Having been through childhood sexual abuse and other childhood traumas, Shari Alyse has spent her whole life learning how to love herself fully and completely. Shari is the bestselling author of Love Yourself Happy, a motivational speaker, a self-love coach, and the Co-Founder of The Wellness Universe, a community of world-changers who are helping the world become happy, healthy, and whole. Today, she opens up about her childhood adversities and how she finally faced what happened to her and came to the understanding that she needed to deal with her feelings.
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Love Yourself Happy With Shari Alyse
This episode we’re with Shari Alyse. Shari Alyse has spent her life learning how to love herself fully and completely. She was motivated by her own journey through childhood sexual abuse and other childhood traumas. Shari helps women and men discover their joy by reconnecting them back to themselves through the practice of self-love. Shari is a bestselling author of the book, Love Yourself Happy. She’s a motivational speaker and a self-love coach. She’s also Cofounder of The Wellness Universe, a community of world-changers who are helping the world become happy, healthy and whole. Shari, it’s an honor to have you with us. Welcome to the show.
Thank you so much for having me on. I am honored to share the space with you.
I’m excited to have you here too because I’m a trauma specialist and I focus my work on developmental and intergenerational issues. In your introduction, there’s a developmental issue right there. Let’s jump into the tough stuff and get that out of the way. How did this affect you? There’s a lot of research on how childhood adversities and childhood sexual abuse is a big deal that we carry with us throughout our entire life until we face it. How did this affect you? How did you finally face it?
It’s a big story in and of itself because there are different layers and levels of the discovery of how it affected me. There was walking through my childhood and my teenage years and early twenties not realizing that it was affecting me. Looking back and knowing now making choices that were based on the ways that I was feeling choices like men, relationships, some promiscuity, partying, over-eating. I was very heavy. My numbing mechanism of choice was food. What was interesting for me is, in my book, I share the story about how I had prosecuted the guy who sexually molested me. I’d taken him to court at seven years old. That in and of itself is its own full set of issues following that. What I had been taught from that young age was that I had already handled what had happened to me. I put the guy in jail and now we’re moving forward from that.
It was 1981 and nobody was talking about sexual abuse. For everyone, including my parents and me, it was like, “We’ve now put this in the drawer and now we’re going to move forward from it.” We don’t. There were the years of thinking, “I’m strong and I’m brave like everybody told me I was. I did the right thing.” You power through it. All of my behaviors weren’t me having dealt with it. It wasn’t many years later, within the last several years where I have uncovered and discovered the ways that it had affected me, the ways that I hadn’t dealt with it and also the facing of what happened to me.
How did you face what happened to you? Whenever we say face what happens to us, that means something a little bit different to each one of us. What did that look like for you?
As I got older and I was in my twenties and I started my whole spiritual journey, I had this crazy heartbreak. My ex-fiancé broke my heart. I didn’t know how to deal with it. I started reading a whole bunch. These spiritual books started coming to me. I started learning how to connect more and more within. The more and more I connected and sat in that space, I recognized there was hurt in there. I recognized there were feelings that were untapped. At that point, I still wasn’t ready to deal with those feelings. It’s my first recognition that there’s something there but I was like, “No, I’m not ready to deal with you yet.” We pushed those back down. It wasn’t until I kept seeing that they kept showing up everywhere. You can’t outrun them. It wasn’t until I took this trip to Sedona. I was in my 30s at this point and I was waiting tables.
I was working on becoming this famous actress, which was another thing, this external validation for me. I was getting ready for work and I had this total breakdown in the shower. I was getting ready for work. All of the memories, everything from that particular day had come back to me for the first time, where I wasn’t an observer of it. I was in it. At that moment was the first time that I truly recognized that I had not dealt with this stuff. The only thing that made sense to me was that I had to get out of town. I didn’t know what that looked like. I didn’t know where I was going and why I was going there but I was led and I’ve always been one that listens when I don’t want to ignore something. When it’s so strong that voice, it’s like go and listen. It led me to Sedona, which ultimately led and I shared in detail in my book. For some people, this might sound crazy, it led me coming face to face with my seven-year-old self on top of one of the vortexes in Sedona.
At that moment for me, I realized that there was this part of me, my inner child, that still was very hurt and very alone and needed more but I still wasn’t ready for that at that time. What I had realized what I thought she needed or what I needed was for me to let her go and stop protecting her, stop filling myself with food. The way that I understood it is that I was filling my body with food in order to keep her safe, keep people ay bay from me. My logical mind or even my heart at that time felt that’s where I needed to be at that time. I left her. I said, “It’s time that I stopped protecting you and it’s time that I start taking care of me.” I was like, “This is it. I am ready to start looking after myself and start facing what had happened.” It led me on a further journey many years later, which ended me up in Italy where I had spent a few months by myself. I learned a lot about myself. That’s the challenge with a lot of us is that we’re so busy in life and we’re so distracted and we’re taking care of everybody else and we’re trying to fill all the shoes of everyone, everywhere. We often lose sight of ourselves. I got to Italy and I’m not saying that everyone needs to go off to do that, but what I am suggesting is that you spend a lot of time with yourself. That time with myself is when I came to the understanding that I need to figure this crap out.
I love hearing your story because the language that I speak of as a trauma specialist to help people understand what’s happening inside of them, all of these feelings that kept coming up. You’re talking about even coming face-to-face with your little girl and the feeling of that or whenever you broke down getting ready for work that day. That’s what I call the experiencer. That’s our implicit mind. The implicit mind is often the hidden control panel. The experiencer is non-verbal. It experiences life through the language of sensation and emotion. Because it’s non-verbal, we often use our narrator or cognitive mind to push it aside and tell a story that overrides the feeling and the sensation and the inner child. All those feelings are often held within the experiencer. The more we push it down and the more we ignore it, your story illustrates this perfectly, it will come back myriad ways to get our attention. Whenever we don’t pay attention to it, that’s when oftentimes we get diagnosed. The more we ignore it with diseases like chronic illness, autoimmune disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, the experiencer will present itself and it will cause us to suffer until we pay attention. Once we start to go within and pay attention and start to listen to it and start to love it, then we start to get better and our health starts to bounce back and our health starts to improve.The reason why all of us seek that external validation is because we haven't connected within to know what we need. Click To Tweet
Coming face to face with your little girl at this vortex in Sedona, that’s bringing in the visionary, which is our subconscious mind that sees the world through images, pictures, our dreams and nightmares, how we sort things out. Whenever we can align, when we can get our butt in the seat of the observer, a lot of us know that we have an observer in there somewhere. It’s harder to tap into, but when we can get our butt in the seat of the observer and we can align from the seat of the observer, the narrator, the visionary and the experiencer to where they’re all on the same page, life changes. I feel like that’s what you described in your story. It’s so wonderful.
I got the goosebumps when you said that because that’s where I feel I’m at. It’s very interesting to hear you discuss that and share that and describe that more than anything because it all makes so much sense to me. It was a couple of years ago where my health came to, I don’t know what the word is, but I was at this point. I feel it’s often when we have these major things happen in our lives where our defense has come down, we’re pushed up against the wall and we have nothing left anymore. That’s what I felt. I was fearful of what was happening in my body. I didn’t know if I would get better. I didn’t know what else to do. I surrendered. That surrendering is when I finally was able to hear what she needed. What she needed from me was a hug. It was the game-changer for me because she didn’t need anyone to tell her that it was going to be okay. She didn’t need anyone to tell her how brave and how strong she was. She just needed someone to sit there with her and hug her and hold her. That has changed where I’m at now. It’s a practice that I teach with my clients that I do every single day, our self-hugs. That’s all she wanted from me. Now that we’ve aligned, it feels everything makes sense.
When you say love yourself, explain a little bit about what that means. I remember when I was younger I would hear people say, “You need to love yourself.” I’m like, “That’s selfish. That’s ego.” Can you tell us what that means please?
For me, loving myself looks like acceptance of where I’m at, of the challenges that I face, even the ways that I show up in those experiences, meaning maybe I don’t always make the best choices. Maybe I screw up sometimes. Loving myself looks like compassion for myself, the acceptance of it, kindness and patience. I feel like they’re branches of a tree and there’s all these self-acceptance, self-expression, self-love, self-compassion, all of these that all make up what self-love really is. It’s about strengthening all those aspects of ourselves to come into this feeling of love fully. What you’re saying or what I’m hearing and what I think people experience is self-love seems like this, “You’ve got to love yourself before but no one knows what that practically looks like.” That’s why I feel those different areas of self-love, you can do exercises and things to strengthen each one of those areas. All of those areas are strengthened, your self-worth like the trunk of the tree, is solid and you love yourself. Everything feels okay.
It’s an internal shift. Whenever we’re looking, you mentioned wanting to be a famous actress with that external validation. When our goals are extrinsic, whenever we let the world and we let other people tell us what our goals are and what’s valuable to us, then we suffer inside of ourselves. When we can connect inside of ourselves and realize that, “What I need is that daily hug.” It is an internal shift and that’s been my experience.
The reason why all of us seek that external validation is because we haven’t connected within to know what we need. To know that there’s something missing. Something feels not quite right. Something is off. The only way that we know is to go seek that, whether it’s through a career, whether it’s through a relationship, whether it’s through food or even it’s working out six times a day. We’re looking for something to fill that space within that doesn’t feel right.
We’re inundated with messages all around us about if you wear this makeup, you’ll be beautiful enough to get the guy of your dreams. If you drive this car, you’ll be macho enough to attract the girl of your dreams. You’ll look cool if you do this. All the marketing, I could go on and on about that marketing and propaganda. I think everybody knows. Logically, we know and at the same time, we still fall for it.
Because I don’t think that we know anything better. My feeling is, I’ve thought long and hard about this because in my own journey and I talk about it in the book and I don’t mean to keep bringing up the book. The book is the way that I feel. From a young age, we’ve all at some point have experienced some let-down or some betrayal, some disappointment, something where we’ve shown up in our brightest selves filled with joy and filled with this freedom. At some point, somebody has let us down. What we learned, I believe, is that this beautiful open space that was vulnerable has now been hurt. We learned to shut that down and close that off and begin to build these walls. That is where I feel we have now separated from ourselves, from our truth at which is the voice that always guides us and lets us know. We only hear it when we go quiet. It’s like this distant voice behind that’s like, “Don’t forget about me.” We’re filling it with everything and everybody. That’s how we lose track. That’s why we think relationships are going to be the answer.
I couldn’t say that any better myself.
When you mentioned things like the beliefs that we’ve come to believe about what is going to serve us, that’s why because we have not connected back to who we are.
That experiencer will keep screaming at us until we do. If we don’t, we will continue to suffer.
Keep dating the same guys dressed in different clothes.
Are you aware of the ACE test, the Adverse Childhood Experiences?
I wanted to bring this up because there are many elements of what you said that align with that. Adverse Childhood Experiences is a test that’s come up within the last couple of decades and increasingly therapists and psychologists and counselors are using it more and more. There are ten questions on the test that highlight ten common adversities in childhood. We’re in the beginning stages. I see this modifying over time. I don’t think it’s in its final form. There are certain things that are left out in my humble opinion. What prompted this study was decades ago, there was a psychologist who decided he was going to do group therapy for weight loss. As he was doing the health history forms and the intake forms, he discovered that all these people who showed up, who were overweight, obese and wanted to lose weight, 70% to 80% of them had reported on their intake form childhood sexual abuse. He’s like, “You don’t suppose.”
That’s what prompted the research that eventually led to the ACE test because they’re starting to connect certain adversities in childhood that lead to certain disorders in adulthood. They’re connecting trauma to a lot of the stuff that we deal with. Addiction is one of those things that comes from childhood trauma. We’ve been told over and over again that addiction is a substance hook. Addiction is so much more than that. We’re trying to fill a gap in our lives and addiction is not a substance or a drug or alcohol. Addiction can be food, addiction can be behaviors. Your story parallels mine in many ways. I went through phases where I was bulimic. I was benching and purging with food, the promiscuity, dating the wrong person over and over again. All of those acting out behaviors we don’t realize why we’re doing it. It seems acceptable in the larger culture and in many ways it is. Because it’s acceptable, that goes to show how traumatized our entire culture is.
