PR 107 | Ideal Life


We’re living in a time when we understand and accept that infinite possibilities are available to all of us. When anything is possible, we certainly can reach our highest potential…. and likewise, we can face negative possibilities. Mary Shores believes that we’re the ones that get to control the thing that happens next in our life – through our choices. It’s the ultimate power of free will. Mary is a personal development expert, an author, and a businesswoman who discovered a road map of how to get in control of your life. Abandoned at a young age and tragically losing her first child, Mary was able to overcome life’s hurdles and turn tragedy into triumph by founding an eight-figure business empire at age 24. She shares how she blends personal experience with neuroscience and human behavior to guide businesses and individuals to create their ideal life.

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The Roadmap To Your Ideal Life with Mary Shores

I’ve got an incredible guest on the show. I feel blessed in this moment for not any particular reason, to be alive and breathing in this moment and reminding myself that that’s enough. I always have so many things to be grateful for, but I don’t need to enumerate them in this moment. I feel that it’s something that deserves pointing out and reminding. A reminder for me and for maybe some of you that gratitude doesn’t necessarily have to be attached to, “I just nailed a $100,000 contract or I’ve got that thing that I was looking for. Somebody acknowledged me or the sun is shining.” There are lots of those things too and that’s incredible as a reason to be happy. Gratitude is a little bit different and appreciation, while I won’t get into the distinction there. What’s cool about the word appreciate, especially when we talk about things that are financially related or assets, things that appreciate increase in value. Our lives definitely appreciate in value when we are conscious of how appreciative we are of being alive. Hopefully, I closed that loop.

The guest that I have is an incredible lady who has an incredible life experience. She has a very interesting road as we all have an interesting road. You’ll get to hear from her a little bit more about what that is. Her name is Mary Shores. Her roller-coaster life began with being abandoned at a young age and tragically losing her first child. Mary was able to overcome life’s hurdles and turn tragedy to triumph by founding her now eight-figure business empire at age 24. That is shocking but very cool. Mary is an expert in personal development but is not a life coach. She is a businesswoman who discovered a roadmap for how to get in control of your life. Mary blends personal experience with her extensive knowledge of neuroscience and human behavior to guide businesses and individuals to defeat the freak-out and create their ideal life.

Mary, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here.

It’s my pleasure, Adam. It’s so nice to meet you.

That’s a great bio. What is not written in this bio that you would love for people to know about you?

Bios are a tricky thing. I probably embody complete unconventional, delusional ambition. I used to get a little bit called out for saying delusional ambition, but sometimes you’ve got to be a little bit delusional to follow your ambitions.

What does it look like for you to be delusionally ambitious on a daily basis maybe?

Gratitude is healthy for our brain, our body, and our nervous system. It changes our lens of perception to the world. Click To Tweet

Sometimes it’s playing full out. In my younger days, I might have said something like my life looked like one of those commercials. They would be like skydiving or jumping off a cliff. I definitely had that adventurous side. Now I’m in my 40s and I know that your show is all about pivots and sometimes I feel like I’m going through puberty again only it’s not necessarily the same result. Just figuring out what my way is now that I’m in my mid-40s. Who is this person? Who is my identity? Do I have to still hold on to that old identity or that person that I was? What’s the new delusional ambition look like? I’m still figuring it out.

One of the things that I have come to realize because I’m approaching my birthday, I’ll be 45. I see many people posting online and I’m like, “I’m living my dream life. You can live your dream life too here by my program.” I think to myself, “I’m not going to claim that I’m living my dream life, but what I can claim is that as I sit here in this 44-year-old version of myself that life is more beautiful than it was before.” The reason it’s more beautiful is that I have the wisdom, the strength, the resilience, the intuitive guidance. I have the tools that help me to show up and play full out. That looks different now than it used to, but it’s a great thing to share on a show about making pivots.

In the book, Pivot, we talk about resilience and how important it is. This is my favorite topic these days to speak about. I am privileged to speak for a living and get paid to keynote and stuff like that in front of corporate groups and often what I’m talking about is resilience. I’ll ask you before we get into my take on it, what’s your vision of what resilience looks like? How would you define resilience?

