Women With Wings Series: Part 7
A Television Interview with Terry Cole Whittaker
By Dr. Maryel McKinley, Ph.D., C.A.D.C.
Maryel: Hello, my name is Dr. Maryel McKinley and you are watching Choices Television! I am here today in Palm Springs with one of my very favorite people, Dr. Terry Cole Whittaker! Terry, what a pleasure it is to be here with you!
Terry: Itís nice to be here with you, Dr. Maryel!
Maryel: Thanks Dr. Terry! (Laughter) The two blonde Doctors!
Terry: ( Ha ha!)
Maryel: Because of the work you have done with your television ministry, is the very reason that I am here with my television show. In the late 70ís, I watched you faithfully and wanted to be you when I grew up. Here I am, itís like coming full circle sitting here interviewing you, it is magical for me! You really helped inspire and transform my life. I practiced the principles you taught in your book ďWhat You Think of Me Is None of My BusinessĒ. How did you come up with that title?
Terry: I was teaching a class in Whittier and a lady said thatís what her psychologist had told her and I went, ďOh thatís the title of my book!Ē I kept it for six years and one day I realized I hadnít written a book, I just had a title. So I wrote the book.
Maryel: That book changed my life and the lives of many around the world, Iím sure. I can guarantee the principles in your book work. After applying them in my own life, I ended up as a professional ice skater in the Ice Capades Show!
Maryel: Yes, through the use of visualizations, affirmations and meditations you taught!
Terry: And practicing skating!
Maryel: Yes and practice, but seriously, I visualized myself there, like you spoke about in todayís church service ó that we have to live life fully and see ourselves there. Can you expand upon that for me?
Terry: Yes, because anything we want, whether it is spiritual or material, we have to meditate on it. That is the interesting thing because the outer world is a manifestation of the inner world so it canít be just some kind of light meditation. With something you really want, you must concentrate on it, focus on it, do due diligence on it. Discipline yourself about it and it will manifest.
Maryel: And it does manifest, it truly works. Everything I have done with my career has been by the very principles you taught. I know you have helped thousands of people and now you are back! Can you tell us where you went after your television ministry?
Terry: I went to really work on my deeper understanding of God ó there was something missing in my life. I knew my spiritual life was not complete and Iím really more of a student than a teacher. I teach because I am a student. So I went in search of what was missing and I traveled all over the world, went to all the great holy sites, studied the great religions and met many saints and great teachers. My teacher came to me first in a vision about 14 years ago and then came to me in real body a little more than a year ago. I was instructed to come back and teach these principles.
Maryel: Wow! Do you mind sharing with us who your teacher is?
Terry: No one knows my teacher; my teacher has very few students.
Maryel: You must be very special to be one of the students!
Terry: I feel very fortunate , because something that is the most popular isnít always the highest Truth. Sometimes if you are really seeking, you may find a teacher not too many people know about but to whom you feel drawn.
Maryel: Yes, the teacher appears when the student is ready.
Maryel: I feel like you are a teacher to me; it is such an honor to be here.
Terry: Youíre so beautiful, you radiate so much beauty and love; and I am just so happy that somehow I contributed to your life. I know God somehow brought us together because that was what you needed at that time. And thatís how it is with teachers, we all need teachers. A lot of people think knowledge only comes from within and it doesnít. It also comes from without, so we have to obtain that knowledge from our teachers.
Maryel: Can you tell us more about your travels to India?
Terry: Yes, I am building a school right now in India, a 3-story marble floor ashram, and hopefully it will be completed in the next four or five months. I will hold some conferences there so people can come and learn from my teacher!
Maryel: that is so amazing and truly inspiring ó I hope I get to come!
Terry: Of course!
Maryel: What are your future plans, are you writing a book?
Terry: I am going to be serving my teacher and continuing to teach and write books. I have a new book coming out in the spring called ďEvery Saint Has a Past and Every Sinner Has a FutureĒ.
Maryel: How appropriate! For my life at least!
Terry: All of our lives! There is always hope, there is always a chance. We seem to think these great saints were always saints, and they were not. They were really people who were not living the principles and they had to change. They were able to turn their lives around, so that means everybody, no matter how old they are or what they have done wrong, always has another chance.
Maryel: That gives me so much hope, as some know I am a recovering addict, and had to follow that path to come and share my message. Twenty years ago when I was watching your ministry, I had to go through my own colorful history if you will.
Terry: Dark night of the soul?
Maryel: Yes, but here I am twenty years later, a Doctor and Certified Addictions Treatment Specialist helping people who are in the same situation of hopelessness I was in many years ago!
Terry: The reason people go for drugs, alcohol and sex addiction is because they want pleasure and happiness, and if you donít know how to get it, you become stressed out in life. In the material world, for every up there is a down, and people donít always realize that. When they get really excited, they are going to feel really bad. You have to get to another plane where we learn from instruction to stay at a level of enthusiasm. Just like I talked about today in my sermon, we canít fear pain and we canít fear rejection because those feelings feel so bad we want to get rid of them. The problem with alcohol and drugs, or sex and gambling, or whatever it is, is they all have terrible down sides, which are far worse than the ups. The purpose of our suffering is that it brings us to God!
Maryel: That is so beautiful and poignant. I almost cried when you said we should love pain and rejection. And you meant it! I was thinking ó ďMaybe I will try that. I believe what Terry teaches as it has worked in my life so far, I might as well try this too, even though it sounds very scary!Ē
Terry: (Laughter) Itís all in the mind. In the mind we hate rejection. Everything we do is to avoid rejection or to avoid pain, when it is just a sensation, or really it is just a mental evaluation of a situation. So if people say, ďOh I felt really good today, I hope I feel that good tomorrowĒ, if they donít feel that good tomorrow, they are comparing it to yesterday, so it isnít that there is really anything different, they feel they donít have that feeling they had yesterday, so now they feel bad! And you donít need to do that!
Maryel: You were saying earlier to live in the moment and not to compare ourselves to the people outside, or to our neighbors next door ó that was very uplifting and inspiring. What does your spiritual practice look like on a daily basis?
Terry: I get up in the morning, take a shower and brush my teeth. I put on devotional clothes and start chanting. I meditate and do certain religious practices that are really secret and I donít share with anyone. That takes about an hour and a half, and I go through my day. I think about it at different times during the day. In the Bible it says to pray without ceasing, which means to chant the holy name of God without stopping, and the Holy name of God is the highest teaching of every single religion I have ever studied. So whatever God is for you, if you sing that Holy name of God on a daily basis, you will never be depressed!
Maryel: That was one of the questions I was going to ask ó do you ever suffer from depression, and if so, what do you do to get out of it?
Terry: What happens is depression comes from a sinful life. Now, when people say what is sin, sin means forgetting God. So it means that you are only thinking about what you can enjoy yourself without including God. When you include God in everything you do, that means even when you offer your food to God, you live in Godís house, which is Godís temple. You can be a plumber and be on a mission of God because itís Godís plumbing and you can inspire people, your customers. So you are thinking all the time you are on a mission from God. When people get really miserable, it is the reaction of sin. Or you might say the reaction of drugs, or say illicit sex, or gambling, or somebody who wants something for nothing ó they donít want to work. What happens is they feel really terrible when they lose. Then they lose their rent money, and then they steal, everything gets terrible. But you donít need to gamble with God. If you are a plumber and you go to work for God, you arenít sinning because your mind is focused on a higher purpose, so you will prosper, and you will feel good. But once we get into forgetting God, we get into depression.
Maryel: Then all we need to do is remember that we really do have God within us and to get back in touch with that.
Terry: And we are servants of God. A lot of people donít want to be a servant, they think a servant is a slave, so we think God is our slave!
Maryel: Right! We order God around and say ďDo this, bring me that, I want this, I donít want thatĒ, rather than saying to God ďWhat can I do for you today?Ē
Terry: And the idea is not that God has everything ó ďHow can I do anything for God?Ē But it works for us to give to God, because that is our natural relationship. If we do what is natural, life is good; if we do what is unnatural, life is bad.
Maryel: Like you were saying today, just let go of the comparisons, let go of the envy and hate, let go of the quick-temper.
Terry: Yes, when we want everything to be our way, we just explode and we have to learn to control ourselves and our minds, because it makes us miserable if we donít. There is a reason why we are miserable; we are not depressed or miserable for no reason at all. It is because we are doing the wrong thing. We need to keep studying. Some people say, ďOh I tried it for five minutes and it didnít workĒ ó You have to keep at it! I look at how many years Iíve been studying this ó I started when I was seventeen and Iíll be 61 this month!
Maryel: Congratulations! You share the same sun sign with me, I think.
Maryel: No Scorpio.
Terry: Well in Vedic astrology I am Scorpio; my husband is a Vedic astrologer and Vedic astrology is very accurate.
Maryel: How long have you been here in Palm Springs with your ministry?
Terry: Easter of 2000.
Maryel: What are your plans after your book is published?
Terry: I will continue to preach and teach and do some more traveling, and I will spend some time with my school and write more books!
Maryel: Will you have a TV show again?
Terry: No ó I already did that ó now you do that!
Maryel: Oh thank you Terry, and youíll be my favorite guest.
Terry: You do that!
Maryel: Thank you Terry! Itís wonderful to be here with you, Itís taken me 20 years to get to this point, to share my message with the media.
Terry: Just keep on going forward, never think you know it all. Keep learning.
Maryel: I definitely know I donít know it all!
Terry: Thatís why I call my ministry ďInner FaithĒ because God is within, and everybody has access to God.
Maryel: What advice can you share with someone following your path?
Terry: Be very careful who you are intimate with, partner with your husband and trust his instinct! Stay away from people who are hip, slick, and cool, and surround yourself with those who are humble.
Terry Cole Whittaker conducts services at the Festival of Arts Theater in Palm Springs every Sunday at 10 a.m. All Awareness readers who check out her website www.terrycolewhittaker.com will receive her new book absolutely free of charge.
Dr. Maryel McKinley is a Doctor Of Philosophy in Counseling, a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Certified Addictions Treatment Specialist. She is the host of Choices! TV and can be reached for speaking engagements or comment at email@example.com or (714) 396-4314.
Return to the January/February Index page