Some of us were faced with horrible circumstances that we could not avoid nor choose. Yet, like Denise Schaad, we can still live the best life we could ever dream of despite those. Denise was born in a destructive environment because she was exposed to gambling, sex, pornography, drug addiction, abuse, and child prostitution. These horrible experiences led her to write, share and inspire everyone on how she dug herself out of that mess. She emphasizes that our spiritual journey is the key to finding ourselves within the chaos.
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Spirit Speaks With Denise Schaad
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Our guest is Denise Schaad. She is a spiritual teacher, artist, self-awareness coach and thought leader. She awakens leaders by illuminating their truth so that they can embrace and align with their soul and spirit. Denise has a natural gift to see emotional energy and release it from the physical body. Her purpose is to guide and teach leaders to feel whole through releasing their emotional energies and embodying their spiritual frequency.
How are you?
I’m good. I can see you have some of that art in the background there.Our souls hit really amazing adventures on this earth plane to work itself through. Click To Tweet
I have been surrounded by it.
Your latest book coming out is called Spirit Speaks. It is about getting rid of that ego and embracing yourself in a fuller way. Let’s get into what is going to be hard for people about this book. For all of you out there, it is part memoir, part spiritual journey, which is the same but Denise’s spiritual journey started from a lower frequency place than most of us. Do you want to take us through a little bit of that?
The reason I started this book the way I did is I wanted to get it all out. We are talking about sexual abuse. There was a lot of that. There was a lot of domestic violence in the environment that I grew up in. I wanted to impact the reader by bringing in and talking about trauma. Trauma happens and it is terrible by all means. I started this book that way to give you the full force of how my life started. That is where I came from. The moment I was conceived into my mother, this destructive environment was there. It is a journey of how I found myself.
In the end, I had to write about the traumatic things that happened because that is part of the experience for me. That is what I set out for. I’m not saying it is that way for everyone but that was my experience. That was the hardcore way that I had to go to be able to come back into a place where I could love myself. That is what I write about in the story. It is showing you that our souls hit amazing adventures on this Earth to work themselves through. I have worked with many different types of healers throughout my journey.
I started doing the spiritual work when I decided to get sober from methamphetamines and alcohol. The moment I made that decision was when my spiritual path began. I look at spirituality as getting to know yourself. That, to me is the spiritual path. It is understanding being who you are even throughout all of these horrific events that happened in my life. The first three chapters in the book take you into the trauma.
The reality is there is a lot of this type of trauma going on in the world and it is not talked about. It is still taboo. We can go into statistics to say more people have been sexually abused and they have not been talking about it. I wanted to talk about it and I talk about it pretty candidly. I take you into the detailed experience to show you what I dug myself out of. I wrote that book that particular way for myself that I had to see my own process of my life because, for a long time, I could not see myself beyond that trauma. That is all I could see. Until I wrote this book, I did not see the magnitude of what I had dug myself out of.
It is very apparent when you read the book but there is more than just that trauma that happened to you in this life. You also came from a family with a legacy of child trafficking and a family that is known for it in some circles. That in and of itself is another. Even if that was not traumatically happening to you, it is something that we weave through our generational healing as well.
When I was working with a shaman at one point, I realized in one of our journeys that I remember seeing my lineage. They were all chained together at the neck, hand, wrist and ankles. That impression of what I saw said that my lineage was soulless, meaning they had made a decision to be very self-destructive towards humanity in many different ways through gambling, sex and pornography. One of the things about ending up in a child prostitution ring for me was none of this was ever spoken about in my family on either my father’s or mother’s side of the family.
My mother’s side of the family was very Southern Baptist. Their attitude towards my mother was that she made her bed and she should sleep in it. I said, “None of this was ever spoken about so what was the big dark secret in our family?” When I got sober, I started to have flashbacks and memories of this stuff happening. It took me a while to piece it together. In the book, I’m pretty honest with you. I have a knowing that I ended up in a child prostitution ring. The interesting thing is how did I get out. In that chapter, that is where the spirit comes in. We are always guided.
We sometimes make wrong turns and spirits always are going to turn us around and put us on the right path. Somehow, I got out of that but the blockage in my memory was something I battled with for a long time, “Is this true? Is this not true?” There was this overwhelming sense and knowing that it was true. I finally wrote it down and put it in this book because it is part of the story.
I then could see the deals my lineage had made with this type of behavior and the trap they were in. Part of my experience to experience that unfortunately was to free us all by me talking and writing about it, that me process, what that means for women who are taking advantage of more than not in this type of way people make money.
It is so interesting. I remember when I wrote my fiction novels. Some of those were the very healing snippets of childhood. You realize when you remember them from an eight-year-old’s perspective that it seems very funny like, “What?” You don’t know like, “Is that true? Is it not true? Why am I laughing? That was not funny.” I remember my grandmother had this place underneath her house where we kept pool toys and we were all scared half to death. It was creepy, “Were there dead bodies in there?” By the time I got done writing, there were dead bodies in there.All of us by nature and who we truly are, is love and compassion and joy and happiness. Click To Tweet
Those things, like you said, “Did I remember it that way? I’m old now. Was it true? Was it not true?” What I had to go on was my sense of knowing and trust that. As you keep getting into the book, you see that I trust my own sense of knowing. It always guided me, added these horrific experiences in my life from not only the addiction. The addiction was one day. It is time to get sober, Denise and how you can make a decision at that moment and never look back. Sobriety was one of those times. I’m leaving home at eleven years old to save myself. How does an eleven-year-old make that kind of decision?
