Finding Soul Fulfillment
From an early age, we’re taught that to be worthy, to find true happiness, and to be “somebody,” we must accomplish many things.
We become achievement machines, always grasping for the next big win to send a signal to the world—and to ourselves—that we’ve “made it.”
Yet, it’s safe to say that most of us remain feeling at peace and unfulfilled despite checking all the boxes:
Family? Check. Career? Check. Social Life?Check.
Personal fulfillment?... [insert the woeful chirping of crickets]
But why do we feel so unfulfilled despite checking the boxes?
According to this week's podcast guest Shirin Etessam, it’s because we’ve disconnected from our souls.
This week we discuss her forthcoming book, FREE TO BE, and how you can reconnect with your soul and begin a journey towards fulfillment in just six short weeks.
From brain and heart detox to rewriting your personal story, and more, the lessons found in the book are those Shirin has used with major corporate clients including Apple, ABC, BBC, Virgin, Intel, and more.
Listen in to discover some simple yet powerful ways to find more soul fulfillment starting right now.
Listen below, or tune in via: Apple Podcasts,Stitcher or Spotify.
Complete transcript below.
JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION ON THIS EPISODE AND MORE IN MY FREE FACEBOOK GROUP, FIND YOUR FEMININE FIRE HERE.
Shirin Etessam is an entrepreneur, seasoned media executive, and transformational speaker. She has produced films, original television series and specials, created several companies, and led campaigns for some of the world’s most recognized companies (ABC, CBS, Discovery, BBC, Facebook, Apple, Intel, Virgin, and many more).
A proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Shirin founded OML TV, a popular platform dedicated to streaming and curating quality, queer female, video content and OML Originals, a female led production company telling diverse female stories through a vast spectrum of film and television genres.
Today, Shirin guides seekers in her six-week program, Free to Be, to disconnect their human “being” from their human “doing” to find true and lasting fulfillment. She lives in Marin County, California, with her wife and two children.
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EPISODE 264: Shirin Etessam
[Fun, Empowering Music]
Amanda Testa: Hello, and welcome to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. I am your host, Amanda Testa. I am a sex, love, and relationship coach, and in this podcast, my guests and I talk sex, love, and relationships, and everything that lights you up from the inside out. Welcome!
Hey, what’s up? It’s Amanda! If you're enjoying this pod, and you know you are ready to say yes to more pleasure, and you are just wanting to know, “How the hell do I do it,” well, you’re in luck because as of now, we have spots available in The Pleasure Foundation, which is my pleasure membership where twice a month you get an amazing practice that teaches you how to drop into your body, to become more connected to yourself, and to learn the art of sacred self-care. So, if this is something you're interested in, go to www.amandatesta.com/tpf (as in The Pleasure Foundation) and we will see you there!
Hello, and welcome to the podcast! This is your host, Amanda Testa, and from an early age, we’re often taught that to be worthy, to find true happiness, and to be “somebody” we must accomplish many things, right? We have to check all the boxes. We have to make all the wins, get that family, get the career, get all the things that we need to do. Yet often, when we have checked these boxes, there is a lot of deep unfulfillment.
So, I’m super excited today because I am going to be talking with Shirin Etessam, and she is a very talented entrepreneur. She has done so many amazing things in her life. She is a seasoned media executive, a transformational speaker. She has produced films, original television series’ and specials, created several companies and more. As well as a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Shirin founded OML TV, a popular platform dedicated to streaming and curating equality, queer, female video content and OML Originals, a female-led production company telling diverse female stories through a vast spectrum of film and genres.
Anyways, needless to say, she has definitely checked all those boxes and more, and she is now guiding seekers into her six-week program, Free To Be. What we’re gonna be talking about today is the power of disconnecting your human being from your human doing and to find true and lasting fulfillment. So, settle down, get yourself something cozy, and listen in and enjoy.
Welcome, Shirin! I’m so happy to have you here. Thank you so much for being here. I’d love for -- if you wouldn't mind sharing a little bit about -- obviously our stories are long and varied, but if there’s a little bit of a Cliffs Notes version that made you so inspired to write this book because, as I was just mentioning about how so many of us get to a certain point in life, we’ve done all the things that we have been told to do, checked all the boxes, and we’re deeply unfulfilled. I can resonate, and I know a lot of my listeners can, but I’d love if you would just share a little bit more for you about what kind of inspired you to take this turn in your career, so to speak.
