who's triggered an opportunity to think about how can I express or ask for my needs to get met rather than yelling rather than reacting. So it goes between the difference of reacting in fear or responding in love.

Joseph: That's great.

Shā: Thank you. So they can respond by saying, you know, Joseph, I am, I feel really anxious and nervous, you know, kind of on edge when you drive fast, would you be willing to slow down a little bit? What a different conversation that would be, right. Now here's the interesting, I used, and this is from Non-Violent Communications, which is also a one another wonderful book I feel when I feel blank, when you blank, would you be willing to blank those? That's the structure of a com a complete, complete sentence, right? And it's able to open the door in a loving way rather than re reacting in a fearful way or creating drama or creating whatever that's, you know, unhealthy.

Joseph: That's good, that's good. So when people are, let's say they've gotten out of an abusive relationship, whether it's mental or physical or even like, say from like myself, my wife passed away and now I'm dealing with the a new trauma of her death, the fear of losing more loved ones, my children, raising children and of course you try not to let depression set in. So I had to create some sort of action steps, okay, and people are like, oh, you know, get outta bed and go to work, and, but a lot of people, we think action or goals, and we think long term, I gotta go to work today, okay, well tell a mother that just had a baby that's now, let's just say two days, three days, and just came home from the hospital from the baby, and is postpartum is starting to kick in, and to go to work, you know, to me, it's too big of an action step just for me, I had to just sit up in bed, I didn't even get outta bed, I just sat up and I sat up for five, 10 minutes and then I laid back down and then the next day I, or a couple hours later, I sat back up again, and now I had three children I was kind of forced into still being a father, you know, but I didn't wanna do it, I didn't wanna go make my, you know, cereal or I figure out how to do it yourself, you know, great way to teach kids, here's a bowl and then there's milk and cereal, we do it, you know, but would you, how did you take action steps that you can help our listeners create things for themselves that when they're, now, let's just say they've gotten to a point of being out of a situation, out of an abusive relationship or out of understanding, I do have a choice, what kind of action steps can they take?

Shā: Well, that was a loaded question and there was a lot of different scenarios in there, so I'm gonna give a couple of different answers. And you said one about your situation and then the one about abused. So I'm gonna, I first addressed your situation. So first of all, please know that I have complete condolences, I'm so sorry that you've experienced that.

Joseph: Thank you.

Shā: What you're talking about is grief, and grief is different than anything else. Grief is there because it is how it shows how much that person meant to you, and it comes and goes for the rest of your life, and it's okay that it comes and goes for the rest of your life, it just shows that you still care. Grief, I've experienced myself in the last five years now, I lost my mom two years later, my dad, and then two years later, my brother and had I not gone through the coaching program with Fearless Living, I would not have known how to wrap my head around grief. So there's something that's called the Four A's, and one the first A, is to acknowledge your feelings. So the fact that you acknowledge that you had depression or you were depressed at the moment, ‘cause having depression and being depressed are two separate things, right? And so the fact that you were depressed, probably extremely sad, mourning, grief stricken, probably gut wrenching, stomach aches, you know, probably all the things, that is acknowledging your feeling, and this is in the moment. This is not five years down the road, this is in every moment when something heavy, something difficult, something challenging is happening. So one is to acknowledge your feelings, two is to allow time for those feelings to process. So doing exactly what you did you laid in bed, an hour later, you tried again, an hour later, you probably did something a little bit more, you know, how many times do we rush into getting back to life? Getting moving ahead, moving forward? Well, I just gotta go, I just gotta keep going and you're doing yourself a disservice because then those feelings are going to persist stronger and harder until you feel them. So then once you've allowed time to process, the third one is to ask yourself, what is it that I'm committed to, you are committed to raising your children. So still you were able to say, please, here's a milk, here's a cereal, feed yourself, I'm going back to bed, that is what you're committed to, you're committed to raising your children. The fourth A is acting on those commitments, and that's what you did, you acted on that by getting out the milk in the cereal. So in a grief situation for my own story of my parents and my brother, it was, I want to continue to live my life as best as I can. Even if I'm sad, even if I'm depressed, even when I miss them, even when I'm tearing up, even when it's hard, I'm still committed to showing up every day, for me, not for anybody else for. So if that looks like today, I'm gonna stay in bed, okay, the key is to not beat yourself up mentally, not have that inner negative self talk while you're doing it, right. Give yourself grace, give yourself grace. Yeah, It's very hard, we're such a go, go, go, go, go society that when something rocks your world like that, emotionally we don't, we don't have tools to deal with it. And this the four As is so then when you said get out an abusive relationship, this is the tool I would recommend. So I journaled, I still journal, but I've journaled for 20 something years, and it started out as a journal of, I literally have no idea what I'm gonna write, and boom, outpoured all this words to now, I just, it's writing God a letter every morning is what I'm doing.

