I feel like I know you- my blog readers. I have been writing here for a few years now… and I feel like you know me, like you know my heart. However, I started being guided to share how I became the person I am today. You may know part of the story, you may be surprised by some of it, too. We all have a journey… a story to tell. Some of us are crushed by our stories, others become stronger. In my young life, thankfully, I never knew ahead of time exactly how strong I needed to be.
A tragedy shaped my path in life. I grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota and lived a comfortable life. My parents were conservative. My brother and I thrived at both school and athletic activities. We also were involved in our church. As a family we ate dinners together and took long walks in the woods. We were close, or so I thought.
One day, I walked home from school when I was seventeen years old and found my brother who was fifteen years old after he had taken his own life. I found him after he had shot himself in the head and he was in his room lying in a pool of blood. My world shattered. I missed my brother and I felt my whole world was based on a lie. I felt like I did not know who I was anymore because I always identified myself through my family identity.
I drifted for several years without a clear direction. I turned down full ride scholarships so I could be closer to my parents. I took some classes at our local college. I put one foot in front of the other, but I was deeply grieving. I was in therapy for a year and it helped soothe some of the pain. In outward appearances, I seemed to be doing okay. My ambitions returned. I felt like I could maybe be okay, but I never thought I would experience true happiness again. I became involved with a much older man who struggled with alcohol addiction and stayed in that relationship for five years. Then, I met my husband. I have been married for twenty years. I became a step-mom. We gave birth to our first daughter. When I held my daughter in my arms the day she was born, I began to feel deep joy again. We had two more children and my career was thriving (I finished college, earned my master’s degree and eventually my PhD.). I felt happy when I was with people. When I was alone, I felt empty and lost. Steady happiness remained elusive. I felt guilty about it, because I had a great family and a great career- I felt like I had no excuse. I should be happy, but I wasn’t.
Then I began to spiritually awaken. I always prayed (my whole life). And I knew God was there for me, but I had fallen into the habit of praying at night, being in church on Sunday and God was out of the picture for the rest of the time. I began to see that God was there for me all of the time and I could trust God.
I have been an avid reader throughout my life and often read a book a day. I began reading holistic books centered on mind, body, and spirit. I read books on healing, success, mindset, and happiness. It was during this time that I had a paradigm shift; I was standing in the middle of an airport traveling for my job. I had my corporate credit card, my laptop in my briefcase that I was pulling along, and I looked around. I thought, “This is it. I made it. I have achieved everything I wanted.” I felt triumphant. In the next instant, I was crushed and thought, “Oh no, this is it? This is all there is?”
I thought my career would make me happy and I thought my family would make me happy. The truth is that I discovered that happiness came from within. So I started praying and meditating on my next move. Shortly after this, I woke up one morning and had the stunning realization that I could be happy if I chose it. All I had to do was choose happiness just like all of the other choices I made in a day. I decided to choose happiness. I began a journaling practice to get myself on the happiness track every day.
I still had to decide what I wanted to do about my career. I prayed and meditated. I decided that I would lean on intuitive guidance and be patient. After a few weeks, I woke up one morning and knew I needed to start my own coaching, training, and consulting company. Within six months of starting my company, I published my first book, Keys to Living Joyfully. For twenty years I had a goal of writing a book and it was on the back burner. Suddenly, it felt like I was an author overnight. I never had a goal to write more than one book and within four years, I had written and published three more books. All of my books felt like they wrote themselves. It was a natural intuitive process.
I began working with my own coaching clients six years ago. I have helped people define what success means to them and have been by their sides as they have made quantum leaps in their lives. My clients have written books, changed careers, saved their careers, started and/or grown businesses, produced movies, taken action on long procrastination lists, created more happiness, traveled the world, learned how to get what they really want out of life, and made lasting changes and shifts.
I expanded again when I began studying metaphysics. I learned how to develop my intuition to a very high degree. I also learned that I have been empathic my whole life and never knew what it was. I had been told that I was too sensitive during my entire childhood. I began to look at my empathic ability as a great gift and have found that it helps me be a very good life coach. All of my business decisions have been intuitively based and I found that I enjoy including guided visualizations and energetic alignments during my sessions with clients.
To me success is part of an acronym that I was divinely given called BOLD. Be a great manifestor. Own your goals/responsibility. Live each day with more peace, passion, energy, and joy. Do and be what you were meant to do and be. I was given these concepts as a divine gift during sleep. I awoke with these ideas and knew, intuitively, that they were important. I continued to develop the concepts through intuition and research.
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Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, PhD