Author and Inspirational Speaker
By Lyda Whiting
Terry Cole-Whittaker has been called one of the ten most inspirational and powerful women in the world. Ordained in The United Church of Religious Science, she built a thriving television ministry with millions of viewers worldwide, and wrote the bestsellers, “How to Have More in A Have Not World,” and “What You Think of Me is None of My Business.” Desiring to further her spiritual journey, Terry left her successful television ministry to spend fifteen years studying with spiritual leaders around the world. Her latest New York Times bestseller, “Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner A Future: Seven Steps to the Spiritual and Material Riches of Life,” is an inspiring roadmap for everyone seeking guidance on their own journey of self-discovery.
Terry graciously found time for an interview between speaking engagements that take her across the country and around the world.
Lyda Whiting: How did you get the idea for “Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner A Future?”
Terry Cole-Whittaker: I went to my publisher in New York with a different idea. My editor asked, “If you could only write one more book, what would be in it?” I thought about that for a year. I wanted to give people what works, how to achieve spiritual and material riches.
LW: That is what this book is about. What is it that keeps us from having all we want?
TCW: For most people, the biggest challenge is to let go of lamenting their past. My definition of old age is having more to lament than to look forward to. Mourning the loss of something wonderful, holding on to our old story, referring to it all the time, discourages us from moving forward. I tell people, you are now moving into the best time of your life, which is now and in the future.
LW: How can you let go of the past?
TCW: Realize the past isn’t there anymore. That world doesn’t exist anymore. It is foolish to live in a past life. If you were Cleopatra in a past life, and weren’t we all, and now you are the Queen of England — be the Queen of England! The body we are in has changed, and changes all the time. We cannot identify with the body and the past life. To the soul, the time we are in this body seems like fifteen minutes. We are immortal; we are eternally young; we will live forever.
LW: What happens when we hold on to the past?
TCW: We ruin the opportunity in this moment, to attain our heart’s desire and live abundantly. See what living in the past is costing you?
LW: Even understanding that, letting go of the past is hard.
TCW: It takes training. The mind wants to go back. We beat ourselves up with our past. No one terrorizes us as much as we terrorize ourselves.
LW: So an important step is training ourselves to live in the present.
TCW: Step One in my book is how to control the mind and be positive. The mind is like a pit bull. An untrained pit bill is a bad dog. A trained pit bull is a great dog, protective, loyal, and strong. You must train your mind to be a vehicle of spirit. Otherwise, it will ruin your life. The only way to let go of the past is to have goals in the present.
LW: What constitutes a spiritually rich life?
TCW: Life is about spiritual growth, the use of our abilities and talents, contributing to the universe. Be as a little child — fresh, in the moment, alert. This happens when you have a mission in life. There is a section in my book to help you find your mission.
LW: But what if someone feels they have already lost their only chance?
TCW: Prosperity consciousness says you always get another chance. Poverty consciousness says that was the only chance, one chance in a million, it will never come again. “Three strikes and you’re out” is a rule in baseball, and in some courts, but it is not a rule in life. You are never out — you only bench yourself.
LW: That’s perfect. And so is the title of your book. How did you come up with it?
TCW: Many saints had a seedy past, but moved past it and toward their goal.
LW: How do we figure out our own goals? It can be hard to even know what we want to accomplish.
TCW: We tap into the Universal Mind, source of all ideas. The second step in my book is to pray and ask God, “I ask that you bring the right life to me.” Remember, what is in your unconscious already is being acted on. You have to say, “I want out of here; I want to go there.”
LW: How do you know where you want to go? Don’t you have to visualize it to ask for it?
TCW: How can you see it if you’ve never been there? You ask for Providence to work for you and move you there. And as you move closer, you see it more clearly. Make a list of what you do know. Say, “I want to use all of my talents. I don’t know them, but God knows, and my Higher Self knows.”
LW: A lot of people get stuck because they don’t know what it is that they truly desire. Until they can say it, they don’t ask for it.
TCW: You can say, “I don’t know what it is, but I know there is a Power that does. This is what I desire.” The Super Soul, the God Within, is like a computer chip within that will respond to your request.
LW: What is the Super Soul?
TCW: The Self of every self, the Soul of every soul. The Super Soul is connected; it is within each and every person and yet individualized within each person. It is a cosmic matrix, a spiritual communication system. The Internet impresses us, but the Internet is small potatoes compared to the Super Soul.
LW: So, do we just turn everything over to the Super Soul?
TCW: You need to work on your own behalf. Show your sincerity when opportunities come. Don’t say “no” to things before you really explore them. That which is for you may be so unknown to you that it is uncomfortable. You have to participate in the process. That is part of the treasure hunt, the adventure.
LW: So, we should go toward what we want. What about the obstacles along the way?
TCW: Often people have already talked themselves out of what they want. You need to work for it, and then the obstacles melt away, it happens effortlessly. Ask for it! Pray, “there has to be a solution and I open myself to it.” Then you open the way for opportunities, creativity, answers. My book talks about how to use your unconscious mind to do it for you, to solve the problems.
LW: So, part of the adventure is working toward your goals, and opening to new experiences. What is a good way to begin?
TCW: Volunteering gives you an opportunity to do things you’ve never done before. You may discover a new career!
LW: So, walk in and ask “what can I do to help?” and they may give you an assignment that sets you on your way to fulfilling your mission in life.
LW: Please talk some more about the baggage people carry around with them from the past.
TCW: Yes, adults still lamenting their childhood. The story becomes the excuse, becomes the purpose for living. People don’t know who they are without their story. Remember, nothing happens to the soul. It only happens to the mind and the body. Be free spirit, unencumbered by baggage so you can be a vehicle of spirit and fulfill your divine potential.
LW: What do you say to those who say they have no potential, no gifts?
TCW: You have to develop talents. The more you use it, the more you’ve got it. Don’t think of yourself in terms of years, of birth and death, but as eternal life. No one ever experiences death, only life. Death happens to the body, not the soul.
LW: So what happens to all the work you did while in that body?
TCW: Whatever we have earned in this lifetime, we take with us into the next. Whatever you invest in who you become and the talents you develop, this is your treasure, your wealth. No one can take it away. You are always going to be. You always have a future.
Terry’s speaking schedule is posted on www.terrycolewhittaker.com . There is also information about her ashram in India, where she offers a ten-day sacred experience, which includes meditation, chanting, study, visiting different temples, and experiencing the religious culture of India.
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