Embracing Fear and Intentionality

Embracing Fear and Intentionality: A Conversation with Shana Francesca

In the vast landscape of leadership and personal development, there are voices that cut through the noise with profound insights, urging us to reassess our perspectives and approaches towards life and leadership. One such voice is that of Shana Francesca, founder and CEO of Concinnate, a company dedicated to intentional leadership and living. Her recent conversation with Ed Watters on the Dead America Podcast provides a treasure trove of wisdom on fear, intentionality, and the essence of leadership.

## Fear as a Gateway to Learning

For many, fear is a crippling force, a barrier to growth and exploration. Shana Francesca, however, offers a refreshing perspective on fear, viewing it not as a deterrent but as an acknowledgment of being on the brink of new understanding or capability. She eloquently states, “Fear is the recognition that I’m at the edge of my understanding, or I am at the edge of what I thought myself capable of.” This perspective encourages us to embrace fear as a companion in life’s journey, a catalyst for learning and expansion rather than something to be avoided.

## The Foundation of Concinnate

The conversation shifts focus to the origins and philosophy behind Concinnate, revealing the profound meaning behind its unique name. Shana explains that concinnate is a verb meaning to arrange or blend together skillfully – a notion inherently connected to intentionality. This concept is the cornerstone of her company, emphasizing living and leading with precision and harmony tailored to individual needs and rights. It serves as a reminder that our interactions and environments should be skillfully crafted to support our authentic selves, acknowledging and respecting our uniqueness as well as that of those around us.

## Leadership as Ecosystem

Expanding on the theme of intentionality, Shana delves into the essence of true leadership. She envisions leadership not as an exercise in authority but as fostering an ecosystem where individuals can thrive, contribute, and grow. Drawing inspiration from thriving cultures like Massimo Bottura’s restaurant and Pixar, she brings attention to the importance of accountability, diversity, and reciprocal support in creating a community that values each person’s unique contributions.

## The Power of Internal Design

The conversation then turns towards the intersection of interior and life design. Shana shares insights on designing one’s life with the same intentionality one would apply to designing a physical space. This approach to life and leadership highlights the importance of aligning actions with intentions, encouraging a life lived authentically and purposefully.

## Embracing Connection and Humanity

In a society where entitlement and division often prevail, Shana and Ed engage in a profound discussion on the importance of connection, community, and humanity. They explore the significance of embracing nuance, acknowledging our interconnectedness with the broader ecosystem, and approaching relationships and opportunities without entitlement but with mutual respect and curiosity.

## Conclusion

Shana Francesca’s dialogue with Ed Watters serves as a powerful reminder of the potential that lies in embracing fear, living intentionally, and leading with empathy and inclusivity. It challenges us to reevaluate our approach to fear, leadership, and how we design our lives. As we navigate the complexities of our world, these insights urge us to foster connections that enhance not only our own lives but also the lives of those around us and the environment we inhabit.

Engage with Shana’s work through her workshops and coaching sessions to delve deeper into mastering intention and intentional leadership. Her vision for a world where leadership is synonymous with community, empathy, and empowerment offers a hopeful and dynamic path forward for individuals and leaders alike.

Listeners and readers alike are encouraged to internalize these lessons, reframe their relationship with fear, and approach life and leadership with the grace and intentionality it truly deserves.

Embracing Fear, Intentional Living, and the Power of Community


In this insightful conversation on the Dead America Podcast, Shana Francesca, founder and CEO of Concinnate, discusses the transformative power of embracing fear as an opportunity for growth and learning. She delves into the essence of intentional living and leadership, emphasizing the importance of authenticity, accountability, and embracing our unique roles within the ecosystem of life. Shana also shares her personal journey of overcoming a restrictive upbringing in an evangelical Christian cult, using her experiences to fuel her passion for creating environments that foster intentional living and leadership. The discussion also covers the significance of community, diversity of thought, and the necessity of embracing our humanity and the natural world as interconnected beings. Shana Francesca encourages listeners to challenge their understanding, get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and engage in meaningful conversations to foster change and growth.


00:00 Embracing Fear as a Catalyst for Growth

00:51 The Power of Education and Conversation

01:43 Introducing Shana Francesca and Concinnate

02:02 The Essence of Intentional Leadership

03:35 Understanding Human Rights and Individuality

04:35 Navigating Life's Challenges with Empathy

05:04 Shana's Journey from a Christian Cult to Empowerment

08:25 Creating a Culture of Accountability and Empowerment

12:26 The Philosophy of Building a Galaxy, Not an Empire

16:55 The Synergy of Teamwork and Leadership

19:35 Integrating Interior and Life Design

24:19 Embracing Boredom and Curiosity

24:48 The Power of Boredom and Curiosity Walks

25:22 Discovering the Ecosystem through Poison Ivy

26:41 Maintaining Focus and Authenticity

27:42 Practicing Intuition and Empowering Relationships

30:09 Navigating Fear and Embracing Growth

35:03 Making Meaningful Connections and Honoring Time

38:59 Understanding Control, Community, and Connection

42:19 Living in Harmony with the Ecosystem

44:25 Final Thoughts and Call to Action

Shana Francesca

[00:00:00] Shana Francesca: Fear is the recognition that I'm at the edge of my understanding, or I am at the edge of what I thought myself capable of, right? I'm

[00:00:14] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:00:14] Shana Francesca: about to, I, I'm being ushered, I'm being ushered into or invited into new learning. Or ushered into or invited into expand, right? And if we look at it that way, right, it's no longer something to be feared, it's something to be embraced. Then we can take fear by the hand and we can take it with us through life rather than avoiding, because the avoidance of fear is the problem, right? It's how people are able to take our fear and manipulate us with it.

[00:00:51] Ed Watters: To overcome, you must educate. Educate not only yourself, but educate anyone seeking to learn. We are all Dead America, we can all learn something. To learn, we must challenge what we already understand. The way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen with ourself. Reach out and challenge yourself; let's dive in and learn something right now.

[00:01:43] Today we're speaking with Shana Francesca, she is the founder of Concinnate. Shana, could you please introduce yourself? Let people know just a little bit about you, please.

[00:01:55] Shana Francesca: Yeah. Hi, I'm Shana. And, um, as Ed said, I'm the founder and, uh, CEO of Concinnate. And my work centers around intentional leadership and living, um, and, um, and diving into what does that mean?

[00:02:11] Ed Watters: So let's start with that unique name of the company, there's actually a meaning.

[00:02:18] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:02:18] Ed Watters: And how did that come about? And could you tell that story first?

[00:02:23] Shana Francesca: Yeah, it's a real word. Concinnate is a real word. Um, we don't use it, so it's either dead or we just don't use it here in America. Um, but concinnate means, it's a verb, it means to arrange or blend together skillfully as parts or elements put together in a harmonious, precisely appropriate, or elegant manner. And the minute I read that, I was like, first of all, why don't we use this word? Um, and second, I'm going to use it, um, but as a noun, not a verb, make it my company name. Um, because it's so beautiful, right? And it's so perfect for what I do, intentionality. I mean, it's a, in, in a way, concinnate is a type of intentionality, right? It's just,

[00:03:09] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:03:10] Shana Francesca: uh, I would say it's a synonym or an adjacent term. Um, and I love the part where it says, you know, in a harmonious, precisely appropriate, or elegant manner, but that part, you know, of the precisely appropriate. And that's the thing is that when we are living our lives intentionally, what we do, who we spend our time with, what we surround ourselves with becomes precisely appropriate for us, right? And then we recognize that every being on this planet is unique and what's precisely appropriate for us isn't necessarily for them, but what we do need to agree on is basic human rights for all people, bodily autonomy for all people, right? That's the place we need to come from.

[00:03:50] Ed Watters: Yeah, that's key.

[00:03:51] Shana Francesca: Right, that's key. And then we can understand that each one of our, each one of our experiences is unique, and yet there are many things that overlap, right? And what's good for us might not be good for the person next to us.

[00:04:04] Ed Watters: Yes, you know, that's very unique there. A lot of people don't quite get that. You don't have to agree necessarily with people, you just have to identify where they're coming from.

[00:04:17] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:04:17] Ed Watters: And, you know, that, that could mean they've come from a very hard place in life.

[00:04:25] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:04:25] Ed Watters: And now it's, it's very important to understand people are at different stages in life and it's hard. Life

[00:04:35] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:04:36] Ed Watters: is very hard. We don't need to fight each other, we need to really get that harmonious synergy back.

[00:04:45] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:04:45] Ed Watters: Because really

[00:04:46] Shana Francesca: It doesn't have to be this hard, it doesn't have to be this hard.

[00:04:49] Ed Watters: Right, exactly. We've come to a place where everybody is uptight and,

[00:04:56] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:04:57] Ed Watters: you know, they don't want to open up and speak, especially truth.

[00:05:02] Shana Francesca: Right.

[00:05:03] Ed Watters: Now, I found that where you came from in life is very unique and it's unique that you're opening up about, you say that you come from like a Christian cult background

[00:05:20] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:05:20] Ed Watters: and that's, that's kind of interesting. And how you lay out these ways people need to look at life, very unique perspective. How did you come up with the philosophy that you have out of that background?

[00:05:41] Shana Francesca: Yeah, it's a really good question. Um, I grew up inside of, uh, white Christian nationalism, inside of an evangelical Christian cult, as you said. And, um, honestly, I, I think I got out of it because of a combination of a few things, curiosity, courage, and because it, it, it broke me. And it literally got to a place of, um, I had to get out or I wasn't going to choose to live anymore, right? Like the life that I was living was so incredibly painful all the time and so limiting. And I didn't specifically know that it was because of the ideology of the church that I grew up in. I just knew that my home life, everything was telling me that I had to live my life according to their rules because they said so.

[00:06:40] And they never really gave me a good enough reason other than, if you don't, you're going to hell. And, and then I saw the people around me living their lives in ways which were completely contrary, at least in private, right? To the things that they were saying that they believed and the ways in which they were requiring me to show up.

[00:07:04] And, um, there was a series of things that happened in my life that, um, just broke me open and I no longer could, uh, I no longer could reconcile. There was, there was, there was no way to reconcile my life with what I was being taught. Um, so it was just a matter of like, okay, we're done here. I've got to find another way to live because this isn't living,

[00:07:31] this is dying very painfully. Um, and watching that, the fact that that leadership was held in this godlike position, that there was no, um, accountability for people perpetrating excessive amounts of harm, right? Um, when I, when I mean excessive amounts of harm, I mean physical violence, uh, pedophilia, um, incest, so on and so forth.

