Big News for Even Bigger Dreams!

A deep post (it’s been a long time since I’ve typed up one of these!) Today was big. Really, really big.

A few months ago, one of my podcast guests referred me to an entity for funding projects. The guidelines are pretty simple . . . must be an artistic venture AND benefit the community/world in some way.

I registered on the website, read all of the info they directed me to, watched all of the videos, and signed up for a webinar scheduled for this past week. During that webinar I asked if a podcast fell under the “artistic” realm. I was advised it most certainly does and it’s their newest addition.

I completed a very lengthy application including my personal bio, project goals and mission, a projected budget, and more.

This evening I was advised: “The Healing Place Podcast has been approved by our Board of Directors and is now active. Welcome to a vibrant community of artists and organizations who are critical contributors to the creative sector’s vitality, autonomy, and innovation!” 

My heart continues to overflow with gratitude and joy. This soul work I am doing is a blessing to many. But also to me. I have learned so much along the way. About . . . Healing. Hope. Editing. Interviewing. Marketing. And now funding.

I have self-funded for 2 years. Now it is time to take this to the next level. This is no longer a hobby. But a business. A trauma-warrior pursuit to help bring healing to the world. With a goal of reaching one million people with inspiring stories of hope and healing.

When I was little I wanted to be a doctor. I told my parents I wanted to “help make people feel better”. I may not be a physician, but I am a healer. A healer who welcomes other healers onto my show to help shine the light of hope into the world.

Right before I received the congratulations notice for the podcast, a beautiful friend and her adorable daughter stopped by to drop off this heart necklace she was gifting me. The timing was perfect. Most definitely a God sign.

heart necklace

I am sitting upstairs savoring this moment before heading into my sacred writing space to edit another podcast (this next episode is a conversation with one of the most adorable and brilliant bundles of energy I’ve encountered yet!)

Wishes of blessings go out to all those needing a reminder to never give up on your dreams. And hugs filled with gratitude to heart-bearing friends, boards of directors who believe in my podcast, brilliant guests who’ve helped me reach souls in thirty-eight countries, and a family that cheers me on every single day. Blessed beyond measure.

The Healing Place Podcast

You can listen in on iTunesBlubrrySpotify, or directly on my website at www.teriwellbrock.com/podcasts/. You can also watch our insightful interview on YouTube.

Thank you for your support, cheers, and love. Being a part of the ACEs Connection community has helped this podcast continue to grow in its reach. Both through amazing guests who have reached out to join me on air to discuss their vital work in trauma-related fields and/or personal stories of triumph over trauma, but also in my audience. I feel blessed to be a part of this space.

Shared from my ACEs Connection blog post.

The Healing Place Podcast: Rob Rodriguez – Exploring Trauma: A Brief Intervention for Men

Welcome to The Healing Place Podcast! I am your host, Teri Wellbrock. You can listen in on iTunesBlubrrySpotify, or directly on my website at www.teriwellbrock.com/podcasts/. You can also watch our insightful interview on YouTube.

I thoroughly enjoyed this soulful and educational interview with Roberto (Rob) Rodriguez as we discussed his work as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, his books and curriculum, work in incarceration facilities, his upcoming curriculum: A Young Man’s Guide to Self-Mastery, his own personal story of triumph, and much more.

Bio:

“Roberto Rodriquez, M.A., has over twelve years of experience in the treatment of substance use disorder. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. He has worked in intensive outpatient settings and residential settings, providing transformative experiences for adolescents, men, couples, and families. Rob currently works with Family Recovery Resource Experts in Saint Paul, MN, where they specialize in trauma-informed intensive family workshops. He is the co-author of Exploring Trauma: A Brief Intervention for Men with Dr. Stephanie Covington. This is the only research- based, brief intervention program related to trauma for men published by Hazelden. His latest project is the 12-session curriculum, A Young Man’s Guide to Self-Mastery, also co-authored with Dr. Covington, to be published Spring, 2020. Rob has been engaged as a national and international consultant and speaker addressing the concerns of families and their helpers.”

Find out more about Rob’s mission at https://frre.net/.

Peace to you all!
Teri

Hope for Healing Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/741bdf08d718/hope-for-healing-newsletter-may-2019

Book Launch Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unicornshadows/

The Healing Place Podcast: Ingrid Helander – Calm Your Worries

Welcome to The Healing Place Podcast! I am your host, Teri Wellbrock. You can listen in on iTunesBlubrrySpotify, or directly on my website at www.teriwellbrock.com/podcasts/. You can also watch our insightful interview on YouTube.

What a beautiful, laughter-filled, heart and soul connection I experienced during this interview with Ingrid Helander as we discussed her work as a therapist, group leader, author, teacher, and more. Ingrid shared her insights on worry and anxiety, along with helpful information on healing avenues; her book: Calm Your Worries: Unlock Your Secret Code to Lasting Stress Relief and Self-Confidence; and much more.

Bio:

“Ingrid Helander is a Marriage & Family Therapist specializing in Internal Family Systems Therapy and Intimacy from the Inside Out© Couples Therapy. Trained in Polyvagal Theory and Yoga, she brings a holistic approach to client wellness. More information about Ingrid and her work is available at ingridyhelanderlmft.com as well as her weekly blog and newsletter subscription. She is also the author of Calm Your Worries: Unlock Your Secret Code to Lasting Stress Relief and Self-Confidence.”

Find out more about Ingrids’s mission at https://ingridyhelanderlmft.com/ and https://ingridyhelanderlmft.com/calm-your-worries/.

Peace to you all!
Teri

Hope for Healing Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/741bdf08d718/hope-for-healing-newsletter-may-2019

Book Launch Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unicornshadows/

The Healing Place Podcast: Robyn Baldwin – Autoimmune Thriving

Welcome to The Healing Place Podcast! I am your host, Teri Wellbrock. You can listen in on iTunesBlubrrySpotify, or directly on my website at www.teriwellbrock.com/podcasts/. You can also watch our insightful interview on YouTube.

I loved connecting with a kindred spirit in Robyn Baldwin as we discussed her Autoimmune Thriving pursuits, her personal journey combating Multiple Sclerosis (MS) symptoms after living life as an over-achiever and fitness guru, her book Love Lost, Life Found, and much more.

Bio:

“Robyn Baldwin is the founder of Autoimmune Thriving and an MS Thriver.  Her mission in life is to empower those living with an autoimmune disease to thrive and not just survive. Autoimmune Thriving includes yoga retreats, an online program on healing and a treatment fund for those in need of holistic healing assistance.

Robyn lives in Ottawa with her husband and 2 fur babies. She is a full-time Digital Marketing Director, a health & lifestyle blogger at RobynBaldwin.com, the author of Love Lost, Life Found, a yoga teacher, the host of the Alpha Female Podcast and a passionate Essential Oil Educator. She loves weight lifting, running, yoga and making seasonal bucket lists. After being diagnosed with MS in 2014 and starting out on a new health journey she’s transitioned from being an MS Warrior battling an auto-immune disease to an MS Thriver and living well with the health sidekick.”