Shirin Etessam: Definitely. Well, first and foremost, thank you for having me on your show. Cliffs Notes version of the book: you know, I think that the catalyst for me writing the book was a big breakup that I had at the end of 2013, but I think even bigger than that, I really feel like we, globally, are missing a fundamental conversation about us being human, like everything we do is on top of us being human, and we keep being reminded that we’re very human and we keep on ignoring it. [Laughs] Whether it is the pandemic, whether it is any sort of crisis, we are shown over and over again that we are connected, that globally we are in various levels of crises, and we continue to ignore it.
Especially in this country, we become really polarized. So, instead of combatting that, is there a different way of approaching life that is holistic and fulfilling and kind and compassionate and also practical, you know? That you're not going and sitting on some mountaintop or joining some Ashram in order to find some sort of peace, you know? But can that be done in the here and now.
So, that was kind of what propelled me into some really deep soul searching, because when the breakup happened, I had friends who said, “At some point, you’ll be grateful for it.”
And I’m like, “How?” But I really am because I feel like it opened up an entirely new world, new universe for me, and it made me realize that it’s really possible to find a place within one’s self where we are wise and kind and empathetic, but to get to that place, there is just a whole poop load of digging that needs to be done. So, there you go. I don't know if that was Cliffs Notesy at all, but there you go.
Amanda Testa: Yes, well, I think that it’s so true. What you mentioned really struck me, when you were talking about our just being reminded of our humanness.
Because I was actually laying in bed yesterday with my husband, and I was like, you know what -- I was feeling really stressed because we had a lot to do, and he was going out of town, and I was like, “Well, let’s connect,” and I was sitting there, and I was like you know what is really sad? All these things that really matter like connecting, spending time just being with someone that you love, spending time just letting your kid cuddle on with you without worrying about all the things, those things don't get rewarded in our culture, right, especially here in the US. If you're not productive, then that’s not acceptable.
And so, I’m curious for you, I love how you also said you don't need to go spend two weeks in an Ashram or you don't need to go live alone for six months in Bali or whatever it is, which, of course, is beautiful if you could do that. But for most of us, that’s not realistic or sustainable or we are in where we are, and we have the community that we’re in, and we have the people around us, and we have the things that we have to deal with. And so, being able to find ways to connect to that deeper part of you in our regular life is so important.
So, I’m wondering for you, kind of what were the steps? How did you even know what to even do?
Shirin Etessam: Yeah, what do you do?
Amanda Testa: [Laughs]
Shirin Etessam: You know, it’s interesting because I’m on a bit of a crusade to change the word spirituality, and I always say you don't say mentality, you say mental health or mental wellness, so why isn't it spiritual health and spiritual wellness? So, when you say spirituality, it becomes super woo woo, and I like woo woo, but that’s not spirituality overall. It’s truly spiritual health, and I also believe that mental health and spiritual health go together. But all to say that in my early days, I would call it -- I have terms for various things, and at that stage, I called it bobbing for spiritual apples because I didn't know. I don't know what I needed. I didn't know what to do. Mind you, I was what I call a half-assed spiritualist up until then.
Yeah, I did what I call spiritual window shopping, which is basically dabbling in spirituality whenever convenient. We were just talking about going to a retreat or wearing some sort of Tibetan jewelry or whatever it was. It was just convenient -- or whenever I was in trouble, right? So, anytime I was on my knees, I’m like GOD or the powers that be, please step in here. But otherwise I wouldn't be.
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Shirin Etessam: So, I very much believe in practical spiritual wellness, which is integrated into our day to day, and I think that the how is super important because people are like, “Follow your bliss,” or, “Follow your heart,” which is a misnomer that I can talk about. You should not follow your heart. You should follow your soul.
But in the early days of -- I mean, the breakup happened -- literally it was a 13-year partnership, and it was a 20-minute conversation and it was done, which I don't need to go into.