It’s interesting because I do believe that as we are engaging, people who have gone through any kind of trauma, it’s not like I was unaware that I was making poor choices. You know instinctually when something feels bad. It’s that feeling of either you don’t know how to change it or more importantly, you don’t know if you’re worthy of changing those behaviors. For me, it was both. I always had that voice within. That was always like, “Shari, you deserve better than this. Don’t do this again.” There was always that voice but then I always found myself still as I described as putting my foot on the gas pedal, going into that brick wall and heading straight for it anyway. I didn’t know if I deserved any better. Deep inside in our souls, I know that we do but I wasn’t listening enough. I wasn’t connecting enough. There was that faint voice off in the distance that I was hearing, but it wasn’t strong enough. The only way that I got stronger was when I stopped going outward and started going inward.
I have yet to talk to somebody who has gotten beyond their trauma and beyond their compensatory behaviors and bad habits that we develop as a result of trauma. I’ve yet to talk to somebody who’s gotten to the other side of it without going through the tough stuff of facing themselves. If that person exists to be able to take a pill and magically get past it, I want to meet them. The pills don’t work.
The interesting thing though and the reason why we know that most people don’t want to do this is that nobody wants to face pain. Nobody wants to feel that again. The truth of the matter is that we’re feeling pain every single day in our lives through the choices we’re making, through the ones we’re not making. There is some discontent in our lives which is why we’re making these choices or doing or feeling this way. For me, I finally got to the point where I was like, “You can either face it and feel it but move through it or else you can keep feeling it every day and being in pain and never have the option of ever healing this damn thing.”
You get to a point where you realize the pain is your GPS, it’s your compass. Whenever that pain starts to come up, you realize, “What am I doing? Why am I not in alignment with myself?” The pain is the messenger. It’s not something to be pushed aside or ignored.We've come to believe about what is going to serve us because we have not connected back to who we are. Click To Tweet
We’re cursed. It’s a gift. I know people hate that aren’t in a space hearing them like, “Yes, I’m being in pain.” It does show you where you are out of the center, where you are in the parts that you have to work on. That’s where I’m at now. Every time something painful comes up or every time I make a food choice, I know that I want to and I’m eating because it’s so important to express. It’s because you’ve learned the tools and because people look at you and think you’re in this space where everything is great, you and I still face the same challenges that everybody does. Those same issues still show up. The thing about self-love is that I love myself through it. I sit and I ask myself, “What’s going on that you’re numbing yourself? Why are you sitting eating those bags of Sun Chips from top to bottom?” There is something happening. I ask, “How are you feeling? What’s going on? What do you need from me?” That’s to me what self-love is. It’s not about being perfect.
Whenever you get to that level of connection within yourself, at least this has been my experience. your self-care practices change. Instead of doing it, “I need to eat organic because it’s healthy,” it’s a subtle shift inside yourself. “I want to put the healthiest stuff in my body that I possibly can because of this body that I’m in.” With this body, a lot of people say we are spiritual beings having a human experience. With this body comes to pain, with this body comes suffering, with this body comes getting offended, getting triggered, which is our responsibility, not somebody else’s, comes happiness, comes joy. Both sides come the full spectrum of yin and yang. When we only accept the light side of the yin and yang and not the dark side, that’s when we suffer.
I wrote that in the front where my book is dedicated to my shadows. Thinking that there is only one side and that one side is only okay, then makes every time something challenging happens, you hating that which causes behaviors and choices that are more negative or detrimental to you. What about if you accept and embrace all that shows up and then some things are here to guide you and other things aren’t? Those moments of joy are all to be appreciated.
Shari, how did all of this end up with you cofounding The Wellness Universe? I’m guessing there’s a connection.
There is but it’s interesting. My journey has unfolded even more because of The Wellness Universe. There’s still the beginning, middle and an end.
You’re still alive, there’s no end. Not yet.
I’m still driving my business partner, Anna, crazy.
There are more chapters to come, sequels.