Links:

Website: https://robynbaldwin.com/

Autoimmune Thriving Website: https://autoimmunethriving.com/

Autoimmune Thriving IG: https://www.instagram.com/autoimmunethriving/ Autoimmune Healing Guide: https://autoimmunethriving.com/healing-guide

Find out more about Robyn’s mission at https://robynbaldwin.com/ and https://autoimmunethriving.com/

Peace to you all!
Teri

Hope for Healing Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/741bdf08d718/hope-for-healing-newsletter-may-2019

Book Launch Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unicornshadows/

The Healing Place Podcast: Karen Salmansohn – Instant Calm: 2-Minute Meditations to Create a Lifetime of Happy

Welcome to The Healing Place Podcast! I am your host, Teri Wellbrock. You can listen in on iTunesBlubrrySpotify, or directly on my website at www.teriwellbrock.com/podcasts/. You can also watch our insightful interview on YouTube.

It was an absolute pleasure to engage in a soulful conversation with Karen Salmansohn to discuss her upcoming book, Instant Calm: 2-Minute Meditations to Create a Lifetime of Happy; her personal story of triumph; the philosophies of Aristotle (along with other fascinating letter-A subjects from Encyclopedia Britannica); and much more.

Bio:

Karen Salmansohn is a former stressed-out advertising Senior VP and award-winning designer turned healthy living expert, best-selling author, and longevity research geek. After leaving her successful career in the advertising industry, Karen stepped out on her own as a writer and designer of books.

Karen became a multi-best-selling author, having sold over 2 million copies of her books internationally and has gained a loyal following of almost 2 million people. At the age of 50, Karen realized another dream when she gave birth to her first child.

Karen has been profiled in the NY Times, Business Week, Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Time Magazine, ELLE, Marie Claire, and Fast Company.

As a late-in-life mom, Karen loves to research a wide range of longevity boosters and share with her audience how to slow down the aging process and live not only longer – but better – with greater health and clarity of mind. Karen is excited to head up a tribe she calls “The Wellderly” – a community of people who positively embrace getting older and aging into their happiest, highest potential selves.”

Find out more about Karen’s mission at https://www.notsalmon.com/

You can find out more about Karen’s new book at https://www.notsalmon.com/books/instant-calm/

Peace to you all!
Teri

Hope for Healing Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/741bdf08d718/hope-for-healing-newsletter-may-2019

Book Launch Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unicornshadows/

Seven Benefits of Working with a Therapy Animal from a Handler’s Perspective

Having a C-PTSD diagnosis myself due to my complex trauma exposure during the first twenty-two years of my life, I know the craving for relief from overwhelming symptoms. I find such comfort even in just touching the softness of an animal’s fur. When I was a child I used to create a stuffed animal fortress around me before falling asleep. I found comfort in holding them close to me or reaching out to touch them when afraid.

There was Lenny the Lion (a royal blue lion with a cherry red main), Bobby Bear (clad in his Pampers diaper I took from a babysitting job in our apartment complex), shorts and a t-shirt, along with Billy Bear (also wearing a diaper covered up by his baby blue overalls). I had Greenie and Brownie, two worn little creatures who possessed broken music boxes for insides, one being green and the other brown, surprisingly. Sammy the Snake was always tucked along the small space left where my mattress didn’t quite meet the wall. Just in case anything might try to sneak up on me in that crevice. I still have Lenny, Bobby, and Billy in a bag in my basement, tucked among some other treasures. There were a few others, whose names I now forget, yet they stood guard each night, protecting me from the boogie man. Or in my case, a drunken mother standing in the shadows, watching me sleep, her blank stare concealing murderous ponderings of sending me to “be with Jesus.”

Jump ahead a few decades and I no longer sleep in a stuffed-animal fortress. Instead it’s a dog snuggle-fest. Max, our Schnoodle, thinks he’s a bad-ass in his little thirteen pound body. Except at bedtime he wants to sleep on my pillow and bury his nose into my neck. Sometimes he places his little paw on my shoulder, just to make sure I’m safe. Personally, I think he likes the reassurance, but don’t let him know I’m on to him! Sammie, our Labradoodle, curls up as close as possible somewhere behind my legs. If she could, she’d sleep on my pillow, too. She thinks she’s a lap dog trapped in a fifty-five pound body.

Sammie recently passed her two year re-test for her therapy dog registration. She was amazing. Truly amazing. A perfect score as she followed my every command (or as I like to refer to them . . . suggestion). She watched me for visual cues and listened for words of encouragement.

That’s my girl.

You’re my favorite.

I’m so proud of you.

Way to go, Sam-Sam!

Nice job, Sammie.

You’re a rock star.

Following is a list of seven benefits I find as I work with this sweet pup (whose 5th birthday we celebrated yesterday! Happy Birthday, Sammie Doodle!):

Pure Joy

Sometimes I feel selfish for walking away from our therapy dog sessions with my heart overflowing with joy, a smile radiating from my face AND heart. I love watching this dog turn a child’s tears into giggles. Sammie has a thing for kids. Her tail wags every time she sees one. Whether we are walking the halls at a school or the trails at a nature preserve. She wants to meet them all and offer a snuggle. As a result, her tail thumps in canine happiness, and I just can’t help but grin.

We were visiting a school last year when the counselor asked if it would be okay if Sammie had an unscheduled visit from a child who was having a difficult morning. Of course he’s welcome to visit with Sammie! Immediately, upon this nine-year-old boy entering the room, his face stained from tears, Sammie moved toward him. He found his way onto a bean bag chair and Sammie was instantly next to him. Her pointy elbows tickling his belly as she climbed closer to love him.

That’s her secret.

Love.

Pure, simple, unconditional love.

And that kind of pure love can only result in pure joy.

Find out more about working with Pet Partners here and clicking the book link below:

Self-Healing

I love it that I absorb healing benefits while doing healing work as a therapy dog team with Sammie. Whether she is comforting a child experiencing anxiety symptoms, offering solace to a room full of teachers headed to a co-worker’s funeral, or just greeting kids in the hallways on testing day, she is happy to be there radiating comfort and compassion. I usually step back and witness, avoiding my human interference in a wordless exchange. A hand reaching down to pet Sam’s head, her snout pressing up against a leg, even just a pause in time as she locks eyes with someone needing reassurance.

I watch all of this and allow it to radiate into my being, as well. There is a magic that happens. An energy exchange so powerful I can’t help but pick up on it. And, again, my heart smiles as a result. Perhaps I sense it because I’ve opened myself up to healing. I seek it, I welcome it, I treasure it. Therefore, when I see it and feel it, I know it’s happening and let it in.

A Course in Compassion

This amazing therapy dog has taught me so much about compassion. Whether a child is crying or a teacher is nervous, if a kiddo is expressing his needs through defiant behavior or a grieving adult is standing quiet and still in a corner, or maybe there’s the high end-of-the-school-year energy pulsating through a classroom making for loud voices and stressed staff, regardless, this dog treats them all the same. All she knows is there is a human, usually a smaller and younger one, that just might be interested in a hug.

She listens without interrupting or offering her input.

She offers a snuggle but isn’t offended if she’s turned away. She merely moves on to the next soul needing love.

She’ll stand in quiet solidarity with anyone needing silence, perhaps leaning against a leg just as a little added support.

She won’t nip or bite or growl if hurt. A woman accidentally stepped on Sammie’s tail and foot during a job fair. She happened to be wearing a heavy plastic boot to stabilize an injured leg. Sammie yelped in fear. But then wagged her tail at the woman. As if to apologize for startling the lady with her yelp for help. A child once stuck his finger into Sammie’s ear. Sammie shook her head and moved away as I gently reminded the child to respect Sammie’s body and use gentle touches. But, all the while, Sammie stayed calm.

She is just there to love. To comfort. To listen. To allow. Compassion at its finest.

Learned Patience

One of Sammie’s best qualities is patience. I witness it first-hand when we hike. I’m in my fifties and my knees and ankles just aren’t as nimble as they used to be. Therefore, when we hit the steep treks, as I slowly make my way down the rocky trails with protruding roots and crooked rock paths, this sweet dog will pause and look back at me as we descend steep grades. I never taught her this. It just . . . happened. She is the essence of patience.

I witness this same gift being shared with children. She teaches them through modeling as she patiently listens as they talk her ear off, or patiently wags her tail as they rub the same spot on her head for fifteen minutes.

As I sit here typing this, Sammie is sitting in my office, staring at the closed door. She hears our little dog, Max, playing with our daughter. I look at her and she nods at me, as if to say, “When you have a minute, could you let me out.” I can’t help but smile. No barks. No whining. No digging at the door. Just a patient stare. And a wag of the tail as I open the door.

Develop Friendships

As we walk the trails at our local nature center, Sammie approaches all dogs with a wagging tail. She looks to me for guidance. I usually remind her to leave it as we keep moving forward. Every now and then, however, the hiker coming towards us will ask if Sammie is friendly and if we can stop to allow a doggy meet-n-greet. I always agree. Which makes Sammie one happy girl. The dogs do their usual dog-thing when it comes to meeting another dog. And Sammie walks away knowing she has made a new friend. I will say, though, that there is one particular breed of dog that cannot stand Sammie. Every time we encounter this breed, they always try to eat her. Without fail. Yet, she still wants to be friends.

I’ve studied this. In regards to my own interactions with people. Do I approach with a “wagging tail” and welcoming aura? If so, most people will respond with reciprocatory warmth. And if they are one of those rare few who do not, I’ll just walk away . . . wagging my tail behind me.

Sammie has brought new friendships into my life not because of anything I’ve done, but because of her willingness to approach each and every person she meets with gentle curiosity. As if she’s inquiring, “Do you need some love?” A beautiful thing to witness really. She could care less about skin color, what someone is wearing, religious affiliation, what car they drive, if they have stinky feet or a pimple on their forehead, whether smiling or frowning, upbeat or beat up . . . she just wants to meet them and offer her support.

Filling a Personal Need to Give Back

I have this compelling need to give back to the world. I want to give out hope by the fistfuls, money in anonymous surprises, and time in a I-have-more-of-it-than-I-really-do way. Maybe because I grew up in home where money was always a problem. Or, I guess I should clarify, the LACK of money was always a problem. My dad struggled to keep a job and blew through my mom’s paychecks with his latest “get rich quick” schemes. They never did pan out. Maybe because I spent the first forty-something years of my life struggling with heartache and trauma-related anxiety and panic disorders. And now I know peace. Maybe because I’ve battled my way through darkness and currently celebrate the light.

Working with Sammie as a volunteer therapy dog team truly makes my heart happy. I love the kids, the school staff, the giggles, the joy, the tail-wagging, and the love I witness transcending between souls. Beautiful on so many levels.

Offering hope to children through Sammie’s gentle ways gives me a sense of creating change in a world where sadness and anger seem to be gaining traction. Maybe that’s just social media. All I know is that having a sweet lady offer me hope as an eight-year-old second-grader changed my world. I still treasure the gift of that teacher. I’m hoping Sammie and I can offer that same gift to children. A pay it forward kinda thing.

Brings Stardom

This dog is truly a rock star! We were hiking through Cincinnati Nature Center last year when someone stopped us on trail and asked, “Is that Sammie?” I laughed and responded with an enthusiastic YES. This person went on to explain, “I know her from the internet.” I mean, seriously, rock star status, Sammie!

Sammie joins me on The Healing Place Podcast, as well. Not as a co-host. That’s Max’s job. He has his own chair and everything. Sammie just insists on being in the office with me when I record shows. She lays at my feet or snoozes in a corner. Every now and then she pops her head up to greet my guests. And whenever she does, the response is always the same. A huge smile appearing on my interviewee’s face. Along with, “Oh, hello, Sammie!”

Max co-hosting The Healing Place Podcast

I love it that this sweet pup has a reputation in Cincinnati for offering love and support to children. We have a project called Sammie’s Bundles of Hope. We fill bags with donated trinkets of hope (PlayDoh, journals, stress balls, bubbles, and more) and disperse them to children with trauma-history, anxiety struggles, recent loss, homelessness, etc. These bags represent everything Sammie. Relief from pain, fear, worry, stress . . . by focusing on something soothing.

This super-star dog even has a book written about her, The Doodle with the Noodle. My daughter and I wrote a book geared toward preschoolers a few years ago when my daughter was in fourth grade. We wrote, illustrated, and published it through Kindle Direct Publishing. And now we donate a copy in each Sammie Bundle of Hope we disperse.

Sammie has her own website, Facebook page, and Instagram page.

We love our sweet shooting star. To infinity and beyond.

Click on image below to read more!

Overcoming C-PTSD: Five Physical Strategies for Derailing Overwhelming Symptoms

by Teri Wellbrock

Sign up for my Hope for Healing Newsletter at www.teriwellbrock.com.

While I have an overflowing tool box of coping skills to utilize whenever those terrifying symptoms of my C-PTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) pop up, I have recently been focusing specifically on keeping them at bay by using my new “I am lean, I am strong” mantra. I have been on a mission to make myself feel stronger physically along with the added perk of trimming my menopausal waistline. I am amazed by how much stronger I feel mentally and psychologically as a side-effect of my new attitude and regimen.

Following is a list of ways I have been proactively taking more healing strides in my life. Literally.

Smartwatch

My Fitbit Versa, coordinating phone app, and chosen clock face on the watch all keep me motivated and moving. I have set reminders for myself to move at least 250 steps per hour. That keeps me from sitting too long at my computer while at the office (I have a stand-up desk in my home office, but not at my company office . . . more on that in a moment).

I recently bumped my daily step goal to 11,000. And I’m doing it! I grab our therapy dog, Sammie, and head out for a hike at our local nature preserve almost daily (Sammie is afraid of water falling from the sky so we stay indoors on rainy days). Those nature hikes are challenging yet so unbelievably peaceful. Birds chirping, frogs croaking, breezes rustling. I truly find it soul-quenching.

I even hit my goal on The Fourth of July amid a pool party at a friend’s place and family movie night. If I have a few thousand steps to go to make it to 10,000 for the day, I’ll turn on some music in our backyard and walk laps around our pool, while the dogs lounge in the grass curiously watching me move along my oval path.

My trick ankle is less swollen, my wobbly knees are stronger, my resting heart rate is lower, and my anxiety symptoms are staying further and further away. Yay!

I am lean. I am strong.

Swimming

We are blessed to have a beautiful in-ground pool in our idyllic backyard. We are known in our community for hosting movie parties for families. I’ve lost track of the amount of times someone has commented how our little slice of paradise reminds them of being on vacation. There’s a tiki hut, trampoline, gardens, bird feeders, an island marker sign, Adirondack chairs surrounding a fire pit in the sand, cushioned chairs under a canopy umbrella, and even a Florida Marlin hanging on the back fence.

Luckily our summer weather is usually sunny and hot so our water temperature in the pool stays in the mid-eighties. Positively delightful for evening swims. I have recently discovered if I run in the water, my waterproof Fitbit actually counts the steps. Another way to reach my step goal while moving other muscles as I work to keep myself afloat.

Engaging my teenage daughter in swimming races helps keep me moving toward my lean and strong goal. All the while, helping my body regulate itself. Thereby keeping me calmer and empowered when triggered. Creating this sanctuary as part of our home was purposeful as I have utilized it often when needing grounding. From placing my hand on our sturdy maple tree to digging my hands into the soil while I garden or just sitting quietly while practicing mindfulness exercises. It all helps me keep those C-PTSD symptoms in check.

I am lean. I am strong. I am grounded.

Gym

Joining a new gym which recently opened close to our home was a family venture. We toured it together and made a commitment to our health as a group effort. We even signed up with a personal trainer just to assess our individual needs and discover ways we could kick-start ourselves into healthier choices.

I love the water yoga classes in the warm-water pool, although I have yet to attempt the cold-water lap pool. I think I’m a bit too spoiled by our sun-kissed water at home. I am trying out new exercise classes such as Pilates and a kick-ass Metabolic Strength session. Yoga is always a perk, as well. I’m looking forward to trying Zumba again, too.

A sampling of available classes at our local gym include: group cycling, cardio muscle, cardio kickboxing, TRX circuit, Barre circuit, various yoga choices, aqua arthritis, core cardio in the pool, and many more. Plus, I try to warm up on the stair stepper, rowing machine, or treadmill. Our trainer taught us about the medicine ball, balance balls, weight machines, free weights, and more. I love the idea of strengthening my body.

My favorite activity, however, has to be my almost daily treks to the track with our daughter. I love, love, love the fact that this kiddo comes to me every day and asks, “Can we go to the track and then shoot hoops in the gym?” How cool is that? I get to hang out with my thirteen-year-old and compete with her for steps on our Fitbits then help her with basketball drills as we continue working up a sweat in the air-conditioned gym.

I am lean. I am strong. I am grounded. I am motivated.

(And teaching this girl to feel strong, too.)

Biking

I had an old beat up mountain bike with tires that deflated once a week. It served me well when my older kids were little. How many times I attached their carrier to the back of that bike and took them on riding adventures through campgrounds and our neighborhood streets.

Last year I decided it was time to treat myself to a new ride! So I actually went test-driving new bikes. We have a little shop a few miles from my office that touts themselves as one of the oldest bicycle shops in the United States. Pretty cool.

They were quite patient with me as I took one by one by one out for a spin. Then I saw THE one. I had to have it. Not because of the price. Or the design. Or the speed. Or the accessories. Why? Because of the color. Ha! This mint green bike made me feel like I was back on my favorite island, cruising along under the droopy Spanish Moss. It is the cutest bike I’ve ever seen. I actually smiled at it this morning as I hopped into my car to head off to work.

We have a bike trail close by that stretches seventy miles. Not that I’ve ever ridden the entire length of it. Although I did train for a half-marathon on it and walked 13.2 miles of it back in 2010. It’s a beautiful trail surrounded by trees and rivers and quiet neighborhoods. It even runs through the fun little city of Loveland, Ohio, lined with breweries, shops, and restaurants along that stretch.

The joy I find in biking is that it gives me the ability to move faster than my fifty-something-year-old legs can travel on their own. The biking wind tickles my skin and I can’t help but smiles as I glide along the trail.

However, I also am quite mindful in my rides. I stumbled upon the sweetest little snail attempting to make his way across the hot asphalt a few weeks ago. I stopped to find a leaf, let him slooooooowly climb on board, then moved him off into the woods to cool off. I think he winked a thank you my way.

I am lean. I am strong. I am grounded. I am motivated. I am happy.

Standing Desk

I promised I would loop back around on this one. I am standing at mine in my home office (a.k.a. sacred writing space) right now. When I take a moment to contemplate an idea or search my brain for a word, I swing my hips back and forth, letting my arms move in rhythm. More heart rate, more muscle tone, more steps registered. Leaner and stronger. Calmer and more grounded.

There’s the blessing of being surrounded by my meditative music, the scent of an iced almond chai candle burning, and lots of angel paintings and figurines smiling at me as I move in this space.

Research shows the benefits of standing desks to be: lowering health risks, increasing energy, and improve productivity, among other positive results. See the article 7 Benefits of a Standing Desk. I know, for myself, my hip pain from sitting for prolonged periods of time (a drawback of being a writer, podcaster, and business owner) has been reduced drastically since I started using a standing desk.

Plus, when I’m already standing, if a great song comes on my 80’s station on Pandora, I can break right into dance. Hopefully I’m not scaring the neighbors too much with my disco moves.

I am lean. I am strong. I am grounded. I am motivated. I am happy. I am a dancing machine.

I wish you peace along your healing journey. I hope you find your positive affirmations that keep you motivated and moving. If you want to borrow mine, just remember . . . you are lean, you are strong, you are grounded, you are motivated, you are happy, and you are a dancing machine!

The Healing Place Podcast: Dr. Amir Rashidian – The StressProof Life

Welcome to The Healing Place Podcast! I am your host, Teri Wellbrock. You can listen in on iTunesBlubrrySpotify, or directly on my website at www.teriwellbrock.com/podcasts/. You can also watch our insightful interview on YouTube.

What an insightful and eye-opening conversation I shared with Dr. Amir Rashidian of Mid-Atlantic Chiropractic Center. Dr. Rashidian shared his brilliant philosophies on stress, eating habits, healing, and more, along with his personal story of hope and healing.

Bio:

Dr. Amir Rashidian is the founder of the Mid-Atlantic Chiropractic Center, where the focus is improving health of people through drugless solutions. He recently published ‘The StressProof Life’, which documented the real-life stories of his most memorable patients while showing the readers the secret to becoming the kind of person who is able to handle any amount of stress on that journey toward greatness.”

Find out more about Dr. Rashidian’s mission at https://www.midatlanticclinic.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/midatlanticclinic/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MACCHealth/playlists

Amazon (link to the StressProof Life book): https://www.amazon.com/StressProof-Life-Secret-Health-Happiness/dp/0996300139/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=amir+rashidian&qid=1562101320&s=gateway&sr=8-1Website: www.MidAtlanticClinic.com

Peace to you all!
Teri

Hope for Healing Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/741bdf08d718/hope-for-healing-newsletter-may-2019

Book Launch Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unicornshadows/

The Book Collection of Healers: The Healing Place Podcast Guests Share Their Wisdom

A few months ago I began requesting signed copies of my podcast guests books (offering to pay for the book and shipping, obviously). Many of my guests have gifted their word works of art to me and I consider this collection a treasure. Thinking about this stack of books I have embarked on reading, I am in awe of the amount of hope flowing through the words printed upon their pages. Books on triumph over trauma, some with flare and adventure, others with baby steps and quiet fortitude; books filled with guidance; books that may trigger yet offer strategies; books from a helper’s perspective and others from a survivor’s. Books overflowing with hope, healing, help, and happy endings.

I want to thank these beautiful souls for sharing their brilliant insights with the world. I wish them continued success in reaching those who most need their messages of hope. I wish us all a life filled with tranquility and joy as we travel our individual healing journeys, finding these hands to hold along the way, through books or podcasts or coaching or therapy sessions or a friend’s hug.

Following are 21 of my podcast guests’ books for your review (in order of podcast appearance):

Teri Barila: Community Resilience Initiative Interview

From the Community Resilience Initiative Website: Our Super Heroes book introduces ten very special children, facing challenging life experiences such as homelessness and bullying. Beautiful child-friendly graphics show why it is important to understand how our brains respond to stress, and how we can learn to manage our responses by building a toolkit of strategies. This is an interactive book, encouraging use of the 42 resilience strategies from the child-focused deck of cards, from a child’s perspective. Coming soon in Spanish!

Stephanie McPhail: Being Loved Shouldn’t Hurt Interview

Amazon excerpt: Stephanie McPhail, M.S. wrote “Being Loved Shouldn’t Hurt” to help inspire others to live their best lives now. She begins with a very revealing personal recollection of her own toxic relationships and describes how they affected her on a deep level. In the wake of her last toxic relationship, she experienced depression, legal issues, and a major health scare. Feeling hopeless and alone, she finally made a conscious decision to begin changing and truly create her best life possible. Stephanie shares her struggles and triumphs with readers. The book also includes three other personal stories of triumph after a very difficult past. Part 2 focuses on defining codependency, understanding why people stay in unhealthy relationships, what are red flags and deal breakers, and how to begin the healing process. Stephanie also reflects on the many lessons that she learned from her life experience. Take advantage of the helpful guides at the end of the book to keep you focused on your healing journey!

Bob Lancer: Seven Mindsets Interview

Amazon excerpt: Putting off happiness is all that keeps you feeling unhappy, unsuccessful, depressed, discouraged, angry, deprived or insecure. This book shows you how to accept happiness now, and how happiness empowers you to create the conditions in life that you have been unhappily counting on to bring you happiness.

Belinda Farrell: Huna Healing Interview

Amazon excerpt:

“Belinda Farrell is a courageous woman sharing personal woes so that others may find strength in their own journey. She lights the path of hope, brightens the realm of despair and embraces the act of survival. Cal-Berkeley graduate, Mom,”Snow White,” almost CIA agent, stunt car driver, actor, writer, hot coal walker, Huna teacher, wild dolphin swim guide, she’s a New Millennia Renaissance woman offering good health and holistic healing. Her new book Find Your Friggin’Joy is not for the faint of heart, but a manual for those brave enough to confront their demons, face their feelings, and exalt their potential.”

-Broderick Perkins, Executive Editor at DeadlineNews.com

This book takes you on a journey using Ancient Hawaiian Teachings that invite the reader to take personal responsibility to unplug from the old non-productive stories and step into the frequencies of your Higher Self. Connecting with these frequencies can heal your physical body, bring you back into balance, lighten your load, and fulfill your soul’s purpose. It’s all up to YOU!

When Belinda was forty eight she collapsed with herniated discs and spinal nerve damage. Threatened with paralysis by her medical doctors if she didn’t have surgery, Belinda instead chose to apply the ancient Hawaiian healing practices she had been learning for the past three years which are covered in this book. Her back completely healed including childhood scoliosis.

Belinda retired from stunt car driving and, for fifteen years has been sharing these healing practices with others. She offers Reconnective Healing and Huna in Santa Cruz, Ca. and takes clients to Hawaii to teach Huna and swim with wild spinner dolphins. The dolphins help us to dissolve fear with an open heart expanding our reality through their vibrational tones so that we experience our deepest joy.

Lucia Giovannini: A Whole New Life Interview

Amazon excerpt: An encouraging and transformational guide for living your best, ideal life.

If you wish to follow your heart but don’t know where to start, this book will provide you with the tools needed to finally choose the life you’ve always wanted. If you feel that change is too hard, complicated, or altogether impossible, this book will help you overcome obstacles in a step-by-step, easy-to-understand guide. A Whole New Life teaches you how to turn dreams into achievable goals and how to develop flexibility without losing your sense of direction. In this book, you’ll learn how to identify and eliminate mechanisms that bring you to a standstill, recognizing challenges that evoke fear and anxiety or hinder your full self-realization. This book is first a promise, then an idea, a series of steps and, in the end, an uplifting reality.

“Wow! This is the most insightful and profound book on life and change in many, many years. Clear observations, wise insights and unjudging tone, sprinkled with amazing quotes and relatable anecdotes. Very powerful. Highly recommended.”

—Derek Sivers, Author, Ted speaker, founder and former president of CD Baby

A Whole New Life is the guide you have been looking for. It inspires you to say yes to your life and your dreams.”

—Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D., Author, Master Trainer – Heal Your Life® Training in Louise Hay’s philosophy, San Diego, CA, USA

“Lucia’s voice, her incredible passion for shining the light over others is contagious. A Whole New Lifegives life and a second chance to those wanting to live beyond themselves.”

—Ajit Nawalkha, Co-founder of Mindvalley & Evercoach, Bestselling Author of LIVE BIG

Dr. Greg Williams: Shattered by the Darkness Interview

Amazon excerpt: Brutal Sexual Abuse. Fear. Betrayal. Shame. 
After enduring daily sexual abuse for over twelve years, can there be any hope?

In Shattered by the Darkness: Putting the Pieces Back Together after Child Abuse, author Dr. Gregory Williams shares his dark and horrific childhood of sexual abuse and fifty-year journey of trying to put the pieces of his life back together.  

The vital lessons learned in the process of finally stepping out of the emotional darkness and into the light will give you strength to ultimately open the deepest parts of your heart and find the courage to face your own personal darkness. Today is the day to take your life back!

Discover that no matter what abuse, hurt, pain, or betrayal you have experienced, you no longer have to live your life Shattered by the Darkness. This empowering book transforms the silence of shame into a rallying cry for hope and healing.

Dean Walker: Living Resilience Interview

Amazon excerpt: The Impossible Conversation is that we carry those data and projections into our hearts and discover how to keep our hearts open even when we consider the most challenging aspects of our present and near future. In The Impossible Conversation we are invited to intimately reconnect: with our own inner wisdom, with the miracle that is every other human and with our magnificent, magnanimous Earth. I urge you to take this book into your heart and allow it to become part of your blood and bones.

Carolyn Baker. PhD., author of Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times and Dark Gold: The Human Shadow and the Global Crisis.

Craig K. Comstock, Huffington Post. In Walker’s book, what a relief to see the situation defined not as a “problem” that can be “solved,” but as a “predicament” that we must live with. The kinds of “reconnection” described by Walker (reconnection with: deeper self, others and Earth) would be attractive even if the situation were normal. Given our situation, they are necessary. Some of the climate scientists quoted by Walker suggest it’s too late to prevent disaster. From now on, we can only grieve what we have inadvertently done: grieve, and live intensely; behave well as we witness the gathering storm. Very few people want to accept this, and prefer to persist as if our way of life could continue. Besides, as someone always says just before the attempted conversation dribbles away, “what can one person do?” Walker has some answers, which go less to preventing disaster, than to living with the knowledge of what’s happening. Walker praises reconnection with the deeper self, with other people, and with nature. The (workshop and coaching) project announced by Walker and Carolyn Baker (in The Impossible Conversation) is based on the practice of psychotherapy, a knowledge of history, and experience in organizational consulting. For readers, their books offer some of the very best ideas for the enlargement of a community that can make the “conversation” more possible.

In The Impossible Conversation, Dean Walker recounts his transformational journey from his first contact with the shocking data and projections of Abrupt Climate Change – to the mind blowing awareness of the full scope of the global problems and predicaments we all must face. As we engage in The Impossible Conversation we begin to grapple with questions that really matter: “How did we get ourselves and our planet-home into these predicaments?” and “What are the inner skills and capacities that are called for as we confront our global problems and predicaments?” and “How does my life change as I witness the collapse of our environmental and human systems?” and “How can we come together to regain our long lost sense of agency in life?” and “What are the qualities of presence and relationship I can bring to my family, community, workplace, local environment, as I stand with new purpose in the face of our predicaments.?”

The Impossible Conversation is not another feel-good guide to our quick return to a thriving economy and business as usual. It is a sober look at how our business as usual paradigm is, in fact, what has driven us to the brink. The Impossible Conversation is deeply committed to keeping it real as we explore together, how to contact the immense power of human beings who are willing to intentionally break open their hearts and profoundly reconnect with their deeper selves, the people around them, and the miraculous web of life on this glorious planet-home, Earth.

Joyelle Brandt: Parenting with PTSD Interview

Amazon excerpt: Parenting with PTSD is an anthology and workbook for parents who are survivors of childhood abuse. Editors Joyelle Brandt and Dawn Daum are survivors of childhood abuse working to break the cycle for their own families. Raising children as an abuse survivor is often a lonely and isolating experience, as the triggers and flashbacks of abuse can be hard for non-survivors to understand. When they were looking for stories of how other survivors coped, and couldn’t find any, they decided that something needed to change. So together they started an online community specifically for parent survivors, and started collecting essays to create Parenting with PTSD. Breaking the silence allows for an honest conversation about the lifetime journey of healing from childhood trauma. This is a combination of essays, journal questions, and recommended resources. It is intended to be a starting point to more conversations about how we can heal both individually and within our families, communities, and institutions. Our Mission: 1. To build a supportive community for parenting survivors, normalize the PTSD responses they may be having, and share resources for healing from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) or other traumatic events. 2. To educate professionals working in the fields of physical, mental, and social health about common triggers that arise for parents with PTSD, and the challenges they experience while working to break cycles of generational dysfunction and abuse. 3. To help partners and families better understand the experience of parenting for abuse survivors.

Dr. Leslie Cole: Quit Pain Pills Without the Withdrawal Interview

Website excerpt: What if I told you that today you could buy this eBook for $25, and by utilizing the educational information and guidance in the book for your own self-improvement, it’s possible for you to finally stop the cycle of fending off withdrawal?

What if I told you that by buying this eBook, and taking steps to implement the information and guidance provided in the book for your own self-improvement, you could save yourself anywhere from $100 to over $1000 per day by stopping your purchase of street opiates?

Too many people wait five years, ten years, twenty years to face their addiction.

You could decide right now to take control of your future.

Jason Lee: Living with the Dragon Interview

Amazon excerpt: In Living with the Dragon, Jason Lee gives an honest and brave account of his life. As a Canadian-born Chinese man in his forties, Lee was raised in a household rife with physical and emotional abuse. He recounts stories of torment, angry outbursts, and beatings in his home that made him feel humiliated and unloved from a young age. Bullying at school and a complicated relationship with his brother who has schizophrenia added to Lee’s feelings of worthlessness and shame.

With stunning vulnerability, Lee confesses to his own emotionally abusive behaviour as an adult. He also shares about his personal struggles with depression and anxiety that he only came to realize in recent years. Through the hard work of counselling, group therapy, meditation, and practices of self-compassion, Lee has turned his life around in remarkable ways.

In Living with the Dragon, he shares lessons and tools for breaking the chain of abuse from one generation to the next. As Lee writes, “There is no greater feeling than liberation and being able to live your most honest self.” This powerful memoir will embolden you to find freedom and healing by facing the truth of your own inner life.

Karen Zilberstein: Parents Under Pressure Interview

Amazon excerpt: One in six American children live in poverty. One in six struggle with a developmental disability. An estimated 70 percent of American adults have experienced a traumatic event. Despite the overwhelming prevalence of these circumstances, societal expectations and the country’s fragmented, under-resourced service systems make it nearly impossible for families experiencing hardship to keep up. In many cases, the system makes their situation worse. In her book, Zilberstein, Clinical Director of the Northampton, Massachusetts chapter of A Home Within, provides a candid look at how parents contending with poverty, illness, disability, or other constraints are expected to do so much with so little-and the price they and society pay. Through the unforgettable portraits of six overburdened families, Parents Under Pressure shows how health crises can quickly devolve into the loss of jobs and homes, how public perceptions of poor people hamper the chances for a better life, and the ways in which race and income affect access to assistance. Judged by family, friends and professionals who question their abilities and choices, parents feel inadequate and drained, rather than supported.

Jim Sporleder: Trauma-Informed Consulting and Paper Tigers Interview

Amazon excerpt: The Trauma-Informed School is an all-inclusive guide designed to give school administrators of any school (elementary, middle or high school), step-by-step instructions of how to turn a school of any size into a trauma-informed school. With over 250 pages of content, this guide gives you the protocols you need along with a link to download all the documents needed for a successful implementation. 

This well written and well-organized guide was developed from the vast experience of a nationally recognized retired school principal and school consultant (Jim Sporleder) and a nationally recognized trauma expert (Heather T. Forbes, LCSW). The combined work of these two authors is a winning combination that will equip and empower you to become a trailblazer in the area of trauma-informed education.

Jaz Ampaw-Farr: Everyday Hero Interview

Amazon exerpt: Pinpoints and celebrates the vital role that educators have in instilling ambitious resilience both in their learners and themselves.

Growing up in poverty, and neglected and abused by her own parents, Jaz Ampaw-Farr was destined to become a statistic. Her story was changed, however, by a handful of teachers who made the point of putting human connection first despite the challenges of the education system.

Because of these people, Jaz went on to become a teacher, writer and international speaker who, through celebration and provocation, engages and galvanises educators into embracing the difference that they can make when they put being a human first too. In ‘Because Of You, This’ is Me Jaz shares her story often harrowing but always uplifting to show the ways in which the everyday heroes in our schools can empower those children who need their help the most.

Suitable for all educators.