Joseph: Oh, that's awesome.

Shā: And yeah, thank you, and thanking him, thanking him. Thanking him for all the things, even the stuff, even the stuff that's difficult and challenging, all the things. So someone who's abused, abused, someone who's re in recovery and I'll use in recovery because this could even go for, you know, anyone who's drink has been drinking and coming out of that, ‘cause you know, I was a teenage alcoholic and I quit drinking, been sober for 22 years, or someone that's recovering from PTSD, which we just discovered. Most of us have had some sort of trauma, is to journal and ask yourself the question, what is it that I don't know that I need to know in order to move forward?

Joseph: Wow, can you say that again?

Shā: Yeah. The question is, what is it that I don't know that I need to know in order to move forward? And I'll say it one more time. What is it that I don't know that I need to know in order to move forward?

Joseph: So let me interrupt you, how do people find that?

Shā: Yeah. So you write all the things you know because that's all we know, right? There's all we know is what we know.

Joseph: When you say that, like, okay, I'm going through this and this hurts, or this person did this to me, or this person did that, or this happened at my job that's what you mean by writing those things down.

Shā: Yeah. Like, so you mentioned job, so I know what a bad boss looks like, or whatever term you wanna call it, maybe it's a toxic relationship with a boss, right? Maybe it's a toxic relationship with a per another person, you know, significant other or a parent. So if you know that you you know what toxic relationships look like, then what you don't know is what healthy relationships look like. So you have to flip it and look at the opposite. So many times we get stuck on the thing that we forget, there's another side to the coin, right? So we get stuck in the toxicity of whatever, like I don't have a choice, this job, I go to work every day, all I'm thinking is why do I go, why do I do this to myself? I hate it, I'm not happy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? The boss puts me down, he doesn't appreciate me. He doesn't recognize me, and yet you're still go every day, right? And yet I got up and was in this relationship every day. You know, I got, you know, w and yet we still talk to our family who treats us like that. So the opposite of that, what would that look like? Well, that would mean, well, instead of toxic, that would be like loving and caring and gentle, and maybe that looks like loving and caring and gentle to myself, right.

Joseph: Yeah, absolutely.

Shā: Yeah. And that you know, a huge awakening for me is when I had gotten outta that relationship and started reading those two books, I mentioned women who love too much in boundaries and trust me, I'm not getting a kick kickback from them, but I think it's one of them, and if it's not, I'm just gonna say it, one of the things that I had also been looking at was, who you are is who you attract. So if I'm reading this book and if I'm understanding that everyone in my life is emotionally unavailable, I don't know how to love healthy, I don't know what love looks like, and I start, I went and visited my brother, actually and his new wife at the time. They're divorced now, thank goodness but at the time they were, and I get home and I literally drop my bags and lay on the floor and I'm like, oh my God, they're so emotionally unavailable to each other, they don't even speak to each other. And I thought, hi, I am surrounded. So if I'm surrounded, what does that say about me? Oh, that means I'm emotionally unavailable, okay, so emotionally unavailable, that's a label that we, you might put on yourself, right? Or you might think about for yourself. Okay, so I now know that I'm emotionally unavailable, what's the opposite? Oh, the opposite is loving and compassionate and caring and gentle and fun. And Oh, being vulnerable, oh, that's scary, but okay, right? And that is how I started to really heal, is being vulnerable, when I was outta that relationship, I never, and I was with him for 12 years, not once did I ever say, and I got out of that and I'm like, so I was in this abusive relationship and it just felt weird to even say it because it was so foreign to even call it what it was because I had to be vulnerable and I couldn't even pronounce the word. Vulnerable. So to be vulnerable is therapeutic and healing, and you get to ask for what you need.

