Birch Bay business woman launches new book

Published on Thu, Jul 15, 2010 by By Tara Nelson

Read More News

In her new book, “I’m All Grown Up-Now What?” Ellen Shea, a co-founder of Bellingham’s Chrysalis Inn & Spa and the founder of the former Whisper On The Bay spa in Birch Bay, uses her own story of challenges she incurred to inspire others to overcome their own.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

A: I didn’t set out to write a book, it just decided it needed to be written. I would literally wake up in the middle of the night with words running through my head. But when I finished, it was on scraps of paper and in notebooks here and there. It took a while to put it all together into something that made sense.

What inspired me was the hope that I could help others realize that they could live their dreams and that they have it within them to find their purpose and live the life they dream of.

Q: Who is this book geared toward?

A: This book is for anyone who catches themselves saying, “When I grow up I’ll figure out what I want to do or be.” It seems like we spend our childhood waiting to be grown up so we can do what we want, but then we forget what that was. Today especially many of us are wondering what are we doing and what our purpose in life is.

Q: What did you do to overcome the challenges life dealt you?

A: I was very frustrated with my job and where I was working, and I knew there was something else I should be doing. So I took time to listen to some motivational tapes and read books, and I got a better picture. As soon as I got that clarity, things just started happening. It turns out I just needed time to regroup and so I gave myself the time and permission to do that.

I often tell people to get out of their own way and not put the brakes on their imagination and dreams. 

I thought I was going to be doing a bed and breakfast, all of a sudden things and circumstances started coming into my life and before I knew it I was planning The Chrysalis, a 43-room hotel and restaurant in Bellingham, which is now largely successful.

I wanted to create a place where people could get back in touch with themselves. I remained opened to the process and remained focus on my ultimate goal and although I had no money and no experience in this particular kind of project, doors kept opening and opportunities kept coming my way. It was pretty amazing.

After having completed what I thought was my dream, things changed and I was no longer at the hotel, At first I was devastated, and thought I had lost everything. But I was able to regroup and realize I still had what was most important – the ability to envision my life differently and that there always more projects and dreams if we remain open to them.

The book is available locally at Paddle and Pedal Adventures and Gift Shop, 7878 Birch Bay Drive and at Shea can be reached by calling 360/223-0332 or by emailing her at