But given that the kids were five and seven at the time and I had invested everything into the relationship, and I mean everything, it really threw me into an abyss, an abyss of nothingness, and it wasn't about healing a broken heart. I felt like everything was broken. And it was interesting because I live in one of the most affluent places in the country. I had a seemingly gorgeous partnership, beautiful kids, great community, great friends, various lofty-sounding positions, I had created companies, I had awards, accolades, all of that stuff, and I just felt empty.
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Shirin Etessam: I felt empty, and I just had no motivation. So, I was really cracked open, and there was nothing there. It was an abyss of darkness that did not end for days on end and weeks then months. A lot of things shifted. I resigned from this -- I had a VP position at a startup, and I shifted a lot of outer things, but I knew that the work was internal. But I didn't know how, and I had read books and all of that, so I did a lot of bobbing for spiritual apples, and I had some realizations, some major, major realizations. And so, basically, it’s not so cut and dry but pretty much the first six years of the soul searching were pretty intense and very intentional.
And so, I basically took those six years and shrunk them down into six weeks because, really, if I knew what I was doing, if I was handed the book that I wrote -- and not patting myself on the shoulder. Maybe a little bit. But if I had that and I trusted it, the process would have been -- I don't think it would have been six weeks and then that would have been it, but I feel like it would have made things a lot easier.
Amanda Testa: Right.
Shirin Etessam: Maybe not. I don't know, but I feel like it would have made the path a lot clearer than it was. So, how I did it, I don’t really know. I mean, I was kind of grasping like, “Okay, this feels good.” In the early days of the breakup, my hashtag, my motto, was “better than this.”
So, if the next minute I’d felt just a tiny bit better than I was feeling the minute before, that was an improvement. So, you talk about small steps. Tiny, tiny, tiny steps.
Amanda Testa: Yeah. That sounds like, too, you know, part of it was giving yourself that permission to be in the darkness and the depth and the shadow and the pain of it and just kind of finding what helped you feel a little better. And now that you are on the other side, you have this lifeline for people that are in that space where they're just lost and grasping and bobbing. I love that term, bobbing for spiritual apples. Trust me, this can help you.
Shirin Etessam: Yeah, I mean, I do not think -- I frankly don't know of a single soul who has healed without stepping into the darkness, and it is not fun. It is dark. It is scary. It’s often super lonely. But it’s so worth it, and you make friends with it, right? The way that I used to deal with it, people call it your shadow, your dark side, I used to just suppress it, and I think most people do that because it’s not comfortable, and we live in a culture that kind of promotes that, right?
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Shirin Etessam: You know, well, like, “Living my best life.” It’s like okay, that’s great, but even one’s best life -- I have days that still suck. We are human, and we are always evolving.
Amanda Testa: Right.
Shirin Etessam: But there is a difference between living a very intentional life and being on that path of healing and having a tremendous amount of acceptance and gratitude and ignoring it and hoping for bliss or whatever it is. [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: Right, well, and I think it’s interesting, too, because you talk about this as well as kind of that spiritual coma of just not -- yeah, I think, too, all the maybe up here in the air. I’m moving my hand around because a lot of times when people think spirituality they think it’s all up here and something outside of me, and what I think, what I love -- when I’ve heard you talk about the importance of these daily practices that we do and that it is a practice.
That’s what that making it realistic and showing up for your spiritual health, that health part is showing up for whatever’s there, right? Whether it is a dark day where you're feeling super upset and you feel like you need to cry for two hours and you let yourself have that time or you feel like maybe you have five minutes and you’ve got to get to a meeting, but you give yourself those five minutes and then you move on versus shoving it down and shoving it down and just powering forward, which isn’t healthy either.
Shirin Etessam: Absolutely.
Amanda Testa: So, I’d love if you’d talk a little more, because I love how you talk about practice, and I think that’s such a powerful thing, these little daily practices.
Shirin Etessam: Yeah, so, in every chapter of the book (and it’s basically week one through six plus an intro) there are various set daily exercises that -- and the intention of those is really to make the book experiential so that the difference between, “Oh, okay, that’s a nifty idea. I’ll try it some time,” to committing to actually doing the process, like if you're gonna do it.
