ALYSSIANNA V. NEAL
Alyssianna, also known as Shanna, is originally from Long Island, NY. She has been a West Virginia transplant for over 30 years. When asked why WV? Shanna answers, “It was not my first choice to live here. That was my husband’s idea. He was born and raised in WV. After 34 years together, it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else. What this state lacks in some areas is completely overshadowed by the beauty of the land and the people.”
Shanna started her first business in her 20’s and has started several businesses since then. She said that she would build them to where she wanted them, in most cases, and then sell them or close them. Her personal view? “If it goes, great. If not? Shut it down and start again.”
With a lifetime of school and private educations, Shanna has built a successful skill set that allowed her to open her current business. She is certain this is the last one. “Crystal Lotus Shoppe is all my dreams in one neat package. I love the Metaphysical world, I love holistics and I love helping people. This shop gives me all that and more.”
It takes a bit of education to combine all the minute facets of the Crystal Lotus Shoppe. Shanna is the Bookkeeper, Purchasing Manager, Marketing and Promotional Manager, her own Legal Counsel, Business Manager, Advertising Representative and Customer Service Rep.
Shanna’s take on it? “I do the best I can to surround myself with people who excel in the areas I may be weak in. They assist in the growth and stability of my base team. No one person can be completely perfect in all these fields. I want to have the Holistic Education Center and Ministry parts of CLS set up as Non-Profit Organizations. Eventually, that will allow us to offer all of the Holistic Classes and Services free to the Community. Our way of giving back. To do that, I need to incorporate the talents of some of the people building their businesses under the CLS umbrella. It has been beneficial to all to work as a team. We brainstorm together, we support each other’s craziness and we provide a sounding board for each other when the need arises. CLS is a definitely a group effort.
When I was young, I was entrusted with the care of 5 younger siblings. In one case, I failed miserably in being what my sister needed me to be. At a very young age, my sister had embraced the gifts that we are all born with. (most people don’t accept these gifts because of religious upbringing). My sister is Wicca. I have had my own set of gifts for many, many years, but I accused her, disparaged her, and basically ruined our relationship in typical hypocritical fashion. It was not until my 20’s that I embraced who I am. It set me on a path in conflict with my family for many years but also led me to my current, very happy, existence.
I tried to fit into the pure Christian mold, but too much of it was contradictory. My path led me to explore other belief systems. I am not wholey Christian, I am not wholly Pagan. I am a melding of many belief systems that allow me to follow the precepts of all. Life isn’t about walking blindly to reach a goal. It’s about seeing, learning and feeling all the beauty, miracles and paths that God the Creator has given us.
I am of the belief that we are all from the same source. We are all connected to each other, the living Earth and the Universe. We should do no harm to any of it or each other. We should respect each persons path as their path, their choice. We have no right to judge someone else’s free will, only to keep council on our own decisions.”
Where do you go from here?
“Moving forward, we have many lofty goals for CLS. Some we will definitely accomplish. Others will take some creative thinking to bring to life. I know it was expected that CLS would go down the first year. Three years later, we’re still here. It’s been a lot of work, prayer, tears, laughter, insanity and of course “Owner financial input” but we’re still here, still growing and hopefully still helping our community to grow. We are dedicated to providing the community with Holistic Education, Services and Classes. We are dedicated to meeting the supply needs of our Metaphysical patrons. CLS has been blessed to have some of the best service providers, Holistic Educational providers, Premier Tarot Readers and Class instructors in the State. But we always try to exceed our own limitations to help others exceed theirs.
I have learned that Personal Limitations are just that. Personal. It means you think outside the box if you choose. I still try to live a healthy lifestyle even though I have some bad habits from my previous walk. I exercise my body, when I have time. I eat a Mediterranean diet, when I have time. (Sometimes pizza is faster.) I am mindful of the things I do even though I’m a smoker. I have accepted that I am who I am. I also accept that others have the right to be who they are, where they are and to make their own choices.
I hope more people find the time to stop in at CLS and experience the calm, loving atmosphere that is sometimes vibrating with laughter and craziness. All are welcome. And no one is Judged”