Transcript:                    This is David Brower with Your 20-Minute Podcast, and our special guest today is Mary Shores from the beautiful city and state of Champaign, Illinois. How are you today?

Mary Shores:                I am great, David. How are you?

David Brower:              I’m fabulous. Thank you so much. You’re the owner and founder of Midstate Collection Solutions, Inc., and we are not talking about collections today, right?

Mary Shores:                That’s right.

David Brower:              You have some really cool stuff on your website. The first question I read was, “Can you imagine the happiest, most fulfilled version of yourself?” I mean, who doesn’t want that?

Mary Shores:                Well, I know I certainly do.

David Brower:              Absolutely. How did you go from collections to transforming people and speaking all over the country?

Mary Shores:                Yeah. It really started in 2005. I wanted a different method of debt collections because I wanted to go down a path of enlightenment. I was really into the idea of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and wanted to hit that self-realization spot, which, to me, meant enlightenment, then I went through this existential crisis of “How am I going to go down this journey of enlightenment and be a debt collector?” Because as we all know, in the Bible, the tax collector was not a popular guy.

David Brower:              Right, but with that said, Paul became the world’s biggest tax collector and the world’s biggest proponent of Jesus Christ. You talk about 180-degree change.

Mary Shores:                Right. My mission really just became … I wanted to know “How could I make people happier at the end of the call than they were at the beginning of the call?” I created a system that I ended up training on for about the last 12 years of my life, that I was able to translate into a personal development program that got me an award-winning book deal with Hay House Publishing. That’s the book that I’m getting ready to come out with now called Conscious Communications: Harnessing the Power of Your Words to Change Your Mind, Your Choices, and Your Life.

David Brower:              That’s the one that’s coming out in August, right?

Mary Shores:                That’s right.

David Brower:              Is that your first book?

Mary Shores:                It is.

David Brower:              Okay. A 12-year journey. Wow. That’s a commitment.

Mary Shores:                It certainly was. I’ve learned a lot. You were talking in the beginning about how to be the most joyous and enlightening, best version of yourself.

David Brower:              Right.

Mary Shores:                We’ve got this sort of psychological and chemical feedback loop. It’s neurobiology of our emotions. It’s very interesting. I’m always drawing these circles, where I’m inserting “Where are your opportunities to create dopamine and where are the stressors in your life that are happening that are creating stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol?” Believe it or not, if you just gravitate towards the actions that create dopamine, you’ll get to that euphoric feeling that you can stay in almost all the time.

David Brower:              That’s the neuroscience part of it, right?

Mary Shores:                That’s right.

David Brower:              How did you come across that? How did you decide “Neuroscience is going to be a big part of how I reach enlightenment and how I help others”? How did that enter into your life?

Mary Shores:                It came very natural to me. I kind of label myself as a Gypsy scholar, and what I mean by that is that I’m very drawn to everything mystical and I’ve done all of these mystical workshops like breath work and meditation journeys. I’m always going to places that say “Institute.”

David Brower:              Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mary Shores:                My friends are like, “You have to quit saying you’re going to the institute. You sound like a lame person.”

David Brower:              That’s awesome.

Mary Shores:                I’ve been to Omega Institute and I’ve been to Monroe Institute, and they’re like, “Mary, stop saying you’re going to the institute. We don’t like that.”

David Brower:              Oh, how funny.

Mary Shores:                The truth is I’ve got this mystical side of my personality, but I’m also like … I don’t know. Some people call me a hot nerd. I’m always … I’m that girl that … I’m just super drawn to anything about the cosmos, so I’m a huge Neil deGrasse Tyson fan, but neurology was where it’s at.

Mary Shores:                When I was 19, I had a daughter and she passed away. She was born with a severe, profound brain damage because there was a lack of oxygen situation to her brain for over five minutes when she was still in utero.

Mary Shores:                Well, even back then, in 19, oh, gosh, 93, yeah, we didn’t have the internet back then. I mean, it existed, but I didn’t have access to it, certainly, but I would go to the library and study because I thought there’s got to be something that could heal her brain.

