Starr Sheppard-Decker shows us the sassy side of spirituality. Hold onto your hats, get ready for some irreverent - and reverent - spiritual talk with a side of sass and a dash of 13-year-old boy humor. Probably *not* for traditional religious folk. [Explicit]
- How do you define spirituality?
- Spirituality & shame
- Do you have a nice God, or is he kind of a d*ck?
- Are humans inherently flawed? (Or not)
- The problem with most leadership styles
- Fun, Minecraft, and 13-year-old boy humor
Ready for a little sass and spirituality? Join @radrevalations and @jensmcfarland for some irreverent spirituality talk. #podcasts #spirituality
Have Questions or a Comment?
Meet Starr Sheppard-Decker
Starr Sheppard-Decker, is a spiritual and business coach, facilitator, speaker, activist, rebel, professional vocalist, wife, mother of three, and founder of Radical Revelations. She has been having controversial conversations online and in Portland for over 15 years, and has been passionate about the planet since she was a small child. From seeing clients for 10 years to facilitating live events and doing personal development for nearly 20, she offers her years of experience in various ways, including a weekly virtual Spiritual service, a monthly virtual support group, a monthly life event, and private and group coaching.
After being shamed in spiritual community for being a leader also dealing with chronic health issues and family estrangement, Starr walked away in 2015 and got the deeper healing she needed. She now supports other Coaches, Healers & Changemakers who are dealing with challenges like loss, injury, tragedy or transition. She helps them to build inner stability and business sustainability so these leaders can keep giving their best, even if they’re at their worst. Starr sees an unhealthy approach to leadership and personal transformation, and wishes to bring light to the dark places in her industry through love, awareness, and truth.
Business Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RadRevelations/
Starr Stuff: https://starrshepparddecker.com/starr-stuff/
About Host Jen McFarland
Jen is a consultant, speaker, author, and host of the successful women in business podcast, Women Conquer Business Podcast. She helps her clients with gratitude-based leadership practices, strategic project planning, and digital marketing. Here are some free business resources to get you started.
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Transcript: Spirituality & Sass with Starr Sheppard-Decker
Hey guys, this is Jen. On last week's show, I was a little bit more meditative around spiritual journeys in business. This week, we get a little bit irreverent, and reverent, and 13-year-old boy humor. That's right. My friend Starr drops by today, on Women Conquer Business.
My name is Jen McFarland. I help business owners like you lead, plan, and execute their projects for maximum impact. Women-led businesses receive less funding, yet our businesses are more successful. As consumers, we hold the purse strings. It's time for us to take on the business world. Welcome to Women Conquer Business.
Meet Starr Sheppard-Decker
[music] Starr Sheppard-Decker is a spiritual and business coach, facilitator, speaker, activist, rebel, professional vocalist, wife, mother of three, and founder of Radical Revelations. She's been having controversial conversations online and in Portland for over 15 years and has been passionate about the planet since she was a small child.
From seeing clients for ten years to facilitating at live events and doing personal development for nearly 20 years, she offers her years of experience in various ways, including a weekly virtual spiritual service, a monthly virtual support group, a monthly live event, and private and group coaching.
After being shamed in a spiritual community for being a leader dealing with chronic health issues and family estrangement, Starr walked away in 2015 and got the deeper healing she needed. She now supports other coaches, healers, and changemakers who are dealing with challenges like loss, injury, tragedy, or transition.
She helps them build inner stability and business sustainability so these leaders can help to give their best, even if they're at their worst. Starr sees an unhealthy approach to leadership and personal transformation and wishes to bring light to the dark places in her industry through love, awareness, and truth. Please welcome Starr to the show.
Hey Starr, welcome to the show.
Hi, Jen. How's it going?
How do you define spirituality?
Good. So we've been talking for a little bit here before we got started, and the big question that I wanted to ask, just straight away, is how do you define spirituality?
Ooh, starting with the hard stuff. I love it. I like to define spirituality as, really, a connection to something greater than ourselves.
So you could define that as nature or as some deity that you think is in the sky if that's your jam.
It's not really my jam.
For me, spirituality is really just being connected to all that is and recognizing that there are energies and universal laws and principles that are bigger than me and what my ego wants, that is engaging all the time. And so for me, spirituality is being willing to connect with the deeper part of myself as well as being able to connect with that bigger thing, whatever you choose to call it.
