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Emergence of the Self Lover

Updated: Apr 30, 2023

I have come a long way in the last 3 years. When the pandemic hit, with so much time by ourselves, I believe it made a lot of us really go inside and do some self-reflection. During this time, I realized how much pain and suffering there was in the world and felt an urgent call to help.

As much as I love teaching children the Fundamentals of Learning to be One with the Water (FLOW) in my swim school, I now felt I needed to embrace the other side of that and teach people the Fundamentals of Learning to be One with the World.

I started doing training in Theta Healing, Qigong Healing, WRT Water Release Therapy, and Inner Bonding Facilitation. And even at the completion of all of those I felt I could do more…I felt there was more inside of me and I was trying to figure out where the “Shannon” was in all of that. Who was Shannon? What could she really do? Was she confined to all these different healing modalities or was she something more?

Part of rediscovering myself, in addition to enrolling in a “magical trade school,” Kairos Healers Academy, has been recognizing, naming, understanding and eventually having compassion for the unhealthy (wounded/ survival patterned) parts of myself that were running my life. And committing to letting them go.

One such part was the “Caretaker,” as I have named the side of myself who was developed at a very young age and would put everyone and everything else first. If someone was hurting, she would be there for them. If someone had a problem, she would figure it out. If someone needed money, she was the first to give. She would give to everyone and everything, except for herself. She hated anyone getting mad or upset with her. If she could keep everyone happy, then she felt she was loved and she would run herself into the ground to do it. (Sidetrack -- Book plug -- For a greater understanding of your survival patterns, the gifts of them, and how to heal them, The 5 Personality Patterns by Steven Kessler. Read it! Total game changer!!!)

Big problem with this mentality…I lost myself. I was so busy taking care of everything and everyone else I had no idea what I was really feeling, let alone able to express it. I didn’t even have any idea what I liked to do for fun. WHAT?

I had no idea who I was, let alone love myself. LOVE MYSELF? We are supposed to do that? Isn’t that egotistical and selfish? Putting myself first over others, even my family and children? Having compassion for myself first, possibly at the expense of someone else’s feelings?

Yes, no, yes, AND yes!!!

What I have learned on this path to rediscovery, is the only thing I really have any control over is MYSELF. As much as I would like to believe I can control outcomes by protecting and doing things for others….I CAN NOT. The only person who can do that is the individual themselves. (We are not talking about children who cannot yet take care of themselves independently.)

I am the ONLY ONE who is responsible for my feelings, my joy, my happiness, loving myself…NO ONE ELSE!!

And once I committed, at the beginning of this year, to taking on this responsibility, my Caretaker was given a new “job.” Her only role was to be in charge of loving ME. To make sure I took care of and listened to ME, and my beautiful innocent Inner Child, first before anything else.

This meant rebuilding a relationship of trust with her, really listening to and interacting with her. I had shut her down and put her in a hole for so many years. I had to bring her out and put her at the forefront, allowing her to have a voice...which meant feeling my feelings, eating a different way, moving my body a different way and working in a different way.

I had to learn to BE. Really LOVE myself and honor my body, the sacred vessel that my soul has inhabited during its time on earth. I had to start trusting myself, trusting my intuition, trusting my voice and what I have to share with the world.

I’m not gonna lie…it is not easy, but it is so FREEing!!!!

I have finally realized and accepted that I am not only a joyful, loving, compassionate HEALER who has come to share her light with the world. I am also a beautiful, sensual, confident-in-her-body woman who has been afraid to show that side of herself to the world. The first was easier, although not at all easy, to accept. The second…not so much, and to be honest…still a work in progress.

This all came to a head when I was doing a photo shoot for my new business website, Rediscovering FLOW Magic. First off, I HATE getting pictures taken of myself. I don’t mind pictures with other people as I feel “safe”...hidden. But the thought of doing a photo shoot all by myself, OH FUCK…to expose myself and show myself…made me sick inside.

As part of this process, if I was really committing to being a Self Lover and showing myself to the world, I needed to take off all the armor. Really be honest, raw, and bare my true self. The one I kept hidden away from the world as I was too ashamed, scared and honestly hadn’t even discovered yet (more to come).

I was so incredibly fortunate to have found Quincy of Quincy’s Photos, to walk by my side. She was a magic worker in helping me feel safe, confident in myself, and sure of what to do with my body.

When I got the pictures, I immediately resonated with the pictures where I was smiling, expressing my joy. The more “socially acceptable” side. I put them all in a Dropbox folder to share with Jasleni, my coach/branding/website designer extraordinaire and oh…so much more. (More on Jasleni later).

However, I had an immediate visceral reaction to the pictures showing my sensual side…The side of myself that is softer, more loving of my body, more dare I say “sexy”.

My chest contracted and I wanted to stick my head in the sand.

My immediate thought was, “ There is no way IN HELL, I am going to show these to the world.”

If they had been pictures of anyone else, I would have immediately thought they were beautiful. A woman really truly loving herself, who is confident with herself and her body, and not afraid to show it.

I could just not see that as ME.

And if I am being really honest there was also a part saying, that is shameful and dirty. Women are not supposed to behave like that, barely in private, let alone in public. That is what society has taught us. That we cannot display, love or have confidence in our bodies, because that means we are selling ourselves as a “sexual” object. We have to hide ourselves because men cannot control themselves.

I DID NOT put these in the Dropbox folder to share.

Well…the universe had a different idea. When I was getting ready to show Jasleni the photos, she could not find the email to the Dropbox folder I’d sent her with all the “censored” pictures, so I ended up sharing the full gallery with her.

I told her how uncomfortable I was with those photos and that is when she Called Me Out. It’s taken some reflecting time, but thanks to both Jasleni and Quincy, I can now say…

No more hiding, no more being ashamed of who I am. I was brought to this world to be my beautiful, loving, wonderful, sensual self and that includes showing my insides and out.

Part of honoring that was returning to my birth name…

Shannon Goff

I’m here to bare all…and help others do the same if they are up for the Self Lover’s Journey and Rediscovering their FLOW Magic.

And…if you want to see my first-ever appearance on Instagram and attempt at speaking my voice on video (AHH!! -- still working on the showing my face thing…baby steps!!…but you get an awesome nature walk and a blue heron sighting at the end).

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