Transcription excerpts from this episode
Welcome to MyMacDLife, empowered by The Support Site Foundation. This podcast is about macular degeneration and the devastating impact it has on millions of people and their families every single day, 365 days a year. Our mission is simple—to bring hope, optimism, perspective and education to our listeners. So tune in, buckle up and put your listening ears on.
Hi, I’m Dawn Prall, Founder and Executive Director of The Support Site Foundation.
MyMacDLife, the podcast you’re listening to and tuning into right now is empowered by The Support Site Foundation. We are a voice you can trust. MyMacDLife is the first podcast series about how to live your best life with macular degeneration.
…And when I was writing my book I kept these feelings in for 25 years was my limiting belief. I finally just broke through all that and started writing. My body was screaming at me and pulling at it. Every time I hit a letter it was just like screaming at me to stop and fight. Finally, by four in the afternoon, I couldn’t take any more. I took a hot bath. I sat on my bed, wrapped in a blanket and just released everything and went into the blank space in my mind. When I opened my eyes about 20 minutes later, this energy was leaning over me, comforting me. I saw it in the reflection in the mirror across from me. And then I looked. We had a second where we looked, and then it just retracted into my heart. It took me three days before I could even mention it to anybody. Like, what was that? And then I realized it was my soul.
MyMacDLife podcast is generously supported by Regeneron.
Welcome to MyMacDLife. I’m really excited about today’s guest. She’s an international best selling author, speaker and happiness coach. Terri Lynn is an expert at choosing happiness. And using what she calls the divine navigation system. Her books “Journey To My Soul Following Divine Navigation,” and “10 minutes To A Happier You: Start Your Day In A Positive Way,” have helped countless people find peace and gratitude amidst challenging times. Her message is simple, make the decision to be happy and good things happen. Thanks, Terry for being here and giving us your energy today. I think we could all use a little bit of the positivity that you have figured out. You know, whether you’re facing the challenge of macular degeneration, or just trying to navigate these unsettling times. Yes. How do you stay positive? And you mentioned in your book going through a very difficult time. I’m wondering how that experience changed you and set you up for this path of choosing happiness?
It did change me. And thanks for having me, Hillary, I’m excited to talk to you. We are facing challenging times. And I lived through a very, very difficult time. As you know, as you get older, you look back and you say, well, that difficult time is what made me who I am today, and how to learn to overcome those challenges. But you know, happiness is a choice. It’s an inside job. And no matter what’s going on in the world around us, we can find peace if we go deep enough into the silence. Meditation has been a great, great tool for me over my lifetime.
It is very much a personal choice. I think it’s taking control of your life and making that decision to really get on that path of choosing happiness. But yes, you know, for people that don’t know how to go about that and aren’t comfortable with meditation, what would be your advice for someone who’s just starting out with this?
My best advice would be to become aware of what you’re thinking, because most of the time, most of us are just reacting to what’s going on in the world, not realizing that we can generate our own feelings. If we’re not feeling well, we can go in and just be like okay, well, I want to feel better. I want to feel good. Or I want to feel whatever you choose. We can sit and meditate in just a few minutes. But you need to start becoming aware of what you’re thinking and if your thoughts are supporting the life you want. It’s been scientifically proven that when your mind is in positive state, you get better results. You know, I’ve been in sales my whole life. When you come into work with a positive state in sales, you have 31% higher sales production, and it’s just being positive versus being neutral.
You mentioned in your book that you had this experience where you saw an extension of energy emanating from your body during a very difficult period of time. Can you describe that for us?
Oh, it gives me chills just talking about it. Yes, I had the most difficult day. I was in emotional pain. I was in physical pain and my child had just gone through a traumatic event. It was snowing. It was a blizzard in Pennsylvania and I wasn’t able to go be with my son. I was just tortured. I started writing my book. And when I was writing my book I kept these feelings in for 25 years was my limiting belief. I finally just broke through all that and started writing. My body was screaming at me and pulling at it. Every time I hit a letter it was just like screaming at me to stop and fight. Finally, by four in the afternoon, I couldn’t take any more. I took a hot bath. I sat on my bed, wrapped in a blanket and just released everything and went into the blank space in my mind. When I opened my eyes about 20 minutes later, this energy was leaning over me, comforting me. I saw it in the reflection in the mirror across from me. And then I looked. We had a second where we looked, and then it just retracted into my heart. It took me three days before I could even mention it to anybody. Like, what was that? And then I realized it was my soul.
MyMacDLife podcast is brought to you, in part, by centric bank, Healthy Vision Association, Finkelstein, and Associates, Novartis, Regeneron, Vispero, and from anonymous donors.
Do you think that that came about because you’re in such an incredibly emotional space?
Yes. I think it came about also because I felt spiritually connected from when I was a child. But after I came out of that 10 year period, out of the tough time in my life, when I was done with that, I realized my higher power carried me through that, and I was so grateful. And I just said, I’m going to devote my time on earth to getting as close to this entity as I can. And through years of meditation, I came through that cathartic release, which led to this experience. And I’m telling you, this experience changed me forever. Because we live in this human body. So many people are just unaware of the spiritual world. It’s really hard and difficult to be happy. If you’re not feeding all three parts of your being, right mind, body and soul.
I’m thinking about the people out there that are facing the challenges of having macular degeneration and trying to figure out ways to navigate a new system of living. I’m wondering what kind of affirmations or exercises you might advise them to do. I’m a big believer.
Create word tracks for your life. Create statements. For instance, in sales I developed, you know, I attract all the buyers when I was selling vehicles. It sounds silly and corny but when you repeat this, you know, our thoughts are energy. So one of my famous quotes is, ‘Your thoughts are energy. So think responsibly.’ We don’t realize that the thoughts that we repeat over and over again, create our reality. So create a word track for your life, like I can face this. And one thing I learned from someone who I co-authored a book with, calls himself a Kung Fu spiritual warrior. And in his story, he says, when life gives you a challenge, yell back at a challenge, accept it. Because it gives you power. It’s empowering, versus saying, Oh, this is happening to me, and being a victim.
I think affirmations and mantras are probably very good techniques to adopt into your daily life. I think that could work overtime.
And another thing I’ve learned over time is, instead of saying I’m angry, or I’m happy, I feel happy. Use the word feeling because it’s, it’s more freeing. When you say I am angry, you’re like, hung on to it and anchored to it. But when you say I feel angry, oh, well, I have the power to change my feelings.
I’m just thinking about all the very tough things that are happening in the world right now. For people who are hypersensitive to the vicissitudes of our existence, just living in modern times and what’s happening…Is it okay to acknowledge all the bad, quote unquote, things? And then to have a counter affirmation? Would that work?
I think you have to acknowledge that we all have to acknowledge it. But we don’t have to focus on it. I rarely watch the news, and I still find out what’s going on in the world. But when you realize what’s happening, like if a disaster happens, do what you can. Pray, give money, volunteer, whatever you can do. But then focus on something positive. Focus on what you want your future life to be. It takes work. It’s not easy. It’s not easy.
MyMacDLife podcast is a national award winner of the step program for innovative macular degeneration, patient education and for demonstrating a commitment to addressing the daily needs of people with age related macular degeneration.
And how do you relate these affirmations in the business environment?
Well, I’ve trained a lot of people. I try to help them create word tracks when we’re in training. Using the words I am and I can are very powerful you know, I am successful. And you just put that in your head over and over again until you believe it. The belief is what happens. But you know, we have so many doubts, oh, I’m never going to be able to do this, this is too hard. But if you put those affirmations in, or I like to call them word tracks, because in sales, we use a lot of different word tracks. You just put them in. You read them over and over again until you finally create the energy and start believing. Once you have the confidence and the belief, it just starts to happen. I see it all the time with people.
Yeah, they say it takes 21 days, if you are to repeat. I think it’s 21 or 28. Yeah, where you repeat a mantra. And then that creates a neural pathway. And so then you start to actually, you know, realize the very thing that you’re saying,
Our brain is just like a trail on a hiking trail. You use the same path over and over again, if you start a new path, it’s tough. You have to cut through it and cut through it. But once it’s created, your brain will go that way.
Yeah, I love it. I love that. I grew up being told by my mother, you know, if I ever said anything that was slightly negative, she would say, say cancel, cancel, because your brain doesn’t know irony. It just hears the word, doesn’t know the difference, right? So yeah, be very careful about the words that you’re using
Words we choose for self talk is super important. Right?
In your latest book “10 Minutes To A Happier You,” can you tell me a little bit about how you decided to do that book?
For years, I’ve been writing on my Facebook page a positive thing. I called it ”Today’s Fortune Cookie, because years ago, I got tagged the nickname, because something bad happened at work and somebody turned to me to say, okay, fortune cookie, let’s see a positive spin on this one. When that fortune cookie nickname came to me, it just ignited this passion in me. So I’ve been doing that. I just got tired of hearing people say I don’t have time to meditate, I can’t find the time; I can’t quiet my mind. So I figured, well, everybody could have 10 minutes. So this 10 minute exercise, you just do a breathing exercise. You move. You just do all these different things at once for a few minutes. And then you sit down and breathe and put in the positive. Because…when your brain is busy doing too many things at one time, it doesn’t have time to ramble.
What gave birth to the wellness universe site that you have?
I did not give birth to that. But I was friends with a woman who started it before it came about. We were friends on Facebook, because we both did inspirational pages. But it’s a wonderful group. And I’m sure anybody out there in that space and the challenge that you’re facing, there’s somebody on the wellness universe that can help you. There are energy workers. There are all kinds of therapists, life coaches. Things just become much easier. When you don’t battle it in your mind. You know, the best benefit I think I’ve received from meditating is just singularity of thought. There’s not all the static in there anymore. And it just creates a flow. As long as I can keep myself calm, and I feel peaceful. Everything just goes no matter what comes out. You can handle it.
MyMacDLife podcast is generously supported by Regeneron.
When you are going through that period of time, that was really difficult. You were going through a divorce, and your children were living in a different place. And you were really struggling with that. How did you jumpstart yourself out of that darkness?
It took me a while. I went through like a year and a half period of what I just call waiting for death. Because the decision I made during divorce, which caused me to live separated from my children, was a guided decision. I knew it was just totally guided and I was angry at God. It’s like, how could you have led me here? I felt like all the puzzle pieces didn’t fit, but yet they were locked in place. Like how is this my life? I was angry and I just prayed for death. My prayers have always been answered. So I was just waiting for death, expecting that because I couldn’t leave my children with a suicidal mother. I just couldn’t do that to them. And I didn’t want to live for the next 10 years, because it was too painful. But then it was like the whole universe came together and pulled the rug out from under me. And many, many things happened. And then I just said, Okay, God, if I’m gonna live, I got the message you’re gonna live. And I’m like, okay, well, then I need your help, because I can’t do it alone.”
That’s amazing. So it was really a series of things that happened to you that affirms that you were going to live through this. And that you were just going to have to adjust and find a way to get out of it.
The funny thing is, there was a song on the radio that just hit me in the moment. “Staying Alive.” And I knew it. I remember taking a shower, screaming and pounding on the shower wall like, no, if this is going to happen, then you’re going to have to help me because I couldn’t even pick myself up.
I think for people that are going through really, really challenging times and trying to figure out where to go and they might not have people to talk to, just sitting down, and putting thoughts to paper might be a good beginning. Yes. And then maybe even posting an affirmation on a post it note and sticking it on the refrigerator. Something small like that, keeping
A journal and things getting it out. Sometimes if you just write out all the negative, and burn it, or crumple it up and throw it in the trash…you want to get the negativity out… and then try to replace it with the positive.
That’s wonderful. Do you have clients that call you long after you, you know, help them with something? Many years later? Do you still have these relationships with people?
When you touch somebody’s life, I can’t even tell you the feeling when I say something to somebody and give them a new perspective. You see the light bulb go on. I know I made that connection. I have several people in my life that I’ve helped through that. And yes, you have a special connection that way.
I really love this theme that you have about choosing happiness, because it is something that we can choose. It’s a discipline. It’s just like tackling anything else. You have to know that it’s not something that just comes to you. You have to actually manifest it. And that’s something that I think is really critical that a lot of people take it for granted. Perhaps they think that happiness is just going to come as a byproduct of, you know, they feel good when they’re planting a garden, etc. But really, it is a discipline, like everything else that has to be mastered and channeled. And that’s pretty much what your book is saying.
Well, the truth is, again, science is proven. When you live in a happy state, a peaceful state, any type of positivity, your brain functions better. And we’re magnets. The better you feel, the better things you’re going to attract. You know, we so often look at ourselves as a victim. That’s one thing in my life, I never saw myself as victim because I knew it was a deliberate decision I made that caused the effect of what happened. But if you don’t even know where you want to go or what you want, so many people don’t know what they want. Just make it a focus of feeling as good as you can, in every moment. And your life will just get better and better.
I believe that sort of synchronicity is the unfolding of events. Once you’re in the flow, you’ll meet the people that you should meet, things will start to happen, the phone will ring suddenly and it’ll be the person that you wanted to talk to. That’s a wonderful thing. And I’m so grateful that you have put this book out there for people to follow.
I just want to say to your listeners going through a scary thing. We can fill ourselves with fear and feel like a victim. But that’s not going to serve you. It’s not going to serve you to do your best. Put the thought of where you want to see yourself in a better light. Just feel as good as you can. I know it’s not easy. It sounds so easy. It’s not, but you will benefit from it. You truly will.
Thank you so much for joining us on MyMacDLife today. Terry, if you would just tell us where we can find more information about your books, the website, I’d really appreciate it.
Sure I’d be happy to and thanks so much for having me. I’ve been honored to be here. My website has all my information www.thinkhappybehappy.com. An easy one to remember.
Thank you again for joining us on MyMacDLife
Hi everyone, this is Dawn Prall. I am the founder and executive director of The Support Site Foundation. MyMacDLife is brought to you and empowered by the Foundation. And this is our very special segment that we bring to you every episode, Product Spotlight. Product Spotlight is sponsored by our wonderful friends of Vispero. It’s me and…Mike Wood from Vispero. Hey, Mike.
Hey Dawn, how’s it going?
Great. Tell me, tell everyone, what do you do in Vispero?
I think the question may be what don’t I do at Vispero? I do a lot of different things but my main focus is the education market. K12, higher ed. School is what I focus on. I do a lot of work with the senior market but I’ve been with Vispero for about 15 years.
So today, we thought we’d put that extra twist on it and talk about low vision. And the Assistive Technology devices that Vispero makes that people who have low vision need to know more about because the goal of MyMacDLife is to be a resource for people who are living life with low vision due to macular degeneration. So low vision, not a widely known condition… not talked about like arthritis or diabetes, or even MACD. So tell us what low vision means to you, to the company, to the industry?
Absolutely. So to give you a little history to Vispero, which is spelled V I S P E R O, is actually the combination of two Latin words, one being Visio. The other being Spero. Visio means the vision. And Spero means hope…Our mission is to provide hope, determination and independence through all of our different products, whether it be hardware or software that support those that are low vision. We’ve been around quite a while, being the leader industry, you know, since 1975. We’ve merged together many brands over the years, but we’ve all been around since 1975.
So low vision…I think it’s important for people to know…a lot of our constituents ask about, you know, I’ve just been diagnosed with MACD and I don’t know what to do. I’ve been told there’s nothing they can do about it. And I’m scared. One of the main roles that the foundation plays and certainly this podcast, is back to your education comment, so people learn more about living with low vision. If I have low vision my retina doctor is not going to say that to me. My ophthalmologist might not say that to me. So how do I know when I have it?
A few of the different things that I find are signs are you’re finding it difficult to do basic things around the house, like cooking, sewing, or fixing and repairing things. Now another key factor is if you start to notice that you might need more light.
Everybody knows you need the right tool… You don’t use a putter to hit your tee shot.
