Shane Mcleay, Thirsty

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We last spoke with Shane in 2009, but since then his life journey has grown and taken on a whole new direction, which includes the launch of his latest book “Thirsty” – this book is already an Amazon bestseller. We caught up with Shane recently, to find out what’s been going on…

Tell us about your new direction, and what the catalyst for this change was.

For me, I think it’s more of a commitment to continuous unfolding, rather than a new direction. Major change came when I took a year out of my marketing career to work in the funeral industry. This was something I always wanted to do, and the impact on me was profound. That experience brought me to where I am today.

Your background is really diverse. How has this shaped your current path?

Change is a constant, so to embrace new things makes perfect sense. My earliest memories are of a spiritual awareness, and to understand spirituality has been my life’s passion. My thirst for spirituality has led me down many paths. I spent years desperately trying to make sense of Christianity, leading me to study theology at university level, where I received high distinctions. I also studied to become a Pastor in the Assemblies of God Church. 

The result for me after all those years was that I was left feeling spiritually dehydrated and empty. I have come to understand that our lives are the reflection of every experience we have endured, and our paths are constantly being shaped by our experiences – good and bad.

You’ve written two books now. Can you give us some insights into this process, and how it was for you?

My first book, Heart Marketing, is based on my philosophies around marketing and it was a simple case of writing down all my knowledge and experience gained from a successful career, and presenting it in a way people could understand. 

My second and most recent book, Thirsty, simply flowed from within me in a way I can’t explain. I originally wrote Thirsty for my daughters as a way to help them understand life and its deep spiritual elements. When I finally released Thirsty, I was overwhelmed when I learned it had become the number one best selling spiritual book in Australia on Amazon. 

How would you describe or summarise Thirsty?

Thirsty is a result of my life’s ongoing search for spiritual truth. For years, religions have taught us that we need an external saviour. However, what I have found is that truth resides within us, longing to be discovered. Sometimes I think we have to just let go of rigid belief, so that we might discover truth and who we really are. It’s really evident that people are more and more dissatisfied with religion, and churches are emptying as a result. 

On the flipside, there is an incredible spiritual awakening taking place around us, and it’s all about us understanding who we really are and finding our connection to our Creative Source. This spiritual awakening is very real and has nothing to do with religion. 

Thirsty points people towards identifying and understanding their own truth, and in the process living a purposeful, abundant life. My experience shows that people are tired of the rigid religious offerings and are longing for a spiritual experience that is real and alive within them. Thirsty is for those people … for those who thirst for more.

You’re also speaking at conferences and events. How has that been so far?

Amazing! I have been working with international bestselling author and speaker Katrena Friel. We have been travelling around Australia speaking at spiritual conferences and conducting workshops, with amazing results. People are genuinely thirsty for real spirituality.  They just want to hear more and more. It humbles me to think that what I’ve learned over decades, often from the darkest of places, has culminated in realising this beautiful purpose which just keeps on unfolding. 

As for my speaking commitments and workshops, I am booked solid for the remainder of 2018, and 2019 is filling up fast. I am looking forward to running several retreats locally at Bellbird Hill B & B on September 22 and 23, and Mansfield on the Manning in early 2019.

Are there any particular challenges that you’ve needed to overcome in order to move into this new area of speaking and writing?

I had to overcome my fear of what people might think of me in my home town for speaking out about what was true for me. In the process, I have learned to push through this fear. In July, I held a book launch for Thirsty, where we filled Ormsby House to capacity – which was a very humbling experience.  The support from my home town has been amazing! 

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I will be doing more writing and more speaking, and whatever the Universe brings my way. My team and I are currently working on a documentary about spirituality, and another book which will be out early next year, together with an Australian and New Zealand Roadshow in 2019. 

I have also been invited to take part in a National Thought Leader’s tour late next year.

Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to share with FOCUS readers?

Absolutely! There is so much more to life than the daily grind! We have each come to fulfil a beautiful purpose that rests patiently within, longing to be awakened. None can condemn you, pass judgement or say that you are unworthy of any beautiful thing that may come into your life. You are incredibly beautiful, more than capable and completely worthy. You came to shine, so let no one take that from you. Know your purpose and walk in it every day – there you will find true peace and contentment.

Where can we buy Thirsty?

The Trippie Hippie in Wingham, Peppa’s in Centrepoint Arcade Taree, Thoughtful Things in Tuncurry, or
www.thethirstwithin.com

Thanks Shane.

Interview: Ingrid Bayer.

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