I first met Sharni Quinn on day one of our ILS coaching course. You also may have seen her: she is the beautiful blond dressed in white and posing elegantly in the poster at the Wellness Warehouse till in Kloof Street. My first thought was: “She looks like someone who really lives and has lots of fun doing it.” But for Sharni life wasn’t always easy.
Being very frank and open, Sharni told me how she had been married and then got divorced after four years. Two years into their marriage, her husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
All the while she was dealing with the stress of emotional and verbal abuse that comes with this disease. As she said: “Emotional abuse is almost worse than physical abuse because you can’t see the damage.”
In 2008 they lost their graphic design agency and faced massive debt with Sharni’s husband’s condition clouding his judgement regarding business decisions. In the same year they were evicted from their rented home. Sharni was working 12 hours a day trying to build up a yoga business and also doing freelance graphic design jobs. At home she had to cope with the emotional turmoil of her husband’s bipolar disease. All the stress started to take its toll on her physically and emotionally and she was diagnosed with depression, her adrenal glands shut down and she was completely burnt out.
On Christmas Day 2009, Sharni’s husband tried to commit suicide. She knew then that she had hit an ultimate low. There was no way she could continue with this marriage. Things had to change. However, getting out was not a simple matter, not when it seemed the truth would hurt the one she cared about. Nevertheless, within a month, in the presence of her husband’s psychologist, she asked for a divorce. She knew she was in desperate need of recovery and that she had to start picking up the pieces and start her life afresh. With no idea of what lay ahead, she felt she had to have a complete turnaround, so she decided to plunge into the unknown and take a trip to India, Bali and Australia for the rest of that year. This was the start of her “Follow the Sun” journey of travelling and doing yoga for charity in order to find herself again.
She had many interesting experiences, from travelling in “toilet class” on the train to Bombay, to finding peace in the rice paddies of Bali. Her travels enabled her to learn from the best yogis to find healing through different yoga practices, and to gain heaps of insights along the way, before she returned to South Africa to start her new Follow the Sun yoga and travel business. Here she guides and inspires women to start living according to their own sunshine, believe in themselves, live their dreams and to trust their intuition.
Sharni gives a true account of what “change” really means. To decide that you can no longer continue the way you have and deciding to make a change is a hard process in itself. In Sharni’s case she constantly moved backwards and forwards wondering about this hard decision she was making to leave her husband. But even after the decision was made, it didn’t suddenly make everything alright. Making a choice for change doesn’t guarantee sunny days and butterflies ahead. You keep being thrown into moments of doubt where you have to reevaluate your expectations and rather go with the flow, “trusting the process”, as Sharni says.
To ultimately stay true to yourself and follow your intuition. This makes all the difference.
Today Follow the Sun is expanding and branching out. Soon Sharni will be collaborating with her Follow the Sun Angels and focusing on inspiring people to live a radiant life through yoga, food, life coaching and travel. Visit her page www.followthesun.co.za for more information.
Listen to her chatting about her book here:
(Video source: Supplied by Sharni Quinn, produced by Nikki Burchell from Jam Doughnut.)
Also be sure to read her full story in her book:
Published by Sharni Quinn
Available from the Wellness Warehouse in Kloof Street or purchase directly from the author by mailing her at email@example.com
(Book cover source: Supplied by Sharni Quinn)
(Main image credit: Supplied by Sharni Quinn, taken by Mark la Grange)