Transformation Goddess
A Treasure from the Transformation Goddess Vault.

Every month I like to share a popular post from days gone by that made an impact on the readers of this blog. Today I invite you to take in the story of how I finally found the courage to blow my cover and transform my life.

Once upon a time I fancied myself a fierce warrior. The truth is, I was fierce and extremely insecure. I realize now that a combination of events during my formative years lead to the creation of my super bad ass impostor. Projecting a thick-skinned, without a care personality helped me protect my self from bullies and even contributed to my success in my former career. This protective armor didn’t allow the light to shine from the core of my being. I was out of touch with my divinity.  Thankfully, a couple of years after my daughter was born, everything started to change.

Through lots of introspection and healing work, I realized I had erected impenetrable walls around my heart to protect myself. I had to blow my cover and heal my precious heart. Dancing with Kali’s fiery energy showed me what it feels like to be fierce and vulnerable. Creation and destruction, crucifixion and the resurrection.

Blowing your cover takes deep introspection, courage, self-compassion and pracitce

Many of us are undercover operators lost in the roles that we play. We cast ourselves in the roles of professional, mother, daughter, sister, care-giver, victim, warrior etc. In this world of role playing, perception is reality. We fool ourselves into thinking that the perception we create will keep us safe. So safe, that we can lose ourselves in the mirror of our impostor’s reflection.

What a strange turn of affairs to shed your old life (who you thought you were), to rediscover yourself. Perhaps better stated, to uncover who you really are (and have been), all along. Spiraling back to the center of who we are at the core of our authentic being is a trip!

Many of the women I mentor are spiraling back to the center of themselves by strategizing how to break free of their golden handcuffs like I did almost 8 years ago.

Even more of these gorgeous women are learning how to practice compassionate self-care after a lifetime of kicking their bodies to the curb and putting everything and everyone else at the front of the line.

Often weary of the corporate politics and amped-up competitive environments, droves of women have become out of touch with their mind, body and soul. It’s no wonder so many of us find ourselves unhappy and unfulfilled. We forget that we are designed to create, express, collaborate and receive.

If your impostor is the Type A perfectionist, “balls to the walls” personality like mine was, you know what it feels like to be immersed in the energy of a competitive political environment. For years I played war-games in the board room before learning to find my breath in the yoga studio.


“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
― Anaïs Nin 


No longer a company creature, my last career damn near killed my soul. My only option was to move on. In November of 2006, I blew my cover and walked away from a six-figure salary, powerful career and a bloated lifestyle that was begging to be simplified.

Since my terrifying leap, I’ve been evolving as a transformation goddess, coach, author, voice talent and human-woman-person. My intention is to create my life on my terms by serving women who wish to do the same. 

The pursuit of entrepreneurial freedom is a liberating, creative and challenging way of life. I’ve learned so many valuable lessons since removing my warrior’s mask of folly. Looking back I’m astounded by all that I’ve experienced since blowing my cover and finding the courage to heal, blossom and grow.

Evolving my businesses to serve women with the soulful, sensual and sacred exploration of their lives is one of the best choices I’ve made in my career.

Here are some of highlights since 2006. I’m sharing this list to demonstrate how much you can accomplish when you consciously choose to transform your life and blow your cover.

Professionally I have:

  • earned my professional coaching certification
  • established True Balance Life Coaching & True Balance Press
  • wrote and published Life on Your Terms
  • contributed to three best-selling books
  • contribute articles for Aspire and Simple Steps Real Change Magazine
  • earned my yoga teacher certification
  • co-created 200+ Anxiety Slayer podcasts, 8 albums and  several digital products
  • interviewed 41 entrepreneurs for my first book
  • coached and supported hundreds of women
  • facilitate women through The Artist’s Way
  • created the Transformation Goddess Experience Blog, Podcast & Coaching program
  • created the Sacred Heart Teachings digital program
  • said yes to two wise women’s healing circles.
  • initiated into the Changing Woman Sisterhood.