It is survival. You are going to get out of here if I’m going to live. If I’m going to even be a high school graduate, I got to get out of here. I was married for seventeen years to a narcissist. It is getting out of that marriage, knowing that it was time and leaving all that behind. One of the things you are saying about, “Did I remember it the way that I remembered it?” I don’t think it matters. In the depths of my being, I know that it is true.
I sometimes think when we look like an adult, we are looking through a child’s eyes back through it. Our adult mind tampers that a little bit like, “It was not that bad. Grow up, little Juliet.” Let’s talk about that. You mentioned in the book your addiction. You are very much like me. I woke up one morning and I said, “I’m done.” I never took another drink or did anything, which is extraordinary.
Most people don’t have that kind of will that spirit just takes over. You had a rough time, the journey is there and you understand that journey has to be taken. You have to start feeling those things again. More about the addiction journey, that is always tough being within it because you know you are hiding things but you do not know how to not hide them. The drugs and the alcohol become that way of coping with them. Can you talk a little bit about that?
That is exactly what addiction is. It is always about covering up the secret. For me, what I was more addicted to was that feeling of shame and guilt. If you have ever been addicted to anything, the highest super high takes you completely away from the shame and guilt but that low takes you right back into the shame and guilt.
It is what started the cycle of what you were trying to keep secret in the first place. Getting sober, for me, which was many years ago, was a gift to be able to see. I can tell you the first two years of coming off of alcohol and drugs was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life because every day was a battle to use or not to use, to drink and not to drink.
I never had that. I quit and I was done but I know a lot of people do.
Alcohol is anonymous and they are talking about God. I thought, “If I’m going to learn about God, I guess I should go back to church.” I went back to church. That created more shame and guilt for me.
Are you Catholic?
I was baptized Catholic but raised a Southern Baptist. Talk about shame and guilt. In the end, a lot of the shame and guilt that I was carrying was not even mine. It was this family. By nature, I’m a very happy, joyful, very loving, compassionate person. That’s who I am. I believe all of us, by nature, that’s who we truly are with love, compassion, joy and happiness. I tried to express that growing up. Even all of these horrific things were going on in my life, I was hanging on to my joy and happiness.
It threatened the other people in my environment. My mother was not happy. If I was happy, she was going to make sure I was as miserable as she was. This is all unconscious behavior. Each time she would physically or emotionally abuse me, she could push that shame and guilt back on me and I would take it on. Everybody else in my home would go on their merry way and continue their behaviors while I was over here suffering from shame and guilt. When I looked back at my addiction, it was not to the substance. It was to these feelings that I had identified.
You bring up something so important here. When we deal with addiction, people look from the outside, looking in and say, “All you have to do is stop.” It is not that easy sometimes. It is not that easy from the dynamic that there are people in your world a lot of times who do not want the status quo rock. There is a dysfunctional interaction that happens there. Once you break the addiction then you have a roadmap to break it into other areas of your life.Coming off of alcohol and drugs could be the hardest things in your life if you get used to that life. Click To Tweet
When you see yourself getting caught in someone else’s drama, you have the ability to say, “That isn’t good for me.” People don’t quite understand that sometimes there is a lot of drama around your change. It makes it even harder because now it is not just the substance you are trying not to do every day. It is the people you are trying not to do every day.
That is a huge part. That is a societal thing that is put on each and every one of us that we are expected to behave X, Y and Z. As we start to spiritually evolve and set not only personal boundaries, we set energetic boundaries with other individuals, people will try to pull you back into the dynamic that is normal for them.
I always say it this way. Misery loves company. If you are not with them, who are you? In my book, I write about this push and pull between who I thought I was and who I was supposed to be because there was a period of time when I was unidentified and lost. I could not perceive the truth of who I was. I kept believing the old stories because I still had these people in my life.
A lot of it too is the self-awareness piece. There are times that I will get angry and I have to sit back and say, “Why did this anger happen? Was somebody violating my boundaries?” We have to take responsibility for that. One thing that needs to be more prevalent in nowadays society is asking other people around us to change to make us feel better about ourselves.
It’s wild to watch because, in the end, we have to be aware enough to say, “Denise said something to me. It made me angry. Why did it make me angry? What did I need to heal?” I have told people that thing like, “This anger is not mine. It is yours so go figure it out.” We need to be doing more of that in our society nowadays compassionately.
I laugh while you are talking about this because I consider myself a pretty responsible person to the point where I took on the responsibility of other people’s emotions and feelings to make everything right. We are talking about taking responsibility as the more aware that I have become, meaning I can observe myself in these relationships and steep from this higher perspective what part is for me living in that interaction.
Even though it is evoking anger in me, I know my pattern with anger. When that person shows up, it is showing me that the pattern within me is still there. It has nothing to do about the interaction at that moment at all whatsoever. What I have to be careful of is taking responsibility for both parties as an empathetic, super sensitive person who comes from a codependent environment. It is not my responsibility to lead their emotions. That is for them. Sometimes people aren’t ready to hear. As an aware person sometimes it seems pretty lonely.
It is also a time to share with others and educate a little bit because we have a family dynamic where there is someone who irritates everyone in our family because he has not changed in 30 years. When they are complaining about it, I have to remind them. You need to be grateful for your growth and just let that go. He’ll grow when he’s ready. They look at me like, “I would rather grouch about it.”
We can fall into that trap too, to go down that road and complain about that person but that is not serving that person either. What I write about in the book in some of my spiritual awakening stories is I show you the threads of energy that were keeping me tied to these types of emotional stories that we are talking about.
Once you can see how we hold a particular perception of someone and hold them in that perspective just as someone else would hold us in a particular perspective, we are keeping them hostage to our story. Even what you are sharing about that one person in the family that irritates you, as long as we hold them in that light, he will always play that role. As soon as you do not hold them in that perception and light, he is free to be who he truly is.
That could be quite scary.
Both of my parents have passed. My mother passed in 2020 and my father had passed in 2015. I have one immediate family member left, which is my brother. It’s interesting to watch the dynamic and ties as I continue to evolve and him coming to me wanting to play these certain roles and me saying, “I’m not going to play that anymore. You can’t make me feel shame and guilt because I’m leaving the dynamic of this relationship.” There is this rift in this space between us now, where I have made my decision about the relationship. Whatever he decides, that is what the new relationship will be.Once you break the addiction, then you have a roadmap to break it into other areas of your life. Click To Tweet
We are ending the dynamic of the old by this behavior of him coming to me in a narcissistic way, controlling and trying to boundary me in an old way that we engaged in as children. When I saw that, I went, “I know what is going on here and it’s not going to work.” I cannot hold him in that perception anymore as the wounded little boy who feels overshadowed by his sister.
The beauty of that is when you practice this, you will find that the more you are able to do it, the better things come. I’m always surprised when I let go of that perception and say, “Whatever is going to happen is going to happen.” People step up. It’s like, “I didn’t expect that.” Once you change that dynamic, it is always fun to watch because part of that addict mentality is you want to manipulate and once you are able to stop manipulating, great things zoom in.
When we step out of our own, it moves in our own minds on how we perceive things should be. That is when we start to have fun.
It’s also completely letting go of outcomes. It is amazing what shows up. Your book is coming out. We are in presale now. Tell us where we can find it and where we can find you if we want to but before we do that, let’s talk about your energy paintings because this is where people are going to want to find you. I should have made a note. The book is coming out but also, there is a separate campaign right after about the energy paintings you do. Talk a little bit about those because I know you see energy and you paint it.
First of all, I didn’t start painting until I started writing this book. That is the spirit showing me my own journey. You will get to see a lot of my paintings in the journey that I went on through my painting. My story is of the past but the paintings are of where I’m headed and what I’m moving through at the moment. It is this relationship that I have with spirit.
One of the beautiful things that I’ve been gifted with is being able to merge my energy with others. I write about this in the book that the merging of my energy was self-defense. I was using it as a way to understand who I was supposed to be in the world because I disconnected from who I thought I was. This beautiful gift of being able to merge my energy has allowed me to be able to paint other people’s soul energy. It’s called soul energy portraits.
I started doing this a couple of years ago. I was doing it with pencil drawings, where I had never met the person. I would just close my eyes and start drawing the energy. In that process, when I would open my eyes, I could read between the colors and lines about where this person was at and who they were. I could see them for who they were and it was fun to play this way.
I love the feeling of paint on the canvas, taking a brush and feeling its smoothness across the canvas. I started using acrylic paints and painting other people’s energy and it tells a story. Part of what I’m doing with the book is offering for you to come and have your soul energy portrait done. It is a way for us to get to know each other and bring light to your energetic fields that you can see as I see it.
When you pick up the book Spirit Speaks, it’s available on April 12th, 2022. Remember to touch base with her and inquire about those paintings. Denise, where can we find you if we want to find out more about the paintings and the programs?
You can find my online art gallery at DeniseSchaadArt.com. You can see all my paintings there. There’s also a link to Soul Energy Portraits on there. You can find me at YourEnergyAwakening.com. That’s my spiritual teaching website. There’s a link there that will take you to the art website. You can also find me on Facebook under @DeniseSchaadArt. I’m on Instagram as @DeniseSchaadArt and also as @YourEnergyAwakening, which is my spiritual teaching business.
Thank you so much for being here and congratulations on your book.
Thank you for having me.
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About Denise Schaad
Denise Schaad Spiritual Teacher, Self-Awareness Coach, Thought Leader, Author and Artist who awakens Leaders by Illuminating their truth so they can embrace and align with their Soul and Spirit. Denise has a natural gift to see emotional energy and release it from the physical body. Her purpose is to guide and teach Leaders to feel whole through releasing the emotional energies and embodying their Spiritual Frequency.