I’m Okay, Really! ~ A Healing Story…

Standard

I recently had the opportunity to share some of my healing stories as part of a shamanic healing workshop while my mentor, shaman Ross Bishop,  was visiting in Maryland last month.  As I read the stories, I realized how much I have changed since I have written them and even more so, how I have changed since the time I was a child.  The other thing that I realized is that I am still healing and this is a lifelong journey for me.  There is certainly today a lot more balance, joy and ease of well-being than I have known throughout my lifetime, but there is no “magic pill” and there is no “this work is done”.   I share this as a survivor and thriver of trauma, but I know that it’s not just my story – healing and transformation are part of the ongoing journey of being human.

Our stories may differ.  Yet, what I have learned through my own healing journey, and my work supporting others as a shaman, holistic practitioner and recovery coach as well as a writer is that there are universal themes that we as human beings experience, especially those of us living in a modern world.  These include feelings of unworthiness, disconnection, isolation, shame, abandonment and the list can go on.   I touch a lot on these themes in my story, “I’m Okay Really!”, which was featured in Harmonic Voices: True Stories of Women on the Path To Peace, a Heal My Voice collaborative book project.

I had the honor of supporting this project as a facilitator in training for the Heal My Voice process and will now be co-facilitating a new project with HMV Founder Andrea Hylen starting this Fall called, Recovering Voices: True Stories of Women and Men Healing Grief.  This will be the first HMV project open to men as well as women and we are kicking it off with a Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief Workshop in Annapolis, MD on Saturday, May 2nd and a 3-Session Teleclass in June, dates/details TBA.

Here is my healing story from Harmonic Voices...

10298376_10152122370960168_563882781120428117_o

“I’m Okay, Really!”

by Beth Terrence

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon when I headed down to my favorite coffee shop with my journal in hand.  It was just a few weeks after joining this Heal My Voice Peace Project and I was ready to begin to invite in an idea for my story to emerge.   It wasn’t until I actually sat down and began to write that I realized it was Mother’s Day.  It’s usually a day or two before that I realize this day is here; and as others begin to celebrate in various ways, I feel this huge wave of sadness and loss wash over me.  It still seems to catch me by surprise each year.  

It’s been 11 years since my mother passed away and yet, this feeling of loss was one I felt long before.  My mother died when I was 35 but I really lost her when I was about 8 years old.  Whether I actually knew it then in a conscious way or not is a question, but I remember when things began to feel different.  On the outside everything seemed pretty much the same and as any good suburban family would do, we did our best to keep it that just that way.  As time went on, it was evident that something was wrong.

The “something wrong” became clear for me one day when my mother forgot to pick me up from school.  I lived too close to school to be bussed and too far away to walk, so part of our daily routine was my mother driving me to and from my elementary school.   On this day, I was only in the 2nd grade; and I stood waiting for her, just waiting outside the school.  I waited and waited until everyone else was gone.  Still, she did not come.  

I was an only child, but I don’t think I had ever been “forgotten” before.  As I stood waiting by myself outside the school, I began to ponder my choices.  Could I walk home on my own?  It wasn’t that far to my house, but I knew for sure that I was not supposed to walk alone.  And, yet here I was all alone.  Perhaps this was the first time I really felt alone in this lifetime.  

Oddly, I remember wondering, rather quickly, if I had done something wrong to cause my mother not to come.   I couldn’t think of what that might be.  I began to question if I was in the wrong place or if I was supposed to go somewhere else that day.  I couldn’t think of where.  I just felt alone, afraid and abandoned.  I don’t think I was old enough yet to know that I would be okay.  

Alone.  Afraid.  Abandoned.

As I waited and waited, I wondered where a teacher was or why no one had noticed I was there.  I was at the back of the school where I usually met my Mom, so not many folks were often there.  Still, I thought, “how could no one know where I am?”  As I reflect on this, I wonder why I didn’t seek out a teacher or think to ask someone for help.  It didn’t occur to me to ask for help – that’s how old that pattern goes.  

I remember feeling a wave of shame come over me and somehow I knew I should be able to figure this out on my own.  A few times I made the move to walk home but wasn’t sure the best way to go.  One way was through the woods; the other was on a street with no sidewalks.  Both were options I knew not to take alone.  As I struggled to find a solution in my mind, I felt scared, really scared and all alone.

Ashamed.  Don’t ask for help.  Not knowing which way to go. 

At some point I began to cry in that silent way that I had already learned.  Instead of letting the tears flow, I tried to suck them back and be brave.  A “brave little soldier” was a phrase I had heard.  Maybe folks said that more about boys than girls, but somehow I knew this was a good quality to have.  As I stood there alone and scared, I tried as hard as I could to suck back my tears.  And, I did!  I told myself to just act like it was okay and I felt the façade of “I’m Okay” wash over me, perhaps for the first time in a conscious way.  

Brave little soldier.  Hide your tears.  The façade of “I’m Okay”.

As I reflect on this, it seems so strange because I stood there alone, all alone.   There was no one to hide my tears from, there was no one to be a brave little soldier for and there was no one to put the “I’m Okay” façade on for except me, just me.  There I was, at only 8 years old, standing alone and putting on a mask of protection that I would wear for decades to come as I told myself that life was okay when I knew deep inside it was not. 

I know that something changed in me that day.  I stood alone trying to prove to myself and to the world that all was well, when in my heart I knew it was not.  Thinking back, I have often ”accused” my family of this very thing.  After all, I was a child and they were adults.  I don’t know what I could have done, but as I grew older I thought “they” could have done something and didn’t.  Now I know they were doing all they could do to be okay with a situation that was truly not “Okay”.  

Denial.  Protection.  Isolation. 

It is this kind of unspoken truth that can destroy families and lives, and yet seems to happen so often.  For me, it was a truth that remained unresolved for many years as my mother descended into  the depths of mental illness untreated.   Although she remained present in body, the mother I knew was gone long before her death.  This created a deep thread of abandonment and loss I carried with me throughout my life.  It was not long after that day of being “forgotten” at the school that I remember beginning to feel abandoned by God, too.  

I had always felt a strong connection with God.  I still continued to pray each night;   sitting by my window, looking up at the stars and asking for that same support, protection and love.  Yet, I had a sense no one was listening and in some odd sort of way, I felt like I had to make it “Okay” for God, too.   Like what I was carrying was too big for the Creator.  It’s hard to imagine how I could come to that conclusion at only 8 years old, but I know it’s true.  Today, I know I was not the only little one who made that conclusion, many of us do.

When my mother finally arrived that day, how late I cannot say, she was very angry.   She blamed me; somehow this was my fault.  “I was a bad child” was a message I was already familiar with; it was intermingled with messages of love and caring, at least still at that time.   If something went wrong or my mother did something not quite right, it was usually not her fault but mine.  This was a pattern I learned early on in life.  Later my mother’s words got harsher and ultimately, my own words to myself were just as harsh – I came to believe that I could do no right.

It’s all my fault.  I am bad.  I am wrong. 

I took on the belief that I was a mistake.  I was not the perfect angelic child that my mother wanted and needed to be healthy and whole.  Somehow, I was defective.  I came to believe that I had failed her needs and so she left.  Her body stayed but her spirit went to dwell somewhere else, leaving space for other energies and entities to reside.  For many, many years, I truly believed this was my fault.  If I could become the perfect child, the perfect daughter and the perfect woman somehow I might be able to save her.  This mission became a driving force in my life, one that caused me much suffering – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. 

Be Perfect.  Sacrifice yourself.  It’s up to you to save her.

Living with the legacy of a mentally ill parent is one that you carry with you each day.  For many years, I wondered if I would lose myself in this same way, too.  I carried the burden of feeling like I had chosen to abandon my mother just to live in the world.  Often, the pain was so great that I honestly didn’t know if I would survive.  Through it all, I continued to wear the mask of “I’m Okay”.   I was like a soldier walking alone through my own internal war.  

As I write these words my tears flow as they could not flow back then.  For many years, I shed no tears or when they bubbled up, I sucked them back in.   Now I can shed tears and often do.  I know this is growth, progress and healing.  It wasn’t until I was willing to take off the mask, lay down my head and shed the tears of this lifetime that the healing began.  I came to understand that by being a “brave soldier”, I had continued to abandon myself just as my 8 year old had felt abandoned by my family, by God and by the world.  

It took a great commitment to healing for me to stay present the pain of my inner ones long enough for them to feel safe and loved.   Today, I can hold that 8 year old in my heart and soul and tell her it was not her fault, she is not alone and she can let her tears flow, too.  It was in building this relationship with myself that the façade of  “I’m Okay” finally melted away and my true self emerged in a deeper way. 

“Healing means making yourself vulnerable by exposing the core of your being and admitting how you really feel about yourself.  The decision to heal requires the willingness to accept that you may be as flawed as you fear (we never are).  It also requires an almost ruthless commitment to find and live in the truth, irrespective of the cost.”  – Ross Bishop, Healing The Shadow

Alone. 

