As soon as you say the word “conference” I get terrified. I’ve done many talks and speeches but sometimes you mention conference I freeze up. But I decided I wasn’t going to go down that route, this time I just wanted to share and enjoy being at the conference without having to worry about what I was going to say.
So I decided part of how I was going to prepare differently for it was that I wasn’t going to think about it that much. Before the conference I gave myself permission to reflect on what I was going to share with the attendees. Jacquie had asked me to talk about exquisite minds. It kind of made sense to me because I’ve been writing a book about the topic.
Everything that the speakers are sharing with us over the next few days is designed to help us step out of our mind and to see everything for what it is. That’s very stabilizing and for me that mental wellbeing. Mental wellbeing doesn’t mean that we live in a perfect piece of mind.
The reason why I felt so comfortable getting up on stage and talking in front of so many people at the conference is because of something that was said to me earlier about each of the talks. People can connect with what each of the speakers are talking about becuase they are human stories. Sometimes that exact details of the stories will differ but the underlying story is relatable.
When I was growing up I was very self conscious. I was constantly thinking “How is Terri doing?” I was always checking in on myself, it wasn’t traumatic but it certainly wasn’t a comfortable experience. By the time I reach 11 or 12 I had a story. I wanted to be the best little girl in the world. I read this book at the time which was called “I want to be the best little girl” that became a movie later on. It’s about this little girl called Francesca, she was pretty and popular. She wanted to be perfect but it was hard. Soon she developed an eating this order as a way of wanting to control things from the inside if she couldn’t control things from the outside.
The book could have been written about me because about the same time I also started to develop an eating disorder, quite severe anorexia and bulimia. I struggled with it for many years, more so in my teenage years and throughout my 20s. Even after I got married and had kids. It stabilized for me later but I still had the mindset of an eating disorder, which is again not a comfortable place to get out of. So that was the one thing that I was grappling with.
I also lived with depressions so I had period where I was really low and I also had periods of chronic anxeiety. It felt like my nerves were going to shatter I was so anxious. Even though I was grappling with these states, there were times in between where I was actually alright. There was pockets of time that I felt secure, I felt alright in the world. But there was always this monster looming in the background.
I had this “perfect storm” moment after I gave birth to my fifth little boy. I had a lot of kids close together, five boys in the period of six years and I immigrated three times in between that. So it was pretty overwhelming. It soon led to a moment where I had a tsunami, a moment that you could describe as a breakdown. For two years I struggled with intense depression. At the end of these two years I arrived at this moment where I felt completely hopeless and was admitted to hospital for three days. I came out of hospital and for a while I felt peaceful, completely unexpected for a person who has hit rock bottom. Yet I felt incredible. I was absolutely puzzled by this moment, I didn’t understand how but it gave me hope.
In this time I made this decision or insight, I decided that the road that the doctors and specialists were trying to lead me down wasn’t right for me. I wanted to try something different. I started to go off all my meds. I went on this journey of discovery for six months. It’s my journey of recovery.
There was one thing I want to share, I read a lot during these six month. A range of books from people that had been severely injured in war or how people had coped with life changing illnesses and similar books.
After this six months I realised that I had reached a pure place of wellbeing. It under all of the noise that had been on my mind. The underlying confidence that I’ve always had that has been keeping my feet on the ground.
It was two years later that I heard Hannah’s husband Shala talking about the Principles. As soon as I heard him talk about these universal principles I realised that this was the thread that I had been reading about helping people overcome the hardest of challenges. He was talking about universal principles, the fact that every human being is plugged into an exquisite mind or what Sidney Banks the originator of these principles called divine mind. It gives us these incredible gifts of thoughts, love, joy, ideas. Consciousness brings these thoughts to life and everything started to make sense.