I think that's really beautiful. And what I really enjoyed about something that you said earlier was that you do these spiritual Sundays, but you didn't get there in a way that people maybe would have expected or is "the right way" to integrate it into your business. Would you mind talking about that a little bit?
Integrating Spirituality and Business
Yeah, definitely. I've been seeing clients for over ten years, and I've been doing lots of things. I've been running events in Portland for over 15 years. And I was a serial niche switcher. And I finally found my niche. Yay. I know who I'm going to help and what I'm going to help them with. It's so rewarding, and then, in January of this year, I sort of had what us [woo?] people call a download in the shower, where the whole idea of Starr's Spiritual Sundays came, complete with name and time and service order and all the things.
And then, of course, my ego/logic business brain was like, "No, no, no. That doesn't fit into your business model. No, no, no. That doesn't fit into your niche. It's not business-focus. Let's not do that. Oh, the family will have to reorganize their life on Sundays for you. Let's not do that." Because I don't have an office right now, I'm parked at the dining room table.
It's all about listening to ourselves
So, for example, right now, my kids are home, and they're banished to their room for the next hour so we don't hear doors creaking and water pouring right next to me or food being prepared in the kitchen. And then I experienced about a week and a half, two weeks, of a lot of pain. I had some chronic health issues that got flared up and just some challenging stuff all at once. And I don't believe in what I call dick God. So dick God is the guy that puts a rock in front of you so you'll trip and learn a lesson.
What a dick. I don't believe in that guy.
But I do believe that if we're not listening to ourselves, something in us will kind of-- it's like shaking someone to make them snap to it, like, "Come on. Get with me here." And I feel like those two weeks were--it was like my higher self or the universe or source or whatever you want to call it just shaking me and being like, "Look. You already have the thing to do. It is yours to do. Fucking do it." And so I said, "All right. I'm going to do this. I'm going to do this thing, but I'm not quite sure why I'm doing it. But I know that it's mine to do." And I started on March 3rd, the first Sunday in March, and have been going every Sunday ever since.
And it has been so magical. And while I'm not saying that it is the exact thing that caused this outcome, but I haven't had a chronic illness flareup since that time in January. Isn't that interesting? So yeah, that was sort of how it came to be, and it has just been really rewarding for me to have a platform to share my story and to share these principles that I've been learning for 15, 20 years. And I've got this huge toolbox full of so much awesomeness, and now I have a place to share it.
I think that's so great. And I do think that it's interesting. My dad's name is Dick. So when you said a dick God [laughter], I was like, "Are we talking about Dick McFarland here for a minute? I don't know."
Awesome. I love it.
Your body knows when you're not in alignment
But I do think that your health and your body responds when you're bottling things up inside. Is that kind of what you were talking about?
Absolutely, yup. And now, I have this platform I've created where I get to share consistently. Even if I'm having a week like this week, where I'm mostly at home in my pajamas, as opposed to a week where I'm out networking and doing all the things, I still have this consistent platform where I get to show up and be creative and think of things that I already know. It's not like I'm doing a lot of study for this particular gift because I already have done the study. It's just getting creative on how I'm packaging it and, "Oh, what are the three tips I think goes with this theme?" And being more in kind of a channel-ly energy when I give my talk. And it's been great.
Tell us about Starr's Spiritual Sundays
So what are some of the topics that you cover on Sundays?
Oh, gosh. So this month has been abundance and receptivity for the whole month. And then, I do different topics each week. So last week was Receptivity 101. The week before that was Blocks of Blessings and all sorts of fun stuff. Let's see. Some of my other monthly themes have been.
In August, we did cultural deprogramming. I've done emotions 11. There's been a lot of — I just kind of tap into what people are talking about and that's why I — like I'll be honest, it is September 25th as we have this interview, and I have not picked my theme for October yet, but I trust that it will come-- not in that logical, "I'm going to figure this out." Sort of way. But in that, "I will get into a meditative state and just ask what the source wants to say through me, and what do the people need right now." I tried to make it as timely as possible. And so I trust that something cool will come out.
What is logic, anyway?
