February / Sherah
Lives in: Louisville, KY
Alma Mater: Louisville School of Massage
Studied: Massage Therapy
Takes her coffee: Super sweet
Last book read: The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron
Works at: Healing and Hope Massage in Louisville, KY as CEO
Responsible for: Managing and maintaining H&H as a creative entrepreneur
SIB: Were you scared when you decided to open Healing & Hope?
SR: Yeah. Part of being an entrepreneur is that you never stop working, so that was the part that I was really not looking forward to. But in the past, I never did anything for myself. I found so much more purpose in doing something for myself. So it was scary, but very rewarding. And it’s just getting better. What you put into what you do is what you get out of it. I don’t say I’m lucky in life, I’m really blessed in life. With my parents being religious, [I heard that a lot growing up]. The older I get, the more I see it.
SIB: Do you find that people have some misconceptions about massage therapy?
SR: Absolutely. A lot of people see it as a luxury, or taboo.
SIB: Taboo? Why?
SR: People are uncomfortable getting undressed. Which, I mean, is normal. But for somebody like me, it’s just a part of my job. It makes the job easier, and I don’t think about it. And then people think it’s a luxury and they don’t see how holistic and healing a massage is, and how it can be an alternative to things that can harm us, like painkillers. I’ve definitely been trying to advocate how much it can help. We’re stressed out nowadays more than we’ve ever been. And it’s a great way to help with your mental health.
SIB: After a long day of working on other people, what do you do to relax yourself?
SR: Definitely a lot of stretching. I have a good foam roller I like to roll around on. I get massages regularly. I’ve been doing it so long it doesn’t affect me as much as it used to. I do a lot of meditation. I do yoga.
SIB: Tell me more about your meditation. Do you meditate every day at the same time?
SR: I wouldn’t say I do it every day. I do it pretty regularly. I use a lot of grounding methods. As a vessel we take in, so we have to let it out. So everything I’ve done, all the clients I’ve worked on that day, everybody I’ve met, I let that out. And I try to sit in that and find peace. I usually don’t follow somebody talking, because that gets me distracted. Of course, there’s cats running around me the whole time. You never know what’s going to happen.
SIB: How many cats do you have?
SR: I have four cats. I don’t have kids, so it’s cool because I can see them grow up together. They’re a lot of work, but they’re a lot of fun.
SIB: Tell me about the art classes at your studio!
SR: I’m currently relaunching my intuitive art sessions, and that [will include] some more classes called Heart To Art. With art, you can really work with the different layers of the subconscious, and it’s a great tool for healing, because there’s no limits within what you can express. This class is targeting what you’re currently dealing with, putting that on a canvas, and letting it out. People don’t even see [what they’re doing] sometimes, but they’ll paint and then we’ll be done with the meditation, and they’ll look at their canvas and be like, “Wow.”
SIB: As a creative person, you use power tools on a weekly basis. How did you learn to work with them?
SR: My parents are pretty savvy. My husband is really handy. I’m really gifted at being able to pick stuff up and know how to do it. I’m currently trying to figure out how to solder so I can make my own jewelry. It never ends. *laughs*
SIB: Some women might feel intimidated by using tools. Where would you recommend starting out?
SR: Get a good hammer and a drill. It doesn’t have to be a big drill. Just a little power drill is like the greatest thing ever. You’re definitely going to want one flat head screwdriver, one Phillips head screwdriver. Those are four things that will get you through. If you start using a table saw or a chop saw, it’s really scary because you have this high powered matching coming at you. But as long as you take your time and you’re patient, [you’ll be fine]. *laughs*
SIB: What’s a project you’ve made that you’re the most proud of?
SR: I have this table that I made. It’s just this really nice, tall entryway table. I made it out of reclaimed lumber. It’s probably one of the best pieces I’ve made. And then for our wedding, I made all of our wedding favors. They were these ceramic hearts, pottery hearts. I made 100.
SIB: How long did that you?
SR: A little while. *grins* I stopped by someone’s house today, and they had one in their house. It was really cool to see it, that somebody appreciated something that I made.
SIB: Speaking of your husband, you both got married at age 21, which is a lot younger than most people these days. What advantage did that give you?
SR: From what I’ve seen with my friends, it gave us a leg up because we got started early. We have a house, and we’ve started targeting our debt. We got to enjoy each other young and stupid.
SIB: You got to grow up together a little bit.
SR: Yeah. We still are for sure. But it gave me a different perspective because I didn’t have to worry about dating. It took the stress out so we could just enjoy each other and enjoy life.
SIB: You’ve been friends with a lot of your friends since high school! How have you been able to maintain your friendships so well for so long?
SR: I think a long time ago we all really bonded together and [were like], “Nothing’s going to ruin this.” We didn’t let drama problems come between us. We’ve always tried to stay in touch with each other, and if one of us is detached, we make sure that [she’s] okay. I’m a floater, so I can be friends with anybody. I think a lot of the people in our group are like that, so it’s really helped. None of us had kids until last year, when the first one had a kid.
SIB: Have you had any pressure to have kids?
SR: Oh, yeah.
SIB: How do you politely respond to people who ask “When are you going to have kids?”
SR: I usually smile and say [sweetly] “Noooo.” And they’re like, “Why?” and I’m like, “Noooo.” 'Cause I don’t have to explain to them. Honestly, someone who is putting that kind of pressure on me is not someone who deserves to know. It doesn’t bother me anymore. It’s just somebody else’s expectation. Most of my friends don’t want kids. I think that’s a really big dynamic that’s changing.
SIB: You mentioned having mentors. Did you seek out a mentorship, or did you fall into one
SR: I was going to a developmental coach for a long time, and then I started seeing a business coach, and then I saw a manifestation coach, and she was really helpful. It’s something I’ve just gone with, because if you’re not willing to grow, then you’ll never succeed.
SIB: What have you learned the most from your mentors?
SR: I would say it’s seeing you're worth. Seeing what you have to offer and what you can do with it. Now I can see what I have to offer, and feel confident in that, but also see that this is a gift that I can use.
SIB: Have you mentored anybody yet?
SR: With the Heart To Art, it’s a one on one session, so that feels like coaching. But I feel intimidated by that. I’m 27, and my mentors are in their late 30s or 40s. It’s [intimidating]. I’ve been making jokes lately about being the most socially awkward person that may one day be on a conference stage, because I could see myself doing that.
SIB: If you were going to give a TedTalk, what would it be about?
SR: Self love. I’ve been writing a workshop [about it]. Deeply accepting who you are - I feel that’s a great foundation for the rest of your health. If you don’t love who you are, then how are you expected to love somebody else? We are created by a Creator, and we are loved, and if we don’t accept that love, then how can we love our Creator too? I want others to see the worth that I see in myself, and work through those anxieties and things that are [holding them back].
SIB: Hating yourself doesn’t make you a better person.
SR: Yeah. And it doesn’t serve you.
SIB: I love your hair color! Do you experiment a lot with it?
SR: Thanks! So this is the wash out from like six months ago. It was orange and purple for a little bit. That washed out really fast, so I went red, and this is the aftermath. I really don’t do anything to it. I’ve let it grow for a few years, to just see where it goes.
SIB: As a business owner, do you feel pressure to present yourself a certain way?
SR: Yeah. I’m a long-sleeved-T-shirt-with-jeans kind of person, and I don’t wear makeup a lot. I don’t carry a purse. My hair’s curly, so it’s just crazy. That’s usually how I present myself, because that’s who I am. [Sometimes I think], maybe I should get nicer shoes. Maybe I shouldn’t wear those clothes. I feel like I need to change. But if someone doesn’t like something about me, that’s their own insecurities. People can see that authenticity. They appreciate it.
SIB: What do you love about yourself?
SR: I like that I can make stuff. When you give something to somebody that you made, just the joy - it’s really exciting to see somebody appreciate that. I can dance. My husband’s the only judge of that, so I don’t really know if I can. I like how strong I’ve become. I’m physically strong, and it’s a natural thing, and it’s really nice cause I'm a shorter woman. I don’t feel like I can’t protect myself. I feel confident in myself, and I like doing stuff and watching men go, “Are you sure you can carry that?” [I’m like,] “I can pick my husband up, don’t worry!”
SIB: What does balance mean to you?
SR: Balance is finding your flow. Finding what serves you, finding the people that support you, finding that self-love and -acceptedness, and enjoying life.