While I was in the North Georgia Mountains, I got a chance to talk with Shannon Mitchell and Christine Gautreaux, co-owners of Women Connected in Wisdom. Their business model includes an online community, podcast, book, and an annual conference where authors speak.
Both women live in Atlanta and have multiple businesses.
Shannon bowled me over when she shared during the interview that she took her unemployment checks during Covid to start up her business SheaLo Glow.
Now three years later this twenty-something queen has a storefront shop as well as an online business!
Shannon also shares her story of a 12-year separation from her mother and her mother's family, and how it affected her identity and connection to her cultural community. We also learn about her positive relationship with Christina and how they both prioritize openness and honesty.
Christine, a professional speaker and social worker, has written books that have opened doors for her and given her opportunities to speak at conferences and events. Christine noticed that many other women had incredible stories and voices, but had not yet been published.
Together she and Shannon, decided to create a podcast and a compilation book featuring 18 authors, most of whom had never been published before. Their mission is to get these stories and voices out into the world and into the hands of readers. Christine believes that books are valuable tools for entrepreneurs and caregivers alike and can open doors that might not otherwise be available.
Called Women Connected in Wisdom, the book and podcast focuses on the eight dimensions of wellness and the importance of uprooting oppression, acknowledging the unique challenges faced by Black women. The podcast also includes recommendations for books each episode.
Shannon shares her love for shea butter and their skincare routine. Lastly, we hear about Christine’s love of her Interplay performance group in Atlanta that deals with big historic issues through movement and storytelling.
AMINATA SOL [00:00:02]:
So welcome, Christine and Shannon from Women Connected in Wisdom.
Shannon Mitchell [00:00:11]:
Thank you so much.
AMINATA SOL [00:00:12]:
I am so excited to have you on here on the Mother Tree Network where we spirituality and earth wisdom meets racial justice and women's leadership. So so, first of all, let me just start the question. What is good at this moment? Let's start with you, Shannon.
Shannon Mitchell [00:00:34]:
Yes. Thank you so much. And again, happy to be here. What's good with me is this 15 minutes walk we just did. The energy was high and I said, you know what? I'm going to participate because I had the health to and what's some more steps going to hurt. So that's what I'm thinking about right now. Feeling good in my body.
AMINATA SOL [00:00:50]:
Feeling good in your body. Awesome.
Shannon Mitchell [00:00:52]:
AMINATA SOL [00:00:52]:
Shannon Mitchell [00:00:53]:
Christine Gautreaux [00:00:56]:
Hello, Amanda and community. So grateful to be here. What is good yes to that 15 minutes energizing walk. That was awesome. What is good is it's a gorgeous day in Atlanta, Georgia, and spring is here, so the flowers are blooming and when the sun is shining, I don't know. It's a good day.
AMINATA SOL [00:01:20]:
Yeah. You kind of perk up.
Shannon Mitchell [00:01:23]:
Yeah. I think about Anne Frank and how she was affected by the seasons. When I found that out, I said, that makes so much sense. Yeah.
AMINATA SOL [00:01:33]:
Wow. So picking up on Anne Frank, did you read Anne Frank recently or as.
Shannon Mitchell [00:01:37]:
A child through school? So it's been a while, but certain things stuck out and I think about them every now and then.
AMINATA SOL [00:01:46]:
Isn't that crazy? Like what we hold on to from different books? Yes, because I've read The Diary of Anne Frank at least a couple of times and I don't remember the seasons at all. That just tells you, wow, we're getting different things from what's staying with us is different.
Shannon Mitchell [00:02:07]:
AMINATA SOL [00:02:10]:
Well, speaking of books, because I wanted to talk to you about your book. So Shannon and Christine are the founders of Women Connected in Wisdom, which is a podcast, a book project and a community a conference. So I guess let me start with what makes you think that books are still important, even this day when we have so much social media, video, audio? Why are you still doing a book?
Shannon Mitchell [00:02:41]:
Christine, would you like to go first?
Christine Gautreaux [00:02:44]:
Well, the easy answer is because Shannon and I are big old nerds and we love books.
Shannon Mitchell [00:02:48]:
I love it.
