SHANA MELNYSYN, MA, PHD
Anthropologist, Historian, Writer, and Evolving Somatic Guide and Healer
Offering accessible, sliding-scale services.
Come grow with me as I develop my offerings!
Let me use my decades of experience writing (and winning) academic grants to help you navigate the application process. I also offer support during big transitions like finishing a manuscript or securing tenure. I'll meet you where you're at to co-create a structure of accountability as you work towards your goals.
Guidance and a compassionate ear to help you thrive and heal. A safe, confidential container for whatever is moving in you. I witness and support you in whatever you feel called to share. I offer simple tools like breathwork, inner-child connection, and guided meditations to help you settle into your body and quiet the stories of the mind to feel into the truths held in the body.
Experienced as a teacher and tutor for elementary-aged children and college-level students, I can help you or your child understand complex material. Subject specialties are social sciences and humanities, but I can help younger kids with math and science. I also bring in my therapeutic training, helping identify social and emotional barriers to academic success.
Welcome! I am here following the call to cultivate and share what I have to offer the world. I've tried to ignore it for too long. I've been through the ringer of academia and have a PhD in anthropology and history from the University of Michigan and MA in social sciences from Univeristy of Chicago. My dissertation research in Angola was funded by a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship. I worked in a hybrid admin/academic position for almost four years before leaving in July 2021 to pursue a path that's more aligned with my values, because despite my academic success, I no longer felt at home in a university context.
I decided the feeling my bones was screaming out to me. The world feels too fragile and too precarious to go along with the relentless and often mindless push for "productivity" any longer. It's time for us to help each other, and to get free in the process. I believe that capitalism, rooted in the hateful and destructive logics of colonialism and white supremacy, has driven us to the brink of societal collapse. I want everything I do with my time on this earth to reflect the preciousness and sacredness of the human experience.
I am ready to bring my unique combination of experiences and gifts (and abundant love!) to the world through my own unique form of care work. I want to reimagine what support, therapy, wisdom and guidance can look like in a world that desperately needs reimagining. I have worked as a nanny, a team leader, a teacher, an international researcher in Brazil, Angola, and Mozambique. I'm fluent in Portuguese, proficient in Spanish, and adept at cross-cultural connection and understanding. Healing, writing, teaching, and facilitating are in my future. I don't plan to stop learning and growing for as long as I live.
From April-December 2021, I trained in somatic therapy and guidance for clients working with expanded states of consciousness. I am developing tools to hold a powerful healing container, and engaging in various additional trainings for trauma awareness. Eventually I plan to offer psychedelic integration and healing. I am working my way through The Guiding Presence this year. I am also certified in Reiki Level 1, and have been practicing vinyasa yoga for 12 years.
I ABSOLUTELY LIVE to witness, hold, and support diverse people in all their precious beauty, complexity, and suffering. Sometimes all we need is for someone to see us. I make it my mission to see you in your fullness, your vulnerability, and your power as a human being.
INTEGRITY AND EMPATHY
You can trust me to keep my word and act in alignment with my intuition. I believe presence and witness are the most valuable things we can offer other humans. My innate ability to deeply attune and "feel with" with others is a gift in these times where so many people feel alone. I am choosing to lead with it and accept it as my soul's purpose.
JUSTICE AND CURIOSITY
I am committed to the ongoing development of the ethics which guide all of my work, and believe that enacting kind and just treatment in interpersonal relations can be a political act in the service of a broader collective growth. I try to approach everything with a spirit of humility and willingness to learn and have my mind changed by new perspectives.
JOY AND REST
Capitalism depends upon our constant distraction and disconnection from ourselves and each other. I believe that stepping back, slowing down, and resting are radical acts in this society at this moment. Witnessing and holding each other in our human fragility and vulnerability are essential to our individual and collective healing.