Episode 217: Using Anger as Fuel for Achievement

Combat Veteran Kelsi Sheren’s Guide to Triumph + From Military Mastery to Motherhood & The Power of Deep Healing.

This content was inspired by a conversation with combat veteran Kelsi Sheren.

Using Anger as Fuel For Achievement: Combat Veteran Kelsi Sheren’s Guide to Triumph + From Military Mastery to Motherhood & The Power of Deep Healing.

Kelsi Sheren is a combat veteran with an extraordinary story to share. Having served as an artillery gunner in Afghanistan at the young age of 19, Kelsey’s experiences span across different forces, including the British and American militaries.

But there’s more to Kelsi than her military service. She is a multifaceted individual on a transformative journey. While Kelsi’s journey includes using psychedelics as a means of healing, it goes beyond that. She is also a successful business owner, the author of the captivating book “Brass & Unity,” and the host of a compelling podcast by the same name. She is also a dedicated mother, a loving wife, and someone who constantly seeks personal growth and new challenges.

Kelsi’s story serves as a powerful reminder that we are not limited to just one role in life. We can evolve and embrace various identities simultaneously. From being a resilient warrior to being a compassionate caregiver, Kelsi embodies the beautiful complexity inherent in all of us.

Combat Experience & Bridging the Gap to Civilian Life: A Journey of Healing, Adaptability, and Self-Care

In this post, we delve into the unique experiences of military service, particularly for females in combat. Our focus, however, goes beyond the surface level and explores the powerful message that emerges from these experiences. Kelsi Sheren has not only endured challenging times but has also discovered ways to heal and recover, all while juggling the roles of a wife, a mother, and a member of society.

One aspect we want to explore is how military service shapes one’s personality, both positively and negatively. Kelsi shared her personal journey of developing a fight-or-flight response that served her well in combat, as well as in competitive sports and the military. However, she also acknowledges that this mindset doesn’t always translate effectively into civilian life. There are moments when it can be advantageous, such as during negotiations or when thinking outside the box, but it’s crucial to find a gentler side to this adaptability.

For those who have served in the military, the desire to “play the game” is relatable. It’s the culmination of countless hours of training and preparation, the moment when skills are put into action, and teamwork is essential to achieve the mission. The intense desire to protect one’s own and seek justice can drive individuals to excel in their roles.

Ultimately, the opportunity to put one’s training into practice is a defining moment for anyone who has dedicated themselves to a particular skill. It’s game time, and the adrenaline rushes as you step onto the field.

Shifting Energy and Embracing Personal Transformation

In life, we often find ourselves caught up in the pull of external forces and societal expectations. But what if we could change the energy that guides us? Kelsi Sheren believes that we have the power to shift our energy and embrace personal transformation.

Kelsi reflects on her past, where ego-driven motivations dominated her mindset. The constant need to prove herself and meet societal expectations kept her tethered to a frequency that limited her growth. However, through her healing journey, she realized the transformative power of shifting frequencies and vibrating at a different level. By letting go of ego-based thinking and embracing a higher frequency, Kelsey gained control over her own destiny.

Changing one’s energy requires personal growth and intentional actions. Kelsey emphasizes the importance of leveling up oneself and engaging in practices that elevate energy levels. Through self-work, wellness practices, and aligning her heart’s desires with her intentions, Kelsi was able to match her energy with her true aspirations. By doing so, she discovered a profound sense of inner alignment and found herself on the path that truly resonated with her soul.

Building a plan and following it with discipline is key to achieving greatness without relying on ego-driven motivations. Kelsi suggests that self-cultivation begins with self-inquiry and self-trust. Instead of seeking external validation, focus on knowing yourself internally. This involves meditation, proper breathing techniques, and other tools that promote self-awareness and emotional cleansing. By trusting in ourselves and our capabilities, we can become resilient and grounded in our pursuits.

The ultimate goal is to prove ourselves to ourselves, not to feed our egos. Kelsi encourages individuals in challenging environments to recognize their inherent value and worth. By embracing the fact that they are already in the space they desire, they can let go of the need to prove anything to others. Actions, driven by genuine intentions and self-belief, speak louder than words. Trusting in one’s abilities and continually cultivating the necessary tools will lead to sustained success.

The Power of Anger: Harnessing Emotion for Personal Growth

Emotions have a profound impact on our lives, and anger is no exception. It’s important to understand the complexity of anger and its potential to be both destructive and transformative.

Anger can serve as a catalyst for change. It has the ability to mobilize us and inspire us to step up in challenging situations. However, it’s important to recognize that anger is often a response to underlying hurt, fear, or sadness. By delving deeper into our emotions, we can uncover the true source of our anger and address it from a place of empathy and understanding.

Respecting and Reshaping Anger:

Kelsi emphasizes the importance of respecting our emotions, including anger. Rather than reacting impulsively, she suggests taking a moment to sit with anger and examine its origin. By doing so, we can separate the genuine justification for anger from unresolved hurt or unmet needs. This self-reflection allows for a more measured and thoughtful response, reducing the potential for aggression and promoting healthier communication.