Christine Gautreaux [00:02:51]:
So what we realized on the podcast is almost every episode we get a book recommendation. Either something one of us are reading or something one of our guests are reading. And what I know as a professional speaker and author is books open doors and we get invitations that we would otherwise not get as female entrepreneurs. And so what we realized so one of our missions at Women Connected in Wisdom is uplifting women's voices who are traditionally oppressed. And what we realized, because my first book was a book called still point. And it's a playbook for caregivers, to find ease and time, to breathe and reclaim joy. And what I realized as a first time author was how many doors, conferences, speaking engagements were opened by the fact that I had author behind my name. And so when we started talking to our guests on Women Connected, and so many of these women hadn't had an opportunity to be published, but they had incredible stories, they had incredible voices. Shannon and I had a conversation about it. We're like, let's do this. So our first book is a compilation book with 18 authors. 15 of them had never been published before, and it was getting their stories and their voices out into the world. And we have it electronically, and it's about to come out audio, but we also have it where we can hold it in our hands because we love books. Anything you want to add, Shannon? That was a lot.
Shannon Mitchell [00:04:20]:
Yes, no, and all worth it. What I think about Dr. Kim is information, right? When I think about books, I think about Christina and I, the fact that we're in a book together, and how a few decades ago, the book she would be reading would be in a different library than the books I would be reading. All right, so at first, if you don't think about it, it could be, okay, well, they're getting the information, but why the disconnect? So, for me, when we're searching online, we might search something. I might have been searching something about my skin, right. Because I had a PH imbalance. So I'm going to search that problem. Or when COVID shut everything down, maybe I'm looking up stuff for financial wellness and unemployment, right? But that's only two of the eight dimensions. And so being able to get information about wellness to women, and we talk about the state of female health care and just health care in general across the board, where we are in the United States, right. How are we proactive instead of reactive, giving you those resources that are going to tailor it to what you need, the physical and the financial, that's front of mind for where I was or wherever you are, but also the other things that you might not think about. And that's what's been beautiful with the eight dimensions of wellness. People have been telling us that it gives them a really good foundation of how to ask questions in their life and make sure that their needs are met. And what I see with AI and voice regeneration, whatever we're about to call all this technology that's coming out, the younger generation is asking a really good question what's real? What's true? And when we talk about information being passed down, who gets seen as an expert and what that looks like? Books has always been the foundation of what we as a country go back to.
AMINATA SOL [00:06:04]:
Yeah. Wow. Well, you just said a lot there. Shannon, because people are really talking about AI, and you just said what's real and what's not because there's so much information right now. And I think by putting together a compilation of women's voices that you edit that you vet, you're, like, adding legitimacy and power to each other.
Shannon Mitchell [00:06:31]:
AMINATA SOL [00:06:35]:
I just feel like, what a great idea. What a great idea. And I love that what you did.
Christine Gautreaux [00:06:41]:
AMINATA SOL [00:06:43]:
You have this Woman Connected in Wisdom podcast, which preceded the book. Right. So what I love about what you did is you took the little seed of the first iteration of your idea, and then you built on it. But can you tell us about the seed of the podcast? Like, what made you say yes to your idea?
Shannon Mitchell [00:07:09]:
Okay, so I'll lead with this one. Let's see why I said yes to the idea first, because it started with no. Right. And when I'm looking back at the big decisions, I say yes to other people. Right. Christine wants to do a project. Yes. What can I do to help you? I'll connect you with somebody. We're really quick to do that. And at first, I was going to apply for a Spotify podcast, and I was questioning if I wanted to do it. Applied the last day, didn't get it. And it's so crazy that it's really and actually not crazy, but strategically orchestrated that I was trying to put together the description of what this podcast would be like, and it is like women connected. And I realized in not getting it that that's what I really wanted to do. Like, I do want to continue to spread this message. Right. Why the eight dimensions of wellness? I was working on a project with one of my African interior designer and architecture friends. So for me, as an African American woman, this was amazing, right. Watching her design and seeing the way that she opened up my intellectual wellness, the way I think about things and my creativity and how I apply it. So when we were on this project, I was going to do social media marketing for this wellness center. And through that research, I found the eight dimensions of wellness. And I said, Why do I have a bachelor's in psychology, and I have never heard about the eight dimensions of wellness? I knew that it would help me, right. But it's not just me. It would help the people around me and everybody else. So when Christine asked me, I said, absolutely, let's do it. And she asked me what topic it should be and not picking one, I said, we should do all of this and do the eight dimensions of wellness. So we are not only we have strengths, but we know we have weaknesses, too. Right. And it's not about us. It's about the people who we care, we love, and that come to us that need help. We want to make sure that we're giving it to them in a healthy way, in a balanced way. And that means, as entrepreneurs, it's not always us. It might be our team. And so we're building the international team of wellness experts that can speak and help people specifically with what they're looking for.
