Category Archives: ShawnaLOG

Searching a Way Out | WritersLOG

I wanted to share it with you as i think it’s the closest, reader’s digest version of my own fears and why I am where I am right now. This is my brief History, how I hold myself back / my own “INVISIBLE SCRIPT”.

Of course there is more, much more, but this is the core of it all.  I just wanted to share it with you. I did post it on my CFG FB as will, mostly because it deals with life story and healing (and depression). These are elements I am encouraging people to share in order to heal. I am still learning how to share and heal too…

Here goes….

The Script:

“no one will pay me to be a filmmaker or actor”.

The Story, realization & manifestation:

From when I was young, I wanted to be an actor, but I was too pudgy and too shy. I had a big break my last year in school, a community play, where I got the lead role, got lost in the part and got the audience’s love, but didn’t know where to go from that point, I was in a bit of ‘dream-shock’ you might say.

Right after the high school play at christmas, and starting to fill out applications for university, I was literally sick – my body shut down for the whole last half of the year – I went from being considered for the graduating class valedictorian to barely getting out of bed in the morning. I didn’t really know why – I was too young to understand what depression was, especially under the guise of mono-like symptoms.

7 years later, I did end up committing to fulltime acting training, focusing on feature film and TV, while holding down a fulltime job in Engineering. Again, I shocked myself and others after 2 years of hard, dedicated work to my acting craft, but didn’t know how to take it from class to gig. I lived in a city where film work was limited and when I moved to a city that did, Vancouver, there was a US/Canada writer’s strike, no filming was done during the strike, casting directors loved me, but there was nothing to cast during that time.

I went home after a few months, broke and back to the old fulltime Engineering job and no acting gigs. So I decided to make my own acting gigs, wrote a script, bought the camera and edit system, cast myself out of the feature film lead role in order to direct and ‘protect the story’ – funding it all by working in Engineering. All the while, “PAYING TO PLAY” as a filmmaker, writer, actor – not “being paid to play”. I guess I was told at that young age, that ARTISTS STARVE, so I should focus on a career that would make money instead. I guess, I believed what I was told.

It’s been 7 years since buying the camera and shifting from pursuing acting into independent filmmaking, and if you’ve been following me here and/or on Facebook, you know a ton of things have happened in that 7 years both in my film world and my personal world. And YES, my INVISIBLE SCRIPTS have been haunting me the whole way.

Now, I am just entering into post production (editing) on my first feature film and I am unable to personally fund this last stage at this point. My options are going back to the Engineering job to make money to pay to finish my film or put a proposal in for crowdsource financing via Kickstarter. On the acting front, I’m now 38, a little old, but ready to dust off the chops, get the headshots redone. I’ve booked my first read through for a friend’s first feature film. It’s non-paying and just a sit down read through for the writer to see how it sounds/looks off the page, but it’s a start. I guess I need to believe I can bring value to a story, a creative vision and an audience’s experience – enough so that someone somewhere will drop a dollar or two in my hat.

I have battled with these scripts ever since high school, and not really believing in myself or my talents, “artists don’t make money”, “why you over the other talented people”, “you’re too ambitious”.

I have been depressed / searching for a ‘way out’ of this script and a ‘way into’ the one I dream of ever since.

I think I am starting to live the dream…

-SherpaGuru, Shawna

This entry was inspired by, Ramit Sethi

…and his “How to overcome Fear by the 5 minute straight jacket technique” via his “Find a Dream Job” private list, via

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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in ShawnaLOG, SherpaGURUS, WritersLOG


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Wild Beach | WritersLog

Somewhere on the horizon the water touches the sky – or so it seems

I prayed to the grandfathers as they approached from the west
Sand in my fingers and hope in my heart
Answers for guidance and direction yet found
I openly prayed for peace for myself and peace surrounding

I secretly prayed to be done
To be nodded off to that wild beach that calls from inside my heart

Thunder looked me in the eye and studied my face
It knew I wasn’t strong enough to go alone
He took my spirit in his and walked me into my sacred place
He followed me with his words until he heard the silence i was hiding inside
His eyes dropped my breath and I exhaled a gentle wind the elders descended

They took my hand in theirs and prayed to release
thunder spoke my secret I shuttered
Not in fear in freedom
I shuddered with guilt responsibility assumed.

Sadness heavy a dream apart from known.

Thunder lifted my wings
West lifted my darkness
Path cleared before me
Destination once now forever unknown.

Prayers answered faith in journey.

Joy not knowing tests past.

This peace spoke of rests in wild
Where the sun touches the waters
Where the waters greet the sands
Where the sands warm spirit
Where spirit rise above – or so it seems.

-Shawna Cox, Oct 31 2011

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in ShawnaLOG, SherpaGURUS, WritersLOG


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Window of Time | WritersLOG

I believe time doesn’t exist and that love and all
relations transcend all time and space for all eternity… Until a
voice said “right now”… …I stopped thinking about
timelessness…I all of the sudden understood something quite
different. I repeated those words ‘right now’ again and again, but
the last time… I heard it as “write now”. And this is what I
wrote… I understood that time needs to exist. That we need a
window to relate to each other in this time and space. That yes,
past present and future are indeed one, but we are in THiS reality
and we need this one window of TIME to fully live this lifetime.
Seeing this one window of ‘right now’, of living only what we see
in this window of time of NOW, frees us from the past and
future…from ‘once known’ and ‘future expectation’ IF… we choose
to let ourselves look through it, giving our full attention to what
it wishes to show us ‘right now’. If we choose to let the past pass
and choose to trust that we are clear on our intention for the
future, this window of time in space, becomes our key to truly
seeing our journey in real time, just like the window of a plane.
From sunrise to sunset and around the world…know that you are
booked on the best seat and are truly on the journey of a life time
and that it’s beauty is truly passing by right before your eyes…
Let go of where you came from – you will remember when you need to.
Let go of what you expect to encounter – you will know when you
feel it. Just keep looking out that window with your full
attention, because you may just miss how beautiful your journey
truly is…”right now.”

And between you and me… I always book the window seat on a plane. I only now, ‘right now’, understand why. 🙂


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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in ShawnaLOG, SherpaGURUS, WritersLOG


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WritersLOG – Where | am


I didn’t know I
miss this space
this place

I’ve forgotten
until now found
again remembering


feel breath

something in


knows thrill
for it love
of it lost

breathes with me

owns me


And I ask
From this space remembered
This place found again.

Am I

-Shawna Cox
Oct 6 2010

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Posted by on October 7, 2010 in ShawnaLOG, WritersLOG


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Solo Travel + Film Adventure

Solo Travel + Film Adventure

DREAM BIG – what ever it is – where ever it may lead you.

Prepare your passport, pack light and don’t worry about the details. If you want encouragement or inspiration, this is my own true story of solo travel and film adventure that started in 2004 and has touched down in Mexico, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Portugal, Canada, USA, France, England, Romania, Hungary & more.

New SherpaGuru Shawna

Looking forward to sharing adventures past, right here right now, and down the road ahead. See you at the next outpost out there somewhere in the middle of nowhere!

Following Heart; Chasing Dreams.

-Shawna / Canadian Film Girl

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Posted by on April 2, 2010 in ShawnaLOG, SherpaGURUS


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SLOG – 2010 Olympic Lockdown | Day 1

2010 02 04 Olympic Lockdown.

Think Jason Bourne – but Shawna Bourne – ok, not quite THAT on the verge of assassination, but definitely on mission critical. I can’t tell you exactly WHY I am doing this – it’s secret. I can’t tell you WHAT I am doing – I signed an NDA.

Best of all, I’m not getting shot at – my other option was Afghanistan. My mom was against that one.

Shawna Cox as Jason Bourne 2010 Olympics

I am sitting for lunch at an ocean side  Hotel and I feel like I am in the middle of MIPCOM in Cannes, France – or any other major international film market or festival for that matter… Official badges (dog tags with bar codes), sign-in desks, special bus stops, special buses, special visitor info signage, red carpets, color coded volunteers, the list goes on and the event hasn’t even started.

I am not in Cannes, I am in Vancouver, Canada and today is the official first day of the 2010 Olympic city lockdown and, well, to be honest, I’m not really sitting for “lunch” – I am just sitting over the lunch hour and indulging in a crisp glass of water. Ha, I know what you’re thinking, “cheapo” – ok, that’s what I was thinking but it did take everything in me NOT to order my signature tall glass of amazing Argentinian Malbec to toast off all the international media arriving today.

Glass of water = $0 and I pre-ordered my lunch to go to eat later. My new ‘not eating or drinking’ during ANY meetings in cafes OR restaurants OR lounges OR airports OR planes OR…

To sum it up, NO multi-tasking. Focus 100% on one thing at a time and since I am choosing to engage in lunch meetings / adventures, “Sans water d’Argentina *wink* and a doggie bag to go, please” is my new policy. Everyone thinks I’m staying in the hotel – or perhaps, meeting someone in the hotel. What do I do again? Haha.

So, it’s my new thing WHICH is a little awkward as I still gravitate to cozy relaxing lounges to whittle away that oh so precious time, in true Draconian working population stylesk, doing the quick and dirty feed deed – except I will feed later and get the deed of business done  now – chow can be consumed later in the sanctity of the cube (‘cubicle’ for those of you not so hip to the office).

