Tap Into Compassion: The Holiday Season Can Trigger Anxiety

compassionI was lucky enough to have great memories of Christmas in my childhood.  There were a lot of children in my family and not a lot of money so Christmas was “small” in the amount of presents we might have received but it was “HUGE” in the amount of excitement, love, anticipation and traditions that happened in our little house.  I’m the oldest of nine wild and crazy brothers and sisters and I feel  so fortunate to have grown up without too many emotional scars from childhood so imagine my surprise when I found out (when I was nearly 40) that there are people in this world that do not enjoy the holidays.  I used to think of them as a Bah-humbug Scrooge type of person and did my best to just stay away from them.  As I got older…. And wiser (meaning, more aware and conscious of others….and began to develop more compassion) I became aware of what might be behind some people retreating from the holidays I so dearly loved.

I had experienced a few “rough” holiday seasons after being married only a few years and I didn’t really notice that the holidays were a bit “unjolly” for me until the year of 2008.  I was married at the time and had made all the preparations for Christmas.  The house was decorated, the menu was planned, the stockings had been left for Santa and I had planned the perfect little evening of wrapping presents…building bicycles…. Stuffing stockings and other fun Santa activities for my husband and I to do together.  Now, I think the first mistake I made was actually having an expectation of EXACTLY how I wanted that PERFECT evening to look, I set myself up for disappointment (that’s another blog for another day)….. the second mistake was not being aware of the torment the holidays can trigger in someone that has bad childhood memories of Christmas.  I still do not know what childhood memories were triggered in my ex husband but as I Iook back over my 14 years of marriage…. Many of those carefully planned out PERFECT Christmas Eve’s had ended with me crying and wrapping presents by myself and not feeling very jolly about what I believed to be the most magical evening of the year.

What I later learned after my divorce is that for some people the lights, the holiday music, the presents and just the feeling of the holidays….although it might be holly & jolly for most….. it may trigger unpleasant memories for some.  If there were financial struggles in a family…. The holidays could certainly escalate the amount of tension and fighting in families…. Which also may have increased the amount of drinking, drugs and violence that might have been experienced in these households.  It might also be a time of year that a loved one passed away and there was deep sadness surrounding the holidays. It seems there are a lot of people that leave this earth life during this time of year.  This leaves behind loved ones that do their best to make it through the holidays with a painful heartache of loneliness.  There are other scenarios too that may have been unpleasant for children and they may carry that unconsciously into their adult years….. and….  like in my husband at the time’s case….. he didn’t even realize that he would sabotage the entire holiday  not even understanding that this was because he was being triggered by a childhood trauma he had long since buried.  Like I said before, I was very fortunate to not have any of these painful memories but there are some people that might be close to us that struggle with this time of year.  There might also be some people struggling with a mental disability that is often triggered by these types of social times during the year.  Still there are others who struggle immensely feeling they are not enough, not deserving, not worthy and not lovable, especially at this time of season of so much LOVE.  These friends and loved ones of ours watch commercials, see movies, hear the music, watch couples’ walking hand in hand as they shop for their loved ones and secretly, it seems to them, that everyone around them has the perfect “Wonderful Life” and they are the only ones “missing out” on the joy.

My purpose for this blog is to ask for your compassion this time of year for those that might find this time of year so difficult for reasons they may or may not consciously understand.   When you meet someone that might not meet your standards of “Jolly”….. maybe a kind-hearted smile of compassion would be the greatest gift you could offer them this year.   May we expand our awareness and compassion this year.

I would love you to join my prayer to the world….. “Bless those with a heavy heart, those that suffer and those that cause suffering, may they catch a glimpse of the LIGHTS this year and may it spark the light within them.  May they awaken to their true nature and may we all have more love in our hearts than we did yesterday!  Namaste….. I see your light and I see mine….. now, we share!  Compassion for one, compassion for all.

holding hands


Once Upon a Time…. a little story about the magic of GRATITUDE that created a Christmas miracle!

magic pixie dustHave you ever thought of using GRATITUDE as the magical pixie dust to call into your life MORE of what you LOVE???    I’m going to tell you my story about when I used the magic of “pixie dust gratitude” to create a Christmas miracle!

I first heard about a gratitude journal on the Oprah Winfrey show back in the day.  Then I heard Oprah interview the author of “Simple Abundance” on her Soul Series Radio Show back in the day!….  ****Does everyone have a “back in the day”?***

Anyway…..In this book, Oprah discovered the idea of a gratitude journal.  After listening to her interview I knew I simply must have a copy of this book and I knew that I wanted to give this book to all of my family.  My story is to illustrate just how powerful a clear intention sprinkled, with the magic pixie dust of gratitude, can be.  Once upon a time there was a lovely maiden that wanted to buy a book she had heard rave reviews about entitled, “Simple Abundance.”

This book, Simple Abundance, cost $24 and there were nine siblings in this fair maiden’s family and she wanted to get a copy for each of them, as well as one for her mom and dad for the upcoming jolly holiday.  This seemed to be an impossible task without a budget for Christmas because of the loss of this fair maiden’s job…..

** ok…. Cut!!!  The fair maiden is me… did you kind of already get that????  So now I’ll stop all the foofie doofey stuff and continue with this fabulous…. And magical….  story.**

I had been studying about the power of intention and gratitude so I decided to put it into practice.  I wanted to be able to give each of my siblings this book as a gift and keep the cost under $20 total for EVERYTHING.  I focused with real intent and wrote in my gratitude journal how thankful I was to be able to give this gift to my family and keep the cost under $20.  Now…. Keep in mind I didn’t have the books yet nor did I know HOW I would be getting these books for under $20…. I just worked on eliminating the “logical doubt” that crept into my mind when I thought about this…. And how did I do that???  I focused on what I could really “see”…. Not what I was doubting.  For me, I simply imagined what it would feel like to be able to wrap up these books and surprise each of my beloved family members with this gift I just knew was going to be a treasure.  I didn’t try to figure out how it was going to happen, I just held the feeling that it was on its way, that it had already happened and that I was going to be able to do this for Christmas.  I imagined the wrapping paper and cute bow I would put on each package.  I imagined the “Hmmmm….. interesting smile” that each of my sisters would give me as they opened their present.  I imagined the texts I would get when they read a page and then shared how wonderful this gift was in their life.  Mmmmm…… it was some yummy, delicious good imagining fun!!!

A couple weeks later I received a call from my mother in law and she had ordered something from Amazon and needed to ship it to my house for my boys for Christmas.  She told me to go online and track it at Amazon.com.  When I logged on I saw an advertisement for one of Oprah’s book club books and it reminded me about my wish to get the Simple Abundance book for my family. (You see…. I had set the intention, imagined its fabulous outcome and let go of my attachment to know just how it was all going to work out…. So this is where “the universe” gave me a little “ding” reminder!)  I searched for the book and found there were many used books for only a penny and shipping was $3.99. THIS WAS A WONDERFUL MIRACLE AND TRULY A FABULOUS DISCOVERY!!!!……..  BUT!!!  I had set my intention on the total gift costing less than $20 and I was confident there was more magic in store for me.  I emailed one of the vendors and asked if they had more than one copy and left my phone number.  A kind woman called back and told me she had more than one copy and how many would I like.  I told her 10, she told me that if I ordered more than 10 that she would give me free shipping so I ordered a few extras for my friends and the total came to $15.   WHAT???!!!!!?????!!!!!  Yep….. you read that right.  It was LESS THAN $20 !!!!  Ding, ding, ding!!!  Winner, Winner, Simple abundance is what’s for dinner!!!!

The story doesn’t end there…..my mom loved the book and gave a copy to her sister.  My aunt loved the book and called the same lady that I had talked to and ordered 20 copies….they sent them to her and then sent her another box of 20 on accident.  When she called to tell them about the mix up, they said she could send them back or keep them free of charge.  I was able to give out this wonderful book in my workshops “Oprah style”….. remember when she would say to the audience….. “And now we have a copy for ALL OF YOU!!!!!!”   It was so fun to be spreading this amazing gift of gratitude along with this story of the magic of gratitude.   This is just one of the beautiful examples of gratitude and how it totally brought the magic into my Christmas that year!!!

Just as an all powerful “Kick it up” to the way I do my gratitude and intentions…..  I always add “this or something better” when I’m working on my imagination, intention, gratitude sprinkled, yummy, gonna get it and bring it into my world manifestation practice and you can see how well that worked out for me in the above “happily ever after” story.

I truly found a dear friend and teacher in this “Simple Abundance” book.  The author, Sarah Ban Breathnach, speaks to my heart and her words are mmmm, mmmmm, scrumptious to me.  I would love to share this book with you ….. it’s a daily thought book and the Gratitude Journal is on January 14th so you have plenty of time to get this book….. OR you could win it!!!!  Right now!!!

Share this post and post 5 things that you are grateful for on my Redefining Joy FB page.  I will enter you in a drawing for one of these magical books….. just in time to begin a New Year!!  Happy “Gratituding”….. spread the love, sprinkle the “thanks”!

Don’t miss next weeks blog….. I’m going to tell you exactly how I use my gratitude journal!!!

The Magic of Gratitude

magic of gratitudeTo say that gratitude changed my life would be an understatement.  I don’t recall the year that it began for me but I started hearing little whisperings about gratitude and this magical, little seed called gratitude, was planted.  I often listened to Oprah’s radio show “Soul Series” in the mornings while I was getting ready for work.  One day the interview was with Sarah Ban Breathnach, the author of Simple Abundance.  Oprah spoke about one of the concepts in this book that had changed her life, gratitude.   Sarah Ban Breathnach, details how using a gratitude journal can help you see your life in a different way…. And I was in need of seeing my life in a different way.  I bought the book, Simple Abundance, and I bought myself a gratitude journal.  Each night I would wrap up my day by sitting down and contemplating the top 5 things I was grateful for that had happened that day.  I challenged myself to be specific and have a different list every night.  This brilliant woman was so right, in just a short period of time I began to see things differently in my life.  My soul was beginning to awaken to the good, the true and the beautiful that surrounded me…. And the more I had a taste for this the more I wanted!!!

As my gratitude practice continued I began cultivating an invisible connection to something I had never experienced in my life up to this point.  I had been religious my whole life and I thought that was the same as being spiritual….. but what I discovered that for me personally…. These two things were different.  My religion that I was a part of was the culture, the tribe, the collective beliefs of a group I was a part of and my spirituality was my personal beliefs of the world that surrounded me that I participated in.  This included my relationships with people, with nature and all things seen and unseen in my life.  My spirituality was my very personal, very intimate relationship with my personal feelings I was developing for my place in this world and what my personal divinity looked like for me.  I was so grateful for the feeling that this new found spirituality brought to my life…. it felt like an expansion of the human experience into the spiritual experience of being human.  Life began to take on new color, new music, new sensations of all kinds.

I continued my gratitude adventure and experienced more and more miracles as I shifted the way I saw things in my life.  I was able to shift some of the things that I was judging as “bad” and see that these were “opportunities for growth”.  Instead of the “trials and tribulations” I was taught I must endure, I saw the expansion and joy my soul could rejoice in when I made a choice to empower myself towards what I was most grateful for in my life.  Through this practice of gratitude I was able to see that what I focused on the most, in a heartfelt state of gratitude, would expand.  I also experienced the miracle of healed relationships when I focused on the gratitude I felt for another human being and began to see them as a spiritual being having the same choices for “opportunities to grow” that I was experiencing.

Gratitude was the path that led me to joy!  Gratitude was the cozy blanket that comforted me warm when I felt so alone.  Gratitude was the friend that gave me the courage to change the things I could change.  Gratitude was the reminder that this life was worth living…if just for one more day.  Gratitude was the tiny sparkle of light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel that brought my soul “home”.  Gratitude was the miracle that changed my life for good.   Simply put,to say that gratitude changed my life is an understatement…… gratitude not only changed my life, it saved my life.  Gratitude gave me the courage to wake up every day and search for just 5 more things that I was grateful for until the day arrived almost mysteriously and miraculously that my list of gratitude could not be contained in a single journal anymore and magically I had a PASSION TO TRULY LIVE!!

I continue to practice gratitude.  When I find a particular rough place in my life it is the tool I turn to first.  I find gratitude in the situation I’m facing.  If I can’t find the gratitude…. I set the intention that I WILL FIND THE GRATITUDE….. and I open my heart to be willing to truly see the gratitude in what I’m facing.   Eventually, it never fails, I find the gratitude for everything in my life because for me personally, this has become my spiritual practice that connects me to something invisible, something all consumed with real love, something bigger than I am, something so true, so beautiful and so good that I want to be a part of it.

I guess you could say that gratitude is my religion, it has become my spiritual practice and it has made all the difference!

And now….. I’m giving GRATITUDE TO YOU!!!!  I’m going to give away one of the books that changed my life.  I’m going to have a drawing for a copy of Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book, Simple Abundance.   To be entered into the drawing that will be held next Saturday, November 14th at noon MST.  Share this post to your page so we can echo out the magic of gratitude in this wonderful month of Thanksgiving….. then go to my page Redefining Joy and share 5 things you are grateful for today, be specific, feel it in your heart and share this blessed feeling.   Watch for next week’s post about how I attracted over 40 copies of this amazing book with the magic of GRATITUDE!!!  And tune in to our winner!

Thank you!!  Thank you!!  Thank you!!!

simple abundance

Welcome to November….. Harvest time….. What does that mean???

november harvestHey Everybody!!!

Whew!!  What a month October was.  First and foremost, thank you to everyone that watched or came out to our watch party see Trent’s episode of Naked and Afraid.  The watch party was HUGE and fantastic. We especially loved having our special guest, Kimberly Kelly from Moab–who was featured the week before on Naked and Afraid!  Thanks for joining us Kim and family!

To check out fun photo’s from the party and some of the exciting events that followed his episode you can visit Trent Nielsen Adventure Page on Facebook.   Also, if you missed the blog I wrote titled, Scary Question #3 “What did you think about Trent going on Naked and Afraid, knowing that his partner would be another woman and they would both be naked?”  it’s a must read!!

Wow!  I can hardly believe it is November already.  The trees are magnificent, the air has a crisp little bite and the mountains (if you’re in Utah) are glorious.  This is such a wonderful time of year for harvest.  It’s also the perfect time to harvest all the experiences from our past year and give gratitude for the accomplishments we have made.  This is a perfect time to reflect on the good, better and different aspects of our past year.  What I mean is take some time to do a personal overview of what we feel we did really good this year,  what things we can do better next year and what we might want to do differently….  in other words the “I’ll never do that again” adventures we ALL have in our life.  Discovering these events and going through this fun little practice of “harvest” can be a perfect way to uncover what seeds you have planted through out this past year and what you want to continue to nurture and grow next year.  There are a few ground rules (that I often have to remind myself of)…. No judging, no beating yourself up….. just a fun little discovery of the growth you have experienced, the gift found in EVERY situation (if you are open and willing to look for it) and an acceptance that all things work together to make a better YOU!

Throughout November I will be sharing Gratitude Challenges on my Facebook page Redefining Joy.  I will also be sharing how my 15 years of mortgage experience can help you and your friends achieve the American Dream of Home Ownership on my Mortgage page.  I would love you to go “LIKE” both my pages so we can keep in touch throughout the month.  I am loving the work I’m doing and being able to share that with you.   I would love for you to echo it out even further in your world by sharing my posts, blogs or simply telling others about your experience in working with me.  What we can not do alone, we can do together!

Happy Harvesting….. please keep in touch, I love to hear what you are up to and the discoveries you find along the way.  When you feel inspired to send me some of you a-ha moments, please share….. these are some of my favorite emails to receive.

Cheers to the upcoming holiday season!


Sheri Joi

Mortgage Professional and Cheerleader for the Soul


Watch for new Mortgage Blogs on Tuesdays and my Redefining Joy posts for tips and tricks in transforming your life on Saturdays.

Catch up on last months blogs:

Mortgage ….

Scary Question 1 How Will I Ever Come Up With a Down Payment?

Scary Question 2 Will I Really Be Able to Afford a House?

Scary Question 3 Who Can I Trust?

Scary Question 4 What If my Credit Score Isn’t Good Enough?

Scary Question 5 What is the Most Important Thing I Need to Know About Home Ownership?    ….. it’s not what you think!!!

Transformation …..

Scary Story 1  The Scariest Story We Tell Ourselves

Scary Story 2 It Could Be Risky….Is It Worth The Risk?

Scary Question 3 What Did You Think of Trent Going on Naked and Afraid, Knowing His Partner Would Be another Woman and They Would Both Be Naked?

Scary Story 4 Will I Ever Find or Have a Healthy Relationship?

Scary Question #4 “Will I Ever Find or Have a Healthy Relationship?”

It’shappily ever after October and I’m answering your scary questions….
This one is long…. But so worth it!

One of the scary questions we ask ourselves is what we all hope to have or find one day, our very own “happily ever after”.  We spend at least 12 years in school learning the quadratic formula, how to identify cumulus clouds and what a dangling participle is in a sentence.  What we are NOT taught is how to have or find a healthy relationship. If at the core of every human being we all hope to have a “happily ever after relationship” or something a little like that…. Why is it that we are not taught the “how to’s” on this subject?   What we do not realize is there is a much scarier story we unconsciously tell ourselves and we hope that a happy relationship will prove this scary story is wrong.

The underlying scary story we tell ourselves is that “I’m not lovable”.   Unfortunately, some of the experiences that we have in our lives seem to tell us that we just aren’t lovable.  These experiences range from childhood mistreatment from those people that were supposed to love us the most or it might be the teenage romances that ended in heartbreak, and everything in between these kinds of experiences.  Each of these experiences seem to tally all the reasons we just aren’t lovable.  We hide these heartbreaks deep down in our core so that no one can see our pain.  We are ashamed that we are not lovable for it is what we want the most.  We bury this pain so deep it becomes unconscious and we put on our happy mask, hoping the pain of not feeling lovable will go away if we can just find someone that will love us and once and for all, prove that we really are lovable.

The problem with this is we usually find someone that has also buried this kind of pain.  The relationship starts euphorically and you begin to believe you truly are lovable.  Over time as you build trust and grow your relationship, you unconsciously touch the wound of your loved one and they erupt….. which triggers your hidden hurts.  You don’t even realize you are doing this to each other.  You don’t even know you are pushing your loved one’s “I’m not lovable” button.  All you know, is that you hurt to your core and your beloved has betrayed you and once again you begin to believe…. You simply are not lovable.

What if we shifted that??  What if we could step back and interview ourselves and really take some time to explore those childhood hurts, those teenage heartbreaks, those times in our lives that created scars on our heart.  How might it help us to gently interview this frightened heart with questions like “What could I have been learning through this experience?”  “What could I have possibly gained in overcoming and going through this experience?”  “How can I use this experience to make myself a better person?”  “What was the truth of that experience?”  “Who did I become because of this experience and can I shift who I’ve become to help others that have been in this situation?”  I have found in going back to explore that by overcoming these experiences, they have taught me that I am a strong, confident powerful women, who chooses to live in love and light.  I have learned forgiveness, I have learned unconditional love and I have learned without a doubt that I am lovable. …… doing this practice isn’t the way we’re taught to process our experiences because chances are, our parents or those people that had the most influence on us when we were young, didn’t know how to process those experiences either.  We’re simply not taught now to process our feelings.  I believe it’s time to give ourselves a little self vacation in travelling back into some of those experiences that may have us questioning if we are really lovable….be gentle, listen to your heart, tune into your soul and I believe that you will hear the whisperings of what you may have learned through these sometimes painful experiences.  If the answer is you learned that you were not lovable, it’s time to challenge those thoughts.  These have become unconscious and limited beliefs which are affecting the choices you make every day with your relationships.   Ask for assistance if you have some really tough stories to explore… the “happily ever after” on the other side is worth the exploration.  To find and have a healthy relationship is an inside job, you must know you are lovable first.  When you are doing this little travel back, do your best to see these events from a more mature but very gentle thought process because chances are you are still FEELING them through your child thought processes and coming to the conclusion that you aren’t lovable and that simply is not true.

This post is dedicated to the love I found after I made the difficult choice to end my marriage that had become very toxic and abusive.  My first step in finding my “happily ever after” was first of all finding love for myself, forgiving myself for allowing myself to be treated with anything less than I believed was love and respect.  I took the time I needed to heal and I fell in love with myself!  I discovered that love was all around me and I found the truth, that I truly am lovable…..  the magic in discovering this for myself opened a space in me so deeply, that I was able to attract a healthy relationship into my life.  I found another person that knew he was lovable because of the soul searching and healing he had done and together we joined each other in a love affair to heal ourselves even further….. TOGETHER.  We embarked on a new adventure in creating a SAFE union to face some of the demons from our past.

We were not naïve in jumping into this journey, we knew that we would both be bringing some “baggage” to the relationship.  We agreed to create a safe union to assist one another to unpack our “baggage”.  Now it is our joy to share this knowledge with all those around us.

A huge shout out to the man that rocks my world every day of my life!!  Truly the BEST DAMN PARTNER YOU COULD ASK FOR (Ask anyone that watches Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid…he’s simply the best…..)!!!

***I love you baby…. Thanks for choosing us everyday!!***

It’s never too late to have/find your “happily ever after” relationship but it is an inside job, it starts with KNOWING that YOU are lovable…… and then that “KNOWING” begins to echo out in all your relationships.


Isn’t that yummy????  If you had asked me about this kind of love just seven years ago I would tell you I had no idea it was possible…. It started with knowing that I was lovable…. take the time, fall in love with yourself, the rest is just pure magic!  Trent and I are planning a relationship retreat….survival style!  If you are interested in being on the waiting list PM me or email me at sherijoi1972@gmail.com ….it’s going to be fun and it’s going to be an adventure….those are the two things we can always promise!!!.  This will be a small group so if you are interested…. Let me know you are interested ASAP.

Scary Question #3 “What did you think about Trent going on Naked and Afraid, knowing that his partner would be another woman and they would both be naked?”

It’s October and I’m talking about the scary stories and scary questions we ask ourselves……

maslow hierarchy of needs basicRecently, my man Trent Nielsen, was featured on Discovery Channel’s hit show Naked and Afraid, the episode is titled “Fear the Unknown”, great title for today’s question.  Hands down, the question I am asked the very most when people hear about this is “How do you feel about Trent going out in the jungle with another woman naked?”

Great question!!  First of all if you have ever studied Psychology then you will know that the basic needs for survival are food, water, warmth, rest, security, safety and shelter.  All of these needs must be met before intimacy is ever considered; this is Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.  (Check out the pyramid picture above.)  Trent and I watched countless episodes of Naked and Afraid together and I knew that the “naked” part of this challenge had nothing to do with sexuality and everything to do with Discovery wanting to put together the most extreme survival show on TV.  Think about it, your first “shelter” is your clothing, it’s your security and safety so if you take that away then survival gets real and it gets extreme!

Now saying all that……. I also know that most guys like boobs, come on, it’s kind of a given fact.  It’s the reason we spend so much money at Victoria Secret.  We know men like boobs. So really, I’m not naïve to think that Trent is probably going to enjoy getting a glimpse of a stranger in the buff, especially Annie (his partner on Naked&Afraid), she’s got a rockin’ body and she’s worked hard for it.  Trent even told me, “Ya.  She came around the corner and that’s what I noticed.”  He told me he was relieved when she showed up naked because now he knew that everyone was looking at her, not at him because NOBODY wants to see a naked dude!  He also remembers that within the first few minutes after their meeting his “basic need” instincts kicked in and he forgot all about being naked.  I knew this was exactly what would happen and that’s why the naked thing didn’t bother me.

When Trent asked me for advice before he left, I told him to take care of his partner and to be sweet to her.  I have seen so many episodes where the partners get frustrated, they are hungry, they are tired and they lose their common decency and respect for another human being.  Trent has always been the most amazingly respectful person and I knew that even under these extreme conditions that his true character would shine through.  He is a man of honor and integrity and when I told him to take care of her it was my way of telling him that he had my permission to do what he needed to do to help his partner succeed in this challenge.   We had a conversation before he left, I told him I wanted him to make her comfortable so she would stay for the full 21 days because I knew that his greatest survival tool out there would be his partner.  I also told him that she was going to be cold because I’m a girl, I know what it’s like to be cold in the outdoors, IT SUCKS!!!  I told him that it was not even a question that he could of course use body heat to keep her warm, in fact I told him he MUST cuddle up with her so that she could be warm at night and get some rest…. (I tell him all the time that I think when Bigfoot laid on him that it transferred some Bigfoot DNA to him in the area of body heat because he is always hot, he’s my heater throughout our cold mountain winters).

I also told Trent that I never wanted him to worry what I would think about what he was doing with her, even if they showed it on camera.  I told him I trusted him to make whatever decisions were in both of THEIR best interest so they could both rock the challenge.  In return I asked him to trust me to be able to handle my own emotions when I watched the show no matter what Discovery aired on his episode.   I also knew that Trent respects and is committed to our relationship, knowing this made it easy to encourage, support and cheer him on doing whatever needed to be done for the team to succeed.

I know in another episode that the ‘cuddling’ became an issue but I know that if you were hiking to the top of Everest and one of your team had hypothermia, the first thing that would be done would be to strip the person of their clothing and get them in a sleeping bag with another stripped down person to start to generate body heat to bring the core temperature up.  This type of body heat is about survival and is not sexual in the least.  Trent and his partner were going to be in a survival situation, I knew that sharing body heat was nothing more than the basic need for warmth.

The question of “What do you think about Trent being out there with another woman naked?” never carried any fear for me.  I attribute this to my confidence in myself, my trust in Trent and our commitment to our relationship.  Surviving for 21 days was the greatest challenge Trent had ever set out to accomplish.  As a cheerleader for the soul and his “partner” in life, if this was a challenge he wanted to attempt, I wanted to show up as his greatest support and best cheerleader.

And at the end of the day…. If a little a glimpse of “boobage” gave him a little shot of adrenaline he might need to make it through that day, then so be it. I knew that it wasn’t about intimacy or a betrayal of our relationship.  I am secure enough in myself to be ok with a sneak peak.

The Discovery Channel created this series to be an extreme survival show and it is!!!

Does it help that the title is “Naked and Afraid” and that’s just juicy television fun??  You bet!!!

Does the naked part add to the drama and play into insecurities of our society that is somewhat lost in how to manage and maintain our own insecurities, self-esteem, confidence, respect of others, commitment and self worth? Of course.

Though Discovery doesn’t show a lot of the “survival” techniques anymore, they do a great job of showing people overcoming, persevering, transforming and facing their fears.  This show is a great way to see human psychology play out and really see who you are when you are broken down to your core, this is when your true character shows.  I am so proud of Trent and Annie for what they accomplished.  I’ve watched both of them since they have been back and they are both champions in their own way.  I love and respect them both for the fears they faced.  I know that even I had to face a few demons on this Naked and Afraid journey….. it’s quite an experience to be the “partner” in the wings.  But the experience in a whole has brought Trent and I closer than ever.  I’m so thankful for his experience and so proud of the man that Annie calls her “Jungle Gladiator”…. Because I think he’s pretty bad ass too!

So the moral of the story??….. The scary stories we tell ourselves might not be what we think they are.  Being naked with another women doesn’t mean a betrayal of trust in this situation.  When you find yourself telling a scary story, ask yourself what is the insecurity behind the scary story, what are you afraid of?  Find this insecurity in yourself that this scary story is thriving on and do your best to start shifting the way you are thinking about it.  Turn this weakness into strength instead of living in the fear of insecurity.  This is our challenge so that we too can be the change we want to see in the world!!

oh and….. #savetheboobies  🙂

More information on Trent’s Naked and Afraid episode??  Check out his Adventure Page on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @TrentNielsenSLC

Scary Story # 2 It Could Be Risky…. is it worth the Risk?

riskyThere’s a scary story we tell ourselves which sabotages amazing ideas before they even get started.  In my twenties I remember dating several men in particular that had been in their careers for many years and had what they called “seniority”.  Even though both of them had dreams of doing something different…. One wanted to be a meteorologist and one wanted to start his own company.  The passion that they both expressed as they talked about these dreams was exciting to me and it made me so heartbroken when they would put these dreams in a box and hide them away because they were too scared of the “risk” that would be involved in starting something new.

