I had the pleasure of interviewing Sheri Sutherland, Bliss Guide at Tranquility Soul Spa. Sheri is a coach, mentor, and guide, who helps women struggling with stress and overwhelm to find their self-confidence and self-love. She uses a mix of real-life experience, coaching and NLP techniques, and energy work/intuition to create massive Positive Shifts in their lives.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I struggled with the ups and down of stress and overwhelm, and lacked self-confidence and self-love, from a very young age. I feel like I careened from disaster to disaster in my life and learned so much from each one.
I started my life in an emotional hole, so to speak. I went from sad, lonely home life to being bullied in school. Then, after crawling out of that first hole in my late teens, I fell into another one when my marriage started to unravel in my late 20’s and throughout my 30’s. When I finally grabbed my courage and stated I wanted a divorce (in my early 40’s), I never expected that part of my journey would include developing an auto-immune disorder and losing my career. I also couldn’t have predicted that out of the ashes of my former life, and through my ultimate, positive shift into a life that I love, I would discover my passion for mentoring other stressed out, overwhelmed women, who also face serious barriers to self-confidence and self-love.
What does it mean for you to live “on purpose”? Can you explain? How can one achieve that?
For me, living “on purpose” is all about being present. When I am able to slow down, not necessarily the pace of life (although that is a pleasant side effect of this process), but truly slow down inside my mind, I create a mindfulness to my thoughts, that allows a sense of presence into my life, and allows me to see where I’m focusing my energy. I can then decide if that is how I want to live going forward, or if I would rather make some changes to what’s happening in my daily life, in order to find more balance and peace.
Now, I recognize that this sounds rather vague, but it’s actually a pretty important concept because that inner stillness and presence help our brain to recharge and our bodies to maintain proper hormone levels. When we aren’t living from a place of presence when we are running around making everyone else happy, we are like zombies, just existing and not truly living. It’s important for our health to be able to really be present and in the moment at all times. It helps our brains, our bodies, and our minds focus on what’s truly important to us. Successfully living in the present is truly the best gift you can give yourself.
Do you have an example or story in your own life of how your pain helped to guide you in finding your life’s purpose?
I remember when I first started down this path in my late teens and early twenties, nothing I tried seemed to give me the lasting change I needed so badly. I always fell back into the same dark hole, over and over again, and every time I would get more frustrated and upset with both myself and the world at large. I spent decades finding new ways to shift things, every time thinking I had finally found the missing piece, only to discover the next thing that was going to drop me back down the hole.
The last straw, so to speak, was the triple whammy of developing an auto-immune disorder and then immediately losing my career as a result of the new limitations the disorder placed on my life, within months of separating from my now ex-husband. I knew that I needed to stop messing around and get some serious help to sort my life out once and for all.
Once I finally made that decision to enlist expert coaching support & used my hard-won research to crack the code on how to finally, completely, shift my life for good, everything changed, and thank goodness for that. I feel very blessed that part of this shift has been discovering how good I am at being a catalyst for change in others’ lives.
The United States is currently rated at #18 in the World Happiness Report. Can you share a few reasons why you think the ranking is so low?
We are so rushed and disconnected from others in our society now, that it really isn’t a surprise to me that we struggle to find happiness and fulfillment in our daily lives.
It’s hard to be happy when you don’t have time to even know who you are or what you stand for, let alone be present in the larger community. We’ve kind of forgotten, as a society, that it takes a village to be happy — it’s important to have healthy, strong relationships with those around us so that we can have a healthy, strong relationship with ourselves. In order to do that, we simply have to reach out to each other better and find ways to connect, in order to nurture that love and care.
I’d love to see us change this statistic, and reach back out to our friends and neighbors. It would take some work, but if the will is there, I think it could be an easy change for the better.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I love to create and strengthen communities!
The women that I serve tend to be very isolated, which makes their healing much slower than it would be if we were better supported in our lives. When we struggle with these issues, we tend to find people drop away, either because they don’t understand and grow frustrated, or because they fear that our overwhelm is “catching”. Since I started my business, I’ve been inviting my clients to come together to discover ways to support and heal. I’ve recently built a group mastermind type of program for my clients so that they can find community, acceptance, and friends in a supportive setting, filled with others who have experienced similar issues in their past. It’s one of my favorite things to watch those friendships take off and know that I was a part of that process. Of course, I also love watching my clients absolutely take off like rocket ships in their own lives as a result of working with me. I feel so blessed to be doing this work.
