Category Archives: Spiritual

Finding Clarity in my Spiritual Health

Good morning Dear Reader, 

This week’s affirmation: 

“There is clarity within me and around me.”

This post will be a bit long so I apologize in advance. 

This post will also talk about me leaving the Christian faith. If this upsets you, I do apologize and suggest you not read any further. It is not my intention to upset or offend anyone. I am merely sharing my truth.  

I gave up institutionalized religion about 6 years ago as of this writing. I had been raised as a Christian and even as a kid there were many things that didn’t make sense to me. Things that couldn’t be rationalized or explained. Even in college, when I’d left home, I still felt like I needed to be a Christian. I did try to keep my faith. I tried to find a church, and I tried to find myself within the confines of Christianity. 

After some soul searching, I realized that it wasn’t that I had a problem with God. I had a problem with Christianity as a whole. Though I still believe in God, I worship very differently and I look at God differently too. In Christianity, He is built like a superhero with the following powers:

-He is all-knowing 

-He is without flaw

-He is all good 

-He is all-powerful

The problem with that for me is that it doesn’t make sense for all of those to be true while at the same time the world we live in exists. Some of the Christians I’ve met have rationalized that with “there’s a plan” or “the devil” or “it’s humans who are evil/it’s because we have free will”. 

However, for me, there is no way to rationalize to me how a being of ultimate power could allow children to be harmed. Somehow, people have made all sorts of arguments about adults hurting other adults. Infants and children should be protected and I can’t fathom that any sort of divine plan would include that. 

So, because we do live in a world where children are being violated and murdered that means a couple of things:

-God knows about it but cannot do anything.

-God doesn’t know about every case but would do something.

-God knows about it but chooses not to do anything. 

-God doesn’t know about it but even if he did, he couldn’t do anything. 

One thing God has been referenced to in the Bible is a Father and in churches, I’ve heard him proclaimed as the greatest Father you’ll ever have. However, I don’t know any parent who could standby while their child is being violated, tortured, or murdered. If humans are nowhere near as decent as God, and a regular human parent would do everything in their limited power to help,  then there is a greater expectation of a higher being to do something. 

I’d like to mention, I believe people should practice whatever religion they want. I’m by no means bashing it. It just isn’t the religion for me for those reasons. 

Personally, after studying the Bible, going to varied churches, and taking religious courses, I came to a different conclusion. I don’t think God is as involved as everyone believes him to be. To help you with your job interview while people sleep on the streets seems a little imbalanced to me. 

In 2014. I stumbled upon a book on paganism and witchcraft. The idea that we each have a personal power that we can use to improve our situation really stuck with me. I’ve seen too many dedicated Christians stay in situations they didn’t like because they were waiting for God to save them. However, there is a passage from the book of James that I’m reminded of:

“14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)

I don’t think that sitting and praying will help. I think God has given everyone some a little gift. The gift of personal power. We were created with everything we would need to succeed in this life. 

Nowadays, my spiritual practice is a combination of faiths. I take the parts that sit well with me to build and maintain my moral compass and personal code. I do consider myself Pagan and a Witch. I study Buddhist teachings, I read Psalms and Proverbs, I have even read some literature on Satanism.  Personally, I read a little of everything and anything.

I think faith like magick, is something that boosts the results of the work you’ve put in. When you have done all you can for something and things are out of your control, you have faith then. Religion is supposed to teach you how to navigate the world in a positive light. It’s supposed to teach you about humanity, love, justice, and discipline. At least in my eyes. I think God has many faces and can take many forms. Nature around us is God to me. Listening and resonating with the heartbeat of the Earth is how I feel close to God. 

My life has had many twists and turns. I by no means am perfect. I am always learning and growing and changing. Spiritually, I believe a little piece of divinity is in me. I believe I can tap into that divinity and achieve anything. I believe being a good person is important. That love and compassion are essential to life. 

In any case, I apologize for this post being so long but spiritual health is very important to me. 

Thank you for reading and have a great day. ^-^

Shannon M. 

If you’d like the book for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here. You can also visit Denise Linn’s website here.

Another great book that has some concepts of spirituality that I adopt in my practice is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. You can find it on Amazon here or if you’re interested, you can use this link, for 2 months free with Scribd and read it there. 