AMINATA SOL [00:09:16]:
So you said it started with a no. So the no was from Spotify. Spotify said no to you?
Shannon Mitchell [00:09:22]:
The no was I didn't want to do it. And so I procrastinated on even applying for it. I said, I don't really and then I was at Papado, and I had stepped down. I was in my server uniform. The shift was about to start, and they had meetings before each shift. And I went to the bathroom real quick and I filled it out, realizing, even if I do it wrong, even if they say no, at least I tried. And they said no. And I was like, you know what? I do actually want to do it. So when Christine presented the opportunity, I said, Hell yes is what I text her back when she offered it. Yes. What would you say, Christine?
Christine Gautreaux [00:09:57]:
On my side of the story is I had a previous podcast called Incremental Steps, and it was an environmental wellness podcast. And when George Floyd was murdered and our country was having a racial reckoning, I wanted to talk more about that. And my white, middle aged co host, I don't know if she was getting pushback from her listeners or it was her she hadn't done her internal work yet, but she was like, I need to take a pause and step back from this. And what was happening was Shannon and I belonged to a group called Monday Manifesting Mastermind that we'd been a part of for, at that point, probably three years. And we had been having really juicy conversations about wellness and racial equity. And I'm a white, middle aged, hetero woman, and Shannon is different generation, different racial background, different religious background. And we were having these really good conversations. And Shannon's like, more people need to hear about these. I don't think this happens on the regular. So when my first co host wanted to step back, I was sitting with it because I was, like, stirred up about it, too, because of what was happening. And this is part of all of our work. We have to be talking about this. And I called Shannon and I told her what was going on with my other co host, and I said, do you want to do a podcast with me? And that's when she said, Hell, yes. And that's how Women Connection wisdom was born, because we felt like we could make a difference by even just showing up and having the conversation from different perspectives and how all of this intersects with wellness. Because in order to do racial justice work, as you know, Dr. Kemp, like you are one of the leaders in this field, we have to be able to sustain our wellness and each other and do it from a place of wholeness and healthy and not doing it from really broken places. Yes.
AMINATA SOL [00:12:05]:
So in some ways, you both had a no. Right? And then your partner saying, I need to pause, and then you turn toward each other and you got the yes. I love that. And do you remember what time of year it was when you texted Shannon, christina, say, do you want to do this?
Shannon Mitchell [00:12:27]:
Well, Shannon's been coming up.
Christine Gautreaux [00:12:29]:
Shannon Mitchell [00:12:29]:
Coming up. Because we started working and doing the behind the scenes planning around June. So I would say it was like March, April, and we talked about it and finished our workflows, and then we started and then we officially started the podcast the next January.
AMINATA SOL [00:12:46]:
I asked that question because we just completed the spring equinox, as you know, on March 20 and then March 21 was that new moon in April, new Moon in Aries. And there's so much initiatory energy this time of year. So when you said that the reach out was probably in March, I just want to call our attention to that. Yes. There's times of year when the energy is coming forward and to ride that energy well.
Christine Gautreaux [00:13:19]:
And you talking about that as you know, we are gathering authors for our second volume, and that is we are intentional about that. This is the time we're planting the seeds. It is the authors are calling in. We are starting to talk about chapters and writing and being really intentional with the seasons and the wellness and how do we do this in a natural, gentle rhythm.
AMINATA SOL [00:13:50]:
So now you've mentioned eight dimensions of wellness. So I know everybody on here who is like a virgo is going, okay, when I'm going to hear, I want to know what all eight are. So could you just briefly run down the eight? And I know everyone. You can go to their website. We're going to have the information there so they can go in detail about what it changes. Just give us those eight titles so people know what the frame is.
Shannon Mitchell [00:14:13]:
Yes. So the eight dimensions of wellness are emotional and mental is one category. Environmental wellness, financial wellness, intellectual, occupational, social wellness, spiritual wellness, physical wellness and environmental wellness. Did I say environmental already? Oh, yes, I did at the beginning with the ease. Yes. So those are the eight dimensions. And like Christine said, they intersect. And of course, how we are in our dimensions matters. And then how everybody around us can affect our dimensions as well.
