In the spring of 2017, the women on my mom’s side of the family gathered in Austin to celebrate my aunt’s birthday. I come from a big extended family with a lot of smart, witty, and resilient women at its core. Aunts, cousins, mothers, and daughters with a connection that can’t be broken. Some of us go a year or more without seeing one another, but when we get back together, it’s like no time has passed at all. We are woven together by threads of outspokenness, love, brutal honesty, and a tendency to drink too much wine and cry over everything. So needless to say, the weekend we spent together was one of my most memorable. I love that every time we gather, I learn something new about these women I get to call family. A struggle someone overcame, a lesson in womanhood, or the discovery of a perfect pair of jeans (on sale!).

One day we were sitting around (drinking wine) and talking about exercise and other wellness regimens. One of my cousins, with her signature tell-it-like-it-is attitude, said, “Routines just bum me out.” Man, I love her. In many ways, she’s right. Routines can be so stale, holding us back from the excitement and exhilaration that comes with spontaneity. Whenever I feel like my daily life has become a little stagnant, I remember my cousin, perched on the couch with an easy smile and an air of confidence I have always admired, speaking her truth. To speak my truth, routines do not bum me out! I have always been an advocate for routines and commitment to “the process”. Creating daily habits and rituals that will take you from where you are now to where you want to go or help you maintain the things you’ve already accomplished. However, I have recently shifted my perspective to value the ability to adapt just as much as I value the ability to commit to routines.

About a year ago, I started considering certain daily actions as “grounding practices”, rather than “routines”. I started picking up on small activities throughout the day to which I could give deeper meaning. It started with my morning coffee - sipping slowly in bed before starting my day. Then I added a new, simple skincare routine for morning and night. What I didn’t realize at the time of establishing these practices, is that I was setting myself up with simple mechanisms for saving myself in times of strife. Life preservers for the inevitable flood of mortality. Practices that could not be taken away from me, even during life’s most vicious storms. The problem with elaborate, inflexible routines is that life will always show up to disrupt you, and amidst the chaos, you will have to learn how to adapt without going completely off the rails. Your car will break down. You’ll get the flu. Your favorite fitness instructor will move away. Or in the worst case scenario, you will lose something so precious to you that your entire life and worldview crumbles. And with it, your routine crumbles too. Are you ready to adapt?

The worst case scenario is what happened to me. In May, my baby girl died just hours before she should’ve been delivered alive. My world fell apart. I am still broken. I still feel like I’m drowning. I still live in fear of the next tragedy. I still battle anxiety and desperation in some way every day. And in the middle of all of this devastation and turmoil, I cling to the smallest of actions that keep me grounded. My routine went out the window, but my grounding practices remained. In the very early days after we lost Marie, I would stand in front of the mirror, apply my moisturizer, and spritz my face with rosewater spray. This was my skincare routine, and had been for many months. I would take a deep breath and congratulate myself for this small action. “Look at you, taking care of yourself. You are still here. You are still living.” I had no desire to put on makeup or do my hair. I didn’t for at least a month. In fact, I barely did anything at all. But something about this tiny act of self-care reminded me that a sliver of the human being I was before this loss was still there. It tethered me to life, when all my heart wanted to do was spiral into the depths of darkness.

Sometimes I feel like a doomsday prophet...constantly reminding people that really terrible things will happen. I don’t want to scare you or make you think negative thoughts, but I want you to be ready to adapt. I want you to look at the small things in your life, and give them meaning. Pick a few things that can’t be taken away from you - and I say “a few” because you always need a failsafe. One day you’ll wake up and realize you’re out of coffee, or you’ll drop your bottle of rosewater spray on the bathroom floor and it will shatter into a million pieces (can you tell I’m speaking from experience here??). Life is imperfect. Life is beautiful. We can’t have one without the other. So if you’re like my cousin and routines bum you out, don’t put pressure on yourself to ascribe to some elaborate, hour by hour regimen from which you refuse to stray. Life is going to throw a wrench in your plans, eventually. My advice is to stick to “grounding practices”. Small actions that might seem meaningless to an outsider, but in those actions, you take a deep breath and connect to the gift of your existence. You remember that when the storm surrounds you, there are ways to stay grounded. To stay tethered to your voice within. To stay connected to your muse.

