Reflections on Changing Times: The New Trump University


So, we are in new territory with our current president-elect, Donald Trump. I have had the array of feelings that many people have had: shock, dismay, anger, and sadness.

I was in Kauai, Hawaii for election night, which meant before I went to bed I knew the outcome. I did not sleep much. I held my daughter and cried. I awakened a short four hours later in a state of anxiety that only could have been the entire world reacting to the news. My body was reverberating – and not in a good way.

As I always do when I awaken early and feel stress, I asked the angels for guidance. I then decided to get out of bed and watch the Kauai sunrise on my last day there, something I had not done all week. Change was already occurring. While on the beach, I drew the peace sign in the sand and watched the sunrise. It was symbolic of drawing a line in the sand. What I share with you below is my line in the sand; what will yours be?

What I know after reflecting, listening, and hoping for answers:

  1. This is a pattern disruption. In the corporate leadership coaching book I am currently writing, this is one of the themes of my coaching. Big things come along and they are what I call pattern disruptors. This event qualifies. The question becomes: What patterns will you allow this election to disrupt for you? If you are uncertain, let me give you ideas: anything you said you did not stand for in this election, but possibly are doing in your life, or where you are guilty of not honoring ALL of you and your values. What is it in your life that you simply will not stand for any longer? Where do you know you could be sharing your voice more in the world?
  1. This is an opportunity to love ourselves and our families more. For me, one of the pattern disruptors is to be kinder to myself and my family. Some of my old ways are just not going to cut it for me any longer. They are leftovers from archaic ways that were born of a generation that exacted fear and intimidation from children and I am complete with them. They no longer serve me. And my children will be peacemakers in this world. What no longer serves you that you WILL commit to letting go of? How can you love you and your family more? How can you take care of yourself better than you have been each day? How can you bring more love into this world?
  1. This is a time to shine your light so amazingly bright. The truth is that I have been afraid to publish my book on self-love – In Love With Me: The 10 Steps to Successful Relationships and Self-Love – due to my own shame and my fear about what people, including my family, might think. That small thinking is no longer tolerable for me. I know this book can help millions because those who have read it to edit or review it said it immensely helped them and has changed their way of thinking. They have asked me to get it out so others can read it. It will be out in the next two months. I am not doing this book for me, I am doing this for anyone it may help. I must shine my light so others can shine brighter as well. All of us who are here for the greater good of others, MUST stand up straighter; we must volunteer, get that book out, be an activist for our own values and causes. And if you are reading this and wonder what greater good you are here for, there is one. Just ask yourself and you will know. If you were placed on this planet, you have one.


  1. This is a time to release our deepest fears. The reality is that any of us who have lived or experienced what the president-elect has emanated are feeling shame and are being re-traumatized (whatever event happened earlier in our lives is now retriggered by having him in a place of power). Wherever power was used negatively against us, we are now dealing with trauma that is being brought back to the forefront by his comments and behaviors because he is now our leader. He reminds us of a time in our lives where we were not treated well. This happened for many during the months leading up to the election and it has hit us to our core right now. I ask you to look at what this is for you, because if you do you can heal this for the rest of your life. At some point in your life, this “power over” quite possibly left you “powerless” in some area. It is time to heal this and regain all your power. You can complete this fear of the old abuse of power. This truly can be your opportunity to let go of any hold a bully, sexual predator, discriminatory person, or abusive person has had on you for all these years. What we fear we manifest. YOU ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN YOUR FEAR.

We all have experienced our own lives so I can’t tell you precisely how this will look for you. However, what I know is that I have had deep fears of being in front of others in positions of authority, due to some of the same reasons that we fear Mr. Trump. I am afraid of being shamed, humiliated, or hurt when I am in front. What I must know deep down is that I am truly safe with myself and the people I choose in my life. And I must be safe with others in all my actions and words. Safety is a core issue in this election for me and I said it all along: I don’t feel safe with him. However, we are the only ones that can truly create safety for ourselves, it comes from within.