[00:08:02] There was no accountability, right? And the blame was actually being put on the victims rather than the perpetrators. And the responsibility for preventing it from happening again on the victims that the church wouldn't step in. As a matter of fact, they refused to report to authorities, et cetera. Um,

[00:08:19] I was like, Okay. When I started forming my company, it was deeply important to me that I research. Like, are there any companies in the world that have created cultures, which I would actually want to be a part of, right? Because I, I, we see corporate cultures slip into the same idea, like the same ways of behaving

[00:08:42] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:08:42] Shana Francesca: as cult like churches, right? WeWork was like

[00:08:45] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:08:46] Shana Francesca: that, Apple is like that, like, all of these companies are like that. And I'm not necessarily saying that they're all perpetrating harm in the same exact ways as the church, right? But in some ways, as soon as a culture starts to slip into a cult, right? Um,

[00:09:00] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:09:01] Shana Francesca: and, and you have leadership put in a godlike position is the minute that accountability has been withdrawn, right? And power becomes absolute. And the minute that that happens or damn near, and the minute that happens, people have been already being exploited. But the exploitation is really cranked up at that point, right? Uh, and so I was like, where, are their companies in the world? And, and can I create something for myself and, and, and help and encourage other people to do the same. Where we create intentional leadership that is specific, specifically wanting to create healthy environments and create the work environment as an ecosystem and a community rather than tyranny, right? Right? But that's hard,

[00:09:52] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:09:52] Shana Francesca: that's hard for the leader, right? Because it takes consistent, consistent effort, right? It takes, [00:10:00] it takes being comfortable with being uncomfortable, it takes the recognition that you don't know everything. As a matter of fact, you probably know very little. That you're going to surround yourself

[00:10:08] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:10:08] Shana Francesca: with people whose, whose expertise are very complimentary to your own. And in many ways, no more than you do, right? But that,

[00:10:19] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:10:19] Shana Francesca: that if you respect and honor them and create space for one another, right, appropriately, they're not coming for you, they're working alongside you, right? There's, like you're supporting each other, right? And, and I, so I started researching cultures where, um, that seemed to show up. And I, um, Francesca Gino's book, Rebel Talent was significant in me being able to find cultures and, and hone in on cultures that, that were interesting for me to research.

[00:10:50] She talks a lot about Massimo Bottura, the, um, three- Michelin- star chef, and the way that he runs his restaurant in Italy, um, which I found absolutely fascinating. And also Pixar's culture. So I honed in on those specifically. And then, um, I had a friend who worked at Gore and Associates. That's another corporate culture that's really interesting.

[00:11:11] And then I recently was looking at the Kim Archer flower company. Um, they're entirely employee owned. So I was looking at these different structures, ways businesses are created, and just kind of studying those cultures and the way that accountability showed up in those cultures was key in every conversation. Because it isn't, and I want to be clear to people, oftentimes people say I am accountable. But are you? Because accountability doesn't look like surrounding yourself with all people who look like you, have grown up in similar socioeconomic statuses

[00:11:43] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:11:43] Shana Francesca: and similar backgrounds. That's not accountability, that's "yes" people, that's homogeneity, that's group thing, right? That is not accountability, accountability challenges you to see the world in a larger perspective. And you cannot do that if you are choosing people who see the world in exactly the same way as you do. So being intentional about creating accountability for a leader looks like being very intentional about hiring people or surrounding yourself with people as a, as like a mastermind, at minimum. Where you are having a diverse array of people, right? Who don't agree with you a lot of the time.

[00:12:25] Ed Watters: Yeah, yeah. You know, listening to some of the interviews that you've been on, I like it. You put it kind of like this, Empires are built on the backs of others. What you're building is like a galaxy,

[00:12:42] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:12:42] Ed Watters: it's a group of stars that come together, uh, by gravity.

[00:12:48] Shana Francesca: Yes, exactly.

[00:12:49] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:12:49] Shana Francesca: You have been paying attention,

[00:12:50] Ed Watters: And I love that.

[00:12:50] Shana Francesca: look at that. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:12:52] Ed Watters: I love that.

[00:12:53] Shana Francesca: Yeah, yeah.

[00:12:53] Ed Watters: Could you, could you go deeper into the reasoning

[00:12:58] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:12:58] Ed Watters: behind that ethos, if you will?

[00:13:01] Shana Francesca: Yeah. Empires are kind of a version of a cult, aren't they?

[00:13:07] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:13:07] Shana Francesca: You know,. it's a way, they're typically indicative of colonizing groups of people, of taking their resources, of, um, appropriating aspects of their culture while outlawing others, you're stealing

[00:13:21] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:13:21] Shana Francesca: people's individuality for the purpose of homogeneity and for the purpose of power and control. The power is

[00:13:27] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:13:27] Shana Francesca: such a strange thing. We're not really supposed to, as Billie Eilish says, Power's such a strange thing. We're not really supposed to have it over one another. We're just supposed to embrace our own individual power, right? When we live in

[00:13:39] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:13:39] Shana Francesca: true community with one another there is no weakness, there is no such thing. When we live in true community with one another there's nothing to be self conscious about. Because I'm here for what is my specific purpose and whatever I'm not here for, that's okay because someone else is. And we live in community together and what their purpose is coincides with my own in this beautiful ecosystem of people who are working together and beings and everything because human beings are supported by all the other life on this planet, right? And so when we recognize that we are all meant to work together, you're not looking at power over someone, you're looking to empower yourself and others,

[00:14:20] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:14:20] Shana Francesca: right? And so that's what true leadership is, is recognition of the power that each part, each person, each being plays in the ecosystem of life and embracing that and empowering that, right? So, because I'm, I'm not going to try to be good at everything, I'm going to be good at what I'm good at. I'm not going to worry about my weaknesses.

