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The Wellness Questionnaire with Guidely’s Shannon Woodruff

Discover this wellness entrepreneur’s secret to health and wellness.

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Shannon Woodruff, co-founder and chief guidance officer of Guidely, a company that relies on advanced technology to pair individuals with guides to help promote transformation and personal growth, is a mission-driven entrepreneur. With a background in social media marketing and creative business leadership, she has spent the past two years curating the Guidely community of guides from around the globe, many of them experts in relationships, career, trauma, self-discovery, spirituality, and more. Working with these healers, mentors, coaches, and counselors has given her a unique perspective on the world of wellness. Here, she shares some of the ways she maintains her own wellbeing.  

What are your favorite things to do to maintain your personal wellbeing?

I love hiking in the sunny desert where I live in Phoenix, exploring the red rocks of Sedona with my partner, painting in my tiny home studio, or simply enjoying a great espresso. My life is incredibly busy with three teenage daughters and a thriving start-up in the wellness industry. I try to incorporate wellness into every aspect of my life—even if it’s a simple thing like taking a shower at night to rinse off the energy of the day.

Is there a specific fitness activity that you love and why?

In my younger years, I loved heavy weight training. There was something so empowering about it, and there still is! However, now that I am 40, I find that my body (and soul!) are calling for more gentle, restorative activities. Hiking will always be my favorite way to move my body, but I also enjoy body weight workouts, yoga, bike rides in the neighborhood, brisk walks, and other more nurturing types of movement.

What is your favorite healthy food, and do you have a favorite way of preparing it?

I have a beautiful daily ritual with my partner—we eat salad every morning! We both have busy schedules, with multiple businesses and juggling our combined six daughters. I love our daily ritual of a healthy veggie scramble and a green salad loaded with good stuff—cucumbers, sprouts, avocado, and topped with lemon and olive oil. What makes it so special is having the time together every morning to anchor in before we each head off into our day.

What is your favorite healthy beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and do you have any insider tips for preparing it?

I have been on a sobriety journey for almost a year now, so my drinks are not as exciting as they used to be. My all-day drink is just good filtered water, but I do love a daily espresso (or two!). I recently learned the difference between our American-style brewed black coffee and espresso in terms of caffeine level and toxins, and now I can never go back to drip coffee!

What do you think is the most overused word or words in wellness?

I am challenged with the word “mindful.” The word itself is difficult, because I want an empty mind, not a full one. I find this word so trendy these days. A word I would love to see in its place is “aware” or “observant.” I would like to say I have an “awareness practice.” I am always striving to become more aware of myself, my patterns, my behaviors, my growth. 

Do you have a secret health or wellness tip you would like to share?

Laugh. That’s it. Find joy in simple, small things. Watch funny movies and laugh with your loved ones. 

What is your favorite place for a healthy vacation or escape?

Sedona is our favorite getaway. It is just a few hours’ drive away, full of amazing hikes, breathtaking views, and incredible humans. Known as one of the most spiritual places on earth, we are lucky to have such close and easy access to it.

What wellness-related books or authors do you recommend, and why?

I am always in the middle of several wellness-related titles, as well as something fun and fictional! I believe in balancing “work” and “play.” Learning about myself and healing my traumas is an always unfolding journey. There is no end destination—something I remind myself of often. Right now, I am reading a multitude of books that are helping me with my relationships, my parenting, my leadership. Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others by Melody Beatty is about healing the mechanisms that develop when in relationship with someone who is an addict, alcoholic, or has any type of mental disorder. Radical Acceptance: Awakening the Love That Heals Fear and Shame by Tara Brach is a book that invites you to fully accept yourself and all of your so-called flaws. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by the one and only Brené Brown. I have read this one many times and find it always helps me anchor back into humility, resilience, and integrity.

What brings you joy?

Small things: the way a peony fades from bright pink to creamy yellow as it blooms, the smell of a good cup of coffee, the warm weight of my partner’s hand in mine as we walk down the street, the laughter of my daughters as they chat together, and the satisfaction of a good day’s work. I am intentional about choosing joy and gratitude and find I can often find it in the seemingly insignificant. 

About The Author
Heather-Mikesell-author-1

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent, abcnews.com, jetsetter.com, outside.com, and wellandgood.com, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.