Honoring my Spiritual Commitments

Good morning Dear Reader, 

This week’s affirmation: 

“I honor my commitments to myself and others.”

One thing I know I need to do is be gentle with me. I’ll be candid dear reader: I am not kind to myself and I don’t think I ever have. 

I have lived a life of talking myself down, beating myself up, and tearing myself apart. The truth is I’m done with that. I’m done with being toxic to myself because if you don’t have peace within yourself, there’s nothing in life that will bring you peace. It doesn’t matter where I go, who I’m around, or what I do. If I don’t find true inner peace, everything else is pointless. 

I came to that realization recently.

Now, that’s not to say that I haven’t grown. I am much kinder to myself compared to 10 years ago for sure. Honestly, a part of it may be the depressive episodes I still experience. Regardless, I’m committed to being gentler to me. To really love me, unapologetically. Because at the end of the day, I will always have myself. I’ll be with myself forever, so I need to make the peace. 

Like I said earlier this week, one thing I’ve been doing at the request of DK, is writing down something positive about myself each day. I try to recite the things I write down daily. Another technique I’ve heard of is to treat myself like a child. To ask myself: is this the kind of criticism I’d give to a child? Are these the words I would use? No? Then we don’t say those things to ourselves.

It feels a bit silly, to be honest, but it has been helping so I’m going to keep trying it. 

Meditating, reading, stretching, and taking time for me. I try to think of all the things I’d do for a lover and do those things for myself. Taking myself on little dates or doing something special for myself. Again, feels a tad silly but it’s helping. 🙂

I hope you have a great morning.

Warm regards,

Shannon M.

If you’d like the book for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here. You can also visit Denise Linn’s website here.

Evaluating my Spiritual Health

Good morning Dear Reader,

“My evaluation of myself is not who I am.”

Again, this is my prompt this week and I think it’s very interesting for a couple of reasons. 

Firstly, I believe we are what we think and for another, we attract what we focus on. 

When I first decided to walk the path of Paganism it was very different. I was raised Christian and for many years, I struggled with how that path aligned with who I was as a person. There is a lot of judgement and criticism on that path-at least in my experience and it got to a point where I felt shame and guilt over minimal things. 

My evaluation of myself at the time was that because I am flawed, I am therefore evil and it took many many years to break away from such thinking. 

For me Paganism is about freedom. It’s about living my truth, being in touch with myself and with the universe. Being able to recognize that my perception of myself may be tainted with overly critical thinking and perfectionism is something I’ve learned along the way. 

Too often, I’ve played the comparison game. My life versus someone else. They are much farther than me. They are younger than me and more successful. So and so isn’t struggling like I am. But that’s a waste of mental energy. For one, I don’t know what someone else is going through or what truths lie behind their smile. For another, I am as I am now. 

Every decision, every success, every mistake has led me to this moment and has done so for a reason. Admittedly it hurts to think that sometimes. But growing pains are supposed to hurt. 

Life has taught me that I forge my own path. I have never fit in with the crowd. I have always been the black sheep of the family. I have always been a “late bloomer”. I do things at my own pace and with my own hands. 

And this is okay. 

Because my whole life is something that is mine and no one will take it from me and that gives me a certain level of peace. I don’t have to evaluate all my mishaps and how I could be elsewhere had I done one thing over another. 

Spiritually, I am learning to let go of the facades, to just be. To exist. To experience life fully and enjoy the ups and downs that life has to offer. 

Warm Regards,

Shannon M. 

If you’d like the book for yourself, you can find it on amazon here. You can also visit Denise Linn’s website here.


 Good evening Dear Reader,
One thing you should know about me is that I am very interested in holistic healing. We were each endowed with the ability to take care of ourselves. It doesn’t matter who you identify as your creator. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe you have a creator. We are each empowered. I mean this in the fullest sense. We have the ability to feed ourselves, educate ourselves, and even heal ourselves.
Our spiritual wellness can also contribute to our emotional, mental, and physical wellness. These factors intertwine to make up our being. When one of these areas of ourselves is off, we can feel off. 
With that said, if you don’t already know, there are 7 main chakra points that people focus on. Each of these points control different things. When one is off, we can feel unbalanced.
It’s funny because there is also 7 days in a week. How convenient. So, I will focus on a chakra point each day. There are plenty of exercises, affirmations, and even foods that can help balance you. I like this post about chakra. It was easy to read and I thought it served as a pretty good intro. 
I hope that even those who don’t agree or believe in this kind of healing will still benefit. Please look forward to the posts. 
Warm Regards,
Note: I am not affiliated with any links in this post. I just love to share things that I read with my readers.

