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Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder?

Jan 24, 2024

Today we’re joined by my good friend, Shannon Leyko. Shannon is an author, podcast host, mother of three, and a military wife who recently moved from Alaska to Florida with her family.


As a former Miss New York for the Miss America Organization, classically trained vocalist, and reality television development producer, Shannon has worn many hats throughout her life. Along with this, her book, You’re Completely Normal, achieved recognition as one of the Top 50 Hot New Releases in Self-Development on Amazon in 2020.


Shannon currently works as a ghostwriter and content creator for a world-renowned psychologist and is the host of the podcast Paring Down, where she helps listeners live a more intentional, decluttered life.


Stay tuned for a powerful conversation on embracing the non-linear path, cherishing the present, and being mindful of what truly matters. I know you’re going to love it!



7:31 – Shannon 101


  • Becoming Miss New York after college
  • Moving to DC and Virginia Beach
  • Becoming a military wife and moving to Alaska
  • Writing a book, moving to Florida, and starting a podcast



13:08 – A Non-Linear Path


  • Societal pressure to follow a linear life trajectory
  • The inspiration behind Shannon’s book, “You’re Completely Normal”
  • Guiding children to be content with their individual paths
  • Nonlinear paths leading to personal growth and wisdom



26:22 – The Power of Patience


  • Taking your next step in faith
  • The human tendency to take matters into your own hands
  • Peace through trusting in God’s plan



32:54 – Decluttering and Slowing Down


  • How living in Alaska inspired the Paring Down Podcast
  • The power of intentionality and gratitude
  • The sentimental aspect of decluttering
  • Swedish death cleaning


54:07 – Don’t Save the Good Wine


  • Living intentionally and for the now
  • Wear the sequin pants
  • The frailty of life
  • Creating a calm home environment





“It will all come together if you just continue to pursue the things that God calls you to that bring you joy, and not always just move through with urgency.”


“If I remove this urgency from my life, this idea of where I want to go, what success means to me…remove all of that and just put on God’s lenses and say, ‘I trust in His will. Let me sit back and listen to what He wants from me.’ That… makes our lives so much better.”


“Be mindful and present right now, because today matters. Use the good things. Don't put the quilt that your grandma sewed for your child in the closet because you don't want anything to spill on it. Put it on their bed. Let them use it.”


Learn more about Shannon:


Shannon on Instagram:


The Paring Down Podcast:


Shannon’s Book, You’re Completely Normal: