In this episode of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast, I’m speaking with Shannon Grissom about her Sock Monkey Oracle Cards. This adorable and highly creative deck is filled with the whimsical wisdom only sock monkeys can provide.
Where the Sock Monkey Oracle Idea Came From
I asked my guest, Shannon Grissom, where this idea came from. She told the story that 20 years ago, she painted the original sock monkey painting as a tribute to her mom after she passed. Shannon had found a sock monkey among her things while cleaning out her home.
From the very first painting, she thought this was a great idea for an oracle deck. But she didn’t do anything with them, even though she continued painting the inspiring monkeys. The paintings piled up but they would have to wait to be born as an oracle.
The Pandemic Provided Time
Then came the pandemic and shut down hit, and her two one-woman shows were closed. Shannon saw this as a sign from the Universe – it was time to shift gears. She asked herself what’s on my list that I never had time to do – the Sock Monkey Oracle Deck!
Once she made the decision, the flood gates of creativity opened. She finished the paintings and then sat down to write the book that accompanies the deck. But Shannon doubted herself wondering who am I to write the text for this oracle.
Channeling Sock Monkey Wisdom
Then she realized it wasn’t coming directly from her but to her through channeling and the Sock Monkey Oracle Deck was born. It was an amazing experience! I thought this was such a beautiful story.
The thing about sock monkeys to me, is that they are so outrageously lovable! Soft, comfy, cozy little dolls that you just want to hug and squeeze.
History of Sock Monkey Dolls
I asked Shannon what was the history of sock monkeys dolls. She said that dolls have been made from socks for hundreds of years.
But during the depression here in the US, the Nelson Knitting Company from Rockford, Illinois, changed the yarn for the heels of their socks to red. This is how the sock monkeys of today came into being with their bright red lips.
Learning to Lighten Up
Curious, I asked Shannon what lessons she learned while working on the guidebook. She replied that the deck seems to call her on her own stuff and then laughed deeply.
There’s a lesson in each card that she has worked on or is still working on.
The deck has helped her the most by shifting from being focused and driven, to lightening up. How can you not when you look at those cards with their little faces? They just put you in a state of joy.
Shannon’s process for tuning in is to move into a state of joy. To do this, she pictures herself with all the dogs that have ever loved her (and vice versa) which puts her into a cosmic state of flow. Isn’t that so sweet?
This allows her to connect with spirit and helped her channel the lightness and wisdom of the Sock Monkey Oracle.
Pick a Card Daily
Her regular practice is to get into alignment with spirit and speak with her guides. Then she pulls one card from the deck, asking what she needs to focus on for the day. The very first one she pulled from the finished deck was “Unwind” which was spot on.
This card also made her laugh, since she had gotten very wound up towards the end of the production process.
Of course I had to pick a card myself from the deck Shannon had graciously sent me. The card was “Education” which I took to mean I was learning something new.
Shannon’s take was a little different on the message seeing that I am teaching something by sharing this with the listeners. Very true!
Which Cards Stand Out?
I wanted to know if any of the cards stood out for her and she responded immediately with the “Love” card. Shannon says the Love card hits her soul on a deep level. We also talked about the cover of the deck which is dance.
She talked about posing the sock monkey and was reminded that she has no control because they didn’t always want to pose they way she wanted them too. Then she let out a big laugh!
The other card that hit her strongly was the “Withdraw” card, which is the last one in the deck. Shannon doesn’t necessarily like getting that card, but she knows and has learned to heed the message and stop pushing.
Shannon’s Spiritual Practice
Next I asked how she got her spiritual practice started. Shannon said her sister-in-law got her into oracle and Tarot cards in her mid 20’s, opening her to the idea of something bigger than herself.
She also started doing Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” from her book, The Artist’s Way. This began her phase working with automatic writing which Shannon is still doing today.
Then, she actively tunes in to speak with her guides every day and records this by using Otter.ai. She used to start her day with painting, but now she tunes into spirit first.
I always find such a disciplined approach so impressive since that’s not my strong point. Shannon talked about how she has learned to pay attention and listen to spirit, so she can live her best life. When she blocks out the advice, problems tend to crop up.
The Gratitude Challenge
We also talked about her gratitude practice and I asked how this got started. It seems her husband had a bad accident and this was a tough time in her life.
Then coincidently, her niece had started a month-long gratitude challenge for November that year, suggesting people think of something they were grateful for every day for 30 days.
This was super hard for Shannon, but she took on the challenge to move in the right direction. When the month ended, she didn’t stop! What happened was she started looking for things to be grateful for!
Doing this since 2009, the process has morphed. Now on her daily walk, she looks for something cool to take a picture of. She says it’s like hunting for gratitude. Shannon didn’t realize she was negative until she started seriously looking for the the positive side of life.
I added that the human brain wants to be right, so people look for evidence that supports their viewpoints. If you are negative, you’ll find that evidence.
On the other hand, when you push yourself to be more positive, you’ll start to see more wonderful things in your life!
Reset Your Internal Radar for Positivity
What Shannon did in essence, was reset her internal radar for gratitude and positivity and that completely shifted her life experience.
In my practice, I also ask for synchronicities and help to see and notice the signs that my guides share with me so I can walk my highest spiritual path.
Shannon also adds the word and emotion LOVE to her affirmations to help her buy into them more deeply. This struck me, as putting the love vibe into your affirmations adds a powerful emotion and really, what frequency is higher that love?
If you want more whimsy, more magic, and more love in your daily practice, get the Sock Monkey Oracle for yourself and enjoy!
BIO- Shannon Grissom
Shannon was a late bloomer and didn’t discover painting until 33! Upon realizing she wanted to be a professional artist, she was hooked and driven. She’d get up early each day to paint for a few hours before the start of her day job. This demanding schedule was worth the effort because she left that job in 1999 to create art full-time.
At 44, she began production of her television series, Give Your Walls Some Soul. The inspirational how-to painting show grew from an audience of just one station to over 50 across the country, winning numerous awards and still airing today.
Next, at 46, she published her children’s book Monkey Made of Sockies, and a line of licensed merchandise, including a coloring book, and golf club headcovers carried on tour by several LPGA pros.
Today Shannon is an award-winning artist, television producer/host, author, and songwriter. Her artwork is licensed and sold globally, and she just launched an online art school called “Painterly.”
Shannon’s latest project, the Sock Monkey Oracle is a joyful marriage of her metaphysical interests and her creative life. No matter what she creates, Shannon’s mission is to radiate love and help folks pollinate their own creativity.