If You Feel a Momentum, Trust It.

Share a little bit about yourself.
I am Shondi, 41 years old, lesbian, married with dogs and cats. I am a hairstylist by trade and I sell cleaner beauty products in my private North Austin studio. My wife and I are renovating a 60 year old house/cottage. We were inspired to downsize after a motor home trip last summer with our two dogs. We are obsessed with houses and everything about making a small space work efficiently. We have a secret dream of having our own design show. ???? I also dream of (and am somewhat working on) writing a book, running a successful Airbnb, and ultimately incorporating more healing modalities into my beauty practice. I also just started dancing again after a 20 year hiatus from studio classes.Share a little bit about your cancer experience.
I was diagnosed with triple positive IDC at age 33 in 2012. I went through a bilateral mastectomy with implants, six rounds of HCT and one year of herceptin infusions. I am on the 10 year tamoxifen plan. I lost my hair permanently as a result of the drug taxotere. I have lost one ovary as a result of polyps and have a cyst on my ovary as a result of tamoxifen. I went into menopause permanently after my first chemo treatment. I had a scary experience when my implants became infected. My implant recon ended up being a nightmare and I lived with uncomfortable large implants for six years before explanting and going flat. I have a new found vigor to force flat visibility now.How has it benefited you to be part of the Joyboots community?
I enjoy reading the emails from Kelly. I don’t always have time to go to South Austin for a yoga class now that I’ve moved north, but I enjoy being able to pop in and listen to a guided meditation or read some inspirational content.What is your meditation practice like?
I do a quick chakra meditation in the morning usually. I follow that by pulling a tarot card and journaling on what comes up. I do these things in different order sometimes. If I have time I follow it up with some time moving on the mat.

How has yoga and meditation benefited you?
Yoga served as a portal for me to find a spiritual understanding and practice that works for me. I also enjoy playing in the body and working with breath and energy. Yoga serves as a language or a tool for me to communicate with my body.

What practices have benefited you the most?
Yin yoga, breathing techniques and yoga flow.

What are you still struggling to cope with?
I am not struggling too much at this time. I recently “explanted” after having implant reconstruction. I am learning to use muscles that had been dormant or stuck for years and am regaining my sense of balance.

What brings you moments of joy?
Watching my pups play in the yard, kitty purrs, hot coffee first thing in the morning, seeing my artistic vision come to life no matter the medium, and dancing.

What is something you’d like to share with the community to help them along their healing journey?
Show up for yourself. Have intentions to thrive. Time after time I have learned that when I truly show up for myself, get honest about what I need, and intend to thrive within the parameters that I live in, I can facilitate huge shifts in my perception of how good or bad things are. I find meaning in my life through self reflection and showing up for myself. I have seen proof that shifting my attention in this way benefits those around me as well as myself.

WILD CARD: What is your favorite saying, quote or personal motto?
My personal motto is that if you feel a momentum, trust it. It doesn’t have to happen all at once.

If you wish to connect with Shondi, you may connect with her through email at hairbyshondi@me.com or on Instagram at sitting_with_shondi, @hair_by_shondi and @the_pugh_house.

Fragmentation to Integration

“Everyone experiences fragmentation.  But not everyone knows how to re-integrate and heal.”

Dr. Gurucharan Singh Khalsa


In the midst of treatment for cancer, I looked in the mirror and felt shocked at how changed I was on the outside. “This is me?” I had no hair, no eyebrows, pain and fatigue. Deep lines had appeared out of nowhere and there were dark circles under my eyes. I hadn’t spent much time in front of the mirror before, barely wearing makeup and not interested in the latest fashions. But now I did and I could see my soul. 

When trauma occurs, you feel fragmented. Feelings get pushed aside in favor of survival. Parts of your experience are forgotten, the changes in your body create unfamiliar and unwelcome sensations. Your identity shifts as well as your sense of who you are.

As uncomfortable as it is, this fragmentation is a normal response to a traumatic, life threatening experience. The problem is that you don’t always get to re-integrate and integration is vital to healing. 

In order to integrate, you have to acknowledge all aspects of your experience – changes in your body, relationships, undesirable memories, big feelings, and find ways to integrate them. When you’re integrated, you no longer feel numb, and have access to your emotions. You are more in charge of how you act and react and you can talk about your experience in a coherent way.
What creates a feeling of integration when you’re fragmented?

  • Feeling truly seen, heard and witnessed by another person is one way.  And personal reflection through meditation invites your inner witness. When you include others, they are your witness. When you are meditating and/or being the observer of your own experience, you are your own witness.
  • Movement that gets your circulation moving, balances your energy and the hemispheres of the brain is another way. Yoga practice can also balance and integrate the functions of the brain stem (which controls survival) and the frontal lobe (which manages emotions and executive functioning).

Here’s a simple practice to acknowledge the many parts of your body and your Self:

In my upcoming workshop, we’ll explore the concept of fragmentation vs. integration and how integration helps you center and heal.

Registration  now open for the workshop on February 27 and I hope you’ll join me.

Open to all! Cancer survivors, oncology professionals, mental health professionals, yoga teachers-anyone who is interested in experiencing the Kundalini Yoga approach to integration and healing.

Register Here: