Seeking Center: The Podcast

Find Your Fire: Take Action + Live Your Purpose - Episode 55

March 13, 2023 Robyn Miller Brecker, Karen Loenser, Terri Broussard Williams Season 2 Episode 55
Find Your Fire: Take Action + Live Your Purpose - Episode 55
Seeking Center: The Podcast
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Seeking Center: The Podcast
Find Your Fire: Take Action + Live Your Purpose - Episode 55
Mar 13, 2023 Season 2 Episode 55
Robyn Miller Brecker, Karen Loenser, Terri Broussard Williams

We've all heard the phrase “Be the change you want to see in the world,” by Mahatma Gandhi. Terri Broussard Williams, our guest on this week’s podcast, is doing just that!

Terri is an executive, author, keynote speaker, lobbyist, philanthropist, and social impact strategist. She’s the bestselling author of Find Your Fire and the movement maker behind “The Great Me-Set.”

We’re talking to Terri about how to align your life’s path with your purpose. Isn’t that what we all want to know? And even more than that, how by doing so, you could make meaningful change both in your community and the world. How does it get better than that? Terri knows how to do this because she has done this in her own life and she has helped so many around the world.

She has spoken at Fortune 500 companies to inspire teams to create change, served as a mission ambassador for large nonprofits, and has traveled internationally to tell her story.

Terri's sharing practical ways to realize and live your potential and purpose, and helps you think about how to impact your community, and maybe even the world.

You can find out more about Terri at Find out more about her groundbreaking approach in her "The Great Me-Set" TedX Talk. You can purchase her book Find Your Fire on Amazon. You can also follow her on Instagram @terribwilliams.

Visit for more from Robyn + Karen, plus mega inspo -- and the best wellness + spiritual practitioners, products and experiences on the planet!

You can also follow Seeking Center on Instagram @theseekingcenter

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We've all heard the phrase “Be the change you want to see in the world,” by Mahatma Gandhi. Terri Broussard Williams, our guest on this week’s podcast, is doing just that!

Terri is an executive, author, keynote speaker, lobbyist, philanthropist, and social impact strategist. She’s the bestselling author of Find Your Fire and the movement maker behind “The Great Me-Set.”

We’re talking to Terri about how to align your life’s path with your purpose. Isn’t that what we all want to know? And even more than that, how by doing so, you could make meaningful change both in your community and the world. How does it get better than that? Terri knows how to do this because she has done this in her own life and she has helped so many around the world.

She has spoken at Fortune 500 companies to inspire teams to create change, served as a mission ambassador for large nonprofits, and has traveled internationally to tell her story.

Terri's sharing practical ways to realize and live your potential and purpose, and helps you think about how to impact your community, and maybe even the world.

You can find out more about Terri at Find out more about her groundbreaking approach in her "The Great Me-Set" TedX Talk. You can purchase her book Find Your Fire on Amazon. You can also follow her on Instagram @terribwilliams.

Visit for more from Robyn + Karen, plus mega inspo -- and the best wellness + spiritual practitioners, products and experiences on the planet!

You can also follow Seeking Center on Instagram @theseekingcenter

Robyn: [00:00:00] I'm Robyn Miller Brecker, 

Karen: and I'm Karen Loenser. Welcome to seeking center. The podcast,

Robyn: join us each week as we have the conversations and weed through the spiritual and holistic clutter for you, we'll boil it down to what you need to know. Now 

Karen: we're all about total wellness, which to us needs building a healthy life on a physical, mental, and spiritual level.

We'll talk to the trailblazers who will introduce you to the practices, products, and experiences. That may be just what you need to hear about to transform your life. 

If you're listening to this, it's no accident. Think of this as your seeking center and your place to seek your center. And for even more mega inspo sign up for seeking center.

The newsletter at seeking center . 

Robyn: I have to tell you how I came to know today's podcast guest, the dynamic and magnificent Terri Broussard Williams. We were divinely connected by a mutual spiritual teacher and friend who had a, knowing that we were supposed to know each other in this lifetime.

Our friend said, I [00:01:00] think you can support one another. And oh, was she right? There were deep soul sister sparks. From the moment we. Karen and I will be talking to Terri about how to align your life's path with your purpose. Isn't that what we all wanna know? And how by doing so, you could make meaningful change both in your community and the world.

How does it get better than that? Terri knows how to do this because she has done this in her own life, and she's helped so many around the world. Terri is an executive author, keynote speaker, lobbyist, philanthropist, and social impact strategist. She is the bestselling author of Find Your Fire and Movement Maker behind the Great Me Set.

She has spoken at Fortune 500 companies to inspire teams to create change. Served as a mission ambassador for large nonprofits, and has traveled internationally to tell her story. We've all heard the phrase by Mahama Gandhi, be the change you wanna see in the world.

And Terri is helping you do just that. We'll be talking about practical ways to realize your [00:02:00] potential and purpose, and then how to take that and apply it to your life, whether it's in an organization, community, or even the world. Hi 

Terri: Terri.

Hi Terri. Hello. I'm so happy to see your smiling faces and hear your beautiful voices. 

Karen: Same here. 

Terri: and that 

Robyn: introduction, Terri. Oh my goodness. You have done quite a bit in your lifetime so far, and we know there's so much more to go. 

Terri: It's so funny, I don't even think about it.

I feel like I am just doing what I was brought here to do and every day is a new adventure. , 

Karen: It is been quite, a journey. Can you just conceptualize for this audience about you and your journey and this incredible path that you've taken in your life so far.

Terri: Absolutely. I have had the privilege of doing things I would've never imagined, just last week I was at the NAACP Image Awards and got to shake the hands of icons, people that my grandmother has been watching on TV and sent her the pictures so that she could see them and chuckle.

But when I think about it, no matter if [00:03:00] I was, A teen reporter at 16, or a news producer, or a nonprofit fundraiser or a lobbyist. The work I've been doing for the last 20 years, there's one through line, 

and that through line is I've truly been called to listen to people's stories, to listen to things and problems that they wanna solve, and then to distill it into data and a different type of story so that it could be digested and people will want to take action, either their action in the world around them or action within them.

When you look at it from that perspective, it totally makes sense. So I like sharing it that way because it's a gift that can keep giving and it also allows me to remain open to possibilities for the future. 

Robyn: The way that you just put that, I love that because it doesn't matter the title that you're given, that is the through line in which you are just getting up every day and really lighting up the world and making a difference.

So how did that even start, because I was saying to Karen when we were coming up with this framework for today that you've had a [00:04:00] winding, fantastical, meaningful, and fabulous path. So how did that begin and how did you have that knowing from the time you were a little girl?

Terri: Yeah, I love that word, fantastical. I'm gonna steal that going forward. such a Terri word. the last three years I've really been reflecting on life and I've just always been assigned the role of the doer and the bridge builder, and I've never thought twice about it. As I've grown older I definitely step back and I.

Consider it and the things that I do with a greater intention. So I hear something that others don't even hear as a problem, and I start to ask questions. And then once I dig deep, I'm there's such an easy win here or an easy solution. And usually I can pull it together to help. And if I can't you all know this well, the universe will bring the right helper to you.

And I'm never afraid to ask a teacher or a helper for help. when I look back, my teenage years, I was in speech and debate in high school and my speech coach said, I'm gonna put you in this competition where you're gonna read [00:05:00] television scripts and then we're gonna travel all over the state.

And so I did it and just, it was so easy you knocked it out the park. And then that turned into me auditioning for a teen reporter role when I was 16. and then I did that until I went to Louisiana State University. Go Tigers. . I'm not an official alum if I don't say go tigers twice . And while I was there, I had the opportunity to have two jobs.

The first was a part-time job. And I was the two on your side producer. So people would call, they would tell me their problems or leave it on voicemail. Like the kind, you had to press buttons and rewind this was the 

Robyn: nineties y'all. 

Terri: and I would just get to work to try to figure it out.

So if it was a pothole in their neighborhood, or I've shared this story with Robyn before, a woman called in her trailer park, the sewage had backed up and she just wanted to live with dignity in a place that didn't smell bad. And so we were able to get it cleaned up and I would go and interview them and do everything but record the standups.

If you're on tv, that's when the person is on the screen. And I'll never forget the feeling I [00:06:00] got. I gave that woman dignity, respect, and she felt empowered. And so it was that feeling that I wanna believe was left with her, that now she knows she can do the same. And so when I look at every job I've had since.

it's the same. I was at the American Heart Association for 16 years and lobbied to make cities and states smoke free. So a lot of the cities around you, Karen, in the North Texas area, we got all those cities smoke free. And so it's so easy to go as a lobbyist and ask that city council member, I need you to pass this law because smoking is the leading cause of death.

And give them all the stats. But it's another thing if I can educate you and give you, the chutzpah you need to make the ask and you remain in that community and you remain this integral part knowing that you did it once so you can do it twice. So for me it became like a no brain. Let's write a book to teach people how to do it.

Let's share a little bit of my stories and how I never met a lobbyist before I came one, but shout out to Elle Woods and Legally Blonde too, cuz that was the only mentor and only lobbyist I know. And girl, [00:07:00] we made it big time. But just being able to teach people to do it and telling them you don't need a pedigree to create change.

And I say you need a good heart, good work ethic, and just a good soul. . 

Karen: It's like you became an advocate when you saw an opportunity. And I think a lot of people see things around them every day that are opportunities to do good or to help the world. But I think what the differences with you, Terri, is that you actually took up the charge and you didn't think twice.

It's like you just went right into battle. And I can tell you in Texas, I can't even imagine what that was like trying to go and convince people in Texas to not smoke. Cause they're very adamant about certain privileges and laws think this is a really good transition to your book Behind Your Fire.

And you talk about what a firestarter is. Cause that's really what we're talking about here. Can you share a little bit about that? . 

Terri: Yes. I say the first fire starters I met were my grandparents. They lived during segregation. They were sharecroppers. My uncle actually shared a story during Christmas that he picked cotton until he was 10 and [00:08:00] he's 60 years old today.

just to even give you more color about where I grew up. I went to high school in the nineties and I was so cool. I was dating the high school captain of, in West Felician Parish in Louisiana. And because he was black and the captain of the football team, we got to go to two proms that night. We got to go to the white prom and then the black prom, both of those things existed in the nineties in Louisiana.

But my grandparents didn't consider anything at handicap. They had everything they wanted and everything they needed. And even though they didn't have a high school diploma, all their kids, both sides of my family, all their kids went to Catholic school. They believed in faith, in fortitude. . And so it's not a surprise that, when there was an opportunity to build church in my mother's neighborhood, that my grandparents stood up and built that church.

And they never went to capital campaign training. They didn't know how to do those things, but they got it done. And so I say that a fire starter is a person who sees things that others ignore, but they take action. They take that first step to create change. Here's what's wild. And I never want people to conflate the story that I tell because [00:09:00] it's a church is part of it.

This applies to any structure, any building, anything that you believe in. That church burned down in 2010. My mom and dad raised their hands and became the next generation of fire start. And my mom and dad led the Legit Capital campaign. By then they had the training y'all , and that church is beautiful.

We're recording this on March 1st. So I was there last week for Ash Wednesday. Took my 95 year old grandmother to Ash Wednesday's service. And I thought, I am sitting on this land, this property that every single person I love that was in my immediate family that is no longer with me, they walked this property, what, a great infusion of energy and just a place I could return when I am seeking my center.

And so I tell everyone I had no choice. I was surrounded by fire starters. it's in my d n a and I just hope to sprinkle it around like a little bit of gold glitter for someone else to capture a little bit of it. And so 

Robyn: in your book, , find your fire. How do you help [00:10:00] people start to find their 

Terri: fire?

Yes. in the book, I truly tell stories about people who've stepped out on faith and with a little bit of fortitude created change. So you'll hear stories from nonprofit leaders, you'll, hear stories from political leaders even, Allies who had never done it before, who just raised their hand and said, I will try to create change.

Hopefully there's some type of story. And I believe that there is for everyone so that it resonates with them where they are in life and how they want to create change. We either choose to be a part of change by building something. You're building a community, you're building it from scratch. People like me, we can listen and amplify it.

I'm showing up today as part of your community wanting to amplify the work that you do. And you're amplifying the work that I do and others who are listening, they're supporting it. And so when they text their friend and they're like, you gotta listen to this. They're supporting you. So there's a way for us to all either build support or amplify.

And so once you identify your cause, that why, Simon Sinek always says your why is the answer it, it's what [00:11:00] truly drives change. Then I take you through four steps called the Fire Starter Formula. Cause. , your why or your goal collective, which is who are the people that are gonna help you, know, create a movement for social good or sometimes a movement within.

Cuz the greatest movements we'll ever have are the ones inside of ourself. And then we'll begin to communicate the how and the why, and communicate how people can join us and what they can do to be a part of the movement. I often say, don't forget to talk about the obstacles. Obstacles, sounds scary.

you think as a leader, I don't want people to know what they are because then they might not trust me or they might not join. But actually it's an opportunity for someone to see you, trust them and step up in a greater way and just light those little fires a little more. And then the last, C they're all C's if you didn't pick up on that, is change.

You actually have to get your hands dirty. Create the plan to create the change, but also think of. , who will continue it on when you get tired, who will continue it on when it's your time to turn to something else in your life or another movement, you truly wanna have that plan. And also the plan for [00:12:00] implementation.

No movement keeps on moving if we're not implementing it. 

Robyn: Terri , you give such powerful steps for someone to take that why and actually do something. how did you come up with that for 

Terri: yourself? I don't know. You guys know how this works. sometimes when we listen to what is around us, it truly is a calling and you just do it.

I started lobbying in 2003, and it was in 2018 that I was like, maybe it's time to write a book 2019. I was like stop kidding. It is time. But it wasn't until I forced myself to rest to be still, and to give myself grace to just throw something on paper that I began to distill.

So what is it that I do? How do I put this in words? And then the words come, when the time is right. And so I've actually been really looking at that same formula, but saying, how does it apply to someone who wants a professional development opportunity? Or how does it apply to someone who wants to begin a journey to get to know themselves better?

And it's all the same. Okay. we have to figure out what speaks to us. , that's 

Karen: true. But [00:13:00] then you also have to take action, I think for so many people that we've talked to, they may have all of this in their mind's eye, but then the overwhelming moment is, oh gosh, what if I do it wrong?

Or what if I'm not strong enough? Or what if I'm not the right person to do it? it feels like that's almost an innate thing, thank goodness for your grandparents and your parents. But what advice would you give to someone who might be sitting and listening to this right now thinking, oh gosh, I wish I could be her, but I just don't know where to start.

Terri: What would you say? Yeah, so everybody can do it again. the only lobbyists assign to you. When I start doing this work with Ell Woods, thankfully I already had a pink suit, so halfway there, . You truly have to figure out a way to take some of the pressure off yourself, and faith and fortitude has always been a part of it for me. If you can find those things I feel it'll come really easy. But the other two ingredients that I've always had is forgiveness. Have to forgive. I forgive everybody if someone's five minutes late. I'm like, whatever. If someone doesn't make a deadline, I'm like, here's when I need it.

Absolute deadline and make it work you are so quick to forgive others, but we rarely forgive ourselves. I'll never forget, I was the [00:14:00] press secretary in Columbia, South Carolina for US senate race. My first speech on the Lord, and it was a big race. It was 2002 and oh my gosh, it was a big race. My mouth got so dry and I could not say the words but I had a piece of paper.

So for the longest time, I would not allow myself to have paper again, and I convinced myself that it was the paper. If I don't read, like I could just do what I needed to do. , but truly I needed to forgive myself for just having cotton mouth that day. And so once we forgive ourselves for the things that we see as misses, maybe I wasn't the right speaker that day, or maybe I needed a rest, or maybe it wasn't my moment to shine.

So forgive ourselves when the moment and the space is in an alignment with where we need to be and what we need to do. And just do it again because somebody else might see you and might be able to pick up the slack or someone else might see your miss and think that you are right for something else.

And it's always on the way. And the last thing is, I just fell forward. I'm not afraid to fail every single time something has not worked out. I graduated from college in three years, got a master's [00:15:00] in 10 months. My book was delayed and I thought I was gonna lose my mind because of Covid.

It was gonna come out March, 2020, and I was like, oh my God, I've never missed a deadline. I'm going to die. , but we just randomly in March said, we're gonna do this on August the eighth, 2020. That's her birthday. That's no way. What's my birthday? Of course it's your birthday. Of course. Yes, of course.

But what happened between March, and August, so much of my story is about living in the south as a black woman. So the opportunity to release something post George Floyd and the awareness and just the love that we had in the world of that moment was right for me.

 On time. 

Robyn: Yes. Wow. There's so much wisdom in everything you just said from the forgiveness to the what seems like amiss or a failure and how it's really a gift. it's that perspective that I hope everyone listening can truly hear and absorb because both of those, just, if you took those two things out of today's conversation, and we have a lot [00:16:00] more to get to, those will change your life.

