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NL: Hi everyone! My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is The Inspiration Show. Today on the show I have a special guest who is a graduate of my Ultimate Success Masterclass, who is doing some fantastic work in helping people heal. And a lot of the work that she’s doing is through her own life experience and her story is truly an inspiring story, which is why I’ve asked her to be a guest here on The Inspiration Show. But before I introduce my special guest I just want to let you know that if you are watching this show live on Facebook or on our YouTube channel after the show is over, make sure that you click the link below this video when the show is finished so you can take my 30-second quiz and we can figure out what’s holding you back from success. So please let me introduce my special guest, Dawn Harris. How are you, Dawn?
DH: I’m wonderful. Thank you.
NL: It’s such a pleasure to have you here. When I read about your story and everything that you’ve gone through in your life, you are like the poster child of, you know, helping to give meaning to these things and then using these events to be able to really make a difference and help other people. So I really commend you for that. So why don’t we start first with you telling us your story and how you got into doing the work that you do.
DH: Well, it's gonna be well first I want to thank you for being on the show. It's really an honor. It was actually one of my goals in the Ultimate Success Masterclass was to be a guest on this show. So it's really affirming that it's actually happening and so I really appreciate the opportunity. Thank you. So my story is very multi-dimensional. So just to kind of give you an overview so I'm not talking for days. Basically, when I was about three years old my grandmother had a painting in her dining room that I was just so caught up in this painting and I would just stare at it and it was a painting of Christ knocking and even at three years old I never wanted to miss that knock. And so that's gonna thread through my life and I really felt like I've had the ability to really hear that inner prompting and the knocking that lets me know when something needs to change. So about, I don't know, several years ago I was involved in environmental justice work and that's really tough stuff. And I found myself extremely depleted and just really worn out and I felt this inner prompting is knocking, letting me know that that was not the best place for me. So some ideas started forming but I didn’t really know what that looked like yet. And I went back to school. I got my master degree in education from Vanderbilt and continued with some professional experience. I was involved in research, with brain-based learning and behavior change. All these different things. I had also had a background of grief and loss through hospice and I realized that I can bring all of these things together. My professional experience, my and the things that I’ve gone through in life and just bring them all together to form something that can help those that are on the frontline in environmental justice work. And then when I took your class it really became solidified and I realized that it doesn’t need to just be that it can be more and it can be something that really is a support on people’s life journey. So that’s in a nutshell what I’ve done. I’ve created a virtual retreat center and it provides support for people whether they need rejuvenation or support on the grief and loss journey or just engage in self-discovery.
NL: Right. So it sounds like even from a young age, you could hear intuition. You could tap into your intuition. So obviously that’s that served you through a lot of your life. So tell me about the retreats that you run and the work that you do. So do you teach people to also tap in and listen to their intuitive voices as well?
DH: Yes. Um, it's very personalized. So I engage in kind of a collaborative approach. So what we do is we engage in developing their own toolkit. And I have an approach to life that it can't be solved necessarily, that life will continue present both blessings and difficulties and so I really want them to develop the second nature of utilizing their toolkit, to be able to face things when they come up.
NL: Yeah. Alright, so tell me a little bit about this toolkit. What have you got in your toolkit that helps people?
DH: Well I think the pause is one of my favorites, and it’s super simple but it’s been so effective for me. So pause, be, and then prioritize. So what that means is in that moment when you might be experiencing, say you’re frustrated because you’re in traffic and someone just cut you off or you or you don’t feel you have enough time in the day to get everything done, whatever the circumstance, you just pause and then you be in that moment and then prioritize what is the next most important action. So that’s a really effective one. And then I just put one in yesterday that I'm so excited about. It's a geospatial mapping that you can actually write on, you could scribble on it and I actually did one for the place that I was born and I drew a big heart and put healed I forgive you, I’m whole and it was amazing. So I think those are gonna be some really effective tools and then there’s other things, nature. My whole programming is inspired by nature. I’ve always had a strong connection with the natural world and so that underlies everything that I do. So I think those are probably the most effective right off the top to share with you.
NL: Yeah, and we were talking just before we started the show about breathing as well and in that pause when you can take a breath it's just it gives you just that little bit of time to make a choice. So rather than just reacting to what's going on, you're like hold on a minute, how do I want to respond to this? How do I want to see this? I love that. Yeah, that's really cool. So I know that we've touched before that you worked a lot of people with you know through grief and broken hearts. So is that some of the work that you teach as well.
DH: Yeah it really depends on the person and what they're experiencing. I think that we've all had some really difficult points in our lives even if you have a really good life I think there have been points where you've been really wounded, had a broken heart. For myself, my heart's been shattered several times in fact and I think that that's one of the most difficult things that you can experience. So I don't really think that there's necessarily a way to heal that. I think what happens is that those ragged, those sharp edges, they can become softer and you can find for myself my heart was like a barren piece of earth that had cracks and it, in fact, it have a wall around it and it would have no windows, it had no gates and it had a roof on it. My heart was so walled off and shut down. And I found that through some work and engaging with a lot of the tools that are in the program then my heart actually became like a spring garden you know. It became vibrant with life and there’s still evidence of that wall. There’s still evidence of that dirt with the cracks but now things that are really appropriate grow like you know like a desert rose and so I just feel like you know healing can occur and even in the most tragic of circumstances. So I think that it's one of my gifts, actually, is I always feel that there's potential and there's a possibility and that I can do anything and I think that allows me to really be authentic and available for people, so.
NL: Yeah because grief is such an interesting process. I don't think, you know, there are any rules and I think it's like you know there's one process that fits everybody. Is that what you find as the same?