Afraid. 

Abandoned.

Ashamed.  

Don’t ask for help.  

Not knowing which way to go. 

Brave little soldier.  

Hide your tears.  

The façade of “I’m Okay”.

Denial.  

Shame.  

Isolation. 

It’s all my fault.  

I am bad. 

I am wrong. 

Be Perfect.  

Sacrifice yourself.  

It’s up to you to save…

Through the shamanic path I came to see that although we each have different life experiences, there is a much bigger picture at work.  Our individual struggles may vary, but the feelings, patterns and beliefs that emerge are a natural and necessary part of the journey of a soul on earth.  Becoming conscious of our feelings of separation and healing through them is the path back to source and to reclaiming the essence of who we are. 

The Big Picture.  Separation.  Coming Home.

Today, I know now that peace begins with being true and honest with myself.  As I allow my authenticity to shine out into my life and into the world, I continue to move into greater harmony; this is my path home.  Rather than feeling alone or abandoned, I feel a deep connection to the greater whole.  This always begins and ends with my relationship with myself.  As I am willing to love, support and embrace all of me – body, mind, emotion & spirit, I grow in my ability to experience peace and joy in my life.  Even when it doesn’t feel okay or when painful feelings or difficult situations arise, I know, “I’m okay, really!”.


If my story speaks to you in some way and you’d like to explore Shamanic Healing, feel free to contact me for a Complimentary 20-Minute Consultation to explore what’s possible!  I am available for Shamanic Healing and Integrative Holistic Healing Sessions both in person in Annapolis, MD or virtually by Phone/Skype?  Learn more at www.bethterrence.com.

Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman

Standard

The following story, “Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman“, was first published in February 2013 in Inspired Voices: True Stories Of Visionary Women.  The writing of this story came through my participation in a 9-month Heal My Voice program.  The mission of HMV is to: empower and support women and girls globally to heal, reclaim their voice and step into greater leadership in their lives and in the world.” (www.healmyvoice.org)

Since that time I have written several other stories found in Heal My Voice collaborative books including:

“I’m Okay, Really!” in Harmonic Voices: True Stories by Women on the Path to Peace

“Afterword: Becoming Peace” in Harmonic Voices: True Stories by Women on the Path to Peace

“Foreword” in Tender Voices: True Stories by Women on a Journey of Love

“Recovery Is Possible” in Feminine Voices: True Stories Of Women Transforming Leadership

In addition to writing these stories, this program has helped me to step forward as a leader and share my voice with the world.  I am excited to share my first Heal My Voice story, Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman, with you here.  Later this year, I will be co-facilitating a program with HMV Founder Andrea Hylen called “Recovering Voices: True Stories of Women & Men Healing Grief“. We will also be leading some local workshops and virtual teleseminar classes on Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief.  Visit www.healmyvoice.org for more details.

In my story, I talk about how my life experiences, particularly those of trauma, loss and grief, led to my path of becoming a shaman.  I mention my teacher, Ross Bishop, who I came to meet a decade ago; he helped me to understand and integrate what I had experienced as a child in a profound and healing way.  This led to my apprenticeship as a shaman; and this work has become a foundation in my life and my work with clients today.

Ross will be arriving in Maryland tonight to spend some time offering healing space in my community.  If you are local to the MD/DC/VA area, I invite you to join us on Saturday for a Community Talk and Sunday for a Half-Day Workshop at The Zen House in Annapolis, MD.  To learn more visit azenhouse.com or Ross’ website, www.rossbishop.com.

 

Inspired Voices Book Cover

Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman

By Beth Terrence

Dedication:

I write this story in honor of my inner children, the ones who were willing to travel into the darkness to find the light. The ones who walked through fire and instead of emerging charred and burned, transformed themselves into the light of illumination which carries me through this life, allowing me to be happy, whole and filled with love.

It has been 10 years since my mother died. My life has transformed so much in that time; I might not even recognize myself if I passed the former me on the street. So many blessings and journeys have emerged since then that were unimagined. Around that time, I didn’t know it but I was about to experience what I consider to be my first soul retrieval, the return of a soul part that has been lost through life experiences. Looking back, I now view this part of my life journey as the gateway to stepping forward on my path as a shaman.

Prior to ten years ago, I had spent a good part of my life exploring spiritual and holistic practices. This was both through a deep sense of calling and also, in response to the struggles that came from dealing with anxiety, depression and the physical condition of fibromyalgia. In retrospect, I can see those imbalances were due to the effects of the severe trauma I had experienced as a child growing up with a mentally ill parent. I had made tremendous progress by the time of my mother’s death. I felt a sense of health and well-being that I previously never imagined was possible. Still, I felt something was missing.

For as long as I could remember, I had felt such a sense of extreme loss. Like there was a hole inside of me that could never be filled. It felt so deep and vast. When I was willing to look at it, all I could see was the darkness of an infinite abyss. Most of the time, I tried to pretend the abyss wasn’t there. Sometimes, I attributed it to the loss of my mother to her illness and to the wound of not really having a mother. Even stronger was the nagging and recurring feeling that some part of me was missing. I truly believed that a part of me was lost to the past and I doubted that it would ever be found.

From a shamanic perspective, it is believed that a portion of the human soul is free to travel and leave the body. Our souls are thought to travel during our dreamtime or as we enter into a shamanic journey. Also, a soul part may leave the body to protect itself from potentially threatening or dangerous situations whether they may be mental, emotional or physical. In situations of trauma, the soul fragment may not return to the body on its own and a soul retrieval or other healing process may be needed to assist it. However, a soul part may return on its own once a sense of safety has been established.

As I invited the story for this book to emerge, I found myself waking early one morning thinking about Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Telltale Heart”. As I imagined Poe’s story, I began to feel my own heart beating and pounding so strongly. It felt like it might shoot right out of my chest. That was an old and familiar feeling that I had known for much of my life. Living in fear and intense fear – fear of the unknown, fear of the unseen, and fear of the unpredictable was something I had experienced on a daily basis.

Although the memory I was having could have been many nights of my life, I realized it was the first night I spent alone in my mom’s house after she died that felt reminiscent of the Poe story. This was the house I grew up in, often a place that people cherish and love to return to, but for me it felt more like a house of horrors. I hated to go there for even for a few hours. I went as infrequently as I could, always feeling a sense of guilt for not going there more. I hadn’t slept there in over 15 years; one of the last times I had to be rescued by the police.

My mother had died very unexpectedly. I was shocked and really not sure how to feel. Energetically, she had been gone for so long. I felt like she had died when I was a child. I had mourned that loss in many ways. There was this woman who was my mother; she was not a real part of my life. Yet, she profoundly affected it. I longed for a mother to turn to for guidance, support and sharing; sometimes I still do. My mother was not that mother. Even if some part of her wanted to be that mother, her mental illness prevented it.

I found myself inheriting my mother’s house, my house of horrors, a place that still truly terrified me. Soon after I got the news, I had to go up there to deal with legal paperwork, go to the courts, and become the representative for my mother’s estate. There was no will, no instructions, just a mess, a big mess and a lot of pain emerging. I had the daunting task of cleaning and preparing the house to be sold. It felt utterly overwhelming even though I had a lot of support from friends and family. The house was in total shambles and filled with clutter in almost every room. I felt so much shame about that house, about my mother and about all of the memories surfacing as I merely thought about going into that house, let alone actually walking through the door and spending time there.

Surprisingly, I found myself feeling a need to spend a night alone there. I needed to know that the house and my memories couldn’t kill me. That’s how it felt for so long, like if I went in there and spent time there, it would kill me. I imagined going in and never coming out. I felt like it could just swallow me up whole never to be seen again. I believed it was a miracle that I had made it out of that house before.  Going back seemed like going into the lair of a dragon whose breath of fire could annihilate me in an instant. This house was the place that terrified me most in this world and yet, I knew I needed to return.

I had to sleep on the couch in the living room that night because there were no beds left in the house. My mom had died in her bed. I imagined my mom dying in her bed, lonely and alone. Just her and Percy, the sweet, sweet, loving Percy; the cat who had blessed our lives in so many ways. My mother dying lonely and alone isolated from the world at only 62. It seemed like that house had kept her prisoner, too.

As the sun descended and night arrived, my fear began to crescendo. My heart started beating like it used to, harder and harder until it beat so hard it felt like it would jump out of my chest, possibly even explode. I sat on that couch. I lay on that couch. I tossed and turned. I knew that sleep wasn’t going to be possible. I lay there hoping and praying for the night to come to an end.

