A few weeks ago I sat down and interviewed Sherry Belul on the Rebel & Rise podcast. As a fellow Certified High Performance Coach, I first met Sherry a couple of years ago. Sherry is the most kind hearted, connected and present person I’ve ever met. She truly treats each moment as a gift and there is a genuine feeling of love, compassion and kindness in every interaction you have with Sherry.
This was such an inspiring conversation and I want to share with you some of the highlights and lessons that Sherry spoke upon.
1 - Happiness is a Choice
Sherry has a company called “Simply Celebrate” and on hearing it, most people jump to the conclusion of “oh she must jut be one of those lucky people who is just naturally happy and who bounces out of be each morning”. But what you see isn’t always what you get. 30 years ago, Sherry was overcome with anxiety, darkness and thoughts of ending her life. She still lives with some of those negative thoughts at time, but she knows for a fact that if he stops being consistent with all of the habits she has implemented into her life, they will come back full force. Happiness is a choice; it takes a lot of hard work and discipline to remain happy through the good times and the times where life isn’t going the way we want it to. You get to choose how you show up each day and the kind of person you want to be for the ones around you.
When you’re going through a hard time, it’s easy to look at people on the outside and project our thoughts on to them; how easy they must have it, how lucky they are and if only we were that successful and pretty and smart and etc. But the truth is that we are so similar. What we don’t always remember is that those people are waking up each morning with the deliberate habit of practicing joy, love and appreciation. It’s not something they are just born with or that necessarily comes easily. Instead of looking at those happy people with envy, instead ask yourself what they have to do in order to be that kind of person and if you could do those same things, too?
2 - Understand all the Flavours of Joy
Sherry spoke about the animated movie, Inside Out; in the movie, the emotions of joy and sorrow work together. Sometimes, joy is connecting with someone else on something difficult that is going on. In those times of sorrow, look for those moments of joy; when you connect with someone, when you learn a lesson, where you find gratitude for other aspects of life. When you’re in a difficult place and people offer you compassion and love - that’s joy. It’s a flavour of joy that we aren’t used to and it doesn’t look like laughter and smiles, but it is joy nonetheless. There is joy in sorrow and joy in connection.
3 - Connect With Yourself First
So many people in this world are lacking true, intimate connection. There is a powerful “them vs. me” mentality where so many of us feel as though we need to go through life alone, afraid to ask for help. In order to really have those connections, you need to have it with yourself first. When Sherry reflects back on those hard times in her life, she didn’t accept the darkness within herself and so she couldn’t ask for help because she didn't want anyone to know. She shut herself out from anyone else who was also in the dark because being in the dark was “not allowed”. When she finally grew in term of her connection with herself, she was better able to connect with others.
4 - Pain Isn’t Solid
Sherry speaks in our interview very candidly about her darkest days and those times where she felt she wanted off this planet. She was in a meditation class, focusing in on her in and out breath and in one breath, for that one moment in time, she didn’t feel any pain. It was a little pin prick of light shining down on her which created that conscious awareness that her pain was not solid. Her depression was not solid. There were moments of light where she didn’t feel the pain. She taught herself and practiced how to notice and look for those moments, those pin pricks of light coming through the darkness.
Pay attention to those moments of well-being that you experience, even in the midst of tremendous pain. Once you start to recognize them, you can start to create them. You can start to ask yourself “what would be a pin prick of light in this moment?”. Pain is not solid. It’s about making the choice to say I’m going to just turn my attention to the light for a moment. You don’t have to do it all day, but for one moment, focus on feeling nothing but love and joy.
Sherry’s brand, Simply Celebrate, is all about being present to what’s in your life, being intentional and showing up. It’s about moments; those pin pricks of light which saved Sherry’s life. Sherry’s work is about celebrating ordinary moments and creating unique gifts to celebrate other people and the love you feel for them.
You’re always going to be busy; you’re always going to be overwhelmed and have an excuse to put something off. This is why intention is so important. If you’re aware of it now, do it now. Celebrate now. Say it now. Don’t think “oh, that would be a great thing to do for her 60th birthday next year”. Do it now. There is no shortage of loving and appreciative acts in this world. We truly don’t know what tomorrow brings us. Be intentional, be loving and share your love with the people in your world. That is what Simply Celebrate is all about. Sherry’s new book, Say It Now, contains creative ways to say “I love you” to the most important people in your life. They’re fun, crafty and whimsical ways of showing the other person that you see them, you appreciate them and how much joy they bring to you. You can find the book here.
Thanks again Sherry for such an incredible conversation; can’t wait for part 2!