Blog Posts by Shannon Nolan

  • Special Moments

    Greetings Readers!

    This has been a fun week! I am feeling different and more empowered in my body daily. I'm getting stronger, more flexible, and energetic. This week I did push-ups with Ellen, a few 1 minute planks at the gym, ran on a treadmill, and reached my toes! True story: the sit-and-reach was the only fitness test that I could pass as a kid and I have not been able to reach past my toes while sitting down in a long time - like years, or at least I haven't tried. Well - I did reached those bad boys this week! I actually was able to stretch my legs straight out infront of me and reach past my toes for an extended amount of time (not bounce back like a rubberband) LOL It was great!

    I have been slightly obsessing with the scale - weighing morning and night and sometimes mid-day. I am trying to stay healthy with the scale by only weighing-in a few times this week. The Golden Door scale weighs me in about 3-5 lbs less than my digital scale at home and I feel this

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  • Deeper Perspective on the Situation

    View from Elfin Forest Hike
    This was a great week because I feel like I'm really listening to my body consistently. For the first time EVER - I took a nice long hike solo. It was only 3 miles but it was great exercise up this mountain in Elfin Forest. Here is the view from near the top. I was decked out in my hiking gear from hiking sticks to camel pack - I was ready to embrace that mountain. It took 3 hours because I really really took my time and stopped when I needed to. It was nice to just worry about myself, my pace, and my goal of getting near the top - and I made it! In addition to hiking this week I also did weightlifting alone for the first time in a very long time - years. . . which is why I was disappointed when I weighed-in with Ellen and had only lost a pound and 0 inches. Ellen, with her usual grace, reminded me that I'm working toward progress not perfection and that there are other things to consider: time of the month, water retention, ect. She encouraged me to not equate "X" amount of

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  • Healing Images from Golden Door

    Even trees grow and release what no longer serves them.

  • Progress Not Perfection

    Golden DoorOne of my biggest challenges in my life is my absolute thinking. For the majority of my life I've considered things through a very linear lens that has always made me feel VERY short of perfection. DUH! I'm learning that there is no such thing as perfection and in striving so hard for the unattainable I have been constantly disappointed with the outcomes - even if they are beautiful outcomes in and of themselves. I am embracing the perspective of progress rather than pursuing perfection and it is AWESOME! What a relief to finally be at peace with myself over my progress. My time at the Golden Door has helped me release the linear perspective that has gripped my mind and soul for so long.

    Ellen changed up our routine with a swim in the pool rather than a gym workout - which was a relief for my sciatica. We used hand fins, noodles, kickboards, and had a blast! I feel so free when I'm swimming - I might have been a dolphin in a former life! Ellen even stretched me afterwards to

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  • Golden Moments and Insights at the Golden Door

    My week long stay and continued connection to the Golden Door has been an amazing experience. I feel like I landed in a dream and that I have finally truly connected to myself. Please enjoy these pictures of my experience. Remember the limitations of cameras and technology. These images are my attempt to bottle up my experience in a modest package to share with you. If you want to experience this Eden of peace you need to go in person because nothing else will bring it justice. Peace and love. Shannon

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  • Connecting to Self at Golden Door

    Golden DoorI had another lovely visit at the Golden Door this week. Ellen (my personal trainer) continues to inspire and ground me in my journey. I lost 2 lbs. this week and I'm down one inch! Pretty neat huh?! I'm feeling great except as I write this I am sore from the workout. My abs, arms, and legs ache. It feels GREAT to feel a body within this shell of existence saying, "HELLO - remember me?!" One bummer is that I pinched my sciatic nerve over the weekend and continue to struggle with sleep and pain. I have faith that it will release from me soon. I also returned to water aerobics this week which was great! I love those women! After not seeing me for almost a month they welcomed me back with warmth.

    Other highlights this week:
    - I made my first drum. It was a beautiful metaphor for the process that I've been going through. The instructor is a Native American Studies teacher and walked us through the "birthing" process of the drum making. I laughed and cried - got frustrated

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  • Another Golden Adventure

    Shannon on Golden Door hikeMy visit to the Golden Door began as smooth as usual with Patrick opening the gate for me. This time I had the unique opportunity to walk in with Executive Director, Judy. I feel very connected to this place and these people. Judy shared how she was going on a vacation with her sisters to Cancun. I was able to wish her a marvelous trip and hope that she was going to get pampered just like she pampers her guests at the Golden door.

    I weighed in with Ellen at 302 pounds that's down a total of 8 pounds since leaving the Golden Door. We walked to the gym where she revealed a beautiful ribbon with horizontal rainbow stripes and said that we'll be using that to measure my waist cutting off the slack with each measurement. I love rainbows. They're such a sign of hope to me. I saw one the day that my dad passed away from cancer and since then I always feel like rainbows are his way of bringing me peace. I think this situation is the same.

    She then gave me a beautiful watercolor

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  • A Golden Door to Change

    Golden Door On April 1 st , I arrived at the Golden Door in Escondido, CA, with an open heart and mind. I turned 31 on March 29 th , just a few days before my stay. Happy birthday to me, right!? It was surreal to pull up to the modest gate and have this Eden of peaceful enlightenment open up to me: Shannon Nolan.

    Here is my story in a very brief nutshell: I am educated, I travel, I have friends and a loving family, and I make a comfortable living. My successes in life are largely due to the skills I learned from my parents, despite my all too brief time with them on this earth.

    Dad died when I was 21 from cancer and mom died 10 months after from "complications from morbid obesity". Dad was 55 and mom was 56. I know how depressing this sounds but let me tell you that God, the Universe, Spirit, or as I like to say, Beloved Friend has redeemed these tragedies and losses in my life in many ways which were illuminated during my week at the Golden Door.

    One of the grandest blessings was

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