Many memories began to surface. The knife fight. Locking myself in my room, again and again. Barricading the door. Hiding in the closet. Crawling under the bed. Sleep walking. Hearing the voices. Seeing the entities and not knowing what they were. Knowing my mother was gone and finding this being who seemed like a monster in her place. Constantly, fearing for my life. Hearing those familiar words that played, over and over again, in my head for so many years – “I will kill you, I will kill you, I will kill you”. Again and again. And, knowing that for so long those were not voices in my head, but words my mother would say to me, over and over again.

It truly felt like the words “I will kill you” came not from my mother but from some part of her that was not her true self. And eventually, it felt like it was the voice of the house. Every time I thought of it, whether I imagined being there or actually was there, I heard that voice. It was like it was captured in the structure or the energy of the house, just like the heart beating in Poe’s story. And, when I thought of those words and those memories, my heart would beat like Poe’s, too.

As I lay on that couch, I could feel that energy, hear those voices, and see those memories playing like a horror movie in my mind’s eye. I knew I was me now. I knew the house couldn’t kill me. I knew my mother was gone and she couldn’t kill me. Still, my heart continued to pound. I felt a full on flight or fight response arising.

I remembered all those nights, lying in my bed, begging and praying for God, for the angels, for someone or something to come protect and save me. Many nights, I wondered if I would make it to see another day. I wondered if this was the night she, my mother, would fulfill her words and kill me.

I longed for someone to hold me, to rock me, and to tell me it would be okay – I would survive. I wanted to cry for my mother, my mommy to come and save me, but she was the one I needed saving from. I was scared and terrified all the time. I was confused and lost.  I felt totally lonely and alone.

So often, I wanted to run. I wanted to run from that house. Or scream, scream really loud. When I heard those voices, when I awoke in the middle of the night to my mom’s paranoid ramblings and to the one voice that always wanted to kill. “I’ll kill you”. He’d say it, over and over again. I say he even though the voice came from my mother. I don’t know why, that’s just how it felt. I knew the voice wasn’t really my mother, but some other energy or entity that possessed her, encased her and suffocated the beautiful, loving being that she was inside. Even then, as a child and later, as a teenager, this was something I knew, something I saw and something that would lead to me to the shaman’s door.

So many nights I awoke to her standing over my bed, staring at me and saying those words, over and over again. “I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you”. I’d try to remain perfectly still and invisible, because that seemed like the safest thing to do. Eventually, I knew if I did that it would pass; she would return to her bed and usually not even remember what had happened during the night. In the morning, she would sleep late, often into the afternoon. When she finally awoke, for a short time, she might actually seem like the sweet mother that I knew before her illness took over.

It was scary and tricky. I didn’t know when to trust. On the occasion when she was a sweet loving mom, the one I longed for and wanted to share my life with, I was guarded because I knew in an instant she could turn. Just one wrong word. One funny look. One thing said that she didn’t like and KABOOM! Explosions, rage, anger, attack. And those words – those vicious, hurtful, and terrifying words, “I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you.”

I wanted to run and I wanted to scream. But my legs seemed to always be frozen or not even there. My voice was gone or frozen, too. Even if I would open my mouth to scream, no words would come, just silence. I told myself over and over again, “Just be still and be quiet and maybe, we will survive.” I know it was on these nights that I learned to travel or journey within. I found places I could go inside that felt safe and secure, where I could hide parts of myself for protection.

However, in the world of people, I came to believe that silence and invisibility were the safest places. And, having a voice and being seen were very dangerous places. I learned to put on a cloak of invisibility that was nearly impenetrable. I learned to silence myself even when I was crying inside. Even when I was screaming at the top of my lungs inside for Help! Help! Help! no one but me could hear it. And, when I wanted to run, all I knew to do was to stay. Stay frozen and stay still. So I stayed. As my life went on, I stayed in many situations when I should have run or at the very least, walked away.

Spending the night in that house alone changed me. I am not sure if I slept a wink that night. So much fear arising; so many memories swirling around. I feared I might not make it through that night. But I did! When morning came, I was still alive! I finally knew that house could not kill me, my mother could not kill me and memories could notkill me. I was alive! I could get up; I could walk or run out of that house and still be alive! I could take the part of me who thought we might die if we went into that house and begin to create a new life. And I did! I could finally live my life. I didn’t need to stay. I didn’t need to be invisible. And, I didn’t need to be silent anymore.

As I look back, I view that day, in the morning as the sun rose when I “woke’ on that couch, alive and well, as my first soul return. I had lost myself there in that house and that it is where I found myself for the first time in this lifetime. I had survived that night and that life. As I walked out of the house that morning, I walked into the sunshine of a new life. I was awake enough to know that I was safe, supported and whole.

It would be a few years before I fully entered the shaman’s path. My own healing continued and eventually, led me to apprentice with a shaman. I finally came to understand on a deeper level what I had experienced. I came to know and view my childhood experiences as an initiatory process. I had learned to journey on those terrifying nights, to find places within that were safe and secure. I had left parts of my self in those secret places and it was in learning to journey with my inner children that I became whole.

I learned that loving myself is the key to healing. And, honoring and embracing the inner ones, the soul parts, who carry the memories, pain and traumas of the past, is what brings them home. As my healing progressed, I learned how to support others in reconnecting with their lost soul parts and in healing their core wounds. I consider this the gift of my past. I now know that it was those experiences that opened the door to a deeper understanding of life, one that allows me to walk between worlds with an awareness that is grounded, centered and open to the beauty of life as it unfolds.

*********************************

If my story speaks to you in some way and you’d like to explore Shamanic Healing, feel free to contact me for a Complimentary 20-Minute Consultation to explore what’s possible!  I am available for Shamanic Healing and Integrative Holistic Healing Sessions both in person in Annapolis, MD or virtually by Phone/Skype?  Learn more at www.bethterrence.com.

Mastering Anxiety & Stress: A Holistic Approach 4-Session Teleseminar Program Starts on 3/23

Standard

Mastering Anxiety & Stress

A Holistic Approach

4-Session Teleseminar Program

With Beth Terrence

Mondays, 3/23 – 4/13
7:30 – 8:30 PM ET

 


“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~ Viktor Frankl


 

• Are you struggling with feelings of anxiety? 

• Is stress affecting your quality of life?

• Do you experience restlessness and an inability to relax?

• Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because you can’t quiet your mind?

• Do you have chronic worrisome thoughts that are difficult to turn off?

• Do you suffer from muscular tension, headaches, stomach problems or lack of energy due to worry or anxiety? 

Being able to deal with anxiety and stress effectively is an important component in experiencing a joyful and balanced life.  Anxiety and the effects of stress can keep you from being able to focus and be present.  It can cause a variety of physical and psychological symptoms, which can interfere significantly with work, family and enjoying every day life. And, if not addressed, it can be a contributor to physical disease such as heart disease and digestive problems. 

Recent research has shown that there are a variety of alternative and holistic treatment options for relieving anxiety and stress.  Come and explore natural and effective methods for mastering anxiety and stress.

In the 4-Week Series, you will: 

• Learn 5 Steps to Mastering Anxiety & Stress

• Understand and recognize how you experience anxiety and stress

• Learn tools and techniques to support balance and ease of well-being

• Build a personal holistic resource toolbox

• Develop a new self-care plan

• Participate in a supportive virtual group environment 

This 4-Session Series will be both educational and experiential. Through a series of explorations, discussions and practices, participants will be able to explore how they experience anxiety and stress, know their triggers and begin to develop a toolbox to support them in optimal living.  This program will be offered via teleseminar and will have an optional Facebook private group.  Attendance on the live weekly calls is encouraged, however, audio replays will be available for all participants to listen to or download. 

Cost: 

  • Basic Program including 4-Week Series, Private FB Group & Weekly Email Check In ~ $127
  • Extended Program including above plus One 90 Minute Individual Integrative Holistic Healing Session with Beth Terrence In Person, by Phone or Skype ~ $242
What folks say about this program:
 
“I couldn’t believe my life could change so much in just 30 days.  After struggling with anxiety for so long, I thought I would never find the relief I was longing for.  Beth’s program helped me to understand how anxiety was showing up in all areas of my life.  The intensive support helped me to change habits that weren’t working for me and to acquire techniques that help me to manage stress and feel less anxious.  I really feel this program has given me a new beginning!” ~ R.J., Annapolis, MD
 
“I was having trouble sleeping, finding myself frustrated with my children, and unable to focus at work.  Stress was ruling my life.  A friend recommended I try Beth’s program and at first I was skeptical but through this 30 day process, I found a new lease on life.  I am sleeping better, enjoying life and able to get more done with less stress.  Creating a holistic toolbox that is unique for me was a key part of this change as well as building a self-care plan to carry me forward.  The personalized aspect of this program was key for my success in creating change in my life.” ~ M.F., Baltimore, MD
Feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more or arrange for a complimentary 20-minute consultation to explore what’s possible! Visit www.bethterrence.com to learn more about Integrative Holistic Healing Programs with Beth Terrence.