In mere hours after this election, I had a deep shift that was about the fact that if this is what it has come to in our country, then my fears are not worthy of being fed any longer. I am so much stronger than this – that is the bottom line. Look at what you know your weakest link is, or what your deepest fear is, and take this opportunity right now to release it so you can rise up to the be the human you were born to be. Whatever has held you back your entire life, let it go. And if you voted for Mr. Trump, whatever the fear or frustration was that had you vote for him, this can also be released at this time. Because I can guarantee you that whatever fear/frustration you voted from, you can only change this in your life by changing yourself. It will not come from Mr. Trump. In times of chaos, we get a blank slate. What will your new life story be? What will be changed in your life in the next four years? 

  1. This is a time to stand up for what we value. We can and we will stand up for ourselves and our brethren. I believe many of us have been too complacent or ignorant regarding what we can do to change things. We have to stand up powerfully, not in anger, fear, or hate, but to protect what we know in our hearts is right. We must use our voices to be heard. This is not the time to stay small and live in fear. It’s just the opposite, my friend. 
  1. This is a time to be vulnerable and REAL. Let’s be real and vulnerable with our loved ones about how much we love them and cherish them. Let’s be real and vulnerable about our deepest fears and how we can stand up to them. Let’s be real that we will stand for our values of dignity, respect, and equality for all. Let’s be vulnerable and say how much we love our country and we will do anything possible to preserve the strides we have made. That we will choose love over fear in every action and interaction. Most of all, may we remember not to judge others as it only breeds hate and contempt. 
  1. Ask those who voted for Trump what their biggest frustration is. And then just listen with a curious mind (another leadership coaching technique.) This will give you a lot of data if nothing else. I am also saddened by some of the posts I have recently seen and my first reaction was to delete these people from my Facebook. Now I realize I must look a little deeper to find the cause of the frustration people who voted for Mr. Trump voted from. 
  1. In some way Trump is a mirror for you. Sorry to be the bearer of this truth. If he frustrates you, there is something inside of you that is being mirrored. Just take a moment to reflect on this. There is no judgement but we are here to learn from this. I know my own anger and at times unkind words are my mirror. This feels vulnerable to write but until we acknowledge, we cannot overcome. AND WE WILL OVERCOME. It is our birthright to be our best self. No other person can take this right away from us OR give this to us (in the case that some think Trump is the answer). The answer always lies within us. Mr. Trump is just speeding up the process. We are all now enrolled in a four year course at Trump University. I plan to come out so much stronger, braver, and prosperous. Look for many more Trump University posts from me.
  1. LOVE. Again, I will be vulnerable. If you are reading this, I do love you and I do not care how you voted. Truly, I do not. I have so much love inside that has been so hidden and so run by fear. My love is about to shine in a huge way. Look for the release of my new book (12 years in the making) In Love With Me: 10 Steps to Successful Relationships and Self-LoveGod Bless the USA, land of the free and the brave.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. (The quote was originally cited by Gibran Khalil Gibran)

— John F. Kennedy, inauguration address, January 1961.

And for Your Life and All Future Generations…

–Shannon Rios Paulsen MS LMFT

Face Your Fears! A Lesson In Self Love – Watch Video Here!

Here you have it, me facing one of my biggest fears! Face Your Fears Challenge!!

When I began to write my self-love book, over 11 years ago, I challenged my readers to face their biggest fears. One of mine was skydiving. So I did it! I never thought I would ever jump out of a plane. But, I knew that if I was challenging others, I must walk the talk. The reason facing our fears is crucial  is because it allows us to know we are capable of doing things we may not have previously believed we could do. This realization strengthens our mind.

Part of the journey of self-love is developing a strong mind.

Also, many of our fears involve the body and healing occurs through the body. Many times we hold fear in our bodies and when we face our fears, we release some of that old fear and/or trauma.

When I jumped out of that plane to face my own fear, wow, what an amazing experience it was! Because I was so afraid of doing it, it really did teach me I could do anything! In my soon to be released book,  7 Self-Love Strategies for Successful Partnerships, Parenting and Performance,  I talk about how facing our fears allows us to move forward in life.