Absolutely. And what I just wanted to offer is, I was reading an article this week about logic and logic it turns out is impossible to define, right? So when they try to do it like in the Oxford dictionary, Cambridge, all these different places. It's like pages and pages and pages. So perhaps, get ready, your mind is going to be blown. Maybe this is the logical way that you do things.
Wow. Yes. That is very true. Maybe not the linear way teaches us to do things. But yeah, I think that that's probably — I like that. I like —
Well, I think, yeah. I mean, I think that when we say things, it's not the logical way, even though I don't think that you're saying that as a negative about yourself, I think other people use it in that way. Like, "Well, it's not logical." So what I would argue is that logic is different for every person. So then it means however it works for you is beautiful and I know that that's a lot of what you believe in too is finding that journey, finding that strength and seeing the beauty in the journey, right?
I love that. I guess maybe I've just watched too many Star Trek episodes, where it's like-- logic means without emotion and kind of cold and detached as far as Spock goes. But I like your definition better. Yes.
I mean, I think you can live long and prosperous and still have a lot of emotion.
Me too. We're emotional beings.
I was on Facebook-- We are. We're emotional beings. And as an aside, I was on Facebook yesterday, and someone told a Star Trek joke, and I was like, "That's lost on me." And then it turned into a total Gif back and forth about me not feeling shame about not knowing about Star Trek.
That's alright. I will tuck that in my pocket to shame you later, but I won't do that on your show.
Starr shares about her spiritual journey
I was wondering-- so one of the things that you've mentioned a couple of times is that you're prepared for having a spiritual Sunday and so would you mind talking a little bit about what [inaudible] has kind of prepared you to be able to, receive these downloads and then share them on Sunday is with such ease? So what about your spiritual journey are you willing to share?
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think it's two-fold. One is, I've trained for years. I mean, just to become a spiritual practitioner through the centers for spiritual living, which I became in 2009. There were years of study that went along with that, and stacks of books, and I've got this crazy memory where everything that I've read or thing that I've applied to my spiritual journey, I remember. I remember where I was and how it helped me and all that good stuff.
So it's easy for me to be like, "Okay, I'm going to talk about emotions. How did I get through my emotions?" And I can pull all this stuff out of my toolbox. So that's part of it. But I think another part of it is doing my monthly Meetups so this coming month in October, or I think maybe this month for those of you who aren't listening, is my three-year anniversary for Portland Lunch Meetup which is so exciting. It's a local meetup for conscious coaches, healers, and entrepreneurs.
And I always do a talk, and then there's a guest speaker, and then I do some live coaching in the room. And the first six to eight months, I was putting a lot of time and energy into writing these talks because I still felt a lack of confidence. I'm a performer, I've been on stages my whole life, but I'd never really done public speaking and public teaching, and so it was still a new skill for me.
And I remember about after the five or six-month mark I would get out my talk in the morning, kind of practice it, and then I would get on the day of the event, and I would rewrite the whole fucking thing in the shower. So, and then I'd come out, and I'd scribble on the paper that I had printed out.
And so, as we were talking about, one of the things that I'm passionate about is working with who we actually are and aligning ourselves with our natural flow and how we do things instead of expecting ourselves to be someone else to be successful. And so after a few months of this, I went, "Well, why don't I just write my talk in the morning the day of the event since that's what I'm doing anyway?" And then, I streamlined my process on how I prepared for the event, and it became much lighter to where I wasn't spending a lot of time throughout the month thinking about my monthly event. There was some promotion that went on and some interaction with the speaker and the sponsor, but there wasn't a lot of prep for-- and there wasn't a lot of anxiety around that because I trusted that I was going to write an amazing talk in the shower that day anyway. And so I think that built up my muscle to be able to do Starr's Spiritual Sundays. When I agreed with myself to do it because let's be honest, I charge $5 a month, this isn't a big money-maker for me, and there's a lot of other things that I'm doing in my life and in my business that do require more focus and attention.
And so the agreement I made with myself is I'm only going to do Starr's Spiritual Sundays if I do it like I do the Portland Lunch Meetup where I'm just waking up Sunday morning and pulling a talk out of my ass that day. It's a beautiful, spiritual ass, but that's what I'm doing, that is my process [laughter]. And so I think it's worked well for me because I already had built up that muscle of trusting in myself and trusting my ability to take this concept and distill it into a message that was clear and valuable and receivable by my people. And also, again, I have this huge toolbox that I keep adding things to because I'm always growing and learning, that is fun for me to share with my people.
