Shannon Petree is an author, a Co-Founder of HUMAN, a HeartMath practitioner, but, above all, someone trying to make a difference and improve the way we approach the future. Today, MysticMag has the pleasure to bring to you the fascinating story behind Shannon’s work and journey. Enjoy!
Can you please describe your professional journey to our readers?
I started my professional journey as an educator in the public school system, teaching fifth-grade Science and English, eventually making my way all the way to juniors and seniors at a vocational school, Butler Tech. I was on my way to being certified in math, as well, but I was encouraged by my college professors to choose two of those three. Science and English meant for me learning about your world, finding your way to write about it, and sharing it with others. Even today, I can say that I’m still very much a human fascinated by science. I believe that we have put science into this box. However, science is all around us. Math is the language of everything that’s around us. I believe that when we drop what we think we know and get curious, we build this fascination for learning.
I was very much into environmental science and our connection to the planet. Being certified in teaching people to read, I wondered what causes the person to read and why we’re making kiddos learn to read at ages five or six. I was seeing 17–18-year-olds who had a 3rd-grade reading level. I felt, and still feel, that if you ignite a student through their passions and gifts, it’s going to help unlock their “desire of learning”.
Together with another teacher, I created a course called Enviro-English and we tracked Lexile levels. It was a 12-week course of service-based learning, so we brought in people from the community and their problems for students to solve. Results from this course showed that, across the board, the students were improving in their reading comprehension and overall reading levels. Lexile levels increased by two standard deviations, regardless of their starting reading level. This data showed me that there’s another approach with children, and wanted to share that with the world, so I ended up leaving the classroom and going to work for a publisher, Pearson Education, to work with teachers across the country. Along the way, I noticed the overall burnout, isolation, and some simply wanting to keep everything the same, even though everything was changing around them.
After seeing the need, I decided to start my own business in 2019; HeartQuest – A New Dimension of Learning. The intention is to access our own heart intelligence because the heart is the gateway to all there is – to our nervous system, our mind, to our very own soul. It allows for one to guide from this place where one no longer feels isolated and alone.
Fast forward to 2022, I met my now business partner, Krista Powers. We immediately hit it off and started creating, which is how HUMAN, our business was born. Our five-step proprietary process is a co-creation that enters a community, be it a school, healthcare, or business. We start by identifying what’s there and guide them through our illuminating process. We examine what needs to be changed and ignite the spark that will carry throughout the entire process. From there, we work with the community to highlight each individual’s gifts and passions, in order to make them work together so that they can co-create their community of possibility.
I always keep going back to the fact that we need to allow the future to inform the present, which is totally backward from what we have been told. However, the future is already out there and we’re aligning with it by the choices we are making right here, and now.
How did you come across HeartMath and what sparked your interest in the field?
HeartMath was part of the journey when I was looking at evidence-based research of the social emotional connection with our heart. This began in early 2019 when I went to a retreat in Costa Rica. The retreat was hosted by Gregg Braden, a HeartMath champion. There were also some HeartMath people at the retreat, which allowed us to play with the technology created by HeartMath. Needless to say, I was intrigued!
As I practiced and came more in coherence with myself, I felt more and more alive. I realized that this was the answer I’d been seeking. It just unfolded on its own from there, and, before I knew it, I was being mentored by a HeartMath trainer. After that, I went to California and became a HeartMath Resilience Trainer and Coach.
While I was out there with my presentation skills, some people really took notice of how I was using language and my presentation skills. There was a gentleman, Jeff Goeltz, head Education Consultant at HeartMath. He presented me with an opportunity to work with the HeartMath team, which is how I became the Project Manager for the 100,000 Coherent Kids Campaign.
HeartMath was given a grant for their brand-new program for kids ages four to six. Children of that age are like “bomb.com” because they hold the magic. They still have pure access to the other side. If they haven’t endured too much trauma, they remember who they are, if you just sit down and talk with them.
Our goal for the campaign was to give this program to 100,000 kids across the world. We surpassed 100,000 and I believe it still continues to grow; even to this day.
How does HeartMath improve one’s well-being?
It really comes back to what I said about being centered in one’s own heart and being present with oneself. Typically, we allow our outside world to tell us how we need to feel, that is when we get in trouble because we’re not being centered and true to ourselves. It all goes back to sitting and breathing, and, even if it’s three minutes a day, you’re going to feel more centered and come from that grounded place of making decisions that are right for you. Your senses come to life, your intuition turns up, and you’ll be able to hear and feel it even more. You start trusting yourself and this has a ripple effect.
Often we see people, especially youngsters, who are connecting more through their phones and social media. If we are connected too much out “there”, we lose the sense of who we are. It all goes back to that spark of who we are, which, again, starts with our heart. That’s how it connects to our well-being, and it’s all via breathing and that spark of our very own heart.
What’s the idea behind Human Ripples?
Human Ripples is based on the idea that every action, word, or thought, everything that is coming out of oneself, is creating a ripple in the world. Now, I totally believe that I am living in my reality and you are living in yours. We live in parallel universes next to one another. It’s kind of amazing if you think about it. Even though I’m living in my reality over here, I live on this planet, and I can feel what’s going on around me. The reason I can discern what’s mine and what’s not is the work I’ve done connecting with the heart. A lot of times people get off course and they’re being affected by others in ways they aren’t aware of just because they aren’t connected with themselves. Another reason might be that an ancestral event or something else is impacting them. With that in mind, the idea behind Human Ripples is that you have an impact. We all have an impact on each other in some form or fashion. Knowing one’s impact creates impact. The question then becomes “How are you going to ripple” and “What are you going to put out into your world?”. That could be as simple as a thought, a word, or a feeling. You have the power to change your world, forwards and backwards. The world starts within, so choose wisely.
You are also an author. Can you tell us more about that part of your career?
As I said earlier, my love is for kiddos. Together with two friends of mine, we are creating a series of children’s books based on the life of a pug named Hopi. The first book that has been released and part of a series is called “Adventures of Hope”. Through Hopi, we learn about how to face and heal through different life traumas and essentially find out who we are by finding our own gifts from within.
The first book is based around adoption, so Hopi comes into a family she’s been adopted in. You are on a journey with her, a journey of the different things that come up for her. She talks about her story to her friend Dinny, who is also a pug. As the story unfolds, we find out that her real name isn’t Hopi, it’s Tulip. Her soul name is Tulip. It brings up this idea of soul names. The story is essentially about her journey through coming into this family.
As the series moves on, Hopi will deal with a change in the family, as there will be family dynamics that occur. There will be a divorce, puppies that come into the family, as well as a death in the family, followed by a transition to the other side. All the esoterics of what makes up our world is coming into play within these children’s books and they’re based on real-life events.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
My life is so much fun. When I was six, I became enamored in why we teach children the way that we do. Adults can gain so much from learning from kids, if not more. The learning goes forward and backward between all. I inspire impact, not just with teachers, but with the students, administration, and communities. The most awesome thing about my job is that I get to do this with amazing people. It’s absolutely beautiful when you accept who you are, completely. It’s an overwhelming feeling of belonging. I no longer feel alone anymore.
Considering the science of everything we spoke about, my mission and goal is to help shape a future that acknowledges the child in every one of us – the inner child that resides within all human beings; the direct connection to our own souls. I aspire to help us recognize our soul spark and unlock our very own pure potential. By utilizing the lessons we’ve learned from our past experiences, we can create a brighter present that ripples into an amazing future. We cannot create a new future by holding on to the emotions of the past. This is what I believe. And once we embark on this journey, that’s when the true magic begins.