As a life coach, I also know that being a solopreneur can get pretty lonely sometimes; we don’t get to spend time in an office and building relationships with others. As a result, I’m forever gathering groups of us together and saying “let’s have a weekly team building session” or “hey, do you want to bounce ideas off each other today?” and we have built some pretty amazing collaborative efforts from those informal, loosely knit groups.
What are your 6 strategies to help you face your day with exuberance, “Joie De Vivre” and a “ravenous thirst for life”? Can you please give a story or example for each?
Number one would have to be checking in with myself on an almost constant basis — I am always taking my emotional temperature, so to speak. Slowing down to ask “how am I feeling about this right now?” is an important part of my day now — it allows me to make sure I am taking care of me at all times, and showing myself as much love as I need at that moment in order to feel safe and cared for, which keeps me emotionally healthy.
Strategy number two is using something I’ve called the PAF method for clearing the emotional charge from negative thoughts (we all have them, and some of us really struggle with keeping them in check). I like to say I was the queen of negativity, and by using this technique, I’ve managed to stop the spirals that can so often accompany negativity. It’s a four-step process — Notice you are saying something negative (either out loud or to yourself), give yourself PERMISSION to feel/think/say that thought, ACCEPT that that thought/feeling/phrase was there and needed to come out, and then FORGIVE and thank the thought/feeling/phrase for coming into being and release it.
Strategy number three is meditation. Meditating every day changed my life. It gives me space to just relax and hang out in my body without needing to do anything.
Strategy four is making time to do absolutely nothing. Yup, I spend between 5 and 60 minutes a day doing sweet F%*! all. I just let my thoughts take me where they need to go; letting my subconscious out to play every day ensures that I am not being sabotaged by myself when it comes time to pay attention. I find I need to record these sessions; I’ll come up with the most amazing ideas when I have some free time to just pay attention to my creativity.
Strategy five is using affirmations in the right way. So many people use affirmations that totally don’t work, and then get frustrated with the lack of results. It’s important to make sure when I am reprogramming my subconscious that I am very specific, and tell it what I DO want, rather than what I don’t. It makes all the difference.
I saved my best strategy for last. I use the tools from The Power Of Now (a fabulous book by Eckart Tolle, by the way) every minute of every day, to keep me grounded in the now and not worried about my future, or obsessed by the hurts of my past. It really helps to keep me sane and able to give my all to me, family, friends, and clients.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that most inspired you to live with a thirst for life?
As I mentioned, The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle is my #1 recommendation for anyone who wants to live a more joy-filled life. I also love You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero, and The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. And, of course, the founder of the modern coaching industry, Tony Robbins, has been a huge inspiration to me — any of his books, podcasts, youtube videos — really for any product or event he is involved in, the value he shares is truly incredible, and if you apply the techniques he teaches, you will transform your life.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that relates to having a Joie De Vivre? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
The one quote that has stuck with me over the last few years of this journey is “life is beautiful.” I truly believe that when we are able to see the beauty in life no matter what is going on, we are able to tap into the energy of love that surrounds us and wants to be present in our lives. When I first started on this leg of my journey, I admit that I said “life is beautiful” with gritted teeth, and I added a dammit to the end a lot of the time. But, it became my mantra, and it helped me to look for that beauty everywhere, which has allowed me to enjoy my life now. I don’t want to think about what would have happened if I hadn’t adopted that mantra.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Thanks for asking! I am working on several new projects that are directly impacting people’s lives.
I’m probably most excited about creating a group program to bring together women who are struggling with overwhelm — stress, anxiety, depression, all of the usual suspects when it comes to not living your best life. It’s been a dream for a while, and I am thrilled to be finally making it a reality. So far, the women who have gone through the program have had mad success, they have shifted and transformed like crazy, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of that change.
I’m also pretty excited to be writing a book — part my story, part stories of others who inspired me in my life, and part handbook for others who are ready to discover their joy and happiness too. It’s slow going, but it’s coming together, and I can’t wait to share it with all those who are like I was for so many years — struggling to find my happy place, and frustrated that nothing I tried seemed to work for me.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would love to inspire a movement of women making small, incremental and totally transformative positive shifts in their lives, that make them more self-confident and self-assured and allow them to love themselves unconditionally.