The Wellness Universe showed up in my life because I had gotten to a point where I was so sick of controlling everything. I still deal with the control but I’m gentler on myself with that. I was so sick of having to figure out how everything was going to play out. I was pursuing my acting career at the time. I was doing my speaking, a little bit of coaching but I kept running into what I saw as roadblocks. Everything was so hard and I was pushing so hard and I said to God, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing, whatever shows up, I trust you and I’m going to say yes.” A week later, Anna came to me who I didn’t know very well. We were connecting. Anna’s the other Founder of The Wellness Universe and we were connecting online. I was doing my inspirational videos and she had her spiritual jewelry line. We knew each other but we weren’t good friends. She came to me with this idea about bringing this community together, people who were changing the world.
To be perfectly honest, she knows this, the idea of running a technology company and building a website and a platform for an entertainer, it’s not something that lit me up inside. What sounded amazing was I had been praying for a team. I always wanted to change the world. One day I discovered I couldn’t do it on my own as much as I wanted to and I wanted all the spotlight and all the glory. There was no way I was going to do it but a whole bunch of people could. When she came to me with this idea, what came to me was like, “It’s not exactly what I envisioned but it is all people that are here to better the world.” Because I had surrendered and I said I would say yes to everything, I said, “Sure.” That was in 2013. We both have been head-on in creating a community of people changing the world and offering all of the resources in all different areas of wellness to the general public so that they can become happy, healthy and whole. That’s where that little journey intersected with that.
The Wellness Universe is doing a lot of good out in the world. Can you tell us a little bit more about The Wellness Universe? What is it? What does it look like? If somebody is interested, it’s TheWellnessUniverse.com. It’s super easy to find.
We’ve created this community. By community, we mean wellness-practitioners first in seven areas of wellness. It’s not just physical wellness, it’s not just emotional, it’s also spiritual wellness and intellectual and environmental, it’s different areas. What we’ve done is we’ve created a search directory. If you are someone who maybe is looking for back issues, maybe it’s something physical and you come to The Wellness Universe and you put in back issues. What can come up for you is not only a chiropractor but maybe an acupuncturist or maybe someone who does an ancestral clearing. A whole myriad of different wellness resources and modalities to be able to assist you in healing what it is that you’re going through. It’s the directory of wellness practitioners. We have our own webinar and learning platform so people can attend the classes. We’ve got our amazing blog. We write articles every day from all of our Wellness Universe World Changers. It is the bridge between those who are wellness practitioners and those who seek these resources. It’s pretty amazing. I’m very excited about what we’ve done.
It’s a fantastic platform. I’ve used it myself and I have a profile on there. Through The Wellness Universe, some of the most amazing people have reached out to me or I’ve reached out to them. I’ve connected with some fantastic people through the WU.
We do live events and everything. I’m going to be totally honest. We have been online so long and I feel like there was such disconnect. I can’t talk to thumbnails anymore. I want real people, I want those hugs. I want to give them out. I know what they feel like. Part of The Wellness Universe is being able to bring people together in live events. It’s not everything online because it’s in-person where real connections and real healing and real joy happens.
I love the face-to-face to aspect. I’ve been plotting my exodus from social media. Each month, I’m on social media less and less. It stresses me out so badly. My number one stressor in life is social media and my number two is email.
I think you’re not alone. I wake up with literal knots in here because I know that there’s something waiting for me to do on social or in my email. It’s hard to disconnect. One of my forms of self-care is going up to a cabin that I do every few months by myself that has no internet connection. That is the only way that I could escape it because I’ll be honest if I’ve got my phone and I say I’m going to stay off of it, I’m still looking, I’m still scrolling. I’m one of those addicts there.
One summer, my toilet took a plunge. It didn’t make a flush but it took a plunge. When I got my new phone, no socials went on it, none. What a relief that is. It took me about a month to adjust from looking down and wanting to look for the app and I’m like, “It’s not here.” Maybe not a full month but it was a few weeks and now I can’t even be trusted to have my phone when I leave the house. It’s such a gift.
Honestly, if I didn’t have my business, if our business wasn’t online, I would take a big break myself. Not to bring it back out, but I think we’re all looking for something in here that we shouldn’t be looking for in here. There’s something like, “Why are we sitting with the people that we love and instead of communicating with them, we’re like this?” I’m still trying to figure it out but to each his own.