Man, I think that that is so cool. It just makes me so excited.
Why do we get our best thoughts in the shower, anyway?
Oh, I do have a question. You might not know the answer, but just in case you do, why do you think so many of us get answers to our questions when we're in the shower?
I read some stuff that it actually puts us in our more artistic, creative brain to be in the shower. There's something about the water. I also think energetically water has a lot of creativity in it. There's a lot of flow and so I think we just get kind of submerged in this flowy energy and we get outside of ourselves and I think that we leave enough space because part of our brain is thinking about washing, like what order we're washing stuff in and did I get my elbow and-- and then part of us is just ah water, and it's like we crack ourselves open enough to leave space for stuff to come in. That's my theory.
That's kind of what I've always thought too, but a lot of times people are waiting, what? You just thought about all this in the shower? And I'm yeah.
I think of amazing things in the shower and driving. Driving and the shower are places where amazing ideas come out, which is also kind of fascinating because both of those places, it's really challenging to really write those and capture those ideas down. I've written amazing songs in the shower and sang it over and over again just so I don't forget it, and then I walk out of the shower, and It's like the threshold is the magic forgetter, and it just goes away. I'm like, "Dang it. I was just singing that like two minutes ago. Where'd it go?" So I definitely think that people who have ways to capture stuff in the shower, it's good stuff, like whiteboards in the shower or waterproof recorders or stuff like that. I can't tell you how many times I've run out of the shower, dripping wet, grabbed my phone and recorded something on my phone just so it didn't go away.
Yeah. So if you know of a way of recording things in the shower, please go to jenmcfarland.com/podcast and record [laughter] your message and let us know, and we'll play it on the air.
Yes. I love that. Please, we need to know.
We need to know. And then the other thing I wanted to follow up on that is-- what was that you were saying about a dick god? I mean, because honestly, why do all these good ideas come when I have a dream, when I'm driving my car, and when I'm in the shower.
Yes. Well, I think there's a difference between dick god and funny sense of humor god. So there might be some overlap there.
Fine line, Starr. Fine line.
I know. It's a fine line for sure [laughter]. I love it. I love it. Maybe dick god and sense of humor god hang out.
Oh, they totally hang out. I think so. I think they're upstairs in some bar somewhere just like, "Oh, hey, let's do this now. Pull my finger." No [laughter].
There're some really great tweets I've seen about someone talking about how God just spoke to itself as it was creating stuff. It was like, "Yeah. Let's make a giraffe [laughter]." Oh my Gosh. I'm not nearly giving it as much credit as it is hilarious, but I remember something about mushrooms and a giraffe. That's what I remember, and it just being really funny kind of imagining like, "Is God drunk, or?" I don't believe in that personality version of God, but it's still fun to joke about.
Oh, it's still fun. Yeah.
Oh, yeah. Exactly.
Yeah. So, yeah, if you're a really-- there are certain types of spiritual people who might not appreciate this episode. Let's just put it that way.
I think that's fair, yeah. I think that's
Is that fair?
Yeah. I think that's fair to assume.
Yeah. Jen and Starr aren't for everyone.
I was just going to say, "I know I'm not for everyone [laughter]." I could probably guess the same about you.
I'm trying to let you take a drink, man. You just take forever.
Sorry. There's so much to say, but yes.
Yeah. We're sitting here on Zoom, for those of us who can't see us, which would be, oh, everybody, and Starr was holding a-- it looks like a mason jar with water in it-- for like five minutes. And I kept pausing waiting for her to drink, and then she just kept talking again holding this drink, holding this glass of water [laughter].
Well, I didn't want to leave you hanging. So I was waiting for you to start a big long talk thing so that I could drink while you were talking. So, see, we're both waiting for each other. We're so considerate.
Are we [laughter]?
Okay. We are. That's right. We are.
Where do you see shame in the world and how do you think we can curb it?
So one of the things, as I'm going through your bio and that you've kind of mentioned a little bit, is I think that both of us have gone through our own journeys around shame, and then, now, we are-- eh, we're still processing a little, but we're pretty much on the other side of it and very aware of things like shame —
Yeah. Yeah. Totally.