AMINATA SOL [00:14:48]:
Yes. Everybody around us can affect our dimensions.
Shannon Mitchell [00:14:51]:
AMINATA SOL [00:14:51]:
And how we are in them.
Christine Gautreaux [00:14:53]:
Shannon Mitchell [00:14:54]:
Like, when you think about COVID I think about how many people have probably moved back home and the three, maybe three, maybe four generations, depending on what's going on and how that affects the finances, the social environment in the house, all of those things, because the next person is in a certain place.
AMINATA SOL [00:15:12]:
You're right. We could do a COVID breakdown, but I don't want to because we know that was like an initiatory transformational thing in our lives. But I want to get back to you all. Shannon, you talked about being an entrepreneur. You mentioned that you're both entrepreneurs. So let's start with you. So tell us, besides women connected in wisdom, what is your other entrepreneurial experience?
Shannon Mitchell [00:15:40]:
Yes. So right now I have a retail space on Auburn Avenue, and what's there is shallow glow. So I help people with dry skin glow from head to toe. And it's not about vanity. It's genuinely about taking care of your entire body. A lot of times we only take care of the part that people see right through your face or you'll put lotion on whatever part of your body is out, and then the rest of it is whatever it is. And so we have glow kits, right? A dark brown sugar scrub for exfoliation, a multi use oil that you can use on your scalp, hair, skin and nails. And then the glow butter that's going to seal your immune system. And that's what I talk about in the first volume, fortifying your immune system because your skin is the biggest organ on your body, and when it's sealed, the outside irritants stay out and the moisture stays in, and then it helps your body run on a regulated system.
Christine Gautreaux [00:16:28]:
Okay, so now I'm going to follow.
AMINATA SOL [00:16:29]:
Up with you on this because I'm a black woman, so I got to follow up with you on this.
Shannon Mitchell [00:16:32]:
You got to glow.
AMINATA SOL [00:16:34]:
I have to glow. But I want to follow up on because you talk about this as a dimension of wellness. Yes. Do you remember now you are a different generation than me, Shannon. But when I was growing up, we used Vaseline, and what I want to say is Vaseline is a petroleum product. And later on in my life, I actually had this spot on my tongue that I saw homeopath about, and she said, this is a sign of petroleum. Like, you having too much.
Shannon Mitchell [00:17:07]:
You have petroleum in your body, in your system. Yes.
AMINATA SOL [00:17:10]:
And I was like, where would I get petroleum from? But then she said, environmental. It's not like you were eating petroleum as a little girl, but you were obviously exposed at a consistent basis.
Shannon Mitchell [00:17:22]:
Your system was eating it. If you put it on your body, though. Yeah, that makes sense.
AMINATA SOL [00:17:25]:
So I want to know about shea butter. Talk about that just as a healthy yes.
Shannon Mitchell [00:17:34]:
So I want to start with Vaseline because I feel like I was thinking about this earlier. Do you ladies know the scene from Legally Blonde where the lady is behind the glass and she's like, what's? That Botox. Right. And she's supposed to be this fitness person, basically, that works out and helps people get their bodies. But she had Botox, and that's where she was when this crime that they had charged her for, but she couldn't say it because she was like this national fitness person, right. So that's how I feel about Vaseline because I do use it, but very sparingly. I think about behind my ears where that mask was really hurting. Perfect, right. A thicker layer of moisture sealant right there. Or on my eyebrows. I have really curly hair, so my eyebrows are curly too. And I lay those down. But for the rest of it, it's thicker. Right. So with shea butter, people know that it's waxy. So at Shaylo Glow, we do mix it and melt it with organic coconut oil. So it helps with that consistency. It makes it so that it melts at body temperature. And the aloe in there helps you heal from cuts, burns. But you're asking about the shea butter specifically. It is thicker than lotion if it's raw by itself. So again, the coconut oil helps with that for the benefits. It's things like circulation, UV protection. It does have an SBF of three. So when we're going outside, no matter what the season is, it's going to help make sure that you're protected from the sun rays. It helps with arthritis and bone density. And so every night when I'm thinking about Glow from head to toe, I also hit my joints because even though I'm 29 right now, I won't always be, right. So toes, I do my feet first. Actually, I do my hands first because that's what moisturizes the rest of your body. And we know that has a lot of bones, right? Thank my hands for what they've done. Then I go to the feet because when I stand up and do the rest of my body, my feet need to be taken care of. And a lot of times we forget about it. So looking at the research for diabetics, knowing that they have to do a foot check because of the lack of sensitivity, I went ahead and added that into my regimen. Right. Let me make sure I'm paying attention to my feet since they carry me everywhere. And then I go up the rest of my body for the toes, ankles, knees, waist, back of my spine, elbows, because they be dry ashy right. But don't forget about the elbows. Shoulders and then the back of my spine. So I'm okay, protected. I'm sealed. And depending on what's going on, I run into stuff a lot. If I have bruises or something, right. I might elevate my leg and put an ice pack on it with the shea butter to help with the circulation and the anti inflammatory, because it does that as well. But there's a list of different things. And actually the last thing I'll say is that it's sold more as food when you look at the global market. And so it's healthy enough to eat with, people use it as a substitute in pastries so that's why I trust for it to go on my skin with the organic coconut oil and the organic aloe, any of those, I could drop in some food and it would be fine. So I trust for my skin to constantly absorb it.
