Alex Stalberger reintroduces Cynthia Shockley to the podcast since her debut in episode 43, this time as the new host of the show. Cynthia and Alex revisit the core mission and values of the podcast and give a few insights to where we’re headed.
The Well Connected Twin Cities Podcast is sharing the fascinating stories from within the wellness community for health enthusiasts across the metro. Together we explore the inspirations, insights, and discoveries that make up holistic healing. Discover what’s possible.
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[00:02:11]Alex Stalberger: Hello and welcome. You’re listening to the sound of Alex’s voice. It’s been a while since you’ve heard my voice, but here I am, I haven’t been gone. I’ve been here the whole time. I just haven’t been in front of a microphone and I am actually quite giddy to be speaking to you today.
And I have with me. Cynthia Shockley. So the intention I have for this unique episode is I have the pleasure to introduce you all to the new host of the well connected twin cities podcast. Cynthia Shockley, Cynthia makes some noise over there. Woo. Woo. That’s me right over here. Yes. If you’ve been a long time listener, you might recognize Cynthia’s voice.
She was actually interviewed way. What feels. Way back in episode 43, 43 back in May, 2021. So in full disclosure. So I listened back to that episode before recording this one here today, and I was listening and hearing thinking like, oh yeah. Permission to play. Yeah. You were doing that. Series oh, for, by the way, she is fabulous health coach, owner of muddy mama wellness and like superhuman.
And I was like, oh my gosh. Yes. I remember when you were releasing your permission to play, that was so recently that felt like this spring. Nope, Alex, it was over a year ago. Again, Time warp had gotten the best of me, but here we are.
[00:03:45]Cynthia: and you were a part of that, just very first little taste of permission to play.
And I mean, I feel like we’ve been there for each. Other’s a lot of each other’s professional first, which is super exciting. you have, we’ve been each other’s first, too.
[00:04:02]Alex Stalberger: Cute. No, it’s true though. You know, adult friends can be hard to make. I’ve heard that stated over and over. That’s definitely been a part of my experience.
Especially I’m actually not a native Minnesotan. I know. just keep your pants on. Would you? Yeah, it’s gonna be okay. I, I grew up in Illinois, went to school in Iowa and then migrated my way up north to Minnesota. This is definitely home. Been here. Well, since it’s almost gonna be 10 years, 2013, I moved here.
And Cynthia, like, we became very fast friends and have been great supports, not only personally, but professionally for a big part of these. These big firsts in our, in our careers, we both became health coaches ki not together, but kind of in, in Inish tandem, not really tandem, but like kind of, you know, we were mirroring and reflecting and growing and, and expanding at similar yet different times.
And it’s always been a pleasure to be able to. Be in each other’s circles and it feels so good. And I think we’ll get into just a piece of that in a little bit, but it feels so good to ask for some support from somebody who has been with well connected since the very seedling, the very planted seed of a beginning.
when we had that dream session of what could be . Oh, So many dream sessions. Oh yes. But that particular one. Yeah. When we started to think about what if. You know, what, if there was a powerful bridge? What if the professional community came together and amplified each other’s voices? How could that change the way the average person finds healing and finds that health empowerment?
And that’s definitely what we’ve. Continue to create. And Cynthia, I am so excited that you have agreed to come along for the ride and in the capacity of, of host for the podcast. So what do we need to know about Cynthia Shockley? You know, this upcoming seasons host, like what do we need to be? What do we need to be privy on?
[00:06:15]Cynthia: Ooh. Ooh, well as Alex shared, I also am not a Minnesota native and also like Alex, I grew up in Illinois, a very, a different part of Illinois. We’re like Illinois girls. And also like Alex once I got to Minnesota, which was about maybe seven years ago, holy moly. I just felt like home. And I think Alex and the friends I made here really contributed to that feeling.
I mean, I met Alex when she was just starting her health coaching program and I was determined I was gonna be a doctor. And I was in premed work at UCLA and I was very reluctantly in pre-med because I was so sure that I needed to. Establish a certain title in order to then advocate for what I believed in.
And what I believed in is that people need to be empowered to take care of their own health and wellbeing. There are so many ways we can take preventative measures to live our most full, healthy, joyful lives. And I knew medical school would take me away from that mission. Because there’s just so much wrong with the system and so much out of alignment with what we know to be true.
And so I just, I was in this place where I’m like, ah, but I have to do this so I can speak my truth. So people will believe me. And then I met Alex and she’s like, oh, heck no, I’m gonna be a health coach. And I already know what I believe in. And I’m advocating for that right here right now. And I’m like, You could do that.
great. All over the wall. I know. I was just like, what? And I was like, I need more of this Alex character in my life. and it was just. So cool. I mean, through the journey of med school applications, all of that I made my way actually to my own, master’s in health coaching at the university of Minnesota and that just, everything just worked out perfectly with the timing, with where I was at in my life.
I just moved to Minnesota to be with my now husband. It was a big leap of faith that I took. Where I finally let my heart take the lead over my head. I’m like what? You’re gonna move back to the Midwest. After you finally made your way to California. and I was like, yeah, I am because that’s where my love is.
And so I followed my heart there. I followed my heart to my master’s program and I, I convinced my family. Oh, I’m just doing this master’s to, to plump up my resume for med school. . Funny thing is, is by the end of the program, they didn’t even have to ask. They just knew I was not going to med school. They just knew this was my calling, that this was what made me happy.
And I’m so grateful for that support, cuz it’s the support I never expected or thought I could have from family. And so it just kind of proved to me that they really just want me to be happy. It wasn’t that they wanted me to be a doctor maybe a little bit, but . They just wanted me to be happy. And if you can’t tell by my voice because you probably can’t, since I’m American born I am Korean American.
And so my family migrated or immigrated, migrated like birds immigrated to America when they were kids. And so they’re what would you say? Like 0.5 generations? What they call it? Cuz they grew up in America, but their parents were very much Korean and. So I kind of grew up in this strange space of figuring out who am I, cuz I go to school with my white friends and I’m a different kind of way and a different kind of rule than I come home.
It’s a different kind of way, different kind of rule. And I think that. Dynamic shows up in a lot of ways in my life now, where I’m just kind of recognizing that there’s different realms to dance between. And I can still anchor myself in who I am amidst all of this. And so it’s such a joy to get to know people.
This is why I love health coaching. As I get to know new people all the time and learn. What are the realms that you’re dancing in between and who are you amidst? All of that. And how can you honor who you are and advocate for what you believe instead of falling into line, because you think it’s supposed to be a certain way because you think you’re supposed to be a doctor because you think you’re supposed live in California.
Right? All these things that I thought I was supposed to want, and instead tuning into what you truly want in the moment and honoring that. So that’s been a fun journey.
[00:11:01]Alex Stalberger: Oh, what a succinct way to describe such a complex and like expansive journey. I mean, I know just witnessing you lean into you, you described it, the, you know, head versus heart, right.
Lean into heart, learn to trust the heart, learn to loosen up the expectations and and be curious. Right. What you’re leaning toward and being, and developing that openness. And what that’s been able to bring you. I know I’m biased because I also am trained as a health coach, but I’m really excited for you to take this role as an interviewer, because the ability to hold curious space and ask great questions is kinda a superpower of an integrative health coach, right?
we’re like are trained to. Be curious, trained to ask those insightful questions that kind of unlock that aha moment inside that person we’re holding space for. And I’m just really pumped to hear you do that. full disclosure. Like I’m just ready. Let’s make these practitioners dig just a little bit deeper and share with us that good juicy stuff.
That’s beyond. That marketing pitch. Right? We all that’s just a part of business, right? You gotta be able to describe what you do and have it be a very clear reason for why it exists and why people do benefit from it. And that’s great. Right? We do need that. Yeah. But there. Such beautiful humans. If I’ve learned anything from the last three years of being in this position, it’s that the healers, the humans that are these healers are that each have an incredible story that almost always cracks you open and gives you this moment of wow.
I had no idea. I had no idea. And I’m just excited to be able to continue to share that whoa, I had no idea moment mm-hmm um, because that, that’s just why this podcast exists, but I, from a behind the scenes perspective, like that is what drives me. Like I am so excited to be able to continue to deliver that moment to all of you.
Yes, yes, yes. Ugh. Hmm. So. I think it might be important to let everybody know what’s been kind of cooking up behind the scenes. I just wanna take a hot second if that’s cool, Cynthia, to just share a bit about, you know, I’m, I’m showing up here with the intention to be. A bit more transparent than I think maybe I’m super comfortable with being because we’re at a space like within well connected twin cities, we’re at a, well, I feel like we’re always at a critical point.
Maybe we’re always critical, critical point. You know, what’s been coming up for me is to include. The, like the story of, of the mission, the motivation behind all of the resources that we’ve been co-creating with local professionals. I don’t know that you all, as the audience, get to see a, like, as much of that as.