I remember actually for me, a iyanla vanzant I was working actually in a forgiveness course with her. And the first thing she said as we were sitting down to start this, was the first person you have to forgive is yourself. And I had already been working with Oprah for over a decade when I started working on this course with a Iyanla

and I thought I'd never actually heard that before . I went home that night and really took that in to your point. And I started to think about several things in my life that I felt like I needed to forgive myself for, and the next day certain things that hadn't. Come into my life for decades of these things that I was forgiving myself, literally showed up physically in front of me, , and I thought to myself, oh my God, this stuff energetically works.

Absolutely. And so and then what you're saying about timing. We talk about timing all the time because we are just so ready, and yet delays are actually, they're on purpose. [00:17:00] those are gifts from the universe to your. . And that the 

Karen: one that's sticking with me too is that falling forward and not being afraid to fail, I think that's the hold up of so many people is feeling oh, what's the point?

What if it doesn't work? What if people know like they do all of those, what if things, which prevents them from actually taking the action? Whereas just like you said, even if you fail, that could open up yourself to a whole nother set of opportunities that you would never have had, had you done it, perfectly.

And that's such an 

Terri: important lesson too, when we fail forward and it's okay to see the miss, right? None of us are perfect, and I say that as a recovering perfectionist. , but. , you have the opportunity if your mindset is right, and if your eyes truly are open to see how you can become more generative, where you can become more innovative.

And usually whatever you're working on it just, it grows on steroids and then it ends up exactly where it needs to be, or the timing is right. To the point that you were saying, there's so much happening in my life right now. I had to start journaling the good because they're all things that were on a shelf in my [00:18:00] head.

But until I said, okay, I'm opening the door, I'm allowing for this to come to me, I'm allowing me just to be my truest self and trying some things that weren't sticky or just weren't right for me, my head and heart weren't in alignment. So shifting that lens and that perspective, it's oh my gosh, there's so much.

I have to write it down so I never forget this moment in time because it's that good. 

Robyn: Wow. And even that, like that you said, Journaling the good. Even that in itself, which people may not think of as in quotes, work, but that's actually doing soul work. It's digging in.

And so I think it's really important for people to just give it a try because you can think about it, but until you actually action it, nothing's gonna change, and sitting and making excuses for things , it just ends up being stored in your body somewhere and weighing you down.

Terri: And your inner 

Karen: self has so much more wisdom than we give ourselves credit for. I journal all the time, and every now and then I'll pick up one, then I wrote maybe, five years ago, 

Terri: and 

Karen: I'm amazed by that person who wrote that, like, how did she have that [00:19:00] insight into herself so much?

And I think it's because you're not editing yourself, you know that it's a safe place to be able to place all that information. And what I often do too is I write in the morning and then I read it at night. So I have a little bit of a distance from that. And it's amazing how the words speak to you in a totally different way when you read them.

So I love all of these great 

Robyn: ideas, which really leads to the next chapter for you, which was really coming up with the great me set and that whole platform. And can you talk about how Finder Fire led to the Great me set ? 

Terri: it's a funny, not so funny story, , but . So I. Was doing.

I always say hashtag team too much. Doing too much. At the time I was working on my masters at an Ivy league, and that in itself was a moment, it was just this beautiful snapshot in time for my family. Again, my grandparents didn't have high school degrees. My mother was the first person to have a master's degree in my family. I was the second, and I was doing this later in life [00:20:00] because I was just working in television news. And then I was writing Find Your Fire, decided that I should write while I was in school because I could test some of the theories and, I was running to DC for a legislative reception and was on this health kick. I was dieting, not drinking, really focused on losing weight, but was in this period of intensity at work where I was starting to feel like my professional home of 16 years wasn't right for me anymore.

And I've been praying about it, talking to myself about it while I'm lobbying on the biggest issue of our organization for the last six years. A couch fell on my head. Literally, A couch is in a piece of sofa, more like a loveseat. I tell everyone I'm animated. I do not exaggerate. So more a loveseat fell on my head and oh, snap.

So I always say when God sits you down and the universe puts that seat under you, I found myself at home. , like from the ER home doctor's like homegirl. You're not working for a couple of months. I've seen your type. You're a type A, don't try to tell me otherwise. I spent, go from sofa [00:21:00] center of my head, me centered on my sofa, trying to find the center of my life.

these things had to happen. I had to get my life in order. And I began to do the inner work, just questioning why, but when I was in the er I said, God, why? I am listening. And it became, so clear, it was time to change it up. It was time to look for a new employer.

It's time to really say out loud what I wanted to do and not just say it, but to live it. And I just began to do the work from there. Now that happened September of 2019. . So by the time I started to leave the house again, the pandemic happened. So I have always been an overachiever. I got the start of the pandemic before all of you guys, but

So I had time to process and everything in the news was know, the world's just had a great reset. And I was whatever. I'm about this me set. And I said it to a friend and they were like, what? And. . I didn't realize what I said out loud, but it was almost like I gave myself this energy and began to map out just a lot of blogging and writing, what would it look like?

And then that turned into [00:22:00] a TEDx and now it's morphing into a book. Just about those moments where we have pivots in life, how we get there, is there a through line of that we truly needed the world to stop so that we can be recentered and for me it's happened a couple of times, three times.

And each time there's this huge pivot in life that follows. So the meset really has two meanings for me. If you listen to my TEDx it's the how you do it. If you're in a busy work, Pausing, taking action and then scheduling the next me set. I think that works when you're in the middle of chaos.

But if you truly want to live a life that is spiritually based and holistic and something that you can do every day, the way that I think of it every day is to start by breathing, either meditating or breath work. That, for me, is the first step. Then I just put out, usually journal or say out loud what I wanna attract that day or that quarter.

Sometimes I tend to think in quarters because sometimes I need to chase something a little bigger than a day, and then, I'm gonna visualize that. Then the third. I'm gonna start to attract [00:23:00] it. It just comes to the point that you made. Robyn you'd said that so beautifully. It just happens.

And then I transform always within. You can't try to start transforming externally, just not gonna work. So when you honor that space and you are in full alignment and being your trues self, the me set, you go from doing to just being. . 

Robyn: Definitely. 

Karen: Boy, I think I have to replay that on a 

Robyn: daily basis.

Terri: because I think 

Karen: that's how we're taught. So many of us are taught the measure of our success is always about the doing. And yes, there's never the emphasis on, a lot of people don't know how to be, and if they think of being, or even taking a minute, it's distracting themselves with something else versus just literally being in that space.

Terri: Oh, my number one crutch, I'm getting out of that. It's just so much easier to get back to doing. I'm like, no, you can't do You 

Robyn: literally had a couch fall in your head, 

Terri: I wasn't listening, 

Robyn: Oprah has always said, and we had people on the show that would say, it starts out and it's a pebble, and then that pebble's little larger stone, and then it's a boulder, and then [00:24:00] it's literally like a whole concrete wall falling down, And that for you, to me, the couch is the wall falling down. Sit down. 

Terri: Seriously, put your life together right now. 

Robyn: And we get the whispers. I'm sure those were whispers leading up to that incident, but we ignore them. it feels easier to just keep doing.

It feels easier to just put your hands over your ears. I don't hear you. I'm gonna keep going. And then the universe really stops things for you. And I think for everybody that March, 2020 was literally like a universal Sit the fuck down . I love how you said that. I didn't wanna say that.

Listen and not, and I would say a lot of people did. But not everybody. And then it's very easy to just get back as the world started to get back to some sort of normalcy. It's like we're too easily forgetting. . So I feel like your the great me set is so important.

And to your point it happens more than once in a lifetime. . Yeah. Because 

Karen: it is easy to go back. And you were just saying, I think [00:25:00] even before we started taping Terri about how, you needed to give yourself a moment now like you've been on the run and so you are giving yourself the grace.

So you are remembering to do that. And as Robyn and I always say this is the work we're here to do, it is really easy to get distracted and think of other things, but if we're really honest, it is about learning how to do those things for ourself, to nurture ourselves so that we can really understand what it is that we're doing.

And I think part of the reason why you've been so successful at what you've been doing is because you have continued to reset that center, to always go back and listen and tune in what am I here to do? That's why you can hear the things that other people. Don't necessarily hear because your vessel is tuned into listening and then responding versus responding without listening.

And it's such a lesson for all of us. Can you talk a little bit about your spiritual journey? I come from a very Catholic family, oldest of six kids, it was a interesting way to grow up and I gained so much from my religious faith. [00:26:00] But I also had very spiritual grandmother and mother who were very into metaphysical things and different religions.

They were really interested in spirituality and I think that was part of my d n a growing up too. But I would love to hear, cause you reference your faith and your family so much. I'd just love to hear a little bit about that and how that got to you into the more of the spiritual 

Terri: way of living really.

Yeah, we are super duper Catholic. . The Bruce starts into the Dugas, literally Lafayette, Louisiana has the largest concentration of black Catholics in the country. So back in the day, there were more black Catholic churches than blockbusters in my hometown, like Yeah.

Robyn: That is st a statistic. . 

Terri: Yeah. And shout out to us because we know what a blockbuster is. . So I have always been intuitive and, but never knew what it was. I can give you so many examples.

But even when I think about my time lobbying, when I was in Louisiana lobbying five years, I always started lobbying at 24. Hadn't been to the Capitol since I was in fifth grade. Never lost a bill. Now some of that's gonna be [00:27:00] common sense, some of that is, I can calculate, 95% of that is I'm highly intuitive and just had a knowing

there's some things that happened that I should have just not had a know ink, especially passing the statewide smoke-free law to make all the restaurants smoke free. people are still like, how did you do that? And I'm like, I don't know. I just knew it was gonna happen and then I just kept doing because I knew it was gonna happen.

So I can give you so much of that, but it wasn't until the couch fell on my. and I look back at the days leading up to it because I am Catholic and my mom, sorry mom, I'm like selling you out today, but I'm gonna make you listen to this , I mentioned some of these things, but she's no, pick up your rosary beads and that it is not an if this or that.

cuz it can be a both. And since I've now embraced it I want to pray more. I want to be more aware and thanks to you all and listening to one of your episodes. I now have insight timer and. This morning I listened and there was this beautiful prayer, and it was words that any Catholic would say they totally made sense to the fifth grader at St.

Genevieve. But it was on Insight [00:28:00] Timer. So these things work well together. And so I started with breath work and was like, Ooh, this is me. And I became a little bit more myself. Then I started talking to people about it, blogging about it, living it, and just one day someone picked up the phone and it was a friend who's also a lobbyist that introduced me to the same spiritual teacher that I have as the same teacher that Rob that was it. Like I knew I was home. I definitely know this was something I've done before. And I feel whole, like I, I know me now and I didn't before. And so today I am improving my meditation practice. This Lent I've given up. Crazy things like caffeine, but I'm working to meditate at least 10 minutes a day to build that muscle.

I'm trying to write in my journal every day this year, and I have so far. But not just capturing, but writing where I am. What am I grateful for? What did I learn today? You guys are making the page? Did I already started seeking center on my page? and just looking for synchronicities.

they are the affirmations I need. I've, I guess for the last two years I've been working with the [00:29:00] medium about twice a year. A mentor of mine told me about her, and she's incredible. So I spent a weekend with her at an intuition immersion. I left with a pendulum. I know so much more about myself than I've ever.

ever thought I would know. So these tools just keep coming to me and the more I look things just happen. Even my first phone call with Rob I was telling her about how I was trying wanted to see a sign that was a fairy. I was like, that is so ridiculous. Like, where am I gonna get a fairy from?

So I was like, no, we're gonna be practical again. I'm working on this practical thing. I was like, I want a purple butterfly. And then I meet a woman who's in this space, Tina Leifer. She works on inner fitness, and she said, airy fairy. And I was like, holy shit. What? It was the next day.

Then I, when I'm talking to Robyn and telling her the story, she's no, butterflies have a meaning to me too. So it was like all these humans. And so Robyn, I promise I'm getting super excited. You guys can tell cuz you can see my face, but so I promise Robyn, I was gonna tell her this.

So I met with the medium in February, and Robyn came up and she described you to a t and said [00:30:00] that, there was a helper that would come that would help me figure some things out and I would be able to return and also help. what I didn't know until you read the intro was that Sheryl said a very similar thing.

Not the same thing to you. Isn't that wild? 

Robyn: She did the support. yes. Oh my goodness. I love that. And I love Sheryl. she really can see all . And she's been 

Karen: on our podcast 

Terri: too. Oh, I need to go and listen to it. I'm obsessed with her too.


Robyn: yes. And just even you bringing up the Purple Butterfly again today means so much. Because again you said we're taping this on March 1st. . And tomorrow on March 2nd, I'm helping with a nationwide fundraiser for a friend of Karen and I lost their daughter. And Purple Butterfly is the symbol for her daughter.

That's beautiful. Yeah, her daughter Penny. And for Penny's flight, which I'll , just mention right now because that was her symbol. So you saying that is not a coincidence. That is really synchronicity. It is a sign. And that is so beautiful. Oh [00:31:00] my goodness. Thank you for sharing and thank you for sharing about the medium.

Who, by the way, Karen and I need to know 

Terri: who you're working with. Tina Powers. Tina Power. She too, is a former news reporter. So she says she reports from the other side now, and it is so true. She's so crazy accurate. Again, just the affirmations, I need to know that I'm on the right path. And 

Robyn: I think you just saying that and coming from you.

And I know people listening. I've heard that from Karen and I, but that idea of affirmations, we talk about this all the time, you will hear what you need to hear right now to keep you on your path. , you're gonna hear information that's only going to support you and validate where you've been and where you're going.

it's not scary. if you go to trusted people and we are only recommending trusted people and we know there's people we haven't met that are also awesome, but we only recommend people we know are authentic and real. So that's huge. I'm excited to meet Tina at some point soon.

 and I love that our connection came up. 

Terri: yeah. It was so mind [00:32:00] blowing. know, Like everything is right on time. And even your podcast, because I found out about it, after I met Rob there's just something so special about it.

I wish. , something like this existed when I was beginning to learn, when I was getting curious, because for so long, if you're a good Catholic, the you don't talk to people, you talk to God, right? You don't talk to mediums, you don't touch tarot cards. All these things I was taught were wrong.

But I truly know they're meant for me. And they are the tools that will help me help others. And so now I'm, bringing it back to the work that I do. I'm empowered. And I'm saying this for the first time, so that's why you're hearing me really be thoughtful.

But I am empowered to take these tools. I have now my pendulum now knowing that my intuition is always on flee, knowing that I'm not afraid and I can help others. And so I recall a time in July. , I feel like there'll be a time and space where I return to media. And so in July I was part of a show called the Amazon Black Girl Magic, where I interviewed two entrepreneurs and females and they have these great products on Amazon and they're crushing it. And one of them said, she was [00:33:00] nervous and I started talking and I held her hand and just walk her through what what was gonna happen that day, what we were gonna do.

And she instantly felt like it was gonna be awesome, she could do it. And the nerves left. And for years people just told me like, I've had a soothing voice. I'm like, let's let it work. Like I know what to do with it now. But we should not. Just take any of our gifts for granted.

And when we begin to layer them and truly come from a place of authenticity and sincerity, we are right where we need to be. And everything else will come to us. 

Karen: I love every word that you are using. 

We, those are our words too, about having a place where people are curious that they can go, because we were too.

We go back to the days where you had to read it in a book somewhere, That was the only real place, real source of information. And I love the word authenticity so much because I think for so many people, they don't even know how to define that for themselves. They don't know where to look for authenticity anymore.

And I feel like that's really the place where we. Need to start. It's an honesty and it's a real reflection of who we are at our core and without all the noise, without everything else that's [00:34:00] going on around us. And I think that between your books and your example really, Terri, I think you're giving people so many wonderful ways of.

Thinking about their own lives, especially from the spiritual side. I think a lot of people aren't sure about that either. And it gets convoluted when you're thinking about all these tools there's just so much out there. And yet this idea of layering that you talked about is what I love because everybody we talk to seems to come through their own journey, through their own experiences of what speaks to them, and they layer that on to who they are and what their beliefs are and what their tools are.

And I just think 

Terri: that's what 

Karen: it's all about. I just got the goosebumps actually saying, I just feel like that's why we're here is so that we can go through this wonderful life experience and layer on all this stuff, the good and the bad, Or what we think might 

Terri: be 

Karen: bad experiences, and then work our way through it to our own 

Terri: authentic selves.

So I'm 

Karen: so inspired by everything that you've been saying. it's, and you break it down so easily, 

Terri: I'm inspired by you guys. Thank you for just creating this space, for us to be [00:35:00] ourselves and to learn.

Robyn: I just wanna say too, when you look at your life so far, and from a professional perspective, all that you've done to help make changes across our country, And which impact each person, even if they don't know it. And now you're taking all of that experience and you're continuing to do that work.

However, you're also now focusing on how do you change somebody from the inside out. So it's like taking all that you've been doing for decades and it will be even more impactful because if you can get to somebody at their core, which is what we're trying to all do together, we can change the world even more because you can get there and they can work from that authentic place, 

Terri: which is huge. I truly believe that. And I do think my work, the body of my work will change one day and it'll truly be connecting with individuals in some way because it just takes one spark to create change.

But we have to be happy, healthy and whole, for the most part inside. And so it's so funny. I was thinking about this the [00:36:00] other day for so long. I was like, I want a blog because I want everyone to have access to this information. But I felt like I had to educate the masses. But truly if you educate just one, you might still educate the masses.


Robyn: And I also wanna touch on the fact that, you have taken several trips to Israel and I think it's so interesting both coming from that background with Catholicism as well as your spirituality.

Can you talk about that for a moment, because I'm fascinated by your trips and how impactful they've been on your own spiritual journey. 

Terri: For sure. I actually, I went in January and it's March and I still have three ribbons I put on. They haven't fallen off yet, but I've gone four times and I'll be back in May.

And so I've gone as part of a political fellowship and I've also gone as part of a foundation, the Schusterman Foundation, and both are there to educate us on what's happening and how the Israel and the United States should have a strong relationship to keep us all safe. , but I actually talked to the Schusterman Foundation this morning.

Every time I go with them, I [00:37:00] can be my truest self. And it's one of the only organizations I'm a part of that I know everyone's core values in that space will be in alignment with mine. Such a gift to me. But, to walk the same spaces, of Christ, to be in the same space as the Holy Spirit, like literally the bricks are the same.

You can touch it, to bring back water and rocks to my grandmother and my great-aunt, and I'm like, Jesus, walked on these like to give that back to them is so meaningful. But for me, every time I go, there's a sign, there's synchronicity and I find out more about myself.

And so this was the first time I traveled to Israel with my guides. And I talked to my guides the whole time, and. , there was so much that happened. I rewrote, my statement and what I wanna manifest for the year. This is the first year I've really been working on manifestation. I've adopted the words of, surrender to allow and really reflected on that and rewrote that manifestation statement.

And I left knowing it's something that will be achieved. But also I had a friend, and this is so crazy, I had a friend [00:38:00] who passed away in January and he too had an affinity for Israel. And while I was driving on January the second, won't ever forget it, to a meditation and manifestation workout at the Soho House, I got a phone call that my friend passed.

And I just, I felt so nauseous, like I wanted to throw up and was so distracted. And this is when I started asking for the purple fairy, like in the workshop or the purple butter. I wanted the fairy, but convinced myself I needed a purple butterfly in the workshop. I was so distracted and I took off my boots to start meditating and we had the same pair of socks and I had them on, like when they called to tell me he passed away, I had on those socks.

So I was beating myself up cuz I already committed to going to Israel and I was gonna be there during his funeral. So I'm such a nerd. I like set alarms for everything. I set an alarm for the start of the funeral, wanted to Say a prayer, start talking to him and he would always say yolo.

Everybody was posted on Instagram, yolo. That was like his thing. There appears the YOLO bakery. The YOLO bakery and Jerusalem. So I'm trying to take a picture. We pass it by and I'm like, oh my God. So we make a U-turn and [00:39:00] I'm able to capture a picture of it. so then it gets better.

And I turned to a friend who also knew him. I was like, did you see that? And she's yeah, Yolo crazy. so I'm talking to Tina and she's have you had a friend that recently passed? He wants to say hello. He says, you've been praying for him. And the day I got these ribbons, I put a prayer for him in the wall.

Same day I put one for you, Rob And he knew I was praying for him and he was sending me signs. so Israel will forever be this place. Where again, I begin to learn who I really am and where, for some reason I get, and you actually told this to me, Rob For the longest time, I would say I keep going.

No. I keep receiving invitations to return. , you've told me, use that word invitation with me. 

Robyn: And there's a deep soul connection probably for a lot of people, but certainly for you. Obviously we know it's such a spiritual place. And There's a calling there. 

Karen: I would also say my mom is, , 81. She's writing a book and it's about the grief process and what are the gifts of grief? And she has a chapter in her book about going to Jerusalem.

Oh. with my uncle, her brother, and [00:40:00] she had. A moment at the wall, where she saw a past life of her actually being there. And I wonder, Terri, if there's something 

Terri: like, I think I, yeah, I really do think I've had a past life and there's a woman who sits on the board of one of the organizations that keeps inviting me to return.

We are so close, the synchronicities are insane. She's the person who introduced me to Tina Powers and she's also the person that told me I needed she affirmed that I needed to go on this intuition immersion with Tina. But we are convinced we were on some mission together. we say the same thing at the same time.

And I've gone four times, but twice I fell on the same knee. The first time I got a scab. It wasn't that. . The second time was in January. It was very bad. Took six weeks to heal. And I have a very bad scar, so I'm like, what am I not listening to or what do I need to figure out? What is it?

Why am I following all my knees every time? I believe you. There is definitely something there that I I've yet to discover. I do know one thing, there's something there about Tku alum, which means to heal and repair the world. And so I don't [00:41:00] know, if there's something there, maybe the three of us will do some type of workshop there.

I don't know. Yeah. Who knows? There's something there for me, to me 

Robyn: just bringing all of this up, there's so much depth there, but it's also the idea of how that invitation. continues to come to that place for you. And I'd say for anyone listening, it doesn't necessarily have to be Israel.

We were talking before we got on this call, Karen and I continue to meet these incredible souls that live in Austin, Texas, which is where Terri lives. And we were just saying there's some call, you start to pay attention. Like why is this the fifth person in Austin in the last few months There's something there. There's some sort of magic that needs to happen so the point being, it's not always a place, but in this case it is. And so pay attention, it's paying attention, it's being open. When you continue to keep hearing the same call for something, open the door, go through it, check it out.

Cuz you don't know what's gonna be on the other side of. . And for you it seems to continue to deepen your connection with your own soul. And soul has [00:42:00] lived through many lifetimes, So you continue to find out more about yourself. 

Karen: And there's so few places you can go now really, that are preserved.

Like that area in particular is, and it is that sacred place where it's like the soul goes back to, because it remembers. And so it must be calling you there because it wants you to do that deeper dive. And remember why you came. Yeah. Why you came the remember 

Robyn: it's all about them or remembering.