AMINATA SOL [00:20:25]:
Wow. And is it shea butter from Africa?
Shannon Mitchell [00:20:29]:
It is. I get 100% natural African shea butter from Ghana.
AMINATA SOL [00:20:33]:
And so do you have Ghanaian connections?
Shannon Mitchell [00:20:37]:
Not directly, not yet. I would love to develop that, especially with women connected in wisdom. But even now, I love that Atlanta and Africa is connected and helping the women in more than one way because we're still connected, just not without the middleman in between yet, but we'll grow to that point.
AMINATA SOL [00:20:56]:
And how long have you been in business?
Shannon Mitchell [00:20:58]:
So in June, it'll be three years.
Christine Gautreaux [00:21:01]:
AMINATA SOL [00:21:01]:
So this is a pandemic business also.
Shannon Mitchell [00:21:03]:
Oh. Started from my unemployment, I said, you know what, Lord? I know. Literally, I knew I had to get an asset. I said, we got to get out ahead of this stuff if we're going to build generational wealth and health. So let's invest the unemployment since we're here. And again, I had said no and was part of this other beauty company and I was making calls and that product was not selling. And Shea Butter was. As a salesperson, you can't talk about too many beauty products to one person. And so I literally had to pick which one was better in that situation. Kind of like Christina and I were just talking about. And Shea Butter was taking care of it. Shea butter was taking care of me. And so that's what we invested in. And now we're sponsored by bank of America in Sweet Auburn. Wow.
AMINATA SOL [00:21:48]:
Okay. Beautiful story. Sweet Auburn Avenue. I've heard of it. I'm not from Atlanta, but that's a historic district in Atlanta. So beautiful. Thank you so much. I'm really happy to hear about this.
Shannon Mitchell [00:22:03]:
Yes, we'll be sure to put it.
AMINATA SOL [00:22:04]:
In the show notes for people who want to support this beautiful business with so much good for us and for the community. That's powerful.
Shannon Mitchell [00:22:14]:
Yes. Thank you so much.
AMINATA SOL [00:22:16]:
Now, Christine, I know people who do interplay, and after this interview, I'm definitely going to be sending them a link. But tell us about you and your business.
Christine Gautreaux [00:22:28]:
You bet. So I have Christine Gotro consulting, and I have a background as a social worker, and I am also a certified interplay leader. So interplay is where movement and storytelling and voice is the main modality I use to help people access their body wisdom and get in touch with their bodies and basically transform their lives. And so I do private coaching, I do community social work. I do organizational development and team building using interplay. And these skills and you and I have in common, Dr. Kim, about improv and using fun and play enjoy to help people transform their lives. I don't want to say it's a side gig because it's a pretty big gig along with Women Connected Wisdom and Connected and Wisdom Press. We are dancing fast right now.
AMINATA SOL [00:23:23]:
Yes, you are. I want to follow up on this thing about play. One of the things that I took a sabbatical for my business, as I said on your podcast, Women Connected in Wisdom, when you interviewed me, I took a sabbatical in my business, which was doing racial justice training. And one of the things that I knew when I came back to doing that work that I wanted to lead with delight because when I was doing it, I was leading with pain because there was a lot of pain. But there is something different that's accessible to you and I think that is restorative as you do the work. When you can access the light, please share your thoughts.
Christine Gautreaux [00:24:17]:
Absolutely agree. I hope you're okay over there. Give a drink of water. Yes. So in my business and in the community, we do a lot of racial justice work and we lead with play and we lead with community when we can access joy in the midst of heavy stuff. And there's a lot of grief and loss in our world right now, as we all know that accessing the joy, looking for the good, building those relationships in community is what makes it sustainable and doable. So one of the things I do through Interplay Atlanta in my business, but also through we haven't done a lot because of the world shutting down. But I also belong to a performance troupe called Soul Print Players and we did a lot of performances around big issues and used play and used music and voice and storytelling. Yesterday I noticed that Brian Thompson from the Equal Justice Initiative was honored at the White House and we did a project with the Equal Justice Initiative to honor and uplift their work. But we were using the arts. And so there's a lot of collaboration, there's a lot of joy. There are tears and grief when we're dealing with big stuff too. But being we all know we've all been at a place where we laugh as much as we cry, and being able to access our full range of emotions and be in community while we're doing it, I think is one of the magical keys to being able to sustain it.
AMINATA SOL [00:25:56]:
Definitely. Can you give us a story about a topic you took on in an interplay setting and how it helped to shift people?
Christine Gautreaux [00:26:05]:
Sure. So this project I was talking about bubbled up because we were at the Auburn Library, the Historical Library, right down the road from Shannon's retail space, and we were doing the Soil Project and it was a project around Lynchings in our area through the Equal Justice Initiative. And big stories. Right? Big stories. And so we took it on as a performance troupe. And what we did is we told some of the timeline, we told some of that story. We got the audience engaged to tell some of their stories. And really, as you use the arts dealing with these big issues, it just moves in a different way than when it's didactic. And thinking about that one, we also did a gentrification project, telling the historic timeline of Inwood Park in Atlanta and how it was gentrified and why that's important in today's day and time. And so using historic history, that is often really hard to look at, and it's big stuff, but using it in a way where there's no shame or blame or guilt, as our friend Cecil Armstrong says. But what we're doing is we're uplifting it and using storytelling, using songs from the time, using movement, and how. Because one of the things we do in interplay is we use movement to help big stories come out. We often say there are stories that are too big for one body to hold. Because often if we're trying to hold these stories in our body, that's where we get sick so they get stuck. And so if we do it in community, we have a form in interplay called gesture Choir where one person is telling the story and there's a line of people behind you doing the same movements. And when you are in that position and you're telling that story, you physically feel people having your back. And so then it's a community story and then it gets into all of our bodies and what is our piece to do with it, right? And how do we move it forward together?
AMINATA SOL [00:28:16]:
Wow. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. So much of what we talked about, we touched on Atlanta. And Atlanta is such an important city in the United States. It's important part of black history, it's important part of the Southern history. It's an important part of black wealth and institutions in Atlanta. So I wonder, is it hard or is it easier to do to have a black white partnership in Atlanta? Because there's so many black people in Atlanta who have so much institutional power, access to money. I'm not saying that it's equal, but I'm saying Atlanta, you have a lot more of it than in other cities where maybe there's a smaller black population or there's been more oppression. So I wonder, is it easier to come together and feel like we're coming together as equals in some place like Atlanta? Or are there pressures to not do things together? What's it like for you?
Christine Gautreaux [00:29:31]:
And I guess I want to start.
AMINATA SOL [00:29:32]:
With my 29 year old chocolate Shay glow lady.
Shannon Mitchell [00:29:37]:
Yes, please. Yes, I would love to answer that question. So it's a great question, Dr. Kemp. And what I find interesting about my story that I actually found out was not too unique, right. Is the separation from me and my mom for twelve years. And that separation also included her family. Right? So this whole community of black people who. Give you your identity and mold you based on the culture and they're going to tell you the different stories through the generations. Kind of look different for me. Right. And also, like you said, because Atlanta is such a big place in history, there's a lot of people from a lot of places here. Right. And being on auburn avenue, I've been reading this book talking about the two big families on peachtree and the development of the city, making sure I do my research. Right. And what we know is that Atlanta started off as terminus and they did not think it was going to be a city. It was supposed to be this train stop and we're a lot bigger than one train stop now. Right. And so I feel that way with women connected is this little thing and we just thought it was going to be and no, it's about to be this huge thing. Right. So with that being said, the way that we came to the table when we would talk at manifestation mondays is out of love. Was I impressed that Christina is this white woman who's an international speaker, author and coach and had spoken at the UN. Okay. I said okay. She got my attention. Right. But not because I had judged her and questioned her before that. It was because we came to the table with love and we're able to have open and transparent communication about, hey, this is what's going on personally, this is what's going on in business. And just like the laws and everything that are passing right now, we have to keep in mind the environment that we're in and then our own personal reality. And be honest with you, I have no idea what they say about me and Christine's relationship. I don't know. I'm just making sure that we follow up when we have our weekly meetings and that we operate out of love and transparency and as long as we keep that, we'll be good and whatever anybody else has to say is something that they have to deal with.
AMINATA SOL [00:31:42]:
Beautiful. What's it like for you, Christine?
Christine Gautreaux [00:31:46]:
Well, to speak specifically to your question about Atlanta, I think in some ways, yes. We walk among giants here. Civil rights leaders are still alive, which is wild to me, right. That we are not even a generation removed from some really big legislation and big changes in our country. I am originally from Texas. When I moved here, one of the best decisions I ever made with my family to move to a more diverse when my kids went to elementary school, there were close to 60 countries represented in their elementary school. And I think where it's easier is because of connection and relationships and community. We have a very diverse manifesting mondays. And so we got to form relate. They weren't forced. It wasn't like, oh, I'm having to look for the one person in town, or when I grew up. There wasn't a lot of diversity where I grew up. I grew up in a rural part of Texas, and in Atlanta you can go out and meet almost anybody from a different part of the world. And so I think in that regard it's easier because we have more access to build relationships and build community. And the other thing I will say, as somebody who's been doing racial justice work for a while now, it is easier in a place like Atlanta where it is part of our culture, it is part of our community and our commitment, and it's part of the identity of this town. One of the things I said when I first moved here is I found it easier to protest in Atlanta than I did in Texas because I felt like the police were better trained. I mean, and there's all kinds of we could get into that one. There's all kinds of stuff. But I did feel like whether it was a false feeling or not, I felt like Atlanta does that a little better because we are one of the historical seats in the United States of racial justice protests. I think that part just opportunities to be with each other in community and play like, we go to plays together, we go to events together. I think the town does lend itself to that.
Shannon Mitchell [00:34:15]:
I think sometimes my age affects the way that I see it, right? And the fact that I grew up here, I was born in Birmingham, but I did grow up in Atlanta. So as a 29 year old, I was in that generation where I grew up. And when I was little, we didn't have phones like that. And then by the time that I got in high school, we had flip phones. So again, being connected to everybody, I'm used to that when it makes sense. Before the phone and MySpace and all this stuff, you knew the people that you knew in your town. So I love that we're online and I think that our base of relationships has helped us grow. But that's what I think about, is it's not always the people walking down the street. Most of our stuff has been virtual since it was during the time when everybody was inside. But I love what you said to Christine is really important.
AMINATA SOL [00:35:02]:
So the last thing I really want to talk with you both about is about deciding to make your focus women who've been historically oppressed, I think you said Christine and where I'm coming. I have two angles on this question. So one is what are your thoughts about non binary? People identify as women but aren't in female bodies or people who don't identify as women but are in female bodies and identify as non binary. I just wonder how how broad is your woman is woman for you? And then the second thing is, and this is a question I've really been dealing with is there something that we can do together in a container as women identified people that is not possible in a container that is more gender diverse? Like what is the specific work we can do in a container for women identified people that really can't happen or can't happen as easily in a gender diverse space. So any thoughts you have on that and you are welcome to say still in process whatever is happening for you with that, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Shannon Mitchell [00:36:24]:
Yeah, so for me, it's something that is still in process, right? And I do have friends who have transgendered and just like I said, we came to the table with love. That's how I treat everybody. For me, I think, and I know that it's more than sexuality, but it's on the list of things like being a judge, who am I to say what you should do with your life? I'm not God. So I think that someone with love is important and that's what I try to do. For me, when I think about women connected in wisdom, I think about the struggles that have been challenging us since we've been, let's say in this country, right? We know women were before this country, but as a black woman, I'm like, okay, where is our position right now? And so with excluding that sometimes trying to be inclusive of everybody, that's where I struggle because there are still things that need to be addressed and lives that are still being lost because of negligence or lack of care or whatever the different things could be on that list. But to exclude another group of people is definitely also not right. So of course I'm on the allyship and whatever that we can do, then I'm for making sure that everybody's life is valued because that's very important and it doesn't change based on your gender. When we talk about women connected and wisdom and who comes on right now, it has been mostly women who we don't have to question what the pronoun is. But I don't think that that's the conversation that we wouldn't be open to having. We want to make sure that everybody's perspective is included and lifted up. But what I found interesting is that when people hear about women connected in wisdom, depending on how they feel about that category, even if they're a man, right, and somebody who identifies as male, they think that it's not for them. When what we're saying is that the voices on the show, the resources and the experts that you hear are going to be from this group of people because they have been marginalized and left out of opportunities and positions. But it does not mean that you're not welcome in the room. So whether or not, okay, there's guests on the show, things like that, is what we're still in process of, to be completely honest with you. But in a way to keep people out or to care about them less or to say that you don't belong is never what we're about and definitely not the energy that we operate with.
