Terri Amos-Britt is on a mission, uniting moms to heal their lives, setting examples for their families to thrive. Terri is a spiritual coach, energetic healer, author of the award-winning book, “The Enlightened Mom,” and founder of www.TheEnlightenedMom.com. Sharing her story as a mompreneur, wife, mom, stepmom, and former Miss USA, Terri teaches moms energetic tools to shift their lives and homes from emotional chaos to peace, miracles and abundance. Terri says, “Peace comes when we take responsibility to heal our own lives…one person at a time. And it starts with Mom first. When mom heals…the family heals…the world heals!” Learn more at TheEnlightenedMom.com
We all experience life challenges that looking back we can see were the catalyst for living a deeper, more authentic life. What has been your greatest personal challenge that you’ve overcome that served as your pivot point to transformation?
I lived most of my life believing I had to be good to be loved. My fear was that if I weren’t a “good girl,” I would be punished. I wouldn’t be loved. I wouldn’t be accepted. I WOULD be alone.
I was terrified of being alone. I feared that in my aloneness I might suffer and die. I don’t think I realized this when I was young. I just knew I didn’t like the feeling. As an adult and spiritual coach, I now know that our egos keep us in survival mode. It’s like the old pack animal mentality. If you are separated and alone, you die. I didn’t know this back then. All I knew was that I didn’t like feeling alone. I can even remember as a young child knocking on my friend’s door to discover no one was home. As I sat in her yard all by myself, I thought, “I am all alone in the world.” What a harsh belief to take on at the ripe old age of seven! But I did. That belief became my filter. And because I wanted so desperately to feel connected and loved, I began to perform for others’ love and approval.
Performance for me meant to behave, be nice, think of everyone else at the expense of myself, not share my thoughts and to always, ALWAYS, put on a happy smile even though I felt like I was dying inside. The problem with performing, however, is that I expected people to perform for me in return. And when they didn’t, I went nuts! I would go emotionally “wacko” and out of control. I’d have my happy face on one minute and the next, flip out. This wasn’t all the time, but it happened a lot. This created a cycle of guilt and shame in which I constantly sought love and forgiveness from the people I loved, yet, never felt good enough to receive it.
I felt so bad on the inside that life became a competition. I competed because I was in lack on the inside. I lived my life being a good girl believing that if I did things right, I would WIN people’s love. I believed that being the best and winning was the only way to survive. I became the epitome of the over-achiever. Whether I was a straight “A” student, a leader in multiple organizations in both high school and as an adult, a homecoming princess, teacher’s pet, television host, or even Miss USA, which I won in 1982, I constantly tried to fill myself up by being the best. Other people’s opinions always came first. That’s why I performed. I lived from my head instead of my heart. It was as if there was a list in my mind called, “What a Good Girl Does to Win Love.”
My need to achieve became a drug. With each win, I felt my ego screaming out a great big YES! But on the inside, I knew something was missing. In fact, in the moment of winning Miss USA my spirit asked, “Is this it?”
Winning wasn’t IT. However, I didn’t discover what IT was until I became a mom.
Describe the transformational moment or wake-up call when you realized that life change was necessary? For many, it’s a spiritual awakening, an emotional downfall, or a life-altering experience that shakes us awake.
I spent my life searching for love. I did it in school and with work. I didn’t feel love in that world, however, and eventually left everything to become a mom. I felt a calling and believed that being a mom would fill me up. What I quickly realized is that my need to be the best still haunted me. I wanted to be the best mom I could be. Yes, I wanted this for my kids, believing this would make them happy. But deep down, I wanted to be the best so that they would love me in return. Here was that theme again. I didn’t want to lose their love and be alone. I wanted them to grow up and tell me that I had “done it right” and been a good mom. I knew I was failing, however, when I collapsed at my stepson’s bedside, saying through uncontrollable sobs, “I don’t know how to love you!”
When I came into A.J.’s life, he was almost five. He’s now 29. I had a list of “good child rules” for him, just like I lived by. I truly believed that as I tried to control him and “make” him be good, that I was doing the right thing. I felt I was being the best mom I could be. I believed I was preparing him so he would not only survive, but also thrive.
I couldn’t stand myself. I had so many expectations to be good, both for this child and for myself as a mom. But deep down I knew both of us were hurting. Instead of winning, I felt like a complete failure. I knew A.J. had to feel the same way, too. I hated when I screamed at him or emotionally lashed out. I also felt jealous of him. I had so much lack inside that I felt as if I needed to compete against him for his dad’s love. I knew this couldn’t be right. This didn’t feel like love. It felt like survival.
I KNEW something had to give when my girls, Mackenzie and Kolbi, were born. I loved my babies so much. I didn’t want to continue this cycle of pain and struggle. I just wanted to be peaceful, joyful and filled with unconditional love.
It was at this time that my dad died. In my younger days, daddy had always been my hero. I loved and adored him. The problem was that he didn’t love himself. He was a broken man when he died. He had lost everything in bankruptcy and slowly pulled away from all of our family. He was there physically, but had separated from our love. Dad had expectations and rules for himself that he couldn’t meet, and in the end, couldn’t forgive himself. And because of this, he shut down to love.
Daddy’s death was the second part of my awakening. I began therapy some months after he passed and soon realized that I was a lot like him. I was really hard on myself and my heart was shut down like his. My therapist could see that I was wound pretty tightly and suggested I get into meditation. That’s when my world opened up and I stepped onto a magical adventure!
After experiencing your personal wake-up call what were the most powerful steps you took to change your life?
When you make a decision to be unconditional love, you open your heart to give and receive love freely. Things you never knew about yourself are revealed and magic and miracles appear! Unconditional love connects you to God. As you stand for this in your life, people and things show up to support you. That’s what happened to me. I knew I wanted to shift but had no idea how. The therapist’s guidance to get into meditation was the avenue to take me there.
I was intrigued by the idea of meditation. Almost immediately, I met a new friend who encouraged me to join her at an energetic school for meditation and healing. The first night in meditation class I saw a spirit move across the room! I must have looked white as the ghost I saw because the teacher asked me what I was seeing. It was the coolest thing I had ever experienced! I had no idea that I could see!
I was on a miraculous journey and quickly entered the school’s healing class, working with guides and energy. Oh my gosh! My world opened up in ways that I never imagined. Michael, the archangel, became my guide and friend. Plus, through his help, I started doing energetic healings on classmates. I learned that we are ALL able to work with energy and that we can tap into guidance and healing any time we want. WOW! I no longer felt alone. I felt I could call on guides and angels for help whenever I wanted. What a relief!
What was really cool about connecting to the other side is that I no longer felt that looking for love outside of myself was IT. I knew there was more and was on an adventure to find it.
My quest continued into a 13-month clairvoyant program. Here I learned tools to not only look at a person’s energy and to see and clear their blocks, but to also look at my own. This schooling proved to be invaluable as the next part of my awakening was revealed.
A little girl showed up in my mind’s eye as I sat meditating one day. This little five-year-old is the child inside of me. She is my heart and is the way I was created. As I sat there and cried and cried, realizing that I had never really acknowledged her nor accepted her, I heard, “Get up and write this. This is the beginning of your book, Terri.” That was my first book, “Message Sent.” It was my journal of awakening. For the next year while I wrote it, I created a connection to my heart by talking to Little Terri. I gave her permission to stop performing. I told her she could be the way she was created. The problem was that I really didn’t know who she was. So I made every daily situation with my kids, my hubby, and the world around me an opportunity to get to know her. Whenever I felt judgment, blame, resentment, lack, or any negative emotion, I intuitively went within and nurtured and loved this little girl. I asked her what was hurting and dove deeper to see what false beliefs were blocking her. This is where I discovered the “good girl rules” I talked about earlier. And with the recognition of each of them, I released them energetically and asked, “What is your truth?”
GIVING MYSELF PERMISSION TO STAND IN MY TRUTH IS WHERE I FINALLY FOUND THE LOVE I HAD BEEN SEEKING FOR SO LONG!
Every time I asked little Terri what her truth was and then stood in that truth, the pain melted away. I felt a sense of connectedness, of feeling loved and whole. Truth is unconditional love. Truth is God. This is the love we are all looking for.
The gift I discovered in walking this path is that not only did I heal, but so did my family. Because I was now communicating with my heart…God’s greatest messenger of all…and loving myself unconditionally, that love and communication overflowed to my family. No longer did I feel the need to be best, nor to make my kids the best. Because I was honoring and loving the way I was created, I could honor and love the way they were created. All the walls dissolved and our family became whole. Some years later my hubby died and I remarried. My new hubby and I used these same tools to turn our blended family into a whole, loving family in record time. Statistically, most stepfamilies take about seven years to become cohesive. Ours took about two. That’s because we quit looking for others to fill us up and, instead, gave ourselves permission to stand in our own truths.
Please share a Positive Mental Shift tip that woman can implement today to support them on their journey of transformation and empowerment.
I’ve taught people all over the world to heal their lives with the energetic tools in “The Enlightened Mom” book and workshops. These are the tools that healed my life, as well as my family. There is one truth, however, that stands out above all others that I would like to share with you. If you make a commitment to do this today, your life will change in amazing ways!
STOP PERFORMING FOR LOVE!
STANDING IN YOUR TRUTH MEANS YOU ARE HONORING AND LOVING THE WAY GOD CREATED YOU.
YOU ARE PUTTING GOD FIRST!
Most of us don’t know how to put God first. For many of us, due to family or religious upbringing, we believe that to put God first means to deny ourselves. But it’s exactly the opposite. Our old programming says that for us to put God first, we must be good. But as my life so clearly exemplifies, when you deny who you were created to be, you create pain and suffering. You disconnect from God. But by loving yourself and nurturing your heart, that little child within, you create a connection. You become the essence of love. Life becomes easier. You open up to receive God’s guidance, support and love, as you’ll see in the following story.
Last year, I was led on a magical journey of healing to Barcelona, Spain, to have surgery for Chiari Malformation I. I had asked for a kinder, gentler way to heal this physical pain. Chiari can lead to blindness, loss of hearing and loss of usage of your appendages. In the U.S., the surgery is quite intense by cutting out the back of the skull and cauterizing inside the spine to create an opening for the cervical fluids to flow. Not only is the surgery rather radical, but the recovery is also very long. So after realizing that my life had come to a standstill after two years of putting off the surgery, I said, “Okay, God. I am ready to have this surgery, but if there is a kinder, gentler way, please show me the way.”
THE NEXT DAY, I met some people at the local outdoor mall after admiring their dog. Through our conversation, they mentioned that their son was very sick with Chiari. My mouth dropped and so did theirs when I told them I was struggling with Chiari as well. The next shock came when they told me about a doctor in Spain who did a much less invasive surgery that took 45 minutes, went through the lower back rather than cutting out the skull and then you’re out of the hospital the next day. I was blown away!
I was in Barcelona six weeks later. Now here’s the really cool part. God had a plan for me on my trip to Spain, but I didn’t truly realize it until I was sitting on a tour bus the day I arrived in Barcelona. I was tired, but didn’t want to go to bed so I could get my body acclimated to the time zone. I looked through a brochure to discover that there was a local monastery tour. I was excited, as I had been hearing in my meditations for months that I needed to visit a monastery. I just figured it was a message telling me to rest. But, NO! There was a much bigger message for me to receive.
As my hubby, Charlie, and I sat on the bus, the tour guide explained that we were heading to the mountain of Montserrat, and that it was one of the seven most sacred mountains in the world. He went on to explain that the monastery there was in honor of the Divine Mother. As Charlie would say, I had the biggest possum-eating grin on my face when I heard this. I knew something was up, especially as we both felt the intense energy of the mountain. It was only after I decided to stay at the monastery hostel to recover from my surgery that I learned that the belief there was that the Divine Mother takes you to God. Woo hoo! Through my own path as a mom and then being guided to write “The Enlightened Mom,” I knew that nurturing and loving yourself unconditionally brings you to wholeness. But God wanted me to see it clearly by guiding me to a monastery across the world.
When you tap into the Divine Mother inside of you, you tap into God. Whether you’re a man or woman, you have this loving, nurturing, receptive energy that is a part of you. When you stop performing trying to win others’ love and approval, and take a stand for truth, you align your heart with God, opening up to abundance and miracles.
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