By Lauren K. Terry
As September’s Self-Improvement Month dovetails with October’s Emotional Wellness Month, Women We Laud thought there was none better to talk to for sage advice and wisdom than Doreen Virtue. Based out of idyllic Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and author of dozens of books, Virtue has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is the founder and former director of WomanKind Psychiatric Hospital in Nashville, TN.
Known for her angel therapy technique, Virtue conducts spiritually-oriented workshops and classes (many of them focused on so-called “new-aged” topics like angels, fairies, indigo children, and ascended masters) to inspire women to achieve personal and professional success.
Virtue sat down with Women We Laud to answer a few questions on self-improvement and emotional wellness.
BN: What tips do you have for women who are trying to change their lives for the better?
DV: Stop worrying what other people think about you, and put your whole focus upon how you can make the world a better place via whatever career or volunteer work fits with your passions. Instead of worrying about the future, enjoy this moment fully right now. Know that you are much more powerful, smarter, and beautiful than you’ve ever given yourself credit for . . . and you can use all of these gifts to enjoy your life and simultaneously make the world a better place.
BN: From Miley Cyrus to Real Housewives, women young and old are receiving messages about what’s acceptable in beauty and behavior. What role model do you think women should use in decision-making?
DV: Celebrities like to push the envelope both to get attention and to push social change. The rest of us don’t have to follow suit, though. Our behavior should be guided by our own inner sense of style. Beauty and behavior are opportunities to experiment with what works for YOU! Have fun with your artistic and creative side, which needs continual outlets of expression for optimum mental and physical health. Experiment with fashion, makeup, hair, your career, and your hobbies to find what styles fit your sense of who you truly are.
BN: What advice do you have for women who are suffering from low self-esteem?
DV: Stop doing any behavior that triggers feelings of shame or guilt within you. High self-esteem comes from knowing that you are doing the right actions, according to your personal belief system. So if you engage in (for example) smoking and deep-down you feel ashamed of smoking, the shame is actually more unhealthful for you than the smoking. You have the power to change your behaviors, lifestyle, and habits so that they 100% match with your highest ideals of yourself. You don’t need anyone’s permission to make these changes. You don’t need a lot of time or money to make these decisions. You just need to decide.
BN: You employ the use of angel therapy and spiritual guides in your healing practices. How do you think these methods can help women?
DV: A spiritual outlet helps women to release anger and fear to the Divine, so they aren’t carrying around these toxic energies inside. When women get in touch with their guardian angels, they stop feeling insecure and afraid because they know that they are completely loved and protected by their angels.
BN: You profess to have a strong bond with animals. How do you feel the human-animal relationship contributes to a women’s overall well-being?
DV: Animals help us to heal and open our hearts, especially after we’ve suffered painful emotions. If you’re grieving or depressed, one of the best therapies is to hug a cuddly puppy! Having a pet also helps women to develop their intuition, as conversations with animals are conducted intuitively.
To learn more about Doreen Virtue, check out http://www.angeltherapy.com or “Like” her page on Facebook.