Updated: Sep 2
I have been publishing my newsletter since November 2018, and I just launched my personal blog on August 31, 2021. Both focus on providing information that encourages individuals to pause, to be curious, and to consider new possibilities. The information I share is a reflection of my life’s work in the health and fitness industry, decades of research around behavioral health, and 30 plus years of experience working in corporate America. I have had the privilege of partnering with hundreds of companies to initiate and institutionalized change, and my primary focus is to help individuals, teams, and organizations THRIVE. I hope what I share encourages your to PAUSE so you can live life with greater intention and purpose. It is only when you pause that you create the time and space to do self-reflection. What a gift, because greater self-awareness is the first step towards intentional change.
Why should you invest your valuable time and energy to read this newsletter? I think it is an important question to ask. So, I will attempt to help you answer this question by asking you more questions! Are you interested in making intentional changes in your life, and improving your health and well-being? Are you seeking a greater sense of purpose, peace, and happiness in your life? If yes, take a chance, and join me on this journey of self-discovery.
Who in the world doesn’t want to feel healthy, happy, and whole? Since the beginning of time, human beings have been on a quest to find the secret to achieving perfect health and happiness, and history seems to link the two together like the fibers of a tightly woven rope. You can feel healthy and happy independently, but when you experience both, life seems to bring with it a sense of peace and wholeness. Centuries of research have influenced opinion and theory around how to find the ideal life balance, but despite the effort, there is still no perfect answer. So, the search continues.
More questions. Could becoming more aware of what makes you feel healthy, happy, and whole be a good place to start? Our society teaches us to seek outside of ourselves for answers, satisfaction, and fulfillment, which steers us in the wrong direction. What makes us feel healthy, happy, and whole requires us to turn inward for direction and affirmation. Unfortunately, most of us have been ill-equipped and not encouraged to take this self-guided and self-focused journey. Many of my posts will be encouraged to search inside yourself for the answers you seek, and to trust yourself and the process. It is an honor and privilege to share my life’s work with you and even if this is the only post you read, I hope you will at least consider pausing more, because in these moments life slows down making it easier to notice the things that are truly important.
Life’s experience, the people you spend time with along the way, and your genetic wiring impact who you are today. So journeying backward is a great way to put your life into perspective… so I share my story.
My career path may seem charmed but often what you see is an illusion. A few career highlights: I have worked in the health industry for over 25 years and have 15 + years of experience in corporate wellness, population health management and organizational change. I have been fortunate to help individuals, teams and organizations develop and integrate strategies focused on improving well-being, engagement, and human performance. I have launched 2 health advocacy companies and have held executive positions at two health management organizations. I was part of the launch team for Elegant Bride Magazine and the NFL Carolina Panthers, and I worked in Manhattan for Vogue Magazine during the era that inspired the movie, The Devil Wears Prada. I am a three-time National Sport-aerobics Champion, and I have facilitated over 10,000 hours in yoga, meditation, and mindfulness training. I was an ambassador on the first White House National Physical Fitness Day team, co-stared in a kickboxing video with boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard and was an on-air host for News 14, Train For Life segment promoting health and well-being for over 5 years. I continue to do health advocacy work through speaking engagements, coaching and empowerment workshops and retreats. The most recent venture is a podcast that I co-host weekly called, 2 Scoops of Inspiration with my good friend Cel Smart.
I launched a consulting business in 2015, with the goal of helping individuals, teams and organizations thrive. The following vision statement reflects my philosophy and captures the intention behind my work.
“To transform lives, communities, organizations, and the world by encouraging self-study and empowering mindful action.”
So, what motivated me to dedicate my life to helping individuals, teams and organizations thrive, and what was the catalyst that inspired the launch of my business, Empower Health America?
Certainly my career path influenced the launch, but the real catalyst runs much deeper. The struggles I encountered in my life are what truly fueled my motivation. I am grateful for the many wonderful opportunities and blessing I have experienced in my life, but I have learned more from the adversity than I have from the successes. Aware of my career path you might say, what adversity? However, somewhere early on I lost my way. I was the oldest of 5 children with 3 half-brothers and 1 half-sister, my mom was married 3 times and so was my dad. Needless to say, being part of a fractured family, moving constantly, attending 7 different schools, and growing up in environments which provided very little emotional support or stability, created a foundation built on quicksand. I made most of my decisions from a place of fear, I became fiercely independent, hyper-responsible, an over-achiever, self-critical and a person who was eager to play the role of caretaker and peacemaker. These traits were a toxic combination for me, which lead to low self-esteem and a hard fought 15 year battle with an eating disorder. I did not like myself or my life for a long time and when I paused to look at my reflection in the mirror my internal dialog was painful to listen to.