I challenge you now to face your two biggest fears. Write them down. What is the first action you can take to move towards facing one of your fears? My first action was to invite my sister to join me skydiving and she said yes!

I really had to manage my mind to be able to jump out of that plane!

It was a mind strengthening exercise that prepared me for many challenges to come! The exhilaration I felt afterward was phenomenal. After that jump, I have done many other things that I may never have done had I not faced my fear. I have traveled solo to Guatemala, Peru, Costa Rica, India and Thailand. In my soon to be released book 7 Self-Love Strategies for Successful Partnerships, Parenting and Performance, (Spring/Summer 2014) you can take the journey of self-love with me and find your ultimate power in life. This journey is about loving ourselves so we can live our best life and create successful partnerships, parenting and performance. Are you ready for the challenge? I know you are! Let’s Roll!

Also, if you want to share your two fears or your story, photos, videos, please post below. We love to hear from you and support each other in this lifelong journey.

To purchase a pre-sale copy go here:

For more information on our coaching programs, go here:

Shannon’s passion is partnering with individuals, organizations and families to assist them in living into their highest potential. Her life coaching focuses on the area of self-love and relationships. She has produced two highly acclaimed guided meditation CDs: The Healing Journey Within: Meditations for Abundance and Love Volume I: Deserving and Volume II: Manifesting. She also has trained extensively in the area of counseling. Shannon also is a trained Kundalini yoga instructor. She also developed her business In this capacity, she specializes in the niche area of families/children of divorce, separation and conflict. She wrote a best selling book “The 7 Fatal Mistakes Divorced and Separated Parents Make: Strategies for Raising Healthy Children of Divorce and Conflict”. She is an advocate for children and parents to live happy, healthy and peace-filled lives.

If you enjoyed this article, her best-selling CDs, The Healing Journey Within: Meditations for Abundance and Love” Volume I Deserving and Volume II: Manifesting, can be found here: In addition, her highly acclaimed and best-selling book on parenting after divorce and healing after divorce is The 7 Fatal Mistakes Divorced and Separated Parents Make: Strategies for Raising Healthy Children of Divorce and Conflict and can be found here: Her new book, In Love With Me: 7 Self-Love Strategies for Successful Partnerships, Parenting and Performance will be released Spring/Summer 2014. To pre-order a PDF copy, go to For all of her products, click here:

Food and Health Issue 4: Eating and Health Go Hand in Hand

Read First Issue Here:

Read Second Issue Here:

Read Third Issue Here:

This was a huge journey of loving myself.

happy dressWow life has changed, eating has changed and they go hand in hand.   Sometimes I fall off the wagon but each time I get back on the wagon and commit to my health, it gets easier and easier.  Eating healthier is a way of life now.  Do I emotionally eat once in a while, of course but it is nothing like it used to be.

I do not do low-fat, I have learned that the right fats are actually so healthy for our bodies.  High fat (good fat as in greek yogurt, grass-fed beef, avocado) is good for us.  This also is a new fact that we have not previously had the correct knowledge about.  It is all about eliminating the things that are not good for our bodies – sugar, wheat, processed foods and chemicals, and bad trans fats (think deep frying).    I also have started a green smoothie in the morning, while it may not taste amazing, I know my body loves it.  I find I crave sugars even less eating this healthy smoothie each day.  It also keeps me full for hours!  It has the nutrients my body really needs.

As we journey together I will share my thoughts, ideas, recipes and remedies.  Food is crucial to our health and our overall life experience.  In all my life coaching and executive coaching, food and nutrition is a large aspect.  Follow my “Love Yourself with Food” blog here:


Stay tuned for Issue 5: What Can You Do To Get Started? – Next Week!

Food and Health Issue 3: Completing the Journey

Read First Issue Here:

Read Second Issue Here:

However, my journey was not complete there.  A couple years later, in my early 40s I started having terrible hormonal imbalance.  I had symptoms of memory issues, heart palpitations, night sweats and terrible mood issues (especially if I relapsed and ate wheat).  They were bad enough that I went to a doctor that specialized in bio-identical hormones.  He said my estrogen levels “were alarmingly low”.  So I went on estrogen replacement therapy. Take a pill, right?