And when you start physically doing things, I really realize that I love retreats actually, and I’ve been to so many of them it’s just that I don't just rely on that. So, I want to make it clear that I love retreats, and I’m all for them as long as there are also daily practices.
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Shirin Etessam: But I really realize the experiential -- I did The Hoffman Process, which some may be familiar with, but talk about experiential, my god. I mean, at some points it ends up feeling a little surreal, you know, the things that you do. But then you really get it, you know?
So, instead of thinking like, “Well, how would I feel if I was doing cartwheels,” you know what I mean? Your thinking about cartwheels versus doing cartwheels is entirely different. So, that’s what the purpose of the exercises are.
I have one consistent exercise, which is called The Daily Purge, and it came from -- I don't know if you’ve read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, but she has this thing called The Morning Pages, which I did religiously, like, 20 years ago, and it’s fantastic for one’s creativity, and basically, it’s three pages of anything, and you do it in the morning. But what I realize -- and I like writing, but a lot of people have a really hard time with writing, have a really hard time with meditation.
So, it’s whatever is freeing for people, whether it is skipping down the street or jump rope or dancing or doing pirouettes or doodling. Whatever it is, it’s, minimally, six minutes of just literally purging every negativity, anything that’s in your mind that says, “You’re too old,” or, “You're stupid,” or whatever. The majority of our thoughts are negative and they're repetitive, so all that just literally vomit on either while dancing or on pages and such. So, you clear your slate for the day and then begin it.
So, again, super experiential because you can't -- I mean, I think that is one of the biggest issues that we have globally is that even when we know we’re in crisis we try to battle whatever we’re in crisis with with our minds, which has proven over and over doesn't work.
Whether it’s on the political level or on the UN level, it’s not about opining and whether some person agrees with the other. It’s like could it be that that level of wisdom and connectedness has nothing to do with our minds? So, therefore, we do our very best to clear our minds and then get on with our day.
Amanda Testa: Yeah, I love that so much, and I think it’s such an impactful thing to do to start your day just releasing all the things. I think, too, I’m also a big fan -- anyone that listens to the podcast knows I do a lot of somatic trauma resolution in my work. And so, using your body to move things in whatever way feels right to you, if it is writing or doodling or dancing or shaking or whatever it is for you, it’s so powerful to bring that in.
Half the time you don't even necessarily need to think the thoughts because you can just let your body do what it needs to do, and you’ll move through things without even having to go there, which is even better, right? I mean, of course sometimes you need to go there, but not always. Your body’s wise and knows what to do, so I love that practice of just showing up for yourself every morning, and the practice part is so key because, you know, we’re practicing, right? You're not gonna get it perfect. You're not meant to. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s just practicing.
Shirin Etessam: There is no wrong or right way of doing it.
Amanda Testa: [Laughs] Right?
Shirin Etessam: I mean, the whole idea of being -- it’s sort of when you step into that world, you really are a practitioner, you know, in that it is in the practice of it and there is no end. It’s the unfolding. So, it isn’t -- we joke about “the journey isn't from here to there; it’s from here to here,” you know?
Amanda Testa: Yeah, and I love how -- you mentioned this earlier, just to come back to talk about the power of connecting to your soul and what that means and what that looks like. And so, I’d love if you’d share a little more about what does soul work mean to you. What does that look like, connecting to that part of you?
Shirin Etessam: You ask some very good questions. So, I think that people often get the soul and the heart mixed up, and my second week in the book is dedicated to the heart, and the heart is super, super important. But truthfully, the heart is -- I mean, they talk about the inner child, that is your heart. I call it your inner puppy. [Laughs] Because all it wants, all the heart wants is to be acknowledged, to be seen, to be held, and to be loved.
That is it. That is it. I don't think one’s heart is necessarily wise. If you're making a critical decision, they say that all decisions are emotional, and I believe that, but I think that we often assign the wrong tasks to the wrong parts of us. We let our minds lead when it should really be the heart and/or the body lead when it really should be the mind and so forth. And so, it’s good to distinguish those, and hopefully I do in the book. I just lost my train of thought. Sorry.