Christine Gautreaux [00:38:57]:
Just want to tag on to that, because this is a conversation that we had at the very beginning, because as an activist, as somebody who's trying to uproot all oppressions, it's really dear to my heart because I have friends and people I love that are transgender or non binary. And we say women connected. Wisdom is for women and people who identify as women. Or we have had folks that are speakers that are non binary. Come on and talk. And what your question about can we do things in spaces as women that we may not be able to do in inclusive spaces? I'm a yes on that. And the reason is I've done a lot of ceremony and a lot of work with women's groups over the years, and I like working with mixed groups. But I will tell you that when I work with women and it is women's groups, we often can go deeper, faster, and that is because we speak the same language. We have some of the same struggles. We have things that it doesn't matter where we come from or our age or our ethnicity or our religious background as women. And we have things we deal with specifically on a monthly basis. There are things that join us together that we know that, and I feel like we can go deeper. And that being said, I do want to say the acknowledgment of our black trans women are the most endangered people on the planet right now. And in Georgia, our governor just signed a bill that is not trans friendly at all into law yesterday. And so we talk about that on the show. We bring that up. Like Shannon said, we want to be allies to anybody who identifies as a woman and hear their voice, because it's important right now, especially with how much hate there is out there.
Shannon Mitchell [00:40:55]:
Christine Gautreaux [00:40:58]:
AMINATA SOL [00:41:00]:
Powerfully said. Women connected in wisdom. Powerfully said.
Christine Gautreaux [00:41:05]:
Shannon Mitchell [00:41:06]:
AMINATA SOL [00:41:06]:
So how can people want to find out more about you, get in touch with you?
Shannon Mitchell [00:41:12]:
Yes. So if you ladies are interested in the podcast, all of our episodes are on one all of your favorite podcast platforms. Right. They're also found on www.womenconnectedandwisdompodcast.com. If you're interested in the community, it is www.womenconnectedandwisdom.com. Where are you going to say, Christine to go to the womenconnect.com? Just find everything.
Christine Gautreaux [00:41:38]:
Yeah. And you can find us on all social media and, like and follow us. And I want to say to all your listeners, Dr. Kemp, like, if you are healers or if you're in the wellness space or if you have something that you want to share with us, there's an inquiry form on our website. Come be a guest on our podcast, put your info in there, and let's have a coffee and chat and get to know you because we are always looking for incredible women to lift up and stories we have heard. And that's the other thing, you all we're kind of like this. We're a chat, we're a conversation. Grab a cup of tea. We have not incorporated the 15 minutes walk, which, by the way, I love it. Wellness piece. But yeah, come in and join us for a conversation.
Shannon Mitchell [00:42:28]:
And then what about your stuff for interplay and the coaching?
Christine Gautreaux [00:42:31]:
Oh, you bet, Christinegotro.com. You can find me there and interplay.org. You can go to interplay.org or just reach out to me and I can get you connected because through my website you can find my link. Just hook up with us on social media and we can get you connected and tell us about Shaylo glove.
Shannon Mitchell [00:42:50]:
Yes, of course. And if you guys are interested in coming to see me in person, that retail space is northeast, directly below the John Lewis mural. And for website is shloglow.com. So that's S-H-E-A-L-O-G-L-O. If you're struggling with dry skin or somebody that you love needs some help as well, no problem.
AMINATA SOL [00:43:12]:
Thank you, ladies.
Shannon Mitchell [00:43:14]:
You're welcome. Thank you for having us.
AMINATA SOL [00:43:16]:
You're welcome. Stay connected.
Shannon Mitchell [00:43:18]:
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