EP. 74 “I just want to choose happy all the time, and if I’m not loving something I’m doing, I let it go. And if it’s something that brings me joy, I keep traveling down that path.”
Shari Aldrich was doing well on the traditional path through life.
Working as an IT Director back in the 90s she had a secure and stable job, but it didn’t bring her joy. Like many others, she stuck it out — until her mom and two of her siblings died unexpectedly in the space of just four years. After losing half her family in such a tiny timeframe, Shari realized that life is too short to settle for choices that don’t create joy.
It’s how happiness became her ruler and empowered her to discover the work she was born to do — massage.
Nowadays, Shari doesn’t wait for happy to come. Instead, she proactively chooses it — even when pain makes a visit. In fact, pain has been a catalyst for massive personal growth and now influences Shari’s mission to use massage to relieve one million people of pain by 2025.
But her story doesn’t stop there…
Tune into this episode and you’ll discover how life delivered Shari’s another cruel twist, which changed everything (again).
After building a highly successful massage practice, Shari suffered a life-changing injury. She’d never be able to massage in the same way again.
But instead of giving up, Shari choose happy. Instead of blaming life, she used this rock bottom moment to think differently and transform her business. As a result, she’s on course to impact more people and leave an even greater legacy.
Shari’s story is proof that purpose and passion can emerge from pain. You’ve just got to be willing to trust your gut and choose happy. And if Shari can channel her pain in such a powerful way, then so can you.
Shari believes you don’t have to stay stuck in a job you hate and you can move through the toughest times. So if you want to feel happier, tune in to see how Shari ‘ripped off the band aid’ to create an extraordinary life and legacy. I promise, you can’t help by feeling inspired by this beautiful and powerful story.
TIme Stamped Show Notes
[4:37] We kick off the conversation with a discussion about how Shari got into massage therapy. In her past life, as she likes to say, she was an IT Director. While she loved the field and was learning a lot, she was responsible for a very large territory and didn’t have any support. The company refused to remedy that Shari experienced a lot of stress, that began to take a toll on her health. In addition to this, during the late 90s into the early 2000s, Shari experienced a great deal of loss; 3 life-changing events that happened in that short time that changed the direction of her life.
One morning in January of 2004, she woke up and decided to train for a marathon; something got her out of bed and forced her to take control of her life and health. As part of her training, she started getting massages. Shari says the moment that the hands were laid on her, during her first massage, something clicked. She says that massage was something she had been looking for her entire life. She continued to get regular massages throughout her training, learned more about the industry and eventually took a leap into a new career path. Massage was something she enjoyed, was passionate about and something that could bring joy to others.
[13:07] Shari is passionately committed to being happy and seeking things that bring happiness into her life. I ask her what happens when the pain shows up and how, after all of her experiences, does she approach pain? She talks about a recent loss and how that triggered some of the painful experiences of the past. Shari says she keeps moving forward; she doesn’t want to settle or exist in a space of grief. She, of course, wants to love and pay homage to those who she’s lost, however, being in a constant state of unhappiness isn’t who she is anymore and she won’t let the grief win.
[19:26] Shari talks to us about an injury she sustained that had a pretty traumatic impact on her life. Before the injury, she owned a massage school and her days were filled with teaching and doing what she loved, working with her clients. She spent 18 months processing and healing from her injury; there was a lot to reconcile mentally, emotional, financially and physically. There was, of course, the physical pain and then the financial impact of not being able to maintain her practice.
That forced Shari to shift from working in her business to working on her business, taking her work from one person to many people that were equipped and passionate about taking people out of pain. She’s since opened another school and has created a program that helps therapists all throughout the country with opening their own massage schools.
[32:10] I ask Shari what her day to day looks like and if she has rituals or practices that keep the fear at bay while drawing in happiness and joy? She says that she got a bit lost in the ritual when her father passed away, however, at their best her mornings start at 5a; she spends a few hours reading and writing, she’ll meditate, and work out in her home gym. There’s a sign in the gym that she draws inspiration from “Your Past is Your Power.” She arrives at her office by 10a and, there, she finds joy in teaching, working with her students and mentoring.
[44:32] Shari stays grounded with exercise and focusing on her mission. She puts self first; choosing happy first and the mission follows.