— and helping people not live in their shame. So I was wondering if you wanted to talk just a little bit about, I guess, where you see shame in the world and how you think we can all work together to help curb it.
I love that. Yeah. Well, one of the things I like to talk about is moving beyond right and wrong, kind of being able to get above that duality for a minute so we can see that, sometimes, things just are and that right and wrong are really human judgments that we make up about stuff, and that, really, all is part of creation and all of us have some parts of us that are dark and scary and hard to handle and amazing and brilliant and expansive.
And to pretend that we're either one or the other, I think, does all of us a disservice. And so one of the places I see shame show up is really making ourselves wrong.
And it's funny because we talked a lot about spirituality and we mentioned that maybe some people might not like the tone of our talk today, and I actually talk about this in a lot of our shame comes from Christianity or Catholicism, where it's the belief that we are inherently broken, that we are born inherently wrong, that humans are inherently flawed, and then we're supposed to spend our entire life trying to make up for that or prove our worthiness, but no matter how hard we try, we still can't get past it because "Dang it. We're inherently crappy."
People are inherently good, aren't they? (YES)
And I think that that comes up for a lot of us even if we don't believe a certain religion. I think it's still is ingrained in our societal view of what humanity is. I love the movie The Matrix, but one of the things that I hate about how they speak of humanity is in the moment where Agent Smith is talking to Morpheus, and he's trying to get him to give him the codes to Zion and all this stuff, and he's talking about humanity as a parasite.
And I think a lot of us view humanity that way. That humans generally suck, and we're the reason why everything's going wrong. And I don't believe that. I believe that humans are inherently amazing. That we are a part of creation just like everything else, and we've been taught a really crappy story about what humanity is. And humanity is humans, our story, and actors. So it's like you tell a kid that they're a pile of crap they will eventually believe it, and they will prove to you — they will give you evidence to continue to judge them that way.
But if you tell a kid that they are amazing and they can do whatever they want and that they are powerful and beautiful just as they are, they're going to have a very different experience of themselves and the world as they grow into themselves and as they do things. And so I think that where shame lies is in this believing A, that I as an individual am inherently flawed and wrong and there's nothing I can do about it. And B, humanity is wrong and flawed, and no matter how hard we try, we're the scourge of the planet.
Blah, blah, blah.
And I just don't believe either of those things. I think its crap. And I think it's one of the biggest lies that we've ever been told. And that really how that shows up for each of us individually is different and unique, but a lot of the inner work that I end up doing with my clients is finding that root, shitty story that someone is telling themselves about themselves that is kind of at the core of all their issues. It's like the roots of a tree.
Even if I can't see the roots, I know that they're there because this tree has all these branches, and I know how trees work. And so if someone comes to me and they have all this stuff, it's like, I can find that root. And I know for myself, I was told in my childhood that I was a bother. That I was obnoxious. That I should just go away, one of the nicknames that my mom had for me when I was two, was "bug me." And she'd say, "Run away little 'bug me.' Go bug somebody else." Wow.
And so I know that even now there are times, especially if I'm not superconscious or I'm feeling off, or I'm not feeling in my power, that will be what I make up. I make up that I'm a bother to people. I make myself wrong. I carry shame around that. And yet I believe that awareness equals choice.
And so because I'm aware of this root cause, I can choose not to live that as my truth. Even though it's in there, I don't really believe that we can pluck out those root causes like a weed-like we're taught in some personal development approaches because that is a part of our human brain, how it's made up, from zero to six that really builds the foundation of our brain. But I do believe that I can shift how I relate to that belief. I can shift my relationship to it. I can understand that it's not true.
And when I'm aware of it, I can feel that little girl that's like, "Oh, no. I'm a bother. Jen McFarland doesn't like me." And then I can remember, it's like, "Oh, no, wait. Jen thinks I'm pretty awesome, and she invited me to speak on her podcast." And here we are. And so I think that if we can all become more aware of what those root, shitty beliefs that we have about ourselves are, then we can heal our relationship to them, and we can start making different choices.
We can choose from identification with our wholeness and with our power and with our brilliance. Rather than, "I am a broken, flawed, human, and I always will be."
[That's?] it's powerful stuff, and I really think that that is how you're so effective with your clients because, I mean, you work with people who are dealing with things like loss and injury and tragedy. It seems like there would be a lot of shame baked into that.
