MEET WELLNESS WONDERMAKER JUSTIN SHIELS
SoCurious founder Justin Shiels is making wellness practical, one joyful adventure at a time.
– KEYS SOULCARE
As a creative director by day and self-care enthusiast by nights and weekends, Justin Shiels spends a lot of time designing new ways to connect and visualize our world. The Austin-based artist behind wellness platform and community SoCurious uses colorfully illustrated graphics, self-care recommendations, and oh-so-relatable affirmations to speak to his audience about all things healing and human. Because, let’s be honest, we all need reminders every now and then.
We caught up with Justin to dive deeper into his vision for care and his favorite tips to help you live a happier, healthier life.
Why did you launch SoCurious?
I launched SoCurious because I’m passionate about making self-care accessible to everyone — especially people of color and the LGBTQ+ community. It started with my own therapy journey and evolved into me sharing my message to the world through handwritten illustrations. I have anxiety and ADHD, and a lot of the content I produce directly comes from key learnings from things I’ve read or learned.
How does curiosity feed your imagination and soulcare?
My personal ethos is to stay curious: to read, to explore, and to experience. But most importantly? To try new things. Another thing I also advocate is deeply listening. We all could do better — by ourselves and others — if we listened to understand instead of listening to respond.
As a creative, many might imagine that you don’t need any support in exploring new things, activities, and outlets. But, you launched a whole community about just that! Why is it so important to you?
Here’s the thing: In my 20s I was in the mix, doing all the things, trying new restaurants, [and] going to every festival. I’m older now and that actually is a little harder. Managing an online publication is an incredible excuse to stay connected. It encourages me to seek out new inspiration in unexpected places.
What are some of your own “everyday adventures?” What have been the gifts and benefits of starting a community to share this with others?
The best example of being an everyday adventurer is playing tourist in your own hometown. It never ceases to amaze me that there are always new things to explore and do, new classes to take, and new people to meet. You just have to be willing to put yourself out there.
We love your affirmations section on the site! What’s one that you’ve meditated on lately?
I feel like the affirmation that always comes around for me is the friendly reminder that you have to set healthy boundaries. We teach people how to treat us. And there’s so much power in your “no.” There’s also a lot of power in your “not right now.”
What’s your highest vision for the work that you’re doing?
The highest vision of my work is regularly creating content that connects with people’s hearts and souls. I don’t just want to make content for content’s sake. I don’t want to be in the endless loop of trying to feed “the algorithm.” I really want to make work that connects with people deeply.
What’s one way you can self-care in your everyday life? Share in the comments.