Joseph: That's so good, that's so good. Shā, let me ask you this question, you know, the podcast is based off of the premise purpose through pain. What does that, when you hear that those words purpose through pain, what does that mean to you? What does that, how does that speak to you?

Shā: I love it and it speaks to me because my, that's what I do every day, day in and day out with my coaching and my own podcast, is transforming trauma into treasure. So we've gone through some sort of challenge, we'll call it challenge, we've gone through something, causes some sort of pain, so now we have a choice, right? Instead of you don't have a choice, you do have a choice, you have a choice, you can stay in the pain and stay where you are and continue down that path, or you choose differently and you choose to heal, and then once you choose to heal, I truly feel that it's now become our responsibility, our duty as people who have healed to help others, with a hand out, I mean, I'm sorry, a hand up to reach back and a hand up for those who have now gone through something. Now I'm talking about abusive relationships and trauma, but I talk to veterans every single day and I'm like, this is so crazy how much we relate. Never in a million years did I ever think I'd be talking to veterans about their trauma. And here I am, and now it's like, it's relatable. So I thought I was going to be helping women who got out abusive relationships and two years later I'm talking to, to veterans. So, and now it's even gone any further. Somewhere in the mid-range of my dad's life, forties area, late thirties, early forties. He had a, I don't know, maybe it was a midlife crisis, I don't know if that's a thing, if that's a real thing, but he had, and now my purpose is to help people in that age range to make sure that they don't make the choices he made so that they can have different tools so they can make different choices. So they can be equipped to move in a different direction to move forward rather than digging themselves in a hole. So my purpose and anyone who's listening to purpose is once you're healed, it's not done. It is God's way to me, I believe God, universe, source, I believe in God, so I say, God, my, it's, I believe it, you are healing, is God's way of saying, okay, I worked in you. Now it's time to work through you, right?

Joseph: A hundred percent.

Shā: So now let's get you, ‘cause guess what? Remember how I say you tracked, you attract where you are, who you are, it is, you don't have a choice, you're gonna automatically meet these people. It is the most insane thing, I automatically was attracting these people, people were coming into my life. And I'm like, oh my gosh. So I have the, when the student is ready, the teacher shows up, you just have now become the teacher. So the purpose is that you're the teacher.

Joseph: Absolutely, you nailed it on the head about just, you know, God working in us, you know, and now he's working through us because that's exactly, that's where the whole premise of the name purpose, dup pain came from you, you know, everybody experiences pain in their life, there's not a person on the face of this earth that doesn't experience pain, even babies in the womb experience pain, you know, physical and emotional can even be, you know, psychological things like that, you know? So we've all have gone through it, and I think a healing thing for me has been not only being vulnerable, like you said, I think that's a big healing process, you know, and I love the fact that you talked about journaling, because I'll journal at times, but then I don't a lot, I'll take notes on my phone, but I don't really get into writing out. But I need to because I see the importance of it, but also the vulnerability behind things, sharing things, finding, and you said it again, is finding somebody that you can help, you know, because I believe I'm not perfect and neither is anybody else, but I have grown so much in myself of understanding that my pain is for a reason.I may not even still know and understand the magnitude of it. However, I'm using what God has done in me and is now working through me to help other people, and I have always sought fit that the moment I realized why I was going through, you know, this pain, and it was for a way bigger purpose than I could ever imagine is I gotta start helping people. When I realized that was a big turning point for me when I realized that, and that was honestly the night before my wife passed away, okay, within hours, okay. That was my turning point, and that's what, not that I don't have hard days, not that I don't grieve, not that I don't have times of being depressed, okay or not wanting to move on, but knowing and understanding that there's somebody else there that's had it worse than I have is, that's what kind of drives me in helping them in staying positive while all at the same time I'm still, I'm still going through the process, I'm still allowing God to go to move through me, you know? Sure.