How sad it is to me that so many wonderful passions are not “birthed” into this world because of the scary story that starts out with… “It’s too risky”.   How many discoveries have not been made because “it would be too risky”?  How many lives are not changed because “it would be too risky”?

A beautiful example of turning this story around is my sister Audra.  Years ago she had gone to school for accounting and was now working in an accounting firm.  She was amazing at accounting and the firm loved the work she was doing.  She also brought an amazing little zing to the office that isn’t usually found in an accounting firm so they loved her even more for her “style”.  Although she was on the road to an amazing career she found that the accounting world did not hold the excitement and zest for life she craved…. So one day she quit her job, sold all of her belongings, got on the internet to find a place to live and within a couple weeks had moved herself to Hawaii.  Now my family is kind of old fashioned and this whirlwind sort of stunned us all and it was so quick.  She had made all the arrangements to have a source of transportation, a place to live and jumped onto the ship of faith to know that she would find a way to take care of herself when she arrived in this exciting and zestful adventure.  She lived in Hawaii for several years and taught me that it was definitely worth taking risks to find the excitement and zest for life that I also crave in my life.

Sometimes it takes a little time to see that dream take shape and you can do it at whatever speed you want to do it in but isn’t it about time to change that scary story in your life?  Isn’t it time to take a risk and see what dreams may come???  Take one small step today to do something risky in the direction of one of your dreams.  There are so many reasons in my life I took a risk, they have made all the difference.
(and PS…. thank you to my sister Audra for teach me and my entire family to take a risk and create the life of your dreams…. she opened my eyes to what dreams may come!  Love you sis!)

Scary Story #1 The Scariest Story We Tell Ourselves

I'm a fraud

As human beings we become very good at hiding those negative things we think about ourselves (some things are so deep and unconscious we don’t even know they are there.)… . the truth is these thoughts sabotage us from the life we were really meant to live with joy and happiness!!

The number one scary story we tell ourselves is “I’m not enough”.  Now this might look different because we are very creative human beings when it comes to inventing scary stories for ourselves.  It might be…. “I’m not smart enough”…. “I’m not pretty enough”…. “I’m not successful enough”….. “I’m not skinny enough”…  “I’m not a good enough mom/dad”…. or the one I hear the very most from my clients…. “I’m a fraud”.  This self defeating script is the scary story that blocks us from being the amazing beings that we truly were meant to be.

The way we “discover” this little sabotage is through some self-discovery interviewing questions.  Little by little we uncover these un-truths that we have unconsciously told ourselves is true.

I hear all the time…. “but if you knew who I really was, you would be shocked!”  Let me tell you a little secret, whether I know you in person or not…. I really do know you!!!

Because in this life, we may have had different experiences but we all experience the same emotions.  We’ve all been happy, sad, angry, scared, frustrated, overwhelmed, disgusted, hurt, depressed, exhilarated and the list goes on.  We’ve all experienced on top of the world happiness as well as dark and grieving great sadness.

So you see, we are all one, we are all the same and we all really know each other.  So next time you uncover that scary story that says…. “I hope they don’t discover I’m a fraud…. That I’m not enough.”  Take a little step back and realize that it’s just a story, a scary story that you’ve told yourself long enough to believe instinctually that is sabotaging you from taking the steps forward onto the path of your true self…. The self that is more than enough, the self that is authentically you, the self that is divine…. So take some time to find out just how amazing you truly are.

Through out this month I’m going to share some “scary stories” and some “scary questions” I faced in my life and how facing those fears were the key to finding a strong, confident and successful women…. That was there all along!!!  I’ll be share some very personal stories with you so I hope you come along for the ride.


For now and for this weekend, here is a little homework (if you choose) and some weekend pondering!!  Cheers!


I would love you to really be conscious of your thoughts this weekend.  When you get upset… what do you say to yourself?  What if you make a mistake?  What does your internal script say?  When you feel you didn’t do your best….. what is the monkey chatter that kicks in on autopilot?  Do your best to be conscious of these thoughts.  The first step is actually just realizing you are doing it!!!!  Then…. You can begin to change your scary story into magic.  When you take the time to discover just how amazing you are and live with this confidence, you unconsciously invite others to find this truth about themselves.!!!


My wish for you is that you really KNOW that YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH!!!!


Echo it out loud and clear with your confidence in yourself!!  Now THAT is being the change!


Innerpersonal Hormone Therapy. Making Sense of Nonsense.

***First things first…..Innerpersonal as defined by the dictionary of Sheri Joi in·ner·per·son·alˌ  /in(n)ərˈpərs(ə)n(ə)l/  adjective  1- Relating to the inner relationship with oneself and how it can affect others.***

A blog started today as I was clearing the dishwasher.  (Yes, I hear voices and they often become blogs…. )  The blog (voices) started like this….

cute stripy glasses

A proclamation to my children…. “Yes, I must admit, I secretly put all my cute red stripey glasses in the very back of the cupboards and bury them with the non descript plain glasses in hopes that you will not choose them and break them.”  It was at this point I realized I might be a little TOO attached to my red stripey glasses.  This is where the argument (in my head …. said in a “Ya!  I know I’m crazy voice!) began.

Voice 1- You need to let go of your attachment.  They are just things!

Voice 2- “You’re not too attached… you just want to have cute things.  It’s ok to be attached to them, love them and do your best to hide and preserve them.  After all, you started with eight of each size and now you’re down to six total!” Then the tears welled up and I felt that tight lump in my stomach form and start warming its way up and out of my eyes.  Then it over filled and the tears began…..

