Weddings, Shadow Vows, and Ceremony – with Sheleana Aiyana – Episode #34

Sheleana Aiyana, founder of Rising Woman, joins me again on the show to discuss shadow vows, ceremony, and all things related to weddings. Sheleana and I were married this spring and we learned so much in the process, so this is our debriefing conversation to integrate those lessons, along with some Q & A at the end.

In this episode, we dig in to what we think is missing in weddings these days and we share some of the key takeaways from our wedding, and we also share some of our sacred and shadow vows.

If you want to have a laugh, listen through to the end of the episode for our goofy moments.

On this episode, we discuss:

  • Shadow Vows and the power of naming the unsavoury parts of relationship.

  • Painting a picture or a vision statement for a relationship through vows.

  • The fantasy of the “perfect wedding”.

  • Introducing imperfection in to the wedding process.

  • Sacred Vows as a relationship contract – writing vows together.

  • Projections that Sheleana and I run about each other – toughness.

  • One of our strategies for resolving conflict in our relationship.

  • The Gifting Ceremony at our wedding – instead of the Gift Table.

  • The Magic Gifting CIRCLE – a randomized gifting web between everyone at our wedding.

  • Including and excluding certain wedding traditions.

  • The traditional Bachelor and Bachelorette parties and what we don’t like about them.

  • Using the bachelor and bachelorette gatherings as an intentional step in to a new phase of life, through challenge and support.

  • The importance of having a village to support a marriage.

  • The story of what happens when Sheleana and I disconnect from our community.

  • Q & A:

  • A question about how to “hold space” in a relationship when you’re feeling emotionally reactive – I share my tips for how to do it.

  • Anxious and Avoidant conflict styles – Managing the balance between them.

  • Doing all your inner work before finding Mr./Mrs Right. and what this really means.

  • Intuition – how to find intuition in knowing what relationship is right for you.

  • Plant Medicines – Can be helpful, but you MUST do your work to integrate the work in to your life.

  • Things you can do to prepare for plant medicine work: meditation, mindfulness, and challenging inner-work of other kinds.

  • Somatic Experiencing Therapy


Sheleana is the founder of and can be found on Instagram @sheleanaaiyana.

If you liked this episode, and you want to read more about our Shadow Vows, I wrote about that in – Shadow Vows – Honouring The Messy Parts Of Relationship On Your Wedding Day.

Our other podcast episodes together are:

Codependency And Relationship Q & A With Sheleana Aiyana

Healing Through Conscious Relationship – With Sheleana

Reclaiming Birth And Menstruation – Myth Busting With Sheleana