Shauna Janz, MA is a passionate educator and facilitator in the field of grief, loss and transition. In her private practice, she works with individuals, groups and organizations to create supportive environments that honour grief and facilitate well-being. She works as a part-time Executive Director and facilitator with local non-profit, Learning Through Loss, providing grief education and support to youth and youth-serving professionals; she is a support group trainer and facilitator with BC Victims of Homicide; and she has worked for Bridges for Women, offering trauma-informed programs supporting women who have experienced violence and abuse. Shauna is passionate about her work and believes we all have the internal resources, strength and wisdom to survive hardship. She is a lover of music, and performs locally as a singer-songwriter – she finds music and movement a very rejuvenating and soulful source of self-care.

What do you BELIEVE in? I believe in spirit – that which is larger than all of us, is found within each of us, and connects us to each other, the earth and all living forms. I believe that we all have profound capacity and untapped potential – to do anything and to transform ourselves and our world – when we become still, feel our inter-connectedness, and believe it within our own hearts. I believe that connecting through experiences of pain and grief is the key to personal and global transformation – that pain and love are two sides of the same beautiful coin. I believe that by creating community to support each other through these experiences, we nourish a deep sense of well-being – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, both as individuals and as a collective global community. To heal ourselves is to heal our world. I believe in the power of creativity. I believe that art/music is one of the greatest mediums for communication across time and place. I believe that it is everyone’s soulful right to have opportunities to harness and nurture their own creative self-expression. I believe in my own resiliency, intuition and wisdom.

How does LOVE show up/present itself in your life?  Through the night sky… that sounds really romantic – I am actually very pragmatic! Since a child though, I have always felt immense connection, reassurance and love with and from the cosmos. Through my spiritual practice and the support I receive from my angels, animal guides, and grandparents who are no longer living. Through my two wonderful ‘soul-sister’ friends – skype dates, loving text messages, weekend retreats, laughter, dancing, deep connection, healing presence, fun-loving humour, sassy and sexy… the list goes on. I don’t know what I would do without them…emotion wells up in me just writing this. And through family, friends, and people from all times and places in my life that have touched my heart and soul – some have walked alongside me forever, and others just a short time, all offering special gifts as long as I am open to receiving them. This is love. Being open. Giving and Receiving. Growing. Coming and Going. Allowing.

Who or what INSPIREs you? My mentor Anne Morrison – she is one of the most congruent, compassionate, and skilled facilitator/therapists and supportive people I know. I am blessed to have her in my life and ‘on my team’. Listening to other musicians play music and share their creative energy! Also, when the act of creating music sparks an inspirational ‘loop’ that feeds into itself, and by the end, leaves me asking “where did this come from?” I love that! Others who show strength through expressing their own vulnerability and raw honesty – it moves me, teaches me and inspires me. For example, I am inspired by local musician Hatchling’s blog writings. I am also inspired when witnessing my friend’s and my client’s process of self-growth and healing work. The idea of ‘belonging’ inspires and motivates me to do what I do, and to continue my own personal growth.

How do you, or can you, SERVE your community? I feel blessed that the work I do is being of service to my community. And, I believe this rings true for my musical life also. It may be through volunteering hours to the organizations I partner with, playing at fundraisers, co-creating and hosting yoUnlimited’s Women and Song, offering my grief support, or even how my music may affect others. I think that any of us who strive to ‘shine brighter’ in how we show up in the world, is in turn, serving the community – that will look different for each of us. And, because of my own hardships in early life, I am still learning how to fully be in community in order to then give more fully to it and be more nourished by it also.

What does it mean to you to SURRENDER?  Oh geez. At this moment in time, surrender is synonymous with forgiveness, and I am working on this. It seems the most difficult and furthest reaching places for forgiveness are within my own family. This breaks my heart, and is a reality that I face. To surrender is to practice compassion for myself and others. To let go of what cannot be changed. To let go of expectations that can no longer be filled. To learn how to meet my own deep yearnings in new ways, in the present. Surrender is to not give up hope, but to cease the grasping.