Whoa!!!!  (Insert sound of record scratching here…rriihhrr riihhrr.)  Time to take a time out and a little step back to do some observation, some innerpersonal therapy.…. If cute stripey glasses can bring me to tears….. there MIGHT be something to look at here.

The truth is, I had felt this “verge of tears” feeling since I had woke up this morning.  It was a mix between “I’m about to burst into tears mixed with I’m grumpy and I don’t want to talk about it” …. Coupled with, “Hug me! But DON”T TOUCH ME.”   Has anyone ever felt this way????  It’s the makings of CRAZINESS!!!

One word for you.  Hormones!!!……  why does it take me so long to figure this out???  I guess today was pretty quick…. I’m usually knee deep in “nonsense” before a little light clicks on and asks… “Hey Sher! Could this be hormones?”

Well, I’ve become pretty good at stepping back and observing when things begin to affect me that don’t usually affect me.  Like…. I don’t normally feel compelled to write a blog about my cute stripey glasses and I don’t normally wake up grumpy and want to cry, I usually wake up quite happy and grateful <– (I know!  It’s fantastic!)  And usually I could care less who uses my cute stripey glasses.  So when I am aware that little things are starting to bug me…. I do a little check in with myself…. A little innerpersonal therapy to see if I can make sense of the nonsense, make sense?  (See what I did there??  Hee hee.)

This morning I simply felt “sad” mixed with a little bit of “grumpy”.  It was just an emotion.  I natural and normal human emotion, sad and grumpy…. It’s not somewhere you want to live but it happens from time to time, no need to judge.  When Trent asked “Why do you feel sad?” I had no response.   No reason…. I just felt sa-rumpy (that’s sad+grumpy in case you were lost).  Now, when this emotion knocks on my door and wants to come in for a visit, my number one rule is that I don’t get to “GRUMPY” all over everyone else just because this emotion has stopped in for a short holiday with me and I don’t stuff the feeling either or it gets way worse.  I just notice it and know that today might be an ipod earphone wearing day, with little social contact. <– It’s so important to KNOW your shadow personalities to protect the innocent loved ones that surround us!!

Now this is where it got REALLY cool this morning!!!  (At least for me…. “Miss total introspection ALL THE TIME!”)

As I sat in bed (yes, I’m back in bed at this point) listening to some music to see if I could lift my mood ever so slightly…. I realized my unconscious mind had ran to the figurative book shelf in my historical library of my mind that contains all the literature on “Why I have been sad in the past” and was cueing up several great “stories” for a wild ride of “Spiraling DOWN!!”  My unconscious cued up past movies and did a mash up with present circumstances, for example:

Story #1- Yesterday was your kids first day of school and you weren’t there for it.  (Ouch!)

Story #2 – Today there is a big conference in town and you’re not speaking there. (Oh wow!  Trigger that “Not enough button!” much?)

Story #3- All your friends are going to a retreat this weekend and you’re not going. (Poor, poor me….)

….and several others that were just as JUICY and created HUGE emotions heading down that wild ride of  “down, down, downward spiral” (said in a deep, slow and ominous voice… go ahead and read it again in this tone.)

**You did, didn’t you???**

SOOOOO…… What I noticed when I stepped back and observed, was that my emotion was actually NOT tied to any of these scenarios until my unconscious mind needed to answer the question “Why do I feel sad and grumpy?”  Then….. I was offered so many choices of all the horror stories from my past…. I was off to the races.

Now, let me take a step back here and say….. I know there are times in our life when rough things happen and these things may create our emotions and that’s a totally different blog post but this one is about how we sometimes create our own drama!!!!  Our own nonsense!!  How many times is it just simply an emotion because we are human….uh er… WOMEN….. that have a flux of emotions tied to hormones and we feel we NEED to have a reason and a justification to feel this way so we dig up our past history, those scary stories and we roll all around in it and then start spreading the infection to all our loved ones.  It’s not long before we “grumpy” all over everyone near us… EW!!!

The key is to KNOW THYSELF!!!   Observation has taught me to step back and check myself before I wreck myself…… so next time you hear a blog starting in your head about your attachment to cute red stripey glasses and it brings you to tears….. you might want to step back and do a little observation to see if you just need a day of good music, a good book or some yard work away from the public. (I can totally tell when I’m not really socially acceptable…. and I take advantage of some me time!) There doesn’t need to be anything “wrong” we might just be experiencing a natural human emotion linked up with some hormones and Thank GOD!!! This too shall pass.

Enjoy your day….. I’ll be on my Ipod!  🙂


A quick follow up…….

After I wrote the previous blog post, I asked my sweetie if he would read it just to see if it made sense.  I wanted to know if it was a good blog post that would help others or if it was just therapy for me.  He read it and then turned to me in horror.  “Do you realize the terror that this blog creates in a man??”    I gave him a questioning head tilt that subtly said, “How so?”  He explained, “We men have been emotionally punched so many times in the name or ‘hormones’ that it scares me to be spending the day with you.”

I smiled and shook my head in understanding.  Now, you can see that he ran to his scary stories too (and that gets to be his accountability if he wants to look at it) but he ran there with pretty good justification.  That’s why I shared the story above.  I always want to be accountable for myself and knowing what my emotions are and how to handle them is so incredibly key for me.  I also want to make sure I am managing my hormonal emotions correctly so that I don’t start emotionally swinging at those I love just because I have a little turmoil going on inside…. That’s really not fair.  Women!!!  It’s up to us to change this stigma and be accountable for how we act.

So I want to hear from you!!!  Have you ever experienced something like crying over cute stripey glasses and then finding every excuse on the planet as to why you are sad and/or grumpy…. Just to find out it is PMS??   How do you handle it?  What are the tools you use to make sure you don’t stuff your emotions but also don’t unnecessarily flip out on those around you.

