Some inspiration from some happy women…
My personal growth that was sparked and nurtured at the retreat is continuing over a year later. I wasn’t sure how to feel about the retreat right after it ended, but as the months passed, it became clear how much the experience opened up in me. I would love to give myself the gift of one of Cheryl’s retreats again, as I know now it would give me the tools I need to propel myself to new areas of growth. I wish every woman were able to share in the support of a community of caring women and leaders like Cheryl, and were able to have a bit of time away from the judgments and pressures of the world so they could really take care of their hearts and minds.
Last year I did something I have never done before in my life, I went to a 4 day retreat that was all about mom’s and taking time out for ourselves to work on being our best selves, what we wanted out of our lives and experiencing some luxury. It is one of the best things I have ever done for myself and has had profound impacts for me. Now…it was not like a spa holiday if that is what you are thinking, it was better. I joke when I tell my friends that it was like intense group therapy all day long each day, but it was some of the deepest and most profound work I have ever done for myself. It was intense, it had alot of “feels”, it required a lot of self honesty and commitment, it was exhausting and it was exhilarating. The location was absolutely stunning, the food was amazing (and not having to cook was a gift in itself), starting each day with yoga with a beautiful view of the ocean (although it meant not sleeping in) was a wonderful way to start the day and set intentions for myself. I came away with new insight into myself and what was truly important to and for me, and a stronger sense of my authentic self. That retreat was the springboard for me for some big and little changes and shifts in my life over the past year, some have been easy, some have been hard but they have all been good.
More from Michelle….
Last summer I was the heaviest I have ever been in my entire life, even heavier than when I was pregnant with my twins. I had started a medication in the spring for people who are obese and high risk for diabetes, its supposed to help you lose weight. Initially I lost 8 lbs then gained it back and then some. Yesterday I stepped on the scale and I am down 45 lbs. The most weight I have ever lost at a time. I still have a ways to go, but I am getting there day by day and I am no longer dieting. I have tried probably every diet out there over the past 30 years – weightwatchers, spark people, live strong, Atkins, South beach, diet drugs, sure slim, Suzanne Somers, etc…..you name it I have probably tried it. And each time I would lose some, start to struggle following their rules, beat myself up because I couldn’t keep with the rules and inevitably gain it back and more. Then last summer I tried Cheryls 30 day group about learning not to diet. But it was so much more than that. And I started to change. And then it was over but she started another one for a few more months and I did that….and I changed some more, and funny but we rarely talked about food in the group. We worked on being our best selves, about learning to listen to our own selves and our own wisdom….and the weight kept coming off. Then that group ended. And she started another one this time for 6 months, and I am in that now with a group of amazing women….and the weight continues to come off…..slowly and surely. And I have learned to be ok with that…..I used to be that girl who would lose 20 lbs in a month, but I just cant live like that. This I can live with, in fact I am thriving with it – learning to be my best self.”
Working with Cheryl, for me has been life changing. She brings so much authenticity and her whole being to this work. Cheryl lives and breathes this work, and is the most inspiring role model for me – she really and truly “walks the talk”. Because she is so open and sharing about her own experiences and how she has moved through this work, I trust her absolutely.
We both really enjoyed and appreciated this beautiful Soul-gazing session! From the pre-work of asking for a list of our most meaningful songs and the names of our children to ensuring we had an understanding of what the session was all about, your attention to detail was impeccable. Also, the way you incorporated these details into the session was perfect…totally gave us both the feels!
The entire session flowed naturally from beginning to end. The delivery through Zoom allowed us to try something new from the comfort of our own bedroom. We really appreciated the private times during the session which allowed for some intimate moments. At the end of the session, we were reminded of the strong connection of love between us which is needed during these uncertain times of isolation due to Covid-19. Your compassion for yourself and others really shined through.
I highly recommend this Soul-Gazing session for couples who want to reconnect by letting go of the minutiae of life and focusing on what’s important: loving each other and holding space for ourselves and one another. We can only grow as humans by being willing to try new things!
Thanks for taking the time and care to help us reconnect and strengthen our relationship.
What this work and integration has meant to me:
I close my eyes and think about what I need, should and have to do. When I open them, I am sweaty, my chest is tight, my head is numb and an anger builds and gets stuck right at the back of my throat. It’s there, just waiting to lunge. When it does, I am doing one of two things.. I am snapping at my children or husband OR I eat with an intensity and conviction that silences the even the small voices asking me to “slow down” or “what do YOU want to do”. Since I started with Cheryl, I am hungry not for what is in front of me to numb thoughts and emotions… but hungry for what life has shown me and I haven’t realized it.