Two Guest Posts & Some Big News…

Standard

Believe or not, I am doing a lot of writing lately even though I haven’t been very present on The Heart Of Awakening Blog.  Just know, Spring is coming and I am birthing a lot of new posts for HOA! So stay tuned!

The Big News… is that I am working actively to create the first May Is For Metta book that will carry the program we do here each May on HOA off the web and onto the page!  This is a project I have been working on for sometime and 2015 is the year it is coming together.  So stay tuned!

Also, I have been doing quite a bit of guest blogging.  I have two posts from this week I’d like to share.

One is from the Gently Moving Forward created by Kathleen Nelson Troyer, an amazing coach and mentor; she is also a dear friend!  Kat invited a number of guests to come share this month on the topic of  “Be The Love”, so there are lots of great posts to explore.  My post is called, “What Better Time Than Now!” and is on guess what?  One of our most favored topics here on HOA – Loving Ourselves! Are you willing to embrace all of “you” with love and compassion? 

I was also asked to join a group of 17 shaman in answering the following question on Sarah Petruno’s Shamanism blog:

“What tip would you give for leading a more sacred, enlightened life?” 

Here’s my response and be sure to read the full post as there are lots of great tips to explore!

BethTerrence-1

This Spring look forward to some new posts on Transformation & Healing, Seasonal Well-being, Bach Flower Remedies, Meditation & Mindfulness, Shamanism and more!

Love & light,

Beth

Join Me For A Free Teleseminar ~ Actualizing The Power Of Intention on 2/2 at 7 PM ET

Standard

image

I am excited to be offering a free teleseminar on one of my favorite topics, Actualizing The Power Of Intention, on Monday, 2/2 at 7 PM ET.  This is a something I’ve shared on in prior posts here on HOA, through workshops and at other events.  Although most folks have defined their resolutions for this year, I find taking time during the winter months to go within is very important for creating intentions from a place of stillness and inner wisdom.  Also, we will be in a period of Mercury retrograde in Aquarius from Jan. 21st to Feb. 11th.  This is a wonderful time to explore our visions and dreams; and reflect on the life we would like to create for ourselves and our world.  I hope you will join me to explore what’s possible!

Actualizing The Power Of Intention

Free Teleseminar With Beth Terrence
Monday, 2/2 at 7 PM
As we bring our intentions into the forefront of our experience and work more actively with them, we begin to create changes in our consciousness, our energetic field and in the world. In a sense, we become a beacon carrying that energy both inwardly and outwardly into all of our experiences. We all have our own personal intentions that we can work with and we also have the opportunity to carry intentions that support ourselves, others and the world.  Embodying qualities such as peace, happiness, respect and serenity can become a part our active intentions thus assisting in our own personal transformation and shifting our world into a new paradigm.  
Join me for an exploration on actualizing the power of intention.  Together we will explore:
  • Exciting research on the power of intention
  • How to create intentions that come from our deepest essence
  • Ways to work with intention to create alignment in your life
  • Utilizing the power of intention to become a catalyst for change in the world
This is one of my favorite topics to explore.  I hope you’ll join me for this creative exploration.

Eventbrite - Actualizing The Power Of Intention Free Teleseminar With Beth Terrence

 

Discover The Healer Within

 

Also, if you haven’t signed up for my Discover The Healer Within E-News, take a peak at the January issue to see if it’s something you’d like to explore.  I share monthly on a variety of holistic and transformational topics, upcoming events and special offers.  Usually you’ll receive about 4 – 5 emails per month, not more.  If you like to sign up to receive it, click here

Meditation And Mindfulness: Tools For Balanced Living

Standard

100_2211Meditation and Mindfulness are core practices in my life.  I have found these to be essential practices for living as a human being on earth.  They are tools I  like to share and explore in my classes, workshops and teleseminars as well as here on The Heart Of Awakening Blog.  I began my personal exploration with meditation when I was 14 years old and have been a practitioner and spiritual seeker ever since.  I have explored meditative and contemplative practices from a variety of spiritual traditions and cultures and I continue to today.

Personally, I have certain foundational practices that I work with; and I am always open to exploring new ones as they enter my awareness.   What I have found in my own journey and in working with others is that it is important to find practices that supports you where you are and where you would like to be.  Additionally, finding ones that are resonant with who you are today supports cultivating and deepening in an ongoing practice.  Living in a rapidly changing world as we do sometimes requires that we adapt and explore more regularly to keep pace with the changes arising both inwardly and outwardly.  Meditation and mindfulness practices offer tools to support self-awareness, connection and balance in our lives, our relationships and our world. 

Overall, meditation is a process of focusing, calming and observing the movement of the mind.  It is an important tool to achieve mental clarity, ease of well-being and deeper awareness.  Almost all spiritual traditions have some form of meditation or contemplation as a way to practice and deepen our sense of connection with self, others, the world and spirit.   Metta meditation is a Buddhist practice that cultivates loving-kindness and compassion.  It begins with self, as creating a foundation of compassion for self is seen as necessary to be able to offer this energy to others.  I find this practice to be highly beneficial for both the beginning and experienced meditator; that is why I offer the annual May Is For Metta: 31 Days Of Loving-kindness practice during the month of May each year.  And, I am excited to be moving toward completion of a book on that topic to be released this May.

Regardless of what type of meditation practice you are working with, it is fascinating to consider how science is really beginning to identify many of the benefits of meditation, which spiritual practitioners have known for so long.   Many institutions including Harvard Medical School and NIH have now shown that meditation can have positive effects on an individual’s health and overall well-being.  Research shows that this is accomplished as meditation brings the brain wave patterns into an alpha state, which is a level of consciousness that promotes a healing state.  There is even scientific evidence that meditation can reduce blood pressure and relieve pain and stress.

One interesting piece I came across was in an article by David DeSteno on the Daily Good, entitled, “The Morality Of Meditation”.  DeSteno heads up the Social Emotions Group at Northeastern University; as stated on their website, the group’s goal is “to illuminate the complex and reciprocal relations binding emotion and social behavior.  In short, we’re most interested in how emotions shape decisions and actions underlying many of the most important facets of social living.”  Aware of many of the positive benefits of meditation, the group wanted to actually explore Buddha’s original teaching that meditation is the path to ending suffering.

What they found was it took only a short period of time for people who just began meditating to become more compassionate than a control group.  There has been other research on the aspect of the development of compassion through meditation, whether we are using a compassion practice, such as Metta, or another type of practice.  Meditation makes us more compassionate – as we become more connected to ourselves, others and the world, that is a natural response. There are many benefits that have come to light through recent research and that support what meditation practitioners have long known, so at this point, there is really no reason not to meditate and every reason to practice.  Meditation practice makes us healthier, more balanced and more loving and compassionate.

Here is a list of some of the ways that meditation can benefit us on a variety of levels:

Physical:

  • Decreased high blood pressure.
  • Lowered cholesterol levels.
  • Deep rest measured by decreased metabolic rate and lower heart rate.
  • Lowered levels of cortisol and lactate, two chemicals associated with stress.
  • Reduction of free radicals – unstable oxygen molecules that can cause tissue damage.
  • Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.
  • Decreases the aging process.

Mental/Emotional:

  • Greater creativity.
  • Decreased anxiety.
  • Decreased depression
  • Decreased irritability and moodiness
  • Improved learning ability and memory.
  • Increased self-actualization.
  • Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
  • Increased happiness.
  • Increased emotional stability.
  • Increased brain wave coherence

Spiritual:

  • Experiencing a sense of oneness and connection
  • Deeper understanding and fulfillment of purpose
  • A sense of completion
  • Strengthening intuition and insight
  • Deepening our sense of empathy and compassion for ourselves, others & the world.
  • An overall experience of well-being

There are a variety of techniques that may be beneficial in creating greater balance and harmony in your life; it’s a great idea to be just be open and explore, especially as you are beginning.  But, even an experienced meditator can benefit from what is called “beginner’s mind”, coming to your practice and to your life with openness and curiosity.  It can be beneficial to find a meditation practice that best supports you where you are in the moment as well as in moving toward the changes you wish to make in your life.  As you explore, you will notice that meditative tools and practices vary according to culture and tradition.  Here are some types of meditation practices you may wish to explore:

Basic Breath Meditation: With just one breath, we have the ability to move from being unconscious to being fully conscious and awake.  If we work with the breath regularly, the potential for change is infinite. here are many ways to work with the breath and it is important to find a practice that resonates with you.  But just one breath taken in a conscious way can be a meditation and a way to be more fully present.  Several of these a day or some type of daily practice creates a powerful catalyst for transformation. Some ways to practice include using the breath as anchor, labeling the breath, counting breaths.  So, stop now wherever you are and just take breath. Notice the breath, sense where you feel it entering the body, feel the fullness or shallowness of it, and label it “breathing in” and “breathing out”.  That’s all it takes!

Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness practice is about being aware of the sounds and activities happening within you and around you.  It’s almost a flow-like type of meditation, because you literally just let your mind be fluid and flow from one thought to the next, not really focusing on one particular thing.  You are simply just noticing.  It is unique in that it is not directed toward getting us to be different from how we already are.  Instead, it helps us become aware of what is already true moment by moment. We could say that it teaches us how to be unconditionally present; that is, it helps us be present with whatever is happening, no matter what it is. Some ways to practice include noticing the body, thoughts, location, or conscious action, e.g. mindful eating or washing the dishes.  

Focusing Meditation/Concentration: If the idea of clearing your mind of all thoughts stresses you out, focused meditation or concentration is great because you can focus on a sound, object, mantra, or thought.  The key here is to just focus on one of these things and stay committed to that one thought or object.  If you notice your mind has wandered, you simply bring it back to the object of focus.  For some people, music is a helpful focus as it can be relaxing as well.   Others prefer to gaze at an object such as a candle or an image such as a saint or spiritual teacher.  In our day-to-day lives, our minds can easily be in 10 places at once, so focusing on one is a powerful tool to learn now to be centered and balanced.  I like to practice outdoors sometimes focusing on things in nature like a tree, a flower or a body of water.

Walking Meditation: Movement meditation may seem intimidating, but if you’re by yourself and you really get into it, it can be extremely uplifting and relaxing at the same time.  Standing with your eyes with a soft gaze on the floor in front of you, simply focus on your breath and begin to step right and then left, mindfully.  If it’s helpful you can label your steps, “stepping right” and “stepping left”.  You can explore synchronizing a breath with each step.  Walking meditation can be done in a circle or straight line pausing when you get to an end point and really taking time to notice as your turn around and pause how it feels to shift from movement to stillness to movement once again.  This is something we can carry with us so that we might walk and move more mindfully and with greater awareness through our day-to-day lives.

Mantra Meditation: Mantras are words that are chanted out loud during meditation or can be repeated silently within.  The sound or the words of the mantra actually becomes the object of focus during the meditation and can create a strong anchor for our attention.  In yoga, the mantra Om is regularly used since it delivers a deep vibration that makes it easy for the mind to concentrate on that particular sound.  It is considered a universal sound representing Oneness.  So Ham is another well-know mantra practice, which reflects on the natural sound and rhythm of the breath. You can explore So Ham in my post So Ham Mantra: Breathing, Connecting, Being.

Guided Meditation Or Visualization: Particularly when beginning to meditate some people find it easier to listen to or follow a guided meditation or visualization.  Again, there are many types of practices that can be guided from a gentle body scan meditation to a powerful visualization.  Where guided meditations get really interesting is in the way that they utilize the power of your imagination and the power of visualization to effect positive personal changes.  Visualization techniques are now widely employed in many fields such as the arts, sports, business, alternative medicine, psychotherapy and self-improvement as they help to create a positive feeling or intention. Check out my Meditation On Actualizing Intention.

Grounding Practices/Chakra Meditations: In the yogic tradition of India as well as other spiritual traditions, there is an understanding of the energetic nature of being, beyond the physical. Although systems vary according to tradition, the concept of chakras is a common thread.  Chakras are energy centers, which reflect all aspects of our being, and working with them can help to foster balance and ease in our lives.  The Root Chakra is at the base of the spine and can help with the experience of being grounded and rooted in the world.  Usually when we feel out of balance, we are ungrounded in some way.  Grounding can be as simple as making a connection to the earth with our breath and awareness or using a visualization to deepen our experience of rootedness. Explore Grounding practices in my post on Grounding In A Rapidly Changing World.

Metta Meditation: Metta is a foundation Buddhist meditation practice.  It uses words, images, and feelings to evoke a loving-kindness and compassion toward oneself and others.  With each recitation of the phrases, we are expressing an intention, planting the seeds of loving wishes over and over in our heart.  It is a great practice for beginners and experienced practitioners.  Examples of phrases include: May I Be Happy. May I Be Peaceful. May I Have Ease Of Well-Being.  Join us in May for May Is For Metta: 31 Days Of Loving-kindness Practice, a virtual meditation event happening here on the Heart Of Awakening Blog.

Recommended Reading

  • Wherever You Go There You Are By Jon-Kabat Zinn
  • Loving-kindness: The Art Of Revolutionary Happiness By Sharon Salzberg
  • The Miracle Of Mindfulness By Thich Naht Hanh
  • How To Meditate By Pema Chodron
  • Journey Of Awakening: A Meditator’s Guidebook By Ram Dass 
  • Breath Sweeps Mind Edited By Jean Smith

If you’d like to explore more, consider joining my Facebook group, Meditation & Mindfulness In A Rapidly Changing World.  This group is an extension of my Tuesday night weekly meditation & mindfulness group at The Zen House in Annapolis, MD and offers resources and practices to support meditation and mindfulness exploration.  It is open to anyone who would like to explore and I will be sharing some classes and audios virtually as well.

Tashi Deleh (I honor the greatness within you)

Poem Of The Week: Standing Tall By Jamie McKenzie

Standard

Beth Terrence:

I shared this post last year on Martin Luther King Day. Feeling to share this poem, Standing Tall by Jamie McKenzie, again to celebrate a man who continues to inspire and ignite change in our world today and always!

Originally posted on The Heart of Awakening:

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I felt strongly to share something by or about Martin Luther King, Jr. today in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March On Washington For Jobs & Freedom and his famous, “I have a Dream” speech.  I came across a poem this morning and am thankful to have connected with the author,  Jamie McKenzie, who has so graciously allowed me to share it here.  Jamie is a poet and director of From Now On, an educational technology journal that supports engaged learning and literacy.

Here are a few words from Jamie about the poem:

“Of all the many poems I have written, Standing Tall has been read by the most people, as many groups have asked to share it with their members on MLK Day. This gives me great satisfaction…

View original 391 more words

My Word for 2015 is…CLARITY

Standard

images-5It’s been a few years now that I have chosen a word for the year. Some years I have to really meditate and percolate to come up with a word.  Last year, my word was ALIGNMENT.   Interestingly, I read something about the current astrology around Saturn moving into Sagittarius in December and how this is fostering a greater sense of alignment.

One thing I have recently discovered about the new year is that choosing a word for the year or making resolutions, doesn’t mean your there.  It means you are setting the intention for the coming year and it will require work through the year to actualize that intention or resolution. This year, I had many invitations to join groups or sign up for courses in December to help me set goals and vision for 2015 so I could be ready when January 1st arrived.

I have to admit I dabbled in this a bit but didn’t get too far. I did struggle seeing others seemingly create a vision and action plan for the new year and feeling like in some way I must be slacking in this or already failing. Then, I remembered the awareness that came to  me last year at this time to really honor the rhythms of nature, of winter and the yin energy of this season.

For me, all the goals, resolutions, etc., need to come from within, not from the mind but from my heart and soul.  And, not from any forces outside myself, only those within.  This requires going slow, being patient, and honoring my own rhythm.  This is what a year of alignment has taught me.  I knew it before but now I feel more able to honor it in my daily life.

So here I am on January 16, 2015, just diving into my word of the year post and feeling my intentions, goals and visions for this year emerging.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few weeks meditating, doing inner work and allowing this year’s word to come forward. Once I created space and ask the question, the word came shining through.  My word for 2015 is…

CLARITY

I feel pretty strongly this energy came from the alignment of last year.  I can’t say 2014 was an easy year; in fact, it was challenging in many ways.  I struggled with finances, relationships and life direction.  Even more so, I had a layer of trauma surface that required my willingness to dive very deeply into old feelings, patterns and beliefs.

Although, I had done this many times before, this layer was particularly painful.  I was surprised at how much I had been continuing to hold patterns that were not my own, but were shaped my mother’s mental illness.  And, I discovered how in an unseen way, these patterns and feelings were continuing to drive my life experiences.

As a shaman, my work is to journey into the darkness to find the light.  I have been on this path for close to a decade now doing my own inner work and assisting others in their journeys.  Still, I was amazed at how powerful a hold the trauma and misperceptions of the past had on me even today.

Seeing it was the beginning of a process of unravelling that has taken the last 6 months and continues.  I imagine the word CLARITY has emerged from this exploration.  On a daily basis, I have been looking at what’s the real me and what’s the false me.  When I feel a feeling or hear an inner voice, I stop to ask it is the true me or a false me.  Each time I do this, I become clearer, stronger and more grounded in my true essence.

I am excited to see what CLARITY brings in 2015!

Do you have a word for the year or an intention you’d like to share?  Feel free to drop a note in the comments below.

Many blessings for a beautiful year!

