Aloha! I'm Shiuan Butler, the creator of Journaling Sisters! I love stand-up paddling surfing, crackling fireplaces and constantly challenging myself.
I'm a Chinese American female and an immigrant from Taiwan. So I know all about assimilating into a dominant culture and what that can do to a young person. (Not pretty!) Especially a young one that already had an abusive past and was timid, quiet and seemingly calm, but was really hiding her true self. This laid in a foundation of trying to stay invisible and fit in to the majority culture as much as possible.
I know what it's like to feel self-doubt, unworthy, and invisible.
I have 20 years of experience of deep, intensive counseling, a non-traditional form of peer counseling within a grassroots, activist organization, including counseling people from all backgrounds all over the world and being counseled by leaders with decades of experience. I have invested in my own emotional and spiritual self by diving deep to heal from hurts and reclaim the powerful female that I know I am. And now, I want to hold that sacred space for you.
My life would have gone down a completely different path if I had remained trapped in that environment. And now through Journaling Sisters, I want to make sure that women like you, really take charge of your One Life and don't just live passively -- whether you're in an abusive relationship or not. Sometimes we're 'just surviving' instead of really taking charge of our lives. We are simply floating along, settling, giving the power to someone else (our partners, our bosses, our parents, our children), procrastinating and generally making excuses for why we can't do what we really want to be doing.
I was very fortunate as a teenager to land in an incredible nonprofit organization. The theories and people and practice of releasing my feelings and learning about human nature and patterns and how oppressions work has been instrumental in helping me see my own patterns and opening my eyes to a vast array of patterns and experiences.
I am now able to take all that I've learned from counseling others and being counseled and apply it to holding safe spaces and guiding women in our workshops. I don't assume that I am the expert here or that I have all the answers for you. I do, however, believe in asking key questions--sometimes hard questions-- to help you look within and suss out and sift through your emotions and thoughts to your true feelings and desires underneath.
Moving to Hawai'i was another huge pivotal experience. It was the first time I found something that lighted up my life--my biggest love-- surfing. I had never felt so alive, powerful, strong and free.
Now, I want to support women --just like you-- discover your passion and purpose in life. Whether it's something that gives back to the community or is your unique contribution to the world or your own passion or hobby that truly lights you up. It is incredibly important to find your big passion or purpose in life. And to take all the time you need to figure out what that is. You are worth it!
Journaling is something that has always been with me-- at least since age 6. I had my diary with the key that I used to hide and sometimes forget where I hid it. Throughout my life, whenever I went through hard times, I always had my journal as a safe, nonjudgmental space I could lean on. Yes, I had friends. I even had my incredible peer counseling community where I could vent and cry whenever I needed to. Maybe it's because I've been more shy or quiet much of my life, but my journal was a place that I could really relax and be myself. It's also where I could hear my thoughts and give them space to slowly form. If I was trying to figure out what I thought about something, what I really wanted, how to make a major decision, my journal was inevitably where I would go to find clarity and sort through the confusion of feelings and jumbled up thoughts. If I was going through a break-up (one of the hardest things in life, I think) my journal was always there, as a nonjudgmental space for me to crawl into and vent. I could say whatever I wanted, rational or not, and it didn't hold it against me afterward.
I started Journaling Sisters in 2016 because I was living in New York City and I could see my girlfriends and I getting overwhelmed and swamped by the fast-paced treadmill we were all on. We barely had enough energy and wherewithal to keep up and keep our heads above water, never mind plan ahead. If we don't have time to pause and reflect, "How will we know that where we're headed is still where we want to be headed?" I wondered.
Whether you want help chasing your dreams and be reminded of the strength that is already inside you,
Whether you want support in going through a particularly
tough time right now,
Whether you simply want to take time for some self-reflection,
"And through the stillness, you might just be led back
to your true desires and dreams."
Well, what are you waiting for? This is your One Precious Life. What might you achieve if you really went for it? Dare to believe. Dare to dream. Dare to listen to that voice, that teeny one, deep within, or maybe the one always pulling on your ear -- you were meant for more. Let's go on our self-discovery journey together! See you on the inside!