It is a struggle to accept that relationships and events are messages directed to me… seeking a response from my own intuition – a soul voice – and I have just been telling them that they are not worthy all these years. Today, I feel that I am evolving. The integrative work in this program is not easy. It takes persistence, vulnerability, the willingness to share negative self talk and the sheer practice of changing behaviors.
This program is creating cognitive changes because it is executed by Cheryl. Cheryl has a enchanting sweetness, a poetic delivery of words and the ability to connect to each person because she recognizes individual milestones (on and off the program), triggers and when we lie on our chat .. just to please people or make our story short and minuscule. It means a lot for me to have met Cheryl and for her to take me on a journey I have never ever though possible. The journey, as I see it, it travelling to the center of my own heart – where there lies only me.
Cheryl is a skilled coach, and wise mentor. She is a thoughtful observer and sensitive guide. I feel safe and supported as she introduces new techniques and leads me through breathing practise.
Through breath, I am learning how to be calm and present in each moment. I am also learning more about myself, quieting the voices of the busy world and connecting to who I truly am. I have experienced physical benefits in decreased muscle tension and lowered blood pressure. I am learning to integrate breath into my everyday interactions in a way that allows me to choose how to be rather than simply react.
More from Nikki….
Like many women, I had been in what seemed a constant struggle with food and my body. I felt substandard, unworthy and unwanted because of the excess physical weight I carried. For over 30 years I was in a cycle of bingeing and restricting, yo-yo dieting, losing and gaining, always thinking, negotiating or justifying food. I experienced anxiety and insecurities that seemed to revolve around food and my body. So much noise in my head! A friend with similar struggles recommended I reach out to Cheryl. I am so glad I did!
It was scary to start the whole process, but Cheryl created a safe and supportive learning environment sprinkled with lots of good humour. She is a busy mom and totally gets it, understanding the pressures and demands of parenting and working. She provides meaningful thoughtful learning challenges and integration opportunities that are manageable yet powerful within my busy demanding days. She knows her stuff and lives it, setting an inspiring an achievable example. It is clear that Cheryl truly cares for each person she coaches. She is fully present in each of her interactions and deliberately and carefully supports those she works with adapting her approach to best support each individual. She is able to zero in on just the area that might be sticky. Like a skillful massage therapist, she finds those ‘tight spots’ and knows just the right amount of pressure to apply to release the tension and bring healing.
This work is not about the food! It is so much more. I am learning to truly live each moment of this one precious life I have. I have learned to stop and breathe and feel. I have learned the differences between physical and emotional hunger. I have learned that I was often afraid and distracting myself from having to feel big feelings. I am learning to trust myself and know that it is okay to feel. I am safe and valued. I love and accept my body, nurturing and caring for it. As I do, my body is responding and releasing excess weight, but this is no longer the goal. I am not waiting for a certain number on the scale in order to fully live life. I am here now. I have discovered peace within myself. There is hope.
Thank you for changing my life for me and my family. I am learning to slow down and creating time to just be with girls. I am . I am taking this as a opportunity for me to grow and learn to slow down. And breathe! Thank you for giving me these gifts.
Cheryl is truly one of a kind and an absolute gift to work with. She is not an average coach. She truly embodies the work she does and has SUCH positive, loving, passionate energy about her. From the very first call with her, I felt like I was talking to a long lost friend. She was so welcoming and understanding and I knew then, I had to work with her. Over the past few months Cheryl has helped me overcome a lifelong battle of emotional eating. Binging and self-hatred had been a part of my life for so long, I never thought that I would live a life free from that cycle. Cheryl’s coaching has allowed me to work through all of the pain and self-limiting beliefs I have carried with me all of my life. I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I FINALLY have my life back and feel like I can truly be the wife, mom, and woman I have always wanted to be.
Coaching from Cheryl is like talking to a friend who believes in you, who holds you up when you struggle, who challenges old ways of thinking, all in an effort to make you see the best version of yourself that you can be. It is positive and practical and comes from such a heartfelt place. I highly recommend coaching to people who are ready for change.
I met Cheryl as head coach through Hungry for Happiness when I joined a six-month program to end the battle with food and body. Little did I know “food and body” were only the tip of the iceberg. This work transformed my relationship with my husband, how I parent and my entire being. What I loved most about working with Cheryl as a coach was her honest, raw, vulnerability; her willingness to share her own struggles and illustrate how this work plays out in real life. I am forever changed.
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