Love & light,

Beth

Take Your Mindfulness Meditation To Work! A Conversation on Let’s Coach With Mark & Carolyn

Standard

“Meditation is a way of being, not a technique. Meditation is not about trying to get anywhere else. It is about allowing yourself to be exactly where you are and as you are, and the world to be exactly as it is in this moment.”  ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

000801_0274_0033_tsls

Listen To The Show

Today, I joined hosts Carolyn Owens and Mark Thorn on their Blog Talk Radio Show, Let’s Coach With Mark & Carolyn.  Our topic was “Take Your Mindfulness Meditation To Work”.  I just wanted to share some of what we discussed and a link to the show for you to explore.

The relationship between our personal lives and our work lives has often been one of disconnection or separation.  When we go to work, we put on our work persona.  When we come home, we take it off.  Even when organizations and individuals desire to be more open, authentic and heart-centered, the transition is difficult.

It is such a fascinating time when we see science is getting on board with what spirituality has long know – meditation is a powerful tool for both consciousness and well-being.  I am amazed to see each week new information being shared about a variety of practices and one that seems to be in the forefront is mindfulness meditation.  Here is a brief summary of recent research from Dan Seigel, co-director of UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center:

• University of New Mexico researchers found that participation in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course decreased anxiety and binge eating.

• Office workers who practiced MBSR for twenty minutes a day reported an average 11% reduction in perceived stress.  

• Eight weeks of MBSR resulted in an improvement in the immune profiles of people with breast or prostate cancer, which corresponded with decreased depressive symptoms.

• A prison offering Vipassana meditation training for inmates found that those who completed the course showed lower levels of drug use, greater optimism, and better self-control, which could reduce recidivism.

• Fifth-grade girls who did a ten-week program of yoga and other mindfulness practices were more satisfied with their bodies and less preoccupied with weight.

• A mix of cancer patients who tried MBSR showed significant improvement in mood and reduced stress. These results were maintained at a checkup six months later.

• The likelihood of recurrence for patients who had experienced three or more bouts of depression was reduced by half through Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, an offshoot of MBSR.

• After fifteen weeks of practicing MBSR, counseling students reported improved physical and emotional well-being, and a positive effect on their counseling skills and therapeutic relationships. (Source: The Science Of Mindfulness)

So, what is mindfulness?

Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, defines mindfulness as “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.

Mindfulness is a not just a practice, but a state of being in attention to the present moment.  When you’re practicing mindfulness, you are observing your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judgement, comparison or the need to understand.  It is a way to be present to life as it unfolds.  It’s simply practicing moment to moment awareness.

Here are some of the overall benefits of mindfulness practice:

  • Reduced stress
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Improved self-awareness
  • Boosts to working memory 
  • Clarity and Focus 
  • Less emotional reactivity 
  • Relationship satisfaction
  • Improved immune functioning
  • Sense of well-being
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Increased empathy and compassion

How can this support our us in the world of work?

As Dan Seigel mentioned in his overview of scientific research, mindfulness meditation has been shown to benefit people at work as well as in their personal lives.  Mindfulness supports greater clarity, clearer focus, improved wellness, reduced stress, increased productivity, stronger resiliency and even enhanced creativity – these are all things that can benefit us in the world of work, whether we work in a large corporation or are a self-employed entrepreneur.

For an individual, mindfulness meditation offers a way to stay present, focused and bring more of our authentic self to our work.  For organizations, mindfulness meditation offers an opportunity to cultivate a culture of clarity, focus and employee engagement.  For both, it also supports a new paradigm for leadership development that is based on authenticity, self-awareness and openness.

Basically, bringing mindfulness meditation practice to work is a win-win situation.  So, whether you are an individual wanting to bring your personal practice more fully into your daily life or an organization wanting create change, bringing mindfulness practice to work offers a powerful tool for transformation.  We can see this happening at companies like Google, Apple, Proctor and Gamble, General Mills, Harpo Studios and The Huffington Post.

Some ways to incorporate mindfulness into your work:

Ways to incorporate mindfulness into your work:

  • Practice the “just one breath meditation”.  Simply take a mindful breath, noticing the sensations of the breath, where you feel it in your body, the rhythm of the breath and/or labeling it “breathing in and breathing out.
  • Count your next five breaths.
  • Give yourself a break – get up, stretch, step a way for just a moment.
  • Go for a mindful walk around the office or go outside and get some fresh air.
  • Feel your feet on the floor. Feel the support of the earth beneath you.
  • Give some attention to you body.  Notice where you feel might feel tension or discomfort.  Bring the breath to that area for just a moment.
  • Pause and notice all of the sounds around you, just listen and notice.
  • Get a mindfulness app or set a timer to remind you to pause several times during the day. 

Feel free to comment or share on how you bring mindfulness or other meditation practices to your world of work! 

Stay Connected!

Learn more about Integrative Holistic Healing Programs For Individuals, Groups and Organizations. Sign up to for my Discover The Healer Within Monthly E-news.

Website: www.bethterrence.com

Blog: The Heart Of Awakening: Searching For A New Paradigm

Twitter: @BethTerrence

Facebook: Beth Terrence ~ Holistic Resources & Wellness Programs

Linked In: Beth Terrence

Join Me For A Free Teleseminar ~ An Attitude Of Gratitude On 11/25

Standard

Gratitude

An Attitude Of Gratitude:

Improving Health & Well-Being In Our Lives & Our World 

Free Teleseminar

Tuesday, 11/25 at 12 PM ET

As we move closer to Thanksgiving and the holiday season, it is a natural time to explore gratitude in our lives. The are many ways to practice Gratitude and many benefits as well. Practice is more than just a feeling, it is an active state of being. When we speak about practice, whether it be exercise, meditation or gratitude practice, we know there can be many obstacles to developing a new practice or sustaining an ongoing one.

Spiritual traditions have honored the practice of gratitude for thousand of years and now science is getting on board as well.  There are a number of ongoing research projects on gratitude which suggest that there are many benefits of this practice for health and well-being.   Join me for an exploration of Gratitude practice as a resource for transforming our lives and our world.

Our time will include:

  • Gratitude as a tool for transformation and healing
  • Benefits of Gratitude practice on health and well-being including recent scientific research findings
  • Ways to cultivate a Gratitude practice during the holiday season and in daily life

I hope you will join me for this free teleseminar!

A replay recording will be available for all registered participants.

Register Via Eventbrite

Bach Flower Remedy Of The Month: Elm ~ The Remedy For Overwhelm

Standard

Elm Flower

As we move deeper into Autumn, the days grow darker and the temperature colder.  There is a natural sense of moving inward that we can see by the changes in the natural world.  In Chinese Medicine this is understood as the shift from the most Yang/Outer state, which occurs in Summer to the most Yin/Inner time of year, which occurs in Winter.  This period of transformation can sometimes be felt as a feeling of compression or contraction of energy.

These particular seasonal changes are often accompanied by the what many folks experience as the most busy season of the year.  It starts with returning to school and work in September and escalates with the holiday season in November and December.  In my years as a holistic practitioner, I have noticed that it is very common for people to feel a strong sense of overwhelm this time of year.  This is not surprising given the busyness of the season combined with the natural inclination to begin to slow down and go within as we move toward Winter.

The Bach Flower Remedies can be a wonderful support for any type of transition including seasonal ones.  In addition to addressing specific emotions or personality traits, one of the benefits the remedies offer is the overall strengthening of our energy system; this stems from the vibrational nature of their effect.  That combined with a focus on our individual challenges, makes the Bach Flower Remedies a powerful tool for balance and well-being.  

Last Autumn I shared a post on Star of Bethlehem: The Remedy of Comfort and it’s benefits for the feelings of loss and grief that may arise as begin our seasonal descent.  Today, I’d like to highlight another remedy that can be beneficial this time of year and beyond ~ Elm, the remedy for overwhelm!

In his book, The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies, Dr. Bach describes Elm as follows:

“Those who are doing good work, are following the calling of their life and who hope to do something of importance, and this often for the benefit of humanity. At times there may be periods of depression when they feel that the task they have undertaken is too difficult, and not within the power of a human being.”

Here are some questions to explore to see if Elm may be beneficial for you at this time:

  • Are you feeling a sense of overwhelm?
  • Do you feel that all that is on your plate is just too much for one human being?
  • Is there a sense you are inadequate in the face of your responsibilities?
  • Do you become despondent when faced with the magnitude of your responsibilities?
  • Do you tend to experience temporary exhaustion from over striving toward perfection?
  • Do you tend to overextend or over-commitment and then feel incapable of completing the tasks?
  • Are you too altruistic for your own good, neglecting self-care to serve or help others?
  • Do you suddenly feel unable to cope?

Elm has many benefits that can help to ease our feelings of overwhelm and regain energy and focus.  These include:

  • A sense of being capable, efficient and intuitive
  • An ability to see problems in their perspective
  • Feeling an inner conviction that help will the there when needed
  • Developing positive awareness around responsibilities
  • Renewing leadership and decision-making abilities
  • strengthening self-assurance and confidence

It is important to recognize that the Elm type tends to be altruistic and their overwork may come from wanting to help or serve others.  One of the ways this can manifest during the holiday season is by feeling the need to show up for family and friends in a particular way or more than we can hold energetically.  Everyone is different and needs a rhythm that supports their own health and well-being.  It can be easy to get off course or to become overwhelmed when life and work demands so much of us.  Elm is a remedy that can help restore balance and strength.