You might use a handheld video magnifier like the Ruby when you go to the grocery store, reading tags at the grocery store. Or maybe you’re going to a restaurant. Every restaurant is low light, right? They’re setting the ambiance and the mood for you. But you want to have this handheld video magnifier. One of the best selling in the industry, the Ruby is going to be really beneficial to maybe read the menu. But if you’re at home, and you’re maybe reading the newspaper, you might want a desktop magnifier like the Optelec Clear View. See, that’s going to be more of a stationary device that you bring the materials to, as opposed to bring the device to the materials.
These are technology Assistive Technology devices that are out there that Vispero makes. And this is the technology that, if you have low vision, you can do things like reading. Like you said, tasks that you may not be able to do as well now that you have low vision,
Correct. So some of the tools that people might benefit from when they have MacD are a handheld video magnifier, a handheld optical magnifier, desktop video magnifier, or something that provides OCR capability, which is optimal character recognition, which is basically scanning and reading. So you can take text, and then have it read back to you. All of these different products fall under different brands within Vispero company.
Now what are those mics? I think it’s important for people to understand your…general overview of the of the way that the “Assistive Technology” industry works. And also, when you have low vision, you need assistive technology.
So under the Vispero umbrella there are a couple different brands: there’s freedom, scientific, enhanced vision, Optelec, and the Paciello Group, known as TPGI. Then they’re also known for their, world renowned handheld video magnifier called The Ruby. The Ruby comes in a couple of different flavors as far as sizes, and functionality.
What category is that?
So The Ruby would fall in a handheld video magnifier category. These are electronic. The key things that you should focus on when you have low vision are going to be magnification. Oftentimes, you need magnification support. Things need to be enlarged. Oftentimes you need more lighting. So it might be as simple as having a desk lamp, or changing the light bulbs to a different brightness and contrast. And these handheld video magnifiers offer all of those benefits.
…All the products have that. I mean, that’s the one thing we tell people. I mean, that’s where we start when they ask us. It’s like every one of the Assistive Technology products has those features. Right? And some have OCR, or is that…
…Text to speech? Is that the same thing? It’s basically the exact same thing? Yes. So the product offers you text to speech using the character recognition technology.
So it’s like reading aloud. Right? Correct. Yes.
If you have MacD, the more you’re using your eyes, you’re straining your eyes throughout the day. So you’ll start to get eye fatigue. So there, you go, your eyes are getting tired. I’m sure many of you listening in here have had eye headaches before. You get that kind of strain within your eye. And the text to speech helps because it lets you kind of sit back and have something else read the text to you. So you can close your eyes, relax, and listen to the text out loud.
Plus, we always tell people, and I think it’s important in this segment to say, you don’t see with your eyes you see with your brain. And when you struggle with low vision. Let’s face it, we’re all using our sight. You know, when you struggle with low vision, your sight’s impaired. So yeah, all right. So let me just repeat it for folks. There’s freedom, scientific. Correct. Enhanced Vision. Optelec. Yes. What’s the difference between all of those? Because we said they all have the features. What’s the difference between those brands so we can help people understand that.
Each one and you know, the best spot to look and see the differences would be at vispero.com. From there, you can be linked to all of those brand websites.
I think that’s good for people to know, because let’s face it, they’re investing in their independence. Yes, we are investing in devices that that will help them. We always say this, it’s not to regain your sight, but to perform tasks better. Then you do see better because you’re using the device
…And you’re regaining independence. You know, there are so many people that need something as simple as wanting to read the mail that comes, to them. To be able to read it and not have to ask their husband or wife or whomever to read to them.
So I love what you said. Vispero is an industry leader in low vision Assistive Technology devices in service of our patient education that we partner with. Thank you again for your support.… To partner together so that more and more people understand low vision.
Our key is to develop innovative solutions that will enable individuals that are low vision to reach their full potential.
For more information and many great incredible resources, visit MyMacDLife.org. This program is supported by amazing listeners like you. Please consider a donation to keep our mission moving forward. Remember to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Until next time, keep living with hope.
MyMacDLife podcast is generously supported by Regeneron.