[00:14:41] I'm not going to have performance reviews based on my weaknesses, we're going to have performance reviews to understand how do I empower your strength? In what ways am I not showing up to empower your strength, right? As a leader. As a leader, you're going to, um, have performance reviews from your people on a regular basis, right? You're going to ask them to

[00:15:01] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:15:01] Shana Francesca: review how you're being as a leader, how you're showing up because that is what you are meant to do. You are meant to be empowering your people and showing up so they can be their best selves and they can shine bright together. And, and,

[00:15:12] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:15:12] Shana Francesca: and, and I did that, I do that with my people. I'm like, Okay, so you know what? Let's talk about, you seem to be, hold on, in what ways am I not supporting you in this moment? What ways am I not showing up? Am I asking, am I asking you to do something that's redundant or that doesn't make any sense to you? Can you, can you help me, help me work? Let's, let's work through this together so that I can be a better leader and I can, I can power this better, right? I'm not wasting your time and mine, right?

[00:15:42] Ed Watters: That's a good point.

[00:15:43] Shana Francesca: Right? And so

[00:15:44] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:15:44] Shana Francesca: when you're doing that, you're recognizing that each person shines and has a different perspective. It's powerful, and beautiful, and important, you're respecting and honoring that. When you're building an empire, you're building it on the backs of people.

[00:15:56] You're building it with your will, you're dominating rather than empowering and that's unsustainable. We've seen it over and over, empires crumble very,

[00:16:06] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:16:07] Shana Francesca: very quickly.

[00:16:08] Ed Watters: That's right. You know, uh, a very, I like to look at it like you're going into the boardroom and there's a dimmer switch on the wall. Each person that comes into the room, they turn that dimmer switch just one notch up. And that accumulation, as people come into the room, brings a greater light in too.

[00:16:38] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:16:38] Ed Watters: So it's really dim with one person in the room. But with twenty people in the room,

[00:16:46] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:16:46] Ed Watters: you're at full brightness. And you have to allow them to turn their portion of that light on. It's a synergy, a

[00:16:53] Shana Francesca: Yep.

[00:16:53] Ed Watters: combined effort. And that's really what teamwork is. No.

[00:16:58] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:16:58] Ed Watters: Even the leader should allow leadership from others if they actually can provide better leadership at that point in the process,

[00:17:10] Shana Francesca: Yeah, yeah.

[00:17:10] Ed Watters: Just step back and let the flow go. We

[00:17:14] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:17:14] Ed Watters: miss that a lot

[00:17:15] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:17:15] Ed Watters: of the time.

[00:17:16] Shana Francesca: And it doesn't invalidate your, it doesn't invalidate you for someone else to have

[00:17:20] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:17:21] Shana Francesca: better expertise in the moment, right?

[00:17:24] Ed Watters: That's ego.

[00:17:25] Shana Francesca: Right, that's ego. In, in that moment, then you have to figure out how do I empower this person? Your role is not, is not, your role is not

[00:17:31] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:17:32] Shana Francesca: to step back. Like, like leadership and stepping back for someone else to be able to step forward doesn't mean that you don't still have a role, right? Your role

[00:17:41] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:17:42] Shana Francesca: is still to support that person who's leading that moment, right? And, and that's the thing I love. I mean, I'm slightly obsessed with Pixar culture. It's why we've never seen, Pixar has had plenty of failures internally, but we've never seen a Pixar movie hit the box office and flunk. That's never happened. Why? Because internally they recognize it's not it, it's not working. And they deal with that failure internally so that they're always, you know, holding each other accountable for, what is it that we're actually putting out? And what do we want it to look like, right? And what do we want it to be? And how do we

[00:18:23] Ed Watters: Right.

[00:18:23] Shana Francesca: want to connect with people? They're constantly holding each other accountable to that. And, um, and there's still some form of hierarchy there, but there's always allowed to be questioning, right? And that's the thing is, it holds that power in check and it makes the product more beautiful and more successful because of the diversity of thought, right?

[00:18:44] Ed Watters: Right. Yeah. Framework, you know, every project has a framework. But as a builder, I understand there has to be alterations to the plans.

[00:18:56] Shana Francesca: There's always.

[00:18:56] Ed Watters: At least on, yes, what's happening. So, so, yeah.

[00:19:01] Shana Francesca: Literally a building, if anybody who's not in the construction industry, like

[00:19:05] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:19:06] Shana Francesca: literally what is on those drawings is never built exactly as it is drawn. It is literally, never, never in the history of all

[00:19:16] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:19:17] Shana Francesca: time has it been built exactly as it is.

[00:19:20] Ed Watters: Yeah, yeah. And it's important to understand it's okay.

[00:19:25] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:19:26] Ed Watters: You know, as long as the final project is what you're shooting for.

[00:19:31] Shana Francesca: Right. Is meeting the needs of the client. Yep.

[00:19:34] Ed Watters: Yes, that's right. So how, how do you put your life together? You're an interior designer, but you're also a life designer.

[00:19:47] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:19:47] Ed Watters: How does that come together?

[00:19:50] Shana Francesca: Yeah. So it's, it's so funny because every time I talk about the progression, immediately afterward, people are like, Absolutely makes perfect sense. Um, now I will never question it [00:20:00] again. But the whole thing is that design is a function of intention. Design is a function of intention, right? We can create something without designing it, right? We can, we can build something without designing it.

[00:20:14] Ed Watters: Yep.

[00:20:15] Shana Francesca: The minute you design something, you're infusing it with intention. You're sitting down and contemplating, What do I want of this thing? And now I'm going to align all my action with that intention, right? And that doesn't just apply to our interior environment, it applies to our entire lives and applies to who we are as a leader.