As always, I’d love to hear your experiences with Elm or any thoughts, reflections or questions that may arise in response to the post.


If you are BFRPcolorinterested in an individual Bach Flower Remedy Consultation & Treatment, I offer sessions in Annapolis, MD, and by phone or by Skype.  I have found the Bach Flower Remedies to be one of the most beneficial transformational and healing tools that I utilize both personally and in my holistic healing practice.   I have worked with the Bach Flowers for over 15 years and I am a BFRP, Bach Flower Registered Practitioner through the Bach Centre, founded by Dr. Edward Bach.  

Please feel free to visit my website  for an index of additional Bach Flower Of The Month posts as well as to explore how the Bach Flower Remedies and an Integrative Transformational Approach may benefit your own process of transformation and healing.

Also, you may enjoy these posts:

Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Your Inner Cheerleader

7 Ways To Cultivate Love & Compassion For Yourself

Beat The Seasonal Blues With The Bach Flower Remedies On Soundcloud

Standard

Bach Remedies

It’s that time of year again!  The cold air is descending upon us and many in the US experienced their first snow of the season this weekend.  The daylight hours are quickly getting shorter.  Darkness is beginning to reign supreme from now through the Winter Solstice, the most Yin time of year.   Energetically, we, too, are shifting just as nature is.  As we are moving toward a more Yin/Inner state it is not uncommon to experience a sense of feeling out of balance or what some folks call “the seasonal blues”.

During times of seasonal changes, and particularly in the colder, darker winter months, it is important to honor our own natural rhythms, to take extra time for self-care and get plenty of rest.  It’s also good to find tools that support an experience of balance and well-being.  Last year around this time, I shared a post on How To Beat The Seasonal Blues With The Bach Flower Remedies.  The Bach Flower Remedies are one of the resources in my holistic toolbox that I have utilized both personally and professionally for over 15 years.  I find them an incredible support for adjusting to seasonal changes and “the blues” that may come this time of year or anytime.

Last February, I offered a free teleseminar on this topic, which offers an introduction to the Bach Flower Remedies and explores the information shared in the post.  I’ve just added that to Soundcloud for you to explore as we move into this winter season.  As always, I’d love to hear your experiences with the Bach Flower Remedies and feel free to ask any questions related to the post or the teleseminar in the comments below. Enjoy!

Beth Terrence is a BFRP (Bach Flower Registered Practitioner) through The Bach Centre in the UK.  She began using the remedies during her holistic recovery from Fibromyalgia.  After experiencing such amazing healing support personally in her recovery from Fibromyalgia and Trauma, she became a practitioner of Bach Flower Remedies in 1998.  She continues to utilize this powerful tool in her work with individual clients as well as a community educator and retail trainer for Nelsons, the international distributor of the Bach Flower Remedies.  Beth is available for individual Bach Flower Remedy consultations in person in the MD/DC area and via Phone/Skype.  Learn more about Beth’s work with the Bach Flower Remedies and Integrative Holistic Healing Programs at www.bethterrence.com.      

Woman Talk Live 5 Interview

Standard

wtl5

I am thrilled to have been featured this week on Ann Quasaman’s WomanTalkLive 5 Segment.  The mission of WomanTalkLive is “to give women everywhere a bigger voice and a platform for growing, celebrating and living more fully.”  This segment includes five provocative questions answered by an inspiring and fabulous woman – a woman with something to say.  What an honor to be included!

I found all of the questions to be not just thought-provoking but soul-searching.  Here are two of the questions and my answers:

What are you most conscious of today?

I really see life on earth as a school. We come to learn and grow; this is the journey of our lifetime. We may be trying to get somewhere or achieve certain goals we have set for ourselves, but often life has its own ideas. I try to stay very conscious of the need to be open and willing in each moment — to surrender to the path of life as it unfolds. Even if it is totally different from what I may have envisioned, the present moment is where the true blessings of this life are to be found.

What part of you have you yet to give voice to?

I am still working to give voice to aspects of my inner children. Healing from the trauma of growing up in a family with mental illness and addiction has been a big part of my journey.  Ultimately, it led me to my path as a shaman, healer and recovery coach.  Today, I find there is more that my inner ones need to say.  I see this as part of the spiral of healing. Loving and accepting oneself is, in my view, the key to change and healing ~ as I deepen in this, more of my voice is able to flow!

Read The Full Post With More Provacative Questions On Woman Talk Live

Autumn Tips For Happy And Healthy Living

Standard

Beth Terrence:

It’s that time of year again. The days are getting noticeably shorter, there is a crispness in the air and leaves are turning to fiery shades of orange and red.  It’s so easy to see the changes happening in nature and so often, we don’t recognize that as humans we are changing, too!  It’s important to remember that we are a part of the natural world that we live in and that these seasonal changes affect us.  It’s not uncommon to feel tired, overwhelmed or stressed when seasonal changes are intensifying.  By taking some time to harmonize with the energy of the season and focus on our own process of transformation and healing, there is an opportunity to experience life on a deeper level and move into greater balance and ease of well-being.  I shared this post last Autumn and am happy to share it again now.  I hope you’ll take some time to explore and to find your place in this beautiful experience we call Life!

Originally posted on The Heart of Awakening:

Happy Autumn

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been! “~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Each season moves us through a period of transformation.  Autumn and spring tend to be the times of more intense change and it is a powerful time to harmonize with the energy of the season for happy living and healthy well-being. Traditionally, autumn is the harvest season.  It is the time for our bodies to harvest and gather energy for the colder months ahead. The yang/outer energyof summer gives into the growing yin/inner energy of the approaching winter.

The days are getting shorter and cooler and as we are transitioning we may find that we are more tired, emotions are surfacing such as loss and grief and we may even feel a…

View original 1,145 more words

Back To School ~ Bach Flower Remedies For Kids

Standard

back-to-schoolBack To School is a transitional time that can be stressful for kids and parents.  Changes can include new situations, such a new school, teacher or class as well as a significant change in routine from summer.  Finding natural support to ease the stress that can be caused by transition can help to make school a more positive experience.   I am excited to share with you some ways that the Bach Flower Remedies can be a resources for kids during Back To School time and beyond.  The remedies can actually offer a wonderful support for the ups and downs of childhood and adolescence.

The Bach Flower Repertoire is composed of 38 different flower essences, which offer a holistic resource that can help to strengthen our ability move more easily in the world, to have healthier relationships, and to experience greater joy and ease of well-being.  They are a gentle, safe and natural method of healing.  The remedies work to restore balance between mind and body by transmitting negative emotions, such as fear, sadness and overwhelm into positive ones, such as calm, joy and ease.  These negative emotions can interfere with our sense of balance, health and overall ease of well-being.  The remedies can also assist in resolving trauma and stress from life experiences as well as aiding us as we move through change and transitions.

Childhood is a time of continual growth and development.  Along with the joy that childhood can bring, it can also be a time of awkwardness, discomfort and insecurity.  The Bach Flower Remedies can help children to feel more balanced emotionally and can assist in relieving some of the growing pains of childhood.  They offer a completely natural way to create greater ease during this transitional time in life.  And, Back To School is a time of year that transitions are heightened.  There is a busyness that occurs for kids and parents, too!

Bach Flowers have been used to assist with childhood issues such as fear, nightmares, shyness, neediness, temper tantrums, growing pains and situational changes.   They can also help with issues such as ADD or ADHD, anxiety, over sensitivity and relieving traumatic experiences.  Often, issues and conditions that develop in childhood progress if left unresolved.  By addressing the needs of a child early on, the Bach Flower Remedies can help to support a happier, more balanced childhood as well as foster lifelong health and well-being.

By studying vibrational medicine and native British flowers, Dr. Edward Bach, creator of the remedies, discovered that certain plant essences have a profound healing effect on the mind.  He observed that the remedies affected a deep personal transformation in his patients’ character and behavior patterns, which not only prevented disease but also left the patient happier and more integrated.  According to Dr. Bach, certain flowers are of a higher order.  He believed that these healing plants addressed disharmony within the mental and spiritual aspects of our being by flooding our energy field with higher frequencies and thereby aligning our whole being.  They actually transmute negative energies into positive ones.  They do not mask the effects of the emotions, but provide a catalyst for change to occur from within.

Below I share some remedies that can be particularly helpful for children, but it is good to remember that each child is different.   Some of the remedies really help to ease change and transition, which is at the heart of Back To School time.  The remedies are natural and safe for all ages, even babies, so if transitional stress seems like a factor for your child or for you, I encourage you to give the remedies a try.