Yeah. It's and you talked about that surrender to allow as a theme for this year. How are you seeing that playing out, and we're now in March. How do you feel that's working for you? . 

Terri: It's been so powerful. Just even saying this will be the year that I will, focus on manifesting instead of just doing and being I'm gonna be intentional with it.

I met you guys. and the type of work that you're doing, I've been searching and looking for people in that space for quite some time. so doors keep opening and I'm just open to talking about this more. And the more I talk about it, the more I realize there's [00:43:00] so many people around me, so I've had the conversation with my book guide from Find Your Fire with my copy editor, who I would've never thought was into this, My photographer, like everybody's on the same page.

So it's should not be a surprise to me, but it's always a surprise that I find myself here. And so while I'm talking about the second book that I wanna write tied to the me set, I already have the right people in place. They know me, they know my crazy, they, he know my faults, so again, I'm returning to that safe space where I can be my most authentic and sincere self.

Robyn: How would you say, for someone listening, how you seem to know, just even by what you're saying, when you're on the right path or you're surrounded by the right people, how can someone figure that out for themselves? What are just a few steps that you can offer them? 

Terri: Gosh, you gotta trust yourself.

When I've hired the wrong person, when I trusted someone I shouldn't have trusted When someone's even stolen from me I knew that was gonna happen. But you try to convince yourself that you're wrong and you're being judgmental. Just listen . But on the flip side, you will feel someone's energy.

Someone that is gonna [00:44:00] do what they intend to do with you. They're gonna show up consistently, They're not gonna be flaky. Don't try to make a flaky situation work. If someone is not someone to carry for a season, it is okay to, with grace and love, figure out how to let that person go for a season.

They might come back around, if it's, I have a friend, like I just can't do it right now. It's too much emotional energy and I'm working on recharging. Love her. Can't do it. Can't help solve the problems for the kids. . But I have to say, I'm working on me right now. Maybe we can reconnect a year, a month or two from now, you can't ghost, Cause then that's negative energy out there. You've gotta be honest. Be honest. It's weird. But when you're honest and you say what you need from an energetic place, spiritual place, even a practical place, the right people end up in your life. I can't say that enough. But it all starts with just trusting your gut and yourself.

Karen: Going back to those journals again. Start writing down what comes, what's in there. Just let it flow. Even if it's your locked up computer and you never show it to another soul, that's where your true self can come out and be. I do love this surrender and allow so, so much. I [00:45:00] think particularly with your story, Terri, I know that's gotta be a bit of work, right?

for sure. 

Terri: Especially for my job. I can't tell allow and be a lobbyist. If I miss a deadline. My bill's dead. , counter intuitive expectation, 

Karen: it's outcome. it's allowing it to unfold the way it's supposed to. It doesn't mean not doing anything and just sitting back on that couch that landed on your head, but it's really about the listening and the looking for those signs that come.

And you can't do that if you're just so busy doing the action. You have to just give yourself that grace, like you said, so many wonderful ideas here. 

Robyn: And to me also, again, looking at this span of your professional life so far, you've been doing this for so long and under that type of work ethic, and Karen and I, we've worked on crazy deadlines and had to produce tremendous.

Shows and productions and events they weren't necessarily gonna save the world like you are , however, sometimes what the universe is trying to say is okay, you've done [00:46:00] that.

You've worked at that pace for such a long time. We are also just used to doing that, so we don't know any better. We don't know any different, but maybe changing that pace slightly and taking again that experience and applying it in a different way is that next chapter for yourself.

Terri: absolutely. sometimes we get so focused on what will be or what's next. Yes. But I have to practice it in the meantime. so recently there was an opportunity, to speak negatively about someone in the lobbying space.

But instead I was like, Michelle Obama says when they go low, you go high. I extended grace and I extended love, and I did not speak negatively about them. And so it could be as little as, for me wanting to ensure that my head and heart are always in alignment and that I'm showing up as the person I will always want to be.

Cuz it's so easy in politics to throw a punch, But even me just making that conscious decision to always lead with kindness and love. , I've started to tell my colleagues, don't call me to talk about people. Or if they're talking about people, I will change the subject. I [00:47:00] am like so much lighter, yes, there's just this work that we can do and this practice in between that gets us closer to the very thing that we want. that 

Robyn: is so true. And to your point, you can apply that to any part of your life. I was literally having that conversation with someone last night and they were asking me about what do you do when someone is talking about negatively about somebody and I'm like, you just say I don't come from that place and I don't allow it in my life.

And when you really act on that statement, it's unbelievable how it does disappear

 it's resetting that energy, 

Karen: it's like fueling a fire, like you were saying. Yes, 

Robyn: exactly. Give that, and 

Karen: it just gives up flame words.

If you just step back and don't give it that 

Robyn: energy, it just, exactly Just Peters up. 

Karen: And you do feel lighter. It's so true. You can literally feel it in your chest when you start to participate in those things. I'm so with you there. 

Robyn: Wow, Terri you're I'm so excited for all that's to come, both working together and for the great me set and how that takes off as a platform, a book, and all [00:48:00] of that.

you have so much to teach people and you're already, have done so much for all of us that again, people don't even realize. So thank you. And 

Karen: please send this to your mom and your grandmother. Yes. Yes. gonna 

Terri: be like, you've been talking to who? 

Robyn: I love it. 

You can find out more about Terri's groundbreaking approach the great me Set TEDx and working

That's T E R R I B W I L L I A M You can purchase her, book Your Fire on Amazon or wherever books are sold. You can also follow Terri on Instagram at Terri B. Williams. Thank you Terri. Terri 

Terri: thank you. So I look forward to listening to more of your podcasts and sharing them with others and learning from you too. Y'all are rock stars.

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