I’m still defining it and I’m fascinated that you speak on it. I hope I’m going to have to look that up because I want to listen. I didn’t even understand or know that I was in resilience mode or that I had earned resilience throughout my life until a woman who was filming a documentary project, it was a documentary series. She chose 50 people from around the world. She specifically chose them for their resilience, for that bounce back factor, for their ability to not only recover from some tragedy but thrive. The thing about trauma and the thing that maybe is even a little bit misunderstood is that trauma is not about the thing that happened. Trauma is about how does it manifest, how does it show up every day in your reality.

A little bit about resilience is this bounce back factor. How are we able to process through the things that happen in our life, especially when we’re living in a culture that is very positive psychology focused? That doesn’t always allow us room to process our emotions when the crap hits the fan. Let’s just face it, that happens in life. She did the study where she took these 50 people and she did a grounded research study, which is the way Brené Brown does it. It was very long interview styles broken down by psychologists where they say, “Here is the pattern.” I love that you started your show off with gratitude because in all of the 50 people, it was gratitude. That inner sense of gratitude when you can take the time to be grateful and grateful for the big wins, the $100,000 contracts but grateful for the moments.

For me, sitting on my back porch in the morning just drinking coffee in the fresh air. That’s something I’m grateful for. It’s so peaceful, but there’s a specific neurological effect that happens in the people who have a daily gratitude practice. That’s why it’s so powerful. I grew up in the Midwest and there’s a tendency in the Midwest for religion to sometimes rule the day. I grew up going to a private Lutheran school and I remember this feeling like I owed this debt of gratitude to a deity in the sky. Now I understand that it’s much deeper than that. The reason that every foundation of spiritual practice or religious practice is gratitude is that it’s healthy for our brain, our body and our nervous system. It changes our lens of perception to the world.

Back in the day that we didn’t live in, which is unless maybe we have past lives, which I’m totally open to that concept as well, but not to digress there. Back when let’s say gratitude became a part of every major religion and every spiritual practice from the start of whenever that was. They weren’t talking about neuroscience. They weren’t talking in terms of that you were speaking of, that is pretty well. A lot of attention is going in that direction right now. Do you think they knew it intuitively and that’s why they knew that it was good for the brain to use? The term that you said, was there something else that’s attached to gratitude that is not necessarily an outcome for happiness but something else?

PR 107 | Ideal Life

Ideal Life: Sometimes science and spirituality are talking about exactly the same thing, but they’re talking about it using two different languages.

There were two things I wanted to be growing up. One was an archeologist. Picture it, the female Indiana Jones. The other thing I wanted to be was a businesswoman. Businesswoman one out, but my passion lies in understanding ancient culture and ancient civilization. I’m certainly not an expert. What I have learned is that we don’t know what they knew. I’ve heard talks given by say Paramahansa Yogananda many years ago where he’s talking about the grooves in our brain. That sounds like neurology to me. Sometimes science and spirituality are talking about exactly the same thing, but they’re talking about it using two different languages, which makes it difficult because we’re in this language of now.

I have two teenage boys and from my generation to that generation, I don’t know what they’re talking about half the time. They use a different vernacular. I’m sure my parents didn’t know what I’m talking about. You go thousands of generations like that, it’s difficult for us to know sometimes exactly what they knew, but they were onto something. That has not changed. When you take the time to learn some of the concepts from those more past civilizations, you’ll see a tremendous intelligence and wisdom if you can get past that language barrier. I talk about that quite a bit in Conscious Communications because I liked that book to be at that bridge between where science and spirituality crossroads. It’s like, “We’re talking about the same thing here.”

Language is important. The words we use, the vernacular is important. Sometimes it requires that we have a guide, an interpreter of sorts to look at what language was being used for and what the end game for the language was at a different time. I love Emmet Fox’s interpreter, a spiritual guide for the Bible. There is some religion in it. There are some references to religious leaders and things of that sort. For the most part, I think the Bible has this great story there. These are great parables for life in as much now as when those texts were written. The language itself is not familiar, even the words are being used differently. The word righteousness has been used in a variety of different ways.

Often, when you hear somebody calling somebody self-righteous nowadays, it’s like somebody that is arrogant. The word righteousness itself, at least according to some of the interpretations that I am in favor of are looking at that word that means right thinking. When I read what Emmet Fox said that righteousness is right thinking, I thought, “That makes a lot of sense.” There’s stuff in the Bible that talks about righteousness. Judge right thinking in some ways. That makes sense. If you’re going to judge anything, judge your own right thinking and what a great thing to aspire to that we are more and more thinking rightly. That’s its own path by itself.

Your path has been interesting. In the intro, you used the word, roller coaster. Anytime we can get somebody on the show that’s got a roller coaster life, it’s perfect for the people in our community who have been pivoting a long way. We’re all pivoting whether we know it or not. Change is a great constant. It’s an oxymoron or a contradiction that the only constant in the universe is change. Things are always in flux and yet change scares the crap out of people. Oftentimes, people are resisting or moving toward or in a state of ignoring change or resisting it versus embracing it. We have a book that we’re working on that will be out. That’s all about that topic of how it is that we embrace change as a part of how we are creating resilience. I want to close that loop and come back to resilience. What’s been that roller-coaster life looking like for you?

Roller coasters are up and down and they’re fast moving and there’s that slow, scary climb when you know you’re going to crash and burn on the other side. I grew up in somewhat of an unstable home on my mother’s side. She ended up marrying a very stable guy. During my mostly formative years between seven and sixteen, things were okay. My mom divorced him, immediately got remarried and ran off with that guy. She left me in the house to live alone, but within a few months said, “I’m going to sell the house so you’ve got to move out.” Here I was sixteen and I was literally out on my own, no place to go, no money, no guidance and very scared. I’m not even sure what I was scared of. I ended up staying with a friend and finished school. I became a teen mom shortly after high school was over.

My daughter, her name was Haley. When she was born, there was an issue during labor, she had five minutes lack of oxygen to the brain. I’m sorry because this is a little bit hard to hear and sometimes a little bit hard to talk about. She had severe-profound brain damage. What this looks like is that she was blind, she was deaf, she was unable to suck a bottle because she didn’t have any human instinctual reflexes. She couldn’t swallow, she couldn’t suck, she had to have a gastronomy tube surgically inserted into her stomach to be fed and her medications. She had grand mal seizures. She was on life support at the beginning of her days. I was just a juvenile myself and not understanding.

You can't unknow what you now know. One thing leads you to another. Click To Tweet

I had no bandwidth to understand what was happening. She lived for eighteen months and that time was spent living in and out of the children’s hospitals. Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, they’re great people over there, but I had nothing. I was over there with my boyfriend at the time, her father, living and sleeping on the emergency room floor along with other parents and families that were in the same situation as we were. Seeing things that you can never unsee. We’re talking about children in burn units, cancer victims, devastating car accidents. Things that we don’t always want to know that these things are going on, but they are.

This had a tremendous impact on me as you might imagine. I was only nineteen and this kind of puberty that I’m going through, it’s only now that I look back on that time with this full compassion for that young girl that showed up every day to do her best. The impact of that probably left me with some pretty significant PTSD. This was in ‘93. We didn’t talk about PTSD in ‘93. What do you do in those days? You pick yourself up and you move on. You don’t deal with it. Your solution to dealing with it is like, “Put your boots on,” or whatever those old sayings are. I hit rock bottom for a while after she passed away and regressed. I was twenty then but probably regressed a little bit. I think, “I should have become a statistic.” I had no education. I had no hope. I got to this point where I was looking around at my peers and my friends that I went to school with. They’re beginning to graduate college right around this age, 20, 21.

I felt like I would never be able to have the same lifestyle that they would have because I didn’t think that I would be able to get the same kind of jobs. I thought it would be an hourly wage. I didn’t have a lot of hope in that area. A lot of times when people want to know my story about, “How did you start this business when you were only 24?” It didn’t come from this place of empowerment and resilience, but this is me growing that resilience muscle. It’s like dialing it back and looking back in that young woman’s mind. It was more about, “I can’t compete in this world, what is my best option?” To me, I definitely believe that America is the land of the free. I believe that we are the land of the opportunity. I saw an opportunity and I jumped at it. I started my first business at 24. I didn’t have any expectations or wasn’t thinking it was ever going to be an eight-figure business. Are you kidding me? I probably didn’t even think that way back then. I started and every day I did what I was supposed to do on my desk. I stayed in my authenticity and my integrity. The story turned out okay in some aspects.

That was more of a profound experience than you could have known at the time. I don’t imagine anyone at nineteen would be prepared for that. I don’t know that people at 59 would be prepared for that. It’s interesting you say that you feel like you’re in puberty again. We all are on some level, but we’re not aware of it. There’s something to the idea that trauma if you want to use that word, I think that it qualifies to say that that’s a trauma. We’ve all had lesser or greater traumas, but that’s not something you can process at the time. I don’t know that anybody is able to process their trauma contemporaneously with it occurring.

The fact that maybe it’s taken a lot of years and now you have that greater perspective on it and you’re able to process through it gives you new awareness and other options now. Do you have any clarity about what that looks like? We can dive into some of the things that you did between 24 and now to create not just a great business, but you also help a lot of people. It’s an interesting dichotomy of things that you are about because you are an experienced business owner, but you’re also a thought leader and you write books and help people. I’d love to know more about that, but before we go there, is there anything that experience in processing it now is informing you about the future?

As I was saying about trauma being how it shows up in our present-day reality, I believe that our bodies are like libraries. We store everything that has ever happened to us. If we don’t process them out, the impact on our future I think is going to be some illness and disease. I was talking to a wellness expert and she said it so beautifully. She said, “A stressful environment for your body is the perfect environment for disease to thrive.” I was like, “That’s so true.” I know that I held that stress and that trauma in my body for a very long time. Once you take that personal development box off the shelf, once you take that spirituality box off the shelf, it’s like Pandora’s box. You open it and you don’t put it back. There’s no going back. You can’t unknow what you now know. One thing leads you to another. I don’t know that I even understood that I was affected by trauma in my life because I was this powerful dynamo.

If you ask me and I talk about this in Conscious Communications, it’s like pick an archetype. Who’s your superhero? I’m all about Scarlett O’Hara. I was this, “I’m the cross between Jessica Rabbit and Scarlett O’Hara. Scarlett O’Hara is business brilliant. She’s got this beautiful business mind. She’s a beautiful woman and she exudes this strength and this confidence. She’s like a shark. She could totally be on Shark Tank. Here’s the other thing about Scarlett is that she has this life of struggle. She’s constantly got drama. No one likes her, but I realized one day I looked up and looked at myself and I said, “I don’t want to be Scarlett anymore. I don’t want that. I want to be Dorothy.”

PR 107 | Ideal Life

Ideal Life: Our bodies are like libraries. We store everything that has ever happened to us. If we don’t process them out, the impact on our future is going to be some illness and disease.

Dorothy had the power all along. Dorothy had this unconditional love and support from those around her. That’s what I want to step into. To make that pivot from giving up Scarlett and stepping into Dorothy was I had to learn certain lessons. One of them was I had to learn how to receive. When you get into this resilience in your strength, you don’t necessarily always let other people do for you. I had to learn that and I had to learn to receive. I have to learn that I don’t have to be in control of every situation all the time, every single day and every moment. It’s exhausting. It causes more physical stress and damage to your body.

A lot of people think they were born with an identity and they spend their lives trying to figure out what that is. That’s a riddle that doesn’t get solved. It’s also frustrating and painful and it’s perpetuated in ways through a lot of things. It’s quite a bit of personal development. I rather believe that our identities are changing. They’re one thing when we’re six-year-old boy or girl and there’s something different when we’re sixteen and another thing yet entirely when we’re 46 or whatever. To know where you are at any given stage and phase of your life, it’s the art of living successfully to be able to be present to that in the moment. What is my identity now where I am? To ask the other questions which aren’t that easy to answer even, which is with the identity that I’m feeling, this is where I’m at, is my job, my business, my relationships a part of that? How do those things either contribute to the fuller expression of my true identity now? Are they in some way impeding that? A lot of people work a job or do a business or something and it’s mostly for the money or it’s mostly out of obligation or out of fear of what change would look like.

They stay stuck because they’re denying their identity in a lot of ways. I don’t think it’s about going off on some mission, to find the identity you were born with, but to discover more of who you are now. Look at where that sits in the greater context of what you do for what you do. I am also very curious about this because it’s perfect. We opened the loop on resilience early and then you brought up this idea of stress. Stress is an interesting thing when we talk about stress in the context of a gym. For me, it would be like doing a bench press or some other thing that would be a stress on my body. It’s through that stress that we’re able to develop the greater ability, our muscles develop to stress. What I think is the piece in the pie that is missing is that you can’t continue to stress your body, your mind, your heart, your spirit without recovery time. Without the recovery time, that stress ultimately depletes us. If I was to sit on any piece of equipment in the gym for hours and hours on end without break or go back the next day and the next day, ultimately, everything breaks down.

Even when it comes to trauma and processing through that stress, it’s knowing that you’ve got to have time to recover, to build time to recover is how we become resilient. That’s what we’ve discovered is that we live in a culture that perpetuates the myth of exhaustion. Not even just the myth, but the idea that we’re supposed to get exhausted, whether it’s our employers or it’s our clients, whatever it is. The more exhausted we get, the harder we work, the more we accomplish. It’s rewarded. They reward people for staying at the office late, but they don’t reward you for taking your lunch outside to eat under a tree. It’s completely a different way of looking at things. The challenge now, especially for operators of businesses and entrepreneurs or folks that are inside companies is to look at the generations that are coming up.

In the next few years, the biggest group of people working in the workforce will be Millennials. They’re almost there at this point. Then Gen Z will eclipse them before long. These are folks that are much more interested in self-care. They have seen the error of their parents’ ways and have had more of a training of sorts that they are deserving and worthy and that they should love themselves and want the best for themselves. That’s not how I was brought up. You and I are around the same age. I don’t remember too many people training into me or programming into me. You’re great. You don’t necessarily have to get A’s to prove yourself to be greater as a human being, to make $1 million, to have a title, to be in a position of power or authority and to be respected.

This is how it is that you develop a great self-image. Now, kids are growing up feeling much healthier about themselves. When you brought up love, love is something that can either be conditional or unconditional. When it’s unconditional, there’s space there to accept mistakes. There’s space there to accept that sometimes we take steps backwards that bad things happen, that we lose people in our lives that we love. All kinds of stuff that we can’t explain happens. In the context of loving yourself unconditionally, you can create space for that. That is a different paradigm entirely. Your resilience in many ways is the result of the fact that you’ve taken good care of yourself over the years. Do you think that’s accurate? Is that part of the equation for you to think?

In all honesty, I was burning the candle at both ends. We talked about that culture, that climate and the attitude that we grew up in. The commercial that popped into my head, and I’m sure you’ll remember it, is the woman and they’re singing the song like, “I can bring home the bacon dead, fry it up in the pan.” That’s such the epitome of the ‘90s career woman. That’s what I was looking at. I got it 50% right as far as taking care of myself because I was into the wellness. I was into nutrition and into fitness. I read articles about this, but this was years after I did it. I was avid into kickboxing for eight years, not on any kind of professional level. I used to say that, “If you put me in a back alley with my buddy and played a certain song that was choreographed a certain way, I could get all West Side Story on you.” That’s about the extent of it, Thai Bo. It worked out this aggression, especially with recovering from my divorce. My divorce was another major pivot in my life where I didn’t think I was going to survive it. I was blindsided. I had no idea that my marriage was going to end. I attribute physical fitness and especially group fitness. I was meeting so many of my needs.

Words are the mirror to your subconscious mind. Click To Tweet

If we talk about this aspect of wellness or a lot of times, I like to say there’s not a big difference between empowerment and disempowerment. It’s asking yourself the question, “How well do you feel from a scale of one to twenty?” If you’re in that upper ten to twenty, that’s great. That’s an empowered feeling. Everything you create from a feeling of empowerment is going to show up stronger, faster, better, longer lasting and more importantly, have a greater impact in your life. Disempowerment is just a few points away when you’re under that ten. Understand that whatever you try to create from a disempowered state of being, it’s going to be stressful, chaotic, uncertain and you’ll feel stuck. The way that you switch from that disempowered feeling as I feel like we’re in this empowerment phase. Here in our country it’s all about empowerment movements. We live like that all the time either. That’s the same thing.

It is the Rocky Balboa thing. He is a great example of what endurance looks like. He wins our hearts for it, but he also loses the fight. He doesn’t look too good in the end. We perpetuate that model but ultimately that leads to hitting the wall piece of it.

We want to be allowing ourselves that time for self-care. That’s not a word again that we don’t grow up with. Self-care equals selfish. The reality is that self-care doesn’t have to be self-indulgent. It means taking space for yourself, giving yourself that recovery period. When you do that, what happens is you naturally rise up that frequency scale of emotions until you hit that twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen and you’re ready. That’s when you’re ready to make that comeback. I’ve made a lot of comebacks in my life. I took a couple of years off of fitness for a while and now I’m making my comeback. I’m sore every day in the gym, coming home, I’m sore, my triceps. I can’t even lift my arm above my head. That’s okay because it feels good when you’re on that comeback ride.