Shā: So, well, and I think, I'm sorry, I'm just gonna jump in with that because I think that you and I are the type of people that we get, that we are a work in progress, like, we're not, we're not standing up here saying, we're perfect and everything's great. No Oh, let me tell you, it's not complete, right, it's the complete opposite, we're a work in progress, and yet we have enough experience that we can help someone else, we can use our wisdom, our knowledge, and when we do it because wisdom, right? When we express our knowledge, it becomes wisdom, and when we can use that, we can be useful, but we can be helpful to someone else when we can do and still go through our own stuff, that's when you know God's working in us and through us, because those people that are up like standing on stage going, eh, my life's perfect, they're lying.

Joseph: Right. And they're normally the ones that are hurting the most.

Shā: Right. And yet, why would you want to work with someone who's perfect because that's not attainable. So I'm willing to work with, through my own stuff, you know, I have stuff and I still work with my stuff and that's okay, you know, one thing I wanted to say earlier, you said something about, before I forget, sorry, you mentioned feelings and I forgot what the word you used, but I wanted to say how feelings. There is no right, there is no wrong, there's no positive, there's no negative feelings, feelings are just feelings, they're just are, they're just a feeling, meaning there's no label that's to fit. So that part of that, the four As and the first a acknowledging your feelings is just acknowledging what it is.

Joseph: That's good, what book was that again, that you read those out of or that was a program you did?

Shā: That's a program, yeah, so I coach people through those four as.

Joseph: That's awesome, share a little bit before we, before we end the episode, share a little bit about what you do in terms of your coaching, what that's about, how people can go if they're interested, where they can go and register, where they find out more about you.

Shā: Yes. Thank you for asking. So my website is shā and there is a halfway down the page, there's a link that they can hit or it's, I think it's a video or so, that they can, it's uh, what is it called? I think it's Spark Your Alpha so they can, that can make an appointment to have an intro call. And it's really about kind of what you said with the purpose component, what I do is I help people break through fear period and how fear shows up in their life because it shows up differently for everyone. Some people it shows up as overeating, some people it shows up as over, some people shows up as driving too fast, on purpose, and crazily driving too fast, right? So you just never know how it shows up, but it's really to break through fear to find your purpose, which is what we were talking about today. So, spark your alpha is really about awareness, self-awareness, and awareness of your opportunities. How you show up at as a leader, leadership, how you show up as a leader. Purpose, what is your purpose? Hope, where have you felt hopeless? And how, how does the fear show up and then the last day is alignment and what that looks like for you.

So they can find out@shā All my social media is there. I'm on all the things, clubhouse, LinkedIn at Shā Sparks Facebook, Instagram, and then my podcast is also there as well, and they can find my podcast at the power of investing in people, on all the podcast platforms.

Joseph: That's amazing. Well, everyone, thank you so much. You've heard it from Shā Sparks herself, that's shā, for her website. just been an amazing conversation and I've taken some things away from it. I'm interested in going through some things myself, you know, because we're all in that healing process, and like you said, it's a, you know, the journey never stops. So, Shā, thank you so much and thank you everyone for tuning in and listening, go visit her pages, get involved in what she's doing, and if you guys know of somebody that can benefit from these episodes, please by all means share them. Thank you so much everyone.