Need more joy in your life? I have ideas for you.
I’m Shauna — a writer, a teacher, and a lifelong believer in people. I want to help you find your own joy.
I built a huge online community through my food blog, Gluten-Free Girl. My husband and I taught culinary getaways in a villa in Tuscany, appeared on The Food Network, and won a James Beard award for one of our three published cookbooks.
Through it all, I shared the secret ingredient to living gluten-free easily: joy.
Joy has always been my theme song.
Through my life, however, I experienced deep anxiety and a feeling of being not good enough. This terrible feeling of overwhelm plagued me all my life.
I lost the 4th-grade spelling bee in the last round, on the word bicycle. Ever since, whenever I am feeling particularly overwhelmed, I repeat it in my head: B I C Y C L E. B I C Y C L E. When I hear that chant in my head, I know that I need to stop and breathe.
Then, find some joy.
How do I know to pay attention to that clue now? In 2015, in the midst of running Gluten-Free Girl, a gluten-free flour business, a cookbook due to the publishers, a kitchen studio with my husband where we held dinners, and two children — our son Desmond less than one year old — I suffered a mini stroke.
The process of recovering from it changed my life.
I detailed that shift in my latest book, ENOUGH: Notes from a Woman Who Has Finally Found It. The book of essays was recommended by Brené Brown,The Washington Post, and thousands of readers who say the book has changed their lives.
In the book, I shared my personal story with vulnerability. (Oof, that was hard work.)
And I wrote about the process I believe we all have to walk through:
moving from feeling not good enough
to doing the hard work of saying enough pretending
to the joy of finding our own definition of mostly enough.
I’m insatiably curious. I never stop being amazed. I’ve endured enormous trauma in my life but I continue blossoming, up from the mud.
And I want to share my joy with you, through this newsletter.
Here, I write and talk with people about choosing joy to find enough.
Through joy, we can change our culture.
When you subscribe, you’ll receive a little letter every morning. Some will be brief stories of delight. I’ll send you recommendations for podcast episodes, dance videos, and books to read. Some mornings, you’ll find love letters about the small things in life that bring me joy. And always, I amplify the joy that other people are creating in this world.
We need to create joy together.
My daughter Lucy gave me best compliment recently: “Mama, you’re really good at making people feel enthusiastic about life.”
Can I put that on a resume? That’s all that matters to me.
I would love to help you find your own joy.