[00:20:36] And I started to recognize very early on that the way that I functioned as an interior designer, once I started my own business, was very different than other interior designers. And I, I just kept embracing that. And there was this serious aspect of my work that was coaching and, you know, coming to clients. No matter what we're working on, a restaurant, an office, their home, and saying, Okay, who are you? What do you want to create?

[00:21:04] In a world with no rules, no budget, let's put all those things aside for a moment and let's talk about what you really want. And then let's figure out how to build it within your budget, right? So we're not saying I want it to look this way. I want this, that, and, No, no. Let's talk about what you really need, and then let's craft an environment that supports those goals. Rather than saying, This is what I want it to look like, because you think that's what's going to support your goals, right?

[00:21:33] Let's put all of our heads together and find the best way forward. And let's also make sure it authentically reflects who you are, rather than being a function of something you found on Pinterest or on, you know, on some website, social media, wherever, right? Because that might be beautiful, just because it's beautiful

[00:21:51] doesn't mean it belongs in your house, in your home, in your restaurant, in your office, right? It doesn't mean it's, it's going to support you and your needs and who you are, right? Um, And, and diving into those conversations, I then like launched a group coaching around intentionality. And I started to recognize that like everyone in the room was like a business owner.

[00:22:15] Um, and then all my clients are judges, and lawyers, and, um, and like heads of, heads of medical departments at prestigious institutions. And, um, and one of them was like, Hey, you know, I just tell everyone you're my interior designer and my life coach. And I was like, You do? And so it was at that moment that I recognized that my clients knew that the way that I worked was very different.

[00:22:39] And that I could embrace that, I had the right, and I needed to empower myself. And that's when I, you know, kind of dove in with both feet and, you know, To make it really simple for people, it's, to me, it's the connection between interior design as a physical environment and interior design inside of ourselves, right? Because being a leader is just the act of, of becoming yourself, is the radical act of, of truly becoming yourself. And you don't really understand what that means until you embark on that journey. And I don't know that we'll ever

[00:23:14] Ed Watters: That's so true.

[00:23:14] Shana Francesca: really fully understand what that means, ever. Because who we are is ever changing, but who we are fundamentally

[00:23:23] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:23:23] Shana Francesca: in our purpose is also ever changing. But I think at the core of it, there is some foundational elements that are the same. But that we'll always be consistent about who we are, but everything else kind of moves and shifts around it like planets around the sun. You know what I mean? Like, like the sun being our core elements of who we are and then our purpose and, and how we fulfill that are all kind of orbiting around that and they change and they move, right? As we do. Um, but ultimately you're still trying to become yourself. Um, and, and the key to leadership is not only just becoming yourself but empowering others to do the same, right?

[00:24:02] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:24:03] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:24:03] Ed Watters: Big, big key right there.

[00:24:05] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:24:05] Ed Watters: You know, talking about this, you know, the world throws a lot of options at you. And getting lost in the, you know, ether can be

[00:24:19] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:24:19] Ed Watters: very easy and you can get distracted from what you're actually intending to do, that intent

[00:24:27] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:24:27] Ed Watters: that you talk about. So with all the options that are flying around us and presented to us, how do we keep our focus on our intent and not on some of the glitter and glamour that is actually offered to us at times?

[00:24:48] Shana Francesca: I think we have to get quiet, get quiet, let ourselves lean into boredom, get curious. I think we've forgotten the power of boredom. No, I know we've forgotten the power of boredom because so much is, is demanding our attention on a constant basis, right? And I think we have to make time, carve out time intentionally to go on what I call like curiosity walks, right? And just be present, put your phone away. Or maybe you're just listening to quiet music and you're walking around.

[00:25:22] And like the other day, so for instance, the other day I went on a curiosity walk and I, I was, I saw that Poison ivy was sprouting up. And I was like, You know what? The only thing I know about Poison ivy is that, um, I'm allergic to it and most people are, but what if I just got curious as to what part it plays in an actual ecosystem, does it, is it native?

[00:25:47] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:25:47] Shana Francesca: Is it invasive? All of these things, like, let me know, right? And I discovered that it is native. It isn't invasive, even though some websites will say it's invasive. Apparently it's not, it's native. It grows at the edges of forests where the forest and the, and a field meet. It helps to filter runoff water, it helps to stop seeds that are invasive that could harm the forest from making it into the forest. Deer and lots of small animals eat Poison ivy, it actually grows berries. This part I didn't know, I didn't even know it grows berries. It grows berries and

[00:26:20] Ed Watters: I didn't know that.

[00:26:20] Shana Francesca: birds eat them in the fall when food sources are scarce. Um, there's lots of these interesting things, right? And now I've completely forgotten your question. Because I got so wrapped up in Poison ivy. But, you know, the point is that I, I make a practice of creating time for boredom. Oh, I, I remember, of, how do we keep, how do we keep focused on what's important?

[00:26:47] The more that we discover other aspects of this ecosystem we live in, the earth, right? And we begin to honor them, the more we start to recognize what, how we're allowed to show, like empower ourselves to show up authentically ourself. Because Poison ivy doesn't try to be an oak tree. It's just Poison ivy, right?

[00:27:11] Um, and, and we then can recognize, okay, I play a critical part in the ecosystem of this world, of my community, so, and I'm just going to embrace that. I'm not going to try to be everything to everybody. And I'm going to get quiet and I'm going to say yes when I mean yes, I'm going to say no when I mean no, and I'm going to recognize the power in those words and that neither needs any explanation, right?

[00:27:36] Like I don't owe anybody an explanation as to why I'm using those words or any words in general, right? And we just start to get to sit with and create space for our own authentic self and to start practicing listening to our intuition. Because the more we practice listening to it, the stronger it gets, right?