Here are some specific remedies that can be particularly helpful for children:

Rescue Remedy™ is the most well-known Bach Flower Remedy and is a great tool to have on hand for children. It is a combination of five remedies that can be used for stressful situations such as acute stress, hearing bad news, having an accident, test anxiety, or nightmares.  It is designed for any emergency situation or acute stress.  It can help sooth a child who is crying, afraid or unable to calm down.  It is great after a sudden shock or a fall.  Just put 4 drops of Rescue in a cup of water and let your child sip on it.  Rescue Remedy is also available as a spray, pastilles or gum including an alcohol free child formula, which has a glycerin base.  This is a must have remedy for holistic medicine cabinets and a great tool for children.  Many mothers keep this remedy on hand in their purse in case of emergency.  Rescue Remedy can be a first course of action for Back To School transition stress.

Walnut is a remedy that supports change and transition in many ways.  This may help when a child goes to school for the first time or goes to a new school or program.  It can also help in adjusting to any changes in the home or family.  It is beneficial for teething, the arrival of a new sibling, puberty, or any situation when a child is being affected by or reacting to change.  Walnut helps to move through transitions more smoothly.  It is also helpful for children who are very sensitive emotionally or energetically.  Read more about Walnut…

Mimulus can help children who are fearful and shy.  It can help those who may be afraid to sleep in the dark or alone.  It helps with fear of outside things such as dogs, spiders or going to the doctor.  It can also be helpful for separation anxiety.  A good indicator is when a child is shy, quiet or timid as well as dealing with fear about specific things as mentioned above.  Mimulus can help a child to have more confidence and courage.

Aspen can help children with nightmares or who are anxious without knowing why.  They are afraid but for no known reason.  This relates more to an uncertain fear or a sense of apprehension whereas Mimulus relates to more specific or identifiable fears.  Sometimes a child has a general sense of apprehension or a “spooky” kind of fear.  It can be particularly helpful after waking from a bad dream.  Aspen can help to ease this sense of uncertainty bringing a sense of inner peace and calm.

Impatiens can help children who get easily frustrated with themselves or others.  This can come from things not moving fast enough or things not happening as fast as they would like them to.  For children or babies who are restless, irritable and may toss and turn at night, Impatiens can help to bring calm and relaxation.

Vervain can help with tension, eagerness and over-excitement.  It can help hyperactive children to be calmer.  For an overly enthusiastic child, it can help bring balance.  It is considered a drive remedy.  It is good to be driven but sometimes we can tend to be over-driven or overly energetic.  For children, who have this excessive energy or excitement, Vervain can help to bring calm and balance.

Larch is a remedy that promotes self-confidence.  This remedy helps your child when feeling a lack of self-confidence or self-esteem.  If a child seems to doubt their abilities and feel not good enough to succeed or maybe doesn’t even try because they expect failure, Larch can help.  It soothes any doubt your child many have and helps develop a strong sense of self-esteem and  confidence.  This can be an ongoing pattern to address or helpful at a time when a child is facing a specific challenge such as a test or tournament.

Crab Apple is considered the “cleansing” remedy.  This refers to mind and body.  Crab apple can be helpful for children and particularly adolescents with body issues; they may have a poor self-image, a sense of discomfort or feeling that something is wrong with them physically.  Although we don’t specifically treat for physical conditions with the Bach Flowers, Crab Apple can also be helpful when a child is having skin related issues such as eczema, psoriasis or other skin irritations.  Crab apple can help to ease the sense of body discomfort that accompanies these issues. It can also be helpful for children who tend to be obsessive about cleanliness or neatness.

And, there are over 30 other remedies that might be indicated for an individual based on what they are feeling and experiencing at any point in a time.  Working with a practitioner can offer support in choosing beneficial remedies and learning how to work with them for your self or your family.  Dr. Bach believed that the remedies are meant as a self-healing tool and so are simple to use.  The Bach Flower Remedies are all natural; they can do no harm.  If the wrong remedy is chosen, it has no ill effect.

The remedies are administered orally.  Two drops of each essence can be put in a 1 oz. dropper bottle with spring water for ongoing treatment, taken directly or put in a cup of water and sipped.  For Rescue Remedy, 4 drops are used.  For children, a short course of treatment, even a single dose can be beneficial.  It is often beneficial for other members of the family to be treated as in many cases the child is reflecting or reacting to family challenges or dynamics.

Dr. Bach designed the Bach Flower Remedies to be accessible to everyone.  One of his core concepts was “Heal Thyself”, as he believed that we all have the ability to heal ourselves.  The remedies are intended to be a natural support to our own innate healing process.  Children can truly benefit from this wonderful system of healing as they are able to respond quickly to the effects of the remedies.  They are then able to experience greater happiness and overall ease of well-being as they move through the ups and downs of childhood that occur at Back To School time and beyond!

***********************************

I have been a Bach Flower Practitioner for over 15 years and am a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner with The Bach Centre in the UK.  To learn more about my work with the Bach Flower Remedies, visit www.bethterrence.com

I offer Bach Flower Consultations in person in the MD/DC area or by Phone/Skype.  Bach consultations are available as an individual modality or as part of an Integrative Transformational Healing Session, which is a customized session designed to support  individual intention for change, combining transformational resources such as Shamanic Healing, Bach Flower Remedies, Body/Energy Healing, Meditation and Holistic Self-Care.

New Offering ~ 30 Minute Bach Flower Q&A Session $50 or try a
6o Minute Bach Flower Consultation Including A Custom Blended Remedy ~ $100
Learn more…

 

 

My Fibromyalgia Recovery Story: An Inteview On CFS Unravelled

Standard
I am excited to share with you my recent interview with Dan Neuffer of CFS Unravelled.  Dan is committed to sharing resources and stories to inspire hope and support for recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia.
 
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at age 20 and spent most of a decade searching for healing and recovery.  It was this exploration and discovering that recovery was possible through an alternative and holistic approach that ultimately led me to the path as a holistic practitioner. facilitator and educator.
 
By age 28, I had shifted from dropping out of college, living in extreme physical pain and barely being able to get out of bed on many days, to becoming a full-time licensed massage therapist.  My healing continued for a few more years as I came to see the need to focus on emotional healing in an energetic way.   I discovered the Bach Flower Remedies and worked with them for over  a year – this is when I became symptom free of Fibromyalgia.
Although my personal focus was on healing through Fibroymyalgia, my journey revealed to me the importance of taking a holistic approach – one that addresses body , mind, emotion and spirit for healing and for well-being.  I learned firsthand the importance of Dr. Bach’s words:

“Treat the whole person, not the disease.”

I also came to understand that what works for one person, may not work for another.  During and after my recovery, I studied a number of the modalities that supported me as well as other holistic tools.  Some of these include Reiki, Massage & Bodywork, Nutrition, Bach Flower Remedies, Zero Balancing,  PEER Emotional Release Work,  and Holistic Self-Care.  Eventually, Shamanic Healing became the heart of my work as I found it creates a powerful foundation for returning us to our natural state of wholeness.  In my work with clients, I offer an integrative approach to meet each person where they are and to support a shift into greater balance,  joy and ease of well-being. 
 
In my interview with Dan, I share in detail about my journey through Fibromyalgia as well as what I have learned about healing overall serving as a wellness practitioner for over 18 years.
I hope you’ll take a listen and be sure to share it with anyone you know who is struggling with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or other chronic illness so they can know that RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE!

Read CFS Post & Listen To Interview

If you would like more information on resources and programs for Fibromyalgia & CFS support as well as overall health and well-being, please feel free to visit my website learn more or to set up a complimentary 20 minute consultation – www.bethterrence.com.

 

Journaling, Journaling, Journaling…

Standard

photo-15

I’ve been busy writing in my journal (pictured above) this summer and not so much here on The Heart Of Awakening.  It was healing to take some time to be unplugged.   I am sorry for the gap, but I am excited to be back.  I have a number of posts in the works ~ so stay tuned!

I did a series of guest posts this summer on the Heal My Voice Blog on writing and journaling.  One of them was on “Journaling For Health & Well-being” and was picked up by Dawn Herring, the host of #JournalChat.  She shared the post and invited me to be a guest panelist on a Live JournalChat Event happening this week on Facebook.  I’d like to invite you to explore the JournalChat Facebook Group and this live event which is happening from 9/2 – 9/4.   Learn more…

Also, here are some of the posts I shared on writing and journaling for you to explore:

Journaling For Health & Well-Being

Journaling For Reconnection ~ JournalTalk Podcast

30 Quotes To Inspire & Ignite Your Writing

7 Ways To Jumpstart Your Writing This Summer

Empowering Women In Addiction Recovery Through Writing & Creativity

As always, feel free to share your thoughts, reflections or favorite suggestions for writing or journaling in the comments below.

Love & light,

Beth