We had the good fortune of connecting with Shira Myrow and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shira, how do you think about risk?
When it comes to risk, I actually think of myself as quite risk-averse, and yet when I look back on my personal life and career, I realize that I still managed to take risks in big ways and small ways that deeply impacted the trajectory of my life. Risk has to do (in part) with your relationship to navigating uncertainty, agency and failure. But you can’t really know where you are with these aspects of life until you live the questions to some degree.

What should our readers know about your business?
I have a private psychotherapy practice in Santa Monica. I offer a unique hybrid approach to couples therapy that integrates the Gottman Method, Emotionally Focused Therapy and a secular form of mindfulness. I also treat attachment issues and trauma for adult children of severely mentally ill parents from a mindfulness based narrative lens. I feel very missioned in this work and it’s of course, tied into my own healing journey from so much dysfunction and trauma in my childhood.

I never imagined that I would become a psychotherapist growing up. Initially, I was a songwriter, singer and composer for commercials for many years. So this is a second career for me. And it was not easy to transition, as I went to graduate school in between having my children. My father, grand father and great grandfather were all musicians/ composers, music publishers, so it was hard to leave the family mythology and legacy. I had to make peace with the fact that no one would continue to carry the family torch. Ultimately, while I found music deeply inspiring, compelling and creative, psychology for me, was where there was a true transformation proposition for healing, and that led me to the work I do now.

There were so many challenges in transitioning careers. It was very difficult to go to grad school, work, and intern while having small kids. I was also grieving the loss of one identity while forging a new one. I don’t think I could have succeeded without the support of my husband. His support was key and I think it’s true for a lot of families where one person is making a career change and starting over professionally.

Also during that time my husband and I embarked on a start up company: a psychology-based meditation app, which was a massive undertaking. It was rewarding and challenging on so many fronts, but we couldn’t get a toe hold in the market place and sustain growth. And yet, I learned so many valuable lessons from that experience. We also built an incredible network and community of like-minded therapists, meditation teachers and connections with people in the wellness field. Wellness continues to be core value in our family and something we are both deeply committed to. I also started a mindfulness based therapy group with several other very talented clinicians.

Reflecting back on that period, I can’t believe how much I took on all at the same time. I was excited to do all of it and eventually had to confront my limitations as my health began to suffer.

I think modern women have been sold a false bill of goods by certain popular feminist tropes–that we can have it all: career, marriage, children and health. I don’t think that’s true in the sense that there are always trade offs.
Perhaps you can have some version of all of it, but you can’t do everything well and be fully present in your life  all at the same time.

You have to make sacrifices. If you are working late, someone else is taking care of your children. If you are privileging the children, your marriage is taking a back seat. If you are juggling all three, you are probably not taking care of yourself.

I know this isn’t just my personal struggle. I hear this constantly with couples I see. The demands and expectations of parenting and modern marriage are higher than ever, as well as the demands upon women to have a successful and meaningful career. I think managing these different aspects of life and identity are something you have to be in constant conversation around, both with yourself and with your partner, if you have one. Mindfulness practice has been an anchor for me, in terms of giving me a gentle way to inquire –with both compassion and curiosity, where I am and how to calibrate my expectations, ambitions and limitations.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would book a helicopter ride over Los Angeles and the Valley. I think seeing the city from an arial view is an extraordinary and exciting way to see Los Angeles.

For food, Gjelina, Gjusta and the Tasting Kitchen are my favorite West-side restaurants in Venice and Abbot Kinney is a great shopping street.

I would book a tour of some of the amazing architecture in Los Angeles: Frank Lloyd Wright, Neutra, and so many extraordinary mid century modern homes that you can’t find any where else.

A drive up to Malibu on PCH, perhaps a stop at Nobu or Soho Beach House for lunch and then up to Zuma would be fun to see the coastline. Another fantastic drive is Mulholland Hwy. or Sunset Drive.

The Hollywood Bowl in the summertime or the Disney Concert Hall would be another destination for concerts.

And the arts district has some wonderful restaurants, Bavel, Bestia and others. Perhaps a night cap on a roof top hotel downtown would be fun.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to credit my therapist D.r Bunny Stanfield for her unconditional support and guidance. I remember the day I picked up the phone to call the Jung Institute over 20 years ago, after my dad’s sudden death. That phone call changed my life. Dr. Stanfield not only held so much compassionate space for me but was able to help me make sense and meaning out of my traumatic past with a mother who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and a father who raised me in Christian Science. I am forever grateful to hear. She is an extraordinarily gifted clinician.

Website: www.shiramyrowtherapy.com

Instagram: @shiramyrow-mft

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shira-myrow-pscyhotherapist-ma-lmft-5663522a/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PddZhImBknI

Other: https://raising-gen-z.simplecast.com

Image Credits
Photos by Ken Dolin

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