You’re going to recover now. You’re not going to go back in the gym this afternoon and press yourself that further because if you come back two days from now, when your muscles have recovered, that’s when you’re going to take a stride forward. I’m not the same age. I’m not 32. That’s a good point. Age has some bearing on what exhaustion or stress even looks like. Here’s the thing that triggered it for me when you gave the quote from that lady about stress. To me, stress is not something that we look at. Stress doesn’t kill us. It’s our belief that stress kills us. There is research that bears this out, that our thoughts about stress are a big part of how it is that stress impacts us. When we do think that stress is the thing that could lead to disease, there are things that are opportunistic in nature. When we’re depleted and our immune systems are depleted, then we’re more a host for that kind of opportunistic disease to sit in. It is important that we all get that message that we have to recharge. Have you ever had a car that you could run the tank on E a bit before you had to fill up?

No, I do try it more often than I would like to admit.

I had a magic car in college. It was a 1983 red Honda Prelude. I said it was a magic car because I could run this thing for days, weeks even on as it read E. It was incredible. I had no money in college, so it was perfect. I pushed this thing to the limit until one day I was headed to a family gathering. I had a suit on and all that kind of stuff and I was on E. I just ignored it. It ran until it stopped running on E. I was on the side of the road and this car. I had to walk a couple of miles. I paid $75 to fill up a red tank. I walked all the way back and filled my car up. I was late for the family gathering. I was all dirty. I was out $75. It’s a lesson that I still talk about because we’re running ourselves that way. We think we’re superheroes on some level. When we are nineteen, that looks one way and when we’re 39, it’s a different thing. You can’t run yourself on E over and over again and not ultimately end up on the side of the road. Right now, you’re taking good care of yourself. What age were you divorced? What was the timeframe when that was going on?

It’s interesting because you brought up at the beginning how when we have trauma in our lives, it rears its head again, usually later. There’s a book called The Presence Process by Michael Brown. He says in this book that unresolved childhood trauma shows up every seven years or thereabouts in different ways. It doesn’t look the same. It’s not the same parties or players. Different things show up every seven years that reflect back this unresolved issue or trauma. Then we get another opportunity to deal with it. There’s no time like the present. That’s what those pivots maybe or are so great for. They point out the fact that there is this growth opportunity. You ended up getting into an interesting business, which was the debt collection space. Was that the business that you started when you were 24?

PR 107 | Ideal Life

Ideal Life: Self-care doesn’t have to be self-indulgent. It means taking space for yourself, giving yourself that recovery period.

It sure was. I was the youngest person in the country to open a collection agency at 24 years old. Right away, I wanted to be unique in the collections business. I wanted to take a sales approach. I thought I was brilliant with my little 24-year-old self that I’m going to sell people on this idea of paying their debt and how much of their credit score would improve and how better they would feel if they paid this debt. That sales approach was an epic failure. It was a failure because of a couple of reasons. One, my competition was using fear and anxiety and we’re wired for negativity bias. Negativity bias is just simple. It means we have a stronger reaction to losing $20 than we do to finding $20. My other colleagues in the business were beating me out every time.

The second reason and I think that the important reason that it failed is that sales did not address the shame and the unworthiness that people feel just by having debt. Having debt is a psychological burden and it’s a burden that gets in between people. It builds a brick wall between people and living the life of their dreams because if someone has a debt, we know for sure they are less likely to apply for the same jobs. They are less likely to apply for a mortgage. They are even less likely to date the same people because they’re swirling in this chaos of unworthiness. I had this huge a-ha moment in life when one day I looked at the phone and I literally said, “I want the next person who calls to be happier at the end of the call than they were at the beginning.” That was the pivot that changed the entire trajectory of the rest of my entire life.

That was back in 2004, 2005. I started to study, and I put this goal of happiness as my North Star. What happened was I was studying the power of words and how we are triggered. The first thing I did was I created this do not say list. This was a list of words that basically was banned from my entire organization. It was, “No, not, can’t, won’t, however and unfortunately.” The reason that I banned these words is that negative words plant a seed of a negative outcome. The point is if you want to do anything well in life or in your business, the way that you do that is by creating deep connection and trust. That is how you get it done when who you’re interacting with are people that are in a debt situation that doesn’t leave you a lot of room to build relationships. I was able to do it.