Mary Shores:                It turns out there is, but the world really wasn’t ready for that then. It was all about stem cells and understanding how we can regenerate parts of our brains that have been damaged. Ironically, years and years later, when I had my first son, Keagan, I had him in 2000, and in the third grade, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s, which is the mild form of autism.

David Brower:              Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mary Shores:                This, again, led me down to the track of neurology because autism is a neurological disorder.

David Brower:              Right.

Mary Shores:                Just wanting to understand him and what he was going through, I just started studying neurology all the time.

David Brower:              Wow. Well, first and foremost, I’m sorry for your loss, and I’m thrilled that you figured out a way to work on the Asperger’s thing. Anybody that watched the show, Parenthood, a few years ago, has been exposed to what that’s like. They did a wonderful job of bringing that to the world and helping people learn a little more about it. Man, more power to you to use those things to help move you forward to those institutes, if you will, and to pay it forward and help other people the way you are.

Mary Shores:                Oh, thank you, thank you, David. That’s a beautiful compliment.

David Brower:              I’m a big fan of gratitude and have been ever since I became a cancer survivor in June of 2007. As I look at your website and I see one of your headlines is gratitude, I’ve gone, “Wow. I don’t see that.” How did that become a part of your life and how does that enter into all of the things that you do?

Mary Shores:                Well, in 2015, I was in a Facebook group that was sort of a fan club for people who were fans of Tony Robbins.

David Brower:              Okay.

Mary Shores:                They were people specifically that were single, so it was kind of a singles club for people that were fans of Tony Robbins. I made a post in there and I just said, “Hey, I’m looking for a gratitude accountability partner, and I wanted someone female,” and I had over 40 women respond.

David Brower:              Wow.

Mary Shores:                Because I didn’t want to share gratitude to 40 people, I started another Facebook group called Declaring Gratitude, and so we now have something like 400 or 500 people in the group, but what we do is we pair everyone up with pen pals, so you have this smaller groups of three or four women in each group that share gratitude’s each day. Now gratitude has a positive impact in your life and on your focus. I was talking about neurobiology and I just want to throw this out there.

David Brower:              You bet.

Mary Shores:                Because when I started the gratitude thing, it wasn’t a religious thing for me. I really started it from a place of “I knew I needed to feel better and I knew from every spiritual practice or personal development program that I had ever been through that gratitude is the foundation of feeling better.”

Mary Shores:                Even just today, I was researching for a little book that I’m writing called Break Through Your Breakdown. The neurobiology of gratitude, it is not the act of being grateful itself that causes you to create dopamine and serotonin and vasopressin and oxytocin in your brain. It is the function of the brain as it is looking for the positivity in your life to be grateful for, so it is the act. Your brain goes through a process of looking for positive things in your environment, and it is that process that creates feel good chemicals or happy hits of hormones in your brain.

David Brower:              I am your poster boy.

Mary Shores:                Wonderful.

David Brower:              I mean, without knowing that language, that knowledge, the bottom line of how you describe it is exactly how I’ve lived my life since June 11th, 2007.

Mary Shores:                Wow.

David Brower:              I mean, I even have a gratitude tattoo for goodness sakes.

Mary Shores:                That’s right. You wake up every day and you’ve primed the gratitude muscle in your brain because you’ve been practicing this for over 10 years or right at 10 years.

David Brower:              Right at 10. Yeah.

Mary Shores:                Because you practice that every day, what you’ve done is you think of your brain like a muscle. You’ve primed the gratitude muscle in your brain, so that your brain is constantly scanning your environment and you will notice the positive things in your environment more than you will notice the tragedy.

David Brower:              Absolutely right. Good for you. Through your gratitude Facebook pages and I’m sure with other clients and people that you speak to around the world and around the country, you’re able to share that and inspire people to get a sense of gratitude, right?

Mary Shores:                That’s right.

David Brower:              One of the things that you talk about in your bio and on your website and stuff is somewhat, I would assume related to gratitude and the self-affirmations, right?