Personally I have: 

  • improved my marriage/relationship with my beloved Thomas
  • invited more goddesses into my life
  • cracked my heart wide open
  • learned to laugh at myself
  • learned to lighten up
  • become a amateur photographer
  • experienced my belly dancing class
  • became a painter
  • practice and continue to practice loving kindness
  • learned how to let go, trust and surrender (still working on this)
  • forgiven myself and everyone who‘s ever done me harm
  • learned to live a sacred life


Throughout my journey of personal and professional transformation, I still struggle with bouts of anxiety, insecurity and the remnants of fear that can tug at my heart. I’m a work in process, just like you.

Blowing my cover means I continue to mine for peace and clarity. I’ve learned that a great deal of my strength comes from honoring my vulnerability. I’ve learned that I can be a warrior and a mentor. That being an introvert is acceptable. That it’s natural to sometimes feel frightened or depressed. And that excellence trumps striving for perfection.

I invite you to join me to summon the courage to dive deep into the void of your personal healing and self-growth. Your life depends on it.


  • Are you ready to blow your cover?
  • What do want to experience in the next 5 years? Make a wish list.
  • What is the number one thing you can let go of that no longer serves you?

About Shann Vander Leek

Shann Vander Leek

Shann is a Transformational Leader, Award-Winning Podcaster, Best-Selling Author, Voice Over Talent, Podcast Coach, and Producer. She lives in the village of Suttons Bay, Michigan with her beloved husband and mouthy old cat. This Goddess Shines!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Petrea Dec 4, 2013, 6:31 pm

    “Creation and destruction really do go hand in hand.” Indeed they do, though while we are experiencing the destructive parts it is sometimes difficult to remember that new things are developing. This time of year in particular I like to take the time to really review how far I have come and all the transformative journeys I have been on. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Shann Dec 5, 2013, 8:18 am

      Thank you Petrea!
      Lovely to witness your accomplishments this year. You are a star!
      XO – Shann

  • Martine Joseph Dec 4, 2013, 6:53 pm

    Shann, You’re an inspiration! I left four years ago and am still honing my vision and new business. I never did fit in at companies and am beginning to own “gifted and creative”. I admire how much you’ve accomplished and how you’ve gone “full out.” Thank you for your honesty about still working on trust! Self-love and trust are the biggies for me.

    • Shann Dec 5, 2013, 8:19 am

      Thank you for your kindness. Congratulations on making the leap!
      Big LOVE, Shann

  • Rozanne Henry Dec 5, 2013, 11:27 am

    Thank you for your honest writing. Right now I am blowing my cover and allowing myself to be vulnerable in that I am in the process of choosing to show the real me in my work more than I have before. Sometimes I hold back because of what others who know me personally will think of me but it is not fulfilling to wear a mask!!!

    I was certainly an undercover operator during my years of abuse but finally chose to fight for ME and I am happier and free-er than ever before. Reinventing myself as you put it, has been the bravest, most vulnerable, yet the most liberating thing I have ever done. <3

    • Shann Dec 5, 2013, 11:43 am

      Hello Rozanne,

      Thank you. Congratulations on blowing your cover and embracing who you really are at the core of your soul. I’m so glad you found the courage to liberate yourself from years of suffering. Big love and blessings to you. – Shann

  • Sam J Shelley Dec 5, 2013, 1:24 pm

    Very powerful story, I am very happy for you.

    I don’t know if it’s a matter of re-invention. It is re-discovering our truth.

    As you say; “uncover who you really are and have been, all along.” We have big inflated egos about how things should be and we stress like mad over it. When you simply let go of the stories that we create. We become liberated to be who we were meant to be.

    Be well,

    • Shann Dec 5, 2013, 1:45 pm

      Hi Sam,
      Thanks for reframing re-invention as re-discovering our truth. Love it!
      Blessings to you,

  • Joy Dec 5, 2013, 5:18 pm

    I find this interesting because in the last two weeks I have been exploring Kali’s energy. Turning that energy internally to burn away “untruth”, leaving my heart space open and choosing to connect from that raw space. And, here you are affirming that, with your powerful message and reflection. Thank you!

    Your professional list is awesome and inspiring! I notice your personal list is overflowing with different creative expressions…mine, too…I have unexpectedly and all of a sudden been exploring/drawn to different types of physical movement as well as all kinds of creative techniques…as if my heart is saying, oh, yes, let’s play. I feel that joy infuses my professional life and the “successes” from my professional life amplify my confidence to explore personally (although for me, it’s all one life – I am my brand, and my work is play *grin*).

