Today we’d like to introduce you to Sharon Ehlers.
Sharon, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Prior to 2014, I was an executive-level professional with management, national policy, information technology, cybersecurity, strategic planning and leadership experience in the commercial, defense, industrial, intelligence and federal sectors.
After the suicides of a close friend and a former fiancé within a two-year period, I was confused about how many people either avoided me or didn’t want to talk about these events. In my grief, I tried to make sense of it all but it seemed like it was “never the right time” to bring it up. So, I took a deep breath and tried to work through the grief on my own. I dragged myself into work and somehow made it through the days and weeks that followed. I kept thinking there had to be a better way.
So, after working in Corporate America for almost 30 years, I decided to start her own company to offer a multi-dimensional approach to grief through emotional recovery and spiritual healing. Now an Advanced Grief Recovery Method Specialist® and Reiki Master Teacher, I am trying to help others to heal and recover from grief by providing them with a safe, compassionate and healing environment for their journey.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has often been smooth but mostly it has been steep and winding with many twists and turns. For me, there was a real struggle between sticking with a career which was financially stable and following my passion which had less financial certainty. I held on to both for a number of years but found I couldn’t devote enough attention to either one. On top of that, working in both professions became emotionally, physically and spiritually draining. So, at the end of 2017, I honored the promise I made to Grief Reiki® when I formed the company in 2014 and am now dedicated to it full-time.
In addition, since grief and loss are a taboo subject in our society (especially here in Los Angeles) there is such pressure to be upbeat all the time. Many people couldn’t understand why I would “choose” to work in such a “depressing” profession on a daily basis. I tell them I didn’t choose grief; it chose me when my loved ones died. It was not something I could avoid. In fact, no one can avoid it. I felt unprepared for the resulting emotions as well as isolated by those around me who didn’t know how to deal with my grief. Since I didn’t know how to deal with grief myself, it became a rollercoaster ride I couldn’t get off. After riding the roller coaster for a few years, I realized I had to do “something” if I was going to move through it. Once I took the time to “embrace” grief rather than fight or avoid it, this company was born.
I think these “struggles” not only have helped me to be a better person but have been the driving force behind Grief Reiki’s success.
So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Grief Reiki® story. Tell us more about the business.
Grief Reiki® is a small business offering a holistic approach to healing and recovery from grief and loss. We are located in the Greater Los Angeles area near LAX. We offer grief support groups, individual sessions, as well as in-person and online training courses, webinars and workshops.
Grief Reiki® is known for integrating the emotional, spiritual and physical components of grief. We provide our Clients with a one-of-a-kind blueprint to understand their own grief more completely so they will be better able to move through it.
We are most proud that in a few short years we have helped hundreds of grievers through one of the most difficult periods in their lives. It has been an honor and a privilege to watch their lives transform over a period of weeks. We also authored a one-of-a-kind book (Grief Reiki – An Integrated Approach to Grief and Loss); co-authored a three-time National award winning book (Grief Diaries: Surviving Loss by Suicide); hosted the South Bay Grief and Loss Support Group for grievers in our local community; created The Grief Reiki® Academy which provides free online webinars including Time Doesn’t Heal All Wounds, Helping Children Grieve and Dealing with Pet Loss; started the process to become a certified Death Midwife; been accepted as an expert instructor at the International Grief Institute and been a featured guest in multiple podcasts, summits, radio shows and news articles.
What sets Grief Reiki® apart from other companies is we address all the recovery aspects of grief – the emotional, the physical and the spiritual. Most companies address only one or two; not all three. This ensures our Clients feel as though…
…a weight has been lifted off their shoulders
…they are no longer in pain
…they can sleep, eat and function again
…their broken heart is beginning to mend
…they’ve let go of what’s keeping them stuck
…they’ve moved from surviving to living again.
There is no better feeling than being able to do this for someone who has gone through a significant loss.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I like calling it “intuition” (listening to your gut) or “synchronicity” (being in the right place at the right time) rather than “luck”. In my younger years, I tended to spend much of the time in my head analyzing, planning then second-guessing myself. Sometimes this approach paid off but most times it didn’t. Once I decided to start Grief Reiki®, I promised myself I would go with my “gut feelings” instead of over-analyzing everything, this is exactly what I did and it has provided amazing results in ways I would have never imagined.
For example, if I hadn’t listened to “my gut” and followed through on a call for writers I saw on a random website, I would never have become a three-time award winning author on a project called Grief Diaries: Surviving Loss by Suicide. If I hadn’t reached out to local businesses via an unsolicited email (because I had a “gut feeling” it was the only way I would find office space), I never would have found my very first location. Everything I have done in this business has been because I followed my intuition or there was some sort of synchronistic event. This has a wonderful reminder to me to operate in this way in everything I do.
- Website: www.grief-reiki.com
- Phone: (800) 458-7348
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/griefreiki
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/griefreiki
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/griefreiki
- Other: www.grief-reiki-academy.teachable.com