Maybe you want to see, and I could be completely off base. Like, let’s just say that’s an assumption I’ve made, but it is because I think it’s like really cool. But it is amazing. It is really cool. Alex, let me just validate you. thanks. I just need a validation. But I just feel like it makes the whole thing make a bit more sense.
Right. Like, okay. Anybody can stumble into well connected twin cities.com, which grateful that people are stumbling into that. Right? Like, I’m, I’m happy to catch you with the, with the digital hug. That is the website. But you know what, you’ve what you’re finding there in the directory and in the resources, whether that is the on demand classes, whether that is the articles that we’re putting out, whether that’s a podcast episode like this.
Behind all of that. It’s not just creating content because we want to get more views it’s because there are stories that aren’t being heard. There are possibilities that aren’t being heard beyond word of mouth, which is a great way to hear something, right. Like a friend tells a friend I’m not belittle, like belittling that at all, but it makes me really sad to think that if I don’t have the right friend at the right time, I might not find out about it until maybe it’s years down the road and my, my suffering could have been alleviated.
And so that like push and mission is shared with each and every professional that you might stumble on the website and on the directory, like they have said, yes, I see that issue. And I wanna be a part of the solution for this community. And it’s so personal. Like each practitioner is like saying that pledging that putting their dollars behind that contributing so that we can actively solve that problem.
So that way you can stumble into the listen, you as the listener right now can stumble into something. I just. If I haven’t said that, if we haven’t said that enough let me just say it. say it again. Mm-hmm , you know, mm-hmm, , it’s really beautiful and it’s also, it’s been messy to figure out, right?
Like we are creating something that doesn’t exist. Never it’s not existed until now. Like it’s existed in some forms, right. We’re not the first directory ever. Like I get that. We’re not the first blog. I understand that. And we’re not the first podcast, but this intentional bringing together. Like under this common mission, it’s very, I dunno, it’s very, very powerful and I’ve not seen that.
Done before. And I’m so excited we get to do that together, but there’s a P there’s been pieces of figuring it out as we go and, and having to be vulnerable. And I think I’ve been vulnerable with our professionals and honest about the trial and error of, you know, really developing something that’s sustainable and that works, but I haven’t had the bold, the audacity to share.
Story here with you all. And I, I guess I just really wanna do it, rip it off the bandaid doing it. Because my, my intention is to share more of that with you all. And I think it’s I’m saying it out loud, so I’m making it real. And I think you’ll be able to see a bit more of that on our social channels.
So it’s, I think it’s fun to see the behind the scenes. See what’s coming up. See what the professionals are interested in coming together and collaborating to bring to you all. It’s very cool. So anyway, I’m gonna step down and off that soapbox, but just like wanted to I don’t know, maybe start our relationship fresh.
Yeah. With new depth new life. Alex is someone you want to know whether it’s through the podcast this episode, or like you wanna connect with her outside of that, like she just inspires and knows. So well, how to hold space. And I’ve just, it’s been such a gift to witness your journey in doing something new, right?
[00:18:22]Cynthia: This is a Pioneer’s journey, right. Of just a whole new world. And it’s a world that you see so clearly, and as you speak your truth into the world, Other people are like, oh, that’s what I’ve been envisioning. Oh, that’s what I, my heart’s been craving. Oh, I get it. I get it. And it’s like, all these practitioners, all these wellness practitioners in the twin cities are recognizing their own vision and yours.
And it’s just been so cool to see you create some structure around that to create, you know, the website, the community, the in person events, the podcast. I mean, it. From when we had our first dream session, gosh, like six years ago, just thinking of what could be, what you envision. I mean, You’re living it.
You’re doing it. It’s so cool. And just wanna recognize you for that. And I’m just so excited to be a part of this and to, I mean, I’ve been a consumer of well connected. I’ve been learning alongside all the professionals on the back end, and now I’m excited to be a more active participant on this podcast.
Being able to interview all these amazing practitioners and bring their story to.
[00:19:39]Alex Stalberger: so great segue, Cynthia, great segue, because I wanted to make sure that if we ended anywhere it was giving the audience a taste of what is to come. So we. I have thought about this is the way I have to organize my brain.
I’ve thought about these seasons and like quarterly little chunks. So we’ve sometimes thought about themes for some of these quarters in the past. Or we just batch them in quarters. So October through December, Cynthia’s already done some of the pre-interviews kind of planning out the like those thoughtful questions, making sure that no stone that needs to be UN, like overturned is left.
Turned. So tell me like just high level, what are some of the aspects of the conversation that gets you most excited? Like what are you most excited to share with everyone here? Come. You know, the season,
[00:20:33]Cynthia: I think I’m most excited to share the passion that each of these practitioners have. I mean, you just hear it in their voice.