If you only look back at what life has taken from you, or you dwell on all of the ways life has disrupted your precious routine, you’re going to feel heavy. It’s going to bum you out - the understatement of the century when you’re dealing with a major loss. Prepare yourself to adapt. Give the small things in your life meaning, before big things are taken from you. And as you eventually experience change and start to create your new normal in the aftermath of that change, you can remain grounded in those things that remind you who you are at your core.

Shannon Pike 


Healthy Healing

I don’t know about you, but the theme of health has woven in and out of my life in different ways for a very long time. My relationship with health has changed just as life changes. There have been ups and downs and honestly a lot of struggles in terms of finding my sweet spot. Most recently I have made some significant career changes with my health being a part of the decision. As I step into a new chapter, I’ve been reflecting on my journey of health so that I can move forward with lessons learned and a new empowered perspective of creating the holistic life that we coach through Moderna Muse. This time, I’m going to do entrepreneurship differently.

The experience of being an entrepreneur has been rewarding beyond my wildest dreams. Simultaneously there have been some hard pills to swallow. The most challenging for me was figuring out how to stay healthy. I assumed that a really high level of health and wellness would be easy to accomplish while owning Pure Barre. Three studios pretty much equates to 24/7 access to a workout for free. But the realities of entrepreneurship hit me hard and fast. I simply was not prepared and I struggled to find the proper adjustments.

Stress is the perfect term to sum up the realities that hit me - not stress in the classic sense of being mentally stressed though. I tend to have an “I can do all” attitude, so that mentality alone has allowed me to overcome a lot of things that would typically be perceived as stressful. My stress came from stretching my endurance too far and not recognizing what was happening. My body gave out.

A few years ago, I was in a place where I was working out regularly and eating really well. I lost about 15lbs. It felt good to be lean, but something was off. I was having strange sensations from the waist down. For example, I would get out of my car, take a couple steps and then I’d have to stop walking because I was on the verge of collapsing. I would go numb in my legs and hips. I knew something was wrong, but I assumed it was exhaustion. After committing to a little more rest, the issues still continued. I went in so many directions with research, doctors and questions. It was frustrating. Eventually, I spoke with a friend about a holistic practitioner. I was willing to try anything at that point to find an answer. It was affecting my ability to work the hours necessary to run the business. I ended up seeing the practitioner and she ordered a full blood panel as well as a saliva test. To my surprise, B12, Vitamin D, Estrogen and my Thyroid were all issues. We started with what was most severe, which was my B12 deficiency. I started with methylated injections and within no time, my numbness was gone. I could not believe the difference in how I felt. She told me that she didn’t know how I was holding on given the severity of the deficiency. The second most severe was Vitamin D. I used to always feel injured and sore. My body ached all the time, and of course I thought it was from being active. Once I started the Vitamin D supplementation, those symptoms went away as well.

This was a HUGE lesson for me. Coming from a sports, health and wellness background, we were taught that it’s all about calories in and and calories out. We were not given the tools to go beyond our consumption and look at factors like deficiencies and hormones. I realized that so many of us can follow the formula to a T, but still feel like crap. And when you don’t feel well, you cannot sustain the work.

I think we as a society are waking up to the need for a holistic approach, but we have a very long way to go. The food and medical industries breed illness in a lot of ways. With all the documentaries on netflix about sugar, fat, and Monsanto, the information is out there. But so many people are missing the access to proper food, education and application. From a medical standpoint, our insurance is designed to address preventative maintenance. But “preventative” is about 5 steps behind true prevention. The fact that breast cancer is readily found in women in their 30s, but insurance won’t cover a mammogram before the age of 40 is a perfect example. The system is broken. The only chance we have of getting way ahead of the curve is taking our personal responsibility to another level, becoming immensely conscious of our bodies and likely spending some out of pocket money to get the help that we need.

The last few months I felt myself going back down a path that seemed too familiar. My body was off and responding to stress again. But the symptoms were different this time. I did not originally address my estrogen or thyroid issue a few years ago, because I like to make gradual changes. I’m also aware that tweaking one thing can cause a shift in another. I wanted to allow my body the time to adjust to the changes. Now that I have observed some different symptoms, I’m back to testing so that I can get my body dialed in. It’s a little frustrating because I know I threw something out of whack due to stress. But now that I have addressed the stress, it is super important to readdress my hormones, especially because I’m close to 40 and considered higher risk for having a future child.