I love conversations like this because even though we’re three time zones apart, we can still connect, we can still be face-to-face and there’s more of a connection. We get more of the felt sense whenever we can see each other’s body language. I’ve studied body language. With the implicit mind, I’ve studied body language, statement analysis and micro-expressions. I apply that to the trauma work I do because the body language of somebody who was outright lying is pretty much identical to the body language of somebody who’s traumatized. It’s not about trying to make people mind-readers because we can never fully be mind-readers. People are like, “You’ve got your arms crossed, that means you’re closed off.” “No, I’m freezing cold.” I was like, “Quit reading my mind.” It’s about asking the right questions to find out is somebody consciously suppressing information or are they subconsciously repressing it? There is a difference.
Sometimes it’s this weird mix of the two. Sometimes people know that they’re being a little bit manipulative but they don’t know why. They don’t know what they’re feeling. If you’re judging somebody and you think you know what they’re thinking or feeling, that happens so often on social media when you’re reading the comments or you’re reading the black and white words. We forget that somebody’s intention doesn’t always match our perception. Instead of asking the right questions to find out what is your intention, it’s so easy to jump in and attack.Self-love is not about being perfect. It’s about accepting and embracing all that shows up. Click To Tweet
On the other spectrum too, there’s the whole comparison thing. People can look at other people and because as we’ve heard, you’re seeing the highlight reels of people. Everybody thinks that their life may be pale in comparison. You have no idea what that person’s going through. I had someone say to me, “You’re having so much success. How are you doing all this?” Behind the scenes I’m like, “I am exhausted. I’m tired.” I’ve made it my business and my mission as a speaker, as a self-love coach and as someone who is out there in public to share it all. My dad used to say, “Why do you have to tell everybody everything?” I go, “Because I feel like I’m doing people a disservice by pretending everything is all rainbows and butterflies. I think the best thing that we can do for people is to tell truths because in our truths, it makes us all feel less alone and makes us all feel like we are on the same path and we’re all in this together.”
My audience who followed me, know that I ebb and flow with that. There are some days when I’m showing up all the time and there are other times when, for my own self-care, I have to go within, I have to retreat, I have to pull away. If I show up in those moments when it’s time to retreat and go within and get myself straight, I’m inauthentic. There’s this little bit of herb behind my messages. I’m like, “I can’t keep doing that. I’ve got to be me.” There are that ebb and flow and even with what we’re doing now. It’s putting the raw conversation out there whenever I blog it. It’s my little loosey-goosey style. I tried that every Wednesday at noon, Eastern Time and it didn’t work. I connect with so many people around the world to try to bring them on my show. They’re like, “That’s 3:00 AM for me. Is there any other time we can do it?” I’m like, “Yes, we’ll figure that out.”
When we show up authentically, however that looks, that is what people are attracted to. Years ago, when I was doing my Hiking with Shari videos, I had thousands of views and all of this. I’ve been doing videos for several years before it became a thing. What people were so attracted to was the showing up. I learned through marketing, you should say this when you start your video and you should do this. I’d started listening and not being who I was, all of a sudden my video views were going down. All of a sudden, nobody was as interested. People want it real, that’s what we need. We need real. If you show up on Tuesday one week and Friday next week, who cares? People want to feel you.
When people start shooting all over you and you let them, that’s when things start to go down the toilet. Don’t shoot on yourself. Don’t let people shoot on you. Shari, I know that through The Wellness Universe, I believe it’s just this 2019, you all started making retreats. I am so excited about this. I’m going to be presenting at Soul Treat on the first weekend of November. It’s November 2nd and 3rd. I’m looking forward to that trip.
As am I. We’ve done other events before but this is our first few-day retreat and I chose Sedona for obvious reasons. When I think about healing and I think about putting people in that space where there’s beautiful energy and wh beyond what all of you are bringing, the environment itself is powerful. Sedona was there. That was a no-brainer. It meant to bring together our World Changers over two days, healers, coaches and thought leaders to spend two days with everybody. The first day is all about release. Every practitioner that’s there, whether they’re doing a workshop or a talk, it’s all about sharing how to release what holds us back. Those limitations we talked about, the choices that we sometimes make that we don’t understand why we’re making them but they’re a pattern. You’ll uncover those and discover those.