Hurt is often at the core of anger. Kelsi highlights the significance of recognizing when anger is a defense mechanism for unaddressed pain. By acknowledging and processing our hurt, we can better understand our emotional responses. This self-awareness enables us to communicate our feelings more effectively, expressing our hurt rather than lashing out with anger.

Anger holds the power to both hinder and transform us. Recognizing its roots in hurt and fear allows us to approach anger with empathy, respect, and self-awareness. By sitting with anger, examining our emotions, and communicating from a place of understanding, we can harness its potential for personal growth and positive change. The journey toward a healthier relationship with anger requires self-reflection, empathy, and an unwavering commitment to personal growth. Let us embrace the transformative power of anger and use it as a catalyst for building stronger connections and fostering emotional well-being.

How to Show Up as a Strong Mother

Entering motherhood can be a scary and unpredictable journey. Some people seem to transition into it effortlessly, while others face more challenges.

One thing that has amazed Kelsi is the increased capacity for compassion. While she has always been empathetic towards others, she struggled to extend the same kindness to herself. However, through her son, she has learned the importance of self-care and prioritizing her own well-being. It has become crucial for her to put herself first in order to show up fully for everyone else. She has realized that taking care of herself is not selfish but rather a necessary aspect of being a nurturing and present mother.

As a mother, Kelsi understands the importance of instilling important qualities in her son, values as compassion, kindness, and resilience. Most importantly, she wants to teach him how to love himself. In today’s world, self-love is often overlooked, leading to struggles with comparison and seeking external validation. By demonstrating self-love and acceptance, she hopes to equip her son with the tools to navigate these challenges and build a strong sense of self-worth.

In discussing the impact of social media on self-esteem, it is clear that constantly comparing ourselves to others steals our joy. Kelsi has seen the early adopters of social media experience this firsthand. While it’s often said that children should not have access to social media, she believes there is a way to safely introduce it. The importance of teaching children about online safety, healthy communication, and the value of real-life relationships cannot be understated. By providing a strong foundation of love, support, and genuine connections in their offline lives, parents can guide their children to engage with social media responsibly and avoid seeking validation solely from a screen.

Ultimately, it’s about setting children up for success by nurturing their sense of belonging and fulfillment in their real-life communities. Restricting access to social media without providing a supportive environment may lead to secrecy and rebellion. By fostering open communication, trust, and a strong offline support system, parents can help their children develop a healthy relationship with social media and create a balance between virtual and real-life connections.

Tools & Strategies to Recover from Hardships

In any relationship, conflict is inevitable. However, the way we communicate our feelings and navigate these disagreements can greatly impact the health of our relationships. Kelsey shares her insights on effective communication, avoiding unnecessary conflicts, and the importance of self-awareness within her own relationships.

Respecting Boundaries and Timing:

While it’s crucial to address issues promptly, Kelsi acknowledges the importance of respecting each other’s need for space. If her spouse requires a moment alone to gather their thoughts, she grants them that time. They have developed a technique called “timeout,” suggested by their doctor, where one partner takes a brief break to calm down if needed.

Recognizing Emotional Triggers:

Kelsi describes herself as someone who can get easily overwhelmed by anger. To prevent the situation from escalating, her spouse uses a metaphorical term, “getting on the highway,” to signal when emotions are spiraling out of control. Recognizing this warning, Kelsi makes a conscious effort to de-escalate and avoid saying hurtful things during heated moments. By being aware of their emotional triggers, they can support each other in maintaining a healthy and respectful dialogue.

Embracing Nature’s Medicine:

Kelsi shares her journey of seeking alternative methods of healing from the mental and emotional challenges she faced. After being overmedicated and receiving discouraging messages about her future, she turned to nature as a source of healing. Recognizing the transformative power of nature in her own life, she now appreciates the growing movement that advocates for nature’s therapeutic effects in helping individuals heal from trauma and find inner peace.

Preparing for an Interview: A Journey of Personal Transformation

When it comes to preparing for her podcast interviews, Kelsi has developed their own unique approach. Instead of simply gathering information about the person she is about to interview, she takes a different route. She meticulously researches the interviewee’s business and services, carefully formulating thoughtful questions that will bring out new insights and perspectives. This approach ensures that the conversation is fresh, engaging, and unlike any other interview the interviewee has participated in before.

However, there was one particular interview that took an unexpected turn. The individual being interviewed had a wise, old-soul aura about him. At the end of their initial conversation, he leaned in and complimented Kelsi, telling her that they were good. But deep down, she knew she wasn’t. This vulnerability overwhelmed her, and she found themselves breaking down emotionally. This raw moment happened off-air, and the interviewee immediately recognized her struggle.

In his compassionate wisdom, the guest recommended a retreat organized by the Heroic Hearts Project, founded by another former army ranger. He connected Kelsi with Jesse Gould, who explained the transformative potential of Ayahuasca, a plant medicine from the jungle. Without hesitation, she embraced the opportunity, diving headfirst into this unconventional healing experience.

The transition leading up to the retreat was far from easy. As part of the process, Kelsi needed to stop taking the SSRI medication that she had been prescribed. This decision was not taken lightly, and she made sure to inform their doctor about her intentions. The doctor reluctantly agreed, acknowledging that the SSRI should not be mixed with Ayahuasca.

The withdrawal from the medication was challenging and rough. Kelsi emphasizes that she does not recommend anyone attempting it without proper medical guidance and support. It was a desperate move born out of the realization that if she didn’t take this chance, she might lose her own life.

Today, armed with the knowledge she gained, Kelsi advocates for responsible and informed approaches to mental health and well-being. She encourages individuals to seek professional guidance and explore alternative therapies in a safe and supported manner. She believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to heal and find peace within themselves, but it’s crucial to do so with proper care and supervision.

Kelsi’s experiences with interviews have not only provided her with insightful conversations but have also led her on a path of personal growth and self-discovery. Each encounter has taught her valuable lessons about communication, vulnerability, and the importance of seeking healing in her life. It is a continuous journey, one that she is grateful to be on and one that she hopes to share with others through their podcast and beyond.

Empowering Tools for Personal Growth and Transformation

Navigating through life’s challenges and finding a sense of purpose can be overwhelming, especially in a world that seems to reward only the most successful and visible individuals. However, there are tools and practices that can support us in slowing down, finding stillness, and fostering personal growth.

Kelsi is an advocate for self-care and personal transformation, believing these practices to be essential for one’s well-being. She recommends the practice of journaling as a helpful tool in expressing emotions, exploring ideas, and reflecting on experiences. In her own life, she has used it to establish goals and intentions that have helped guide her through difficult times.

Kelsi also believes that meditation and mindfulness can be powerful tools for transformation, helping to build emotional resilience, regulate moods, and enhance focus. She credits her practice of meditating for 20 minutes every day as one of the most important habits she has adopted in her life, allowing her to stay grounded even when faced with difficult emotions or challenging experiences.

Embracing Stillness and Mindfulness:

In a fast-paced world filled with constant distractions, finding moments of stillness becomes essential for our mental well-being. Incorporating breathwork, meditation, or even a few minutes of comfortable silence into our daily routine can help us cultivate mindfulness and reduce anxiety. By dedicating time to introspection and self-reflection, we create space for personal growth and transformation.

The Power of Scheduling and Time Management:

Creating a structured schedule can alleviate anxiety and provide a sense of control over one’s daily activities. By color-coding tasks and allocating time for various responsibilities, we can optimize our productivity while maintaining balance in our lives. This approach allows us to accomplish more and make the most of each day.

The Journey of Self-Development:

Engaging in self-development practices, such as journaling and gratitude exercises, can have profound effects on our mindset and overall well-being. Taking a few minutes each day to reflect on what we are grateful for can shift our perspective and cultivate a more positive outlook on life. It is through these simple yet powerful practices that we can foster personal growth and cultivate a deeper connection with ourselves.

Creating a Supportive Community:

Building a community of like-minded individuals who understand the struggles and challenges we face can provide a sense of belonging and support. Whether it’s through online groups or local communities, finding a safe space where we can share our stories and be heard is invaluable. This sense of connection allows us to feel seen, validated and accepted for who we truly are.

Embracing Everyone’s Story:

It’s essential to acknowledge that everyone has a unique journey and intrinsic value, regardless of their social media presence or societal status. Each person’s story is worth telling and celebrating. By embracing the humanity in others and holding space for their experiences, we foster an environment of acceptance, love, and validation. Through this lens, we can recognize the strength and resilience in each individual, no matter their background or accomplishments.


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About Kelsi Sheren

Kelsi Sheren is a combat veteran and artillery gunner in the Canadian military who served in Afghanistan in 2009 with the Canadian, American, and British armed forces. She was a competitive Tae Kwon Do champion from the ages of four to nineteen and holds a second-degree black belt.

After deploying to Afghanistan at nineteen, Kelsi was diagnosed with PTSD and sent home only to begin a new war—the war with herself.

When her therapist recommended art therapy, Kelsi started making jewelry out of spent shell casings. She began with a warrior bracelet that led to the creation of a successful jewelry and eyewear brand, Brass & Unity. Twenty percent of net profits go toward helping veterans who are suffering from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and suicide.

In 2020, Brass & Unity was nominated for Canada’s top fashion award, The CAFA Fashion Impact Award. Brass & Unity has developed an avid following among celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Beth Behrs, Michael Bublé, Jenna Dewan, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Julianne Hough and has been featured on Ellen, Good Morning America, the Today show, People, InStyle, Forbes, ELLE, Fashion magazine, Carson Daly’s “Mind Matters,and BuzzFeed.