When I think about Shila, a smile instantly comes to my face. She has a bold, bright, infectious spirit that seriously lights up a room. When she speaks, you're drawn in closer. Touched by her sweet femininity, and the way generosity pours from her soul so effortlessly.
Even now, as I'm sitting here, typing this, I'm at a loss of words. Maybe it's because when I think about Shila, images of bright, playful colour dart through my mind. I feel softer, lighter, more joyful, and totally wrapped up in her friendship.
Shila Soni is a life coach and yoga teacher who wants to live in a world where afternoon tea breaks are mandatory, mailboxes overflow with handwritten letters, and people wave hello to their neighbors. (See what I mean about how magnificent she is?!)
She's kind, open-hearted, authentic, true to herself, and has a natural gift for supporting people around her. Get comfy and enjoy diving into her wisdom!
Tell us more about you: who are you and what are you all about? (Your story, your truth)
I'm an adventurer at heart, a life coach by profession, and my current life goal is to live in a way that makes my inner child give me a high-five! As a coach, I thrive on helping kind people discover greater ease, joy, and authentic connection.
What I geek out over most is connection and how it permeates the mystery of life. I used to want to be a scientist and originally studied Epidemiology--how diseases travel through populations. Although I still geek out over beautiful data, I had a big shift after experiencing health problems and extreme stress in 2010 while working at a start-up. I felt really lost at the time because the company, which I poured my heart into, was falling apart and I was so burnt out that I felt like I had nothing to offer. I identified a lot (and still struggle with) confusing my self-worth with my professional achievement, so it was a really rude awakening to see everything, including my falling apart. I had some really beautiful support at the time from my yoga teacher and a physical therapist and they held my heart while they helped me heal my body.
While that experience was incredibly painful (and to be honest, it felt like the end of the world at the time), I'm incredibly grateful that it led to some pretty intense self-discovery and deep desire to uncover what really gives my life meaning and purpose. I learned tools to become more embodied, present, and centered, which I endeavor to share with my clients as a coach. I also experience much more joy than I did before and can honestly say that even when it's not easy, I'm absolutely in love with my life and the way I choose to show up in the world.
What does living life on your own terms mean to you?
Living on my own terms means cultivating a relationship with myself where I continually practice slowing down to listen and honor my own needs. It means trusting my intuition and inner knowing when I do hear my own wisdom and letting it be enough. It also means dropping everything when I hear a good song for a spontaneous dance party in my living room ;)
Share with us a personal challenge that you’ve had to overcome and what limiting beliefs you had to break down along the way.
When I was planning my wedding in 2014, I had the opportunity to learn how important it was for me to honor my own needs and boundaries. I was trying so hard to be superwoman--the perfect daughter, a loving partner, and a pinterest-worthy wedding planner that I was left with little space for me. At the time, I remember feeling so guilty and uncomfortable when I tried to say set limits on my time or off-load tasks because I felt like I had to do everything myself and do it all perfectly. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself!
Learning about boundaries from the amazingly kind Randi Buckley, I realize now that underneath all that I was afraid deep down that if I didn't do everything perfectly I'd be judged or even worse, totally rejected and left all alone. What I've learned in the slow and steady process of listening to and honoring my boundaries and needs first is that it's a gift to myself as well as the people I love because it truly allows them to get the best version of me I can offer.
When life gets hectic and overwhelming, what do you do to feel more grounded and balanced?
My favorite medicine for overwhelm is to take a walk outside! I'm lucky to live in a neighborhood with gorgeous trees and breathing in some fresh air always helps me see things differently. If I can't get outside, I take a breath, feel my feet on the ground, and check in with my inner wisdom. She always offers me something nourishing when I take that pause.
When it comes to creating change in your life, what does putting it into action look like for you? (And how do you handle when/ if resistance pops up?)
Putting change in action for me and doing it in a way that's truly sustainable, involves commitment and devotion to really listen and make space for myself. That happens most consistently when I take time for mindful movement, writing, and connecting with a supportive community. In terms of resistance, what I've realized is that using my own tools to embrace fear and acknowledge it works much better than trying to avoid or escape it. I've come to see fear and resistance as a passenger in my car, especially when I'm headed somewhere new and awesome. The more I can relax enough to see and have a conversation with it, the easier it is to actually drive.
And sometimes I realize my resistance is a gift. There's a certain flavor of resistance that manifests as me being really freaking annoyed with something that I've learned is usually a signal that it's something that I could really use in my life.
What are the top two nuggets of wisdom or advice you would give to someone?
-Learning to trust yourself and listen to your body is a courageous act. Your body is an incredible source of wisdom that's always there for you.
-And I think this is one I have to remind myself often: Play is transformative and it's worth taking the time to refill my well.
What is one quote that really resonates with you, or that you choose to live life by?
“Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequency rather than absorbing the frequencies around you, when you start imprinting your intent on the universe rather than receiving an imprint from existence.” Barbara Marciniak (hat tip to Randi Buckley for the inspiration in Healthy Boundaries for Kind People)
RAPID FIRE Q's:
I can’t go a day without…tea! I drink a few cups a day and bring my own on trips
Following the trail of my curiosities means…shifting my mindset and treating life like an adventure. Being open to use my senses to explore and observe.
When I feel fear… I slow down, breathe, and give myself a hug
I feel joyful when…I'm playing with my cat or looking at the sky
I’m most grateful for…my tribe and having an incredible community
Want to know more?
Shila is currently taking on clients for complimentary sessions on cultivating healthy boundaries and learning to honor you. Click here to get in touch!
Shila Soni is a courageous life coach who specializes in helping kind people experience more ease, joy, and connection. Her mission is to inspire and support others in living a vibrant, nourished, lit-from within life that makes them glow!
Enjoyed this week's interview? Let's give Shila some love in the comments! xx