I had the best laboratory ever because what I found was that anytime you used a negative word with somebody who’s already in a vulnerable position, it triggered their fight or flight. What I had in my hands were people who wanted to fight and argue instead of solving a problem, you can’t both be in your fight or flight and in your strategic problem-solving area of the brain at the same time. On the system that I developed, I call it the Communication Code where I created these three rules and these three steps. They’re super simple to use and I’ve been teaching and training on them for fifteen years. It also became the foundation. Even though Conscious Communications is a personal development book, it’s my story. It’s my journey. It’s a teaching memoir. It’s based on this foundation of the Communication Code.

Tell us a little bit more about the book. Obviously, people can get the book on Amazon. I’m assuming it’s available there. When did the book come out?

It was in August 2017.

If you could share a little bit more about it, did you write the book as a result of what you had learned through the psychology of debt collection? I want to come back to one other thing too, which is you said something that people who are in debt or indebted are less likely to go for jobs. They have a very different outlook and maybe even their self-esteem is impacted by it. I want to track that to a statistic that I read, which is that 49% of the people that have outstanding student loans are in default on those loans. That’s the country that we’re living in right now. Not only is it, I think obscene that the cost of college is six figures plus. Rudimentary college four-year education is $100,000. Young people are taking out student loans and half of them are defaulting on those loans or currently in default on those loans. I’d love to get your thoughts on that, but first back to the book. Give us a sense of that.

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I’ll tell you what, if you’re open, we could have a whole show about the impact of debt because you have absolutely no idea how passionate I am about the topic. It would be important and an impactful conversation. It would be an interesting one. As far as the book, Conscious Communications teaches ambitious people how to create that life that was more beautiful than before, by harnessing the power of their words to change their mind, their choices and their life. It’s all based on neuroscience because I’m a neuro nerd and I love neuroscience. I love to trace everything right back to neuroscience. Even my own story or my own inspiration to write this book was this calling. It was such a strong calling that I would go around and I would say to anyone who would listen to me, “I want to write a book but I’m not a writer.”

The interesting thing about words is that words are a mirror to your subconscious mind. When you hear me say these words, “I want to write a book.” It’s like you can see it written on my soul this purpose that I have come into this life with this story and wanting to write this book. I have a big problem when the next words out of my mouth are, “But I’m not a writer.” Those words are also revealing a subconscious belief system that somewhere somehow, I did not believe that I was capable of writing a book. I might have had belief systems like I needed to have a Ph.D. in English or I needed to have connections in the publishing industry and I had none. That’s such a great story for what the book is about because it’s not about wanting to become a writer, it’s about how often do we say, “I want X, Y, Z. I want to start a business. I want to lose twenty pounds. I want to move across the country. I want to meet a great partner,” but I don’t insert your “but” excuse.

We sometimes say to people, “Don’t show me your buts because the word but itself is a word of negation.” Anything that comes before the word but is negated by it. “I love you but, I respect you but.” It’s interesting you brought this up and I’m happy that our community gets to hear you share that because the word “but” itself can be used so much less frequently when you’re aware of it. You can replace the word or have the option to replace the word with and, “I love you and, I respect you and.” It’s a great thing to be aware of because we are constantly negating things and you’re right, our words are very much a mirror to our soul.

The word but is on the Do Not Say list, just so you know. It is the equivalent of, however. It’s the equivalent of, unfortunately. In our culture, we might have been taught that however and unfortunately are sympathetic words. In certain situations, they may be. In the majority of the time, there’s no good news coming after.

It means you’re rejected. They’re not buying from you, “You’re an incredible candidate, however.” We don’t even need to read after that or listen after that.

No, because your brain shuts down. You’re not actually going to listen. I designed the book that it’s a lot of the life lessons that I have learned in a very simple step-by-step process that has a short coaching exercise at the end of every book. It’s changing lives. I get messages from people every single day. I’ll share one of the processes because it’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s simple and I think everyone can understand it. I feel like we’re living in this time that we understand, and we accept that infinite possibilities are available to all of us. The thing is sometimes we think infinite possibilities means we’re going to reach our highest potential. That’s not necessarily the case because infinite possibilities mean anything at all is possible. That means the bad stuff too. We’re the ones that get to control by our choices, the thing that’s going to happen next in our life. It’s the ultimate power of free will.

I created this process called Cleanse or Clog and it’s based on my foundation of understanding the importance of connection. Everything we say, everything we do, every word that comes out of our mouth and every choice we make and every action we take in those thin sliced moments of life is either creating a deeper connection to what we want or it’s driving a disconnection. It’s that simple. In our life, we can make cleansing connected choices or we can make clogging disconnected choices. A great example is like, “I told you I’m getting back on my wellness track.” If I were to apply Cleanse or Clog to my health and fitness or my wellness, it’s easy for me. I don’t need to go on Keto or Paleo. Those things are great but it’s a little too intense for me. I need to use my own intuition, look at a piece of food and say, if I put this in my body, will it cleanse me or clog me? I know the answer.

PR 107 | Ideal Life

Conscious Communications: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Harnessing the Power of Your Words to Change Your Mind, Your Choices, , and Your Life

If I’m looking at an apple, I know it’s going to cleanse me. I know it has those nutrients. If I’m looking at a Snickers bar, I know it’s going to clog me. How do we cleanse or clog our relationships? Do I need to send this text message? Do I need to be right in this moment? Can I get through this short-term squirm and focus on my end goal, the end game? How do we cleanse or clog our careers? It’s simple stuff. Do you show up on time? Are you well presented? Are you prepared? That cleanses. Do you collaborate well with others? Those are cleansed. How do you cleanse or clog your personal development? Are you scrolling hours a day through Facebook or are you feeding your mind, give yourself beautiful mind food? It works in every single area of life. It’s simple. You can take a two-second check-in and just say, “Will this cleanse or clog?”

Simple is usable. Complicated is interesting. We’ll take usable any day. This has been a wonderful conversation. What I know in this moment is that it’s part one and maybe it’s part one of part three, I don’t know. At a minimum, we’ve got a part two coming up because I definitely want to talk about, and I don’t believe in any accidents. The fact that it came up that we’re talking about the stress that debt puts on people. In more ways than one, debt is impacting not just individual lives but the collective lives of our society. At least here in North America, the statistics are pretty dire in a lot of ways in that regard. That’s a perfect two for us and I feel very honored and very blessed that we got to spend this time together and that our community was able to be a part of it.

It’s my pleasure, Adam. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

This had been a blast. I’ll say this for everybody that your comments mean the world to us. To leave a comment on iTunes is terrific and we appreciate that. We’re going to have sweepstakes soon. We’re going to announce what the actual prizes are for this. We appreciate you leaving a comment there. You can go to and leave a comment there where we’ll also reply directly to you and appreciate your feedback. The other place where you can get more information about our community, the Start My Pivot page on Facebook. You can go to It will take you right to the front door, which is absolutely a blessing for us to be able to curate that community and serve in the best way that we can there.

I will say as we began with gratitude, it’s a perfect place to end. I pray that we all get to wake up tomorrow as we got to wake up now. We’re even a little more conscious tomorrow then than we are at the present. There’s no guarantee we will wake up. In fact, when we wake up and realize we’re waking and we’re taking that first breath of the morning, there are people who are taking their last breath in that moment. There were babies being born and life is continuing forward. It’s something that we can all be grateful for. It’s a special moment and a holy moment even. It’s our choice then as we realized that we can either love ourselves unconditionally or withhold love until a different day.

We can withhold it until we’re perfect, until we feel we’re perfect, until we can cut our finances right, until things are lined up, until the proverbial ducks have lined up. We can hold back that unconditional appreciation for ourselves if we choose to, or as Mary pointed out, we can select our words very carefully. My prayer is that you wake up, that you spend a few seconds even in gratitude, as you put your feet on the floor that you think and declare out loud these words, “I love my life, I love my life, I love my life.” It’s been a blessing and I look forward to us connecting again. Ciao for now. Mary, thank you again.

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About Mary Shores

PR 107 | Ideal LifeMary’s roller-coaster life began with being abandoned at a young age and tragically losing her first child. But Mary was able to overcome life’s hurdles and turn tragedy to triumph by founding her now-8 figure business empire at age 24.

Mary is an expert in personal development but is not a life coach; she’s a businesswoman who discovered a road map of how to get in control of your life. Mary blends personal experience with her extensive knowledge of neuroscience and human behavior to guide businesses and individuals to defeat the freak-out and create their ideal life.