[00:27:52] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:27:52] Shana Francesca: And honoring it, the stronger and more powerful it becomes. And the more we make space for other people to do the same, to say yes and mean yes and like this applies to even just our basic relationships, right? Because anything we want to be good at as a leader, we have to be good at in our private, we practice in our private life, right? Who we are in public. So like in your private life, and something my girlfriends and I do, um, is we'll say yes to something,

[00:28:22] we agree to something, but if the day comes, even an hour beforehand, all of a sudden we're exhausted. We, we did our best to try to, to, to, to make it to this thing, but we just don't have the energy. I would rather my friend cancel five minutes before we're supposed to be somewhere, right, and me head back home than them show up and be a fraction of themselves. Be forcing themselves to be there, be exhausted, and then possibly us get into some kind of tiff because of it,

[00:28:52] right? Because they, they're exhausted they can't really be present there or them just be further drained and unable to show up in other aspects of their life because they need the rest, right? We make space for each other's humanity. And by doing so it makes me a better leader so that when someone calls out or when someone's late,

[00:29:10] right, in, in, in our, my working relationships, I can extend that same thing because I've been practicing it, right? I can say, Okay, what ways can I show up for you? You know, traffic is bad or, you know, things went shitty this morning and, and, you know, at home, something happened. I can, I can extend that humanity and I can recognize like, A, um, I, I can be a good human in this moment and not just demand perfection

[00:29:37] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:29:37] Shana Francesca: that I could never live up to. I, I'm not perfect so,

[00:29:41] Ed Watters: Yeah, yeah. That's, that's a hard one to be, perfect.

[00:29:47] Shana Francesca: Well, it doesn't exist. If we want to be, if we want to be

[00:29:49] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:29:50] Shana Francesca: perfect, and I say this, I say this consistently, if we want to be perfect, we'll be good at only one thing. Absolutely nothing.

[00:29:58] Ed Watters: Yeah. So [00:30:00] intent, keeping focus on your intent. It's pretty simple if you just think about what's happening.

[00:30:08] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:30:09] Ed Watters: I know, you know, a lot of what holds us back is fear. And you, you on one of the podcasts said, Ninety-nine percent of the time your beliefs are just your fears and that holds you back. Fear is a big thing.

[00:30:33] Shana Francesca: Oh, yeah.

[00:30:34] Ed Watters: How do we handle fear and, you know, put that baby step in front of the other foot to take that first step into fear?

[00:30:44] Shana Francesca: Yeah. Fear, I want to, I want to help people reframe fear. Fear is a beautiful thing, not something to be afraid of, right? Most of the time we fear, fear itself, not actually any

[00:30:55] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:30:55] Shana Francesca: thing, right? Fear is the recognition that I'm at the edge of my understanding, or I am at the edge of what I thought myself capable of, right? I'm

[00:31:06] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:31:07] Shana Francesca: about to, I'm, I'm being ushered, I'm being ushered into or invited into new learning. Or ushered into or invited into expand, right? And if we look at it that way, right, it's no longer something to be feared. It's something to be embraced. Then we can take fear by the hand and we can take it with us through life rather than avoiding, because the avoidance of fear is the problem, right? It's how people are able to take our fear and manipulate us with it. Because we're afraid of

[00:31:40] Ed Watters: That's big.

[00:31:41] Shana Francesca: the fear itself, right? If we take fear by the hand, it's much harder for people to manipulate us with it. Because we're like, Wait a second, then, because then it triggers curiosity. If someone says, You have to be afraid of something, then we're like, Oh, you know what? I'm going to get curious about that. I'm going to learn something about it, right? If we make this practice around fear being the edge of what we know ourselves to be capable for, of, or the edge of our learning and understanding, then we know the way to embrace fear is through curiosity. And when someone tries to manipulate us with fear, we're going to enter in with curiosity instead, right? And so then our fear is no longer a weapon. It's no longer able to be turned into harmful ideology, right? Because we're going to use it as a springboard for learning.

[00:32:31] Ed Watters: That's right. You know, reflecting back onto my life, There's been a lot of times that I, I really focus in on some of the regrets that I've had in life, the things that I can't change.

[00:32:49] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:32:50] Ed Watters: This is another thing that holds a lot of people back is those regrets. And they want to live vicariously through their younger, uh, you know, children or

[00:33:03] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:33:03] Ed Watters: whatever.

[00:33:04] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:33:04] Ed Watters: So, what's your thoughts on that?

[00:33:08] Shana Francesca: I think we can pivot our lives anytime we want. And rather than

[00:33:12] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:33:12] Shana Francesca: trying, and rather than trying to force another human being to, um, live the life that we are pretending that we want, because if we actually wanted it, we're going to do something about it, right? Right?

[00:33:28] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:33:29] Shana Francesca: And let's form community around ourselves to support that thing, right? We've got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We've bought too much into the lie that this life is meant to be comfortable when growth is challenge, it is change, it

[00:33:42] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:33:43] Shana Francesca: is uncomfortable. So we've got to, we've got to make ourselves comfortable with being uncomfortable. Um, and, and be willing to, um, to just, to just embrace change.

[00:33:58] Ed Watters: Yeah. And that's hard.

[00:34:01] Shana Francesca: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's, that's the other thing that becomes really, really deeply powerful, um, is when we recognize, um, when we, when we, when we get comfortable with being uncomfortable, we get comfortable saying, I don't know, right? We get comfortable saying,

[00:34:18] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:34:18] Shana Francesca: You know, I'm going to find out about that thing, you

[00:34:22] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:34:23] Shana Francesca: know,

[00:34:23] Ed Watters: The why.

