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  • Writer's pictureTerra Thomas, MS, NBH-HWC, CHPC

Well-Living Wednesday: Snake Bite


Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. -Rumi


It's #welllivingwednesday!! Such a great sunrise this morning in Santa Barbara and today we continue to share how important it is to begin and ACTIVATE oneself toward living a better life.

In the pursuit of health and high performance, it's essential to recognize the layers we've constructed around ourselves—barriers that may be keeping us from our dreams and the fullness of life. As well as the barriers that are keeping us from just getting a few more things done in the day that are a priority for us.

Inspired by the timeless wisdom of Rumi, "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it," we're reminded of the importance of introspection in our growth journey.

Another thing I love about this quote is it places seeking to find the barriers that we've built to keep love away on our task-list! Sounds so simple. 😘

Personal growth often involves facing our deepest fears and challenges. This is why it is called growth, we move into places that extend beyond where we are now.

I like to share a simple metaphor with my clients to help them gain perspective on the path were are curating toward their goals. With my clients, when we begin one barrier that is common is their difficulty in recognizing their barriers

In my own journey, peace was accessed once I distinguished others' behavior from my own worth.  In my childhood, I observed firsthand the impact of conflating another’s behavior with self-worth through the experiences my Mom endured in her abusive intimate relationships.

I observed her partners deliberately withhold affection and emotional support as a form of punishment or manipulation.

I observed verbal attacks, threats aimed at instilling fear, compliance and to assert dominance.

My Mother did the best she could by coping, she drank vodka & squirt to find her self-worth and advocate for her needs.

Unfortunately, that didn’t always turn out so well for her body as she woke in the morning with bruises and black eyes from her partner’s physical attacks.

And here is the part that took me a life time to recognize, it wasn’t the alcohol that was her issue.

I was very careful to observe and check-in with my relationships with alcohol over the years.

It wasn’t the men that were her issue.

I was very careful to select kind, and loving partners over the years.

It was her belief in what she told herself she deserved.

My Mother believed how she was treated by her partners determined her worth.

This belief was her barrier that kept her from living a truly fulfilled life.

This insight is a cornerstone of what I share with those I have the privilege to coach: the liberation found in accessing our worth, our relevance, our adequacy away from the actions of Others.

And now we drop into another layer of A-HA…. “Others” can be our parents, our children, our spouses/partners and the voice in our head very keenly telling us what we deserve and what we are capable of achieving.

We deliberately withhold the affection and emotional support we need to offer ourselves.

We cycle self-talk tracks aimed to remain in fear, compliance and assert dominance over the more vulnerable pieces of who were are.

And the real dream-killer, we begin to believe these aspects of ourselves.

Ever fell stuck in a goal or toward achieving a dream?

Let’s turn to key elements you can use to ACTIVATE transformation in your life.

Awareness Through Compassion: Observe, observe, observe… what are your thoughts cycling, the feelings stirring and the body sensations? Begins with awareness, an inward gaze that allows us to observe our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations determining our behavior. In this awareness, compassion is key, emphasizing a gentle and nonjudgmental approach to self-observation. Compassion here ensures that our awareness is enveloped in kindness, facilitating a safe space for self-discovery and acknowledgment of our inner experiences. In my coaching practice we anchor compassion to the face of a sunflower and I invite my clients to bring a bequest o sunflower to the part of themselves seeking to be seen.

Hold With Curiosity: As we become aware it can feel urgent to take some action or do something to fix what we observe. This is where we pause and stay present with our insights, doing so with curiosity. In this space, curiosity guides us to explore our emotions and thoughts more deeply, asking questions that lead to greater understanding and insight. Curiosity transforms the hold from a passive waiting into an active engagement with ourselves, fostering deeper understanding  and insight.

Affinity For Connection: After we being to Were we reach a state of deep connection for connection itself. Here, the insights gained from the previous stages lead to a profound sense of belonging and unity with ourselves and others. Affinity encapsulates our human need for connection, highlighting how our journey of self-awareness and curiosity brings us closer to recognizing our shared human experiences and the value of meaningful relationships.

The sequence of Awareness Through Compassion, Hold With Curiosity, and Affinity For Connection serves as a structured approach to recondition our experience with our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. By intentionally navigating through these stages, individuals can transform their relationship with their inner world, leading to profound changes in how they perceive and interact with their external environment. This process encourages a more mindful, compassionate, and connected way of living, fostering a deeper understanding of oneself and enhancing the quality of one's interactions with others.


Terra Thomas MS, NBC-HWC, CHPC is a health and high performance coach with an inspiring story. Triumphing over Legg-Calve-Perthes disease in her early childhood and living with Type 1 Diabetes since 1990, she has transformed her experiences to shape a unique coaching philosophy. Terra's own journey, coupled with her adventures in activities such as ultra-running, skiing, backpacking, waterfall ice climbing and SCUBA diving, have provided her with invaluable insights and a perspective that challenges conventional norms. Clients have experienced transformative results under Terra's guidance, discovering their own path to freedom and well-living. Beyond coaching, Terra embraces worldwide explorations with her two children, constantly seeking out new breathtaking landscapes that fuel her spirit. She also finds solace in the tranquility of sunrise by the ocean outside her Santa Barbara home and the magic of human connection dancing late into the night alongside her love tribe. Terra's unwavering dedication to embracing life fully serves as an inspiration, empowering others to embark on their own extraordinary journeys.


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