We had the good fortune of connecting with Shawna Horns Pettigrew and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shawna, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career?
Risk – Someone or something that suggests a hazard – Merriam-Webster
Rick – Perform a task or procedure without having control or knowledge of the outcome – Shawna Pettigrew
My life had been mostly dominated by the box I’d lived in. Risk taking was not something that came easily to me. When my children were growing up and I was married I seemed to live 5 minutes from the present with life planned out and I felt in control, or I wanted control of all actions and the outcome of the activities that involved myself and my family.
I did take a few risks in my life prior to being a wife and mother. I moved from a very comfortable life in Brentwood to Mammoth Lakes. I didn’t really have that move planned out, but I’ll never regret the risk I took in that move. I meet my husband in Mammoth and we raised two awesome daughters. What I thought was going to one season in Mammoth turned into 39 amazing years!!
It’s been a few years since I experienced an extremely tragic event which turned my life upside down in 15 seconds. I witnessed my husband of 36 years die. He had a heart attack while we were on a very pleasant mild 50-mile bike ride. He made 48 of those miles. That was a big awaking for me. It made me realize that we have very little control over life!!!
Since my life as I knew was over, I gave a lot of thought to the possibilities of what I could do now with my life. First major big risk I took was selling my home and most of my household possessions and moved back to LA. I had no place to live or a job. That risk tuned out to be awesome! Now I have a beautiful bungalow in Culver City and have a great job. Without taking that risk I would still be in my box in Mammoth!
After I moved back to LA I took a few more major unpredictable risks. Risks were becoming a bit easier for me. Two big risks I took involved two of my passions, meditation and spirituality, and film making.
I partnered with my meditation coach and spiritual mentor, Marcus Nobreus, Healing with Marcus, to create a meditation and spiritual guidance app called Be Still, available on the app store. Big risk, although I didn’t know at the start on this endeavor how huge of a risk this would be. I thought the app would be just a simple computation of meditation and spiritual guidance talks put together in an app. Market it once completed and then that would be it. Nope – I was wrong. Wow – there was and still is so much involvement in getting the app up and keeping it up. I have learned so much, and this app has opened me up to a world that I never knew existed – the world of the unknow and world of go with the flow.
My partner in the Be Still app is also a film maker and director. A few years ago, he asked if I would be interested in partnering with him in his production company, Red Ocean Pictures. With very little hesitation my answer was, fantastic, I’d love to, thank you!! Our first project was a short film, Ravage. It was accepted into many short film festivals and won many awards. We also just completed shooting another short film, Locked In, which is in post now. Another project we have going is marketing a script for a feature film. The Winter, it’s a pre-civil war western which addresses many social topics that are still relevant today. The risk involved here was the risk of bringing up regrets in my life. Was I going to regret passing up the opportunities I have had to have a career in the film industry when I chose my family and my boxed in life in Mammoth over those opportunities?
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m in partnership in two businesses, Be Still, a meditation and mindfulness app, and Red Ocean Pictures, a film production company. My day job is accounts receivable manager for a major CBD wholesale company.
A few months after my husband passed, I was introduced to the spiritual world of meditation. My now business partner, Marcus Nobreus, at the time was releasing beautiful meditation and Happy Talks videos once a week but I was craving my daily fix of a guided meditation. I approached Marcus with the idea of combining all his videos together into a meditation app. He was a bit apprehensive but eventually agreed and we were off!
What sets Be Still, this calming and enlightening app apart from the other mediation apps is Marcus’s way of sitting with you and bringing clarity and an intention into your practice. When the user first opens Be Still “emotion bubbles” open up and asks, “how are you feeling”. There are 12 emotions to choose from. Meditations, Happy Talks and Deep Diving Talks pertaining to their chosen emotion are then opened up for the user. The user is also able to book private meditation and healing sessions through the Be Still.
Red Ocean Pictures is my other non-8-5 job, Red Ocean Pictures creates award winning films, scripts, and productions. We have a unique vision and talent for creating stunning, beautiful, dark, and occasionally a bit quirky films. Marcus Nobreus is the founding director and writer; my position is producer and co-owner. One of our films I am most proud of is a short film called “Ravage”. It did very well on the short film circuit and won quite a few awards. We are now in post-production on a short film we shot a few weeks ago, “Locked In”. I see it also doing very well on the short film circuit. Red Ocean Pictures also is working on is a feature film titled “The Winter”. A controversial per-Civil War Western. The script is completed, we are now in the process of securing funding and talent.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My top go to places to show people when they come to visit are The Getty Center, Point Dume and the Westridge fire road.
The Getty Center is not only known for its fabulous museums it is also known for its magnificent grounds. The landscaping is amazing, and the views of LA are unstoppable. I totally recommend taking a picnic lunch and eating on grass overlooking the LA landscape while you enjoy your beautiful surroundings.
Next on the list is Point Dume. Point Dume offers two of my favorite things, the ocean and marine life. It’s a short hike from the Zuma Beach parking lot to the top of the point, The views while hiking are stunning. On a clear day you can see the entire Santa Monica Bay, out to Catalina and up toward Point Mugu. As you approach the peak you start hearing the sea lions that are napping on the beach below or swimming out to the rocks. It’s not uncommon to see whales feeding right off the point during their migration season, dolphins also usually make an appearance.
Then there is the Westridge fire road. Great place for a hike or a mountain bike ride. It’s rather surprising to guests to be out in so much nature right in the middle of LA. There are always lizards running around and occasionally a snake or two. And once again another location with stunning views.
One last stop, the Santa Monica Pier and my favorite dive bar. The pier is pretty touristy but still can be fun. I recommend the Merry-Go-Round and taking a stroll out to the end of the pier. It’s a fantastic spot for people watching!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My late husband, Jim Pettigrew
Other: Be Still – Find Peace, available on the app store