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Shari L. Fox helps you find your authentic self

Are you soul-searching? Stuck in a rut? Shari L. Fox gets it. She’s been there. Before starting her business in 2012 as a “Soul Teacher,” a.k.a. personal growth facilitator, Fox had tried just about every selfhelp technique on the market—energy work, therapy, coaching, cleansing, vision boarding, you name it—to feel good and be happy. “At the root of it, I guess I was searching for a deeper connection to myself, to know what I wanted, the courage to speak my truth and to feel like I was part of something greater,” she explains. “I didn’t know this at the time, though. I just thought I was lonely and stuck.” What finally clicked was training by The Enneagram Institute. The Enneagram method, which she now integrates into her teachings, is a system of understanding how we’re wired, and it starts with a personality test. “It’s skillful, effective and tried-and-true around the world. I’ve found that until you understand your specific, individual psychological make-up, you aren’t able to create any lasting change. The Enneagram was the first concrete tool I found that could underlie all of the other things that I tried.” For the last four years, Fox has been focused on collaborative, one-on-one sessions with clients and workshops in Sandy Springs, Decatur and Palm Beach. Through her Soul Nourish Institute, she and fellow yoga teacher Mandy Roberts also lead retreats in places such as the Blue Ridge Mountains, Costa Rica, Mexico and Hawaii that incorporate yoga and other activities. Here, Fox shares more about how she helps people develop tools to lead their most authentic lives and to get out of a rut.

What does your title of Soul Teacher mean to you?

To me, a soul teacher addresses a deep, hungry and brilliant part of ourselves that yearns to come out and play. I help my clients through life’s transitions that make us wonder, “Who am I? What am I here for? What does it take to be fulfilled?”

How would you describe the kind of work you do with your clients?

It’s fun. It’s liberating. I get to share things with my clients that they’ve maybe never heard somewhere else, but they’ve always wanted to know about themselves, such as why they get along with people in certain ways or how to treat people differently. And when they see the truth, it’s not scary. It’s empowering.

What types of exercises do you facilitate in your workshops?

Meditation, embodied movement and sharing your experience with a partner. Until we notice what we’re doing, we can’t assess if what we’re doing is successful and if it’s something we want to keep doing. Once we notice what our patterns are, we have a choice to see if they’re helping us, or if they’re keeping us stuck.

Why do you think change is so terrifying?

On a cellular level, change is terrifying because our biology has created homeostasis in the tension that we’re experiencing. We’ve become addicted to adrenaline and accustomed to not breathing fully. We hold our bellies in to protect ourselves emotionally. We actually become physiologically wired to prevent it from happening.

So how do you rewire your brain to get out of a rut?

We get present so we can actually learn something new. First, it is noticing the rut that you’re in. Second, it is recognizing, “I don’t like this; this does not feel like ease; this is not the way I want to be.” After that, we learn how to become more aware and test out new ways of being, so whenever the time comes in our lives that we’re faced with our habitual reaction, we’ve practiced how to make that leap in a quarter of a second. Whenever we get into a rut, it’s kind of our soul’s way of telling us, “This isn’t working.”

What’s your daily ritual that makes you the happiest?

The thing that makes me the happiest, my ritual, is sitting down and having a glass of wine with my husband. Relaxing and talking—that, to me, is quality time. And I love that, but if it weren’t for my morning meditation exercise that always starts my day, I’d be too busy thinking about work, worrying about something I had to do the next day or caught up in an emotional conflict to be present to enjoy that glass of wine.

Find out more about Fox’s upcoming workshops (Springs Yoga in Sandy Springs in October), retreats (Blue Ridge Mountains and Hawaii in 2017) and more by visiting Soulnourishretreats.com and Sharilfox.com.

STORY: Karina Antenucci
Photo: Andrew Michael Phillips