[00:34:24] Shana Francesca: Yeah. I'm going to find out, I'm going to, I'm going to search it out, I'm going to get to know it, I'm going to recognize that that is what it is to be human. Is to simply be curious, and learn, and grow, and change, you know? Um,

[00:34:37] Ed Watters: That, that opens you up to a lot of different aspects of life that we

[00:34:43] Shana Francesca: It does.

[00:34:43] Ed Watters: tend to overlook and a big one of them is connection.

[00:34:48] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:34:48] Ed Watters: We, we lose a lot of great connections because of our own ideology, our own

[00:34:55] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:34:56] Ed Watters: subconscious mind,

[00:34:57] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:34:58] Ed Watters: those fears that our brain protects us from. So what is the best way to step into making those awkward connections that you would not normally try to connect with somebody? You know,

[00:35:17] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:35:17] Ed Watters: because I think that's very important to look at those other points of view in life. How do we make those connections?

[00:35:26] Shana Francesca: First, we should understand that we are not entitled to anyone's time, wisdom, knowledge, none of it. We're not entitled to, to anyone. So when we meet someone and we want to connect with them, first, we have to also, second, we have to also remember we're all human and super awkward. And most human beings are just worried about their own awkwardness and not yours, right? So there's like so much nuance to the conversation, right? So I think it's important to honor someone's time to, um, you know, if you, if you feel a good connection with them, you know, follow up and make sure you do so within a week, you know? Especially in a professional aspect, um, uh, and set up, you know, a possible further other coffee date.

[00:36:14] But I also want to put some more parameters around this. You're not going on a coffee date with that person to pick their brain, right? Um, unless you are starting out entrepreneur and you're approaching someone who is financially very well off or stabilized, right? And you know that for certain, um, which you never really know that for certain, right? But you, you should never expect that person is going to be able to give you their time or their advice for free, right?

[00:36:42] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:36:43] Shana Francesca: Um, and so I think it's really important that, um, that you approach every interaction with someone with respect, and honoring of their time, and whatever they give to, they choose to give to you. You make sure that you're honoring that, right? And that you're also

[00:36:59] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:36:59] Shana Francesca: doing your best to reciprocate that energy. So if they're choosing to give you their time for free, then, you know, keep them top of mind next time you meet someone interesting. And, and, and send an introduction email, right? There's ways to be of value that aren't specifically, necessarily, directly monetarily, right? And yet again, you cannot expect to have access to someone's time for free, right? So, so there's this balance, there's this nuance, right? Just, you know, I think the key is just pushing aside entitlement, right? Like work that out in your life. If you feel entitled,

[00:37:34] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:37:34] Shana Francesca: no, put that aside, work that out. That's ego, right? That's ego, that's privilege, that's a whole lot of shenanigans that you need to work through. Um, hire a coach, get a therapist, right?

[00:37:48] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:37:49] Shana Francesca: Work through those things, right? So that you can be a better human and you can show up in a way that allows community because entitlement is not community.

[00:37:57] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:37:57] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:37:57] Ed Watters: Yeah. That, that's big in our society, entitlement. And,

[00:38:03] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:38:03] Ed Watters: you know, we're all kind of entitled, but we're just entitled to life itself. As long as we put the effort and energy into sustaining that life.

[00:38:15] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:38:15] Ed Watters: And really, uh, from recent experiences, I can tell you the energy that we put into ourselves, actually equals longevity. And, and in many ways. That's just not physical, that's mental, and that's, you know, social,

[00:38:37] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:38:37] Ed Watters: we need connection. And

[00:38:39] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:38:39] Ed Watters: if we're always going to be Mr. Right and Mr. Know it all, we're going to miss some of the little things that can actually help build our character a little more.

[00:38:52] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:38:54] Ed Watters: So, there's always nuance to everything and everybody that we meet.

[00:38:59] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:38:59] Ed Watters: So, finding the ability to accept people and circumstances. You know,

[00:39:07] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:39:07] Ed Watters: we never can control that all the way.

[00:39:11] Shana Francesca: We can't control anything, control is a construct. It's not real, control is not real.


[00:39:15] Ed Watters: That's true.

[00:39:16] Shana Francesca: And I think

[00:39:17] Ed Watters: That's true.

[00:39:17] Shana Francesca: if we both look at it in an aspect of connection rather than control, right? So like me putting my

[00:39:24] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:39:25] Shana Francesca: hand out and, me putting my hand out and offering my hand in friendship to someone is different than me grabbing it without their permission and dragging them along with me, right?

[00:39:34] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:39:35] Shana Francesca: That's different. Right? That's control, that's, that's not healthy. Community is healthy, community is me offering my hand and this person, you know, maybe taking my hand back. But no one's gripping and holding on to each other. We're equally holding on, right? We're each holding on to the other

[00:39:51] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:39:51] Shana Francesca: so if one of us lets go of that the connection is broken, right? Right? It's not, there's no forcing, we're not anchored.

[00:39:59] Ed Watters: [00:40:00] Yeah, that's right.

[00:40:00] Shana Francesca: You know, we're, we're, we're grounded together with one another, but we're not anchored, uh, into another person. And I just, I think we've got to get to a place societally as we're embracing nuance. Nothing is so easily put into a bucket. Anytime someone, and Brene Brown talks about this extensively, dichotomies are most often false. Things are not

[00:40:26] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:40:26] Shana Francesca: one thing or another. They are usually a whole bunch of things all at the same time. And the more we embrace that, the less struggle we find in our life and the more we can accept people for who they are. But again, going back to the premise of, like, I, it doesn't matter who you are, my boundary is if you do not accept bodily autonomy for all people and you do not accept and, and, and empower basic human rights for all people, then you do not have access to my time paid or unpaid, right? I'm not giving you my edge because I know myself.