Greetings-Fresh Start

Good Evening Dear Reader,

It feels good to be behind a keyboard yet again. I hope you all had peaceful holidays and are feeling well. Even though I don’t write as often as “ideal Shannon” would like to, it makes me all the more happier when I do start to write again.

So a few things that have been recent for me.

I’ve begun a new page in terms of spirituality. I’ve come to the conclusion that some of my issues including the depressive episode I experienced last year, may have originated from spiritual unrest. I’m dedicating this year to delve deeper into my spiritual side. I’ve also realized that some things that I believed in before, I don’t believe anymore and that’s hard to deal with. As long as I keep in my mind and heart that I need to search for my own truth, I think I’ll be okay though. I’ll keep you updated on this journey 🙂

Somethings that I learned at the end of 2014:

Things will be okay. Sometimes we go into periods where we feel lost and everything seems wrong or hopeless….but it’s not. It’s never hopeless. It may be dark for a little while, but the sun will rise tomorrow regardless. There were things that I needed to let go of last year. Fear, a broken and emotionally draining relationship, self-hatred and doubt. Even though it was a long process, I slowly replaced fear with hope, a broken relationship with a new and loving one, and self-hatred and doubt with understanding and patience. Things will be okay no matter what, remember that Dear Reader.

You know me enough by now to know that I get head over my heels with my goals, and of course I’ve set a mountain of resolutions that I’m technically behind on already. However! One idea that a co-worker gave me was something I’m calling “The Accomplishment Box”. He said to write down everything that I accomplish and put it into the box, then at the end of the year, review them all. I feel like for a person like me, who gets overwhelmed and who sets up too many goals, this is perfect. So I’m going to try to do that this year instead of mourning the loss of my unaccomplished resolutions.

I’d like to say, “I’m going to blog every week!” but let’s face it. We all know that will last maybe 1-2 weeks then I’ll end up writing an apologetic post haha. So, in order to avoid that, I suppose I’ll take the “Say it with your actions” approach and see how that works.

Honestly I don’t know what direction to take this blog in. I don’t know if I should start a new one, or rededicate it….I’m not sure how interesting my life would be for you. I need to find a cause…a reason to write but I’m not sure yet. When I do find that reason, I’ll be sure to edge the blog in that direction. For now I suppose, spirituality will be the focus.

Now, I’d like to make it clear that when I talk about Spirituality, I’m not necessarily going to talk about Christianity or the Christian God….I’m more so talking about spirituality in terms of the soul and it’s connection to the universe.

One thing that I’ve been doing is meditating. It’s so hard, but it’s so fulfilling. I’ve made it to 10 min without quitting! (That should go in my box) It’s a little easier to focus but my mind wanders so much that it’s challenging. I’ve been doing it a few days a week, and I have noticed that I’m more happy in general. I think that meditation is recommended across the board no matter what religion, I suppose it depends on what your intention is that makes it acceptable….So I suppose if you’re Christian, and felt its a slippery slope to paganism, if you’re meditating on Bible verses then it’s okay, right?

I don’t know. Personally, I try to focus my energy on repairing my emotional state, to mending my own heart and trying to change my core beliefs. I breathe in healing, love, understanding and breathe out sickness, hatred and judgement (in a form that other beings cannot absorb it) <—- I always add this part because I’m like “what if I’m breathing out all these negative things. and some other being breathes them out. That would suck so much for them” and the thought makes me feel really bad so I add this little thing.

Anywho, another thing I’ve been doing is stepping up my tea game. I’ve been going to specialty (haha) shops and getting whole leaves of different types of tea and using them for medicinal purposes. I love it and it’s been helpful in my opinion. For those who are depressed St. John’s Wort (in tea form) + Camomile is an amazing combination. I drink that a couple of days weekly and honestly, I haven’t had a glimpse of a depressive episode.

