I met Angie Shireman in 2015 at a No Barriers ‘What’s Your Everest’ event. She had been through a hard decade, having undergone a preventative double mastectomy and several reconstructive surgeries. In 2014, she was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder and underwent two deep brain surgeries to correct the condition. Throughout this tumultuous time, anxiety, depression, and uncertainty flooded her life.
Here is why Angie is a No Barriers Story – despite these hurdles, she nurtured and displayed what I refer to as “the light of the human spirit.” Angie joined our No Barriers podcast (releasing February 13th) to talk about that dark time in her life, sharing how tapping into her internal strength helped her to keep going.
From the podcast:
“I think it’s hard to interrupt the pattern of seeing ourselves as the illness or the trauma. I was in total and complete fear and was wondering, ‘Is this the end of me?’ ‘What is it all for?’ I had to disidentify with my physical body so I could get in touch with my spirit or my soul.
That inner spirit – it’s intangible. I believe it’s a thirst and a knowledge of ‘I can do this. I can make it.’ I believe everybody has this inside of them, but not everybody has found their way to access it. I think sometimes people look externally for what is intrinsic – what is inside, that connection to strength. It is the same thing that shines through our breath. The light that comes through the cracks in the hospital room. That’s what we are all doing here – I hope.
It’s this tiny fraction of faith and one ounce of hope and belief in myself. If I know there’s one little drip in there; then there has to be a source. I can’t see it, but I know that I am of it. And I know that we are all of it. I don’t know what to call it. I want to help everybody see it in themselves.”
Now, Angie is a successful jewelry artisan, a small business owner (Good Vibe Tribe), a certified yoga instructor, a wife, mom and a lover of adventure. In September of 2016, Angie summited Mt. Kilimanjaro (with my wife Ellie!), a feat that she never dreamed would have been possible in the dark space before she faced down her fears and insecurities and sought out that inner light.
I believe that light exists in all of us. When I talk to Angie and feel her positive energy and hear her infectious laugh, I feel that spark in her, and more importantly I feel blessed that she is a part of our community. Her story of transformation is valuable to anyone who is struggling. Subscribe to our podcast to hear more stories like these.