On day two, you’ve done all that work the first day, there’s what I believe is this beautiful open space that’s ready to be filled up with resources and tools. Day two is all about resetting your mind, your body and your spirit to be able to walk powerfully into the world. That’s what Soul Treat is about, spending those two days together, both practitioners and the general public in a beautiful space doing vortex walks together. Morning yoga, boot camp, an awesome opportunity to come together and transform yourself from the inside out because that is this connection within as I talk about, that’s why this retreat is so important. It’s the 2nd and 3rd. I can’t wait for you to be there. Registration is only open until the 18th of October.
I was going to ask about that. In case anybody is like, “I can go.” Where and how do they register?
They’ll go to the website, which is WUSoulTreat.com. On there, they can go to the Registration page and grab their tickets. We have two major sales going on. There’s a buy one, get one free ticket. Bring your best friend. It’s holiday time. For me, I can never figure out what I want to get my fiancé. Why not give someone the gift of loving themselves at this retreat? It’s buy one, get one free. If you want to come by yourself, which some people are, you can grab your ticket for $247. There’s a coupon code on there, VORTEX, to be able to grab those. We only have ten left. If you’re even doubtful, they could google Soul Treat and see all the reviews from the last one. It was transformational.
What attracted me to it to be a presenter at Soul Treat is what you were describing is the interaction between the presenters and the attendees of the retreat. I can’t count the classes and retreats and things that I’ve been to where I’m going to see somebody that I admire. I honor their work and they run on and run off the stage or run in and run out of the room and they’re untouchable.
Unless you pay a lot early and have a VIP lunch with them or something like that.
They’re untouchable, they’re unapproachable. Even in real life, there are not real aspects to them. You can sit in the audience but you stay there. Don’t try to come to me. Don’t try to ask any questions. I’m like, “That’s not who I am.” There have been other times when I’ve been in classes and it is more the exception than the rule but it’s happened a few times where the presenters are approachable. They’re vulnerable in who they are. They’re honest. That’s where I’ve gotten the most growth from attending classes and workshops in real life. I’m like, “If I’m going to present at a retreat, that’s the type of retreat I want to be part of.” I don’t want to be in this separation, “You stay there and I’ll stay here and you listen to what I say and trust me.”
The reason why we specifically set that model up is for what I shared here. I don’t think any us are on a different level than anyone else. We’re all each other’s teachers. The presenters there are sitting in the same workshops. You are doing their own work. We’re all in this together. At night time, we have a mixer. It’s important that everybody learns from everybody. It is set up from day one that way. We’re all in this together.
The other thing you’ve now said, the presenters doing their own work. Is that so important?
I did this because I wanted to do more work. I’m like, “What can I do it? Let me get a bunch of experts in and let me do their work and then invite people and make it a retreat.”
Be wary of any practitioner who is trying to take you somewhere they’ve never been themselves. They’re trying to guide you through work that they’re not doing themselves.
In the vetting of everybody that’s going to be a presenter, everybody has done the work and that’s why they’re doing the work they do in the world is because of their own healing and their own walking through. That’s why I say even as a self-love coach, I’m practicing every single day ways to love myself more. Run for the hills. Anyone who says that they learned it all or even haven’t done it themselves, nobody should ever work with to say.
What exactly is a self-love coach?
For me, it’s teaching people the practices that I shared, these different areas of self-love, letting people express who they are and their challenges. As most know, coaches are not therapists. We’re not there to heal all of your past traumas. It is about the recognition and acknowledgment of where you are and then in the ways that you can show up being more compassionate with yourself. It’s teaching you ways more kindness, teaching you ways of expressing yourself in the world, teaching you ways of respecting and honoring yourself. There are all these different areas of self-love as I’ve shared. That’s what we do in the sessions. As you build each of those every week or as often as you come, you end up realizing that you’ve built your whole entire insides up.
