At RYZ we interview creative and motivated people who are actively pursuing their dreams. Today we interview Terrie Leigh Relf, M.A.:
Terrie Leigh Relf, M.A. has a bachelor’s degree in Buddhist and Western Psychology from Naropa University (formerly Naropa Institute), a master’s degree in English from San Diego State University with an emphasis in Rhetoric & Writing, masters level certifications as an Integrative Life Coach from Bennett Stellar University, and Reiki Master Attunement from Marcia Borell. In addition to teaching English for National University, Relf is a published author, writer, editor, life, and writing coach. She serves on the special projects committee for Hiraeth Books and is the contest judge and editor for the quarterly drabble writing contests. Relf is also the poetry editor for Tales From the Moonlit Path. In addition to hosting a weekly coaching call for writers and artists, Relf also hosts a weekly networking group for writers, editors, and publishers in Ocean Beach.
What was your background before you chose your current profession?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t engaged in a variety of creative, educational, personal development, and spiritual pursuits. I taught music theory and composition and piano for decades and then became an English adjunct professor. During this time, I always focused on assisting my students with their life as well as educational goals. In addition to teaching, I’ve been a freelance writer, editor, and content provider for decades as well.
Was there any defining moment that led you to pursue your current path?
Over my academic career, I’ve realized that I was already a writing and life coach and wanted to expand my skill set. Prior to this, a friend encouraged me to become a hypnotherapist, and when I went looking for a program, I discovered Bennett Stellar University’s Life Transformation Coach program.
Tell us a little about some of the projects/works that you have created or have been a part of
I was the host and emcee for an open mic for about seven years. We often had touring guest authors come to share their work as well. In addition to writing for a few local newspapers and websites, I also designed and facilitated writing workshops. While I do have a lengthy bibliography of publications, which includes articles, poems, and short stories, I’ve also collaborated on, or been the author of, several books. These are listed in my “About” page at https://tlrelf.wordpress.com/.
What projects are you working on now?
Currently, I’m working on Beacon Lights of Ranat, the sequel to my novel, Sisterhood of the Blood Moon. I’m also focused on compiling two collections of my short stories and planning a list of blog ideas for my websites.
Who would you say are the people that have influenced you the most?
There are so many people that have influenced me throughout my life and career. I’ve even met people in passing who have made a powerful impact. Currently, I would say that the people who most influence me are part of my writing, coaching, and spiritual communities.
What are some of the challenges that you have faced and how do you face new challenges?
I used to suffer from severe migraines, which definitely affected my ability to work and express myself creatively. Fortunately, I haven’t had one for months now . . . Other challenges have included creating balance in my life, as I tend to be a bit of a workaholic. In terms of facing new challenges, it depends on what they are. When it comes to life-work balance, for example, I focus on identifying priorities and reasonable goals. I also practice positive self-talk, self-hypnosis, Reiki, and other techniques, such as meditation. Over my life, I have learned the importance of creating the time to just breathe, be, and do nothing.
What work are you most proud of?
I’m proud of all of my accomplishments, so this is a tough question. I find that whatever I’ve recently accomplished tends to rise to the surface. So, too, do on-going projects and relationships. That said, I would have to say that I am the most proud of the life that I am now living.
Do you have any advice for an aspiring entrepreneur?
One of the greatest pieces of advice came from my grandmother about being true to yourself. This adage has taken many forms over the years, such as following your bliss, passion, and so forth. I definitely believe that when someone aspires to be an entrepreneur, artist, musician, and so forth, that where our mind focuses, our energy follows (Thank you, Jung Shee, for this!). I often ask my clients, “Is this what you really want?” I think this is key. It’s important to assess and reassess our goals on a regular basis.
Where can people go to learn more about your work?
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