Let’s create a more nurturing, and engaged world by listening to each other, stepping into discomfort, becoming inspired by the unfamiliar, and being all we want to be.
- Terri O’Brien
Play & Observation
One of my favorite memories from childhood was playing out in the street with chalk and creating our “Main Street USA”. We would play for hours drawing the different town stores and a street within the street and would ride bikes down the colorful street to visit the bakery, post office, library, school and anything else we could imagine. It was carefree freedom and imagination rolled into a special memory.
While participating, I was always observing. Observing what each child liked, what was their favorite spot, how did they envision what they were drawing. Part of the joy for me was learning how we were each connected and a part of something bigger than ourself.
I also loved to play school and be the teacher. Books were an integral part of my growing up. My parents encouraged me to read by having a library and if I received a good grade, I was able to choose any book at the bookstore as a reward. I was an insatiable reader and loved the library and all that books could teach.
This game of play and observation during childhood were the seeds of my passion now. I never tire of observing how humans interact with one another, the human spirit, our connections and how and why we create the lives we do and what influences us to make choices.
Young adulthood brought new questions about myself and new information to learn. I was a late bloomer in that I really had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Nothing felt quite right, and I remembered with trepidation the search for where to go to college.
I eventually did go to college and earned an Associates Degree with little motivation to attend longer. College was another playground, another arena to watch and learn from those around me. Always ready to explore and discover something new, always ready to jump into another adventure. Although introverted, I wanted to fling myself into experiencing life and all its diversity.
I took a first job, easily and quickly working myself up to management level. Working felt good, but there was no passion for what I did, and it took me many jobs in multiple areas to realize my heart was not in working for someone else. I was a creative entrepreneur wanting to branch out. But doing what? Being unsettled, intelligent, yet not confident of my ability or where to apply myself, I spent a frustrating many years of my adult life with no traction. I questioned where would I fit, how can I find my place, always asking how can I make my mark, how can I make a difference in other’s lives and create a better world, yet not having the gumption to just do it.
Motherhood and a Promise
In December 1994, my beautiful baby son was born. He was a marvel, a sweet baby, and I fell in love. Two years later, in December 1996, two tiny, beautiful and healthy baby girls came into this world. The birth itself was unremarkable, but the pregnancy and date was. At 21 weeks of pregnancy, I was told that I needed to be hospital and bed bound for the remainder of the pregnancy due to complications. What pulled me through those long dark days was that I had decided that against all odds I would give birth at full-term for twins which is 36 weeks, and I honed my being and focus on doing this.
My goal was to face “the enemy” and know what I was up against and mentally prepare myself for the biggest battle of my life and my babies. After multiple setbacks and complications, I delivered my two precious daughters on the day that I chose, December 30, 1996, something I secretly knew and believed could happen but medical staff told me it was not likely.
I share this story as it was a pivotal and defining moment for me. It was proof of the mind’s ability to set in motion circumstances based on committed mindset and unflinching belief. I knew that if I could do this, I could do anything. I promised myself that I would one day become a success and make the difference I so wanted.
Raising Children and Still Searching
My life has revolved around two pursuits, creativity and observing people. My creative endeavors have been with macrame, writing, cooking and baking, sewing and home decorating, designing furniture and rooms, faux painting, and architecture. I tried my hand at some professionally, but wasn’t happy with the results and felt pressured to design. Raising children turned out to be the most difficult and profound calling, and I found myself immersed and unable to focus on little else. It was a juggling act, teaching me many lessons of perseverance, resiliency and patience, but left me with little energy to pursue my other dreams.
In 2006, I took a self development course for university credit. Here, I found my childhood love of studying human interactions and connections and immersed myself in the book, “The Celestine Prophecy”. It was an awakening experience and from then on I knew I wanted to do something with the human spirit and to help others, but still it was all quite fuzzy. I studied many books, took courses and trainings on multiple facets of self-growth and development. I still secretly nursed the desire to build out my own business, and though I had some knowledge, I didn’t know what to create, was terrified of exposing my creative thoughts to the world and didn’t believe that people would think me credible enough. I began creating small courses (never publishing them) and went so far as to develop a website, yet there it stopped. I felt paralyzed and didn’t trust the process. There was much growing that needed to take place before I stepped into the shoes I so desired.
During this turbulent time, I worked for big pharma, and later became licensed as a Real Estate broker and opened my own business. This kept me busy for almost 16 years, yet I felt little passion for the work. I had also become divorced, and raised my three children during their bumpy middle and high school years. I knew deep in my heart that time was passing quickly, and that I needed to step up if I wanted to give birth to my inner dreams. As time often does, time forced my hand. I’m at the point in my life where I do not want to look back at my life and say “If only I took the chance.”
What was really stopping me though was me, my thoughts about who I was and who I dared to be, and my beliefs about me. It was the intense fear of putting myself out there, of being judged, of feeling that I wasn’t credible enough or didn’t have enough to offer. I fought an internal battle on how I could make something of myself. Looking back, I realized that this was a lengthy process of learning about me through self-reflection, pushing my limits, and determining how I could meld the worlds of creativity with personal transformation, two of my lifelong passions. Before I could move forward, I needed to change, to step up to be a leader, to believe in myself, in my ideas and to know that I can’t be everything to everyone. These were subtle changes at first, but then an explosion of self-growth and determination soon followed as I walked the bridge of fear knowing on the other side is everything I want.
I’m On My Way!
With age does indeed come wisdom, but it also brings a laissez faire attitude. It’s a liberating and powerful, and it has brought me emotional freedom. In this reckless freedom, I feel a remarkable urgency and energy to share my learnings with others and to finally acknowledge the and heed the call that my inner mind has been gently guiding me, to know it’s not about me, it’s about supporting and sharing information that can change people’s lives for the better.
I realize that to get here, it was absolutely necessary to go through many experiences and push past them. We can’t get from point A to point B with the same knowledge and experience. It’s about being tough, persistent and determined, and in the journey, I’ve learned an immense amount about me, who I am am, that I have enormous value to give to others, that I am and can be fearless and I am fabulous and enough.
My creative ideas run through the design of my website with featuring and honoring nature and its continual beauty and wonder and other’s quotes that speak to me. Creating my hallmark course "Leap Into Your Fears", developing meditative and hypnotic audios, becoming a certified Aromatherapist and Educator, and learning a deeply gratifying therapy called RTT® have each required me to step up my game. Each showcases my unique take on life’s twists and turns, and I couldn’t have arrived here without every experience, negative and positive. My deepest hope is that you find something that sparks you to take action and be empowered to choose to live your life on your terms.
In 2008, I created my life’s purpose statement and I’d like to share it with you as reminder that if you commit and persevere to your dream long enough, your dream has no choice but to happen.
My Life’s Purpose is to use my high energy, creativity, and positive outlook to inspire and encourage others to believe in themselves and to lead joyous, purposeful and accomplished lives.
- Terri O’Brien, 2008
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