[Well, not?] shame. Well, because of that whole buy in to good and bad, then we have this underlying buy in to, "Good things happen to good people. Bad things happen to bad people. So if you've got something you don't like in your life, well, you must suck. It must be because there's something wrong with you." And that's where I come in and really remind people that their circumstances do not define them and that there can be something going on in their life that really sucks, that is totally out of their control, and does not reflect them as a being.
What do you think is an unhealthy approach to leadership?
That doesn't mean anything about them. And especially for these leaders, these coaches and healers and change-makers that are doing awesome stuff in the world, I don't want their shame about their life situation to keep them from giving their gift because I think that we all have really awesome gifts to give, and so anything that I can do to help them reframe that, shift their relationship to that, I think is powerful for them and for the whole world.
Absolutely. Absolutely. So what do you think is an unhealthy approach to leadership? Is it part of the shame, or is that something different?
Yeah. I think it overlaps with that because, again, I'm sorry, religious people, but you've got some history that affects all of us. I think the approach to leadership that I believe is not healthy is that leader on a pedestal approach where, long ago, priests were above the rest of us, and we had to go to priests in order to "reach God," and that model has been passed down. Like I said, even for those of us who aren't religious, we still have this belief that leaders must be above the rest, and they must have something figured out that no one else does, and their life must be perfect.
And we put leaders that we follow on a pedestal, and we figure, "Oh, well, they must have this perfect amazing life." And I actually spoke to that at my event just last week that when we put anyone on a pedestal, we do everyone a disservice because, eventually, that pedestal is going to break. I still remember when my first mentor's pedestal got dismantled by me, and it was very painful because I wanted them to be the perfect person. I wanted it to be like, "Oh, I finally found the one who has it all figured out, and they are going to show me the way in having it all figured out."
And it's so much more freeing to realize that's a crock of shit. Nobody has it all figured out. And some of us have-- I have a skillset, but that doesn't mean that I don't have challenges. It doesn't mean that I'm perfect and that I move through every challenge with perfect grace. Sometimes, I just ball up in the corner and cry, and that's okay too. And so I think the unhealthy approach to leadership is really upholding this old idea that leaders have to be perfect or else they have no right being a leader.
I totally agree. It's so funny because we have these conversations with our friends and stuff about how people have let us down, and sometimes we put each other on pedestals just in friendship and not even necessarily as leaders. The leadership approach that I really like-- I don't adhere to any sort of doctrine, all the way, on leadership, but I do like the idea of servant leadership, which is to say that within any layer of an organization, you're a leader because I believe that everybody is a leader and that you just lead from where you're at.
And I find that to be really empowering for people because some people don't see themselves as leaders at all because they're looking at it as a position instead of a way of being.
Right. Yes. Yeah. You can be a leader of a household. You can be a leader-- energy in a business where you don't have a leadership position, but still, people flock to you because there are all sorts of different ways we can lead. And I think when we dismantle the pedestal for everybody, like you're saying, even in friendships and in relationships and in business, that we really understand what we're reaching out to someone because they have a skill set or a perspective that we appreciate, not because they're above us or that we're beneath them.
Absolutely. And I'm curious to know if you see the same thing as me. I think that there are a lot of things happening in the world that are showing that potentially the pedestal globally is starting to fall or falter.
Yeah. Yes. Absolutely. Yeah. You can see it in social media what people are after, what people are hungry for, what people are reacting to, what people are drawn to is visibility in a vulnerable way. People are sharing their stories. People being real about not just their successes but their challenges. And I think people are really hungry for that. We're coming off a hundred years of what one author calls inadequacy marketing, where we were really taught that we are not good enough until we buy something that makes us whole.
And we're totally over it. We're so over it, and we can smell it from a mile away. As soon as there's this approach to oh, well, you're less than. I will save you and elevate you to enough. It's like boo [laughter]. And no one wants that shit anymore. We want to connect with someone who's real. We want to connect with someone who isn't pretending. I did a workshop earlier this month called The [Marvel Visibility?], and I say that we're over beach body ready Instagram posts as the thing that we want to aspire to. We really are wanting, we're hungry for people that are willing to show themselves and not just talk about challenges they had five years ago and how they got through them, but challenges they had last week or maybe are having right now.