And I call it out with a few practitioners where I’m like, I’m like, okay, if you can’t tell this person is smiling ear to ear, as they talk about. What they’re doing with their career, with their skills the communities they’re establishing, the healing that they’re doing. It’s something that they are so passionate about.
And I, they I’ve heard the phrase from several that they wanna scream it from the top of a mountain. And I’m like, well, if this podcast could be a mountain for you, please scream it. Cause I, I just, I, I love. And this is what I loved as a, just a, a member of well connected pro was that I got to have all these intimate meetings with other professionals.
And I got to be reminded of my own passion by hearing their passion. I got to feel seen when they shared some of their struggles and we can support each other through the struggles and remind each other of our vision, our bigger why. And so now with these podcasts, what I’m noticing. It’s just a one-on-one conversation.
My dream come true with these professionals and I get to ask all the questions that I have and really dig into their motivations, their purpose, their passion, and, uh, it’s so exciting cuz it adds another layer of meaning knowing that other people are gonna be listening to the conversation. Right. It doesn’t end here.
Usually it still doesn’t end here. If it’s a one-on-one conversation. Cuz I carry that energy with me into my day, into my week, into my month and I, I feel more motivated and fired up and now. It’s not that I get to share that one-on-one with other people throughout the week or month. Now you get that straight from the source.
You get to be sitting in on that conversation and you get to feel that motivation and that zap of energy and like, yeah. And I think that’s so cool. And plus you get to learn about modalities of healing. Maybe you haven’t. Really known about, you know, some things that you’ve heard about that weren’t curious enough to dig into, but like, oh, now here’s that conversation where all these questions are being answered.
You get to understand what it’s like to work with this person. And so I think that’s what I’m super excited about is just. Having the opportunity to dig in and use my health coaching skills, to pick out themes and ask those deeper questions. And to know that it doesn’t end with us that it’s something that’s being shared with our larger community.
Yes. You get a reflection and you get a reflection yes. Open ended question. Open ended question.
[00:23:25]Alex Stalberger: help coaching jokes. Absolutely. Yeah, no, I hope. Yeah. Little Mo yeah, motivational interviewing. It’s all good. It’s all good. It’s all good. I. I guess I felt, I just felt called. So I’m gonna lean into this a little bit. I just wanna remind everyone listening that, you may have tried a supportive service or a therapeutic modality in the past, and if it didn’t feel like a good fit for you.
It could be, that could be multifaceted. I just wanna encourage you all to remember that finding a fit of a practitioner is really nuanced, which is part of the reason why we do these interviews because not all acupuncturists, they’re not the same person and fit with a practitioner. Is. Just almost as important to feel like you have a connection from like person to person, as it is with trusting their experience and expertise and knowing they have the educational background.
So I just feel like I have to remind you like the understanding and feeling connected to that human. So you feel like you can partner with them as you are always the expert in your unique body, your body operates. As uniquely you it’s not quite the same as anybody else’s and just a nice refresher, like it’s, if you’re feeling drawn toward a part particular practitioner from an interview, trust some of those intuitions and those, those instincts, because that connection is just as important as the actual therapy that you might be receiving when it comes to health and healing. We know that comfort and, and feeling safe, um, as a piece of the nervous system is really important. So anyway, just needed like to share that piece because it just, I just think about the, the gift we get to give through these interviews of.
Feeling out the fit because you can’t necessarily feel all of. On a website. Some people do a pretty decent job putting that on their website. Other people might not be as great at doing that, but all, all in all, like you do need to feel comfortable and safe and confident in your care. And you deserve that.
[00:25:35]Cynthia: It’s like a low stakes free consult. Cause I feel like sometimes you sign up for those free consults and then you feel like that social pressure of like, I don’t know if they’re a right fit, but we’ve already met face to face and they’ve looked to me deep into my eyes and into my soul. And now I have to sign up with them and so this is like low stakes free consultation.
You get to be a fly on the wall. As I ask all the questions for you as I dig into their why and into how it’s like to work with them. And. You can take it or leave it and no feelings get hurt. that’s right.
[00:26:08]Alex Stalberger: That’s right. You can be PA as passive as you wanna be. Yes. Well, Cynthia, I am so excited and you all listening, you are truly in for a treat.
So Cynthia will be speaking to you next week.
[00:26:22]Cynthia: Yes. I’m excited. So grateful to be here and I’ll see you all next week. Bye.
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