Mary Shores:                That’s right. In the Conscious Communications book, we’re going to … I talk about feedback loops a lot, but in order to change your life, something has to change or the power of now, I didn’t really understand that, so I had to break it down into “How can I understand this?” What I figured out was the goal here to make your life on a path of what you want because truly, we do all have free will.

David Brower:              Right.

Mary Shores:                Free will, to me, means the ability to create my own reality. I’m doing that through every choice I make, and what I need to do is get my thoughts, feelings, words, and actions in alignment with the results that I want, but how do you do that? Because I don’t know about you, but if someone told me, “Hey, Mary, just quit thinking about that,” I can’t do that. I can’t just stop thinking about a problem.

David Brower:              Right.

Mary Shores:                I can’t force thoughts out of my head, but the one thing I can control out of all of these is I can control my actions and I can control my words, and so I’ve come up with five types of expressions that I consider these words, so to speak, in conscious communications.

Mary Shores:                It’s self-talk. What we say about ourselves, unconscious script running in our mind, whether it’s good or bad, it’s self-talk. Spoken word. Spoken word is a mirror. What you say out loud is a mirror of what’s inside of you. Affirmations. Affirmations are declarations that you assert that what is true in your life is what you want it to be. Goals. I actually consider goals in this list because there’s plenty of scientific research out there that says the difference between people who achieve success and those who do not is that achievers regularly write goals for themselves and follow a plan to make the goals happen. The last one of this is gratitude. We’ve already talked about gratitude and the power of that.

Mary Shores:                From there, I take it and break it down into types of affirmations. When we’re talking about affirmations, there’s negative and disempowering affirmations. These are expressed criticisms of yourself and others like saying, “I am so stupid” or “I always hate it when I do this.”

David Brower:              Right.

Mary Shores:                It’s an involuntary speech pattern. We’ve got releasing statements. Releasing statements are powerful statements in which you state what you will no longer accept as your truth like, “Never again will I drink too much” or “Never again am I going to smoke or clog my body with toxic food.” One of the ones I use a lot is I release my fear of abandonment. That is a really powerful one for me. You’ve got the “I am” statements, and I think that we’re all aware of the power of “I am.”

David Brower:              You bet.

Mary Shores:                These are declaring qualities, personality traits, and lifestyle choices and values that you want to embody in your own life. When you make an “I am” statement, you are triggering the activation systems in your brain that will scan your experience for evidence to make this true. “I am radiant.” “I am beautiful.” “I am powerful.” “I am successful.” Those are all of the “I am” statements.

Mary Shores:                My next one is asking statements. These are affirmations involved asking the universe to bring or guide you to encounters or experiences that will move you towards your desires like, “Guide me to thoughts and harmony with my core desires,” “Show me my power,” “Bring me evidence of how this works in wonderful and unexpected ways.” The last is gratitude statements. Again, I’m all about the gratitude.

David Brower:              Yeah. Absolutely. Boy, the affirmations are huge. The gratitude is huge. The fear of abandonment that you talked about, I have felt that for well over 40 years before I worked through that, so hats off to you, that’s not an easy one. When you travel around the country, do you speak to large groups, small groups, companies? How does your flow work in spreading the word?

Mary Shores:                All of the above. I do lots of corporate trainings and training them on the conscious communications method of customer service. This is a system that I developed specifically for businesses to utilize their customer service force to build rapport and turn their processes into a connection.

David Brower:              Go to Just like it sounds, and click on the Dream with a Deadline photo there and also be sure to sign up for your Fearless Ambition newsletter. Tell us about that.

Mary Shores:                Well, that’s a fun one. About once a month, we put out a new workbook, so all of our members of Fearless Ambition get all of these freebie workbooks that we are working on, as well as our tons of bonuses.

Mary Shores:                We have a monthly expert who weighs in on the topic of the month, so we might have a relationship coach, a financial expert, a manifestation expert. We’ve got Keith Mitchell coming up soon. He is a superstar yogi, who was a famous NFL player. I don’t even remember what team he’s on, but don’t let that take away from his fame. He was in an accident on the field that broke his neck and he was a paraplegic, and he healed himself through breath work and yoga. It’s just such a fascinating story.

