5 Questions With Shelley Paxton
Personal Growth Magazine Asks Thought Leaders 5 Questions…
1 – In the midst of the current pandemic, what are your most productive daily habits?
A: Finding my (soul) signal. There’s so much noise in the world right now. It can create loads of fear and uncertainty and overwhelm. The antidote is silence. I give myself permission to be still once a day for at least 15 minutes. I tune out the world and tune into that little voice inside. It’s my signal amidst the noise; my stability from the inside out.
B: Embracing conscious growth. We always grow through hard times so I’m choosing to be intentional about how I want to consciously grow through this crisis. For me that means sharing my gifts (and message) with the world in a bigger way than ever before and deepening my understanding of well-being.
C: Practicing radical self-care. Morning meditation, minimum 8 hours sleep, naps when needed, clean eating, breaks between zoom calls, a walk a day, and a cardio kickboxing workout every morning. It sometimes means taking the afternoon off to read, and it always means limiting consumption of the news.
2 – What did you have to sacrifice to get to where you are today?
My biggest sacrifices on this journey were long-held beliefs – letting go of the “shoulds” that kept me on someone else’s path, chasing someone else’s dream for decades. Yes, it’s a twist on the question, but it’s profoundly true. The biggest one for me was believing I should stay on the corporate track because I’m good at what I do (even though it doesn’t bring me joy). I’ve been fortunate enough to make it this far (most people don’t), and I’m too old/it’s too late to pivot and succeed (so why risk it). I’m so grateful that I risked disappointing others so as not to disappoint myself.
3 – What is this “SOULBBATICAL” that you write about in your new book?
I got it all wrong in the beginning. Soulbbatical isn’t about leaving your job, it’s about finding yourself. It’s about rediscovering who you are, what you really want, and the impact you want to have in the world. It’s about sitting still long enough to listen to that little voice inside of you – then taking a deep breath and letting it guide you. Ultimately, it is a commitment to rewriting the script of success to be success-FULL. Success on the outside doesn’t have to mean dying on the inside.
4 – You’ve dubbed yourself the Chief Soul Officer of your own life. How can others do that for themselves?
Yes, and it’s by far the most important title I’ve ever held. It’s a reminder of what really matters. Honoring it has invited so much synchronicity and possibility into my life. It starts with accepting responsibility for nurturing both yourself and your soul; believing that self-worth trumps net worth; and giving yourself permission to show up as the most authentic, courageous, purposeful you in the moment. It means releasing the “shoulds” and owning the “cans” in order to create the life you really want to live. And celebrating values over validation.
5 – What’s your favorite quote and your favorite book and why?
My favorite quote is by Brené Brown: “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are.” It expresses the very essence of my journey. In fact, I’ve created my own version which says that authenticity is the truest form of rebellion.
Choosing a favorite book is challenging for me. However, one that’s been incredibly influential is “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert. She is another one of my sheroes – and a patron saint of vulnerability, strength, and courage.
About Shelley Paxton and SOULBBATICAL:
Shelley Paxton is a former Harley-Davidson executive who walked away at the peak of her 26-year marketing career. But why? For Shelley, she wanted to reconnect with her true purpose and deepest desires during a profoundly personal journey. She christened herself as Chief Soul Officer and called it her “soulbbatical.” During this period, Shelley embarked on a pilgrimage that not only changed her life, but became her calling. She shares her personal voyage in her new book… “SOULBBATICAL: A Corporate Rebel’s Guide to Finding Your Best Life”.
Shelley Paxton is a Chicago based author, speaker, and transformational coach. She spent many years as a highly regarded marketing and advertising executive, stewarding some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Harley-Davidson, Visa, McDonald’s, and AOL. In 2016, she left the corporate world to launch her own company, with the mission to liberate the souls of leaders and organizations by inspiring them to realize their greatest purpose and potential. She holds a marketing degree from Boston College and graduated from iPEC, one of the country’s premier coaching certification programs. Paxton has trained with some of the top teachers in the world including Brene’ Brown, five-time New York Times bestselling author. You can find her online at soulbbatical.com. She also loves connecting with fellow rebel souls on Instagram @soulbbatical.