    • Shann Dec 6, 2013, 10:43 am

      Hi Joy,
      Thank you for your kindness. Exploring Kali’s energy is not for the faint of heart! Kudos to your for uncovering what no longer serves you. I love that your heart wants to PLAY! I agree that it’s all one life and it’s all good! XO – Shann

  • Greg Alario Dec 6, 2013, 1:24 pm

    Brilliant truth, Shann. Your message rings pure. I have periodically enjoyed your posts for the past 6 years or so. You are a true human being – I honor you and your efforts. My beautiful, strong daughter would love your energy and wisdom. I will pass this article to her. Thank you, Shann for your loving, healing energy.

    • Shann Dec 6, 2013, 3:26 pm

      Dear Greg,
      Thank you for your kind words. You just made m entire week! I’m so happy that you’ve been a witness to my storytelling from the beginning. That you choose to come back is an honor. Please do share this message with your beautiful daughter. Big LOVE, Shann

  • Sophie Dec 6, 2013, 9:19 pm

    I absolutely adore this article. Especially as I often get so caught up in jumping to the next thing that I forget to take stock and actually realize how far I’ve come. I think I’m going to spend the rest of today focusing on remembering that and celebrating it.

    • Shann Dec 8, 2013, 9:22 am

      Hi Sophie,
      Thank you for your kindness! I’m so glad you found this post supportive. You’ve come a long way goddess! Great to see you celebrating your truth.

  • Tanisha Dec 10, 2013, 8:48 am

    Great post! I love how you were able to move on from your job because it was not serving you well, it is better to care more about your health than something that something that isn’t supportive of what you need. For me, over the next 5 years I’d like to continue the work on just being myself fully without any excuses kicking perfectionism to the side.

    • shannvanderleek Dec 10, 2013, 4:40 pm

      Hi Tanisha,
      Thank you. Here’s to living life unapologetically! XO Shann

  • Tia Johnson (@The_VSS) Dec 10, 2013, 10:40 am

    Amazinggggg blog post, Shann!!! I love it so much and it just resonated with me. You hit the nail on the head for me when you wrote I was fierce and extremely insecure. That was me for a while, but I have sense broke out of my shell and continue to do so!

    • shannvanderleek Dec 10, 2013, 4:41 pm

      Thank you for your kindness Tia. I love knowing that you coming out of your shell! Here’s to stepping into your power. Go Goddess Go!

  • Chizelle Dec 11, 2013, 12:25 am

    Fabulous article Shann!!!!!

    Sounds very similar to where I’ve been and where I’m at.

    I’m letting go of needing to do it all on my own.
    I’ve also removed the last brick from the Great Wall of Chizelle that I built around my heart, those Chinese genes in me taught me how to build a solid wall so it’s taken a bit of time to do, but the last brick has finally been removed 🙂

    • Shann Dec 11, 2013, 11:36 am

      Thanks Chizelle,

      Here’s to liberating our hearts one brick at a time! XO – Shann

  • Donna Hudson Dec 27, 2013, 3:14 pm

    That was an enlightening post. It gives me hope that I will over come what I need to and move on to a happier life.

    • shannvanderleek Jan 1, 2014, 11:32 am

      Sweet Donna, You deserve to move on to a happier life!

  • Bindiya Aravandekar Dec 30, 2013, 11:27 pm

    I resonate deeply with your story Shann. I left the corporate life within three years as I could not stand what it was turning me into. I was losing myself fast. I thank the Gods for providing me with the courage to leave. Immersed myself into lots of spiritual work and now I guide women to step into owning their soul abundance. Precious journey! Thank you for being so open in sharing your story xoxo

    • shannvanderleek Jan 1, 2014, 11:34 am


      Thank you for your kindness and congratulations for having the courage to say yes to your precious journey. Happy New Year!

  • Melissa Aug 5, 2014, 9:30 am

    What a great resurrection of an old post. I love it! This quote is so great I’ll have to share it “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
    was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ― Anaïs Nin
    It’s so true.

