I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
—Diane Ackerman, poet and author
Therèse was born and raised in the Midwest by an entrepreneur father and a homemaker mother, the second child of six. She was surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins as she grew. The family moved to Florida when she was entering her senior year in high school—a move that changed her life. Her new home was like a foreign country in landscape, attitude and, particularly, lack of old friends and family ties. That move formed her desire to recreate family wherever she lived. She attended the University of Florida briefly before marrying her college sweetheart and building a home and family of her own. Having six children in the local school system drove her community spirit, and she acted as a school-community coordinator for a government program as the South lurched into the 70s.
She has compared the death of her beloved son Michael in that same decade to a cue ball slamming into the carefully formed triangle of balls that represented her family, her belief system and her relationship to her husband. Nothing would ever be the same as those balls slammed outward and bounced off one another. Her future evolved into further education at Hillsborough Community College in her Tampa home; the Eckerd College writing program in St. Petersburg; The University of Missouri, Kansas City; and intimate study with Jean Houston. All of these experiences prepared her to counsel, write, teach and speak about the human connection and the need for a new kind of understanding around grief and joy.
The later divorce from her husband of thirty-five years and a series of health challenges deepened her connection to women’s issues and grief, focusing her attention on love and gratitude as healing. She met Lance, her life-partner, in 1998 and together they formed Whole Heart, a place where the wounded, seeking and stressed come to create a vibrant life of intention. She is living, and sharing, the width and depth of life, finding the later decades with children, grandchildren, mate and work both fulfilling and exciting.
Therèse is the author of six books and two CDs, (recent books are The Promise: Revealing the Purpose of Your Soul, which won the IPPY bronze medal for Women’s Issues, and Me and Green for children, which received a gold medal from the Indie Excellence Awards.) The Gifts of Grief: Finding Light in the Darkness of Loss will be released in April of 2013. She is a licensed HeartMath™ Provider, a board certified hypnotherapist, Somatic Intuitive Training Practitioner, counselor, teacher, poet, artist and business owner. Her latest CD is a collaboration with Grammy-nominated composer Michael Hoppé titled Tapestry, which includes a booklet of her poetry. She has a visualization and meditation CD titled The Promise: Walking Your Path of Truth with her voice over music by the Prague Symphony and Lance Ware’s Heart and Soul Meditations. She teaches a workshop titled “Your Personal Sustainability” through Breaking Ground Education Services. At the Whole Heart, she creates workshops, one-on-one sessions, books and CDs dedicated to teaching clients to live a passionate and stress-free intentional life.