That’s not to say this is a cure, and I’m not a doctor or anything. Plus, I’ve been doing a combination of things. I changed my settings, my relationship, my habits and I’ve started meditating so it could be a combo of things that’s been helping me. On the other hand, it’s worth a shot if you’re up for it and it’s pretty inexpensive (a few dollars per oz and an oz will last awhile).

Well, that’s all I have for you for now Dear Reader 🙂 I hope you have a pleasant night and good vibes to you.

Until Next Time

Shannon aka Diadora

30 Days of You

Hello Dear Reader 🙂

This isn’t my typical type of post so please bear with me 🙂

Yes it has been awhile but I am back yet again. If you’ve been following my blog, you already know this past year has not been the greatest for me. You’ve been with me through my ups and downs. You read my posts even though they were very sparing. Some of you even sent me encouraging messages. For that, I thank you. This blog and all of you have helped me heal.

I do want to give you an update. So, I’m not on my medication anymore due to the cost. Don’t fret because I am in a much better place right now and due to my wellness toolbox, I am bouncing back much easier than before. I’ve had my heart broken, I’ve begun a new relationship, I’ve moved from my old place, I’ve graduated college, I’m practicing more self-awareness and overall I am having more peaceful moments.

Now, I won’t lie to you. It was very hard. Very Very Very hard. There were nights during the past few months where I cried my eyes out and didn’t think I was going to make it. I depended on a lot of people to support me and I became discouraged at many intervals. I’m not claiming to be magically healed nor would I insult you all by giving you a step-by-step to recovery (since it’s relative anyway).

However I will say this, I am not at a low. My lows aren’t as low as they used to be and my highs are higher than ever. I can look in the mirror at least 3x a week and smile and say “you are beautiful” and mean it. I am experiencing increased happiness and I am amble to better catch myself in negative thinking instead of ruminating.

What I want to do is to share something with you. I want to help those who have suffered like I have or who are currently suffering. Depression, although it is getting a bit more talked about, is still an illness that is underestimated. It takes lives and robs souls. What I want to do is use my time, talents, and gifts to help others.

One thing that I am doing is inviting people to my Facebook challenge “30 Days of You”. Don’t worry, it’s free. I just want to help others.

The 30 Day Challenge is 30 Days of improvement, healing, support, and growth. The idea is that each participant chooses some goal they want to accomplish and stick with it continuously throughout the 30 Days. The goal can be completely personal, so “practicing self-love techniques for 30 days” or “learning to eat healthier” or “drinking more water”.

For some of you it could even be “get out of bed” or “smile at my reflection” and that’s okay 🙂

I’ve created a page called “30 Days of Fabulous” and the idea is to utilize it as a support system for the participants. So we post pictures, comment, share our stories and support one another in our endeavors. I would invite you to join the group and to join the event.

Ideally, one day I want this to become some sort of campaign or even a movement ^_^ that would be awesome. For now though, I just want to reach as many people as I can and support them to the best of my ability.

I hope if you’re reading this Dear Reader, you will join the event or at least share it with someone else.

Here’s the link to the 30 Days of Fabulous Page:

Here is the link to the 30 Days of You Event:

Sorry for the atypical post but I just had to say that 🙂

Thank you so much Dear Reader and I hope to see some or all of you in the challenge.



Good Evening Dear Reader,

It has been awhile since I last posted. I am happy to say that I am recovering from the depressive episode that I had a few months ago.

If you’ve been following my journey, you already know that I started medication in November. In January, I started a Cognitive Behavioral Program and tomorrow is my last day.

During the program I’ve learned many helpful things and I feel more prepared to handle the lows. This post is a testament to my recovery,

What I’ve learned through the program:
1. I don’t have to be perfect and hold myself to such high standards.
2. I can strive for progress, not perfection.
3, Small steps are better than no steps at all.
4. I am good as I am right now, and I will appreciate all that I do.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m at 100% because I am not. I’m more at 70% but at least I am functioning. A few months ago, I was at 10%. So I did make progress and I’m proud of that.

