Shawn D. Phelps has a BA in Journalism from Ryerson University. Even though she started at age 22 and finished at 27—thanks to a one-year backpacking trip to Australia in the middle—she still won the top writing award for a graduating student. Feeling restless, she then bought a two-month bus pass and travelled across Canada, writing on spec for a travel magazine. Still restless, she did an internship for an NGO in South Africa, where she researched and wrote articles about education in townships.
Back in Canada, Shawn worked her way up to senior editor at National Post Business magazine (now Financial Post Business magazine), which she fatefully left after her life imploded at 30 with a break up and an autoimmune disorder. This led to her seven-month solo journey from Thailand to Nepal and her first published book, Help Me, Asia.
After the journey, she became editor of a human resources magazine. But she’d always dreamed of teaching, so she became a magazine writing and editing instructor at Centennial College. For the past three years, she has run workshops at companies across Canada with Bruner Business Communication. In 2006, she co-founded a grassroots charity called Jai Dee (Good Heart) Children’s Fund with a focus on health and education. She lives between Toronto and Meaford (where she’s experimenting with square-foot gardening and permaculture).
Help Me, Asia: Five countries, one mission. Learn how to be happy
Yoga sucks. Why am I here? Is my whole life a series of comparisons? My feet against hers? My job against hers? My life against hers? Let go and feel the damn joy of awareness already. Weirdo. Why do I have holes in my heart? And how can I fill them in so I won’t be single forever?
At 31, after her boyfriend dumps her and she gets a weird autoimmune disorder, Shawn Phelps quits her job as a business magazine editor and sets out on a seven-month journey from Thailand to Nepal to learn the secrets of happiness from Asia’s sages–not knowing who they are or how to find them.
While on her quest, a surprising thing happens…she discovers the real sages are the everyday people she meets along the way.
Want to read the first few pages of the book? (Intro, Contents and pages 1-5)