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Staff Spotlight: Meet Long-Time OHI Staff Member, Sheryl Haupt

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Sheryl Haupt is an OHI devotee. “I first heard about OHI in 1982 and decided to go there for two weeks to help me quit smoking,” said Sheryl. “I had smoked for 13 years and was desperate to quit because I was experiencing some serious issues with my lungs. OHI helped me get through the withdrawal process and enabled me to finally break the habit. I was so impressed with the transformation I felt in my body, mind, and spirit that I decided to come back to OHI each year to do a tune-up. That was 40 years ago, and here I am a long-time guest who became a long-time employee.”

Why did Sheryl decide to go from guest to employee? “My purpose has changed dramatically over my lifetime because of my affiliation with OHI,” said Sheryl. “For years I worked as a Vice President of a financial/real estate corporation. I felt dissatisfied and wanted to do something that made a difference in the world. After attending OHI as a guest, I knew this was a place where I could make a difference in people’s lives. So, in 1987 I took a job at the San Diego campus running the kitchen. Eventually my husband retired, and we traveled for 6 years. We ended up in Austin, and I went back to work at OHI in 1999. While there I ran the store and the office, and taught classes. My husband and I moved back to San Diego in 2001 for family reasons, and I went back to work at the OHI campus there. At that time, I ran the missionary program and taught classes. I retired in 2019, but I couldn’t stay away. I am back as a Senior Facilitator teaching classes and working on updates to the curriculum. I’ve been working at OHI for over 21 years.”

So how does Sheryl feel she embodies the energy and spirit of OHI? “OHI has been such an integral part of my life for so many years, both as a guest and also as part of the organization,” said Sheryl. I feel honored to have worked with all the founders and been able to see how dedicated they were to the thousands of guests who visited over the years. They were such an inspiration of love and hope. My goal has been to carry that same energy to the current guests. I often facilitate the Sunday tour and orientations and meet the new guests as they arrive. You can feel their uncertainty and how guarded everyone seems. As the week progresses, we begin to see the transformation, and by Friday their hearts are open, they feel safe, and a part of the family. It is always so exciting to see the physical transformation and healing, but even more inspiring is seeing the change at a behavioral and spiritual level. People leave the program feeling more connected to others and to their spiritual beliefs. It is truly a transformative experience.”

Sheryl has been integral to the many facets of OHI — hospitality, ministry, and education. But does she have a favorite role? “The educational component of the program here is amazing,” said Sheryl. “When I first attended as a guest, I was surprised at the extent and depth of information presented. Now, it’s exciting to be the facilitator sharing the curriculum with those that are hearing it for the first time. It’s really inspiring.”

OHI has helped Sheryl find her purpose in life, but has her health changed as well? “When I first visited OHI in 1982, I was eating the standard American diet,” said Sheryl. “OHI taught me a healthier way of eating that has helped me achieve an excellent state of health. Some guests don’t see how food and spirituality intersect in their life, but as I ate healthier, I found I was calmer, more patient, and more willing to be disciplined in my habits. The healthy diet and exercise have truly helped me heal.”

Sheryl recently lost her husband of 51 years, and in reflecting on that relationship she shared this insight. “Enjoy every minute of your life with your family and friends,” said Sheryl. “Let them know how much you appreciate and love them. Forgive and reconcile any old hurts you are still holding on to. I honor my marriage by being mindful of what my husband would think of my choices and behavior every day. For those seeking spiritual evolution, my one piece of advice to help pivot their journey in a more productive direction is to find ways to be of service to others. It is by serving others that I have reconnected to my faith and deepened it tremendously. I am so grateful to OHI for allowing me to work here and to make a difference in the world.”

Optimum Health Institute is here for you! We will motivate you to stick with your commitment to health and discover new ways to empower yourself. Explore the holistic healing program offered at OHI. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind, and awaken the spirit. Call us to book your reservation today: (800) 588-0809