    • Shann Aug 5, 2014, 10:44 am

      Thanks Melissa, I appreciate your support so much! Anaïs Nin’s work is truly inspirational. xx – Shann

  • Minette Aug 6, 2014, 10:17 am

    Shann, what a beautiful glimpse into your personal transformation. Thank you for sharing this journey and guidance on how others can blow their cover. I recently shared a painful story aloud for the first time as part of an interview process for speaking at a conference on speaking our shame stories out loud. I felt so different afterwards, even though I shared it with only one person. I realized how painful and scary it has been to blow my cover wide open over the years because as a child I didn’t have a safe place to share my stories. Even though I know it’s so important, I still struggle to let down those barriers around my heart that have kept me safe. Thanks for this timely post!

    • Shann Aug 6, 2014, 8:47 pm

      Thank you for your kindness Minette and congratulations on finding the courage to share your story. It takes time to remove the protective armor around our heart’s. Learning to be vulnerable and transparent takes practice. Big Love to you!

  • Chara Armon Aug 6, 2014, 11:38 am

    I love how you wrote this, Shann. I’m in this process and feel so inspired by mentoring from you and others. I especially relate to your emphasis on introspection, courage, and practice!

    • Shann Aug 6, 2014, 8:48 pm

      Thanks Chara,
      Sending you lots of love and supportive energy as you reinvent yourself and transform your life. xx

  • Shelley Lundquist (@letmemoveyou) Aug 6, 2014, 2:13 pm

    I love this post! And i congratulate you on all your achievements, both personal and professional. I remember when I was a fierce warrior… ready to battle anyone and anything all in the name of justice. And then i realised i was always battling, and that was not the reputation nor the life i wanted to live. I have learned to honour myself and to give love no matter how hard it can be. And i find that life has rewarded me for the shift. I honour my calling and my passion and i have found the joy and peace that had been here all along.

  • Laurie Seymour Aug 6, 2014, 2:30 pm

    Ah, the power inherent in revealing the truth…! In my own experience, when I did this it was truly a foundational shift. Thanks for your clarity, Shann, in putting this out there!

    • Shann Aug 6, 2014, 8:52 pm

      Thanks Laurie! The truth really does set you free! xx

  • Christa Aug 6, 2014, 4:54 pm

    So important for each of us to find our true selves, beneath the exteriors we can create! I relate to some of the politics you mention in the boardroom, and have always found that such things (sometimes literally) make me ill. It just doesn’t sing to me, it doesn’t resonate, and I know in my heart of hearts that there *is* a different – and better! – way to do things.

    Just because something is how it’s always been done, doesn’t mean that’s how it always needs to be. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your story, journey and the fantastic things you are doing now, Shann, to help shine such important lights on our world!

    • Shann Aug 6, 2014, 8:55 pm

      Hi Christa,
      Thank you for your kindness.
      Three cheers for authenticity and transformation! xx

  • Sheila Callaham Aug 7, 2014, 10:10 am

    Love how you framed this as blowing your cover because really, in so many cases, that’s exactly what we have to do! Like you, I’ve blown my cover and I blew a few people’s minds at the same time. Still, living my authentic purpose has provided me with better health and happiness than I can ever remember experiences.

    Great post and thanks for sharing your “cover” story! 😉

  • Peggy Nolan Aug 7, 2014, 2:56 pm


    I blew my cover or should I say, breast cancer blew my cover. I was that balls to the wall perfectionist type A steamroller. Yup. That was over 10 years ago. I still work in corporate, but my job, while six figures, is so low stress…I’m not weaving through the political morass or even looking for the next step up the ladder. Oh no. My job allows me the freedom to pursue my writing and career after this one. And like you, my message to every single woman out there is to put herself #1 on her priority list.


    PS – so so so glad we’ve connected through Linda Joy! 🙂

  • Andrea Aug 7, 2014, 4:08 pm

    How do I relate to this post? Let me count the ways… fierce, insecure, introverted… only my “corporate battle ground” was working with families struggling addiction, child abuse, domestic violence & poverty. I loved the work and the people. It took years to realize that constant exposure to violence — in any form — was taking a huge toll. I’ve been on a different road for some time now…. enjoying the journey and curious about where it is headed. Thanks.