I think we all have our stories, and can attribute issues to countless factors when considering our health and wellness. I think we can agree that calories in and out is a great start, but what we eat, our hormonal makeup and life influences are usually the factors that have to be addressed before we can succeed with a plan. Being truly aligned with your desires in life plays a huge role as well in stress reduction. I’m currently challenged with that task and I’m finding my way daily. I hope that all of you find your way as well and commit to finding the answers that will deliver a breakthrough.

Rashanna Moss
CEO & Executive Visionary
Moderna Muse



Before this summer, I never had much interest in strangers on the Internet.

Before you let your mind go swimming in the gutter, let me clarify. Despite the fact that I grew up with social media and have worked in it deeply for my whole career, I have never been interested in becoming friends with people online. Instagram idolization drives me crazy. I used to wonder why on earth a total stranger would leave a comment on someone else’s page. “Don’t you have real-life friends?” I look at my old judgments and compare them to where I am now, and that old me looks like a petty teenager.

Where I am now, is survival mode. Making it one day to the next doing everything I can to remember that I’m not crazy. That I’m not alone. That people are surviving this tragedy with me, every single day. I experienced my own personal nightmare when I lost my baby girl at full term, and strangers on the internet are saving my life. We’re hanging out in private messages and support groups, validating each other’s feelings, commiserating over how awful this experience is, and lifting each other up in our moments of weakness. Women I’ve never met in person are showing me the deepest level of compassion and understanding I have ever known.

People harp on social media all the time. It’s fake. It’s “me” culture. It’s trashy. And sure, that might be true in many pockets of the web. But social media is also saving lives. It’s carving out micro communities for every experience you could possibly imagine. Baby loss. Terminal illness. Autoimmune disease. Divorce. You name it, there’s a hashtag for it. And I have met some of my very best friends through one of those hashtags: #stillbornstillloved.

One of the most therapeutic outlets I’ve found in my grieving process is writing and sharing about my daughter and the experience of parenting a child who is not here on earth. In putting my heart out into the world, I have received so much love in return. From moms going through the same thing, acquaintances who have related in their own way, and friends from my past who feel reconnected to me through the lessons my daughter is teaching me. So here is the lesson I want to share with you: you don’t need a tragedy to happen to you to let down the walls you’ve put up around your heart. Your people are waiting for you, maybe in the cubicle next to you, maybe in another country behind an iPhone, and maybe in a friend you already know. Life is happening to all of us, every day, in all of its beauty and ugliness and triumphs and challenges. And someone out there needs you just as much as you need them. I held back so much of myself before I experienced my tragedy, and I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

Ask yourself: am I leading with my heart? Am I showing up in the world as the person I need to be? Am I opening up when I want or need support? Am I giving the best of me to the people I know I can help? All of this can manifest in different forms - sharing online, reaching out privately when you sense a connection, being a shoulder for a friend to cry on, allowing your truth to flow in a conversation instead of sticking to the script of pleasantries and social graces. Your most important and impactful connection might just be with one single person. It might be with hundreds or thousands of people. Whatever that connection is, go find it and embrace it. Workshop it, test the waters, and figure out your niche. Seek inspiration from within, and open your eyes to find it around you as well. We have the perfect place for you to start...

We feel so ready to dive into our first supported, group lifestyle challenge through Moderna Muse. For 30 days, we are going to foster connection and inspiration between women seeking more out of life, all through the private, safe space of our Tune In Facebook group. Sense of self, identity, health, nutrition, personal development - we’re going to touch on all of it. We’re going to connect with each other. We’re going to help you see that you are never alone, in any struggle, big or small. We’re all going to help each other turn those struggles into triumphs! 30 days to ride your flow and elevate your life, all for $1 per day. The challenge runs from September 5th to October 4th. Get signed up here, and get ready to find your flow - and maybe your new favorite stranger on the Internet.

Shannon Pike
Executive Brand Curator | Moderna Muse