I need my cubicle job. My recent film project sent me kicking and screaming through 2008, a year long denial from bankruptcy and an even deeper  denial through the deserts of Morocco, Libya and Tunisia chasing a dream turned day AND nightmare. I finally resurfaced last spring, 2009, on the shores of Marseille, France. Exhausted, burnt out and with my pride washed out, I filed my bankruptcy papers from the Hotel where my American Express sighed just as it was cancelled.

Shawna Cox in Morocco

I filed bankruptcy from France just in case the Canadian government would confiscate my passport and thwart my absolute dependence on international travel for my emotional well being / sanity.

Back to 2010 – iPhone at my side, my trusty reminder of which world I am in today. I am not in a foreign country, chasing my latest adventure. I am in Vancouver, Canada and on a 60 minute mini-escape from cubicle world. I am Canadian Film Girl for exactly 60 minutes or I “will be fired”.

I don’t fit in, in cubicle world.

SO, nothing like an international sporting event – ok, the biggest sporting event in the world – to get you out of a way too long funk.

Some history: more than 15 years ago, I was training full time for the Olympics. Cross-country Mountain Biking had just been announced to become a new demo sport in the WAY TOO LONG AGO Olympics. Odd to be sitting here years later, another Canadian winter Olympics about to be notched onto my bed post – Summer Olympics, a distant celebrity crush in my dreams. Summer is my season, just a regular summer – any old beach and campfire summer, is still half a year away today…

So, again, this media and sport mix. I barely survived the whole last three years chasing the elusive Dakar Rally around the globe for my film. Can I get myself up and launch out of this final month of my bankruptcy terms on an Olympics Gold-like high? Maybe. I have a little help this time to align my ‘hit and miss home grown philosophy’ so, I think the answer to that question is a “yes”.

I won’t be monitoring heart rate, recovery rate, resting rate. I won’t be swimming in lactic acid or riding the adrenalin pre-race rush. No flat tires, broken chains, maxed out brake pads (I was pre-disk brake era – JUST dated myself – haha!)

So, back to Jason Bourne – I change my perspective, not my locale. I don’t need to move to another country to have the traveller rush, Gastown is pretty damn cool – pubs, cafes, architecture, cobblestone streets. I already have an amazing historic brick loft as my film office / bachelorette crash pad. Add hoards of international pedestrians descending and taking ownership of the streets I stroll through and the stools I perch on.

Shawna Cox as Natalie Portman

So, international travel came to me this time. I am locking out my reality, spinning it around a bit, imposing “I have just landed in a cool coastal Canadian city, about to play host to the largest sporting and media event in the world.” Media and sport appear to be two of my favourite things, I guess, if my past trailblazing reveals any telling stories about my deep psychological desires – it screams them all loud and clear. So, Olympic lock down it is and I am ESCAPING inside the perimeter. Ok, so, I guess it is really a reverse escape but an escape none the less.

So, PRESTO CHANGO, goodbye friends, family and daily routines – I’ll send you a post card from Canada.

But I will let you in on my take of it all – being on this ‘other side’ of reality. We will see just how far this ‘shift in perspective’ will have on my system – maybe, just maybe – I won’t want to shift back out. Maybe there will be no going back, no reversal. Maybe, 4th gear wide open will be my only ‘NEXT MOVE’.

It’s 2010, February 4th and all Olympic rules just came into effect. Military style policing and international event style security measures. All this means to me, is that one just has to be a little more creative and a little more covert. Sounds like fun to me.

Welcome to my new reality. 2010 is going to be an interesting year.


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Posted by on February 5, 2010 in ShawnaLOG


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SLOG – so this is all you need | LOVE

It’s not easy…but I think it’s what we are supposed to do.

Funny, I am labeled a mid level producer, but I feel like I haven’t earned it yet. Same old same old – some times success isn’t material – isn’t something you can show. Success is movement, steps, stages. No one will ever know what you have done to get there, so be gentle with yourself and give the same credit to yourself that you observe in others… You are well on your way.
Learning to give a ‘day’s’ win a place in your heart without the need for a prize – this is all you need to make what you dream a reality.
This I am working to remember. I moved pretty quickly the last few years and never looked back OR even gave myself the time to see where I even was at the moment! I am only now, looking back and saying “holy shit woman… No wonder you are so tired and no wonder people are asking you ‘how?’

So, back to the advice…

#1. fall in love with your vision – it and you are what will carry you through

#2. take good care and special attention to your health – there are NO execptions to this

#3. find people like you – a moment or a life long friendship… These people will be the shelter, food and warmth to enjoy those ‘daily wins’…

Warmth and Dreams;  a whole New Year…

New Years Eve 2009


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Posted by on January 11, 2010 in ShawnaLOG, SherpaGURUS


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