I think that's so true. And I think that we talk a lot-- Joseph Campbell, I think, coined the phrase of a hero's journey, but I think that oftentimes it gets told as if yep, done and the end.
Let the 13-year-old boy humor begin!
Check. And I think that, for me, it's like you maybe finish one arc and then another arc start is how I look at it.
Yes. Yeah. I agree. Alan Cullen, in one of his books, said that life is like juggling three balls. There's always one in the air. And it's really —
I'm sorry. You just said balls. What was that? The rest of that?
Your balls are in the air, Jen. Oh. Sorry [laughter].
No. But I think that that's true. I mean, if you are juggling, there's always one in the air. I want to acknowledge that I actually did hear what you said.
Thank you so much.
And then I am still a 13-year-old boy on the inside.
I know. That's how we became friends.
I know [laughter]. You said — yeah.
Pretty much. Because we've known each other since before — when I was still working at a regular job-job.
Yeah. It's been years.
Probably at least four. At least four years.
Man, I just totally rabbit trailed into [inaudible] and a 13-year-old boy. I don't even know where to go from here [laughter].
You know what, and I, of course, was thinking about how when I am singing and I test a microphone, I always say, "Testies, testies, one, two, three." No, I go, "Testies, testies, one, two, three?" Which is more fun.
Because you got to have one of your balls and your—
Three [laughter]? Exactly. It never gets old. It never gets old.
I mean, it might. Someone may [had?] turned this off but—
It doesn't get old for me [laughter].
The joke is always fun for me.
But I think it's an important approach. I was just going to say I think it's an important approach to life to not buy into this idea that if you do X, Y, and Z, then your life is settled, the end, check. Kind of like you were saying with the hero's journey [crosstalk].
Video games as a fun escape
Absolutely. Absolutely. It's kind of like you and video games, right? It's never done.
Yeah. No, there's always more gaming to do [laughter].
So do you want to talk about that? Not a lot of people talk about that overlap, right, of the business world, and gaming. And it's always been really fascinating to me because I've never really been into video games and yet I think there's a lot of strategy in there and I think it could be super helpful for business.
It's super fun.
I love that. Well, and I think it's a great way-- and I've noticed that I am attracted to play different kinds of video games depending on what kind of focus I'm using in my business. So if I'm in a place in my business where things are just kind of flowing, I've got a group program I'm giving, or I'm not really doing a big launch, that's when I want to play stuff like Zelda where I'm finding the thing and on the path and fighting the battles and figuring out the puzzles and all that stuff.
But when I was really heavily focusing on creating my workshop and my group program, and there's all this intense focus, I just wanted to go on Minecraft and build buildings in my city. I wanted to pick pretty colors and make things line up. Or maybe play Tetris where there's this sense of things coming together, but it's not like the quest energy that I really like in some of the other games that I play. So it's kind of fun to see what I'm drawn to based on what I'm giving in my business.
That is so cool. And it's funny, as you were saying, "If I'm really heavily focused," and I'm like, "She's going to say, 'Minecraft.'" And I'm like, "Why would I think that? I have never played Minecraft in my life [laughter]." But I have friends who do, and it seems like it's one of those laser focusey and fun kind of thing.
Well, what's funny is I don't actually play Minecraft. So if you know people who play Minecraft, there's like a whole survival aspect where you have to get food, and you have to build things, and you have to sleep and all this stuff. I don't even do that. I literally just play creative mode, and I've been building the same world for five years.
That's so awesome.
I've got this huge world that is just my own. And there's trees and mountains and a volcano and a whole city and a residential area and a forest and a temple in the woods and all sorts of random stuff. A desert and a big old desert labyrinth is hiding under the sand and underground tunnels that go to random places. And it's just a really fun place for me to go and be in the creative mode without there needing to be an end result in mind. And sometimes, I feel like building a building, and sometimes I feel like going around in the buildings I've already built and added furniture. And sometimes I feel like digging a gigantic lake or something. So it's really fun for me.
I love it. I think it's so beautiful. I mean, I think it's people who like to paint or to write just gives you that outlet that takes you to another world.
Starr's relationship with her grandmother
Totally. And it actually makes me think of my grandmother. I was making this parallel recently, and my grandmother and I had a very interesting relationship. She was probably one who loved me the most and also abused me the most. And I'd lived with her from the ages 12 to 19 and left and never looked back.