I am learning to be more gentle with myself. Loving myself is essential to recovery and I try to do small things to be kind to myself: like watch an episode of anime, read an article etc.

I’ve also decided that as a writer, I want to use my writing as an avenue to help people who suffer from this illness as well as inform those with misconceptions about depression.

Although the perfectionist in me wants to go out and try conquering the world, I know that I need to lighten my load and take better care of myself. I mean, I do feel like I am back to the functioning range but at the same time, I think I need to be careful right now.

There are some things I want to share with you Dear Reader. Especially if you suffer from depression. There are 5 steps to recovery.

1. Hope
Always have hope that things will get better. Even on those days when you feel like everything is in turmoil, keep a little hope in your heart.

2. Connection
Connecting with others definitely has kept me from withdrawing/isolating. When I have my lows, I tend to withdraw from everyone (including my loved ones) so to help with that, I schedule social connection time. I call my mom on a daily basis (even for just 5 min), I watch anime with a friend weekly, and I try to have lunch with at least 1 friend each week. This has helped so much.

3. Empowerment
I know that I am searching for things that empower me. I feel empowered when I write (hence the blog) or draw. I try to find empowerment in the little things as well (doing the dishes or making it out of bed more).

4. Self-Responsibility
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that I am a firm believer in doing all that I can to help heal. I was very reluctant to try medication. At the end of the day though, I asked myself “What can I personally do to help me heal?” and “Am I doing all that is necessary to help my recovery?” These questions pushed me towards the medicine, COG program, and self love. I thought I was powerless in this. I felt and believed that depression made me powerless, but that’s not true. There are many things I can do to help heal. I can be nice to myself, I can go to therapy, I can take my meds, etc. I have more power than I feel I do.

5. A Meaningful Life
To be honest, I wasn’t quite clear on this one. In my opinion, this means do things that are meaningful to you. What has meaning for me? I know that writing is very meaningful to me, so I try to do it more often. I know that music is meaningful to me, so I listen to it daily. Things like that.

Sorry for such a long post. I hope anyone finds even a piece of this useful. Don’t get me wrong, I am not claiming at all to be cured of depression. Rather, I am saying I have made progress, and fighting off the episodes is a lot easier since I’ve gained skills to help me manage.

I hope you find this helpful Dear Reader and I hope you have a pleasant evening.

God Winks

Hello Dear Reader,

So yesterday Kim and I had plans to get some dinner together. She takes the tram home from work and that same tram passes by my house. So the plan was for me to take the tram and meet her at a certain spot (where she parked her car) and drive to get food.

I wanted to do this because taking the tram is so much more adventurous than driving. Anyway, she said she would be at her car around 4:45 and being one who loves being early rather than on time I left at 3:50 I wanted to read at the tram stop.

As I left my house I decided to check the mail first then leave. As I was a few steps away I realized I left my business cards at home. I was about to keep waking but something told me I should get them because you never know what opportunities you will come a cross.

Well, getting my business cards and paying for my ticket made me miss a tram. I was a bit disappointed but didn’t care too much.

I was listening to my music and danced over to the bench (I do that often). When I turned around to sit down a woman was behind me and I jumped and apologized. She said it was okay and I should enjoy my music so I sat down bobbing my head along.

As we were sitting there I thought to myself “hey! I’m an Herbalife Wellness Coach now. I can’t just sit here not talking to anyone.”

So I awkwardly asked if she was interested in her nutrition at all and an awesome conversation erupted. It was awesome because if things never happened how they did, I would’ve gotten on the tram I missed and not talked to Ms. Barbara. She was amazing and I’m glad to have talked with her. I gave her my business card asking if she knew anyone who was interested in Herbalife or my writing skills. I hope we can connect and help each other.

What I loved about this experience is that I would’ve never had the chance to meet such an amazing woman had any of those small details changed. If I decided to listen to my music or not go back for my business cards.

What I learned:

1. Things happens for a reason-even the little things.

2. Talk to everyone, you never know who you’ll come across.

3. Get business cards. Period. Even if you don’t have a job. You have talents that can definitely be marketed and expanded upon. At least a calling card or something.

That’s all for now.

