shawna murray browne.

baltimore, maryland. | licensed clinical social work therapist. sista. wife. daughter.
advocate for women & girls.

Today, I introduce you to Shawna Murray-Browne. A small-business owner and clinical social worker who provides holistic therapy, life coaching, as well as workshops and sista circles for the healing, empowerment, and renewal of women, girls, and their families. Shawna incorporates movement, art, nature, and meditation in her practice and her specialty is working with individuals and families of color; honoring their culture. When I learned about Shawna’s Heal A Sista Program, I knew that this woman fully understands the importance of mentoring. Naturally, I reached out to her. Today, Shawna Murray-Browne shares her passion, wisdom, and how she overcomes obstacles. All while encouraging us all to replenish our spirits … God bless the brilliant, loving social workers. This is good stuff. Enjoy!

How did you choose your career?

I knew I wanted to advocate and heal. Social work fit the bill. Plus, I can be totally antsy, feeling the need to try something new, and social work allows me the flexibility to do WHATEVER I want (policy, research, organizing, management, teaching, therapy, mentoring), you name it … a social worker has the job that’s changing the world!

Please tell us a little about the #HealASista Project and how or why did you get the idea to start such an organization?

The #HealASista Project is an initiative of my private practice, Kindred Wellness LLC, which empowers women to renew their lives through movement, meditation, and sista circles. I have hosted two meditation conference calls and two mini retreats (one featuring African Dance and another featuring aerobics) to create a safe space for women to establish lasting sistahood relationships, gain the tools to relax, release stressors, and nurture their bodies. They do this all in a safe space for establishing a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

I was inspired by both my experiences working with adolescents in my program for girls, The Usisi Circle, as well as simply noticing that many women haven’t established a routine of loving and healing themselves. I feel that too often we feel guilty for replenishing our spirits, especially because we {women} tend to spend so much time nurturing the rest of the world.

What has been your greatest obstacle in life and how do/did you navigate it?

My mother and father struggle with addiction, so I’d say that my greatest obstacle has been exploring how that experience informed who I have become in adulthood:

  • Learning to honor my parents.
  • Learning to forgive them.
  • Seeking understanding around what forgiveness really is.
  • Establishing the courage to walk uncomfortably through the healing process.
  • Setting boundaries and requiring respect, even from my parents, while ensuring that all the above is done in love.

I’d say that I navigate it all with sisterhood, journaling, and brutal honesty. I have “Sistas” young and wise and they all fill me up. They hold me when I cry and grace me with wisdom and insight on the tough stuff. When I am not with my sistas, I spend time alone, reflecting in my journal.

How do you overcome fear?

Prayer and meditation … a lot. I go with, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” I also remember that the times that I go through it, I come out stronger than ever before.

If you could do one thing to change the world, what would it be?

Eradicate all forms of oppression and inequality.

Do you ever feel guilty? If yes … what for?

Not really. Maybe for eating the regular dairy ice cream knowing good and well I am lactose intolerant.

What qualities do you look for in friends?

Genuineness, integrity, loyalty, open-mindedness, passion, empathy, honesty.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

I would tell my younger self, “The pain you feel is God preparing you for your divine purpose. All of those tears are for a reason.”

What is your best advice on how to live a graceful life?

Create a safe, sacred space to bare all, be alone, and simply cry. This allows you the opportunity to be authentic and genuine when with others and yourself. It also allows you the time to identify your gifts and make plans to share them with the world.

j. jane side notes:

To learn more about Shawna and her awesome program, visit her on Facebook HealASista and Twitter @HealASista.

  • Serenity Rain
    Posted at 23:05h, 11 January

    I love love love Shawna, the woman she has become and the work she does. She is an inspiration! This post was an awesome read and share! Thank you for sharing! #womanpower #sisterhood #manifestdestiny

    • Jessica Stern
      Posted at 05:04h, 12 January

      Thanks for joining the conversation, Serenity. Shawna is remarkable. #sisterhood.