Amanda Testa: Like assigning the right parts of you the right job, and so, when you are tuning into the soul versus the heart.
Shirin Etessam: Yeah, but I had -- sorry, can you ask the question again?
Amanda Testa: Yeah, it was what does it mean to you to do soul work or to connect to that part of you. What does that look like?
Shirin Etessam: Thank you.
Amanda Testa: Yes.
Shirin Etessam: Thank you. So, the soul is unique from the body, heart, and mind. And so, the first half of the book is purely clearing the slate, decluttering the mind, tending to the soul, understanding our relationship with our body so that you clear your way, you lift all the muckety muck that is in your mind, in your heart, in your body, so that you have a clear slate to get in touch with your soul. The way I define one’s soul is it’s our unique star. It is our unique imprint in the universe, and there is no other like it. So, the spirit is whatever -- I mean, people believe in different -- whether it’s a higher power or God, Jesus, Allah, whatever it is, I consider it a higher power or spirit energies within the universe.
That is different than one’s soul. The soul is unique to us; spirit is all that’s out there that connects us.
So, soul searching is the dance between our soul and the spirit and finding that connection. So, you dive in deep, you find that place within you, and we, frankly, are born with it, right? All that vitality, the joy, all of that, we are tapped into our souls as youngins. And then we have what they call a dissociation, whether because we don't feel worthy or we want to fit in or whatever it is, we all have different levels of dissociation, and then we start going into our heads, and it’s all so celebrated, right?
You get all of the good grades, and you graduate from this and all of that, and the soul just slowly starts shrinking. So, it’s finding that place again and then beginning to live from that space, trusting it, and then connecting with everything else, which is the spirit.
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Shirin Etessam: Without sounding too woo woo.
Amanda Testa: I love it, and I’m wondering for you, too -- because something that you mentioned a few times is being able to trust that part of you. What do you think that means? How, for you, did you start being able to trust that part of you more?
Shirin Etessam: Another great question. In some ways, I feel like I didn't really have a choice. [Laughs]
Amanda Testa: Yeah. Yeah.
Shirin Etessam: It just felt right. When I tapped into it, it felt right. It felt like I wasn't grasping elsewhere, I wasn't trying to find answers somewhere else outside of me.
It just felt right, and I thought, “Oh, my god. If I just sit here in this space for the rest of my life, it would be okay,” you know? And then trying to expand it a little bit more and expand it a little bit more.
So, I think one knows. Musicians call it being in the flow where it’s sort of like when you first fall in love or whatever, it’s that feeling of being fully alive and connected and being in gratitude without trying to manipulate something. You just feel it, you know? You go with it.
Amanda Testa: Yeah. I love that because I think it’s true. For me, when I can connect with that part of myself, I just find myself kind of following the choices that are supporting me.
So, I don't know if you’ve ever heard of that cartoon Mr. Magoo. It's an old school cartoon. But basically, everywhere he goes something rises to meet him. So, he’s stepping off a building, but then there’s something that rises, so he never falls. He’s always in the right place at the right time. I kind of feel like it’s like that because you're listening to yourself deeply. You're kind of tuning in like, “Is this really the right choice or not? Do I really want to do this or that? Do I want to eat this or do I want to go down this road,” or whatever it is, to be more granular about it, I think that’s what’s so important about it is it helps you to know when you're making the steps that are right for you versus, oftentimes, we might feel things that don't feel good, but we just push it down or keep going or kind of not listening to the edges or the things that are trying to guide us, and then we end up in situations where -- I think a lot of times when people come to work like this it’s because they are in a big period of disconnection or loss or transition.
They're forced to look, but I think what’s even better than that is kind of tuning in before you have to, right? Most of us don't do that, but if you can -- that’s what I love about your book. It’s like here’s what to do. Anyways.
Shirin Etessam: Yeah, and I think that it’s also good to keep in mind that we live in the world that we live in. So, it isn't that you tap into that inner space and then suddenly you have, hopefully, a new glow about you, but it isn’t that the troubles of the world disappear, you know?
Amanda Testa: Not at all.