Anybody who is reading the blog, it’s $150 off for anybody who wants to participate in Shari’s twelve-week Love Yourself Happy coaching program. The way to do that is reaching out to Shari at ShariAlyse.com and mention the Yes, And show.
My twelve-week Love Yourself Happy program, we will go over the twelve areas of self-love. Contact me and we’ll get you going. For me, at the end of the day, when somebody can look at themselves and love and accept who they see back, that’s a life well-lived in whatever way that looks like. It’s not perfection. I’m not perfect. As soon as I’ve released that is when all of the beauty shows up because it’s in all those imperfect moments.The best thing that we can do for people is to tell truths, because in our truths, we feel less alone and that we are on the same path. Click To Tweet
That’s important because perfectionism is often one of those compensatory behaviors that we use to try to force the round peg into the square hole. We try to force ourselves. We try to make ourselves relevant instead of allowing ourselves to be who we are and realizing that we are relevant now as we are.
Being born, draw in breath. It took me many years to get to that place because I was the one that was trying to run the race. I still can find myself caught up in that behavior. What’s beautiful about now is that I recognize it much sooner and then I’m forgiving of myself and compassionate with myself and kind to myself.
That’s another part that is important. We never let go of our challenges. We’re always going to have challenges but we see them sooner and we have the tools to deal with them and the capacity to handle the temporary uproar. Sometimes it’s five minutes, sometimes it’s a week.
It is what you need.
Since I’ve chosen to face myself, I don’t wallow in those painful suffering feelings inside myself anymore. They come and go within minutes. Sometimes, I’m in a funk for a day. Rarely does it go spill over into the next day anymore. I don’t sit in that suffering inside myself anymore for days, weeks, months or even years at a time.
Because you recognize now that your body is a witness to what comes out the other side. There’s this fine line because when challenges do arise, I know what the other side is going to be like. I know I’m going to expand, I know I’m going to grow, I know things are going to be better. People can bend that whole spiritual bypass and not pay attention to what hurts. I’m a big believer in still acknowledging the pain that shows up. Even if you know you’re going to get through it, we’ll be there with you at that moment. The sitting in it and the suffering and making the poor choices because you’re beating yourself up over it. Those are the things that you get to skip out.
What I experienced now is when I’m faced with a challenge. Right now in my personal life, I’m faced with a pretty big one and it’s like, “Bring it on. I got this.” There has to be that, “Here we go. I got this,” but there’s still that moment.
As opposed to like, “Hold on, here we go. Why is my life feeling like this? Why am I always being dealt with an unhealthy hand? What was my life before I called myself the dark cloud?”
It’s the brief acknowledgment within yourself of, “Here we go. I got this. Bring it on.”
Although we don’t have to fight it, we get to go, “Okay.”
That’s why it’s like that sigh, “I got this.” It’s acknowledging the yin and the yang of the challenge.
We hope for fewer challenges. This book wouldn’t have been written without the challenges, without those harder moments. Do I sometimes wish that we didn’t have to go through them? Sure. There’s always that thing that we say like, “If everything was always here, you wouldn’t know you are here. It would be the norm.”
Shari, it has been wonderful to talk to you and have you on the show. Before we finally sign off, are there any final tips or bits of wisdom you would like to leave with our readers?
I would say to be gentle with yourself, gentle with what comes up, gentle with how you walk through the world to be good to you in whatever way and whatever that feels for you and then whatever shows up.
Shari, thank you so much. Thank you for being here. It’s been an honor to have you on the show.
For all of our audience, my name’s Jennifer Whitacre. If you want more information about me or what I do, look me up on www.JenniferWhitacre.com. You can find me on Facebook under Jennifer Whitacre. I’m also on LinkedIn and Twitter. I will see you all in our next episode.
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About Shari Alyse
Motivated by her own journey through childhood sexual abuse and other childhood traumas, Shari Alyse has spent her life learning how to love herself fully and completely.
Shari helps women and men discover their joy by reconnecting them back to themselves through the practice of self-love.
Shari is a Best-Selling Author of the book Love Yourself Happy, a Motivational Speaker, and a Self-Love Coach. She is the Co-Founder of The Wellness Universe, a community of World-Changers who are helping the world become happy, healthy and whole.