Amit Janco: (Un)Bound Together Interview

Amazon excerpt: Four years after falling from a bridge in Cambodia, Amit Janco set off, like thousands before her, on a journey of physical healing along the legendary Camino de Santiago. What was slated to be little more than a restorative hike across the undulating terrain of northern Spain, would become an unexpectedly gratifying, comical, and, at times, emotionally tumultuous odyssey through physical and emotional recovery, into the very heart and soul of her existence.If you loved WILD by Cheryl Strayed, TRACKS by Robyn Davidson, EAT PRAY LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert, or I’LL PUSH YOU by Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray, you will also love Amit Janco’s (Un)Bound, Together: A Journey to the End of the Earth (and Beyond).

Donna Jenson: Healing My Life-From Incest to Joy Interview

Amazon excerpt: In chronicling the physical and spiritual steps she took to reclaim her life and peel away the layers of damage done by incest, Jenson has written a powerful narrative of one person’s healing journey. And though the subject matter is deeply serious, Jenson writes with her sense of humor firmly intact, reminding us that joy is possible in the face of great pain. Poignant, brave, and helpful, Healing My Life offers a much-needed testimony for anyone affected by or concerned about childhood sexual abuse. “Healing My Life is a story that is unique and personal in its detail, yet also universal and human in its impact. If we could raise even one generation without violence or shaming, we have no idea what might be possible.” -Gloria Steinem

David J. Kenney: Kid Epics Interview

Amazon excerpt: Based on a true story, Some Way Home is a tale of love and redemption. It depicts the healing of an abused and neglected boy named Dylan. It is a story depicting a dark night’s journey into bright day. Many adults, who try to help along his way, do more harm than good. Until a gullible couple adopt him at five years old. These ‘Forever Parents’ rise to the challenge of parenting a boy in danger of being lost forever. This novel takes a hard look at the inner workings of both the family and the foster care system meant to protect children. It delineates the price society pays when that system does not achieve the results it should. Some Way Home is a passionate portrayal of adoptive parents struggling to heal a child devastated by trauma. It takes its readers through the highs of victory and the inevitable emotional lows of relapse and failure. In the end, the reader is left with an unfathomable victory obtained through enduring compassion.

Amazon excerpt: Crossing In-finity will help parents,teachers, and all students of human behavior understand the effects ofemotional injuries on the developing personality. It will illustrate the thinking and learning of the developing child and lay a clear path to recovery from rage and shame to trust and forgiveness. Crossing In-finity is based on the experience of David J. Kenney, a foster dad, adoptive parent and child psychologist. It is dedicated to healthy emotional development. At certain developmental times, the traumas of early childhood have specific sets of possible effects onthe emergent ego. These effects have impact on the personality in definite ways, which lead to predictable behavior patterns. These are knowable.Therefore, we can act in a strategic way to redirect growth towards well being.In this manner, we can immunize the abused or abandoned child against significant mental disorders as adults. Much has been written concerning mental illness. Book after book, edition after edition of working manuals are dedicated to describing what sickness is in profound minutia. As a society,we’ve spent an uncounted fortune in time and money on investigating what we don’t want but have given little or no thought to what we do. Crossing Infinity attempts to improve this imbalance.

Janyne McConnaughey: Brave Interview

Amazon excerpt: ‘The story of a successful journey from broken and dissociative to integrated and fully aware.’ This personal memoir describes a woman’s journey through pyschotherapy. In middle age, Janyne began to sense that her wonderful, successful life was a cover for deep inner pain she called ‘the dark cloud.’ During her first EMDR therapy session, three fractured adult parts made a perfect three-point landing in her conscious awareness. Thus began three years of intensive therapy, as she fought to heal from sexual abuse that began in a home daycare at the age of three. With a sometimes conflicted faith in God, and with the support of both her therapist and her husband, Janyne fought to heal and integrate.

This is Janyne’s story but also a tribute to how a therapist and client worked together as a team to heal attachment wounds and increasingly tragic memories. Insights into the early wiring of unmet attachment needs, as well as dissociative coping mechanisms, are included throughout. Both pain and hope for healing are present on every page. Janyne is both vulnerable and triumphant in her writing and will help her readers believe healing from childhood trauma is possible. 

Amazon excerpt: The author interweaves her own dissociative-personality story and her expertise in child development with beloved literary characters to demonstrate how she worked to re-frame the unhealthy messages she internalized as a child. This healing process cleared a path to behavioral change, forgiveness, growing faith, and the rediscovery of simple joys. The unfolding relationship between the author and her child self, Jeannie, illustrates the dedication, trials, and triumphs inherent in developing an attachment relationship that is necessary for full healing. 

Kathleen Hanagan: Loveseed Interview

Amazon excerpt: The Most Powerful Thing You Can Do is Be Fully Yourself. Indigenous societies believe that we each possess original medicine, a kind of personal power, that is ours and ours alone. The greatest challenge of our lives is to find the seed of that power and let it bloom. Combining dramatic real- life experiences with mythic tales, Kathleen Hanagan draws on her 30 years as a psychotherapist, modern mystic, and spiritual adventurer to weave the threads of ancient wisdom with today’s intelligence. As you read, you will learn how to discover and grow your Loveseed, and then, shine its brilliant light by living with loving kindness, generosity, and truth.

Rachel Grant: Beyond Surviving Interview

Amazon excerpt: For survivors of childhood sexual abuse who are sick and tired of feeling broken, unfixable, and burdened by the past. Learn to let go of the pain of sexual abuse and finally feel normal.

Author Rachel Grant brings to the table a passionate belief that you do not have to remain trapped or confronted daily by the thoughts or behaviors that result from abuse. Through her own journey of recovery from sexual abuse, she has gained insight and understanding about what it takes to overcome abuse. This makes it possible for her to relate to and appreciate your struggles intimately. 

The Beyond Surviving guidebook is specifically designed to change the way we think about and heal from abuse. Based on her educational training, study of neuroscience, and lessons learned from her own journey, readers have successfully used the guidebook to break free from the past and move on with their lives. 

Through completing the guidebook, you will:

    *    Train in techniques for identifying the lies that abuse taught you about yourself
    *    Learn strategies for breaking free of patterns of thought or behavior
    *    Let go of shame, guilt, and any belief that the abuse was your fault
    *    Release your anger, loneliness, and fear of abandonment
    *    Develop strong communication skills and self-confidence
    *    Learn how to trust again, set boundaries, and enjoy intimate relationships
    *    Reconnect with your genuine self and feel normal

Beyond Surviving enables survivors of sexual abuse to take back their rights and realize their own ability to make powerful choices about who they are and how they live. This guidebook offers an opportunity to reach the final stage of recovery and begin living authentically and free from the burdens of past experiences. ​

Thank you for sharing these inspirational books and podcast interviews! I would love to have you join me on a Hope for Healing Journey at www.teriwellbrock.com.

Seven Strategies I Use To Reregulate As Anxiety Symptoms Surface

I am heading to Denver, Colorado in the next few weeks to visit my oldest son. Three days in downtown Denver and three days in Estes Park, which we are being told is simply breath-taking. I am super excited to hug on my boy! Yes, he’s twenty-five, but always my baby boy. Yet, there is this little pest named Anxiety that keeps popping its head up to remind me how terrified I am of heights, that there is a possibility of altitude sickness, and I am not a fan of being far from home and my “safe space” along with a whole checklist of long-ago created avoidance behaviors.