DH: Yeah, yeah grief is very personal. There's really no right or wrong way to go through grief and I mean there can be some patterns and parameters that people can go through, some processes on their steps and people call them phases, stages. There are lots of different ways to look at it. It's very personal and again just like I talked about with life, it doesn't get solved but it becomes a little easier, a little softer but it's one of the most difficult things that you can experience. So it's about having somebody walk with you through it on that journey.
NL: Yes and the thing is, you know, I can see it’s not just your experience but it’s your gifts that you have that really make you unique in the way that you can really help people. So tell us a little bit about, I know, we've talked about your intuition but tell us a little bit about some of the gifts that you have that have become alive within you that you used to be able to help people heal.
DH: May I share a story. I was about eight and we were on a road trip and I don’t really know where we were going but we’re in the middle of nowhere. And I had a dog and he was like my best friend, he was a golden lab and you know I would cry in his fur and we did everything together. He was just he’s my buddy his name was John. So we’re on this road trip. We’re in the middle of nowhere and my dad stops the van and decides he’s going to leave my dog in the middle of nowhere. And so I said no. I mean at eight years old I didn't have a lot of power but I knew that wasn't going to happen. So, my dad, I'll have to say I'll preface all of this by saying that he's not a very nice person. But he decides that if I can throw a certain sequence in the I Ching, now the I Ching is an ancient philosophy that goes along with the book of changes and you use three coins and you toss them and then the sequence corresponds with passages that can tell you about your life. So in that event, he says that if I can throw the certain sequence that I can keep my dog. So he throws, my mother throws and then I throw and I get the sequence. So he had me do it again and I did it again and then a third time I did it again. So I tell you that story because it signifies to me that inside of us we have a lot of potential and possibility and we can actually do anything if we really put our minds to it. Now sometimes that doesn’t end up being what we exactly envisioned but there’s always potential to move through difficulties and get to the other side.
NL: Right. Absolutely and that’s the thing. Like I think too that when we can get to that place of true belief and when we can release the need to have it show up in a certain way and if we remain open to the delightful possibilities that the universe has in store for us, then what we can create is even more delicious and more amazing than originally what we thought with our limited mind and our limited experience in life into that point, so I love that. So tell me the type of people that you’re serving with the retreats. So the retreats are online right or are they in person?
DH: Yes, they’re a hundred percent virtual, it’s a virtual retreat experience and the idea is to reach people where they’re at and I utilize a nature room, I call them transformation rooms, online transformation rooms. There’s a nature room, there’s a music room, an artist loft, a writing studio, movement space and so I bring all of these together to reach people where they're at. So it's, in fact, something that anybody could utilize if it's somebody like um you know a spiritual healer perhaps that is setting time aside to develop goals and put a vision in place or perhaps it's a professional that just needs time away to, you know, retreat from all of their responsibilities or it could be somebody that is stuck in repetitive behavior or negative thoughts and in fact my signature program is reset your defaults. And I developed that based on my own experiences. What I have found is that I’ve woven together neuroscience and psychology, intuition all of these different things into this program and what it does is basically our neurons when they communicate, they form pathways and when we engage in negative or positive but when we engage in negative thoughts and behaviors and actions they can be, actually they create neural grooves and so it’s easier for that connection to continue and repeated behavior to continue. So the idea is that we will continue in that way unless we do something different. And so I focus on creating positive pathways and the idea is that hopefully it will become second nature and when difficulties arise will continue in the positive pathway rather than the negatives, we have better outcomes. So it could be somebody like that or it could be somebody that’s experiencing grief and loss or you know just somebody that wants to engage in self-discovery. I have all sorts of different types of retreats on from 2 hours to you know the reset your defaults is 12 weeks so there’s quite an array for whatever your experience is.
NL: Yeah and I love that because you set up a space where people can get this type of access to information into healing into the energetic gifts that you have but what you know from the comfort of their own home you know with retreats like this is so much expense that's involved with you know flying and hotels and the whole thing. But this way you know you're actually tailored able to tailor make it too specific people and the challenges that they're facing. So tell me what's your big vision for your business.
DH: I have lots of vision about this. To remember to stay where I’m at but also to look ahead kind of like when I’m hiking you have to look where your foot is but also where you’re going. What I would like to create is, I’m calling it “Revelation Gardens” and it’s going to have like a forgiveness walk so basically an on-site component of this as well. So there’ll be a forgiveness walk, and prayer gardens and forests and I don’t really like the term forest bathing so I like maybe you know forest soaking just trying to get some of that rejuvenation from nature. So there’ll be those components and then some workshops. I’d like to have some really vibrant gardens to teach people where their food comes from. I have some cooking classes so kind of a whole spectrum but that’s farther down the road. So right now I’m focusing on this online mechanism.
NL: Well Dawn, I want to thank you for joining me today and I want to congratulate you on your success. Like you said, if you mean you had this germinating, you had a very, you had a vision of what you wanted but being able to apply the principles you’re able to create something that you really help to serve people and to be able to rise above the circumstances in our lives you know to be able to shift that to a place where you know you’re doing this service I just highly commend you for it and thank you so much for joining me today. So if people want to connect with you, where can we send them to do that?
NL: Okay, perfect. Now we'll also have a banner to the side or a link underneath the video here so you can click on that and go straight through to Dawn's website, connect with her and take advantage of some of the services that she's offering there. So thanks again, Dawn. It's been an absolute pleasure chatting with you today.
DH: Have a fabulous day.
NL: Thank you. Now I encourage you guys to share this video. You can do that by clicking the Facebook and the Twitter share buttons on the page and don’t forget after the show is over if you want to click that link below the video it’ll take you through to my 30-second quiz so we can figure out what’s holding you back from success. So until next time, remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. Thanks, guys, we’ll see you soon.