My story may pale in comparison to yours but what we do have in common is we have experienced adversity. Adversity showed up in my life like a brick wall, and I couldn’t figure out how to get around it. The sadness remained for a long time, like an airplane circling the runway with no place to land. I did have a ray of hope which I found through exercise. It was my happy place and it seemed to quiet the noise in my head which gave me temporary relief from my negative thoughts. However, the healing process escalated when I divorced at age 36. To deal with the loss and sadness I began exploring yoga and meditation and they changed the trajectory of my life. I learned how to pause, to be present in the moment and to feel. Yoga and meditation gave me the hope and confidence to change the way I viewed myself and the world around me. I have since done a lot of research on the benefits of practicing mindfulness. Something that I am trying to weave into the fabric of my life.
The change process is hard but impossible. We all have the capacity to make changes in our life and we can choose not to stay stuck in unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior. I know because I have been stuck. Have you found yourself in a relationship or situation, or tethered to a behavior that you know is unhealthy? But, somehow you find that you are tied to the comfort found in the familiarity even though you know you should stop, cut and run. Taking action and changing behavior requires an exit strategy. What’s yours? Pausing is mine. Funny that taking action starts with a non-action. But is pausing really a non-action activity. Not really, it takes intention and energy to stop and notice, to take a closer look, to feel deeper and to become more aware in the moment. It takes discipline to pause and not judge what you are experiencing and to not wonder in your mind backward or forward in time and thought. Pausing and breathing in the present moment with the intention of drawing information from inside yourself takes practice. Practice pausing and doing personal inquiry, but I’d like to encourage you to do inquiry with a holistic twist. Be aware of your thoughts, and how you feel emotionally and physically without judgment. Feel what comes up and just breathe and notice. No action required, just awareness and compassion. The art of just being will wake you up to your own wisdom. Tap into your own wisdom by letting your head, heart and body work together to inform you. When they work together it feels like a beautiful symphony sounds and your life will be richer as a result.
The pause helps me navigate through life with greater intention, not by bypassing emotions but feeling them more deeply. I don’t want to miss moments of joy, love or gratitude but I also know that sadness, loneliness and disappointment are part of life as well. The kaleidoscope of emotions make us human and the ability to meet yourself and others where they are without judgement, takes compassion. Compassion helped me realize I deserve to be healthy, happy and at peace.
I continue to take hits along the way but it is easier to stay the course because I trust myself. Today I stand in my power because I know my truth; I make intentional decisions that align with my core values. I choose hope not fear; love not hate and faith rather than self-reliance. I choose to live from a place of abundance not deficit, to be grateful not judgmental, and I view the world with more wonder and less absolutes. My good friend and social scientist, Don Addison advocates, “It doesn’t always have to be either or, it can be both and.” What a powerful statement.
My own experiences and challenges helped me realize that there are many facets of my life that impact my health and happiness. Pausing more helps me stay in tune with my life.
When your path has been dark and you find the light you want to help others do the same. This is the primary reason I do what I do.
“We are all fractured but we have the choice not to be broken.” – Terrie Elizabeth Reeves
We each have a choice in how we want to view and respond to life and circumstances, and I believe the most powerful action that we can take is to PAUSE. Pausing allows you to take inventory, to gain greater clarity, and in this place individuals, teams and organizations can make wiser decisions. I believe, and research supports that pausing is at the foundation of change. I want to do my part by encouraging people to explore the power that can only be found in the PAUSE.
I would not be doing what I am doing today without the love and support of these amazing people. Thank you, Oran Perry, Jim Clark, Ben Derrick, Lynn Evans, Pam Hawthorne, Don Addison, Suzanne Bergen, Adriane Reeves-Burke, my one and only sister, my Grandmother Faith, who was my rock and my one of a kind mom, Billie, who has always challenged the status quo and loved life with childlike abandon. She passes away Feb. 4th 2019, but she will always be alive in my heart. If my mom could say one thing to you in this moment it would be, “Meet yourself and others with love and kindness”. I share the Dare to go Deeper reading with anyone who needs to hear these words.
Dare To Go Deeper
“Dare to go deeper because you can, see your potential because it is possible and believe in yourself because you are powerful. Practice self-care daily and take intentional pauses throughout the day to connect with your thoughts and feelings. Show yourself and others compassion through your words and actions and learn from the lessons life teaches you. Practice the art of letting go, live boldly, laugh often…and always be true to yourself. Keep a playful spirit so you can embrace new things freely, an open mind so the doorway to possibilities is always wide and an open heart so you don’t miss an opportunity to love yourself and others. Live intentionally from a place of gratitude, don’t judge, be curious, align your purpose with your passion, and pause often to celebrate this sometimes messy yet beautiful journey called life.” – Terrie Elizabeth Reeves
Work Wisely and Life Abundantly, Terrie Elizabeth Reeves
“Light up the world up not by doing a job but by making a difference.” – Terrie Elizabeth Reeves
Learn how EHA is empowering individuals, leaders, teams, and organizations to THRIVE.