Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Soul Success a Offers Resilience Tips for a World Troubled by COVID and Upheaval
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Megan McCann says the stories in her book give readers permission to go ahead and do things they’ve been putting off because of their spouse, children and a plethora of other things.
   
Sunday, June 14, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

The idea for the book “Soul Success” germinated within Megan McCann two years ago.  But in February of this year the Hailey woman had a gut feeling that it had to be written and published quickly.

This weekend she launched the book, which contains stories and lessons from female leaders “who turned piles of sh*t into nuggets of gold.” And, she says, it couldn’t be more apropos for the time in which we’re living.

“All of us are going through trauma with the pandemic and George Floyd murder, whether mild or harsh. We’re not able to sleep, we’re stressing about the world—this book offers tools for dealing with  challenges and hurdles,” she said.

 
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“Soul Success” is available at Ketchum and Hailey bookstores.
 

The 222-page book contains the stories of 13 women—six of whom live in the Wood River Valley.

Pirie Grossman, for instance, recounts how she was a host for E! Entertainment Television and married to a famous producer when overnight she lost hope and downed 250 pills. Though she went into the wellness industry, helping to produce the Sun Valley Wellness Festival and becoming a certified life coach, she was reluctant to share her story.

She even presented a TED Talk in which she discussed her efforts to address the high suicide rate in the Wood River Valley without talking about what drove her deep down inside.

Then she shared her story before an audience of a thousand people. And, by the time she had finished,   listeners were crowding around to say “I know someone who went through the same thing.” Or, “I did that, too.”

“By sharing things that are uncomfortable that’s when we come together,” said McCann.

Jamie Green, a local energy coach, recounts how she found her 14-month-old daughter lying face down in a koi pond, her face blue and foam dribbling from her mouth. Miraculously, the toddler survived, no worse for her 11 minutes without a heartbeat. And the experience sent her mother looking for ways to heal trauma.

Jamie Rivetts, a social learning specialist who has worked with the local schools, writes how she was brought to tears over and over one year when there were 45 school shootings in 46 weeks.

Nobody seemed to have solutions, she said. So, she embarked on her own search for solutions. And she tells about some of the things she’s done to mentor youth, including a girl who wore black so everyone could leave her alone, to help them thrive.

Health coach Jennifer Ludington talks about how she overcame anorexia, bulimia and an exercise addiction only to have to tell her daughter that her father was dead in a story that deals with grieving, perfection, fitness and endurance.

Other local authors include Leah Warshawski and Kathryn Guylay.

Of course, McCann’s story is there, as well. It’s a story of a young girl whose voice was silenced by a bullying third-grade teacher.

“I don’t think she realized the impact she had,” McCann said. “She probably thought what she said was mild, but I interpreted it to mean I was stupid. And I grew up thinking women were going to judge everything I did.”

McCann dealt with it by trying to be the best in everything she did, whether playing softball or volleyball or getting good grades.

“It’s really unhealthy when you feel you have to be better than the person sitting next to you,” she said. “Even going into my career, I felt I had to compete with everyone, which is way unhealthy.”

McCann found her voice again as a mentor kept pushing her to speak in a room full of people.

“She believed in me more than I believed in myself,” she said. “But I trusted her and I gained confidence.   Eventually, I had to change my idea of what success looks like. Now, it’s ‘Let’s adjust each other’s crowns, lift one another up.’ ”

McCann holds a bachelor degree in sociology from the University of California-Santa Barbara and a masters in counseling from the University of Southern California. She worked as a counselor for the Los Angeles School District before becoming a health coach and personal trainer, leading the largest beach workout in Los Angeles.

Today she is a business strategy coach and the founder of Soul Success, a global personal development brand designed for female leaders to reach their next level.

McCann, who moved with her husband and two daughters to Sun Valley five years ago, was supposed to have had her Soul Success Summit in Sun Valley this weekend but postponed it to September because of the pandemic.

The event, started three years ago in Santa Barbara, Calif., mixes yoga with business coaching focusing on how to be successful and balance work with mindfulness and spiritual practices. The summit inspired the book as she noticed so many of the women who came had incredible stories of resilience and how they had turned challenges into super powers.

“A week after the book was sent to the editor, our valley announced a mandatory stay-at-home order,” said McCann. “In the snap of our fingers, the unthinkable happened. I witnessed my friends closing their businesses, losing their jobs and schools shutting down.”

Now that the book has come out, McCann said, she will do a reading Sept. 18 at the rescheduled Soul Success summit, which will be held at Ketchum’s Limelight Hotel. Those featured in her book will read a page of their story and hold a discussion afterwards.

“I can’t think of a better time for us to talk about things like trauma and resilience,” said McCann.

  • The book, “Soul Success,” is available at both Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum and Iconoclast Books in Hailey. It also is available on Amazon Kindle.
  • The Soul Success Summit has been rescheduled for Sept. 18, designed to “unearth the buried voices of the women in the world who are ready to claim their power and rise together as modern-day leaders under the pillars of spirituality, leadership, money, health and relationships.”

Speakers include Rose Jubb, founder of Style Class, and sales and personal development coach Jesse Johnson. For more information visit www.TheSoulSuccess.com.

 

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