Please share or you can email me your ideas so I can post them.  I know our community would love to have more tools to make sense of nonsense!   Sherijoi1972@gmail.com

The Doors of Possibility

“Knowing the unlimited potential of possibility will expand my SYNERGY, attracting dynamic connections with others and expanding my borders!”  -Sheri Joi,  2015 Intentions

red door

We’ve all heard the saying…. “When one door closes another one opens.”  Right??  But when that door closes sometimes you don’t feel all warm and fuzzy.  You feel like screaming “Who shut the front door!!!”  So how exactly do you find peace in the door shutting (especially when it is totally out of your control that the door shut).

Well, let me take you on a little walk in my world this last little while.  I was cruising down the Sunset Boulevard wearing my cutest, strappiest sandals and feeling quite fantastic about my life in general…. Then BAM out of no where, right in the middle of the sidewalk there was a HUGE door…. Weird right?

***Sidenote:  This is all a metaphor…. Just in case you were a little lost on this stroll of ours…. Continuing on… Huge door in the middle of the sidewalk.***

As far as I knew, I didn’t put up this door.  But, I couldn’t open the door.  I tried to go around the door but it just didn’t work.  I knocked and I knocked and I knocked but no one answered.  I tried kicking the door a few times but that didn’t work either.   So I sat down on the cute little bench overlooking the ocean and I breathed.  (Exhaling A LOT!)  Little by little I noticed the beauty around me and forgot about the obsession I had in going through that door.  I could feel my heart beat and I began to listen to it.  Then I started hearing the song in my heart again.  Calm was returning and peace was settling in to my being. Messages began to come to me and one morning, after listening to these messages and taking action (VERY IMPORTANT to take inspiraction… that is to take action on your inspiration!), I found myself sitting in front of a sweet woman I had met about 6 months ago in my little circle of love that I regularly take part in.  I had reached out to her because I wanted some advice on some personal stuff I was working through and the voices from my soul had been directing me to call her.

Now when you do this… sometimes the conversation starts out a little awkward “Oh hi!!  I don’t know why we’re sitting down together but my heart said to call you so here we are…”  LOL.  It’s always good to have a sense of humor when listening to inspiration and taking inspiraction.   I had wanted to get to know her a little better anyway so we were having a lovely conversation as I asked questions to get to know her better.  Halfway through our wonderful chat she stopped abruptly…. leaned in closer to me and said… “I don’t know why I’m asking you this but have you ever considered getting back into the mortgage industry?”  and the sound of “Nnnnooo……hmmmmmmm…” came back as a response from me.  I quickly shut my mouth. I promptly tuned into my “feelings and emotions” and found an overwhelming excitement bubbling up from my toes and wanting to burst out of me.  I took a moment to breathe it all in and then told her I needed to ponder this for a little bit.

I’ll be honest, I never really saw myself getting back into the mortgage industry because the job I did in the industry was gone…. It just doesn’t exist anymore so I can’t go back there.  (Isn’t that a metaphor for life!!!)  But!!!  Let’s be honest…. I never say myself getting divorced, never saw myself moving back to Utah and so sometimes…. Maybe these unexpected detours are EXACTLY where we are meant to be!  So, as I sat there and really thought about taking my old love for the mortgage industry and combining it with my new love for training, workshops and speaking………… The excitement within me could not be contained!!!  It was EXACTLY like the moment I talk about in my trainings when I realized that the whole reason the mortgage industry had collapsed in 2008 was for me to open a new door that would lead me down a new path.  (Still really sorry about the whole collapse of the mortgage industry thing…. If that affected you…. eek, sorry!  My bad…. I’m kinda all powerful when I decide to jump into a new life lesson!  Heehee…)

As I again set out on a journey the quote from T.S. Eliot begins to ring true in my heart once more!!  “We shall not cease from exploration, and at the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”  So here I am at a NEW door that is wide open with possibility!!!  I’m so excited to JUMP back in to the mortgage industry with the new confidence, passion and wisdom my 5 year sabbatical has given me.  I will continue to do trainings, workshops and keynote speaking on inspiration, motivation, redefining yourself and shifting the drip right alongside with how to improve your credit score, get more clients and start your rental portfolio!!!  I’m so thrilled to now be able to really bring all of this passion back to the industry that feels like HOME to me.

I spent over 15 years of high paced, wild ride, hair pulling fun in this crazy mortgage world and it’s good to say I’m back…. I’ve come home.  I feel this is the perfect place for me because my number one passion is to be a cheerleader for the soul in everything I do.  My theme for this chapter in my life is is….

“Let ME bring you HOME!!!”

Whether this means you are looking to purchase or refinance your home, take your business to a new level of SOUL filled passion or find more Joy in your everyday life…. stay tuned to see just how much SYNERGY this girl can create!!!

Thank you to everyone that walks this journey with me.  You all play such a huge part without even knowing it.  You may be the person that closed the door, you may be the person that wouldn’t answer the door, you might be the person shouting from another door to come on over, you may be the person happily waving your encouragement from your front door.  It’s just so true that as one door closes, another one will open!  I challenge you to look at your life and see what doors have been shut for you and then sit down on your own little bench to begin to listen to the song in your heart again!  It’s amazing what we can not do alone, we can do together.  Let’s create something magical!!!

Cheers to all the many doors in our lives…. Opened or closed….. it’s all about the continued journey!!!  Cheers to the doors of possibility.

Stay tuned for even more exciting news soon from the dynamic team of Trent and Sheri!!!  Heehee…. I’m just bursting with JOY (think cute little blue haired excited character that runs around in your head…. ) so excited, so excited!!!!