Shirin Etessam: Yeah, there’s that emotional scene of Wonder Woman walking through the battle ground, and I believe that is a true warrior, and we become spiritual warriors in that way.
So, we are truly inoculating ourselves with as much power as possible as we walk through the world, and hopefully in us walking, we do a whole lot of good as a result of it, and that’s truly it.
Amanda Testa: Yes.
Shirin Etessam: And that’s also one of the reasons why I say that spiritual wellness needs to be integrated in our daily lives and made super practical because, again, I love retreats and such, but when you go to retreats, and I know that many retreats get dark and such, but it’s this kind of controlled sanctuary, you know? People are there for the same objective and all of that, which is fantastic, but that is not the real world, right?
You can feel really connected and all of that and then you drag your kids to school and you get cut off, and then you're upset and all of that. So, it’s how does one walk through life as an everyday warrior, you know?
Amanda Testa: Right. I love that so much, and thank you for clarifying that, too, because that is the big -- it is not like just everything's all roses and great, but when you're in alignment at all, I think it’s, too, being able to feel the depths but also then not let that take you out. Then you can have the power to do something about it. You move forward and not from a way of surviving but from a way of standing really strong.
Shirin Etessam: Absolutely.
Amanda Testa: I think that’s a huge point, and then you do feel braver to do things that are scary or show up on protest or do the thing because you’re not closed down and hunkered down and too shut down to do anything.
You are strong, and you stand up for what you believe in, and you do the things that need to be done, right? It’s like that replenishing the fuel, so I love how you clarified that. Thank you. And I like how you were like it’s inoculating yourself with your own power. That’s such a great phrase.
Shirin Etessam: Well, and, I mean, the truth of it is that it’s like this life is tough. It’s challenging for everyone. I mean, certainly much more challenging for some than others, but it’s challenging, really, for everyone. We can’t gloss over that. I mean, that is spiritual bypassing, you know? So, how do we live from the inside out and remain connected to this planet and the world we are in and not ignore the very critical issues that are there and hopefully contribute in a positive way and be a change agent.
All of that is not easy. How do you accept things as they are and yet want change, you know what I mean? But I could easily argue that there is no way that you can make a change unless you accept things as they are.
Amanda Testa: Right.
Shirin Etessam: Yeah.
Amanda Testa: I think that’s true. It’s like there’s the acknowledgement of just the truth of things, and then moving from there, right? You have to be with what is to be able to make a change, too. I think that’s so true, like you say, having that acceptance part.
Shirin Etessam: Absolutely, and I also want to add that I truly believe that there are different levels of people with different levels of consciousness on the planet, and I think that there is a lot to learn from others.
Amanda Testa: Mm-hmm.
Shirin Etessam: One of the -- I don't want to call it a mistake, but one of the ways that it’s a different mode of spiritual bypassing is following someone blindly.
Amanda Testa: Mm-hmm.
Shirin Etessam: Any true spiritual wellness thought leader would tell you that they don't have all the answers. None of us do.
Amanda Testa: Right.
Shirin Etessam: None of us do, and I think this is also important to point out and hopefully I’ve done so in the book.
One’s process has to be customized, you know? What works for you may not necessarily work for me, the same way that somebody will do a certain diet, and it’s like, wow, it worked perfectly for them, but it doesn't for someone else, or you go to the gym and you follow somebody else’s and you put your back out. It doesn't work for you. You have to figure out what that is. I think that spiritual practice is the same, so you have to really explore what works and truly honor what it is that you need, and if you have that level of clarity where you're tapped into your soul, it will tell you.
Amanda Testa: Yeah. I think, too, a quick thing I want you to talk about because I think this is also just relevant, too. When you're trying to find the answers, you can be kind of in that seeking mode of taking in a lot of information, and then we also are overloaded with information.
So, how do you discern what’s right to take in, which is also listening to your soul, but I’d love to hear what you have to say about that.
Shirin Etessam: Oh, my god. I start the book out that way. So, our minds, oh, it’s the biggest culprit. So, the first week is mind, second week is heart, third week is body, and there’s a reason why I put the mind first because the Buddhists call it monkey mind or you could call it the gremlins in your head, like just chat, chat, chat, chat, chat, chat, chat, right? And not only that -- so, we’ve got the endless chatter in our head. Now, more than ever, we’ve got it coming at us 24/7, whether it’s through the phone or through TV or so many different ways.