[00:41:00] Ed Watters: Boundaries.

[00:41:01] Shana Francesca: Right. I know myself not to be safe, right? So, so it's a matter of embracing nuance and also agreeing on basic human rights. You know what I mean? Like, there's just so many

[00:41:14] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:41:14] Shana Francesca: depth of understanding of the world.

[00:41:17] Ed Watters: Well, yes. At any, any, the core of everything has to be based on humanity

[00:41:24] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:41:24] Ed Watters: because that's truly the value of everything is life. And

[00:41:28] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:41:30] Ed Watters: life is so interesting, it brings so many


[00:41:34] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:41:35] Ed Watters: challenges and it's a lifelong learning experience. And

[00:41:41] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:41:41] Ed Watters: if you say you know it all and you quit learning, you're going to get left behind. And

[00:41:48] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:41:48] Ed Watters: you really don't want to get left behind.

[00:41:50] Shana Francesca: Right. Well, that's the thing, is that if you choose, in this moment especially, if you're choosing to insist that you're right, you will be left behind. And that's the

[00:41:59] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:41:59] Shana Francesca: thing that we're seeing with leaders right now, is them insisting they're right and having no, no data to prove that. And everyone's like, but you're not right. And they're getting left behind. The problem is they're getting violent about their being left behind, you know, and so collectively we've got to hold people accountable for that. But I also think it's important,

[00:42:19] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:42:19] Shana Francesca: and I know we don't necessarily have time to jump into, too much time to jump into this, but I think it's important that we also question how we use the word and discuss humanity, because I think for most of us, we think about human beings as being, um, you know, this kind of apex in the ecosystem, right? Like we are,

[00:42:37] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:42:38] Shana Francesca: um, yeah. And the reality

[00:42:40] Ed Watters: Number one.

[00:42:41] Shana Francesca: is,

[00:42:41] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:42:41] Shana Francesca: Right. And the reality is that, uh, fungus talk to each other, right? And, and there's more fungus.

[00:42:48] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:42:48] Shana Francesca: on the planet than there is, than any other living being, right? Um, and trees talk to each other through mycelium, through fungus, right? Through the, through the complex and,

[00:42:58] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:42:58] Shana Francesca: uh, the complex organization of that. Plants talk, they just don't speak English or speak whatever human languages we speak, right? The world around us speaks and it, and it emanates energy the same way that we do because words are just energy, right? But we have, we have hierarchically categorized our type of speech as being the most valuable and important, right?

[00:43:23] And so I think it's really important that we recognize, and I'm starting to dive into permaculture to understand this better, is to recognize that we aren't valuable without our entire ecosystem, and so we do not sit at the top, right? It's not, it's not a pyramid, it's a circle. It's a, it's a, it's a circle, right? And everything,

[00:43:43] Ed Watters: Yeah, like a cell.

[00:43:44] Shana Francesca: everything depends on all the other aspects and we have to start honoring every aspect of the ecosystem we live in equally with ourselves.

[00:43:55] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:43:55] Shana Francesca: otherwise, we are going to continue to destroy it.

[00:43:59] Ed Watters: That's so true. And it's a lot of power, what you just said there. You know, if we could learn to live in harmony with instead of control,

[00:44:11] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:44:11] Ed Watters: you know, a lot of the times that control turns into tragedy.

[00:44:17] Shana Francesca: Yep.

[00:44:17] Ed Watters: And

[00:44:17] Shana Francesca: Always.

[00:44:18] Ed Watters: it can be avoided, it can be avoided.

[00:44:23] Shana Francesca: Yeah.

[00:44:24] Ed Watters: Interesting. Shana, do you have anything else you'd like to add to our conversation today?

[00:44:30] Shana Francesca: No, I think we covered a lot. That's a lot for people

[00:44:33] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:44:33] Shana Francesca: to digest in just, uh, just about forty-five minutes.

[00:44:37] Ed Watters: It was, it was a great conversation. Uh, do you have a call to action for our people?

[00:44:42] Shana Francesca: Yeah, absolutely. So I, every month I have, except August I take off, but every month I have, uh, virtual workshops. One is called Mastering Intention and that's about all aspects of your life, it's life design. Uh, and then one is Intentional Leadership. Um, so those happen, each one happens every month, they're about forty-five minutes. I make them really digestible. Um, so please engage with those. Um, there's a couple coming up in June and July that are already up on the website. Um, if you're interested in group coaching, I have another, another set of group coaching launching in the fall in September. Um, you know, just connect with me. I would love to, or at least at minimum subscribe to the, to my website, because I send out really beautiful, helpful information on, you know, nuggets from what I've shared on, on podcasts, or interviews, or in my talks. Um, so yeah, absolutely reach out and connect with me through, um, through my, my, my website is www.concinnate.world. And I'm sure it'll be tagged in the show notes.

[00:45:42] Ed Watters: Yes. Yeah. I love the power of your intention and, you know, you know, somebody's comfortable with what they're doing by the authority that they put off. And you really come off as an authoritative figure with a lot of what you're talking about. I can't say thank you enough for taking the time to share it here today with us on the Dead America Podcast.

[00:46:10] Shana Francesca: Yeah. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it and thank you.

[00:46:18] Ed Watters: Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational in any way, please share, like, subscribe, and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America Podcast. I'm Ed Watters, your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.