Oh by the way, I’m on my fourth pair of pants that I can now fit into ^.^ I feel great. I saw these pair of Levi’s that my boyfriend bought me last year and took a leap of faith hoping they would fit. I was pleasantly surprised. This Herbalife is pretty amazing.

To be honest, I have 4 pairs that still have the tags on them because I couldn’t fit them when he bought them and wanted to keep them just in case. Hopefully next week I can fit into those. If I could I would probably make my whole life about Herbalife because that would be a miracle.

Anyway, I hope you all have a pleasant day 🙂

Turning Around

Good Morning Dear Reader,

So the other day my friend Kim said she believes that things will be turning around for me. 2013 has not been the best year thus far. It has been a struggle with both physical and mental sickness, familial and financial problems as well as academic challenges.

Despite this I do feel like things are looking up.

In the past 7 days I’ve attended 5 workout classes and handed out a few of my business cards. I’m going to become a health coach today and yesterday I received a call saying I have an interview for an internship that I applied for.

Last night I had a conversation with God. I haven’t done this in a while, where I simply talk to Him versus a traditional prayer. I certainly counted my blessings and asked for His help.

I do believe in the power of prayer but I also believe in the power of hard work: you do all that you can to achieve your goal then pray about what you cannot control. Maybe this is the wrong way to look at it, I’m not sure but that’s what I do. But last night I did something that I don’t normally do, I asked God for the strength, courage, and wisdom to push forward in my endeavors.

I’ve always been reluctant to ask help from everyone-even God because I feel like He has so many other people to worry about. If I can do my share and do all that I can without asking Him for help that’ll be less of a burden on Him.

This is probably one of my biggest flaws. If I can’t do something myself I usually give up because I don’t want to burden others for help. I’ve missed so many opportunities with this mind frame…

So, one thing I’ve been telling myself is that it is okay to ask for help. Whew! That took a lot to say that. I mean I’m not totally against asking (I asked Kim to help me research some information). It’s just that the thought of relying on others for support makes me feel vulnerable, weak, and a burden.

Anyway, I was just pondering that this morning. I definitely want to start praying like I used to and realize that I’m not as much of a burden as I think I am.

What I’ve learned:

1. Praying for me is very peaceful

2. It’s okay to ask for help sometimes

That’s all I suppose. I just need to carry this peace with me throughout the day.

After Dinner Tea

Good Evening Dear Reader,

I don’t really know if people read this, but I’d like to pretend I have some readers. I suppose it doesn’t really matter because I love to write, and blogging makes me have a little peace in my day.

I would like to say that I am a tea enthusiast. I love tea, and I’m currently enjoying a cup of “after dinner tea” it has a mix of aniseed, fennel seed, ginger root and a few other ingredients.

Here’s what I love about tea:

When I make myself a cup of tea, I am showing myself love. Making a good cup of tea can take longer than pouring yourself a cup of juice or grabbing a can of soda (for those who drink soda). I boil the water, select the perfect tea for that occasion: ranging from oolong to chai to detox, and steep for a few minutes. I add the appropriate amount of honey and take a whiff.

Something about this process feels special and makes me feel as if I’m doing something special for myself. Every sip fills me with a strange peace. I know I’m a weirdo but that’s something I love and makes me feel loved.

I’ve joined a “tea enthusiasts” meet up on that website. There having an event this Saturday and I’m super excited.  It’s $10 and honestly I’m a bit hesitant because funds are a bit tight, but I want to go so badly I might just splurge on myself.

I am feeling pretty good today. I went to a new therapist yesterday and was prescribed an anti-depressant. I’m hesitant because I’ve been feeling pretty good this week and I don’t want that to go away due to the medicine. At the same time I’m worried that this pro-longed happiness is just temporary like the many other times in the past few years. So I’ll be feeling super crappy then feel really good for a period time, be on top of my work, and feel overall good. Then I shortly crash and fall back into the abyss…So I don’t know which would be the outcome.

I’ll probably end up taking it, because I don’t want to be depressed my whole life. I want to be healed, and if medicine, therapy and hopefully a new workout/nutrition plan that I’ll be starting next week (I’ll blog about this later) are the steps to recovery, then I’m more than willing.

I’m overall hopeful.

What I learned today:

1.Tea makes me feel calm and happy

2.I should drink more tea…period.