Even teachers and people, we are fed content all the time, and in the book I call it infoxication, which is actually there’s nothing foxy about infoxication, but it’s basically content overload, and what that does is it doesn't allow us to think or decipher clearly because we’re so weighed down in what I call mental junk food. So, one has to decide what it is that we allow in and what we don't. I never watch -- well, there is never the TV on in the background in our house ever, ever. I’m very selective about what I watch. I don't watch the morning news. I think that being aware of what is happening globally and locally is very important, but I read different news sources and I try to get all different sides.
But I do that and I don't watch it because I don't like anything manufactured to us. So, point being that we have to regulate what we watch and don’t watch, what we listen to, what we take in, because the same way that if we eat a bunch of junk food, it’ll have its repercussions, it’s the same with our minds. Just because content is coming at us doesn't mean that we need to absorb it. So, I am very, very clear. I do that with everything, not just information, but even people that don't need to be in my life. I wish them well. [Laughs] But it doesn't mean that they need to be in my life
Amanda Testa: Right.
Shirin Etessam: So, we decide, and again, it’s truly about having extreme compassion for ourselves and what we need and the trust that that compassionate, loving person that you are cultivating will be much better for the world, whether it’s on a family level, on a work level, on a political level and such.
Amanda Testa: Yeah, I love that.
Shirin Etessam: How’s that for a long answer?
Amanda Testa: I love it! It’s so important and so good. I’m wondering, too, is there maybe a question that I didn't ask that you would have loved that I’d asked or any last words you definitely want to make sure that the listeners can take in?
Shirin Etessam: No, you asked really great questions. I think just the awareness that there is a different mode of being that is much more fulfilling than checking boxes. You could still check boxes, and my to-do list is endless, but it’s where I sit and where I come from on a daily basis that makes a huge difference.
So, I think that and then also truly realizing that it is a practice that needs to be integrated and it builds, right? So, the same way that you go to the gym, you workout a certain muscle, it gets stronger. If you practice spiritual wellness on a day-to-day basis, it will get stronger and it will build on itself. It is a practice, and it is a journey, and, again, it is not a journey from here to there. It’s a journey from here to here.
Amanda Testa: I love that. Yes! And so, for all of you listening, Shirin’s new book out, Free To Be -- I want you to share a little bit more about where they can find a little bit more about you and all the things that you have going on because I think what’s so great about it is, like you were saying earlier, it’s great to just look at something or read it, but you actually have to do the whole thing. Stop and take chances.
Do the practices and all the things. So, where can they learn more about you and your work?
Shirin Etessam: Yeah, thank you. So, everything is pretty much my name. So, www.shirinetessam.com. My social on both Insta and TikTok is @shirinetessam. I have a private Facebook group called “Inner More” that is slowly growing. In that, we get a little bit more in depth and you have to be invited to it, but if you find it and you're interested, please request an invitation, and I will most likely accept. The book is coming out June 20th. You can find it on various platforms. Amazon might be the easiest, but it’s Barnes and Noble and a lot of independent bookstores. If you can find it in your independent bookstores, please buy it there!
I also love interactivity, so DM me, ask me questions, send me an email. Whatever it is, I’d love to connect!
Amanda Testa: Beautiful. Well, thank you so much, again, for being here, Shirin. I do highly recommend that you check out her socials because they're great and she has tons of good info on there. I’m actually not on TikTok. I am the last person on the earth, but boundaries, boundaries. But I love your Instagram, so I’m sure your TikTok’s good too! [Laughs]
Shirin Etessam: They're pretty much the same.
Amanda Testa: Yeah.
Shirin Etessam: It’s just a different audience, yeah.
Amanda Testa: But I will make sure to also put in the show notes where you can find the book and connect with Shirin and all that good stuff, so thank you all for listening, and thank you so much for being here.
Shirin Etessam: Thank you so much for having me on your show!
Amanda Testa: Yes, and we will see you all next week!
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