David Brower:              Oh my.

Mary Shores:                I also want to say that included in our Dream with a Deadline workbook is a bonus called Creating Rocking Affirmations, so it’s three steps to create rocking affirmations. If your audience is really into the affirmations portion and as big of a Louise Hay fan as I am, be sure to check out that book even if it’s just to get the three steps to create rocking affirmations.

David Brower:              What a great opportunity. They could also reach out to you not only on, but you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, all the hot social media places, so you touch a lot of people in a lot of ways, don’t you?

Mary Shores:                We certainly have. We’ve even been rocking it out on Pinterest of all places. Who knew?

David Brower:              Wow. Yeah. I just started putting my podcasts on Pinterest and I’m going, “I had no idea I could do this,” so that’s been kind of fun to reach out and touch people in different ways. What’s next in your life after the book?

Mary Shores:                Planning two other books. We’re doing a book called Mind, Body, Business.

David Brower:              Oh, I like that.

Mary Shores:                Yeah. That’s going to be a really fun one. In the meantime, I’m really just wanting to continue to write out my monthly journal workbooks, where I just constantly put together these processes.

David Brower:              Nice.

Mary Shores:                Like I said, we’ve got Dream with a Deadline. Right now, we’re putting the finishing touches on another one called Ignite Your Dream.

David Brower:              Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mary Shores:                After that, we’ll be working with people who have reached a chronic level of stress in their life and they just feel completely stuck, and that’s going to be my Break Through Your Breakdown.

David Brower:              Wow. I love that title too. Do you work with a team? You either sleep two hours a day or you have some people do all this.

Mary Shores:                Actually, I sleep eight hours a day. In the workbook, Ignite Your Dream, what you do is you pick five non-negotiables, so that is five things that you are committed to doing for your self-care. One of my five is that I must get eight hours of sleep at night.

David Brower:              Good for you.

Mary Shores:                I would not be able to persevere and get as much done if I did not get that eight hours of sleep at night.

David Brower:              Yup.

Mary Shores:                I don’t know. I just enjoy what I do so much. I do have a team of people. My amazing Roxanne, who is my assistant, handles … She’s really taught herself how to do graphic design. All of our workbooks are just breathtakingly beautiful, and she’s done that graphic design work. I do the writing and the research, and she does the design work.

David Brower:              That’s a good team. Well, her graphic design on your website is, eye-catching would be an understatement, really, really well done.

Mary Shores:                Thank you.

David Brower:              We’re about ready to wrap up here, but I noticed one of the recent tweets on your website, which I haven’t heard for a very long time but I love it, “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts,” Winston Churchill. That is just profound no matter where you are in life, isn’t it?

Mary Shores:                I’m speechless even thinking about that one.

David Brower:              Right?

Mary Shores:                I put that up yesterday. Yes. I love, love, love that quote.

David Brower:              Oh my.

Mary Shores:                It’s so true because when we can look back on our lives and remember what our big wins were and we realize that we have that power within us to overcome something in the past, then we know that we can persevere through the future.

David Brower:              That is a true story. The other thing is, and you kind of alluded to it earlier, and that is I’m a big fan of gratitude, as you know, but I’m also a big fan of looking forward and having something to look forward to at all times. That, along with gratitude, just really has helped my attitude and the way I look at things much more than I did 10, 15 years ago. That’s for sure.

David Brower:              Hey, Mary, it’s been a real treat. You are on a mission to touch a lot of people. I got to tell you. It’s not very often that I get goosebumps talking to somebody, but I did with you today, so hats off to you for really creating some inspiring things for folks to jump on to.

David Brower:              Folks, be sure to get the free materials that Mary just shared with you for, and you can find her on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, You Tube, the whole enchilada. Continuous success to you, Mary.

Mary Shores:                Thank you, David.

David Brower:              You are very welcome. You’ve been listening to Your 20-Minute Podcast with David Brower and our special guest, Mary Shores. Be sure to follow us on Facebook at