However, I am bound and determined to enjoy every waking moment soaking up all the positive Colorado has to offer. I live in Ohio. The heart of the Midwest. I have never traveled further west than Illinois. For those of you who may be geographically-challenged, that is two states west of Ohio. Not even to the Mississippi River. When we have traveled south into Tennessee, I have closed my eyes as we drove over the Great Smoky Mountains. Yeah. Jelico, Tennessee on I-75 has been known to trigger a full blown panic attack.

Flying results in similar panic-induced responses – sweaty palms, flipping stomach, racing thoughts, and other overwhelming body sensations.

So, how do I bring myself back into a state of calm once the anticipatory anxiety has been triggered? Here is my personal go-to list. Please keep in mind I created this plan on a trial and error basis. I have loaded my coping skills toolbox with exercises, fidgets, courses, books, therapy suggestions, and techniques discovered through personal research. Following are my top seven strategies, however, please note that I have a much larger bag-o-tricks I pull from if needed.

  • Calming Stones

Whenever I travel, I pack a backpack and fill it with my favorite calming aids. These two stones are always included in that collection of soothing strategies.

There is something settling about the weight of the stones in my hand and the silky smooth surface as I move my thumb and fingers over them. A transition happens, as well, as they move from icy cold to radiating heat as my energy transfers into them.

I purchased mine through a local store which carries various crystals and stones. However, you can find them online, as well.

  • Calming Coloring Books

Another one of my favorites, especially when flying, is to lose myself in the intricate designs of my coloring books. As with my calming stones, I find soothing comfort in the process of creating bursts of color on the white pages. This is very much a mindfulness practice as it brings me into the now, into this present moment. I forget whatever past trauma may be attempting to surface and I lose all worry of future what-ifs. I merely focus on staying in the lines as my gel pens glide along, enjoying the right-here-right-now moment.

I have purchased these at craft stores, my local grocery store, put them on my birthday wish list, and even won one as part of a writing contest prize. These, too, can be purchased online. My favorite is The Mindfulness Coloring Book which is smaller in size and easy to transport.

  • Gel Pens
A small sampling of my gel pen collection
My collection of pens and coloring books

Coinciding with my coloring book calming strategy is my use of gel pens as I color and practice mindfulness. Again, there is something peaceful about converting the page from white with black squiggly lines into a vibrant work of art.

I have tried using colored pencils, Sharpies, and markers from my daughter’s school supply collection, but my preference is most assuredly gel pens. Particularly the pack of 120 pens I have found at Target. There are glitter, neon, swirl, pastel and more in the pack. A bundle of fun! Of course, they are available online, as well.

  • Nature

all photos copyright Teri Wellbrock

As you can tell by my collection of photos, I am drawn to the beauty that can be found in “the now”. From breathtaking sunbeams to dew-soaked spiderwebs, insects scurrying about their days, a seal basking in a meditative moment in the sunlight, from muddy hikes to rain-soaked blossoms, there is wonder all around us.

I use my Samsung phone to capture these moments, although if I remember to grab my Nikon D3300 camera before heading out the door, I will snap higher quality pics on that. But, most moments I simply stop, take in a slow deep breath and savor.

We live near a nature preserve (four minutes from our driveway to be exact!) and I find myself and lose myself all at once on those trails. The sounds of water rushing through the creeks as they sing along with the symphony of birds. The scents, oh how I wish I could record the scents for playback at a later time, sometimes stop me in my tracks. Again, I pause to close my eyes and breath in renewal into my soul.

However, I can find nature in my office as a lady bug appears on my desk as if she just stopped by to check in and chat or during a dinner date downtown Cincinnati as I smile at the muddy Ohio River carrying the paddle boats upstream or even as I step into the parking lot of my local grocery store only to be greeted by God, waving to me via sunbeams peeking from dark clouds.

What a gift I have found in being cognizant of the beauty in the now.

  • Angels, Faith, and Prayer

Growing up Catholic . . . my dad was a Jesuit brother for eight years from age sixteen to twenty-four and my mom wanted to be a nun but they wouldn’t allow her in due to her partying tendencies, a.k.a. alcoholism . . . was both restrictive and comforting. It wasn’t until I was in my forties and started my healing journey that I found my faith truly blossoming beyond the dogma of the Catholic Church. I started to embrace other faiths and found myself experiencing a higher power, God, universe, whatever label you would like to apply, outside of the walls of a church.

I pray throughout my day. But not The Lord’s Prayer and formal prayers. I throw out prayers of gratitude and pleas of compassion and requests for guidance. My faith is now weaved into my breath. It is merely a part of who I am, not how often I attend mass or donate to a charity.

I am my prayer. A living, breathing, loving prayer.

Angels surround me. Literally. In statue form and spirit form. I have had three different mediums approach me and say the exact same thing . . . I have never met anyone surrounded by as many angels as you are. Pretty cool! And makes me feel quite blessed and comforted. I have always been drawn to them. I have angel paintings, calendars, statues, and books surrounding me as I type this.

They are most definitely a go-to as a calming strategy. Prayer and conversations with my angels bring me right back here to the present moment.

  • Finding Hearts
Heart rock found in the creek at our local nature preserve

The majority of the time I am not purposefully searching for hearts. They just come across my radar. I was recently hiking with a friend when I paused to catch my breath as we trudged up a hill. I told myself to “stop and smell the flowers” and upon turning my head, right there next to me on the path, was a leaf which had an insect-eaten heart hole in it. I couldn’t help by laugh out loud. Of all of the places to pause and of all of the leaves surrounding me in that forest, I happened to find a tiny little heart eaten out of a leaf. I laughed because it happens every single day. As in every . . . single . . . day. Without fail.

As a matter of fact, I wrote an e-book about it, filling it with heart pics I have snapped along with photos friends have taken and gifted to me. I even have a page on my website dedicated to those hearts (although it is just a small sampling of my collection).

Again, I find comfort in the reminder that I am loved, surrounded by love signs, and helping me be present in the moment.

  • Sammie Doodle – Therapy Dog

Oh, this sweet, sweet dog. Sammie is our labradoodle. She is the kindest soul I have ever met. She loves everyone and everything. Except pigs. I took her to a farm once and a pig snorted at her through a fence and she ran away terrified.

Wow, does she adore kids. We are a registered therapy dog team through Pet Partners and we volunteer at schools, visiting with kiddos in order to help them with feelings of anxiety or struggles with bullying or offering comfort after traumatic events. She just knows. She is drawn to those most needing love and dog snuggles.

The perk is that she is a member of our family outside of her therapy dog gig. And due to the fact that I have a history with panic attacks and heightened anxiety, this sweet pup is always by my side. She is my snuggle buddy, hiking pal, comforter, and best friend. She listens without judgment and offers stinky-breath kisses in support.

If ever I need grounding, just putting my hand upon her fluffy being radiates calm into my soul. She is a gift to us all. Sammie even has her own website, Facebook page, and Instagram account!

I love hearing back from others about calming strategies and coping skills used to bring oneself back into the now. Please feel free to reach out and share your experiences.

I wish you tranquility and joy along your healing journey.