In my mind, I knew this was not the right solution.  I knew that once again there was still an underlying cause.  When I sometimes forgot to take my replacement, my symptoms were worse!  That scared me.  I began to research again. Carlos PortoThen one day a friend recommended I go to the Green Herb in Wheat Ridge CO (  They did a blood test and discussed Candida overgrowth with me.  It made so much sense.  At that point my body was so sensitive I could hardly drink a glass a wine before going into a bad mood and feel completely unbalanced.  And I can assure you this reaction to alcohol had changed as I had gotten older.  I also knew I was truly addicted to sugar, I loved to eat sugary foods.   Candida overgrowth also leads to hormonal imbalance.  I had all the symptoms.   I also was tested by another Chinese medicine doctor who did a stool and saliva sample.  He also confirmed the high level of candida in my body, along with inflamed intestines.

I then started my 30 day candida cleanse and this changed my life once again.  My mood was so much more regulated (this eliminated wheat and sugar completely).  I did not even eat fruit for those 30 days.   It is amazing how we have become so desensitized to the true taste of off with all the fake sugars we have and the sugars like high fructose corn syrup in so many of our foods now.  I think of sugar as poison, as it is poison to my body.  And WHO wants to eat poison???  Has it been challenging? You bet! I was a sugar addict.  Has it been worth it? 100%.  Because I am worth it!  I stopped taking my hormone pills and my night sweats reduced greatly (except once I started to eat sugar again).  I would notice they would return….hmmm….hormones and sugar…..connection!

Stay tuned for Issue 4: Eating and Health Go Hand in Hand – Next week!

Food and Health Issue 2: The Change in Course

Read the first issue here:

change in courseAt this point three four things happened that changed the course of my life:

  1.  I decided that even though (due to working on my own and the high cost of health insurance) even though I did not have the insurance to pay for it, I would go to an infectious disease specialist.  Everyone recommended that I do this.  At this point I was continuously running a low grade fever and had to take ibuprofen to get through life.  This doctor did his tests, looked at me and said “sometimes we just never find the cause of the issue”.  I honestly could not even believe what I had just heard out of a DRs mouth.  FU was literally my response as I walked out of his office that day.  I left his office enraged, with a new purpose “I was once very healthy, I WILL FIND THE CAUSE OF THIS”.  I wanted my life back.  If medical doctors could not find the cure, I would!  This experience was the driving force to me finding health again.  I set an intention that day and things began to shift.  Tell ME sometime can’t be done and watch me prove you wrong!  I forgive that doctor for his ignorance about food and health, he did not even question me about what I was eating.  Do you know most medical programs do have nutrition on their list of areas they train doctors in?  To me that is like not training them how drano affects us if we drink it.  Food can have the same effect.   I also must truly wonder why we do not as a society demand that this is part of our Doctors training program?
  2. The next event was that I decided to take wheat out of my diet for three weeks.  The “gluten fad” as it was called (3 years ago now) was just starting to really gain momentum.  I figured trying it could not hurt.  This alone did not fully cure my physical health issues.  However after two weeks of no gluten, I noticed that my mood was markedly improved.  As I was nearing my 40s my PMS and perimenopausal symptoms had become worse and worse.  The fact that I mentally felt better caused me to be curious.  I remember googling “mood and wheat”.  Wow, I found so much!  This was a random discovery but assisted my mood immensely.  At that point it was sadness that really improved and I felt more balanced.  Later I have noticed a marked increase in my frustration and anger when I eat wheat now.  Amazing.  We know wheat is related to inflammation in the body and if your body does not feel good, your mind does not feel good.  This journey of eliminating wheat has been a challenge, I was addicted.  I first did gluten free but after I realized all the sugar and other products in some of that food, I have pretty much eliminated all those products as well.
  3. The third thing that happened is I traveled to Thailand and went to the Doctor in Thailand.  I had heard there were good doctors in Thailand and since I had no health insurance I thought I may as well go there and pay less for my services while in Thailand. Truly at this time, I was not feeling that well at all but I knew I had no infectious diseases, had been on antibiotics and was still feeling terrible.  However I had planned this trip to Thailand and felt such a pull to go there.  Working with coach he ordered me to book the ticket (we both knew I needed to go).  I was not feeling well and dwelling on it just made things worse. I loved to travel more than anything so I knew that even if I was alone in a foreign country it would still be better then being alone in the US.  And a heck of a lot more interestingmedical stethoscope isolated on white close up.  I had found Yoga Nidra (a meditative yoga) that I could still do.  I downloaded all the meditations I could find, and literally did Yoga Nidra and took my ibuprofen to survive that 20 hour trip.
    The doctors in Thailand gave me prednisone because at that point I was even broken out in hives all over my body.  The prednisone worked wonders (shutting down my own immune system) and I was able to feel better and even do yoga again.  When in Thailand “by chance” I met Eddie Bower at a yoga class in Chaing Mai.  Eddie had written the book “Life After Bread” and is a holistic health practitioner.  She looked at me and said “I can tell you are gluten intolerant”.  I was still struggling at this point with eating gluten as I was so addicted to it, I was still eating it in some cases, especially now that I was feeling better with the prednisone.  But of course once the prednisone wore off, my symptoms returned.
  4.  The fourth piece and crucial piece.  Once I returned to the US, I started to think “they shut off my immune system and I felt good”.  I started to do more research and was pretty sure that this issue I was having was due to something with my immune system.  I also started to link this to my intestines as they are such a large part of our body.  And as I found out, 80% of our immune system lives here!  At that point a final important piece of the puzzle showed up.  I (who professes to not watch hardly any TV), was looking at the TV guide on cable (due to living with a  roommate in the mountains of CO that needed cable).  I saw the words “health and arthritis” and it was a PBS special.  It was then I was introduced to Brenda Watson and her renew life products. She was the one that taught me that our intestines comprise 80% of our immune system.  WHAT?  Why had the doctors never told me that?  She talked about her timed release probiotics that brought back our good bacteria after we hurt our intestines with years of processed and unhealthy foods.  I ordered the probiotics that night.   It was then, along with reducing my wheat intake into my body, that I slowly started to regain my health.   I also eliminated dairy which many natural health practitioners recommended.  I am so grateful for all the clues I was provided and the people out there who truly care about our health.   And truly we have to love ourselves enough to stay on this path of finding what is right for our bodies and provides optimal health for us.  Doing these things helped me immensely and I was able to live my life fully again.

Stay tunes for Issue 3: Completing the Journey – Next Week!

Food and Health Issue I: My Story

I have known for a very long time that food is crucial to our health.  However, in college I honestly did not have the financial means to buy a lot of healthy food.  Once I graduated with a great corporate job, I did allow myself a better food budget.  However, being single, I lived mainly on snacks, carbohydrates and processed foods.   I had grown up in one of the first generations where both parents worked and betty crocker and her boxed foods had entered our kitchen.  It was not long before I bought into the low fat movement with foods laden with nasty chemicals that over time I truly believe slowly destroy our intestines.  Not to mention a steady diet of the modified wheat  we eat today that our bodies react so negatively too (ie inflammation).

Image courtesy of Nezezon/

It is really no surprise that in my late 30s I developed autoimmune issues.  However I initially had no idea it was related to the food I ate.  This condition left me feeling so sick I had no idea what to do.  I had arthritis symptoms in my joints and it was so bad I could not even do yoga.  This was completely debilitating to me because I was a longtime yoga practitioner and avid jogger.  I also woke up in the morning with the symptoms of chronic fatigue, feeling so exhausted upon waking.  I had never before understood how this really felt.  It was so debilitating that I started to get complaints from clients.  I did not hardly have the energy to work.  This was a disastrous situation working for myself with no sick days.  I went to Drs, I tried remedies.   I became depressed because I had no idea how to feel better and I now realized food and health is the foundation of our lives.


Stay tuned for Issue 2: The Change in Course – Next Week!