She passed away about ten years later. And after she left her body, I feel her presence way more loving and supportive than I ever did when she was alive. But one of the things that she did, she did daycare out of her house. And one of the things she did was she lived alone, covered all of her own expenses.
She didn't have anybody taking care of her. And it was pretty awesome for this single woman in the 70s and 80s and 90s to really be fully supporting herself, and owning a home, and running her own business out of her house, and all that stuff. And one of the things she did in her spare time was miniatures. I actually have her dollhouse in my garage that she built from scratch not with a kit — like this huge dollhouse--, and she was all about the details. I mean, it had electricity and wallpaper and curtains, and she used clay to make little, tiny foods and cookies.
And sometimes I think about-- and she was actually the one that got me into video games. She loved having me at the foot of her bed - she had a second TV for me in her room, she would buy me all the things - and I would sit at the foot of her bed and play Mario and play Zelda, play all these puzzle games and stuff. And she loved watching me play video games. She didn't have the hand coordination to play it herself, but she really loved watching me play. And sometimes I think she would have loved Minecraft. She would have loved the idea of just building this world. And I think she would have really enjoyed watching me create this world, and it would have been a place for us to connect because she created her own world physically with miniatures.
So awesome. So cool. And what a testament to the healing that you-- here's this person who wasn't that kind to you and yet now you're able to embrace it and think about ways that you could connect, and you feel her.
I do. She's definitely with me a lot of the time. She's one of my-- I'm not super into the whole spirit guide thing. Not that I'm against it, it's just not a place that I've dove in head first like in some other areas of spirituality. But whenever I do things, it's like bring in your guides like she's there.
It is neat. Wow. I feel like we've covered a lot of ground here.
I know, right?
Do you have any closing thoughts?
I guess the only thing that my heart is wanting to say is just to encourage everyone listening to really give themselves permission to define their own life. Because I think so many of us define our lives based on other people, or people we care about, or societal idea, or some magazine we read, or some book we read, or some movie we watched. And while we can't completely shut that off because that's just part of our tribal nature to define ourselves by our group, I think the most empowering thing we all can do is really define ourselves and define our lives our way. And there is a way to live your life or to create a business, or to be in a relationship; it is really in alignment with the truth of who you are. And it's up to you to go through the discovery process to figure out what that is. But when you do, when you land on it, it just makes everything else so much easier, and it's way less exhausting being yourself than it is trying to be somebody else.
How to reach Starr
Thank you. Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. How can people find you? Where can we reach you?
So I'm all over Facebook. If you type in URLs, which I don't know if anyone does that anymore, but facebook.com/mestarr M-E-S-T-A-R-R (https://facebook.com/mestarr). And then my website Radical Revelations, plural. My business is Radical Revelations, and that's where all my stuff goes, all of my events and my coaching, and there's a blog that probably needs some more updated content, but it's a great way to find out what I'm up to.
And you can even go to starrshepparddecker.com if you really want to, and you can binge me. I've actually created a whole page called Starr Stuff, and it has a list -- also probably needs to be updated. I haven't updated maybe in the last year with many of the interviews I've done, and in places, I've spoken. And so if you are interested in learning more about what I have to say about things, I'm sure that I say a lot on the page.
Are you sure [laughter]?
I'm pretty sure.
This interview is definitely going to get updated on there. I just know it. I can feel it.
It's going to be the motivation that I needed to update [laughter] the last year's worth of interview [inaudible] down there. Thanks.
So you can find Starr everywhere, and we'll put links in the show notes to everything. Starr, thank you so much for being on the show.
Thank you so much for having me. This is always fun to chat with you.
Let's get you in town so that we can hang out [laughter].
And we can talk about deep spirituality and [inaudible].
It sounds great.
Yes. Yes, please [laughter].
Hi! I’m Jen! I have over 25 years of training, teaching, and executive experience in leadership, strategic project planning, and digital marketing. Today, I am the founder of Women Conquer Business, a boutique consulting firm dedicated to helping women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community build sustainable businesses. I’m a frequent guest speaker and trainer. Get access to my free business growth accelerator and hang out with me on my weekly women in business podcast, Women Conquer Business.